Alloy: Monster Traits

Alloy LogoIn order to make the game system as flexible as possible for game masters and players, the special abilities of monsters are for the most part traits just like the options available to hero characters. While many thousands of pages have been written in this hobby containing new and novel ways for monsters to be described, I feel that when you want to do cool things that the monsters can do, it helps if there is a list to look through. This list is the Unusual Traits list, which was referred to earlier in this series. Here are some of the most common traits off of that list.

Example Unusual Traits

Armor
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character’s race is blessed with a thick skin or armored plates over the majority of their body. This provides better protection from assault and cannot be taken away. Worn armor combines with natural armor, but either supplants its protection and gains a +1 bonus due to the layer of protection underneath, or does itself gives a +1 bonus over the natural armor. Regardless, natural armor cannot be ignored by physical attacks which ignore armor, although it can still be lessened by precise hits. It is no more proof against attacks which target the mind or spirit than worn armor. Armor with openings is easier to bypass with maneuvers, lowering by an additional point in such situations.
Cost: 5 points per rank, 3 points per rank for Exposed armor. There is a usual maximum of 2 for humanoids and 6 for creatures.

Berserker
Trained
Requirements: Special
The character does not suffer the effects of fear or wound penalties when engaged in heavy combat. When attacking a target, if the character suffers or deals a Wound or Critical it may automatically begin to frenzy at the same time. This state lasts until the end of the scene or the creature drops dead. Frenzied characters ignore wound penalties, do not have to test for non-supernatural fear or morale, and are Diminished on all mental tasks that require rational thought. Frenzied characters often remain in combat well after most would flee, and are unafraid of attacking foes well above their ability to defeat. The character may receive additional experience for making choices clouded by adrenaline and fury which cause them or the group serious hardship.
Cost: 4 points

Camouflage
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character has the ability to hide themselves within specific surroundings, or to change coloration to match their surroundings entirely. This is worth a +2D bonus to Stealth rolls when the character is not moving very quickly or is frozen with stillness.
Cost: 2 points for one environment, 6 points for all environments

Dark Vision
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character never suffers vision penalties due to lighting conditions, and can navigate without error in the dark. The character cannot see color while using Dark Vision, although the lightness or darkness of objects is notable, and the character can guess at it’s color in light. The character has a 50% chance of being blinded if operating in total darkness and a bright light is introduced.
Cost: 6 points

Extra Speed
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character has a speed classification which gives it +1D per rank. This applies primarily to chases, but could equally apply to actions meant to overcome rough terrain. Additionally, the bonus is added to Dodge rolls or to figure Dodge TNs. The Game Master can invalidate this bonus if the character is bound, or not being mobile while declaring a dodge.
Cost: 1 point per rank, maximum rank of 3.

Flight
Inborn
Requirements: Special
Character can move through the air with full motion control. The character’s grace when doing so is determined by their die bonus to Speed and Dodge while airborne. If the character can fly without need of wings for support, this is more expensive as wings can become impaired to affect or eliminate this ability.
Cost: 1 point per 6 mph travel speed plus 2 points per Die, unaided flight costs double.

Invulnerability
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character suffers one less Wound from every hit dealt by a non-magical physical source. This special defense is bypassed by a specific vulnerability. It is possible to have invulnerability which ignores magic fully and is only bypassed by a set attack type. Whether the vulnerability is common or obscure affects the cost as well. Invulnerability does not lessen non-physical effects.
Cost: 8 points. If it affects all physical attacks it costs 12 points. If it has an obscure weakness it costs twice as much as normal.

Natural Weapon
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character possesses a natural weapon such as claws, fangs or a tail. Choose one Beast Weapon, and figure it as per normal, but Brawling applies for heroes.
Cost: Varies (1 for Bite, Claw, Tusk, Tail or Tentacle, 2 for Blunt Horns, and Trample, 3 for Sharp Horns.)

Poison
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character naturally generates a poison with a rank up to 4 (monsters can have higher values). This has the same variables as any other toxin or poison. Once these variables are accounted for, the cost can be figured.
Cost: 2 point per rank for Enfeebling Toxin, 4 points per rank for Necrotic or Humor Toxin. 3 extra points for Inhalation method and 6 extra points for Contact method.

Regeneration
Inborn
Requirements: Special
Characters with regeneration can expend 1 action cost to activate this trait and stage down wound related conditions over time. If the character is Critical but is not dead at the end of a round, the character heals enough Wounds not to be Critical any longer. Then regeneration goes dormant for the next 10 phases. Any creature which receives enough Wounds to die outright gets a 50% chance to simply fall to Critical status instead, but if not, they die immediately. If the character does not have a Critical, then he heals 1 Wound instead. If the character suffers an injury, the injury is healed instead. It is important to understand that the highest severity effect disappears and then the trait goes dormant for a limited time.
Attacks which utterly destroy the body: acid, fire, disintegration, etc. cannot be regenerated in this manner, but the character gains the benefit of Quick Healer for such wounds. The character is vulnerable to poison and disease but recovers quickly. If the character succumbs to a poison or disease’s primary effect by a margin of less than 3 (i.e. their Strength roll is bested by 2 or less successes) then the character shrugs off the effect after 1 round and instead suffers the secondary effect for four more rounds. Damage caused by poison or disease can be regenerated just as normal after the disease or poison runs its course.
Cost: 12 points

Resistance
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character suffers one less Wound from every hit dealt by the specified source. This effect may not be bypassed, although attacks made up of multiple forms of damage can do damage separately. For example, shooting a fire resistant creature with a flaming arrow doesn’t negate the impact of the arrow. In such cases, the additional damage to which the creature is resistant is ignored. This trait must be associated with an uncommon or rare energy or attack type, such as electricity, acid, sound, mental etc. It cannot be associated with extremely broad categories such as all physical damage, magic, divine energies, etc. This trait’s effects do not stack with Immunity or Invulnerability. Against non-damage based effects, this trait gives the attacker a -2D penalty to affect the character if they are unwilling.
Cost: 3 points

Size
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character is bigger or smaller than a similarly aged human, and it affects his physical capabilities. The Game Master is always free to apply penalties to non-combat related rolls based on this disparity with the normally human-sized world. The combat adjustment also applies to certain non-combat rolls, such as Stealth checks. The Game Master will let you know if you should apply your adjustment or the inverse to a roll.
Cost: Tiny 4, Small 2, Large 3, Huge 6, Titanic 12 points

Thermal Vision
Inborn
Requirements: None
The character is capable of seeing heat sources. This means that the character can easily make out campfires and target living creatures in the dark without penalty. Inside caves and other large open spaces, the character can distinguish open area tunnels from walls and clumsily navigate even in total darkness.
Cost: 2 points

Water Breathing
Inborn
Requirements: Special
The character is capable of easily breathing water as well as air. The character never suffers from drowning when submerged in salt or fresh water and may be submerged indefinitely. Creatures which can breathe water but not air do not need this trait. They simply breathe water naturally and drown in airy environments.
Cost: 4 points

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About Byron D. Molix

I am an information technology professional in Missouri. I've been an avid fan of fantasy and science fiction novels, comic books, pen and paper role-playing games, computer games and console video games for the last two decades. My dream would be to one day make a comfortable living while having the time to pursue writing (novels, rpgs, etc.) as a full-time hobby.

Posted on May 23, 2015, in Alloy, Gaming and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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