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Francesco Hayez 047

Odd-looking aristocrats were a staple of Gothic fiction because they were a reality of the 18th and 19th centuries. Inbreeding over many generations had filled the palaces of Europe with deranged families marked by physical peculiarities. The royal portraits of Goya, which look like harsh caricatures now, were actually considered to be flattering in their time! The ill-effects of inbreeding were ameliorated among the non-royal aristocrats of Britain (whose female members were known to actively refresh the bloodlines from time-to-time), and in those parts of Italy where aristocratic women were expected to openly take lovers (a practice ended in the repressive climate that followed the Napoleonic wars). In fact, the British upper class (aside from the royal family) had a reputation for being generally attractive. The astonishingly incestuous nobility of Central Europe, however, were manically obsessed with the purity of their blood (and with preventing land from leaving the family). Consequentially, they could be quite strange in appearance, and wracked with genetic disorders.

What Makes This Family Peculiar? (d100, 1d4 times)

1. Aged appearance, even when young
2. Albinism (ignore further results relating to eye or hair color)
3. Amber or yellow eyes
4. Androgynous appearance
5. Animalistic features (toad-like, lupine, aquiline, leonine, etc.)
6. Aniridic eyes (no irises; ignore further results relating to eye color)
7. Bald head
8. Bizarre taste in food
9. Bulging eyes
10. Bushy eyebrows
11. Can’t stand high-pitched sounds and voices
12. Can’t stand low-pitched sounds and voices
13. Can’t stand music
14. Cannot abide warm temperatures
15. Cannot stand bright light
16. Cannot stand cool temperatures
17. Club foot
18. Colorblindness
19. Craving for pain
20. Cruel nature
21. Cylindrical head
22. Deformed hand
23. Disproportionately long legs
24. Distinctive voice
25. Double-jointed
26. Dwarfish stature
27. Empathy with animals (horse whisperers)
28. Enlarged canine teeth
29. Extremely long-lived
30. Extremely pale complexion
31. Extremely tall
32. Farsighted
33. Flaming red hair
34. Freakish strength
35. Grotesquely prominent chin
36. Hairless body
37. Hearing problems
38. Heightened hearing (and can’t stand loud sounds)
39. Heightened sense of smell (and can’t abide bad odors)
40. Heightened sense of taste (and can only eat the finest food)
41. Hemophilia
42. Horrible body odor
43. Hunchback
44. Insensitive to cold
45. Insensitive to heat
46. Insensitive to pain
47. Intoxicating natural perfume
48. Jade green eyes
49. Large chin
50. Long arms
51. Long nose
52. Long tongue
53. Mania
54. Melancholy disposition
55. Men of the family are very well endowed (or are poorly endowed)
56. Morbid sensitivity
57. Narrow eyes
58. Nearsighted
59. Nervous twitch
60. Night-black hair
61. Noticeably small hands
62. Oddly-shaped ears
63. One eye larger than the other
64. Pear-shaped head
65. Piercing, dark blue eyes
66. Platinum blonde hair
67. Prodigious artistic talent
68. Prominent cheekbones
69. Prone to addiction
70. Protruding lower lip
71. Protruding teeth
72. Resistant to poison (and intoxication)
73. See visions / hallucinations
74. Sensitive to touch
75. Sexually insatiable
76. Sharply arched eyebrows
77. Shockingly thin
78. Short life span
79. Six fingers on each hand
80. Spheroid head
81. Squarish head
82. Staring eyes that never seem to blink
83. Sunken cheeks
84. Tail
85. Teeth tend to fall out
86. Tendency to be twins
87. Tendency to full hermaphroditism
88. Two different color eyes
89. Unable to properly pronounce a common phoneme.
90. Uncannily beautiful (all members of the family look like idealized statues come  to life; ignore any other result that indicates unattractive physical deformities)
91. Unique birthmark (shaped like a weapon, shaped like an animal, raised, etc.)
92. Unusually large hands
93. Very high hairline
94. Very weak chin
95. Very widely-spaced eyes
96. Violet eyes
97. Webbed fingers
98. Webbed toes
99. Women of the family have exceptionally large bosoms (or are without breasts entirely)
100. Youthful appearance, even when old

Of course, individual members (whose true paternity will no doubt be questioned) might not posses the peculiar qualities for which their family is known. Note also that the table excludes any supernatural Curses of the type endemic to noble houses in Gothic stories. See Table 6 of Remarkable Features of Estates and Manors for some suggestions regarding possible family Curses.

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