Merits & Flaws for Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars RPGs

While Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars RPGs (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, and Force and Destiny) are quite comprehensive, character creation can occasionally seem generic from a systems mechanic stand point.  While many options exist to help tailor a character, the one system that seems to be missing is one to purchase advantages and disadvantages for individual player characters.

These Merits & Flaws are common in other game systems, and are partially reflected in Talents and Obligations in Edge of the Empire.  This article is intended to help groups customize their characters just that extra little bit more.  Some Merits and Flaws may not be appropriate for all groups and their play styles.

This system is not intended to eliminate the Obligation system for Edge of the Empire.  Players may choose to purchase Flaws in place of additional Obligation for their characters during creation.  This purchase will fill one of the available additional experience slots normally generated by additional Obligation.  Minor Flaws will replace the +5 XP slot, while Major Flaws will replace the +10 XP Slot.

Players may choose to mix and match Flaws & Obligation, but once the two extra experience slots are filled no more selections may be made.  Players may choose to select the additional credit slots for additional Obligation as per the normal rules, but may never exceed the starting level of Obligation.

I.e.  If the character starts the game with only 10 Obligation, they may not purchase more than 10 points of combined Obligation and Flaws.

Merits may only be purchased during creation unless the Game Master and the narrative suggest otherwise.  These purchases should reflect the background and playing history of the character.  Some Game Masters may allow the purchases of Merits reflective of the personal back story of the character even after creation.

Minor Merits cost 5 Experience Points while Major Merits cost 10 Experience Points.  The number of Merits that can be purchased is not limited by this article, but should be considered by the Game Master.  This is unlikely to become problematic, as the rules as written only allow the purchase of Characteristics during character creation.

No Merit may be purchased twice, including any minor/major variation, unless the Merit specifically states otherwise.  These Merits will mention a specific field of scope that the Merit applies to.  These scopes must be chosen when the Merit is purchased and cannot change.  Merits that may be purchased multiple times will usually allow the purchase of multiple scopes.

Players of Age of Rebellion may use the Duty Reduction System in place of Obligation as desired to purchase Flaws.  Only a maximum of two flaws may be purchased in this way, and will replace the option to gain additional XP from reducing Duty.  Merits are purchased identically as their Edge of the Empire brethren.

Merits

  • Acute Sense (Minor) – Choose one of the 5 senses (Sight, Hearing, Olfactory, Taste, or Touch) as the scope of this Merit.  When using this sense to discern something about the environment or when applicable in a skill, the player may roll one additional EotE Boost Die Icon.
  • Acute Sense (Major) – Choose one of the 5 senses (Sight, Hearing, Olfactory, Taste, or Touch) as the scope of this Merit.  When using this sense to discern something about the environment or when applicable in a skill, the player may roll two additional EotE Boost Die Icon EotE Boost Die Icon.
  • Approachable (Major) – The character seems harmless, easy going, and warm to those around her.  In social situations, the character will receive one additional EotE Boost Die Icon to social skill rolls that depend on the character being friendly and approachable.
  • Attractive (Minor) – The character is physically attractive to those whom may be sexually interested in the character.  In social situations, the character may apply one additional EotE Boost Die Icon to appropriate skill attempts.  Game Masters may wish to apply penalties when dealing with characters that have been previously abused by or have otherwise soured on the character.
  • Attractive (Major) – The character is exceptionally physically attractive to those whom may be sexually interested in the character.  In social situations, the character may apply two additional EotE Boost Die Icon EotE Boost Die Icon to appropriate skill attempts.  Game Masters may wish to apply penalties when dealing with characters that have been previously abused by or have otherwise soured on the character.
  • Gifted Night Vision (Minor) – The character has excellent night vision for her species and may reduce any lighting penalties by one EotE Setback Die Icon.  This has no effect on smoke or concealment penalties.
  • Gifted Night Vision (Major) – The character has excellent night vision for her species and may reduce any lighting penalties by two EotE Setback Die Icon EotE Setback Die Icon.  This has no effect on smoke or concealment penalties.
  • Gifted Runner (Minor) – When rolling Athletics during a foot chase or other running check, the player may roll one additional EotE Boost Die Icon.  Characters with a natural ability to fly may purchase the Gifted Flyer (Minor) Merit instead.
  • Gifted Runner (Major) – When rolling Athletics during a foot chase or other running check, the player may roll two additional EotE Boost Die Icon EotE Boost Die Icon.  Characters with a natural ability to fly may purchase the Gifted Flyer (Major) Merit instead.
  • Gifted Skill (Major) – Choose one skill as the scope of this Merit.  When rolling this skill, the player may roll one additional EotE Boost Die Icon.  This Merit may be purchased more than one time, but only once per skill.
  • Hard Right Hook (Minor) – Increases the Damage dealt by the character by +1 when punching an opponent.  Grappling, kicks, and other uses of Brawl do not apply.
  • Hard Right Hook (Major) – Increases the Damage dealt by the character by +1 when punching an opponent.  This attack also has Crit 4 and Disorient 3.  Grappling, kicks, and other uses of Brawl do not apply.
  • Humorous (Major) – The character seems humorous, funny, and entertaining to those around her.  In social situations, the character will receive one additional EotE Boost Die Icon to social skill rolls that depend on the character being humorous and entertaining.
  • Independent Income (Minor) – The character has invested previously in a profitable business venture, commodity trading, or comes from a wealthy family.  The character will receive 100 credits at the beginning of each session.
  • Independent Income (Major) – The character has invested previously in a profitable business venture, commodity trading, or comes from a wealthy family.  The character will receive 250 credits at the beginning of each session.
  • Kicks Like a Murra (Minor) – Increases the Damage dealt by the character by +1 when kicking an opponent.  Grappling, punching, and other uses of Brawl do not apply.
  • Kicks Like a Murra (Major) – Increases the Damage dealt by the character by +1 when kicking an opponent.  This attack also has Crit 4 and Disorient 3.  Grappling, punches, and other uses of Brawl do not apply.
  • Light Sleeper (Minor) – Character will awaken instantly when outside stimuli such as light or noise are present.  Stealth and other skills may prevent this awakening as determined by the Game Master.
  • Refined Taste (Major) – The character seems to be cultured, well bred, and of good taste to those around her.  In social situations, the character will receive one additional EotE Boost Die Icon to social skill rolls in high society and snobbish company.
  • Specialization (Minor) – Choose one specialization of a skill as the scope of this Merit.  The specialization should be limited in scope, such as a specific type of planetary vehicle or model of weapon.  When rolling this skill, the player may roll one additional EotE Boost Die Icon when the specialization is used.  This Merit may be purchased more than one time, but only once per specialization.
  • Tough (Minor) – Gain +1 Wound Threshold.  May not be taken with the Toughened (Major) Merit.
  • Toughened (Major) – Gain +2 Wound Threshold.  Treat as a rank of the Toughened Talent.  May not be taken with the Tough (Minor) Merit.
  • Unremarkable (Major) – The character is unremarkable and does not stand out in a crowd.  Anyone attempting to identify or notice the character will suffer one additional EotE Setback Die Icon.  The character may not have a Presence above 2 and still take this Merit.  The character may not purchase any Merits which would seem at odds with staying unnoticed.
  • Well Balanced (Minor) – When rolling Coordination while traversing precarious terrain, the player may roll one additional EotE Boost Die Icon.  This does not apply to efforts to free oneself from shackles or restraints, nor does it apply in tight quarters.
  • Well Balanced (Major) – When rolling Coordination while traversing precarious terrain, the player may roll two additional EotE Boost Die Icon EotE Boost Die Icon.  This does not apply to efforts to free oneself from shackles or restraints, nor does it apply in tight quarters.

Flaws

There are far fewer Flaws to be selected because a great many of them are reflected in the Obligations chosen by the player for their character.  Many flaws that players enjoy selecting such as Infamy, Mistaken Identity, and Flashbacks are best modeled using the existing Obligation rules.

  • Bad Liar (Minor) – The character is a horrible liar.  Perhaps she breaks out into cold sweats or stammers whenever she starts to fib.  When rolling for lies and deceptions, add one EotE Setback Die Icon to the dice pool.
  • Color Blind (Minor) – The character has a difficult time in differentiating different colors.  For rolls where coloration and hues may be important, such as perception rolls, add two EotE Setback Die Icon EotE Setback Die Icon to the dice pool.
  • Crude (Minor) – The character is crude, disgusting, and often rank.  During most social situations the character will suffer an additional one EotE Setback Die Icon to the dice pool.
  • Heavy Sleeper (Minor) – Heavy sleepers require a significant amount of light, noise, or movement in order to awaken.  Once awakened, the character will suffer an additional one EotE Setback Die Icon to all dice rolls for the encounter from grogginess.
  • Ignorant (Minor) – The character is unfamiliar with the wider galaxy at large, and may not even care.  While this character may select and purchase knowledge skills, they tend to only focus on elements that interest them.  As a result they will suffer one EotE Setback Die Icon to all knowledge skill rolls.
  • Impaired Characteristic (Major) – The character has an impairment that will reduce a starting Characteristic by one under the racial base.  The scope may either be any single Characteristic and may never be used to drop a Characteristic below 1.  The player should determine why the Characteristic is lower than the average of his species.
  • Impaired Sense (Minor) – Choose one of the 5 senses (Sight, Hearing, Olfactory, Taste, or Touch) as the scope of this Flaw.  When using this sense to discern something about the environment or when applicable in a skill, the player suffers an two additional EotE Setback Die Icon EotE Setback Die Icon .
  • Missing Eye (Major) – The character is missing an eye, or has an eye that has been so injured as to be unusable.  The player must upgrade the difficulty of all ranged weapon attacks as well as any skill roll that requires hand-eye coordination.
  • Old Wound (Major) – The character suffers from a war wound that never fully healed.  This wound always counts as a Critical Hit when they suffer another Critical Hit.  The player should choose the injury that was previously inflicted for role-playing purposes.
  • Poor Night Vision (Minor) – The character has poor night vision for her species and must increase any lighting penalties by one EotE Setback Die Icon.  This has no effect on smoke or concealment penalties.
  • Snob (Minor) –  The character is an arrogant snob who only appreciates the finer things in life, and some of those begrudgingly.  Rarely will anything that they did not select be worthy of their time or attention.  During most social situations the character will suffer an additional one EotE Setback Die Icon to the dice pool.
  • Ugly (Minor) – The character is physically unattractive to those whom may be sexually interested in the character.  In social situations, the character must apply two additional EotE Setback Die Icon EotE Setback Die Icon to appropriate skill attempts.

This list is by no means exhaustive.  Players and Game Masters should use them as a basis to create new and interesting Merits & Flaws for their groups.  I would suggest being careful not to duplicate too many Talents or Racial Abilities.  Try to mimic the general outlines for new Merits and Flaws, and be very cautious about allowing a character that is too “optimized” for the rest of the group.

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This entry was posted in AoR - Age of Rebellion RPG, EotE - Edge of the Empire RPG, FaD - Force and Destiny RPG, Foundations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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