Tainted Souls 6: Side Effects

Tainted Souls explores the unspoken costs of Lucidity. The physical or mental changes brought on by becoming Lucid and how that may impact their lives and the people around them.

While all Lucid have a tangible or psychological manifestation of their link to one of the Realms this does not have to be the only unusual quality about them. Players and GMs may opt introduce characters that have little quirks to their powers.

Imagine the Dark Lucid, with their mastery over shadows, that when angered the lights flicker or their face grows dark. How about the Verdant Lucid that always seems to have cats and dogs following them? These side effects shouldn’t offer the character any advantage but may hint at the nature of a character’s power.

These side effects can and should add depth to the characters and the overall narrative. Being able to add narrative around one’s character helps to draw the players into the story making them active participants and not simply casual observers. This also helps to solidify a player’s image of their character. And, while it’s an acting trope, getting to know your character can have a powerful effect on one’s performance.

Players should not feel obligated to use side effects. This is tool to allow for creative play and should not feel like an impairment to players. However, letting players take on some of the qualities that don’t tend to get written down but make for dramatic effect is usually enough motivation to get the ball rolling.

Depending on your players GMs should be careful of power gaming and trying to take advantage of side effects. The other precaution is that side effects may lead to scene stealing. Don’t let side effects bog down a game, the story is the important part.

No mater what shape side effects take for a character or campaign remember that these are tools to add fun and interaction. The stories you tell are your own, as both GM and Players you have the tools to relate the world you want to play. Don’t let printed text keep you from adding personal flare.