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Altering pacifism -hindrance in your games

Pacifism hindrance

Pacifism is a type of hindrance/disadvantage/flaw that works very differently in different types of games. In most games I play or run, no-one would take the pacifism unless there's a work-a-round against it's limitations - and I can't blame anyone for that, as these games usually have at least one combat each session, and usually everyone's most eagerly waiting for those combats! And they often are the most exciting parts of a game session.

Character creation: Flaws make the character

"My character is ready. What? Oh, I need to get some flaws to pay off all the extra stuff I've already picked. But my character is perfect... Now, what flaws would have least effect on my character?"

Sounds familiar? All too familiar to me. Most of my players want to think of all those munchkiny statistics and features first, and then, if the system has a mechanism for negative features (flaws, hindrances, disadvantages, whatever they are called), they try to find something that doesn't hinder their character. I confess, I'm guilty of that too.

Diorama: Winter fight

Completed diorama photo

Completed diorama photo

This small diorama -photo was made for a small maxminis -competition. Some terrain props I've made before were used in the diorama, and potato flour to make the ground look more authentic. Sky was taken from a photo and added to it using Gimp.

Below is the original photo, with original background:

Make your players love their character's flaws

What flaws do you think this character has?

In a recent discussion about roleplaying mechanics I heard an opinion mentioning that character flaws should be a disadvantage and therefore rewarding well for playing them isn't something that should be done. My way of looking at flaws is completely opposite. While flaws are in general supposed to be a tool of balancing (or in practice min-maxing) characters, they work best as a tool to bring atmosphere, good story and drama to a game. And for this purpose, they work best if players want their flaws to cause them problems.

Savage Cyberworld, session 5: A job worth a million

Fight in the restaurant

In the last session, the pc's got a million dollar job from their new big employer. Tony was killed by Joker's missed grenade attack, and this time we had two new characters in play. One of them was actually the first character created, but the player hadn't been able to get in the game in earlier sessions. Ivan 'The rat' is a bit  untidy fixer and Emanuele is an assassin with cyber legs who's quite nerd, playing often a assassin -themed computer game and also talking about it to everyone (who are not interested). Player of Agnes wasn't present.

Savage Cyberworld, session 6: Getting spooky. REALLY spooky.

Checking Chernobyl Mect's platform

After the last job, PC's had been getting some cyber and healing. Before they could leave for well-deserved vacation, Ivan got two calls. First, Ivan's police contact called and told Ivan that Italian mafia has put a price on his head (and hindrance was updated to major) - in the last session, the Italians closed with no guns when Ivan & Emanuele turned the confrontation lethal.

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