In the past weeks I’ve learned two things about Open Legend.

  1. Feat points are very limited (as they should be because feats are powerful)

  2. Pretty much any build works absolutely fine if the distribution of attribute and feat points is not entirely random (again, all working fine).

I was thinking about flaws and how they tend to make for a more interesting character and story.

So despite the points I’ve mentioned I want to play with the concept of Anti-Feats/Weaknesses/Drawbacks. These would be taken like feats or maybe even forced upon a player by the GM (although this should be rare and most often temporary).
The idea is to introduce a glaring weakspot or incapability in exchange for a small amount of feat points. Because of the strength of feat points it should be rather expensive. The difference to Flaws would be that these are mechanical in nature rather than roleplay-related and can’t be “turned on/off” as Flaws can.

So I came up with two examples:

Energy Vulnerability (I-II)

Reward: 1 point

Tier 1-2: None

Description: Wether due to your physiology, a phobia or even a curse, a certain type of energy is more effective against you. Maybe you’re an ice elemental that melts in fire, a robot prone to overloading when faced with electricity or you have perpetually burning hair and just got it done only to be ruined by an icy blast.

Effect: Choose from the following energy types: fire, cold, lightning, acid, poison, or another at the GM’s discretion. When you are attacked with that energy type, your defenses are reduced for the attack as follows:

Tier 1 - Your defense scores are decreased by 4 against the chosen energy type.
Tier 2 - Your defense scores are decreased by 8 against the chosen energy type.

Special: In addition to purchasing multiple tiers of this drawback, you may take this drawback multiple times and select a new energy type each time, but only at the GM’s discretion. GMs are reminded that taking a lot of drawbacks can make for a very unbalanced character.

Bane Vulnerability

Reward: 1 point

Tier 1: None

Description: Some Banes have a greater impact on you. Maybe you easily panic when you’re not in control of your mind or have two left feet when it comes to moving while impaired.

Effect: Choose one of your defense scores. Whenever a bane is inflicted via that defense you have disadvantage on resist rolls against that bane.

Special: You can take this drawback more than once, choosing a different defense score each time.
The resilient feat and this drawback cancel out when both are applicable.


Effect: Choose one bane. Whenever you are attacked with that bane, your respective defense score is considered to be 5 lower and you always have disadvantage on resist rolls against that bane.
You suffer disadvantage 1 when inflicting that bane yourself because of your aversion to it.

Special: Your GM might rule that certain Banes are not eligible to be taken with this drawback.
This drawback makes the resilient feat not work for the chosen bane, so that resist rolls still suffer disadvantage even with the resilient feat.
You can only take this drawback once.

I’m not too sure about the second one, especially the alternative version might lead to shenanigans, which is why the Special section is there and why you can only take this one once.

In general I would limit the amount of either Drawbacks or amount of feat points that can be earned via Drawbacks per character if I were to allow these at all.

Tell me what you think!
Do you think these are too strong? Too weak? What would you limit players to?


I love this idea, very much a mechanical equivalent to the narrative flaws. They seem tricky to balance though, as you said they could easily lead to shenanigans so GM control by default is a good call.

Energy Vulnerability seems about right, I’d even be happy to run that in my own games. You’re right to be wary of Bane Vulnerability, that could swing wildly between overpowered and too weak depending on the chosen bane with how often it gets used and how powerful it is, a watchful GM is a must.

I think I might limit the number of drawbacks to half your level rounded up, any more than 5 or so and it becomes hard to track, and you don’t want too many extra points available at low levels.

I look forward to seeing more of these. Maybe other community members might have some ideas?

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The Bane thing isn’t well worded or designed I’d say off hand. The first option is a resounding no, the 2nd one is a little better, but still off quite a bit I feel.

The energy one seems good like Sam said.

I’ll come back and give some thoughts (doing stuff in the morning at the moment), but overall I’m not sure I like the idea of “drawbacks” giving feat points.

Personally, I would make it cost feat points, and reward you potentially with Legend Points or a temporary boost to another action.

Making it cost feat points doesn’t seem like something a player would want to take and would make Legend Point earning rather mechanical i’d think. Due to the mechanical nature of Drawbacks as described you’d need to either reward a Legend Point each time it becomes relevant regardless of roleplay or use in the story or still have it depend on those which would really make it a costly Flaw.

Now a Bonus sounds more interesting, reminds me of Reckless Attack where you need to trade 5 Hit Points each time you use it or Battle Trance in general with the Fatigue. But we got those already as feats, and this is more about pursuing a different idea.

That said, I had another idea:


Reward: 1 point

Tier 1: At least 3 in the chosen attribute

Description: May it be a curse, karma or just plain bad luck, misfortune seems to follow you everywhere.

Effect: Choose an attribute. Whenever you do an action roll with that attribute, when a die other than the d20 fallls on a 1, it implodes. Roll that die again and subtract the new result from the total of the roll. A die can only implode once and doesn’t explode on it’s maximum either.

Special: Your GM might rule that certain attributes are not eligible to be taken with this drawback.
A legendary item with the unfailing property counters this drawback, but gives no additional benefit.
You can only take this drawback once.

This is obviously more playing with a concept than anything. This one is even more precarious though as it essentially allows for buying a feat point using attribute points while still benefitting from them.
Mostly I’m trying to be more creative than “-X to Y”.

Can you come up with more interesting/better Drawbacks?

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I like the general concept of anti-feats a lot.
The problem with bane weaknesses is that banes are not equal. I might actually lean towards making that a flaw option even though it’s mechanical in nature. Weaknesses in attributes and towards damage types make more sense, but i think it 1 feat point should require 2 anti-feats at least.

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Indeed, and thus the point. There are other systems that do this, but by activating that “drawback” you gain something.

The problem with “Take a small penalty to gain a feat point” idea is that encourages and brings out min-maxing. I know it very well from 2E D&D and the player options stuff, and is why I’m against the idea from the start.

It doesn’t encourage roleplaying, it only encourages “how can I get more feat points without really hurting my combat or game play”.

For this idea to really work, you would have to go way deeper than you are presently with the “reward system” for choosing a “drawback”.

I realize it isn’t your intention to do a munchkin thing with this, but that is how a lot of other people will go with it, that’s why you gotta think it through all the way.

I’ll brood over this idea for a bit more myself, but I’ll be able to look at it more after Thursday (I arrive back home late on Thursday).

I like the idea of gaining legend points or another boost from triggering a drawback. It doesn’t make sense for a conditional limitation to give an ongoing/permanent bonus. More often than not, I expect PCs to be hindered by their drawbacks fewer times per session than they would gain an advantage from the extra feat points. Depending on the design of the drawbacks, they might not even come up at all. I’ve seen that happen in other systems. It would be neat if using the extra feat points were dependent on triggering the drawback, but that would probably require too much bookkeeping or be too fiddly to be worth it.

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I know I am late to the party, but as I like this concept I would like to give my two cents.

The concept of flaws that give you points to build you character exists in GURPS, which is where I first heared of it. And yes many player will half ass the flaw like, being blind but only in one eye, so they could get point.
But as I said I like the concept, and think that it should exist even as an optianal rule.

First of all I do think it should give feat points, and not take them, but there should be a limit, and it should be 1. My idea is a player that is in a need of 1 point to buy some feat that he realy needs/wants, can ask the GM for it in exchange for taking something that will basicly be Energy Vulnerability Vrenshrrg wrote about. It would be a perment thing.

The price for the feat could be great, but it could also be insegnificant, it is all for GM to decide, but it would be cool to have the option of that extra feat point.


I like the idea, but I couldn’t decide on an appropriate way to restrict them while missing the simplest possible restriction. If you only let players take a single one, then it matters, you don’t have to worry about keeping track and there’s minimal balance concerns.

I like it a lot more with this minor change.


Defensive Shortcomings
Reward: 1 point


Description: Despite your skill at certain tasks, your ability to defend yourself from a specific attack is less effective than one would expect.

Effect: Choose one of your defenses, Guard, Toughness, or Will, this defense is permanently reduced by 1.

Special: You can take this Anti-feat up to 3 times, each time it affects a new defense.

This is a way old topic, and admittedly not one of my best. I appreciate the addition, but it’s far too late.

Your suggestion doesn’t take away enough to be worth an entire Feat Point. In fact, depending on the character, this would enable someone to buy a Feat Point with a single Attribute Point, while still benefitting from that Attribute Point in other ways such as for Attribute Rolls or potentially HP.

I’ll close this topic now, as I feel everything important about Anti-Feats had been said previously.