Traits and Passions
Traits and Passions
Traits are dualistic personality factors presented in opposed pairs. Think of them as a roadmap to your character’s current personality profile, expressed as 13 weight scales. They define the character’s feelings and tendencies. Characters can certainly display other more nuanced traits but those listed on the character sheet are the ones critical to the Arthurian literature which inspires the game.
The total value of each trait pair must always equal 20 when the game begins, and in most cases this will never change: When one trait increases, the opposite decreases by the same amount; like an old-timey scale. Normally, no trait may ever be higher than 19 or lower than 1, except through experience or by the use of increased Glory.
When the opportunity arises to have your character behave one way or another, traits can be used as casual guidelines, or rolls against the appropriate trait may be imposed by the GM. Most of the time, the player will simply state what they want their character to do and he does it, possibly receiving an experience check in the process. However, in life, we do not always act thoughtfully or rationally, doubly so in an Arthurian setting. Most of us have experienced doing something without thinking, and a trait roll duplicates that kind of situation.
For more information on interpreting trait rolls and their proper use, please refer to Chapter 4 of the main rulebook.
The Arthurian legend if rife with uncontrolled emotion. Lovers drive each other to higher and higher plateaus of romantic gestures and acts. Family feuds tear entire kingdoms apart. A boy king, driven by a vision of a brighter future, bends his will to impose his epic dream of justice and chivalry upon a dark land. Passion are strong personal emotions, including-though not restricted to-love, loyalty, religion, hate and fear. In addition to Traits, Passions provide a method of measuring a character’s inner self. They provide a tool for character to hew to the morals of the age, and allow him to benefit from being a notable example of proper (or improper) behavior.
Using a passion in game terms is called Invoking. Invoking a passion is a good way to add an edge to any scenario, however it can be a risky choice for players to make. The results vary but are likely to be dramatic. The GM may call for a passion roll, possibly with a modifier for the particular situation. This roll is handled as any other unopposed resolution. At other times the player may request a roll, with the GM’s approval. The GM will always have final say on the suitability of any invocation and whether it is appropriate to a given situation. Players be warned!: Passion rolls can be EXTREMELY risky as well as rewarding, for they may subject a knight to several unusual states of mind, including introspection, melancholy and madness.
this page is very close to exactly how passions and traits are explained in the main rulebook. I am not attempting to plagiarise, however, after years of writing and re-writing Greg Stafford has arrived at a near perfect description of Passions and Traits and how they should be used.
for more detailed rules involving passions, refer to the Main Rulebook