Here are a few traits I've been working on.
Sorry for the length.
You trained your combat abilities with dancers and acrobats, and are more prone to dance than fight. Might do, in a pinch.
Choose a single type of light or one-handed melee weapon. When you attack with it after moving at least 5 feet, you can add your Charisma bonus to attack and damage, instead of Strength.
However, every round during which you do so, you don’t put your physical prowess in combat, and remove your Strength bonus (if any) from your CMD.
Either you held a strong-willed person in high regard, or were a bully in your youth – and time didn’t change you one bit.
Choose a single type of melee weapon. Using a way of fighting intermingled with cutting insults or taunts, you can use your Charisma modifier instead of Strength for attack and damage rolls with this type of weapon (although you don’t get to multiply by 1.5 for two-handed damage).
However, every round during which you do so, you don’t put your physical prowess in combat, and remove your Strength bonus (if any) from your CMD. You also can’t do this if you are mute. If your enemy doesn’t understand you, your style is also less useful, removing 2 points from your Charisma bonus.
Your mentor had a knack to attack with improvised weapons.
Choose one type of improvised weapons (light, one-handed, two-handed, shields, thrown, or small projectiles). You lose the related penalties when attacking with items treated as improvised weapons of that type.
You are always on your toes. That helps you in situations where quickness is useful, but hinders your concentration for long tasks.
You gain the following benefits, all trait bonuses: +2 to Initiative, +1 to Reflex saves, +1 to your Flat-footed AC, and +1 to Perception when asleep (and you also need only half as much sleep as normal). However, you suffer a -2 penalty on any check involving actions longer than a full-round. You are also bored when doing nothing for long periods of time.
Unusual Weapon Trainer
You trained under an unorthodox mentor, whose ability with a weapon might have been totally unrelated to either brute force or finesse.
Choose one of the following classes for your mentor, and note the corresponding attribute score:
- Bard/Sorcerer/Oracle (Charisma) – your unusual manners in combat shock and confuse your opponent into unfavorable positions.
- Cleric/Monk/Druid (Wisdom) – you feel the flow of combat and strike at the right moment.
- Wizard/Rogue (Intelligence) – you quickly factor information in order to hit your enemies at the right place.
- Barbarian/Druid (Constitution) – you barrel in combat, using elbows and hips to push yourself in the best position to strike harder.
- Rogue/Ninja (Dexterity) – in melee, you dart this way and that, confusing enemies and opening them to your quick strikes.
- Barbarian/Druid/Fighter (Strength) – even with ranged weapons, you prefer using brute force for more damage.
Choose a weapon belonging to the proficiencies of the class you chose for your mentor (or one of its archetypes – or his deity’s favored weapon if you chose Cleric). If you don’t have proficiency with that weapon, you gain it. You can also use the indicated attribute score (instead of Strength or Dexterity) for attack and eventual damage rolls with weapons of that type. When the normal damage would add half your Strength, it also halves the indicated ability modifier; when you use a two-handed weapon however (or any weapon granting you a higher Strength damage), you don’t increase the value.
You spent part of your formative years either adopted or in captivity with members of a larger race.
Choose a One-Handed weapon that also has a Light version (longsword/shortsword, for instance, or heavy shield/light shield). You consider the One-Handed weapon as Light, except when wielding them with two hands.
You can wield a version of that One-Handed weapon that is one or two size categories larger than you; with no penalty if one size category larger, or the usual inappropriated size penalty if bigger.
And you can also use Two-Weapon Fighting with the chosen One-Handed weapon in your off-hand, acting as if it were Light.
You either spent a long time in the wilds, or apprenticed under a druid with a strong link to his companion.
Choose an animal race. If you choose an animal companion of that race, your effective druid level increases by 2 – this increase alone can’t bring your effective level over your HD.
You spent a long time with a priest adept of the Channel energy ability. You might be thankful for his teachings, or resent them.
Choose a race (in the Ranger’s Favored Enemy list). When you Channel Energy onto people of that race, either to harm or heal, add 1d6 to the effect. If you do have Favored Enemy with this race and you Channel Energy to harm them, increase the save DC by +2.
You trained with a Ki specialist.
You gain a pool of Ki with 1 point, which you can expend to gain +1 to any roll. If you later gain a Ki pool, its total number of points is increased by one.
You trained with a monk who gave you some experience in resisting the harshness of the world.
Choose a saving throw type (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will). You gain a +1 trait bonus to saves of that type, OR choose another ability score to add to the chosen saves: Strength for Fortitude, Intelligence for Reflex, or Charisma for Will.
During your childhood, you helped mystical healers in their daily job. Not being dedicated to a single way of living, most of those healers were multiclasses, resulting in your slightly different views regarding the ability to heal.
When you use healing spell or abilities, your character level counts as your Caster Level if it is better.
In addition, if you have several classes with Channel Energy, they stack differently: you choose the Channel Energy ability from one class only (including the description of how you use it, the ability score used, etc). For the purpose of that ability, you consider your level in that class as the sum of the levels in all classes that grant Channel Energy (or a variant thereof). However, if a given class provides a Channel progression slower than the standard Cleric’s (1d6 per 2 levels), you lower the number of levels gained by an appropriate fraction – for instance, if a given class grants 1d6 per 4 levels, you count only half those levels towards your global progression.
You know you are inherently good, even if you indiscriminately kill other humanoids. After all, because of their social condition, in the context in which you are, it isn’t as if they were human themselves.
You choose one alignment axis. For this axis, you can ignore acts that would make you change alignment, as long as you have a coherent explanation behind it (even if it’s blatantly false). For instance, you can be a Lawful Good slave owner because, in your mind (or among your people/culture), slaves are not people. You can be a reluctant Chaotic Evil bandit, secretly and regularly saving innocents while still acting in everyday life as a psychotic murderer. Those innocents you save might share physical features with a lost loved one, and you couldn’t admit you still care for that. You can be a Neutral character in the True Neutral old-school alignment, regularly committing acts of vile atrocity and then unabashed goodness in order to bring “balance” in the world.
You can’t take this trait if your Wisdom score is 15 or more. If you attain this score after taking this trait, you realize the stupidity of your reasoning and suffer a crisis of conscience. You lose the trait and must wait a level to retrain it. You also lose the possible benefits you had with this trait and must choose a path (the slave owner can free his slaves, or own up to slavery and lose some of his displayed “goodness”, etc).
You spent your formative years with a teleport specialist (either a spellcaster or a monk with Abundant Step).
Choose one ability, which you can use once per day:
- you can cast blink as a SLA;
- you can teleport a number of squares as a move action, that number being equal to half your land speed.
You can rest more than once per day.
You can rest more than once per day. However, each rest only provides half its normal benefits (spell slots, healing, daily ability uses, etc). You need only half the normal sleep time to recover these, which still allows you to recover all your abilities by spending two consecutive rest times (a full night). You take a -2 penalty on all saves regarding fatigue or exhaustion, and must save each minute not to fall asleep when exhausted.
You are angry quite often, and use that anger to fuel your elemental abilities.
Choose a standard elemental damage type (fire, acid, electricity, cold). When dealing damage with that type, increase the damage by 1 for every two dice of damage you deal. Alternatively, you can choose an uncommon damage type (force, sonic, positive or negative energy) although you increase your damage with the chosen energy by “only” 1 for every three dice.
You trained hard to emulate an otherworldly effective mentor when casting spells.
Spells you cast gain a +1 trait bonus to the save DC.
You spent part of your youth with a shapechanging race, and their ability rubbed off on you a little.
Choose a Small Animal form common in the environment where you spent your youth. You can take that shape (as Beast Shape I) for a number of rounds equal to your character level. These don’t need to be consecutive.
You are more comfortable when undergoing quests than between adventures.
You always sleep comfortably, even with an eye open for danger. Halve the Perception penalty when sleeping. Reduce by one-quarter the necessary duration of sleep for you. On the other side, rest in normally comfortable setting (a plush bed) makes you uncomfortable and angsty for hidden dangers.
I know that you are human, but your ears seem a little bit large. And pointy. Wasn’t your mother a half-elf?
Choose another race. Either you have a very distant ancestor who was of that race, or you lived with these people for your whole childhood. You are considered as a partial member of that race, but only to satisfy one prerequisite (you can choose a feat or a prestige class, but not both). If you take a feat, you are still considered of that race if you take other feats that depend on your chosen feat (such as Surprise Follow-Through and its Improved version for those of orc ascent, or the Goblin Cleaver feat chain for those of dwarven culture).
Reverse of the Quick Reflexes combat trait (see above).
You can consider one of your ability scores higher by 2 points, although only to determine if you fulfill prerequisites, and only if you have a racial penalty to that score. For instance, a Halfling with a racially-adjusted Strength of 11 could take Power Attack; a Dwarf cleric with a Charisma of 11 could take Selective Channeling; etc.
You spent months working with someone, and learnt something along the way.
Choose a skill. It becomes a class skill, and you gain a +1 trait bonus with its checks.
You really want to impress people with the rightness of your career choice.
You gain the equivalent of three levels in (one of) your favorite class(es), but only in relation to favored class bonuses. You must choose the same bonus (either hit points, skill points, or one of the available favored class options).