The character class represents the persona’s profession or career. Up to this point, the character is nothing more than a list of attributes, a race, and maybe a few mutations. The class should give the persona certain standards to attain, a reason to be or even an all-encompassing outlook on life. This is obviously moderated by the wishes of the player running the persona but the class will shape the goals that she chooses for her persona.
Nature of Classes
As implied in the opening paragraph, the class isn’t just the profession of the persona but it is an attitude too. In actuality, it may be more of an attitude than a profession. Choosing a class in EXP does not mean that the persona has had any special training. There are no diplomas or degrees granted by professional institutions. The majority of the information or skills that the player can utilize have been self-learned by her persona. This lack of unified training has left many gaps in their knowledge which accounts for the persona’s frequent inability to properly perform some tasks (and botch others altogether).
Even in the face of what appears to be continual failure, a persona will still pursue her class because the class represents innate abilities, desire, and personal interest. A mechanic persona doesn’t have an anti-grav maintenance diploma but a mechanic persona does have a keen sense for interpreting the physical world – a miss fix-it or a bicycle repair person better fits the description. A biologist wouldn’t have a B.Sc. in clone development but more likely would be a gardener, a farmer or an environmentalist. All of the classes are designed in this fashion. The personas have a natural aptitude which is backed up by sparse bits of disorganized information. More detailed descriptions of each class are given in this chapter.
Classes and Role-Playing
The effect that the choice of class has on the persona should be quite obvious. The character should be played with an obsession, or at least a keen interest, in her area of study. Veterinarians should show compassion and a desire to heal; biologists should show respect, if not awe, for the natural world; and no anti-knite should pass up the opportunity to increase the Universe’s level of entropy.
One general rule to observe is that the more skills that the class has, the more the class must be reflected in role-playing. Nothings have no abilities and are free to act in any manner they wish; while knites, laden with powerful skills, must follow a stringent code of honour.
Players that do not role-play their class properly (villainous veterinarians and altruistic anti-knites) are going to be punished. At first, they are merely punishing their personas, cutting them out of class experience and maybe even role-playing experience. If the transgressions continue or are particularly severe, the referee may take other forms of punitive action. Veterinarians that have murdered other expedition members may find their skills ineffective on those who know the truth. Nomads that insist on living in the lap of decadent luxury without at least complaining may find some of their survival skills very rusty.
Specificity of Classes
Why are there classes? A class is a gross generalization of someone that is able to perform a group of procedures. EXP could very easily have 42 separate classes that have very specific skills and knowledge such as street cleaners, ammo testers, etc. There are a much smaller number of classes in EXP. Each class represents a collection of abilities that are considered similar enough that they can be performed by one persona.
These general categories are represented by the eight separate classes. If the referee prefers many separate classes or professions, more specialized sub-classes can easily be evolved from the general class. The newly spawned classes could even continue using the main class’ Performance Table.
Robot and Alien Classes
Robots and aliens are also classes but they are very different from those listed in this chapter. Robots and aliens are also classified as different races. In fact, the two entities can be called class-races because these parameters are often inseparable. If a player wishes to run either of these peculiar classes, she must say so before she rolls any attributes, chooses a race, or rolls for mutations. This preference must be stated early because robots and aliens have radically different procedures for generating their attributes. The finished products are far afield of the conservative, bipedal canines and florians that are described in previous chapters.
There is also little freedom of choice with aliens and robot classes because the dice determine every aspect of their nature, description, and purpose. Beginning players probably should not attempt to play aliens or robots. It is difficult enough to relate to strange new humanoids, let alone non-articulated boxes and blobs of protoplasm. For much more information about robots and aliens see chapters 5 and 6.
Selecting a Class
The initial dice rolling that determines the persona’s attributes also determines the persona’s class. The persona must pass attribute requirements before she can be a particular class. These requirements exist to ensure variety amongst the personas and to ensure that classes maintain certain requirements. For instance, certain classes have attribute requirements that must be met: trustworthy veterinarians must be charismatic; spies must be dextrous; mercenaries must have ample hit points, etc.
The referee must be absolutely ruthless when applying the Class Requirement Table (Table 8.1). Absolutely no fudging should be allowed. Personas that lose attribute points during the generation of mutations or the choosing of a race and consequently cannot pursue a class that they desire are out of luck. Players are welcome to plan ahead and choose a race that will allow them to be a certain class but once the path has been chosen, there should be no turning back. Personas cannot be ejected from a class for attribute alterations that occur during the play of the campaign. For instance, a veterinarian would not have to retire from that class because her CHA was reduced due to a facial scar. Knites are no exception to this rule.
The persona’s attribute must have a value equal to or greater than one listed on the Class Requirement Table. A nomad must have an AWE of ten or higher – absolutely no exceptions. A biologist must have a combined AWE and INT greater or equal to 18. Thus a persona with an INT of four and an AWE of 14 can be a biologist because the combined value equals 18. Once a player has determined which classes she is eligible for, she may choose freely from any of them.
Table 8.1 Persona Class RequirementsMinimum attributes required by the player persona to pursue various classes.
|Biologist||AWE plus INT 18|
|Knite||DEX 15; MSTR 18; HPS 25; one EXPS Level; ref's permission|
|Mercenary||CON plus DEX plus PSTR 22; HPS 40|
|Nomad||AWE 10; CON 6; INT 5; HPS 20|
|Spie||Total attributes (not HPS) 92; HPS 30|
|Veterinarian||CHA 12; DEX plus INT 16|
Here is an example using a persona with the following attributes: AWE 6, CHA 15, CON 17, DEX 9, INT 14, MSTR 12, PSTR 6, and HPS 42. This persona could be any of the following: biologist, mechanic, mercenary, nothing, or veterinarian. The player has a wide selection of classes to choose from. It is recommended that the player read over all of the possible classes in this chapter before choosing.
Example Class RequirementsAttributes determine which classes the player persona can choose from, if any. The below player persona has the following attributes: AWE 6, CHA 15, CON 17, DEX 9, INT 14, MSTR 12, PSTR 6, and HPS 42.
|Biologist||AWE plus INT 18||YES|
|Mercenary||CON plus DEX plus PSTR 22; HPS 40||YES|
|Veterinarian||CHA 12; DEX plus INT 16||YES|
There are often conditions where a player wishes her persona to have more than one persona class. The conditions for this could arise from the player getting tired of certain persona class, the expedition needing a certain class or the persona wanting to get more involved in the game. For instance, a mercenary mechanic could be effective in combat and also engage in artifact identification without risking the entire expedition. Multi-class personas are not recommended for inexperienced players. They are challenging to run from a persona and a refereeing standpoint.
Combined: A player can combine persona classes from the beginning, advancing in each class at the same rate. This can only be done with two classes at a time. If this is the case, she will function equally with either class. For instance, she could function on both the veterinarian and the mercenary performance tables, earning experience for manoeuvres on both performance tables. The amount of experience required for each new level will be equal to the sum of both classes plus 10% of the total. So a combined knite-biologist would need 4675 EXPS for 2nd level. A combined class will generate toys as if both classes were present. Lastly, nothings can be combined with no classes and knites cannot be combined with anti-knites. The referee is completely in control of what combined classes are appropriate for her milieu.
Switching: Switching classes is different from combined classes in that the persona neglects one class and begins to start fresh with another. For example, a mercenary may suddenly get a conscience and devote the rest of her life to the study of biology. If she has the appropriate attributes, this switch can be done at any time. The new class is started at zero EXPS and advances in levels and EXPS acquisition as the new class. The mercenary skills can still be called on but no experience will be earned for their use. If the personal does not have the attributes to make a desired switch, she must pursue it through the nothing class.
Of course, no role-playing system, however complex, could hope to present a set list of character classes that would accurately describe all the character types from all the pages of science fiction. Below are listed the best prominent examples of EXPs persona classes. The reader might take issue with some of these examples but then that’s why you always have the option of sitting down and creating your own versions!
Multi-class Persona: “Dr. Buckaroo Banzai” from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across The Eighth Dimension, Neil Cantor and W.D. Richter (producers), 1984 [film] 20th Century Fox.
Biologist: “Cal” from Omnivore, Piers Anthony, 1968, Ballantine.
Knite: “Lensnen” from Triplanetary, E.E. Smith, 1948, Fantasy Press.
Mechanic: “Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott”, from Star Trek, 1966-1968 [TV], Paramount Productions.
Mercenary: Bill the Galactic Hero, Harry Harrison, 1965, Doubleday.
Nomad: “The Freman” from Dune, Frank Herbert, 1965, Chilton.
Nothing: “Arthur Dent” in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams, 1979, Pan.
Spie: “Jim DiGriz” in The Stainless Steel Rat, Harry Harrison, 1961, Pyramid.
Vet: “New Jersey” from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Biologists are personas which have inherent interest and skill in understanding nature. They are best described as self-educated naturalists that still have a lot to learn. Their personal interests could range from fungi to DNA; such knowledge may or may not have any practical field application. Biologists come through for the expedition when it is exploring unknown terrain. Such terrain may harbour aliens or hazardous plant life. The biologist is essential if the group expects to determine if these encounters are benign, dangerous or worse.Some biologists from popular film are Dr. Stane (The Gods Must be Crazy) and Cal (Omnivore).
Biologists are free to act how they wish but they are expected to at least try to identify a new specimen before vaporizing it. Specimens may be most easily observed when they are dead but then subtle behavioural traits are impossible to detect. Thus there are definite advantages for the biologist to identify and observe specimens before a hostile encounter takes place. In this regard, the biologist may find herself directly opposed to the goals of other expedition members.
The haphazard nature of biological knowledge acquisition has already been alluded to. Their information sources are usually things like: gardening books, environmentalist leaflets, nature shows, sagely advisors, and maybe even the odd biology lecture.
Biologist Skills: The persona is expected to have had some special interests within the field of biology itself. These areas of interest are determined randomly on Table 8.2: Biologist Skill. The player may make one roll for every four points of INT. The biologist will also receive one additional roll for each new experience level attained. The rolls indicate areas of special interest which increase the biologist’s chances when attempting to apply her skills. The persona can attempt to do any biological type of activity that is within, or not within, her areas of special interest. The special skills indicate that she will be more likely to succeed if what she is doing falls under one of her areas of special interest.
A player running a biologist with a 12 INT would get three rolls on the Biologist Skill table. Because the table is from 01 to 00, she should roll deci-dice. Her rolls are 11, 20, and 97. This indicates three major concentrations: plants, animals, and camouflage. Plants and animals also have specific concentrations and both require additional deci-dice rolls. She rolled 77 for plants which means she has a specific concentration of plants: mosses. A roll of 46 for animals would mean that she has further specialization in animals: worms.
The skills help her when she rolls on the Biologist Performance Table (PT). Each concentration reduces the degree of difficulty (DD) by two. If the biologist were trying to identify an animal that was a worm-type alien, she would receive -4DD (the higher the DD, the more difficult the roll). If the worm also specialized in camouflage, she would receive another -2DD reduction (because her other major concentration is camouflage), bringing her total bonus to -6DD, increasing her chances of success greatly. For a much more detailed description of how PT’s work, refer to chapter 14: Performance Tables.
This particular camouflaging worm may be causing problems for the expedition because it keeps burrowing into the landing pads of their all-terrain aircars. The worms are uncommon (DD6) but the ref feels that this is more rare a worm; she adjusts it upwards. The final DD is 7. Because of the player’s special interests, the DD is reduced to 1. Being first level, she would have to roll 90 or higher on percentile dice in order to successfully identify the alien. Since she also has an up to date notebook on worms, she can add her AWE to the deci-dice roll. After identifying the irritating worm, she can determine why it burrows into the landing pads and possibly even a way to prevent it.
Table 8.2.1 Biologist Skill StreamArea of interest or specialization for the biologist.
|Die Roll||Skill Stream||Table|
|01-40||Taxonomy||Table 8.2-2 Taxonomy|
|41-60||Research||Table 8.2-3 Research|
|61-00||Sociology||Table 8.2-4 Sociology|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
|Die Roll||Skill Stream||Table|
Table 8.2.2 Taxonomy StreamArea of specialization or interest of the biologist.
|Die Roll (d100)||Taxonomy Study|
|52-53||Move in Air|
|54-55||Move in Water|
|56-57||Move on Land|
|61-70||Nomadic Biome (Table 8.10)|
|89||Powered Attacks (Type C)|
|91||Ranged Attacks (Type B)|
|Die Roll||Taxonomy Study|
Table 8.2.3 Research StreamAreas of interest or training for biologists.
|Die Roll (d100)||Research Study|
|Die Roll||Research Study|
Table 8.2.4 Cultural StreamAreas of study or interest for biologists.
|Die Roll (d100)||Cultural Study|
|Die Roll||Cultural Study|
Biologist EXPS: The benefits of increasing experience levels are: more skills, increased performance, and marginally better combat skills. Biologists earn experience points for successfully completing PT rolls (90 EXPS per DD). Only 20% of combat experience can go towards a biologist’s experience point total. If a biologist is consistently destroying potential specimens, the ref may forfeit combat experience altogether. For more information about awarding experience, see Chapter 15: Experience.
Table 8.3 Biologist Experience PointsEXPS required to advance in levels of expertise for biologists.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|230000||Per level beyond 10th|
Knites are interesting hybrids of the mystical and the military. They are more likely to draw on their mental strength than their physical strength. Knites are cerebral warriors that are as likely to overpower someone with their will as with raw force. They have no adverse disposition towards using technological weapons but knites feel most comfortable wielding their trademark energy sword.
Most referees will want to create their own mythos around such a powerful class but a few standard guidelines are laid down here.
Mythos of the Knite: The class is divided into two separate sects that are as different as dark and light. Members of the sect which support compassion, goodwill, honesty, and humanity are referred to as Knites. Knites are essentially good and will battle against injustice, intolerance, and enslavement of every possible opportunity. Members of the opposite sect are called Anti-knites. They are anti-everything. Anti-knites are the destined enemies of goodwill, humanity, and organized civilizations. They are not interested in the long-term collection of power per se but with the spreading of chaos. Although their goal and purpose is the destruction of organization and the proliferation of entropy, this is not necessarily reflected in their personality. For instance, a very calculated and extravagant plan may be the best way for an Anti-knite to topple a benevolent government. Anti-knites are not played as malicious, off-the-wall anarchists but as extraordinarily systematic, ruthless, and calculating nihilists.
It is not uncommon for Knites (good sect) to go off on “damn fool quests”. On the other hand, Anti-knites will not answer to anyone less powerful than themselves. All players in the expedition should realize that either sect can hinder the group’s objectives. Knites cannot look away and ignore injustices carried out by other personas and Anti-knites would be expected to systematically murder any persona which hinders their personal objectives. Some form of combat is the only possible outcome of a Knite/Anti-knite encounter.
Some Knites from popular fiction are Yoda, Luke, Darth, Obi, and Lea (Star Wars), Poul Anderson’s warriors (Kirlian Quest), and Paul Atreides (Dune).
Class Requirements: As you may have already determined, the knite class is a complex and powerful class to run. It is very difficult for a persona to become a knite and the class is very rare. Not only must the persona have the required attributes but she must also survive a trial period of an undetermined length of time. Any persona who has the requisite attributes may announce her desire to pursue knitehood. This intent may be secretly communicated to the referee or announced to the entire expedition.
Before a persona can become a knite, she must survive one experience level in a trial class. The trial class may only be one of the following: mercenary, nomad or nothing. This trial period is one of the requirements that make the knite class so radically different from other classes. It is the persona’s actions during this trial period that determines whether she will become a Knite or an Anti-knite. Once potential knites have completed this level, they may be approached by a knite from either sect trying to enlist them.
Regardless of how much experience the persona attains during the trial level, upon becoming a knite, it is all lost. The persona will always begin knitehood as a first level knite (with no experience) and preceding that she may never progress beyond first level in her trial class.
Practising knites do not have to be present for a player to be initiated. Independently carrying out a particularly despicable or gallant act may be sufficient to ascend the persona to knitehood. Slaughtering an unsuspecting expedition member or killing a knite is usually good (bad) enough to become an Anti-knite. Attempting to rescue other personas, even evil ones, at extreme personal risk may be sufficient to become a knite. Often, if the persona has acted accordingly during her trial period, she will be accepted into knitehood without her knowledge. Thus a persona may be a knite without even knowing it. This can lead ascendant knites to be constantly testing their potential knite abilities. The consequences of this peculiar behaviour can often be nothing less than hilarious.
Class Conduct: If members of either sect fail to act according to their doctrine, they will initially fail to collect experience, suffering the same experience penalties that other classes would. If the transgression is particularly bad or just plain persistent, the knite may be expunged from the class. Any knite to whom this happens will lose all her abilities and revert to first level of their trial class, losing all experience in the process. If a player feels that they are in danger of losing control of their persona and are about to commit some act that may cost them their knitehood, they may voluntarily withdraw. Any persona that voluntarily withdraws from being a knite will revert to their trial class but will not lose any experience points.
Usually knites that are having problems functioning within the strict guidelines of their class will meet with other problems long before they have the opportunity to withdraw. Anti-knites are always prowling around in the dark waiting for knites to falter. If a knite is having problems being good, it is almost certain that an anti-knite will have a cunning plan waiting to trick the knite over to the dark sect. Consequences for anti-knites are much more severe. If they begin to falter, they will almost certainly be exterminated in the ruthless plans of other anti-knites or even their own underlings.
A knite must also keep her attributes up in order to maintain the persona class. In other classes, the dropping of essential attributes will only affect their performance in the class and will not result in their ejection from the class. If a knite’s MSTR should drop below 18 for any reason, she will cease to be a knite while her MSTR is decreased. During this time, she will function as a persona in her trial class. If the status of 18 MSTR is recovered, the knite will continue to function as a knite.
Switching Sects: Voluntarily switching from one sect to another is a one-way street. The switch for knites is made easily enough; they can either say “yes” or they can fall for some cunning trick devised by the forces of darkness. Knites (good sect) can become anti-knites through either route mentioned. Anti-knites can only become knites if they elect to do so on their deathbed; thus an anti-knite persona will never get the opportunity to be a knite. The anti-knite’s only other option is to withdraw from the class, resulting in the same complications described earlier.
Once a psionically aware persona is caught up in the kirlian mystery, it is difficult for them to completely escape the effects of knitehood and will find they will often be approached by other knites for indoctrination or other purpose.
Any persona that dies while in the knite class cannot be revived; she is irretrievably dead to any form of technological or biological method of restoration. Dead knites are required as ethereal, immaterial entities which will occasionally aid the ever-endangered forces of good. Anti-knites have an irrevocable and eternal date with hell.
Knite Abilities: The basis of the knites’ powers are psionic manipulations of the kirlian auras that surround all objects in the EXP universe. Kirlian auras are not described in too much detail here because the referee may wish to base knites’ powers on some other type of universal, undetectable force. The kirlian auras are bio-luminescent fields that when read by knites, can yield essential information about the object or creature that it surrounds. The kirlian auras of sentient beings are constantly changing depending on their mood, intent, and general outlook on life. The more powerful a knite, the better they can interpret the auras and the better they can manipulate them.
All of a knite’s skills are present at first level but their degree of clarity and refinement (which determines their chance of success), depends on the experience level of the persona. Although a knite may attempt to use any ability at any time, the chance for success depends on the knite’s level and the difficulty of the kirlian ability.
The player must successfully roll on the Knite Performance Table before her knite is able to manipulate the kirlian auras. Knites (generic) should be present to do their work. Kirlian auras are almost useless to a knite once they have been photographed, recorded, or transmitted.
Kirlian Sight (Automatic): The glowing, flickering kirlian auras allow the knite to maneuver easily in darkness. They can “see” in the dark. This night sight has a range of 1 hex per point of MSTR plus one additional hex per experience level. Knites (generic) can use their kirlian sight to detect hidden objects more easily. When searching with their kirlian sight, knites can use their MSTR instead of their AWE to try and find hidden objects. This is because different types of wood or layers of paint show up clearly to the kirlian detecting knite.
Mimic (d4 DD): A knite can perfectly reproduce a sound so well that it will even carry the emotional aspects it carried. The sound must be repeated immediately upon being heard and whether the knite is successful in doing this, depends on her PT roll. A second successful PT roll will allow her to permanently memorize the sound. Before the recorded sound can be correctly reproduced after memorization, the knite must make another PT roll. Mimicked sounds can have any effect except physical damage.
Induce Silence (d4 DD): A successful PT roll will create an area of silence within the knite’s own hex. To continue the induced silence, a PT roll must be made every five units. Sound cannot exit or enter the area of induced silence. It should be harder for the knite to induce silence as the volume of the hidden sound increases. This means that the knite can operate in silence but it also means that she cannot hear any sounds that are produced outside of her hex.
False Rest (d4 DD): A successful PT roll will allow the knite to see with her eyes closed. The images appear as hazy kirlian auras which become incomprehensible beyond one half her kirlian sight.
Defense Shield (varies): A defence shield can only be used against projectile attacks directed at the ventral surface of the knite. The defense shield can be erected as soon as the knite can outstretch both palms in a defensive gesture. A defense shield can usually be erected before any attack can be launched. If there is some debate about getting the defense shield ready, the knite may be forced to make an initiative roll using her MSTR. If the knite’s arms are bound behind her back, she can create a defense shield with her feet at double the degree of difficulty.
A successful PT roll will allow the knite to deflect some attacks and absorb damage from those that are not deflected. Defense shield allows the knite to absorb 5 hit points of damage and increase her AR by 30 per experience level. A 3rd level knite could absorb 15 HPS of damage from those attacks that penetrated her increased AR (+90). If the player fails the PT roll, her persona will take full damage if a hit is scored.
Pre-empting (special): This ability allows the knite to put words into the mouths of weaker people. A successful PT roll may cause the victim to repeat what the knite has spoken. The victim receives a save vs. psionic attack. If the victim fails to save, she will repeat what the knite has said (or thought) but will not necessarily carry out the action. Pre-empting can only hope to succeed if the knite can speak the same language as the victim. There is a much better chance of success if the knite speaks the words aloud.
Telekinesis (d6 DD): A successful telekinesis roll will allow the knite to move an object by mental concentration. The object must first be within a range equal to the knite’s adjusted MSTR in hexes. If the object is an unwilling creature, it will receive a save vs psionic attack to avoid being telekinesed. The wate of the telekinesed object cannot exceed the knite’s weight allowance, using MSTR as PSTR. This amount is then multiplied by one-half of the knite’s experience level. So a knite with a 20 MSTR can telekinese 17 kg at 1st level, and 68 kg at 4th level. The knite should note that the referee is allowed to make the DD more difficult depending on the size of the item being telekinesed. If the knite wishes, she can split the total wate of her telekinetic ability amongst one target per 3 levels of experience.
Pressure (DD7): This skill has different effects but the same result for the two different sects of knite. A knite can employ pressure to instill overwhelming incapacitating guilt. Anti-knites can project a sense of asphyxiating fear. Either format immobilizes its victim. The victim will remain incapacitated until she saves versus psionic attack or until the knite releases her. The pressured victim can save versus psionic attack once every 5 units (10 seconds). A knite can operate pressure on up to 1 target per 3 levels of experience.
Psionic Defense (4 DD): The knite can focus her MSTR to defend against the mental attack of another knite or the psionic attack of some other opponent. Psionic defense will allow the knite to save versus any psionic attack regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed or not. If she saves while employing this mutation, the attack will have no effect on her. While employing psionic defense, the knite cannot use any of her psionic knite abilities and must cease using any that are being employed. These include detections, pressure, and telekinesis but do not include lite saber abilities or kirlian sight. If the PT roll is successful, the knite can add her experience level to her MSTR. Thus a 4th level knite with a MSTR of 19 would have an MSTR of 23 when employing psionic defense. The knite must make a PT roll for each attack directed against her.
Detections: The knite can attempt to read kirlian auras in her immediate surroundings. Successful PT rolls will provide the knite with some information but failed rolls will reveal nothing more than the typical kirlian jumble.
Danger (4 =d6 DD): When being actively employed by the knite, a successful PT roll will indicate to the knite the location and possibility of impending danger.
Intent (8 + d6 DD): The knite may use this ability to determine the intent of any biological entity. Objects radiate kirlian auras but they have no conscience that can reveal actual intent. The extent of the information revealed by this skill is minimal. All that can be determined is whether there is good or bad intent directed toward the knite. Consider some malicious person that wants to throw a fusion grenade at a knite. A successful detection of intent will only reveal “bad” intent, not the fact that the perpetrator has a grenade ready. Many creatures’ auras cannot be read for intent. Their auras are disguised through skill (e.g., a spie lying) or just plain stupidity.
Lies (11 + d6 DD): When a knite is actively observing a creature, she can determine if the spoken dialogue is truthful or not. The kirlian auras of machines or robots cannot be read for truthfulness. The knite may observe for one unit per point of MSTR.
Life (12 + d6 DD): Knites (good sect) may only detect life and anti-knites may only detect death. The knite may detect life/death at a range of up to 5 hexes per point of adjusted MSTR. If used properly, this ability can be of equal value to either sect.
Fate (14 + d6 DD): This is an ability for personas involved in campaigns of truly epic proportions. Referees and players alike should note that predicting the fate of personas in a situation can lead to sticky entanglements of refs “forcing” situations on players regardless of dice rolls.
Lite Saber Abilities: The knite’s special weapon is the force field sword, laser sword, or lite saber. These special weapons are described in detail in Chapter 49: Miscellaneous Weapons. The knite can do certain things with a lite saber that no other persona can. All lite saber abilities can be used simultaneously.
Deflections (Special): The lite saber can be used to deflect an attack. The DD for this action is 1/50 of the to hit roll made on her. Attacks can be deflected without affecting the knite’s combat in any way. Attacks can be deflected from any direction provided that the knite hasn’t been surprised. The knite can deflect two attacks per unit per experience level. Thus a 4th level knite could deflect 8 attacks per unit and she need only deflect those attacks which are going to hit her.
Multiple Attacks (Automatic): A lite saber can also be used as a lethal attack weapon. A knite can attack more than once per unit with her lite saber. She can make one extra attack per unit per two levels of experience. This is only when using a lite saber and the number of attacks cannot exceed 3 per unit.
Amputation (Special): The last and most devastating lite saber skill that the knite has is amputation. The laser lite of the lite saber is capable of excising any limb that it hits. There is a percentage chance depending on the damage inflicted (this is described under lite sabers) and then a PT roll against a DD equal to 1/50 the target’s AR. Thus knites get 2 chances to amputate each time they score a hit with a lite saber.
Knite Experience: Knites (generic) earn 20 EXPS per DD for successful completion of skills on the performance table. Knites gain full experience for combat. The more experience points that the knite collects, the higher the experience level that is attained. The gathering of experience levels allows for more refined interpretations and manipulations of kirlian auras and thus a higher proficiency with the knite skills. For more information about earning experience, see Chapter 15: Experience.
Table 8.3 Knite ExperienceAmounts of EXPS that lead to new knite levels.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|400042||per level above 12th|
The class of mechanic encompasses all skills and knowledge of a technical nature – whether it be electronic, mechanical, structural, etc. They are generally good, handy people. Their skills can range from laser technology to unclogging drains. Unfortunately, they only have bits and bytes of rudimentary knowledge at their disposal. Mechanics are especially beneficial to the expedition when artifacts need identifying. They are essential if the expedition expects to repair damaged equipment or attempts to construct unique contraptions.
Examples of mechanics from popular media include Scotty (Star Trek), The Professor (Gilligan’s Island), Q (James Bond), Brain (Escape from New York), and Bicycle Repair Man (Monty Python).
Abilities: The mechanics have some special abilities related to their class that other personas cannot attempt. These are different from skills in that the persona can call on them in any capacity.
Mnemonic Trapping (d8 DD): Using finely trained memory skills the mechanic can memorize addresses, instructions, serial numbers, or procedures for later use. The referee can adjust the degree of difficulty of the maneuver depending on the complexity of the sequence or its length.
Brainstorming (d20 DD): This ability allows the mechanic to solve complex problems by relating incongruous pieces of information by thinking laterally and by thinking imaginatively. If the brainstorming attempt is failed, the persona will most likely come up with a hair brained idea instead of no idea at all. The effect of this ability can be to solve a problem completely, partially, or to earn a PT roll bonus of 1 to 4 DDs. Brainstorming can be limited by the referee and its degree of difficulty adjusted as needed.
Mental Patenting (Triple DD): The mechanic can memorize a maneuver that she has successfully completed in such a fashion that she can repeat the maneuver flawlessly. If upgrading a certain item is a DD4 procedure, she should mentally patent this maneuver (DD12) and repeat it flawlessly on future occasions. The situation must be nearly identical and no performance table EXPs should be granted for repeated procedures. This can be done with research teams.
Skills: Mechanics, like all other classes, have gained their knowledge from an array of inconsistent sources: plain curious observation, books like “101 Fission Projects for Kids”, or typewriter manuals. The skills are probably more accurately referred to as pursuits – old hobbies that the mechanic still has an interest in and likes to tinker around with.
The player is entitled to one roll on the Mechanic Skill table for every three points of INT. For example, a persona with a 16 INT would get five rolls on the Mechanic Skill table. If the player rolls the same skill more than once, she gains added proficiency by advancing levels in that area. For example, if a player rolls engines twice, she has level two skills in engines. This could be recorded as Engines 2 and whenever she works with engines, she will earn a DD bonus of -4. The mechanic also gets a new random skill for every new experience level, the better chance the player has for success on the Mechanic Performance Table. For more information about PT rolls, see Chapter 14: Performance Tables.
Table 8.5 Mechanic SkillsAreas of focus for mechanics to break, fix and repair.
|Die Roll (d100)||Mechanic Skill|
|88-89||Weapons (type A, B)|
|90-91||Weapons (type C)|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
Experience: Successful rolls on the performance table will earn the mechanic experience points. How much experience depends on the DD of the accomplished task. The mechanic will earn 80 EXPs per DD. Mechanics can also gain a portion of combat experience. They receive 20% of allotted combat experience. As mechanics accumulate experience points, they may advance levels. Higher experience levels aid the player on the performance tables and in combat. For more information about earning experience levels, she Chapter 15: Experience.
Table 8.6 Mechanics ExperienceThe more you do the more know, and sometimes the better you are.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|350000||EXPS per level above 11th|
Mercenaries are generally hardy, ready-to-fight sorts. They are the fighters, the tough gals, and the paramilitary types of the expedition. Mercs are valuable for the hodgepodge of combat skills that they possess. They represent the dog-meat essential for the survival of any expedition in combat, though they may not personally regard themselves as such.
Typical mercenaries from popular entertainment and fiction include the A-Team (cretin-fodder TV “entertainment”), Bill the Galactic Hero (by Harry Harrison), the Storm Troopers, and almost any cowboy or war movie hero.
The skills that mercs possess have been acquired mostly through plain old blood-thirsty interest – and a liberal dose of on-the-job-training. The skills rolled by mercs represent weapon skills. These weapon skills allow for bonuses to hit and increased chances of successfully doing merc-like things with the particular weapon type. The players receive one roll on the Mercenary Skills table for every four points of INT. The player is also entitled to one roll on the Mercenary Skills table for every new experience level.
Theatrical Combat System Skills: When using the theatrical combat system, the mercenary skill table offers no bonuses to hit. When a player rolls a weapon type on the Mercenary Skill table, it indicates that she can use this weapon. So a merc that rolled hand-to-hand striking weapons could use swords, maces, and hammers without penalty. The theatrical combat system is for combat resolution in non-combat campaigns. It is explained in Chapter 26: Theatrical Combat.
Tactical Combat System Skills: The tactical combat system allows mercs to shine, if you can call efficient killing in armed combat shining. There are many skills beyond weapon proficiency that the mercenary can employ in the tactical combat system. For more information about the tactical combat system, she Chapter 27: Tactical Combat.
Weapon Skill Bonuses: For the tactical combat system, mercs not only become proficient in the weapons rolled but they earn bonuses to hit also. Let’s use a persona with four skills as an example:
- Hand-to-hand; striking
- Pistol weapons; revolver; XLP
- Pistol weapons; revolver; MP
- Grenades; buildings
Each fraction of a weapon skill is worth +20 to hit. This means that +20 or more is added to the player’s kilo-die roll when trying to score a hit.
If the persona were attacking with a sword, she would get a +40 to hit because it is both a hand-to-hand weapon and a striking weapon. If she were using a bow, she would get a +20 to hit because the bow is considered hand-to-hand but not a striking weapon.
If this merc were using a laser pistol, she would get +40 to hit because the skill pistol weapons appears twice. If she were using a HP revolver, her bonus to hit would be +80 because both pistol weapons and revolver skills appear twice. Note that these skills are not randomly applied. For example, the medium powered (MP) caliber skill can only apply to revolvers. Also a semi-automatic pistol skill cannot be applied to a semi-automatic rifle.
This persona would also receive +20 to hit with grenades and +40 to hit when using grenades inside buildings.
This persona is most skilled in using a MP or XLP revolver. With an XLP revolver, she would get +100 to hit. On the other hand, this mercenary is least skilled in rifle weapons and would receive no bonuses to hit.
Bolstering of Amour Rating: A mercenary does not have to use all of her Bonus Proficient solely to increase her chance to hit. A special skill of the mercenary can make her much harder to be hit, instead of concentrating on hitting a target. This could prove to be necessary for a number of peculiar reasons.
A mercenary can bolster her AR by up to 20 points per experience level. The total of this AR bonus is subtracted from the merc’s to hit roll in the same unit. The player running the merc must announce their intention to bolster their persona’s AR in the preceding unit.
The total amount of bolstering available is limited by several factors. The merc can never use an amount that exceeds her BP for the attacking weapon type. So if a merc’s BP for Type A is 158, she can never bolster her AR against Type A attacks by more than 158. Special weapon bonuses do not apply. The AR bolster can only be used against one attack per level, per unit. This means that a 1st level merc could add 20 to her AR against 1 attack while a 5th level merc could possibly add 100 to her AR versus 5 attacks. Experience level is the only limit to the number of attacks that the persona can defend against.
Multiple Attacks: Mercenaries can increase the number of attacks they get with Type A and Type B and some Type C weapons. They can get 1 additional attack per 2 experience levels per unit. This means 2 attacks at 2nd level, 3 attacks at 4th level, and 4 attacks at 6th level. The number of attacks cannot exceed 4 per unit. If the player elects to have her persona attack more than once per unit, she must divide her BP (plus applicable skill bonuses) amongst the attacks.
For instance, a 6th level merc with a BP for Type A of 210 could attack 3 times at +70; 2 times at +105; 1 time at +210; or 1 time at +200 and 2 times at +5, etc. The player must determine how many attacks she is going to make and and what the bonus will be per attack in the unit preceding the multiple attack. Once she has stated that she is going to make multiple attacks, she is committed to the pattern chosen.
Note that combining multiple attacks with bolstering of the AR can produce some pretty wild calculations and the players applying these merc skills must ensure that they are properly prepared each unit and that they are not slowing down combat for everyone else.
Ambidextrous Combat: A mercenary can fight as an ambidextrous persona if the player running her successfully makes a PT roll each unit of combat. Personas using two weapons simultaneously would normally suffer a penalty of -200 and -300 on the two attacks. This is a penalty of -200 on the persona’s dominant paw and -300 on the person’s non-dominant paw.
This penalty applies to any combination of two weapons: rifle and pistol; two rifles; pistol and sword; two swords, etc. If the player makes her PT roll, the persona can use two weapons simultaneously without suffering the -200/-300 penalty. This penalty is described in better detail in Chapter 35: Combat Adjustments. If she fails the PT roll, the merc will suffer the penalty as would any other persona.
Combining ambidextrous combat with multiple attacks can create a formidable hand-to-hand combatant indeed. If ambidextrous combat is attempted, the degree of difficulty will be doubled. If the performance table roll fails, the merc will subtract 200 from good handed to hit rolls and 300 from her weak handed to hit rolls.
Absolute Proficiency: Mercenaries are the only class that are proficient in any personal weapon that they can identify and understand the workings of. A merc could use any rifle with her BP provided that she can identify it as a rifle. This skill only applies to weapons of a personal nature and not to weapons of mass destruction or of a strategic nature.
Snap Reload: A mercenary can reload and fire in the same unit if she successfully makes a PT roll. If the PT roll is unsuccessful, she will lose combat time to reloading like any other persona. If the merc is using ambidextrous combat, she must make two successful PT rolls. Failure in either roll will leave both weapons unloaded. The snap reload ability of mercenaries can also be used as a snap weapon exchange, switching from one weapon to another and still being able to attack in that unit.
Table 8.8 Mercenary SkillsDetermine what weapons and combat skills a mercenary has.
|Die Roll (d100)||Skill Stream||Specific Skill|
|01-12||Hand to Hand||Striking|
|13-16||Hand to Hand||Thrusting
|17-20||Hand to Hand||Throwing|
|21-23||Hand to Hand||Unarmed|
|48-51||Rifles||Pump; Bolt Action|
|72-78||Grenades||See Table 8.8-2|
|79-81||Aerosols||See Table 8.8-2|
|82||Artillery||See Table 8.8-2|
|83||Bombs||See Table 8.8-2|
|84||Demolitions||See Table 8.8-2|
|00||Ref' Own Table|
|Die Roll||Skill Stream||Specific Skill|
Table 8.8.1 Power Level of Type C WeaponsWhat nuances of gun calibre and energy level is the merc familiar with.
|Die Roll (d100)||Weapon Power|
|01-05||Extra Lo Powered (XLP)|
|06-15||Lo Powered (LP|
|16-85||Medium Powered (MP)|
|86-95||High Powered (HP)|
|96-00||Extra High Powered (XHP)|
|Die Roll||Weapon Power|
Table 8.8.2 Weaponry SpecializationsMercenary bonuses for using weapons in specific terrain or circumstance
|Die Roll (d100)||Specialization|
|25-36||Extra Planetary Vehicles|
|61-72||Sub Liquid Vehicles|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
Experience: Mercenaries gain experience from combat that they directly engage in. If the mercenary does not inflict damage during combat, they do not receive EXPs. If the merc was successful in combat then she will receive 100% of the experience point value of whatever she was fighting. Mercs will also receive 25 EXPs per DD of successful PT maneuvers. The more experience gained, the higher the level the merc attains. Higher levels allow for more weapon skills and a greater chance of success in performing class skills. For more information about earning experience, she Chapter 15: Experience.
Table 8.9 Mercenary ExperienceViolence begets better violence.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|250000||Experience points per level above 9th.|
Nomads are survivalists supreme. They are experts at finding their way, constructing shelter, and doing well with nothing more than their bare hands. Nomads can aid the expedition by providing a source of intuitive survival skills. Nomads have an initial home base or biome (a biome is any easily distinguishable subsection of an ecosystem such as deciduous forest, tropical savanna, or radioactive ruins). It is in such familiar territory that the nomad functions best. The nomads’ skills are not limited to just these biomes but she will prefer them and enjoy DD bonuses when within their boundaries. Nomads from popular fiction are Borellian Nomen (Battlestar Galactica, Ki (The Gods Must Be Crazy), Daniel Boone, Uil Gibbons Fremen (Dune), and your friendly neighbourhood bag lady.
Nomads and Technology: Nomads will generally shun technology if it is unnecessary for survival, usually preferring to sleep in a hollow log or in a Smithrite garbage container rather than a hotel room or tent. Nomadic skills are essentially unteachable. The other classes are not able to grasp the subtleties necessary to adapt to and live off an environment. This is something that players must remember and not waste role-playing time trying to do. The nomadic skills were most likely acquired by the persona after she found herself isolated in some perilous situation and had to make do or die. It is very unlikely that there are accredited schools of nomadic adventure.
Nomadic Biomes: A biome is an environmental region that the nomad is familiar enough with that she will be able to survive within it. The biome that the nomad originated from can be randomly determined on Table 8.10: Nomadic Biomes chosen by the ref or chosen by the player. All nomads will have a start-up biome.
The nomad can acquire a new biome by gaining a complete experience level in a new area. This means that a first level nomad from the desert travelling around on the tundra (a foreign biome) would gain tundra as an additional biome upon reaching second level. The higher the experience level of the nomad, the more difficult it is to learn a new biome. This is because the nuances and pitfalls of previous biomes cloud the newer ones and make them harder to learn. This effect is reflected in the increasing experience level of the nomad.
Biomes are not planetary specific. A biome on one planet is the same as an identical biome on another planet; only the species are different. Available biomes are listed on the Nomadic Biome Table. The same table is used if the biomes are being randomly generated. A biome may have special characteristics if the referee deems them necessary.
Table 8.10 Nomadic BiomeDetermine the nomad's most favouritest places to hang out and survive.
|Die Roll (d100)||Biome Type|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
|Die Roll||Biome Type|
Table 8.11 Biome CharacteristicModifier of a biome.
|Die Roll (d100)||Biome Characteristic|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
|Die Roll||Biome Characteristic|
Nomadic Skills: These are example skills that can be employed by the nomad. These skills are generally personal and are harder to employ for another persona. So a nomad may be able to find enough food for herself but unable to find food for another personal also. The DDs vary because the nature of a biome is dynamic and what might be shelter one night might not be the next night. The referee may also adjust the DD as she sees fit. For instance, finding water while floating in a vac suit in outer space may be increased many times over finding water in a rain forest. If the nomad were to still success, the referee must be prepared to explain the success in a fashion that doesn’t seriously alter the nature of her milieu.
Shelter (d4 DD): This is the ability to either find or build shelter employing nothing other than the biome’s materials. The shelter can protect from the elements, local pests, or toxins. The nomad must roll once per specific protection required. Hiding out from local animals and background radiation would require 2 PT rolls. Remember that the number of expedition members included increases the DD.
Clothing (d6 DD): This involves the design of protective clothing. It could offer warmth, ventilation, or protection from inhospitable environments. Camouflage clothing can also be fashioned from the local materials if another PT roll is made. The nomad must roll once per set of clothing required. Finding clothing or other personas increases the DD by 2.
Safe Passage (d12 DD): The nomad can determine a safe passage through seemingly impassable terrain: mountain ranges, toxic areas, or a red light district. It is potentially the most abused nomadic ability available. The nomad must remember that the skill cannot be used to avoid a referee’s detailed scenario; although a good PT roll may alter the scenario’s presentation. A safe passage roll is required for each component of the safe passage required. If the nomad wants safe passage through a city (a route through) and safe passage from the police (evasion), she would have to make two PT rolls. A failure of this roll can mean either that no passage could be found (normal travel applies) or an unsafe one was determined (a critical failure on the PT roll).
Poison Cure (special): How difficult is it to cure the effects of poison depends on the intensity of the poison. The DD = poison intensity. Thus, an intensity 12 snake bit would require DD12 performance table roll. There is no DD penalty for employing this skill on another persona.
Husbandry (special): Nomadic husbandry involves the befriending and training of alien creatures. If the ref has deemed the creature befriendable by the nomad, the DD is equal to the INT of the creature. So trying to befriend a wumpus (a pointed, furry creature with a 4 INT) would be DD4.
Once befriended, the nomad can train the beasty to do various tricks. The DD and time requirement is determined by the ref. Some aliens cannot be trained at all, especially those with an organized social structure or sufficient free will to pursue their own class. Robots cannot be trained by a nomad. The ref should watch for abuses of this nomadic skill. Pets will often run away if mistreated and the more intelligent the creature, the more difficult it is for the nomad to maintain a dominant relationship. It will be difficult for the nomad to convince the animals to leave their biome.
The nomad will be able to teach tamed animals up to one trick per experience level. The tricks can only be simple commands but it will take a PT roll versus d12 DD to make the trick stick.
Once the trick has been learned, the nomad will also have to check to see if the commend itself is successful. The DD of successfully commanding the animal depends on how many tricks that the animal has learned and nothing else. If the animal knows 2 tricks, commanding it will be a DD2 maneuver. Command failure in animal husbandry should have humorous effects if at all possible.
Tracking (special): Nomads can track anything that they want. A successful PT roll will indicate that their prey has not escaped. Complications such as flight, burrowing, and phasing out will adjust the DD. The DD should be decreased for larger pretty or prey that is ignorant that it’s being tracked.
Once the nomad has decided to track something, it is determined how long the chase will take (2-200 hours) and at the end of this the PT roll is made. Thus tracking time can indicate the number of hours to discovery or the number of hours until giving up. Distractions and diversions during the chase can alter the chance of success (adjusted as the ref sees fit).
Reverse tracking is used by the nomad to determine if she is being followed. It is a much harder skill to employ but it yields an answer immediately. Reverse tracking is a personal skill.
Food (special): Here are four skills relevant to the acquisition of food in the wild. They are based on the requirements of one normal sized person for one day: find a gather (3 + d6 DD); prepare safely (4 + d6 DD); cook (1 DD); and preserve (6 + d6 DD). Only the first two PT rolls (gather and prepare) are necessary to supply the daily nutritional needs of the nomad.
Fire (1 DD): The ability to produce fire from local materials. The DD should be increased in poor atmospheric or climatic conditions.
Safe Campsite (d8 DD): Successful use of this skill can determine if the chosen camp is safe from natural disasters (e.g., avalanches, floods, fallout, or worse). Safe campsite designates an area that is safe and any persona within this area is safe from the biomes’ natural disasters. This skill can be used to reduce the chance of being found by local hungry life forms.
Water (special): Collecting water is a 3 + D4 DD action and it can only supply enough water for one person for one day. To locate a continual source of water (spring, well, or water main) is an 8 + d4 DD maneuver. All collected water should be routinely purified (5 + D4 DD). This will eliminate any bacteria or toxins that are unaffected by boiling.
Nomadic Experience: Nomads get half experience for combat and 30 EXPS per DD for successful PT rolls. Increasing levels allows the nomad a greater chance of survival in the wild or combat. For more information about earning experience, see Chapter 15: Experience.
Table 8.12 Nomadic ExperienceEXPS amounts required to achieve new levels of self sufficiency.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|220000||Experience points per level above 11th|
The nothing or civilian is more of a consolation class than anything else. Those personas with attributes insufficient to enter any other class are forced to become nothings. There are no attribute requirements for nothings (other than being alive). The nothings are allowed to pursue any civilian employment provided that their skills can in no way aid them in regular adventure gaming. The nothing serves little or no purpose for the expedition. Some nothings from popular fiction and film are: Arthur Dent (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Otto (Repo Man), and Pinback (Dark Star)
The most important factor to a civilian (a nothing) is her ability to perform her mundane task and her social standing. The importance of these variables can vary depending on the milieu that the referee has created. For example, going to the best parties may be the drive of nothings in one culture while getting enough to eat may be the drive in another. All nothings should determine their social standing, their wealth, and what they want to do with their life. A nothing may pursue a real persona class or may specialize in becoming a high level nothing.
Social Standing: The social standing is of great importance to the nothing. It indicates where they are socially oriented in their society and how much money they tend to have. A high social standing is synonymous with wealth and power. Nothings determine their social standing with a kilo-die roll. The higher the roll, the greater the social standing. What form this social standing takes (famous celebrity, corporate power, or bureaucratic influence) is up to the ref and the scenario in which the nothing appears.
The higher the social standing, the more likely a nothing is able to apply pressure on another civilian. The mechanics of this is dependent on the milieu and the ref. Nothings may have connections to lodges, clubs, or other such groups which will allow them to order other nothings around.
The simplest rule for which this can be played is by comparing the two persona’s social standings (SS). If a persona’s SS is more than 200 points higher than a referee persona, then the player’s persona could subtly apply pressure to the other and maybe force her to capitulate in circumstances where she otherwise might not.
If the player has chosen to pursue nothing as a persona class, she can increase her social standing as her experience level increases. Each level that the nothing acquires, she may add 20 to her social standing. This means that a 1st level nothing with a social standing of 367 would have a social standing of 387.
This is something that can only occur between nothings and other classes should be relatively exempt. This feature of nothing SS should be applied with moderation; it would be unrealistic for one nothing to drastically affect the life of another but it would be likely to play a part in a mundane type of thing such as butting in line or getting correct change.
Origin of Nothing: All nothings receive one roll on Table 8.17: Nothing Skill and Table 8.13: The Origin of Nothing to give the persona some background history.
Table 8.13 Nothing OriginDetermines what type of place the nothing player persona is from.
|Die Roll (d100)||Nothing Origin|
|31-40||Full Operational City|
|96-00||Ref's Own Table|
|Die Roll||Nothing Origin|
Nothing Wealth: Unlike the other classes, the nothings receive rolls directly on the treasure tables. How many rolls on the treasure table the nothing gets depends on her social standing. The Treasure Table is found in Chapter 53: Treasure. Table 8.14: Nothing Treasure is used to determine how the player will roll wealth for her nothing. A campaign could easily revolve around a nothing that has spectacular wealth and connections. How the wealth is represented (information, savings, land, stocks, technology, or industry) depends on the milieu and on the mood of the referee.
Table 8.14 Nothing WealthHow much bling does the nothing bring?
|Social Standing||Treasure Table Rolls||Roll Adjustment|
|000||Ref's Own Table|
|Social Standing||Treasure Table Rolls||Roll Adjustment|
Nothing Class Pursuit: All is not lost for impoverished nothings. They (and wealthy ones as well) may directly pursue any class except for knite, alien, or robot. The class of knite can be indirectly pursued via the appropriate class (see knite in this chapter). They will remain as nothings until they survive a trial period, after which they can become first level of a chosen class. The trial period consists of about four experience levels of EXPs determined by the pursued class. Once a nothing has achieved fifth level of a particular class, she can become a first level persona in her new class. Upon reaching this point, they lose all experience accumulated as nothings and being to gain it as the learned class normally would. For example, a nothing aspiring to become a mercenary must collect 18001 experience points to become a first level merc. Once she has earned 18001 EXPs as a nothing, she would begin playing as a first level merc with 0 EXPs.
Table 8.16 Experience to First LevelEXPS needed to get to the entry level (1st level) of various classes.
|Class Pursued||EXPS Required|
|Class Pursued||EXPS Required|
Nothing Skills: Nothings can have some skills that are very significant to their social world but not too important in the world of gaming. The nothing skills represent mundane and repetitious talents like baking, accounting, bricklaying, etc. It will be a rare and unique circumstance when a nothing persona will be able to use her skills to assist the expedition.
There are certain skills that a persona may wish to hone for purely academic reasons. For instance, a nothing may wish to become the best chef in the city, an established accountant, or the fastest cage cleaner. If the nothing class has been chosen, the persona can add a skill roll for each level that she increases or she can increase her initial skill level by one. A persona with accounting 3 would earn a 3DD bonus on the General Performance Table when carrying out accounting maneuvers.
Table 8.17 Nothing SkillsEntirely non-contributory skills that nothings can have.
|Die Roll (d100)||Nothing Skill|
|29-30||Embezzler (roll cover)|
|63-64||Painter, Fine Art|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
|Die Roll||Nothing Skill|
Nothing Experience: Nothings gain experience points differently from their pursued classes. All nothings, regardless of pursued class, earn 10% of combat experience and one experience point for every 10 eps earned. “Earned” monies must be collected while exploring and cannot be gifts, stipends, grants, awards, or salaries gathered without personal risk. The pursuit of gold will no longer generate EXPs once the nothing has entered the new class. If the player has chosen to pursue the nothing as a class, she can use the Nothing Experience table to determine her level of experience.
Table 8.15 Nothing ExperienceNothings can acquire experience levels by collecting the listed amounts of EXPS.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|400000||EXPS per level about 12th|
Spies, simply put, are tough, mean, ruthless, and lethal personas. They are highly skilled in unarmed combat, deception, and murder. Spies can employ any combination of these abilities to satisfy their goals. Spies can be of value to the expedition if they feel like it. Often they will be disguised as some other class (yes, even a Vet) which pretends to function as part of the expedition. For the party, Spies are an excellent source of dangerous assignments (from governments, corporations, societies or private citizens). Spies are not totally dependent on a commission and can carry out a little extortion or kidnapping for their own profit (or fun). Spies from popular fiction are James Bond, Flint, Sten, and the Stainless Steel Rat.
The cut-throat nature of the spie world does not mean all spies must be ruthless assassins and terrorists. But in the realm of international and extra-planetary espionage, it is very difficult to distinguish the bad from the not-so-bad. Spies very rarely operate freelance and usually depend on some source for assignments and possible remuneration. How deeply involved the expedition gets with a spie’s source depends on the milieu or scenario set up by the ref. It is also not uncommon for spies to be members of secret guilds or naughty lodges which can offer training in the clandestine arts. Any spie that initiates an act of counter-espionage (turning on her employer) whether by a higher authority or personal decision is almost certainly in big (like massive) trouble.
The skills of spies are fairly strict and new ones must be carefully analyzed to ensure they do not infringe on those of mercenaries. Spies almost certainly have attending some sort of “spie school” or special forces training and they may be the only class to have had any formal training. The pre-gaming history of a spie’s education can be left up to the ref or the player. The basic spie skills are Assassination, Disguise and Martial Arts. There are many other spie tricks that the persona can have. These are determined on the table below.
Assassinate: Under optimal conditions and with the correct weaponry, a spie may carry out an assassination. The attempt must be made under the conditions of complete surprise. This excludes assassination attempts on victims during combat or with weapons that announce their approach. A flame thrower would be an inappropriate weapon but a rifle fired some distance from the target would be adequate (the bullet arrives before the bang). Once the spie and the ref have finished arguing (er, discussing) whether the situation is an acceptable one, the spie must attempt to roll to hit. Only after a hit has been scored can an assassination attempt be made. The DD for the assassination depends on the victim’s experience level, AWE, and a random factor.
If the PT roll is successful, the victim is dead. There is no turning back, no saving throw; the victim is deceased. If the roll is unsuccessful, the victim takes damages as from the hit. If this normal damage kills the victim, it is not considered an assassination by the spie. Getting caught, whether successful or not, depends on the scenario being played out by the ref and the players.
Disguise: A masquerading spie can make herself appear about 50% taller or heavier or about 25% shorter or lighter. Whether or not the disguise is detected depends on the AWE of the observer and the complexity of the disguise. Generally, it is an Improbable attribute roll (D100) (see Chapter 16: Special Rolls) that an observer will notice that something is wrong. The more extravagant the disguise, the less difficult the Attribute roll. If the initial PT roll is failed, the spie may still be identifiable but the disguise will appear more as a costume. If an observer notices that a spie is disguised, the spie is not necessarily identified, just uncovered. Further action must be taken to ascertain the spie’s identity.
Martial Arts: Spies also have their own form of very deadly hand-to-hand combat. The spie’s martial arts abilities include kicks, punches, elbows, chops, head butts, and body slams. None of these hand-to-hand attacks vary in damage from one type to another and none of them have any special significance (other than the damage they produce).
Table 8.18 Spie Martial ArtsMartial arts are an essential spie skill and improv with EXPS level.
|EXPS Level||AR Adjustment||Attack Number||Attack Damage||Attack
|3||120||2||d6||1 Before, 1 Normal|
|4||160||3||d6||1 Before, 2 Normal|
|7||280||4||d10||Before, 2 During,
|8||320||5||d10||Before, 2 During,
|9||360||5||d12||2 Before, 2 During,
|10||400||6||d12||2 Before, 2 During,
|EXPS Level||AR Adjustment||Attack Number||Attack Damage||Attack
Explanation of Martial Arts Table: This a 5th level spie that loses initiative would get one attack before her opponent attacks, one attack while her opponent attacks, and then one normal attack. If the spie wins initiative, she has earned 3 attacks before her opponent can act. Note that the spie cannot move until her turn and the martial arts attacks have a limited range on the adjacent hex.
Amour Rating: This martial arts training adjusts the spie’s armour rating as she employs throws, parries, blocks, and rolls to increase her AR. If the spie is wearing no protective covering, she will always have the armour rating bonus listed on the Spie Martial Arts table. If the spie wishes to combine her defensive martial arts with amour, she must make a successful PT roll or have the lesser of the two armour ratings. The DD of this maneuver is equal to the armour rating of the armour divided by 100 plus its restrictiveness. The player should have this DD memorized if she wishes her persona to carry out that maneuver.
Number of Attacks: The number of attacks applies to the number of martial arts attacks that the persona can make. If she wishes to make additional attacks with other weapons, she must make a successful PT roll. If this performance table maneuver is failed, she will suffer a to hit roll penalty of -300 on the weapon attack and -200 on her martial arts attack.
Attack Damage: Martial arts attacks can only be used on targets in an adjacent hex. The damage inflicted is added to the regular PSTR bonus awarded for hand-to-hand combat. This is the same as the damage adjustment for the type B attacks and it is equal to ½ the persona’s PSTR. The persona uses her type A weapon attack on her combat table. For martial arts, refer to Chapter 25: The Combat Introduction for more information.
Attack Sequence: The attack sequence is very important to the spie. Using her martial arts, she can alter the course of initiative by getting attacks in before others can act. “Normal” attacks are self-explanatory and the spie attacks in the normal combat order. “Before” attacks allow the persona to make the given number of martial arts attacks before her opponent can attack her. The before attacks are granted even if the spie loses initiative. “During” attacks are launched simultaneous to any attacks on the spie regardless of whether she wins the initiative or not.
Spie Tricks: Neat little tricks are the trademark of any qualified spie. Several are listed here. Before adding a new trick, the ref must analyze it in excruciating detail, ensuring that it is different from the other class’ skills, spie-like, and not excessively ridiculous. The tricks are not hard and fast rules. They are very dependent on ref-player interaction and are included mostly to explain some of the things that our favourites spies can do.
Table 8.19 Spie TricksA list of those amazing things that spies can do in movies.
|Die Roll (d100)||Spie Trick|
|49-54||Lock Picking, Electronic|
|55-60||Lock Picking, Mechanical|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
|Die Roll||Spie Trick|
Bribery: This is a skill that must be run very subjectively by the referee. Some upstanding citizens may refuse any attempt at bribery (it being a criminal offense on some planets may aid in their morality) while others will gladly accept the additional remuneration. Successfully casing a potential bribe will increase this skill’s chance of success. The players and ref should remember to role-play the situation whenever possible. One quick die roll does not give service to a situation potentially as fun as this. Bribery skill can be used by the persona to slip across a border line, get into a rock concert, or avoid a traffic ticket. Personas cannot bribe people into damaging themselves and the greater the physical risk involved, the higher the DD should be. Failure at bribery could result in any reaction other than a successful bribe and the response could vary from snickers to violence.
Casing: This skill should be carried out by the spie before any other skulking action is taken. Casing can determine potential difficulties that may have to be overcome in order to successfully bypass security, bribe, etc. The DD of casing depends on how elaborate the protections are (if any) and how large an area is being cased. If the spie fails to case the “joint” properly, unsuspected bits of security may foil even her best laid plans. Successfully casing may yield specific information of importance to the spie like there is a trap/alarm over there, someone is watching the building, or the safe is behind the aquarium. If there is no specific gaming information to be had by the persona, there will at least be a -2 DD bonus on performance table rolls following a successful case.
Climbing: This allows the spie to channel her inner monkey. Spie climbing is a combination of freestyle and parkour. It allows the persona to get to places they want to get to, however it does not necessarily plan for the best escape once there.
Concealment: Concealment is the art of hiding objects on the body of the spie. It allows weapons, detectors, money, etc. to be hidden in the fat folds, armpits, fur, and orifices of the spie. A successful PT roll means that the spie can avoid discovery of items if she were subjected to a cursory strip search. The DD can (and should) be adjusted by the ref for more lenient or stringent searches.
Cryptography: This skill can be used to encode or decode data. The encrypted material can take on any form the spie sees fit. The ref should adjust the DD so that the complexity of the code is reflected in the DD assigned. Players must remember that many codes exist that cannot be broken without computer aids or other special keys.
Escape: The escape roll may be applied as an absolute last resort. The escape roll is merely a way of delaying impending doom. The skill is best described as “out of the frying pan and usually into the fire”. An escape roll can only be used by the spie to physically avoid the impending doom. For example, the spie can only jump out of the way of the speeding two tonne robot; she cannot disable it or make it crash. The danger continues on its merry way; only the spie may change. The referee can deny an escape whenever she sees fit.
Forgery: This is the spie’s art form. Forgery skill ranges from falsifying initials on legal documents to counterfeiting campaign currency. In some circumstances, the chance of successful forgery can be aided by previous casing. Forgery is very time consuming. Either the finished product takes a long time to create or there is tremendous amounts of practice involved. The referee can upwardly adjust the DD level for counterfeiting as she sees fit.
Interrogation: This is the formal or informal pushing for information from a persona. The spie will be able to get information from a victim by cajoling, deceiving, threatening, or hurting.
Lock Picking: A classic spie trick is the ability to bypass locking mechanisms on doors, safes, vehicles. Lock picking is non-destructive, and it would be likely that anyone other than another spie would know if a lock has been bypassed. Smashing a lock or shooting it with the Hollywood “unlocking blaster” would not count as lock picking. The referee would assign the degree of difficulty of the maneuver.
Lying: A successful PT roll will allow the persona to deceive lie detectors, immigration officers, legal cross-examination, or close scrutiny. Again, good opportunities for roll playing should not be replaced with a die roll.
Pocket Picking: represents the removal of items from the pocket, flap, purse, or pouch of the primary observer. For example, stealing candy from the bib of a 3rd level baby would add 3 DD. The other two examples (table and demo) represent pilfering something from a display and simple magic tricks. Failure indicates that the spie has been caught out and that fast talking, fast feet, or fast weapons are in order. Success indicates that the victim, primary observer, or audience has been fooled. The action rarely will deceive electronic surveillance equipment such as hidden cameras or alarm systems.
Stealth Movement: Stealth is like spie camouflage. It represents the ability to hide in the shadows, move silently, and avoid detection by hiding in the shadows, moving quietly, remaining motionless, or playing dead.
Stunning: If the spie does not desire lethal combat but wants to incapacitate her target, she may attempt to stun her opponent. The stun is a specialized martial arts attack. The ideal opportunity for stunning the opponent is during an ambush when the spie can get a chance to stun before the target can even react. If the spie must stun during combat, the skill is equally effective but the degree of difficulty is increased. Stunning the opponent requires a successful to hit roll and then a successful PT roll. The DD of the stun depends on the target’s experience level and a random factor. If the PT roll is successful, the target is stunned. Only the first attack in a martial arts sequence can be considered an ambush stun. Unsuccessful stuns inflict no damage and have no effect on the target.
Trap Defusing: A successful PT roll with this skill will indicate the laying of a deadly booby trap. It could be as complex as a grenade triggered by an opening door or as simple as a concealed trip-wire. The better the description of the trap, the more likely it will succeed. The ref can adjust the DD depending on the complexity of the trap or other factors unforeseen by the spie. Disarming traps can be done by spies or mechanics.
Spie Experience: Spies obtain three quarters experience for combat. Successful PT rolls are awarded by 50 EXPs per DD. The acquisition of EXPs will allow the spie to increase in experience levels thus increasing her combat skills and spie skills. For more information about earning experience, see Chapter 15: Experience.
Table 8.20 Spie ExperienceMore deception and treachery leads to better deception and treachery.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|450000||Experience points per level beyond 10th|
Vets (or Veterinarians) are a combination doctor, homeopath, surgeon, paramedic, and faith-healer. They are called vets instead of doctors, shaman, or whatever because they are trained to heal the diverse races found in EXP. They can utilize whatever odds and ends they may know about the base races to implement a temporary or permanent, sometimes incompetent and often miraculous cure.
Veterinarians have at their disposal millennia of medical science’s discoveries and accomplishments. Hence, what may appear as faith healing to the ignorant peasants (of which there are many), may actually be sound medical practice. A good example of a vet is Bones (Star Trek) and Crusher (Next Generation).
Vet Conduct: Vets must strictly adhere to certain goals of class conduct. In general, they cannot employ any weapon which will cause people (all base races) to come to harm, although the use of other, harmless weapons is admissible. They cannot initiate violent combat, though they are permitted to take up arms in self-defense. Ideally, vets are altruistic people-lovers who will avoid killing the proverbial insectoid. Realistically, vets are at least required to make an effort to avoid wanton bloodthirstiness.
Indeed, repeated displays about violent nature are bound to have adverse effects on the morale of personas about to be treated by the vet. It is understandably difficult to muster the courage and faith to trust a doctor that has just hurled a hand grenade into a crowded room. Vets may also be responsible (and this is up to the ref) to certain guilds or associations which may frown upon such violent action. The simple fact is that vets are a non-combat class and engaging in combat threatens directly tied to function as vets.
Comatose vs. Unconscious: Players must remember that very few of their refs will hold medical degrees and the actual DDs of various medical procedures are subject to the arbitrary, perhaps inaccurate, discretion of the ref. In the hopes of avoiding some confusion, the difference between (in game terms), coma and unconsciousness will be covered here.
Any persona whose hit point total is below zero is comatose. They’re completely devoid of any physical (voluntary or otherwise) action and will die without medical attention. A persona with a non-negative hit point total may also be immobilized. This condition is not due solely to the number of HPS the persona has but due to circumstance: damage system shock, knockout gas, blow to the head, etc. Eventually these unconscious personas will regain consciousness. Refer to constitution in Chapter 3: Attributes or Chapter 13: Health.
Veterinarian Abilities: The medical skills employed by vets have been picked up from a variety of sources: the local shaman, old husband’s tales, first aid kit manuals, band-aid boxes, and good old trial and error. The performance table Degree of Difficulty list should give some idea of how to handle certain situations although the persona will need to be innovative in dealing with unusual circumstances. There are several “skills” or talents that all vets have which require some explanation. These are described below.
Quick Fixes (DD varies): This skill can repair personas physical damage. The medical attention is reflected in returning HPS to a damaged persona. If the PT roll for a 5% quick fix is successful, the patient will get 5% of her maximum hit points added to her current total. Thus, a play with max HPS of 30 would get “healed” for 2 HPS.
Before more in-depth quick fixes can be attempted (10%, 15%, and 20%), the lower ones must be successful. No more than four listed quick fixes can be attempted. How often a vet can do this is up to the ref; however, the persona should not be receiving healing (recovering HPS) more than once a day. Conscientious players will record the values of 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% of their HPS max on their persona record sheets in order to speed up the play of the game.
Subliminal Suggestion (MSTR / 2 DD): Words can be popped into the minds of unsuspecting victims. Simple commands such as “Don’t jump”, “Wait”, and “Give it” may be forced upon the victim. The more reasonable the suggestion, the more likely that it will succeed. There is no save versus a successful PT roll.
Paralyzing Pinch (CON/2 DD): The vet applies a crushing grasp to essential vessels and nerves located in the neck. The grip must be held for 0-2 units and a successful PT roll made at the end of the required time. The vet must first make a successful two hit roll on an unwilling target. If successful, the victim is completely immobilized for 1 minute; if not, the vet is left standing there holding onto the persona’s neck. This can be used as a non-pharmaceutical anesthetic by the veterinarian. If the PT roll is successful, the target receives no saving throw.
Death Pinch (CON + d8 DD): This is the more deadly version of the paralyzing pinch. If the crushing grasp is successful, it will leave the victim with a negative hit point total. How far below zero the victim is depends on the ref and on the vet’s level. The vet must score in two hit roll on unwilling victims and maintain a neck hold for 0-2 units. It would have to be very drastic circumstances for the vet to have to use this terrible ability.
Veterinarian Skills: Veterinarians can specialize in certain areas of their profession and the specializations will offer DD bonuses when PT rolls related to these skills are carried out. For instance, a veterinarian with emergency medicine 3 would subtract 3 DD from her PT rolL when attempting quick fixes or attempting to stabilize a comatose persona.
Table 8.21 Veterinarian SkillsTreatment skills that the veterinarian is skilled in or gifted at.
|Die Roll (d100)||Veterinarian Skill|
|04-06||Anesthesia - Sleep|
|07-09||Auditory - Sound|
|22-24||Epidemiology - math|
|00||Ref's Own Table|
|Die Roll||Vet Skill|
Vet Experience: Vets gain experience for successful executing of their medical functions as determined by rolls on their performance table. They earn 70 EXPs per DD. Since vets are a non-combat class, they may only receive 10% of combat experience. Gaining experience allows for an increase of experience levels. The higher the experience level, the better chance the vet has of having a successful practice in a fashionable part of the universe.
Table 8.22 Veterinarian ExperienceAccumulating more EXPS leads to increasing class levels.
|Experience Points||Experience Level|
|425000||EXPS per level above 12th|