April 25, 2004


There's a third category of special character trait: the Drive.

A Drive is something that motivates your character very strongly. This can provide benefits in certain cases, but it can also hamper you. If you don't want to start with a drive, you can pick one later or just not have one.

When a drive helps motivate you, you'll get a +1 bonus to appropriate tests. If the motivation is especially strong, you get a +2. Similarly, whenever you go against your drive, you get a -2 penalty... and if you're really violating it, the penalty climbs to -4. If you ever seriously violate a drive in a major way, you're liable to either lose it permanently or suffer minor penalties until you do something to atone for your actions.

Some example drives are listed below.

Loyal to X: your character is extremely loyal to a particular group or organization. You feel that it is your duty to serve and protect them. This grants a bonus to tests that directly involve the object of your loyalty, so you'll be better at defending it and at friendly social skills used with other members of the group. Whenever you engage in an act that your organization wouldn't approve of, though, you will suffer penalties and will generally be wracked with guilt.

Honest: your character abides by a personal code of honor. This entails always telling the truth and never engaging in deceptive actions unless there's a really good reason. You get a bonus to social rolls with folks who know you (because they know that you are always truthful and upright) and a bonus to resist any attempts to make you break your word. You're penalized whenever you do attempt to deceive folks, even when they deserve it.

Honorable: your character follows a warrior's code. You hate treachery and unfair fights. While you may lie or deceive folks if the situation calls for it, you will always keep your solemn oath. You get a bonus to social rolls with folks who know you (because they know that you are honorable) and to attempts to coerce you into doing dishonorable things. You're penalized when you do try to do something dishonorable.

Self-preservation: the drive of confirmed cowards, a character with this drive is primarily concerned with protecting their own hide. They get bonuses when fighting defensively, when fleeing from danger, and when desperately trying to persuade someone not to harm them. They get really nervous and incur penalties to their actions whenever they choose to take unnecessary risks. Unlike most drives, Self-preservation rarely causes you guilt if you seriously violate it; you're much more likely to simply lose the drive.

Charitable: a very selfless drive, your character has a soft heart and a weak spot for the unfortunate and downtrodden. You get bonuses when trying to help the less fortunate without more than token compensation. Such characters generally can't hold onto money and have trouble ignoring the misery of others. They suffer penalties when trying to take advantage of the less fortunate themselves and commonly suffer guilt penalties when they ignore a chance to help someone out.

Drives have game effects, but their primary purpose is as a roleplaying guide. If you're playing a character's drive properly, you'll hardly ever suffer penalties from it... you won't try to go against the drive, because that's not the sort of thing that your character would do.

You are limited to one primary or "major" drive at a time. Don't worry if you can't think of one right away; you can always pick on later.

Posted by Kiz at April 25, 2004 12:04 AM