View Full Version : Galactic [Setting]

2008-01-28, 11:16 PM
I have been wanting to put together this mega-post and share my sci-fi setting with those of you out there that might be interested. Its a compilation of years of work steadily building on my original premise and many rewrites.

Back when I started working on Galactic, I don't think D20 modern was even released yet. What I wanted was a sci-fi setting that incorporated my own original ideas, stuff 'borrowed' (ok, outright stolen) from Star Wars, Master of Orion, Babylon 5, and other sources.

Now, over the past year I have taken a good look at my mish-mash of rules, races, items, classes, etc and finally decided to rework everything from the ground up for originality and playability. Of course some of my influence is still
heavily evident, but I hope you'll find this setting as flavorful as my players have.

With that intro out of the way, I will begin with posting my four customized classes.

Soldiers are masters of warfare. They begin with access to all weapon and armor types. Soldiers typically focus on fighting with ranged weapons and hand-to-hand combat. While they may take special training allowing them to fly combat vessels, soldiers are more akin to marines and police officers then fighter pilots. Soldiers benefit from high strength and constitution scores. Some heavy weapons require a minimum strength score to wield. A moderate dexterity score could help some soldiers depending on the types of armor they wear and their feat selection. Soldiers also get access to exclusive feats, or higher levels of feats (IE Superior Weapon Focus). Any balanced adventuring group will find itself in need of an experienced soldiers abilities.

Soldiers advance as 3e fighters as far as saves, AB, Etc. It should be noted that to keep Strength as a viable ability score since most modern weapons are ranged, I have assigned minimum strength requirements to the best weapons in the game.


Rogue characters are the smugglers, thieves, scoundrels and pilots of the galaxy. Rogues begin proficient in light armors and simple and martial weapons. Rogues benefit from both a high dexterity as well as a high intelligence score to increase their ranks in their skills. Rogues get access to the Hacking scientist skill as a class skill.

Much like Soldiers, rogues are basically the same as the d20 version.


Access to scientist feats and skills. Can only use simple weapons and light armor. These characters are highly useful in a world with security cameras, automated gun turrets, and other technology.
Scientists often make their way as doctors, computer hackers, droid creators, and a variety of other technical professions. A scientist is not to be underestimated. Though weak in combat related skills, they have access to many skills and feats that are exclusive to their kind.

And here is my first really new class. I wanted someone that could specialize as a healer for the group, but since magical clerics don't exactly fit I invented this class. They get some special class skills and feats that let them create implants, hi-tech devices (mad scientist, anyone?), droids, and perform surgery.

They advance essentially as wizards for HD, BaB, Saves, etc. Their real flavor comes from feats and skills.



Sometimes referred to as ‘teeps’, a telepaths strength comes from their mind and the powers that lie therein. While scientists often hail telepaths as an evolution, they are normally greeted with fear and apprehension. Thus, all of the major civilizations have strict rules regarding teeps. Sol, the human empire, is perhaps the best example. Once it became clear telepathic abilites were cropping up in surprisingly large numbers, the PsiCorps was formed. Created to enforce the Telepathic Charter laid down by the government, the PsiCorps consists of two major wings. The first, is the government branch that deals with the control, tracking, and finding of telepathic individuals. No telepaths are allowed within Sol territory unless they are in the PsiCorps or similar agency. The enforcement of the Charter falls to the government branch. All telepaths are required to submit to yearly telepathic reviews, in which their minds are probed, to ensure no wrong-doing.

The commercial branch, are government-sponsored institutions where telepaths are hired out to business’s to ensure the sincerity of dealings. These telepaths are allowed surface scans only to detect a clients thoughts, and relay this information to both parties involved in the agreement.

No telepaths are to use their abilities without written consent of their subjects. Teeps not willing to participate in the PsiCorps must still be registered, and must have monthly injections of special anti-telepathic drugs administered by a government official.

Hit Die—d6
Telepaths cannot multi-class
Starting Skill Points: (4+int modifier) *4
Skill Points Per Level: 4+int modifier
Starting gc: 3d4*100

{table] Level|BaB|Fort|Ref|Will

Telepaths are meant to be darn scary. One thing for any GM to never forget however, is that that the RP element is meant to be a DETRIMENT to the class! If a player chooses this class, they will either have a government body to answer to if they violate any laws concerning the use of their abilities, or have said governments hunting them down.

Next up, is feats and skills. These are only the ones I have specially created, players can utilize anything that 'makes sense' from the core rulebooks or d20 modern.

{table] Skill|Class|Ability
First Aid|All|Wisdom
Craft: High Tech Device|Sc|Int
Craft: Weapon,Armor|All|Int
Skill Descriptions

Fly: This is gives the player the ability to fly basic non-combat aircraft. More points into this skill give the player a better chance at executing difficult manuevers. This skill does not apply directly to combat vehicles. A tank, space fighter, or battleship is far different from a consumer model hovercar or freighter. However, the Combat Flying or Combat Driving feats, allow the use of this skill when performing certain combat-related maneuvers.

Drive: Same as the fly skill, except it is for ground-based (or hovering) vehicles.

Hacking: This skill is useful for many things involving computers. From messing with station life support to obtaining free travel tickets, this skill is a wise choice for this technological age.

Repair: This is useful for repairing anything from a broken computer console to a damaged stardrive. For feild repairs (IE repairs on the fly with limited resources) standard DC10 to repair HPs (like armor structural integrity) by 10%, and attempting to repair it more raises the DC. You can only do these repairs once until the ship is fully repaired at a dock. Repairing individual parts like the engines or a disabled weapon will require different DC checks. Doing a 'hack' repair job might mean a lower DC but the repaired item will only last a few rounds longer, doing better jobs will increase DC. 1dc pt increase will increase the repair effect by 2%.

First Aid: Skill in first aid allows the use of first aid medkits and the ability to attempt to stablize bleeding.

Surgery: This skill can be used to heal another person who has been critically injured, such as re-attaching limbs or replacing organs. Surgery can also replace the first aid skill for scientists. This skill is also used in conjunction with the implant feat. Using this skill for anything other then first aid incurs a -4 penalty when practiced on a member of a different species.

Craft High-tech device: This skill is used by scientists to craft new items not already available or that take a high degree of knowledge to create. This would include powered armor, new advanced weapons, a new type of stardrive, etc. It’s also used to create implants used by surgeons to install into the body.

Craft Weapons/Armor: These skills can be used to create mundane weapons and armor that are already widely available. This does NOT include powered armor, sentry guns, and other devices that would be considered high-tech.

Telepath Skills:

{table] Skill|Ability
Surface Scan|Wis
Deep Scan|W
Modify Memory|Cha
Track Mind|W
Sense Mind|W
Quiet Mind|W[/table]

Skill descriptions
Surface Scan

Gives the Telepath a mental image of what the subject is currently thinking at that moment. I successful scan can give a +4 bonus to initiative. Line of sight is required, and at a distance of no more then 100 feet.


Telepath can burrow into a subjects mind to look at prominent thoughts, concerns, and information. Line of sight and a distance of no less then 10 feet is required. The target will be aware of exactly who is using the probe, and where they are.

Deep Scan

Telepath can look for specific information. This is very painful. Target must make a fort save or take 1d6 damage/3 levels (up to 10d6). A telepath using this skill can negate the damaging effects if they wish, and the target will pass out instead. Line of sight and a distance of no less then 10 feet is required. The target will be aware of exactly who is using the probe, and where they are.


Influence abilities are perhaps the most well-known and documented of the teep powers. A telepath can do several things with this skill, listed below, with the minimum requirements to use them.

Distract “What was that sound?” Causes the target to temporarily become confused for one round. They will be less alert during this time, and receive a –5 penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and skill checks. This cannot be used on the same target more then once in an hour. Requires 2 skill ranks.

Reaction “Fine, I’m not THAT angry I guess.” Cannot be used on a target more then once in a 24 hour period. Cannot be used during combat. Target can become one step closer to either being angry or nice. Note that reaction changes are not necessarily permanent. Eventually that Bulrathi will remember why he hates Mrshraan. Requires 4 skill ranks

Fear Target flees for 1d4+1 rounds Cannot be used more then once in an hour on the same target. Requires 8 skill ranks

Attack ally Target attacks closest ally for 1d4 rounds. Cannot be used on same target more then once in 24 hours. Target will know who influenced them. Requires 12 skill ranks.

Suicide The target will attempt suicide, if possible. Cannot be used on a target more then once in a 24hour period. Target will be aware of any attempt at using this ability against them. Must have line of sight. Requires 16 skill ranks.

Non-combat action “Pushing this button suddenly seems a good idea” Target will attempt to carry out a non-combat action. A –5 skill check penalty will be incurred if the action will obviously cause damage to the target or its comanions. Cannot be used to cause death. Requires 10 skill ranks

Influence Decisions “These are not the droids you are looking for” This ability can be used to change affect a persons decision making process. Often best used after a successful reaction attempt. This cannot be used during combat. Cannot be used to cause someone to take a physical action. Requires 6 skill ranks.

Mod Memory

Temporary loss “Its coming back to me…” Target will forget a name, event, objective, or place for 1d4+1 hours. Cannot be used more then once a day on the same target. Requires line of sight, and a distance of 100 feet or less. Requires 2 skill ranks.

Permamnent loss “I have no clue who you are, stop saying you’re my mom.” Requires line of sight, and distance of 10 feet or less. Target must have been the subject of a successful deep scan beforehand. Cannot be broadcast. Requires 15 skill ranks.

Implant minor memory “Yeah, I saw them go that way.” Requires line of sight, and a distance of 100 feet or less. Lasts 1 hour. Cannot be used more then once on the same target in a 24 hour period. Cannot be broadcast. Requires 10 skill ranks.

Implant major memory “I recall you! You killed Pa!” Requires line of sight, distance of 10 feet or less, and a successful Deep Scan prior to the memory modification. Cannot be used more then once in a 48 hour period. Cannot be broadcast. Requires 18 skill ranks.


Broadcast can be used to send thoughts to all persons within a certain area. DC is 10 +2 per each person beyond the first. Broadcast can also be used with Influence skills at +3dc per extra person, no check is necessary to send a message to a Linked mind.


Can send a short message into the targets mind. Target will be aware of who sends the message.
{table]30 yards |Requires 2 skill ranks
100 yards|Requires 6 skill ranks
10 miles|Requires 10 skill ranks
100 miles|Requires 14 skill ranks
Anywhere|Requires 18 skill ranks[/table]

Track Mind

Implants a psychic beacon into a mind. A telepath will always know the subjects general location. Lasts 1hour/level. Requires line of site to set the beacon. Can only be placed on one subject at a time.


A telepath can attempt to block the intrusions of another telepath either into their own mind, or the minds of others. An opposed skill check of the defenders Block roll against the attackers skill roll for the ability they are using. This is not a passive ability, and takes the place of the defenders other attack or defensive actions for the round. This ability can be used with Broadcast to protect against other broadcasted attacks, with a opposed skill check for each defended mind.

Defending against Telepaths

A person receives a defensive bonus to their will save of +10 when defending against telepathic intrusions.


Weapon Focus/Improved/Superior

Weapon Focus gives you a +1 attack bonus with a particular type of weapon, such as pistols or rifles, and is available to all classes. It does not apply to vehicle weapons or guided weapons.
Improved Weapon Focus Requires +4 to BAB gives an additional +1 and is available to Soldiers and Rogues.
Superior Weapon Focus Requires +8 to BAB gives another +1 bonus to attack, and is available only to Soldiers.

Combat Flying/Improved

A person with this feat is skilled in using aerial vehicles in combat. This feat is necessary to use the vehicles, because they are far more powerful, maneuverable, and advanced then commercial craft. This is available to all classes.
Improved Combat Flying gives a pilot +1 to armor class, or a gunner +1 to attack rolls. If the vessel only requires one person to fly and attack, then they receive both bonuses. Available only to Rogues and Soldiers.

Combat Driving/Improved

Same as with flying. A person must be skilled with ground combat vehicles for the same reason.

Dual- wield/Improved Requires dexterity 16

This skill allows a person to use 2 one-handed weapons in combat such as pistols or knives. Using dual weapons without this feat normally imposes a –6 attack penalty. With this feat the penalty is reduced to –4. It is available to Rogues, and Soldiers.
Improved Dual-wield reduced the penalty to –2 and is available to Rogues and Soldiers.
Superior Dual-wield removes the penalties entirely, and is available to Rogues and Soldiers.

Create Droid:

A scientist with this Feat can create a droid. Creating a useful droid is more then simply putting together servos and sensors but involves the careful crafting of custom AI programs that control the droids actions. The cost of creating a droid is 1/25th in XP of the droid models retail value and costs a number of credits equal to half of the retail value. When initially created all Droids will have standard programming that limits their actions, this includes behavior inhibitors that keep the droids obedient. Without occasional memory wipes however, a droid is capable of overcoming this programming and turning independent. All droids created in this method begin at level 0. Additional class levels for the droid increase the XP cost by 1/25 per level and cost by 10% per level. A droids class levels cannot exceed their creators. These class levels can only be added at the time of the droids creation.


Reduces the penalty for using the surgery skill on a different species.


A scientist with this feat can attempt the installation, removal, or repair of a bionic implant. Doing so requires a successful surgery roll vs a DC determined by the type of implant being attempted. Failing a check by 5 or less destroys the implant and the surgery is unsuccessful. Failing by more then 5 destroys the implant and the subject begins to bleed out, requiring surgery to stem the flow. The subject will bleed for 5 rounds before death. The DC to stop the bleeding is equal to the implant DC that was attempted. Only one implant can be introduced in a 30-day period. After an implant has been removed, further implants of the same type increase the DC by 5.

Ace Pilot
Pre-requisites: Combat Flying

When a character takes this feat they may roll an opposed piloting skill check to gain advantage immediately after a successful maneuver to lose a disadvantage.

2008-01-28, 11:19 PM

Racial Abilities: +2 skill points/level, extra feat at level 1

The race of man has both a distant and faded history. Humans were considered a lesser species when the Elder races encountered them, and thus were ignored. Had they realized the ingenuity of mankind perhaps they would have intervened before the humans had discovered faster then light space travel and began their expansion into the galaxy. By the time the Volurians turned their attentions back to the species it was too late. After years of warring amongst themselves they had developed large fleets of warships that, although unable to match the technology of the more advanced Elder race, were nonetheless numerous enough to prove dangerous. Volurian agents were sent to undermine the Sol empires government but proved unsuccessful with the first appearance of telepaths in the human race.

Sol was already aware of the presence of intelligent life, having limited contact with the Psilons. They were aware of the state of warfare between the two Elder races but thus far had far too embroiled in their own internal political schemes to be concerned. It wasn’t until the Volurian agents were uncovered that the general public became aware of how real the situation in the galaxy was and the Humans could no longer remain isolationists. Soon after they had contacted most of the younger species enslaved by the Volurians and a period of espionage began. Although the technology of the Volurians still outclasses that available today, the humans knew they were hard pressed to control their slave races while fighting a never ending war against the Cordozid. Thus began the War of Liberation.

Humans are a varied lot in appearance and demeanor. They are an adaptable species that can be found throughout the galaxy in a variety of roles from diplomats, traders, and pirates. Their culture is a mixing pot of ethnicity and religion that has spread from their home system of Sol and individual colonies that were left to their own devices in the years following the Liberation.

Cheal (Shell)

Racial Abilities: +2 intelligence, +2 wisdom, -2 strength,
-1 dexterity, -1 constitution

The Cheal are one of the former slave races. They were found at an early stage of development by the Volurians, who were impressed by their amazing reasoning skills. After many years of genetic and social experimentation by the Volurians, they were officially enslaved and put to work developing new weapons.

Much of their work was lost during the Liberation. The Elder races fought with a scorched system policy, and destroyed every lab and outpost that was used in technological development. Silus, the Cheal homeworld was under seige by the Volurians when a human fleet arrived and intervened. This was the official beginning of the Sol Empire’s entrance into the War of Liberation and no Cheal will ever forget the massive sacrifices the humans made in their defense.

Cheal can be found throughout the galaxy. They are most commonly in pursuit of research as scientists although many of them see success in business, accounting, and medical professions.

Culturally the Cheal society revolves around knowledge. Advanced mathematics are taught at an early stage of childhood and education is non-stop even into adulthood. It is common for most Cheal to attend colleges and universities for their entire lives.

Their central government is based on a democratic model, however instead of political parties candidates for presidency are chosen by colleges and universities. All candidates must pass a series of tests to evaluate their political skills and intelligence before getting their names on a ballot.

Cheal also have a somewhat fanatical devotion to a game called sokatta, which bears resemblance to the human game of chess. Tens of thousands of Cheal will gather in special arenas to watch sokatta competitions, and billions will watch on viewscreens throughout their empire.

Physically Cheal are the most similar in appearance to humans. Their skin is typically a pale white or light blue in color and they are noticeable skinnier. Males are always bald but females have silvery hair that turns to a flat grey as they age. Their heads are slightly elongated with short noses and wide eyes that are solid black.

Lethyl (Leth-eel)

Racial Abilities: Stats as per Droid model. Immune to Hacking. Vulnerable to telepathic abilities.

The Lethyl were a slave race of the Cordozids. In the beginning they were free of the mechanical suits they now wear. Lethyl are intelligent and industrious, and were used to construct warships and starbases throughout the galaxy.

When the Elder races were losing the War of Liberation, they destroyed Lethyl facilities, rather then allow the usurpers to use them. As a last ditch effort to keep them out of enemy hands, the Elders turned to biological weapons, and dropped these on every Lethyl colony they could.

The Lethyl, stricken by the horrible weapons, nearly died out. They were forced to develop mechanical suits to support their bodies. After many years, the Lethyls developed these suits to a point where they had no need to leave them.

The Lethyl homeworld is no longer habitable, but they have been constructing massive, moon sized stations in their system. The technology to build and maintain these massive constructs in their most prized secret.

They have built several other stations, though not so large, in uninhabitable systems, mining the local planets for resources.

Lethyls are the size of humans when in their mechanical suits. They come in a variety of styles, mainly bipedal. There are a variety of styles, and some Lethyl do change their suits depending on their task, though few can afford to have more then one.

All Lethyl are given a basic suit by their government. Better models have to be purchased or built.

Lethyl are not to be confused with droids, even though they have many of the same abilites. For one, Lethyl have ability score adjustments if they leave their mechanical suits. Any Lethyl leaving his suit immediately has his strength and constitution reduced to 3. Their dexterity is reduced to 5.

Most Lethyl continually upgrade and refine their suits throughout their lives. A base Lethyl suit provided from the government allows them mobility and life support. A Lethyl inside his suit does not need any additional life support, and these specialized suits will protect them from all but the most hostile environments.

As a Lethyls brain is wired into their mechanical suits, any damage suffered by the suit is felt by them, therefore if a suit reaches 0 hps and dies, so does the Lethyl.

A Lethyl cannot survive more then 2 hours outside their protective suits. Their bodies have become so reliant on life support, they need it to survive. Every hour past 2 that they spend outside requires a constitution check vs DC10+1/hour.

It is impossible to use a hacking skill attempt against a Lethyl. They are vulnerable to telepathic abilities.

Lethyl can graft armor to their bodies as well as weapons and tools, in the same manner as droids. Unlike Droids, however, a Lethyls suit is limited to two arms/legs.

A Lethyl also has 2 sets of HPs, the first is calculated as normal, the second is the Lethyls HPs when outside of the suit. Outside, their HPs are always 1/4 of their base HPs.

The actual population of surviving Lethyl is unknown. Much of their occupied territory is ran with droids programmed to carry out activities such as mining and farming. Lethyl are major exporters of agricultural products and electronics, but in turn require large amounts of ore to sustain their infrastructure. Lethyl, while not particularly common, can be found outside of their empire making their way most often as mechanics and programmers.

Lethyl are fairly small creatures. Outside of their mechanical suits they only stand roughly 4ft tall. They have wiry limbs and wedge shaped heads on long necks. Most are covered in scars, sores, and a variety of physical mutations that still plague the species today.

Vohlg (Vo-ulg)

Racial Abilities: +3 Strength, +3 Constitution, -3 Charisma,
-2 Intelligence, -1 Wisdom

A powerful race genetically altered and culturally engineered for war. These powerful warlike creatures were found by the Cordozids and used as assault troops. Little did the Cordozids know that the Vohlg would strike back at their masters during the War of Liberation. The Vohlg escaped much of the scorched system policy of the faltering Elder Races, and this has helped them recover the quickest.

The Vohlg were the last species enslaved by the Elder races to join the resistance, only turning on their former masters near the end when it became clear they would not be the victors. Many of the other kingdoms have a distinct mistrust of Vohlg as they fought against them for many years during the War of Liberation

Every native born Vohlg is entered into the military, no exceptions. Leaders are selected by accomplishments and experience. Most Vohlg will fight to the death, though will retreat when necessary. Most avoid capture, preferring to fight, but there is deemed to be no dishonor in giving ones self up to impossible odds.

While most Vohlg are part of the empire, there are some colonies and individuals that do not wish to take part in this systematic conquest, and take up jobs as mercenaries.

Vohlg stand between 7 and 9 feet tall. They are heavly muscled and their skin has a leathery gray appearance. They have broad wide jaws with an underbite that exposes large fangs. A Vohlg can bite for 1d4 damage. Vohlg are hairless, and normally covered in tattoos that represent their homeworlds, clans, and any traning or battles they may have participated in. All Vohlg are given a barcode tattoo at birth that is unique to each Vohlg.

Anjiri (An-jeer-e)

Racial Abilities: -2 strength +4 dexterity, -2 constitution, -2charisma, Glide, Ambidexterity.

The proud Anjiri empire once spanned a great distance. While enslaved by the Cordozids they formed the vangaurd of the fleet. The Elder race found their natural flying ability extended to the cockpit and this exceptional ability is probably what saved them from being exterminated out of hand.

Anjiri are a proud species. They joined the resistance despite the impossible odds early in the war and their species endured the worst of the devastation. The Volgh, while still under the influence of the Cordozids were sent to occupy the Anjiri worlds and force them into submission. Anjiri forces fought on even as the Volgh systematically committed genocide on their families and homeworld.

This prideful streak comes from a strict code of honor. Anjiri never back down from a challenge as fear is dishonorable in their society. Males are especially territorial and will often squabble over females. Anjiri have a somewhat medieval society and are ruled by an emperor, called the Kreer in their language.

Anjiri always take great pride in whatever occupation the choose, whether serving as guardian for their leige or a common street cleaner, and they attempt to respect others until they prove they aren’t deserving. Outside of their territory Anjiri can be encountered as freelance pilots, sports racers, or even artists.

Anjiri are short of stature, barely reaching 5 feet in height. They are very lightweight creatures, with hollow bones and skinny bodies. Their heads are narrow and beaked, males sport a large brightly colored plume of feathers on top of their heads. Their backs, including their arms and legs are covered in feathers, and their chests are pale and leathery in texture. Their long spindly arms sport a flap of skin that allows Anjiri to glide through the air. Anjiri cities are built to accommodate this ability.


Racial Abilities: –2 strength,-2 constitution, +1 intellegence,+2 charisma, +1 dexterity, +2d4*100starting money

Infamous galactic traders the Orn are always in search of the ‘ultimate deal’. Its said an Orn will put a price on anything if someone is willing to pay for it, then convince them to buy two. Orn barely escaped genocide under the rule of the Elder races that had no use for their skills. Only their wits and unconquerable spirit kept them alive.
Orn are excitable creatures with an insatiable curiosity only outdone by their love for profit. They engage everyone equally free of prejudice and are willing to help others, for a price. Orn form large social networks, surrounding themselves with colleagues, friends, and family. If an Orn salesman doesn’t have what you need, he knows someone who does.

Orn society is based on profit. The more money you have the more prestige you gain. Oddly enough, their government leadership swears off profit and work for a fixed salary. This is to help them maintain a measure of fair business practice. The Orn governing body is referred to as the House of Corporations with representatives of the largest corporations and agencies inside Orn space each taking a seat. They are overseen by seven Chairmen of the House who directly have the ear of the Grand Chairman.

The Orn themselves are a diminutive species. Their skin is a deep blue or green in color and their furry heads barely top four feet. They have a pair of large, cavernous ears that they enjoy having scratched. The rest of their body is hairless and they typically dress is the latest business fashion, an Orn without a suit is an Orn without a home.

Skrrn (Skurn)

Racial Abilities: –1strength, +3 dexterity,+2 constition,-3 wisdom,
-1 intelligence

The Skrrn are a species as varied in attitude and demeanor as humans. Their empire is comprised of allied territories that squabble with one another, although they will band together tightly if threatened by outside forces. Skrrn aren’t known as the galaxies most fearsome enemies, they will more often then not turn tail and run to fight another day then become involved in a prolonged engagement.

Curiosity is another major trait the Skrrn possess an abundance of. Skrrn often end up getting themselves into trouble while traveling and they seem to have a rather carefree view of others possessions. Outside of their territory they are notorious smugglers, and the Skrrn territories have come into conflict with the other empires over illegal ‘imports’.

Skrrn can often be found traveling with a variety of companions, but the Orn seem to be natural allies as long as they don’t mind sometimes crossing the boundaries of law. Under the rule of the Volurians and were used as skirmishers against the Anjiri and Volhg slaves of the Cordozids. It is a well known fact that the famous Grrgrr Gwar single-handedly infiltrated and destroyed the Volurian mothership at the cost of his own life. Every Skrrn claims they are distant relatives of Grrgrr and will regale anyone willing to listen of his adventures during the War of Liberation. It is common for Skrrn to engage in tests of one-upmanship in telling tales of their own exploits when encountering other adventuring Skrrn. These friendly quarrels frequently come to blows but seldom anything serious.

Skrrn are social creatures but seldom stay put in one place. Most Skrrn posess a wide variety of trade skills they learn as they travel. They take mates for a time but do not have a belief in marriage or mating for life. Young Skrrn are set loose at a relatively young age that would shock most cultures, but all Skrrn have a parental instinct to keep their young safe from harm.
Physically Skrrn vary in height much as humans, but they are lithe creatures and overweight Skrrn are seldom encountered. Their fur covered bodies vary in coloration and pattern, but Skrrn are able to tell which territory other Skrrn were born in from these signs. They have elongated heads with pointed ears and large feline eyes. Sharp fangs and claws make natural weapons they will sometimes use in combat. Skrrn have long flexible tales they use to balance themselves when running.

It should be noted that despite their obvious similarities to the feline animals found on Earth, there is no DNA evidence providing proof of this theory. Being referred to as 'cat' or 'kitty' is a good way to get a Skrrn angry.


Racial Abilities: +2 strength, +2 dexterity, +1 constition, -1 intelligence, -4 charisma

The Vurlgaar are a nomadic race. If they have a homeworld or empire it is unknown. They are known and feared throughout the known galaxy as predators. Quick to anger A Vurlgaar can enter a powerful bloodfrenzy that gives them +5 to all melee attack and damage rolls, as well as +3 to all ranged attack rolls. Most Vurlgaar prefer to stalk their prey and use their physical weapons in a melee ambush, but have no restrictions on using ranged weapons either. Every round a Vurlgaar spends in their berserk state increases the risk of losing control of their actions. DC starts at 10 and requires a will save every round, with the DC increasing by 1 each time.

Vurlgaar are secretive as to the location of their homeworld. They travel the galaxy in pairs making their way as bounty hunters. Vurlgaar typically travel either as a mated pair or a teacher and apprentice. It’s clear they value skill in combat above all else. Mates travel together to their secret homeworld to raise and train their young. Vurlgaar typically keep to themselves, and to others always seem on the verge of an explosive rage. Vurlgaar are relatively rare in the galaxy but their frightening reputation precedes them wherever they go.

Physically Vurlgaar range anywhere from 6 to 7 feet in height, and normally weigh around 250-300 pounds. Their massive jaws unhinge like a snake to allow them a larger bite, and their teeth are actually a solid, jagged ridge of razor sharp bone that enables them to bite for 1d6 damage. They posses 6 inch claws on their hands as well, which can slash for 1d4 damage. They have a predatory feline stance, with fur that much resembles that of Earth’s leopards and tigers.


Racial Abilities: All Esprat are capable of speedy regeneration. They regenerate at a rate of 1hp/round when not in combat and resting in a source of natural light. Esprat also have several abilities that vary depending on their subspecies. With their strange physiology Esprat will find it very difficult to purchase body armor for their species, and so they have developed their own armor specific to their species (see below sections). Esprat cannot multiclass or become telepaths.

{table]Soldier|Acidic venom
Scientist| Sticky Spit
Rogue|poison dart, nature camouflage[/table]

Esprat Armor: Esprat armor is actually a type of fungus that is uniquely adapted to cling to an Esprats body without causing them harm. It cannot be worn by other species.The fungus spreads quickly

The Esprat are one of the strangest creatures to be found in the galaxy. A form of intelligent plant-life from unknown origins, scientists still debate whether or not Esprat are sentient. The cultural attitude towards this species is as varied as that towards independent droids. Many cultures consider them little more than weeds while others allow small colonies in their territory and openly trade with them. Many traditional farming communities actively hunt down and destroy any signs of a Esprat colony.

Some Esprat are undoubtedly intelligent. They are just as capable as humans of using modern technology, building cities, and flying ships. They can read, write, and even speak a variety of languages. Despite this capability most Esprat avoid cities, preferring to create colonies of their own and reproduce. The Esprat will occasionally grow special subspecies that are particularly skilled in certain areas, often depending on the needs of the colony. These specialists can become player characters. While most of these specialists dedicate themselves in the service of the colony there are a few that leave, seeking independence.

There are no males or females in Esprat biology. They reproduce by planting seeds into the ground which then sprout into a new Esprat. They have no sense of family in their culture but do possess a very strong commitment to their community.

Esprat colonies are typically found in wooded or jungle wilderness. They often bring along and propagate their own flora which provides them with food and shelter. These alien plants are aggressive and will spread quickly forcing out native plants. A few colonies of Esprat do exist under biodomes that are grown in harsh climates. Esprat commoners live simple lives typically free of technology and work to increase the size of the community.

Esprat will always try to trade with other species when encountered. They are primarily interested in any sort of technology that helps them grow from fertilizers to irrigation systems. They will offer a variety of foods and spices in trade, as well as medicines.

Physically this plant-like species is most strange. They typically have large heads on top of a thick stem that spreads onto the ground ending in long tendrils that serve as both roots and feet. A pair of tendrils sprouting from the middle of the stem act as arms. The size, shape, and coloration of the heads vary with the subspecies of the Esprat. Soldiers are typically colored a bright red or yellow, with large, bulbous piranha plant heads. Rogues have a similar head as soldiers, but more narrow. Rogue types are also colored in dark, mottled, shades of brown and green. Scientists have a somewhat more flowery appearance with slender whip-like tongues and are usually white or off-white in color. They have no visible eyes but their visual perception is equal to that of humans.


If there is on particular aspect I liked about the Star Wars d20 system, it was the droid creation. Droid exist in my setting much as they do in Star Wars. For the most part they are considered non-living tools, and only a few achieve awareness and independence.

For those of you not familiar with making droid characters in SWd20, you basically choose from a chassis that has set stats, skills, and components and tack on your chosen class. I use all the basic model they present there, in addition to the one I made up below. See if you can guess what famous robot this chassis represents!

Generic Series



Sensors (improved sensor package), diagnostics package, recording unit, tool mount, telescopic appendage (arms and legs), internal storage (20lb)


Hacking 4, repair 4 profession (former programmed job) 4



2008-01-28, 11:23 PM

Environment Data Reader:

50gc. Provides simple information on environment.
Hand Held PC

1000gc. Can give bonus’ to skills. Also performs functions that normal PC’s would. Add 1000gc to cost per +1 to skill checks to a max of +5
Electronics Kit

200gc Useful for repairing or disabling electronic devices, such as electronic door locks or robotic devices.

Healing Kit:

Contains epidermal and muscle rejuvenators. Heals 1d6 pts of damage per application. Add 50gc to cost per application.
Portable Chemistry Set:

500gc Can be used to mix basic chemicals such as mild toxins and acids, as well as explosives. Contains 5 uses and additional uses cost 100gc.
Flashlight 5gc
Firestarter 1gc
Camera 30gc

40gc Can be used to see great distances
Alarm Kit

50gc This is a kit to set up a simple siren alarm that goes off if sensing movement. An advanced version costs 150gc but can trigger a silent alarm that sets off a portable device that can be carried. Has a range of 2 miles.

75gc This device is used for short range communication. They can be set to receive communication on public and private bands.More expensive models may have built-in features such as cameras, webs surfing, e-mail, etc. All Com units have their own unique contact number. When on a planet with a sufficient communications network they have essentially no range limitations on the planets surface.
Environment suit

1500gc This bulky suit cannot be worn over armor. It acts as +3 armor on its own. It also allows safe movement in dangerous terrain.
Night Vision Goggles

500gc This item will allow the user to see in darkness as if it were daylight. Note that bright explosion or stepping into daylight can cause a stun effect.
Stim Packs

100gc A Stim pack can grant a user +5 to attacks and saving throws, a maximum of 2 can be used safely in one day, after that, the user must begin making fortitude checks or pass out. Each extra use of the stim packs, poses a –2 penalty to the saving throw. The save is DC25.


Light Armor
{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Flight Suit*|1|0|3|100
Kevlar Vest|1|0|6|200
Kevlar Suit|2|-1|4|300
Reinforce Kevlar|3|-2|2|400[/table]

Medium Armor
{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Ar****e Vest|3|-3|3|400
Ar****e Suit|5|-5|2|500[/table]

Heavy Armor
{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Thorium Vest|6|-6|1|700
Thorium Suit|8|-8|1|1000
Enviro Suit|5|-7|1|2000[/table]

{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost

*Flight Suits are sealed with a helmet and provide up to 4 hours of oxygen and protection from the vacuum of space
** Environmental suits protect against harmful environments such as intense heat, cold, radiation, and space. These are also sealed with a helmet and provide up to 24 hours of oxygen.

Special Armors

{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Stealth Suit|0|*|-|100
Advanced Stealth Suit|0|*|-|1400
Invisibility Suit|0|*|-|15000[/table]

{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Augmented Ar****e Suit|4|-5|2|1500
Jump Suit|3|-5|1|2000[/table]

{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Augmented Thorium Suit|8|-10|1|3000[/table]

Flying Armors

Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Aerial Assault Armor|5|-8|2|15000

{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Aerial Bombardment Armor|8|-10|2|25000[/table]

Esprat Armor
{table]Name|Armor Bonus|Skill Penalty|Max Dex Bonus|Cost
Evolved Archencrust|2|-1|4|300
Vhoris Shell|3|-2|2|800|Dmg Absorption 10
Evolved Vhoris Shell|4|-4|2|1200|Dmg Absorption 20
Glacen Fungus|6|-6|1|1600|Dmg Absorption 30
Aged Glacen Fungus|6|-6|1|2200|Dmg Absorption 50[/table]

*Esprat armor is only available to Esprat. Once purchased it takes 48 hours for the fungus-armor to grow on the subject, providing only half AC and damage absorption after the first 24 hours until its growth is complete. Esprat armor with damage absorption recovers after an 8-hour rest period. It continues to offer its AC protection even after the absorption has been used

Stealth Suit— A simple set of black clothing easily purchased or made from lightweight fabrics. A user will gain +3 to all hide and move silently checks.

Advanced Stealth Suit— Made from a special polymer fiber blend designed to absorb both light and sound. A user wearing this will receive +6 to all hide and move silently checks.

Invisibility Suit—Made from a similar material as the Advanced Stealth Suit. However it has a slightly reflective appearance as well as being a stiffer material and only grants +4 to all hide and move silently checks. When activated the stealth suit can grant total invisibility for 2d4+2 rounds.

Augmented Ar****e Suit— This augmented medium armor provides +1 to both constitution and Strength.

Augmented Thorium Suit — Similar to its medium cousin, this armor can provide +2 to constitution and strength

Aerial Assault Armor— The ultimate in combat armors. While movement on foot while wearing this heavy and bulky armor is restricted, its flight capability more then makes up for it.
Aerial Assault Armor is capable of mounting either 8 small specialized rockets for the medium class, or 12 for the heavy class under its wings.

The rockets do a small amount of damage over a limited area, and have no guidance chips installed, so they rely only on the users ranged attack bonus. Their damage is 2d8 over a 10ft area.

Jump Suits— Sometimes referred to as jetpacks are designed to allow a user to leap over tall obstacles or wide chasms. They can also hover for a limited time allowing a user to get that nice clear shot or to survey territory.

A Jump suit is designed to allow a user to leap up to 50 feet in the air (and hover for 3 rounds) or leap up to 150 feet forwards. Afterwards the pack must cool and recharge for 10 round before being used again.


{table]Weapon|Damage|ROF|Strength|Cost|At. adj.|Critical|Type|Special
Bulkrane Slugger IV|d6+4|1|14|1000|-2|19-20|S|Slug weapon
Bulkrane Earthshaker|d6+1|1|12|250|0|19-20|S|Slug weapon
FG FasterBlaster|d4|4|10|1500|-2|na|S|Laser weapon
FG Falcon Express|d4+1|2|10|1000| |19-20|S|Slug weapon
FG Falconeer |d3|1|8|400| |20 |S|Laser weapon
FG Superdart |*|1|8|100|na| |S|Lethal/non-lethal darts
B&P Silenced SmallScope|d4|2|8|550|+1|18-20|S
B&P Officers Sidearm|d4|2|10|700|+2|19-20|S
PTA Phaser Pistol|d4|2|10|400| |20|S|Energy Weapon
PTA Neutron Particle Pistol|d6+1|1|12|700| |20|S|Energy Weapon[/table]


Muscular Intensifier 1|9,000|15|+1 strength
Muscular Intensifier 2|18,000|25|+2 strength
Reflex Enhancer 1|12,000|18|+1 dexterity
Reflex Enhancer 2|22,000|25|+2 dexterity
Sensory Perception 1|1000|10|+1 spot, listen
Sensory Perception 2|2000|16|+3 spot, listen
Regenerator|30,000|30|regeneration, 1hp/round
Ballistics Trajectory Assistant|15,000|25|+1 with ranged weapons
Adrenaline Control|5000|15|+20ft/round run speed, +2 to jump skill
Computer Interface Link|4000|16|+2 to computer use when interfaced
Vision Enhancement 1|6000|14|2x normal sight range
Vision Enhancement 2|15,000|20|2x normal sight range, Thermalvision
Threat Assessment Chip|10000|24|+2 initiative
Cosmetic Surgery 1|8000|18|+1 Charisma
Cosmetic Surgery 2|15,000|25|+2 Charisma[/table]

2008-01-28, 11:25 PM
What good is a sci-fi adventure if you cannot design and fly your own spacecraft? Heres my guidelines for designing your own little angel of death.

Coming soon: rules for creating an assault class vessel.

Ship Classes

There are several sizes of ships in Galactic. From the smallest to the largest they are:

Assault Vessels

Fighters and assault vessels are the most common. An Assault class vessel is a favorite among smugglers and pirates for its versatility as both cargo transport and its combat capabilities. Most space navies utilize assault vessels for troop transportation or in defensive roles. Assault vessels would be most comparable to the Millennium Falcon.

Ship Design

Out of all the spacefaring craft, fighters are the ones most often seen customized by individuals and organizations to fit their needs. Most modern militaries prefer to only use a few fightercraft designed to fill specific roles. However, as in the case of the worlds of the Independent League and the Legion that protects it, pilots often customize their own craft.

Most of these customized fighters borrow choice bits and pieces from other more common designs to fit the pilots desires. However, custom fighters sometimes see unusual configurations and uses of other technologies and ideas. The following rules and charts are guidelines to the construction of a custom fighter.

There are 5 main parts to consider when creating a custom fighter.


1. Chassis Selection
A blank chassis from one of the pre-designed fighters can sometimes be purchased. A completely new and custom chassis can be built, but at greater cost.

There are three sizes of Chassis, and each has their own unique properties inherent with their size.


Example ships are the Mrshraan Claw and Alkari Falcon.
May not have more then 2 weapon mounts
May not have more then 80 HPs
May not have more then 15 AC
Maximum MR is +6
Maximum Gate Performance is 2


May not have more then 120 HPs
May not have more then 3 weapon mounts
May not have more then 17 AC
Maximum MR is +4
Maximum Gate Performace is 4


May not have more then 150 HPs
May not have more then 19 AC
May not have more then 4 weapon mounts
Maximum MR is +2
Maximum Gate Performace is 6


Light Chassis—50,000
Medium Chassis—100,000
Heavy Chassis—150,000

Structural integrity of the Chassis determines the ships HPs. All chassis have a base 50hps. Additional HPs cost 5,000/10HPs.

2. Armor
Armor determines the armor class, as well as other effects.

Titanium II|13|7000
Enriched Duranium|15|11000|DR10
Anatholiom|17|15000|DR 15
Obtanium II|18|25000|DR25
Unobtanium II|19|50000|DR35[/table]

3. Thrusters
Thrusters effect a crafts ability to maneuver quickly. The higher a crafts MR, the more dexterity a pilot can take advantage of. One point of MR costs 5,000 to a maxium of +6.

4. Engine
A fighter crafts power core effects their ability to perform slipstream jumps. Unlike larger craft that have massive regenerating power supplies, a fighter craft must burn highly volatile anti-matter fuel in order to generate a burst of power large enough to reach faster then light speeds.

Generic Engine: Required, costs 10,000, cannot perform a slipstream jump.
Upgraded engines cost an additional 10,000/2 slipstream jumps they are capable of.

5. Weapons

{table]Type|Damage|Attacks|Max ammo*|Cost|Description
AP Stormfire|3d6|3|60|25000|-5 to AC Needs ammo
Canon|3d8+5|1|50|6000|Needs Ammo
Quad Canon|3d8+5|4|200| 24000|Needs Ammo, takes 4 slots on fighter
Laser Gun|3d8|2|na|4000
Laser Canon|6d10+10|1/3|na|7000|
Phased Pulse Canon 4d6+5|2|na|10000|takes 2 slots on fighter
Dumbfire Rocket|3d8+20|1|6/8/10/20|8000/700/rocket|
Guided Rocket|3d8+20|1|6/8/10/20|12000/1000/rocket|+2 to-hit[/table]

* the x/x/x/x means maximum rockets a light/medium/heavy/assault craft can carry per launcher

AP Stormfire|60|800

Ship System Upgrades
Targeting Computer

Level 1 +1 to hit 5000
Level 2 +2 to hit 10000
Level 3 +3 to hit 25000
Level 1 +2 to skill 7000
Level 2 +4 to skill 12000
Level 3 +6 to skill 20000
Stealth Systems*
Engine Filters

Level 1 +1 to stealth 5000
Level 2 +2 to stealth 8000
Light Distortion Array

Level 1 +1 to stealth 5000
Level 2 +2 to stealth 8000
Gravitation Adjuster**

Level 1 +2 to stealth 10000
Level 2 +4 to stealth 20000

* Cost is 4x more for Assault Class vessels
** Due to their size, Gravitation adjusters require a weapons sized slot

Ship Combat

I prefer fast-paced, crap-your-pants combat in my RPGs. I like to create lots of short lived bloodbaths, that leave players either fleeing for their lives or yelling "F*** YEAH!".

So of course, when looking for a good rule system for sci-fi space combat, I was sorely disappointed to see most of them turned what should be an intense dogfight into a turn-based strategy game. If I wanted to play something like that I'd play MOO or Civ.

The first thing I wanted to do was start with the most basics of d20 combat.

Attack Roll

But then this turns into standard combat, and doesn't really differentiate screaming through space at 300mph guns blazing, weaving around enemy ships, dodging incoming missiles, and locking onto your prey sending their wrecked ship spinning into the blackness, from punching someone in the face or shooting them from a distance with a gun.

I immediately eliminated those optional rules that I feel bog down combat too much. Rather then worry about movement points and facings I imagined space combat between fighter craft as lightning fast twisting, dodging, and weaving around each other for advantage. You don't really have TIME in a real dogfight to plot a course, look where every enemy is, and make calculations (I can turn this many degrees this round, or move this many hexes, or turn this many degrees AND move this many hexes, or...). So instead I made up some basic rules that better enforce the theme I am going for.

Once initiative has been decided, the pilots involved make opposed piloting skill checks. If you have Initiative you get a +2 bonus. The winner gains advantage, getting +2 to all attack rolls, and the loser now receives a -2 on any attacks made against you.

During combat a pilot can attempt to get out of disadvantage by additional opposed piloting checks at a -2 penalty. If the ship only has a single pilot, like most small fighters, they can opt for a -2 penalty on all attacks this round to negate the skill check penalty. Notice that this only puts you back on even footing with your opponent, it does not grant immediate advantage.

Space Travel

Faster than light travel in Galactic between stars is through real space. The technology takes a rather brute force approach based on the principle that the vacuum of space is essentially frictionless. Once an object is in motion it will not stop until acted upon by another force.

Slipstreaming involves a sudden, massive acceleration of a ship. The vessels engines need only provide enough power to get the ship up to speed in a short time. Afterwards the vessel can coast to its destination, only occasionally needing additional acceleration to counter-act other forces such as gravity.

A trick many pilots have learned over the years is to use the gravity wells created by stars to slingshot their craft to higher speeds. The upside is time savings, the downside is that pirates often lie in wait around these systems, waiting for someone to get too close.

Its important to note that perhaps the most vital piece of equipment aboard any starship is its inertial dampeners. These devices prevent the ship from breaking apart and the crew being liquefied by the acceleration and deceleration during slipstream.

Sample Fighter

Vessel Status Log: Magic Speed Guru
Class: Medium Fighter
Model: Custom
Owner: Mrwar Mewell
AC: 17 Anatholium Armor
HP: 120
DT: 60
MR: 4
Slipstream Drive: 2 jumps


Level 3 Targeting Computer

2008-01-28, 11:27 PM
I'll be posting the galactic history here, but for now I'll just give a little starting area I made up. Its a nice friendly little star system to begin your campaign.

Butcheva Cha’univ

This system, located towards the center of the known galaxy. While one might think, being at the center, it would be a wonderful territory of trade, technology, and otherwise the center of all things. Quite the opposite, it serves as a breeding grounds for the trailer trash of the universe. Incidentally, the Volgh translation of Butcheva Cha'Univ is quite literally "Ass end of the universe". Butcheva has no valuable mineral resources, or particularly fertile planets. Its claim to fame is for being a major junkyard for several nearby systems, and has a strong criminal element running freely about its many space stations and colonies.
Defense wise, this system is easy pickings for raiders, though there isn’t much to steal. Commercial business here consist of junk dealers and bars that serve cheap drinks. However it is possible to find a few slave traders and dealers in black market goods here, if you know where to look and who to ask.
Butcheva Cha’univ is where those who are down on their luck come, or if they need to hide from the law. Bounty hunters normally come here if they cant find their targets anywhere else.

Main sites in Butcheva

The junkyard planet Oris is a sight to behold. Its surface is covered in easily a mile high pile of junk, consisting of discarded starship hauls, rotten food, old clothing, and toxic waste. Luckily, a Orn trader by the name of Oris Orision purchased the planet early on, and has the junk sorted before it is dropped onto the planets surface. He has made a hefty profit selling the rights to local merchants to dig through his planet of trash for things they can resell. Environmental conditions on Oris are harsh, and its impossible to walk about openly without a heavy environment suit. Orbiting above the planet is a massive donut shaped space station where junk is delivered and sorted before being sent to the planets surface.

The Pickled Hull
The Pickled Hull was formally a massive capital ship in the Volgh fleet. Over a hundred years ago, when the Volgh began their assault on the Anjiri homeworld, this ship was so battered in the combat that it was decommissioned. It was towed here, stripped of valuable weapons and electronics (inlcuding its massive stardrives, a technical wonder at the time), and left to drift in orbit about the gas giant Ploudith. There is much black-market weapons trade to be found here, and Anjiri representatives often visit the place.

Skulds Place
This moon orbiting Ploudith got its name from the feared pirate Joseph Skuld, who once kept his main base here. Until he raided the wrong Volgh escort and was followed back here. The moons surface is shows the deep scars of the ensuing bombardment by a Volgh fleet. Though Skuld and his band are no more, the place has since rebuilt and is a haven to smugglers and pirates. The moon has the highest populated colony in the system, but it’s also the roughest.

Last Hope
Last Hope is just that, it’s the last chance for many people to continue their lives. There is a ruling body here, a loose group of officials that see to day-to-day needs of running the colony. There is a police presence, mainly just to keep riots and gang-fights to a minimum. Smuggling and other illegal trades are openly accepted here. It also gets some attraction for its casinos, where just about every type of gambling can be found. This small planet is dry and dusty, but home to many who have no where else to go.

2008-01-29, 01:28 PM
I'll probably be adding some background history, feats for space combat, and a map of the galaxy soon. Also I have some pre-designed ships to add when I get the time. (work and school FT)

I wasn't going to put everything into such a gigantic post but I figured it would be easier to keep track of rather then losing several different posts that would be buried underneath all the awesome fantasy-related posts that are so prevalent on this forum.

2008-01-29, 02:41 PM
Very good. Please do continue with this.

2008-01-29, 09:06 PM
Glad you like it. Edited some for readability, added in an example custom fighter, added in a feat for pilots, and redid how space travel works.

I have a lot of weapons to add to the equipment list, far too many really. I will probably cut the list down to just the ones that the players seem to typically be using.

Any suggestions or comments are welcome. I know I still have some holes and unfinished ideas in there, but I also haven't tapped into half the content on my hard drive so I am just posting stuff as I figure it out.

Might do a .pdf once I have everything structured enough to do one.

2008-01-29, 10:47 PM
Alright, you don't come right out and say it, but I think the Ship Combat system operates under th guiding assumption that all ships on a battlefield will be able to reach and combat each other?


As for AC; I'd consider making it truly huge for ships, we're talking 40+. Then note that almost all ship-to-ship weapons attack touch AC, which can then be the much more sane numbers you've worked with your system.

Another question, why is DR for a ship so hard to get. If anything I think most ships should be flying around with various levels of DR to lasers, bludgeoning, various energy damage, etc. This of course insinuates that such methods of attack exist and can be built into ships. With that you add another layer of "non-combat" strategy to the ship design system.


I'd also like to point out that I like the work you've done! I decided I had to start somewhere in critique; this doesn't mean I didn't read, enjoy, or have ideas about other aspects. Here's my general advice: you've changed the system a lot, and you've likely created a very fun game. But it's very likely to be a fiddly, not entirely balanced system.

2008-01-29, 11:04 PM
Thanks for the feedback!

I'll look into the touch attack with the AC system. I think I just have a tendency to stick with lower numbers because thats what normal armors provide.

For damage resistance I think its a bit of the same thing, regarding it in relationship to characters and not ships. I'll probably increase the DR somewhat. I didn't post it, but the assault class vessel my current player operates basically gets 8 attacks a round from two quad canons that deal 3d8+5 a hit. Thats potentially massive damage as we found out last session, when he struck with all 8 shots. It was a VERY fun fight though, because the enemy vessel, similarly armed, got in 4 hits and 2 criticals.

Also you might notice a total lack of shield technology. This is intentional but I will probably add in some for anyone that wants to include it. I suppose it will be simple damage absorption, might make two types, one more effective against projectiles, and another against energy weapons.

I like descriptive narrative combat, so I do assume that most ships on the battlefield will reasonably be able to reach one another unless specified, like for some gigantic planetary invasion force.

2008-01-30, 08:53 PM
Whew, made quite a few changes. took Jaerc's suggestions and increased DR for ship armor. Added in racial armor for Esprat, a section for handguns, and changed how space travel works.

Thats about it for now aside from getting a map of the galaxy I am actually happpy with and putting together a timeline of history. I am thinking of adding in a selection of "homeworld modifiers" characters can choose from while putting together character backgrounds. Things like "I grew up on world with a high amount of radiation, so I have +1 to fortitude".

Could use some help with ideas on that, and as always im still open to further suggestions.

2008-01-31, 12:54 AM
I think some fighter combat feats are in order.

Kill Position
You have become adept at sliding into your opponents' six.
Prerequisites: Piloting skill 5 ranks.
Benefit: When you win an opposed pilot skill check, add one third of your ranks in Piloting to your attack bonus, in addition to the flat +2.
Normal: When you win an opposed pilot skill check, you add +2 to attack rolls against your target.

A quick snap-shot off in the initial pass can do wonders.
Prerequisites: Piloting skill 6 ranks.
Benefit: If you initiate combat, you may fire a single attack with each of your weapons at an unmodified attack roll before the first round.
Normal: You may only fire when in combat.

The Chase
When you lock on to an opponent, they have a very, very hard time dislodging you.
Prerequisites: Piloting skill 8 ranks, Kill Position.
Benefit: When you win the opposed dogfighting check, you may choose to take no extra bonus to your attack roll beyond your dexterity bonus. If you do, the opponent you won the check against may not fire on you. However, any other craft receive a +2 bonus in their attack rolls against you.
Normal: Both pilots may fire upon each other in each round.

You know the value of a few risky maneuvers--when it's best to expose yourself, and when to nail the target.
Prerequisites: Piloting skill 6 ranks.
Benefit: Before making an opposed dogfighting check, you may take -3 on the check to take control of the dogfight to receive +6 on the check the next round. Inversion's penalty does not cancel out its own bonus.
Normal: Players make opposed dogfighting checks as normal from round to round.

You know how to best use your maneuverability.
Prerequisites: Piloting skill 6 ranks.
Benefit: When piloting a Light Fighter, you may add one half of your Piloting ranks to its armor class. When piloting a Medium Fighter, you may add one third (round down in both cases).

The thick of it is where you belong--if you're in the pilot's chair, anyway.
Prerequisites: Piloting skill 8 ranks.
Benefit: When making a dogfighting skill check against multiple opponents, if you beat at least one, you may add the difference from the check against the ship you beat to your score to compare against the other dogfighters. Only add the difference between your skill check and the lowest.
Normal: The system seems to be tuned for single-fighter duels. Don't know what happens with more than one ship.

You seem to have some statistics on your custom ships that you don't seem to describe elsewhere (such as the MR, which I assume is Maneuverability Rating). Are these in D20 Modern, or your own invention?

2008-01-31, 01:20 AM

More critique later, for now, out of curiosity; have you played Mass Effect yet?

2008-01-31, 04:46 AM
Very nice. Very very nice. Maybe this will inspire me into working on that scifi setting I've wanted for some time...

It's good, like some sort of more sensible Star Wars. I especially like that junkyard system. A true hive of scum and villainy if there ever was one.

Telepaths don't seem that scary to me. Maybe that's because I have 40k psykers in mind...

They need more oomph, specifically Feats. A feat to inflict stat damage during deep probe (which seems the most offensive ability) would be nice.

Teeps seem to be a whole lot subtler than psykers. So attack ally and suicide doesn't fit in, somehow.

Maybe some direct damaging skill for a real offensive ability? But probably not, that also wouldn't fit.

Domination at higher levels. Cause it ain't no psionics without domination.

Are minor implanted memories completely forgotten after an hour, or realized to be implanted?

Is major implanted memory permenant?

Can modified memories be detected and "cured", specifically by medical means? By teeps?

What is linked mind? One contacted by a broadcast? Does broadcast contact another's mind until broken off, or need a check each round? Can the other guy break the teep's contact?

Message is under broadcast right?

Message distances seem weird to me. 100 miles isn't a very great distance considering the scifi environs. Better ranges would be: immediate vicinity, line of sight, on planet, interplanet, interstellar. Currently ringing the next continent is no harder than ringing the other spiral arm.

I'd think powerful teeps should be able track more than one person. And let them track nonliving things, too (following psionic traces left by others or something). That'd add more utility to commercial teeps, not to mention ingame oppurtunuties for investigation scenarios.

Quiet mind?

I got nothing to say about aliens, mostly because SW left me jaded.

You must add Dune shields. Cause they're the single coolest scifi gadgets (tying in with lightsabers). Crunchily, they'd be +20 AC to slug weapons, +4 to melee, nothing for laser or energy I'd think. But probably without the nuke reaction to lasers.

Maybe Fallout style drugs to boost stats, with the risk of addiction? Would be illegal, probably.

I'd also recommend lightsaber, it that wouldn't be so lame.

Where are the rocket launchers? Or miniguns? Or a properly high tech sniper rifle?

Charisma isn't beauty, so cosmetic surgery is quite a poor name. Though I can't think of a better name.

Many cool implants can be imagined. Maybe a general way to determine price is better than making up individual ones. Let the players come up with their own ideas, and price them.

Not to be too geeky, but your FTL is impossible. The energy to required to accelerate anything to c is infinite (mass increases with speed, not to mention funny effects of speed on time). And even if you could travel at FTL, the galaxy is still too big to get from point A to point B in a lifetime. Warpdrives and hyperspace and other stuff exist in scifi because of that. Anything going FTL travels actually at the speed of plot in any given media.

2008-01-31, 12:26 PM
Not to mention, when you accelerate a spaceship, all contents within the spaceship must also be accelerated at the same speed. You'd have people-goo really fast, unless you pilfer the stasis pods from Forever War. Or unless you take the cheap, we-can-manipulate-gravity-which-is-actually-just-acceleration route.

2008-01-31, 06:39 PM
Maldraugedhen: Awesome, those feats are just what I was looking for.

For MR, that was initially meant to be the maximum amount of dexterity bonus you could apply to AC, I've been thinking of doing away with this because there are better ways to show the differences between how a light fighter and a heavy one handle. Some of your feats do this nicely.

DT is damage threshold. It was an idea I haven't fleshed out yet, but was basically to help determine at what point your ship has taken so much damage ship systems start to fail. I will probably keep this, as it makes combat repairs pretty important especially when you have several people aboard say, an assault class or larger vessel. That way people that aren't manning weapons or piloting can be doing repairs instead of sitting with their heads tucked between their knees hoping the others don't get them killed.

cnsvnc: Thanks for the critique on telepaths!

I'll work in a domination ability, and I am thinking of a 'transplant mind' feat.

In the case of implanted memories, both can fade over time. I am thinking a will save for the target to actually remember WHO implanted the memories, but they will realize they had been fooled.

A feat to make memories permanent (with an increase to DC) would be good.

I am thinking successful probes can let teeps know if someone has been tampered with. Will have to come up with a system for opposed rolls to undo damage.

Message should be under broadcast, will have to fix that, and suggestion noted about distances.

Tracking multiple minds is a good idea, not sure if tracking telepathic traces fits, I might try it in game and see how it feels, because it could be a very good plot hook.

I think I meant to remove quiet mind, because I don't remember what it was for lol.

On space travel:

Yeah yeah, its fiction alright? I'll take the cheezy gravity route. I like extra sharp cheddar. I was looking today at the rough map I have been designing and should have something about travel times to go along with it. According to SWd20 you can cross most of the galaxy in less then 170 hours, thats too fast for my tastes.

Thanks for the feedback guys! It really helps to have more minds working on a project then just one.

Jaerc: No, I haven't but I heard its awesome.

2008-01-31, 09:13 PM
Sorry, actual FTL through realspace bothers me too much. I blame majoring in physics. (I'll be using "folddrives" for instantanous travel, if I ever get around to that scifi setting. It's less impossible than FTL. But you seem keen on "travel times", and interstellar ambushes do sound interesting.)

What about communication? Since light can't go anywhere fast enough all kinds of transmitters are right out for interstellar communication. At most, small carrier drones with FTL capabilities can physically relay a message. That leaves teeps for any sort of conversation, unless telepathy is EM waves generated from brain (and teeps are also useless).

If teeps can communicate instantly, message distance will be important. A max distance depending on skill might add more depth to teeps, but it'd be painful to come up with numbers for that (I just tried, it ended badly). Best to keep it simple: Infinite range at the upper end (rank 20+?)

A powerful commercial teep would charge an arm and a leg for extreme distance communication. They could even evolve into something close to Space Guild from Dune, or a Shadow Council within the galactic government if they played their cards right (read: if you make some major metaplot).

I got more stuff for you:

Tractor beams? At least for capships, for the "Damn, they got us!" moments.

Do droids have feelings?

How big do droids get? Can an AI controlled spaceship be considered droid? Wait. What is the difference between an AI and a droid? Just a chasis?

Can someone be implanted to the point of becoming a cyborg? In other words, how advanced is the implant technology? Can damaged limbs/organs be replaced with mechanical implants (or organic ones)? To what degree? aka Can a human (or other) be sustained without a body, robocop style?

2008-01-31, 10:45 PM
A pilot prestige class might make a good deal of sense. I might stat one up a bit later, when I've got some time. Keep the MR stat--it makes sense. Beyond a point, it doesn't matter if you're more dexterous if the machine can't respond fast enough (Actually, we've already exceeded this threshold with modern military aircraft, but then, why wouldn't all ships just be heavies? For flavor and balance, this system works better--screw realism in this case.).

For DT, I would say have each hit subtract one from DT. Each time you are hit, roll a D20 and add DT. If your result is greater than 10, you don't get component failure. Failing by 5 or less is a temporary short, failing by 10 or more destroys a subsystem. Natural 1s always destroy, natural 20s always save. This would put an average DT at around 10--probably more like 5 for fighters (maybe even 0 for lights, although a 50/50 chance for system failure on the first hit is a bit harsh). You could also have having a low DT provide penalties to armor. Opens up a lot of dogfighter feat possibilities, too.

Tractor beams would work as straight up weapons. When you hit with a tractor beam, you get caught. When you get hit, it subtracts your ship's MR each round it hits you from your opposed pilot check to gain control, and when it becomes impossible for you to gain control, you get immobilized. This means it takes longer to pull in bigger ships, but smaller ships are harder to tag.

2008-02-01, 12:12 AM
I just spent some time on wikipedia looking up some theories. Actually it started with me looking up Pulars cause I am working on another little area for adventuring in and I wanted to put something in there other then just stars with planets.

Anyhoo yeah, real-space FTL travel isn't looking realistic in a real-world sense. All the theories for FTL are pretty weak, and the strongest transportation theories are ones that involve more or less instantly 'teleporting' via wormhole or some other effect. While the instant transportation would make a very interesting game mechanic, it does leave out some of the route and travel time planning thats often a core mechanic of RPGs. It can eliminate the risk of traveling into unknown regions and through enemy territory if you can just blip back and forth between your destinations. If you use some sort of instant transport in your sci-fi I look forwards to seeing how you manage it.

Tractor beams will make it in when I get around to statting the bigger ships, as well as weapons for neutralizing vessels like Star Wars ion canons.

Most sci-fi settings handle FTL communication through tachyons, which only exist in theory. Problem with tachyon theory is that they are (theoretically) useless for transmitting information.

I still want a method of FTL communication, but not instant delivery. In the real world if I send an e-mail or make a phone call to china there is a delay which is created by a number of factors (beyond just the speed of light) such as servers, satellites, available lines, etc.

"calling" someone on the other side of the galaxy for real-time communication shouldn't be possible, although it can still happen over incredible distances with the right equipment.

I am thinking of a relay system that either uses vanilla tachyon or subspace effects because there just isn't a a method based on current theory that wouldn't be too powerful IE, instant gratification.

Droids ACT like they have feelings, they THINK they have feelings, some others BELIEVE they have feelings and others DISBELIEVE they can have feelings. There is still debate on this in the galaxy. Core worlds will probably be more sensitive to independent droid rights then outer colonies.

A subtle difference between AI and an independent droid is that an AI is still bound by certain rules and parameters. AI are typically focused on a specific task. If it comes across information that isn't relevant to the task it will discard it or store it for later reference.

Independent droids have somehow gone broken these barriers. They have, or at least appear to have, free will. They might have a job to stack some crates, but that yellow butterfly looks so interesting....and why should I stack all these crates for that fat lazy bum anyway?

I am thinking there would be galactic regulations concerning AI/Droid usage. Like certain levels of AI aren't allowed unless 'physically bound' to a droid chassis. This is to prevent an AI program from reproducing and becoming a dangerous security threat.

There will be 'simpler' and heavily monitored AI programs that handle things for military and commercial usage. I am sure the Google and Department of Defense of the future will have advance AI programs that do incredible things, but hopefully with IRONCLAD controls in place that prevent these AI's from doing things they shouldn't. (don't quote Isaac here plz lol)

Droid sizes: I mentioned droids would be heavily regulated. Droid characters should be limited to human in size for gameplay reasons. Most empires wouldn't like their neighbors having 10 trillion droid soldiers either. They nearly fall into WMD territory, so there will be galactic regulations concerning how many are allowed to be employed in certain roles. Same thing with droids in farming or manufacturing, that could really disrupt the economy.

Most militaries would consider putting a AI/Droid in charge of a battleship a Bad Idea, I think. Not to say it couldn't happen, would make a nice plot where glitched AI takes over a fleet...

There will be limits to how many implants you can have at once, or at least safely. Some races like humans might have the ability to have more implants then others. There might be some 'extreme' individuals that go for being cyborgs, really pushing their bodies to the limit. I think the Lethyl would be good candidates for a rogue faction that want to ditch their bodies entirely and just hardwire their brains into the machinery entirely.

Its late, time for bed. A lot of information here for me to absorb. I should have some new stuff to add in tomorrow.

2008-02-01, 01:28 PM
Ion cannons work ridiculously well with the DT system. Just have them deal DT damage directly, of varying die size depending on the weapon. Large ion might deal 1d6 or maybe even as much as 1d8, although I think that would REALLY be high end.

2008-02-02, 08:45 PM
I think a few ways to deal with FTL travel that still allow things like blockades and random encounters include:
*hyperspace slings: devices which propel a mass at FTL speeds to a fixed destination.
*Teleportation: you could think of teleportation as being affected by gravity wells; i.e., you can't teleport to a place too close to a planet, or something. If you use this instant blip thing, it won't necessarily destroy the sense of danger, because the bad guys can do it too.
*I read somewhere about using tachyons (or something), to compress space around an object, allowing it to travel at super-light speeds.