Passions: Drive and Desire in Badlanders

Greed. Love. Duty. Cowardice. We all share these emotions, but how driven are we by them? In this post we'll take a look at 'Passions'; a new mechanic found in Lostlorn Games first source book 'Badlanders'.

Passions are, at their core, a way to help discern your character's driving motivations. 'Badlanders' is a game of adventurers ruled by their emotions and desires, and we've developed the Passions system to focus those forces in a way that's narratively satisfying and mechanically inventive. Each Badlander's character traits and flaws are coalesced into the 7 Virtues and the 7 Viles, diametrically opposed ethos' found in all the peoples of Lostlorn. At Character Creation, players will get the chance to choose which of the Virtues and Viles are their dominant and driving traits by adding dots to these pairings. Is your character propelled by a Duty to the law, or by a Reckless need for adventure? Do they Love their family above all else, or are they Slothful to a fault?

During game play, characters may be asked to react to social and combat situations using their Passions in lieu of skills or abilities. A Dishonest character may do much better trying to persuade through falsehood, while the manners of a Courteous character may be of extra use during a difficult negotiation. In certain situations, players can even choose the Virtue or Vile they wish to use for Saving Throws. If your character is particularly Gutless, then maybe their desire to save their own skin makes them especially good at avoiding traps. A character with a high Loyalty score may be able to better shake off an attempt to charm them against their allies. The options are only limited by the player's imagination and roleplaying ability.

Beware how you use your Passions, though. Continued use of a Virtue or Vile can run the risk of your character receiving a Geas or a Whisper, irresistible commandments from one of Lostlorn's supernatural entities. We'll talk more about these powerful beings in later posts.

Whether for good or ill, a Badlander is ruled by their heart as much as their head, and with our new Passions system, we put that idea on the table. What do you think of Passions? Let us know in the comments.

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