Quirk List

Please note you may only pick the same quirk three times. This is mostly to make sure the GMs aren't overloaded with a plot workload. If you do have an extremely good reason for a fourth Widget then we will be happy to discuss it with you.

Personal Quirks

Quirks which have to do with your upbringing and your person.

Daredevil (+5)

You'll try anything once, and have almost no sense of personal danger. As a result, you can, once per turn, use a skill you do not possess.

The procedure for this is quite simple: you tell the GMs which skill you wish to use and at what rank you wish to use it; we roll a d2. Heads you win; tails you lose. Generally, if you're trying to use a low-level skill, the consequences will be minor; the higher level, the more serious the consequences.

For skills which you already possess some ranks in, we'll use the difference between your existing rank and your attempted rank to calculate consequences. For example, someone with Doctrine: 0 trying for Doctrine: 2 would fail as badly as someone with Doctrine: 2 trying for Doctrine: 4.

(Because of its inherently dangerous nature, this skill is incompatible with Stay thy Hand, Father.)

Alle for Showe (+3)

You are a master of appearing to be an expert at something. You have picked up enough specific language, moves or other general knowledge to be able to pass as an expert in any of the skills. When taking this quirk, you must pick a skill which appear to everyone as being Rank 5 but will in fact only be whatever rank you actually have (if you have not taken the skill it would count as Rank 0). For example, you could make this apply to one of the schools of Magic which would mean you could talk to a high-level magician and they would believe you to be an equal, but should you choose to try and help them perform a spell or somesuch they are likely to be eaten by the horrible demon they've summoned because they thought you'd actually drawn a proper arcane circle. Or you might appear to be a master swordsman, able to swish your sword and make all the ladies swoon; this could be enough to scare people off from fighting a duel with you - if they actually do however, you're likely to end up without parts of your body you so dearly love. Like the heart, or your head.

Maltese Education (+2)

This means that you have studied hard at the La Vallett College of Magics on Malta and are thus more learned in the particulars of the various magics. It means that you are able to perform your spells with a lessened chance of things going wrong. Additionally, as an alumnus of such a venerable College of Magics you have connections with many of the leading mages of the European world.

Virgin (0)

You are, Alchemically speaking, a virgin. (In practical terms, this means that you have never engaged in penetrative sex of any gender combination below the waist.) This has the advantage that you may be a very useful resource for certain Alchemists and other magicians, and the disadvantage that you may be a very useful resource for certain Alchemists and other magicians.

The Pox (-1)

You have The Pox (i.e. one of the several contagious and debilitating STDs currently circulating around Albion). This causes itching, a certain amount of pain and potentially other effects at GM discretion. There is a one in two chance that anyone you have sexual contact with will also contract The Pox. If it becomes publicly known that you are infected, you are likely to be ridiculed and ostracised. You cannot, without a really really good reason, take both this quirk and “Virgin”.

Sick (-1)

You have a sickness (not The Pox) which interferes with your daily life. Pick a typical Renaissance illness - gout, arthritis, a twisted limb - and describe how it affects you. This will interfere with different aspects of your life depending on what you pick.

Common (-2)

You are as common as muck, and can expect to be living in the mud with the pigs unless you have something to live off (such as skills, owning half of Cornwall, or being an MP). Why you are in Court will require some explanation - being fabulously wealthy, a high ranking Sister of Hecate or some tailor the King decided he liked, for example.

In Debt (-2)

You have debts which exceed your income. Since debts are fashionable, this is unlikely to be a social problem. However, either your creditors are the kind of large, serious men who don't think your position at Court protects you from a few “reminders” in the way of the occasional broken limb, or they are the kind of small, sensible men with glasses who will quite happily have you arrested and thrown in the King's Bench if they think for a second they can get away with it.

Social Quirks

Quirks which affect your interactions with Court society.

Poet (+4)

Each turn, you may produce a poem, pamphlet or play - political satire, offensive epigram on an individual, love poem, whatever - which becomes the toast of the town as a Housekeeping action. You can safely assume that the majority of Oxford has heard your poem, if only secondhand, and likes it, if only because you're an “in” poet. Choose something from Donne, Jonson or a contemporary writer, or compose something yourself; if you don't supply us with text to include in the News, we won't be able to come up with something for you. This quirk could be one of the reasons for a commoner turning up in court.

Important MP (+3)

This quirk is incompatible with rank of Viscount/Bishop level or above. Lords and clergy of this rank are automatically members of the House of Lords instead.

You start the game as a relatively important MP in the House of Commons, with a small following who will listen to you. This quirk is an excellent excuse for being at Court if you also have the Flaw “Common”.

Favoured of the King (+2)

Matthew likes you. You might be his favourite tailor, or a courtesan, or simply good company on a hunt; for whatever reason, you have his favour. This means that you can turn up to Court even if you don't have sufficient Rank, and also means you're slightly more likely to get away with the occasional faux pas. This does not mean you are his best friend however.

Bear in mind that pissing Matthew off is likely to lose you the effects of this quirk in very short order.

Droit (+2)

You always know what to say and do in social situations. You never use the wrong spoon or forget the dance steps. In matters of etiquette, you can always be relied upon to arrange the seating without insulting the Duchess.

MP (+1)

This quirk is incompatible with rank of Viscount/Bishop level or above. Lords and clergy of this rank are automatically members of the House of Lords instead.

You start the game as an MP in the House of Commons. Becoming elected is relatively easy for PCs with influence, hence the low quirk cost. You may vote on any motions tabled with only a Housekeeping action.

Fop (+1)

You're a fop, a dandy, a beau. Alternatively, you're a lady of fashion. Either way, you are what's in fashion this season - and every season. Whether it's the perfection of your tailor, a bit of help from the local Barber-Conjurer, or just sheer élan, anything you wear becomes immediately stylish for the next several months.

This quirk is not compatible with “Common”.

Ordained / Appointed (+1)

You are an ordained Priest or appointed Rabbi. You are licensed to oversee religious services, consecrate marriages, bless people and pray. This quirk is required to be a ranking Priest in the Church of England or Rabbi in any Synagogue.

If you are an ordained Catholic priest, you are unlikely to be able to perform any public services in England - but you may still buy this quirk for flavour, or if you wish your Prayers to have metaphysical effects.

Useful Relative (0)

You have a relative who can become very useful to you. This could, for example, be an elderly aunt who will soon die and leave you lots of money; a virgin daughter who you can marry off for political advantage; a wife who writes excellent poetry; or a Boy.

The relatives are not unconditional allies however, so there may be trouble in getting the benefits out of them.

This is not an 'ally' quirk - they will not simply do something for you. They represent a relative who has one thing which is useful that could reasonably be used. Examples - a virgin, marriageable, wealthy, reason to turn up to court etc.

Please Note: Relatives cannot be Magicians. You may only take this quirk once.

Patron (0)

You have a noble Patron who is of significantly higher rank than you. (This Quirk is eminently compatible with Commoner.) They ensure that you are kept in food, drink, fine clothing and allowed to turn up to Court - however, they also occasionally require something in return. This could be as simple as the odd dedicatory poem or sex, or as complex as assassination or spying. Give us details on who your Patron is and a brief history of the relationship.

(Please note that although the quirk has no cost, you may take only one Patron.)

Framed (-1)

Same as the “Disgraced” quirk, but you were not guilty of the horrible thing you are supposed to have commited. Describe the circumstances to us.

Enemy Faction (-2)

One of the listed Organisations hates you. Maybe you know why, maybe you don't. Maybe you don't even know IC that they hate you. Please explain the circumstances. You can expect members of that faction, PC and NPC, to be as unhelpful as possible and perhaps to directly sabotage you or your work.

Heretic (-1 or -2)

You hold strong convictions which prevent you from attending Church or Temple or accepting the blessing of a priest. It should be noted that attending a Church of England service on Sunday or Jewish service on Saturday is enforced by law. Unless you have special dispensation from the Crown (e.g. being a member of an Foreign Embassy), you will be subject to Recusancy fines and possible imprisonment and execution for your heresy.

For -1 points, you have managed to keep your convictions secret. If anyone finds out your secret, you may be in serious trouble.

For -2 points, your beliefs are publicly known, and you are generally considered unholy. If anyone thinks they can get away with it, they may well burn you. You will be subject to recusancy fines.

Examples of applicable heresies under English law include atheism, Catholicism, anabaptism or Gnosticism. Dissenting Protestants, including Puritans, whose convictions prevent them taking Anglican Eucharist, should take this quirk.

Disgraced (-2)

You're still allowed in Court, but only just. You may have been stripped of lands or titles previously owned. This all because you did something terrible. Describe the circumstances to us.

Gauche (-2)

You try very hard to have manners, but they don't come easily to you. Whether through clumsiness or poor breeding, you have a tendency to put wine in the water glass, use the wrong fork and tread on the Countess of Pembroke during the volta.

Hidden Master (-3)

Perhaps they speak to you in your dreams, or communicate by letter, or leave coded messages in the margains of books in your library. Perhaps they're simply a voice in your head, or perhaps they're a demon who forces you to summon them and obey their instructions. Whatever the case, you have someone whose instructions you must obey, under threat of Dire Consequences. Your Hidden Master will issue one instruction per turn, which you ignore at your peril.

Monte Cristo (-2 to -4)

Your title and position at Court are under false pretences. Either you are claiming to be someone you are not (in which case please inform the GMs what you have done with the real 'you'), or you're claiming foreign titles and lands which do not, in fact, exist. If you’re caught, the consequences will be dire. This flaw is not compatible with “Common”.

For -2 points, you are claiming to be from somewhere small and unimportant; the Ambassador from a tiny German state. For -3 points, you are claiming to be an important official from an existing country; a Spanish Comte or a Graaf of Saxony. For -4 points, you are claiming to be from somewhere large, important and nonexistent; the chief Ambassador or a reigning Prince from an obscure but rich fictional Sultanate, or the Governor of a nonexistent Cathayan province.


Special and exciting things you own. Not all of these can be bought with Wealth later in the game.

Magical Library (+3)

You have a library - or access to a library - which contains many useful books. You can use these for the purposes of Magical research (either yours or someone else's), and they may speed up the learning times for learning new Magical rituals. You must specify one form of Magic for your library to focus on.


Sorcery: AP Advantage to researching new Rituals on your Paths.
Theurgy: As Sorcery.
Conjuration: Aids in creating new spells. Allows minor spell tinkering for free!
Invention: Aids in creating new Inventions.
Witchcraft: Aids in creating new spells and modifying old ones.
Alchemy: Aids in creating new spells and modifying old ones.

Letter of Marque (+1)

This letter authorises you to take action against ships of hostile powers in order to take recompense for their no doubt heinious crimes against our shipping, ports etc. In short, it allows legalised piracy against people the King doesn't like. You must take this quirk to legally run a privateer fleet as part of the Venerable Order.

Widget (+1 to +5)

You've got a widget, a lovely widget, a widget you have got. A widget is some sort of magical device or creation. Tell us what it is ('a jar of liquid fire', 'a parrot made of electrum'), give us some idea of how it works, and we will figure out what it does. The more points you spend, the snackier it is.

As an example, a one-point widget might be a sword which is particularly effective against Spaniards; a three-point widget might be a sword which slays demons; a five-point widget might be the Sword of the Archangel Michael.

Widget Modifiers

You may, if you wish, take further modifications to your “Widget”. These costs are in addition to the initial “Widget” cost; you will observe that some of these may actually turn Widget into a negative quirk (from which you will gain points, and which does count towards your Flaw Cap). Be sensible. If you're spending -2 points on your “Sniper's Musket [Franzberg]”, it's unlikely to ever do what you want it to.

You may take multiple modifiers as long as they're not obviously mutually incompatible. ('Franzberg' is incompatible with any other negative modifier except 'Unknown'.)

Untested (-1): You're pretty sure you know what it does. But it might not work exactly that way, and you've not had a chance to test it yet…

Unknown (-1): It has a button on it. You wish to press it. But you do not know what will happen if you do..

Note: This is not the same as the Monstrous Device quirk; your “Unknown” widget will still definitely be good and useful - just not necessarily in a way you can predict. A bad “Monstrous Device” is NOT likely to be useful to you.

Broken (-2): The widget does not, at game start, work. At all. Some attention from an appropriate Magician should change this.

Unreliable (-3): Each time you use this Widget, we will roll a d2 to determine whether or not it works. Under exceptional circumstances, it may not simply fail - it may backfire spectacularly.

Personalised (+2): The Widget works for you, and only you. If it is stolen, then nobody else can Make It Work.

Undetectable (+2): Your Widget is undetectable by normal magical means. This means that spells like Scrying and Lodestone cannot locate it, and it may pass more general tests for magical activity.

Franzberg (-5) ['Invention'-based Widgets only]: Your Widget was made by the insane inventor Hans Franzberg, or one of his apprentices. It does not do what you expect. It may explode, attempt to kill you, or unexpectedly transport everything within a five-mile radius into the Daemonic Realms. It will do this with no warning. It is almost impossible to turn a Franzberg into a rational, reasonable Invention.

Please Note: THIS WILL NOT END WELL. Characters with “Stay thy Hand, Father” may not take Franzberg Widgets.

Monstrous Device (0)

You have a Thing. You don't know what it does - yet. Maybe you inherited it from your great-uncle; maybe you found it in the archives; maybe you made it last night, in your sleep.

If you take this quirk, the GMs will roll a d2. If it's Heads, your Device is a Good Device. If it's Tails, your Device is a Bad Device. We will not tell you the result. The result will become apparent when the Device activates. You may or may not know how to activate the Device (it could, for example, be a pendant with no obvious features; or it could have a button on it which you're eager to press - but you're afraid of what might happen if you do.)

Please specify a power level from 1-5 for your device. The higher the power level, the more effective it is if it's a Good Device, but the more likely to destroy you it is if it's a Bad Device.

(Please note that although the quirk has no cost, you may take only one Monstrous Device.)

Creature (+2 to +5)

You own a dragon, serpent or gryphon. Or, more accurately, you have an agreement with such a creature, and it may or may not do what you want, and it may or may not want some form of payment. Younger creatures are often happy with payment in the form of excitement and adventure; a larger, more experienced dragon will rarely accept anything less than large quantities of expensive gold and jewelery.

  • 2 points will get you a small gryphon
  • 3 points will get you a large gryphon or a small sea serpent
  • 4 points will get you a small dragon or a large sea serpent
  • 5 points will get you a large dragon

Note that dragons and sea serpents are considered by the Church to have souls, and as such are legally obliged to attend mass or shul at least once a week. As yet, nobody has tried to enforce this law.

Horticulturalists may purchase a creature for one point less than the costs above.

Magical Quirks

Quirks which have to do with natural philosophy.

Street Magician (+7)

A cut-down version of Conjuration, if you buy this quirk you may never create any spells, and are limited to memorising only one spell at a time. You can perform or ready any of the spells in the Conjurer spell list available at the beginning of the game at the same AP cost and with the same token requirements. Even if you become aware of new or advanced conjuration spells you cannot cast them.

This is a useful quirk for anyone who does not wish to take the full and expensive school of magic, but fancies the benefits that the varied spells give to an adventurer, politician or entertainer.

This counts as taking Magic and is not compatible with Hedgewitch, Tinkerer or another Magic skill.

Hedgewitch (+7)

A cut-down version of Witchcraft, if you buy this quirk you do not have access to the full spell trees.

You know how to perform three spells from one area of witchcraft, but that's it. In all probability you don't really understand how you do that spell - you may have just always had a knack with animals, or healing people. You advance in that spell as a full witch would, but can never learn further ones. If you want to be able to do something not listed on the page, have a word with the GMs.

This counts as taking Magic and is not compatible with Street Conjurer, Tinkerer or another Magic skill.

Tinkerer (+7)

A cut-down version of Invention. If you buy this quirk you may never advance in school ranks or research any Inventions or start with any school above rank 2, but you can copy inventions you have seen (or have seen designs of). Otherwise, you are the same as a full Inventor. You are someone who has learnt the principles behind device and mechanism, but without the innate understanding of a true Inventor.

Clockmakers, gunsmiths, carriage makers, navigational instrument makers, all these could be examples of Tinkerers.

This counts as taking Magic and is not compatible with Hedgewitch, Street Conjurer or another Magic skill.

Magical Expert (+6)

You must be a Magician to take this quirk. You cannot take both this and Magical Adept.

You are immensely talented in your Magical field, and accordingly have certain bonuses at game start. These are as follows:

  1. Theurgy - Two extra spells from the four Starting Spells (ask the GMs for details).
  2. Sorcery - As Theurgy.
  3. Conjuration - You are able to prepare and memorise up to three more base spells (up to five in total) and 1 more advanced spell (up to 2 in total).
  4. Invention - Two extra levels, each in a School of your choice and two more known spells. One of these may be a custom spell, but it must be one that the Inventor has the levels to cast.
  5. Alchemy - Two additional spells and they may come from either the potions or enhanced materials path (ask the GMs for details).
  6. Witchcraft - You have cast six spells from the list of standard ones, and so got better at them. You can't have cast the same spell more than twice. Say which. You also have a reputation for being really rather good amongst those who know you're a witch.

Astrologer (+3)

You are an astrologer, and so can draw up charts to tell you about both the nature of people and the future. See Astrology for further details.

Magical Adept (+3)

You must be a Magician to take this quirk. You cannot take both this and Magical Expert.

You are particularly talented in your Magical field, and accordingly have certain bonuses at game start. These are as follows:

  1. Theurgy - One extra spell from the four Starting Spells (ask the GMs for details).
  2. Sorcery - As Theurgy.
  3. Conjuration - You are able to prepare and memorise up to two more base spells (up to four base in total).
  4. Invention - One extra level in a School of your choice and one more known spell.
  5. Alchemy - One additional starting spell from the same starting path (ask the GMs for details).
  6. Witchcraft - You have cast three spells from the list of normal ones, and so got better at them. You can't have cast the same spell more than twice. Please say which. You're starting to get a reputation for knowing what to do.

Holy Guardian Angel (+2)

An angelic being occasionally speaks to you or does small things to help you. It generally offers good advice, and once per turn you can ask it for advice or information which it will do its best to provide truthfully. Please provide a reason for the angel’s interest in you.

You may take both this quirk and Demon On Your Shoulder.

Familiar Spirit (0)

A familiar spirit has taken an interest in you, though it is not bound to your service. Sometimes it helps you, sometimes it hinders. This can range from poltergeist activity to spying on your enemies. Please provide a reason for the spirit’s interest in you.

Bees (0)


NB: You must have spent time in the Americas at some point during your background to take this quirk.

Demon On Your Shoulder (-2)

A demon likes you, and not in a good way. It might just whisper terrible things in your ear; it might sour your milk and have sex with your cat; it might assume your shape and visit public whorehouses; whatever it does will make your life difficult. Please provide a reason for the demon’s interest in you.

You may take both this quirk and Holy Guardian Angel.

Possessed (-3)

Something is possessing you. It could be a demon, an angel or a familiar spirit - at game start, you won't know. All you do know is that you occasionally wake up with these strange… blackouts; and you have no idea what you were doing with your time for the last three days or so…

At game start, this quirk does not reduce your effective AP. However, be aware that under certain adverse circumstances your Possession may, later in game, begin reducing the quantity of AP you have available to spend.

It will never take more than 2AP from any turn.

Quirks of Fate

Quirks to do with your destiny and future.

Visions (+2)

Once per turn, you get ten sequential words extracted from the GM-written results of a random PC's turnsheet, or from a faction brief, or from a plot brief - in any case, something you would not normally receive. (You will not be told where the words are from.) This represents a sudden flash of IC insight you have received in the form of a vision. If you want to explain why your character is blessed with this ability, feel free - otherwise the GMs will decide for you.

Cigarette Case (+2 to +6)

This is a “get out of death free” card. For every two points you spend on this quirk, you get one free reprise from death or unplayability. The bullet misses; the demon eats your cat instead of your soul; new evidence comes to light in the court case which would certainly otherwise end in your exile. This quirk only prevents your character from being unplayable however, the actions which lead to your potential death will still have consequences and there will be an effect on your character depending on the severity of the event.

Please Note: This quirk is not the same as “Stay thy Hand, Father”, since it represents IC good luck rather than an OOC agreement between players and GMs.

Blessed (+1 to +4)

Not to be confused with Cigarette Case. This means that Good Things are coming your way. Every few turns, depending on how many points you put into this quirk, something nice will happen to your character. You may take both this and Damned; the Bad Things and Good Things will not cancel each other out.

Please give us an idea of why your character might be Blessed, and give us a few examples of ways this has manifested in the past.

Stay thy Hand, Father (0)

This quirk represents an OOC agreement between player and GM: We will do our absolute best to prevent your character dying or being made unplayable. If you really don't want to lose a character, take this quirk.

This comes with certain provisos. You must avoid buckling your swash against superior numbers, summoning Dukes of Hell without a protective circle, and generally deliberately putting your character at high risk of death. You must also not attempt to kill any other character.

Bear in mind that this quirk will never, on its own, give you an advantage over a “mortal” character. If necessary, and in consultation with the player as much as possible, the GMs may slightly change actions in your turnsheet to avoid obviously lethal courses of action.

Damned (-1 to -4)

Bad Things are coming your way. We won't tell you what they are, that would spoil the fun. Terrible things will come to plague your character - the more points you spend, the more terrible (or frequent, at GM discretion).

Please give us an idea of why your character might be Damned, and give us a few examples of ways this has manifested in the past.

Nightmares (-1)

You are periodically assailed by hideous nightmares, which interrupt your sleep and concentration. Give the GMs some details, or leave us to work out the cause and nature. It should be noted that in this age nightmares are seen as being sent by demons and may indicate to some that you are possessed or unholy.

quirks.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/08 08:21 by ivan