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Is it possible for a character to cancel out a racial hindrance using a edge from character improvement?

For example, a player is playing a Grael, who has the 'All Thumbs' hindrance because of his race, could he spend a improvement edge, to overcome this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The canon answer are here [SWD] Can you still buy off Hindrances? and Edges and Hindrances Rules FAQ. I have seen in some source books cases where Hindrances can be bought off. I think it all depended. In the Grael, 'All Thumbs' case to me this implies that they have big and not very flexible fingers which make the use of standard gun impossible. I don't think this could be bought off but there is no reason to assume that there aren't larger guns that are Greal size that are more usable for them.

I think it all a matter of does it make sense. In some high tech and magical worlds just about anything is possible. Considering a Power costs one edge I would personally say, if the player can come up with a good reason why and how it could be done then an edge is a fair bargain. For example in a Star Trek campaign you are Blind we know they have the tech to solve this with prosthetic eyes. Do you want this hindrance to be bought off by just a visit to the the medic or do they need to spend an edge for the visor to work? To me just a visit to the Medic seam not a fair swap but an edge as well make the game balance for other hindrances.

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There is no "official" ruling on buying off hinderances. Some of them may go away as a character progresses (the Young hinderance, for example), and others may lead to other hinderances (one Enemy falls and another is born).

I think that leaves it wide open to be house-ruled. If it seems reasonable to you and your players then by all means, let them spend improvements to get rid of it. It may be prudent to rule that a player must work toward buying off racial hinderances. For example, the player with All Thumbs must have made 1 or 2 mechanical or electrical based skill roles (even if they failed) this session in order buy off hinderance.

Just some thoughts. If you come up with a solution, let us know so we can "borrow" it too!

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In my opinion as GM, it would depend on what the racial hindrance was, and the general feel of the campaign setting.

Racial hindrances are one of the key ways of differentiating between different characters, and allowing players to buy them off could easily end up eroding the sense of individuality between the different members of the group.

They are also different to normal hindrances, simply because they are intrinsic to the very essence of that race. For this reason, I would not simply allow someone to buy them off. However, there are edges that can be used to offset the effects of a given hindrance.

Also, if you start allowing players to buy them off then it can become unfair on certain races. This is because there are some hindrances that it simply makes no sense to be able to buy off. They are then at a disadvantage compared to races where this isn't an issue.

Summary: It depends on the setting, your group and the way you GM. RAW specifically don't allow it (see David Finch's answer for a relevant link), but there are GMs that house rule it so that you can.

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