A flaw is a negative personality trait. People are not one-dimensional or perfect. Flaws represent vices, fears, compulsions, or weaknesses. They're ideas that could cause a character to go against their best interest, or that others could exploit to try and ruin someone. Flaws don't necessarily doom a character, though. They present depth, realism, and a possibility for interesting experiences.
List of Flaws
Most backgrounds come with a list of suggested flaws. Those that don't refer to existing backgrounds for ideas on what flaws could match the background. While recommended for anyone struggling to develop their character, players are not required to use the flaws listed and may list whatever they want.
Main article: Acolyte
- I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
- I put too much trust in those who wield power within my temple's hierarchy.
- My piety sometimes leads me to blindly trust those that profess faith in my god.
- I am inflexible in my thinking.
- I am suspicious of strangers and expect the worst of them.
- Once I pick a goal, I become obsessed with it to the detriment of everything else in my life.
Main article: Anthropologist
- Boats make me seasick.
- I talk to myself, and I don't make friends easily.
- I believe that I'm intellectually superior to people from other cultures and have much to teach them.
- I've picked up some unpleasant habits living among goblins, lizardfolk, or orcs.
- I complain about everything.
- I wear a tribal mask and never take it off.
Main article: Archaeologist
- I have a secret fear of some common wild animal-- and in my work, I see them everywhere.
- I can't leave a room without searching it for secret doors.
- When I'm not exploring dungeons or ruins, I get jittery and impatient.
- I have no time for friends or family. I spend every waking moment thinking about and preparing for my next expedition.
- When given the choice of going left or right, I always go left.
- I can't sleep except in total darkness.
Black Fist Double Agent
Main article: Black Fist Double Agent
- I think too highly of myself, and have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
- I have difficulty trusting strangers. I see spies and informants everywhere.
- Years of getting away with minor crimes has left me believing that I am above the law, and have diplomatic immunity above my station.
- Years of seeing innocent people suffer have left me despondent and pessimistic for the future.
- My desire for vengeance often gets me into trouble.
- I am spendthrift, and share my wealth with the patrons of my favorite tavern.
Main article: Caravan Specialist
- I have trouble trusting people I've just met.
- I enjoy the open road. Underground and tight spaces make me very nervous.
- I expect others to heed my orders and have little respect or sympathy if they don't.
- I am very prideful and have trouble admitting when I'm wrong.
- Once I decide on a course of action, I do not waiver.
- I like to explore, and my curiosity will sometimes get me into trouble.
Main article: Charlatan
- I can't resist a pretty face.
- I'm always in debt. I spend my ill-gotten gains on decadent luxuries faster than I bring them in.
- I'm convinced that no one could ever fool me the way I fool others.
- I'm too greedy for my own good. I can't resist taking a risk if there's money involved.
- I can't resist swindling people who are more powerful than me.
- I hate to admit it and will hate myself for it, but I'll run and preserve my own hide if the going gets tough.
Main article: Cormanthor Refugee
- I am very uncomfortable indoors and underground.
- I am haughty. I grew up among the elves and emulate them. Other races are crude in comparison.
- Elf this, elf that. I am sick and tired of the elves.
- I am a miser. Having lost everything once before, I clutch my possessions and wealth very tightly.
- I am a moocher. I am so used to others providing for me that I have come to expect everyone to do it.
- I believe the gods have cursed me, my family, and all of the Cormanthor refugees. We are all doomed, doomed I tell you!
Main article: Criminal
- When I see something valuable, I can't think about anything but how to steal it.
- When faced with a choice between money and my friends, I usually choose the money.
- If there's a plan, I'll forget it. If I don't forget it, I'll ignore it.
- I have a "tell" that reveals when I'm lying.
- I turn tail and run when things look bad.
- An innocent person is in prison for a crime that I committed. I'm okay with that.
Main article: Dragon Casualty
- I have been touched with dragon-greed, and have a lust for wealth which can never be satisfied.
- I secretly believe others are plotting to harm me.
- I no longer enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Food is but ashes and bile in my throat.
- Anyone who refuses to celebrate my celebrity does not deserve my company.
- I am paranoid and overly suspicious of others. Anyone may be an agent of the Maimed Virulence.
- Once I make up my mind, I follow my chosen course of action regardless of the consequences.
Main article: Earthspur Miner
- I'm uncomfortable spending time under the open sky. I'd rather be indoors or underground.
- I'm not used to being around other people much and sometimes get grouchy about it.
- Good tools are more reliable than people. In a cave in, I would save a sturdy pick before a stranger.
- I jealously guard my secrets, because I think others will take advantage of me if they learn what I know.
- I am obsessed with getting rich. I always have a scheme brewing for making it big.
- I'm afraid of the dark.
Main article: Entertainer
- I'll do anything to win fame and renown.
- I'm a sucker for a pretty face.
- A scandal prevents me from ever going home again. That kind of trouble seems to follow me around.
- I once satirized a noble who still wants my head. It was a mistake that I will likely repeat.
- I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden. My sharp tongue lands me in trouble.
- Despite my best efforts, I am unreliable to my friends.
Main article: Far Traveler
- I am secretly (or not so secretly) convinced of the superiority of my own culture over that of this foreign land.
- I pretend not to understand the local language in order to avoid interactions I would rather not have.
- I have a weakness for the new intoxicants and other pleasures of this land.
- I don't take kindly to some actions and motivations of the people of this land, because these folk are different from me.
- I consider the adherents of other gods to be deluded innocents at best, or ignorant fools at worst.
- I have a weakness for the exotic beauty of the people of these lands.
Main article: Folk Hero
- The tyrant who rules my land will stop at nothing to see me killed.
- I'm convinced of the significance of my destiny, and blind to my shortcomings and the risk of failure.
- The people who knew me when I was young know my shameful secret, so I can never go home again.
- I have a weakness for the vices of the city, especially hard drink.
- Secretly, I believe that things would be better if I were a tyrant lording over the land.
- I have trouble trusting in my allies.
Main article: Gate Urchin
- Though I no longer live at the Gate, I am still always concerned about where I will get my next meal.
- Years of thieving have become habit. I sometimes steal from strangers without thinking about it.
- I am ashamed of my origins. I pretend I am higher-born and fear others will find out the truth.
- I think people who grew up in houses are soft, spoiled, and ungrateful. I frequently tell them so.
- I am still very uncomfortable wearing nice clothes, sleeping in a warm bed, and eating fine food.
- I do not trust anyone who has not had a hard life.
Main article: Guild Artisan
- I'll do anything to get my hands on something rare or priceless.
- I'm quick to assume that someone is trying to cheat me.
- No one must ever learn that I once stole money from guild coffers.
- I'm never satisfied with what I have-- I always want more.
- I would kill to acquire a noble title.
- I'm horribly jealous of anyone who can outshine my handiwork. Everywhere I go, I'm surrounded by rivals.
Main article: Harborfolk
- I drink too much, which causes me to miss the tide.
- I killed a drunk member of the City Watch in a brawl. I am terrified that they might find out.
- I oversell myself and make promises I can't keep when I want to impress someone.
- Book learning is a waste of time. I have no patience for people who don't speak from experience.
- I almost always cheat. I can't help myself.
- I am a secret informant for the Hawks. I send them reports about everything I see and hear, even what my friends and allies are up to.
Main article: Haunted One
- I have certain rituals that I must follow every day. I can never break them.
- I assume the worst in people.
- I feel no compassion for the dead. They're the lucky ones.
- I have an addiction.
- I am a purveyor of doom and gloom who lives in a world without hope.
- I talk to spirits that no one else can see.
Main article: Hermit
- Now that I've returned to the world, I enjoy its delights a little too much.
- I harbor dark, bloodthirsty thoughts that my isolation and meditation failed to quell.
- I am dogmatic in my thoughts and philosophy.
- I let my need to win arguments overshadow friendships and harmony.
- I'd risk too much to uncover a lost bit of knowledge.
- I like keeping secrets and won't share them with anyone.
Main article: Hillsfar Merchant
- I am a braggart. I promote myself shamelessly.
- I am vain. I always wear the latest fashions.
- I am a glutton. I eat and drink to excess.
- I am a snob. I want only the finest things in life.
- I am lazy. I want others to take care of everything.
- I am overconfident. I overestimate my abilities.
Main article: Hillsfar Smuggler
- My hatred for the Red Plumes burns so brightly that I have difficulty suppressing It around them.
- The Red Plumes caught me once before, and I was branded for my crime. If they catch me again, for any offense, the punishment will be dire.
- I treat all Hillsfarans poorly. I am disgusted with their failure to revolt against the Great Law of Humanity.
- I have difficulty trusting strangers. Anyone could be a spy for the authorities.
- I am greedy. There Isn't much I won't do for money.
- I'm an informant for the Red Plumes. They let me continue my activities, so long as I pass them information about illegal activity in Hillsfar.
Main article: House Agent
- I'm overly concerned with following established procedures and protocols.
- I'm obsessed with conspiracy theories and worried about secret societies and hidden demons.
- I believe that my house and bloodline makes me better than everyone else.
- I'm concealing a secret that could get me driven from my house.
- I have strong religious beliefs that aren't shared by others in my house.
- I'm working for a hidden faction in my house that gives me secret assignments.
Main article: Initiate
- I'm easily distracted by an attractive person, which could be the death of me in the trials.
- I really wanted to be a vizier, and I'm angry at the god who didn't choose me.
- Training for a lifetime to die in the end seems like a big waste of energy.
- I'm not at all sure I'll be able to grant a glorified death to any of my crop-mates.
- I have a lasting grudge against one of my crop-mates, and each of us wants to see the other fail.
- I think I've figured out that this world is not what it seems. Something dark is going on here.
Main article: Inquisitor
- I am troubled by the wild rage and bloodlust that lurks in my own heart.
- I have come to believe that I executed an innocent person.
- I enjoy the prestige of my position more than service to the angels.
- I drink to forget the horrors I've seen.
- I might have made a promise to a demon that I can't keep.
- I'll do whatever grim task must be done, for my soul is already lost.
Iron Route Bandit
Main article: Iron Route Bandit
- I talk to animals; I believe they understand me, even if they do not.
- I growl at and bite anyone who gets too close to my food while I am eating.
- I strongly dislike enclosed spaces and require intoxication or firm encouragement to enter them.
- I robbed the wrong caravan once. The owner is a powerful merchant who holds a grudge.
- I'm an inveterate gambler.
- I judge people based on how well they stand their ground in a fight. I've got not time for cowards...
Main article: Mulmaster Aristocrat
- I have difficulty caring about anyone or anything other than myself.
- Having grown up with wealth, I am careless with my finances. I overspend and am overly generous.
- The ends (my advancement) justify any means.
- I must have what I want and will brook no delay.
- My family has lost everything. I must keep up appearances, lest we become a laughingstock.
- I have no artistic sense. I hide that fact behind extreme opinions and have become a trendsetter.
Main article: Noble
- I secretly believe that everyone is beneath me.
- I hide a truly scandalous secret that could ruin my family forever.
- I too often hear veiled insults and threats in every word addressed to me, and I'm quick to anger.
- I have an insatiable desire for carnal pleasures.
- In fact, the world does revolve around me.
- By my words and actions, I often bring shame to my family.
Main article: Outlander
- I am too enamored of ale, wine, and other intoxicants.
- There's no room for caution in a life lived to the fullest.
- I remember every insult I've received and nurse a silent resentment toward anyone who's ever wronged me.
- I am slow to trust members of other races, tribes, and societies.
- Violence is my answer to almost any challenge.
- Don't expect me to save those who can't save themselves. It is nature's way that the strong thrive and the weak perish.
Main article: Phlan Insurgent
- I have no respect for those who flee. I harbor a deep grudge against the citizens who abandoned Phlan.
- Ale is the only way I can escape the desperation of my circumstances.
- It doesn't take much to get me into a fight.
- Being an insurgent means doing things that aren't always ethical. I'm still learning to live with that.
- My desire to liberate Phlan oftentimes clouds my judgment, despite my best efforts.
- I relentlessly despise the Maimed Virulence and his allies. I'd abandon other goals in order to strike out at them.
Main article: Phlan Refugee
- I used the lives of children to facilitate my escape from Phlan.
- I am a sucker for the underdog, and always bet on the losing team.
- I am incapable of standing up for myself.
- I will borrow money from friends with no intention to repay it.
- I am unable to keep secrets. A secret is just an untold story.
- When something goes wrong, it's never my fault.
Main article: Sage
- I am easily distracted by the promise of information.
- Most people scream and run when they see a demon. I stop and take notes on its anatomy.
- Unlocking an ancient mystery is worth the price of a civilization.
- I overlook obvious solutions in favor of complicated ones.
- I speak without really thinking through my words, invariably insulting others.
- I can't keep a secret to save my life, or anyone else's.
Main article: Sailor
- I follow orders, even if I think they're wrong.
- I'll say anything to avoid having to do extra work.
- Once someone questions my courage, I never back down no matter how dangerous the situation.
- Once I start drinking, it's hard for me to stop.
- I can't help but pocket loose coins and other trinkets I come across.
- My pride will probably lead to my destruction.
Main article: Secret Identity
- After years of denying who I am, I now despise myself and other members of my pathetic race.
- Years of hiding have made me somewhat paranoid. I trust no one.
- I've been lying so often and for so long that I can't help it anymore. I frequently lie for no reason at all.
- I am ashamed. I failed to protect a member of my family who was seized and thrown into the Arena.
- I am struggling with maintaining my secret identity. I subconsciously want to get caught and therefore sometimes let my secret identity slip.
- Years of successfully deceiving others have made me cocky. I think no one can see through my lies.
Main article: Shade Fanatic
- I always over exaggerate my abilities.
- I cannot bear to let those I care for out of my sight.
- I am incapable of standing up for myself.
- The group I am with has committed atrocities; I am always worried their actions will become public.
- I always enjoy a good mug of ale... or five.
- I know what I do is wrong, but am afraid to speak up about it. .
Main article: Soldier
- The monstrous enemy we faced in battle still leaves me quivering with fear.
- I have little respect for anyone who is not a proven warrior.
- I made a terrible mistake in battle that cost many lives-- and I would do anything to keep that mistake secret.
- My hatred of my enemies is blind and unreasoning.
- I obey the law, even if the law causes misery.
- I'd rather eat my armor than admit when I'm wrong.
Main article: Stojanow Prisoner
- During stressful times, I find myself crying for no reason.
- My nerve endings are shot from the interrogations; I am numb to all but the harshest touch.
- I am incapable of standing up for myself.
- I folded under the torture, and gave information that I promised would be kept secret. My life would be in jeopardy if others found out.
- Survival is worth more than friendship.
- The ghosts from my past hinder my actions.
Main article: Ticklebelly Nomad
- I throw myself and my friends into situations rarely ever thinking about consequences.
- Unfamiliar people and surroundings put me on edge.
- I have absolutely no patience for slowpokes and those who prove indecisive.
- My desire to experience new things causes me to make unsafe choices.
- I am overly protective of nature, sometimes to the detriment of my companions and myself.
- My lack of worldliness often proves my undoing in social, commercial, and hostile situations.
Main article: Trade Sheriff
- I always over exaggerate my abilities.
- I cannot bear to let those I care for out of my sight.
- I took a bribe to tank an investigation and I would do anything to keep it secret.
- I have little respect for those that are of "low" intelligence/race.
- I always enjoy a good mug of ale... or five to cover up my past.
- I speak for the First Lord of Hillsfar and make sure everyone knows it.
Main article: Urchin
- If I'm outnumbered, I will run away from a fight.
- Gold seems like a lot of money to me, and I'll do just about anything for more of it.
- I will never fully trust anyone other than myself.
- I'd rather kill someone in their sleep than fight fair.
- It's not stealing if I need it more than someone else.
- People who can't take care of themselves get what they deserve.
Main article: Vizier
- I am in love with an initiate, and I want to shield this person from death in the trials.
- I secretly wish I had not been chosen as a vizier, so I could participate in the trials as an initiate.
- I secretly question whether the gods care at all about us or what we do.
- A vizier of another god seeks my death in retribution for a past insult.
- I am terrified of what lies beyond the Gate to the Afterlife.
- I secretly believe the God-Pharaoh's return will not bring blessing to this world.