We gamers like to dwell in worlds that differ greatly from our own. Perhaps this is because the world around us fails to make sense in the way the worlds on the pages of our books and in our mind’s eye can. Despite the fantastical elements, despite the physicality and tangibility of evil, there is a sense of right and wrong our world sometimes lacks. It harkens back to the stories of childhood when we could easily tell the good guys from the bad guys and the world was black and white.
As a writer and game designer, I am always aware of the necessity of folk to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves into what I have created to gain the fullest sense of enjoyment. It’s a joy that GMs can share with their peers, and when it comes together, the worlds we make in our imaginations become almost tangible for a moment.
The template I’m about to present is my take on a sociopath. Know your players before introducing it or simply do not mention the mechanics. I say this again as a caution: Know your players. If they want to mix in moral shades of gray, don’t break immersion if you don’t have to.
That said, this week I’ve made a template based off common traits of a sociopath. This can be any humanoid—a killer, a thief, or an ally to the party. It’s a template that mixes strengths and weaknesses and can be used a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. The character you build can be as varied as any person in the real world who has some degree of sociopathy—it’s up to you how you wish to use this template. So, join me after the jump as Old Hat Monster’s presents the sociopath template.
The sociopath (CR +1) is available to player character races only. The sociopath can be a functional member of a community or a criminal element. There’s no outward physical difference, thus they hide in plain sight.
Alignment cannot be good-aligned; lawful is rare but possible
Type/Size/AC/HD are all unaffected
Feats Combat Reflexes (sociopaths seeking to wound or kill take any opportunity presented to attack)
Skills +2 to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Disguise; –4 to Sense Motive (sociopaths can be socially charismatic and adept at deceit and intimidation; they lack the empathy required to excel at sensing the motives of others)
Weaknesses –2 to Will saves (having no attachments means having less motivation to fend off mental assaults)
Decisive and Efficient (Ex)—Sociopaths do not pause to consider the consequences of striking and attack to deal the most damage. They gain a +2 bonus to initiative in any round they are striking in melee, and they gain 1d6 extra damage any time an opponent is flat-footed against them.
Collateral Damage (Ex)—A sociopath can damage any unattended item or make a free combat maneuver against an ally as a part of a withdraw action. Some use this to sacrifice expendable allies or cause damage to cover an escape.
This character can be a red herring in a mystery set-up or a secondary threat in a city-based encounter (this is best if the character acts as an ally first). He or she could also be a villain who has everyone fooled.
Did I get this right? Was there more you wanted to see? I’ll take one crunch request for the first commentator and do basic character concepts for every other commentator that requests it.