Characters in fiction often have disadvantageous quirks and foibles that, while annoying, aren’t really Weaknesses in QAGS terms. Willow Rosenberg’s “frog fear” is a good example of this kind of thing, as is her pal Anya’s fear of bunnies. Such minor disadvantages are not really debilitating to be considered a Weakness, probably should have some game effect. As Weird Times at Charles Fort High readers already know, this dilemma can be solved in the QAGS system by adding a new word called Flaws.
The easiest way to understand Flaws is to think of them as negative skills. Rather than giving the character a positive modifier to appropriate rolls, they give affected rolls a negative modifier. The negative modifier for a particular Flaw is predictably known as a Flaw Penalty, can range from -1 to -5. So if a character has the Flaw “Bad Driver” with a Flaw Penalty of -2, he subtracts two from his Number whenever he makes any driving roll. Flaw Penalties, like Skill Bonuses, are cumulative and in some cases both Skills sand Flaws may apply to a particular roll.
Flaws can also be used to reflect aspects of a character’s Body, Brain, or Nerve that are slightly outside the range suggested by his or her number. For example, a character with a Body of 14 and the Job “Fantasy Mage” may choose the Flaw “Physically Weak” at -4 to reflect that fantasy mages are traditionally weaklings. Such a character would need to roll less than 14 on Body Rolls related to constitution, agility, or coordination, but would need to roll 10 or less for any Body Roll that depends primarily on brute force.
During character creation, a character who takes Flaws gets a Yum Yum for each Flaw Penalty he takes. For example, a character who takes “Fugly” at -2 and a -1 Flaw Penalty in “Bad at Math” gets 3 Yum Yums. It is up to the GM to determine how many flaws a character may take, but we recommend no more than 5 points of Flaw Penalties for typical games.
Sample Flaws: Afraid of Bunnies, Allergies, Aversion to Sunlight, Bad Driver, Bad Liar, Can’t Swim, Clumsy, Color Blind, Computer Illiterate, Didn’t Get The Memo, Excitable Boy, Foot In Mouth Disease, Frog Fear, Gullible, Hard of Hearing, Heavy Sleeper, Inhuman Appearance, Low on Cash, Motion Sickness, Near-Sighted, Night Blindness, Perpetual Munchies, Shy, Squeamish, Swimmer’s Ear, Tone Deaf, Ugly, Weakling.