Weaknesses, just role play or what?

Mark Dunder

I know from reading Conan that he usually (when younger especially) ended up drinking too much or wenching or gambling, thereby losing his money or possessions. I know from reading the thread, that there are rules for high living, but these are basically optional rules (well every rule is but that's another subject :) ). You can't easily tell the player: "you can't stop drinking and fall down drunk," without some major disagreement going on. In the game I play you have Weaknesses that will affect you. If you start drinking, wenching, gambling, you have to make a roll against your Weakness to Drink or what have you, in order to stop.

Is this just role play in this game system or do you have something that makes the PC weak towards these things. What sort of extra points would you get to add to the character if you do?


Maybe introduce some kind of Drunken Counters? 1 Drunken Counter could be for drinking 1.l of 5% beer. You can introduce feat Strong Head as it is in Warhammer. For every DC PC would get -1 to attack rolls. From 5 DCs you could give PC balance checks if he will run. You have a lots of ways, to play with your players :lol: .


as i recall it....in the (very) old AD&D version of conan, each player had a "weakness" like "women", "gambling" or "fear of magic". there was a save to resist such temptation.

the D20 system ignore this (just the high living rule to reflect it).

best case:
your players like the idea of a different kind of fantasy roleplaying and they drink, gamble and do some whoring :)

worst case:
your players are of the "tolkien kind" where everything is black/white and every hero is so pure he will never kill a orc without saying "excuse me, sir".
perhaps some saves are in order to reflect the "conan world".

personal case:
most of my players fall under the "best case" option. for the rest i make up some behaviour reflecting their heritage, status or race. a nordheimr barbarian will do much more drinking than a zingarian noble and i make some encounters (mostly at the beginning of a session). so you can start a game with the two barbarians in jail after a bar fight and the noble tries to get them out -> some local lord allows it...but they have to do something. or the noble "dated" the wrong woman and there are some "hostile negotiations" with a rival house.

so....i handle these weaknesses mostly with storytelling. the fear of magic i handle with different saves against magic / fear...depends on race and story of the character.


The same as Judge Morbo: my players know that everytime they are railroaded by me, it's not because I'm misanthropic, but for creating a good storyline.

So I can't remember that they were even once embarrased (some not serious complaining doesn't count 8) ), but since all my players have been / are still GMs themselves they see the reason easily.
There is a section on Character Traits and Flaws in the WOTC Unearthed Arcana book (pg. 86-91). Traits basically are "aspects of a character's personality, background, or physique that make him better at some activities and worse at others".

Traits listed are:

1.) Abrasive
2.) Absent-Minded
3.) Aggressive
4.) Brawler
5.) Cautious
6.) Detached
7.) Dishonest
8.) Distinctive
9.) Easygoing
10.) Farsighted
11.) Focused
12.) Hard of Hearing
13.) Hardy
14.) Honest
15.) Illiterate
16.) Inattentive
17.) Musclebound
18.) Nearsighted
19.) Nightsighted
20.) Passionate
21.) Plucky
22.) Polite
23.) Quick
24.) Reckless
25.) Relentless
26.) Saddleborn
27.) Skinny
28.) Slippery
29.) Slow
30.) Specialized
31.) Spellgifted
32.) Stout
33.) Suspicious
34.) Torpid
35.) Uncivilized

Flaws are "the flip side of feats".

The flaws listed are:

1.) Feeble
2.) Frail
3.) Inattentive
4.) Meager Fortitude
5.) Murky Eyed
6.) Noncombatant
7.) Pathetic
8.) Poor Reflexes
9.) Shaky
10.) Slow
11.) Unreactive
12.) Vulnerable

We use these and they add a little bit of uniqueness to the player (especially for those that are not that great at roleplaying). Perhaps some new Conan flaws and traits are in order?


Mark Dunder

Thanks, all.

Thanks, High Lord Dee. That's what I was looking for. I can use the Traits and Flaws idea (I like the wording better than Weaknesses). I have few players that have ever GM'd (I'm finally getting a few more players back. They gave me lots of lame excuses why, but I think there was a pretty GM involved there somewhere :) Or it could have been me... nah couldn't be!).