Traits

Traits are an optional rule variant for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition that replaces inspiration. This variant places the responsibility and power of roleplaying rewards in the hands of the players freeing up mental space for the GM and encouraging players to roleplay harder.

Available on Dungeon Master’s Guild: Traits on DMsGuild
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Traits

Traits are an optional replacement for Inspiration.

Traits are simple words or phrases that explain the defining features of your character. Your character starts with and always has three traits.

Traits can be invoked by players to grant advantage or disadvantage on rolls where those traits are relevant in the story. They can also be invoked to grant non-roll based benefits or misfortunes at the GM’s discretion.

Once a trait has been invoked to gain advantage or benefit it is marked and cannot be used again to gain another advantage or benefit until it has been unmarked. When a trait is invoked to grant disadvantage or misfortune you can unmark one trait of your choice. All traits are unmarked at the start of each session.

EG:
“Hairy”
Invoked to grant advantage on deception check to disguise oneself as a bear.
Invoked to grant disadvantage on acrobatics check to escape a sticky swamp.

“Honest”
Invoked to grant advantage on persuade check to convince a priest to give people asylum for the night.
Invoked to grant disadvantage on sleight of hand check to steal the keys to a jail cell.

At the end of each session the rest of party votes on which trait is least descriptive of your character in that session and then decide on a new trait that describes how your character was during the session. You then remove the trait that was voted least descriptive and replace it with the new one.

Optionally, if your game has an audience, the audience can vote on which trait to remove and what to replace it with.

Traits cannot be the same or very similar to abilities, skills, features or other traits the character already has.

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