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Which Form of Background/Profession Traits do you prefer?


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Currently, Revolution d100 Backgrounds and Professions have Traits of the form:

  • Close Combat [One of Brawl, Spear and Shield, Sword and Shield, Dagger, Staff]
  • Communication [Insight, Language: British]
  • Knowledge [Home Region]
  • Stealth [Hide]


  • First Aid, Healing, Herbalism, Insight, Persuade
  • Pick Three: Magic, Surgery, any other knowledge, any appropriate power

But, it might be better to have:

  • Pick 5 from Close Combat [One of Brawl, Spear and Shield, Sword and Shield, Dagger, Staff], Communication [Insight],  Communication [Language: British], Knowledge [Home Region] and Stealth [Hide]


  • Pick 8 from First Aid, Healing, Herbalism, Insight, Persuade, Magic, Surgery, any other knowledge, any appropriate power

So, which do you prefer? Having some Traits as required with some extra chosen traits, or having 5/8 Traits chosen from a long list?



Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 


Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I can see where this is heading, Simon, and any indication about player preference is welcome. However, leaving everything open to choice is not a good option.

Let us examine how one of your example would work in an "everything is optional" scenario, first. The end result would be

  • Pick 8 from First Aid, Insight, Persuade, Surgery, any knowledge, any appropriate power

as "any knowledge" already includes Magic, Healing and Herbalism.

The above formulation, while being easier to write for the game developer, has a high risk of generating "decision paralysis" in any player who is not familiar with the many options that the game and setting offer.

Being able to generate characters quickly is considered a big plus in a RPG nowadays, and Revolution D100 fits the bill rather well at the moment, as the generation process is very quick while at the same time allowing those who have already mastered the system to create a very powerful character from the get go. Increasing the number of choices available would significantly increase the difficulty for beginners, while providing little benefit for seasoned players, as the example of character generation already states that you are supposed to negotiate any sensible exchange of options with the Narrator.

In this specific case, the exigence of guiding beginners in character creation is prioritary over giving more freedom to those who are familiar with the game, regardless of what the majority of players think. Having some choices labelled as mandatory is at most a nuisance, easy to houserule away. Slowing down the character creation process the first time you are trying the game is a significant hassle that might keep players away from the game. The latter is a risk that I am not willing to take.

In any case, everyone's opinion is welcome.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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  • 4 months later...

Hello Dambala, nice to see you here. I remember it took some time to check whether we could ship the book to your address last year.

The fact your mention - having little use for a skill that is rather important in another setting - has come to my attention in the last few days. A specific guideline will be provided stating that when a skill only supports one Trait, then it is better to drop the skill for that setting and move the trait to another skill.

In your case, it is reasonable to assign Willpower to Knowledge or to Survival, depending on whether you think that controlling fear is more a matter of wits or of guts.



Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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