Supernatural Natures in Cairn or Similar Systems

These are something like races in games like D&D, but "Race" is a very modern concept, and often ends up being analogous to modern stereotypes we could do without.

These are something like curses, but the sort of curse that makes for a good story.

These characters are both doomed and highly unbalanced. They are intended to be played by someone who will enjoy playing a character in a downwards spiral due to an unwise pursuit of power, and with other people who will enjoy having such a character at the table. They might be especially good for solo games, where it isn't as much of an issue if they are a bit disruptive. As of now, these are not playtested at all and may not actually work in game. I may eventually iterate on this and release this as an actual product.

Treat these like backgrounds. For instance, the Faustian probably knows something about the rituals for summoning devils, and other such forbidden lore. You may choose to look physically different, but it could also be a secret that you must hide.

You gain a new stat, Doom. Roll 3d6. You may swap it with any other stat. When you use a power related to your supernatural nature, roll Doom. On a failure, something goes wrong, although the power still works in some way. Whether you succeed or fail, reduce Doom by one. If Doom reaches zero, your fate imminently arrives. You may heal 1d4 to Doom by spending a week or more in relaxation. This may only happen once between uses.

thekernelinyellow wrote a blog post adding a few more, which you can find here.


You, once an ordinary human, have journeyed to the land of Faerie and returned safely.


You, once an ordinary human, have spent a full year without seeing the sun, in the dark places beneath the earth, and your body has started to remember the earth from which it came.


You, once an ordinary human, have taken critical damage from another were-creature and failed to dispel the curse within a month. Through strange rituals it may be possible to take on this curse voluntarily.

I need to come up with a name for this one:

You, once an ordinary human, have in some way transgressed on an animal court: stealing and eating their food, slaying a noble of the court or a creature protected by the gods, or similar. You have gained an animal skin which you cannot be parted from.


You, once an ordinary human, have made a deal with a literal devil.


You, once an ordinary human, have been chosen by a god to fulfill its will.

Ones I might do later:

Appendix N

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Written June 30 2022