Drawbacks & Disadvantages —
do they belong?

February 8, 2018 at 4:31 pm

“Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.”

—Marcus Valerius Martial

The pitch for virtually every role-playing game ever written is “create a hero and live out their adventures.” But how much of that role is ever really lived? How often do we simply push our PCs through the mechanics or the story — facing the risks and reaping the rewards — compared to trying to emobody the character?

In fairness, many of the stories. movies, and other media that inspire these adventures don’t often have nuanced characters. Sometimes a hero is just a hero, but other times you might want to play it a little differently. Luke Skywalker’s robot hand never seemed to provide any problems, but Jaime Lannister’s golden one is a bit more of hindrance. And for many players, having a weakness or a flaw can provide a window into their motivations, and perhaps be the spur that drives them to become heroes in the first place.

How do drawbacks, disadvantages, and hindrances affect your gaming sessions? Did we overlook a choice that you use to make characters memorable? Let us know in the comments below.