Psychological Limitation

A character with this Disadvantage has a mental quirk or impairment regarding a given thing or situation. The character defines how often the condition affects him and the degree of impairment he suffers. The Psychological Limitation table lists what various mental problems are worth.

There are three basic types of Psychological Limitations:

1) Moral Codes or Codes of Conduct: Codes of morality or conduct by which a character lives his life. Examples include a Code Of Honor, a Code Versus Killing, Will Not Hit An Unsuspecting Target, Chivalrous, and so on.
2) Fears and Hatreds: Fears of, or feelings of hatred toward, people, things, places, and events. Examples include fear of heights, cramped rooms, or open spaces; hatred of foreigners, criminals, or the government; and so forth.
3) Personality Traits or Compulsions: Negative or positive behavior a character feels compelled to engage in or traits that describe him. Examples include motivations such as Greedy, Overconfidence, Will Not Lie, Loves Professor Wong, and so on.

When a situation related to a character’s Psychological Limitation occurs, he usually must react as the Psychological Limitation dictates for at least one Phase. Then he may attempt to control his feelings through strength of will (ie; EGO Rolls, as outlined on the accompanying table). Psychological Limitation is a Disadvantage, so a character’s mental condition should hinder or restrict him in some way, and the GM should stress its negative aspects. For example, Overconfidence occasionally helps a character, but most often it causes trouble. Psychological Limitations should defi ne the major outlines of the character’s personality. The GM should not allow frivolous or silly Psychological Limitations (Fear Of Mice, Hatred Of The Colour Pink). And if he does, expect them to not be as frivolous as first thought. A Psychological Limitation must have some application to the campaign, otherwise it’s not worth anything.

Of course, the value of a Psychological Limitation can vary due to the intensity of the Disadvantage, which changes from character to character.

For example, one character may have a 20-point Code Versus Killing, simulating a Total commitment not to kill. Such a character would also seek to prevent others from killing. Another character may only have a 10-point Code Versus Killing (the character will never kill another person himself, but might allow others to, albeit with much protest).

Whereas a Physical Limitation indicates something that a character can’t do, a Psychological Limitation indicates something a character won’t do. No matter how hard a character tries, he cannot overcome a Physical Limitation. (If you’re missing a hand, no amount of willpower will bring it back.) A Psychological Limitation, on the other hand, is “all in the mind” — there’s nothing physically preventing the character from performing a task. And if he can muster the willpower (make an EGO Roll), he can overcome his own hindrance.

Value Situation Is…
5 Uncommon
10 Common
15 Very Common
Value Intensity
+0 Moderate: Decides character’s choice of targets and reaction to situations; character may only change actions if he makes an EGO Roll at +5
+5 Strong: Character takes irrational actions concerning the situation, may only change actions if he makes an EGO Roll
+10 Total: Character becomes totally useless or completely irrational in the situation, and will not change his mind for any reason; EGO Roll at -5 (minimum) required to change actions (if the GM allows such a roll at all)

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Psychological Limitation

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