About custom traits in adventurer creation or: How to become tall?

There are two major ways to acquire traits, right?

  1. during adventurer creation (stock + home/nature question trait)
  2. during the winter phase

While the winter phase is very free form, character creation as written gives very specific rules for which choice leads to which trait.

So my question is: how to become ‘tall’?
The tall trait is listed as an example trait but never used anywhere in the character creation chapter
and does not lend itself well to a story in the winter phase
“And suddenly we realized that you have been really tall the whole time”,
not totally unreasonable but a bit awkward.
So, is there another way to become tall?

The more general question perhaps is:
If I want to allow players to choose traits like tall, other physical traits or even any trait of their choice
during adventurer creation, would you:

  • replace the home trait?
  • treat it as an additional trait?
  • not allow it at all?

While I understand that the game will probably easily work with any of these variants and I can play it any way I like,
I am still interested in an official answer or if anyone has experience with custom traits in char creation :slight_smile:

Having a trait means that the physical feature is now a Big Deal. Like, before, you may have been tall, but it wasn’t a big deal. But if your character’s height started becoming noticeable, somebody could vote you the trait Tall, and now it’ll become important to the story.

My players (very new to roleplaying) had a lot of trouble figuring out how to apply some of the traits that arose from character creation, so I basically did an early and very abbreviated winter phase to naturally evolve traits that they would feel comfortable playing (because they’ve already been playing them). If I remember correctly these traits replaced their home traits, but it’s been a while since we’ve played, due to babies. Now I’m pretty sure that’s not how the game is meant to be played, but it worked for us.

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone. This is work-in-progress and unedited:

RimholmeRimholme was born in blood and fire nearly 300 years ago. It is said that on the day of its birth the dragon-prowed longships of Bjorn Longfarer and his followers—men and women lean and hungry as wolves—appeared in scores from the frosty dawn mists on Rik Bay as if from a dream. They dragged their ships upon the shore of an ancient fishing village, and with axe and spear they drove the Sakki before them, claiming the land for their own. Within but a few years, the Sakki would be no more and the remaining peoples of the Middarmark would bend their necks to their new overlords…

With timbers from their mighty ships, the Bjornings raised a city upon the bones and ashes of the nameless fishing village. They mounted the dragon prows upon the shore, facing Rik Bay and the icy waters of the Rimfjord, a warning to others who might seek to take what they had paid for in blood.

In the centuries since, Rimholme has become the seat of the Bjorning kings and the wealthiest city of the Middarmark, rivaled only by Stortmarke upon the Regn Coast. Known for its tall, timber-framed houses painted in bright oranges, reds and yellows and reminiscent of the longships of old, Rimholme trades in furs, lumber, silver, iron, salt and other goods along the Dalveien—the road that connects Rimholme to the Jeilir and Dreik valleys in the west—and by sea. Its fishing fleets brave the awesome and terrible sea serpents of the Skyet Sea to harvest the sea’s bounty, especially valuable whale fat and ambergris. Its ships import grain from the Regn Coast, Svanland and even distant Ostergard and export salted fish, furs, whale oil and more.

The people, though tall and bright-eyed in the way of their ancestors, tend to the stolid and reserved unless deep in their cups. They have a reputation for hard work and steely-eyed trade.

Despite its wealth, some say a darkness lies upon Rimholme and all who dwell there, a creeping shadow that haunts the frost-rimed streets when the sun sets. Legend claims ill-luck flows from the barrow mounds around the Chalk Horse in the downs north of the city, where ancient Sakki chiefs sleep the endless sleep in barbarian splendor, guarded for eternity by ghost fences made from the heads of their enemies. Few adventurous souls willingly go there.

If a curse does infect Rimholme, there is no doubt the Bjorning kings and queens have felt its bite. Few indeed, beginning with Bjorn Longfarer himself, have died old in their beds. Tragedy and ill-chance dog them–King Bård Sygtrigsson broke his neck in a fall from his horse while hunting but two years past. The Jarls and Lendermenn have elected Astrid Ringsdóttir, Bård’s wife, as queen. She has made it clear that she expects to retire when her daughter, Halla, reaches her majority. Whether the Jarls and Lendermenn will elect her remains an open question.
Skills: Steward, Carpenter, Sailor
Traits: Tall, Jaded

Available LocationsTavern, Street, Stables, Flophouse, Inn, Hotel, Home, Temple, Market, Guild Hall, High King’s Hall
Alignment: Law

Current Laws
[li]Theft is a criminal act. Punishable by loss of limb or facial branding.[/li]
[li]Defamation of the boy king and Queen-Regent is a criminal act. Punishable by incarceration or whipping.[/li]
[li]To defile a tomb is an offense before the Immortals. Punishable by execution.[/li][/ul]

In general: You can make Tall a trait of the towns you create. You could also award a character the Tall trait during the Winter Phase if it makes sense. If the character didn’t previously have the trait, their height just didn’t matter. It didn’t help them or hinder them. Height is already implied by the respective Hidden Depths, Born of Earth and Stone and First Born traits of halflings, dwarves and elves.