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Traits, Flaws, Bonds, and More
Mike Mearls

B eyond your choice of race and class, D&D Next uses a system of backgrounds to help you bring your character to life. In past editions, the game has approached the more "literary side" of character creation with a light touch. It's often been assumed that people already knew how to roleplay and didn't need much guidance for it, and that players would need little prompting to think of their characters as more than just a set of mechanical options for combat, skills, and magic.

For a D&D edition releasing in 2014, things have changed. Plenty of games call themselves RPGs (especially video games) that don't require or even particularly encourage roleplaying. To further highlight the unique traits that make D&D different from other types of games, we've made a point of focusing on the nonmechanical aspects of character creation and on how those aspects can shape the game.

This week, let's take a look at the tables that are part of a character's background, and that let you create traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws for your character. These examples are for the acolyte background. (This text probably won't exactly match what you see in the final game, but it's a good example of what you can expect.)

d8 Personality Trait
1 I idolize a particular hero of my faith, and constantly refer to that person’s deeds and example.
2 I can find common ground between the fiercest enemies, empathizing with them and always working toward peace.
3 I see omens in every event and action. The gods try to speak to us; we just need to listen.
4 I have a relentlessly optimistic attitude.
5 I quote (or misquote) sacred texts and proverbs in almost every situation.
6 I’ve enjoyed fine food, drink, and high society among my temple’s elite. Rough living grates on me.
7 I believe my god is the only one that any rational person would want to worship, and I slowly work to convert those around me.
8 I’ve spent so long in the temple that I have little practical experience dealing with people in the outside world.

To start with, a background provides a table of sample personality traits. (At one point, we had talked about having separate entries for positive and negative traits, but a negative trait overlaps the roleplaying space marked out by your character's flaw.) Traits are meant to provide simple elements of character—easy to remember and easy to act on. Each trait provides a fairly obvious hook you can turn to in order to help guide your roleplaying at the table. Traits aren't meant to be subtle or easy to overlook. We specifically wanted examples that stand out.

d6 Ideal
1 Tradition. The ancient traditions of worship and sacrifice must be preserved and upheld. (Lawful)
2 Charity. I always try to help those in need, no matter what the cost. (Good)
3 Change. We must help bring about the changes the gods are constantly working in the world. (Chaotic)
4 Power. I hope to one day rise to the top of my faith’s religious hierarchy. (Lawful)
5 Faith. I trust that my deity will guide my actions. I have faith that if I work hard, things will go well. (Lawful)
6 Aspiration. I seek to prove myself worthy of my god’s favor by matching my actions against his or her teachings. (Any)

Ideals are a little more subtle than traits. If you think of traits as tactical advice—a shorthand description of how to portray your character in the moment—ideals play out more as long-term strategy. They give you guidance in how your character acts over the course of a campaign, by helping set long-term goals and giving you an idea of how your character's beliefs might relate to any given situation.

Many ideals are tied to a component of a character's alignment, potentially helping you choose an alignment, or pointing you toward specific entries on the table if you already have.

d6 Bond
1 I seek an ancient relic of my faith that was lost long ago. I would die to recover it.
2 I will someday get revenge on the corrupt temple hierarch who branded me a heretic.
3 I owe my life to the priest who took me in when my parents died.
4 Everything I do is for the common people that my temple cares for.
5 I will do anything to protect the temple where I served.
6 I seek to preserve a sacred text that my enemies consider heretical and wish to destroy.

A bond is similar to a character's ideal, but it ties you to a specific group, person, object, or place within the campaign. Where an ideal is abstract, a bond is a tangible element of the campaign, and can be used by a DM to provide instant character hooks. At their best, bonds might give a DM the starting points for a number of adventures in the campaign.

d6 Flaw
1 I judge others harshly, in part because I am an even more severe judge of myself.
2 I put too much trust in those who wield power within my temple’s hierarchy.
3 My desire to spread my faith sometimes leads me to trust blindly in those that might want to convert.
4 I am inflexible in my thinking.
5 I am suspicious of strangers and suspect the worst of them.
6 Once I pick a goal, I become obsessed with it, to the detriment of everything else in my life.

The most interesting characters have a dark side—a flaw that might prove their undoing, or that serves as an important test of strength and willpower. Like your trait, a flaw is something that helps shape how you portray your character during the game. It can also serve as a useful hook for a DM to shape adventures. If you're suspicious of strangers, what happens when your group stumbles across a strange enclave of isolated druids? Do you ally with them against the green dragon, or do you suspect them of tricking and killing civilized folk who stumble into their primeval forest?


These roleplaying elements in your character's background make the game more interesting by encouraging you to think like your character, and to step outside the "correct" decision from a gameplay point of view. Keep in mind, though, that personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws are just guidelines. They have only as much effect on how you play your character as you want them to. We've included random tables only to serve as a quick option during character creation, and to inspire the creation of your own concepts for your character.

At the end of the day, these background elements are simply tools to help make roleplaying more instinctive and to increase your enjoyment of the game.

Mike Mearls
Mike Mearls is the senior manager for the D&D research and design team. He led the design for 5th Edition D&D. His other credits include the Castle Ravenloft board game, Monster Manual 3 for 4th Edition, and Player’s Handbook 2 for 3rd Edition.
Comments
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I really like the idea, but I don't like the fact that most of those entries in the tables are somehow tied to religion. A bit more worldly motives/traits would have appealed more to me.
Take a look at Interlock, their background system is D10-based, includes age, several personality traits, like Who/What do you like/dislike, most important possession; then goes on with social status, family status, childhood events and youth events for each year of pre-adventuring life. Like, find a teacher, find a lover, make a fortune....each is just a one-sentence entry max, and works like a flowchart, directing you to the next table to roll on. You can work out a character background from scratch in 10 minutes with this system, and it's almost setting-independent.
  
Posted By: Schmieth (5/12/2014 11:12:50 AM)
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Take look at interlock here: http://datafortress2020.oliwy.net/
  
Posted By: Schmieth (5/12/2014 11:14:05 AM)
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Well, these are the ones for the Acolyte background, so I would expect them to be strongly religious in nature. Presumably the ones for Thug or Spy would be less so ...
  
Posted By: Otookee (5/14/2014 1:54:17 AM)
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This is inspirational gold! Great tool and I look forward to using it!
  
Posted By: Pyrate_Jib (5/8/2014 12:27:14 PM)
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Very cool idea and kind of old school random roll tables, a lot like early edition game. I like the random table because I can pick it or make it random, my option, and for NPC's it allows me to quickly roll up these traits if I should choose to use them.
  
Posted By: tirwin (5/7/2014 9:04:54 AM)
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It is a good idea. The only flaw in the system: The dice rolls. You usually design the character's personality you want to play, not dice it out. Okay, can be easily modified by just chosing and ignoring the dice roll marker.

Personally I still would prefer a "positive against negative" "Point Buy System" as in Ars Magica to the "1 of each category system" though.
  
Posted By: MagicSN (5/7/2014 1:20:29 AM)
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He directly says, "We've included random tables only to serve as a quick option during character creation, and to inspire the creation of your own concepts for your character." So you certainly do not have to randomly roll for your character.

Personally, I prefer this type of arrangement to the one you suggest. Having it be a balancing act negates the point I think, because it encourages players to think about the mechanics rather than the story. It ends up leading to players trying to pick flaws that aren't really flaws (my wizard's religion prevents him from wearing armor and using weapons) in order to gain actual benefits.
  
Posted By: ffejita (5/7/2014 7:43:26 AM)
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Good stuff! I can't wait until 5e is finally on the shelves.
  
Posted By: Azzy1974 (5/6/2014 11:07:07 PM)
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I am really glad some guidelines like these are being included. Thanks.
  
Posted By: earthwizard (5/6/2014 10:22:15 PM)
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Yet another fantastic element that has me so excited for this new edition. I like that the tables are tied to backgrounds instead of classes or races. It really emphasizes the role playing aspect and should help expand the background process of character creation. It is now pick/create a background, add traits, proffecencies, and gear and roll ideal, bond, flaw, and personality.

It also looks really thought out. Peronality trait as a quick fall back for how your character might act in the moment, with an ideal to serve as a long term personal goal. Add in a bond to ground your character in the campaign/story, and a flaw to add color to your character. Very cool.

I just wish the tables were a bit longer (maybe with 20 possibilities). I also wonder if the GMG will have some random tables for fleshing out NPC ideals, flaws, etc? You have a random dungeon genorater so why not a random NPC builder :)
  
Posted By: moes1980 (5/6/2014 6:01:13 PM)
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This looks fun, but I do not think it should be included in the core rules.
  
Posted By: benensky (5/6/2014 5:54:44 PM)
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While this is something that's been available to do with characters since DnD's beginning, it's nice to see it thrown out there with examples and useful tables.

This is especially helpful for players brand new to table-top gaming who haven't really come to grips with "how" to Role-Play. This is a good nudge in the right direction. My new group (all first-timers save for myself) is enjoying further fleshing out their characters like this, and I've got some great (and evil!) ideas to play off of some of their bonds.
  
Posted By: edragoon148 (5/6/2014 11:38:57 AM)
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Been hearing a lot about this game for roughly two years. Will it ever be released? My group is about to wrap up its current campaign, and we're not going to wait till August to start a new one. We'll switch to Pathfinder if Next is not available.
  
Posted By: Steppenwolf41 (5/6/2014 11:16:14 AM)
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Well, it seems like every one over at WOTC is busting their buts to get this thing in production and it is almost done. I would rather they take a couple extra months and get it perfect then shove it out the door, only to be quickly followed up with pages of errata that make my books feel useless and wishing I had just waited for a 3rd printing. I would say take a break or do a short mini-campaign rather than switch to a different system as it will be out before you know it, and then you will have to be trying to convert everything...

Right now, my group is looking to do some Mutants and masterminds, Shadowrun, DCCRPG, or other games to be played short term while waiting for the big release this summer. It is almost here!
  
Posted By: moes1980 (5/6/2014 5:49:01 PM)
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While I understand that such tools are interesting, they are nothing that couldn't be ripped out of any other RPG (and if I recall, things like this have shown up in the pages of Dragon magazine)

I just think this isn't some unique element to be showcasing for DnD Next
  
Posted By: Scottevil912 (5/6/2014 6:23:07 AM)
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True, there is nothing unique or special about this concept, but it is new in the sense that it is built into the character process in the first player's hand book. I don't have to go dig up an old dragon article, convert some DCCRPG tables, or lift elements from my 4th edition Hackmaster books. Now it will be right there in print. My only complaint is that the tables are not bigger, maybe requiring a d20 to roll on them.
  
Posted By: moes1980 (5/6/2014 5:55:23 PM)
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I can see myself as a DM telling players they can pick two, but then they have to roll two. I want players to play a character they want to play, but then allow for the tension of a circumstance they don't enjoy.
  
Posted By: MacEochaid (5/6/2014 2:09:16 AM)
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With so many modern RPGs making it a point to include similar elements, DandD would be remiss to ignore them. While I totally support their inclusion and have seen countless examples of how they can and do inspire better quality and motivation a greater amount of RP, I'm happy to see they will be completely optional. I realize some people won't think they need them or won't immediately recognize how to utilize them (and so will reject them). Those people shouldn't be forced to use them. So, good call on making them optional. But I do appreciate how they can positively impact a game a group. Not just for the players, but as a means of communication between players (through characters) and the DM. For a specific example, I ran Dungeon World for a while in one of my gaming groups, and the initial bond forming process was a major highlight. Not only was it great fun while we did it, but it made for very interesting RP situations as the game progressed. I particularly love the idea that th... (see all)
  
Posted By: mbeacom (5/6/2014 12:09:58 AM)
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so... Background gives your character a Trait, which is a special, exceptional ability that is related to the character's place in the world.
and Background also gives you a Trait, meant to provide simple elements of character—easy to remember and easy to act on.
  
Posted By: GrendelDave (5/5/2014 7:50:39 PM)
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That was a reply to a post about how Inspiration Points would tie into these random personality bits... - John
  
Posted By: Seanchai (5/5/2014 7:12:58 PM)
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I think some players will ignore this stuff; others will use it as an inspiration; while others will use the tables as menus, picking things that amuse them on the day. It's entirely possible to select something from one or two tables and ignore the rest. Of course, it's also possible to tweak each one slightly as befits the way you see a new character. All of which is exactly how the team wants us to use the features.
  
Posted By: Maerlius (5/5/2014 7:00:34 PM)
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I want this new edition so bad. Take my money already.
  
Posted By: HarrodSadElf (5/5/2014 7:00:22 PM)
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Great tool for both players and DM's, nice work. Excellent way to help a DM integrate a player's ideas about their character into a campaign's story.
  
Posted By: JDizzleton (5/5/2014 6:35:16 PM)
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Then I'm not "Meh." I'm more "Ugh." Descriptors are fine. Roleplaying mechanics are full of fail. - John
  
Posted By: Seanchai (5/5/2014 6:30:37 PM)
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Hmm... seems good, but randomize with dice can produce incoherent results (ideal n°2 with flaw n°5? Eh, eh).

I think for the basic system Ideal is good to introduce, because they are linked to the 9 alignment system, but Traits, Bonds and Flaws is better to include in the specific Roleplay Manual, with a reward system for a good roleplaying.
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Posted By: Eilistraecomeback (5/5/2014 4:50:00 PM)
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@NthDegree256,

They're on it. When you act according to these personality details you receive Inspiration as a reward. You use Inspiration to apply advantage to a roll in the future.
  
Posted By: Sword_of_Spirit (5/5/2014 2:02:40 PM)
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I'm pretty meh about this. Gimmicks and mechanics don't turn non-roleplayers into roleplayers - it just makes them focus more on gimmicky mechanics. - John
  
Posted By: Seanchai (5/5/2014 1:56:23 PM)
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I love it! Man, you guys keep hitting all the right buttons for me so far!
  
Posted By: DJCooper (5/5/2014 12:47:48 PM)
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I'm definitely getting a whiff of Burning Wheel / Burning Empires / Mouse Guard's Beliefs / Goals / Instincts here, which is cool.

The nice thing that those games did to emphasize these features was by tying them to character advancement - at the end of each session, you'd quickly go around the table and have everyone rattle off their beliefs, goals, and instincts, and if the GM and other players agreed that you demonstrated those that session, you would get mechanically rewarded. If you picked some beliefs that sounded cool but never really came up during the game, you would notice when you didn't get any rewards for them, and would have a good excuse to either push the GM to involve them more, or rewrite them to better reflect your circumstances.

If it's not present in the DnD Next rules as printed, I'd like to see (at some point) a similar ruleset that awards either experience or some sort of action-point-like resource for following through on these traits.
  
Posted By: NthDegree256 (5/5/2014 12:47:33 PM)
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I have never cared for force molding of character development by using backgrounds that can only be developed over time or traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws for your character. Traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws should be based on the Class as well as culture and upbringing of the character in question and not a cookie cutter of a handful of ideas generated by a die roll (especially a d6). These mindsets should develop over the life of the characters and the DM with either tangible or intangible awards (i.e. contacts, items, etc. or XP) should reward such elaborations created during the role-play of the character.

Likewise, originating backgrounds that imply training beyond the “normal” starting age of the character should come at a cost of age to the character. Several of the NEXT backgrounds infer time spend, but offer no guidance of how long was spent to reach this knowledge. Sage, artisan, soldier to name the top three where the assumed skill level and acquired proficie... (see all)
  
Posted By: morandir62 (5/5/2014 12:29:35 PM)
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Simple solution: Make your character as old as you want them to be.
  
Posted By: Ramzour (5/5/2014 7:34:30 PM)
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I like the approach. I am curious to see how this relates to the previous mention in this article of ideals, bonds, and flaws as a tool for social interaction. It seems like a good start, not at all heavy-handed, and I appreciate a great deal that the traits point toward an alignment when applicable.
  
Posted By: longwinded (5/5/2014 12:02:39 PM)
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"Looks good, though I'd really like to see more options on these tables (but I suppose that is what source books are for).

I did see one glaring typo though... you mention "a DnD edition releasing in 2014." Surely that is a mistake, right? 2014? Its May! If the game were actually slated for any time in 2014 clearly we would have a release date announcement by now!"

Actually, when they closed the open playtest, they did say that it will release this summer. Since GenCon is in August, I imagine they will release then. I would expect to see a release announcement within the next two months.
  
Posted By: cobaltbluenight (5/5/2014 11:37:47 AM)
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The "always" and "every" words in the traits seem problematic. Do traits really have to occur ALL the time? These lead to one-note, often irritating characters (until someone gets bored of the gag and so drops it all together). Could it be toned down to"often" and "usually" ?
  
Posted By: highbulp (5/5/2014 10:29:04 AM)
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Looks good, though I'd really like to see more options on these tables (but I suppose that is what source books are for).

I did see one glaring typo though... you mention "a DnD edition releasing in 2014." Surely that is a mistake, right? 2014? Its May! If the game were actually slated for any time in 2014 clearly we would have a release date announcement by now!
  
Posted By: Osgood (5/5/2014 10:05:45 AM)
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The one aspect about these articles I find disconcerting is that people in general believe it is some new idea or mechanic. This article contains material that has been available in any DnD game since 3.5. The core books as well as dmg2 phb2 unearthed arcana and a select others covered the information here as alternative options. Been usable for awhile now. The new piece and only the new piece is the adaption of this into core statement which is later retracted to place it as an optional system once again. So back to my previous statement. This is nothing new. Continue. Moving on. What's next. I think a lot of users simply did not thoroughly read the books available, did not understand the books available, have access to the books available, or a combination of the three. I think dnd next is becomming more of a better organized reprint with simpler reading styles that clearly define mechanics and usable game options as of right now. I'm totally for clear and concise but 90% of next I h... (see all)
  
Posted By: Valkrim (5/5/2014 10:03:15 AM)
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As an actor, I find these charts wonderfully useful. Picking and ideal, trait and flaw is a great way to bring color to a performance. It's a great base to build from as much for the beginner as the veteran Player.

Using alignment to associate certain aspects provides insight into the alignment mechanics. And the great thing is, you don't have to use alignment to justify or confine anything. It's merely an insight into why alignments are a thing at all.

Great job guys, now gimme!
  
Posted By: Timmee (5/5/2014 10:00:45 AM)
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I agree with Monsieur_Moustache about alignment restrictions. Faith, especially, strikes me as a potentially chaotic ideal. Try to combine it with Trait 3 and a lax creed, for example. In fact, I had to read it twice to get why anyone would consider faith as lawful.
  
Posted By: nirnel (5/5/2014 9:35:42 AM)
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You're putting faith in an external power and system, believing that if you follow the rules that things will turn out all right. You don't do what you want: you do what's expected of you. You don't prepare for the worst: you trust that a just reward is coming. You don't understand the mechanism: you just rely on your deity to keep an implicit promise. Lawful sounds spot on.
  
Posted By: longwinded (5/5/2014 11:59:49 AM)
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I don't think the bit about alignment is saying you have to be that alignment to pick that one, just that it often fits pretty well so you may want to consider it. It's not about shoe-horning people into anything - it's about helping them make choices if they aren't sure.
  
Posted By: WotC_Trevor (5/5/2014 2:44:34 PM)
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I like these ideas. They similar in some ways to how Fate handles character creation. Having random tables is always fun and can help to quickly create characters but I think I might still prefer the way Fate does these as it allows you to come up with the trouble/flaw and ideal more organically and work it in with the characters the other players are making.
  
Posted By: Kilac (5/5/2014 9:28:14 AM)
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This is a fantastic start! It turned out to be one of the greatest "walk away" weaknesses of 3rd Edition, and became outright divisive in 4th (to the point it was 'baked back in" in hindsight. This is an important (critical) first step to reconciling this aspect of our RPG tabletop gameplay. Some would argue it could, in time, turn out to be the one area MOST important to differentiate what we do from card, board, and video games. I think it's a great starting point, and can easily be built upon for additional functional "opt in" systems like a skill challenge system (4e), FATE aspect system, Dogs In The Vineyard escalation mechanic, or Mouseguard's Mission system. All of which, I feel, have helped tremendously to move the RPG space forward, and I'm desperate to see reflected in the grand-daddy and greatest of all RPG's. Optional rule sets without doubt, but ones that I think could enrich ALL players upon this most-firm and wide foundation.
  
Posted By: ashockney (5/5/2014 9:24:00 AM)
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It's always good to have tools for beginners or fans of character creation randomization.

The only mistake I see is to link Alignments to ideals.

The lawful tag on the "Power" entry is already causing a riot around me (Maybe I exaggerate a little), because the implications of craving for more personal power can also lead to total disorder depending on the character personnality or competence.
There's no reason to restrict this entry from any alignment.

And we can play with other entries as well :
Charity : I always try to help those in need, no matter what the cost (Good) But I suppose it doesn't include the sacrifice of people that are not in need or the destruction of important symbolic things for a culture that brings hope to them.

Faith. I trust that my deity will guide my actions. I have faith that if I work hard, things will go well. (Lawful) Except that thinking that I'm responsible for nothing I can do, it can be ... (see all)
  
Posted By: Monsieur_Moustache (5/5/2014 7:51:27 AM)
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I hope just because this is aimed at more novice gamers that this isn't forced on everyone as core. This makes a good modular system for those that want it. "Official permission" to ignore sounds like needing house rules out of the gate, a shame when we have these modular systems.
  
Posted By: Blue23 (5/5/2014 7:24:25 AM)
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How is "official permission to ignore" different from "official permission to include"? It's a modular system. This module is simply "enabled" by default.
  
Posted By: Shroom-Mage (5/11/2014 10:45:48 PM)
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I like this, but I would like it better if we had a release date announced so I can start using it.
  
Posted By: sgt_d (5/5/2014 7:18:25 AM)
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Nice job, optional role-play elements. Great work.
  
Posted By: Prom (5/5/2014 7:07:01 AM)
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Wait... so the background system from the playtest is gone? No more Trait packages with corresponding proficiencies, languages and equipment? Instead we now have tables to just give you flavour and don't have any actual impact on gameplay other then said flavour? Why?!

I mean, I loved the Thug and the Spy. The Traits were amazing. Are these gone now?
  
Posted By: Paxh (5/5/2014 6:04:37 AM)
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I doubt it. Sounds like each of those backgrounds ALSO gets trait, ideal, and flaw tables (those were the mechanical stuff, this is the more fluffy stuff).

It also looks like Priest has changed its name to Acolyte. Makes a bit of sense, more likely only a Cleric is a full-fledged Priest.
  
Posted By: Marandahir (5/5/2014 8:47:21 AM)
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Personally, I hope those traits are gone for good. They always seemed like placeholders, and there was way too much overlap with things they added over time.

Most of them were essentially bonds that gave you free room and board where ever you went. Others, like Thug and Guide, allowed you to circumvent skill checks.

A good DM will allow you to have many of the things the old traits granted through bonds.
  
Posted By: Shroom-Mage (5/11/2014 10:43:11 PM)
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I could kiss you, I'm so grateful for this! I've been trying to devise such tools for me and my players for years on and off, and you've syncretized what makes characters tick in narratives better than I. I'm also very happy these traits are fragmentary enough to suggest ways forward without telling you the end-total of your character; it's very possible to follow the same traits to heaven as well as hell, and I'm ecstatic for that subtlety. Also, the art is pretty and suggestive of story.
  
Posted By: Dreamstryder (5/5/2014 5:15:24 AM)
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Absolutely like. Associated with backgrounds, the "optionality" of it, and quick references to tables make it a great system.

My only quibble: a little too generic. I'd love to see traits/ideals/etc that are a little more inspirational, a little more out-of-the-box. My favorite tables like these are ones that give me two more ideas for every one I read, and to create my own d20 table. The ones above are a little bland...

Still looking forward to it!
  
Posted By: Germytech (5/5/2014 5:07:22 AM)
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I coud be wrong, but in light of the others, one may cast multiple shadows. Take for example a fairly generic pair: Bond 3 and Ideal 2. It's easy to see "because of bond, ideal", but it could be because you did not repay your bond in the past that you pursue your ideal today in atonement; or it could be that in being charitable, you let someone hostile into the temple who kills the priest you owe with your life; or it could be that to care for the one you owe, you spend so much money you cannot care for many others who need it. I'd still like to see an example of "inspirational" or "out-of-the-box" items you'd make for the acolyte above because I'm always looking for ideas.
  
Posted By: Dreamstryder (5/5/2014 5:43:00 AM)
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Really love this! And, reading between the lines a bit, these look to be specifically for the cleric....so it looks like there will be custom Traits/Ideals/Bonds/Flaws for every class! Or at least every archetype. I'm very excited about these for both players (PC) and DMs (NPCs).
  
Posted By: Ramzour (5/5/2014 4:30:13 AM)
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The examples given are for the Acolyte background; not for the Cleric class. These tables will vary by Background, not Class.
  
Posted By: lawrencehoy (5/5/2014 9:46:22 AM)
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Oh, thanks for that! I read the post this morning on my mobile and must have missed that important sentence! I'm happy with them being tied to backgrounds too, though.
  
Posted By: Ramzour (5/5/2014 7:16:52 PM)
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Excellent (again!). This will help the new and the experienced player to spice up his/ her character's role play. Awesome again Dndnext crew!
  
Posted By: sjap (5/5/2014 3:02:25 AM)
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Love this! Big help as a player and as a DM
  
Posted By: kerred (5/5/2014 2:11:49 AM)
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I think these are great; but I hope in print they are made to feel optional, not required. Some players and groups want a 'video-gamey' light on Role and more on Rolls style of play.

Also, some players what their characters' personality to form and come out organically over the course of play; not to have a set 'OK, this person IS this way' as soon as they sit down to play their first session.

People, first and fore-most, need to feel that any style of DnD is good and accepted, as long as it's fun for everyone involved. A big part of what can ruin a DnD experience (especially for newbies) is the anger and aggression between proponents of various editions, play style preferences, and simulation vs. balance arguments. Geek fights soil the hobby...It's as obnoxious as going to a con and dealing with Star Wars vs Star Trek, or Marvel vs DC.
  
Posted By: seti (5/5/2014 2:10:23 AM)
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Read the last 2 paragraphs of the article again
  
Posted By: Ramzour (5/5/2014 4:28:06 AM)
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The last sentence, which builds upon the text of the preceding paragraph, basically says that these are nothing but tools to help you roleplay and to make it more fun. Meaning, these aren't hard/fast rules inherent in the core game balance or anything like that. They are, however, optional.
  
Posted By: Ramzour (5/5/2014 3:38:09 PM)
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It says they're optional in the second paragraph? - John
  
Posted By: Seanchai (5/5/2014 1:58:18 PM)
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It's great. Well done.
  
Posted By: SirAntoine (5/5/2014 1:03:42 AM)
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I think that Backgrounds are a great way to flesh out a character and bring it to life using Trait/Ideal/Bond/Flaw! I also like that that they may even be generated randomly if desired. I could see a easy way of fleshing out NPCs too...
  
Posted By: Plaguescarred (5/5/2014 12:26:25 AM)
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