My absolute favorite aspect of the Pendragon rules is its use of traits and passions to flesh out characters, define their motivations, and, at times, compel them to take actions that are in keeping with those traits and passion.
With WotC’s Unearthed Arcana variant alignment system in mind, I thought I’d see if I could effectively shoehorn my favorite bit from Pendragon into my new favorite RPG.
Roll 3d6 to determine each of the 13 traits listed in the left-hand column below. These traits are also called virtues.
Add any cultural and racial modifiers to the relevant traits, to a maximum of 20 and minimum of 1. No starting trait may exceed 20, even after initial modifiers. If no virtues are notable (14 or higher), you may raise one virtue of your choice to 14.
- Values of 8-13 indicate no strong leanings with regards to that trait.
- Values of 7 or lower show that you exhibit the vice listed in the column to the immediate right of the listed trait.
- Values of 14 or higher show that you are virtuous, and strongly exhibit the virtue listed in the far right column.
|Traits||7 or lower||14 or higher|
TRAIT MODIFIERS BY RACE
These should be left to individual DMs and be heavily dependent on the campaign world and tone that they are aiming for. I’ve provided some quick examples that I’d use in my classic Greyhawk campaign.
Dwarf, Mountain or Hill: +2 to Equity, Diligence, and Valor/-2 to Generosity, Forgiveness, and Trust
Elf, High or Grey: +2 to Diligence, Mercy, and Temperance/-2 to Equity, Modesty, and Trust
Elf, Valley, Wood, or Wild: +2 to Diligence, Temperance, and Valor/-2 to Equity, Forgiveness, and Trust*
* Wild elves suffer a -4 penalty to Trust
Gnomes, Deep: +2 to Equity, Diligence, and Prudence/-2 to Generosity, Forgiveness, and Trust
Gnomes, Surface: +2 to Diligence and Prudence/-2 to Forgiveness and Temperance
Halflings, All: +2 to Generosity, Forgiveness, and Mercy/-2 to Diligence, Temperance, and Valor
Half-Orc: +2 to Diligence and Valor/-2 to Forgiveness, Mercy, and Trust
Humans: While cultural modifiers could be used, I’d simply allow humans to add 2 to up to three traits and subtract 3 from an equal number of traits.
TRAIT SCORE MODIFIERS
When making a trait test (which will be explained in an upcoming post) to resist giving into a particular trait’s, the trait score assigns a modifier which works just like ability score modifiers.
TRAITS & ALIGNMENT
Lawful: Trait modifiers for these traits total +8 or more.
Neutral: Trait modifiers for these traits total -7 through +7.
Chaotic: Traits modifiers total -8 or less.
Good: Trait modifiers for these traits total +18 or more.
Neutral: Trait modifiers for these traits total -17 through +17.
Evil: Traits modifiers total -18 or less.