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Old 12-05-2021, 01:43 PM   #11
SilvercatMoonpaw
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

If I call it "Nervous Worker", I'd allow it. Am just following the wisdom of "don't let players make characters who won't join the group" for my list above. (Personally, a Quirk-level "grouses about having to work with others" fits most loner characters in media anyway.)
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Old 12-05-2021, 02:10 PM   #12
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I don't think I've ever explicitly forbidden a trait, other than for its not being applicable to the genre, .
In an IOU game I told players Terminaly Ill was forbidden but that was because Student Health Insurance would have cured it. They never actually found that out and they took it as me being humorous anyway.
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Old 12-05-2021, 04:32 PM   #13
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

I'm more inclined to *rewrite* a trait than forbid it. There are lots of rules broken enough I probably wouldn't allow them as written, but the trait *concept* is usually salvageable with house rules and/or a different point cost. Mostly the usual suspects come to mind here - Affliction (advantage or disadvantage), Intuition, Terminally Ill, Weirdness Magnet.

Oh and Mute. The 4e version is much better for being less explicit, but there's no way you could sell me on a trait that restricts talking to the other *players*.
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Old 12-05-2021, 05:07 PM   #14
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

My general requirements for disadvantages are:
  • Don't have a disadvantage list that means you have to be continually dragged into the story (e.g. Chronic Depression).
  • Disadvantages should give you penalties. If a disadvantage, when it comes up, will annoy the entire party, you don't get to take points for it (a common problem with Enemies, Kleptomania, etc).
  • Disadvantages are not excuses for the spotlight. If the main effect of the disadvantage is that the GM has to spend a bunch of time dealing with it, think again (e.g. Weirdness Magnet).
  • No disadvantages that just kill you or remove you from play when they come up.
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Old 12-05-2021, 11:47 PM   #15
lugaid
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

It depends on the setting.

That said, I'm not terribly fond of absolute advantages. Instead of Unfazeable, take a bunch of levels of Fearlessness.

I'm also not terribly fond of Weirdness Magnet—no matter how many times people write defenses of it, it still seems like it acts to the narrative benefit of the player by constantly focusing attention on their character (or if not focusing on their character, then being free points; and that is a lot of points to get back for something that brings focus onto one player's character like that).

I also don't like purely narrative advantages like Signature Gear, though I see limited uses for it in, for instance, Supers games as a way to represent natural equipment that is affected by a character's powers, such as Duplication or whatever—but in that case I'd just use it to give a monetary pool of equipment that the power can affect rather than the narrative "I always have X" of the base advantage. Since the player gets the ability to freely change the pool of equipment in return for losing that narrative power, it shouldn't be an issue, I hope.

Related to that last, I lean away from allowing Gizmos and the related advantage from Pyramid that I can't remember the name of that allows you to change things retroactively to represent planning, but those ones definitely depend on the setting. Settings based on Action almost require them.
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Old 12-06-2021, 12:13 AM   #16
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

I think the epitome of bad disadvantage design was the (thankfully missing from 4th edition) Jinxed disadvantage, which in 3e was a massive disadvantage (-20 per level, max 3 levels), and gave no penalties to the PC -- it gave penalties to everyone around the PC. Which is to say, the rest of the party. Though it did lead to a funny story from a player I know of the 4 character party with a combined 11 levels of Jinxed...

However, Weirdness Magnet is another example of not appreciating the differences between literary characters and characters in an RPG. In a novel, the character who has weird stuff happen to them gets ostracized. In an RPG, that's just "is a PC". I would be tempted to rewrite Weirdness Magnet as:

Weirdness Magnet: -5 per level.
Like all PCs, odd things happen around you. Unlike other PCs, the rest of the world actually notices that your presence brings havoc to their peaceful lives, and blames you for it, giving you a reaction penalty of -1 per level.
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Old 12-06-2021, 01:05 AM   #17
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

Berserk, Bully, Cannot Learn, Chronic Depression, Extreme Fanaticism, Sadism, Slave Mentality, Reprogrammable and Terminally Ill, are disads that I would reserve for NPCs.

Cursed is a disad I wouldn't design any character with or allow a player to, but I would use it as a sorcerous or divine Affliction.

Unaging and Restoration are advantages I just don't use. I assume regeneration can restore limbs, and use Resistant to Aging instead. I would be very reluctant to use Modular Abilities.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 12-06-2021 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:19 AM   #18
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Weirdness Magnet: -5 per level.
Like all PCs, odd things happen around you. Unlike other PCs, the rest of the world actually notices that your presence brings havoc to their peaceful lives, and blames you for it, giving you a reaction penalty of -1 per level.
A considerable improvement on the RAW reaction effects to be sure. Like a lot of problem disadvantages the major problem with WM is it isn't clear how it actually disadvantages the player. A lot of problematic ones spend too much of their description on side benefits (for WM some people react at a bonus) and avoiding the problems (the weirdness can't be lethal, just inconvenient or beneficial, what?)

I've had good luck redefining Weirdness Magnet as including themed Unluckiness - a promise the GM will screw you once per session [in a weird way]. In the years since I redefined it like that only one player has taken it for a significant character, as a genuine curse.
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Like a lot of problem disadvantages the major problem with WM is it isn't clear how it actually disadvantages the player.
I have to agree: it feels like something a majority of PCs in a group should have.
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:16 AM   #20
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Which traits are Forbidden in your games?

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Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
I have to agree: it feels like something a majority of PCs in a group should have.
In my IOU game (and contrary to the book) I gave everyone Weirdness Magnet because everyone on campus effectively struggles with the effects of that Disad.
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