Friday, October 24, 2014

d20 Rifts - Races, part 1

Humans: Humans are the most prevalent and wide-spread race, being native to Rifts Earth, and to most of the closest dimensions. As such, they are considered the baseline. Humans get no standard benefits (i.e., no bonus skill points or feat a la D&D). However, they are able to choose a department, which indicates their original training. Any of the Spycraft 1.0 departments are available (though, obviously, the names of many of them are meaningless in this setting). (Ed note: In re-posting, I think I'd drop this. Adding the departments does good things to encourage people to pick humans, but adds a lot of complexity. I'd probably just go with no stat adjustments, +1 skill point per level, +1 to all action die results per 4 levels, and an open bonus feat.)

Near-human D-Bees: There are any number of D-Bees in the world that, except for cosmetic differences, are essentially the same as humans. For each of these, you may also select a department, as usual. However, instead of the standard department ability score adjustments, you use adjustments based on the race. Also, you will drop one of the abilities of the department, and replace it with a standard ability of the race. Some sample races include:
  • Coyle: Coyote-like humanoids. +2 Wis, -2 Int. Has the scent ability.
  • Lizard-man: Reptilian humanoids. +2 Con, =2 Int. Cold-blooded.
  • Lone Star Escapee: Cross between human and animal. +2 any, -2 any. Psion level +1/5 levels.
  • Elf: Similar to Tolkein elves. +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Con. Caster level +1/5 levels.
(Ed note: as above, drop the department aspect. Draw heavily on the departments to create half a dozen or so races. Which, of course, gets to the root of why I dropped the project. The d20 system requires a whole bunch of fiddly bits to get created.)

High-powered D-Bees: Some D-Bees and creatures of magic are just plain better than humans. These are represented using the following modified ECL rules:

  • Each race is assigned an ECL (Equivalent Class Level) adjustment. This represents the number of levels that must be given up to take this race. These levels are used at the beginning of the character’s career, essentially like their first class. Hence, if an Ogre has as ECL of 4, and also has 2 levels of Faceman, his stats would look like Ogre 4/Faceman 2. However, do note that, unlike standard classes, you take a race as an entire package. It is not possible to “class out” of Ogre before you have finished the levels, e.g. as Ogre 2.
  • Those levels count as normal agent levels for gaining feats, attribute bonuses, action dice, and for abilities that depend on agent level.
  • Races do not gain bonuses to their base attack bonus, saving throws, defense, initiative, budget points, or resource points. Instead, they start with enhanced attributes (typically a net +2 per level).
  • Characters with an ECL race do not get to select a department.
  • You will gain skills during your racial levels. By default, races gain 4 skill points per level. Each race will list their “class skills” in their description. You do not get the standard x4 bonus skill points at first level. Rather, when you take your first non-racial level, you will get the 1st level bonus skill points for that class.
  • All ECL races, unless otherwise noted, gain d10 vitality per level.

Do note that, with some particularly high level ECLs, it does become possible to create a character with a prestige class, but with no base class. This is strongly discouraged, as it is just plain wrong.
Some sample high-powered D-Bees include rahu man, dragon hatchling, ogre, and vampire.

Cannot take caster levels
+2 Wis, +2 Con, -2 Cha
+1 to Will saves, +1 for every 4 levels
Can use the Psionic Sensing skill with 0 vitality cost
Has minimal need for food and water
“Feeds” on PPE:
The psi-stalker is able to draw the magical energy out of a person, and gain sustenance from it. To feed on a person, the target must be within 50 feet, and currently bleeding (i.e., have vitality or wound damage from a slashing or piercing weapon). As a full-round action, the psi-stalker consumes all of the PPE from the target (with a successful DC 30 Concentration check, the psi-stalker can opt to draw only part of the target’s PPE). The target is then rendered fatigued for the remainder of the scene. The psi-stalker must feed on a minimum of 50 PPE per week, and prefers 80-100. As a note, it is possible for a psi-stalker to survive by drawing energy from ley lines, or fetishes. However, this is like surviving on sour milk and rancid meat, and is not only unappetizing, but risks disease.
Feat: Sensory Basics
Skills: Climb, Concentration, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Hide, Intimidate, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, Survival

Cannot take caster levels
+2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int
+1 to all Listen and Survival skill checks, with an additional +1 every four levels
Feat: Either Sensory Basics or Wild Talent: Psionic Sensing
Feat: Track
Skills: Balance, Concentration, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, Sport, Surveillance, Survival

Dragon Hatchling:
Caster level 2 + 1/5 levels
+4 Str, +6 Int, +4 Con, -2 Wis
Size: Large (5’ x 10’, no Reach)
Fly: Speed 90
Nightvision 90’
Natural Armor:
The dragon is able to take on appearance of any mammal, bird, or reptile. The creature can be up to two size categories smaller, or equal, to the size of the dragon, but not larger. The dragon does not gain or lose any special abilities, except for size modifiers. The transformation can last for a maximum of two hours per level.
A dragon is capable of teleporting to any known location within 5 miles. Doing so requires simply an act of will, and a Concentration check. The check itself takes one half-action, and a successful teleport leaves the dragon flat-footed at the destination. Failure of the check simply indicates the teleport did not happen. A critical success indicates that the dragon is not flat-footed. A critical failure indicates that the dragon did teleport, to a random location of the GC’s choosing. The dragon can make a check only once every other round.
  • DC 20 - Within direct sight
  • DC 25 - Within indirect sight (e.g., through a camera or scrying)
  • DC 30 - Location currently unseen, but previously visited
  • DC 35 - Location never visited, but previously indirectly seen or well-described
  • DC 40 - Location only known by direction and distance, or poorly described
Breath Weapon:
Dragons are known for their ability to breathe destruction upon their enemies. The dragon is able to generate a 25’ cone, plus 5’ per 4 levels. Everything within that cone, whether friend, foe, or innocent scenery, will take 1d6 points of megadamage, plus an additional 1d6 points every 4 levels. Those in the area may make a Reflex save (DC 15 plus 1/4 levels) for half damage. The exact nature of the breath weapon varies with the species of the dragon (see below).
Gains 6 skill points per racial level
Skills: Balance, Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Hobby, Intimidate, Knowledge, Languages, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival
Drawback: Childlike mentality, -4 to all Will saves
  • Great Horned – Gains Feat: Any Psionic instead of Breath Weapon; +1 caster level
  • Fire Lizard – Breath Weapon is fire; DR 15 + 5/4 levels versus fire
  • Ice Lizard – Breath Weapon is cold; DR 15 + 5/4 levels versus cold
  • Thunder Lizard – Breath Weapon is sonic; Size: Huge (10’ x 15’, 10’ Reach) instead of Fly; Feat: Great Fortitude

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