This is the most horrifying thing I read in this thread
Changes from D20 SRD
All of the classes have been redone. All of the races except humans are different. Armor provides Damage Resistance in addition to AC. The equipment lists have been redone. Vehicle and Space combat sections have been or are being worked out. The world background is based on the Legacy of the Aldenata book series by John Ringo, a near-future, real-world milieu with extraterrestrial involvement.
Effectively any intelligent creature is a potential PC, but humans are the default. Game Masters should not allow Darhel or Posleen PCs.
All prestige classes are optional; you can get by without them and still have a playable game.
The characters matter. Character skills, abilities, and other features are important. Instantly-kills-anyone powers and rules have been kept to a minimum. It matters not just how good your massive powered armor is, but who is inside it and how good he is.
Things we have dropped from D20 SRD:
Alignment and Magic.
The World of the Aldenata
By John Ringo
In the beginning were the Aldenata.
Of them, little is known. To the Posleen they are legendary demons of trickery and deceit, capable of traveling from world to world with a thought, using suns for their forges and the deeps of space for their cradles. Demons of sky and fire that come with promises and hope and leave in death and fury.
To the Indowy they are gods, remote, inscrutable, but occasionally granting boons to the Clans that permit them to continue to eke out their weary existence.
To the Tchpht they are senior colleagues. Researchers emeritus, so to speak.
No Himmit has a tale about them.
Of them, the Darhel do not speak.
But it was from the Aldenata, the remote, legendary, possibly extinct Aldenata, in fire and darkness, in shadow and light, that all of the myriad tragedies of the Galactic Federation and their most intimate enemies sprang.
The basis of the tragedies are unknown. It is said that in the mists of time they uplifted the Posleen and then left them abandoned, far from their homes in the deeps of space. But, if so, the Posleen have no distinct record of it, just legends and enduring bitterness. It is said that they taught the Tchpht all they know, but the Crabs, normally free with information, will neither agree nor disagree. It is said that they changed the Darhel in some horrible fashion, making them into monsters. But the Darhel don’t agree that they’re monsters.
The conditions that they created, maybe, probably, legendarily, involves five sentient species: Indowy, Darhel, Tchpht, Himmit, humans and Posleen and (well) over two hundred habitable worlds encompassing a goodly part of this arm of the Milky Way galaxy.
Humans, officially, became aware of this in 1998 when Darhel Tir Lords contacted the President of the United States. They called him in his office, bypassing the various keepers of communication gates and told him three facts. 1. Humans were not alone. 2. There were good aliens (Indowy, Tchpht, Darhel and Himmit) who were interested in helping humans. 3. There were bad aliens (Posleen) who were interested in eating humans. And so humans were dragged, willy-nilly, into the train of tragedies touched off by the Aldenata.
Over the next eleven years, the humans prepared for a set of successive invasion waves while simultaneously providing forces to aid their erstwhile “allies”, the Indowy, Darhel, Tchpht and Himmit. In the end the Posleen were beaten back, but in the process the Earth was devastated. Throughout broad stretches of it, humanity was wiped out. And the aliens, once so helpful, have virtually forgotten the world. While the cream of the remaining population is skimmed off to fill the Fleet that has gone forth to conquer Posleen worlds.
The central worlds of the Galactic Federation are almost all populated by Indowy, short, broad, hominids with bat-like faces and green “fur” that is a chlorophyllic symbiont. The Indowy, by far and away, comprise the majority population of the Galactic Federation. An accurate census has never been taken but it is estimated that Indowy populations are in the range of ten to fourteen trillion individuals scattered across a bare hundred or so planets.
The Indowy are natural technologists and engineers. Where human children tend to bicker, strive for dominance and fight, Indowy children tend to naturally cooperate in building things. Indowy begin a long process of apprenticeship at about age ten and only slowly climb the ladder of rank and ability. Indowy primary building methods involve the manipulation of vat nannites through a cyber/psi interface that defies most human reverse engineering. At the molecular level, Indowy are capable of “forcing” low-probability chemical reactions so as to make materials that are virtually impossible to replicate. Some of the materials have theoretically impossible properties such as densities that vary on the basis of external stimuli.
What the Indowy are not, frankly, supreme at is the development of mechanical systems. For Indowy, each project is a custom work, each project is an entirely new design. And very rarely is a design intended to interface with other systems. Thus their hyper-cities are a patchwork, as are their space-stations, and whereas their ships are quite capable, they do not have an interchangeability of parts nor are they, in some ways, optimal designs.
They are generally found in vast factory planets of world-spanning cities, more planetoid habitations than planets; Indowy like nothing better than a few billion of their closest friends at arm’s reach. Perhaps the most extreme example is Rathant, one of the earliest Indowy colonies. Over the millennia it has been plumbed to the edge of the mantle, cities have been raised to the edge of the stratosphere and all water, food, light and air are continually reprocessed with materials being moved from mantle to stratosphere (and back) entirely by mechanical intervention. Cities have not so much been built as the crust of the planet has been expanded to cap the majority of the atmosphere.
At the far end of the same spectrum are Tchpht planets like Barwhon, sparsely populated, minimally developed. The Tchpht are a race of crab-like psesudo-crustaceans. Their legs have about the span of a King Crab but their body is more heavily built and they have small but fierce pincers. Despite a few indications of redoubtable ferocity, no Tchpht has ever been seen to commit any act that is even slightly violent. Indeed, Tchpht captured by the Posleen are the most resigned beings in the universe. It is believed that they don’t so much believe in reincarnation as know it to be a simple fact. Or, perhaps, they’re just very philosophical.
Some of the other species are sure that the Tchpht penchant for open spaces and individual privacy is nothing more or less than a land-grab of epic proportions. One of every four discovered habitable planets is set aside for the Tchpht. And, by and large, Tchpht population levels never rise above a half a billion or so. They end up scattered across the face of the planet in small communities, never more than a hundred or so in any one location.
And yet…from these small communities come scientific marvels to stun the world-weary. The Tchpht were the first to determine that psi function is a real and demonstrable trait. They can pulse the photospheres of stars. They can wrap time in a bubble or create a black hole from air. And these are just the things that mere humans can understand.
This, then, is the power of the Tchpht. They are called “science-philosophers” and whereas they are sometimes unworldy, when they come back down to earth for a moment and impart a bit of wisdom, it often turns out to be either the “next big thing” or a device to unleash hellish destruction. One suspects that if they ever got ticked they could simply erase another species without breaking a sweat. (So to speak. They’re pseudo-crustaceans, they don’t actually sweat.)
But that’s why nobody really wants to argue with them about the land thing.
Then there are the Darhel planets. The Darhel are generally human-height bipedal hominids that look remarkably “human”. The major difference is facial in that theirs are much narrower and “fox-like,” extending out in what impolite people call a “muzzle” that looks more baboonish than dog-like. They have vertical-slitted eyes with irises of variously green, gold and silver, long silvery “hair” that is, in fact, rather thicker tendrils, and a mouth that is full of very sharp teeth and relatively few molars. Which is strange since they are all vegetarians.
The majority of the population of “Darhel” worlds is Indowy, and total Darhel adult population is reputed to be under two billion, but then, the predator to prey ratio in any environment is pretty high.
Nobody is to sure how the Darhel ended up in charge. They don’t produce anything but AIDs and they aren’t as smart as the Tchpht. And the record is unclear. In fact, the record is so very unclear that it appears to have been tampered with systematically. And that gives a clue as to how. The Darhel are the master manipulators. Whether it is corrupting legal code or computer code, when it comes to anything having to do with politics, information management or legal theory, somewhere in the mix will be a Darhel busily doing his best to subvert the direct intent and supplant the wishes of the Darhel.
The Darhel love to study history. After all, it is nothing but words and the Darhel love words.
Rounding out the Galactic Federation circus are the Himmit, a frog-like species with a camouflage ability for which the term “magic” might aptly be applied. They showed up on the Galactic scene, apparently out of nowhere but fully conversant with the society and prepared to communicate and “ally” with them, a mere millennium ago. Nobody knows where they came from and nobody understands them. It is suspected that most of the time the Himmit don’t understand the Himmit.
No one is sure how they reproduce, where their “home” is, where their ships are produced, how they perform their feats of legerdemain (including such oddities as the ability to insert their ships through solid matter as if it were water), or any other vital fact about the species. When there is a need for help from the Himmit, they tend to appear. They may accept the task and they may not. They may ask a price for the help or they may not. If they do, they do not bargain. The price is the price and woe betide the person that attempts to cheat them. (One of the reasons they do not help the Darhel very much and never have.)
But the price never seems to jibe with the difficulty. Ask one of them to go recon a hostile planet on the other side of the galaxy and he (they are all “he” and no one knows how Himmit reproduce since they are clearly at least bi-sexual) may say no. Or he may ask for a bottle of original formula Coca-Cola or all the gold in South Africa. Or simply whistle “Okay” and disappear. Sometimes they don’t return, which means they have died. If a Himmit agrees to the conditions, he will continue the attempt until it kills him. Which is why they are always careful what they agree to. And upon their return they will tell you about their trip. In detail. Bring a lunch. And dinner. And breakfast for the next day. A Himmit can stretch out a yarn about the equivalent of going to the grocery store into a two day affair. Keeping them on track is a full-time job.
It is suspected that all Himmit work for a single director and are involved in a very deep and complex plot which manifests itself as apparently chaotic responses.
Or, maybe they're just flighty as hell. Who knows?
The enemy Posleen still exist in small numbers on Earth, as do the many pests, from at least three different alien ecologies, that they brought with them. The Posleen were scattered so widely that destroying them utterly, even with sweeping orbital laser cannons, was considered impossible. As human settlements advance, they wipe them out, just like any other predator, but in areas “on the fringe” or sparsely settled, they are an omnipresent danger.
This, then, is the fallen Earth. Where the remnant population of humanity digs in with its collective fingers and strives to reestablish the dominance it once held.
This, then, is to humans the ultimate Legacy of the Aldenata.
This is where you live.
Copyright 2003, John Ringo. All rights reserved.
But we would like to state a couple of thing first for those who have never role-played before and are picking up one of these books for the first time.
- This is a role-playing game and in no respect does it represent reality, or beliefs in our shared reality, or how people should behave. I.E. it is not a good idea or recommended to resolve disagreements in real life through violence.
- Neither John Ringo, nor the team that assembled this work, assumes that if and or when humanity makes contact with an alien civilization, that it will automatically lead to a war. Nor that aliens or cultures different from western culture are inherently evil, just different. This does not preclude peace or hostility between different cultures on Earth, let alone on other worlds.
- Neither John Ringo, nor the team, automatically believes in the inherent superiority of the United States of America. The U.S. survived due to a number of factors, one being that geography favored the U.S. The placement of two mountain ranges allowed a defensive line that could be emplaced and would shelter a sizable portion of the U.S. industrial might and agricultural strength, at least enough to continue fighting. The U.S. does enjoy a large level of industrial and population mobility that would aid in survival, i.e. no U.S. government could possibly have stopped major corporations or people from moving out of the coastal plains if they wanted to. Besides that, a number of other countries survived completely untouched by the invasion due to their geographical location.
Characters can start the game as any of the following classes:
- Biker/Gang banger
- Civilian Expert
Lucky for me, most of the Aldenata RPG is just copypasted SRD stuff. Because I'm lazy, I'm only going to be looking at the original content (or PRODUCT IDENTITY). It goes over ability scores, combat, random height/weight, what levels are and other shit for players that have never done an RPG before and yet 'are familiar with 3e', various species, AIs and Gestalts... ah, here we go. Classes.
First up, the Academic. Highlights include:
Pseudo-Eidetic Memory: Advanced training and practice allows an Academic to develop a system of what can occasionally seem like near-total recall. Add a +2 synergy bonus to all Knowledge and Intelligence checks when attempting to recall information that has previously been studied, learned, or otherwise became known to the character.
Improved Improvised Weapons: At level 2 and above, any improvised weapon used by a Biker/Gang Member does more damage and is treated as if it were one size category larger than it actually is.
Biker Evasion: At 4th level, a biker/gang member becomes so attuned to his vehicle and to the flow of the fight around him that he is able to anticipate a hit and minimize its effects. Once per day, when the biker/gang member’s vehicle is hit by an attack, the biker/gang member can make a Reflex save (DC 20). If the saving throw is successful, the pilot banks, dives, swerves, or otherwise maneuvers his vehicle sufficiently to avoid the brunt of the attack, and the vehicle takes only half damage. Divide the damage by two before subtracting the vehicle’s Damage Reduction. The pilot can use this ability twice per day at 12th level and three times per day at 20th level.
Uncanny Vehicle Dodge: At 5th level and above, he retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) if caught flat-footed or struck by an unseen attacker while driving a vehicle.
At 8th level, the biker/gang member can no longer be flanked while driving a vehicle. Another biker/gang member at least four levels higher can still flank.
For now, I'm... fuck, I don't even know. I'm gonna skip the rest of the kinda boring in comparison classes for now and skip to the good stuff I've seen.
It probably says something about me that after losing a scholarship and getting laid off I'm doing a Ringo RPG update to calm down. Fuck me.
You've already seen some of the ridiculously large armory, but have some more, because I hate myself.
Advanced Infantry Weapon (This item is Product Identity, and cannot be copied, redistributed or used to create derivative works.)
This is the current U.S. Ground Forces Assault Rifle in 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.). Due to its advanced design, the AIW is always considered a mastercraft weapon. As such, it grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls. It has an integral 20mm pump action grenade launcher built in, along with an advanced U.S.S.O.C. Digital ballistic scope ACOG 1-2.5x55 Scope with Red Center Illumination for all U.S. AIW (it will also fit most standard rifle mounts) - includes: Flat Top Adapter, Backup Iron Sights and Dust Cover. This scope was designed specifically for the US Special Operations Command SOPMOD Rifles and Carbines. To meet their requirements, the reticule bullet drop compensator and range finding stadia lines are digitally computed based on what round is being fired from what type of weapon. The scope must be programmed for the ammunition and rifle before it can be used. The scope can store four rifle and 20 ammunition settings. The scope has low light amplification and thermographic features built in. This scope has been design to allow data sharing with the Land Warrior Helmet's Heads-Up Display. Magnification: 2.5X. Note: The 2.5X Digital Ballistic Scope makes an object 1,500 meters away appear to be 750 meters away (or objects 1,200 meters away appear to be 600 meters away); this effectively multiplies each range increment of the weapon by 1.25. Add +1 to the users Initiative score when using the scope. Add +1 to all spot checks when using the scope to spot targets. The scope allows the user to visually target in the dark almost as if it were day, suffering only a -2 circumstance penalty.
Bottle, Potassium Iodate Pills
This bottle holds 200 tablets of Potassium Iodate. In the event of a nuclear weapon release, accident or Posleen threat to a nearby power plant, Potassium Iodate protects your thyroid gland from the resulting radiation. A major constituent of radiation released from a nuclear accident is a compound called "radioactive iodine." This component of radiation travels with the wind and is a major component of radioactive fallout from a nuclear event. For radiation that is not immediately lethal, the thyroid is the most sensitive and susceptible organ in your body, and its all because of radioactive iodine.
The thyroid gland readily absorbs iodine in any form, and it retains this element as a nutrient for extended periods. If radioactive iodine becomes available via a nuclear accident or event, the thyroid absorbs it too, making even low-level nuclear fallout deadly. When iodine from safe potassium iodate is absorbed by the thyroid, the gland becomes saturated, unable to absorb more. This process "blocks" radioactive iodine from entering your thyroid and can save your character’s life. The standard dosage is 170 mg of potassium iodate (2 RAD BLOCK TABLETS) tablets daily. This in turn yields 130 mg of safe, stable iodine, which fills the thyroid, thus preventing the uptake of radioactive iodine. This has the effect of reducing radiation absorbsion by one level, while being properly medicated on Potassium Iodate or Iodine pills.
Characters jailed for crimes can seek bail. Bail is a monetary guarantee that the suspect will show up for his trial. The bail amount is set by a judge or magistrate, sometimes immediately following arrest (for minor crimes) and sometimes days later (for serious crimes). If bail is granted, a character can arrange for a bail bond-a loan that covers bail. The purchase prices represent the fees associated with the loan; the bond itself is paid back to the bond agency when the hero shows up for trial. If the hero fails to show up, the agency loses the bail loan, and may send bounty hunters or other thugs after the character. Bail amounts vary dramatically, depending on the seriousness of the crime, the I added this in if you quote this first claim bragging rights suspect’s criminal history, his or her role in society, his or her family life, and other factors the judge believes indicate that the character will or will not flee (or commit other crimes) before the trial. An upstanding citizen with a good job and a family who has never before been charged with a crime gets minimal bail; a career criminal with nothing to lose gets maximum bail or may not be granted bail at all. The purchase price shown assumes the suspect is viewed positively by the court. If not, multiply the purchase price by as much as 5. Whatever the base purchase price, a successful Diplomacy check (DC 15) by the suspect reduces the purchase price by 25%.
The Character has a College Degree
Point Cost: 1
Your character has gone to a college or is currently either a part-time or full time student with one or more college degrees.
Associates Degree: 4 Ranks in the Core Major skill plus an additional 8 ranks in supporting skills. Cost 0.5 point.
Bachelor's Degree: 6 ranks in the Core Major skill plus an additional 16 ranks in supporting skills. Cost 1 point
Master's Degree: 8 ranks in the Core Major skill plus an additional 24 ranks in supporting skills. Cost 2 points.
Doctorate Degree: 10 ranks in the Core Major skill plus an additional 32 ranks in supporting skills. Cost 3 points.
Note: Your character can receive a degree in any skill that he meets the requirements for.
ASc: Associates of Science: These are "pure science courses, e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Metallurgy, Physics, Planetology, Xeno-Biology. This list is not all inclusive.
AA: Associates of Arts: These are the most "academic" courses, e.g. Cultural Studies, History, Military Studies, Law, Linguistics and Literature. This list is not all inclusive.
A.Eng: Associates of Engineering: These are "Applied science" courses for the most part, e.g. Aerospace design, Information Systems and Mining studies. This list is not all inclusive.
BSc: Bachelors of Science: These are "pure science courses, e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Metallurgy, Physics, Planetology, Xeno-Biology. This list is not all inclusive.
BA: Bachelors of Arts: These are the most "academic" courses, e.g. Cultural Studies, History, Military Studies, Law, Linguistics and Literature. This list is not all inclusive.
B.Eng: Bachelors of Engineering: These are "Applied science" courses for the most part, e.g. Aerospace design, Information Systems and Mining studies. This list is not all inclusive.
B.Ed: Bachelors of Education: This is a specialist vocation course that trains characters to work as instructors or educators, and includes a minor in a specialized subject, e.g. Physics, History, etc. Graduates are not so knowledgeable about their specialist subject as their peers leaving a "straight" BA or B.Sc course, but they will have a good working knowledge of Psychology and instruction-related skills.
Masters and Doctorate degrees are just continuation and specialization of the Core Major skill degree.
A college degree effects how must money a character can earn from his profession or craft. The amount to which a college degree effects a characters base earnings is listed below.
Associates Degree: 1.25 times base earning.
Bachelor Degree: 1.5 times base earning.
Masters Degree: 2 times base earning.
Doctorate: 4 times base earning.
The Character is a member of the Ground Forces Active Reserves
Table 11.2: Regular Military Monthly Pay Chart
Table 11.3: Separate Rations Allowance
Table 11.4: Separate Housing Allowance/Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ)
The Character is a member of the Military who has been placed on indefinite or extended Temporary Duty
The Military Draft Act of 2002
This act mandated the draft into military service of all physically and mentally fit men from the age of 18-45 for the duration of the emergency. The Act exempted certain needed professions such as police and fire. It also provided an exemption and deferment system for people deemed necessary for the war effort in their current capacity while learning a needed skill.
The Citizen Protection Act of 2002
Bowing to the pressure placed on it by panicking voters, Congress passed this law effectively repealing the vast majority of federal gun control laws. The act did initiate a stringent training program for weapon ownership though.
The Militia Regulation Act of 2002
Recognizing the need to regulate the arming of the citizenry after the repeal of the majority of the gun control laws, Congress passed this act that regulates what type of weaponry private citizens (Licensed items), militia members (Restricted Items), and retired or medically unfit military personnel (Military items) could possess.
Criminal Justice System Reform Act of 2005
This act radically altered the criminal justice system in the U.S. It had a number of very far-reaching effects:
• It gave the military justice system control over any area infested with more than 1 Posleen per 1,000 acres.
• It gave death row inmates the choice of either having their sentence commuted to life in a military infantry penal unit or having their death sentence immediately carried out.
• It commuted all life sentences to 30 years in a military infantry penal unit. The duration of the sentence could be reduced by exemplary military service.
• It commuted the sentence of all other inmates in the Federal criminal justice system to a term of service in a military infantry penal unit not to exceed their original sentence.
• It allowed states to sentence prisoners to terms in a federal military infantry penal unit. Less than 33% of all personnel originally assigned to a infantry penal unit in 2005 are still alive today.
Homestead Act of 2010
The Homestead Act of 2010 has been called one the most important pieces of legislation in the history of the United States, since the original Homestead Act. Passed into law by a Congressional override in 2009 of a presidential veto, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens.
A homesteader has only to be the head of a household and at least 21 years of age to claim a 10,000-acre parcel of land. Settlers can be from any walk of life except corporations, which with the noticeable exception of Time Warner, are barred from owning land in the reoccupied territories for a minimum of 20 years. Each homesteader has to live on the land for 4 months out of the year, build a home, and make improvements for 20 years before they are eligible to sell their property. A total filing fee of $5,000 is the only money required, but sacrifice and hard work have exacted a different price from the hopeful settlers.
The Filing Process
People interested in Homesteading first have to file their intentions at the nearest Land Office. A brief check for previous ownership claims is made for the plot of land in question, usually described by its survey coordinates. The prospective homesteader pays a filing fee of $1,000 to claim the land temporarily, as well as a $1,000 commission to the land agent.
With application and receipt in hand, the homesteader then returns to the land to begin the process of building a home and living on the land, both requirements to be able to sell the property at the end of twenty years. When all requirements have been completed and the homesteader is ready to take legal possession, the homesteader must have two federal employees willing to vouch for the truth of the homesteader's statements about the land's improvements, and sign the land ownership document.
After successful completion of this final form and payment of a $3000 fee, the homesteader receives the patent for the land, signed with the name of the then-current President of the United States.
Corporations and the Homestead Act
Although there was considerable effort put forth to allow corporations to take part in the Homestead Act, the Senators for the Ohio Valley states were able to fight off the amendments that would have made corporations eligible to take advantage of the Act and the amendments to vastly increase the land allotment.
But the corporate coalition was able to get though provisions allowing corporations to lease the land from the homesteader, as long as the homesteader lives on the land and his rights as outlined in the Homestead Act are not violated.
The Security Regulation Act of 2010
This act regulates the formation of private paramilitary security groups (mercenary organizations in everything but name) to protect citizens attempting to exercise their right under the Homestead Act of 2010, after the Greensboro massacre in February of 2010. It regulates what military weaponry these Security groups may use within the U.S. borders, what weapons they may use outside the borders of the U.S., and how they will be regulated and taxed. The act also Federalizes all employees of these groups to the extent that their organizations are listed as inactive reserve formations of the U.S. Ground Forces.