The Limitations of Virtue

I want to propose a new mechanic and a different way of handling Virtues. My older post still largely applies, but I want to expand on the way we have been treating Virtues and the disadvantages of overreaching one self.

  • Virtues have a rating of 1 to 5, as standard.
  • Each will also have a Limit rating – this represents the accumulated emotional baggage that comes from striving to live up to one’s own ideals.
  • Limit is also rated 1 to 5.
  • Each time the character channels a Virtue, or experiences a catastrophic result on a Virtue check, add 1 to that Virtue’s Limit.
  • Catastrophic results on Virtue Checks or Virtue-channeled rolls no longer produce a Virtue Flaw (see below, however).
  • When it reaches 5, the character has reached the bounds of what they can take – intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.
  • If a Limit exceeds 5, the character experiences a cathartic release of emotion and gains a Virtue Flaw. Reset that Limit to 0.
  • Exceeding a Limit should be role-played. It represents a significant event in a character’s personal history.
  • Virtue Flaws will be less common (as the player has a greater degree of control over when they might be exposed to one).
  • Virtue Flaws will have a significantly greater effect on a character than before.
  • As before, characters do not accumulate flaws. Existing ones become worse or harder to resist.
  • Virtue Flaws require a significant, story-driven reason to be removed.
  • Limit recovers (i.e. is reduced to 0) at the end of a story.
  • Limit may be reduced by certain Feats or through good role-playing related to the Virtue. Essentially, the character must reaffirm their motivations and sense-of-self. A courageous warrior dedicated to selfless protection of the weak is not going to reduce his Courage Limit by staring down a dragon. He might recover Courage Limit if the dragon was about to eat an orphanage and the hero was the only thing standing in its way.
  • Optionally, the Storyteller may allow Limit to be reduced during downtime – probably at a rate of 1 per week of rest.

There you have it. I’m looking for thoughts and input. Do you like it, hate it, or meh? Changes you like to see? Clarifications?


~ by occam99 on August 5, 2013.

2 Responses to “The Limitations of Virtue”

  1. I can understand why you are looking at it but this option seems like a lot more book-keeping…

    I think the “channel your virtue” has been a bit abused in the past and I have probably done it more than any other character… So I agree it needs to be fixed. Have you thought about just dropping the whole mechanic completely?

    Alternatively, like stunts, you need to put up a good roleplaying reason before the Storyteller will let you “channel”. Like you said, the courageous character sacrificing themselves to save the orphanage…

    In my mind make stunts more accessible and “channel your virtue” less…


  2. I think part of the reason channeling a virtue has been over-used is because I have been lenient on the required circumstances – and yes, there should be a good reason why the character is able to do so in each circumstance.

    I have not covered stunts yet, but I will be before we start. The plan is, as you say, make them more accessible. That has always been in the back of my mind as I move forward with this revision.

    As to book-keeping, I’m not sure I agree. Each virtue on the sheet just has a second set of boxes (much like the current Exalted sheet, that fill up as Limit accumulates. Shouldn’t be too hard to keep track of. There’s no mechanical effect for Limit until it exceeds 5, so no need to constantly adjust dice pools and what not because it changed.

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