Cultural Traits

Cultural traits are specializations and proclivities that arise from exposure to a particular culture or adherence to a culture’s virtues or philosophy. The table below gives a quick description of each trait and list of applicable cultures. Full descriptions of the traits follow below. Some traits are considered Universal – which means that a character from any culture may take them. Generally, Universal traits are more powerful than normal cultural traits, but come with drawbacks.

Characters get to choose 1 Cultural trait unless they have a racial feature that increases or reduces the number of cultural traits they may select.

Trait Description Cultures
Astute Scholar + 3 to one Knowledge Skill * Enchi
* Golir
* Nada’Fan
* Xio-Shin
* Sef
Better with a Cannon + 1 attack with all Siege Weapons * Leiln
* Olu Lansi
Boreen Assimilationist + 2 Knowledge (History) & (Nobility) relating to 1 major culture * Selkir Confederacy
Born on a Boat + 2 acrobatics, survival, use rope on a boat / at sea * Leiln
* Merchant Sea Islands
Business Linguist Gain basic / superficial use of languages swiftly * Migrant Goblin Nation
* Kiy-JIni-Antu
* Gnomish Cities
Careful Artistry + 2 Profession (Artist) and + 2 to 1 craft or perform skill * Brafnen
* Olu Lansi
Carpenter Crafted + 2 on all craft checks using primarily wood * Xio-Shin
* Olu Lansi
Connoisseur + 2 on all checks to recognize high culture & high art * Golir
Dark Wood Guide + 2 on checks to know about and recognize aspects & Inhabitants of the Dark Woods * Dark Woods
Deep Sea Navigator + 2 survival to navigate open waters and + 2 to recognize land marks and land masses * Leiln
Desert Native + 2 survival in deserts, + 2 Knowledge (Nature) to identify desert inhabitants * Nada’Fan
Dueling Enthusiast + 1 AC when Fighting Defensively, Full Defense, or Combat Expertise * Keland
* Golir
Exotic Ecologist + 3 Knowledge (Nature) checks * Leiln
* Dark Woods
* Kiy-Jini-Antu
Experienced Pirate + 2 Profession (Sailor) & reduce called-shot penalties against enemy ships by 1. * Merchant Sea Islands
* Leiln
Favored of the Great Ones + 2 Athletics and + 2 Survival Underground * Chasm Kobolds
Firearms Expert + 1 attack rolls & damage rolls w/ firearms * Xio-Shin
* Nada’Fan
* Merchant Sea Islands
Giant Slayer + 2 acrobatics to move through threatened or occupied & + 2 bonus to feint against enemies 2 or more size categories larger than you * Dark Woods
* Olu Lansi
Gladiator Student + 2 to Feint, Grapple, Trip, or Disarm – Choose one * Enchi
Hum of the Earth + 2 survival under ground & + 2 Knowledge (Dungeoneering) to identify underground inhabitants * Chasm Kobolds
* Brafnen
* Gnomish Cities
Imperial Conscript + 2 Endurance checks, + 2 Warfare checks * Nada’Fan
* Sef
* Xio-Shin
Imperial Trivialist Make Knowledge (History) at + 5 DC in stead of / addition to other knowledge checks * Nada’Fan
* Sef
Jungle Guide + 2 survival in jungles + 2 Knowledge (Nature) to identify inhabitants * Kiy-Jini-Antu
Knight’s Honor + 2 Diplomacy & Intimidate * Golir
* Keland
* Sef
* Selkir Confederacy
Kefran Outrider Trained Kefran Warpony gets + 1 to attack & + 2 to overrun while you ride it * Kefran
Keland Traditionalist + 2 survival to find food, + 2 heal * Keland
Mage’s Apprentice + 2 spellcraft to identify active spell effects or spells as they are cast, + 2 to identify spell-completion items * Golir
* Keland
* Nada’Fan
* Brok’Tad
Mason Made + 2 on any craft to produce an item primarily of stone * Brafnen
* Gnomish Cities
* York & Lisil
Merchantilist + 3 Appraise * Brok’Tad
* Merchant Sea Islands
* Golir
* Xio-Shin
Norten Striker + 4 Initative * Norten
Paladin Initiate + 2 saves vs compulsion effects, + 4 if being compelled to act against nature or oaths * Golir
* Nada’Fan
Parliment Spy + 2 to recognize innovative magic or technology, + 4 to reproduce text or images viewed within 24 hours * Kefran
Plokar Executioner + 1 precision damage on one-handed melee attacks, + 2 precision damage on two-handed melee attacks * Plokar
Political Gossip + 2 to learn about recent political events and figures * Golir
* Brok’Tad
* Kefran
Political Plotter May substitute Intelligence for Charisma on any Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate check with short preparation * Brafnen
* Brok’Tad
Proper Aristocracy + 2 Diplomacy & Knowledge (Nobility) * Golir
* Keland
* Xio-Shin
Ranger Trained + 3 survival * Olu Lansi
Religious Fervor + 3 Knowledge (Religion) * Keland
* Golir
* Olu Lansi
Renaissance of Talent Choose one extra Preferred Skill * Enchi
* Golir
Rider of the Khalram + 2 ride, handle animal, and survival checks regarding or using horses * Khalram
Shaman Descendant + 2 to recognize active spell effects & spells as they are cast, + 2 Knowledge (Nature) * Dark Woods
* Migrant Goblin Nation
Small Pride + 2 Stealth & Escape Artist * Kefran
* Migrant Goblin Nation
Smith Sired + 2 on any craft to produce an item primarily of metal * Keland
* Olu Lansi
Squire of the Dragon Knights + 3 Concentration * Keland
Steady Gaze + 2 Intimidate generally and + 2 diplomacy with tribal members * Any Tribal
Student of the Itchil + 2 Perception, + 2 Initiative * Itchil
Survivalist + 2 Survival, + 2 Endurance * Dark Woods
* Kiy-Jini-Antu
Swashbuckler + 2 to avoid AoO’s, + 1 AC against AoO’s * Merchant Sea Islands
* Leiln
Totem Venerator Wild Empathy with Totem Animals, or + 3 to exiting Wild Empathy * Any Tribal
Traditional Weaponry Gain full Martial Weapon Proficiency * Olu Lansi
* Itchil
Trained Athlete + 2 Athletics and Acrobatics * Enchi
* Kefran
* Brok’Tad
Warrior by Trade Choose + 1 all attack rolls; + 3 all Warfare checks * Keland
* Plokar
Zahkram Packleader + 2 Craft (Trap), + 2 any check to communicate surrepticiously * Zahkram
Universal Traits
Universal Traits are available to any character regardless of cultural exposure.
Trait Benefit Drawback
Family Heirloom Begin play with powerful and expensive item (3000 gp creation cost or less) Plagued by attempts to take the item
Filthy Rich Gain an extra 1000 gp in character creation Less fortunate people often treat you with disdain
Font of Magic
(Very Rare)
Use arcane spell-like abilities and spells from spontaneous casting classes at + 1 CL and with + 1 DC to all saves Must roll concentration whenever benefits apply to avoid wild magic effects, all other concentration checks are also more difficult
Name of Repute You have bonuses to diplomacy and gather info for good reputation or intimidate and gather info for bad reputation wherever your reputation applies Where your reputation is good you suffer penalty to intimidate, where your reputation is bad you suffer penalty to diplomacy
Noble Title
You are given deference by those considered subservient to your title, and may gain bonuses to certain skill checks when dealing with such people (see text) You are treated with greater hostility by dissidents and enemies of your state or your station
Traits Organized by Culture
Culture Traits
Brok’Tad * Mage’s Apprentice
* Merchantilist
* Political Gossip
* Political Plotter
* Trained Athlete
Chasm Kobolds * Favored of the Great Ones
* Hum of the Earth
Dark Woods * Dark Wood Guide
* Exotic Ecologist
* Giant Slayer
* Shaman Descendant
* Survivalist
Enchi * Astute Scholar
* Gladiator Student
* Renaissance of Talent
* Trained Athlete
Gnomish Cities * Business Linguist
* Hum of the Earth
* Mason Made
Golir * Astute Scholar
* Connoisseur
* Dueling Enthusiast
* Knight’s Honor
* Mage’s Apprentice
* Mason Made (Lisil)
* Merchantilist
* Paladin Initiate
* Political Gossip
* Proper Aristocracy
* Religious Fervor
* Renaissance of Talent
Itchil * Student of the Itchil
* Traditional Weaponry
Kefran * Kefran Outrider
* Parliment Spy
* Political Gossip
* Small Pride
* Trained Athlete
Keland * Dueling Enthusiast
* Keland Traditionalist
* Knight’s Honor
* Mage’s Apprentice
* Mason Made (York)
* Proper Aristocracy
* Religious Fervor
* Paladin Initiate
* Smith Sired
* Squire of the Dragon Knights
* Warrior by Trade
Kiy-Jini-Antu * Business Linguist
* Exotic Ecologist
* Jungle Guide
* Survivalist
Leiln * Born on a Boat
* Deep Sea Navigator
* Exotic Ecologist
* Experienced Pirate
* Swashbuckler
Merchant Sea Islands * Born on a Boat
* Experienced Pirate
* Firearms Expert
* Merchantilist
* Swashbuckler
Migrant Goblin Nation * Business Linguist
* Shaman Descendant
* Small Pride
Nada’Fan * Astute Scholar
* Desert Native
* Firearms Expert
* Imperial Conscript
* Imperial Trivialist
* Mage’s Apprentice
* Paladin Initiate
Olu Lansi * Better with a Cannon
* Careful Artitstry
* Carpenter Crafted
* Giant Slayer
* Ranger Trained
* Religious Fervor
* Smith Sired
* Traditional Weaponry
Sef * Astute Scholar
* Imperial Trivialist
* Knight’s Honor
Tribal * Boreen Assimilationist (Selkir)
* Knight’s Honor (Selkir)
* Plokar Executioner (Plokar)
* Rider of the Khalram (Khalram)
* Steady Gaze
* Totem Venerator (Any)
* Zahkram Packleader (Zahkram)
Xio-Shin * Astute Scholar
* Carpenter Crafted
* Firearms Expert
* Imperial Conscript
* Merchantilits
* Proper Aristocracy

Astute Scholar
A character that takes the Astute Scholar trait has gained a knack for understanding a particular subject that is somewhat exceptional – they don’t necessarily know more than others in their field, but the pick up and retain the information with ease. This trait confers a + 3 bonus on any one Knowledge skill. Which Knowledge skill this trait applies to must be chosen at the time the trait is taken and cannot be changed.

Better with a Cannon
Characters that take the Better with a Cannon trait are honestly better at firing siege weaponry than they are at any other form of combat. This trait confers a + 1 bonus on attack rolls with cannon, catapults, trebuchets, mortars, and any other form of projectile siege weaponry.

Boreen Assimilationist
Characters that take the Boreen Assimilationist trait are firm believers in the idea that it is long past time that the independent Tribal culture blended into that of their more developed neighbors – whether it be the Holy States, the Nada’Ath, or some other major nation. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Knowledge (History) and Kowledge (Nobility) checks made regarding the history and culture of one specific nation or culture other than tribal. It is up to GM discretion to decide if a particular denotation of a culture for the purposes of this trait is too broad or too narrow for the trait to apply appropriately.

Born on a Boat
A character that takes the Born on a Boat trait may not have literally been born on a boat, but they have likely spent the vast majority of their life on one. This trait confers a + 2 bonus to acrobatics checks made on a boat and a + 2 bonus on all survival checks made at sea or related to sailing.

Business Linguist
A character that takes the Business Linguist trait has picked up about twenty words of almost every langauge they’ve ever heard and know a couple of common phrases in more languages than most people can name – but they don’t necessarilly speak any more languages fluently than average. This trait confers the ability for a character to spend approximately one hour learning simple greetings and partings along with common phrases of a language. Once the character has learned some of these basic phrases, the character will be able to conduct simple business transactions and negotiations in that language with no penalties. They will not, however, be able to discuss any difficult or intellectual topics, nor communicate anything remotely complex.

Characters with this trait begin play with a number of “business languages” equal to their intelligence modifier in addition to any languages that they speak fluently.

Careful Artistry
A character that takes the Careful Artistry trait is an incredible artist – though they may not yet have any real renown, they are exceptional in their field. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Profession (Artist) check and any one Craft or Perform check of the player’s choice. The player should be able to describe – though not necessarily in great detail – what is so unique about their character’s style. Regardless of what sort of Craft or Perform skill is associated with this trait, when using the Profession (Artist) skill by itself it is assumed that if the character is creating lasting objects that these objects serve no other noteable function outside of artistic expression / aesthetics.

Carpenter Crafted
A character with the Carpenter Crafted trait has been taught in a tradition of fine and expert carpentry. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on any craft check to produce an item made primarily of wood.

A character that takes the Connoisseur trait has had a great deal of exposure to high art and high culture and has a great deal of knowledge regarding such things. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on any check made to know about or recognize aspects of high culture or high art, whether past or present.

Dark Wood Guide
Characters that take the Dark Wood Guide trait are so intimately familiar with the dangers of and locations within the Dark Woods that they can act as competant guides to even such a dangerous area. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Knowledge (Nature) checks to identify plants and animals native to the Dark Woods as well as a + 2 bonus on any checks made to find or recognize noteable locations and landmarks within the Dark Woods.

Deep Sea Navigator
Characters that take the Deep Sea Navigator trait are those who have learned to navigte the open ocean like most people learn to navigate their home village. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Survival checks made to navigate open waters and a + 2 bonus to checks to recognize naval landmarks, including most land masses.

Desert Native
A character that takes the Desert Native trait is more accustomed to the climate and ecology of a sandy desert than anywhere else. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on survival checks of any kind made while in a desert climate and a + 2 bonus on Knowledge (Nature) checks made to identify plants and animals native to desert climates.

Dueling Enthusiast
A character that takes the Dueling Enthusiast trait has spent enough time watching and practicing dueling that they have gained a leg-up over the average bloke with a rapier. This trait confers an extra + 1 bonus to armor class whenever the character is Fighting Defensively, taking a Full Defensive action, or using the Combat Expertise feat. This benefit does not alter the normal function of these abilities, simply adds an extra + 1 to armor class when using them.

Exotic Ecologist
A character that takes the Exotic Ecologist trait has spent a great deal of time studying rare and exotic species of plants and animals. This trait confers a + 3 bonus on Knowledge (Nature) checks.

Experienced Pirate
A character that takes the Experienced Pirate trait is someone who has been given an inside look and extensive training in the ways of naval pirates. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Profession (Sailor) checks to steer a ship during combat and reduces the penalty for taking called shots with cannon against ships by 1 (example, targeting rudders, masts, or cannon flaps).

Favored of the Great Ones
Characters with this trait have learned to move and survive much better in trecherous underground environments like The Chasm. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Athletics checks and a + 2 bonus on any survival check made under ground.

Firearms Expert
You are thoroughly experienced in the use of firearms and have learned how to use them much more effectively than most other weapons. You recieve a + 1 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls with firearms.

Giant Slayer
Characters that take the Giant Slayer trait are ones who have learned to play off the large size and slow movements of much larger enemies in combat. This trait confers a + 2 bonus to acrobatics checks made to move through the threatened or occupied squares of any enemy at least 2 size categories larger than you. It also grants a + 2 bonus on feints to render such an enemy flat-footed.

Gladiator Student
A character that takes the Gladiator Student trait has learned the rough and dirty fighting style of the Enchi gladiator arenas and uses it to their advantage. This trait confers a + 2 bonus to one of the following (chosen when the trait is chosen): Combat Feints; Grapple; Trip; Disarm.

Hum of the Earth
A character that takes the Hum of the Earth trait has become incredibly well attuned to life deep underground and knows more about living in deep caverns and tunnels than many people realize is possible. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on survival checks made underground and a + 2 bonus on Knoweldge (Dungeoneering) checks made to identify plants and animals native to under-ground environment.

Imperial Conscript
A character that takes the Imperial Conscript trait was, at some point in their past, conscripted for a major imperial army for an active conflict, saw battle, and lived – and despite receiving nearly no training at all, living long enough to come back from such an experience rarely fails to impart something to a person. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on endurance checks and a + 2 bonus on Warfare checks.

Imperial Trivialist
A character that takes the Imperial Trivialist trait has an inordinate amount of knowledge regarding the history of the 1700 year old Nada’Athi empire, meaning that they effectively know at least a little bit about everything. This trait confers the ability to make a Knowledge (History) check at a DC equal 5 points higher than the DC of any other knowledge check and – upon success – to demonstrate some passingly useful knowledge of the subject at hand. This check may be made in addition to the primary knowledge check if the character has both knowledges. This extra check may not be made to duplicate another Knowledge (History) check.

Jungle Guide
Characters that take the Jungle Guide trait are so intimately familiar with the dangers of the rain forest that they are quite competant guides to even such a dangerous and daunting area. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Knowledge (Nature) checks to identify plants and animals native to the jungle as well as a + 2 to all survival checks while in a jungle.

Knight’s Honor
Characters that take the Jortus Knight trait have learned what it means to be a knight, whether from an existing knight or due to their own initiation into knighthood. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Diplomacy and Intimidate checks.

Kefran Outrider
A character that takes the Kefran Outrider trait has trained to compliment the elite training of a Kefran Warpony. This trait confers a + 1 bonus on attack rolls and a + 2 bonus on overrun attempts by any trained Kefran Warpony so long as you are riding it.

Keland Traditionalist
A character that takes the Keland Traditionalist trait prizes the traditional values of Keland – fortitude, perserverance, and comradery – above all else. This trait confers a + 2 bonus to survival checks made to find food in the wilderness and a + 2 bonus on heal checks.

Mage’s Apprentice
A character that takes the Mage’s Apprentice trait was either raised by, apprenticed to, or employed by a mage of noteable skill and recognition. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on any check made to identify an active spell effect, to identify a spell as it is being cast, and to identify any spell-completion item (such as a magic scroll).

Mason Made
A character that takes the Mason Made trait has been inducted into a long tradition of expert masonry that goes back many generations. You recieve a + 2 bonus on any craft check made to produce an object made primarily of stone.

A character that takes the Merchantilist trait has been heavily exposed to the business of buying and selling, and has learned to distinguish valuable goods. This trait confers a + 3 bonus on Appraise checks.

Norten Striker
Characters that take the Norten Striker trait are trained in the combat philosophy of the Norten tribe, even if all that is left of the tribe is remnants. This trait confers a + 4 bonus on initiative checks.

Paladin Initiate
Characters that take this trait have gone through the initiation process for a Paladin order, though they may not have been admitted yet into the ranks of the order – or may even have been rejected. In any case, they have learned a great deal about what it means to live by a code of inviolable ethics. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on saves against compulsion effects and an extra + 2 (for a total of + 4) against any such effect that would force them to act against their nature or against their code.

Parliment Spy
A character that takes the Parliment Spy trait has been especially trained to infiltrate foreign cultures to poach technology, magic, and other innovations. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on any check made to recognize innovative magic or technology, and a + 4 bonus on any check made to reproduce any text or image they have seen within the last 24 hours.

Plokar Executioner
A character with this trait ascribes to the Plokar philosophy that the fastest way to die in a battle is to be the warrior who hits the softest. This trait confers a + 1 bonus to damage with melee weapons, or + 2 if wielding the weapon in both hands. This bonus damage is considered precision damage of the same type as the weapon (slashing, piercing, bludgeoning) and is not multiplied on critical hits.

Political Gossip
A character that takes the Political Gossip trait has an ear to the ground about the day-to-day business of the well-to-do. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on any check made to know about or learn about any recent political events or events involving political figures.

Political Plotter
Characters that take the Political Plotter trait are familiar with the carefully plotting political methods that are common in Ptolzi A Brafnen and Brok’Tad, where the ability to carefully think out a political ploy is prized far above having a silver tongue to deliver it with. Characters with this trait may substitute their intelligence modifier for their charisma modifier when making Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate checks so long as they can spend at least 5 minutes planning out their words ahead of time.

Proper Aristocracy
A character that takes the Proper Aristocracy trait is a member of an elite nobility and has an accute knowledge of good and proper conduct. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Diplomacy and Knowledge (Nobility).

Ranger Trained
Characters that take the Ranger Trained trait have undergone the extensive personal training necessary to measure up to the Olu Lansi standards of a hunter and a woodsman. This trait confers a + 3 bonus on survival checks.

Religious Fervor
A character that takes the Religious Fervor trait is deeply faithful and well-read in matters of the faith. This trait confers a + 3 bonus on Knowledge (Religion) checks regarding real faiths and religions.

Renaissance of Talent
A character that takes the Renaissance of Talent trait has been exposed to a culture in which those whith a very broad range of skills are highly respected – and further, this person has managed to become one such person. This trait confers one more Preferred Skill choice than usual.

Rider of the Khalram
Characters that take the Rider of the Khalram trait were raised in – or grew very accustomed to – the traditional values and practices of the Khalram tribe, and as a result they are excellent riders and horse-raisers. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on ride, handle animal, and survival checks relating to horses.

Shaman Descendant
Characters that take the Shaman Descendant trait have been taught the dying knowledge of the shamans of old. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on checks to recognize active spell effects, and a general + 2 bonus to Knowledge (Nature).

Small Pride
A character that takes the Small Pride trait has learned to use a slender frame to their advantage. This trit confers a + 2 bonus on Stealth checks and Escape Artist checks.

Smith Sired
A character that takes the Smith – Sired trait has been trained in a tradition of fine craftsmanship at the forge. This character recieves a + 2 bonus on any craft check to produce an item that is primarily made of metal.

Squire of the Dragon Knights
A character that takes the Squire of the Dragon Knights trait has studied and trained in the tradition of the Kelandish knights who combine prowess in the arcane and the martial arts. This trait confers a + 3 bonus on Concentration checks.

Steady Gaze
Characters that take the Steady Gaze trait do more than simply keep eye contact in conversation the way tribal people often do, they stare in a way that is almost unsettling. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on intimidation checks and a + 2 bonus on diplomacy checks made with members of the Traenish tribes.

Student of the Itchil
A character with this trait understands the martial traditions of the Itchil and takes them to heart, knowing that vigilence and prepardness are the best defenses. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Perception checks and a + 2 bonus on initiative checks.

Chracters that take the Survivalist trait have spent a significant portion of their lives learning how to survive in even the most inhospitable environments. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on survival checks generally and a + 2 bonus on endurance checks.

A character that takes the Swashbuckler trait is experienced in crowded combat in cramped areas such as amidst a ship boarding or in a small shore-side tavern. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on checks to avoid attacks of opportunity, and a + 1 bonus on armor class against attacks of opportunity.

Totem Venerator
Characters that take the Totem Venerator trait still take their tribal totem faith very seriously and have learned to relate to their totem animals as easily – or more so – than they relate to other people. This trait confers the ability to use Wild Empathy as if the character were a Ranger of level equal to their total HD when interacting with their totem animal. If they also happen to be a ranger, they may either use their total HD or their Ranger level + 3 when making Wild Empathy checks with their totem animal, whichever is higher.

Traditional Weaponry
Characters that take the Traditional Weaponry trait have been taught under the traditional elven philosophies self-defense and preparedness. This trait confers full martial weapon proficiency. This does not stack with or grant separate or additional benefits to a character that gains proficiency in martial weapons from another source.

Trained Athlete
A character that takes the Trained Athlete trait has dedicated a significant portion of their life to athleticism. This trait confers a + 2 bonus on Athletics and Acrobatics checks.

Warrior by Trade
A character that takes the Warrior by Trade trait practices warfare like cobblers practice shoe-making. This trait confers one of the three following bonuses, chosen when the trait is chosen: + 1 bonus on melee attack rolls; + 1 on all ranged attack rolls; + 3 bonus on warfare checks.

Zahkram Packleader
Characters that take the Zakram Packleader trait have learned how to plan and execute battlefield strategies on-the-fly and are adept at laying traps and signaling allies in the midst of combat. This trait confers a + 2 bonus Craft (Trap) checks and a + 2 bonus on any check made to communicate surruptitiously.

Universal Traits

Universal traits are traits that are not tied to a particular culture. Most of them represent circumstances that could come about in any culture or country. Also, many universal traits have both benefits and drawbacks, some of which presume or necessitate certain character circumstances. For more details, see the individual entries below.

Family Heirloom
A character who takes the Family Heirloom trait owns some item of exceptional quality – maybe even magical – which was given to them by a very close friend or relative. They do not necessarilly have a lot of money to their name, but they at least have the heirloom. Unfortunately with such noteworthy possessions often come unwanted attention.

A character with this trait starts the game with one item (or a single group of items, such as a set of 20 arrows) worth 3000 gold pieces or less in creation cost. This could be a magic weapon, a magic suit of armor, a magical piece of clothing, or even a non-magical item made of very rare materials such as a mithril or adamantine. If there is a discrepancy in whether the item is appropriate or not, the GM has the final say.

However the character is known to have the item, and others will seek to get it from them. They may have an estranged relative who wants it, they may be plagued by bandits who heard about the bequeathal, or they may just have people try to steal it from them in the middle of the night repeatedly to run off and sell it. Whatever the issue is (which should be determined by the GM with player input) the character is at risk of losing the item. However, if the item is lost or stolen, the annoyances should cease until it is regained.

Filthy Rich
You come from money. You always have and expect that you always will. It hasn’t necessarilly influence who you are as a person, but it’s hard to give an impression that you’re anything other than wealthy – which sometimes rubs people the wrong way.

A character with the Filthy Rich trait has an extra 1000 gold coins to spend at character creation. What is left over from this moeny they may keep in the game. Furthermore, they have relatives (up to player and GM decision) who are capable of donating even further funds to the character in the future if given the appropriate motivation. However, often times people who do not come from money find the signs and mannerisms that come from growing up in wealth annoying or abrasive. This does not necessarily mean that characters with this trait are uncharismatic or tend to be bothersome as a general rule, they just can’t help but give the impression of someone who comes from money, and sometimes that rubs people the wrong way.

A character with this trait suffers a – 2 penalty to diplomacy checks and intimidation checks to improve someone’s attitude if the subject of the check does not come from money. Furthermore, if they take the leadership feat their charisma score is considered 2 points lower for the purpose of calculating their maximum number of followers, but it does not effect their maximum cohort level.

Font of MagicVery Rare
While all sorcerers develop innate magical powers, some act more like a conduit for magical energy than like a practitioner of the arts. Such sorcerers are called Fonts of Magic. They are much more powerful than other sorcerers, but also have difficulty controlling their magic and sometimes produce wild, dangerous effects.

A Font of Magic casts all spontaneous arcane spells and all arcane spell-like abilities at a + 1 caster level and with save DC’s one point higher than normal. However, whenever casting a spontaneous arcane spell or spell-like ability they must succeed on a concentration check DC 10 + spell level or suffer a wild magic effect. They may not take 10 on this check unless they gain the ability to take 10 on concentration checks while under pressure, such as from the rogue Skill Mastery ability. Furthermore, whenever rolling a concentration check of any kind relating to spell casting a character with the Font of Magic trait must roll against a DC 5 points higher than normal.

People with this trait are incredibly rare, and only known of passingly among the magical community. In general the phenomenon of wild or uncontrollable magic is considered dangerous and taboo to most practitioners.

Name of Repute
A character that takes the Name of Repute trait has a name that carries a particularly potent reputation. The name to which this trait confers such weight may be the character’s natural name – such as William Wallace – or may be an assumed name or title – such as The Dread Pirate Roberts. In either case, upon choosing this trait the character’s player and the GM decide what sort of reputation this name carries and where. In places where the name carries a good reputation the character recieves a + 2 bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks but a – 2 penalty to Intimidate whenever they invoke their Name of Repute. In places where their reputation is bad, they recieve a + 2 bonus on Intimidate and Gather Information checks but a – 2 penalty to Diplomacy when invoking their Name of Repute.

The choices of where this name of repute applies and what sort of reputation it carries must be decided when the trait is taken and cannot be changed. Even if a chracter struggles to alter the reputation of the name – chances are that people will take these new efforts with a grain of salt and sooner believe that the tales of dramatic change are either entirely false or are being performed by an imposter.

The number of areas where a Name of Repute may apply is ultimately the discretion of the GM, but should be limited to two general areas or cultures (such as Keland and Golir, Nada’Fan and Kefran, etc.). The name does not need to be good in one and bad in the other, nor does it need to be purvasively good or purvasively bad. It is possible to have a reputation that is good or bad varying from town to town.
Characters from areas where the name of repute does not apply may roll a DC 15 Knowledge (Local) or bardic knowledge check to recognize the name and know the basis of its reputation, but they will not be effected by its benefits and penalties.

Noble TitleAcquireable
A character with the Noble Title trait has a major noble title, or is in line to inherit one. Unlike other traits, this trait may be taken without using you Cultural Trait choice, and may be gained after character creation. However, characters with this trait who do not use their Cultural Trait choice for it do not reap the full suite of benefits provided by this trait.

As a rule, anyone who qualifies for this trait has this trait whether they want it or not. Using one’s Cultural Trait choice at character creation essentially represents a character making the most of their title rather than simply reaping its benefits and drawbacks passively.

In order to qualify for this trait the character must have, or be directly in line to inherit, a title. The inheritance cannot be merely expected (such as someone who is expected to be named to a position of standing when its current occupant dies or retires) it must be presumed naturally (such as someone whose birth or standing makes them the next inheritor of a title by law or by long-standing tradition and custom). As a general rule this trait can never be lost, but it is possible for its effects to simply not apply to anyone in a practical context.

For Example: The apprentice to a Court Mage whose position is considered to grant noble rank would not qualify unless laws or customs dictate that the apprentice will take over the master’s station as Court Mage.
For Example: The adopted child of an otherwise childless monarch whose position is supposed to go to their eldest child would qualify, however so would whatever relative to the monarch was next-in-line prior to the adoption of the child.

Passive / Unchosen Benefits:
Characters with this trait who did not use their Cultural Trait choice on it or who gained it after character creation are treated as “friendly” by default by anyone who is considered subservient to the title in question (this should not be presumed to influence the choices of PC’s). This does not necessarily mean that everyone likes them, it simply means that people pay some deference to their standing and title. For this benefit to apply the person must know who you are and know of your title.

Active / Chosen Benefits:
Characters who choose this as their Cultural Trait have lived a significant portion of their life and development with the understanding of their title, its meaning, and what it means to be nobility. In addition to the Passive benefits, they gain a + 2 bonus on any skill roll made to influence the choices or actions of those considered subservient to their station (this should not be presumed to influence the choices of PC’s). This does not mean that everyone subservient to them heeds everything they say, it simply means that the character is experienced in leveraging their social station to get what they want – whether for good or for ill. For this benefit to apply the person must know who you are and know of your title.

All characters with this trait, whether chosen or not, must face the fact that there are always dissidents and enemies to any social structure. Sometimes they come from within, sometimes they are foreign powers rallying armies, but having a noble title always means that there is someone out there who has it out for you. Towards anyone who considers themselves an enemy of your station, title, or nation, a character with this trait is automatically treated as one step closer to “hostile” than normal. For this drawback to apply the person must know who you are and know of your title.

For Example: A group of knights lead by a duke are captured by enemies during a midnight ambush. The enemies take them captive for questioning, but don’t recognize the duke who was equipped very similarly to his knights. The captors would treat him the same as they treat all the other captives until such time as someone recognizes him or one of the knights slips up and addresses him in a way the betrays who he is or what title he holds. Once the cat is out of the bag, however, he is likely in much greater danger.

Cultural Traits

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