Traits in Free-Style Play
B. Task Resolution
F. Quick & Dirty
Whatís the first thing you do in most role-play games? Roll-up characters. Most games give you
characters that are too statistically average. Sure we may dice-up a dozen before we get something
close to what we want to play, but in a free-style game thatís not required. Instead of rolling
random characters (usually three dice in six characteristics), the players pick one primary Trait
for their characters.
Traits are features about the character that make them superior to the norm. All characters in
free-style play are truly better than the mass majority, because you are playing the character in
a story and who wants to read about a common fool. By picking a Trait, the player starts with a
character that is Magical, Rugged, Spirited, Cunning, etc. After the player picks one Trait, then
depending upon the Trait he selects, he then rolls to see if he has any other Traits that would be
associated with his selection. For example, in Barony, a player may select his character to be
Clever and then roll to see if he obtains other Traits like Methodical, Energetic, Bold, etc. In
this way the player always gets at least one good "stat" (so to speak) and controls the shaping of
his character. I know I always roll poorly. In a Better Game, I still start with a good character
and at times truly exceptional to other players. Iím always better than the norm, and Traits tell
me how Iím better.
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