50 Fathoms Wiki

2 - Fickle Fortune

Black - Cursed: For whatever reason, you are the whipping boy of lady luck. Maybe you were cursed by some irate shaman, broke one too many mirrors, or just plain can’t get a break. You have the Bad Luck hindrance. If you already took the Bad Luck hindrance anyway, then your luck is REALLY bad.

Red - One in a Million: You are the sort who accidentally does the impossible. You’re the lucky son of a gun who never gambles then plays a game of poker and draws a royal flush; or falls off a cliff, bounces twice and walks away. Once per session you may spend a benny to re-roll and ADD to your original roll.

3 - People

Black - Enemy: You pissed someone off, right good. Worse then that, that someone is not ordinary folk. Maybe you didn’t know what you were doing, maybe they’ve only recently come into their power, but no matter what they are still looking for a piece of you. You have the hindrance Enemy (Minor)

Red - Friend in Every Port: You seem to know someone in every town, city and whistle stop. Maybe you’ve been around, you have a huge family, or possibly even the bounds of coincidence are a bit thin around you. You may spend a benny, or bennies to know someone in the town, who is generally friendly towards you. The more bennies, the better the friend or better connected the friend. The GM, of course, may opt to not allow use of this ability in particular circumstances.

4 – Life and Death

Black - A Brush with Death: Your life and death have become strangely entwined. Perhaps you were part of an Red Man massacre or are a Doctor who’s patients just don’t seem to make it. Death follows you, and as such any time you roll a natural 1 on a skill die your nearest ally is injured in some way (if this is an attack roll, they become the target of the attack somehow). How you play it is variable, but in the end people seem to just die more often when you are around. As a result however, you receive the Combat Reflexes edge for free.

Red – Healing Hands: Some people just seem to have the healing touch, when the time is right.

Your hero is just such a person and can spend a Benny to use the Greater Healing power. He doesn’t need to roll, he automatically gets a single success (healing one wound).

5 – Mistaken Identity

Black - Bad Seed: There’s somebody else out there with your face! She’s not a very nice person, and is sullying your reputation wherever she’s been.

Have the GM draw a card whenever you visit a town or city. If he draws a face card, she’s been there before you and your name is dirt. You get -2 to Charisma so long as you stay in town. If the GM draws a Joker, you’re Wanted. Bringing the lookalike to justice will sort out the mistake ...

Red Saviour!: Someone who looks just like you performed a great deed, and tales of their heroics have spread far and wide! Have the GM draw a card whenever you visit a town or city. If he draws a face card, the people who interact with you have heard of them. You get +2 to Charisma so long as you stay in town and don't let on that you're not who they think you are. If the GM draws a Joker, you’re are granted a line of credit by an admirer! Of course, if the news gets out that you're not really that person ...

6 – Touched by the Spirits

Black – Dark Spirits: You have attracted the spirit of something. It is constantly around you, silently tormenting you. You gain the Night Terrors Hindrance, but you do get a +2 bonus to any Intimidation rolls. It will take a quest of some kind to rid yourself of this haunting.

Red – Feeling in your Bones: you have an uncanny knack for knowing when danger is around the corner. Maybe you get a little wave of panic, maybe a flash of insight. Regardless, you have a knack for sensing danger. You gain the Danger Sense edge. If you already had the edge then you ignore the penalty to the notice roll.

7 – Born That Way

Black - Cripple: You were born with twisted legs, a club foot, or similar, a cleft palate or other physical defect you must pick one of the following hindrances: Lame, Ugly, Outsider, One Hand, One Arm, One Leg, One Eye. You may not pick a hindrance you already have.

Red Genetic Lottery: You won it! You must pick one of the following edges: Fleet Footed, Attractive, Charismatic, Brawny. You may not pick an edge you already have, and they do not require the pre-requisites.

8 – Tricks of the Mind

Black – Blackouts: Your character has some pretty significant blackouts. Long stretches of time are gone. It could be from the bottle, or the something darker. You have no memory of what happens to you during this blackouts. In game terms, the GM can give you one of his bennies to instigate a Blackout period. What happened to you during this time is up to the GM.

Red – Total Recall: Your character's mind processes information better than most – you gain a +2 to all common knowledge rolls (Remember, the GM can say that due to your background a common knowledge roll can't be made at all, but when one can, you get +2 to the roll)

9 – Messed-Up Metabolism

Black – Hollow Legs: You enjoy your food and can’t get enough. In fact you can really pack it away… and need to. Maybe you have a very high metabolism, or possibly you are highly active all the time. Whatever the reason, you need to eat twice as much food, or begin to suffer the effects of starvation. You also need to drink twice as much booze to get good and drunk, so Carousing costs are increased by 50%

Red – Small Portions: You've always been able to scrape by on less food than everyone else. Your hero can get by on half rations without needing to make hunger checks, and the cost of Carousing is reduced by 25%.

10 - Favors

Black - Blood Pact: You have sworn an oath of some sort to a person or organization that has gone to some lengths to secure its secrecy. Not everyone in “the know” seems to have made this oath, there might not even seem to be a good reason why you were chosen. Perhaps you are a Mason being groomed for leadership, the Bastard son of an Old Country Noble, or took part in a nefarious deed which must not be spoken of, ever. The exact bounds are up you and the GM, but you have the Vow Hindrance, the breaking of which should not be taken lightly, and may mean that your character is called upon by the group they are beholden to in order to perform some kind of service from time to time.

Red Friends in High Places: Somebody with some degree of power owes you a favour. This is a significant favour that you can trade in at any time. Assuming, you can contact the person of course. Treat this as the Connection Edge. You get +4 to Persuasion rolls when trying to contact this person or call in the favour.

Jack – All Creatures, Great and Small

Black – Abhorred by Nature: Animals hate you and growl, hiss or make all sorts of noise when you are around. These critters will attack you with the least bit of provocation.

Red – Animal Magnetism: Animals of all kinds take to you well. You gain the Beast Bond edge, and may use Persuasion to try to change the attitude of animals towards you.

Queen – Special Training

Black – Blind Spot: There is one subject in which you've trained that you just can't seem to get everything right in. Pick one of the Skills you know at random – your do not roll a Wild Die when using this skill.

Red - Prodigy: Ever since you were young, you have been special. Maybe you were better at science than your teacher, a musical genius, sports seem like a cakewalk, or maybe you have simply a gift with people. Randomly select one of the skills you know – you roll a d8 as the Wild Die when using this skill.

King – Inheritance

Black - What’s in the box?: You are the proud owner of a box. Perhaps its been handed down from father to son for generations, or maybe you picked it up an auction. In any event, it is closed in some manner that prevents easy opening. What’s inside? Good question. The people who are after it would like to know as well.

Red - Part of the whole: You have come into ownership of one part of something interesting. It could be a big old iron key with strange carvings that doesn’t fit in any lock you find. Possibly it’s the hilt of an ancient sword with not a blade in sight. Maybe it even looks like a section of a map that leads to … well, who can say? Regardless, it’s obviously not a normal object, and definitely missing some vital piece.

Ace – Relics

The GM should generate a relic that has come into your possession – it is up to you to decide how you came by it – the GM must be told this before the campaign begins.

Black – Cursed Relic: The relic has a dark curse attached to it that causes no end of inconvenience to you. While it may have some beneficial powers, it will certainly have some detrimental ones as well ... It will require some kind of quest (or your death) to be rid of the relic, as no matter what you try, it always returns to haunt you somehow.

Red – True Relic: There are no downsides to the relic itself, though it may be coveted by those that learn of its power.

Black Joker

Borrowed Time: Death is stalking your hero and it is only a matter of time before it catches up. Whether they are aware of their impending doom or not is up to you. At the start of every session draw a card from a fresh deck. If it is a Black Face Card, then your time is close! You may not spend Bennies to Soak Wounds during this session! If it is the Black Joker, then You may not soak wounds this session, and if you are incapacitated you will automatically fail the roll to see if you survive – however, you may act normally for 3 rounds after your 'incapacitation' to perform a 'final heroic act'.

Red Joker

Destiny: You have been singled out by fate, destined to do many great deeds. Your peers are the greats of history, Caesar, Odysseus, Sampson, Alexander, and the Apostles. The very forces of fate and fortune seem drawn to you like a flower reaching for the sun. When you use a benny for a re-roll and either your skill die or your Wild die ace, then you get the benny back as if you had never spent it!