Character Creation Rules
Everyone starts with zero levels in all stats and skills. No points are given out.
You can add positive levels during character creation, but must take a greater penalty each time you do so. In other words, having a total of +1 positive initial levels means you must take a total of -1 levels elsewhere, i.e. you can add one to Energy (Energy +1) but must subtract one from something else, like Durability (Durability -1)
The amount of negative levels you take increases with your total positive levels:
- +1 levels means you take -1 levels elsewhere
- +2 levels means you take -3 levels elsewhere
- +3 levels means you take -6 levels elsewhere
- +4 levels means you take -10 levels elsewhere
- you cannot add more than four levels total.
- initial levels cannot be less than -2.
- initial levels cannot be more than 2.
To give a further example, let's say I want to put two points into Durability. That means I must take three points from something else, so I set Energy to -1 and Computer Systems to -2. Then, let's say I also want to add a point to Engines. That's a total of +3 (2 for durability and 1 for Engines), so I therefore must subract a total of six. I already have -3 between Computers and Energy, so I subtract another one from Energy, subtract another from Hacking Systems, and then subtract another from PSI Unit. I now have a total of +3 against -6.
Stats are separate for both Stats and Skills - you can't put +3 into Stats and then try to subtract six from Skills - it doesn't work that way. You could technically keep all your stats at zero and just mess with your skills even if you wanted, or have +2 in stats and +1 in skills.
Getting all zeroes isn't necessarily the best option.
Remember that if you go all zeroes, you'll have a fair chance of failing at everything you do.
If you get a few 1s or 2s, you could stick to those skills as much as possible and have a better chance of survival.
But you should only do that if you don't plan on raising the skills you put negative levels in.
For every successful mission, you get ten points to put in any of your skills, and ten points to put in any of your stats. Leveling stats/skills costs as follows:
- lvl -2 to lvl -1: 10 points
- lvl -1 to lvl 0: 5 points
- lvl 0 to lvl 1: 5 points
- lvl 1 to lvl 2: 10 points
- lvl 2 to lvl 3: 15 points
- lvl 3 to lvl 4: 20 points
Points last between missions; this means you can split your points up and have something at three points, and then put two more points in after the next mission to make five. If your ship gets destroyed, you won't lose your stats, but you'll take a hit to the number of creds you receive, and of course have to replace anything that broke. If you die, but your brain is recoverable, you get put in a cheap robot body. If you die and your brain is oatmeal, you lose everything.Stats
Your MK 1 CASKET (Contained Active Service Killer Escort Tool) has a number of upgrades that could be made to it - which is important, as you're more or less flying around in a pop-up toaster otherwise. These upgrades are permanent and can be replaced as long as your pilot still draws breath (or ammonia soup, depending on where you're from). If you get your ship blown up, we'll just build you a new one after you get back home.
- Energy - whatever fool inventor thought it'd be a brilliant idea to have weapons, shields, and afterburner use the same resource would probably be pissed that this gets a single stat. Helps determine how big of weapons your ship can handle, too. Makes your ship capable of carrying bigger conventional weapons.
Translates into Strength on foot. Helps you deliver stronger punches, lift heavier weights, carry heavier weapons with more recoil and generally just blow the mind of any lady that happens to look in your direction. Also helps you in melee combat.
- Durability - How long it takes you to become a lump of molten metal in a firefight. Backup systems also fall under this category, as well as self-repair nanobots (not that we're giving you any). Helps add resistances to your ship and keep it from falling apart under fire.
Translates into Endurance on foot. Helps you push through the pain when you're wounded, so you're not crying on the ground like a little wuss. Also helps keep you from passing out from the pain of all the stupid stuff you've done.
- Maneuverability - Regardless of how stupid of an idea it was to fly between those asteroids, this helps you get back out alive. It could also help you win races, if you weren't in a maximum security prison serving indefinite time at the edge of space. Helps you maneuver in tight areas, dodge weapon fire, and do incredible acrobatics.
Translates into Agility on foot. Helps you leap tall counters in a single bound, jump places you wouldn't normally be able to, and especially helps you dodge weapon fire. Particularly good too if you want to use swords or go in for melee combat.
- Hacking Systems - Helps you hack things more… better. What more could you ask for? Note: Anyone caught attempting to hack one of their teammates will not be summarily keelhauled, but we might tape it and run it later in the theater if you succeed.
On foot, translates into … Hacking.
- Computer - It helps you appear smarter than a four-year-old on occasion. Useful for operating advanced prototype weaponry that requires large amounts of calculations. Or anything that requires calculations, really. Also determines the size of your database.
Translates into Perception on foot. Helps you learn more from looking over the battlefield and gives you a better idea of what's going on. Lets you see details others may have missed.
- PSI Unit (PSyche Integrator) - Machinery and computer equipment that hooks directly into your brain through special plugs in your head that we've taken the liberty of installing - and you didn't even have to sign. Useful for operating psionic weaponry and (sometimes) not losing your mind. Can also be used to "will" your ship to do certain minor things, but takes a perfect roll (5) to be successful. (The default PSI unit just creates precise, localized, short-range magnetic fields. Turn your ship, wave a robotic arm, etc. Installing amps gives you more abilities.)
Translates into Willpower on foot. Helps keep you from panicking and screaming like a little girl in the corner. Also helps you wake back up if you happen to pass out. Best of all, helps keep you immune to alien mind control techniques and can even let you use that stuff against them.
- Robotics - Your CASKET comes pre-installed with two robotic arms and pincers. The more we upgrade them, the stronger and more useful they'll be to you. Upgrading them more will also let you install even better equipment later on, after you've earned your keep. Especially good for people that want handiwork skill.
Translates into PDA skill on foot. Lets you scan things, record data, access databases and more. Also lets you use your PDA's built in electrical and infrared ScanCam modes. Short range, but can keep you alive.
- Engines - Your engines are what make you move, dumbass. Did you really expect me to explain everything to you? Fine. This controls how good your thrusters and primary engines are, how fast you move, all of that good stuff. Also afterburners. Helps you dodge things better and multitask. Regardless of whether or not all that went over your head, I'm not explaining it any further.
Translates into Run Speed on foot
. Also helps with multitasking and dodging things that require you to get the hell out of the way.Skills
Most people are good at something - most, mind you. You lot are probably the worst bunch of misfits and cowards I've ever seen, so here's your chance to prove you're better than a mildly sentient doorjamb. Simply mark down what you're good at and we'll get you processed - unless you're not good at anything, in which case you were really stupid to let us catch you. Actually, you all ought to get a low mark on intuition to begin with.
- Charisma - A handy skill for when you want to talk a bullet out of embedding itself in your face. Handles all sorts of interpersonal communications. Probably not used much. When it is used, though, you can potentially talk enemies into assisting you. Sometimes you can roleplay allies into assisting you even - anyone "charasmized" into doing an action(a charisma roll for 5) gets a +1 to that particular action (though they don't necessarily have to do it). A good skill for leaders.
- Intuition - that tingly feeling you get when somebody plants a nuke in your latrine. Helpful for guessing your way through defusing a dozen bombs or for finding your wake back home after twice that many drinks. Specifically: Used for making uneducated guesses about things you couldn't possibly have any knowledge about. Helps you dodge bullets and assists your reflexes. Excellent dodge skill, though not as useful outside of combat as Maneuverability.
- Handiwork - Making things, breaking things, fixing things, and otherwise turning stuff from X, into laser guided, thermonuclear Y. Also helps you repair or patch both ships and other automated systems. Helpful in things like coolant leaks, which will likely happen. Lets you create things from part kits as well. If you level this high enough and buy the correct stuff, you can even start making money off of your inventions. This skill also doubles as medical knowledge and ability. Mechanics make good medics.
- Conventional weapons - Anything with a barrel that goes pew-pew and shoots a potentially lethal something when you pull a trigger or mash a button.
- Unconventional weapons - Covers non-death-tube armaments like explosives, melee weapons (oh, hell yes), physics manipulators, and so forth.
- Exotic weapons - Things which blur the line between weapon and supernatural force. Includes amps, implants, genetic augmentation and most alien weaponry.
- General Knowledge - You know that thing, at that place where the stuff does the thing? Yeah, of course you do. You know every detail of it down to the color of the fourth hair on its pinky finger. Useful as an arbitrary trivia stat - you'll know more about your gear and more about the enemy with this skill. Good way to use it: "Try to remember if X." Can help you know parkour, kung-fu, and anything else.
- Auxiliary - How good you are at using external things you tack onto your ship. Makes drones and other things more useful, along with a lot of other miscellaneous crap. Lets you purchase bigger, stronger ships later on in the game, and keeps the GM from splattering you when he thinks it's vaguely amusing.