New Qualities and Drawbacks

Here are a few new Qualities and Drawbacks taken from the All Flesh Must Be Eaten Core Rulebook and adapted to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG version if the Unisystem rules.

Quality Cost Source
Charisma 1 pt/lv AF38
Multiple Identities 2 pts/id AF44
Old Soul 4 pts/lv AF49
Status 1 pt/lv AF46

Drawback Cost Source
Accursed variable AF47
Cowardly 1 – 3 pts AF40
Cruel 1 – 3 pts AF40
Delusions 1 – 3 pts AF41
Lazy 2 pts AF43
Status 1 pt/lv AF46


Variable Drawback

The character has been afflicted by a powerful curse, one that may haunt him until the end of his days. The actual elements of curse, and how difficult it is to remove it, determine the point value of this Drawback. For the most part, it is the result of a misdeed the character committed in the past, and atonement for the misdeed is a major step (but may not to be the only one) needed to remove the curse.

The curse of this magnitude is only possible for the worst crimes and injuries. The Director and the player may work together in deciding the origins of the curse, or the Director may craft it himself. In the latter case, the origin of and the solution to the curse should remain a mystery to the character.

Depending on its severity, a curse can be worth anywhere between 1 and 10 points. A 10-point curse would be a terrible thing, something that would utterly ruin any chance of the character leading a normal or happy life, or which might kill the victim at any moment. Some rules of thumb to determine the power of the curse are given below. As usual, the Director is the final judge as to what is appropriate to a campaign setting.

A major inconvenience or annoyance is worth 1 point. For example, the character seems to attract flies, fleas and vermin; milk sours quickly in the presence of the victim; little accidents plague the accursed one.

Something more dramatic and harmful would be worth 2 to 3 points. For example, people tend to be distrustful and angry at the character for no apparent reason (–2 to –3 on all attempts to influence people), or the character can never accumulate a lot of money without losing it (this would preclude any Resource level above 0). Alternatively, people around the character are plagued by small accidents and annoying incidents. In this case, personal involvement is as important as physical proximity. A close friend of the victim suffers from the effects of the curse regardless of how far away he is. By the same token, all the people sharing a subway car with the accursed person also suffer from it.

Severe or life-threatening curses will be worth 4 to 5 points. For example, every day, an accident, mishap or random occurrence will endanger the character's life – a car runs a red light when the character is crossing the street, a gang shootout breaks out in front of him, or a similar dangerous chance event occurs. If the character is alert, he might survive the mishap without injury, but every day he has to live with the knowledge that sometime, somewhere, something dangerous and terrible is going to happen.

The difficulty in getting rid of a curse may add 1 to 5 points to its value. If undoing or atoning for a past misdeed is the only requisite, no additional points are awarded. If the misdeed is not known, add 1 point, as the character must spend time finding out why he was cursed. If the undoing process is extremely complex, or involves illegal activities (in some cases, killing the one who cursed the character is necessary), add 2 to 3 points. If a long quest culminating in a difficult magical ceremony, divine intervention, or a similar extraordinary factor is necessary, add 4 to 5 points. And some curses cannot be removed by any means. This adds 6 points to the value of the curse, but no measure will be effective in eliminating it.


Variable Quality or Drawback

This trait represents the personal magnetism and leadership qualities of the person, ranging from -5 to +5. A character with a Charisma in the negative range is instinctively disliked by most people he meets. People are naturally inclined to antagonize or avoid him. Charisma can be added to any task were the character is trying to influence other people. Negative Charisma, of course, reduces the chance that any attempt to influence people work.


1- to 3-point Drawback

A cowardly character is easily scared and intimidated. Furthermore, he is very reluctant to take any risks; putting his neck on the line always strikes him as incredibly foolhardy. Note that this does not mean that a cowardly character will not fight if necessary. Such a character usually tries to stack the odds in his favor, however, before resorting to violence. He would have no compunction (except as determined by other Drawbacks) against attacking others if circumstances minimized the danger. A coward can hide his Drawback from others very easily, as long as he is not involved in a situation that is clearly dangerous. Only then may his limitations become apparent.

This drawback has three levels of intensity, worth 1,2 and 3 points respectively. The level of the drawback acts as a modifier to any Willpower Tasks or Task to resist fear, intimidation or bullying. For example, a character with a 2-point Cowardly Drawback incurs a -2 penalty to any Fear Test.

In the BTVS RPG Core Rulebook this Drawback is included as one of the options under the Mental Problems Drawback. It is listed here as a separate Drawback in order to give it more detail.

Level 1: at the first level, the character avoids taking unnecessary risks, but fights when cornered (or when he thinks he has the upper hand). Simple Willpower Tests are necessary to avoid fleeing or surrendering when confronted by what the character considers to be superior foes. The same goes for taking even small chances, like confronting the boss, asking for a raise, complaining about some problem, or the like.

Level 2: the second level of this drawback is stronger. The character needs to pass a simple willpower test to fight back even when he thinks the odds are in his favor, and the needs to pass a Difficult Willpower Test to avoid fleeing dangerous situations, or taking chances.

Level 3: the last level is the worst, requiring Difficult Willpower Test to get involved in confrontations or risky situations event when the character has a good chance of succeeding. Truly dangerous or heroic acts are simply impossible; the character never knowingly or willingly endangers himself, and may actually even betray his friends if he thinks he will save himself in the process.


1- or 3-point Drawback

Cruel people enjoy making other people suffer. The truly evil derive satisfaction from anybody's pain. Some people are perfectly normal and nice most of the time, but when angered or given offense, make their enemies pay – and love doing it.

This Drawback has two levels or degrees of intensity. The second level is best restricted to villains, as it indicates a serious mental problem that may make most characters unsuitable for the typical campaign. As always, the Director has the final say.

In the BTVS RPG Core Rulebook this Drawback is included as one of the options under the Mental Problems Drawback. It is listed here as a separate Drawback in order to give it more detail.

Level 1: this character would never hurt a friend or a loved one. Enemies, especially those who have really angered him, are a different matter. He enjoys inflicting pain (mental or physical) on those he feels "deserve what they get." Characters with this level of cruelty are capable of committing atrocities under the right circumstances, but will not go out of their way to find opportunities. This is a 1-point Drawback.

Level 2: this person is a true sadist, and never passes up the chance to inflict pain on others. Even friends and loved ones are not safe from him. When it comes to enemies or those who get in his way, he enjoys nothing so much as their utter destruction or humiliation. When no enemies are available, he uses his "talents" on those around him. This is a 3-point Drawback; people with this drawback will rarely keep any friendships, and will quickly gain enemies.


1- to 3-point Drawback

Delusions are beliefs that have no basis in reality – at least as reality is understood by society at large. The character refuses to abandon such beliefs even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, or at best comes up with rationalizations to explain away any contradictions. For more impact a delusion has on a person, the higher its value as a drawback. Some examples are given below.

In the BTVS RPG Core Rulebook this Drawback is included as one of the options under the Mental Problems Drawback. It is listed here as a separate Drawback in order to give it more detail.

Prejudice: the belief that a group of people (racial, ethnic or national) has certain characteristics (positive or negative). While everyone has some prejudices in some way or another, a delusional person staunchly holds to these beliefs. In some cases, the person refuses to trust or befriend any member of such a group, regardless of the merits of the individual person. Such a Delusion is worth 1 to 3 points, depending on how intense the belief is, how large a group it applies to, and how it dominates the characters life. At the one point level, the character would be an "Archie Bunker" type bigot; at 3 points, he would be a rabid white supremacist, unable to communicate with people of the wrong color.

Delusions of Grandeur: this person thinks he is somebody far greater and more powerful than he really is. In extreme cases, the character thinks that he is a historical or mythological figure like Napoleon or Sherlock Holmes. For more common type has an exaggerated sense of overconfidence. Some examples: "I am a genius, but nobody understands me – which is why the best job I've held is cashier at a 7-11" (1 point); "I am the Messiah; prepare for the Second Coming!" (3 points).

Weird Delusions: any strange belief that flies in the face of reality. Some examples: "Aliens talk to me through my wristwatch," "I have to wear this tinfoil cap so the laser satellites don't make me kill again," "Dogs are the Spawn of Satan, and must be destroyed." The value depends more on what the character does about the Delusion than about the Delusion itself. For example, if the character in the last example simply refuses to pet dogs, and avoids being asked to a dog, a 1-point Delusion would be sufficient. If he tells people about his beliefs all the time, and keeps pestering any dog-owning friends and neighbors about the dangers of keeping such monsters around, a 2-point Delusion would be appropriate. If he carries his insanity to its "logical" conclusion and starts hurting or killing dogs, the Delusion is worth 3 points and he is likely to get in trouble with the law.


2-point Drawback

This character just does not like to work and is always looking for ways to avoid hard work. This limits how much she can learn or accomplish in life. A Lazy character must role-play an unwillingness to work, except in situations where the work is extremely important, and even then he will try to shirk his duties or select the easiest task. More importantly, the character has a hard time learning skills, due to his inability to spend the required time and effort.

When determining and improving skills for a Lazy character, the character point cost becomes higher after reaching a certain level. This level is determined by the character's Attributes. A lazy but intelligent or dexterous person can learn a great deal with little effort – at least at first. Skills are purchased normally until their level is equal to the Attribute most commonly associated with them. Combat and physical skills would be linked to Dexterity, technical and scholastic skills would be associated with Intelligence, and so on. After reaching that level, any further improvement costs doubled the normal cost. Lazy people are unlikely to ever excel at anything.

Multiple Identities

2 points/identity Quality

Some characters have more than one identity. This false person comes complete with such records as a birth certificate, a Social Security number, and a credit rating. Only characters with criminal, espionage or law-enforcement connections are likely to have this Quality, because convincing papers require access to good forgeries and computer records. Each fake identity costs 2 character points. Note of that characters traveling under aliases or who have purchased a fake driver's license do not need to purchase this Quality. Each Multiple Identity grants a set of papers and records that pass all but the closest scrutiny. Most police organizations will be fooled by the fake identity; an all-out investigation by such agencies as the FBI or NSA would reveal the truth.

Old Soul

4 points/level Quality

The character has been reborn many times. As a result, his soul has become stronger. Characters with old souls tend to be very mature and precocious for their age. It would be nice to believe that age invariably provides wisdom, but old souls are equally likely to be depraved or insightful, cruel or kind. Whatever their orientation, it will usually be more extreme, having been refined over several lifetimes.

This quality can be acquired multiple times during character creation (but it cannot be acquired afterwards). Each "level" represents some 3-5 previous lives lived therefore the character's current incarnation. The player can determine who these former selves were, where they lived, and what they know, or he can leave such information in the hands of the director. From a role-playing point of view, creating a "past lives tree" can be interesting.

Each level adds 6 points to the character's Metaphysical Potential pool (see Optional Magic and Psychic Rules), even if the character does not have Sorcery or Psychic Powers. This may make old souls very attractive to certain supernatural predators. Additionally, each level also adds 1 character point to the Attribute Point Pool; these character points can only be used to increase mental Attributes (Intelligence, Perception and Willpower). Successive lives tend to increase the character's overall insights and understanding – for good or ill.

Old souls are sometimes able to tap into the knowledge of their previous lives. These attempts require the character to pass a single test using both Willpower and Intelligence as modifiers, and each attempt drains the character of 1 Metaphysics Point, which is regained normally. When attempting to perform an unskilled task, the character may receive a flash of knowledge from one of his previous lives. If the player took the time to decide what his character's previous lives knew, then the character gains, for that one Task, a skill level equivalent to the character's Old Soul level, but only the skills that the character knew in his previous lives are available. If the previous lives are not known, then the character uses only one-half of the Old Soul level (rounded down), but virtually any skill might be known. The only exception would be high-tech skills that a previous life would be unlikely to know. Asking one's ancestral memories how to hack into a computer system is not likely to work are very well´┐Ż


Variable Quality or Drawback (1 point/level, positive or negative)

This straight represents the standing of the character in the eyes of the people around him. It includes any fame, glory or notoriety the character might have. Note that wealth and status are often linked, a character gets a bonus to his Status equal to one-half his Resources levels (if positive). 0 is middle-class American; -5 is a homeless person, +10 is a member of an ancient noble house, a movie mega-star, or the hero of millions.