Your character is more than a collection of numbers. He’s a person with opinions, quirks, and… interests. By defining hobbies, sports, and other pastimes, you give him things to care for, and in the process you produce a handy list of personal details you can use when roleplaying.
At Class Level 0, each character gains 2 Interests (plus any Interests generated by his Origin). After Level 1, each character gains additional Interests as shown on Table 1.3: Level-Dependent Benefits. A character may choose to give up an Interest at any time, losing that ‘slot’ permanently. The interest is not replaced, but may be chosen again at a later time when the character gains a new Interest.
Interests have a number of effects in play, as follows.
- When the GC and a player agree that an Interest relates to the topic of a Knowledge check the player’s character is making, the character gains a +1 bonus with the check.
- When the GC and a player agree that an Interest relates to a skill check the player’s character is making, the character gains a +1 bonus with action die rolls made to boost the check.
- When the GC determines that a character and an NPC share a related Interest that applies to the current situation or discussion, the character and NPC each gain a +1 bonus with all skill checks made to improve the other’s disposition toward him.
- When a character spends 1 or more hours indulging in one or more of his Interests, he heals stress damage at 2 × the standard rate.
No combination of Interests may grant a character more than a +2 bonus with any 1 check, and no character may benefit from a greater number of Interest-given bonuses per session equal to his starting action dice.
Each Interest must be broad enough to find periodic use in the GC’s setting and story, but narrow enough not to enter every conversation. The specific depth of Interests is left to the GC to define, allowing him to tailor their use as he sees fit, though all Interests in the same campaign should have roughly the same utility. The GC and each player must agree on all of a character’s Interests before they enter play.
Some sample Interests include board games, classic cars, clubbing, conspiracy theory, creative writing, criminology, fine cuisine, fishing, forensics, formal dancing, gambling, gardening, golf, guns, hiking, hunting, Internet surfing, jogging, literature, playing tourist, politics, puzzle solving, religion, role-playing games, shopping,schmoozing, stamp collecting, weight lifting, wine tasting, woodworking, any sport in the world, professional or otherwise, and specific gear by type (computers, antique cars, etc.).
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