Houses Are People Houses Are People

Old school roleplay musings

PC stuff


Every time you level up, roll 1d100 on the Backstory Table.

Each result has a fragment of backstory and two potential outcomes. Everyone else at the table decides which outcome must have occurred, based on your behavior.

Make up a story about what actually happened, it can be as sparse or detailed as you want. No pressure.

Skill up! You gain the character upgrade or ability associated with your backstory outcome. Score!

D100 Backstory element
1 You got into a confrontation with a bully who was way tougher than you. Did you fight (+1 to hit vs higher level enemies) or flee? (+1 to fleeing rolls)
2 Your mother was dying of a terrible illness. Did you try to find a medical cure (+1 First Aid) or turn to darker and more ancient methods? (+1 to Arcana)
3 You moved away from where you grew up. Did you move into the city (+1 Cha) or away from it? (+1 Con)
4 Your father had a dangerous job. Did he do it to help people (+1 to selfless acts) or for profit? (once per session, obtain a gold coin by some means)
5 A theatrical troupe came through your town. Did you try to run off and join them (+1 to reaction rolls with gypsies, troupes and other itinerants) or help run them out of town? (Once per session, force a morale check to fail)
6 You had a good set of friends when you were younger. Were you the leader (give an order to someone once per round, if they obey they get +1 to their action) or a devoted follower? (+1 to actions that at least two others have succeeded at this round/turn)
7 You were gravely insulted. Did you fight them then and there (+1 Str) or get your revenge later? (+1 Int)
8 Your grandparents were always very religious. Did you follow their example (double benefits from your religious denomination) or turn your back on them? (Apostate to grandparents denomination, Cleric spells from that denomination have halved impact on you)
9 Something made you question your faith. Did you reaffirm your faith (+1 to beneficial cleric effects) or abandon it? (+1 to beneficial magical effects)
10 You thought your first love would last forever. Did they break it off (Whenever you carouse you may gain a local contact of your sexual preference until you leave town) or did you? (+1 HD of health for the rest of the session when you break a lover’s heart)
11 You found a wounded dog. Did you take him home (+1 beast morale) or find someone else to take care of him? (+1 henchman morale)
12 Someone close to you died too young. Did you blame yourself (When someone dies nearby, you can take a crit from whatever killed them to make them unconscious instead) or curse the one who did this to them? (Deal double damage against creatures that killed a PC this session)
13 You stole something valuable. Did you get off scot-free (+1 Sleight of Hand) or get ratted out? (Roll under your charisma to tell if someone is planning to betray you)
14 You killed somebody when you were young. Did you mean to do it (Once per session, mark an enemy to add +2 to your crit range against it) or was it accidental? (Allies cannot be harmed by your Fumbles)
15 They were lynching someone who nobody liked. Did you step in (Can give up your go to protect someone, taking half the damage that would have hit them) or join in? (+1 to hit vs creatures being attacked by 2 or more friends)
16 You were being hunted by someone horrible. Did you manage to hide from them (+1 Stealth) or did they find you? (Double first fleeing roll after failing a Stealth check)
17 The house of someone you hated was burning down. Did you try to help (Take half damage from fire) or let the place burn to the ground (+1 to fire damage).
18 Something went horribly wrong. Did you try to fix it before it got worse (+1 to actions taken to salvage a situation that’s just gone horribly wrong) or step back and deal with the fallout afterwards? (Once per session, survive the results of a cataclysmic failure)
19 You’d planned it out perfectly, and tonight was the night. Did things go just as planned (One planned action succeeds perfectly once per session) or fall spectacularly apart? (+2 to AC and Saves for ten minutes when a plan goes awry).
20 You were born under a great omen. Was it an omen of hope (Once per session, cause someone else to somehow survive something that should have killed them) or an omen of doom? (You gain +1 HD of health for the rest of the session every time a PC dies)
21 One of your parents was an alcoholic. Were they an angry drunk (+1 Dex) or a depressed one? (+1 Con)
22 You once quit a substance cold turkey. Was this on purpose (+1 to resist addiction) or because you were forced to? (drug effects are doubled)
23 There was a scary old woman who lived in a scary old house. Did you avoid it like the others (supernatural threats will not prioritise you) or go up and knock on the door? (+1 to do things everyone says is a bad idea)
24 You did something incredibly reckless and impressive. Was it to prove your bravery (+1 Str) or because you were egged on by others? (+1 Dex)
25 You nearly died doing something stupid. Did you survive by pure luck (Free reroll once per session) or because you saw it just in time? (+1 Search)
26 You pissed off someone powerful. Did you confront them (At will, force a creature to prioritise you) or talk them down? (Once per session, de-escalate a verbal confrontation)
27 You got in a fight with a lifelong friend. Did you apologise and make up (Gain a good friend in the town or city of your choice, one use) or fall out with them forever? (It turns out that somebody you don’t know here is your estranged buddy, “wait, JOHN?!”, up to you whether you’ve forgiven each other by now, one use)
28 A partner left you for someone else. Was your revenge petty (Once per round, deal one damage to the creature that just hit you) or brutal? (Deal an automatic crit against the creature that first takes you to 0HP in a session)
29 You have a secret that nobody knows. Is it embarrassing (Tell a new embarrassing anecdote that actually happened to you or your character to roll an extra die for carousing) or horrifying? (Once per session, force a morale check by telling people a new horrifying anecdote that actually happened to you)
30 You’re in love with someone in the party. Is it requited (Each gets +2 to hit enemies who’ve damaged the other) or a secret crush? (if your crush would be damaged in combat, you can jump in the way and take double the damage instead)
31 You’ve grown to be close friends with someone in the party. Are you buddies (+1 to each other’s rolls when next to each other) or friendly rivals? (When they roll the maximum success on something, you get +4 to do the same thing)
32 You owe someone in the party a great debt. Did they save your life (Once per session while they’re nearby, drop to 0HP to cancel any death dice they have accrued) or your soul? (+2 to saves vs chaotic magic when they’re nearby)
33 You were embarrassed in front of all your friends. Did you make a graceful exit (+1 Wis) or cause a scene? (+1 Cha)
34 You ran away from home. Did you come back on your own (+1 Wis) or did they have to bring you back by force? (+1 Str)
35 It was the hottest summer anyone could remember. Did you go outside out into the baking sun (+1 Con) or stay in the shade? (+1 Wis)
36 It was a cold cold winter and people were suffering. Did you give what little you could (When eating to heal, can grant your healing to someone else instead) or hoard it all to ensure your survival? (You can eat two rations instead of one when you take a break)
37 Suddenly nobody had enough to eat. Did you share what there was evenly (everyone gets +1 HP from eating to heal when you’re around) or give a little more to those most in need? (people gain double HP from food you’ve given them)
38 There was a raging flood. Were you able to save the most precious thing (Once per session, when something you own is going to be broken or lost, get it back by some means) or was it all washed away? (Any time something of yours is accidentally lost or broken, automatically pass the next save you roll in the session)
39 Violent men demanded tribute. Did you give them what they wanted (People will leave you alone if you cave to their demands) or did they take it by force? (+1 to hit people who’ve taken something from you)
40 A tyrant came into power. Did you join the resistance (Once per session, you can find a defector in the room) or obey the tyrant for personal gain? (douchebags will trust you)
41 You fell in love with someone you shouldn’t have. Were you prevented from being with them by age (+1 AC when protecting someone younger/older than you, depending on backstory details) or by honour? (+1 AC until you commit a dishonourable act per session)
42 You shouldn’t have kissed them. Did they make the first move (One per session, cause someone to make a romantic advance on you) or did you? (+1 HD of health for the rest of the session if you successfully romance someone)
43 You had to build a wall. Was it to keep something out (One per session, prevent something from breaking a barrier or fortification) or to keep something in? (Once per session, something you’ve plausibly trapped won’t escape this session)
44 You were starving to death. Did you eat the bread the beggar dropped (maximum healing when eating to heal) or give it back to them? (+1 to reaction rolls with the destitute)
45 You were destitute. Did you turn to begging (+1 Cha) or to petty crime? (+1 Dex)
46 They were completely obsessed with you. Did you feel adored (Henchmen standing next to you are immune to morale) or afraid? (Run away as fast as possible from an enemy that targeted you last round to force them to switch to another target)
47 You suddenly had a lot of money. Did you give generously (+1 Cha) or spend it all on yourself? (+1 Int)
48 You really respect someone in the party. Are they your idol (When they succeed at something, you get +1 to do the same thing) or your mentor? (At the start of the session, pick one of their skills. You can use their skill value for rolls as long as you’re close enough to see and hear them)
49 You were about to die. Did you calmly accept your fate (stop bleeding and dying while unconscious) or rage against the dying of the light? (+1 vs unconsciousness rolls)
50 You lost an argument with someone in the party. Was it about a choice they made (When they pass a save, you can automatically pass your next save against the same thing) or one you made? (When you fail a save, they can automatically pass their next save against the same thing)
51 You went to a party against your better judgement. Were you the life of the party (Roll an extra 1d6 for Carousing, but take it as a penalty to your Save vs Poison) or did they laugh at you? (double exp from carousing when you fail your save vs poison)
52 You did something you’d sworn never to do. Were they disappointed (Each session you can cause yourself to automatically pass an attack, a save and/or a skill check. Once each. You get -2 to that type of roll for the rest of the session) or impressed? (Each session get +2 to your first attack, save, and skill check that session)
53 You got married. Was it for love (+1 Wis) or for money? (+1 Int)
54 Strangers wanted to enter your town. Did you accept them (+1 Con) or scare them away? (+1 Str)
55 There was a great tragedy. Was it due to something you did (When your actions result in the death of someone you’ve known for at least 3 sessions, gain +2 to hit for ten minutes) or something you said? (Whenever your attempts at diplomacy fail, gain +2 AC for ten minutes)
56 You were at a marvellous feast. Were you a guest of honour (+2 to reaction rolls while at a large social event) or did you come uninvited? (Once per session, somehow gain access to a large social event)
57 The music was great and the audience was going wild. Were you a player (+1 Music) or in the crowd? (Double impact from good musical effects, no bad effect from bad)
58 You got washed away. Did this make you love the water (+1 Sailing) or fear it? (+2 to saves when nowhere near open water)
59 You were very overweight. Was this because you loved food (+2 HP when eating to heal) or because you loved booze? (+1 AC for ten minutes after downing alcohol)
60 You lost a lot of money. Was it gambled (+1 to Gambit attempts) or stolen? (Once per session, somehow work out the general location of something that used to belong to you)
61 You were horribly lost. Did you stumble into a helpful stranger (once per session meet a helpful stranger) or did you find your own way back days later? (+1 Bushcraft)
62 Tensions were building and something had to snap. Did you fight them (+1 Str) or fuck them? (+1 Cha)
63 It was the most delicious thing they’d ever tasted. Did you make it yourself (+1 Dex) or take the credit? (+1 Int)
64 You got punished for something that wasn’t your fault. Were you set up (Take half damage from traps another player set off) or did you intentionally take the fall? (When somebody is taken below 0HP nearby, somehow get in the way. They accrue and roll death dice as if they’d taken the hit, but you take the result as damage instead.)
65 You were meant to be looking after them, but when you turned around they were gone. Were you the one who found them alive (Once per session, stumble across someone who ran away from you this session) or the one who was blamed for their death? (When a henchman dies under your command, gain +2 to saves for ten minutes)
66 You were protecting something important. Did you break it accidentally (whenever a weapon or armour breaks, you can take a free action) or on purpose? (You can willingly destroy a weapon to hit automatically)
67 Eyes always turned to follow you. Was it due to your style (+1 to reaction rolls when you’re wearing clean, stylish clothes) or your stench? (+1 AC when you’re covered in filth)
68 You fell into a hole and couldn’t get out. Did your brother save you (You may grant people next to you a reroll to prevent falling) or shove you in? (If you fall, you can make a Climb check to grab onto the edge or convenient handhold part way down instead)
69 You were scared of the dark. Was it because you didn’t know what was out there (+1 AC while in pitch blackness) or because you did? (+2 Search in pitch blackness)
70 They asked you to do something against the law. Did you go through with it (+1 to hit guards, soldiers, and other forces of the law) or turn them in? (+1 to hit thieves, criminals, and other shady professionals)
71 You knew it was wrong but it felt so right. Did you hold yourself back (+1 to AC if you don’t engage in the first round of combat) or do it again the next night? (+1 when you repeat a successful action)
72 You could have stopped them, but you didn’t. Was it out of hatred (double damage to creatures that killed a friend) or for justice? (+2 to hit against creatures who you witnessed harm innocents this session)
73 They definitely deserved the punishment, but it was you who did the deed. Did you keep silent and let them get what was coming to them (Heal 1HP whenever an attack that could have randomly hit you hits someone else) or finally admit your guilt when they started to scream? (Can force randomly targetted attacks to target you)
74 If they knew what you knew, they’d know it had to be done. Was it over quickly (+1 Sneak Attack) or did they suffer? (Once per session, someone you torture must answer one question truthfully)
75 You knew they didn’t mean it, but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Did you make them hurt just as much (Once per session, deal as much damage as you just took to your attacker) or bury your pain way down inside? (Once per session, cancel all Pain dice you currently have. You can use each of them once this session to add to any other roll)
76 After all these years your hard work finally paid off. Did the results make you proud (At the start of the session, a random player names a challenge you will complete. +1 to hit until end of session if you complete it) or jaded? (At the start of the session, name a challenge another player will complete. You get +1 AC and they get -1 AC until they complete it.)
77 You were invited into a secret society. Are you still a member (Once per session, find a trustworthy society contact in a city) or were you to blame for its downfall? (+1 to hit versus leaders)
78 You gained a position of prestige and power. Did you abuse that power (+1 Int) or get betrayed by someone you thought you could trust? (+1 Con)
79 You had a baby with someone. Are they being looked after by another (Next character can be your child, starts with half your exp) or did they die tragically? (Name the location of your child’s grave. When you show a PC your child’s grave for the first time, you both gain 100*your level bonus exp)
80 It was the best moment of your life. Was it because you’d worked for it yourself (+1 to rolls when you are alone) or because somebody loved you so so much? (Once per session, cause someone who trusts you to pass all morale and fear checks for the next ten minutes)
81 You saw the face at the window. Did you open the window to let her in (Once per session, replace a random encounter with the least threatening thing on the local encounter table) or was it the terrible thing that had followed you home? (Once per session, cause the most terrible threat on the local encounter table to show up somehow)
82 You had a beautiful garden. Was this due to your green thumb (+2 to reaction rolls with intelligent plants, fungi, and other flora) or the offerings you left on the doorstep? (+2 to reaction rolls with Elves and other fae creatures)
83 You tried to help them but it was too late. Was it because they disregarded your advice (Get a reroll against fallout of someone disregarding your advice) or because you were too slow to save them? (Once per session, when someone is knocked down to 0HP, get to their side in a single round by some means)
84 You could tell by their expression that the news wasn’t good. Did you lose out on what you’d strived for (Can improve your next d20 roll by 1d4 but if you fail you take that in damage) or had someone you loved been harmed? (Whenever a PC dies, you become immune to death for one round per level of the dead. You take damage and death crits as normal, they just won’t affect you until this effect wears off)
85 You knew something was wrong, but nobody would tell you what it was. Was it to protect themselves (Whenever you roll the worst possible failure on a roll, other PCs gain +1AC for one round) or to save you from embarrassment? (Whenever you roll the worst possible failure on a roll, other PCs heal 1HP)
86 He was on his deathbed and beckoned you over. Did he tell you the secret that shattered your world forever (+1 Wis) or did you grant his final request for a painless death? (+1 Dex)
87 You knew you were slowing them down. Did you tell them to go on without you (When fleeing can give your flee die result to someone else) or get left behind? (+1 to fleeing rolls of people in front of you)
88 It was the best prank anyone had ever pulled. Did it hinge on a device you created (+1 Tinkering) or on a brilliant deception (Once per session, someone totally believes a plausible lie)
89 You should never have climbed so high. Did you climb down carefully (+1 Climb) or fall and get badly hurt (treat falls as 10’ lower)
90 You had a surprising turn of good luck. Did it last (Once per session, treat a die as if it rolled its highest value) or did karma take its toll? (After you fail a roll, +1 to your next roll)
91 You bumped into an old acquaintance on the street. Did they startle and try to run (Once per session, cause someone you’ve met before to run away from you as fast as possible for a round) or laugh in your face? (Once per session, force someone you’ve met before not to act for a round)
92 After that, everything changed. If you could go back would you change what you did (get a take-back once per session) or do it all again? (re-take an action and reroll any rolls once per session)
93 You met with them in a secret place. Did you give them one last kiss before you left forever (When you first kiss a willing person, gain +1 HP/HD for the rest of the session) or make an important deal? (When you make a deal with an adversary, gain +1 on reaction rolls for the rest of the session)
94 You were cowering but they just kept hitting you. Did one of them take pity and stop the others (enemies leave you to last when you go down) or did you seize an opportunity and escape? (Don’t roll to pass out when fleeing)
95 They were pleading for their life. Did you listen (Once per session, ask someone you just took to 0HP a question which they must answer truthfully) or let go? (When you strike the killing blow on a creature, heal 1HP for each of their HD)
96 You knew that no matter what you chose, it would hurt them. Did you do what was right (If you do something noble or righteous, gain +1 to your next roll) or what was easiest? (If you take a cowardly option that likely harms others, get +1 to your next roll)
97 He never told you his name, but he changed your life forever. Did he come from outside the country (+1 Languages) or from beneath it? (+1 to reaction rolls with subterranean beings)
98 It couldn’t have been a worse birthday. Was it due to a gift you were given (Check the game date. On this date every game year, and this date every real year, and on your real birthday, obtain 10 gold by some means. Exp is gained from it as normal) or someone who was there? (Check the game date. On this date every game year, and this date every real year, and on your real birthday, a known ally of your choice shows up at the start of the session)
99 It was a great night out until the law showed up. Were you with the cops (once per session cause whatever the most likely form of whoever “the guards” are to show up) or were you one of the instigators? (once per session cause everything to absolutely go to shit in an unexpected way. 1d6: 1-2, good for enemies, 3-4, bad for everyone, 5-6, good for you)
100 You investigated the fallen star. Did you hear it speak inside your mind (once per session, cast a random spell) or let the thing inside slither away? (once per session, induce crippling fear in someone who sees something horrible behind you)

Failed profession

D20 Academic Staff Quill and ink Ability
1 Alchemist Staff Oil, 1 flask
2 Apothecary Shortbow Pestle and mortar
3 Cartographer Shortsword Local area map
4 Diplomat Cudgel Fancy clothes
5 Fence Light crossbow 10sp sewn into jacket hem
6 Fletcher Shortbow Arrows, Bundle of 100
7 Forester Longbow Bear trap
8 Gluemaker Huge spoon Glue, 1 pot
9 Hunter Shortbow Deer Pelt
10 Librarian Letter opener Interesting book
11 Lookout Shortbow Spyglass
12 Messenger Shortbow Horse
13 Monk Staff Religious tome
14 Nobleman’s kid Longsword silver ring worth 20 sp
15 Philosopher Pen (it’s mightier!) Large, half-empty tome
16 Scholar Dagger Complicated Book
17 Scribe Darts Parchment, 10 sheets
18 Smuggler Sling Waterproof sack
19 Trapper Sling Badger Pelt
D20 Profession Weapon Item Ability
1 Assassin Knife in sleeve sheathe Poison, 1 dose
2 Butcher Meat cleaver Ham hock
3 Chirurgeon Bonesaw Needle and thread
4 Cook Fillet knife Chef hat
5 Grifter Dagger Quality cloak
6 Handyman Hammer Rope Ladder
7 Hawker Dagger Small, valuable goods (10sp)
8 Herbalist Dagger Herbs, 1 pouch
9 Jeweler Chisel (dagger) Uncut jewel worth 20sp
10 Locksmith Dagger Specialist’s tools
11 Mercenary Longsword Leather armour
12 Miner Pickaxe Bag of coal
13 Outlaw Shortsword Leather armour
14 Sailor Shortsword Spyglass
15 Soldier Spear Shield
16 Spy Dagger in sleeve sheath Specialist’s tools
17 Thief Dagger 5 caltrops
18 Tinker Hammer Tin snips
19 Trader Shortsword 20 sp
20 Weaponsmith Longsword Oils and Whetstones

Table of Replacement PCs (Skerples)

Roll Reason
1 Fell down a crevasse while gathering mushrooms
2 Captured by trolls. Currently alive and marinating.
3 Got black-out drunk and wandered down here.
4 Testing a scroll of teleport.
5 Put on a cursed ring found in an antique shop.
6 Searching for a rare herb, following a scry spell.
7 Searching for true love, following a scry spell.
8 Found a treasure map. Was woefully underprepared.
9 Found a treasure map. Was well prepared. Provisions stolen by ex-friends.
10 Attempted suicide by dungeon, changed mind at last minute.
11 Preaching to an unlikely audience (goblins, trolls, dryads). It’s not going well.
12 Preaching to an unlikely audience. It’s going too well. Needs to escape.
13 Pursuing lost cat for reward money.
14 Pursuing bandit tribe for reward money.
15 Pursuing bandit tribe to join them.
16 Left in dungeon as part of initiation ritual.
17 Hoping to rescue a prince or princess.
18 Hoping to meet and work for a powerful dragon.
19 Pissed of an elemental spirit.
20 Pissed off a minor god.
21 Pissed off a major, but empathetic, god.
22 Enthralled bloodslave of a vampire who just died by falling off a cliff.
23 Trying to find a new place to farm illegal mushrooms.
24 Farmhouse uprooted by tornado.
25 Farmhouse downrooted by earth-nado.
26 Valkyries grabbed wrong guy, dropped them off in dungeon in disgust.
27 Kidnapped and held for ransom by gnomes.
28 Last survivor of a now-dead party.
29 Last survivor of a presumed-dead party.
30 Last survivor of a presumed-dead party. They are still alive and they are assholes.
31 Turned into water by an evil wizard. Trickled down here and reformed.
32 Deserter from the front, waiting out the war.
33 Elected as king by mayfly people. Entire kingdom just died of old age.
34 Cursed to wander the earth until they solve (incredibly trivial) riddle.
35 Cursed to wander the earth until they solve obtuse mathematical problem.
36 Cursed to wander the earth until they get laid.
37 Prospector looking for rare ores.
38 Cultist willing to give up cult and evil ways for a hot meal.
39 Severe agoraphobia.
40 Goblin reincarnated as a human by confused goblin druids.
41 Devoured by a purple worm by wearing a very useful, now destroyed amulet.
42 Specialist hired by underground kingdom to fix a forge, now lost on way home.
43 Specialist hired by underground kingdom to fix king’s madness, now exiled.
44 Specialist hired by goblins, as a cruel joke.
45 Went swimming, caught in underground river, deposited in dungeon.
46 Lost a bet with a wizard.
47 Archeologist. The tomb-robbing kind.
48 Archeologist. The boring pottery kind.
49 Miner trapped here after an earthquake.
50 Trying to visit home of ancestors. Did not memorize the directions.

Player-Player Bonds

  1. Battle Brothers/Sisters - Years spent fighting together. You each get +1 to hit as long as you attack the same target as your battle brother/sister simultaneously.

  2. Destined Twins - You share everything. Your HP is pooled and shared between the two of you. Any negative physical effect that happens to one of you happens to the other, including death and or maiming. (e.g. sympathetic limp if the other one loses a leg, nausea if the other one throws up, etc.) This also works well for conjoined twin characters.

  3. Favored Son or Daughter - You adventure alongside your offspring. Your favored son or daughter must be lower level than you (and therefore, probably created after you). They must also be the same race and class. As long as you begin each session asking them “So what have we learned from all this?” they gain XP 10% faster, and whenever you assist them, you can double your bonuses you add to their attempt.

  4. Friendship - Merry and Pippin. You each get +4 to save vs fear when fighting beside each other.

  5. Love - Shouldering one another’s burdens. When the object of your love would be hit in combat, you can take the blow instead. This doubles the damage that the attack does. Only works if you are adjacent to the target.

  6. Master or Mistress - You have a servant or a slave. Whenever you would take damage that would drop you to 0 HP or less, you can shove your servant in the way instead, as long as they are adjacent to you. You take no damage, and your servant takes twice as much damage as you would have taken.

  7. Multiple Personalities - A person of two minds. This isn’t really a player bond, it’s more of a metagame mechanic. Two players play this character, so if player A isn’t there, player B plays that character. If both players are there, treat the character as if they were 1 level higher. If there is disagreement of what to do, flip a coin to determine who the dominant soul is. This dominant soul cannot be challenged for 30 minutes of game time.

  8. Protected - People are guarding you with their life. If you take no damage during an entire gameplay session, everyone gets +10% xp. If you die, everyone gets half xp this session.

  9. Rivalry - Striving to outdo one another. When your rival gets a critical success, you get +4 on your next roll of the same type and crit on a 19-20, as long as it’s made quickly. You don’t necessarily want them to fail, you just want to outdo them.

  10. Servant or Slave - You have a master or mistress. If your master spends their entire action giving you a command, you immediately get a free action to carry it out. (Hopefully this leads to lots of “Iago, slay this villanous goblin!” “Yes, master! I attack the goblin!”) You must succeed on a Charisma check to disobey your master, or lie to them. (You should also decide if you love your master or hate them.)

  11. Sworn to Protect - Bound by honor. If you are standing adjacent to the person you are sworn to protect, you can take hits for them. Whenever they would take damage from a melee attack, you can roll an attack roll against the monster who damaged them. If you succeed, the protected person takes no damage, and you instead take twice as much damage as they would have taken.

  12. Vendetta - Filled with schadenfreude. Whenever the target of your hate critically fumbles a roll, you get a +4 on the first roll you make next turn, and critical on a 19-20. The other person doesn’t have to be a hated enemy. They could just be a cleric from another religion, or your ex.

How to Implement These?

I don’t fuckin know. Maybe at character creation, players who agree to a bond start with -1000xp for every bond or something. This doesn’t de-level them down to level 0, it just delays how long it takes for them to reach level 2.