Socialist D20 (D20 Modern Variant Rule)
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Rules for Character Creation
In Soviet D20, we dispense with material things like class and character levels. Socialist D&D uses most rules of DnD 3.5, however, you do not gain "levels", there is no classes, and feats and skills are slightly altered. Instead of gaining levels, players gather experience points that define what their characters are, and most importantly, what they can do. I will include all the rules that govern this system, and how it works.
First thing, first, discuss with your Game Master about wether or not races are included in this type of system. Generally, Races are to be handled like they are in Fourth Edition D&D; i.e; there should be less benefits and restrictions. Choose your ability scores using the rules listed in the section below. Then choose any feats, base attack bonuses, saving throws, movement rates and skills.
Your character's ability scores are determined using whichever dice convention your GM prescribes. Note that unlike other games, advancing an attribute can be an arduous task later - so select well, and be sure of what you want. This is important.
- Kitchen Sink
- Socialist Feats - Human characters start with four. Non-humans should have three, unless explained by the GM otherwise.
- Once more, Human characters start with (8 + Int modifier) ×4 +4 skill points. Again, non-humans should have 4 less points.
- You have 2 points to distribute between the three Saving Throws, Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower.
- You always start with a +1 Base Attack Bonus. This does not apply to damage, remember.
- All characters start with a 10 meter move radius.
- Depending on if the GM allows starting creation points, spend them as you will, using this as a guideline. One point is one point in every instance, such as saving throws, BAB, Damage, Feats, Attributes, etc, save these special ones: Hit Points gain another roll per point spent, Skill Points are on a 1 for 4 basis, and Movement is on a 1 for 10 meter basis. If I remember something later, you'll be the first to know.
- Each class of weapon has it's own skill - no feats required to use. (Though, some feats grant special talents, like strafe, controlled burst, Mozambique, etc) Each class of weapon has it's own attribute, and some have synergy.
- You may use either Str or Cha for Intimidate whichever is higher. Generally, if you use Charisma, it's Seduction. Not a rule, but a suggestion.
- Hit Points
- All Characters roll a 1d20 + constitution bonus. Any points spent for rolls also add their Constitution bonus.
- A Character’s massive damage threshold is equal to his Constitution score. Whenever he takes damage from a single hit that equals or exceeds his current Constitution score, he must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or be reduced to zero hit points and be considered disabled. Some feats and conditions can alter this.
In Socialist RPG, the GM dispenses much needed experience points that allow your character to advance in power. This is totally at his whim, but he should be rewarding players for good role playing, heroics, dramatic successes, and other examples of exceptional play. The GM should also decide for himself how fast the players should advance beforehand, so that they don't become too beefy for the selected setting. Guidelines will follow in each example.
Like the class system, Aristotelian ethics have also been dethroned and exiled. A person is a person, even if they are imaginary, and they make their own choices in the world. Imagine a man is forced to murder an innocent man in order to save his only child. According to classic D&D mythos, this man would plunge irredeemably into the clutches of Chaotic Evil - and then go back to being a peasant dairy farmer with a beautiful daughter. That just doesn't jive with me. Nobody is evil - nobody is good. Saṃsāra is Saṃsāra.
What is the age of the character? How does this effect his views of the world? Is he young and naive, brash and irrational to the fears of a hard and uncaring world? Or is he a greying vet of foreign wars that have spoiled his sense of humanity, and tainted his general outlook on a newer, younger generation? A persons age is very important when it comes to defining a personality. What does this character feel about his or her family? Do they have children, or did they once, long ago? Do they have a husband or wife? Several? None? Never? Widow? How does a character support himself and his lifestyle? His he homeless and destitute? Are they a jet setter? Maybe they are a recently laid off construction worker with a booze habit who lounges about all day and edits D&D Wikis? Everybody has an enemy - not necessarily a Republic serial villain - but a coworker, a slighted trash-man, an ex-wife, the dinosaur you hired for your boys party that you never got around to paying for.Everybody has an enemy, and your character should have one too. What does your character want to do? Does she really want to watch Next Top Model and drink cosmos instead of fighting of giant man eating snakes in the temple of doom? Or does she really want to snag that golden idol and buy an even bigger flatscreen? Domestic or Insane, everyone always has something better to be doing with their time. Is the character a car-bombing Irish Protestant? Do they believe in God and Country? Are they armed with no bigger belief then a bigger gun then the other guy? Maybe the only habit your character has ever known is coke. Some beliefs don't even have to make sense - you might think Joe Pescis' head is the third coming of Zornax the Life Drinker, or something really whacked out like that a movie religion like Jedi is the real deal. Everyone, everywhere, believes something, even if it's a belief of lack of belief. Sometimes, these beliefs go hand in hand with racism and prejudice, mostly because humans are hard wired to always believe they are right - especially when everyone else is wrong. Granted, playing a Klan member at a table could sour an entire game, but a few choice remarks could enhance and deepen a character. Imagine the movie Gran Torino. Speaking of the Church and the Klan, does your character belong to any groups? The Mob? The Free Masons? The NRA? The Screen Writers Guild? Are they excommunicated? Maybe they didn't want them? Maybe the character was recently released from military service for PTSD? Maybe Dan Brown is hunting after you because he thinks you know the real secrets? Perhaps you go to a meeting for rehabilitated axe-murderers? Sometimes, it's hard to find love - wrong place, wrong time, too fat, too ugly, too weird for normal conversation - these people invariably end up with a lot of pets. Pets are a social sliding scale of ones inner oddness - dogs and cats rank way up there on the normal scale, Chinchillas and Echidna possibly mark you as an alternative school dorm rat, snakes label you as an iron maiden fan, and so forth. So, once you got your gun rack, your viscacha, and your beefed up muscle car, you'll need a place to mail your lifetime subscription to Penthouse. What kind of home do you live in? Was it designed by Vault-Tec? Maybe it's a playground of empty beer cans? Maybe a woman actually lives there and the place doesn't reek of year old vomit. Maybe your character is a former Marine and obsesses over the height of his lawn. You know the guy, out at 5 am with a mini-ruler, painstakingly measuring each blade to ensure conformity. Your character could even be a washed up pro Wrestler who lives in a trailer home and frequently worries about being locked out. The home, like the pet, conjures up more about a person then any words could. What was your characters childhood like? Was it a 1950s wonderland of free candy and warm walks through the suburbs? Did it feel like the Wonder-years? Maybe you live in the inner city in a rat entrenched 10x10 room because you only recently fled from a war torn homeland? When your character thinks back about his life, his home, and his formative years, are they the best times of his life? Are they the worst? Is it because his childhood was great, that his future is tarnished? Maybe the character had such a horrible youth, they motivate themselves to do crazy, irrational things to afford a better life for his next generation. The punch drunk boxer, ever terrified of his landlord locking him out, battles in the ring and the court, to try and remain a father to his estranged daughter. Of course, some people in real life are about as interesting as cardboard, so there is no reason that your character should have drama around every corner either.
What hobbies does the character have? Does the character suffer from a curse? A blessing? Do they have a secret patron? What is one incident from the character's past that haunts him? Who is the character's best friend? Where/how did the character learn his/her skills? Why does the character know _______ language? If you could, what advise would you give your character?
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This should help me structure things better. If I can't use that word, I'll just replace it with Atomic Sunrise. Otherwise, I'm going to strive to be as original as possible.
Firearms are contested actions, involving a roll (d20 + skill modifier + ability score modifier) versus a Reflex Saving Throw. Whoever rolls highest determines outcome; miss or hit. Full Round, unperturbed concentration on a target provides a +5 bonus. Supposing the target is unaware of the threat, and isn't altered, instead uses his static Armor Class, minus the usual Dexterity Bonus.
Damage is inflicted on concealment and other obstructions such as people first, armor second, and the target last. Some ammunition can ignore one or more of these. Some weapons can too. Each armor, weapon, item and object has a number of Hit Points, that can be repaired with the right skill. Armor still provides an Armor Class bonus, for the purpose of melee and archaic weapons fire, such as slings and bows.
Skills: Firearms are always supported by a Wisdom attribute. The largest part to firing any weapon is knowing when. This isn't about Dexterity - bullets fly at about 3000 feet per second. This is especially true in close quarters, where it isn't about fast reflexes (which could just as easily get you killed) but rather about sound and timely judgement. If I still haven't swayed you, imagine this. "An intrepid Marine has just come off his landing boat, Thompson in hand. Everyone ahead of him is either dead or trying to add him to the pile. Trudging through wet sand and turbulent waves of blood, he manages to come to short rest on one side of a razor wire nest. Now he must chop through, all under fire. Everywhere there is smoke and fire, the stench of bloody iron, the roar of the Type 90, the crackle of the flamethrowers, the screams of dying men. In his mouth he can taste salt and sand and blood, and he grids himself for the next roll into a Japanese trench. Everywhere now is the shrill twang of Japanese, their mingled cries of surprise. The report of gunfire and the shattering of concrete bulkheads ring in his ears and he bleeds from somewhere, but he doesn't feel pain. His hands fly over the Thompson, plugging body after body with a tangerine sized hole. He looks overhead as the bombers make another pass at those mountain guns..."
Or, in D20 terms, Willpower check after Willpower check after Willpower check. Not many people can withstand that level of mental punishment without first being of sound mind. It may be crude to compare war to a game, but games help us understand the world and ourselves better, and enlighten ourselves to other realties we aren't instantly familiar with. Those men tossed all their skill points into Wisdom, and for good reason. Besides, Profession is Wisdom based, and many veterans, even the ones who don't see combat, often find themselves more then prepared for civilian transition.