Weaknesses and Flaws

Weaknesses and Flaws

Weaknesses and flaws are things about your character that work against them. They can be anything from personality drawbacks to real weirdness. Now, giving your characters weaknesses is oftentimes the most difficult part of the creation process. What makes a good flaw? What might be fun for you to play? Since every character must have at least four flaws, we've compiled a list that people can choose from if they are having difficulties coming up with some on their own.(This does not mean you have to take anything from this list.) We also hope that this can help with the creative process, some flaws you could actually probably base a character around, or have it spark up ideas of your own (and if everyone only takes from this list, it's going to get very, very limiting very quickly!). And hell. Some of these you may want to take just because it would be damn amusing to have in play. Additionally, if you choose to pile on more flaws, you may be able to take more abilities or take on better perks, because, at the end of the day, the aim is a well balanced character.

One thing to keep in mind is that many weaknesses are great storylines in the making to overcome them. However, if you choose to pursue a storyline that overcomes one of your main three flaws, you will have to replace that flaw with another.

Physical
-Blind Someone shut out the lights.
You cannot see. For whatever reason, either a birth defect, accident, effect of a disease, insane acid trip where you gouged out your own eyes, you don't have the visual aspect of the world.

-Deaf What was that?
You cannot hear. You may choose the reasoning behind it. Some examples include: birth defect, trauma that blew out the eardrums, result of illness.

-Mute Singing in the shower isn't going to work out for you.
You can't speak. This particular flaw can be used in a few different ways. One is trauma. We've all seen the movies where there's some person who saw something horrible and hasn't spoken since then. This could be you. (Note: if you overcome this during the game, it ceases to be counted as a weakness and if it was one of your main ones, you will need to replace it.) Or maybe you weren't born with working vocal chords. Maybe you were stabbed in the neck and didn't die, but it messed up your voice. Whatever reason you choose, sign language will be your new best friend, and carrying around a pad and paper is a good plan.

-Color Blind(Dyschromatopsia) Is it red or green? What's red?
You're one of the people in the world who can't distinguish. You can choose how your character is color blind, going from the differentiating color blind duals which mean you are not completely color blind, or you may go with a total leech of color from the world.

-One eye Yarrrr. You're a pirate.
Or no, not really(or really weirdly, considering our location) but you nevertheless have only one functioning eye. This does not mean your other eye is absent though it certainly can. It means for whatever reason, one of your eyes doesn't work whatsoever. This effects depth perception and can be a serious inhibitor to your life until it can be gotten used to or otherwise compensated for.

-Amputee How's it goin, Lefty?
You're down a limb or two. How it happened is your choice (including birth defects in which case it can be listed as 'one arm' etc.) but you are physically missing one or more limbs.

-Allergies(severe) Hope you have your epipen handy.
You have an allergy to something (your choice) and it really messes with you. Reactions can be from severe (hospitalization) to potentially fatal. Mild allergies do not count.

-Disfigured/Deformed At least the phantom of the opera guy wore a mask.
Somehow, either from birth or some traumatic event, you aren't so pretty anymore. You're not even average. You're the poor guy in the supermarket that people try to pretend they're not staring at. This can also include other physical deformities, such as malformed limbs(a club foot for instance).

-Paralyzed Here's hoping they have wheelchair access.
Something's happened in your life that's made you paralyzed from a point of your choosing down. You may choose para- or quadriplegic characters, though all limitations that go along with it must be observed.

-Diseased Have you had your shots?
You're diseased. What you have is up to you, but you've got something, and for some reason, it isn't going away. (Even if it might be curable)

-Migraines Where's Bob? Oh, hiding in a dark room under the covers and crying? Right.
You suffer from debilitating migraines often. At least once a month you're down for the count, and the world could be ending around you and you might not be able to lift a finger to help.

-Addiction Dude, hold on a second! I need my fix! Then I'll call 911, promise!
You are addicted. What to, is your choice (though we do not count cigarettes or caffeine) generally it's serious drugs of some kind, but can be adrenaline, etc. You have to have it. It effects your life heavily, influencing your decisions to cater to whatever your addiction may be and often times is detrimental to everyone around you because the addiction comes first.

Psychological
-Insane You so crazy! Now get the hell off my lawn.
You're cracked in some significant way. Whether it's because you have had a screaming mental breakdown or you developed a mental illness, or you've had it since birth, it's there. And it isn't really going to go away. While mental illness can be treated, the vast majority of it is simply learning to cope with the symptoms. Meaning it's not going to suddenly clear up. It can be anything from Schizophrenia to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but something is fundamentally wrong with the way you view or deal with the world.

-Personality Disorder Dude, what is the matter with you?
It may be something you can't do much about. You have a personality disorder which dictates odd and often times destructive behavior. There are several different types. Your specific one will need to be chosen at character creation, and played consistently. (No, we're sorry, but True Love does not fix your disorder. It just makes you lucky you found someone that patient.)

-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder They aren't all picked up from Nam, son.
You've been through trauma--whether it happened directly to you, or you witnessed it, it happened. And that trauma won't actually leave you alone. You're never really going to get over it, it's left a huge, black mark in your psyche. It has left you damaged, as a person. Symptoms of this may include any of the following: flashbacks, nightmares, inability to talk about the event, total avoidance of anything that reminds you of the initial cause, inability to sleep, exaggerated caution, anger issues, inappropriate emotional responses, lack of emotional responses to the memories of the event, emotional numbness, inability to express emotions, jumpyness. (Note: no one will have all of these symptoms, and no one will only have one. Please choose between three and five of them.)

-Social Anxiety Disorder A party? I think I'll pass...
You and people are non-mixy things. You don't do well in any sort of social settings, even if it's a very small gathering. They make you anxious, unable to function properly. You often feel like all attention is on you, and you are being judged while they're watching. You're convinced you're going to step wrong or do something to humiliate yourself, and you can't get past this overwhelming, all encompassing fear. You are nervous before an encounter, during, and for a long time afterwards, as you agonize over how you were judged. Even recognizing that you are being ridiculous has no effect on the disorder, it doesn't stop the feelings. This disorder can include all social situations, or specific ones.(Note: if you choose specific situations, please be sure it's something applicable in game or you will be asked to edit.)

-Panic Disorder omigodomigodomigod
You suffer from debilitating panic attacks. During these attacks, physical symptoms include a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, dizziness, hot or cold flashes, nausea, chest pain, numbness, shortness of breath, and the sensation of being smothered. Disorientation can occur along with the encompassing terror, creating feelings of disconnected reality, impending doom, or intense fear of losing control. The physical symptoms play into the attack, amping up the psychological responses of terror and anxiety. During these, you often believe you are dying, going insane, or having a heart attack. Most often you don't know what triggers these, and live in fear that it could be any time or any place, and most will avoid places where one has occurred previously. The attacks can occur any time or place--including sleep. Heavy symptoms can last around ten minutes, lingering effects for hours.(Note: having this condition for a prolonged amount of time often results in agoraphobia, that will last as long as the condition continues.)

-Separation Anxiety Disorder No, don't leave...
You don't do well when you're separated from certain people you've formed an attachment with. Symptoms of this can include: prolonged stress when separated from them, excessive anxiety over losing them, excessive anxiety over events that may lead to losing them, fear of being left alone without them, reluctance or refusal to sleep without being near them, and nightmares about losing them. This ranges in severity, but will be present with at least most of the symptoms.

-Depression Leave me alone.
You are depressed. The world is not a nice place, and probably hasn't been for a while. You don't enjoy the things you usually do, you have a hard time smiling or enjoying yourself, and there's always some part of you that's sad or despondent. You may have trouble getting out of bed, doing anything without outside influence, and taking part in anything. Even important affairs may be totally left to the wayside such as paying bills, going to work, etc.

-Phobia(Severe) Why are you hiding in the car? That's...that's a butterfly.
Irrational? Certainly. Stupid? Probably. But that's what a phobia is. It's irrational, crippling fear over something. While phobias can range from mild to severe, a true weakness must be a severe one. It cannot be something you can get over or ignore for any length of time. If you are afraid of heights? Someone else will have to come over to climb the ladder to change that lightbulb for you. Keep in mind, if it's something that will not affect your character in any way during the course of the game, you may be asked to change it to something that may. Because while Alektorophobia (Fear of chickens) may be a real and serious phobia, it probably isn't going to be something that will come into play for you (perhaps unless you have a friend who insists on eating at KFC all the time...but still, NO.)

-Paranoid What are you doing calling me on a cell!? Landlines ONLY! They're listening, you know!!!
You? Are That Guy. The one who's conspiracy theories are lingering around the back of your head, if you aren't loudly vocal about them. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you, and you're convinced they are. Now, this isn't only limited to crackpot government paranoia. It is possible to just be driven to a point where you mistrust the world around you and have to second guess everything and everyone that crosses your path. This means you have trouble making friends as they have to pass through that stage where you're convinced there's an ulterior motive involved, and even after that it may lose you friends considering you may never actually fully trust them. Trust with you could very well be sacred, and you don't hand it out unless you're absolutely sure.

-Burn Out I can't do this anymore.
You're burned out. You've hit the end of your rope. You're spent, used up, emotionally drained. You just can't be bothered, or just can't care anymore. They've seen too much, lost too many friends and lost faith in themselves. They take a look around and see that nothing matters. It's an extreme form of depression, one that's difficult to break through on any level from outside influences. This includes personal relationships as well as therapy.

-Death Wish Rock n roll. You guys hang back. I got this.
Bluntly put, you want to die – you’re just not interested in doing it yourself. Some people with a death wish simply cannot bring themselves to take the pills, or pull the trigger and just keep hoping that fate will do the job for them, others may wish to go out in a blaze of glory. Whatever the reason, you go out of your way to put yourself in situations which may – indeed, probably will – get you killed. That suicide mission from which there is no possible hope of return that’s looking for volunteers? You are the front of the cue there, baby and you consider Russian Roulette a fun hobby.

-Cowardice I'll be back here. Behind the six feet of steel and nowhere near the line of fire. Have fun.
You are the biggest chicken known to man. Even when you really want to be helping, you just can’t bring yourself to do it – somehow you always end up running away, or hiding under the bed.

-Curiosity Oh it won't hurt just to peek, right?
Well, it might. Often times, it probably will. But you really can't help it. You just have to know. Closed doors bug you. Locks are the bane of your existence. You have an insatiable curiosity that you really can't seem to shake, even when it may be in fact, fatally stupid to poke around with whatever you're dying to know. This has been known to cause problems in personal relationships as well, being that you can't respect others' privacy.

-Untrusting I'll believe that when I see it.
You've been burned way too many times in your life, and you are not in any way someone who believes in anyone. You may not necessarily believe everyone is out specifically to get you, but you aren't going to believe a word out of anyone's mouth, either. People have to prove things to you, and even then, you probably aren't ever really going to trust them. You're constantly waiting for people to mess up, and since you're waiting for, it, looking for it, you're much more apt to find what you're looking for--even if it's a skewed perception on your part. This is incredibly difficult to get past, if it's possible at all, because even if people prove they're trustworthy for now--you will believe that it's only a matter of time. You hop to the worst conclusions about people immediately, every time.

-Overconfident Oh, I've got that covered, no problem! I'm the best person around to deal, don't worry!
You? Are the bomb. Or, well, you're decidedly not the bomb. You just happen to think you are. This? Tends to land you into situations you can't possibly handle. Because you really can't pull off what you think you can. Unfortunately, this also puts everyone with you at risk if they're depending on you to be able to do what you say you can.

-God Complex I'm the king of the world!
You think you are invincible and it never occurs to you that you are, in fact, not. You never think twice before doing things which could be classed as terminally stupid. You think you can handle any situation, despite all evidence to the contrary. This is a terribly unhealthy flaw for those who want to be long lived.

-Low Self Esteem I'm sorry, I suck.
This might be your most common phrase. Your trouble is that even if you're proficient at something, you can't seem to give yourself credit for it. You don't have a very high opinion of yourself, and this causes various problems with the world around you. For one, you're more likely to mess everything up if you don't have the confidence to back things up. It can also wear on social relationships as your continual self doubt can get trying for others to deal with on a constant level.

-Compulsion You have a quirk that you can't get past.
It's a tick, some minor little thing you can't get yourself not to do. It's like OCD, only it pertains to just one little thing as opposed to everything. For example, due to some internal paranoia switch being flipped permanently to 'ZOMG THEY'RE OUT TO GET ME!!!' Susie feels the need to wipe her fingerprints from anything she touches outside of her home. She may even deliberately wear clothing with long sleeves to pull down over her hands to avoid even leaving them. Not everyone will understand why they have a certain compulsion.

-Clueless Huh?
You don't get it. You just don't get it. This is true with most things. You're the last one who laughs at a joke, and it might just be because everyone else was laughing. You're the person who doesn't understand most of the world around you, and it may only hit you a few days later what actually happened. This doesn't necessarily mean you are stupid. It just means you don't process the world around you terribly well all the time. This often means you exasperate everyone around you when everyone else has figured things out and you're still staring blankly.

-Distracted So as I was saying---ZOMG!SHINY!!!
You, to put it mildly, are not the most focused individual in the world. In fact, you're down right distracted. It's easy to sway your attention from one thing to another. Even when it's really required for you to be giving a person or situation your undivided, that doesn't work out for you. It's something you can't very easily overcome even in the most dire of circumstances.

Social

-Social Pariah What, are you gonna cry now, crybaby? C'mon, CRY.
That kid everyone picks on at school, the guy at the office that constantly gets stuck with every crap job that comes along...that's you. You're the total outcast. People tend not to like you or be sympathetic to your plight. Whether this is justified or not is up to you. However if taken, this flaw does mean that most social interactions must start with a jaded opinion against you. Rumors fly in every walk of life, and you're everyone's favorite subject. So chances are, everyone's heard something bad about you, regardless of it's validity.

-Loner Go away, leave me alone.
You have taken liking your own company to a whole new level and can probably list your social contacts on the fingers of one hand. You go through days without talking to people – you are the guy whose name people who you’ve worked with for years cannot remember. Whatever the cause – whether social ineptitude, a crippling speech impediment or just that you hate the world and everyone in it, you and other people? Don’t get along. And you want to keep it that way.

-Naive Don't worry, it'll all work out.
The world isn't a bad place. Not to you, anyhow. You see the world through rose tinted lenses. Whether it's from lack of experience, a sheltered upbringing, or a blind eye to the horrors the world has to offer, you just don't get bogged down by the bad. Which leaves you wide open, since you won't ever see it coming. You have yet to be disillusioned, and by now, it may be a hard lesson to learn once it does happen.

-Gullible Oh, right, that was sarcasm, right. Funny.
You're one of those people who's easy to get. You don't really expect others to lie to you, even jokingly. So you often wind up being the last one to get the joke, because information you've been told before that was untrue you didn't understand til later. You're also easy to dupe into doing things. It's that inherent belief in people and what they say that does it. Unfortunately for you, it doesn't really seem to teach you a lesson. You just keep on trucking along.

EXAMPLE
Playing weaknesses and flaws can be some of the most fun you can have with a character not only for you, the person you're writing with, and for others reading your scenes. When considering weaknesses, it might be a lot of fun to come up with something that would be amusing for you. For example, say you want to play someone who was a lighter hearted sort of character.

So you take the overconfident flaw combined with cowardice. Which means you're that guy. You're the one who's talking shit non stop, who's got a story for everything, who's constantly talking himself up. Until, of course, everything goes to hell, and then? You are out of there. So fast people don't even know when you left. Then maybe you could reappear later to tell everyone about how you could have taken it no problem, you just didn't want to show everyone else up. Really!