August 30, 2010 by Jeff
This is the fifth and final article in this feature series.
In article one I discussed the concept of Personality Styles as a partial replacement for Backgrounds mechanically.
In article two I gave you the first set of Personality Styles (Subversive, Sneaky, Noble, Charming, and Diplomatic).
In part three gave you the second set of Personality Styles (Self-Sacrificing, Righteous, Solemn, Impulsive, Whimsical, Bold, and Restless).
In part four you have the fourth installment of Personality Styles (Aggressive, Savage, Stalwart, Professional, and Grim).
And in this article you are going to get the last set: Introverted, Self-Reliant, Aloof, Pragmatic, Learned, and Inquisitive.
You like to keep to yourself.
Benefit: Once per day when in a social situation you can choose to gain a +5 bonus to an Insight check if you have not made a single Bluff or Diplomacy check that day.
Role-Playing: This is a sometimes difficult personality to role-play because an introverted person isn’t a talkative person. That, however, doesn’t mean that this personality style isn’t full of interesting role-playing opportunities. But what it does mean is that you have to make the most of those few times you do speak and otherwise, focus on role-playing through your actions rather than your words. This might mean that you spend more time describing your actions than you’re normally comfortable with but try and get out there and give it a shot. Describe the way you slump your shoulders or the look on your face in reaction to news of the attacked village.
A job done well is a job done by you and you alone.
Benefit: Once per day you can spend a healing surge as a move action.
Role-Playing: You don’t need help, you do things all on your own whenever possible. This can be a problematic personality in 4th edition D&D since the game is designed to be largely about teamwork and going it alone can be an effort in futility. You can solve this problem in one of a few ways. First, you can think of your group as an extension of yourself. You are their leader, you formed this group, you trained them and prepared them. They are an extension and image of just how self-reliant you are because you made them as a tool in your repertoire. That said, you work on your own as well. That’s what self-reliant is all about. You can express this by being good at your specific role and making that a role you can do more or less solo. You’re the scout, the assassin, or something else in the party. You don’t adventure alone, but you do your job in the party on your own as much as possible. And at the end of the day, sometimes you do things with the party but can grumble and groan about them “slowing your down” or “getting in the way” the whole way. I suggest you add an element of humor to this sort of personality. Some classes are particularly good at this, barbarians, rogues, and especially avengers come to mind.
There are many petty decisions that one makes every day…these are not for the likes of you to bother with.
Benefit: Once per day you can sacrifice both your move action and your minor action in a turn to gain a second standard action in a round.
Role-Playing: You don’t necessarily think about yourself as better than everyone else, but you don’t typically think that “common” things are worth your time. When it comes time to work out things like marching order or where to sleep for the night you don’t even notice the choices being made. When watches are set for the night’s rest you might assume that you don’t have to do a shift, you need your rest to be fully functional and you are so very important. You may be arrogant or you may be ignorant, there are many reasons that a character might be aloof. Consider a wizard who spends all his time working on the next great and world-saving ritual or spell while the party deals with selling items, ordering food, or deciding what to do with a prisoner. None of those things are important compared to the impact you’re likely to have on the rest of the world with your work.
This world may be full of the walking dead and floating eyeballs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be realistic about these things.
Benefit: Once per day when you fail a skill check that would cause you to take damage you may re-roll the skill check.
Role-Playing: You are a realist. You make choices based on what is going to serve your long term goals. When you make choices you don’t always assume the best possible results, so you focus on how you can get the best result from your choices even though things might go horribly wrong. You always assume the worst (and perhaps hope for the best).
Every choice should be made after proper research is concluded.
Benefit: Once per day you may choose to take a -5 penalty to your initiative check in the first round of a combat then you may gain a +5 bonus to any Monster Knowledge checks made in the round.
Role-Playing: You are an educated person and you make choices based on what is logical and purposeful based on the knowledge that you have acquired. You are constantly pursuing knowledge and understanding so that the choices you make in the future will be better informed. You will make Monster Knowledge checks in round one whenever possible. You might act slowly to think through a strategy before allowing action. You could insist on developing detailed strategies before ever going into a fight or taking an action as a party as you seek to examine all possible options and their logical conclusions.
Huh, I wonder what that is?
Benefit: Once per day you may re-roll a Perception or Streetwise check before you know the result, you must keep the new roll.
Role-Playing: You want to know more, you want to learn, you want to see how things work. It’s not always for gaining greater understanding or better using logic to solve problems. You have a constant and unending desire to learn how things work, why they work, or who works them. You may not always use what you’ve learned in the smartest way. You may not even remember the things you learned, but it’s the act of learning that has value in and of itself, not what you do with that knowledge.