Qualities, quirks, and traits serve to define a character with more than just numbers. They are the defining characteristics of a character.
Qualities are the positive characteristics of a character that give him/her a bonus to some actions. They automatically raise skill or attribute dice when the quality applies to the situation. Qualities are measured by how much of a bonus they give to related actions.
When qualities take effect, good things occur, so in order for qualities to take effect, karma points must be spent. If there are not enough karma points to activate a quality, the quality cannot be used until enough karma points are earned.
Quirks are the negative characteristics of a character that give him/her a penalty to some actions. They automatically lower skill or attribute dice when the quality applies to the situation. Quirks are measured by how much of a penalty they inflict on related actions.
When quirks take effect, bad things occur, so when quirks take effect, karma points are earned. Thus, quirks are useful even though they have an initially negative effect.
Traits are characteristics that can be considered both positive and negative. They act similarly to qualities and quirks and are measured by both the bonus and the penalty that they cause in applicable situations. The bonus and the penalty must always be equal.
Nothing special occurs when traits take effect. They are always in effect.
Unlike skills and attributes, qualities, quirks, and traits cannot be altered through experience points. They can only be changed through the story in which the character exists. If a character has a debilitating quirk, the only way to get rid of it is to confront and resolve it within the bounds of the campaign world. Inversely, new qualities, quirks, and traits can be gained as a character develops in the story.