Backgrounded Attributes

Let’s use backgrounds for more than just window dressing

So, if you’ve taken my advice and removed attributes from species selection, your players’ characters are going to be a little weaker than they would otherwise be. 2-3 attribute points weaker, in fact.

Here’s one idea I’ve been kicking around in my head: Just tie it to their backgrounds. Your players are already picking a background from a big list, and writing down a bunch of stuff that, if they’re anything like my typical players, will get forgotten half the time anyways as they refine who their character is through play. Which, if I’m not being clear, is always good.

So, just have your players pick two or three traits/ideals/quirks/bonds/flaws from their backgrounds and make a little mark next to them. Those grant +1 in a related attribute. They can both be of the same attribute, or of different attributes, players’ choice.

Example: I’m playing a Charlatan, and I decide that because my favorite scam is shaving coins, I have +1 Dexterity. It takes a delicate hand to get away with it as long as I have, after all. My Personality Trait is that I fall in and out of love easily, so I have +1 Charisma.

Example 2: I have a Soldier background. For my Personality Trait, I’ve lost too many friends, and am slow to make new ones, and I get +1 Con from it. I’m tough-minded, see, and am a survivor in a harsh world. My flaw is that I have little respect for anyone that’s not a proven warrior, and so I have +1 Strength. As harsh as I am on others, I’m even harsher on myself.

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