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Totally Guy
2011-08-05, 05:09 AM
It's quite a simple concept; you play a flaw that you have on your sheet and you gain some kind of metagame reward.

World of Darkness does it with Virtues and Vices. You play them to regain Willpower.
Mouse Guard does it with traits. You hinder yourself with a trait to get more downtime after a mission.
Burning Wheel does it with traits and instincts.
Cortex does it too with plot points. I had a Firefly guy who kept running with "Things don't go smooth".
Fate has its fate point economy. The GM offers you points to compel your characters aspects.

What other games have you seen that does this? Tell us about times this has really enhanced the game.

This thing isn't appropriate to all games. In one of the optimisation threads there was talk of a wizard with vertigo. Some said it was compelling others said it was irresponsible. I think the distinction is whether the game is about how the wizard's fear of flying interacts with himself and his friends on their journey or if the game is about a band of heroes stopping the evil bad guy.

Serpentine
2011-08-05, 05:26 AM
In my game, I give my players Cool Points. It rewards active cooperation, creative use of spells and skills and stuff, planning, doing just plain cool stuff that entertains everyone, and - most relevantly here - "roleplaying to your disadvantage". This means doing something that, out of character, you know to be a bad idea or less ideal or otherwise disadvantageous, but which makes perfect sense to do in-character. They might, say, choose to give all your left-over money to a needy orphanage. Or maybe, out of character, they know that a particular NPC is exactly the sort of shady character the party should be suspicious of, but their character is the sort of person who would trust them completely, putting themself at a disadvantage when the NPC inevitably backstabs them.
The Cool Points are worth roughly 1000gp each, and can be cashed in for particular items, concessions, plot-points, or pretty much whatever they want. For example, once we came across a strange door in the dungeon. When they opened it one way, it showed a broom closet. Opened the other way, it had a doorway to the next room. The Rogue was excited by this tricksy door, and nicked it. Trouble was, the door by itself wasn't the least bit magical. It was the combination of the doorway and the door. But he really, really wanted it to be something special. So I thought about it and looked at the number of Cool Points he had (quite a few, he was one of my most creative players). I can't remember the exact numbers or abilities, but basically I said that if he spent so many of his Cool Points, the door would have such-and-such an ability, and so many it'd have such and such, and so on. The highest, I think, was that it was basically a portable Gate. I think he went for a Passwall effect.

Xiander
2011-08-05, 05:36 AM
NWoD actually does this with flaws as well. A flaw is a characteristic which hinders your character, the effect of adding it to your character sheet is that you get extra experience points after every setting where it comes up.

I read about a hero point system for D&D as well, i do not remember where. The gist of it was that when players did something suitably heroic, they were awarded hero points, which they could then use to make cool actions work.

Serpentine
2011-08-05, 05:38 AM
Uh... Not really relevant, cuz it's a computer game, but the Exile games let you take a bunch of disadvantages which gave you extra experience (and/or advantages, which docked it).

Malfunctioned
2011-08-05, 09:00 AM
PDQ (Prose Descriptive Qualities)
Every character, whether PC or NPC has a Foible, this Foible can be activated by either the player or the GM in to place a disadvantage onto the character, in return they get a Style Dice which are used like Fate/Action/Cool points in other games.

jpreem
2011-08-05, 09:03 AM
In a way Gurps - the guidelines for GM to give points for sessions state that extra points should be given acting in character. So acting according to your mental disads should reward you some points.

Mark Hall
2011-08-05, 10:25 AM
In Ars Magica 5e, most of the flaws worked out to "Stories you want your character to be involved in". If you had a Diabolic apprenticeship, you were asking to be included in any stories involving demons. There were some game-level social impacts to this, as well... obviously, if your parens was judged a diabolist, nobody was going to trust YOU too much, especially not the quaesitores.

Volthawk
2011-08-05, 10:55 AM
In Exalted, Limit breaks let you recover a Willpower point once it's over.

Swooper
2011-08-05, 10:57 AM
Fate has its fate point economy. The GM offers you points to compel your characters aspects.
Houses of the Blooded uses the same aspect mechanic, with minor modifications. Tagging or compelling someone's aspect transfers a style point from the tagger/compeller to the tagged/compelled (and of course the GM Narrator has an infinite pool of style points).

Arbane
2011-08-05, 11:29 AM
Weapons of the Gods give characters Destiny (XP) every time one of their Disadvantages _really_ messes things up for them. I believe 7th Sea works similarly.

Crusader808
2011-08-05, 11:37 AM
Mutants and Masterminds gives hero points for complications.

Xyk
2011-08-05, 11:40 AM
In my game, I give my players Cool Points. It rewards active cooperation, creative use of spells and skills and stuff, planning, doing just plain cool stuff that entertains everyone, and - most relevantly here - "roleplaying to your disadvantage".

I do the same thing, but I call them Style Points.

TheCountAlucard
2011-08-05, 12:06 PM
In Exalted, Limit breaks let you recover a Willpower point once it's over.Technically, you recover (associated Virtue) Willpower points.

Also, Paranoia had a deal with Perversity Points, which you can spend to affect a die roll. You got them for acting sneaky, or RPing your character's foibles, or dramatically executing one of your teammates for being a traitor, or if your GM's just feeling whimsy, even. :smallamused:

Urpriest
2011-08-05, 12:20 PM
A horror game some friends of mine put together called Devil's in the Details (currently being expanded into Dramatis, a multi-genre rules-light system), had players choose to take Disadvantages. The player could then choose to apply the disadvantage to an important roll, taking a penalty to that roll but getting a Character Point in return, which they could later spend to maximize die rolls. Most players never applied their Disadvantages, but a few hoarded up Character Points with them.

randomhero00
2011-08-05, 01:17 PM
I always use stunts when I'm DM. The more immersive the storytelling of the player basically, the more stunt points awarded.

Welknair
2011-08-05, 04:41 PM
The system I'm making has a huge system for "Favor" points, which act much as the Cool/Fate/Style Points previously described. An interesting facet is that you can lose Favor, even going into Negative Favor. At which point the DM can choose to spend your negative favor for bad things to happen to you.

kieza
2011-08-05, 04:49 PM
I sort of do this; my players get one "plot point" every time they level up; they can spend it to declare something about the game world (without contradicting established facts), such as introducing a new contact or adding a prop to a scene. They can get more points in a couple of ways:

1) Most commonly, I'll offer a plot point if the player goes with a certain course of action, sort of like in Fate. It might be to gently suggest that their character might do things a certain way, or it might be because I haven't planned on what they initially wanted to do. Or, if I feel a bit sadistic, I might offer the entire group a plot point to not be genre savvy and do things the hard way.

2) They can get one as a sort of "Roleplaying Oscar." If a player manages to stay in character for most of a session, or manages to visibly move the rest of the group, they get a plot point.

3) After each session, the group (including me) votes on the session's most valuable player. The winner gets a plot point.

Acanous
2011-08-05, 08:11 PM
Star Wars does this with force points, sort of.

Glimbur
2011-08-05, 09:20 PM
Nobilis (3rd ed, I think) has Afflictions and... something else. Afflictions are things that happen to you, and the other thing is what you prefer to do, like a habit or what have you. When either of them come up you get Miracle Points back. This is amusing if you have an affliction of "Those I am close to are in danger", for example.

Edit: I should explain miracle points. See, you can do miracles of aspect,(superhuman skill/ability, but basically human++. Fighting an army? aspect.), dominion (control of your Estate. Everyone is a god of something. The power of Staples could make or destroy staples. A big enough miracle could staple reality in place.), Persona(also related to Estate, but more nebulously focused on the properties of it. If staples are "used to hold things together", you could use Persona to hold a couple together), and Treasure (sweet loot. A sword that cuts time? Treasure). You have a starting ranking in each of the four attributes, and if you want to push and do bigger things it takes miracle points.

Knaight
2011-08-05, 10:42 PM
The Shadow of Yesterday does this with its Keys system. It is the one and only source of experience points in the game.

big teej
2011-08-06, 05:59 PM
savage worlds has you take "complications" or drawbacks, or whatever the specific term they use is.

these are mostly roleplay applications, but if you stick to it, even/especially when it is detrimental to do so. the DM typically rewards you with an extra benny.

like the time I wasted all my ammunition freeing hostages.....
instead of running away from the alien wrath about to fall upon my head.

Mark Hall
2011-08-06, 06:15 PM
Actually, I'll also throw in HackMaster. Not playing your quirks and flaws results in a hit to your honor (and your honor can give you bonuses or even rerolls), while playing them to the hilt is a cue for the DM to give you more honor.

rayne_dragon
2011-08-06, 08:31 PM
Uh... Not really relevant, cuz it's a computer game, but the Exile games let you take a bunch of disadvantages which gave you extra experience (and/or advantages, which docked it).

If I recall correctly, in some/many of spiderweb software's games some of the flaws (or your actions during the story that inflicted character flaws on you) affect dialogue options in occassional instances. Probably more notable in the Geneforge series and the earlier Avernum (remade Exile) games with a reputation stat. Oh, and Nethergate - I seem to recall that there were traits that made the fair folk nicer to you or despise you (the latter not being a good idea at all if you were playing the celts).


In Ars Magica 5e, most of the flaws worked out to "Stories you want your character to be involved in". If you had a Diabolic apprenticeship, you were asking to be included in any stories involving demons. There were some game-level social impacts to this, as well... obviously, if your parens was judged a diabolist, nobody was going to trust YOU too much, especially not the quaesitores.

That some things that could be considered virtues, like kindness and bravery, were considered flaws for this reason was always something I thought was neat and interesting about Ars Magica 5e.

Given that you're (possibly) playing wizards who want to spend most of their time sequestered in their laboraties it makes a lot of sense though.

Mark Hall
2011-08-06, 08:36 PM
That some things that could be considered virtues, like kindness and bravery, were considered flaws for this reason was always something I thought was neat and interesting about Ars Magica 5e.

Given that you're (possibly) playing wizards who want to spend most of their time sequestered in their laboraties it makes a lot of sense though.

There is a special title appended to the names of brave wizards. I won't say it's hard to get, but brave wizards get it far sooner than anyone else.

"The late". :smallbiggrin:

Glimbur
2011-08-06, 10:07 PM
That some things that could be considered virtues, like kindness and bravery, were considered flaws for this reason was always something I thought was neat and interesting about Ars Magica 5e.

One could say that anything that limits your character is a flaw. This is why, for example, in GURPS Honesty is a flaw. This can lead in to a big game design discussion about whether roleplay choices should have mechanical benefits or drawbacks... I think that if it has a mechanical drawback then an attempt to balance it with a benefit can be appropriate. Continuing with Honesty, if I recall correctly it gives you a penalty to skill checks to lie, and therefore it gives extra build points for other things. This can lead to characters taking flaws to be better at other things which is either a) a reward for making a character with benefits and disadvantages like a real person or b) an open invitation for power-gaming.

Almagesto
2011-08-06, 10:08 PM
CALL OF CTHULHU !!

There's no other game where playing flaws can be more rewarding than in Chaosium's materpiece.

Arbane
2011-08-07, 01:23 AM
CALL OF CTHULHU !!

There's no other game where playing flaws can be more rewarding than in Chaosium's materpiece.

Getting to 0 SAN isn't supposed to be a race, you know.

Totally Guy
2011-08-07, 01:58 AM
Continuing with Honesty, if I recall correctly it gives you a penalty to skill checks to lie, and therefore it gives extra build points for other things. This can lead to characters taking flaws to be better at other things which is either a) a reward for making a character with benefits and disadvantages like a real person or b) an open invitation for power-gaming.

This sounds like a direct opposite of what I was describing. When you have this "take a flaw to get an advantage" what tends to happen is that you take flaws that'll have a low impact in order to gain something you wouldn't otherwise have;
Phobia: Yogurt
Allergy: Cinnamon

I'm talking about games in which you are encouraged to take flaws that will impact play over ones which are unlikely to come up.



CALL OF CTHULHU !!

There's no other game where playing flaws can be more rewarding than in Chaosium's materpiece.

Can you explain further. I've not seen this behaviour in play.

Xiander
2011-08-07, 04:59 AM
ICONS spring to mind.
All characters have a number of effort points, these can be spend to do cool stuff but only if you can tag a one of your advantages. The GM can tag your disadvantage and bring in bad stuff for you, which you can chose to reject at the cost of effort, or accept, to gain effort.

Mono Vertigo
2011-08-07, 05:58 AM
Getting to 0 SAN isn't supposed to be a race, you know.

It's not? No, I'm not serious... although...

Melayl
2011-08-07, 09:53 AM
In the Old Star Wars RPG (the d6 version), you recieved Character Points instead of Experience Points -- you got extra for good RP, including playing your flaws. You used CP to advance your character, but you could also burn them in-game to add extra die to rolls.

Shadowknight12
2011-08-07, 09:58 AM
It's not? No, I'm not serious... although...

"I read the book of eldritch lore!"

"NO! I read the book of eldritch lore!"

"Guys, guys. We can all read it together. Out loud."

Drachasor
2011-08-07, 10:34 AM
I've been playing the Dresden Files RPG (FATE system). Aspects are nice, but not perfect, imho.

Since almost any phrase or the like can be used as an aspect, it can be easy to make aspects that can't get compelled easily. Part of this, I think, is because compels are highly dependent on the plot hooks the GM provides. I am not fully decided whether that's an inherent price that must be paid with any such system or if something a bit more structured would fix that. Eh, perhaps in the end it comes down to more explicit guidelines for the GM. (Honestly, this is the only complaint I have about my DRFPG game).*

*Ok, well that's not quite true. The skill system is not that great, imho. It's very easy to make a bad character.

Almagesto
2011-08-07, 12:43 PM
Getting to 0 SAN isn't supposed to be a race, you know.

I know it's not... but it's SO good when you actually make it there. :smallbiggrin:


"I read the book of eldritch lore!"

"NO! I read the book of eldritch lore!"

"Guys, guys. We can all read it together. Out loud."

ROFLCOPTER, this TOTALLY seems like scripted out of one of my sessions. :smallsmile:

Knaight
2011-08-07, 07:07 PM
I've been playing the Dresden Files RPG (FATE system). Aspects are nice, but not perfect, imho.

Since almost any phrase or the like can be used as an aspect, it can be easy to make aspects that can't get compelled easily. Part of this, I think, is because compels are highly dependent on the plot hooks the GM provides. I am not fully decided whether that's an inherent price that must be paid with any such system or if something a bit more structured would fix that. Eh, perhaps in the end it comes down to more explicit guidelines for the GM. (Honestly, this is the only complaint I have about my DRFPG game).*

*Ok, well that's not quite true. The skill system is not that great, imho. It's very easy to make a bad character.

Dresden Files is one particular iteration of FATE, and by far the crunchiest of them. I can't stand it personally, but as for aspect compulsion, you want to make aspects that can get compelled. Sure, you could make something near perfect, but if you do you are at a disadvantage, because an aspect that gets compelled gives you fate points, which lets you use your aspects in positive manners, which effectively removes that flaw. As for the skill system, Dresden Files butchered it all over the place.

Drachasor
2011-08-07, 07:59 PM
Dresden Files is one particular iteration of FATE, and by far the crunchiest of them. I can't stand it personally, but as for aspect compulsion, you want to make aspects that can get compelled. Sure, you could make something near perfect, but if you do you are at a disadvantage, because an aspect that gets compelled gives you fate points, which lets you use your aspects in positive manners, which effectively removes that flaw. As for the skill system, Dresden Files butchered it all over the place.

Let's say you have an aspect "Defender of the Innocent" or the like. It's quite possible to have a campaign arc where there are bad guys, even very evil guys, but innocents are never (or almost never) directly in danger. So something that seems like a very compellable aspect doesn't actual come up that much. Similarly, you could have an aspect like "Honest to a Fault" and that could basically never come up too.

Though perhaps I am missing some opportunities to self-compel, but that's perhaps a problem too. Ostensibly you shouldn't be able to make a "perfect" character, right? One might say Superman is perfect, but he should actually have a lot of stuff to get compelled. Now you could make an uninvolved character, who has nothing he cares much about so he can't get compelled on anything. In practice though, I've found it hard to find points to self-compel my character, even though he's a bit towards the Superman end of the scale as far as aspects go.

Knaight
2011-08-07, 08:04 PM
Let's say you have an aspect "Defender of the Innocent" or the like. It's quite possible to have a campaign arc where there are bad guys, even very evil guys, but innocents are never (or almost never) directly in danger. So something that seems like a very compellable aspect doesn't actual come up that much. Similarly, you could have an aspect like "Honest to a Fault" and that could basically never come up too.

One does have to work with the GM. Consider your example, "Defender of the Innocent" which could be compelled to defend innocents against overwhelming numbers, or invoked to gain a bonus when defending an innocent. It is a solid aspect in most cases, and if it isn't in a campaign it is because the GM has decided not to include anything that could be reasonably interpreted as innocents. That is a GM failure, as they should have told you that when the aspect was suggested, or included it because of the aspect.

Drachasor
2011-08-07, 08:18 PM
One does have to work with the GM. Consider your example, "Defender of the Innocent" which could be compelled to defend innocents against overwhelming numbers, or invoked to gain a bonus when defending an innocent. It is a solid aspect in most cases, and if it isn't in a campaign it is because the GM has decided not to include anything that could be reasonably interpreted as innocents. That is a GM failure, as they should have told you that when the aspect was suggested, or included it because of the aspect.

I'll look over the section for GMs, but I am not sure it properly emphasizes that player aspects should be considered in designing stories and the like. That and we are new to the system.

Knaight
2011-08-07, 11:36 PM
I'll look over the section for GMs, but I am not sure it properly emphasizes that player aspects should be considered in designing stories and the like. That and we are new to the system.

I know the vast majority of Fate games cover this pretty well, and the description for Aspects implies it heavily. However, the system in general lacks internal explanation, and requires use of it to properly understand, with Dresden Files probably one of the worst books written in it in this* regard. However, even if the book doesn't clearly state it, it is still a GM problem, merely a GM problem that the book doesn't clearly oppose - that one should let the players use their aspects is really, really obvious.

*And every other

Tyrrell
2011-08-08, 05:11 PM
One could say that anything that limits your character is a flaw. This is why, for example, in GURPS Honesty is a flaw. This can lead in to a big game design discussion about whether roleplay choices should have mechanical benefits or drawbacks... I think that if it has a mechanical drawback then an attempt to balance it with a benefit can be appropriate. Continuing with Honesty, if I recall correctly it gives you a penalty to skill checks to lie, and therefore it gives extra build points for other things. This can lead to characters taking flaws to be better at other things which is either a) a reward for making a character with benefits and disadvantages like a real person or b) an open invitation for power-gaming.
Which is why I like Ars Magica 5's system of only balancing flaws with virtues, not with freebie points that can be used for anything (although there are virtues that grant nearly any advantage so this is a bit of ind game it still works in practice). Also a feature of the virtue/flaw system is that all characters are pretty much expected to take their full compliment of flaws although it isn't mandatory) so it isn't "Do I want t take another flaw o grab a few more points?" but instead it's "Which 10 points of flaws are going to be the most fun to play?" so it leads to much less twinkery (at least in my experience).


To get back to the original question my favorite mechanic for personality traits is the spiritual trait system from Riddle of Steel you got bonus dice (it was a die pool system) for actions related to your personal goals and foibles and also taking sch actions was the only way to earn xp. The way to minmax was to roleplay.

Delwugor
2011-08-09, 02:44 PM
Let's say you have an aspect "Defender of the Innocent" or the like. It's quite possible to have a campaign arc where there are bad guys, even very evil guys, but innocents are never (or almost never) directly in danger. So something that seems like a very compellable aspect doesn't actual come up that much. Similarly, you could have an aspect like "Honest to a Fault" and that could basically never come up too.
Sometimes you have to look at Aspects from different angles to get the most out of them. "Defender of the Innocent" at first glance looks difficult in say a social scene. But in this case since the presence of the Innocent is required to invoke the lack of it can be compeled. "This is just socialites jockeying for position. My character doesn't really care so I compel that his argument is weak for a -2" or compeled for effect as "My character shrugs his shoulders after being criticized and walks away".

Drachasor
2011-08-09, 02:53 PM
That's interesting, so something like "This interaction is not relevant to me, so I leave and it offends them"? Maybe I should try that out if it comes up.

beyond reality
2011-08-09, 03:11 PM
PDQ (Prose Descriptive Qualities)
Every character, whether PC or NPC has a Foible, this Foible can be activated by either the player or the GM in to place a disadvantage onto the character, in return they get a Style Dice which are used like Fate/Action/Cool points in other games.

The earlier PDQ game Truth and Justice (a super-hero system) did something similar for Limitations on Powers and Vulnerabilities (like say superman's kryptonite weakness). Rather than using them to earn additional points at character creation you receive Hero Points when they hinder you in play. This is the best way I've seen to handle super-hero weaknesses in any of the supers games I've read.

Almagesto
2011-08-09, 03:57 PM
My character doesn't really care so I compel that his argument is weak for a -2" or compeled for effect as "My character shrugs his shoulders after being criticized and walks away".

The second way is way better. Also, I think I've seen this kind of behavior around the table.

erikun
2011-08-09, 04:23 PM
Faery's Tale Deluxe has something like this. A player my offer complications to a challange, and if the narrator uses it, they are awarded Essence (Life/MP) for their character. The player can also gain Essence by roleplaying well, specifically in-character and against what the "best" choice would be. Examples include rescuing someone over chasing a villian, giving up something important for someone who needs it, or managing to avoid a conflict without combat.