This is a small expansion of the Inspiration system, utilizing the existing “Flaws” category–but adding some flavor and contingency so players can better grasp when they might be able to leverage their RP for Inspiration with the DM.
So, I wanted to help the Backgrounds system get a bit of a facelift. In my game, and everyone is a great RP’er, its been a challenge reinforcing and representing the Ideals and Flaws consistently–I suspect it’s because whereas most of the system punches a pretty clear action->benefit, Inspiration is a bit more free.
So, I decided to write-up some Flaws that might help players (certainly newer ones) grasp what their flaws are for and how to actively exploit and use them (the side-effect being RP, but hopefully not purely disruptive RP).
- Craven – Gain 1 Inspiration when your cowardice causes a material inconvenience for the party – “You see this? Eh? Paudicas? Do you see this? That’s an arrow. Yeah. Your job was to make sure I didn’t get any stuck in me this morning… guess what? Yeah, while you were off behind that tree..? This little guy? Stuck in me, exactly. Jerk.”
- Unmannered – Gain 1 Inspiration when your loutish behavior hurts an NPC or Faction relationship – “Fine! They want to stiff me on some of what they owe me, they can KISS MY ARSE! No skin off my hide! Thaddian, I’m tellin’ you it LOOKED like a spitoon–not my fault!”
- Misliked – Gain 1 Inspiration when snubbed by an NPC through no action of your own – “Outside? No, that’s fine–no problem. Sorry. I’ll let you all get on with it, then.”
- Isolated – Gain 1 Inspiration when you distance yourself from the party sub-optimally – “Where’s Penk? Where–oh, tiny gods, is he moping back there with the mules? Someone tell him to catch up.”
- Bigoted – Gain 1 Inspiration when your prejudice against a particular group/class/race/nationality gives you disadvantage on a social roll – “My good merchant, sir, I’m not saying YOU are poor, I’m saying that you and I are rather blessed in that we know better than to BE poor. You see? I’m complimenting you on not being trash, like your peers. Now? Onto business?”
- Prudish – Gain 1 Inspiration when refusing to participate in drinking, carousing, and other wild activities after being invited to – “No, thank you. No. Yes, but I’m fine, thanks. I just came to get some air, thank you. No, but that’s very kind…”
- Inept – Gain 1 Inspiration when you fail a task the rest of the party succeeds in – “No, seriously, let me try… I got it this time.”
- Slow – Gain 1 Inspiration when you’re the last person ready to adventure for the day or wind up at the back when traveling – “I’m still checking over my bow, Ankles Jack–a little care and concern for your gear might save your life one day. No… THEN I’ll get some breakfast.”
- Shy – Gain 1 Inspiration when you cower, socially, from an NPC – “…no, sir… excuse me…”
- Short – Gain 1 Inspiration when your height proves to be insufficient to a task – “Would you mind? No, right there, over one… yeah, that’s the one. Twasn’t a stool handy, thanks.”
- Whiney – Gain 1 Inspiration when you’re healed, paid, or asked first compared to the rest of the party – “Jalludin…! JALLUDIN! Hey! Over here! Help me up, I think I’m bleeding. JALLUDIN!!! Come here!”
- Deformed – Gain 1 Inspiration when your disfigurement disturbs an NPC through no action of yours – “I don’t want to talk about it. No–no, hey… I said I don’t want to talk about it. Lots of people gots ears look like that where I’m from, drop it.”
- Lazy – Gain 1 Inspiration when you exert the amount of least effort compared to the rest of the party – “I’m going to get on the wagon again, fellas… naw, nothing like that, I just got a rock in my shoe or something…”
- Sickly – Gain 1 Inspiration when you use spells or potions out of combat to treat wounds or diseases you don’t have – “Dammit, Krer Anukarere you meddling fuck! Its my money, my potion! I hurt my leg this morning! What business is it of yours!?!?”
- Addicted – Gain 1 Inspiration when you participate in your addiction to the point of being disadvantaged (drunk, poisoned, exhausted, etc.) – “Did you guys see me kill the beast? That was a blow for the songs! Wha? No, not a–hey! I haven’t touched a pint all day! That was from last night… probably… what day is it?”
- Greedy – Gain 1 Inspiration when you earn/get more money than everyone else in the party (individually) – “That should be an even split, chaps! But I’ll need three gold from each of you to help upkeep the wagon and horses–but, because we’re friends, I’ll charge you only one.”
- Stubborn – Gain 1 Inspiration when you convince the party to change their mind – “Let’s go through this one more time–I go in through the front and Becker heads around back… what… why are you shaking your head? Dammit Grence, fine, we’ll do it your way!”
- Arrogant – Gain 1 Inspiration when a failure happens on a task someone else attempts that you didn’t push them to take but predicted openly would fail – “Wendel, I told you to use the crowbar–that’s a halversteel lock on that door, finest locks around, you should know better…”