In this game, I will present the Big Five Personality Traits as describing characters in five dimensions. Many people use the other popular Personality Trait model that has four traits, which is becoming less popular and is under copyright. Big Five is under Public Domain.
Personality Traits are assigned levels similar to traits focusing on from Superb to Terrible. They are assigned according to how the player wants the character to react and act. I present also an option to limit the levels assigned. GM always has final say.
The negative and positive don’t mean anything except depending on the polarity of the situation. If you are neutral, you wont receive a bonus nor penalty for your personality for the situation.
These traits may will either help the GM decide who controls a situation or provide bonuses or penalties for situation rolls, accounting your personality rather than attributes. The positive and negatives may be reverse based on the situation.
Example: A character has Great Conscientiousness. A character is in a situation were someone wants the character to do something spontaneous. If it was a conscientious situation requiring organization or duty, they would have received a Good or +2 to a situation roll. In this case, spontaneity is required, so they receive a Poor Spontaneity or a -2 as a reversal type roll.
The acronym OCEAN can be used to remember the five dimensions of personality. Personality affects how characters see the world and interpret what they see. It presents how they basically react to events and conflicts.
O - Openness to Experience [Ideas & Experiences]: On the positive side is inventiveness, creativity, artistic nature, imagination, independence, adventurous spirit, curiosity, and preference to change, variety, and novelty. At an extreme a person becomes liberal, rebel, and anti-authoritarian.
On the negative side is conscientious, consistency, conventional, traditional, plain, straightforward, obvious, and stick to familiarity and resist change. At an extreme, a person endorse authoritarian, ethnocentric and prejudiced views.
C - Conscientiousness [Rules & Laws]: On the positive side is organized, efficient, dependable, dutiful, have self-discipline, focus on achievement against goals or expectations, prepares, pays attention to details, likes order. At an extreme are perfectionist, workaholics, and compulsive.
On the negative side is easy going, carefree, spontaneous, misplaces items, leaves stuff around, and doesn’t like duties. At an extreme level the person becomes antisocial and maybe criminal.
E - Extroversion [Energy & Activity]: On the positive side is outgoing, energetic, positive emotions, assertive, social, talkative, seeks to be with others, breadth of activities, enthusiastic, action-oriented, center of attention, life of the party, and starts conversations with many different people.
On the negative side is introverts, reserved, solitary, less energy, quiet, low key, deliberate, less involved in the social world, like to be alone, things before they talk, doesn’t draw attention - not necessarily anti-social or shy - rather more reserved and controlled expressively.
A - Agreeableness [Social & Helping]: On the positive side is compassionate, friendly, cooperative, trusting, helpful, gets along, kind, generous, compromises self interest for others interests, and is optimistic of human nature. In the extreme, they would sacrifice oneself for others.
On the negative side is disagreeable, analytical, detached, suspicious, antagonist, self-interest, unconcerned with others, skeptical, and uncooperative. In the extreme they would only care for oneself, even if they could help others, even close friends.
N - Neuroticism [Emotional & Tension]: On the positive side is sensitive, nervous, insecure, moody, upset, tense, emotional (anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerable), emotionally unstable, low tolerance for stress, reactive, experiences many negative emotions.
On the negative side is confident, secure, emotionally stable, relaxed, less upset, calm, experiences positive emotions.
Option for assigning Personality Traits
Dominant Personality Trait: Only one of the five can be either Superb or Terrible, giving a +/- 3 to rolls depending on the situation.
Primary Personality Traits: Two of the five can be Great or Poor, giving a +/- 2 to rolls depending on the situation.
Secondary Personality Traits: The other two of the five can be either Good, Fair, or Mediocre, giving a +/- 1 or 0 to rolls.
The player can choose to demote any of these to a lower level towards zero, or do all of them at Fair. This would make things a little more dull and lease interesting in different situations.
For example: you could just have one Superb/Terrible, one Great, and the rest secondary Personality Traits.
Example of Personality Trait Creation:
A player is creating a character Tsuka as a tactical planning type person. When plans don’t go well or people don’t follow good plans, he has the tendency to explode and become emotional, yelling at people, not always politely.
Choosing Conscientious as Tsuka’s Dominant Personality Trait, he assigns at Superb, since the positive side is for planning and organizing. As primary Personality Traits, he assigns Extroversion and Neuroticism both at Great. This is because he gets his energy by being in a crowd of people, yet becomes emotionally unstable very easy, when provoked by lack of order or following directions, normally openly expressing his opinion. As secondary Personality Traits, he puts Agreeableness and Openness at Mediocre. This is because he becomes slightly antagonist, skeptical, and uncooperative, easily vocalizing and expressing his emotions, unless others are following his plans, tactics, or strategy. He is slightly closed to new ideas, unless they make tactical, strategic, or methodical sense.
Most actions and reactions can be resolved logically by a GM without any roll just by comparing personalities. Whoever has the needed trait the highest normally get their way, unless challenged. If challenged, stressed, opposed, or up against something, you can easily turn the personality levels into a roll.
The assigned personality traits can be used with Situation rolls which are unopposed or in opposed situations where the rolls become Social Combat. Skills, Gifts, and Faults related can modify rolls, as well as environmental or situation factors.
Example: Tsuka would less likely explode in a religious area, or near a superior leader. He would be biting his tongue most likely, then would explode later, on some unsuspecting target.
Personality Situation Modifiers (GM Determined)
Superb Beneficial +3
Great Beneficial +2
Good Beneficial +1
Fair (no beneficial nor opposition) 0
Mediocre Disadvantage -1
Poor Disadvantage -2
Terrible Disadvantage -3
Example: The GM might say that being in a situation such as a religious area or near superior leader might be causing a Terrible Disadvantage (Maybe even Impossible) to Tsuka's Neuroticism emotional situation and his tendency to externalize via Extroversion his emotions.
Ken Wickham 3-19-2015