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Some Swashbuckler’s Disadvantages

Copyright © 1997 by Brett N. Pasinella [bpasinella@sprintmail.com]

Here are some disadvantages I wrote. They are primairly for Swashbucklers but can be useful in some other situations...

There’s copyright and all that, but more importantly they are e-mailwere. Let me know what your groups thinks.

They are pretty well play tested, but probably not perfect and I like to know if you have any improvements. My players complain they should be worth more, but OPH: eats people is only -15!

Wanderlust (-5/-10 points)

You have a difficult time staying in anyone place for a long time, the need to explore the world is too great to sit at home. After six months of living in one place you must make a will roll each week or begin your adventures again for at lest a month. You may have a permanent dwelling and even a family, but you can never totally give up your wanderings.

At the 5 point level this is just a desire to get out of the house. You may wander your favorite tracks, visit adjoining towns, or simply go stay with relations or friends who live somewhere else. At the 10 point level you must see something new. Go somewhere you have never been, or wander until you have experienced something new and exciting. This can become quite a dangerous disadvantage for adventurers.

Seafaring Version: Another version of the 10 point disadvantage is specific to sailors. The desire is to return to the sea. In addition to the limitations above, you must never leave sight of the ocean or you must start making will rolls after one week away from salt water.

Dandy (-10 points)

You are the height of fashion and good taste. Everything you own must cost at least 5% more than normal, especially clothing. Your clothing must at all times be very formal even when it would be restricting or absurd (a dandy would go dungeon diving in a frock coat and silk knee breaches). Though this does not adversely effect you in any way (see Fop below). You take and extra 5 minutes to prepare to do anything, as it takes you time to make sure your hair/wig and clothing are in proper order and that all your jewelry is polished. You must also bathe and change clothes/do laundry at lest once a week if at all possible.

This disadvantage is most suited for a Swashbucklers campaign but their are examples in other genres. Celtic warriors would be good candidates, they must always have a freshly pressed shirt and kilt/breaches, polished torcs and broaches, and properly braid their hair. Elves could have similar requirements. Modern day goths are also a good example of this disadvantage.

Fop (-15 points)

This is a more extreme and detrimental form of the Dandy disadvantage. Your tastes often go beyond fashion into the gaudy and impractical. You are completely obsessed with looking good, even at the expense of safety and good judgment. For example you may spend the required extra money on a sword that is ornately decorated but made of inferior steal. Basically ascetics are the only thing that motivate your decisions. Also the absurdity of your actions never occur to you. You would pay hundreds of dollars to have servants carry a bathtub into the most hostile environments for your weekly bath. In addition you will refuse to do any activity that will get you dirty, or risk your “good looks”. This counts as an Odious Personal Habit with a -2 reaction to anyone but other Fops. This is the stereotypical disadvantage of British and French nobility, and Alicia Silverstone’s character in Clueless.