Merits and Flaws represent very specific facts about your character that give you an advantage or a disadvantage.
They are categorized here into three different types of Merits and Flaws:
- Physical Traits, which represent specific physical capabilities or defects, such as ambidexterity, a poor sense of smell, a particularly tough skin, or a missing leg.
- Background Traits, which represent facts about your history or character development that have an impact in-game, such as your income, having been raised by wolves, or a deep, passionate True Love.
- Mental and Emotional Traits, which represent different facets of your mental or emotional durability, such as the ability to rationalize your behavior, an overriding belief in the sanctity of life, a healthy, jaded sense of skepticism about others, or a weak, easy to manipulate will.
Additionally, there are some merits and flaws that are restricted, meaning that they can only be taken at character creation with the approval of a neutral GM.
Pain Tolerance (2-5 points)
You can function under intense pain. 2 points reduces Wound Penalties by 1, with every additional point reducing them further (up to 4 at 5 points).
Acute Sense (1 point)
One of your senses is exceptionally sharp. The difficulties for all tasks involving the use of this particular sense are reduced by 2. This does not apply to rolls related to combat.
Ambidextrous (1 point)
You have a high degree of off-hand dexterity and can perform tasks with the "wrong" hand with no penalties. You must still split your dice pool when performing multiple actions, but suffer no difficulty penalties.
Beautiful (1 point)
You’re quite the specimen! Rolls that rely on physical appearance in some way are at -2 difficulty, and social interactions should be roleplayed with this Merit in mind.
Double-Jointed (1 point)
You are unusually supple. Reduce the difficulty of any Dexterity roll involving body flexibility by 2. Squeezing through a tiny space is one example of a use for this Merit.
Tough as Nails (4 points)
You are unnaturally resilient and hardy. You have an extra level one Wound Level, meaning your first two levels have no wound penalty, and you become incapacitated at Wound Level 8 instead of 7. This health level is treated as per normal in all other fashions.
Deep Sleeper (1 point)
When you sleep, it is very difficult for you to awaken. You are -2 dice on all rolls if you get less than 8 hours sleep, and are likely to sleep through all but the most jarring events.
Defective Sense (1 point)
One of your senses is very poor. This is a non-correctable condition, and all Perception rolls relying on that sense are +2 Difficulty.
Speech Impediment (1 point)
You have a stammer or other speech impediment that hampers verbal communication. the Difficulties of all die rolls involving verbal communication are increased by +2. You are encouraged to roleplay this flaw whenever possible.
Ugly (1 point)
A hideous disfigurement makes your appearance disturbing and memorable. Any rolls that involve physical appearance in some way are at +2 difficulty. Social interactions should be roleplayed with this Flaw in mind. Be sure to specify exactly what makes you gross!
One Eye (2 points)
You have only on eye - which eye is missing is up to you. The difficulties of all Perception rolls involving eyesight are increased by 2, and the difficulties of all die rolls requiring depth perception are increased by 1. (This includes ranged combat.)
Short (2 points)
You are well below average height - four and a half feet tall or less. You have difficulty reaching or manipulating objects designed for normal adult size, and your running speed is one-half that of a normally proportioned human
Deformity (3 points)
You have some kind of deformity - a misshapen limb, hunchback, clubfoot, etc. - which affects your physical abilities, in addition to social interactions with others. A hunchback, for instance, would lower a character's Dexterity by two dots and have a negative impact on social roleplaying. It is the responsibility of the referee to determine the specific effects of the deformity chosen.
Lame (3 points)
Your legs are damaged, which prevents you from running or walking easily. You are forced to walk with a cane or possibly leg braces, and have a pronounced limp to your stride. Your walking speed is one-quarter that of a normal human, and running is impossible.
One Arm (3 points)
You have only one arm. Choose which, or determine randomly at character creation. It is assumed that you are accustomed to using you remaining hand, so you suffer no off-hand penalties. However, you do suffer a two-dice penalty to any Dice Pool where two hands would normally be needed to perform a task. A character may not take this Flaw along with the merit Ambidextrous.
Deaf (4 points)
You cannot hear, you may not listen to electronic or vocal media, and the difficulties of many Alertness rolls are increased by three.
Glass Jaw (4 points)
You have a 50% chance of being knocked out for 1d10 minutes any time you do not successfully soak any damage taken to your head. You're the guy who always misses the battle, or gets eaten by the victorious monsters afterward. Don't worry though, if they eat you: you're unconscious! Shan't feel a thing.
Hemophilia (4 points)
Your blood does not clot normally. Your degeneration from serious wounds occurs at double speed, and rolls to Stabilize you are at +1 difficulty.
Mute (4 points)
You cannot speak. you may communicate with the referee and describe your actions, but cannot talk to player or referee characters unless everyone concerned uses linguistics dots to purchase a commonly understood sign language or you write down what you wish to say.
Tough as Fluff (4 points)
You no longer have your first Wound Level. Your new first Wound Level has a -1 Wound Penalty, and you become unconscious at level 6 instead of level 7.
Blind (6 points)
You cannot see. characters can compensate for the loss of vision by becoming more sensitive to other sensory input, but visual cues and images are lost to them. Actions involving hand-eye coordination are very difficult to perform, especially under stressful conditions. Difficulties of all Dexterity-based rolls are increased by +2.
Paraplegic (6 points)
You can hardly move without assistance, such as a pair of crutches or a wheelchair. Even then it can be painful and cumbersome to do so. The referee and you should take care to roleplay this Flaw correctly, no matter how difficult it makes things. A character may not take this Flaw along with the Merit Double-Jointed.