Perks & Flaws

Perks and Flaws are how you represent the quirks of your character and their life prior to entering the game. Perks and Flaws are aspects of your character that are intrinsic to them. They are not often learned nor bought off in game, and represent either your individual advantages or unique issues that your character struggles with.

Some Perks and Flaws are bound to a specific Culture. Only characters of the appropriate Culture may choose these. It is possible to purchase Perks or Flaws from another group by paying an additional glory cost, for 3 times the XP price.

All perks and flaws can only be taken once, unless they say otherwise in the writeup itself.  It is possible to purchase perks with XP during play, at 2 times the XP price and with proper story justification.

General Perks

Do You Know Who I Am? (2)

Perhaps you have a prestigious lineage among the Salgothic, a long established name among the Hehsha, or belong to a well-known gang or warband.  Perhaps your father was a well-known Sarahim, but the point stands that within your own culture your name and lineage have weight. You may remind members of your culture of who you are in conversation and they should give your words more weight.

Drug Resistant (2)

All alchemy products you are affected by are considered one grade weaker. Poisons that would degrade an attribute will do so one less and so forth. However, this also applies to positive effects delivered by alchemy products.

Ice Hardened (4)

Ice water runs through your veins and fuels you. During Events in the Winter season (December-February), or in below freezing temperatures, you gain plus one to your Fortitude. (Cannot be taken with Sunkissed)

Iron Belief (4)

You are exceptionally strong in faith in a higher power or yourself and you can get an extra use of Prayer or Confide.

Light Sleeper (2)

You must denote this ability on your door. If someone enters your cabin with the intent to interact with you or someone within five feet of your bunk space they must first out of character wake you up and then re-enter to represent you waking up to their entrance.

Archivist (4, plus 2 glory, subject to increase if perk is in play too often)

You may start game with a lore prop.

Magical Wonder (5) 

You may start play with a magical wonder of your choice from our list, here:

Marvel of Engineering (5)

You may start play with a random rare schematic from our library of rare schematics.

Notable (1)

You can provide information and a picture to us about your character that will be placed on the Age of Ashes website for other players to read. These are stories about your character’s history that would have spread far and wide and that other people may have encountered in their travels.  These stories may not be true, but are passed around.

Numb (2)

You have seen some terrible things in your rough life, and you no longer take despair when a close friend dies.

Secretive (5)

You’re quite adept at keeping your secrets and activities to yourself. One streetwise action targeting you a downtime will always fail, at random.

Sponsored (2)

Someone has sponsored your journey. You may enter play with up to 10 each of the  common gathering resources (fibres, soft wood, soft iron, scrap leather, coal, pulp wood) and 1 of each of the uncommon resources (stone, copper, hard iron, sand, vegetables, meat, heavy leather, furs, straw, hard wood, and beeswax), or one piece of plate armor. However, you do owe your sponsor a favor that they can come to collect at any time. 

This may be purchased multiple times, up to five times.

Sunkissed (4)

During Events in the Summer season (June-August), or above 80 degree temperatures, you gain plus one to your Fortitude. You can not take this along with Ice Hardened.

Well Equipped (1)

You may increase your starting salt budget by 90 grams.

Well Off (3)

You may enter play with up to 10 each of the  common gathering resources (fibres, soft wood, soft iron, scrap leather, coal, pulp wood) and 1 of each of the uncommon resources (stone, copper, hard iron, sand, vegetables, meat, heavy leather, furs, straw, hard wood, and beeswax), or one piece of plate armor. 

This may be purchased multiple times, up to five times.

Well-Rounded (3)

Select an additional talent tree branch to add to your self teach list.

General Flaws

Attribute Down (-7)

You may start play with an attribute at negative one with all of the requisite negatives. This is a serious flaw.  It may be bought off through roleplay and ten XP.

Beholden (-3)

You owe a powerful NPC or NPC organization a favor.  You may buy this flaw off in game through appropriate story, otherwise you are expected to deliver on favors asked of you.  If you do not, this could result in the Enemy flaw or serious backlash and revenge.

Craven (-4)

You are unused to danger, or perhaps a little too used to it, and when danger arrives, you look out for number one. You will never willingly enter a combat situation. If you are forced to go into a dangerous situation, you automatically gain Terror until the danger has passed.

Thrice-Damned (-4)

You have offended a deity or spirit and have been damned by them.  All rites you officiate or participate in gain one vulgarity, and you are unable to use Prayer or Confidence even if you are not a priest.  This is permanent and cannot be removed. Thrice-Damned can stack with Faith in Self.

Dainty (-3)

You are not one for rough treatment and hard work. Taking a Strike to any of your limbs is enough to Down you.

Dark Secret (-1)

You have a secret that you never want anyone to find out about. By taking this flaw it means that while whatever it is remains basically secret, it was not a perfect crime and there are witnesses, conspirators or other lingering evidence that a dedicated person might still discover if they really looked into it, and thus, you are more at risk of it being brought up. For this flaw to be effective, the secret must be something that will cause you serious hardship should it be found out.

Dirt Poor (-3)

You begin the game with no items, equipment or property and nothing but the clothes on your back. 

You may not take this flaw and Well Off or Sponsored.

Entitled (-1)

If anyone questions your word, honor, or authority, you must immediately set them in their place and never let them forget it. 

Flashback (-4)

You suffer from an intense avoidance of violence and trauma, at the end of any scene in which violence took place or was described vividly you suffer a flashback to your previous trauma and are traumatized.

Flamboyant (-2)

Your bombastic personality, your exaggerated dress, or some other feature about you makes you impossible to forget.  You should costume this flaw. You are unable to use any Stealth powers or any powers that defend against Streetwise.

Grudge (-3)

You have offended a dangerous or powerful person or group who wishes you harm.  They are about as powerful as you, but they have a network, and will do whatever they can to destroy you and those things you care about. You can only take this flaw once. 

Haunted (-3)

You have done something in your life that has caused a specific malefic or monster to follow or haunt you. Maybe you did something that attracted the attention of a monster and now it stalks you. Maybe you committed a deep wrong that won’t stay in the past. Maybe you were simply very unlucky and were in the wrong place at the wrong time. But regardless, something awful walks in your footsteps.

Hedonist (-3)

You struggle mightily to avoid the temptations in life. When confronted with the opportunity to perform a Venial Sin, you must do so unless you spend a Discipline.

Hunted (-4)

You have offended an exceedingly dangerous or especially powerful person or group who wishes your downfall.  They are much more powerful than you, and will do whatever they can to destroy you and those things you care about. You can only take this flaw once.

Illiterate (-2)

Illiterate characters never learned to read or write. They may never copy schematics and need someone to read them schematics, rituals, lores, spells, or any document with writing if they wish to interact with those documents.

Hollow (-2)

You start play with one less touchstone memory that you cannot replace. Staff can dictate this as needed and can be connected to other items on your sheet.  You can take this flaw up to two times.

Honor Code (-1 to -5)

The character is honor sworn to a specific set of principles or rules. You determine a number of Beliefs, which are “Always” or “Never” statements with no qualifiers such as “unless or” “except when” about your character’s personal ethics.  Violating these precepts works exactly as if you were violating your Devotion, causing a Personal Failure.

Given that breaking these tenets results in a personal failure, for each tenet you provide you must also provide an explanation of why this tenet is so important to your character it would result in a personal failure and list some examples of failure states.

These tenets should be “above and beyond” normal behavior, be action oriented rather than thought oriented, something that a player would regularly encounter in the game space, have an obvious failure condition, and be a meaningful tenet that carries emotional weight. Some good examples include: I will always pray for at least one minute before engaging in any combat AND I will never allow a non-Benalian to touch a Benalian artifact.

For each point this flaw awards, two Beliefs are required.

Maimed (-2, -4, or -6)

You bear the old scars of previous conflict, having some injury from a previous encounter that haunts you to this day. You begin play with a Maim. Take one Maim from the Body Modification system. Mild Maims are worth two Experience, Severe are worth four Experience, and Crippling Maims are worth six Experience. Find out more about maims and our body modification system here:

This can be purchased multiple times for a max of three times.

Missing Memory (-1)

You start play with one less touchstone memory than usual.  This can be replaced, however, you do not know what you are missing and staff can dictate this as needed and can be connected to other items on your sheet.

Naive (-3)

You’re very trusting of people and cannot defend against any of the Logos tree social skills.

No Return (-8)

You will not return if you are killed.  Any death is your final death.

Oblivious (-2)

You are not very observant and cannot purchase any skills that require perception, such as skills from the Natural Philosopher list. This means that you cannot read Perception-based tags at game.

Off-Putting (-2)

You have something that means that people don’t want to be in your presence.  This could include missing teeth, layers of grime, a certain stink, maybe a weird hunch, or a scratchy voice. You must costume and roleplay this flaw, and you must wear a yellow band in an easy to see place to indicate it.  People do not want to talk to you for more than a minute, which means you cannot use the skill Hear Me Out or any following abilities from the Ethos tree.

Outspoken Defender (-2)

If someone insults your religion or your culture you cannot let it stand.  They must either recant or you will demand satisfaction in the form of a duel or recompense.

Pure of Heart (-5)

You are a virtuous and innocent person, and when you fail to live up to your ideals you are harmed.  Whenever you gain at least one new Depravity from committing a sin, you gain Despair.

Rivals (-2)

Some dangerous or powerful person or group has decided that you are their adversary, and they wish to compete with you and beat you in some arena, be your superior, or constantly out-do you. This rival is about as powerful as you, and while they may not wish you death, they do wish to see you brought low. You can only take this flaw once.

Sheltered Upbringing (-2)

Select a talent tree branch to remove from your self teach list.  You cannot spend points in that branch with your starting XP, and will need a teacher if you wish to purchase it in the future.”

Sick In the Head(-2 or -4)

Your character has something in their life that has driven them mad. The character begins play with a Mild or Severe Insanity that cannot be bought off with therapy and must be chosen from our list. Find information about insanities and our list of available starting insanities here: 

Stranger (-2)

Your character cannot speak the common trade language and can only speak their native culture’s language.

Vainglorious (-2)

Everyone loves it when their egos are stroked; you just like it much, much more. You can not counter any social power while being complimented.

Vendetta (-3)

You cannot stand to lose a competitive contest or be upstaged.  If you are upstaged or publicly lose face because of someone else, that person becomes your Vendetta.  Any time you have an opportunity to act against them and don’t take the opportunity, you gain Despair. Your acts against them should be in the same arena you were bested in, physical, social or otherwise, though you can always escalate to violence.  This person remains your Vendetta until someone else becomes your Vendetta, even if you have already proven your superiority.

Wicked (-2)

You have lived your life in a way that most people would disagree with, but you don’t really care.  For each level you choose of Wicked your character begins play with 1 depravity in a sin group that your character cannot, and is not interested in, atoning for.  These points cannot be removed without buying off the flaw, and the flaw can be taken more than once. However, you may not take Wicked if it causes you to enter play above your depravity threshold.

Wyrd Loathing (-5)
Magic is terrible and wrong and against the natural order of things.  You will not willingly work alongside a magician, accept magic being cast upon you, and if beneficial enchantments do get cast upon you, you gain Despair.  You also gain Despair if you knowingly use any magical object, touched and tainted by wicked sorceries.

Cultural Perks and Flaws

Gothic Perks

A Friend Indeed (2)

You have a contact who owes you a favor in a nearby Gothic city. Maybe they can fence an item you send their way. Maybe they can translate a strange text you found. You start play with the nature of this relationship defined and choose one thing this contact is good at. Be careful not to overtax your contact with requests – expect that they cannot deliver more than once a season without straining your relationship. 

This perk may be taken up to a maximum of three times.

Death is No Stranger (2) 

When dying after suffering a personal failure you lose 3 memories, not 4. 

Information Broker (1)

You are an information broker or have paid an information broker for information on the area of Cenotaph.  You enter play with one piece of useful information about a prominent NPC in Cenotaph.  

Silent Footsteps (3) 

You can stealth while wearing medium armor.

Gothic Flaws

Cannibal (-1)

You’ve intentionally eaten human flesh and in the event of final death you will automatically become a malefic creature rather than reaching a peaceful end.

Kuarl Slave (-2)

You are in unwilling service to a Kuarl Triumverati who regularly check in on you and ask favors from you.

Salgothic Perks

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness(3)

You take great pride in your appearance and once per day, as long as your dress remains perfectly clean, you may enter the hopeful state.  You cannot use this ability if your dress becomes dirty in any way, which includes being wounded, going out uncovered in the wet, getting mud or dirt on your outfit, or spilling foodstuffs on yourself.

Holy Mission (2)

You enter play with a quest, chosen by staff, from your home enclave that was given to you by someone you consider a superior. This quest may be treated as a second devotion. Once fulfilled, you may get a new quest by writing home or from other Salgothic NPCs available in game.

On Vagary (2)

As part of your journey you’re expected to sin a bit – as such you can choose at character creation one venial sin that you’re immune to- excluding the blasphemy category- and do not have to report it to staff. This perk may not be purchased off-culture for glory.

Poison Specialist (1)

Passed down to you is the knowledge of speciality Salgothic poisons. Those trained as poison specialists have the rare knowledge to craft schematics marked with Poison Specialist as a requirement.

Salgothic Flaws

Cloud of Scandal (-1)

In such a limited community, stories and gossip flow like water, and every action- forbidden or otherwise- is gleefully tracked.  There is something of the scandalous about you, perhaps you bear a dark mark- a sign that your blood is weakening due to your parents being too closely related to each other, or because one or both of the parents have committed shameful acts.  Or perhaps there is a different, well-known, scandal about you.  These will be tracked on the Notable page. 

Lost Lamb  (-3)

Something happened in your past that has led you to have a negative reaction to the Benalian faith. You are Traumatized when confronted by Benalian imagery or paraphernalia, and it’s possible that the Inquisitors at home have notes to keep an eye on you in the future. 

Seravian Perks

Clockwork Master (2)

Passed down to you is the knowledge of Seravian clockwork. Those trained as clocksmiths have the rare knowledge and fine motor skills to craft schematics marked with Clocksmith as a requirement.

Pistolier (5)

You can come into play with a gun and twenty shots and black powder uses.

Puzzle Box (3) 

You can hide a thing inside a box that is locked without needing a lock.  Upon entering play staff will provide you with a specialized tag that you can apply to a phys rep.  This box may be stolen, however, unless you have the puzzle box perk you cannot open it.

Stoic (3) 

Due to your terrifying upbringing, you are able to act even in the face of terror. You have one refresh of Discipline, once per scene.

Seravian Flaws

Vampire Slave (-2)

You are trying to buy someone’s freedom and thus under the control of a vampire lord. You must report back regularly or risk your loved one and are working to fulfill a specific objective assigned by staff. If you fail to work towards your goal there will be negative consequences.

Tempermental (-3)

All that bottled up rage has been eating away at you for a long time, and you lose your temper at the worst times. In an argument, you must escalate to violence if someone provokes you.


Hesha Perks

Crewman (4) 

You have a ship and a crew, and you spend time doing what all Hesha do–stealing.

Each chapter you may opt to use this downtime to steal. You get booty over the downtime, and maybe a problem. The results are based on a chance die.

1-6 : 2d4 Common resources. There’s not much of a story here, and nobody’s probably coming after you, but you came out ahead.

7-9: 2d4 Uncommon resources. This was a story to tell, and while nobody is probably chasing you all the way down here, if the original owner crossed you by chance, they’d probably have it out for you.

10: 2d4 Rare resources. You can make a title out of this story, but you’ve also made a pretty diligent enemy who is going to at least send the occasional assassin or thief out after you.

In Flagrante (3)

You are a passionate person, full of fire. If you are taken over by your passions and having a loud outburst and tirade, with wild gesticulations, you can ignore venial sins for the duration of the scene. When you come back to yourself, it is obvious why you did all those crazy things– after all you were justified.

Stitched  (2 or 4)

Your body has been twisted in unnatural ways. You may take a Mutation from the Body Modification & Maims section here: The mutation is a part of you and will last indefinitely, even going so far as to follow you through the grave. 

This perk may be taken multiple times.

Therapist (2)

Due to your training on your ship you are able to perform a therapy action in game rather than over a downtime.  This requires an intense role play scene at game in order to remove insanity or despair through this ability.

Hesha Flaws

Landbound (-1)

Those that make their living on the land, who toil and work for their food, are generally looked down upon by those who are seabound.  It is considered superior in Hesha society to be seabound, and among the Hesha the seabound will typically be the only ones who acquire surnames or titles.  You have never earned a name, and as such you are especially weak in social situations to Hesha who are not landbound. People of your own culture are immune to any of your uses of the Obey call.

Lazarolth/Tarrantist Slave (-2)

You are in unwilling service to a Lazarolth/Tarrantist Triumverati who can see what you’re doing and will ask favors from you.

Nemien Perks

Experienced Traveller (3)

When travelling, you may reduce the travel risk for the area you are traveling to by one step.  This may stack with other travel risk reducers, however risk may never be fully mitigated.

Sacrificed Time (2) 

You are currently in Sacrificed time and the venial sin for defilement does not count against your depravity, you do not need to report these sins to staff. This perk is not purchasable off-culture for glory. 

Trade Partners (2) 

You can make requests of a Nemien caravan to have an item come in next game for a certain amount of salt or trade. (Or take a message for free)

Trader (3)

You can gain one additional spoken or written language at character creation that you have learned to speak. This perk may be taken more than once.

Nemien Flaws

Farigha/Ostracized (-1 or -2, you may only chose one)

Farigha  (-1)

The empty vessels are not seen as true people by the rest of the Nemien, but rather a class or caste below that. They and their children are owned by the tribe, or an individual within the tribe, and their skin is used not to record their own story, but those of others. They serve as an underclass of basically blank canvas slaves for the Nemien.  You must inform any Nemien you meet that you are a Farigha or suffer consequences. People of your own culture are immune to any of your uses of the Obey call. This flaw is not purchasable off-culture for glory.

Ostracized  (-2)

When one is ostracised, they are tattooed on their face with the mark of ostracization. This must be costumed.  Those that go through this are not killed, but marked by scarring so that all the Nemien that see them may know that they are not one of them, that they are not allowed into their gardens or sacred spaces. You count as an outsider for the purposes of all sins and are not counted as a Nemien by Nemien. People of your own culture are immune to any of your uses of the Obey call. This flaw is not purchasable off-culture for glory. 

Echoes of the River (-3)

Your water is all water. You are deeply connected to both your higher and lower selves, and are affected by them. At dawn, roll a 12 sided die. On a 1-3, a darker version of yourself takes control.  You should roleplay as a much darker version of yourself and take a mild insanity off our list to keep throughout the day. On a 9-12, a version of yourself that is much closer to Atma takes over. You should roleplay as the best version of yourself and temporarily gain the pure of heart flaw. On a 4-8, you remain as you currently are.

Outlander Perks

Iron Stomach (1)

You can remove the miserable condition by eating anything, including malefic bits.

Mutation (2 or 4)

Your body has been twisted in unnatural ways. You may take a Mutation from the Body Modification & Maims section here: The mutation is a part of you and will last indefinitely, even going so far as to follow you through the grave. As a note, Outlanders may take aesthetic perks with no mechanical impact for free. 

This perk may be taken multiple times.

Skillful Scavenger (2) 

When scavenging, you have an increased chance of finding something useful. This may stack with other bonuses.

Soul steel sword (4)

Start with a soul steel sword. This is a status symbol among the Outlanders. This weapon cannot be sundered- however, you must declare a vendetta on anyone who steals it from you.

Outlander Flaws

Negative Mutation (-2, -4, or -6)

Negative Mutation. You may take a negative body modification by choosing from the maims or negative body modifications list in order to represent something you were born with. 

True Outlander  (-3)

You arrived in the Outlands later in life and are still emotionally tied to your parent culture. You have both the Outlander sins, and the sins of your parent culture. You speak your parent culture’s language, and not Capindris. This flaw cannot be taken by paladins.


Forgotten Perks

Ancestral Moorsword (4)

This is a status symbol among the Forgotten Ones. This weapon cannot be sundered- however, you must declare a vendetta on anyone who steals it from you.

Berserker (5) 

You can continue the fight, even after you should have been downed. Effectively you may continue fighting and moving through your last rites, although you must speak your last rites prayer with conviction as you do so.  You still fall dead if they receive three strikes to your body, or if they finish your last rite, but sometimes the extra moments of battle or retreat make all the difference.

Language: Runes (3)

Gain the ability to read documents marked Language: Runes. If you buy this out of culture, it is important to note that this information is seen as special to the culture and outsiders who possess it are not looked on fondly.

Well Fed (1)

Forgotten Ones have the benefit of a good diet, and are generally healthier than others because of it. As such you can never get the miserable condition from a lack of food.

Forgotten Flaws

Thrall of the Grey Ones (-3)

While not common, you belong to a group of the Forgotten Ones that worship the old gods, and if others among the Forgotten Ones were to discover this, they would be forced to ostracize or destroy you.  You have not sworn any vow to them, and do not suffer a sin of blasphemy. You must offer a blood sacrifice to the Old Gods by murdering something in the outdoors at sunset once a game and leave a blood splatter out of character.  If you do not offer a sacrifice by sunset on Saturday you suffer the Bleed condition for the rest of game, even if bandaged or otherwise healed.

Still a child (-1) 

You have never passed your trials of adulthood for one reason or another and as such you will always be seen as a child among other members of the Forgotten Ones.  You are looked down upon, not allowed in combat, and your opinion is not taken seriously. You have to wear the child rune prominently where other Forgotten Ones can see it:

People of your own culture are immune to any of your uses of the Obey call. This flaw is not purchasable off-culture for glory. 


Mage/Cultist Perks

Sponsored by the Guild/Sponsored by the Cult (3)

Someone has sponsored your journey. You may enter play with 18 rare or wyrd materials that are necessary to casting spells or rites off of your starting rites/spells list.  You may also choose to sub six rare or wyrd materials for one relevant crafted material, for a total of three crafted items. These items must be part of those spells or rituals.  However, you do owe your sponsor a favor that they can come to collect at any time.

This may only be taken one time.  If this perk is purchased by a non-mage or non-cultist for the additional glory cost of buying a perk “off culture,” then the player may enter play with 18 random rare or wyrd items.

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