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Character Building Tool- Merits And Flaws

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((This resource is actually taken from the World Of Darkness system of Merits and Flaws. This was always my favorite part of making a character. The game system doesn't translate that well to WoW since it's point based and involve rolling dice, but I think it's so valuable that I'm re-writing it to fit the WoW setting. To this day, I still use many of these to help flesh out my characters. The flaws are especially fun!

The following list will be broken down into section by Psychological, Mental, Physical, etc. I hope some of you get as much use and enjoyment from these lists as I have.))

Psychological Merits:

Code of Honor: You follow a strict personal code, and you have a strong resistance to supernatural persuasions.

Gall: You got moxy, kid. Extra advantage to any Social situation requiring backbone.

Loyalty: You are devoted to a person, group, or cause, and easily resist attempts to persuade you away from the object of your loyalty.

Psychological Flaws:

Black and White: You see all situations in black and white, good and evil, etc. In some situations, this limited, judgmental way of thinking may hinder your reaction to something or cause you to act socially inappropriate

Compulsion: You have a specific compulsion which may cause you problems. It takes a lot of willpower to fight the compulsion for a short time.

Compulsive Speech (aka Big Mouth): For whatever reason, you have difficulty sticking to the rule, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all." This could either make you talkative and a bit blunt; or a complete prick.

Curiosity: Your incredible curiosity often overrides your common sense. Resisting temptation requires much effort, difficulty depending on the situation.

Dark Secret: There's something about you which you don't want people to know, and it would be very bad if they did (or at least you think it would be).

Deranged: You have a permanent, severe mental disorder. You may try to fight it at points, but you will never get rid of it. Definitely check with your GM, and possibly your fellow players, before taking this one.

Driving Goal: You have some goal which is at the basis of all your motivations, though it is of such depth or impossibility, it could probably never be achieved. Your obsession with your vision can only temporarily be soothed.

Flashbacks: When under pressure and/or in the presence of something which reminds you of something unpleasant in your past, you flashback to that past event. Whilst in a flashback, everything to you is as it was then.

Hatred: There is something out there which you absolutely loathe, and will do anything to destroy it. You struggle not to go after the object of your hatred anytime you encounter it.

Hero Worship: You absolutely idolize someone, and disobeying them requires an effort of will. You also have difficulty with anything that may force you to admit/realize that your hero may be in the wrong.

Inferiority Complex: No matter what you do, by your standards, it's just not good enough. In situations requiring you to take charge and strut your stuff, you are uncomfortable.

Intolerance: You have difficulty tolerating a specific thing or type of person. Extra difficulty in encounters involving that thing.

Lifesaver: You revere all life and will not risking killing someone at all costs. Unfortunately, in the World of Warcraft, this can sometimes be a problem.

Low Self-Image: Suffering from a low self-esteem, you have a disadvantage in situations where you don't expect to succeed, or you may have to use willpower to do something that requires self-confidence.

Masochist/Sadist: You either enjoy pain or enjoy inflicting it on others. In addition to the inconveniences this fascination may cause you, you may also be seen as sick (and, well you are), or even more sick people may use you for your obsession.

Nightmares: You're constantly plagued by nightmares, which at the worst may indicate there's something nasty in your fate, and at the least will make you cranky and irritable most of the time. A particularly bad night may cause you to lose patience with others or have difficulty completing some tasks.

Pacifist: A more extreme version of Lifesaver, you refuse to do any physical harm to anyone for any reason.

Phobia: You have a specific, incredibly powerful fear. In the minor version, you will often refuse to approach the object of your fear or may even flee from it. In the extreme version, you may become incapacitated by your fear.

Sensation Junkie: You're addicted to sensation, and will do anything to find new means of stimulation. You must resist taking the opportunity to try a new kick, difficulty depending on the situation.

Shy: You're not a social butterfly, to say the least. Many social encounters are difficult, and if you're the center of attention, this is almost painful.

Soft-hearted: You can't stand to witness suffering, and if you do, it weighs on you for hours.

Territorial: You are extremely attached to your territory. This could be your guild hall, a section of a city, your home or land you own, etc. If someone passes through your territory without your permission, your immediate urge is to attack him.

Ulterior Motive: You have more reason to be with your comrades than your like for them or for their common goals. Whether this motive is sinister or not, it's a secret for whatever reason, and if you are suspected of this motive, things won't look too good for you.

Vengeance: You are consumed with avenging something very important to you. Your obsession can only be temporarily swayed.

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Mental Abilities-Merits

Common Sense: You are full of practical wisdom, more so than most.

Eidetic Memory: Having a "photographic" memory, you can accurately recall any sight or sound with great success.

Lightning Calculator: You have a natural affinity for numbers, and all relevant situations are at a decreased difficulty.

Time Sense: You have an inate sense of time, and can with a good deal of accuracy tell what time it is without a watch. In performing feats where timing may be essential (such as certain combat or athletic maneuvers), difficulties may be lowered or dropped.

Mental Abilities-Flaws

Absent-Minded: You have a lousy short-term memory, and need to focus to remember more than standard knowledge (like your name, address, etc.).

Amnesia: You have no memory of your past, or at least are missing a significant portion of it.

Confused: You have a lot of trouble focusing and/or making sense of the world around you.

Overconfident: You think you can do everything even though you probably can't, and you try to prove your belief as often as possible.

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Awareness Merits

Acute Senses: One of your five senses is incredibly sharp, and detection checks involving this sense have a decreased difficulty.

Nightsight: You can see in near-total darkness, and so your difficulties for being in a dark area are reduced (or nonexistent). You may, however, be sensitive to bright light, and sudden bright light may dazzle you for a turn or two.

Awareness Flaws

Bad Sight: Difficulties for sight-related tasks are increased, and you suffer from night blindness.

Blind: You can't see. This obviously hinders certain perception attempts.

Color Blind: You can see only in varying shades of grey, which may make some perception checks more difficult (note in real life color blindness makes you unable to perceive only a certain portion of the color spectrum, but this rule makes it a little easier to handle and roleplay).

Deaf: You can't hear. Ditto for what I said about "Blind."

Hard of Hearing: Difficulties for hearing-related tasks are increased. If you can take an animal form and receive perception bonuses for it, you will only gain that bonus for olfactory senses and/or vision.

One Eye: You lack peripheral vision on one side, and you are at a disadvantage for tasks related to depth-perception. On the upside, you can wear a nifty eyepatch and say "Arrrrr" a lot.

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Ability Aptitude: Pick a single skill, talent, or knowledge: you're a whiz at whatever this is.

Animal Magnetism: You have the "fuck me" aura, and receive a decreased difficulty on seduction and similar tasks (though this may inspire jealousy in the people who view you as competition).

Ambidextrous: You are equally dextrous, or nearly so, with both hands, and use your "off" hand at no penalty.

Culture Knack: You have a knack for fitting in wherever you are, and though you may not know them beforehand, you pick up on customs quickly. In appropriate situations, your social difficulties may be lowered.

Daredevil: You love to take risks, and are damn good at living through them.

Graceful: You are extremely agile and delicate in your movements. Decreased difficulty on all Dexterity checks. Botches will still hurt, but it is possible to gracefully fall down, and you'll die before you look clumsy.

Natural Linguist: You're good with languages and language structures.

Well-Traveled: You are knowledgeable of the ways of the world from your travels and studies.


Graceless: You always look awkward, no matter what you're doing. Increased difficulty to all social situations that involve making an impression.

Illiterate: You can't read or write. This may make passing yourself off as that learned professor be a bit difficult.

Speech Impediment: Extreme difficulty with all verbal communication.

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Supernatural Merits

Beast Affinity: Animals are unusually drawn to you, and though you can't speak with them, you can communicate with them on a limited level using tone of voice and body language.

Burning Aura: Your aura is unusually brilliant; even people who can't read auras will be inexplicably drawn to you. Some may see you as a threat or a snack.

Green Thumb: Not only do plants thrive in your care, they almost seem to burst into bloom from your touch.

Honeyed Tongue: You've sold gallons of snake oil and thousands of deeds to the Brooklyn Bridge, and most customers still think they're satisfied.

Medium: You have the ability to see and interact with ghosts. Sometimes, the Restless may seek you out for favors. Depending on the ghosts you meet, this could be a very good or very bad thing.

Precognition: You have glimpses of the future. Though you can enter a trance and try to summon a vision, this foresight usually comes out of nowhere, and can be quite shocking in some circumstances.

Prophetic Ability: You see and understand (or try to) signs and portents sent by the Powers That Be, either through dreams or just a peculiar insight into everyday events. Your insights and visions are usually obscure, and it may take time and interpretation to get a grasp on their full indications.

True Love: You've found that One who makes your life complete. You are exceptionally determined when striving to protect, come closer, or remain close to your True Love.

Supernatural Flaws

Bound: You owe some enemy, demon, someone from opposing faction, whatever, and you owe him BIG. This is a Very Bad Thing.

Cursed: You have been cursed by someone or something. The curse is specific in nature and cannot be easily dispelled. Level of the flaw reflects how bad the curse is; a 1 point curse is annoying, a 5 point curse is likely life-threatening to you and/or to the people around you, and will at least make you and them incredibly miserable.

Dark Fate: You are doomed to suffer a horrible demise, or otherwise have some sort of icky unpleasant fate. You are aware of this, and can kinda make you rather depressed...

Haunted: A wraith is plaguing your existence for some reason. Maybe you're its murderer, maybe you have something it wants, or maybe it just doesn't like you. Wraiths can do all sorts of weird things to you, move things around, possess you and your friends, inhabit your dreams or your refrigerator, etc...

Offensive to Animals: For some reason, animals fear you or just don't like you. Increased difficulty when interacting with animals.

Otherworldly Taint: You have a physical peculiarity (odd hair/eye color, glowing eyes, etc.) and/or just an odd aura about you which may make you stick out.

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Social Merit

Good Old Boy/Girl: You're just a nice person, and people recognize and appreciate that. Bonus to social situations when interacting with your fellow folk.

Innocent: You have an aura of childlike innocence (whether you really are or not). Added bonus involving Subterfuge or Manipulation.

Pitiable: You have an aura of child-like-ness/innocence about you, and many have the urge to pity and protect you (unless they're of a Nature that doesn't allow them that sort of thing). This can be helpful, but it may also be annoying.

Social Flaws

Child: The depth of this flaw depends on just how young you are and on the situations you are likely to be in (if you're eight years old and your guild hangs out in a bar, you have to figure out have to get in).

Airhead: Maybe you have trouble paying attention, maybe you're just clueless, maybe you just look like a flake; no matter what, people don't take you seriously.

Craven Image: There's something about you that makes you appear sniveling and "low." In appropriate situations, social difficulties are increased.

Disturbing Mannerism: You have a habit or character trait which is peculiar, gross, or annoying. You may not even be aware of it-but boy, everyone else is.

Enemy: Somebody's out to hurt you or your reputation, or even kill you (or people close to you). A 1-point enemy is less than or comparable to your own ability, a 5-point enemy could easily kick your ass into next Tuesday.

Mistaken Identity: People think you're someone you're not; even if that person isn't bad, it can still cause you trouble if they realize you're not who they think you are.

Mistreated Minority: You belong to a group or have a trait to which the average person will react badly. This depends a lot on where the game takes place and what kind of people you run into, so check with the general RP community before you assume you can take this. This is especially relevant to blood elves, Syreena.

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Society Ties-Merits

Faction Favorite: Someone of a tribe/faction/guild/whatever favors you and will do a good deal to get on your good side, possibly to bring you over to them, especially if you're currently disparate. Note this probably means they expect greatness of you, so don't disappoint them. .

Favor: Someone of higher rank or ability than you in your society owes you a favor. Level of the Merit indicates how big the favor is.

Reputation: You've built yourself an excellent reputation amongst your kind.

Society Ties-Flaws

Group Enmity: Some group amongst your kind, i.e. another race/guild/faction/whatever, doesn't like you and may prevent you going places you might otherwise go or may otherwise give you hell in a variety of ways.

Inconvenient Alliance: You have an ally with someone who is discomforting to you and/or your circle, but can't easily get rid of him because of a favor owed, sense of guilt, or whatever. Level of flaw reflects how controversial or dangerous this ally is. Good for cross faction RP.

Notoriety: You did something, or at least others think you did, that is frowned upon by your peers and faction.

Probationary Member: You're not on the greatest terms with the group guild, faction, etc.) you belong to and are highly suspect of various naughtiness. You may not be privy to the normal priveleges of being part of your group, nor will you necessarily receive aid when you ought to, etc.

Outsider: Though you're not exactly infamous, you have a poor reputation amongst your kind. Increased difficulty on all social situations when interacting with your group.

Rival: Someone within your own society viciously competes against you and tries to undermine your plans; really obsessive rivals may even want you dead.

Twisted Upbringing: Whoever taught you the ways of your people gave you an incredibly skewed version of those ways, and your faulty beliefs can get you in big trouble...

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Material Ties-Merits

Corporate CEO: You are the head or otherwise have heavy influence in a major business or industry, and have access to the social and economic benefits that implies.

Hideaway: You have a little place somewhere nobody else knows about, fairly well-stocked.

Local Ties: You have influence and/or contacts in an important local institution, though the more you use these ties, the weaker they may become. Samples and their point levels include ties with the following: Park Department (1), Judicial (2), Church (2), Media (3), Corporate (3), Police (3), Political (3), and Underworld (3).

Mansion: You own a big ass mansion, probably with some pretentious name like "Shadowcliff." You are/should be able to support upkeep, servants, etc.

Tavern: You own a fairly successful tavern, which is a good place for meeting people, helping people out, and having plot-convenient fire-fights in, etc.

Occult Library: You own a decent collection of works on arcane lore, and if you have access to it, can lower difficulties when trying to solve an occult mystery and/or generally learn more about the occult. Having this library doesn't automatically mean you're an occult expert; it just means you have convenient access to some knowledge.

Material Ties-Flaws

Hunted: Someone is aware of, or at least suspects, your true nature and believes you need to be caught and killed (or experimented upon, or...)

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Physical Merits

Catlike Balance: You have an amazing sense of balance. Tasks like scaling walls, freerunning and climbing trees comes natrually to you.

Double-Jointed: You are adept at escaping bonds.

Huge Size: You are not a girly-man (or woman), and may be as tall as seven feet and weigh as much as 400lbs as a human. Other races such as tauren are especially massive.

Light Sleeper: You can function on very little sleep, and so are less likely to suffer penalties for losing sleep. You are also more likely to awaken quickly and respond to immanent threats.

Poison Resistance: You have an innate ability to resist the effects of many toxins. Many alchemists may have this talent, as well as rogues that often use poisons.

Physical Flaws

Addiction: You are addicted to some substance, such as bloodthistle, alcohol, etc. You will start to crave the substance if you don't get it often enough, and have to struggle to avoid giving in to the urge. The larger the flaw, the more dependent you are on the substance, and the worse things will happen if you don't get what you need.

Allergic: You suffer from an allergy to some substance; a 1 pt. version inconveniences you and may increase difficulties in certain situations, the 3 pt. version means you have an incapacitating or even a potentially fatal reaction to the substance.

Aging: Your get up and go has got up and went. This Flaw maybe taken by a character every ten years past the age of 40.

Deep Sleeper: Waking up is hard; getting you moving is hard enough, getting you comprehending what's going on after you're up isn't much easier.

Deformity: You have a withered limb, hunchback, or other physical defect which causes you difficulty in movement, as well as in some social interactions.

Disfigured: You have an injury or physical defect which makes you perfectly hideous.

Lame: Your legs are somehow permanently injured, and you suffer a penalty to movement-related tasks.

Monstrous: You look like the very devil, maybe literally. Appearance automatically 0, and some people may take your appearance to believe you're connected to some horrible yucky evil thing.

Mute: You are physically unable to speak, and must communicate through writing or sign language (or perhaps telepathy, if you are capable of the skill and are in appropriate company).

One Arm: Due to an unfortunate injury or birth-defect, you suffer a penalty to tasks where an action would usually require two hands.

Paraplegic: You cannot move your legs and are confined to movement by wheelchair or similar apparatus.

Permanent Wound: For some reason, you have a wound that never heals, which is effectively a permanent lethal health level. If you repair the damage with magic/healing, the wound re-opens by the next day.

Short: You are well below average height, and have difficulty reaching high objects, seeing over things, etc. You suffer a penalty to pursuit and sometimes fighting. On the up side, you may get bonuses to hiding attempts.

Sterile: You are incapable of reproducing. If you are in a society which expects you to have children (or have really pushy family), this is a flaw. You may, however, take this as a merit if you practice lots of sex magic or something in which being fertile may actually cause more problems for you than not.

Slow Healing: For some reason, your healing processes are slow, and you heal twice as slowly as others. Magical healing only repairs half the damage it normally would (round down).

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This is just a fantastic post! Thank you so much for the resource! I think it would be fun to go through the list and identify the strengths and many weakness of our toons.

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Sure! Here is the website I got this all from- it's a compilation from all of the different books. This full version includes all the dice roll modifiers, which can be really fun for /roll RP events.

As for the call out- I meant it to be tongue in cheek and funny, I can remove it if Syreena is really offended by it?

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Nah don't worry about it then, I'm removing the request.

I'm glad to have this webpage though, I'm sure I'm going to spend tons of time looking at it when I'm bored.

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