Pirates of the 7th Sea
Flaws and Wiles
You crave power. Money is nice, but being in charge of other people is your favorite thing. You are likely to be brought down by attempting a risky grab for power and failing. The players can activate your Flaw in order to get you to chase after power, even if the deal you’re getting is risky.
You firmly believe that you are better than anyone else. Your ideas are the best, your clothes are the most stylish, and you have to let everyone else know how much better than them you are. The players can activate your Flaw in order to get you to show contempt or disdain for someone else.
For some reason, Heroes always seem to escape your clutches. You don’t understand how that’s possible. After all, you throw them into your easily escapable deathtraps before leaving them alone with your bumbling guards while you wander away for no apparent reason. The players may activate your Flaw in order to escape from one of your traps or prisons.
You have a strong sense of self-preservation. You often hesitate to put yourself at risk, even if there’s a good reason to do so. Whenever you’re about to do something dangerous, such as swing across a spiked pit on a fraying rope, the players can activate your Flaw in order to talk you out of putting yourself in danger.
You have a sadistic streak that causes you to perform acts of cruelty for no good reason. Of course, this doesn’t endear you to your followers. The players may activate your Flaw in order to have a Henchman, sick of the treatment he receives at your hands, betray you. Maybe not this very second, but as soon as it’s feasible. If at all possible, you will kill the Henchman the moment you find out about his betrayal.
Everyone else seems to have it better than you. They have more money, better toys, and a prettier wife. You tend to get envious over the smallest things. The players can activate your Flaw in order to get you to covet something belonging to someone else. You either attempt to get it for yourself, or, failing that, destroy it.
You enjoy living in the lap of luxury. Ale is never good enough if you can get fine wine instead. You aren’t happy with anything less than the finest room in the inn. The players can activate your Flaw in order to get you to focus on your own comfort instead of your job or plans.
Money makes your eyes light up with joy. Pecuniae obediunt omnia! (“All things yield to money!”) Whenever you’re divvying up shares of the loot, being offered a hefty bribe, or catching wind of some fabulous treasure, the players can activate your Flaw to convince you to grub for as much money as possible.
You have a chip on your shoulder, a big one. Your fuse is short, and you’re ready to get in a scuffle at the slightest hint of an insult. The players can activate your Flaw to get you to fly off the handle and lose your temper.
You have a lusty nature and a tendency to pursue the pleasures of the flesh. A pretty woman or a handsome man (however your tastes run) is an almost irresistible temptation to you. The players can activate your Flaw in order to convince you to give in to temptation.
You want to rule the world. You believe that you are the only person on the planet worthy of possessing power. You are quite willing to play your Henchmen along for saps, but you would never actually let them share in your victory. The players can activate your Flaw in order to get you to admit in front of your Henchmen that you don’t plan on sharing power with them.
For a Villain, you have a terrible weakness – you don’t like to hurt people. Given the choice, you’d rather exile your deposed brother to another country than do him in. Whether this is because you want him to live knowing that you beat him, or whether you just have a small soft spot down in your heart somewhere, the result is the same: your enemies keep coming back again and again. The players can activate your Flaw in order to stop you from having someone killed.
Lucky breaks happen to other people, not you. Your luck isn’t terrible; you wouldn’t have survived as long as you have if it were. It just isn’t very good. If you need some blind luck to get you out of a sticky situation, expect to be stuck for a while. The players can activate your Flaw to cause you to lose your two highest dice rolled at the beginning of an Action Scene.
You don’t know that you’re a Villain. You honestly believe that you are a Hero, that you are doing the Right Thing. Sometimes, though, you have your doubts… The players can activate your Flaw in order to cause you to doubt your actions for one crucial moment (losing any raises spent on one Action).
Nothing is beyond your capabilities. If you wanted, you could defeat the best swordsmen in all of Théah; you just haven’t had any reason to do so yet. And surely that chasm isn’t too wide for you to leap across. The players can activate your Flaw in order to squash any doubts you may have had about your own capabilities.
Everyone is waiting for their chance to betray you. Make sure you get rid of them before they get the chance. The players can activate your Flaw in order to make you believe that one of your Henchmen has betrayed, or is about to betray you.
You don’t like accepting help from others. If a gift or offer of aid smacks of charity or pity even the slightest bit, you grow indignant and refuse it. The players can activate your Flaw to get you to refuse any help from your Brutes for a round.
You like big, complicated plots. The more convoluted, the better. In fact, sometimes your schemes are so hard to grasp that your Henchmen screw them up entirely. It’s so hard to find good help these days. The players can activate your Flaw in order to prevent you from doing things the easy way. It’s not enough to kill an enemy; you have to lower him into a deadly maze, complete with lethal traps.
You don’t want anyone’s blood on your hands. It’s perfectly okay to get blood on your Henchmen’s hands, but you don’t like to do the deed yourself. Of course, you don’t always follow up on things to make sure the job actually gets done – after all, the sight of blood has always disturbed you. The players can activate your Flaw in order to get you to pawn off the task of killing someone on a Henchman.
You don’t change your mind very often, if at all. Once you’ve decided on a course of action, you follow through no matter what. Attempts to convince you that you’re wrong roll off your back with no impact. The players can activate your Flaw in order to prevent you from changing your mind.
You have a problem keeping your plans to yourself. Your ideas are simply so clever that you tell them to other people, so that you can watch the astonishment creep across their faces just before they tell you just how smart you are. The players can activate your Flaw in order to get you to tell them your evil scheme. There’s nothing preventing you from dropping them into a deathtrap afterwards, but should they survive, then you’ve got problems.
You react to changing situations with lightning-quick mental reflexes and your enemies can never get the drop on you. When someone leaps off a balcony at you, you calmly step aside before cutting them down. You may activate your Wile to act first in any given round.
You sure don’t look like a Villain. In fact, most folks would trust you with their grandmother’s pension. Play your cards right and the Heroes may never discover that you’re a Villain… until it’s too late, of course. You receive a Danger Point every time you help the Heroes in some significant manner. Whenever you make a roll that helps the Heroes, you receive a bonus die.
Do the words “Criminal Mastermind” ring a bell? Elaborate plots and plans are your bread and butter. Your plots are so deep, not even your Henchmen can keep track of where they’re going. Whenever it seems the Heroes have you figured out, you pull some twist out of your pocket and throw them off-guard. You may spend a Danger Point to cause a Hero to fail an action. He loses any raises spent on the action.
Your plans are extremely well thought out and you design exceptionally deadly ambushes and traps. Your plans always have a back-up contingency, and there are never obvious flaws in them. Whenever you spend a Danger Point on a risk, you can reroll 2 dice.
You are an exceptional public speaker. Your men will follow you to the death. It annoys you to have to pretend to care when they die, but it helps keep morale up. You may activate your Wile in order to replenish your Brute Squads to full Strength immediately.
You exude confidence and composure. This has a tendency to unnerve your opponents, since they feel that you must know something they don’t. You may activate your Wile to gain a rank of Fear, plus an additional rank of Fear for every 5 Strength you have.
You don’t strike others as a Villain. They never suspect you until it’s too late. Even the dread Fate Witches have trouble identifying you. When someone else attempts to determine your Arcana, Rank, or Advantages, or those of your Brutes, you may activate your Wile to make them fail and see what you want them to see.
Your cause means everything to you. Death is acceptable if it helps you accomplish your goals. The most dangerous man in the world is the man who isn’t afraid to die. You may activate your Wile in order to gain a number of Raises equal to the number of Dramatic Wounds you possess.
You can concentrate all of your energy on a single task. Your world narrows until only the thing you are working on remains. This allows you to accomplish a great deal using limited resources. You may activate your Wile to immediately gain a +1 bonus to all dice rolled on a risk.
Those little annoying quirks of misfortune that haunt other people seem to always overlook you. Horses don’t run underneath low branches when you’re riding them; you never fall into the water when making an easy leap aboard ship. You may activate your Wile to cancel any Opportunity a Hero creates or to immediately take an Opportunity.
You know how to hold a grudge. When someone makes an enemy of you, he doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into. You are capable of devoting your entire being to the destruction of another individual. You may activate your Wile in order to declare someone who has just foiled one of your schemes to be your enemy. From now on, you always roll one bonus die when dealing with your enemy. You may only have one enemy at a time, and you cannot declare a new enemy until you have killed the first one.
You’re not the ruthless type. In fact, there’s a very well-defined line that you just won’t cross. You’ve subscribed to some of those romantic ideals that are going around the courts these days. Well, some of them. Whenever you have an opportunity to gain or profit from a “dishonorable act” and you refrain, you gain a Danger Point.
Some Villains go after Heroes with reckless abandon. Not you. You carefully consider each and every step you take toward your goals. Every move you make is deliberate and designed. You do not need to activate your Wile. Whenever Heroes spend a Hero Point directly against you or your Brutes, add a point to the Danger Pool.
You’re a slippery fish. Whenever the Heroes think they’ve killed you, you return to torment them another day. If they burned your bloated corpse, then it wasn’t really you, it was someone else that looked like you. If you fell off a waterfall while battling them, then of course you survived the fall. You may activate your Wile to get away from certain death, no matter how impossible that may seem.
Most Brutes couldn’t care less about who they work for, but your Brutes are different. You’ve so impressed them with your majestic demeanor, they draw strength from your own confidence. You may activate your Wile to increase the Threat Rating of your Brute Squads by one until the end of the Round.
Heroes have a tendency to underestimate you. Too bad for them. You’ve spent a lifetime becoming what you are now, and no bunch of idealistic fools will keep you from achieving your goals. You may spend a Danger Point to effectively have one Advantage for the remainder of the Round.
You never hesitate to do whatever it takes to accomplish your goals. Nothing is too evil for you, as long as it serves the purpose you desire. This often leaves your enemies reeling with shock while you finish them off. You may activate your Wile in order to try to shock your enemies. You must first perform an evil act of a shocking nature. Whenever you do, you may spend a Danger Point to cause every Hero who witnessed your act to lose a Raise.
With whispered words of evil, you can convince even the most honest man to lie, cheat, steal, or kill. Your slippery arguments can twist a man’s head around and make him believe that he’s doing evil for a good cause. You may activate your Wile in order to attempt to convince an NPC to commit an evil deed that he normally wouldn’t perpetrate.
The verbal slings and arrows hurled by others roll off your back. Seduction attempts are seen through and laughed away. And of course, nobody ever intimidates you. You may activate your Wile to cause anyone’s use of Pressure on you or your Brutes to immediately end.
Some people think that you have a little bit of sorcery in your blood, while others just think that you have sharp eyes and keen ears. The truth is, you’ve always had feelings that you don’t quite understand. You just know that they mean trouble is coming, and coming quickly. You don’t have to activate your Wile. The next time the players are about to spring an awful surprise on you, you lose a Danger Point and get some warning just before they do so and can respond appropriately.
You are the darling of the Gods of War. Somehow, when it seems like you are doomed to fall in battle, you can summon up incredible reserves of strength to strike your opponent down. You may activate your Wile after you hit your opponent, and your attack automatically inflicts one Dramatic Wound.
Your force of will is so great, no one may stand against you. The world is yours for the taking, and nothing – not even chance – is going to stand in your way. When you activate your Wile, no Hero may use Hero Points when facing you directly. He can still use them against your Brutes and when trying to undermine your Schemes.