I’m considering adding Flaws in my game.

I’m considering adding Flaws in my game.

I’m considering adding Flaws in my game. Each player would specify a character Flaw, such as alcoholic, klepto, hot-tempered, greedy, etc. If they act on their flaw to the detriment of themselves and the party, they mark XP at End of Session. Hopefully it would provide some memorable RP scenes during the session, do you think it would work well?

15 thoughts on “I’m considering adding Flaws in my game.”

  1. It should work fine. Blades in the Dark has a stress mechanic that results in gaining negative “trauma conditions.” One aspect of this mechanic is that if you allow them to complicate your life severely enough you gain XP. As long as you don’t let player gain XP for something that isn’t really impactful it should work great.

  2. Sounds like a great idea. Mutants & Masterminds has a similar idea called “complications” that’s a bit boarder where if you act on a complication, you get Hero Points and are also great things for the GM to draw on for plot points.

  3. If that’s behavior you need to incentivize, then adding that mechanic may work out. An alternative would be creating an additional “End of Session” move component: “If you let your shortcomings get in the way of personal success, mark XP.” DW is a game about PCs doing amazing things, however, so I wouldn’t play up this aspect too heavily. And if you need to, remember that 6- outcomes are excellent opportunities to ask about someone’s shortcoming then use that to make life complicated (so that PCs can try to address that awesomely later).

  4. I used a similar system for dealing with madness, where a undesirable quirk would replace the standard alignment move.

    I would agree with Tim B that you should mind what kind of behavior you are incentivizing. Your players may act a bit less heroic if there is less of a reward for doing so, and more flawed to get the carrot there. Be aware that this can cause strain to form between PCs and drive them apart.

  5. Cool idea. It jives well with a different approach that I’ve been considering recently: adding Fate-style Aspects (which generally include at least 1 flaw or Trouble) for DW characters. Each PC starts a session with 2 “fate points” (new name needed probably), can hold no more than 4 points at a time, and may spend 1 or more points to raise a dice roll by one category (so, spend 2 points to raise a 6- to a 10+). Sounds powerful, but the ONLY way to regain points during a session is to allow the GM to “compel” one of your Aspects to get you in trouble, which gains you a point (You’re a “Hotheaded barbarian” – I’ll pay you a point if you take a swing now at the insulting royal guard). I see this system having two advantages:

    1) it incentivizes the kind of playing-to-your-problems that you’ve highlighted here;

    2) DW’s general lack of bonuses due to situational modifiers sometimes just make for disappointing and swingy scene results (for me). I’d like players to have a way to say “no, this time it’s really important to me that my Elf-kin Ranger should be able to shoot that target” – so long as they pay to prioritize that particular dice roll.

  6. Ryan H Personally, it sounds like it’d make more sense to just play FATE. A +1 forward is already mechanically substantial in PbtA, so building pools for bonuses should be approached cautiously. And since DW isn’t a game about using flaws to get in trouble, this would represent a pretty big shift in play. Try it out and report back! 🙂

  7. Tim B , I haven’t played Fate yet but I have read about it (and FAE, and some hacks) pretty extensively. My take so far is that I love Aspects for characters, but I’m not too keen on Setting Aspects bogging everything down. I’m wondering how well character Aspects would work if yanked into the simpler flow of a PbtA game.

    For that matter, I think character aspects would work just as well or even better in World of Dungeons, probably as a replacement for WoDu’s skill system.

  8. In our Cowboy hack, we use xp (gained when you fail a roll) to pay for +1 to a roll after it is rolled if you invoke a character aspect as in FATE. It works extremely well in our game, but I dont think it will work in vanilla DW, since it changes the whole game economy

  9. The best way to incorporate it in DW is

    — Reward Xp for playing it.

    — Have the GM use it as Hard Move material when you fail a roll.

    When you do blah, roll + blah

    On 10+

    On 7-9

    On a miss the GM will tell you you failed because you are [Drunk, Scared of Spiders, On the Run from the Mob, Overprotective, In Love with the Wrong Guy, or Whatever] and really rub your face in it.

Comments are closed.