Future (4e Sourcebook)/Dungeon Master's Guide
From D&D Wiki
These are notes for Dungeon Masters running a Future campaign.
 Damage Types
|Biohazard Sign by Willy Gregersen, on Flickr|
These damage keywords were chosen to thematically distinguish this sourcebook from the fantasy elements of D&D and GW.
- Compressive - Compression waves in a medium (air or water) that cause damage at certain frequencies or amplitudes. This includes the concussive blasts from explosions or the disorienting effects of sonic weapons. Compressive attacks cannot function in a vacuum.
- Corrosive - Strong acids or bases which can cause chemical burns, in extreme cases dissolving away armor and flesh in seconds.
- Ion - Caused by radiation and particle beams, ion damage can be catastrophic to cellular life and magnetic storage. Armor is often inaffective against Ion attacks.
- Electric - High voltage contacts and beams cause various burns and neurological effects on living creatures, and can fry electrical equipment. They are effective against energy shields. Exotic magnetic attacks might also use this damage type.
- Photon - Lasers, and more futuristic force weapons, use this damage type, and may also be a component of Ion or Electric attacks.
- Physical - The default damage type for all weapon attacks; unarmed strikes, guns, melee weapons and falls.
- Psychic - Bone fide psionic attacks to the mind, and effects that cause mental fatigue, confusion and other neurocognitive damage.
- Thermal - This covers both extremes of thermodynamic energy. Examples include explosions, freezing rays, fire and flamethrowers or extreme wind chill. These are grouped together since if a piece of technology or a trait is insulating you from one, you will be protected from the other. Note that this is separate from the issues of surviving in hot or cold environments.
- Toxic - Attacks that deliberately upset the functions of living organisms - diseases, poisons, mutagens. Artificial creatures such as robots are rarely effected by toxic damage.
 Power Sources
Only three power sources are needed for Powers in Future:
- Fusion - This is the assumed power source for all futuristic technology, providing high energy output in a compact form with clean emissions. It is used for all Powers that have a technological theme, from laser guns and power fists, to tanks and battle armor.
- Bio - Mutants, aliens and dangerous animals use this power source for their natural attacks and powers, drawing from the creatures own internal energy.
- Psi - Powers accessed through the mind: psychic interrogation, pyrokinesis, telepathy, and other weird effects draw from this extra-dimensional source.
 Creature Origin, Types and Keywords
Replacing the humanoid, beast, magical beast and animate Types from D&D, Future creatures have one of:
- Animates are things that aren't animals but move around anyway - mostly plants or robots. They don't need to breathe, eat or sleep.
- Beasts are ordinary animals, or something close to them. Beasts that have Intelligence scores of 3 or lower act instinctively. Those that have Intelligence scores of 4 or higher approach (or exceed) human intelligence. But they still might eat you.
- Humanoids are usually bipedal, intelligent tool-users. They're people, more or less.
Replacing aberrant, nature, immortal, shadow, fey and elemental Origins, Future creatures have one of:
Creatures may also have a keyword:
- Robot (animate)
- Reptile (beast)
- Insect (beast)
- Plant (animate)
 Difficulty Classes
Skills can be checked against an easy, moderate or hard DC.
- Easy DCs are equal to level + 8
- Moderate DCs are equal to level + 12
- Hard DCs are equal to level + 16
Future uses a generic unit of currency - the credit. It is assumed that all characters have an account to which they can deposit and withdraw credits at-will as a minor action. A character's credit card can only be used by it's owner. Physical tokens might be found of any value, are formed from pure energy, have zero weight, and do not have ownership. A credit card can create or absorb tokens which debits or credits the associated account accordingly. Tokens do not have any game effect other than for monetary transactions.
The purchasing cost of mundane items scales with XP and level - refer to the "Experience Point Rewards" chart of the DMG p. 120. Each piece of mundane equipment has a level from 1 to 10 representing its availability, and has a classification of "simple", "average", "advanced" or "specialist".
- Simple equipment has only minor or routine benefits, and use costs for Minions.
- Examples: timepieces, meals, small fusion cells, clothing, weapon mods with a minor benefit.
- Average equipment has a single, moderate benefit, and use costs for Standard creatures.
- Examples: kits that provide a skill bonus to specific tasks, weekly rental of a small location or single-person vehicle, ammunition cache for weapons of equal level, weapon mods that grant a property
- Advanced equipment has a single, good benefit or several minor benefits, and use costs for Elite creatures.
- Examples: weekly rental of a medium location or vehicle, weapon mods that grant an alpha strike.
- Specialist equipment has multiple good benefits, and use costs for Solo creatures.
- Examples: weekly rental of a location or vehicle with special functions, kits that provide a broad skill bonus, weapon mods that cause ongoing damage or conditions on an alpha strike or that have encounter powers.
Purchasing equipment of a level greater than the PC trying to aquire it requires a skill check. Each potential source has an associated skill, and the DC depends on the relative level of the item.
- Conspiracy - Governmental or corporate sources.
- Interaction - Black market or other hidden civilian sources.
- Perception - Extensive searching through normal channels may be fortuitous.
- Science - Educational sources, or sources accessed through computer networks.
- Stealth - Stealing the item from a private owner, expending an amount of resources equal to the item's value.
- Mechanics - Constructing the item yourself.
- Player's level + 1 - Easy DC
- Player's level + 2 - Moderate DC
- Player's level + 3 - Hard DC
The PC may only attempt to aquire one piece of equipment per day with this method, and can only make one skill roll per attempt.
- Success: The PC can pay the normal amount of credits to gain the item.
- Failure: The item is not available. Other PCs may not attempt to acquire that item using that skill on that day.
- Failure by more than 5: The item is not available, and no more attempts to acquire any item with any skill can be made that day.
 Treasure Parcels
A treasure parcel might be:
- Credits equal to the XP value of a standard creature of level equal to the encounter level. Example: A level 2 encounter yields tokens totalling 125 credits.
- An ammunition cache. These should be awarded once every 2 to 4 encounters (that is, they are given about 3 times before the PCs level up.)
- A Prototype.
As with D&D treasure parcels, however, an encounter may give no reward whilst others will have several parcels grouped together.
Future vehicles are assumed to use fusion power cells that provide non-stop power for years. Specific settings might have a resource used for certain modes of transport, such as faster-than-light jumps.
For the most part, vehicles use the same rules as characters and their equipment, though variations are described below. In the material that follows, the term occupant refers to any creature in a vehicle. The driver is the operator of the vehicle. Passenger refers to all other occupants who are not the driver.
Hit Points: A vehicle reduced to 0 hit points is disabled. It cannot be operated until it is repaired. If a vehicle’s hit points drop to its bloodied value expressed as a negative number, the vehicle is destroyed.
Size and Space: Vehicles break the general rules about space occupied with respect to size category. Vehicles cannot squeeze.
Vehicle Immunities: Vehicles are immune to necrotic damage, poison damage, and psychic damage, as well attacks that target Will.
Vehicle Resistances: Vehicles have resist 10 cold and resist 10 sonic. They have resist 5 physical against all weapons except guns.
Speed: Overland speed is set by the Game Master, and it is based on terrain. A good guideline for a ground-based vehicle is 45 mph average, with a top speed of 60 mph in clear terrain. The speed given in a statistics block below is the speed the vehicle can move in squares.
Load: This entry in a vehicle’s statistics block specifies the number of passengers and pounds of cargo the vehicle can carry.
Out of Control: If the driver loses control of the vehicle, this entry describes what happens.
Initiative: Vehicles are equipment used by characters. A driver uses the vehicle on his or her turn.
Opportunity Attacks: Vehicles do not provoke opportunity attacks.
 Ground Vehicles
Terrain for vehicles is treated much like terrain for characters.
Difficult Terrain: Entering a square of difficult terrain costs a vehicle 1 extra square of movement. Examples: Shallow water, uneven ground, deep snow.
Blocking Terrain: Blocking terrain blocks line of sight from inside the vehicle and prevents movement. Examples: Large compact piles of rubble, cement barriers, buildings.
Challenging Terrain: When a vehicle enters squares of challenging terrain, the driver must succeed on Mechanics checks defined by the Game Master. Examples: Large patches of ice, oil slicks.
Hindering Terrain: As it does with creatures, hindering terrain punishes movement. Examples: Caltrops, spike strips.
 In Encounters
The following rules detail how vehicles operate in combat encounters.
Entering or Exiting the Vehicle: Creatures get in and out of a vehicle by using a move action.
Space: Occupants occupy their space inside a vehicle's space. Normal vehicles provide only enough space for Medium creatures within their cabs. An occupant's attacks originate from the square in which the occupant is located in the vehicle.
Actions: A vehicle does not have actions. If the driver of the vehicle loses control, the vehicle continues to move at the end of each of the driver’s turns.
Driver Actions: Each round, the driver must use a move action to direct the vehicle. Regardless of how many actions a driver has, he or she can use only one move action to move the vehicle in a round. A driver can use a standard action to attack while driving. If the driver doesn’t use an action, the vehicle goes out of control.
Speed: A vehicle moves up to its speed when a driver uses a move action to drive the vehicle.
Passenger Actions: Passengers can use their move actions to move within (or on) a vehicle. Passengers adjacent to the driver can use a move action to control the vehicle, but attack rolls and skill checks made while exerting this control take a –2 penalty.
Moving Around on a Moving Vehicle: The top of a moving vehicle is challenging terrain. To move around on top of a moving vehicle, a creature must succeed on an Acrobatics check or an Athletics check as determined by the Game Master. If a creature falls off the vehicle, it can make a saving throw to see if it can hang on to the edge of the vehicle.
Targeting a Vehicle and Its Occupants: Even though they occupy the same spaces, vehicles and occupants are targeted separately with melee and ranged attacks. However, area and close attacks can hit a vehicle and its occupants at the same time.
Forced Movement: If a vehicle is pulled, pushed, or slid, the occupants move with it. If such movement forces a creature out of a vehicle, it can make a saving throw. Failure indicates that the creature is ejected from the vehicle and takes damage.
Running Down Enemies: The driver moves the vehicle into the target enemy’s space. The enemy receives a saving throw. Success indicates that the enemy dives out of the way and falls prone in a square adjacent to the vehicle. Failure results in the enemy falling prone and taking damage.
Running into Blocking Terrain: Any time a vehicle is moved or forced against blocking terrain, the driver can make a saving throw. Success indicates the vehicle barely misses the blocking terrain. The vehicle might just skim past the blocking terrain if there's room to get around, or it might skid to a stop in front of the terrain. Failing the saving throw means that the vehicle crashes.
Crashing: Vehicles can crash for a number of reasons and in a multitude of different situations. How much damage a vehicle and its occupants take when crashing is up to the Game Master.
Repairing Vehicles: A vehicle that still has hit points remaining can be repaired to full hit points in about an hour, given the right tools (it may not look pristine, but it will operate). The Game Master might require a moderate difficulty Mechanics check for every 40 points of repairs required. Otherwise, if the right tools are available, the Game Master might rule that a damaged vehicle is simply repaired when characters heal up between encounters. A vehicle that has been disabled requires greater repair times (and perhaps a quest to secure a new transmission), as determined by the Game Master (as a quick rule of thumb, consider the DC based on vehicle size).
 Vehicle Damage
Damage taken during crashes or by being ejected from or run down by vehicles can vary wildly. Vehicle speed, surrounding terrain, and other factors can affect such situations. Game Masters should use their judgment when assigning damage in these situations. The following are some basic rules of thumb.
- Fender Bender: 2d6 physical damage to vehicle; 1d6 to occupants.
- Mid-Speed Crash: 4d6 physical damage to vehicle; 3d6 to occupants.
- High-Speed Crash: 6d10 physical damage to vehicle; 4d10 to occupants.
- Ejected from a Slow-Moving Vehicle: Creature takes 2d8 physical damage and falls prone.
- Ejected from a Fast-Moving Vehicle: Creature takes 5d8 physical damage and falls prone.
- Being Run Over: Creature takes 2d8 physical damage per size category of the vehicle (2d8
for Large, 4d8 for Huge, 6d8 for Gargantuan).
 Vehicle Critical Hits
If you score a critical hit against a vehicle, apply any extra damage, if provided, but ignore the additional effects provided by your character origins. Instead, roll on the following table.
|1|| One of the vehicle's tyres/retrorockets blows out. The vehicle takes a –2 penalty
to speed. This penalty is cumulative with additional blown treads.
|2||The driver of the target vehicle bounces its head off whatever is in front of it. The driver is dazed until the end of your next turn.|
|3||The driver of the target vehicle jerks the steering wheel violently. Each occupant of the target vehicle takes 1d8 physical damage.|
|4||A small explosion rocks the vehicle. All occupants take a –2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.|
|5||The vehicle swerves as the driver loses control temporarily. The vehicle grants combat advantage until the end of your next turn.|
|6||The vehicle swerves wildly. You slide the vehicle up to 3 squares.|