Given a choice, I will only play games with a gift and flaw system (or whole point by system). For those of you that don't know this kind of system: gifts are small advantages or boons that the character can have, flaws are things which are detrimental to the character. Gifts usually have a point cost, with a PC starting with X number of points (usually way to insufficient for most people's needs). Flaws are taken to offset that cost, as the more detrimental the flaw the more points it is worth. I have grouped this Kerrenese specific gifts and flaws in categories of similar types. And if you don't get all the mechanics, no worries the descriptions are pretty vague enough that you can adapt them to your own game and taste.
Social Status: Every character in Kerren has a social rank, a default trait. Social rank is a guideline as to who and what you are in Kerren Society, but even an Outlander could rise to be a Warden. It also does not automatically convey power or abilities, those must be given by society. Every character has the campaign default (as set by the GM). To have a higher social rank is a gift, a lower one a flaw. The standard default is Warder Rank 2. Using the standard default, to be an Outlander is a 2 trait flaw (0-2) while a HighBlood would be a two trait gift (4-2). Many characters will take position sets, that grant them the INFLUENCE and Status for their positions, offset by their obligations.
Rank 7 High Warden: The warden for the entire all world.
Rank 6 High Councilor
Rank 5 Warden
Rank 4 HiBlood/ Wing Leader:
Rank 3 Well respected Warder (must be earned, can not be taken)
Rank 2 Warder
Rank 1 Cluster: Those that live in a village or town.
Rank 0 Outlander:
Rank –1 OutCast (See CHA Secondaries, this is not taken as a Rank Change)
Bonding: Every character in AtS has a Bonding level, a default trait. Bonding determines what level of bond, if any a character has to a dragon or animal. The two most common default levels for a campaign are either 0 or 2. If the default level is 2, and the character can not even be imprinted, it receives a 4 trait flaw (–2-2). A character normally starts with an appropriate bond beast for their level. (Sometimes players save a few extra traits from their creation so they can improve their bonding level immediately when the opportunity presents itself. These extra traits can be listed as Karma: to be bonded.)
Rank 2 Dragon level Bond
Rank 1 Lesser level Bond, see OutWalker
Rank 0 None
Rank-1 Unable to be Bonded, Minimum allowed to be a Ryder. Can not
have BND AoE
Rank-2 Unable to be Imprinted. The character is unable to be a Ryder.
Imprinted (G1): This gift represents a dragon is imprinted upon the character, accepting it as a Ryder. This is also a default trait. If the campaign’s default is that characters are not automatically imprinted or imprintable, then to be imprinted is one trait gift. (Sometimes players save one extra trait, just so they can be imprinted when the time comes. This extra trait can be listed as Karma: to be imprinted.) To be bonded, you must be imprinted and have the Bond AoE or Gift.
Learning Karma (F?): This is a flaw that automatically is applied to characters who do not have enough traits to take the “upgraded” bonding, imprinting, or social rank (buying new traits or buying off old flaws). (An Outlander who managed to be imprinted and bonded to a dragon that is part of a Ward, would need five traits.) These become karmic flaws, expressing situations the character keeps getting into because of its inexperience. Think of them plotlines that a young character might experience in a fantasy story set in Kerren.
Difficult Ryder, Social Gaff, Homesick, Confused, Annoyance nemesis: Councilor/ Rydermate/ Prime, Dragon gets sick
Other than some regional sets, there are no body traits that are specific to this milieu. If everyone is supposed to be of a given region or type, these regional sets can be adjusted.
Pointers (S): Those born of people from the Point, the large peninsula tend to be bigger and stronger than those in other areas.
PHY+2 “Large”, MPY-1 “weak bond strength” +.15x
Southern Women (S): The women of the Southern Lands are said to be the most beautiful in the world.
DEX+1 “Graceful” +CHA+2 “Beautiful Faces” “Beautiful hair” +.30x
Westerners (S): Those of the Western Wards tend to have wavey chestnut hair, bright green eyes, and a certain quality, that makes them distinctive.
DF: Westerner look DEX+1, MEN+1 +.25x
Bond Familiarities (G): Characters who are imprinted, but do not have the BND AoE, can take specific bond abilities to be performed with a Metaphysical DR.
Bond Training (S) The character has received specialized training (or learned more in the basic training) in the skills and techniques of Bonding. For many bonded people, this is all the source of all their BND ranks.
Crafter Born (G2/S): Those who raised you were crafters and they taught you their craft. You many not be a crafter now, but you still have memories of the time with your family.
CRAFT+2 “Craft trait” +.15x or CRAFT+1 “craft trait +TEC+1 “Trait” +.25x
Healer Trained (G2/S): You have had some notable training in the Healer’s role when you were younger. It could be you had a healer parent or friend, were an apprentice Healer or Healer assistant, or was a patient quite frequently. The player must always define the reason for their experience.
SCIENCE+1 “Healing”, DEDUCTION+1 “Diagnosis”, COMMUNICATION+1 “Talking Out Problems” +.3x
Outland Born (G2/S): You may not be an Outlander now, being accepted as part of a Cluster or Ward, but you spent most of your life away from a Cluster or Warren. This makes you a bit odd, but good at surviving where other are afraid to go. This secondary is also very common for current Outland and Wilds folks. The player must always define the reason for their experience.
SURVIVAL+2, PERCEPTION+1, ATHLETIC+1 +.4x
Saga Training (G1/S): The character has a greater than average knowledge of the Sagas. The character might of been exposed to more sagas, have a knack for memorizing them, or been drilled by a relative. The player must always define the reason for their experience. The G1 trait would be a KNW-0 Sagas familiarity.
KNOWLEDGE+2 "Sagas” +COMMUNICATION+1 “StoryTelling” +.3x
Talent (G1/S): The character has an natural talent for music and storytelling. There is no such thing as a “professional” entertainer in Kerren society. Everyone is expected to contribute some entertainment to festivals/ events/ and long evenings equal to their talents. People with this gift or set will often be given invitations to functions they normally would not be invited to. (Sometimes the giving of gifts or promises will bribe someone to perform more often or for longer duration than they would otherwise.)
PERFORMANCE+2 +STATUS+1 “Talented” +.25x
Trader Family (G1/S): The character grew up in a Trader family. They know all about trade and credit. They may still have some credit left with their family or trader cousin. A player must always define the reason for their experience.
INFLUENCE+1 Credit, BUSINESS+0 Barter, CONTACTS-0 “Traders” +.2x
Warren born (G1/ S): The character was born and live some time in a warren, but because they were not imprintable nor high blooded, they lost their place in the Warren.
BKG: Warren (2), Bond Rank –2 -0x or -.1x
Wing Leader(G/S) See Archetype and Experience secondaries. Can only be taken with GM permission.
Zhan experience (S): At sometime past, the character has a brush with a Zhan Monster. As a gift or positive set, it expresses that you learned from the encounter and will be able to deal with future encounters. As a flaw or negative set (negative EP MOD), it expresses that you still fear the monsters (though you may hide that fear well). Characters with a negative Zhan experience have the ability to sense Zhan and Monsters in there immediate area, with a simple MPY PER DR. While this might improve their survival chances, it could lead to paralysis and fear when some is not immediately needed. Example Parts for sets
ATHLETIC+1 “Running” (3) Fear of Zhan Bite (-2)
DECEPTION+2 Hiding (4) Must Hide when confronted by Monster (-3)
L-COMBATIVE+2 “Fighting Zhan” (3) L-COMCOMBATIVE-2”Fighting Zhan” (-3)
PERCEPTION+2 “Paranoid” (3) Mute in presence of Zhan (-2)
Brash (G/F): A common Ryder emotional trait.
Belief in Justice and the Law (G/F): All Ryders and Highborns are supposed to enforce the common law. Certain ones dedicate themselves to justice, fairness, and equality through the law. They will pursue those who flee justice. There dedication to the people makes them quite popular. Those with this trait receive +1 status and this reputation.
Dedicated (G/F): The character is always striving to perfect itself and its skills. The character spends more time in training and practice than almost anyone else. Those who are dedicated frequently become Wing Leaders and Edges.
Insider/ Fear of Open Space/Wilds (G/F): Most people, including Outlanders, are cautions of the wild areas, because of the dangerous animals and the possibility of Zhan Monsters. Many living in Clusters and Warrens take this caution to a greater extreme. They will avoid leaving their safe places and will distrust those who do.
Romantic (G/F): Heart Bonds, Love triangles, unrequited love, affairs, and first loves are all things of the Sagas. The character has a belief in the power of love and attraction over all other things.
Reckless (G/F): A common Ryder emotional trait. Similar traits are extreme confidence and over confidence.
Skyfright/ Fear of Flying/ Heights (G/F): This trait could spell the end of a career for a Ryder or Ryder candidate.
Support of XXX (G/F): The character is dedicated to a certain faction in the Warren or Council. People will do anything to support their ideals. Remember that the Wings of the World campaigns center around human drama, as well as the fairly common Zhan threat.
The Small Fear/ Fear of Enclosed places (G/F): Warders live in Warrens, caves and living spaces carved out of cliff and mountain sides. These are the places Dragons wish to live, so must their Ryders. Some parts of the warrens are tight and confining, dark too if the light moss does not grow there. If you can not live there, you can not be a warder. If the frequency is great, the buildings of a Cluster or even small huts can cause discomfort is you remain in them long enough, and the character should seek a career as a Wilder.
“The Vow” (G2/F3): When a person has lost everything they care about to a Zhan, they are empty and lost. The void is frequently filled with anger and hatred towards the Zhan. The Vow is that the character will hunt down all Zhan monsters and kill them, or die trying, so no one else has to feel this empty. Those who have the Vow will sacrifice anything and anyone (except an innocent) to destroy a monster. Ryders may destroy Zhan in the course of their duties, but a Slayer lives only to destroy them. (This is required if the character has the Slayer Archetype.)
“Wild thing” (G3/F3): Wild thing is often used to describe Ryders. It expresses the idea that they live a dangerous life and live it to the fullest. They take life and death chances on a whim, confident to the point of overconfident, and will do anything to complete their assignment... even kill themselves. In their off hours they are rowdy, hedonistic, and nearly out of control (since they are the ones enforcing common law.. they don’t bend it too much when they are off duty). This “code of behavior” is a full time life and death occupation, hence its worth.
Zhan Hatred towards (G/F): The hatred of Zhan is an understandable emotion. Those with this trait take it to less rational extremes.
Zhan, Fear of (G/F): A very common trait, as any sane person would be fearful of powerful monsters.
Bonding: See Genre
Chirps (S): The character has a non traditional bond with a Chirp, a microsized dragon. Unlike most non-traditional bonds, the character can also be bonded with a Dragon (if they have that Bond Level). However, this does not stop the Dragon (or another Dragon) from occasionally trying to snack on its hyper little cousin.
L-Bond+2 “Empathy w/Chirp” +.1x
Dragon Speech (G3): This generalized bond ability that allows the character to NearSpeak to all Dragons.
Dragon of Interest (G1/F1): Your dragon has several “notable” traits. The Dragon has two more notable traits that are selected or rolled for. If this is a flaw, the pair of you will continuelly have to keep proving yourself.
Empathy (G2): The character has the ability to sense the emotions of the living thing around it with a MPY+PER DR. The character can project its feelings to others, so they honestly know what the character is feeling, by taking concentration action, two points of manna, and a MPY+3 DR.
Gifted (S): The character has a natural gift with Metaphysical skills. Many family lines are gifted as well.
Gifted MPY+2 and three traits to be applied to MPY, BND, or MPY gifts +.3x
Gifted Bloodline: MPY+1 +.2x
Gifted Bloodline: MPY+2 STA-1 “odd”, Irrational EMO trait –2 +0x
Greater Beast Bond (G1-3): See Genre. The character has a non traditional bond with a non Dragon that is unusual. Most non Dragon bonds are with Pet Beasts (Dogs, Cat, Hawks) or Chirps. Sometimes bond beasts are non pet beasts. Some of these beasts are nearly wild. The cost of the non pet beast gift is based on its size and abilities (and GM’s abilities and campaign).
HeartBond (G2/S): The character can have a special bond with a companion, loved one, or family member. This functions like a beast bond to the loved one (excluding the warp ability). The character must take appropriate bond traits to work bond abilities with their heartbond.
Heartbond L-BND+2 “Loved One” +.1x
Imprinted: See Genre
Learning Karma: See Genre
Mind Blocked (F2): The character is incapable to achieving any level of mental communication with its partner. The character will have either the ANI AoE or BND but unable to use or have the following traits or basic abilities: Empathy, NearSpeak, See, Share, and Slip.
Open Talent (G4): The character has a “Unique” talent, the thing of elder sagas. These talents are not as reliable as “normal” bond related talents, but allow the character to do things other only dream off. Known open talents found in the Sagas are, precognition, post cognition, the ability to sense the recent dead, telekinesis (about 1 Kg), the ability to read surface thoughts, and the ability see any bond a living thing might have. Some GMs require characters have talent or talented bloodlines to take an open talent. These gifts are hugely expensive. If a normal gift costs one to three points, this costs 4 or moe.
Polybond (G2+1-5): A character may have more than one bond beast. While not common (it requires a two trait gift plus a bond level), this is a known phenomena in the Sagas. A polybond gets one beast for free, and must take every additional animal as if it was a gift (and must have a bond level that will allow them to bond with the animals chosen). A dragon ryder with a chip beast will need a G2 and G1 gift, to have a bonded dragon and chip. Remember that a Dragon considers most PetBeasts as food and Greater Beast as a threat. Such mixed bonds usually end up badly.
Chirp (G1), PetBeast (G2), Greater Beast (Cost of the greater bond beast plus one trait.), Dragon, if you want two dragons or already have a bond (G5)
Strong Bond (G1): The character has a stronger bond than most, receiving a +1 MOD to all BOND DRs.
Strong Power (S): The character has a bond power that is significantly stronger than the character’s normal bond level.
L-BONDND+3 “trait” +.2x
Weak Bond (F1): The character has a weaker bond than most, receiving a -1 MOD to all BOND DRs.
Weak Power (S): The character has a common bond power that is significantly weaker than the character’s normal bond level.
L-BND-3 “trait” -.2x
While there is always the threat of Zhan and Monsters, most of the drama in a AtS campaigns come from human drama. People have needs and desires (sometimes irrational) and relationships (which don’t always make sense). Groups often form around mutual needs or desires. As groups or individuals with opposing ideals come into conflicts, the results can be far reaching, especially if those involved are wardens, councilors, or primes.
Age (G/F): The sagas are full of teenagers who have changed the world. The most famous is Onterio of FirstDown, the first dragon Ryder and eventually the first Warden and High Warden. Ryders are frequently chosen as teenagers.
Allies (G) Ryder, Warden, Councilor, Edge, Wing Warden An entire wing, a Prime, all are possible allies. They should be part of the same factions as the character.
Animal Follower (G 1-2): To have a super pet, that the character is not bonded to, requires this trait. To have a pet beast who is normal, is free in terms of traits.
Credit (G/F/S): This is the equivalent of wealth secondary.
Ex-Ryder (F3): Your mount died, but you survived. You are unwilling or unable to take on a new mount. You are able to live in the Warren, and do not have to have any real function. You must have the dragon bond level to have this flaw.
Family (G/N/F/S) Related to Highbloods, common Cluster folk, or Outlander. Many of these are found in the MEN secondaries. Sometimes individual families will have traits or A-Lv MODs that every member has. Many GMs design family sets for every family in a Cluster or Ward.
Important family INFLUENCE+1 “Warren or Cluster”, STA+1 “Family name”
Gifted Bloodline: METAPHYSICAL+1 +.2x
Clan Torkin PHY+1 “Wiry” and EMO: Bully –1 +.05x
Famous/Influenceamous deed (G/F): The character has done something that has become a local story, and could some day evolve into being mentioned in a saga. People will always expect you to live up to your story. Two times the number of secondary traits is the number of reputation points the event is worth.
Female (G/N/F): Women in Kerren society have expected roles (Wing Warden, Scale, Healer, and Crafter). They are not prohibited by law from taking other roles, but only by tradition. Some women are accepted in these roles, once they prove their worth (neutral level). Some women are automatically accepted in these masculine roles (gift), while others are never truly accepted in these men’s roles, no matter how well they perform (flaw).
Fostered (G/F1): Some children are “given” or “traded” to other families. While this is most commonly done between high blood families, crafters are now seeing the advantages of the tradition. These children adopted and grow up in their new family, with their new responsibilies. Fostering allows for diversity in the gene pool and a chance for the child to “step up” a level in social status. Fostered children don’t have to have the same regional sets as everyone else around them. If they have the gift, they still have connections to their old Ward and social groups (contacts). If they have the flaw, they have lost their connection to others and are not treated well in their new family.
Goods (G/N/F/S): If the character is to start with a metal weapon, harness, or notable item, they must have a goods gift.
Heir (G/F/S): A prime position, high blood, a wardenhood, a shop, or a given weapon.
High blood (G2/S): You are a member of one of the prestigious families that can claim having a warden or a famous Ryder ancestor. This allows them to live in the Warren, rather than living in the Cluster, even if they are not Ryders. Ryders are frequently drawn from high blooded families. However, there are many high blood families that have not contributed a Ryder in several generations. If those families were not High blood, they would of asked to leave the warren.
INFLUENCE+2 “Credit” or “Warren”, STA+2 High Blood. +.4x
Nemesis (F): Where there is human drama, there are nemesis. If you believe in a faction or group’s belief, you are opposed by those who oppose the faction or group. There could be those that oppose you for who you are, or because they do not like where you came from, or that your presence makes them nervous. Find someone who you think opposes you or leave this blank/ open to allow the GM to choose the secret nemesis.
Obligation (G/F): All positions have a built in obligations. Those that do not meet their obligations do not receive their share of foods and goods from the Ward’s or Cluster’s stores. This secondary is used for those that have extra obligations.
Omega (F2): The character has the lowest social standing of anyone in the Warren (or social group). This is the person that everyone can kick or ignore. They have a reputation for being a screw up and useless. If a warren folk, this reputation extends through the entire ward.
Outcast (F3): A ryder who has been “cast out” by the council, usually for some major criminal or traitorous action. Their dragon normally comes with them. They can not stay in a Warren or Ward. They roam the countryside as either brigands or knights errant, so most people are very wary of them.
Outlander (F1): You are seen as strange, being someone who actually wants to live away from a Cluster or Warren. Appropriate for anyone who wants to live in a village or an active wilder or outwalker.
Patron (G): As per ally.
*Position (S): These are sets that contain the INFLUENCE, STATUS, and obligations to a group (Wing, Council, Warren, Ward, or Family), that allow the character to do the job or position as determined by their social status. (Some will include secrets, blackmails, allies, contacts, patrons, to round them out.) Note that some characters will not have all the power they need to do their job, while others will have more power than they should. It all depends on their choice.
INFLUENCE+1, STATUS+1 Obligation to Wing/ Ward (-1) +.15x
INFLUENCE+3, STATUS +1 Obligation to Warren/Ward (-2) +.3x
INFLUENCE+5, STATUS +3 Obligation to Council/Kerren (-2), Obligation to allies (-2), Nemesis: Political Enemies (-2) +.5x
Some GM’s automatically grant these abilities as basic abilities to those with the social ranks. That is why position sets are optional.
Reaction (G/F/S): Dragon bite, Zhan scar, Lame limbs (from falls), dueling scar.
Ryder by Vote (F2): A council member pushed the character successfully through the ryder test. The character may or may not be truly qualified to be a ryder, nor have any talent to be bonded or even imprinted, yet they can live in the Warren and be counted as a Ryder, dragon imprinted or not. The other Ryders and Warren folk tend tend to look down upon Vote Ryders. Ryders by Vote often have to work twice as hard to get equal recognition.
Sigma (F): The character has the reputation as a troublemaker. In Kerren society, the troublemaker frequently is trying to be the Alpha, the leader, but nobody (or very few) wants them to be.
Social Status (G/F/S) See Genre
Soft male (G/F/N): While it is not against the law for a male to be a wing warden, scale, or healer, it is very against tradition. A male who takes a traditionally female role is frequently looked down upon as weak and less than a real man. (While the people of Kerren do not condemn alternative lifestyles when lived quietly, such rumors will circulate around the character.) It is also assumed that they can not perform as well as a female in those role. Some men are accepted in these roles, once they prove their worth (neutral level). Some men are automatically accepted in these feminine roles (gift), while others are never truly accepted in these women’s roles, no matter how well they perform (flaw).