Characters have weaknesses as well as strengths — both are necessary to create an interesting, well-rounded individual. In the HERO System, the personal complications, hindrances, and drawbacks a character has to confront during his adventures are represented with Disadvantages. Determining a character’s Disadvantages helps develop his personality and background. Disadvantages should also provide the GM with interesting ideas for adventures.

This section describes the various Disadvantages a character can take. Not all Disadvantages are appropriate for every character in every genre. For example, a knight wouldn’t normally take Accidental Change, and most normal humans have no reason to take Vulnerability. However, all the Disadvantages are presented in a single list for ease of reference.

All Disadvantages are subject to the Basic Law of Disadvantages: A Disadvantage that isn’t a disadvantage isn’t worth any points!

None! For example, if a PC wants to take Physical Limitation: No Legs, and then buys Extra Limbs (legs), he doesn’t get the Disadvantage points. Similarly, if the character takes Hunted By Trolls when there are no trolls in the campaign world, it’s not worth any points.

Using Disadvantages
The GM should remember that Disadvantages are there to be used. A Disadvantage shouldn’t dominate play — not every opponent needs to have an attack that exploits the character’s Vulnerability — but they come into play oft en enough to keep the character on his toes. A GM shouldn’t feel bad if he uses a lightning bolt against a character who takes 2 x STUN from Electricity; that’s what the Disadvantage is for, aft er all.

The GM should have a copy of each player character’s sheet for his reference, especially the character’s Disadvantages. He should use them to create adventures and subplots. If he’s stuck for an adventure to run one evening, he can script an entire scenario around a PC’s Hunted or DNPC. Such an adventure won’t seem far-fetched, and besides, that character gets to be the center of attention for a whole game.

Accidental Change
Distinctive Features
Physical Limitation
Psychological Limitation
Social Limitation

In the Pirates of Atlantis Campaign, certain Disadvantagers will be more likely than others. If PCs start in the Atlantean Dominion, then Non-Atlanteans will HAVE to take a form of Social Limitation “Non-Atlantean” worth 5 points. If they start in the Lemurian Empire, then a similar “Non-Lemurian” Disadvantage, but worth 10 points will be mandatory.

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