The Day After Ragnarok by Pththya-lyi
The Intro to the OutroOriginal SA post
Part One: The Intro to the Outro
Because this setting deals so heavily with endings, I think it’s appropriate to discuss the last section of the book (not counting the Index) first. Inspirations is exactly what it says on the tin: Hite discusses the fictional and non-fictional sources he used to create the setting.
Kenneth Hite posted:
My immediate inspiration for The Day After Ragnarok was reading the quote that starts off the “Serpentfall” chapter:
“ The Nazi myth which is important…[to] men like Hitler requires a Götterdämmerung ”
—U.S. War Department Counterintelligence Assessment, Feb. 12, 1945
If you take that literally, what does it mean? It means that the end of the world was a Nazi war aim. And one end specifically: Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, the Twilight of the Gods, or in the Norse, Ragnarok.
Other named inspirations include actual history and mythology (which I’ll point out as appropriate) and seventies pulp (especially British spy and adventure fiction), but as several posters have already noted, The Day After Ragnarok owes the most to the Conan stories of Robert E. Howard. The themes and tropes of Howard’s works – barbarism overthrowing civilization, monsters and magic, badass men being badass because they can – permeate the text, and the explicit allusions to Conan begin on the front end-paper:
Kenneth Hite posted:
Know, O Prince, that between the years when the Serpent fell and the oceans drank America and the gleaming cities, and the rise of the Sons of Space, there was an Age undreamed of, when nations guttered low and flared brilliant across the poisoned world like dying stars—California and Texas each claiming the flag of the West, France torn asunder and facing the desert, harsh Mexico, slumbering Brazil, Argentina where the seeds of Thule lay waiting, ancient lands of Persia and Arabia and Iraq between two empires, the coldly clutching Soviet Union whispering behind its Wall of Serpent, Japan whose warriors wore steel and silk and khaki. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Australia, the last green and pleasant land, ringed around by its dominions and bulwarked by the sea
This is, of course, a riff on the Nemedian Chronicles epigraph from “ The Phoenix on the Sword ,” the first published Conan story. The epigraph goes on to describe Conan “tread[ing] the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet,” and Hite’s revision invites the reader to imagine himself having a similar impact on this setting.
The first section of the book, Serpentfall , sets the stage for our barbarian (and/or civilized) badassery. It begins with the War Department quote reproduced in the Inspirations section, and explains the results of the Nazis's apocalyptic effort. In our timeline, American General George S. Patton died in a car accident shortly after the war, but the DAR universe has him assassinated in 1944 as part of Operation Walküre under German Lieutenant Colonel Otto Skorzeny . According to the Nazi occultists, Patton was “the rope of the Norns ,” and his “severing” gave them enough time to carry out their master plan despite Allied military victories.
It was awfully nice of the Nazis to write their secret documents in English .
Ken Hite posted:
the sun of July rose over a prostrate Reich. Wagner’s Götterdämmerung played on Berlin Radio night and day, and the smoke blotted out the stars. And then it happened; the whole world heard the howl of Garm , and the moon was eclipsed in blood.
Jörmungandr rose up out of the Arabian Sea and quickly started wreaking havoc, swallowing entire Allied convoys with its 350 mile-wide head and zipping around the stratosphere. The Truman administration was forced to take decisive action.
Ken Hite posted:
a lone B-29 took off from Iceland. Its original target had been Berlin, but Captain Joseph Westover had new orders. He, and the crew of the Strange Cargo , were to seek out and engage the Midgard Serpent with the Trinity Device. On July 21, 1945, spotter planes for “Operation John Henry” zeroed the Strange Cargo in on the Serpent, its head 20,000 feet above Oslo and moving southeast at 80 knots. Captain Westover was an ace pilot, capable of flying a plane through something much smaller than a snake’s pupil 500 yards across. The Device detonated, tearing a piece of the Sun down from heaven and destroying the Serpent’s brain in a torrent of atomic fire. Westover and his crew died instantly. Jörmungandr took a little bit longer than that.
Next time: The Serpent Dies, The Giants Revive, The Eagle Broken, and The Lion Waiting
SerpentfallOriginal SA post
It looks pretty awesome, but if there are two USSR-in-supernatural-WW2 books in a row with no Lysenko I'm going to get pissed.
I’m sorry, but I should tell you now there’s no Lysenko in DAR. If anyone was going to include Lysenko in their books, it was probably Ken Hite – dude loves to put obscure history in his games – but no such luck. Atomic Overmind Press is soliciting short DAR scenarios, so maybe you can officially add Lysenko to the setting. I can tell you that there is some weird stuff with Soviets and grain in a part of the world you might not expect.
You just think that's ...It gets more as it goes on!
Nope, sorry: there are a lot of things in this setting, but flying a nuke into a 1,500 quintillion ton-snake’s eye has yet to be equaled. Consider the scale of the aftermath and tell me it’s not as anything.
In this update, we get into the rest of the Serpentfall chapter. This part is divided into three sections: The Serpent Dies , The Giants Revive , The Eagle Broken , and The Lion in Waiting . The first of these three sections establishes that Jörmungandr managed to do a lot of damage even after its death.
The Serpent’s head, its skull cored out by nuclear flame, kept moving toward Nuremberg where it had been Called, but its dead muscles overshot their mark. The head finally crashed to earth in Egypt—or rather, on Egypt.
The coils settled across Central Europe and northern Africa, crushing much of the Sahara and most of the British Isles, “the Low Countries, western Germany and Austria, the boot of Italy, coastal Yugoslavia, [and] Southern Greece.” The ensuing earthquakes could be felt 100 miles away, and the parts that fell into the ocean set off a 100-meter high wave that smashed hard into the Americas.
New York, Washington, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, Miami (and poor low-sunk New Orleans) all drowned. Montreal and Cleveland and Chicago, and Veracruz and Houston and Caracas, were merely battered.
Oh, and did I mention that the water was poisoned? The North wind caught a bunch of radioactive venom and blew it all west, and the ensuing storms ensured that the Eastern US got a double-dose of the stuff. Wherever the poisoned waters fell, mutants and monsters sprung up.
Of course, some places fared better than others. Wales and Cornwall didn’t get smished, and neither did west France, Savoy, Eastern Europe, or Spain. (Portugal got fucked over by the tsunami, though). And things turned out great for the USSR: not only did the Serpentfall cripple the Western Allies while leaving Russia and Eastern Europe practically untouched, the earthquakes woke up the Narts , legendary giants of the Caucasus mountains. The greatest of these giants, Nasren, had been chained in the Caucasus by the gods he betrayed (there was a lot of cross-cultural pollination between the Greeks and the Circassians, so the latter got their own version of the Prometheus myth): it seemed natural for him to ally with the atheistic Communists. He and his other giant buddies – “Soslan of the steel body, Batyrez the invincible swordsman, Satanya the beautiful” and many more who went east – were hailed by the Party as bogatyrs and welcomed for their ancient knowledge of the dawn of time. For their part, the giants warmed up Russia, reviving the Ice Age megafauna and protecting the Soviets from the wintry weather that the rest of the world was forced to face over the past three years. The alliance isn’t rock-solid, however:
It is a shame, Stalin told each of them, looking at them with his wise brown eyes, it is a shame that your sons the Ossetians and the Ingush were killed to the last child by the fascists and the imperialists. It is a shame, they agreed, and their own icy eyes narrowed.
The Soviet scientists also got a new substance to play with in Serpent venom, and have already made great strides in experimenting with “volunteers.”
America – or what’s left of it – can’t really challenge the USSR’s position: there are enough problems at home! The Pacific War is over: America’s fleets returned to protect the West Coast, and they struggle even to hold on to Hawaii. The Army’s Evacuation of ’46 ended poorly, so the states west of the Rockies are just trying to shore up and protect themselves. Washington and pretty much everyone in it is gone, so then-Governor of California Earl Warren became President of six of the fifty states (Alaska and Hawaii got statehood early) in a controversial election. Texas split off, because you can’t have an alternate history game without that happening, and “Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Birmingham, and Memphis” were among several cities in the so-called Poisoned Lands that survived by becoming draconian city-states who could kick outsiders to the curb.
The British empire is somewhat better off: yes, most of the Isles will never see the sun again, but Wales, Cornwall, Australia, South Africa, the non-poisoned part of Canada, and a third of India live on to swear their allegiance to King Henry IX , who rules from Sydney. They reluctantly gave up the war with Japan in an armistice and the rest of India to an independent “Congress,” but what remains of the Empire is still going on. BP even figured out how to extract oil from the Serpent, and Royal Dutch-Shell refines it in their Welsh and Kenyan plants. The Royal Navy dives into the ocean rift the Serpent came out of, while the Royal Society speleo-herpetologists explore the inside of the great carcass itself and bring out things for Rhodes University in South Africa - now the premier academic institution - to study. The Rhodes researchers have used these things to develop new technologies, including the survival gear that Sir Edmund Hillary wore on his famous expedition to the top of the Spine. Vickers has also got French researcher Jean-Jacques Barre (whom I can’t find on Wikipedia) out of his country and scavenged some notes from Roswell and used them to develop rockets, which the Royal Rocketry Air Force (RRAF) use to shuttle the things to the researchers. Robert Menzies got to be Prime Minister a little early, and he and his government worry about Stalin’s cryptic hints of “a final titanic struggle” to come. Has the sun finally set on the British Empire? Only time will tell
This letter establishes what we know scientifically about the Serpent. I’ll leave it to the boffins to interpret. There are also a couple of pop culture allusions in the letter as well, which I will also leave to the boffins.
Next time: Character Creation (with audience participation)!
What happened to Japan? It's kinda weird to just hear America backs off and Britain lets them have the Pacific without finding out what did Japan do in the aftermath? Gobble up the rest of Asia?
Yes, but Hite doesn't mention that in this chapter.
Heroes' SectionOriginal SA post
Völuspá, Stanza 41 posted:
Now death is the portion of doomed men,
Red with blood the buildings of gods,
The sun turns black in the summer after,
Winds whine. Well, would you know more?
This first of a set of quotations from the Völuspá starts off the Heroes’ Section , the part of the book designed for all players to read. (The GM’s Section comes later; no fancy names for game masters here!) The section starts off with a set of Character Concepts . These lists are a conventional part of Savage World setting books and are meant to be a non-exhaustive set of ideas for PC characters.
Yes, yes, it’s a tragedy that the Nazis summoned a monster from Norse myth and crushed 400 million people under it. But think what it means for your studies!
Basically Conan. Now that civilization’s ruined, you finally have permission to be the lone wolf badass you were always meant to be.
I just love the name “Piggly Wiggly” so much.
It’s only been three years since the Serpentfall and the need to rebuild is great. You design machines and structures to protect people from monsters and the harsh elements.
You fight monsters.
You kill ‘em for the Lord, or because a demon got your dad in ’46, or because smart towns pay a fat bounty for every giant snake head brought in.
You fight people for money.
You fight against stiff competition to get oil out of the Serpent’s body and to your customers.
You’re on the wrong side of what passes for the law these days.
Maybe someone died, or maybe they just really want their stuff back. Or maybe you didn’t do it at all, and a military court didn’t want to hear about your alibi.
Really more of a scavenger. There’s copper wire in them thar hills! And steel, and gold, and jewels, and cars, and food that you can probably still eat. You have to contend with monsters and bandits in order to win and keep your salvage.
The world fell apart, but somehow the oppressors are still here.
The single most important event in the history of mankind just happened. And it happened where you can measure it. The Serpent redefines physics; what’s inside it, and what came after it, turns biology on its head.
You’re James Bond. It’s your job to figure out what both your enemies and your allies are trying to hide.
After all, the last time someone surprised your side, a giant snake killed Europe.
You fight monsters and baddies for home and country.
Next up is Character Roles , which suggests roles you might accept within a party of people in the same profession. The book suggests a few group concepts:
speleo-herpetologists, wildcat oilmen, a law-enforcement or military squad. Instead of making five virtually identical professionals to populate that group, each member of the party specializes their character so that everyone has something they’re good at. For each Role, the book suggests a set of Key Skills, Key Attributes , and Key Edges to focus on.
Key Skills : Guts, Fighting, Shooting.
Key Attributes : Strength and Vigor.
Key Edges : Brawny, Quick, Trademark Weapon.
Key Skills : Healing, Knowledge (Biology), Survival.
Key Attributes : Smarts and Spirit.
Key Edges : Common Bond, Fast Healer, Healer.
Key Skills : Boating, Driving, Lockpicking, Piloting, Repair, Shooting.
Key Attributes : Agility and Smarts.
Key Edges : Ace, McGyver, Mr. Fix-it.
Key Skills : Gambling, Persuasion, Streetwise.
Key Attributes : Spirit and Smarts.
Key Edges : Attractive, Charismatic, Connections.
Engineer is a better fit for this, but he’s already representing the Specialist so I went with the comedy option.
Key Skills : Investigation, Knowledge (any), Notice.
Key Attributes : Smarts.
Key Edges : Danger Sense, Investigator, Scholar.
A sidebar provides examples of how the Professional Edges from the core book might work in the setting:
I spot allusions to John Birch , Phillip Marlowe , Indiana Jones, and Catwoman. Who can you find?
Now it’s time to learn about Making Heroes ! These are step-by-step instructions for making a DAR character, which overlap somewhat with the rules in the core book, but have a few notable differences.
Unlike a few other Savage Settings where you can play humanoids, DAR only allows for human characters. In a departure from the core book rules, only Wild Card humans get a free Edge.
Characters also get small bonuses based on the country they’re from. The book only provides specific benefits for Americans and Texans (who get 1 additional skill point in Fighting or Shooting) and people from the British Commonwealth (who get double the starting cash). Those who want to play people of other nationalities have to work out a national bonus with the GM, though Hite suggests 1 point in Survival to reflect the fact that almost every nation has suffered over the past three years.
Same as in the core book.
Same as in the core book, with the reminder of the extra skill point that Americans and Texans get.
Your character is fluent a number of languages equal to half his Smarts die; the first one is his native tongue, which is probably English if you’re playing a Commonwealth or American hero. You can leave some or all of the other language slots blank to establish later (“Actually, I happen to speak isiZulu!”). If you manage to increase his Smarts permanently, then he gets an additional language.
Same as in the core book.
Same as in the core book.
Everyone starts out with the clothes on his back and $250 dollars American, except for Commonwealth heroes, who get £100 ($500). If you take the Rich Edge, you get $750, or £300 ($1,500) if you’re from the Commonwealth. The book recommends spending most of that money on stuff to help you kill real good, especially ammunition, which people in the Poisoned Lands use as currency.
Background and Name
Standard fluffy stuff. Hite specifically asks you to think about why your character is joining up with the rest of the party, which I think is always a good thing to emphasize.
Next up are the New Hindrances :
Blank Stare (Minor)
You’re shell-shocked by a bad experience you had in the past and have trouble connecting to people. Suffer -2 Charisma.
You don’t give a shit what people think of you anymore: while you’re not Bloodthirsty, you are willing to kill in order to get ahead. You take a -4 to all Persuasion tests.
Holy Roller (Minor)
You’ve found Jesus/Allah/Whoever and YOU WILL NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT. Suffer -1 Charisma and -1 to Tests of Will against everyone who isn’t a Holy Roller of your own faith. You do get +1 Charisma when you deal with Holy Rollers of your own faith, but the Test of Will penalty still applies.
Luddite (Minor or Major)
Since the Serpentfall, many people turned away from technology: in some devastated places, they didn’t have much of a choice. The Minor version of this Hindrance means that you deal with post-19th century technology as if you had the All Thumbs Hindrance, while the Major version means you’ve rejected all modern technology: no automatic pistols, no breech-loading rifles, no travel by plane or car or advanced boat. Modern medicine may be okay, but not Serpent-derived medicine.
Snakebit (Minor or Major)
You’ve spent too much time around Serpent venom, and that makes you more susceptible to its vile influence. With the Minor version of the Hindrance, you get a -2 penalty to all Vigor checks caused by Serpent-aspected baddies (monsters, cultists, etc.), including Soak rolls when fighting monsters or cultists. The Major version gives you these penalties, plus the chance of a Face Heel Turn to the Serpent side. Rolling snake eyes when fighting Serpent-aspected enemies will turn you into the Serpent’s slave, and you’ll work and fight for it whenever you are conscious. If your buddies want to save you, they have to cast a healing on you while you are asleep or knocked out. While you are working for the Serpent, however, you don’t have to worry about the other Snakebit effects.
I was hoping to get through the entire Character Creation section in one update, but it’s getting kind of long and I’m getting kind of tired. I'll try to finish up the section tomorrow.
Next Time: New Edges and maybe Gear.
EdgesOriginal SA post
And now, after more than six months, I return to
The Day After Ragnarok
Part Four: Edges
Last time I discussed the official Hindrances of DAR, so now I’m going to talk about the Edges. You can take all the normal Edges in the Savage Worlds core book; Hite tells us that the Noble Edge covers Americans and Texan “judges, corporate executives, [and] ranchers.” DAR adds some new Edges, some of which are based on our own history, some of which cover setting-unique elements.
DAR has four Arcane Background Edges: Magic, Miracles, Ophi-Tech (replacing Weird Science from the Savage Worlds core book) and Psionics . Super Powers aren’t appropriate to the setting, so they’re left out. This is a grimdark setting, and just like most everything else, the arcane is tainted by Serpent venom. In Core Savage Worlds, you get 10 Power Points when you buy an Arcane Background, but DAR Arcane Backgrounds only give you 5 PP; you have to effectively pay twice the Edge cost for the full 10 points. Each Arcane Background picks their powers from a set list. DAR also adds a couple of arcane powers:
Hideous under water mutant or hideous under ground mutant? You can't be both!
Requirements: Novice, Knowledge (Occult) d8+, All Thumbs or Anemic
Ken Hite posted:
Magic is inherently tricky and dangerous, and it imposes a cost on its practitioners over and above any danger to their souls. Their body energies flare and flux and interfere with precision equipment and electrical gear, or simply dwindle and drain slowly into Niflheim. Although all the major nations deny any official magical efforts, there may well be secretive government programs ongoing at Mount Shasta or Ayers Rock , not to mention whatever Stalin has bubbling away behind the Wall of Serpents.
The Savage World system can be used to emulate many different kinds of magical traditions and DAR encourages the would-be mage to work with her GM to figure out the methods and trappings she uses. The book gives the examples of “an Aleister Crowley wannabe, a Pennsylvania hex magician, [and] a Kenyan witch-smeller;” the only restriction is that the magic require “ritual components or activities” of some kind.
Mages pick 3 from this list: barrier , bolt , burst , detect arcana , dispel , elemental manipulation , fear , obscure , puppet (“requires a voodoo doll with target’s hair or blood”), shape chance (pick one animal per character rank), speak language , and zombie
Requirements: Novice, Knowledge (Religion) d6+, Special
In a world where the Norse religion has been definitively backed up by a giant fuckoff snake, you’d expect the other faiths to be on the wane, but nope! People of all religions are harnessing divine powers. Hite suggests that the GM restrict the Miracles background to NPCs by putting practical limits on miraculous abilities – the need to take hallucinogens, rituals that go on for days, purity requirements, etc – that make it hard to be a good miracle worker and an adventurer. Different religions require different Hindrances: Mormons, Christians, Jews and Muslims have to take Holy Roller; Buddhists and Hindus have to take either Poverty or Minor Pacifism; everyone else takes Outsider. (Forcing people to take Holy Roller in order to work miracles in their faith traditions kind of annoys me; I disagree with the notion that being devout means being obnoxious. But I’m not the game designer here, and it’s not like a GM can’t house-rule a different required Hindrance.)
If you do get to use miracles, pick two from the list: boost trait (Guts, Healing, Intimidation, Persuasion, Spirit, Strength, Survival, and Vigor only), detect arcana , dispel , greater healing , healing , light , smite , and speak language .
Requirements: Novice, Knowledge (Science) d8+, not a Luddite
Ophi-Tech involves developing and using technology derived from Jormungandr’s remains; it’s the setting’s take on weird science. The player who wants this Edge has to justify her access to this bleeding edge technology; and the easiest way is to have status at Rhodes University or the British government.
Rhodes University engineers and scientists are at the forefront of biotechnology, energy, and advanced airframe research based on study of the Midgard Serpent. Although some Rhodes-developed devices have been around long enough for gray-market knockoffs to emerge, virtually all the cutting-edge experimental “ophi-tech” or “ophiurgy” is still in the hands of Rhodes researchers and/or His Majesty’s Government. Not that there’s much difference. Of course, there are also ophi-tech programs at Caltech, Los Alamos, and the Nouvelle-Sorbonne, to say nothing of the Pingfan Institute in Japanese Manchukuo or Science City 14 outside Tomsk. But Rhodes still does it most and best.
You can also buy this Edge after character creation, but it takes two Advances instead of just one. The book gives the example of a member of the Royal Air Force getting a transfer to the Royal Rocketry Air Force.
Ophiurgists pick one technological marvel that represents a power from this list: armor , acquatic , bolt , darkvision , entangle , environmental protection , fly , quickness , and speed (vehicles only). The ophi-tech items that produce these powers are discussed at the end of the Gear section.
Requirements: Novice, Blank Stare, Minor Pacifist
Both the US and the Soviet Union tried to weaponize psychic abilities in our timeline, but their experiments never bore any fruit (that we know about ). In the Serpentfall setting, the Soviet Union successfully cultivated a crop of psionicists. Most of the people with the Psionics Edge have been trained at either the Leningrad Brain Institute or the Ukraine’s Makarenko Commune, which means that they are scary brainwashed assholes who are most likely antagonists to our heroes. If you want to be a good-guy psionicist, Hite recommends that you write a “Himalayan lamasery or mysterious glowing meteorite” into your backstory, but I think it would be interesting to play a Soviet defector. The Minor Pacifist Hindrance is the result of the distress a sentient being’s death causes a psi; “The NKVD well and truly grides this Hindrance out of NPC Soviet psis, of course.”
Psis pick three from this list: boost trait (Agility, Strength, and Vigor only), dark vision , deflection , invisibility , puppet (requiring three rounds of eye contact), stun , telekinesis .
Bump for Languages
Requirements: Novice, Smarts d6+
You are indeed a cunning linguist. You have a talent for learning not just languages, but also accents and dialects. You start with two bonus languages and can make a Smarts roll at -2 to brokenly speak and understand any spoken language you’ve been exposed to for 1d6 days.
Requirement: Novice, Fighting d6+
+1 to Parry when using a sword. Boring, but useful. The description notes that swords are more useful nowadays because it’s harder to manufacture and distribute ammunition.
Martial Arts Training
Requirement: Novice, Fighting d8+
You never take unarmed combat penalties because your body is a weapon. Melee opponents get a -1 penalty to their Gang-Up bonus against you.
Improved Martial Arts Training
Requirement: Seasoned, Martial Arts Training
When fighting unarmed, roll Strength AND Agility and combine them.
Requirement: Seasoned, Fighting d6+
KNIFE FIGHT!!!!! You have learned the close-quarters combat techniques developed and taught by William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes . (People generally talk about Fairbairn-Sykes or F-S, but I guess Sykes comes first because this is an alternate universe.) +1 to damage with any melee knife, plus the ability to ignore 2 points worth of Called Shot penalties when you have the advantage of surprise or the Drop on your opponent.
Requirement: Veteran, Fighting d8+, Throwing d8+
Your damage bonus with a melee knife increases to +2; you get the same bonus with a throwing knife. Furthermore, a raise on your knife attack roll gives you a +d8 damage bonus rather than the standard +d6.
This Edge works like the Soldier Edge below, except you are part of an air force – probably Britain’s RAF or RRAF or the USAAF. You can be an Aircraftman (Requirements: Novice, Piloting d6+, Shooting d4+), an NCO (Seasoned, Piloting d8+, Shooting d6+), or officer (Requirements: Novice: Smarts d6+, Piloting d4+, Knowledge (Battle) d6+). If you’re part of the RRAF, you have to buy the Ophi-Tech Edge and the bolt Power, which represents your standard issue Marconi gun.
Requirements: Novice, Piloting d8+, Repair d8+
You are a pilot who is not part of an air force. You may very well be a former USAAF pilot who was let go after the war – there are a lot of those guys. You get a Piper J-3 Cub (or equivalent plane) and a place to hangar it on the cheap.
Requirements: Seasoned, Vigor d8+, Guts d6+, Knowledge (Law d6+), Riding d8+, Survival d6+, Tracking d4+
In addition to their normal duties as national police and counter-intelligence agents, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police explores and reclaims the Canadian land poisoned in the Serpentfall. “That means everything from uncovering Soviet spies on the waterfront in Vancouver to fighting plesiosaurs in the Great Slave Lake.”
You always start out as a constable, advancing on the Promotion Table like a soldier. You get a shiny badge that gives you +2 Charisma when dealing with those who respect the RMCP’s authority, you have jurisdiction over civilians in Canada, you ignore Difficult Ground and Unstable Platform penalties from snow and ice, and you get +2 to Fatigue rolls to resist the cold. Mounties are awesome , and I will be shocked and appalled if none of you express an interest in playing one.
Requirements: Novice, Smarts d8+, Knowledge (Any Two) d6+
You are associated with Rhodes University in South Africa somehow; you could be a full professor, but you could just as easily be a stringer or a paid researcher. You get £20 a month from Rhodes U, and you can call on the University to either give you advice (+2 to a Smarts-based roll) or free equipment to pick up. The pick-up has to be at either a city where Rhodes has a bank account (any English-speaking city or any major French- or Spanish-speaking city) or the site of a Rhodes project. If you’re an Ophi-Tech user as well as a Rhodes Scholar, you can swap one ophi-tech item for another one. The catch is that you’re required to help the university by performing scholarship or helping with expeditions. If you find something cool, you have to turn it in along with any equipment left over at the end of your adventure. To do any less means endangering your stipend – or worse!
Like a soldier, except on a boat or a sub. Officers get a pistol, Royal Navy NCOs get Owen SMGs, and everyone else gets jack for personal firearms. You can be a Junior Seaman (Requirements: Novice, Boating d6+, Swimming d4+), a Naval NCO (Requirements: Seasoned, Boating d8+, Intimidation d6+, Shooting d6+, Swimming d4+), or a Naval Officer (Requirements: Novice, Smarts, d6+, Boating d4+, Knowledge (Battle d6+)
Exactly like a soldier. You can be a private (Requirements: Novice, Fighting d4+, Shooting d4+, Throwing d4+), an NCO (Requirements: Seasoned, Fighting d6+, Intimidation d6+, Shooting d6+, Throwing d4+) or an Officer (Requirements: Novice, Smarts d6+, Knowledge (Battle) d4+).
Each step comes with its own opportunities and headaches—it’s not necessarily better or more heroic to
be one or the other. Just ask Sergeant Rock .
You should keep in mind, however, that NCOs get +1 Charisma and Officers get +2. Soldiers are on duty all time; PC soldiers are generally part of a special unit that has more leeway to go around and do exciting stuff, like the British Special Air Service or the USMC Raiders.
After each mission, the GM rolls on the Promotion Table to see if a military character gets a promotion. The promoted character moves up a rank on the Military Pay table as appropriate.
Ken doesn't think accounting is fun, but understands that a lot of people do. Good for him!
Requirements: Seasoned, Vigor d6+, Climbing d6+, Guts d6+, Knowledge (Biology) d4+
It is the British Royal Society who have cut into the body of the Serpent at Hereford, and (at hellish cost) brought back living samples of the things, the cultures, swarming in its cavernous belly. The writhing creatures that dwell deep inside the Serpent hold biological—and perhaps magical—secrets on which depend the survival of the free world. It is the speleo-herpetologists, or “snake-cavers,” who go in to get those secrets.
A speleo-herpetologist gets +2 to Guts checks involving the Serpent and Serpent-spawn, and deals +1 damage to Serpent-spawn he combats. If he’s Snakebit, the Vigor penalty is only -1.
Requirement: Seasoned, Vigor d8+, Fighting d6+, Riding d6+, Shooting d6+, Survival d6+, Tracking d6+,
Like the Mounties, only Texan and without the spiffy uniforms. Rangers are part of a military-style hierarchy, yet are expected to act independently and on their own initiative – “One riot, one Ranger.” Like the Mounties, they have authoritah over civilians and a +2 Charisma badge. They also get a gun and a +1 bonus to their Common Knowledge rolls dealing with threats to the peace in Texas.
And that’s all the new Edges. The next section, Gear, is going to be tough for me because I haven’t developed the instinct to make mechanical judgments. I will do my best to do an intelligent analysis, but you all should feel free to help me compensate for my ignorance by providing your own input.
And now, I would like some audience suggestions of cool character and party concepts. Will they fight for King and Country? Science? Money? Their people's freedom? Or just because fighting is awesome? If you have the Savage Worlds rulebook, you might build characters yourself, but I’d like to try building a party too. It’s good to be back, goons!