Advantages and Disadvantages

In the World of Mystwood, humans sometimes mingle their blood with that of supernatural creatures. The Fae steal away human children and replace them with Changelings. Werefolk assume human form, and take mortal lovers. Other folk can claim descent from the elements- from the stone of the mountains or the light of the sky itself. Others still are marked by darker powers- the mutations of Chaos, the curse of the Vampire, or even the power of the Dragon. Sometimes, whole families will bear the mark of the supernatural, while other times a bloodline may be thought extinct, only to reappear in a distant descendant. Such marks are more common in Mystwood than in the wider world, comprising about a third of all folk. Attitude toward supernatural bloodlines varies- in places, some are thought quite ordinary, while others, particularly those thought to stem from the power of Chaos or Unlife, are actively persecuted.

In general, Advantages and Disadvantages are intended as a way to easily allow customization for players who wish to do so. Newer players may wish to skip this section entirely. You may choose Advantages and Disadvantages later on in your character’s career, at the start or end of any Event, so there is no great hurry.

You may choose one or more Advantages from the list below. You do not have to choose any- many folk, even great heroes, are ordinary mortals. If you do choose Advantages, you must choose an equal number of points of Disadvantages. So, for example, if you chose a 2 point and a 1 point Advantage, you might take a 3 point Disadvantage to compensate for it. You may not choose more than 4 points of Advantages.

Supernatural Heritage

If you take Advantages or Disadvantages marked with an asterisk (*), you must wear some kind of makeup or costuming to show your supernatural heritage. What you choose is up to you, but it must look good, be easy to put on and remove, fit your advantages and back story and be relatively subtle. No full face makeup is allowed.

Potential Origins

Dragon Kin- Those whose ancestors served the Dragon often have green around the eyes or lips.

The Duergar- Ancient smiths and miners, the Duergar are often known as the “Mountain Fathers”. Long ago, it is said they imparted their knowledge of engineering unto the Romans. Those who share in their bloodline often have large beards, heavy eyebrows, or long hair, and if they are proud, may wear rune marked clothing and gear.

Elemental Kinship- Those who share some bond with nature might possess certain affinities to Air, Earth, Fire, or Water. This is often passed down from generation to generation. It can be shown using lip, eye, or skin color.

Elfin Ancestry- Although the race of Elves is believed to have died out many hundreds of years ago, in legend they were the founders of magic, and the creators of spells as wizards understand them today. Pointed ears are commonly the Mark of elven blood.

Monstrous Kinship- Some people are abnormally large and powerful. They may share some blood with a monstrous creature, perhaps a giant or troll. This heritage might be shown with shoulder pads, or tusks.

Mutation- Chaos has a lingering presence everywhere, and sometimes a child is changed. A mutation like an animal’s head or a tentacle arm is too extreme to be allowed as the sign of Chaos, for such a person would not be allowed inside the town walls. Hunchbacks, club feet, patches of scales and the like work, as do costumes of rags and bones.

Nymphs and Satyrs- These creatures are often referenced to in ancient Roman writings, though few have been seen for some time. However, their blood flows strong within some people. Small horns on the forehead or leaves in the hair can show descent from these bloodlines… or perhaps might be the taint of Chaos.

Shape Changers- All manner of witchcraft or familiar dalliance can cause a child to be born with the ability to change shape, often into a ferocious beast. Animal Eye contacts can make a great way to show a shapechanger’s heritage, as are tails, clothing of fur and leather, and wild hair.

The Nibelung’s Gift- This gift is said to come from the stars themselves, and is not understood by many. However, some children who were born on clear starry nights are blessed with good fortune for the rest of their lives. This Gift often shows itself as sparkles on the skin or hair.

Vampire: Vampires are always a threat to the villages of Mystwood, but there are some who have only the slightest marks and are deemed harmless. Often, they have the power to heal with their blood, and can be quite useful. Vampire’s blood may be shown as a darkness around the eyes, pointed canines, or unusual hair.

Advantages

Advantageous Gluttony (1): Any character may eat a unit of the Food Material for “Bestow 1 Hit Point”. A character with this Advantage may consume two more units of Food to gain +1 maximum Hit Point for the next six hours. This extra Hit Point is not a Bestow, and stacks with other Hit Point sources.

*Call of Freedom (2): Restraints cannot hold you. You may use this advantage once per Renew to call “Resist” against the “Bind”, “Paralyze”, or “Root” effects, or to escape from mundane bindings such as manacles.

*Caustic Blood (2): Whenever you take 3 or more points of Damage from a single weapon hit, or suffer the “Maim”, “Lethal”, or “Death” effect from a melee attack, you may call “Bladeturn 2 Damage by Poison” as your blood sprays out and burns your attacker. You still take the effect of the hit.

Crushing Strength (1, 2 or 3): You may use one “2 Crushing” melee attack per Renew per point you spent on this advantage.

Durability (1): Once per Renew, you may call “Resist” to a “Maim” effect.

*Elemental Fury (1, 2 or 3): You may throw one “3 Damage by <Element> packet per Renew per point of this advantage you take. You must choose one of the following elements: Air, Earth, Fire, or Water.

*Elemental Resistance (1): Choose one element to be resistant to. This ability lets you call “Resist” against that element (Air, Earth, Fire or Water only) once per Renew.

Evil Eye (1): Once per Day, you may curse someone with an annoying but not incapacitating effect. Examples:

“I curse you…

...to value leaves and trash... ...to rhyme at all times...” ...to honk like a goose...” ...to see spiders everywhere...”
...to feel great charity and good will... ...to be filled with sorrow and misery... …with gout... ...to sneeze frequently...
...to stumble and fumble... ...to dread the night... ...to fear you own weapons… ...to find your armor confining...
…with claustrophobia… …with hunger that is never satisfied… …by Gesture”.

You may use any of the above or submit other curses to the Staff. You may not curse during combat, as this takes about a 60 count of staring at someone. In addition, you may “Purge Curse” once per Day.

Feign Death (1): Once per Day, you may fall down in a deathlike state. While in this state, which may last for up to 30 minutes, you cannot be harmed in any way, but cannot move. Call “No Effect”.

*Forest Ally (1): You may use this advantage when out in the wild, out of town, outside of any walls. You may throw one “Bind by Magic” packet and one “Root by Magic” packet per Renew, as the trees rise up and snare your foes.

*Healing Blood (1): Twice per Renew, you may use a few drops of your blood to provide the “Heal 2” effect to an injured person. If any character receives this healing effect from you more than 3 times, ever, you must also state “Afflict with Blood Bond”.

Hunter’s Senses (1): You may use your senses to call “Detect ___ “, a total of three times per Renew. You may choose any combination of “Animal”, “Living”, “Serpent", “Undead”, or “Vermin”.

Major Talent (2): You have a skill or knack that does not depend on your Occupation. You must explain how you came by this talent. Essentially, it allows you to choose a skill from the following list: Any single Craft skill (2), Blessed, Research, Serene Contemplation, Weapon Use (Bow) AND Scavenge Arrows, or Weapon Use (Staff).

Minor Talent (1): You have a skill or knack that does not depend on your Occupation. You must explain how you came by this talent. Essentially, it allows you to choose a skill from the following list: Buy/Sell (10), Commerce, Engineering, Mage Lore, News & Rumors, Unarmed Combat, Weapon Use (Single Throwing Weapon), or Woodwise.

*Natural Armor (2): You always count as wearing 1 Armor Point, which adds to your Hit Points. This Armor Point is NOT cumulative with any other armor you may wear.

*Poison Spittle (2): Once per Day, you may lick a blade to coat it with venom. You must call “Doom by Poison” on your next swing. If you miss, or the target blocks your attack, the ability is wasted.
Purity (1): You may call “Resist” against any one effect delivered “by Poison” per Renew.

Skin Changer (2): Once per Day, you may don a mask, transforming yourself into a horrible beast for up to one hour. During this time, in addition to your normal Gifts, Occupation, and Skills, you may use Claws (see pg 21) and gain 2 maximum Hit Points. In addition, you may call “Maim” twice with your claws, and may call “Disengage” 3 times. However, you may not speak or wear armor during this time, and many will not react well to your transformation.

*Stonefast (1): Once per Day, you may plant your feet and call “Stonefast”.

Stubborn Courage (1): Once per Day, you may take up a defensive position (a roughly 10 foot area) and resolve to hold it to the last. As long as you do not leave your post, your current and maximum Hit Points are increased by 8. This stacks with any armor you might be wearing. You may not use this ability in duels of any sort.

*Treewalk (1): Once per Day, while in the wild (outside of town, outside of any walls, and off of any cleared path), you may merge yourself with a tree, and remain so for up to 30 minutes. While merged, you must remain in contact with the tree and may not use any abilities or weapons, but cannot be harmed in any way. Call “No Effect”.

Undead’s Bane (1): You may throw two “5 Damage to Undead” packets per Renew.

*Witchblood (1-4): Each event at check in, you may roll on a chart that gives you small, random magical powers. Beware though, many are not beneficial.

Disadvantages

*Anathema (1): The Dragon’s kind is deadly to you. Touching or being struck by any snake or reptilian monster causes the “Death” effect to you. You may never call a “Resist” against “by Poison” effects for any reason.

Blind (4): You cannot use weapons, run, throw packets, or read. You must roleplay this at all times.

Bloodlust (3): Once you take damage, you are in a fight to the end. You will not run, retreat, negotiate, break off the battle, surrender or take prisoners. If you go more than a minute without encountering a new enemy, you can role play working your way down from your rage.

Compulsive Carousing (2): You must always join any drinking, carousing or gambling that is going on, even if it is not a good idea. You may not stop gambling until the gaming is over, or your funds are exhausted. If there is no celebration on any given night, you must start one.

Cowardice (2): When the going gets rough, you run for it, leaving your friends in the lurch. You must flee from any fight that looks like it’s going badly, even if only to hide in a building.

Creature of the Night (3): You dislike sunlight and must wear a broad brimmed hat, hood, or other protection during the day, as well as staying inside as much as you can. In addition, you lose one level from one of your Gifts while in sunlight.

Divine Disfavor: God of the Wild (2): You have done something to anger the god of the Wild. Miracles of Resurrection will not provide the Wild resurrection (typically once per year).

Divine Disfavor: Goddess of Mercy (4): You have done something to anger the goddess of Mercy. Miracles of Resurrection will not provide the Mercy resurrection (typically once per Event).Note that this may result in a short-lived character!

Divine Disfavor: Lord of Justice (1): You have done something to anger the Lord of Justice, or you died before your tenure in the Mystwood, and were mysteriously returned. Miracles of Resurrection will not provide the Justice resurrection (typically once ever).

Eternal Foe (2): One of the great evils of the world senses you as a great enemy, and will go to great lengths to hunt and kill you, targeting you above all others in any battle. Choose Undead or Chaos to be your Eternal Foe. You gain the trait “Chaos Foe” or “Undead Foe” if you have this disadvantage.

Excessive Curiosity (1): You can’t leave any mystery unexplored.

Forgetful (1): At least once per Event, you must forget something of importance. You should roleplay this.

Greed (1): Gold and other valuables bring out the worst in you. You will not spend money if you can avoid it, and must go to almost any length short of directly harming yourself or others to obtain any money on offer.

Gullible (1): Reasonable attempts to trick or mislead you always work. You always assume people are telling the truth, unless they are an obvious monster or evil creature.

Horribly Disfigured (1): You have suffered some nasty injury or illness in the past. You must wear makeup to show this.

Maimed (3): You may only use one of your arms. This cannot be cured with “Purge Maim”- it is permanent unless you change your disadvantages. Even so, you should come with up an excellent story!

Mostly Illiterate (1): You cannot read, but may sign your name if needed.

Nearsighted (1): You cannot use any ability or weapon that targets someone more than 5 feet away. You cannot identify others at a distance either, or “Resist” any effect that comes from more than 5 feet away.

Pacifist (2): You won't harm another human, no matter how tainted or warped, under any circumstances, though animals, daemons, monsters, undead and so on are fine.

Phobia (1 per Phobia): You are deathly afraid of one of the following and must avoid it if at all possible. Choose one of the following: Chaos, Darkness, Enclosed Places, Fae, Fire, Large Animals, Nobles, Spell Casters, or Undead. While in the presence of your fear, you cannot think straight, and may not use any abilities that require you to call an effect, including Resists, spells, etc.

Perpetual Gloom (1): You are always dour and cynical, and must roleplay seeing the dark side of things. You must respond with “No Effect” to the “Renew” effect when it is delivered “By my Voice”.

*Raging Hunger (1): If you do not consume at least one unit of Food every six hours, you become weak, and your maximum Hit Points are reduced by 1. If this would reduce you to zero Hit Points, you lose one level from one of your Gifts instead.

Sickly (3): You “bleed out” and become Dead after only a 60 count Unstable.

Slow (2): You may not run.

Spendthrift (1): You must always spend any money you have at the first opportunity. You may not give treasure to others though- you like spending money. Basically you must spend all your money by the end of the event.

Tainted (1): You start with (or gain) 3 Marks of Chaos. Seven marks of Chaos will cause your character to become an NPC. Once In Game, look in the Book of Woe for the full description of this affliction: “Chaos Mark”.

Teetotaler (1): You cannot gain a “Renew” by tavern or tavern keeper provided means (for example, drinking).

Troublemaker (1): You are always meddling and playing pranks on others.

Truthfulness (2): You are bound to never lie.

*Vulnerability (2): Choose one of the four elements: Air, Earth, Fire, or Water. You take double damage from any effect called by that element.

*Wild Heart (1): You are not comfortable with civilized things. Any “by Fire” effect you suffer also causes the “Frenzy” effect.