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Unread 30th of April, 2009, 15:28
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Character Concepts

Characters -- The Basics

Attributes


Attributes are rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible; most humans fall in the 3-7 range. The attributes are Strength (STR), Body (BOD), Dexterity (DEX), Reflexes (RFL), Intelligence (INT), Willpower (WIL), Charisma (CHA), Edge (EDG), and Social Standing (SOC).

Skills

Skills are expressed as bonuses (such as +1). This bonus is applied to any rolls when using the skill.

Action Checks

Action Checks are used to determine success or failure; they are usually based on an Attribute or a skill. Action Checks are resolved using 2d10 rolls, with higher rolls indicating better results.

PCs and important NPCs benefit from open-ended rolls; if either of the d10s on an Action Check are a 10, you reroll that die (or both, if you rolled two 10s) and add the result to the total. If any of these rerolled dice come up 10, you continue rerolling and adding as long as you keep getting consecutive 10s.

d6s are used to determine damage and on some random tables; like the rolls for Action Checks, damage rolls benefit from the open-ended rule as well (every die that comes up 6 is rerolled). The difference is that anyone can benefit from this rule when damage is concerned -- weapons don't care who's using them.

When you make an Action Check, you need your roll (plus modifiers) to equal or exceed a Target Number (TN). If you roll a 2 (before modifiers), you automatically fail.

If you attempt to use a skill you're not trained in, you have to roll an additional die (3d10) and take the two lowest results. Difficult skills use 4d10, taking the two lowest. Note that the open-ended rule only applies to the two lowest dice -- this means that you won't get open-ended rolls with untrained skills unless you get more than one 10 on the dice.

Edge

Edge represents your character's luck. It can't be used in the same way as other Attributes (except when I deem that an action is strictly luck-based), but it can be used more overtly.

You can alter the result of any Action Check that directly affects you by spending Edge. This comes with a price: it temporarily reduces your Edge Attribute.

Before a Roll: Each point of Edge spent before a roll can add or subtract 2 to the roll.

After a Roll: This works the same way, except each point spent only changes the result by 1. You can instead opt to spend 1 Edge to reroll, but you are stuck with the second result, even if it's worse for you.

You can recover Edge by doing selfless or generous deeds (sort of a "karmic balancing"). These don't need to be world-spanning, but shouldn't be trivial either. You also regain Edge when something horrible happens to you. Lastly, you can spend XP to regain Edge; this is the only option if you're both amoral and lucky.

Next: How the numbers work.
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Unread 30th of April, 2009, 15:44
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By the Numbers

Attributes

While the maximum on any Attribute is 10, normal humans can't quite get that far in every aspect. The maximum for CHA, EDG, and SOC is 9, and the maximum for the other stats (STR, BOD, DEX, RFL, INT, WIL) is 8. Buying the Exceptional Attribute trait can increase this maximum by one.

Your Attributes will have four numbers to track: the minimum, the maximum, plus the current value and a threshold (both of which will be somewhere in the min-max range). Raising any Attribute above the threshold will be more expensive; your thresholds are determined by your lifepath (more on that later) and your age.

Your Attributes influence your skills by affecting the cost to add or improve them. Keep in mind that your Attributes have only a peripheral effect on your character in-game; your skills have a much wider impact. Just like in real life, people can overcome deficiencies in natural ability with enough practice and training.

Traits

You can spend points when making your character on positive and negative qualities; the points you use on traits are also used on Attributes, so there's a bit of a give-and-take between the two. Some traits are only available during creation.

Skills

Your initial skills are determined by your lifepath; depending on any traits you have acquired, you may end up with some points you can use to improve on these skills or pick up one or two you missed along the way. Your Attributes have no bearing on skill costs during creation, but they're the main influence afterward.

Next: Determining your affiliation and life path.
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Unread 30th of April, 2009, 17:01
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Life Paths

MAJOR EDIT: Most of the Affiliation and Life Path information is being replaced by the details on this site. It is highly recommended that you pick up the PDFs there for reference. I'm leaving the other character-creation details here so you can compare the two. Note that anything on that site referencing events after 3025 should be disregarded for now; if you're unsure whether a particular school or Life Path is available because of the different era, drop me a line and I'll let you know.

Before you can start your character's history, you must choose an affiliation. Each one carries certain benefits and bonus skills, and may restrict certain paths.

The Numbers
All Attributes start with a minimum value of 2, except for Social Standing, which has a minimum of 1. Attribute minimums can never go higher than 8. Once you've finished creating your character, you don't need to keep track of this minimum number.

Attribute thresholds are the break-point where an Attribute becomes more expensive to increase. All thresholds start at 6 except for Edge, which starts at 8. Your affiliation and life-path may list modifiers to these. A threshold cannot drop below 2 or go over 10.

Any traits granted by a life path are free of cost.

Draconis Combine (House Kurita)
The Draconis Combine is one of the Successor States, located in the "north-east" quadrant of the Inner Sphere. The Draconis Combine has been ruled by House Kurita since its founding in 2319 by Shiro Kurita, perhaps a descendant of Takeo Kurita, a Vice-Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II on Terra. The chief of state, the Coordinator, is the head of House Kurita. The Coordinator is a hereditary dictator, who rules over his domain armed with a well-equipped, fanatical military and an ever-pervasive, all-seeing civilian bureaucracy. Two rival intelligence agencies, the ISF (Internal Security Force) and the O5P (Order of the Five Pillars) keep watch against any potential internal threat from commoners, ambitious nobles, and members of the Coordinator's own family. (However, the physical protection of the Coordinator falls to his own personal cohort, who are recruited from the military, not the intelligence services).

The idée fixe of the Combine and the Coordinator is conquest. The Combine employs a large, skilled military that has often been used to expand the realm at the expense of its neighbors known as the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery. Its current capital at Luthien was established during the Star League.
  • Primary Language: Japanese
  • Secondary Languages: Swedish, Arabic, English
  • Bonus Skills: Art/Oral Traditions +3, Martial Arts/Karate +2, choose one: Staffs +1, Archery +1, or Throwing Weapons +2
  • Bonus Traits: Quirk/Xenophobia; Pain Resistance or Combat Sense traits each cost 1 CP less than normal because most Combine characters are highly disciplined.
  • Path Restrictions: You cannot enter the High School path. Child labor is legal in most parts of the Combine; if you cannot qualify for any other Stage 2 or Stage 3 paths, you can go to Stage 4 and enter the workforce, taking a Civilian Job and ignoring the prerequisites.

Federated Suns (House Davion)
The Federated Suns is the Successor State ruled by House Davion and is considered by many to be the military powerhouse of the five Successor States. In fact the First Prince, the ruler of the Federated Suns, is required to have served at least five years in the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns in order to be eligible to use the title.

Formed in 2317, the Federated Suns was the fourth of the Successor States to be formed after the withdrawal of the Terran Alliance from its colonies.

The Federated Suns is politically organized into regional Marches whose number has varied over the centuries. The three that have been around since the March system was created are the Capellan March bordering the Capellan Confederation, the Draconis March bordering the Draconis Combine, and the 'inner' Crucis March, where the capital world of New Avalon is located.
  • Primary Language: English
  • Secondary Languages: French, German, Hindi, Russian
  • Bonus Skills: Protocol/Federated Suns +1
  • Bonus Traits: While military service is not required of all Federated Suns citizens, affluent families often send their children to one of the nation's many military academies or prep schools. If your SOC is 4 or higher, you may choose either Natural Aptitude/Strategy or Natural Aptitude/Bureaucracy at no cost.
  • Path Restrictions: None.

Capellan Confederation (House Liao)
The smallest of the Successor States, The Capellan Confederation is an socialist meritocracy ruled by House Liao, from whom almost all of the nation's ruling Chancellors have been descended. Its name is derived from the Capellan Reaches, the region of space spreading out from Terra towards the star system Capella, and for the Capellan Hegemony, once centered on Capella, which was one of the Confederation's founding members.

Despite being significantly weaker militarily and economically than its often violently expansionist neighbors, the Confederation has survived for over seven centuries, through the fall of the Star League and three Succession Wars. The Confederation has endured attacks from all of its neighbors, yet has historically both repulsed and rebuilt after each invasion.
  • Primary Language: Mandarin (Chinese)
  • Secondary Languages: English, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Hindi, Arabic
  • Attribute Minimums: SOC 3 to be a Capellan citizen (see below)
  • Bonus Skills: Martial Arts/Kung Fu +1, Language/Any Capellan Secondary +1
  • Bonus Traits: Capellans believe strongly in karma and the vagaries of fortune and so receive Exceptional Attribute/Edge. Without citizenship (minimum of 3 SOC), you have the Stigma/Servitor Caste trait and may not take Owns Vehicle, Wealth, Well-Connected, or Well-Equipped.
  • Path Restrictions: You must be a Capellan citizen to take Military School (Stage 2), or any Stage 3 or 4 path except Ne'er-Do-Well. Child labor is legal in much of the Confederation (see above for how it works).

Free Worlds League (House Marik)
The Free Worlds League is one of the oldest of the Inner Sphere's five major Successor States. Unlike the other Successor States it is surprisingly multicultural, with strong European, American, and Indian overtones.

The FWL in comparison to the Other Successor States has given a wider level of autonomy to its component regions, like the Duchy of Oriente, Principality of Regulus, and Duchy of Andurien. Because of this lasseiz-faire approach, however, the League's history is rife with vicious civil wars.

The Free Worlds League military has a strong emphasis on combined arms tactics, with almost all of the regiments of the FWL featuring a large number of infantry, armor and aerospace assets.
  • Primary Language: English
  • Seconday Languages: Spanish, Greek, Romanian, Urdu
  • Bonus Skills: Language/Any FWL Secondary +2, Art/Any +1
  • Traits: All FWL characters who receive prosthetic limbs or bionic implants at any time receive a Stigma trait because of the League's widespread anti-bionics prejudice.
  • Path Restrictions: None.

Lyran Commonwealth (House Steiner)
The Lyran Commonwealth was formed in 2340 as an amalgamation of three smaller mutual-defense leagues: the Tamar Pact, the Federation of Skye, and the Protectorate of Donegal. The original Lyran capital was Arcturus. Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between the Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine in 2407, however, the Lyran government moved to its current location on Tharkad. Soon after, leadership of the Commonwealth passed from Alistair Marsden to his only heir, Katherine Marsden Steiner, and remains in Steiner hands to this day.

The Lyran Commonwealth currently consists of about 350 worlds. During the course of the first three Succession Wars, it had been slowly but steadily losing ground to the Draconis Combine, which had taken almost a fourth of the original Lyran territories (including more than half the old Tamar Pact worlds along the Combine border).

One reason that House Steiner has remained a formidable force in Successor State politics even in the worst of times is that its domain includes some of the most richly endowed planets in the Inner Sphere. These include Alarion, Coventry, Donegal, Summer, Tamar, New Karlsruh, and Hesperus II. The latter is the site of the Star League's greatest surviving supply depots and the largest still-functioning 'Mech manufacturing and repair facility in the Successor States.
  • Primary Language: German
  • Secondary Languages: Scottish Gaelic, Italian, Swedish, English
  • Bonus Skills: Negotiation +2, Appraisal +1
  • Traits: The easy life so common among Lyrans has led to a general distaste for the dirty business of combat. Increase the value of the Timid and Combat Paralysis traits by one.
  • Path Restrictions: None. If you follow the Free Trader path, add +1 to the event rolls.

The Periphery
Beyond the boundaries of the Inner Sphere lie the endless reaches of the Periphery, traditionally home to the independent-minded souls who sought escape from the often-repressive regimes of the Great Houses. The Periphery is the galaxy's frontier, keeping the spirit of exploration and discovery alive and well. The less savory aspects of frontier living are equally abundant; numerous pirate bands and petty bandit kingdoms thrive in the almost lawless region of space. In addition to numerous independent worlds and minor holdings, three regions of significance occupy the Periphery: the Outworlds Alliance, the Magistry of Canopus, and the Taurian Concordat.

The modifiers below apply to anyone from one of the Periphery's minor states or independent planets.
  • Primary Language: English
  • Secondary Languages: Any
  • Attribute Thresholds: CHA –1, EDG +1
  • Bonus Skills: Scrounge +3, Survival +1
  • Bonus Traits: These traits cost 1 less CP to buy: Poverty, Pain Resistance, Toughness, Sixth Sense
  • Path Restrictions: You cannot choose the following paths: Preparatory School or Military School (Stage 2), University or Military Academy (Stage 3), Postgraduate Studies (Stage 4).

Taurian Concordat
Of the many states in the Periphery, the Taurian Concordat maintains the closest resemblance to a Successor State. Under the direction of House Calderon, the highly independent Taurians have a strong central government, a high literacy rate, and a strong military. They appear to be the Periphery community most likely to survive the next century, as well as to become a leader in Periphery affairs and even an influence on the Inner Sphere.
  • Primary Language: English
  • Secondary Languages: Spanish, French
  • Attribute Thresholds: CHA –1, EDG +1
  • Bonus Skills: Negotiation +1, choose one: Pistols +1 or Rifles +1
  • Bonus Trait: Quirk/Stubborn
  • Path Restrictions: None.

Magistracy of Canopus
Lying outward of the Free Worlds League, the Magistracy of Canopus is the third largest of the Periphery states. Founded in 2530 by Kossandra Centrella, an ex-Marik MechWarrior, the Canopian Magistracy is an autocratic state where women traditionally manage the government and the military.

For nearly a century, the Canopian Magistracy was synonymous with decadent sensuality and freedom of expression (in every sense of the term). The riches that the Canopians collected eventually proved their undoing when they became a prime target in the Reunification War.

Beginning in the early 2800s, the Magistracy lost many holdings in a series of border disputes with the Free Worlds League, the Taurian Concordat, and the Capellan Confederation. Seeing the pleasure planets and remaining industrial centers being repeatedly sacked and looted, the hereditary leaders of the Canopian matriarchy, House Centrella, ordered its few remaining industrial plants to be moved deep within the Canopian holdfast.

The miniature Magistracy emerged alive and surprisingly healthy after two and a half centuries of warfare, though a mere shadow of its once-illustrious past.
  • Primary Language: English
  • Secondary Languages: Spanish, Greek, Romanian, Urdu
  • Attribute Thresholds: EDG +1
  • Bonus Skills: Streetwise/Periphery +1, choose one: Fast Talk +1, First Aid +1, or Seduction +1
  • Traits: Officer ranks in the Canopus military are purchased; your level in the Commission trait cannot exceed your level in the Wealth trait.
  • Bonus Trait: Stigma/Hedonistic
  • Path Restriction: Military service is mandatory in the Magistracy, so you must choose either Military Academy or Military Enlistment at Stage 3.

Outworlds Alliance
Of all the government systems to emerge in the Periphery, the Outworlds Alliance claims the strangest collection of separatists and anti-social types. Indeed, many political commentators have referred to the Outworlds Alliance as a geographic expression of collective political chaos. It has survived primarily by keeping a low profile (and being lucky).
  • Primary Language: English
  • Secondary Languages: Japanese, French
  • Attribute Thresholds: WIL –1, EDG +1
  • Bonus Skills: Survival +1, Scrounge +1, choose one: Rifles +1, Brawling +1, or First Aid +1
  • Bonus Traits: Poverty, G-Tolerance
  • Path Restriction: All Stage 3 paths take one year longer than normal.

Next: Stage 1 — Early Childhood paths.
__________________
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Last edited by LonePaladin; 14th of May, 2009 at 14:19.
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Unread 1st of May, 2009, 18:23
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Stage 1: Early Childhood

At this point, you don't have much concrete information about your character — you might have a few Attributes whose thresholds are changed a little, you've got a language or two, and maybe some traits. The next step is to figure out how your formative years went. Whichever path you take will influence which careers you can wind up in, and lay the groundwork for your abilities.

Each path applies modifiers to your Attribute thresholds (which begin at 6, or 8 for Edge), and some change an Attribute minimum (which begin at 2, or 1 SOC). These modifiers are cumulative. Neither thresholds or minimums can be reduced below 2; thresholds cannot be increased above 10, and minimums cannot increase above 8.

Paths also grant bonuses or penalties to skills; these are also cumulative, though penalties can never take a granted skill below 1 (once you learn it, you won't forget it). If a path grants a bonus to "any skill", it can be added to any skill you already have, but not used to gain new ones.

Most paths and events also grant or remove traits. If you gain a trait you already have, disregard it unless you can have it more than once. If a trait has variable levels (such as Contact or Enemy), and you get it a second time, you can either increase the existing trait's level or add a new one.

If you get a trait that can have multiple levels, you get it at the base level (unless the path says otherwise). If paths and events raise the trait to its maximum level, further increases are ignored unless the trait can be taken twice — in which case you get the trait a second time, at the lowest level.

Some traits are contradictory, especially Poverty and Wealth. If you get a trait that opposes one you have, they cancel each other out. (If you have Poverty and gain Wealth, you end up even — remove Poverty.) Further additions after cancelling work normally. (If you have Poverty [1], and gain Wealth [2], you end up with Wealth [1].)

When you finish this stage, your character is 10 years old. You can choose to proceed to Late Childhood (Stage 2), enter the workforce (if your House permits child slavery), or you can stop here and begin play as a child. (A child's Attribute thresholds are +2 DEX, –2 WIL, and –1 STR, BOD, RFL, and INT. You can only have 1 new skill, and you get the Fast Learner trait free.)

Regardless of which path you choose, you get 3 Skill Points to be divided how you want between your affiliation's primary and secondary languages, and 3 for Language/English. (You can put all 6 into this language, if you want.) You also get 2 points for Perception.

Each path has a random event table; once you pick your path and note the effects, roll 2d6 on this table. You can choose to use your Edge to modify this roll — each +/– 1 on the table reduces your Edge threshold by 1, and you cannot use this to reduce your threshold below 2.

BACK WOODS
Raised in the country, you are hardy but unrefined and uneducated. Your parents subsisted on hunting and gathering, probably in remote areas of the Periphery or on a less-prosperous Inner Sphere world.
Attribute Thresholds: +1 STR, +1 BOD, +1 RFL, –1 INT, –1 CHA, –1 SOC
Traits: Poverty
Skills: Language/Affiliation –1, Scrounge +2, Survival +1, choose one: Swimming +1, Running +1, or Climbing +1
Next Path: Back Woods (2), Farm (2), Street (2)
Back Woods Events
2: Serious hunting accident (Choose one: –1 BOD, Lost Limb, Slow Learner)
3: Caught rare virus (Glass Jaw)
4: Hunting accident (Choose one: Poor Hearing, Poor Vision, Unattractive)
5: Family captured by bandits; only you escaped (Escape Artist +1, Stealth +1, Enemy)
6: Made time for a hobby (Interest/Any +1)
7: Started using weapons early (Rifle +1)
8: Home planet had toxic atmosphere (Poison Resistance)
9: Natural hunter (Natural Aptitude/Tracking)
10: Single-handedly hunted and skinned a wolf (Good Reputation, Brave)
11: Adopted by well-to-do relatives (+2 SOC, Wealth [2], may take High School as next path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
BLUE COLLAR
Your family worked for an industrial concern, perhaps a weapons factory or a mining operation. While you had few advantages, your hard-working parents managed to give you a reasonable education, and your future prospects are fairly open.
Attribute Minimums: SOC 3
Skills: Career/Any +2, Interest/Any +1
Next Path: Farm (2), High School (2), Street (2)
Blue Collar Events
2: You're not that far from the street; you nearly got killed in a street fight (Choose one: Combat Paralysis, Lost Limb [2])
3: Times were really tough (Poverty; must also choose Street path [2])
4: You worked alongside your parents at the factory (Career/Any +1, Poor Hearing)
5: Another childhood wasted on holovids (Interest/Holovid Shows +2, Career/Any –2)
6: Family worked on an asteroid mining facility (G-Tolerance, Zero-G Operations +1)
7: Learned many skills in the kid scouts (First Aid +1, Survival +1)
8: Already learning how to fix the family car (Natural Aptitude/Technician/ICE)
9: Started early in sports (+1 RFL, Interest/Any sport +1, Swimming +1)
10: Your parents were both in the military, so you grew up an "army brat" (Career/Soldier +1, Pistols +1, may choose Military School or Mercenary Brat as next path)
11: A big job promotion in the family (+1 SOC, Wealth, may take Preparatory School as next path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
FARM
Like trillions of others who supply food to the thousands of human-occupied worlds, you were born and raised on a farm, ranch or other rural food-producing enterprise.
Attribute Thresholds: +1 STR, +1 BOD, –1 CHA
Skills: Animal Handling +2, choose one: Piloting/Wheeled +1 or Riding +1
Next Path: Back Woods (2), Farm (2), High School (2)
Farm Events
2: Horrible combine accident (Choose one: –1 STR, Lost Limb [2], Slow Learner)
3: Drought devastated family and your health (Scrounge +1, –1 BOD, Poverty)
4: Family killed in BattleMech crossfire; you haven't been the same since (Combat Paralysis)
5: Least successful farm on the planet (Poverty)
6: Pa takes you hunting all the time (Rifles +1)
7: You start to learn the family business (Administration +1)
8: Already learning how to fix the tractor (Natural Aptitude/Technician/ICE)
9: Home planet had long day/night cycle (Night Vision)
10: Most successful farm on the planet (Wealth)
11: Family killed in BattleMech crossfire; a sympathetic mercenary adopted you (may enter Mercenary Brat path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
FUGITIVES
Free Worlds League Affiliation only
One or both of your parents were involved in Anton Marik's revolt. You have spent much of your youth on the run or in exile.
Attribute Thresholds: –1 BOD, +1 WIL, +1 EDG, –1 SOC
Traits: Poverty
Skills: Streetwise/Free Worlds League +1, Language/Any +1, Zero-G Operations +1
Next Path: Back Woods (2), Farm (2), Street (2), Mercenary Brat (2)
Fugitives Events
2: Enemies targeted your family; you barely survived (Choose one: Combat Paralysis, Lost Limb [2], Poor Vision [2])
3: Other kids mocked your fugitive status and made life in your adopted home miserable (Timid, Introvert)
4: Your parents' allies raised and supported you, and they indoctrinated you with their political beliefs (In for Life)
5: The faction opposed to your parent(s) includes you among its enemies (Enemy [2])
6: Ran away from home and fell in with local street toughs (Must take Street path in Stage 2)
7: Lived outside the League (Language/Any +1)
8: Made the best of a bad situation and took to study (Academic/Any +2)
9: Constantly on the move (G-Tolerance, Interest/Any +1)
10: You are trained to "carry on the fight" (May enter Military School at Stage 2, ignoring prerequisites)
11: Though exiles, your parents maintained many connections (Well-Connected)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
NOBILITY
Most Inner Sphere and Periphery societies maintain a ruling noble class, into which you were born. Living a life of privilege, you have somewhat neglected your physical development in favor of more cerebral pursuits.
Attribute Minimums: SOC 5
Attribute Thresholds: –1 STR, –1 BOD, –1 RFL, +1 INT, +1 CHA, +1 SOC
Traits: Wealth, Well-Equipped, Enemy
Skills: Language/Affiliation +1, Protocol/Affiliation +2
Next Path: Preparatory School (2), Military School (2)
Nobility Events
2: You survive an assassination attempt... barely (Choose one: Combat Paralysis, Lost Limb [2])
3: Your parents betrayed the crown, costing them their wealth and title... if not their lives (Lose Wealth and Well-Equipped traits; for your next path, you are limited to Farm, High School, or Street)
4: You have a younger sibling who covets your inheritance (Enemy)
5: Another childhood wasted on holovids (Interest/Holovid Shows +2, Protocol/Affiliation –2)
6: Your family's reputation precedes you, and you must live up to it (Good Reputation)
7: Your family immersed you in culture (Art/Any +1, Language/Any +1)
8: Your family was stinking rich (Wealth, Well-Equipped)
9: Power play elevates your family's status but attracts powerful rivals (+1 SOC, Enemy, Wealth [2])
10: Yours was a soldier's family (+1 BOD, +1 RFL, –1 CHA; your next path must be Military School or Mercenary Brat)
11: Relative dies and leaves you his vehicle (Vehicle [2], Owns Vehicle)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
STREET
You grew up on the streets of a big city. Your parents may have been poor or unemployed, or you were an orphan. Life on the streets can be harsh, which makes you hard-edged.
Attribute Thresholds: –1 BOD, +1 RFL, +1 WIL, +1 EDG, –1 SOC
Traits: Poverty
Skills: Language/Affiliation –1, Scrounge +1, Streetwise/Affiliation +2
Next Path: High School (2), Street (2)
Street Events
2: Nearly killed in a street fight (Choose one: Combat Paralysis, Lost Limb [2])
3: Tried and sentenced for a crime as an adult, branding you a convict (Bad Reputation, Stigma, Streetwise/Affiliation +1, must choose Street path in Stage 2)
4: Literally grew up in the street, without so much as a flophouse to call home (Language/Affiliation –1, Streetwise/Affiliation +1, Stigma)
5: Scarred in a gang war (Blades +1, Unattractive)
6: Ran a thriving three-card monte operation (Gambling +1)
7: Hot-wiring hovercars paid the bills (Technician/Mechanics +1)
8: Narrowly dodged a bullet, but your buddy was killed before your eyes; a serious wake-up call (Brave; you may never choose Street or Ne'er-Do-Well paths)
9: Big score for such a young one (Wealth, Well-Equipped)
10: Adopted by a kindly couple (+1 SOC, Wealth)
11: Recruited by an interstellar crime ring (Contact, Wealth, Streetwise/Affiliation +2)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
WHITE COLLAR
Whether Combine businessmen or Lyran traders, your family was involved in commerce or academia. You grew up in a high-rise apartment, a suburban prefab, or perhaps even a DropShip plying the space lanes. In any case, you led a privileged and sheltered early life.
Attribute Minimums: 4 SOC
Attribute Thresholds: –1 STR
Traits: Wealth
Skills: Academic/Any +1, Language/Affiliation +1
Next Path: High School (2), Preparatory School (2), Military School (2)
White Collar Events
2: Family's organized-crime connections caught up to them (Poverty; must take Back Woods or Farm path in Stage 2)
3: Parents spoiled you really rotten (Timid, Glass Jaw, Well-Equipped)
4: Your friends on the wrong side of the tracks dishonored your family (Poverty, Streetwise/Affiliation +1)
5: Another childhood wasted on holovids (Interest/Holovid Shows +2, Academic/Any –1, Language/Affiliation –1)
6: Your family immersed you in culture (Art/Any +1, Language/Any +1)
7: Holovid game junkie (+1 DEX, Interest/Holovid Games +1)
8: Started early in sports (+1 STR, Interest/Any sport +1, Swimming +1)
9: Your parents were interstellar traders (G-Tolerance, Zero-G Operations +2)
10: Your family was stinking rich (Wealth [2], Well-Equipped)
11: Your diplomat parents dragged you from world to world (+1 SOC, Contact [2], Wealth, Language/Any +2, Protocol/Any +1, Zero-G Operations +1)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Next: Stage 2 — late childhood.
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Unread 3rd of May, 2009, 17:34
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LonePaladin
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Stage 2: Late Childhood

This stage is a turbulent time for most young people as their bodies grow toward adulthood and their minds struggle to keep up. In some affiliations, early vocational training takes place at this stage, teaching advanced career skills to children who are still relatively young. Other affiliations leave these youths to their own devices; some excel and some fall between the cracks of society.

Time: Upon completion of this stage, the character is sixteen years old.

Continuation: Characters follow only one path at this stage and then go on to Higher Education or Real Life as desired. You can also end the Life Path here and play your character as a teenager. (If you do, your Attribute thresholds are +1 DEX, –1 RFL and WIL, and a limit of 2 new skills.)

BACK WOODS
Perhaps you grew up in the wilderness or ran away from your family. Maybe you lost everything and fled to the Periphery. For whatever reason, your character retreated from society into the wilderness. Living off the land, you learned practical survival skills rather than the academics common to most children your age.

Attribute Thresholds: +1 BOD, +1 WIL, –1 SOC
Traits: Poverty, Introvert
Skills: Blades +1, Climbing +1, Shotguns +1, Stealth +1, Survival +1, Tracking +1
Next Path: Military Enlistment (3), Ne'er-Do-Well (4)
Back Woods Events
2: Mauled by a wild animal (Lost Limb [2])
3: Industrial corporation forced you from your land, but you fought back (Bad Reputation, Enemy [2], Rifles +1, Stealth +1)
4: Caught in an avalanche (Choose one: Lost Limb or Poor Hearing)
5: Raised by bandits (Well-Equipped, Wealth, Bad Reputation, Enemy, Stigma/Bandit)
6: A planetary climate shift left you in the cold and starving for years (–1 BOD, Scrounge +1, Survival +1)
7: You became an accomplished hunter (Archery +1, Perception +1)
8: Yours was a particularly hostile world (Throwing Weapons +1, Brawling +1)
9: Swallowed your pride and went to school in town (Academic/Any +1, Language/Affiliation +1, Gregarious)
10: Worked as a scout for the local garrison (Well-Equipped, Comms/Conv. +1, Tactics/Infantry +1)
11: Uncovered a lostech cache! (Choose either: Vehicle [2], Owns Vehicle and Custom Vehicle; or Wealth [4] and Well-Equipped)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
FARM
Your parents couldn't afford to send you off to school or the academy, so you stayed on the farm. Season after season, you saw your friends go off-planet while you worked your butt off in the fields. You planned to join them someday...

Skills: Animal Handling +2, Career/Farming +1, Piloting/Tracked +1, Piloting/Wheeled +1, Rifles +1
Next Path: Military Enlistment (3), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Trade School (3)
Farm Events
2: Your carelessness cost your parents their lives (Addiction/Alcohol, Quirk/Traumatic Flashbacks, Stigma/Orphan)
3: Trampled in stampede (Lost Limb, Poor Hearing)
4: Family lost the farm (Poverty)
5: Needed an escape from farm life (Addiction)
6: Family had limited farm equipment (Riding +2, but lose Piloting skills gained from this path)
7: Young Farmers Club was your second home (Academic/Agriculture +1, Career/Farming +1)
8: Hunted often (Rifles +1, Tracking +1)
9: Found valuable minerals on the farm (Wealth)
10: Went to town for school (Academic/Any +1, Language/Affiliation +2, Computers +1)
11: Learned to fly family's crop duster (Piloting/Aircraft +2, Bombing +1)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
HIGH SCHOOL
You attended one of the many schools that give teenagers a basic education, participating in academic studies as well as a healthy dose of athletic and other extracurricular activities.

Traits: Contact
Skills: Academic/Any +1, Computers +1, Interest/Any +2, Streetwise/Affiliation +1
Next Path: Trade School (3), Technical College (3), Police Academy (3), Military Enlistment (3), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4)
High School Events
2: Caught in a school shooting crossfire (Disabled, Poor Hearing)
3: Gave in to peer pressure (Addiction [2], Timid)
4: Sports injury (Interest/Any Sport +1, Choose one: Disabled, Poor Vision, Poor Hearing)
5: Traumatic relationship (Introvert)
6: Another childhood wasted on holovids (Interest/Holovid Shows +1, lose the Academic and Computers skill points gained from this path)
7: Local sports hero (Acrobatics +1, Interest/Any Sport +2)
8: Avid participant in extracurricular activities (Acting +1, Art/Any +1)
9: Bright student (Academic/Any +1, Computers +1, Language/Any +1)
10: Scholarship (Wealth, you may enter University path in next stage)
11: Planetary honor student (Wealth, Fast Learner, you may enter University path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
MERCENARY BRAT
Your parents or guardians were mercenaries, or a mercenary group took you in at a young age. Always on the move, they opted for home (DropShip) schooling. It's what you know. It's all you know.

Attribute Thresholds: –1 INT, +1 WIL, +1 EDG
Skills: Interest/Any +1, choose two: Academic/Any +2, Administration +2, Appraisal +2, Bureaucracy/Mercenary +2, Negotiation +2, Pistols +1, Tactics/Any +1, Technician/Any +1, Training +2, Brawling +1
Next Path: Trade School (3), Technical College (3), Police Academy (3), Military Enlistment (3), Military Academy (3, represents the Outreach Mercenary Training Command), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Yakuza (4, Draconis Combine Affiliation only)
Mercenary Brat Events
2: Caught in the crossfire (Choose two: Lost Limb, Combat Paralysis, Timid)
3: Parent/guardian lost to mishap/combat; you saw it happen (Combat Paralysis, may not enter Military Academy)
4: Trapped too long on a planet with semi-toxic atmosphere (Slow Learner, Poison Resistance)
5: Just had to get in trouble on Outreach (Enemy, Streetwise/Chaos March +1, may not enter Military Academy)
6: Thought dead and left behind, you burned much accrued karma making it back to civilization (–1 EDG, Scrounge +2)
7: Around a mercenary unit, any helping hand is appreciated (Choose two: Career/Any +1, Technician/Any +1, Scrounge +1, Streetwise/Any +1)
8: Spent all your spare time on the DropShip bridge (Comms/Conv. +2, Navigation/Space +1)
9: The unit's scout platoon took you under their wing (Choose two: Demolitions +1, Jump Packs +2, Perception +2, Streetwise/Any +1, Scrounge +1, Survival +1)
10: You tested so well that you began your training early (Choose one of the following fields, but receive +1 Skill Point in each of its skills rather than the usual +3: Basic Training, Infantry, Cavalry, Aircraft Pilot, Basic Technician, Ship's Crew, Scout)
11: Your adoptive family grants you the finest gift of all on your sixteenth birthday (Choose either Wealth [4] and Well-Equipped or Owns Vehicle and Vehicle [2])
12: Mercenaries rely on luck more than most, but you can tip it in your favor (Roll three times and choose two results, discarding the third)
MILITARY SCHOOL
Some families, most often nobility with a military tradition, ship their children off to military schools in preparation for admission to an academy. In addition to a fine education, these institutions provide a strong early background in tactics and leadership skills.

Attribute Minimums: WIL 3
Attribute Thresholds: –1 CHA, +1 SOC
Traits: Promotion, but only if next path is Military Enlistment or a Military Academy
Skills: Academic/Military History +2, Computers +1, Leadership +2, Rifles +1, Martial Arts/Military +1
Next Path: University (3), Police Academy (3), Military Enlistment (3), Military Academy (3), New Avalon Institute of Science (3, Federated Suns or Lyran Alliance Affiliations only), New Avalon Military Academy (3, FS only), Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy (3, Draconis Combine Affiliation only), Ne'er-Do-Well (4)
Military School Events
2: Involved in terrible hazing incident (Glass Jaw)
3: Training accident (Choose one: Lost Limb, Poor Hearing, Poor Vision)
4: You're just not cut out for the military (Timid; may not enter an Academy)
5: You have a rival (Enemy)
6: Accidentally destroyed school property (Poverty)
7: Make friends with the commandant (Contact)
8: Training works almost too well (–1 CHA, Brave)
9: Extensive nighttime training (Night Vision, Stealth +1)
10: Qualified for accelerated training program (you gain one of the following fields: Basic Training, Basic Technician, Military Scientist)
11: Relative dies and leaves you his vehicle (Vehicle [3], Owns Vehicle)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
PREPARATORY SCHOOL
These exclusive schools prepare young adults for higher learning. Theoretically, they have superior curricula, but this is not always true in practice. The main advantage of attending such a school is the contacts you make among the upper-class students and their parents.

Attribute Thresholds: +1 SOC
Traits: Well-Connected
Skills: Academic/Any +2, Computers +1, Language/Any +1, Protocol/Affiliation +2
Next Path: Technical College (3), University (3), Military Academy (3), New Avalon Institute of Science (3, FS or LA Affiliation only), Ne'er-Do-Well (4)
Preparatory School Events
2: Developed expensive — and illegal — tastes (Addiction [2], Poverty, Streetwise/Affiliation +1)
3: You had a relationship with the headmaster's son or daughter, got caught and expelled (Lose Well-Connected, –1 to all Skill Points gained from this path)
4: Way too much partying (Addiction, lose Academic and Language Skill Points gained from this path)
5: You shamed the son of a powerful noble (Enemy, –1 SOC)
6: Your sweetheart came from the wrong side of the tracks (If you keep him/her, lose Well-Connected but gain Brave. If you back down and break off the relationship, keep Well-Connected, but also become Timid)
7: Weekend cruises with the folks (Piloting/Naval +1)
8: You're great at the 'Mech sims, but all that playing rots your brain (Natural Aptitude/Piloting/'Mech, Slow Learner, Piloting/'Mech +1, Tactics/'Mech +1)
9: Every school needs a "source", and you happened to be in the wrong place at the right time (–1 SOC, Contact, Wealth, Appraisal +1, Negotiation +2, Streetwise +1)
10: Honor student (Contact, Academic/Any +2, Computers +2, Language/Any +1)
11: Relative dies and leaves you his vehicle (Vehicle [3], Owns Vehicle)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
STREET
Beyond early childhood, a character living on the street can hardly avoid getting involved in crime. You are no exception. With no money or family, you've learned everything you know from the school of hard knocks.
Attribute Thresholds: +1 EDG, –1 SOC
Traits: Contact, Bad Reputation, Enemy
Skills: Fast Talk +1, Pistols +1, Scrounge +1, Streetwise/Affiliation +2
Next Path: Trade School (3), Military Enlistment (3), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Yakuza (4, DC only)
Street Events
2: Seriously offended underworld kingpin (Enemy [2], Poverty, Streetwise/Affiliation –1, may not enter Yakuza path)
3: Caught and sold into slavery, then escaped (–1 SOC, Poverty, Stigma/Slave)
4: Caught in a gang war (Disabled [2])
5: Fell in with an even worse crowd (Addiction [2])
6: Savagely beaten by police (Disabled)
7: Ran "errands" for a local "merchant" (Contact, Appraisal +1)
8: Successful gambler (Wealth, Gambling +1)
9: Adopted by wealthy family (+1 SOC, Wealth [2])
10: Powerful underworld mentor (Contact [2], Well-Equipped, Security Systems +1, Streetwise/Affiliation +1)
11: Joined crime syndicate (In for Life, Wealth [3], Well-Connected, Streetwise/Any +2. If DC, must take Yakuza as next path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Next: Stage 3 — Higher Education.
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  #6  
Unread 3rd of May, 2009, 18:21
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Stage 3: Higher Education

In early adulthood, many people continue their education before entering the professional world. Higher education can take many forms, ranging from traditional college to military training. This stage of the Life Path is optional; characters can proceed directly to Stage 4: Real Life, depending on your preference and the character's Next Path prospects.

Time: Unlike paths in the previous stages, Higher Education paths take variable amounts of time, depending on the complexity of the courses or training. The number of years each path takes is listed under its Time heading.

Repeating Paths: Characters can take some paths in this stage several times. Each repetition has different effects, depending on the particular path.
Characters cannot spend unlimited amounts of time in the Higher Education stage, however. After completing a path in this stage, a character must proceed to the next stage (Real Life) and complete at least one path there before returning to take another Higher Education path. This limit represents the fact that in some affiliations, courses of study are expensive and the character's money will simply run out. Even with state-funded schooling, the state will expect the character to enter the workforce after an appropriate time, in order to repay the state's investment.
Some Higher Education paths include subpaths, which are considered part of the main path. For example, Vehicle Technician Training is a subpath of Technical College and is available to characters who took the Civilian Tech Field. Subpaths listed as "part of this pass" can be taken immediately following the preceding path or subpath, without going through Real Life. Alternatively, a character can move on to Real Life and return to the subpath later. In either case, a character must meet the prerequisites to take the subpath. Prerequisites for choosing certain occupational fields are italicized in parenthesis next to the field.

Continuation: Characters can continue in this stage as long as the Repeating Paths rules allow. After that, the character may proceed to Stage 4: Real Life. If you choose to end the Life Path here and play your character as a young adult, proceed to Assigning Attributes, Traits, and Skills. Characters can also return to this stage after following one or more Real Life paths, subject to any listed Next Path restrictions.

MILITARY ACADEMY
Cannot have Combat Paralysis or any of the following traits above the lowest possible level: Disabled, Lost Limb, Poor Hearing, Poor Vision
The finest warriors in the Inner Sphere graduate from the many military academies operated by the Successor States. Some have unique curricula, and so the following represents an average academy or participation in a mercenary apprenticeship.
This path does not necessarily represent officer training, but rather a higher grade of training than that available through standard enlistment. Academy training differs from basic military enlistment mainly in granting access to additional fields of study, including MechWarrior and aerospace fighter pilot training.
After completing military training, a character must complete at least one Tour of Duty in the Real Life stage.
Time: 1 year
Attribute Minimums: INT 3, WIL 3, SOC 3
Attribute Thresholds: +1 RFL, +1 BOD, +1 WIL, +1 SOC
Traits: Promotion, Well-Equipped
Skills: Academic/Military History +2, Leadership +1, Protocol/Affiliation +2, Swimming +2
Fields: Basic Training
Next Path: Advanced Individual Training Subpath (mandatory, part of this pass)
Military Academy Events
2: Serious accident (Poor Hearing, may take no additional military paths, choose one: Combat Paralysis, Glass Jaw, Lost Limb [2])
3: Not cut out for military life (–2 to all Basic Training skills, may take no additional military paths)
4: Academy tuition puts family in debt (Enemy, Poverty)
5: Training accident (Lost Limb)
6: Too much desk work (Rifles –1, Martial Arts/Military –1, Computers +1, Administration +1)
7: Made a good friend among the command corps (Contact [2])
8: Rival pushes you to excel (Enemy, +1 to all Basic Training skills)
9: Qualified for cross-training program (May take a second AIT immediately after finishing the first AIT, Special Training or OCS; no more than two AITs may be taken)
10: You're officer material! (May take Officer Candidate School next, then return and continue the Life Path from the same point)
11: Graduated at the top of your class (Promotion, Vehicle [4], Custom Vehicle; may take OCS next, then return and continue)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Mandatory Subpath: Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
Basic Training graduates only
Time: 2 years
Traits: Promotion
Skills: Leadership +1, add +1 to three Basic Training skills and +1 to any one other skill
Fields: Choose one of the following fields, subject to the listed restrictions:
Aerospace Pilot (minimum DEX 4, RFL 4)
Aircraft Pilot (minimum DEX 4, RFL 3)
Armored Infantry (minimum STR 6, BOD 5)
Cavalry
DropShip Pilot (minimum DEX 4)
Infantry
Marine (minimum WIL 4, may not have TDS trait)
MechWarrior (minimum DEX 3, RFL 4)
Scientist (minimum INT 3)
Scout
Ship's Crew
Events: Do not roll events for AIT.
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4), Covert Ops (4, Scout only) or Special Training (3, part of this pass; take if character enters Scientist, DropShip Pilot, Infantry, Marine, MechWarrior, Armored Infantry, or Scout fields)

Subpath: Special Training
AIT graduates only
Time: 3 years
Attribute Thresholds: Add +1 to any one threshold of your choice
Skills: Leadership +1, +1 to three Basic Training skills, +1 to half the character's AIT skills (round up), and +1 to any one other skill
Traits: Promotion, Wealth, Well-Equipped
Fields: Choose one of the following fields:
Doctor (Scientist Field required, minimum DEX 4, INT 5)
JumpShip Pilot (DropShip Pilot Field required, minimum INT 5, may not have TDS trait)
Military Scientist (minimum INT 5)
Special Forces (Infantry, Marine, MechWarrior, Armored Infantry or Scout Field required, minimum BOD 4, RFL 4, INT 3, WIL 5)
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4) or Covert Ops (4, Special Forces or Military Scientist only)

Subpath: Officer Candidate School (OCS)
Entry via event roll only
Time: 1 year
Attribute Thresholds: +1 CHA
Traits: Commission (Rank 1)
Fields: Officer Training
Next Path: Per last path followed; add to its Next Path options the Tour of Duty: "Social General" Path if character has the Lyran Alliance Affiliation


MILITARY ENLISTMENT
Cannot have Combat Paralysis or any of the following traits above the lowest possible level: Lost Limb, Poor Hearing, Poor Vision
In this age of perpetual war, the military will take just about anyone into its ranks. However, without the money or connections to get into an academy, you must work your way up from the bottom.
After finishing military training the character must complete at least one Tour of Duty path in the Real Life stage.
Time: 1 year
Attribute Minimums: WIL 3
Attribute Thresholds: +1 STR, +1 RFL, +1 BOD, +1 WIL, –1 CHA
Traits: Promotion
Skills: Swimming +2
Fields: Basic Training
Next Path: Advanced Individual Training Subpath (mandatory, part of this pass)
Military Enlistment Events
2: Horrible training accident (Poor Vision, may take no additional military paths, choose one: Combat Paralysis, Glass Jaw, Lost Limb [2])
3: Not cut out for military life (–2 to all Basic Training skills, may take no additional military paths)
4: Owe big to gamblers (Enemy, Poverty)
5: Minor training accident (Lost Limb)
6: Aptitude tests place your training focus on support services (Rifles –1, Martial Arts/Military –1, Comms/Conv. +1)
7: One of your buddies will turn out to be a useful contact (Contact)
8: Sharpshooter (Natural Aptitude/Rifles)
9: Training standout; recommended to the academy by your CO (Promotion; may take remaining military training [if any] in the Military Academy path)
10: Become supplier of "special" items for the base (Wealth [2], Well-Equipped, Appraisal +1)
11: You're officer material! (May take OCS next, then return and continue this path from the same point)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Mandatory Subpath: Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
Basic Training graduates only
Time: None (included in Basic Training)
Traits: Promotion
Skills: Add +1 to three Basic Training skills and +1 to any one other skill
Fields: Choose one of the following:
Aircraft Pilot (minimum DEX 4, RFL 3)
Basic Technician (minimum DEX 3)
Cavalry
Infantry
Marine (minimum WIL 4, may not have TDS trait)
Police Officer
Ship's Crew
Events: Do not roll for events for AIT
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4) or Special Training (3, part of this pass if character enters Basic Technician, Police Officer, Infantry or Marine fields)

Subpath: Special Training
AIT graduates only
Time: 2 years
Attribute Thresholds: Add +1 to any one threshold
Skills: Add +1 to three Basic Training skills, +1 to half the character's AIT skills (round up), and +1 to any one other skill
Traits: Promotion, Wealth, Well-Equipped
Fields: Choose one of the following:
Aerospace Technician (Basic Technician field required, minimum INT 4)
'Mech Technician (Basic Technician field required, minimum INT 4)
Police Tactical Officer (Police Officer field required)
Special Forces (Infantry or Marine field required, minimum BOD 4, RFL 4, INT 3, WIL 5)
Vehicle Technician (Basic Technician field required)
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4) or Covert Ops (4, Special Forces or Police Tactical Officer only)

Subpath: Officer Candidate School (OCS)
Entry via event roll only
Time: 1 year
Attribute Thresholds: +1 CHA
Traits: Commission (Rank 1)
Fields: Officer Training
Next Path: Per last path followed

Next: More Higher Education (it's kinda long)
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Unread 4th of May, 2009, 16:34
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NEW AVALON INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Federated Suns or Lyran Alliance Affiliations only
The New Avalon Institute of Science (NAIS) is perhaps the best-known and most-respected university in the Inner Sphere. Founded by Prince Hanse Davion soon after he took the Federated Suns throne in 3013, the NAIS quickly became known for its huge library, and soon afterward for the astounding developments made by its faculty and students. Scientists working in NAIS laboratories have been working on reintroducing lost technology to the Inner Sphere after the discovery of the Star League memory core on Helm in 3024.
Because this path covers so many possible careers, you may choose the specific major your character is studying and which subskills go with it, subject to my approval.
The main path represents general study, while subpaths focus on the student's major. Some majors involve learning in specific fields, as described below.
Time: 2 years
Attribute Minimums: INT 5, WIL 3, SOC 3
Attribute Thresholds: +1 INT, +1 SOC
Traits: Poverty, Well-Equipped
Skills: Bureaucracy/Federated Suns +3, Computers +1, Academic/Any +1, Academic/Any +2, Language/Any +1, Perception +2
Next Path: NAIS Major Subpath (mandatory, part of this pass)
New Avalon Institute of Science Events
2: Caught selling term papers; kicked out of school (Bad Reputation, Enemy, Wealth, Fast Talk +2, –1 to all skills gained from this path, may not take any additional NAIS or University paths)
3: Can't hack the late nights (Addiction)
4: Partied instead of studying (Interest/Any +2, –1 to all skills gained from this path)
5: Your dormitory neighbor kept the volume cranked day and night (–1 to any two skills gained from this path)
6: Managed to shoehorn your classes between hangovers (Interest/Bartending +2, Addiction/Alcohol)
7: Hung out with military students (Contact, choose one: Pistols +1 or Rifles +1)
8: Someone had to figure out how to supply the entire dorm with a live holovid feed: you (Computers +1, Scrounge +1)
9: Got the best professor at the school (Add +3 to any one skill learned in this path)
10: Discovered a rare text in the library (Academic/Any History +3, Wealth, Contact)
11: Made the Dean's List (Good Reputation, +1 EDG, +1 to any three skills gained from this path, and add +2 to the event die roll in your next pass through this path or Postgraduate Studies, whichever comes first)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Mandatory Subpath: NAIS Major
Time: 2 years
Traits: Well-Equipped
Skills: Any four relevant skills +1, any one field skill at an additional +1
Fields: Choose one: Civilian Tech, Basic Technician, Scientist, Military Scientist
Event: Do not roll an event for NAIS Major
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), NAIS Advanced Studies subpath (3, part of this pass), Covert Ops (4, Military Scientist only)

Subpath: NAIS Advanced Studies
Time: 4 years
Attribute Minimums: INT 6, SOC 4
Traits: Wealth, Well-Equipped, Well-Connected
Skills: Add +2 to half the skills earned from this path so far (round up) and +1 to any four other skills
Fields: Choose one of the following:
Aerospace Technician (Basic Technician field required)
Doctor (Scientist field required, minimum DEX 4)
Engineer (Civilian Tech or Basic Technician field required)
'Mech Technician (Basic Technician field required)
Planetary Surveyor (Scientist field required)
Vehicle Technician (Civilian Tech field required)
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Travel (4)


NEW AVALON MILITARY ACADEMY
Federated Suns or Lyran Alliance Affiliations only. Cannot have Combat Paralysis or any of the following traits above the lowest possible level: Disabled, Lost Limb, Poor Hearing, Poor Vision
The NAIS also hosts the New Avalon Military Academy. The NAMA is the finest academy in the Federated Suns State Command and is regarded by many as the best in the Inner Sphere. The NAMA boasts the most advanced training facilities in existence. Some question how much this actually improves the quality of the education, but few dispute the abilities of NAMA graduates to their faces.
Time: 1 year
Attribute Minimums: INT 4, WIL 3, SOC 3
Attribute Thresholds: +1 RFL, +1 INT, +1 WIL, +1 SOC
Traits: Promotion, Well-Equipped
Skills: Academic/Any +2, Bureaucracy/Federated Suns +2, Computers +1, Swimming +2
Fields: Basic Training
Next Path: Advanced Individual Training subpath (mandatory, part of this pass)
New Avalon Military Academy Events
2: Boy, did you screw up! A classmate under your command died; you got kicked out of the academy and court-martialed (Stigma/Expulsion from NAMA, Bad Reputation, Bureaucracy/Federated Suns +2, may take no additional military paths)
3: Horribly burned in a training accident (Addiction/Painkillers, Unattractive)
4: Too many late nights in front of a computer (Poor Vision, +1 to any one skill)
5: Managed to shoehorn your classes between hangovers (Interest/Bartending +2, Addiction/Alcohol)
6: The team needed someone to fill in for the rest of the season: you (Choose one: Running +1, Swimming +1, Interest/Any Sport +2)
7: The sarge wasn't just some old-timer spinning yarns — he passed on some "special skills" to his students (Choose two: Climbing +1, Demolitions +1, Escape Artist +1, Jump Packs +1, Security Systems +1, Survival +1)
8: You'll thank sarge later for all those early morning "motivational" runs (+1 BOD, Running +2)
9: You participate in an exchange program with another academy (Contact, Protocol/Any +2, +1 to any other skill)
10: It's good to be the cadet corps commander (Contact [2], Vehicle [3], Leadership +3, +1 to any two other skills; may take Officer Candidate School next, then return and continue this path)
11: Graduated at the top of your class (Promotion, Vehicle [5], Custom Vehicle [2]; may take OCS next, then return and continue this path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Mandatory Subpath: Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
Basic Training graduates only
Time: 2 years
Traits: Promotion
Skills: Leadership +1, Strategy +2, +1 to any two relevant skills, +1 to any one field skill
Fields: Choose one of the following:
Aerospace Pilot (minimum DEX 4, RFL 4)
Armored Infantry (minimum STR 6, BOD 5)
Cavalry
DropShip Pilot (minimum DEX 4)
Infantry
MechWarrior (minimum DEX 3, RFL 4)
Events: Do not roll events for AIT
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4) or Special Training (3, part of this pass if character enters DropShip Pilot, Infantry, MechWarrior or Armored Infantry fields)

Subpath: Special Training
AIT graduates only
Time: 3 years
Attribute Thresholds: Add +1 to any one threshold
Traits: Promotion, Wealth, Well-Equipped, Well-Connected
Skills: Strategy +2, Tactics/Any +2, +1 to three Basic Training skills, +1 to half the character's AIT skills (round up), +2 to any one other skill
Fields: Choose one of the following:
JumpShip Pilot (DropShip Pilot field required, minimum INT 5, may not have TDS trait)
Military Scientist (minimum INT 5)
Special Forces (Infantry, MechWarrior or Armored Infantry field required, minimum BOD 4, RFL 4, WIL 5)
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4) or Covert Ops (4, Special Forces or Military Scientist only)

Subpath: Officer Candidate School (OCS)
Entry via event roll only
Time: 1 year
Attribute Thresholds: +1 CHA
Traits: Commission (Rank 1)
Skills: Strategy +2, Tactics/Any +1
Fields: Officer Training
Next Path: Per last path followed; add to its Next Path options the Tour of Duty: "Social General" path if the character has Lyran Alliance Affiliation


POLICE ACADEMY
Law enforcement officers are needed on most planets, and so there is always a demand for trained police. Though less prestigious than MechWarrior academies, police academies are nonetheless respectable and well-attended.
Time: 1 year
Attribute Thresholds: +1 RFL, +1 WIL
Fields: Police Officer
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), To Serve and Protect (4)

Police Detective Training
Police Academy graduates only
Time: 1 year
Skills: +1 to five Police Officer field skills, +1 to any one other skill
Fields: Detective
Events: Use the Police Academy Events table
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), To Serve and Protect (4), Covert Ops (4)

Tactical Unit Training
Police Academy graduates only
Time: 1 year
Skills: +2 to four Police Officer field skills
Fields: Police Tactical Officer
Events: Use the Police Academy Events table
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), To Serve and Protect (4), Covert Ops (4)
Police Academy Events
2: Accident on the firing range (Poor Hearing, choose one: Amnesia, Combat Paralysis, Disability [2])
3: Framed by a dirty cop (Enemy, Bad Reputation, must take Ne'er-Do-Well path next)
4: Partner killed in front of you (Quirk/Flashbacks, Addiction)
5: Helped capture crime boss (Enemy [2], Good Reputation)
6: Desk job (Pistols –1, Intimidation –2, Shotguns –1, Computers +1, Comms/Conv. +2)
7: Instructor's pet (Contact)
8: Aced your classes (may enter Police Detective or Tactical Unit training as next path)
9: Sharpshooter (Natural Aptitude/Pistols)
10: Expert cadet (Add +2 to all Police Officer field skills)
11: Decorated for bravery after saving lives on a field assignment (+1 WIL, Brave, Good Reputation, Pistols +1, Tactics/Infantry +1)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
SUN ZHANG MECHWARRIOR ACADEMY
Draconis Combine Affiliation only. Cannot have Combat Paralysis, Disabled, Lost Limb, Poor Hearing, or Poor Vision traits
The largest academy of its kind in the Inner Sphere — graduating more than four hundred soldiers annually — the Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy (SZMA) is feared and respected throughout the Draconis Combine and the rest of the Successor States. Located on the world of New Samarkand, the SZMA trains BattleMech and aerospace fighter cadets. The academy is infamous for its harsh and brutal regimen; its cadets are steeped in bushido and instilled with intense loyalty to House Kurita. Combined with exceptional resources and the finest teachers available, the SZMA produces some of the most respected — and privileged — soldiers in known space.
Time: 2 years
Attribute Minimums: INT 4, WIL 4, SOC 4
Attribute Thresholds: +1 RFL, +2 WIL, +1 SOC
Traits: Brave, Well-Equipped, Quirk/Loyalty to House Kurita
Skills: Academic/Any Military Science +2, Martial Arts/Military +2, Blades +2
Fields: Basic Training
Next Path: Advanced Individual Training subpath (mandatory, part of this pass)
Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy Events
2: Accused of sedition by the Internal Security Force; you have no choice but to flee (Stigma/Traitor, Enemy [3], may take no additional military paths)
3: You kill a fellow student in an honor duel who turns out to be the cousin of a military district warlord (Enemy [2], Timid)
4: Extensive abuse from an instructor is more than your honor can handle; you snap and attack him (Bad Reputation)
5: Though victorious in your honor duel, you received a terrible facial scar (Unattractive)
6: Obsessed with honor, you neglect your regular studies while practicing your swordsmanship (–2 to any two Basic Training skills, Blades +1, Martial Arts/Military +1)
7: A senior cadet takes you under his wing (+1 to any two Basic Training skills)
8: While training against a line regiment, you become comrades with one of the unit's soldiers, who is an ex-member of a Yakuza-based Ghost Regiment (Contact, Streetwise/Draconis Combine +1)
9: Extensive training reveals your natural aptitude for combat (Combat Sense)
10: Talented and backed by your honorable family, your rise is meteoric (Vehicle [4], +1 SOC; may take Officer Candidate School next, then return to this path and continue)
11: Graduate with honors (Promotion, Vehicle [5], +1 SOC; may take OCS next, then return to this path and continue)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Mandatory Subpath: Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
Basic Training Graduates only
Time: 2 years
Traits: Promotion
Skills: Tactics/Any +2, +1 to any three relevant skills, +1 to any one field skill
Fields: Choose one of the following fields:
MechWarrior (minimum DEX 4, RFL 4)
Aerospace pilot (minimum DEX 4, RFL 4)
Armored Infantry (minimum STR 6, BOD 5)
Events: Do not roll events for AIT
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4), or DEST Training subpath (3, part of this pass, MechWarrior or Armored Infantry fields)

Subpath: DEST Training
AIT graduates (MechWarriors and Armored Infantry) only
With the possible exception of House Liao's Death Commandos, the Draconis Elite Strike Teams are the most feared and efficient special forces in the Inner Sphere. Candidates are sent to the DEST Tactical Command Center on Pesht for intense training and indoctrination, isolated from the outside world. Teams of five soldiers train together and graduate together to form a new strike team; these years of working together give them unsurpassed efficiency.
Time: 3 years
Attribute Minimums: BOD 4, RFL 5, WIL 6
Attribute Thresholds: +1 BOD, +1 WIL, –1 CHA
Traits: Pain Resistance, Promotion, Well-Equipped (2), In for Life, Quirk/Loyalty to House Kurita (2)
Skills: Tactics/Infantry +3, +1 to two Basic Training skills, +2 to half the character's AIT skills (round up)
Fields: Special Forces
Next Path: Tour of Duty (4) or Covert Ops (4)

Subpath: Officer Candidate School (OCS)
Entry via event roll only
Time: 1 year
Attribute Thresholds: +1 WIL
Traits: Commission (Rank 1)
Skills: Leadership +2, Tactics/Any +2
Fields: Officer Training
Next Path: Per last path followed


TECHNICAL COLLEGE
Technical fields such as computer and vehicle repair are taught in small colleges across the Inner Sphere. Civilian pilot schools also fall under this category. Entry requirements are fairly lenient, and tuition is affordable or paid for by the government.
Because this path covers so many possible careers, you choose your character's specific course (field) and relevant subskills, subject to my approval.
Time: 2 years
Attribute Minimums: DEX 3, INT 3
Skills: Academic/Any Relevant +3, Computers +2
Fields: Choose one: Civilian Tech, DropShip Pilot, Civilian Aircraft Pilot
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Vehicle Technician Training subpath (3, Civilian Tech field only, part of this pass), JumpShip Pilot Training subpath (3, DropShip Pilot field only, part of this pass), Free Trader (4, DropShip Pilot field only)
Technical College Events
2: Serious shop accident (Add 1 year to the time this path takes and choose one: Poor Vision, Lost Limb, Poor Hearing)
3: Needed help to get through (Addiction [2])
4: Missed a lot of classes (–1 to all skills granted by the field taken)
5: Switched majors mid-course (Add 1 year to the time this path takes)
6: Lots of all-nighters (Addiction, +1 to any skill)
7: Spent time in space (Technician/Interplanetary +1, Zero-G Operations +1)
8: Held down a good part-time job (Wealth)
9: Extra technical training (Add +1 to any two Technician subskills)
10: "Borrowed" materials from shop (Well-Equipped)
11: Top of the class (+3 to any two skills, may enter University or Military Academy path next)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Subpath: Vehicle Technician Training
Technical College (Civilian Tech) required
Time: 2 years
Skills: Piloting/Wheeled +1, add +2 to any two Civilian Tech field skills
Fields: Vehicle Technician
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4)

Subpath: JumpShip Pilot Training
Technical College (DropShip Pilot) required
Attribute Minimums: INT 5
Time: 4 years
Skills: Add +2 to any four DropShip Pilot field skills
Fields: JumpShip Pilot
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Travel (4), Free Trader (4)

Next: Trade school, and university (which looks longish from here)
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  #8  
Unread 4th of May, 2009, 17:00
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TRADE SCHOOL
The Trade School path represents any institute that teaches non-technical and non-academic trades, such as business, accounting, and clerical work. Entry requirements are fairly lenient, and tuition is affordable or paid for by the government.
Because this path covers so many possible careers, you choose the specific trade (field) and relevant subskills, subject to my approval.
Time: 1 year
Skills: Choose the Merchant field or the following skills:
Bureaucracy/Affiliation +3, Career/Any +4, Administration +3, Academic/Any +2, choose two: Art/Any +3, Career/Any +3, Comms/Conv. +2, Computers +3, Interest/Any +3, Language/Any +3, Piloting/Wheeled +2, or Training +3
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Free Trader (4, Merchant field only)
Trade School Events
2: Slept through class (Interest/Any +2, but –2 to all Trade School-granted skills)
3: Too much time in front of a computer screen (Poor Vision)
4: Picked up a bad habit (Addiction)
5: Switched majors mid-course (Add 1 year to the time this path takes)
6: Worked in a school office (Administration +1)
7: Worked as a teacher's assistant (Training +2)
8: Made friends with an instructor (Contact)
9: Course included offworld travel (Language/Any +2, Zero-G Operations +1)
10: Intensive computer work (Computers +2, Technician/Electronics +1, Well-Equipped)
11: Won the lottery and stopped working (Wealth [7], Slow Learner, must take Ne'er-Do-Well as next path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
UNIVERSITY
In the thirty-first century, major institutions of higher learning are rare except on the most prosperous and advanced worlds. Entry to these prestigious facilities is limited, though the children of nobility always seem to get in. Hefty tuition and other expenses tend to drain the typical university student's C-bill accounts, but the education is usually well worth it.
Because this path covers so many possible areas of study, you choose the specific major and relevant subskills, subject to my approval.
The main path represents general study; the character must take a Major subpath next that represents their specific focus. Only one Major subpath may be taken in a pass through this path; to take additional majors, you must repeat this path. Some majors involve learning in specific fields, as described below.
Time: 2 years
Attribute Minimums: INT 4, SOC 3
Attribute Thresholds: +1 INT
Traits: Poverty
Skills: Academic/Any +3, Bureaucracy/Affiliation +2, Language/Any +1, Perception +2
Next Path: Sciences Major subpath, Technical Major subpath, Political Science Major subpath, Other Major subpath (all are mandatory and part of this pass)
University Events
2: Wild party results in the destruction of a dorm building, several injuries, and your expulsion (Bad Reputation, Enemy, –1 to all skills gained from this path, may take no additional University paths)
3: A slave to your studies, your physical and social skills wither (–1 BOD, Introvert)
4: Scandalous romance with a professor; you are expelled (Seduction +1, –1 to all skills gained from this path, may take no additional University paths)
5: Studied all day, partied all night (Addiction, –1 to all skills gained from this path)
6: Worked your way through school (Career/Any +2)
7: Worked as a teacher's assistant (Training +1, Administration +1)
8: Course of study included extensive travel (G-Tolerance, Language/Any +1, Protocol/Any +1)
9: Made friends with a professor who turned out to be an ex-military intelligence officer (Contact [2])
10: A fast study and a sharp test-taker (Fast Learner; reduce the time spent in every University path and subpath by 1 year)
11: Top of your class (Good Reputation, Wealth, +1 to all skills gained from this path, add +1 to all event rolls in Postgraduate Studies path)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Mandatory Subpath: Sciences Major
University path required
Time: 2 years
Skills: Add +1 to any three skills
Fields: Scientist
Events: Do not roll events for Sciences Major
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Medical School subpath (3, part of this pass), Field Scientist School subpath (3, part of this path)

Mandatory Subpath: Technical Major
University path required
Time: 2 years
Skills: Add +1 to any two skills
Fields: Civilian Tech
Events: Do not roll events for Technical Major
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Aerospace School subpath (3, part of this pass), Engineering School subpath (3, part of this pass)

Mandatory Subpath: Political Science Major
University path required
Time: 2 years
Skills: Add +1 to any three skills
Fields: Politician
Events: Do not roll events for Political Science Major
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Travel (4)

Mandatory Subpath: Other Majors
University path required
Create your own major using the following guidelines.
Time: 2 years
Skills: Academic/Any Relevant +4, add +1 to any two skills. Choose three: Academic/Any +3, Acting +2, Art/Any Relevant +3, Administration +3, Career/Any Relevant +3, Computers +2, Language/Any +3, or Training +3
Events: Do not roll events for Other Majors
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4)

Subpath: Medical School
Sciences Major required
Time: 4 years
Attribute Minimums: DEX 4, WIL 3
Skills: Add +1 to any three skills
Fields: Doctor
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Tour of Duty (4)

Subpath: Field Scientist School
Sciences Major required
Time: 2 years
Skills: Add +1 to any two skills
Fields: Planetary Surveyor
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Travel (4)

Subpath: Aerospace School
Technical Major required
Time: 3 years
Attribute Minimums: DEX 4
Skills: Add +1 to two Civilian Tech field skills
Fields: Aerospace Technician
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Tour of Duty (4)

Subpath: Engineering School
Technical Major required
Time: 4 years
Attribute Minimums: INT 5, WIL 3
Skills: Add +2 to two Civilian Tech field skills
Fields: Engineer
Next Path: Civilian Job (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Postgraduate Studies (4)

Next: Stage 4 — Real Life.
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  #9  
Unread 4th of May, 2009, 18:26
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Before we get into Real Life paths, there's a few things I'd like to clarify here. (Some of this might not have made it into the stuff I posted earlier, some might not have come across well enough. Either way.) I'm also going to provide a list of Fields of Study and the skills involved.

If you repeat a Stage 3 or 4 path, you do not repeat the changes to Attribute minimums or thresholds, nor do you get the traits a second time. You get all the listed skill modifiers, though, including a repeat of the field of study (if you get one). You also advance your age (obviously).

Any skill bonuses that just say "any skill" can only be applied to skills you already have; you can't use these to get new skills. If a subskill says that, however (like "Interest/Any Sport" or "Technician/Any"), you can either add a new subskill, or add the bonus to one you already have. For instance, if you get "Interest/Any +3", you can add Interest/Hiking +3; if you then get "Interest/Any +2", you can either increase Interest/Hiking to +5, or add Interest/Science Fiction +2. If a skill is called "Whatever/Affiliation", the subskill is based on your affiliation (Draconis Combine, Lyran Alliance, etc.). The "Language/Affiliation" skill can be used on any language listed for your affiliation, not just the primary.

Whenever you get a field of study, you add +3 skill points to all skills listed with that field. If you get the field an additional time, you get another +3 points toward every skill.

There's a downside to repeating paths, however: you have to roll another event, with a –1 penalty to the roll (minimum 2). If you take the path a third time, you take a –2 penalty to the roll, then a –3, and so on. Since low rolls are bad for you, this makes repeating paths risky. If you roll double-sixes, however, you still get the choose-one-or-roll-twice option.

Certain traits oppose each other; if you get one and then the other, they cancel each other out. Here's a list of opposing traits; ones that can have multiple levels are in italics. Note that Poverty doesn't have multiple levels; you're either poor or you're not. If you have multiple levels of Wealth and get Poverty, subtract one Wealth level.

Attractive/Unattractive
Brave/Timid
Combat Sense/Combat Paralysis
Fast Learner/Slow Learner
Good Hearing/Poor Hearing
Good Reputation/Bad Reputation
Good Vision/Poor Vision
Gregarious/Introvert
Night Vision/Night Blindness
Toughness/Glass Jaw
Wealth/Poverty

The following traits can be taken multiple times, with each instance being a separate item (usually with something specific to set them apart): Addiction, Allergy, Alternate Identity, Contact, Disabled, Enemy, Lost Limb, Natural Aptitude, Quirk, Stigma. The Addiction, Contact, Disabled, Enemy, and Lost Limb traits can also have multiple levels; if you get one of these more than once, you can either increase an existing trait or get a new one.

Now, how do those skill bonuses you've been accumulating work? They're skill points, used to buy the skills. Any leftover points go into a pool you can use to customize your skill-set a little. The base skill level (+0) costs 1 point; each level after that costs 2 points more than the previous one. If you have Slow/Fast Learner or Natural Aptitude, these costs are altered, but here's a summary of the base costs:

+0 – 1 point
+1 – 3 points
+2 – 7 points
+3 – 13 points
+4 – 21 points
+5 – 31 points
+6 – 43 points... and so on.

Now, here's the next lengthy part while I'm feeling insomniac. This is a list of all fields of study, and the skills associated with them. Whenever you get a field from a life path, you get +3 skill points for all skills in that field.
  • Basic Technician: Gunsmith, Technician/Ballistics, Technician/Comms, Technician/Electronics, Technician/Lasers, Technician/Mechanics, Technician/Missile
    • Aerospace Technician: Technician/Aeronautics, Technician, Fusion, Technician/Interplanetary, Technician/Jet, Technician/Jump Drive, Technician/Support, Zero-G Operations
    • 'Mech Technician: Technician/Fusion, Technician/Jet, Technician/Myomer, Technician/Support
    • Vehicle Technician: Technician/Fusion, Technician/ICE, Technician/Rotor, Technician/Support
  • Basic Training: Career/Soldier, First Aid, Navigation/Ground, Rifles, Martial Arts/Military
    • Aerospace Fighter Pilot: Gunnery/Ballistic/Aero, Gunnery/Laser/Aero, Gunnery/Missile/Aero, Navigation/Air, Navigation/Space, Piloting/Aero, Sensor Operations, Tactics/Space, Zero-G Operations
    • Aircraft Pilot: Bombing, Gunnery/Ballistic/Aero, Gunnery/Laser/Aero, Gunnery/Missile/Aero, Navigation/Air, Piloting/choose one (Aircraft or VTOL), Sensor Operations, Tactics/Air
    • Cavalry: Artillery, Gunnery/Ballistic/Conv., Gunnery/Laser/Conv., Gunnery/Missile/Conv., Piloting/choose one (Hover, Naval, Sub, Tracked, or Wheeled), Sensor Operations, Technician/Mechanics
    • Infantry: Artillery, Climbing, Comms/Conv., Jump Packs, Support Weapons, Tactics/Infantry
      • Armored Infantry: Demolitions, Gunnery/Ballistic/Humanoid, Gunnery/Laser/Humanoid, Gunnery/Missile/Humanoid, Martial Arts/Battlesuit, Piloting/Battlesuit, Sensor Operations
      • Special Forces: Blades, Demolitions, Free Fall, Stealth, Submachine Guns, Survival, Tracking
    • Marine: Demolitions, Gunnery/Laser/Space, Jump Packs, Security Systems, Shotguns, Zero-G Operations
    • MechWarrior: Gunnery/Ballistic/Humanoid, Gunnery/Laser/Humanoid, Gunnery/Missile/Humanoid, Piloting/'Mech, Sensor Operations, Tactics/'Mech
    • Officer Training: Administration, Bureaucracy/Affiliation, Leadership, Pistols, Tactics/Any, Training
  • Civilian Aircraft Pilot: Career/Pilot, Comms/Conv., Navigation/Air, Piloting/choose one (Aircraft or VTOL), Sensor Operations
  • Civilian Tech: Career/Technician, Technician/Comms, Technician/Electronics, Technician/Mechanics
    • Engineer: Appraisal, Computers, Engineering, Perception, Technician/Fusion, Technician/Support
  • Detective: Career/Detective, Computers, Cryptography, Fast Talk, Interrogation, Perception, Scrounge, Security Systems
  • DropShip Pilot: Career/Pilot, Comms/Conv., Navigation/Space, Piloting/Aero, Piloting/Spheroid, Sensor Operations, Zero-G Operations
    • JumpShip Pilot: Administration, Computers, Navigation/Jump Drive, Technician/Jump Drive
  • Merchant: Administration, Appraisal, Bureaucracy/Any, Career/Merchant, Negotiation, Scrounge
  • Military Scientist: Academic/Military History, Career/Military Scientist, Computers, Cryptography, Strategy, Tactics/Any
  • Police Officer: Academic/Law, Career/Police Officer, First Aid, Intimidation, Martial Arts/Military, Pistols, Shotguns, Streetwise/Any
    • Police Tactical Officer: Climbing, Demolitions, Rifles, Running, Submachine Guns, Support Weapons, Tactics/Infantry
  • Politician: Acting, Bureaucracy/Any, Career/Politician, Fast Talk, Leadership, Negotiation, Protocol/Any
  • Scientist: Academic/Any, Career/Scientist, Computers, Perception, Training
    • Doctor: Administration, Bureaucracy/Any, Career/Doctor, First Aid, MedTech, Surgery
    • Planetary Surveyor: Appraisal, Demolitions, Navigation/Ground, Piloting/choose one (Hover, Naval, Sub, or Wheeled), Survival, Tracking
  • Scout: Comms/Conv., Disguise, Scrounge, Security Systems, Stealth, Streetwise/Any, Tracking
  • Ship's Crew: Career/Ship's Crew, Gunnery/Ballistic/Space, Gunnery/Laser/Space, Gunnery/Missile/Space, Technician/Ballistics, Technician/Lasers, Technician/Missile, Zero-G Operations
Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy. Next is the Real Life paths, honest.
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  #10  
Unread 5th of May, 2009, 17:01
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Stage 4: Real Life

Once a character has finished school and training, the real challenge of making a living begins. Depending on your earlier path choices, your character has several different options at this stage. As with the Higher Education stage, the Real Life stage is optional; however, most characters should go through it at least once, or they will be totally green when play begins.
Time: Real Life paths take variable amounts of time, depending on the contents of each path. The number of years each path takes is listed under its Time heading.
Repeats: After completing a path in this stage, characters who meet the prerequisites may continue in that path, move on to a different Real Life path, or return to Stage 3: Higher Education, following the Next Path restrictions as usual. After completing any Real Life path, you may end your character's Life Path and proceed to assigning attributes, traits, and skills.

CIVILIAN JOB
Your job in the private sector may be dull, but countless trillions of civilians do this to make a living and keep the war machines of the Inner Sphere going. This path also represents non-combat civil-service jobs.
Because this path covers so many possible careers, you choose your character's job and relevant subskills, with my approval.
Time: 4 years
Skills: Career/Any Relevant +3, add +2 to any two other skills related to this career, +1 to any other skill. Also, choose one: Academic/Any Relevant +2, Administration +2, Bureaucracy/Affiliation +2, Computers +1, Leadership +1, or Protocol/Affiliation +2
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Travel (4)
Civilian Job Events
2: A freak accident on the job leaves you disabled but compensated through a civil suit (Disabled [2], Wealth [4])
3: You're fired! (Poverty; must take Ne'er-Do-Well path next)
4: Involved in a harassment scandal (Bad Reputation)
5: There's a war on, and you're drafted (Next path is Military Enlistment [3])
6: You hate your job and daydream the hours away (–1 to all skills gained from this path)
7: Standard worker drone (+1 to any one skill)
8: You get a raise (Wealth)
9: Hard work pays off with a raise and a promotion (Wealth [2], Administration +1, Leadership +1)
10: Your dedication gets you noticed by government officials, who approve you for advanced training (Wealth, Protocol/Affiliation +2, may choose any Higher Education path next)
11: You become a primary interstellar representative for your company (Well-Connected [2], Wealth, Language/Any +1, Negotiation +2, Zero-G Operations +1)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
COVERT OPS
Your nation summons you to perform well beyond the call of duty. You will earn significant rewards... if you survive. You determine the specific duty covered by this path, ranging from sabotage and infiltration to assassination and fomenting rebellion. Choose appropriate subskills based on your character's particular path.
Time: 1d6+1 years
Traits: Alternate Identity, Wealth, Well-Equipped, Enemy (3), In for Life
Skills: Disguise +2, Fast Talk +2, Perception +2. Choose three: Acting +3, Blades +2, Computers +2, Cryptography +2, Demolitions +2, Escape Artist +3, Forgery +3, Gambling +3, Interrogation +3, Language/Any +3, Leadership +2, Martial Arts/Any +2, Pistols +2, Protocol/Any +3, Seduction +3, Streetwise/Any +2, Tactics/Infantry +2
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Travel (4), Tour of Duty: Inner Sphere (4), Yakuza (4, Draconis Combine Affiliation only)
Covert Ops Events
2: Captured and thrown in prison for treason; you escape after several years (Escape Artist +3, Disabled [2], add 2d6 years to the time this path takes)
3: Captured and forced to become a double agent (Bad Reputation, Enemy [3], add 1d6 years to the time this path takes)
4: Nosy reporter uncovers your identity (Good Reputation [2], Enemy, lose Alternate Identity trait)
5: A close call leaves you scarred and shaken (Timid, Unattractive)
6: Bungled operation gets you a desk assignment (–1 to all skills gained in this path)
7: Uneventful operations (+1 to any skill)
8: Extensive training reveals hidden talent (Choose one: Ambidextrous, Brave, Exceptional Attribute/Any, Natural Aptitude/Any)
9: Numerous successful missions prove your dedication and skill (+1 to all skills gained in this path, +1 to any four other skills, Promotion)
10: You become a master of "persuasion" (First Aid +2, Interrogation +3, Intimidation +2, MedTech +2, Bad Reputation, Pain Resistance)
11: You are instrumental in setting up a critical defection (Contact [3], Promotion [2], Wealth)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
FREE TRADER
Though interstellar cartels dominate shipping and trade in the thirty-first century, the independent free trader is nonetheless a common sight across the Inner Sphere, especially in war-torn or remote areas where larger corporations are reluctant to operate. In these regions, a resourceful person can make serious profit.
Note: You can very quickly accumulate the Wealth trait through this path. Its maximum is 10 levels; if you reach that (or more), you can trade in 10 levels for the Owns Vehicle and Vehicle/Civilian DropShip (7) traits.
Time: 2 years
Attribute Minimums: CHA 3
Skills: Zero-G Operations +1, Appraisal +2, Negotiation +2, choose one: Fast Talk +2, Interest/Any +2, Protocol/Any +2, Scrounge +1, Language/Any +2
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Free Trader (4, only if character has the Wealth trait; it takes money to make money)
Free Trader Events
2: Caught smuggling contraband (Streetwise/Any +2, add 4 years to the time this path takes, choose two: Stigma/Drug Runner, Bad Reputation, Poverty, Enemy)
3: Local crime syndicate makes you an offer you can't refuse (In for Life, Wealth)
4: A rival muscles in on your territory (Enemy, Poverty)
5: Slow year (Poverty)
6: Pirates harass your shipping lines (Poverty, +1 to any combat-related skill)
7: A mildly prosperous period (+1 to any skill listed in Merchant field, +1 to any other skill)
8: Busy year (Wealth)
9: A valued customer offers a "limited partnership" (Contact, Wealth)
10: You're in the right place when new markets open up (Contact [2], Wealth [2], Negotiation +1, Language/Any +1)
11: The deal of the decade! (Negotation +2, choose two: Contact [3], Wealth [3], Well-Equipped, Well-Connected, Good Reputation [2])
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
NE'ER-DO-WELL
This catchall path exists for characters who just don't fit in. You may be a criminal or simply unemployed. Whatever the case, you work outside the usual bounds of society. Because the specific possibilities are virtually endless, this path gives characters considerable latitude as to the advances they can make.
Time: 1d6 years
Attribute Thresholds: +1 EDG
Skills: Streetwise/Any +2, add +1 to any two other skills, choose one: Appraisal +1, Brawling +1, Gambling +1, Seduction +1, Escape Artist +1, Blades +1, Quickdraw +1, Stealth +1
Next Path: Military Enlistment (3), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Yakuza (4, Draconis Combine Affiliation only)
Ne'er-Do-Well Events
2: Lacking legal status, you are abducted and sold into slavery; you escape and must make a new life for yourself (–1 SOC, Alternate Identity, Poverty, Escape Artist +1, add 6 years to the time this path takes)
3: You really shouldn't have done that! Convicted of a serious crime (you decide whether you're actually guilty) (Bad Reputation, Streetwise/Any +2, Scrounge +1, choose one: Addiction or Enemy. Add 4 years to the time this path takes)
4: Your life lacks direction; you lose yourself in substance abuse and holovids (Addiction, Introvert, Interest/Holovid Shows +1)
5: Become obsessed with poker and lose your shirt (Poverty, Gambling +1)
6: Convicted of a minor crime (you decide whether you're actually guilty) (Streetwise/Any +1, add 2 years to the time this path takes)
7: Drifting from one location to the next, you meet many "interesting" people (Contact)
8: To improve your image, you join a planetary conservation corps (First Aid +1, Negotiation +1, Scrounge +1, Survival +2)
9: You pull the wife of a planetary governor from the flaming wreck of her hovercar (Wealth, Contact [2])
10: With no responsibilities, you spend considerable time in self-improvement (+2 to any skill, choose three: Academic/Any +3, Acrobatics +3, Language/Any +3, Martial Arts/Any +2, Perception +2, Piloting/Any +2, Quickdraw +3, Running +2, or Swimming +3)
11: Lady luck smiles; you make a living playing poker (+1 EDG, Wealth [3], Good Reputation, Gambling +2)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
POSTGRADUATE STUDIES
University path required
Depending on your chosen field, this path can involve travel, pure study, exploration or even service in combat zones. Because this path covers so many possible areas of study, you choose your character's specific study area and relevant subskills, subject to my approval.
Time: 2 years
Skills: Academic/Any Relevant +3, Academic/Any +2, add +1 to any other skill. Choose one: Appraisal +1, Language/Any +1, Survival +1, Training +1, Zero-G Operations +1
Next Path: University (3), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Postgraduate Studies (4), Travel (4)
Postgraduate Studies Events
2: Switching of critical samples causes death of personnel; you get fired (Bad Reputation [2], Poverty, –1 to all skills gained from this path; may not enter University or Postgraduate Studies paths again)
3: Your field study team gets caught in a border raid (Disabled, Timid)
4: Your studies frequently take you to poorly-lit places (Poor Vision)
5: Caught falsifying records to cover for a friend (Bad Reputation)
6: You take stimulants to keep up with the long hours (Addiction)
7: You get by on adequate skills (+1 to any skill from this path)
8: Your leadership ability puts you in a teaching position (Leadership +1, Training +2)
9: Your studies frequently force you to work alone in the field (Piloting/Hover +1, Navigation/Ground +2, Comms/Conv. +1, Survival +1)
10: Because your studies involve extensive and legitimate travel, you are recruited as a government informant (Alternate Identity, Contact [3], In for Life, Cryptography +1, may choose Covert Ops as next path)
11: Brilliant field work puts you in the limelight (Good Reputation [3], Contact [2], Wealth [2], add +1 to any three skills)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
TO SERVE AND PROTECT
Even in the thirty-first century, crime is a fact of life. Though they go by various names and wear various uniforms, all societies of known space require police forces that share common skills and goals. Service on a police force can be every bit as dangerous as on the front lines in a 'Mech.
Time: 2 years
Attribute Minimums: WIL 4
Skills: Add +2 to any three Police Officer, Police Tactical Officer, or Detective field skills; add +1 to any two other skills
Next Path: To Serve and Protect (4), Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Civilian Job (4), Police Detective Training (3), Tactical Unit Training (3), Military Enlistment (3)
To Serve and Protect Events
2: Captured by a crime syndicate while undercover... not a good place to be (–1 DEX, Pain Resistance, Enemy [2], choose two: Addiction, Disabled, Lost Limb, Poor Vision, Unattractive)
3: Caught taking a bribe (or you were framed) (Bad Reputation [2], lose all skill points provided by this pass through this path; may not take additional police paths)
4: Wounded in the line of duty (Disabled [2])
5: Your partner is killed in front of you (Introvert, Timid)
6: You make an enemy of the local syndicate (Enemy [2])
7: Uneventful duty (+1 to any one skill)
8: You serve on the bomb squad (Demolitions +3)
9: As a beat cop, you see serious action (Streetwise/Affiliation +2, +1 to any three skills in one Police field)
10: The department recruits you for deep undercover sting operations, with a healthy dose of danger pay (Alternate Identity, Wealth, Stealth +1, Fast Talk +2, Disguise +2, Streetwise/Any +2)
11: Your heroic efforts on duty earn you the attention of the local nobility (Brave, Good Reputation, Contact [2], Well-Connected)
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
TOUR OF DUTY: INNER SPHERE
From lofty MechWarrior to common grunt, this path is where you put it all on the line. Combat and non-combat military personnel alike must face the enemy in one or more tours of duty. Despite the dangers of this path, a character can earn substantial rewards in skill and rank.
Time: 2 years
Traits: Vehicle (2) for MechWarrior, Aerospace Pilot, Aircraft Pilot, Cavalry, and Armored Infantry characters only
Skills: Add +2 to any three skills from your Military fields, add +1 to any two other skills
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Tour of Duty: Inner Sphere (4), Police Academy (3), Covert Ops (4, Special Forces or Scout-trained characters only)
Tour of Duty: Inner Sphere Events
2: While on an objective raid, one of your own sells you out (Combat Paralysis, Quirk/Paranoia)
3: Captured! (Escape Artist +2, Scrounge +1, Survival +1, add 2 years to the time this path takes, and choose one: –2 BOD, Combat Paralysis, Lost Limb [2])
4: You survive the most intense combat your unit has ever seen (+2 to all skills in one Military field, choose one: Addiction [2], Combat Paralysis, Disability [2], Lost Limb [2])
5: You make an enemy of your superior officer (Enemy [2])
6: Heavy combat (+1 to all skills in one Military field, Disability)
7: Uneventful garrison duty (+1 to any one skill)
8: Raiding missions (+1 to any three skills in one Military field, +1 to any other skill)
9: After several successful missions, you earn a promotion (Promotion, +2 to any two skills in one Military field)
10: Conspicuous gallantry in the field and the death of your superior offer you a chance for a field commission (Brave, Commission [Rank 1], Good Reputation. If you're already an officer, or if you decline the commission, take Promotion [2] instead)
11: You find a lostech jackpot deep behind enemy lines (Choose Owns Vehicle or two of the following: Custom Vehice [2], Good Reputation [2], Vehicle [2], Well-Equipped, or Wealth [2])
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
TOUR OF DUTY: "SOCIAL GENERAL"
Lyran Alliance Affiliation only; must have Commission trait
Bribery, politicking and sometimes sheer dumb luck often place the wrong people in the right places, a situation common in the Byzantine military command structure of the Lyran Alliance. Though commonly called "social generals", many of these status-climbers have yet to reach that actual rank.
Time: 2 years
Attribute Minimums: CHA 3, SOC 4
Traits: Contact (2)
Skills: Protocol/Lyran Alliance +3, Bureaucracy/Lyran Alliance +3, Career/Soldier +1
Next Path: Tour of Duty: Inner Sphere (4), Travel (4), Tour of Duty: "Social General" (4, but only if you have at least one Contact trait)
Tour of Duty: "Social General" Events
2: That last big power play crossed the wrong noble (–1 SOC, Demotion, Enemy [3], lose Well-Connected and all Contact traits)
3: Somebody really doesn't like you! Transferred to the front, where you face heavy combat (+2 to any three skills in a Military field, Enemy, choose one: Addiction [2], Combat Paralysis, Lost Limb [2])
4: Caught in a web of intrigue, you must make a choice (if you go along with the scheme, take Timid, Well Connected, and In for Life; if you refuse, take Brave and Enemy [3], and lose a Contact)
5: One of your meal tickets got ensnared in politicking, and guess who's caught in the mess? (Lose a Contact, gain an Enemy)
6: Passed over for promotion (Bad Reputation, Bureaucracy/Lyran Alliance +1)
7: Slipped a rung on the social ladder (Career/Soldier +1)
8: You gain a sympathetic benefactor (Contact)
9: You kissed the right butt this time (Promotion, Protocol/Lyran Alliance +2, Bureaucracy/Lyran Alliance +1, Leadership +1)
10: You lead the troops to victory — and you didn't know you had it in you! (Leadership +2, +1 to all skills in one Military field, Good Reputation, Promotion, Title, but choose one: Disabled [2], Lost Limb [2], Poor Hearing [3], Poor Vision [2])
11: Persistence pays off as you strike a political motherlode at court on Tharkad (+1 SOC, Good Reputation, Title, Wealth, Well-Equipped, choose one: Land Grant or Owns Vehicle. Of course, all that power attracts an Enemy [2])
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
TRAVEL
Cannot have Transit Disorientation Syndrome (TDS) trait
Sometimes, you just want to get away from it all. You have the means, and an extended vacation offers the ideal opportunity. Such a journey also provides space-travel experience and valuable insight into other cultures. And in the BattleTech universe, interstellar travel can lead to unexpected excitement...
Time: 1d6 years
Skills: Interest/Any +2, Zero-G Operations +1, +1 to any other skill. Choose one: Art/Any +2, Language/Any +2, Piloting/Any +1, Protocol/Any +2, Survival +1, Swimming +2
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), or return to the last path you took
Travel Events
2: Your travels land you in the crossfire during a rebel uprising (Choose one: Combat Paralysis, Lost Limb [2], Poor Vision [2])
3: On your first jump, you realize you have developed TDS, cutting your trip short (Transit Disorientation Syndrome, –1 to all skills acquired in this path)
4: Framed for a crime you did not commit, you spend time in jail (–1 to all skills provided in this path, add 1 year to the time it takes)
5: You swindle a local syndicate for a substantial amount of money (Wealth, Enemy [2])
6: Your travels take you far from human contact (Introvert)
7: You manage to "take the wheel" during the long DropShip flights (Piloting/Aero +1)
8: You make friends with a DropShip technician, who passes the time by teaching you what he knows (Technician/Interplanetary +1, Technician/Aeronautics +1)
9: You make many important friends in your travels (Well-Connected, Language/Any +2)
10: You are in the right place at the right time to stop the assassination of a duke (Good Reputation [2], Contact [2]. If you have military rank, take Promotion; otherwise, take Wealth)
11: In a planet's back country, you stumble upon an ancient Star League warehouse (Choose Owns Vehicle or two of the following: Custom Vehicle [2], Good Reputation [2], Vehicle [2], Well-Equipped, Wealth [2])
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
YAKUZA
Draconis Combine Affiliation only
In the lowest echelons of Combine society, few have any chance to become successful. Often, these individuals turn to organized crime in hopes of gaining respect and riches, pledging themselves as kobun (soldiers) to the local yakuza oyabun (leader). A yakuza gumi (clan) is involved in virtually every kind of criminal venture, with the notable exception of muggings and other violent street crime; it's bad business to brutalize your customers (though rival gumi are fair game). This respect for the common man and a strict code of honor separate the yakuza from other organized-crime factions in the Inner Sphere.
Time: 1d6 years
Attribute Thresholds: +1 EDG
Traits: In for Life, Quirk/Loyalty to Yakuza
Skills: Fast Talk +2, Streetwise/Draconis Combine +2, Martial Arts/Any +2
Next Path: Ne'er-Do-Well (4), Yakuza (4), Covert Ops (4), Civilian Job (4)
Yakuza Events
2: Caught by the Internal Security Force and imprisoned. Your stay in prison is short but difficult (Combat Paralysis, add 1d6 years to the time this path takes)
3: Rival yakuza gumi enacts vendetta against your gumi (Enemy [2])
4: Horribly disgraced, but you flee rather than commit seppuku — ritual suicide (Enemy [3], Stigma/Dishonor)
5: Disgraced, you must commit yubitsume (finger-cutting) to atone (Bad Reputation, Lost Limb)
6: You fall victim to the substance in which you traffic (Addiction [2])
7: Moderately successful; you receive your first irezumi — family markings, the famous yakuza tattoos (Intimidation +2)
8: Your loyalty brings you to the attention of your oyabun (Contact [2])
9: Numerous successful missions give you several irezumi (Streetwise/Draconis Combine +1, choose two: Forgery +1, Gambling +2, Appraisal +2, Throwing Weapons +1)
10: DCMS scouts uncover your natural aptitude for 'Mech piloting and offer you a position in a Ghost Regiment — yakuza-staffed regiments in the Combine military (Natural Aptitude/Piloting/'Mech, Promotion, receive the MechWarrior field and take the Tour of Duty: Inner Sphere path next)
11: Your unswerving dedication and loyalty are rewarded. You become a wakagashira-hosa — underling of your gumi's second-in-command (Wealth [2], Well-Equipped, Good Reputation [2])
12: (Choose one event, or roll twice and apply both results)
Next: How to assign attributes, buy traits, and assign skill points.
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Unread 5th of May, 2009, 18:59
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LonePaladin
Mohrg [GM]

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Attributes and Traits
Your character has nine attributes, as mentioned before. Though these attributes define your character's essential physical and mental template, their primary purpose is in how they affect learning skills. Basically, a high attribute makes it easier to improve skills linked to that attribute. They're also used when you attempt a skill in which you have no training; a low score (3 or less) increases the Target Number, while a high score (7 or more) lowers it slightly.
In the process of going through your character's Life Path, you determined your attributes' minimum scores and thresholds. You must buy each attribute high enough to meet the minimums. The threshold determines how high you can buy an attribute before the cost increases.
Attributes can be increased on a 1-for-1 basis up to the threshold; after this, the cost is 2 points per 1-point increase. (In other words, if you have an attribute with a threshold of 7, it would cost 7 points to raise it to 7, or 9 to make it an 8.)
Unless you have a trait that affects this, the maximum you can put in any attribute is 8 (9 for CHA, EDG, and SOC).

At this stage, you receive 50 points to spend on attributes and traits (you can take negative traits to increase this total). Because the two share a common pool, you'll probably do a little back-and-forth between them before you finally settle on your choices. Because of this, the traits will be listed next, so that you can refer to them at the same time you're looking over your attributes.
You can't load up on negative traits to give yourself a huge pool of points to use; if you select more than two such traits, only the two with the highest point values count in full. For the rest, you only get half their value. (You halve the total of these traits. If your traits past the first two are worth 1 and 2, you get 1 point — 1 + 2 = 3 / 2 = 1.5, rounded down.) Negative traits gained during play do not carry any side-benefit (such as additional points to use elsewhere).
You can spend points to remove negative traits that you gained on your Life Path. You'll want to come up with a good rationale for this, though, and it's up to me whether or not it's allowed. (I'll be lenient, as long as it's not something like "It just went away, y'know?")
Traits listed in blue can only be acquired during character creation; you can't later spend Experience to gain them. (You might get something like them during play, as a consequence of your actions.) Traits listed with an asterisk (*) can have multiple copies (for example, you can have several Contacts, each at a different level).
A brief summary of each trait's effects follows the name. Any traits that are indented an extra step require the trait above it (for example, you can't have a Commission without a military Rank).

POSITIVE TRAITS
  • Alternate Identity* (2): You have an alternate persona and cover story, complete with ID and travel documents. It will hold up under mundane scrutiny, but any serious questioning will require a skill check of some sort. You can have multiple alternate identities, but each one after the first makes it more difficult to maintain any of them.
  • Ambidextrous (2): You can use either hand equally well. You don't get extra combat actions for holding two weapons, though.
  • Attractive (1): You're very attractive, either physically, fashion-wise, or purely from force of personality. Your CHA-based skills get a bonus when used on people who are attracted to your gender; you might also get a minor bonus on skill checks where appearance is a factor.
  • Brave (1): You're especially resistant to fear and shock.
  • Combat Sense (4): You're very quick-witted in stressful situations; in combat, you roll 3d10 for initiative, taking the highest two dice.
  • Contact* (1-3): You have an ally or acquaintance who can help you when you need it. A 1-point contact has no real power or influence, but a lot of knowledge about a particular subject (such as a bartender, scientist, or merchant). A 2-point contact has a small amount of power and influence in a limited area; they may be able to get sensitive or secret information, or pull some strings for you (examples would be minor nobles, low-ranking officers, or merchant guild leaders). A 3-point contact has considerable power and influence and can make things lean heavily in your favor. However, they may be unavailable when you try to call on them, and politics or finances may limit the aid they can provide. (This might be a planetary ruler, high-ranking officer, or aide to a House Lord.)
  • Exceptional Attribute* (2): Pick one Attribute, and increase its maximum score by 1. (This doesn't increase the actual score, just your maximum.) You can't have this more than once without my okay, and can never have this twice for a single Attribute.
  • Fast Learner (3): You learn skills faster. When figuring the cost to improve a skill, add +2 to the total of the linked Attributes. (See the end of this list for how that works.) This also affects the cost of the skills you gained in your Life Path.
  • G-Tolerance (1): You're accustomed to high gravity, including the result of acceleration in a fighter craft or DropShip.
  • Good Hearing (1): Your hearing is more acute than usual. Hearing-based Perception checks are easier.
  • Good Reputation (1-5): You're known far and wide as a good person. See Bad Reputation, below, for an idea of how widespread your fame is. You'll find negotiations easier, but it might be harder to blend into a crowd or conceal your identity.
  • Good Vision (1): Your sight is sharper than usual. Vision-based Perception checks are easier.
  • Gregarious (1): You're outgoing and work well in social situations. This is a great help in interpersonal dealings.
  • Natural Aptitude* (1-2): You can advance in one skill quickly. When calculating the cost to improve this skill, add +4 to the Attribute totals. The cost for this trait is 1 for noncombat skills, 2 for combat skills. Without my permission, you can't have this more than once. Subskills must be treated as separate skills, except for Bureaucracy, Protocol, and Streetwise; if you have Natural Ap in one of these, it affects all its subskills.
  • Night Vision (1): You're not able to see in complete darkness, but lack of light hinders you less than most.
  • Pain Resistance (3): You're not stunned by grazing wounds, and you're also not as hindered by injury as normal.
  • Poison Resistance (1): You've developed a resistance to toxins, including alcohol and other intoxicants. You can also resist certain drugs (like the kind used by some interrogators).
  • Promotion (—): Your military rank has increased. (You can't buy this one with points.)
  • Rank (1-10): This represents your military rank; the actual title and benefits depend on which Affiliation you are under.
    • Commission (3): You've gone from enlisted ranks to officer. Your previous military rank disappears, replaced with the first officer rank; any Promotions you receive from this point affect that rank.
  • Sixth Sense (4): You get "feelings" about unusual or dangeous situations, making it hard to surprise you.
  • Title (Cost = SOC): You are a titled noble, giving you power to go along with the influence you wield. The actual title depends on your Affiliation.
    • Land Grant (costs same as Title): You have control over a region. This gives you tax revenue, but you're also responsible for administering this area. You're considered Well-Connected within this region, but you also have a 1-point Enemy who covets your power.
  • Toughness (3): You're resilient and difficult to injure. Wounds are less likely to make you fall unconscious.
  • Vehicle (1-10): You've been assigned a vehicle of some sort — a BattleMech, an aerospace fighter, a DropShip, a tank, etc. Your total in this trait determines the maximum weight class you can select. (For BattleMechs, this is 2 for Light, 4 for Medium, 6 for Heavy, and 8 for Assault.) This vehicle is not yours (unless you have Owns Vehicle); it's the property of whichever unit or organization you work for. If you change units, you can expect to be assigned a vehicle in a similar weight-class.
    • Custom Vehicle (1-4): You have more leeway in your initial assignment of a 'Mech or vehicle; for 1 point, you can have a vehicle from any Affiliation (rather than just your own). For 2 points, you can choose any Vehicle in your Affiliation, and can choose any stock vehicle for 3 points. For 4 points, you can custom-design your vehicle.
    • Owns Vehicle (4): You own your vehicle. This silver lining has a cloud in it, though: you're responsible for upkeep costs.
  • Wealth (1-10): You have more money than usual to buy starting equipment (or keep in the bank). This represents cash, not assets, nor does it imply any sort of income. Once play begins, you have to make more money the old-fashioned way. (No, not printing it.)
  • Well-Connected (2/4/6): You have a lot of friends, aquaintances, and old enemies. You can call on these friends for information or help, but must also watch out for your foes. The cost of this trait depends on how widespread your contacts are; for 2 points, they are on one important world (such as Solaris VII or New Avalon), or in a small region of space. For 4 points, they're in an area the equivalent of one Successor State. For 6 points, they're all over the Inner Sphere.
  • Well-Equipped (2/4/6/8): You have access to rare equipment. Higher levels of this trait give access to gear with higher availability ratings (i.e., things that are harder to get), stricter legalities, and better tech-levels.
NEGATIVE TRAITS
  • Addiction* (1-2): You're addicted to something, such as a substance, condition, or activity. If the subject is rare or extremely expensive, this is a 2-point trait; otherwise, it's 1. A day without a fix makes you irritable; two days starts withdrawal symptoms, and it gets worse from there.
  • Allergy* (1): You have a serious allergy to a substance (such as cotton). The substance must be fairly common, and the allergy must be serious enough to cause serious debilitation or death in large doses. (Something that just causes a rash is just an interesting character detail.) You can only have one allergy without my OK.
  • Amnesia (3): You've forgotten who you are and most of your history. With the exception of your free language skills and Perception, you can't use any of your skills until you "remember" that you know them.
  • Bad Reputation (1-5): You're known far and wide as a bad person. It's possible that this reputation is undeserved. For 1 point, your rep only applies to a single planet. For 2, it covers a small region of space like a duchy or prefecture. A 3-point rep has spread across an entire Successor State or other large realm. A 4-point rep is known throughout the Inner Sphere. A 5-point reputation has been heard about in any area of populated space. Negotiations will be harder in the affected area, as well as concealing your identity.
  • Combat Paralysis (4): You tend to freeze up in stressful situations. When rolling initiative, you roll 3d10 and take the worst two dice. Outside of combat, in a situation that requires quick reflexes, you might stall.
  • Demotion (0): This trait simply reduces your military rank by one each time you get it.
  • Dependents (1-2): You have one or more vulnerable relatives who may be targeted by kidnappers and other villains. A 1-point dependent is an adult who is reasonably competent and lives in a secure location; a 2-point dependent is young, inform, and/or vulnerable to predation (they may travel frequently, or live in a secluded farm).
  • Disabled* (1-3): You have some sort of limiting affliction. A 1-point disability only restricts a specific part (like a hand or foot), or only hinders you in specific situations. A 2-point disability restricts you fairly often or affects a large part (such as an entire arm, or your digestive tract). A 3-point disability constantly hinders you or affects your entire body.
  • Enemy* (1-3): You've made an enemy, whether an individual or a group. A 1-point enemy is roughly an even match for you; a 2-point enemy is more powerful than you, and a 3-point enemy is much more powerful.
  • Glass Jaw (3): You're frail and easy to injure. When you get wounded, it takes less physical trauma to knock you out or kill you.
  • In for Life (3): You are (or were) a member of a large, secretive organization, such as the yakuza, organized crime, or a government agency. It's said you can never retire from these; they may call on you at any time, and likely will find the worst possible time to do so.
  • Introvert (1): You're not very outgoing, and have limited insight into others' feelings. This can be a hindrance in interpersonal dealings.
  • Lemon (2, only with Vehicle): There always seems to be one cursed vehicle in every unit, and you've got it. Your vehicle will have technical problems at bad times, and be generally hard to maintain, repair, and even reload.
  • Lost Limb* (1/3/5): You've lost all or part of one of your limbs. Loss of fingers is a 1-point trait; loss of a whole hand or foot is 3; loss of the entire limb is 5. If the lost part is replaced by cybernetics, this trait effectively vanishes.
  • Night Blindness (1): You have poor night vision.
  • Poor Hearing (1-5): You have trouble making out some sounds. Each point in this trait increases the Target Number for hearing-based Perception checks; the 5-level version indicates total deafness. If you get a permanent implanted device, this trait is effectively removed.
  • Poor Vision (2/4/6): You cannot see as well as most people. For 2 points, you have to wear corrective lenses or suffer a +1 penalty on all sight-based skill checks (including ranged attacks). For 4 points, you have a +3 penalty that is reduced to +1 with correction (even glasses or contacts can only do so much). For 6 points, you are legally blind. If you get a permanent implant that corrects your vision, this trait disappears.
  • Poverty (1): You're poor. You have no valuable assets, and little money to buy starting equipment. You cannot have this and Well-Equipped, Land Grant, or Owns Vehicle.
  • Quirk* (1-2): You have some sort of mental or emotional tag that affects your behavior, from religious beliefs to intense phobias to a code of honor. This quirk might make you behave in ways that aren't in your best interests. A 2-point quirk is one you hold deeply and will never intentionally violate; a 1-point quirk is one you can force yourself to set aside (though it requires a WIL check).
  • Slow Learner (3): You have a poor memory or short attention span, making it difficult to learn new things. When determining the cost to improve a skill, subtract 2 from the total of the linked Attributes.
  • Stigma (1-2): You have some characteristic that earns you disdain from many people. Often, this is something outside of your control, such as your ethnicity, birth circumstances, or a criminal conviction. It can also be something you choose, such as a religion, choice of education, or even profession. If the stigma is limited to a single Successor State (or the equivalent), it's worth only 1 point; the 2-point version is more widespread.
  • Timid (1): You're more susceptible to fear and shock.
  • Transit Disorientation Syndrome (1): Everyone suffers from some disorientation after a hyperspace jump, but you've got it far worse. Immediately after a jump, you're stunned for fifteen minutes; for several hours afterward, you're nauseous and irritable. If you jump before you've recovered from this, it knocks you out and leaves you sick for a day or longer.
  • Unattractive (1): You're not pretty. This could be physical looks, horrible fashion sense, or an annoying personality. People who are normally attracted to your gender will find you hard to get along with, more so than other people.
Next: Skills, and how to get more of 'em.
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LonePaladin
Mohrg [GM]

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Skills

Now that you have your Attribute scores and traits, it's time to figure up your skill bonuses.

Throughout your Life Path, you've been accumulating Skill Points in a wide variety of skills. These translate into skill bonuses, but the cost is dependent on whether or not you have certain traits — specifically, Slow/Fast Learner and Natural Aptitude.

For each skill, find the relevant column below, and find the highest number that the skill's point total doesn't exceed. Read across to the last column; this is your bonus in that skill. (For example, if you have 10 points in a skill, and no modifying talents, you have that skill at +2.) Any points above the amount needed go into a pool of leftover points you can use to improve existing skills or acquire new ones. (With the above example, you'd get 3 points.) Be sure to go through your entire list before going shopping.

Code:
Slow  Norm  Fast  Nat.  F+NA  Bonus
  1     1     1     1     1     +0
  3     3     3     3     2     +1
  8     7     6     6     5     +2
 14    13    12    11     9     +3
 23    21    19    17    15     +4
 34    31    28    25    22     +5
 47    43    39    35    30     +6
 63    57    51    46    40     +7
 80    73    66    59    51     +8
100    91    82    73    64     +9
122   111   100    89    78    +10
The "Slow" column is used if you have the Slow Learner trait; use "Fast" if you have Fast Learner, or if you have Slow Learner plus Natural Aptitude in the skill. Use "Nat." for skills you have Natural Aptitude in. Use "F+NA" if you have both Fast Learner and the relevant Natural Ap.

Once you have your total pool of leftover Skill Points, you can use them to improve skills using the table above. Just pay the difference between your current level and the new one, and improve the bonus by +1. (So to go from +2 to +3 would cost 6 points if you have no relevant traits.) Any Skill Points not used at the end of this become Experience Points you can use later.

At this stage, you can't improve a skill's bonus by more than 2 levels (say, from +2 to +4). You also have a limit on how many new skills you can pick up, based on your age. (Your age also affects your Attribute thresholds. Note that CHA, EDG, and SOC are unaffected by age.) The New Skill Limit only applies while making your character; once play begins, you can have as many skills as you're willing (and able) to learn.

Code:
 Age   Category     STR BOD DEX RFL INT WIL  New Skills  Traits
10-12  Very Young   -1  -1  +2  -1  -1  -2        1      Fast Learner
13-16  Young         -   -  +1  -1   -  -1        2      -
17-30  Young Adult   -   -   -   -   -   -        3      -
31-50  Adult         -   -  -1   -   -   -        4      -
51-70  Middle Age    -  -1  -2  -1  +1  +1        5      -
71-90  Old          -1  -2  -2  -2  +1  +2        6      Slow Learner
 91+   Very Old     -2  -2  -2  -3  +2  +2        7      Glass Jaw, Slow Learner
Here's a full list of skills and the Attributes linked to them. These links aren't really relevant to this stage, but it helps to have an idea of which Attributes your skill-set rely on. These links are used to determine Experience costs for improving, as well as which Attributes you use when making an untrained skill check. Subskills are listed in parenthesis after the name of the skill.

Skills in red are considered "difficult"; this has no bearing on learning them for now, but they are harder to learn later and nearly impossible to use without training.
  • Academics (INT/WIL) (varies)
  • Acrobatics (RFL/STR)
  • Acting (CHA/WIL)
  • Administration (CHA/INT)
  • Animal Handling (CHA/WIL)
  • Appraisal (INT/WIL)
  • Archery (DEX/STR)
  • Artillery (INT/WIL)
  • Arts (varies) (varies)
  • Blades (DEX/RFL)
  • Brawling (RFL/STR)
  • Bombing (DEX/INT)
  • Bureaucracy (CHA/SOC) (varies, by region)
  • Careers (varies) (varies)
  • Climbing (BOD/DEX)
  • Comms/Conventional (INT/WIL)
  • Comms/HPG (INT/WIL)
  • Computers (INT/WIL)
  • Cryptography (EDG/INT)
  • Demolitions (DEX/INT)
  • Disguise (DEX/WIL)
  • Engineering (INT/WIL)
  • Escape Artist (DEX/WIL)
  • Fast Talk (CHA/WIL)
  • First Aid (DEX/INT)
  • Forgery (DEX/INT)
  • Free Fall (RFL/WIL)
  • Gambling (EDG/INT)
  • Gunnery/Ballistic (DEX/RFL) (Aero, Conventional, Humanoid, Space)
  • Gunnery/Laser (DEX/RFL) (Aero, Conventional, Humanoid, Space)
  • Gunnery/Missile (DEX/INT) (Aero, Conventional, Humanoid, Space)
  • Gunsmith (DEX/INT)
  • Interests (varies) (varies)
  • Interrogation (CHA/WIL)
  • Intimidation (BOD/CHA)
  • Jump Packs (INT/RFL)
  • Languages (CHA/INT) (varies, your native tongue is not considered difficult)
  • Leadership (CHA/WIL)
  • Martial Arts (RFL/WIL) (Aikido, Karate, Kung Fu, Military, Tae Kwon Do)
  • MedTech (INT/CHA)
  • Navigation (INT/WIL) (Air, Ground, Jump Drive, Naval, Space)
  • Negotiation (CHA/WIL)
  • Perception (INT/WIL)
  • Piloting (DEX/RFL) (Aero, Aircraft, 'Mech, Hover, Jump, Naval, Quad, Spheroid, Sub, Tracked, VTOL, Wheeled)
  • Pistols (DEX/RFL)
  • Protocol (various, by region)
  • Quickdraw (DEX/RFL)
  • Riding (RFL/WIL)
  • Rifles (DEX/RFL)
  • Running (BOD/RFL)
  • Scrounge (CHA/EDG)
  • Security Systems (DEX/INT)
  • Seduction (CHA/WIL)
  • Sensor Operations (INT/WIL)
  • Shotguns (DEX/RFL)
  • Staffs (DEX/RFL)
  • Stealth (INT/RFL)
  • Strategy (INT/WIL)
  • Streetwise (CHA/WIL) (various, by region)
  • Submachine Guns (DEX/RFL)
  • Support Weapons (BOD/DEX)
  • Surgery (DEX/INT)
  • Survival (BOD/INT)
  • Swimming (BOD/STR)
  • Tactics (INT/WIL) (Air, Ground, Infantry, 'Mech, Naval, Space)
  • Technician (DEX/INT) (Aeronautics, Ballistics, Comms, Electronics, Fusion, ICE, Interplanetary, Jet, Jump Drive, Lasers, Mechanics, Missile, Myomer, Rotor, Support)
  • Throwing Weapons (DEX/STR)
  • Tracking (INT/WIL)
  • Training (CHA/INT)
  • Whips (DEX/RFL)
  • Zero-G Operations (RFL/WIL)
Once you're done buying skills, you just have one thing left: your possessions. If you have the Vehicle trait, you get assigned a 'Mech, aerospace fighter, or something else appropriate from your employers. (There are a LOT of tables for this, and I'm NOT going to retype 'em all here. Besides, some of the things on those tables don't exist yet.)

In addition, you get 1,000 C-bills to buy your initial gear. (If you've got Poverty, you only get 100. If you have Wealth, you get more money; I'll let you know how much, based on the level you end up with.) Equipment and other things you can buy will be in the Technology forum.

The rest is just details from here. Physical description, turning your Life Path into a personal history (assigning names here and there as appropriate), personality, and a name — and you're done.
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