Jade Traits

Zodiac Signs (Traits)

Time in eastern settings is measured by units of twelve signs, typically expressed as animals. No one knows the truth of how this came to be, though there are many stories and legends. These signs are used to measure the day as well as the years. The signs correspond to twelve two-hour cycles and appear in the same order as the annual cycle, beginning at midnight. The cycle starts with the rat, which is followed in turn by the ox, the tiger, the hare, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep, the monkey, the rooster, the dog, and the boar.

These signs can quantify the traits an individual has when born under the influence of a particular sign. When assigning the signs this purpose, distinguish one from another by the addition of the five elemental permutations of being. They low in the order of metal, water, wood, ire, and then earth. They are broken down even more by the determination of whether these signs are under the influence of the cosmic forces of yin and yang, making for ten different possibilities when combined with the elemental permutations of being.

According to the astrology of the region, an individual’s personality is strongly influenced by the signs they were born under. Mainly this refers to the year; however, the hour of one’s birth can have an influence. The elemental sign could be the primary influence rather than the traditional animal sign. Below are lists of the signs that can have an influence, both positive and negative, upon a character. This is an optional rule to encourage roleplaying with a game mechanic. It has a real bearing on the character’s personality and on how the character can influence or be influenced by circumstances in play. Use it to help define the character. Choose just one zodiac attribute below. Players who do not wish to have a zodiac attribute need not select one.

Zodiac Bonus: When the character encounters this particular circumstance or situation, he gains a short-term benefit or bonus.

Zodiac Penalty: When the character encounters this particular circumstance or situation, he suffers this complication or short-term negative effect. As a general rule, the DM should apply a -4 to -8 penalty.

Hero Points

Some of the signs below make reference to the spending of Hero points; if the DM does not use Hero points and still wants to use the Zodiac Signs optional rules, he can grant the character a single Hero Point once per day, that can only be used to activate the traits ability.


Boar

Those with this sign are sociable people with a comforting presence, but also tend to be too self-indulgent. They are often simple, hardworking, honest, understanding, patient, loyal, trusting, sturdy, sincere, calm, passionate, thoughtful, intelligent, overly reliant, gullible, fatalistic, and materialistic.

Zodiac Bonus: Others are comfortable near you because you make them feel safe. Your presence alone often eases their worries as long as you stay calm. When you spend a Hero Point, you cancel the effects of fear on yourself and any allies within 30 ft. for the rest of the current encounter.

Zodiac Penalty: You love to have a good time, which means that you like to eat, drink, and party too much. This can sometimes lead to you skipping out on your responsibilities and duties if you can ind a better time to be had elsewhere. Once per day, the DM can force you to unwind, have a good time, relax, and generally let your guard down when you would normally be on guard and alert.

Dog

Always known for loyalty and reliability, those with this sign are the most trusted of individuals. They can also be too judgmental of others. They have a sense of justice and are honest, straightforward, intelligent, amiable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, practical, affectionate, cynical, cold, pessimistic, lazy, stubborn, and quarrelsome.

Zodiac Bonus: You like to help others and strive to aid them accomplish their goals. When attempting to Aid Another, you grant a +4 bonus instead of the normal +2 bonus. You can spend a Hero Point to re-roll any failed Aid Another attempt. The new raw d20 roll must be better than the old one (reroll any that are not).

Zodiac Penalty: You are quick to judge and slow to change your opinion once your mind is made up. Too often, you tend to judge others on their appearance. A man dressed like a vagabond is clearly a vagabond, no matter how honorable or noble he may act. A woman wearing revealing clothing is clearly a lowborn courtesan of the streets and nothing more. Once per day, the DM assess penalties if you fail to jump to conclusions and to form an unsubstantiated opinion of someone you have just met.

Dragon

Those who have this powerful sign seem to be filled with a vitality and powerful will that can bring others to believe them capable of accomplishing anything. But they too frequently let this power go to their head. Often, they are self-assured, noble, stately, direct, dignified, magnanimous, passionate, decisive, vigorous, strong, generous, loyal, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, eccentric, grandiloquent, bombastic, prejudiced, dogmatic, overbearing, impetuous, and filled with energy.

Zodiac Bonus: Nothing in this world can keep you from what you desire. You can spend a Hero Point to prevent any of your opponents from spending a Hero Point or Hero points for the rest of the current encounter. You must do so before they spend their point and you must do it on your turn.

Zodiac Penalty: You are better than everyone else. To you, this is a fact. You have to let everyone else know this. After all, they are not as perceptive as you. Once per day, the DM can assess a penalty if you fail to show disdain or contempt for someone else (NPCs only).

Earth

Folk born under this sign are known to inspire others. They can also let their pride get the best of them. People with this sign are often reliable, prudent, stable, patient, militaristic, powerful, hardworking, ambitious, stubborn, disciplined, rigid, controlling, logical, and feel compelled by a sense of service and duty to others.

Zodiac Bonus: Others are encouraged by your exploits, which spurs them on to do great achievements of their own. You constantly encourage others to ind that inner spark of greatness that you know is there. At any time during a round, you can grant your Hero Point to any one ally who is within your line of sight. They must immediately spend that Hero Point. Unspent Hero Points return to you.

Zodiac Penalty: You become indignant towards others when they offer to help. If an offer of help or a gift ever feels the slightest bit like charity or pity, you will refuse it. Once per day, your DM can assess penalties if you accept an offer of aid.

Fire

Those who have this powerful sign seem to be filled with an energy and vitality that others want to emulate. They are often restless and reckless, and have leadership skills. Their traits include being dynamic, competitive, enterprising, adventurous, strong, single-minded, and having a good sense of humor.

Zodiac Bonus: Others are inspired to follow in your footsteps. You are an excellent leader and instructor who can teach and lead by example. Once per day, you can grant a number of allies equal to your Charisma bonus the ability to substitute your rank in a skill for theirs. Use for a single skill check of the same type. These allies must be within sight of you when you use this ability.

Zodiac Penalty: You lack the fear that normally prevents people from making foolish mistakes. You look courageous when confronted with a foul and hideous monster, but you can also ind yourself unable to recognize the danger being outclassed. Once per day, your DM can assess penalties if you hesitate or worry when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation.

Horse

These folk are known to adaptable and cheerful, but can also be a little too talkative and trusting. Most are mentally and physically agile, hardworking, popular, quick-witted, earthy, perceptive, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded, fickle, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn, and lack perseverance.

Zodiac Bonus: Your adaptable nature and lightning-quick mental agility allows you to keep your presence of mind in rapidly changing situations. You and you alone can never be caught flat-footed by an opponent who acts before you in the combat round sequence.

Zodiac Penalty: You are convinced that all people are basically good at heart and you have difficulty believing otherwise. The idea that someone you know and think of as a friend or ally could possibly lie, mislead, or betray you is simply too difficult to grasp. Once per day, the DM can assess penalties to checks when you interact with an NPC who is not actively trying to harm you.

Metal

Those with this sign are quiet, contained, and capable of understanding evil – perhaps a little too well. Once they decide they are in the right, they never doubt themselves. Many are reserved, respectful, sophisticated, unyielding, caring, determined, self-reliant, logical, tenacious, forceful, pleasure-seeking, and often place an emphasis on their need for personal space.

Zodiac Bonus: You know that in order to defeat evil, you must understand it. It is not pleasant, but you know how to think like the bad guy and predict his actions by putting yourself in his shoes. You can spend a Hero Point to learn what a villainous NPC or monster’s next action is going to be. Once the DM tells you, he cannot change the action based on your actions.

Zodiac Penalty: For you, the ends always justify the means. In order to achieve a noble and just goal you will do whatever it takes, even if that action would be considered wrong by those who would otherwise support you. Once per day, when faced with a difficult choice, the DM can assess penalties if you listen to the advice of others (PCs or NPCs) or you take a less heavy-handed action.

Monkey

Having this birth sign can mean you often think ahead, but it might also mean that you are too boastful. Monkey sign folks are inquisitive, inventive, innovative, intellectual, improvisational, cunning, competitive, dignified, motivational, flexible, reckless, snobbish, jealous, suspicious, egotistical, and vain.

Zodiac Bonus: Some think you have extremely sharp senses, while others believe you to have a talent for magic. The truth is that you have a sense for knowing when trouble is coming your way. You can spend a Hero Point to activate this ability as a free action. The next time the DM is about to spring a trap or some sort of terrible surprise on you, he must provide you with some sort of clear warning or foreshadowing. You begin any encounters able to act. After you receive a warning, you can spend another Hero Point to reactivate this ability.

Zodiac Penalty: You can handle anything that comes your way; nothing is beyond you. If you wanted to, you could best any opponent; you just haven’t had a reason to yet. Once per day, the DM can assess penalties if you act cautiously or fail to directly confront a foe or task.

Ox

Ox people are strong and steady, never straying from their goals, whether good or bad. They are frequently hardworking, calm, dependable, methodical, patient, modest, logical, resolute, ambitious, tenacious, narrow-minded, materialistic, and demanding.

Zodiac Bonus: You cannot be distracted. You concentrate all your energies towards accomplishing a great deal with only a limited amount of resources. While you work towards this goal, the whole world seems to narrow to the goal before you. Once per day, you may make a Concentration check when making any other skill check.

Zodiac Penalty: You seldom change your mind. Once you set upon a course of action, you cannot be deterred. Attempts to convince you that you are wrong often fall on deaf ears. Once per day, your DM can assess penalties if you change your mind about a decision your character has made.

Rabbit

People with this sign are frequently cautious and compassionate. Rabbit folks are artistic, gracious, tender, sensitive, kind, self-assured, reserved, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, astute, merciful, flexible, moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, lazy, and opportunistic.

Zodiac Bonus: Your plans are always very well thought out and you always have a backup plan ready if the first one should fail. Whenever you spend a Hero Point that adds +1d20, if you do not like the roll you got; you can re-roll it. However, you must accept the results of the second roll. Declare the use of this ability before the DM declares the success or failure of the first roll.

Zodiac Penalty: You don’t like to hurt people. Whether you like your opponents to live with the knowledge that they were bested by you or whether you simply just have a soft spot way down inside, the result is the same - you are merciful. Once per day, the DM can assess penalties if you do not spare someone.

Rat

Rat folk are disciplined and quick of wit, but can become too easily enamored with personal gain and the acquisition of power. They are industrious, meticulous, forthright, systematic, charming, eloquent, charismatic, sociable, shrewd, manipulative, vindictive, selfish, obstinate, overly ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, and scheming.

Zodiac Bonus: Insults mean nothing to you; attempts to intimidate you never work; and attempts to seduce you from your path only serve to strengthen your resolve. You may spend a Hero Point to prevent any mind-altering affect from working on you, as well as becoming automatically able to resist any use of the Intimidate, Bluff, or Diplomacy skills for the duration of the encounter.

Zodiac Penalty: You crave the power that comes from controlling others. Wealth is nice, but it is only an instrument of power to command others. This ambition can lead you to take risky grabs for power. The DM can assess penalties to your checks when you are have a choice to make that looks like it would increase your power, even if the deal is risky.

Rooster

Those born of the rooster sign are often perceptive and precise. They are incapable of having a weak opinion about anything. Many are well-organized, neat, meticulous, decisive, punctual, conservative, overly critical, perfectionists, practical, scientific, responsible, egotistical, abrasive, and opinionated.

Zodiac Bonus: The devil is in the details and your eyes are drawn to them. You seldom overlook important clues. Finding them is second nature to you. Once per day, you can succeed automatically at any Perception or Sense Motive check.

Zodiac Penalty: For you the world is quite simple. What you like and believe in, you pursue as if you could not live without it. What you dislike and do not believe in, you hate with all you are. Once per day, the DM can assess penalties if you fail to defend one of your opinions, no matter how inappropriate the time and place.

Sheep

Sheep people are creative and gentle by nature, but they can often be indecisive. They are shy, sympathetic, mild-mannered, artistic, sincere, compassionate, understanding, moody, pessimistic, wise, and patient.

Zodiac Bonus: Your inspiration is incredibly active and may well be your best trait. You are often inspired by your surroundings, which can bring to mind new ideas, conclusions, and strings of thought that others find difficult to deduce on their own. When you spend a Hero Point, you get an idea from the DM. You tell the DM what it is that you need help with, and he must give you an idea to assist you with solving the problem. This may take the form of a hint or whatever the DM feels is appropriate.

Zodiac Penalty: You are known to hesitate at moments of difficulty or when a timely decision is required - such as an enemy escaping while an ally faces impending peril. You are likely to be paralyzed with indecision. The DM can assess penalties to your actions, including reducing your initiative.

Snake

Those born under this sign of the snake are prudent and plan for the best time to strike. They can be too extravagant though. Many are opportunistic, wise, mystical, graceful, sensual, creative, elegant, shrewd, ambitious, calm, responsible, purposeful, hedonistic, and distrustful.

Zodiac Bonus: Some pursue their objectives with heedless abandon, but not you. You always carefully consider every action and step you take towards your objectives. Every move is deliberate and well-thought out. Whenever the DM spends a Hero point, you gain a Hero Point as long as you spend it during the current encounter.

Zodiac Penalty: The lap of luxury is where you like to be. Only the finest will do. You are never happy if you cannot stay in the finest establishments or dine with the finest food, drinks, and in the best of company. Once per day, the DM can assess penalties if you endure poor living conditions, friends or act without heed.

Tiger

Tiger folk are honorable and powerful, but can also have a terrible temper. They are unpredictable, impulsive, rebellious, passionate, sincere, vigorous, affectionate, restless, reckless, impatient, obstinate, and generous.

Zodiac Bonus: There are creatures that can inspire the greatest of terror in the hearts of men, but you are not one to become afraid so easily. Your courage in the face of such terrible creatures can make predators think they are prey. You can spend a hero point to reflect a fear effect back on an opponent, removing its affect upon you. This is a free action you can take even when it is not your turn. You can spend this Hero point before a saving throw if you know the effect is a fear effect. This ability does not protect your allies from being affected by fear effects. It does affect those immune to fear, though they gain a +4 to their saves.

Zodiac Penalty: Your temper is infamous. You are ready to fight at the slightest hint of an insult. Once per day, the DM can assess penalties if it looks like you might not lose your temper or might not fly into a rage at the slightest provocation.

Water

Folks born under this sign are intuitive and capable of deep thoughts. Their attention to their surroundings comes and goes like the tides, as they get caught up in their musings. They are flexible, secretive, charming, deceptive, compassionate, sensitive, compliant, eloquent, and intellectual.

Zodiac Bonus: Somehow, you head in the right direction to learn what you need to know. You occasionally just know things that you shouldn’t and can deduce things that others would never have guessed. You don’t always find the answer you are looking for, but you find it more often than not. The DM activates this ability by giving you a hint or other piece of information that can guide you where you need to go.

Zodiac Penalty: You have difficulty concentrating on the moment. At inappropriate times, your mind has a tendency to daydream and drift from thought to thought in quick succession. Once per day, the DM can assess penalties to any Perception or Sense Motive check.

Wood

Wood people have a concern for the personal growth and health of others that helps them to make many friends as they explore their environment. They sometimes get a little too curious for their own good. They are generous, warm, cooperative, idealistic, ethical, and enthusiastic.

Zodiac Bonus: You make friends more easily than most. Because of your good-hearted and endearing nature, friends pop up just when you need them most. When you spend a Hero Point, you gain an NPC connection that can be an ally, informant, confidant, patron, servant, extended family, lover, or compatriot from the same organization as you. The DM determines which role the connection fills, under what circumstances the connection is met, and whether or not the connection lasts after the current story arc.

Zodiac Penalty: Your curiosity often gets the best of you. When you hear a loud noise, you must investigate it. Once per day, your DM can assess penalties if you avoid investigating something unusual, even if it looks like it might be too dangerous for you to handle.

Yang

Folk born under the influence of a powerful yang sign are very lucky, but are often overly concerned with taking the correct and harmonious actions. This causes them to hesitate when confronted with doubt.

Zodiac Bonus: Good fortune follows you wherever you go. You do not suffer from the little moments of bad luck that seems to afflict others. You may re-roll one ability or skill check per encounter when the DC is 10 +1/2 your character level or less. You can do this only once for any given check and you must declare the use of this ability before the DM declares the success or failure of the first roll. Use the result of the second roll; you are lucky, but sometimes even the luckiest of folks have a bad day.

Zodiac Penalty: You are so concerned with doing the right thing that you doubt yourself when presented with a persuasive argument or piece of evidence. The DM can spend a Hero point to take away a standard action from you.

Yin

Those with an influential yin-aspected sign find that fortune does not favor them. Despite this, things always work out for them at the just the right moment before the final doom arrives.

Zodiac Bonus: Events come together at just the right moment. The floor gives out just as a rampaging monster from beyond the veil proves to be too tough for you to kill. The water pressure in the old cistern death trap proves to be too much for the ancient walls and the trap fails. Every prison you get held in has a planned escape attempt your first evening there. You may spend a Hero Point to gain a lucky escape to extract you and any allies from the current situation.

Zodiac Penalty: Luck and good fortune happen for other people, not you. Your luck isn’t too bad; you wouldn’t be alive now if it was terrible. But, you never seem to ind the lucky break you need to live the kind of life you would like to have. Your DM can spend a Hero point to make you re-roll a successful ability check, skill check, saving throw, or attack roll.

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