Download: A Mythic Vistas Campaign Setting for the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Design: T.S. Luikart and Ian Sturrock Editing: Michelle Lyons Development: Robert J Schwalb

A Mythic Vistas Campaign Setting for the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Design: T.S. Luikart and Ian Sturrock Editing: Michelle Lyons Development: Robert J Schwalb Art Direction and Graphic Design: Hal Mangold Cover Art: Christian Gossett, Snakebite and Paul Schrier Interior 2D Art: Christian Gossett, Snakebite and Paul Schrier Additional 2D Art: James Ryman Interior 3D Art: Paul Schrier, Allen Coulter, Jon Moberly, Junki Saita, Chris Glenn, Edwin Fong, Nolan Nelson, Aaron Skillman Additional Cartography: Hal Mangold Executive Producer: Chris Pramas Green Ronin Staff: Steve Kenson, Nicole Lindroo...
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A Mythic Vistas Campaign Setting for the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Design: T.S. Luikart and Ian Sturrock Editing: Michelle Lyons Development: Robert J Schwalb Art Direction and Graphic Design: Hal Mangold Cover Art: Christian Gossett, Snakebite and Paul Schrier Interior 2D Art: Christian Gossett, Snakebite and Paul Schrier Additional 2D Art: James Ryman Interior 3D Art: Paul Schrier, Allen Coulter, Jon Moberly, Junki Saita, Chris Glenn, Edwin Fong, Nolan Nelson, Aaron Skillman Additional Cartography: Hal Mangold Executive Producer: Chris Pramas Green Ronin Staff: Steve Kenson, Nicole Lindroos, Hal Mangold, Chris Pramas, Evan Sass, and Robert J Schwalb Playtesters: Tom Bisbee, Jill Bisbee, Josh Greenwood, Will Carlson, Dmitriy Sokolovskiy, Tiffany Reeves, Brian Horne, Dale Nixon, Sean Flanders, Ted Harris, and Rob Kilpatrick.

Special Thanks: Chris Gossett of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., would like to thank everyone at a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., Green Ronin for their intense and is used with permission. All dedication and commitment rights reserved. to making this an authentic translation of The Red Star into Credits The following text is Open the D20 system. Gaming Content: Chapter One: all text under each class starting The Red Star and all related with Game Rule Information; characters are TM and © 2000-2004 Christian Gossett. Chapter Two: all mechanics; Chapter Three: The Scale, Distance and Weight sidebar and all text after nonlethal The Red Star Campaign Setting is © 2004 Green Ronin damage; Chapter Five: all mechanics for protocols starting with Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Reference to the Nonlethal Damage entry; Chapter Seven: the statistics other copyrighted material in no way constitutes a for Dune-Ra and Susk-Dath; Chapter Eight: all text for challenge to the respective copyright holders of the Immortal template starting with “Creating an that material. Green Ronin, Mythic Vistas, Immortal,” and all text under each advanced and their associated logos are trademarks class starting with Game Rule Information, and of Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. The Red all feats and protocols starting with the Nonlethal Star Campaign Setting is published under Damage entry. All license by Green Ronin proper names of places, Publishing, LLC. classes, prestige classes, ‘d20 System’ and the ‘d20 characters, protocols, System’ logo are trademarks of monsters, equipment, and setting Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and are details are Closed Content. used according to the terms of the Printed in China. d20 System License version 6.0. A copy of this License can be found at Green Ronin Publishing www.wizards.com/d20. P.O. Box 1723 D20 ModernTM trademarks of Renton, WA 98057-1723 Wizards of the Coast Inc. and are Email: email is hidden used with permission. Wizards of the Coast® is a registered trademark Web Site: www.greenronin.com,

Table of Contents Welcome to the U.R.R.S., Comrade ...4 Section III: The World

A Brief World History ...4 Fight For Your Freedom! ...7 Chapter Six:

United Republics of the Red Star .. 102 Section I: Under the Red Star The Chronicles...102

Hope & Fear: Life in the U.R.R.S. ...107

Chapter One: The Government of the U.R.R.S ... 113 Red Star Characters ... 10 The Commonwealth of the Red Star ... 115

The Land of Nokgorka ... 118 Hailer...12 Nistaani Shaman...15 Chapter Seven: The World ...124 Nistaani Warrior ...16 Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter...20 Al’Istaan...124 Red Fleet Offi cer ...23 Life in Al’Istaan ...128 Red Trooper ...26 The Western Transnational Alliance ...136 Sorceress ...28 The Rest of the World ...140 Zek ...32 The Isle of Lions ...140 Rank in the Red Fleet ...36 The Land of 10,000 Gods ...140 Starting Equipment and Wealth ...38 The Roof of the World ...141 New Skills ...39 The Lands of the Dragon ...142 New Feats ...41 The Kingdom of Jade ...143 The Volksreich ...143

Chapter Two: Other Nations of the Great Continent ...143 Personal Weapons and Equipment ... 46 Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm ...144

Weapons ...46 The Eyes of Imbohl. ...144 Armor ...57 The Spiritrealm - What Lies Beyond ...150 Protocol-Enhanced Equipment ...60 Immortal (Template) ...151 Sorceress and Telekinetic Equipment ...62 Spiritrealm Advanced Classes ...152 Other Equipment ...63 Immortal Skills and Feats ...157 Nistaani Invocations...160

Section II: The Military Chapter Nine: Running The Red Star ...164 Industrial Complex Chapter Three: Appendices To Fight and Die Heroes of the Red Star ... 170

for the Motherland ... 66 Krawl Captain Alexandra Goncharova ...170 Guardsman Kyuzo ...170

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles ... 70 Makita ...171

Infantry Captain Marcus Antares ...172 Vehicle Overview ...70 The Wanderer Antares ...173 Air Vehicles ...70 Sorceress-Lieutenant Maya Antares ...173 Land Vehicles...77 The Red Woman ...174 Vehicular Weapons ...79 Skymarshall Urik Antares ...175 Vehicle Options...83 Common Characters ...176

Chapter Five: Reference Tables ... 179 Military-Industrial Sorcery ... 84 Index ... 188

General Concepts ...84 How to Read a Protocol Description ...87 License ... 187 U.R.R.S. Protocols ...88,

Introduction Welcome to the U.R.R.S., Comrade

ourage. That’s what The Red Star Campaign Setting take up, willingly giving up their lives if it will advance their Cis really about. It may be a wildly variant d20 Modern agendas. Many are admirable and a few are contemptible, Roleplaying Game game set in the brilliantly original but there is no arguing against their conviction. allegorical world of Christian Gossett’s comic book, The Red Star, but at heart, it’s about is courage. Read a little The Red Star Campaign Setting allows you to play such further and you’ll see why. driven heroes in a world that you may just recognize — in between the broad strokes, you will see the world you know; The strength of allegory lies in its ability to mirror it’s the details that make the difference. If you’re new to The uncomfortable truths in a safe way. Painting the world’s Red Star then you are in for something special, as it is not problems on a larger-than-life canvas allows for a different often in our world of remakes you get to read a setting that perspective on them, one less fraught with strong emotion. is truly original. You may have heard rumors about weird Having the bravery to glimpse the world through another’s telekinetic weapons called “hooks” and “hailers,” about eyes, however, especially one you would normally regard as sorceresses who can turn themselves into living beams of an enemy, is no small feat. energy to lay waste to their state’s enemies, about heroes who continue to fi ght for their people though they have fallen The world of The Red Star mirrors our own, but on a grander in battle. scale. The colors are more vibrant, the battles fi ercer. The heroes and villains of The Red Star Campaign Setting are Nothing you’ve heard secondhand will prepare you for just larger than life in every way — their passions run deeper, how cool what you’re about to read is. We envy you. their convictions stronger, and their prowess nearly inhuman. They believe with all their hearts in the causes that they Welcome to The Red Star Campaign Setting.

A Brief World History

The present is built ever on the foundation of the past, though magnifi cent golden age once those who oppressed them too often it seems humanity feels the need to repeat old had been eliminated. The ranks of those “oppressors” mistakes once they’ve become novel again. When frightful included everyone and everything Krieger disapproved of, memories of the searing fi res of battle have slipped to naught but were mostly ethnic and religious minorities that couldn’t but ashy recollections, only then do the drums roll, calling effectively fi ght back. a new generation to the fi elds of war. Every century sees new tactics and new weapons deployed, but few indeed can As the Aryan’s master plan advanced, the Volksreich rose in alter the course of history forever after. The Great Continent industry, in technology, in sorcery and even, it must be said, always seethed with confl icts over land, wealth, and religion. in terrible majesty. The fi rst krawls ever built were designed But this time it was different. and constructed by the Volksreich, as were a number of other horribly effective weapons and deadly protocols. Massive factory complexes were constructed throughout their land, The Great Patriotic War and all but a few worked at full capacity day and night. What The Great Continent slumbered in a rare peace for over two the silent and oddly still factories were to produce, none could decades. Imbohl, the courageous leader of the newly united say. Republics of the Red Star, sat at the head of the Red Council. Krieger waited until he had a barely suffi cient pretext; on a The Council itself was still preoccupied with rebuilding of their slight insult, he invaded and seized one of the Volksreich’s country from the destruction caused by the Revolution as neighbors. He played the game of politics, fending off the well as convincing their people to embrace less antiquated protestations of other world powers by claiming the land technology. The Isle of Lions, once a world-spanning properly belonged to the Volksreich and they were only taking monarchy, slowly succumbed to old age — its dreams of back what was theirs, all while he and his Inner Circle plotted empire all but fl ed. It allowed its overseas conquests to slip their next conquest. Imbohl soon sought out Krieger for a away one at a time, as it no longer had the strength to hold non-aggression pact, but within an hour of meeting the man, them. The New World’s grand experiment in democracy, he knew one of them would have to die so the other could the Western Transnationalist Alliance, remained insular and live. Both signed the treaty knowing it was only delayed the unconcerned about the rest of the world’s affairs. inevitable. Onto this stage, smarting from the sting of old insults, strode The pact with the U.R.R.S secured, the Aryans immediately the Volksreich with the Aryan Nationalist Party and at its turned to conquering the rest of the Great Continent. They helm. Others tried to unite the people of the Volksreich, but seized country after country and used dreadful new long- none succeeded like Krieger, the leader of the Aryan Party. range weapons to attack the Isle of Lions. Within a year, the He and his trusted cadre of offi cers, whom he referred to Aryans controlled half the continent and there seemed no as his Inner Circle, promised to lead the Volksreich into a end to their victories, though the stubborn Lionists would not, Introduction

Welcome to the U.R.R.S., Comrade

,

Introduction

surrender. The Aryans’ krawls and their weapons allowed followed, along with the veterans who knew how to make use them to dominate all of their opposition. Strange rumors of them. Grievous wounds and battlefi eld trauma gave rise to spread, of people going missing, of whole towns disappearing daring new forms of surgery and medicinal protocols. Never overnight. At fi rst, people dismissed these stories as fairy before had troops, equipment, and armaments been deployed tales, but soon enough, proof slipped out the Aryans seized on such a massive scale. The science of logistics came into people for something ghastly…. its own, as Supply Kasters struggled with whole new ways of As the war expanded and his demented visions came true, thinking about underlying support structures for their supply Krieger deemed himself a god. He ordered an attack on lines, training serving them well for the future. All the trials of the U.R.R.S even as his allies roused the deadly ire of the the war had served to sharpen the minds of many of those West. As the legions of the Volksreich marched towards the surving it, and the world became a smaller place as people Republics, members of the Red Council met in secret with the realized distant events could still directly affect them. Prime Minister of the Lionists and offi cials from the W.T.A. Krieger’s insanity threatened the entire world, and so the The Global Council world rose against him. Farmers and doctors, truck drivers and diplomats, teachers and laborers, simple men and women and the Ironhold from every walk of life volunteered to fi ght against the Aryans’ murderous insanity. As the West mobilized, the armies of the After the close of the war, the nations of the world were United Republics of the Red Star strove against the armored in fi rm agreement that a power as appalling as the Aryan might of the Aryans’ krawls and their gruesome dark sorceries. Nationalist Party should never be allowed to rise again. A This was as no other confl ict, for no other war had ever used forum for the advancement of human rights and a promotion such technology or fought on such a massive scale. of the understanding between widely differing countries was called for. The fact that advancing technology was shrinking On the bloody fi elds of Pravdagrad, over two million the distance between nations and such a body could go far courageous Red soldiers gave their lives to halt the Aryan’s towards increasing trade did not go unnoticed. advance on their capital city, the Citadel. With their great sacrifi ce and the deadly chill of a northern winter, the Aryan A proposal was put forth to establish a place where all war machine ground to a halt. With spring came a renewal countries could air their grievances. It was hoped clear of hostilities, but also fresh Alliance troops, eager for the lines of communication would allow diplomatic resolutions fray. The struggle stretched from the shores of the sea to the of confl icts instead of armed ones. While all agreed with edges of the Eastern Tundra, and no man, woman, or child the idea, in principle, the extant powers of the world — the was unaffected by it. W.T.A., the U.R.R.S., the Lands of the Dragon, and the Isle of Lions — were not so eager to give over their supremacy to Even as it became apparent that they couldn’t fi ght a war on a brand new organization consisting of many of their lessers multiple fronts, the Aryans strived for some goal inexplicable without some assurances. Thus, the Global Council was to any outside of Krieger’s Inner Circle. With every loss, the formed with the noblest of intentions, but a fl aw was laid in Inner Circle’s handpicked troops, known as the Lightning its very foundations — its mightiest members ensured its Guard, seemed to become more fanatical and sure of their pronouncements would carry little weight against them. cause. As they advanced into the heart of the Volksreich’s territories, the soldiers of the West and the Red army The GC’s Grand Hall was placed upon a promontory on the learned the awful truth together: the Aryans slaughtered eastern shore of the W.T.A., overlooking the ocean separating “undesirables” in their great factory furnaces, along with the the Old World from the New. The Red Council was adamant it majority of their prisoners of war. The forces aligned against wouldn’t be placed within their borders, and neither the Dragon the Aryans redoubled their efforts, fi rmly convinced of the Lands nor the Lionists sought the honor. The Grand Hall is a righteousness of their actions. Great deeds and remarkable magnifi cent edifi ce, with sweeping columns defying gravity heroism became daily occurrences as they strove to end using sophisticated rites and protocols. It has played host to Krieger’s diabolical schemes forever. In the end, they won. the grandest dignitaries the globe has to offer, seen the start of many a noble quest, and been the birthplace of too many His unholy factories bombed, his Inner Circle toppled, his base schemes. When smaller countries are beset by famine, dreams crushed, Krieger set off a suicidal protocol taking the pestilence and war, they come to ask the Global Council for lives of over 3,000 soldiers as he eradicated himself. With his aid. Many are answered, though some of the less “signifi cant” death, the war was effectively over. However, as the smoke countries are prevented from ever getting to ask the question cleared, the leaders of the Western Transnationalist Alliance should they disrupt the plans of the most powerful members. and the United Republics of the Red Star gazed at one another over the rubble of the Great Continent with troubled Over the years, the Global Council acted a number of times eyes — and the course of the future was laid… against petty tyrants and would-be dictators, but there was always an easily discerned pattern to their operations. That There are those who claim nothing was gained from the Great which the W.T.A. and the U.R.R.S. found mutually acceptable Patriotic War, save bitter lessons. This may be so, but if the could be done; that which either government disapproved of teacher was cruel, it was also thorough. As all sides sought could not. There was a name for this phenomenon, a name advantage on the battlefi eld, the world’s technology drastically known to all, but spoken of by few in the GC: the Ironhold. advanced. While the initial discoveries were all directed towards a combat role, new ideas for plastics, polymers, alloys In the Ironhold’s heyday, many of the tyrants the Global and more fl owed into the private sector in the peace that Council would’ve seen removed were placed on their thrones by either the U.R.R.S. or the W.T.A. as the two,

Introduction

countries came to regard the post-Great Patriotic War world more people under their sway. For a long time, they both as their chessboard. Both governments calculated every seemed unstoppable, until the West learned in the Kingdom global policy decision with a regard as to how it would of Jade sometimes power is not enough against a determined affect their rival. If one country made an announcement foe. One of the great ironies of history is while the United of some new invention or discovery, the other was sure to Republics of the Red Star quietly mocked the failure of the follow with a different and supposedly better one within a Western Transnationalist Alliance, they were all but oblivious month or two. Both countries raced forward in all sciences, to the fi ssures running through their own country. They too, taking what they learned from the war and building on it to headed towards a similar defeat — one that would break an unprecedented degree. The legendary Red sorcerer- them beyond all repair. engineer Sergei Korolev designed and constructed the fi rst of the skyfurnaces, while his rival, the brilliant W.T.A. rocket For over four long decades, the Ironhold gripped the world. scientist Bob Hutchings, built a vessel capable of traversing With the fall of the United Republics of the Red Star, however, space and landing on Luna-1. it is no more; the Western Transnationalist Alliance stands supreme as the last true global superpower, dictating what it As their technologies expanded, so did their ambitions. The will and will not do, having grown all but deaf to the pleas of governments of both countries sought to bring more and Global Council.

Fight for your Freedom!

Welcome, comrade, to the Red Star Campaign Setting. Red Star Campaign Setting consists of Protocols, functioning Section I: Under the Red similarly to spells in fantasy games. The difference however, is What will you fi nd in these pages? Star that protocols have developed under the auspices of military describes the essential modifi cations to the rules and need, and so most of these spells serve the needs of units on options found in the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, exploring the battlefi eld, such as providing medical assistance or raw a slew of new classes like the Hailer, the Red Fleet Offi cer, destructive power. Also differentiating protocols from spells in the Red Trooper, Sorceress, and more. If you want to set other settings is the nonlethal damage each infl icts when cast. your game in places other than the U.R.R.S., the Nistaani Protocols drain their casters, and in some cases, casters may Shaman and Warrior and Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter are take lethal damage instead to bolster their sorcery’s potency. also available. With new classes, there are also new Skills, like Even with these risks, sorceresses are some of the most Kast, which allows you to manipulate magic, and Telekinesis, feared combatants on the Red Star battlefi eld. enabling you to control bullets fi red from your hailer, perhaps one of the most dangerous of telekinetic weaponry. New The next component of the Red Star Campaign Setting is Feats let you create telekinetic shields capable of blocking Section III: The World. More than the mechanics of Sections machinegun sprays or psychically launch metal pins into the I and II, this is the most important. It serves to familiarize you eyes of your enemies. Of course, no modern game would be with the world of the Red Star, defi ning the national character complete without an arsenal of new weaponry and body armor, of the major countries in the modern world, providing full detailing a slew of new fi rearms and other weapons, some disclosure into the history of not only the U.R.R.S., but also mundane, other powered by the mind. the Isle of Lions, and the W.T.O., and more. Here you can Section II: The Military Industrial Complex learn all the secrets of the comics, tracing the developments not only of the modern political arena through Krieger’s madness to describes new rules for military operations, such as indirect the tensions between the powers following the Volksreich’s fi re for example, it also presents an inventory of new vehicles. fall. Fans of Al’Istaan are not slighted, for this section Herein are mechanical details on the dreaded skyfurnace, the provides full disclosure on that oppressed land, engaged as it battleship of the skies, capable of transporting over 100,000 is in a nearly perpetual war with the monolithic U.R.R.S. tons of men and equipment, crewed by upwards of 25,000 men and women. These vessels never land, and in places The fi nal chapters of Section III address the true horrors of like the W.T.O., there are fl oating cities existing just to supply the Red Star Campaign Setting, describing the mysterious these massive war machines. If size was not intimidating Spiritrealm and its exploitation by ambitious men. The enough, the sky furnace’s weaponry, capable of leveling Immortal Template allows players to take the role of entire cities, strikes fear into the hearts of the bravest soldier. characters even after death, and with a selection of Advanced At the command of the leading nations in the world, sky Classes, and spells for Nistaani Shamans, for campaigns furnaces are the currency of power. centered there. Finally, the book concludes with some pointers on running Red Star campaigns and the statistic Rounding out the aircraft, which also includes fi ghters and blocks for the major characters from the comics. transport ships, are the ground vehicles. Dominating every battlefi eld is the Krawl. Great tracked vehicles, these rolling In short, this book is a great playground for fans of alternate arsenals are the frontline forces for seizing a territory. Along histories, military games, high fantasy, or dark gritty modern with a survey of additional transport vehicles, and vehicle campaigns. The Red Star Campaign Setting gives you all armaments, this chapter gives you everything you need to the components you need for thrilling adventures, fantastic outfi t your party or devastating opponents to harry characters opportunities for dramatic roleplaying, where players take the fi ghting for the Resistance. part of soldiers, resistance fi ghters, or maybe even common Section II people caught in wrong place at the wrong time. Make this The heart of , however, is not the machinery of war. world yours, change what you will, add what you like, and tell Instead, it is the magic powering them. Magic employed in the your own stories of the Red Star., Section I: under the red star,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

he Red Star Campaign Setting does not use the have a few areas of weakness (for example, Maya Antares’ Tnormal pattern of basic and advanced classes. relatively poor hand-to-hand combat capabilities).Characters in the Red Star universe usually have strong identities specifi c to the setting. Given there Also most characters in The Red Star Campaign Setting are no penalties for multiclassing, it should be possible to gain signifi cantly more skill points than their counterparts in create any character type from the comics with the rules other d20 games. Again, the heroes depicted in the comic presented here and the free spirit and the soul thief as are a highly capable bunch; all have hidden talents of some described in Chapter EIght: The Spiritrealm. kind. In addition, as most character classes are themselves For a GM and gaming group preferring a less high- occupations, the Red Star Campaign Setting does not use powered game, feel free to ignore these options to bring the standard occupation rules. the characters in your game closer to their counterparts in d20 Modern Roleplaying Game. In this case, reduce each

The character class’s skill points per level by 2, and likewise Red Fleet reduce the number they gain at 1st level by 8.

Most Red Star Campaign Setting games focus on characters that are members of, or are closely associated Regional Specific Classes with, the Red Fleet. If this is the type of campaign you will be playing in, the following character classes may be Several of the classes given here, most notably the Nistaani unsuitable for PCs: Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter, Nistaani shaman, Nistaani warrior and Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter, shaman, and Nistaani warrior, as well as the Nokgorkan are most effective in particular regions or terrains. The priestess option for the sorceress class. Check with your assumption is the campaign is set all around the U.R.R.S. GM fi rst, however, as there are sometimes ways to fi t such and its neighboring territories, much as the comic books are, an unusual character into the game in any event. so the regional advantages balance. A Nistaani character is quite rightly more

M ulticlassing effective in Al’Istaan, and a Nokgorkan in Nokgorka,

Although there are no but this is not a problem penalties for multiclassed with game balance characters, the GM is so long as both are at liberty to overrule Chapter One: occasionally taken out of any illogical or unlikely their native environments. combination if the player cannot provide a For campaigns set solely satisfactory explanation for it. For example, Red Star in Nokgorka or Al’Istaan, or games never venturing it would be rare for a to either, the GM may character to gain levels in wish to award additional the Nistaani warrior class feats to characters if she did not start out as effectively disadvantaged a Nistaani, though a Red Characters by the campaign setting. trooper who “defected,” Table 1–1: Bonus Feats accepted the Law of the for Campaigns by One True God, and was adopted by a Nistaani tribe might Region and Character be permitted to do so. Class provides several recommendations for balancing characters for highly focused games. The bonus feats are More commonly, a former Red trooper, hailer, zek, Red available when the character reaches the indicated class offi cer or even sorceress who happened to be of Nokgorkan level, not character level. A bonus feat acquired through origin might gain levels in Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter once this table can be any feat for which the character meets the the war breaks out. Likewise, characters not starting out as prerequisites. Red Fleet offi cers cannot gain levels in the Red Fleet offi cer class, unless fi rst promoted to the rank of Junior Lieutenant The campaign’s era makes a difference as to which classes in the Red Fleet during the course of play. are useful and appropriate; a game set during the War of Al’Istaan will not feature any Nokgorkan resistance fi ghters, since there are none (or almost none) yet. Likewise, the GM Options: Double the Reality may disallow the Nistaani classes from her game if the War The Red Star Campaign Setting is a world of larger-than- of Al’Istaan is long over, or at the very least require a special life heroism. To capture this sense, characters should gain reason for the character being present. Chapter Nine: To +1 to three abilities of the player’s choice, at 4th level and The Last of Us!—Running the Red Star offers several ever four levels thereafter, instead of the standard +1 to a options for structuring a campaign to allow for a variety of specifi c ability every four levels. This allows play of well- character concepts. More information on the various regions rounded characters as portrayed in the comics, while not described in this chapter are found in their respective removing the possibility that even high-level characters can chapters later in this book., Chapter One: Red Star Characters,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-1: Bonus Feats for Campaigns

by Region and Character Class Campaign in which Character Class Nokgorka-Only Al’Istaan-Only Characters Never Visit Affected Campaign Campaign Al’Istaan or Nokgorka Hailer 5th, 15th 5th, 15th No bonus Nistaani Shaman 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th No bonus 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th Nistaani Warrior 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th No bonus 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter No bonus 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th Red Fleet Offi cer 5th, 15th 5th, 15th No bonus Red Trooper 5th, 15th 5th, 15th No bonus Sorceress 5th, 15th 5th, 15th No bonus Zek 5th, 15th 5th, 15th No bonus

Allegiances For example, a Red trooper (required allegiance: the Red Fleet) could choose the following three allegiances: “my

Unless otherwise noted, each character must choose at least brother Jan,” “the comrades in my unit,” and “the Red Fleet” one allegiance as described in the d20 Modern Roleplaying as allegiances, in that order. In special cases and with the Game, and many of the character classes presented in this GM’s explicit permission, a character may have a different book list a required allegiance. The world of The Red Star is allegiance from that listed (or none at all). one of extremes, and characters who do not serve a greater Characters are not required to keep their allegiances, though cause are rarely suitable candidates to be its heroes. the GM may decide to disallow further advancement in a If you select a class with a required allegiance, the allegiance particular class if the character fails to maintain appropriate need not be the most important allegiance to your character. allegiance.

Hailer

Hailers are elite Red Fleet soldiers, trained to carry and Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language fi re deadly telekinetic machine guns also known as hailers. (none), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Most hailers are male, and most are even more physically Telekinesis (Wis)*. impressive than the typical Red trooper. Hailers are often broad, tall and well muscled. These are not exclusive *See page 39 for details on this new skill. requirements though, and anyone who successfully Skill Points at 1st Level: (7 + Int modifi er) x 4. completes the rigorous training may join their ranks. Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 7 + Int modifi er. Required Allegiance: The Red Fleet.

Example Hailers

Kyuzo is the best-known hailer. Many other hailers can be Starting Feats seen in the pages of The Red Star, usually serving alongside In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, regular Red troopers. a hailer begins play with Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium),

Game Rule Information Armor Profi ciency (heavy), Personal Firearms Profi ciency,

Telekinetic Autofi re, and Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency. Hit Die: 1d12. Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level rounded down, every time the character attains a new level in this class. C lass Features All of the following are class features of the hailer class.

Class Skills Hailer Link (Su)

The hailer’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are as follows. When a hailer candidate is fi rst accepted into a hailer regiment, she gains a hailer link. This is a protocol Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Drive (Dex), Hide (Dex), enhancement permanently kast into the hailer’s brain, and Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (current events, allows the hailer to control the various fi ring options available history, popular culture, tactics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move to the hailer weapon. The hailer may reconfi gure her,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Rank and File NPCs

The Red Star Campaign Setting moves very easily into epic proportions. Everything in this world is painted on a grand scale: battles take place with thousands of soldiers to a side, graveyards take days to ride through, teeming masses of people just trying to live another day fi ll the cities and everything seems larger than life. Of course, on a backdrop of such detail and grandeur, it takes a cast of thousands to make it come alive. If the characters are to be the heroes of the U.R.R.S., Nokgorka, or Al’Istaan, there must be common men and women against whom they can be measured. For general-use NPCs and low-ranking enemy soldiers, we recommend using the Ordinaries rules from d20 Modern Roleplaying Game book and the standard chatacters found in the Appendix of this book. namesake weapon at will, as a full-round action (even with At 14th level, a hailer with 16 or more ranks in Telekinesis the speed of a mindlink, some physical reconfi guration is treats all hailer rounds as improved armor piercing rounds. also necessary). All hailer weapons are supplied with at least three options, depending on the Drum used by that Weapon Specialization (Ex) particular weapon (see Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment). At 4th level, a hailer gains weapon specialization with the hailer. The hailer gets a +2 bonus on damage rolls when

Rank: Guard (Ex) using a hailer. This applies whether the hailer is employed as

machine gun or fl amethrower. It does not apply to use with All hailers hold the rank of Guard, at minimum. Hailers the heavy hailer. are an elite group, and so when a full regiment of hailers is fi elded it has the honor of the name “Guards,” such as Armor Mastery (Ex) “23rd Hailer Guards.” The rank of Guard is equivalent to that of Junior Sergeant, and when a hailer attaches to a At 5th level, a hailer can operate with effi ciently when in full standard infantry unit, she functions as a Junior Sergeant armor. When the hailer wears heavy armor, increase the for all purposes. Promotion beyond this rank is always Maximum Dexterity Bonus by +1, and reduce the Armor possible (see page 36 for full details of U.R.R.S. ranks and Check Penalty by 1. promotions). At 9th level, a hailer in heavy armor has a base speed of 8m, rather than 6m. Speed reductions for carrying non-armor

Weapon Focus loads are unaffected.

At 1st level, a hailer gains the Weapon Focus feat. This Weapon Focus is always with the hailer. The benefi t of this feat applies whether the hailer is employed as machine gun or fl amethrower, though it does not apply to the heavy hailer.

Telekinetic Strafe (Ex)

At 2nd level, the hailer learns how to use his or her namesake weapon to strafe. When using any telekinetic fi rearm on autofi re, the character may affect an area four 2m squares long and 1m square wide (that is, any four squares in a straight line), rather than the usual two squares by two squares.

Hailer Training (Su)

At 2nd level, hailers gain advanced training in the use of their weapon. Hailers with 4 or more ranks in Telekinesis can increase the power and speed of their hailer rounds, boosting the range increment of the hailer in machine gun mode to 40m. These benefi ts apply to both hailers and heavy hailers. A 6th level hailer with 8 or more ranks in Telekinesis and using a hailer in machine gun mode treats all hailer rounds as armor piercing. At 10th level, a hailer with 12 or more ranks in Telekinesis further increases the range increment of her hailer in machinegun mode to 50m.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-2: The Hailer

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +1 +2 +0 +0 +0 +0 Hailer link, rank: Guard, Weapon Focus (hailer) 2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 +1 +0 Hailer training: enhanced range (40 m), telekinetic strafe 3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 +1 +0 Bonus feat 4th +4 +4 +1 +1 +1 +0 Weapon Specialization (hailer) 5th +5 +4 +1 +1 +2 +1 Armor mastery (+1/1) 6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 +2 +1 Hailer training: armor piercing, telekinetic burst fi re 7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 +2 +1 Bonus feat 8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 +3 +1 Improved Critical (hailer) 9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 +3 +2 Armor mastery (Speed 8) 10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 +3 +2 Hailer training: enhanced range (50 m) 11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 +4 +2 Bonus feat 12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 +4 +2 Greater weapon focus (hailer) 13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 +4 +3 Armor mastery (+2/+2) 14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 +5 +3 Hailer training: improved armor piercing 15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 +5 +3 Bonus feat 16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 +5 +3 Greater weapon specialization (hailer) 17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 +6 +4 Armor mastery (Speed 10) 18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 +6 +4 Guide hailer shots 19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 +6 +4 Bonus feat 20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 +7 +4 Critical strike (hailer) At 13th level, increase to Maximum Dexterity Bonus of heavy In either mode, the hailer may fi re round corners or past armor by +2, and reduce the Armor Check Penalty by 2. cover. This allows an attack against any target within range, so long as there is a route to the target. In effect, the target is At 17th level, armor or loads do not reduce the hailer’s base treated as having two levels of cover less than she actually speed, allowing for a speed of 10m in any armor. has; so a target behind total cover instead has three-quarters

Telekinetic Burst Fire (Ex) cover, and a target who usually had only one-quarter or one-half cover instead has no cover at all.

A 6th level hailer using a telekinetic fi rearm capable of autofi re Furthermore, in fl amethrower mode, the hailer may ‘sculpt’ and having at least fi ve bullets loaded may fi re a short burst the fl ames, creating any shape of fl amethrower area of effect as a single attack against a single target. The hailer takes a –4 desired, so long as the volume of the area of effect remains penalty on the attack roll, but deals an extra +2 dice of damage. identical. A fl amethrower area of effect is normally 2m x 2m Firing a burst expends all fi ve bullets. x 50m, giving a total volume of 200 cubic meters. The hailer could reshape this into a 4m x 2m x 25m area of effect, a Improved Critical (Ex) 10m x 10m x 2m area of effect, or any other shape, so long At 8th level, the hailer’s threat range doubles when using a hailer as each dimension has a minimum size of 1 meter and the in machine gun mode. This does not apply to the heavy hailer. total area equals 200 cubic meters. The shape does not have to be a cube: L-shapes, curves, or even hollow boxes are all

Greater Weapon Specialization (Ex) possibilities.

At 16th level, a hailer gains greater weapon specialization Likewise, in machine gun mode the hailer can affect any 4 with the hailer. This ability increases the bonus on damage adjacent 2m-squares, in any shape, with an autofi re attack. rolls to +4 when using a hailer. This applies whether the hailer She is no longer constrained by the requirement to attack a is employed as machine gun or fl amethrower, though not with 4m x 4m space, or to use strafi ng to attack a 2m x 8m space. the heavy hailer. These benefi ts also apply to the heavy hailer. A heavy hailer’s fl amethrower volume is 300 cubic meters.Guide Hailer Shots (Su) At 18th level, a hailer with 20 or more ranks in Telekinesis can Critical Strike (Hailer) (Ex) use his or her telekinetic powers to guide and control hailer At 20th level, a hailer automatically confi rms a critical threat attacks. as a critical hit when attacking with the hailer. This applies,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

whether the hailer is employed as machine gun or fl amethrower. It does not apply to the heavy hailer.

S pecies Bonus Feats

In most Red Star Campaign Setting games, all At 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th, the hailer gets a bonus characters are human. However, in a campaign feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following set exclusively in Al’Istaan characters may play a list, and the hailer must meet all the prerequisites of the Dune-Ra at the GM’s discretion (see the Dune-Ra feat in order to select it. in Chapter Seven: The World). Likewise, in the Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Advanced Two-Weapon Immortals campaign setting players may take the roles Fighting, Alertness, Bersk Wrestling Pin, Bersk Wrestling of Immortal characters, though playing these types of Kill, Bersk Wrestling Strike, Bersk Wrestling, Burst Fire, characters require a special set of circumstances to Cleave, Combat Martial Arts, Combat Refl exes, Dead play. For details on playing Immortals see Chapter Aim, Diehard, Double Tap, Engine Pull Champion, Exotic Nine: To the Last of Us All! — Running The Red Firearms Profi ciency, Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency, Star. Far Shot, Frightful Presence, Great Cleave, Gunnery, Heroic Surge, Improved Damage Threshold, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Profi ciency, Stealthy, Strafe, Telekinetic Warrior, Toughness, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Railfi ghting, Simple Weapons Track, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus.

N istaani Shaman

The Nistaani are an ancient people, and their shamans are the custodians of a knowledge and wisdom as old as the Class Features land itself. They are effective with spells, but even more with All of the following are class features of the Nistaani shaman longer rituals, when they call upon the power of the land, its class. spirits, and the Law of the One True God to achieve effects that would seem incredible even to another spellcaster. Starting Invocations (Su)

Example Nistaani Shamans Each Nistaani shaman starts the game knowing three invocations, chosen from the list given in Chapter Eight: The

The robed assistants of Kar Dathra are all Nistaani shamans. Spiritrealm.

Game Rule Information

Hit Die: 1d6. Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level rounded down, every time the character attains a new level in this class.

Class Skills

The Nistaani shaman’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are as follows. Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Kast (Int), Knowledge (arcana, history, religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Research (Int), Ritual (Cha)*, Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis). *See page 39 for details on this new skill. Skill Points at 1st Level: (7 + Int modifi er) x 4. Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 7 + Int modifi er. Required Allegiance: The Law of the One True God.

Starting Feats

In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, a Nistaani shaman begins play with the Archaic Weapons Profi ciency and Simple Weapons Profi ciency feats.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-3: The Nistaani Shaman

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +0 +0 +0 +2 +0 +1 Starting invocations 2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 +0 +1 Lead ritual +1 3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 +1 +2 Bonus feat 4th +2 +1 +1 +4 +1 +2 Lead ritual +2 5th +2 +1 +1 +4 +1 +3 Invocation 6th +3 +2 +2 +5 +1 +3 Lead ritual +3 7th +3 +2 +2 +5 +2 +4 Bonus feat 8th +4 +2 +2 +6 +2 +4 Lead ritual +4 9th +4 +3 +3 +6 +2 +5 Spell 10th +5 +3 +3 +7 +2 +5 Lead ritual +5 11th +5 +3 +3 +7 +3 +6 Bonus feat 12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 +3 +6 Lead ritual +6 13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 +3 +7 Spell 14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 +3 +7 Lead ritual +7 15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 +4 +8 Bonus feat 16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 +4 +8 Lead ritual +8 17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 +4 +9 Spell 18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 +4 +9 Lead ritual +9 19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 +5 +10 Bonus feat 20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 +5 +10 Lead ritual +10

Lead Ritual (Su) appropriate teacher or black market protocal, she may learn a

protocol instead. At 2nd level, the Nistaani shaman is an expert ritualist, often chosen to lead his or her people in their observances and Bonus Feats magic. He or she gains a +1 bonus to all Ritual checks made when leading a ritual. This bonus increases by an additional At 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th, the Nistaani shaman gets +1 every two levels thereafter. a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Nistaani shaman must meet all the

Spell (Su) prerequisites of the feat to select it.

At 5th level and every four levels thereafter, the Nistaani Alertness, Animal Affi nity, Attentive, Deceptive, Dodge, shaman learns one new ivocation of his or her choice. This Educated, Endurance, Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency, spell may be chosen from any Nistaani invocations (see Focused, Frightful Presence, Guide, Renown, Sorcery page 160). Alternatively, if the Nistaani has access to an Expert, Studious, Track, Trustworthy.

Nistaani Warrior

The Nistaani tribes of Al’Istaan have defended their homeland Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level rounded down, every against foreign aggressors, and the U.R.R.S. is no different from time the character attains a new level in this class. all the rest. The same tactics apply regardless of foe. Guerilla warfare, mastery of terrain, uncompromising ferocity, and using Class Skills any weapons they have available, whether the deadly hawk talon polearms, or curved swords for which the Nistaani are The Nistaani warrior’s class skills (and the key ability for each famous, or modern guns captured from the Red Fleet are all skill) are as follows. standard tactics for dealing with invaders. Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Gather Information (Cha), Handle

Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Example Nistaani Warriors Knowledge (religion, tactics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently

Nistaani warriors can be seen throughout the Battle of Kar (Dex), Navigate (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Read/ Dathra’s Gate sequence (The Red Star, Books #1 to #4). Write Language (none), Ride (Dex), Ritual (Cha), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Telekinesis (Wis)*, Treat Injury (Wis). Class Information *See page 39 for details on this new skill. Hit Die: 1d8.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-4: The Nistaani Warrior

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +1 +1 +0 +1 +1 +0 Regional origin, righteous fury 1/day 2nd +2 +2 +0 +2 +1 +0 Specialization I 3rd +3 +2 +1 +2 +2 +0 Bonus feat 4th +4 +2 +1 +2 +2 +0 Child of sand and rock (survivor) 5th +5 +3 +1 +3 +3 +1 Specialization II 6th +6/+1 +3 +2 +3 +3 +1 Righteous fury 2/day 7th +7/+2 +4 +2 +4 +4 +1 Bonus feat 8th +8/+3 +4 +2 +4 +4 +1 Specialization III 9th +9/+4 +4 +3 +4 +5 +2 Child of sand and rock (unhampered movement) 10th +10/+5 +5 +3 +5 +5 +2 Champion 11th +11/+6/+1 +5 +3 +5 +6 +2 Bonus feat, specialization IV 12th +12/+7/+2 +6 +4 +6 +6 +2 Child of sand and rock (stealth) 13th +13/+8/+3 +6 +4 +6 +7 +3 Righteous fury 3/day 14th +14/+9/+4 +6 +4 +6 +7 +3 Specialization V 15th +15/+10/+5 +7 +5 +7 +8 +3 Bonus feat, Child of sand and rock (initiative +2) 16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +7 +5 +7 +8 +3 Greater righteous fury 17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +8 +5 +8 +9 +4 Specialization VI 18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +8 +6 +8 +9 +4 Child of sand and rock (ambush) 19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +8 +6 +8 +10 +4 Bonus feat 20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +9 +6 +9 +10 +4 Specialization VII, righteous fury 4/day Skill Points at 1st Level: (9 + Int modifi er) x 4. Dusty Sea: The nomads wandering this desert are fi erce yet Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 9 + Int modifi er. practical. A Nistaani warrior from the Dusty Sea gains a Required Allegiance: The Law of the One True God. +1 bonus to all Survival checks. Furthermore, he gains an extra use per day of the Righteous Fury class feature.

Starting Feats Northern Reaches: Though the northern tribes turn their

In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, passion to poetry, they are experts with politics. A a Nistaani warrior begins play with the Archaic Weapons character from the Northern Reaches gains a +2 bonus to Profi ciency, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Simple Weapons all Craft (writing), Diplomacy, and Sense Motive checks. Profi ciency feats, and one additional feat chosen from the These skills are always class skills for Nistaani warriors following list: Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency: Hawk Talon, who select this region. Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency: Nistaani Sword or Slivers on the Wind. Righteous Fury (Ex) A Nistaani warrior can fl y into a righteous fury a certain number

Class Features of times per day. While in a fury, a Nistaani warrior temporarily

gains a +2 bonus to Strength, a +2 bonus to Constitution, and All of the following are class features of the Nistaani warrior a +1 morale bonus on Will saves, but takes a –1 penalty to class. Defense. The increase in Constitution increases the Nistaani warrior’s hit points by 1 point per level, but these hit points go

Regional Origin (Ex) away at the end of the fury when the Constitution score drops

At 1st level, a Nistaani warrior must select a regional origin. back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost fi rst the way Each regional origin provides certain bonuses as described temporary hit points are.) below. For more information on the Al’Istaan regions, consult While in the throws of fury, a Nistaani warrior cannot use Chapter Seven: The World. any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills Land’s Teeth: The mountain tribes of this region are (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), renowned for their stoicism in the face of adversity. A the Concentration skill, or any abilities requiring patience Nistaani warrior from the Land’s Teeth gains +1 hit point or concentration. He can use any feat possessed except and gains the Diehard feat as a bonus feat, even if he Combat Expertise. A fi t of fury lasts for a number of rounds or she does not meet the prerequisites. See page 42 for equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution information on the Diehard feat. modifi er.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

Beetle Cavalry: These Nistaani warriors use their Susk-Dath beetles not just as mounts but as living krawls, great armored beasts capable of combating and defeating the Red Fleet’s forces. See the Susk-Dath in Chapter Seven: The World for details. Desert Fighter: Even more than most Nistaani warriors, the desert fi ghters are masters of the harsh sands of the Dusty Sea. Striking with all the speed and fury of a sandstorm before melting away into the dunes, the desert fi ghter is feared by Red Troopers and rival tribes alike. Desert fi ghters also gain an affi nity with the creatures of the desert, including the dreaded Dune-Ra. See the Dune-Ra in Chapter Seven: The World for details. Holy Warrior: Though Nistaani warriors would all fi ght to defend Al’Istaan from U.R.R.S. or W.T.A. incursions alike, the holy warrior is utterly dedicated to defeating all infi dels no matter where they lie. A holy warrior’s faith is source of his power. A Nistaani warrior must have Allegiance: The Law of the One True God as his or her fi rst allegiance to be a holy warrior.

Specialization Benefits

Aura of Courage (Su): The character is immune to fear, protocol-induced or otherwise. Each ally within 4m of the character gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability functions while the character is conscious, but not if he is unconscious or dead. A Nistaani warrior may prematurely end righteous fury. Beetle Mount (Ex): The character gains a war-trained Susk- At the end of the fury, the Nistaani warrior loses the fury Dath beetle as a mount. This is an exceptional specimen, modifi ers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty with +2 to Strength and Constitution, but is otherwise to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) identical to the Susk-Dath beetle as described on page for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is a 132. 16th-level Nistaani warrior, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see Greater Righteous Fury on page 20). A Beetle Mount Advancement (Ex): Each time Table 1–5: Nistaani warrior can fl y into a fury only once per encounter. Nistaani Warrior Specializations indicates this special ability, the character’s Susk-Dath gains +2 bonus HD, At 1st level, he or she can enter a fury once per day. At 6th +2 to natural damage reduction, +2 Strength and +2 level, 13th level and 20th level, he can use righteous fury one Constitution. Extra Hit Dice improves a creature’s base additional time per day (to a maximum of four times per day attack bonus and base save bonuses. As Vermin, a Susk- at 20th level; fi ve times if the character selected “Dusty Sea” Dath’s base attack bonus is equal to three-quarters of its as his regional origin). Entering a fury takes no time itself, but HD. Furthermore, a Susk-Dath has a good Fortitude save. a Nistaani warrior can do it only during his or her action, and not in response to someone else’s action. Desert Camoufl age (Ex): The character can use the Hide skill in either desert or mountain terrain even if the terrain A Nistaani warrior specifi cally attacking an enemy of his doesn’t grant cover or concealment people, tribe, country or religion (rather than a personal enemy or random antagonist) gains double the benefi ts and Desert Guide (Ex): The character may allow up to one penalties of any righteous fury effect. He effectively gains a traveling companion per full three levels to gain +4 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 the benefi ts of the Child of Sand and Rock class morale bonus on Will saves, but with a –2 penalty to Defense. feature. Guiding in this way takes a certain degree of Otherwise, righteous fury functions as normal. It is always at concentration, and cannot be done during combat or the GM’s discretion as to whether a doubling of the righteous other high-stress situations (though an 18th level Nistaani fury effects is appropriate. warrior with this class feature could, for example, assist comrades with setting up an ambush, ceasing to use

Specialization Desert Guide only at the moment they attack).

At 2nd level, the Nistaani warrior selects a specialization. Dune-Ra Companion (Ex): The character gains a Dune-Ra Depending on the specialization chosen, the Nistaani warrior companion. This is an average creature of its kind. See gains certain special abilities at 2nd level and every three the Dune-Ra in Chapter Seven: The World for details. levels thereafter, as described on Table 1–5: Nistaani Dune-Ra Companion Advancement (Ex): Each time Table Warrior Specializations. 1–5: Nistaani Warrior Specializations this this special,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-5: Nistaani Warrior Specializations

Specializations Level Beetle Cavalry Desert Fighter Holy Warrior Specialization I 2nd level Beetle Mount Natural Empathy Smite Infi del 1/day Specialization II 5th level Mounted Attack Dune-Ra Companion Aura of Courage Specialization III 8th level Trample Desert Guide Smite Infi del 2/day Specialization IV 11th level Beetle Mount Dune-Ra Companion Jihad Advancement Advancement Specialization V 14th level Ride-By Attack Desert Camoufl age Smite Infi del 3/day Specialization VI 17th level Spirited Charge Dune-Ra Companion Word of the Prophet Advancement Specialization VII 20th level Beetle Mount Vanish into the Sand Smite Infi del 4/day Advancement Child of Sand and Rock ability, the character’s Dune-Ra companion gains +2 must be able to study each other, which means that they HD, +1 to natural damage reduction, +2 Strength and +2 must be within 10m of one another under normal visibility Constitution. Extra Hit Dice improves a creature’s base conditions. Infl uencing a creature in this way generally attack bonus and base save bonuses. As a Giant, a Dune- takes 1 minute, but as with infl uencing people, it might Ra’s base attack bonus is equal to three-quarters of its take more or less time depending on the circumstances. HD. Furthermore, a Susk-Dath has a good Fortitude save. A Dune-Ra also gains additional skill points and feats for Ride-By Attack (Ex): When mounted and using the charge bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice. action, the character may move and attack as if with a standard charge and then move again (continuing the Jihad (Ex): The character may call upon neighbors and straight line of the charge). The total movement for the allies to make a holy war on the infi del. This grants a +4 round can’t exceed double the mounted speed. Neither bonus to the modifi ed class level check when using the rider nor mount provokes an attack of opportunity from Champion feat. the opponent attacked. Mounted Attack (Ex): While the character rides a Susk-Dath Smite Infi del (Su): Once per day, the character may attempt beetle, the penalty for using a ranged weapon while to smite an infi del with one normal melee attack. The mounted is halved. He instead takes a –2 penalty if the character’s adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to the Susk-Dath takes a double move or a –4 penalty if the attack roll. On a successful attack, the character deals Susk-Dath is running. bonus damage equal to 1 point per Nistaani warrior level. An infi del is defi ned as any creature that has an Natural Empathy (Ex): The character can improve the attitude Intelligence of 3 or higher and does not have “The Law of any creature (animal or otherwise) with a listed terrain of the One True God” as one of his or her allegiances. If type of either Desert or Mountain. This ability functions the character accidentally smites a creature that is not an just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a infi del, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used person. The character rolls 1d20 and adds his Nistaani up for that day. Each time Table 1–5: Nistaani Warrior class level and Charisma bonus to determine the natural Specializations indicates this ability, the character gains empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has one additional smite infi del attack per day. a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. The attitudes of sentient creatures, Spirited Charge (Ex): When mounted and using the charge of course, can run the full gamut from Hostile to Helpful. action, the character deals double damage with a melee To use natural empathy, the character and the target weapon (or triple damage with a spear).

Using Nistaani Characters

It is assumed most characters in the Red Star campaigns are from the U.R.R.S. pitted against the internal struggles of the state after the fall of Ironhold, or battling Nistaani and Nokgorkan enemies of the state on the nation’s many fronts. Some campaigns, though, may change the focus of the game to highlight other people, other regions, telling stories beyond the comics. To meet these needs, this chapter presents several options for games outside of the expected stage. However, as Nistaani invocations directly tie into some of the darkest secrets in the Red Star Campaign Setting, information on these spells are found separately from Military-Industrial Sorcery, allowing GMs to retain some secrets to uncover through game play if he does not intend on allowing players to take the roles of Nistaani Shamans and Warriors. For more information on Nistaani spells, consult Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm starting on page 160.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

Trample (Ex): When the character attempts to overrun an • A 17th level Nistaani warrior may prepare an ambush in opponent while mounted, the target may not choose to either desert or mountain terrain. Setting up the ambush avoid the overrun attempt. The Susk-Dath may make requires 2d6 minutes. Once completed, the Nistaani one slam attack against any target thus knocked down, warrior makes a Hide check at a +4 circumstance bonus gaining the standard +4 bonus on attack rolls against to move into position. He may substitute a Knowledge prone targets. (tactics) check for this roll. If the enemy does not detect the Nistaani warrior with a Spot check, the warrior Vanish into the Sand and Rock (Ex): While in desert or surprises the enemy from the prepared ambush site, mountain terrain, the character can use the Hide skill and the Nistaani warrior may take a full round of actions even while being observed. during the surprise round, instead of only taking a Word of the Prophet (Su): As a free action, by expending standard or move action. an action point, the character can utter a word or short phrase from the Book of Law. All infi dels (see Smite Champion Infi del, above, for the defi nition of infi dels) who hear the Word of the Prophet must succeed Will saves (DC = 18 A 10th level Nistaani warrior gains Champion as a bonus feat, + Nistaani warrior’s Cha modifi er) or be knocked prone, without needing to meet any of the prerequisites. deafened for 2d6 minutes, and stunned for 1d6 rounds. The character must utter the Word during his actions, and Greater Righteous Fury (Ex) not as a reaction to an opponent’s actions. From 16th level onwards, a Nistaani warrior is no longer fatigued at the end of a righteous fury.

Child of Sand and Rock (Ex)

At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, the Nistaani Bonus Feats warrior’s affi nity with the harsh terrain of Al’Istaan increases, At 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th, the Nistaani warrior gets providing a number of special bonuses. A 4th level Nistaani a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the warrior gains a +2 competence bonus to all Climb, Listen, following list, and the Nistaani warrior must meet all the Search, Spot and Survival checks made in desert or prerequisites of the feat to select it. mountain terrain. Agile Riposte, Alertness, Animal Affi nity, Armor Profi ciency, • At 7th level, the Nistaani warrior is no longer hampered Combat Expertise, Combat Martial Arts, Combat Refl exes, by moving over desert or mountain terrain, but instead Combat Throw, Dead Aim, Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge, moves at his or her normal speed. Elusive Target, Endurance, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency, • At 10th level, the Nistaani warrior gains a +4 competence Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency, Far Shot, Guide, Improved bonus to all Move Silently and Hide checks made in Combat Throw, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, desert or mountain terrain. Improved Slivers on the Wind, Improved Trip, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Shot on the Run, Slivers on the Wind, • At 13th level, the Nistaani warrior gains a +2 bonus to Toughness, Track, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus, Whirlwind Initiative checks when in desert or mountain terrain. Attack.

Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter

Nokgorka fi ghts to throw off the shackles of servitude binding it to the U.R.R.S. Almost every Nokgorkan has joined the C lass Skills resistance militia, united under the ancient motto of their The Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter’s class skills (and the key people: “To die or live in freedom is our fate.” ability for each skill) are as follows. Example Nokgorkan Resistance Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (any) (Int), Demolitions (Int), Drive (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide

Fighters (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (current events, history, popular

culture, streetwise, tactics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently Makita is a typical example of an Orphan-origin Nokgorkan (Dex), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Repair resistance fi ghter. Other Nokgorkan resistance fi ghters (Int), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Treat Injury (Wis), and Tumble include Makita’s father, Proto, Turko, and Dushka in the (Dex). Run Makita Run annual, as well as countless troopers and ordinary citizens fi ghting the Reds in the Nokgorkan war. Skill Points at 1st Level: (9 + Int modifi er) x 4. Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 9 + Int modifi er.

Required Allegiance: The Law of the One True God or The Game Rule Information Nokgorkan Resistance.

Hit Die: 1d8. Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level rounded down, every S tarting Feats time the character attains a new level in this class. In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, a Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter begins play with the Advanced,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-6: The Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +0 +0 +2 +0 +1 +0 Area knowledge +1, contacts, origin 2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 +1 +0 Sneak attack +1d6 3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 +2 +0 Evasion 4th +3 +1 +4 +1 +2 +0 Bonus feat 5th +3 +1 +4 +1 +3 +0 Sneak attack +2d6 6th +4 +2 +5 +2 +3 +1 Uncanny dodge 7th +5 +2 +5 +2 +4 +1 Area knowledge +2 8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 +4 +1 Sneak attack +3d6 9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 +5 +1 Improved uncanny dodge 10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 +5 +1 Bonus feat 11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 +6 +2 Sneak attack +4d6 12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 +6 +2 Improved evasion 13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 +7 +2 Area knowledge +3 14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 +7 +2 Sneak attack +5d6 15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 +8 +2 Defensive roll 16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 +8 +3 Bonus feat 17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 +9 +3 Sneak attack +6d6 18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 +9 +3 Opportunist 19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 +10 +3 Area knowledge +4 20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 +10 +3 Sneak attack +7d6 Firearms Profi ciency, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency: SWORD, The bonuses increase by an additional +1 for every six levels Personal Firearms Profi ciency, and Simple Weapons attained in this class (+2 at 7th, +3 at 13th, and +4 at 19th). Profi ciency feats.

Contacts (Ex) C lass Features A Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter’s biggest assets are her

All of the following are class features of the Nokgorkan contacts, fellow Nokgorkans whose commitment to the resistance fi ghter class. war is equally strong. Most of these are active in one of the resistance groups, but some may be Nokgorkan

Area Knowledge (Ex) sympathizers within the Red Fleet itself. The main use of

contacts is to acquire useful equipment or weaponry, but Nokgorka’s cities lie in shattered ruins, symbols of the they can also give information. Up to once per week, a nation’s history of warfare. Nokgorkans, from an early age, Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter may make a Contacts check learn every nook, cranny and back alleyway of the ruins as follows. of their hometowns. They are aware of any changes, too, whether wrought by the pounding of Red Fleet artillery or the Contacts check = d20 + Nokgorkan resistance hasty construction of defenses by other Nokgorkans. Canny fi ghter level + Charisma bonus resistance fi ghters turn this knowledge to their advantage; Use a contacts check in the place of a Wealth check they cannot hope to defeat the U.R.R.S. in direct combat, but (representing the use of a contact to procure a particular a guerrilla war might infl ict enough damage to force the Party item) or Gather Information check (representing the use of to recognize Nokgorka’s independence. At higher levels, most contacts to learn about enemy troop movements, new arrivals Nokgorkan resistance fi ghters have helped construct the and so on). In either case, the results manifest in 1d6 hours. defenses and ambush sites themselves. You can retry failed Wealth and Gather Information check, by At 1st level, the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter knows the making a Contacts check. geography of the city intimately, including the locations of all As contacts operate on essentially a favor system, the the dead-end routes, ambush sites, suitable sniper platforms contacts may ask the character to do favors in return and secret short cuts throughout the city. The character — perhaps disseminating rumors or stealing a grounded Zik gets a +1 circumstance bonus to all Hide, Listen, Move fi ghter plane for example. Failure or refusal to do such favors Silently, Search and Spot checks, a +1 circumstance bonus may result in the temporary or permanent loss of the Area to Defense, and a +1 circumstance bonus to all attack rolls, Knowledge: Contacts class feature, at the GM’s discretion. while in the character’s home city. At the GM’s discretion, the Furthermore, an implicit part of any contact relationship character may select a new city, but only within Nokgorka is the equipment or information provided must be used to and the character must spend a full month doing nothing but further the Nokgorkan cause, rather than for personal gain. exploring the city before these benefi ts apply. Nokgorkans despise war profi teers, or “carrion,” as they are,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

turning against the U.R.R.S. when your nation rebelled. Your military training stands you in good stead when it comes to battling the invading Reds. You gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls. Fanatic: Your religion is extremely important to you, and you see fi ghting the Reds off as something of a religious duty. You gain the Righteous Fury class feature, as though you were a 1st level Nistaani warrior (see page 17 for details). Orphan: Your parents are dead, and other resistance fi ghters took you in and trained you. Though only a teenager, you’ve proven yourself in battle repeatedly, and gaining both respect and assistance from your fellow Nokgorkans. You gain a +2 bonus to all Charisma-based checks relating to other Nokgorkans in your home city, including Contacts checks and appropriate skill checks.

Sneak Attack (Ex)

If a Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter catches an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Defense (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter fl anks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 2nd level, and it increases by 1d6 for every three Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter levels thereafter. sometimes called, and again loss of privileges, or worse, can Should the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter score a critical hit result for those who exploit the Resistance for their own ends. with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target Most Nokgorkans may also requisition items of equipment is within 10m. as usual if they work for a resistance organization with a structure and hierarchy. Usually a character should try to With an unarmed strike, a Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter can acquire the item through contacts fi rst, since this confers make a sneak attack dealing nonlethal damage instead of permanent ownership. A character with has had no luck with lethal damage. A weapon dealing lethal damage cannot be contacts, or who only needs the equipment temporarily and used to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even thus prefers to avoid owing any favors for it may be better off with the usual –4 penalty. requisitioning it. Any creature immune to critical hits is also invulnerable to

Origin (Ex) sneak attacks. The Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and

Each Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter must select an origin must be able to reach such a spot. A Nokgorkan resistance at 1st level. Origin describes what the character did before fi ghter cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with joining the resistance against the U.R.R.S., and perhaps concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals giving a hint as to her motives for fi ghting the Reds. Each are beyond reach. origin also provides a special bonus as follows. A Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter’s sneak attack capability is Avenger: They’re dead. Your friends, your family, all dead, cumulative with any sneak attack gained from other classes, killed by Red reprisals and attacks in this atrocity of a such as zek. war. You dedicate your life to killing Reds, and you’re damned good at it. If female, you may acquire the Evasion (Ex) moniker “Black Widow,” denoting for your loss and your newfound ruthlessness because of it. You gain a +2 At 3rd level, whenever a Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter is bonus to all damage rolls when within 30m of a target exposed to any effect that normally allows a character who has at least one level in one or more of the Red to attempt a Refl ex saving throw for half damage, the Fleet offi cer, hailer, Red trooper or zek character classes. Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter suffers no damage if she makes a successful saving throw. Evasion can only be used when Citizen: You’re an average Joe or Joanna, an ordinary citizen wearing light armor or no armor. caught up in this rebellion or war whether you want to be or not. You gain a +3 bonus to all Craft and Profession checks. Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Ex-Army: You once fought in the Nokgorkan branch of the A 6th level or higher Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter retains Red Fleet, perhaps serving in Al’Istaan itself before her Dexterity bonus to Defense regardless of being caught,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

fl at-footed or struck by a hidden attacker. (The character still be able to react to the attack to execute a defensive roll—if the loses her Dexterity bonus to Defense if immobilized.) immobilized, she can’t use this class feature. Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Refl ex save for half damage, the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter’s A Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter of 9th level or higher can no evasion class feature doesn’t apply to the defensive roll. longer be fl anked; she can react to opponents on opposite sides of herself as easily as she can react to a single Opportunist (Ex) attacker. At 18th level, by spending 1 action point, the Nokgorkan

Improved Evasion (Ex) resistance fi ghter can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee

At 12th level, the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter gains by another character. This attack counts as the Nokgorkan improved evasion. This ability works like evasion, except that resistance fi ghter’s attack of opportunity for that round. A while the character still takes no damage on a successful Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter with the Combat Refl exes feat Refl ex saving throw against attacks henceforth she takes can’t use this class feature more than once per round. only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter does not gain the benefi t of improved Bonus Feats evasion. At 4th, 10th and 16th level, the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter

Defensive Roll (Ex) gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter must

A Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter of 15th level can roll with a meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it. potentially lethal attack to take less damage from it. When the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter would be reduced to 0 hit points or Alertness, Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Athletic, Bersk less by damage in combat (from a ranged or melee attack), the Wrestling, Black Market Connections, Brawl, Burst Fire, Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter can attempt to roll with the damage. Dead Aim, Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge, Double Tap, Elusive Target, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency, Exotic Melee A Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter spends 1 action point to use this Weapon Profi ciency, Far Shot, Gunnery, Mobility, Point class feature. The character then makes a Refl ex save against Blank Shot, Precise Strike, Shot on the Run, Stealthy, a DC equal to the damage dealt. On a successful save, she Streetfi ghting, Surface Vehicle Operation, Weapon Finesse, takes only half damage. The Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter must Weapon Focus.

Red Fleet Officer

Offi cers of the Red Fleet can be found in many positions Navigate (Int), Pilot (Dex), Profession (Wis), Read/Write within its ranks, from commanding a detachment of krawls Language (none), Repair (Int), Research (Int), Search (Int), or assisting a Skymarshall with the day-to-day running of a Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (none), Spot (Wis), skyfurnace. and Treat Injury (Wis). *See page 39 for details on this new skill.Example Red Fleet Officers Skill Points at 1st Level: (9 + Int modifi er) x 5. The various skymarshalls such as Urik Antares are the Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 9 + Int modifi er. most obvious examples of Red Fleet offi cers. Anyone with a Required Allegiance: The Red Fleet. commissioned rank, however, will probably have at least one level of the Red Fleet offi cer class, including Captain Marcus Antares, Captain Alexandra Goncharova, and SRSS-Major Starting Feats Maya Antares. In addition to the two feats all Red Star characters get at 1st level, a Red Fleet offi cer begins play with the Armor

Game Rule Information Profi ciency (Light), Gunnery, and Personal Firearms

Profi ciency feats. Hit Die: 1d8. Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level rounded down, every time the character attains a new level in this class. Class Features All of the following are class features of the Red Fleet offi cer

Class Skills class.

The Red Fleet offi cer’s class skills (and the key ability for Education or Cross-Training (Ex) each skill) are as follows. Unlike other character classes, a Red Fleet offi cer begins the Bluff (Cha), Computer Use (Int), Concentration (Con), game with (class skill points + Int modifi er) x 5 skill points, Craft (any) (Int), Demolitions (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Drive rather than (class skill points + Int modifi er) x 4 skill points. (Dex), Gamble (Wis), Gather Information (Cha), Kast (Int)*, This represents the improved educational system available Knowledge (any) (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Investigate (Wis), to the privileged classes of the U.R.R.S. Furthermore, a,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-7: The Red Fleet Officer

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +0 +0 +0 +2 +0 +0 Bonus feat, education OR cross- training, rank OR promotion 2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 +1 +0 Bonus feat 3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 +1 +0 Specialization I 4th +3 +1 +1 +4 +1 +1 Promotion 5th +3 +1 +1 +4 +2 +1 Bonus feat 6th +4 +2 +2 +5 +2 +1 Tactical aid I 7th +5 +2 +2 +5 +2 +2 Promotion, tactical superiority 8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 +3 +2 Bonus feat 9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 +3 +2 Specialization II 10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 +3 +3 Promotion 11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 +4 +3 Bonus feat 12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 +4 +3 Tactical aid II (standard action) 13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 +4 +4 Promotion 14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 +5 +4 Bonus feat 15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 +5 +4 Specialization III 16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 +5 +5 Promotion 17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 +6 +5 Bonus feat 18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 +6 +5 Tactical aid III (move action) 19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 +6 +6 Promotion 20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 +7 +6 Bonus feat

The Red FleetinDecline

Depending on when the campaign is set, the GM may alter the feats available to Red Fleet offi cers, since the training and other resources the Red Fleet has to offer may vary considerably. When the U.R.R.S. attacks Al’Istaan, the Fleet is at the height of its power. It is the pride of the Red Star and the terror of the world. Nine years later, during the Nokgorkan confl ict, the Red Fleet is emasculated, a shadow of its former self. Its offi cers and troopers are thrown into battle with far less training and equipment than they once had. In game terms, this does not directly weaken the character class — an experienced offi cer is still an experienced offi cer, even if there are far fewer experienced offi cers within the Fleet. It does mean, however, some of the more specialized training is less easily available. Offi cers of the Red Fleet at this stage of decline are more likely to learn feats to help them gain a quick ruble or otherwise advance their personal aims. This is not to say all Red Fleet offi cers during the Nokgorkan confl ict are corrupt, but even those who still do their very best to serve the Fleet and look out for their troopers’ welfare may need to resort to unorthodox methods. For this reason, the following alternate bonus feat list may be used for Red Fleet offi cers in campaigns set after the breakup of the U.R.R.S., when the Fleet is run (or, as some might say, neglected) by the Commonwealth of the Red Star. This list replaces the usual bonus feat list, rather than supplementing it. Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Alertness, Attentive, Bersk Wrestling Pin, Bersk Wrestling Strike, Bersk Wrestling, Black Market Connections, Brawl, Burst Fire, Combat Expertise, Combat Martial Arts, Confi dent, Deceptive, Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge, Double Tap, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency, Far Shot, Gearhead, Improved Initiative, Low Profi le, Medical Expert, Meticulous, Point Blank Shot, Precise Strike, Simple Weapons Profi ciency, Quick Draw, Quick Reload, Red Fleet Contacts, Renown, Run, Stealthy, Streetfi ghting, Surface Vehicle Operation, Toughness, Vehicle Dodge, Vehicle Expert, Weapon Focus, Windfall.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

Red Fleet offi cer’s maximum rank in any class skill is equal to (class level + 4) rather than (class level + 3). Likewise, maximum ranks in cross-class skills are (class level + 4)/2 rather than (class level + 3)/2. A character taking his starting level in another class and was promoted to Junior Lieutenant, thus being eligible to take levels in Red Fleet offi cer, does not gain the benefi ts of the education class feature. A promotion cannot match a lifetime’s privilege. Instead, the character is cross-trained to ensure he is suitable for the role of Red Fleet offi cer. He may choose any two skills which become class skills permanently, whatever his character class.

Rank or Promotion (Ex)

At 1st level, a Red Fleet offi cer has the rank of Junior Lieutenant. See Rank in the Red Fleet, on page 36 for more information about rank and its privileges. A Red Fleet offi cer who already had another character class and was promoted to Junior Lieutenant, thus being eligible to take levels in Red Fleet Offi cer, is instead promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on attaining 1st level as a Red Fleet offi cer.

Specialization (Ex)

A 3rd level Red Fleet offi cer chooses a branch of service, learning to be an expert krawl commander, skyfurnace staff offi cer, engineer offi cer, sorceress offi cer or infantry commander. He gains an appropriate special ability starting at 3rd level, and every six levels thereafter. Finally, at 15th level, the character gets a +2 bonus to Initiative rolls when piloting, driving, or commanding a Engineering Branch: At 3rd level, the character gets a +3 vehicle. bonus to all Repair checks. At 9th level, he gets a +3 bonus to all Demolition checks. At 15th level, he gets a Promotion (Ex) +3 bonus to all Craft checks. At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, the Red Fleet Infantry Branch: At 3rd level, the character gets a +1 bonus to offi cer gains a promotion. Each time Table 1–7: The Red all attack rolls. At 9th level, the character gets a +1 dodge Fleet Offi cer indicates this class feature the character bonus to Defense. At 15th level, he gets a +1 bonus to all is promoted by one rank. It is possible to gain promotion Initiative checks. through gameplay; in effect, promotion as a class feature Sorcery Branch: Only an offi cer already having at least represents promotion for long service and experience, rather one level of sorceress may choose Sorcery as a than for any particularly notable deed. A Red Fleet offi cer specialization. The Sorcery Branch provides Advanced wishing to attain the heights of Skymarshall or above needs Training to its offi cers, identical to the sorceress class to “mention in dispatches” several times, probably as well as feature. This Advanced Training is always in the gaining ranks through the Red Fleet offi cer class. See Rank character’s existing sorcery branch. A character who in the Red Fleet on page 36, for more details on promotion already has Advanced Training from her sorceress class and the benefi ts of rank. adds the numbers of Advanced Training from each class together to learn her total Advanced Training number. Tactical Aid (Ex) For example, an 8th level sorceress/6th level Red Fleet A 6th-level Red Fleet offi cer’s natural leadership qualities offi cer has Advanced Training II from sorceress and have been enhanced by both experience and training. As a Advanced Training I from Red Fleet offi cer. Thus she full-round action, the Red Fleet offi cer may provide tactical has Advanced Training III, with all the benefi ts of that aid to all of his allies (including himself) within sight and voice sorceress class feature. range of his position (usually 20 meters). Tactical aid grants a At 3rd level, the character gains Advanced Training I, +2 competence bonus on all attack rolls. The bonus lasts for at 9th level, Advanced Training II, and at 15th level, 1 round per two Red Fleet offi cer class levels (3 rounds at 6th Advanced Training III. See the Sorceress class on page level, 4 rounds at 8th level, and so on). 28 for details. At 12th level, the Red Fleet offi cer may use tactical aid as a Staff Branch: At 3rd level, the character gets a +2 bonus to standard action. At 18th level, the Red Fleet offi cer may use attack rolls with vehicular weaponry. At 9th level, the tactical aid as a move action, and the competence bonus character gets a +2 bonus to Drive and Pilot checks. lasts for the duration of the encounter.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

A character with levels in both Red Fleet offi cer and Red Bonus Feats trooper may add together the numbers after the “tactical aid” entry in his class table, gaining the equivalent tactical At 1st level, 2nd level and every three levels thereafter, the aid class feature. For example, a 13th level Red trooper/6th Red Fleet offi cer gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must level Red Fleet offi cer gains Tactical Aid I from her level as a be selected from the following list, and the Red Fleet offi cer Red Trooper, and Tactical Aid II from her level as a Red Fleet must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it. offi cer; I + II = III, so she has Tactical Aid III, the class feature usually gained by a 17th level Red trooper or 18th level Red Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Aircraft Operation, Alertness, Fleet offi cer. Attentive, Bersk Wrestling Pin, Bersk Wrestling Kill, Bersk Wrestling Strike, Bersk Wrestling, Builder, Burst Fire,

Tactical Superiority (Ex) Combat Expertise, Combat Martial Arts, Combat Throw, Dead Aim, Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge, Double Tap,

At 7th level, a Red Fleet offi cer can use superior tactics to Educated, Elusive Target, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency, Far counter the opposition’s maneuvers before they even begin. As Shot, Focused, Force Stop, Gearhead, Improved Combat a free action, the offi cer makes an opposed Knowledge (tactics) Martial Arts, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Medical check against an enemy force’s leader. If he wins the opposed Expert, Point Blank Shot, Precise Strike, Shot on the Run, check, the enemy offi cer cannot use his tactical aid ability. The Simple Weapons Profi ciency, Quick Draw, Quick Reload, offi cer can onlt make this check once in any given combat. Renown, Sorcery Expert, Surface Vehicle Operation, Surgery, Tactical Superiority can cancel a Tactical Aid already in use. Trustworthy, Vehicle Dodge, Vehicle Expert, Weapon Focus.

R ed Trooper

Skyfurnaces own the skys, but infantry owns the ground. The backbone of the U.R.R.S. forces, Red troopers are defi ned Game Rule Information largely by their profi ciency with their trademark weapon, the Hit Die: 1d10. hook, though in classic U.R.R.S. tradition they are expected Action Points: 6 + one-half character level, rounded down, to be paragons of excellence in both military skills and sheer every time the character attains a new level in this class. physical prowess.

Examples of Red Troopers Class Skills

The Red trooper’s class skills (and the key ability for each Marcus Antares is the quintessential Red trooper. The skill) are as follows. nameless soldiers killed by Makita as she ran through the ruined Nokgorkan streets were low-level Red troopers. Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Demolitions (Int), Drive (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (current events, history, popular culture, tactics) (Int), Navigate (Int), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Telekinesis (Wis)*. *See page 39 for details on this new skill. Skill Points at 1st Level: (7 + Int modifi er) x 4. Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 7 + Int modifi er. Required Allegiance: The Red Fleet.

Starting Feats

In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, a Red trooper begins play with the Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency (hook), and Simple Weapons Profi ciency feats. Note Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency (hook) does not grant profi ciency with the hook’s more advanced uses, or those requiring additional attachments; the Exotic Firearm Profi ciency (hook variants) feat is necessary to use these variant hook weapons. The Red trooper does not receive this as a starting feat, though most high-level Red troopers should select it as a bonus or other feat.

C lass Features

All of the following are class features of the Red trooper class.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-8: The Red Trooper

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +1 +1 +1 +0 +1 +0 Weapon Focus (hook) 2nd +2 +2 +2 +0 +1 +0 Hook training: Defensive Rotation Shield 3rd +3 +2 +2 +1 +2 +0 Bonus feat 4th +4 +2 +2 +1 +2 +0 Weapon Specialization (hook) 5th +5 +3 +3 +1 +3 +1 Improved reaction 6th +6/+1 +3 +3 +2 +3 +1 Hook training: rapid reconfi guration (move action) 7th +7/+2 +4 +4 +2 +4 +1 Bonus feat 8th +8/+3 +4 +4 +2 +4 +1 Improved Critical (hook) 9th +9/+4 +4 +4 +3 +5 +2 Tactical aid I 10th +10/+5 +5 +5 +3 +5 +2 Hook training: trip 11th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +3 +6 +2 Bonus feat 12th +12/+7/+2 +6 +6 +4 +6 +2 Greater Weapon Focus (hook) 13th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +4 +7 +3 Tactical aid II (standard action) 14th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +5 +7 +3 Hook training: rapid reconfi guration (free action) 15th +15/+10/+5 +7 +7 +5 +8 +3 Bonus feat 16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +5 +8 +3 Greater Weapon Specialization (hook) 17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +5 +9 +4 Tactical aid III (move action) 18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +6 +9 +4 Hook training: disarm 19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +8 +8 +6 +10 +4 Bonus feat 20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +6 +10 +4 Critical strike (hook)

Weapon Focus Weapon Specialization (Ex)

At 1st level, a Red trooper gains Weapon Focus (hook) as a At 4th level, a Red trooper gains weapon specialization with bonus feat. This applies whether the hook is used as a melee the hook. The Red trooper gets a +2 bonus on damage weapon or as a telekinetic weapon. A Red trooper who also rolls when using a hook. This applies whether the hook is has the Exotic Firearm Profi ciency (hook variants) feat may employed as a melee weapon or telekinetic weapon. A Red also gain the bonus when using the weapon in this way. trooper who also has the Exotic Firearm Profi ciency (hook variants) feat also gains the bonus when using the weapon in

Hook Training (Su) this way.

At 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, the Red trooper Improved Reaction (Ex) gains advanced training in the combat applications of the hook. At 2nd level, this training grants her the Defensive At 5th level, a Red trooper gains a +2 competence bonus on Rotation Shield feat as a bonus feat. initiative checks. At 6th level, a Red trooper can reconfi gure a hook for melee attack, telekinetic attack, or (with appropriate attachments) Improved Critical (Ex) heavy weapon attack as a move action rather than as a At 8th level, the Red trooper’s threat range doubles when standard action. Furthermore, reconfi guring the hook no using a hook. This applies whether the hook is employed as a longer provokes attacks of opportunity. melee weapon or telekinetic weapon. A Red trooper who also At 10th level, a Red trooper wielding a hook gains the has the Exotic Firearm Profi ciency (hook variants) feat may benefi ts of the Improved Trip feat, even if she does not meet also gain the bonus when using the weapon in this way. the prerequisites. A Red trooper who already has Improved Trip gains an additional +2 bonus to the attack roll when Tactical Aid (Ex) using a hook to make a trip attack. At 9th level, the Red trooper is respected by his comrades as At 14th level, the Red trooper may reconfi gure a hook asaanatural leader and highly experienced soldier, even though free action. he may still be a lowly Ranker in rank. As a full-round action, the Red trooper may provide tactical aid to all of his allies At 18th level, a Red trooper wielding a hook gains the (including himself) within sight and voice range of his position benefi ts of the Improved Disarm feat, even if she does not (usually 20 meters). Tactical aid provides a +2 competence meet the prerequisites. A Red trooper who already has bonus on attack rolls. The bonus lasts for 1 round per two Improved Disarm gains an additional +2 bonus to the attack class levels. roll when using a hook to make a disarm attack.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

At 13th level, the Red trooper may use tactical aid as a eliminating the need to make a second roll to confi rm the standard action, and at 18th level, he may use tactical aid critical hit. This applies whether the hook is employed as a as a move action, and the competence bonus lasts for the melee weapon or telekinetic weapon. A Red trooper who also duration of the encounter. has the Exotic Firearm Profi ciency (hook variants) feat may also gain the bonus when using the weapon in this way. Note that a character with levels in both Red trooper and Red Fleet offi cer may add together the numbers after the “tactical aid” entry in his class table, gaining the equivalent tactical aid class Bonus Feats feature. For example, a 13th level Red trooper/6th level Red At 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th level, the Red trooper Fleet offi cer gains Tactical Aid I from her level as a Red Trooper, gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from and Tactical Aid II from her level as a Red Fleet offi cer; I + II = III, the following list, and the Red trooper must meet all the so she has Tactical Aid III, the class feature usually gained by a prerequisites of the feat to select it. 17th level Red trooper or 18th level Red Fleet offi cer. Advanced Combat Hook, Advanced Combat Martial Arts,

Greater Weapon Specialization (Ex) Advanced Defensive Rotation Shield, Advanced Firearms

Profi ciency, Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Armor Profi ciency A 16th-level Red trooper gains Greater Weapon (heavy), Athletic, Bersk Wrestling Pin, Bersk Wrestling Kill, Specialization with the hook. This ability increases the bonus Bersk Wrestling Strike, Bersk Wrestling, Cleave, Combat to damage rolls to +4 when using a hook. This applies Hook, Combat Martial Arts, Combat Expertise, Combat whether the hook is employed as a melee weapon or Refl exes, Dead Aim, Defensive Martial Arts, Defensive telekinetic weapon. A Red trooper who also has the Exotic Rotation Shield, Diehard, Engine Pull Champion, Exotic Firearm Profi ciency (hook variants) feat may also gain the Firearms Profi ciency, Extended Defensive Rotation Shield, bonus when using the weapon in this way. Far Shot, Heroic Surge, Improved Combat Hook, Improved Combat Martial Arts, Improved Defensive Rotation Shield,

Critical Strike (Hook) (Ex) Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Mobility, Offensive Rotation

Shield, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Power Attack, At 20th level, a Red trooper automatically confi rms critical Precise Strike, Railfi ghting, Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency, threats as critical hits when attacking with the hook, Telekinetic Warrior, Weapon Focus.

Sorceress

Sorceresses are the U.R.R.S.’s spellcasters, adept with the Skill Points at 1st Level: (7 + Int modifi er) x 4. highly codifi ed spells known as protocols. In terms of short- Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 7 + Int modifi er. term raw power, sorceresses are unmatchable, though in Required Allegiance: The Red Fleet, or (for Nokgorkan a prolonged contest of sorcery they may fi nd that Nistaani priestesses only) the Law of the One True God. shamans have the edge. The Red Fleet uses sorceresses in a variety of roles, ensuring an advantage over other armies Starting Feats they meet, especially those relying on purely conventional armament and staff. In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, a sorceress begins play with the Personal Firearms Profi ciency

Examples of Sorceresses and Simple Weapons Profi ciency feats.

Maya Antares is the best-known sorceress in The Red Star. C lass Features A Nokgorkan priestess is also briefl y depicted in Run Makita Run, kasting an expanse protocol. All of the following are class features of the sorceress class.

Game Rule Information Sorcery Branch

Hit Die: 1d6. At 1st level, the sorceress chooses a branch of sorcery from Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level, rounded down, every among the following: deck kaster, infokaster, medikaster, time the character attains a new level in this class. sorceress engineer, supply kaster, warkaster, or Nokgorkan priestess. She is trained (or in the case of the priestess, has adapted her own training) specifi cally for that role. This Class Skills choice affects the sorceress’s training throughout her career, The sorceress’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) both the initial training in which she was taught all the basic are as follows. protocols for her branch, and the advanced training to which she is given access. Concentration (Con), Kast (Int)*, Knowledge (arcana, history, religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Players new to The Red Star Campaign Setting should select and additional class skills depending on the sorcery branch the warkaster branch. Warkasters are the most suitable chosen at 1st level. character role in terms of general utility and they fi t easily into most campaigns. Of course, the GM may advise otherwise if *See page 39 for details on this new skill. she has a particular campaign style in mind.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-9: Sorcery Specializations and Related Benefits

Branch Benefi ts Deck Kaster Additional Class Skills: Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (tactics) (Int), Pilot (Dex) Basic Training: Aircraft Operation (skyship) feat Protocols Learned: Blast control protocols, defensive fi eld protocol, shield repair protocol Additional Benefi ts: Promotion to Sorceress-Lieutenant Infokaster Additional Class Skills: Computer Use (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Gather Information (Cha). Investigate (Int), Knowledge (any) (Int), Research (Int), Speak Language (none) Basic Training: +4 skill points at 1st level, and an additional +1 skill point per class level thereafter Protocols Learned: Burst voltage protocol, cooperative reinforcement protocol, map protocol Additional Benefi ts: Protocol-enhanced notebook computer Medikaster Additional Class Skills: Craft (chemical, pharmaceutical) (Int), Knowledge (earth and life sciences) (Int), Treat Injury (Wis) Basic Training: Surgery feat Protocols Learned: Accelerated healing protocol, paramedic protocol, stimulant protocol Additional Benefi ts: Protocol-enhanced medical kit Sorceress Engineer Additional Class Skills: Craft (chemical, electronic, mechanical, structural) (Int), Demolitions (Int), Disable Device (Int), Knowledge (physical sciences, technology) (Int), Repair (Int), Research (Int) Basic Training: +4 skill points at 1st level, and an additional +1 skill point per class level thereafter Protocols Learned: Expanse protocol, fi eld repair protocol, transpathic detonator protocol Additional Benefi ts: Choose one — protocol-enhanced electrical tool kit, protocol- enhanced mechanical tool kit, or protocol-enhanced demolitions kit Supply Kaster Additional Class Skills: Knowledge (business, tactics) (Int), Navigate (Int) Basic Training: Logistician feat Protocols Learned: Cooperative reinforcement protocol, supply protocol I, supply protocol II Additional Benefi ts: One double protoclip Warkaster Additional Class Skills: Knowledge (tactics) (Int), Navigate (Int), Spot (Wis) Basic Training: Protocol Gunnery feat Protocols Learned: Armor-piercing protocol — personal, krawl drop protocol, transformation protocol Additional Benefi ts: 1st level hailer assigned as bodyguard, increases in level along with sorceress Nokgorkan Priestess Additional Class Skills: Knowledge (theology, streetwise) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Ritual (Cha) Basic Training: Black Market Connections feat Protocols Learned: Accelerated healing protocol, expanse protocol, paramedic protocol Additional Benefi ts: Protocol-enhanced robe granting a +2 circumstance bonus to Move Silently checks Deck Kasters: Deck kasters serve in Blast Control on ships of Infokasters: These sorceresses work with Informnet, the fl eet. When warkasters cast transformation protocols, the computer system of the fl eet. Their protocols deck kasters monitor the process. Many of their protocols track troops and vehicles, map terrain, assist with focus on the ship, maintaining key systems or creating communications, and so on. They are effectively “human jumpgates, while others manipulate the body — but to servers.” different purposes than medikasters.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

Medikasters: Medikasters are responsible for preserving the Rank or Congregation health of the troops to whatever extent is possible. They also boost the alertness of otherwise exhausted troops A 1st level sorceress has the rank of Sorceress, equivalent to and they can heal most kinds of damage. the rank of Junior Lieutenant. See Rank in the Red Fleet on page 36 for more information on promotion and the benefi ts Sorceress Engineers: Everything from writing new protocols of rank. to construction and demolition falls under the domain of the sorceress engineers. Their abilities are also useful on A Nokgorkan priestess has a congregation instead of having the battlefi eld, as they can dig massive entrenchments an offi cial rank. A priestess may call upon her congregation up in only a few breaths or repair battered armor and to once per week to do battle for her, or to perform some other weaponry. task. Assume the active members of a priestess’s congregation consist of a number of 1st level Nokgorkan resistance fi ghters Supply Kasters: These sorceresses specialize in logistics: equal to the priestess’s sorceress level, led by a leader two transporting troops, vehicles, fuel and ammunition using levels below the priestess’s sorceress level (minimum 1st supply gates. Certain protocols make old rations safe, if level). For example, a 7th level priestess’s congregation would not more palatable. consist of seven 1st level Nokgorkan resistance fi ghters led by Warkasters: These sorceresses are often on the frontlines, a 5th level Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter. and with good reason: they have an arsenal of powerful offensive/defensive protocols at their disposal. Each Protocol warkasters has a hailer as a personal guard. At 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, the sorceress Nokgorkan Priestesses: Many priestesses were originally learns a new protocol. This must be from her branch of Red Fleet-trained, but today they rely on black market sorcery as described in Chapter Five: Military Industrial protocols from around the world. Inevitably, with the Sorcery. If she has already learned all the protocols in her Fleet in decline, U.R.R.S. protocols are the most readily own branch, she can cross-train and learn a protocol from available. Nokgorkan priestesses are usually only another branch of sorcery. available as PC choices in a Nokgorkan campaign.

Bonus Protocol Basic Training At 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, the sorceress

See Table 1–9: Sorcery Specializations and Related may learn an additional new protocol as a bonus protocol Benefi ts for the basic training the sorceress receives, if her Intelligence is suffi ciently high enough. In the spirit of resulting from her specialization. If the basic training is a feat, cross-training between sorceress branches, this may be from the sorceress does not need to meet the usual prerequisites her own branch of sorcery or a different branch. A sorceress for the feat. with a source of black market protocols, or a teacher of non- U.R.R.S. spells, may choose to learn one of those instead.

Table 1-10: Intelligence and Bonus Protocols

Intelligence Bonus Level +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 2nd Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol 6th — Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol 10th — — Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol 14th — — — Bonus Protocol Bonus Protocol 18th — — — — Bonus Protocol,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-11: The Sorceress

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +0 +0 +0 +2 +0 +0 Sorcery branch and basic training, rank or congregation 2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 +0 +0 Protocol, bonus protocol 3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 +1 +0 Bonus feat 4th +2 +1 +1 +4 +1 +1 Advanced training +1 5th +2 +1 +1 +4 +1 +1 Protocol mastery, reduced protocol cost (–1) 6th +3 +2 +2 +5 +1 +1 Protocol, bonus protocol 7th +3 +2 +2 +5 +2 +2 Bonus feat 8th +4 +2 +2 +6 +2 +2 Advanced training +2 9th +4 +3 +3 +6 +2 +2 Protocol mastery 10th +5 +3 +3 +7 +2 +3 Protocol, bonus protocol, reduced protocol cost (-2) 11th +5 +3 +3 +7 +3 +3 Bonus feat 12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 +3 +3 Advanced training +3 13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 +3 +4 Protocol perfection 14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 +3 +4 Protocol, bonus protocol 15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 +4 +4 Bonus feat, reduced protocol cost (-3) 16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 +4 +5 Advanced training +4 17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 +4 +5 Protocol perfection 18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 +4 +5 Protocol, bonus protocol 19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 +5 +6 Bonus feat 20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 +5 +6 Advanced training +5, protocol perfection, reduced protocol cost (-4) The Intelligence and Bonus Protocols sidebar shows the At 8th level these bonuses increase to +2, at 12th level to +3, minimum Intelligence required to gain a bonus protocol at at 16th level to +4, and at 20th level to +5. each appropriate level.

Protocol Mastery (Ex) Advanced Training (Ex)

At 5th level, a sorceress chooses a number of protocols At 4th level, the sorceress gains advanced training in her equal to her Intelligence modifi er (minimum 1) from those she sorcery branch, enhancing the power of their most commonly already knows. She may always Take 10 when kasting these used protocols. The benefi ts depend on the branch she protocols, even if under highly stressful conditions. At 9th chose at 1st level. level, she chooses another group of protocols equal to her Intelligence modifi er (minimum 1). Deck Kaster: +1 bonus to all Kast checks with protocols in the deck kaster branch Reduced Protocol Cost (Ex) Infokaster: +1 bonus to all Kast checks with protocols in the infokaster branch A 5th level sorceress reduces the nonlethal damage she takes by kasting a protocol by –1. This can reduce the Medikaster: +1 bonus to all Kast checks with protocols in the damage to 0, but not below 0. At 10th level, this reduction medikaster branch becomes –2; at 15th level, –3; and at 20th level, –4. Sorceress Engineer: +1 bonus to all Kast checks with Protocol Perfection (Ex) protocols in the sorceress engineer branch At 13th level, the sorceress chooses one protocol from Supply Kaster: +1 bonus to all Kast checks with protocols in among those she has mastered (see Protocol Mastery). the supply kaster branch Whenever she kasts this protocol, it counts as though she Warkaster: +1 bonus to all attack rolls with protocol weapons were Taking 20, but takes no longer than the usual kasting and protocol-enhanced weapons time. At 17th level she chooses a second protocol to perfect, and at 20th level she chooses a third. Nokgorkan Priestess: +1 bonus to all Ritual checks when leading a ritual, and +1 bonus to effective Ritual ranks Bonus Feats when participating in, but not leading, a ritual. At 3rd level and every four levels thereafter, the sorceress,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Sorcerers

Although the majority of sorcery practitioners in the U.R.R.S. and beyond are female, male sorcerers do exist. The term “sorceress” is used throughout the game, but all rules referring to sorceresses apply equally to male sorcerers.

Nokgorkan Priestesses

When the U.R.R.S. was at the height of its power, it ruthlessly suppressed religion. This did not prevent the Nokgorkans from worshipping their old faith in secret, though. This is the same ancient religion as that of the Nistaani, the reverence of the Law of the One True God. The Nokgorkan and Nistaani practices are slightly different, however, partly because circumstances forced the Nokgorkans to worship underground for so many years. Though U.R.R.S. sorceresses are as secular as the rest of the Red Fleet, many Nokgorkans who once served as sorceresses but now fi ght for the resistance movements were always part of the secretive Nokgorkan religion. They are the natural priestesses of what is now a publicly practiced faith, serving under the Elders — the spiritual and temporal leaders of the Nokgorkan freedom fi ghters. Revered equally for their prowess with sorcery and their unshakeable faith, the Nokgorkan priestesses use the Red Fleet’s protocols as the basis for their spells but adding a distinctly mystical element to their magic. As an alternate option, a character can play a Nokgorkan priestess (or, less frequently, a Nokgorkan priest). Functionally these are very similar to sorcerers/sorceresses, since both use the codifi ed sorcery known as protocols, but priests and priestesses serve in a more religious role. They tend to be less specialized than Red Fleet sorceresses, though nearly all have been trained by the Red Fleet. Any sorceress character can elect to play a Nokgorkan priestess, rather than a U.R.R.S. sorceress. In effect, she chooses the option “Nokgorkan priestess” rather than one of the other roles, such as warkaster or supply kaster. Except as otherwise noted, Nokgorkan priestesses are identical to sorceresses in every way. gains a bonus feat selected from the following list. She must Combat Martial Arts, Combat Throw, Defensive Martial meet all the prerequisites as usual. Arts, Educated, Elusive Target, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency, Focused, Gunnery, Improved Combat Throw, Improved Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Aircraft Operation, Bersk Initiative, Protocol Gunnery, Red Fleet Connections, Renown, Wrestling Pin, Bersk Wrestling Kill, Bersk Wrestling Strike, Sorcery Expert, Surface Vehicle Operation, Strafe, Unbalance Bersk Wrestling, Brawl, Burst Fire, Combat Expertise, Opponent, Weapon Focus.

Z ek

Zeks are members (or survivors) of penal infantry units. As Skill Points at 1st Level: (11 + Int modifi er) x 4. current or former prisoners from all walks of life (many of the Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 11 + Int modifi er. political prisoners never having known their crime), zeks have Required Allegiance: None required; may choose any or a variety of skills to draw from. Certain sectors of the populace none. regard genuine criminals as folk heroes, since they are willing to go against the totalitarian regime of Imbohl and his cohorts. S tarting Feats

Examples Zeks In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, a

zek begins play with the Personal Firearms Profi ciency and Chief Engineer Torin is perhaps the most famous zek, renowned Simple Weapons Profi ciency feats. for his choice to remain a zek in the service of the U.R.R.S. rather than take the freedom offered to him. Sharik, Razin and their Class Features comrades from The Red Star #5 are also examples of zeks. All of the following are class features of the zek class.

Game Rule Information Free Spirit (Ex)

Hit Die: 1d6. Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level rounded down, every Zeks are the only character class that need not choose an time the character attains a new level in this class. allegiance at the start of the game. A 1st-level zek may have an allegiance or not, as the player chooses. Characters multiclassing into this class may eliminate or change all their Class Skills allegiances upon taking this class, representing the betrayal All skills are class skills for zeks. and upheaval they inevitably experienced. Players are,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-12: The Zek

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Rep Class Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Features 1st +0 +1 +1 +1 +1 +0 Free spirit, prison tattoos, unsung hero (2d6) 2nd +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 +0 Specialization I 3rd +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +0 Sneak attack +1d6 4th +3 +2 +2 +2 +2 +0 Bonus feat 5th +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +0 Skill mastery 6th +4 +3 +3 +3 +3 +0 Unsung hero (3d6) 7th +5 +4 +4 +4 +4 +0 Specialization II 8th +6/+1 +4 +4 +4 +4 +0 Sneak attack +2d6 9th +6/+1 +4 +4 +4 +5 +1 Bonus feat 10th +7/+2 +5 +5 +5 +5 +1 Survivor 11th +8/+3 +5 +5 +5 +6 +1 Unsung hero (4d6) 12th +9/+4 +6 +6 +6 +6 +2 Specialization III 13th +9/+4 +6 +6 +6 +7 +2 Sneak attack +3d6 14th +10/+5 +6 +6 +6 +7 +2 Bonus feat 15th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +7 +8 +3 Skill mastery, survivor 16th +12/+7/+2 +7 +7 +7 +8 +3 Unsung hero (5d6) 17th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +8 +9 +3 Specialization IV 18th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +8 +9 +4 Sneak attack +4d6 19th +14/+9/+4 +8 +8 +8 +10 +4 Bonus feat 20th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +9 +10 +4 Survivor encouraged to discuss such changes with their GM to ensure Furthermore, any time a zek achieves two or more results of “6” they fi t within the storyline. as part of one action dice roll, the action point is not lost, though the zek adds one of the rolls of “6” to the chosen roll as usual.

Prison Tattoos (Ex) Specialization (Ex)

Almost all zeks end up tattooed at some point while imprisoned. Lacking proper equipment, zek tattooists make At 2nd level, the zek chooses a specialization. This can do with melted tires for ink and any sharp point for a tattoo represent offi cial training, a natural inclination, or a little of both. needle. The resulting tattoos are crude but recognizable He gains an appropriate special ability as listed on Table 1–12: by another zek. Any zek observing another zek may make Zek Specializations. The zek gains further abilities every fi ve a DC 15 Spot check to “read” the other’s tattoos, revealing levels after 2nd, at 7th, 12th and 17th levels. his or her zek class level and in which prisons he has served. Those with a zek tattoo are immediately marked as Agitator: Many zeks were originally imprisoned for political survivors, and other zeks instinctively give him his due — a reasons, and often continued their political activism within reaction they come to expect. Tattooed zeks receive a +2 and beyond the labor camps to which they are assigned. circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks against everyone. An agitator aboard a skyfurnace or incarcerated in a Against zeks who are aware of the tattoos’ signifi cance gulag can potentially turn all the zeks in the area against (the Zek hierarchy is almost as strict as the formalized their former masters. rank system of the Red Fleet) the circumstance bonus for Criminal: A few zeks are genuinely common criminals, sent Intimidate is +4. to the labor camps as a punishment rather than political convenience. These are tough individuals, though they

Unsung Hero (Ex) may not appear as physically powerful as the average

Though zeks’ contributions are never recognized in the hailer, but any surviving long enough to become player offi cial newspapers, their hard work keeps much of the Red character material have indomitable wills to live. Fleet’s war machine running smoothly. They are regularly Engineer: These zeks serve as engineers on a skyfurnace or called upon to succeed at extraordinary tasks as a part of other large vehicle, working alongside dozens of others to their daily duties, thus they are more effective in their use of keep the vast machine in operation. Experts in any kind Action Dice at all levels. of machinery, they coax unusual levels of performance A 1st level zek chooses the best die from 2d6 when rolling from otherwise mundane equipment. At higher levels action dice. At 6th level, he or she chooses the best die from they can survive the kind of explosions, electric shocks, 3d6, at 11th level from 4d6, and at 16th level from 5d6. Note and even radioactive blasts that are common hazards on that these increases replace the increased action dice all the engineering decks of a skyfurnace—they are hardy characters get on achieving higher levels. enough to simply shrug off such dangers.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

Kutter: Kutters are chained to large, shoulder mounted

Table 1-13: arc-welders in combat, and trained to cut through an enemy’s krawl armor and rig demolitions. The survival Zek Specializations rate of prisoners becoming kutters is only fi ve percent,

but there are always volunteers since survivors gain Type Specializations a full amnesty and release from prison with a small Agitator Specialization I: Bonus Feat: stipend. When it comes to destruction, few equal a Trustworthy kutter’s talent. Specialization II: Inspiration Wild Talent: A few zeks exhibit the type of psychic skills Specialization III: Rouse Rabble that would usually qualify for sorcery training, but for Specialization IV: Greater Inspiration whatever reason their talent was judged dangerous or Criminal Specialization I: Bonus Feat: politically inappropriate, and thus they were sent to the Endurance labor camps instead. Specialization II: Damage A zek may change his specialization, with the GM’s Reduction 1/– permission. If so, the zek retains any specialization bonuses Specialization III: Damage already acquired, but each time he is eligible for more Reduction 2/– bonuses, they are gained as though the zek had the newly Specialization IV: Damage chosen specialization. Specializations must always be taken Reduction 3/– in order. An 11th level zek with Criminal specialization, who Engineer Specialization I: Bonus Feat: changed to Engineer, would gain Gearhead on reaching Gearhead 12th level, adding to the Endurance and Damage Reduction Specialization II: Scrounging 1/– acquired through the criminal specialization. Specialization III: Extreme Machine Specialization IV: Energy Resistance Zek Specializations Kutter Specialization I: Bonus Feat: Bonus Feat: The character gains the listed feat, even if he Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency does not meet the prerequisites for it. (Arc Kutter) Damage Reduction: The character gains the indicated Specialization II: Bonus Feat: damage reduction. Precise Strike (Arc Kutter) Specialization III: Improved Demolitions Expert: The character may place explosives Precise Strike in half the normal time (usually 30 seconds rather than Specialization IV: Demolitions Expert 1 minute). Furthermore, he never risks setting off an explosive while attempting to disarm it. Wild Talent Specialization I: Protocol Specialization II: Protocol Energy Resistance: The character is resistant to most Specialization III: Protocol energy effects. Each round, he may ignore an amount Specialization IV: Protocol of acid, cold, fi re, or sonic damage equal to 2 + his Constitution modifi er (minimum 1).,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-14: Extreme Zeks and M ulticlassing Machine DC and Repair As zeks begin the game as prisoners (whether

within a gulag or serving in a penal battalion of the Repair Red Fleet) a zek may not take a level in any other Improvement Craft DC Chance (d%) character class without the GM’s permission. In Ranged Weapons most cases, the zek needs to earn, buy or win his or her freedom before multiclassing. +1 to damage 15 01–25 +2 to damage 20 01–50 +3 to damage 25 01–75 +2m to range increment 15 01–25 Improved Precise Strike: The character with a Larhe Exotic +4m to range increment 25 01–50 Weapon may take a full round to make a single melee attack at his highest attack bonus against an armored Electronic Devices vehicle. On a successful attack, the weapon deals the +1 equipment bonus 15 01–25 maximum possible damage ignoring all armor. +2 equipment bonus 20 01–50 Inspiration: The character can inspire his allies, bolstering +3 equipment bonus 25 01–75 them and improving their chances of success. An ally Vehicles must listen to and observe the character for a full round for the inspiration to take hold, and the zek must succeed +1 to Initiative checks 20 01–25 a DC 10 Charisma check. The effect lasts for a number +1 to maneuver 25 01–50 of rounds equal to the character’s Charisma modifi er. An +2 to maneuver 30 01–75 inspired ally gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, and damage rolls. A character can’t inspire himself. The character can inspire a number of allies Extreme Machine: If it has mechanical or electronic equal to one-third of his zek level, rounded down. components, the character can maximize its performance. By spending 1 action point and making Protocol: Select one protocol or spell of your choice. You either a Craft (electronic) or Craft (mechanical) check (as know how to kast this protocol. appropriate for the machine in question), the character Rouse Rabble: The zek can turn a crowd nasty. He must can temporarily improve a machine’s performance — at spend a full-round action, and select a character toward the risk of causing the machine to need repairs later. whom the crowd’s distrust will be directed. The crowd The DC for the Craft check depends on the type of must be able to hear and understand the character. Each improvement made, as shown on the Extreme Machine member of the crowd makes a Will save. The DC is equal DC and Repair sidebar. The character performs the to 10 + one-half the zek’s class level + Charisma bonus. extreme modifi cations in 1 hour. The character can’t Take Those in the crowd who fail their saving throw have their 10 or Take 20 on this check. If the check succeeds, the starting attitudes towards the subject of rabble rouse effect of the improvement lasts for a number of minutes reduced by one-step, such that helpful turns to friendly, equal to his zek class level, beginning when he or friendly to indifferent, indifferent to unfriendly, unfriendly someone else fi rst puts the object to use. The character to hostile. The crowd attempts new Will saves whenever selects the single improvement he wants to make prior the zek uses this class feature against it. As long as at to making the check. When the effect ends, the machine least some members of the crowd continues to fail the reverts to its previous state and the zek player rolls Will save, the zek can continue taking full-round actions percentile dice. If the roll’s result is within the range to worsen their attitude toward a designated character. indicated on the sidebar, the machine requires repairs When the crowd’s attitude drops to hostile, it attacks before it can be used again. the designated character, or if the latter is not present Greater Inspiration: The character can inspire his allies to it instead demonstrates an act of open rebellion, then even greater heights, bolstering them and improving their surges off in search of its enemy and any whom they chances of success. An ally must listen to and observe assume work for him or her. A successful Will save does the character for a full round for the greater inspiration not restore previous attitude shifts, but it does render the to take hold, and the character must make a DC 15 target immune for 24 hours to further attempts by the Charisma check. The effect lasts for a number of rounds character to sow distrust and unrest. equal to the character’s Charisma modifi er. For larger crowds, the GM may make just one Will save An inspired ally gains an additional +1 morale bonus to instead of individual saves. In this case, the crowd uses saving throws, attack rolls, and damage rolls, stacking the average Will save modifi er and at a +2 bonus. In this with the bonus from inspiration for a total of a +3 morale case, however, the zek must fail the save three times bonus. A character can’t inspire himself. The character before the crowd wholly ignores his rabblerousing. The can inspire a number of allies equal to one-third his zek zek can’t use this talent on his allies. Rouse rabble is a level, rounded down (to a minimum of one ally). Mind-Affecting effect.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

Scrounging: A zek with this ability may substitute a scrounge check for a Wealth check whenever he needs missing Skill Mastery (Ex) machine parts, tools, or indeed almost anything else that At 5th level, the zek becomes so versed in the use of certain might make his job as an engineer somewhat easier. To skills that he can use them reliably even under adverse make a scrounge check, the character rolls 1d20 + the conditions. Upon gaining this ability, the zek selects a zek class levels + the zek’s Charisma modifi er against number of skills equal to 2 + Intelligence modifi er (minimum the Wealth DC of the object. Scrounging takes 1d6 1). When making a skill check with one of these skills, he hours. may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so. Sneak Attack (Ex) A 10th level zek selects an additional 2 + Intelligence If a zek catches an opponent when he is unable to defend modifi er (minimum 1) skills to master. himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The zek’s attack deals extra damage Survivor (Ex) any time his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Defense (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus At 10th level, a zek has been through so much — the harsh or not), or when the zek fl anks his target. This extra damage regime of the labor camps, the unforgiving work of the main is 1d6 at 3rd level, and increases by +1d6 every four zek reactor chambers on a skyfurnace, perhaps a spot of kutter levels thereafter. Should the zek score a critical hit with a duty —he is diffi cult to stop. The zek may reroll any failed sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged saving throw once per day. At 15th level, the zek may reroll attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is any failed saving throw twice per day; at 20th level, three within 10m. times per day. If necessary, he may reroll the same failed save more than once. With an unarmed strike, a zek can make a sneak attack to deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. A weapon Bonus Feats that deals lethal damage cannot be used to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 At 4th level and every fi ve levels thereafter, the zek gets penalty. a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the zek must meet all the prerequisites of Any creature immune to critical hits is invulnerable to sneak the feat to select it. attacks. The zek must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Aircraft Operation, Alertness, spot. A zek cannot sneak attack while striking a creature Attentive, Bersk Wrestling, Black Market Connections, Brawl, with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose Builder, Combat Martial Arts, Dodge, Double Tap, Exotic vitals are beyond reach. Firearms Profi ciency, Force Stop, Gearhead, Gunnery, Improved Brawl, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, A zek’s sneak attack capability is cumulative with any Improved Knockout Punch, Knockout Punch, Mobility, Point sneak attack gained from other classes, such as Nokgorkan Blank Shot, Precise Strike, Shot on the Run, Streetfi ghting, resistance fi ghter. Quick Draw, Quick Reload, Spring Attack, Surface Vehicle Operation, Vehicle Dodge, Vehicle Expert, Weapon Focus.

Rank in the Red Fleet

All Red troopers, Red Fleet offi cers and hailers hold a promotion than those who do; after all, one is expected to be rank within the Red Fleet, even if that rank is only Ranker. a “team player” in the Red Fleet, and a newly promoted Junior Promotions typically happen for in-game reasons, as rewards Lieutenant who trains and spends time with his or her former for notable military successes. Aside from story-based comrades among the lower ranks is unlikely to be seen as promotions, however, members of the Red Fleet offi cer suitable material for further promotion. Exceptional deeds on character class gain automatic promotion every three levels. the battlefi eld may also result in promotion, but it is slower than All Red troopers begin the game as Rankers and advance if the character took a level or two of Red Fleet offi cer. through play. Likewise, hailers start out as Guards, equivalent Zeks do not have any rank in the Red Fleet. They are not to Junior Sergeants. Sorceresses and sorcerers always formally considered part of the military structure and are not commence the game with the equivalent of Junior Lieutenant paid as such (though they inevitably manage to get money rank, but are known simply as Sorceresses (when used and gear, one way or another). A zek somehow gaining a as a rank, this is capitalized so as to distinguish it from the level in one of the other Red Fleet classes (Red trooper, character class of sorceress/sorcerer). hailer, Red Fleet offi cer or sorceress) gains a rank as Red troopers or hailers promoted to Junior Lieutenant may appropriate for that class. take levels of Red Fleet offi cer from that point forward. Likewise, any sorceress who attains the rank of Sorceress- Privileges of Rank Lieutenant may take levels of Red Fleet offi cer. This is always optional, though characters who never take levels in Red Table 1–15: Ranks and Bonuses lists all the ranks in the Fleet offi cer may (at the GM’s discretion) be less likely to attain Red Fleet and some of the various benefi ts and privileges,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters The B enefits of Rank

Of course, there are benefi ts numbers in a table just can’t refl ect. Mainly, a higher-ranking character can give orders to anyone of lower rank. There is potential for friction in the gaming group if one of the PCs has a higher rank than the rest, but so long as the players are all willing to get into the spirit of things, any serious diffi culties should be avoidable. One of the key features of playing a game within a military force is the hierarchy is a strict one; it is appropriate for the PC with the highest rank give the others orders, and they should be willing to follow reasonable orders just as they would if they came from an NPC under the GM’s control. An offi cer who frequently gives unreasonable orders or otherwise abuses her position of power is subject to sanctions, both in and out of the game. NPCs of still higher rank may notice the failings of the PC, and his or her future promotion prospects may be affected and a court martial may even be called in extreme cases. Of course, it is always possible for the lower-ranking PCs to ignore or even actively rebel against orders that might get them killed; after all, the main characters in the comic went rogue by the end of Volume I. The classic motif of, “Comrade Colonel, I acknowledge that you are a superior offi cer, but you were clearly wounded in that last exchange of fi re and are unfi t for duty; I am hereby relieving you of command!” may even be played out. Unpopular offi cers may fi nd themselves shot in the back and left for dead at the fi rst sign of any enemy activity on which one could reasonably blame an offi cer’s death…. In most cases though, these extreme measures should not be necessary. Players should have a lot of fun with the rank structure. Lesser revenges and rebellions are always possible too, such as carefully calculated verbal responses verging on insubordination but never quite actionable.

Table 1-15: Ranks and Bonuses

U.R.R.S. Red Fleet Commonwealth Red Fleet Profession 1-time Profession 1-time Requisition Check Wealth Requisition Check Wealth Red Fleet Rank Bonus Bonus Increase Bonus Bonus Increase Ranker — — — — — — Junior Sergeant (or Guard) — — — — +1 — Sergeant +1 — — — +1 — Senior Sergeant +2 — — — +1 — Starshina +3 — — +1 +2 — Jr. Lieutenant (or Sorceress) +4 +1 — +1 +2 +1 Lieutenant (or Sorceress- Lieutenant) +5 +1 — +1 +2 — Sr. Lieutenan (or Senior Sorceress-Lieutenant) +6 +1 — +2 +3 — Captain (or Sorceress-Captain) +7 +1 — +2 +3 +1 Major (or Sorceress-Major) +8 +2 +1 +3 +3 — Lieutenant-Colonel (or Sorceress-Lieutenant-Colonel) +9 +2 — +4 +4 +1 Colonel (or Sorceress- Colonel) +10 +2 — +5 +4 +1 Major-General (or Sorceress-Major-General) +12 +3 +1 +6 +5 +1 Lieutenant-General (or Skymarshall) +14 +4 — +7 +6 +1 Colonel-General (or Sorceress-Colonel-General) +16 +5 +1 +8 +7 +1 General (or Sorceress-General) +18 +6 +1 +9 +8 +2 Marshall of Krawls, Marshall of Skyfurnaces, Marshall of Infantry, or Marshall of Sorcery +20 +8 +1 +15 +12 +2 Senior Marshall of Krawls, Senior Marshall of Skyfurnaces, Senior Marshall of Infantry, or Senior Marshall of Sorcery +25 +8 +1 +15 +12 +2 Marshall of the Red Star +30 +10 +1 +20 +15 +2,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

attaining such a rank awards. The precise benefi ts vary Profession Check Bonus depending on the campaign era. During the War of Al’Istaan, and at any time prior to the various civil wars and troubles Higher-ranking characters draw better pay, while being acquiring that culminate in the breakup of the Republics and the more money from scams, schemes, extortion rackets and other Nokgorkan confl ict, the Red Fleet is still perhaps the most dubious enterprises (particularly in the Commonwealth Red powerful and feared military force on the planet. Later Fleet). This bonus applies to all Profession (soldier) checks (or campaigns, though, see budget cutbacks and rampant other Profession checks as appropriate) related to increasing corruption ravaging the once-mighty fl eet. Offi cers have one’s Wealth on gaining a level. diffi culty requisitioning forces and equipment, but can line their pockets with black market connections and the sale One-Time Wealth Bonus of some of the more choice weapons and other items from stores. Characters gain small bonuses to Wealth on reaching certain ranks, representing the immediate increase in pay for being

Requisition Bonus of that rank (and thus an improved access to credit) and improved opportunities for corrupt activity.

The requisition bonus applies to all level checks made to requisition a piece of equipment or other item (see A Note on Nomenclature d20 Modern Roleplaying Game), so long as the item is one reasonably found in a Red Fleet cache or hanger In the same way the chief offi cer of a ship is always referred somewhere. There is no limit to what can be requisitioned in to as Captain, whatever actual rank he may hold. The chief this way, other than any limits imposed by the GM; a General offi cer of a skyfurnace is always referred to as Commander, can call for the use of a skyfurnace or krawl battalion, just as regardless of actual (which is usually, but not always, she should be able to. Skymarshall).

Starting Equipment and W ealth

The Red Star Campaign Setting employs the d20 Modern As with the standard rules, a characters Wealth bonus Roleplaying Game’s Wealth system, but as this setting does increases and decreases through the course of normal play. not utilize the Starting Occupation system, it requires slight A character’s wealth bonus can never fall below +0, but there modifi cations based on class selection. To determine starting is no limit to how high the Wealth bonus can climb. Unlike wealth, roll 2d4 as normal and add the wealth bonus for the standard rules, however, characters are far more likely to the character’s class as presented on Table 1–16: Starting requisition and receive equipment from their governments, Equipment and Wealth plus (if appropriate) the bonus from if Red Star Offi cers, or other members of the military. the Windfall feat (see Chapter Three: Feats in the d20 Consequently, Wealth bonus is far less important in military Modern Roleplaying Game), plus 1 if the character has ranks style campaigns than it is in other Modern Settings. in the Profession skill.

Table 1-16: Starting Equipment and Wealth

Character Class Wealth Bonus Starting Equipment Hailer +0 Hailer, hailer drum appropriate to mission, hailer armor, hailer longknife, molot backup shotgun, 3 magazines of buckshot, dress uniform Nistaani Shaman +1 Staff, robes, mashur (non-combat) Nistaani Warrior +0 Combat mashur, one weapon chosen from the following: RKG-41 and one magazine of bullets, hawk talon, Nistaani sword, or 5 handfuls of Sha-Osk pins Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter +0 Bronja vest, RKG-41 and 3 magazines of bullets, knife, backpack Red Fleet Offi cer +4 Model 17 Samsonov pistol and 3 magazines of bullets, dress uniform Sorceress +2 Dress uniform Sorceress (Nokgorkan Priestess) +1 Robes Zek +0 Dependant on role; typically either basic tools for the job, or a reactor shieldsuit,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters New Skills

In addition to the standard skills described in d20 Modern collapses. Any bonuses gained from the collapsed character Roleplaying Game, the Red Star Campaign Setting are lost. introduces the following new skills. Always make the Ritual check at the end of the ritual. The ritual leader determines the ritual’s length before beginning. Kast (Int) Interrupted rituals automatically fail and the participants must Use this skill to kast protocols. Sorceresses and Nistaani start over from the beginning if the kaster wishes to continue. shamans use it to kast their spells. If a disruption lasts more than 10 minutes of an hour, the ritual leader must make a Concentration check against the Check: Each protocol or invocation has a listed Kast DC. DC of the spell +1 per designated hour of the ritual. Failure Kasting it requires a Kast check against the DC of the spell or indicates the ritual fails and must be begun anew. Success protocol used. Some spells have varying results depending means the ritual can continue despite the distraction. on the result of the check — typically based on how much the result exceeds the assigned DC. For more information, An additional benefi t of using rituals is the kasting damage splits see Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery and Chapter equally among the ritual’s participants, starting with the ritual Eight: The Spiritrealm for more on kasting protocols and leader and proceeding in order of the number of bonus points spells. contributed. The more points contributed, the more of the ritual individual shouldered, and the more damage she takes. Kast can also be used to kast minor magics not requiring anything as formal as a protocol or spell, not needing protocol See Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery and Chapter components, and not dealing nonlethal damage to the kaster. Eight: The Spiritrealm for more on rituals. This is a DC 10 check and requires a standard action to use. Examples include: T elekinesis (Wis) * Color, clean, or soil items in a 1-meter cube. Use this skill to move objects with the power of your mind. * Chill, warm, or fl avor 1 kilogram of nonliving material. * Produce a small fl ame, such as might be produced by a Check: A Telekinesis check allows you to move an inanimate match, in the palm of the kaster’s hand. object in your line of sight, as a move action. The DC of the Telekinesis check is based on the mass of the object you wish to move. Movinga1kg object is requires a check Ritual (Cha) against a DC 15. For every factor of 10 that the mass Rituals closely resemble invocations or protocols, but take increases, the DC increases by 5. longer to kast and are potentially more powerful.

Telekinesis

Check: A ritual is the kasting of an invocation or protocol over an extended period, often as a group effort. Most invocations Object Mass DC Damage as a Ranged Weapon and protocols can be kast as rituals. The effect of the ritual is Up to 1 kg 15 1d4 identical to a standard kasting, but it can achieve far higher Up to 10 kg 20 1d8 check results, thus potentially becoming more powerful. Up to 100 kg 25 2d8 A ritual takes at least one hour to perform. One character is Up to 1000 kg 30 4d8 designated the ritual leader. This is usually the character with Up to 10,000 kg 35 8d8 the most ranks in Ritual. She may lead a maximum number Up to 100,000 kg 40 16d8 of additional participants equal to her ranks in Ritual. Each Telekinesis requires your full attention while using it. Thus, participant must have at least 1 rank in Ritual to participate, using Telekinesis provokes an attack of opportunity if you use it but only the leader of the ritual makes a Ritual check (DC while in a threatened area. If you use it for prolonged periods, of the specifi c spell) to determine the effectiveness of the you must succeed Concentration checks if distracted. invocation. You may not use Telekinesis on a living creature. For each participant with 1 to 9 ranks of Ritual, the ritual leader gains a +1 bonus to his or her Ritual check. For each participant with 10 to 19 ranks of Ritual, the bonus is +2, and for each participant with 20 or more ranks of Ritual, the bonus is +3. Furthermore, for each additional hour beyond the fi rst, the Skills in the Red Star ritual leader gets a +1 bonus to the Ritual check. A ritual Unless otherwise noted, The Red Star Campaign may last up to 8 hours without any problems; for each Setting uses all the standard skills and feats in d20 additional hour, all participants need to make Constitution Modern Roleplaying Game. Some adaptation may be checks (DC 10 + 1 per hour beyond 8) or collapse with necessary, as this setting uses meters instead of feet. exhaustion. Kasters with the Endurance feat may add +4 Simply replace 5-foot squares with 2-meter squares. to their Constitution check. This does not prevent the ritual from continuing unless the ritual leader is the person who,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Attacking with Objects

You may use an object you telekinetically manipulate to make an attack. This requires a ranged attack roll. The range increment is a number of meters equal to one-half your ranks in Telekinesis, rounded down. The object counts as an improvised weapon, so attack rolls are subject to a –4 penalty. Since using Telekinesis is a move action, you may move an object and strike with it as a standard action in the same round. If you continue to use Telekinesis on the same object in future rounds, you may make a full attack if desired.

Telekinetically Neutral Objects

When you manipulate a telekinetically neutral item (see Telekinetically Neutral Objects on page 62 for details), you may do so as a free action. Such objects do not require full attention, nor do they provoke attacks of opportunity, or require Concentration checks. You may manipulate multiple telekinetically neutral objects at a time with a DC equal to that required to manipulate their total weight, +1 per additional object moved beyond the fi rst. You can never manipulate multiple objects if any of them are not telekinetically neutral.

Attacking with Telekinetically Neutral Objects

You may perform a full attack action with a telekinetically neutral object since you do not need to take a move action to manipulate it in the fi rst place. Furthermore, the range increment for telekinetically neutral objects is equal to your ranks in Telekinesis.

Combining Telekinetic

and Physical Strength You may use Telekinesis to increase the amount you can carry, pull, push, drag or otherwise manipulate with your body. You make a Telekinesis check as usual, you then move the appropriate amount of kilograms telekinetically, reducing the amount you must personally carry.

Failure

If you fail an attempt to manipulate a telekinetically neutral object, there are no particular ill effects. If you fail to manipulate another non-neutral object, however, you take 1 point of nonlethal damage for each point by which you missed the required DC.

Opposed Checks

Two telekinetic characters may both attempt to manipulate an object. In this case, they make opposed checks, with the winner controlling the object. For telekinetically neutral objects, only the current controller treats them as telekinetically neutral; another character attempting to wrest control of the object from the current controller treats it as though it were not telekinetically neutral, requiring a move action to make the opposed check.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters New Feats

In addition to the standard feats described in d20 Modern Prerequisites: Str 17, Dex 15, base attack bonus +10, Bersk Roleplaying Game, the Red Star Campaign Setting Wrestling, Bersk Wrestling Pin, Bersk Wrestling Strike, introduces the following new feats and modifi cations to Combat Martial Arts. existing feats. Benefi t: When you grapple a helpless opponent, you may

A dvanced perform a coup de grace as a free action. You do not Combat Hook need to use a melee weapon to perform a coup de grace

Your hook is a deadly threat to your enemies, even when they against a helpless opponent and you can do so with an believe they’re out of your range. unarmed strike. Prerequisites: Defense bonus +7, base attack bonus +15, B ersk Wrestling Pin Telekinesis 18 ranks, Combat Hook, Exotic Weapon Profi ciency (hook), Improved Combat Hook, Weapon Your strength and unrivalled training in Bersk wrestling allows Focus (hook), you to hold your opponents immobile — just long enough to Benefi t: cut their throats.The benefi ts of Combat Hook and Improved Combat Hook extend out to the entire fi rst range increment of your Prerequisites: Str 13, Dex 15, base attack bonus +6, Bersk hook (up to as many meters as you have ranks in the Wrestling, Combat Martial Arts. Telekinesis skill). Benefi t: When you pin an opponent in a grapple, your opponent must make a Refl ex save (DC = 10 + 1/2 your A dvanced Defensive Rotation character level + your Dexterity bonus) or be helpless for

Shield one round. Furthermore, if she fails the Refl ex save, you are able to use a weapon against the pinned character

As an expert with the hook, your Defensive Rotation Shield while still maintaining the pin (though you still may not can stop almost anything short of artillery bombardment. attempt to damage or pin another character). Prerequisites: Defense bonus +5, Telekinesis 10 ranks, Defensive Rotation Shield, Exotic Melee Weapon Bersk Wrestling Strike Profi ciency (hook), Improved Defensive Rotation Shield, You know advanced Bersk techniques, including bone- Weapon Focus (hook). breaking moves and gruesome grapple-and-stab combination Benefi t: The defl ection bonus from your Defensive Rotation attacks. Shield increases to +20, and it now applies to all handgun Prerequisites: Str 15, Dex 13, base attack bonus +3, Bersk and longarm attacks. It never applies to vehicular Wrestling, Combat Martial Arts. weapons, heavy weapons, telekinetic weapons, grenades and explosives (including grenades fi red from grenade Benefi t: Whenever you grapple an opponent, and make a launchers mounted under handguns and longarms) or successful grapple check to infl ict damage, or a make archaic weapons. a successful attack with a light weapon against that opponent, you deal an additional +1d6 points of damage.

Bersk Wrestling Black Market Connections

The Bleak Horsemen left little behind when they ravaged the lands of the Red Star, but their legacy remains in this brutal, You’re a known face on the street, and you get the best deals simple wrestling style, now adopted as the offi cial unarmed — as well as profi ting from other people’s business. combat method of the Red Fleet. You know the basic Prerequisites: Int 13, Knowledge (streetwise) 4 ranks. techniques, which involve grappling and pinning opponents so you can use your Red Fleet knife to fi nish them. Benefi t: Your Wealth bonus increases by +1. Also, you gain a +4 circumstance bonus to all Knowledge (streetwise) Prerequisites: Dex 13, base attack bonus +1, Combat checks to fi nd a black market supplier. When you attempt Martial Arts. Benefi t: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when you make a touch attack to start a grapple. You also gain a +2 bonus on all grapple checks you make. Aircraft Operation Normal: Without this feat, you provoke an attack of opportunity There is a new aircraft type for the purposes of when you make a touch attack to start a grapple. this feat: skyships. The skyships category includes skyfurnaces, as well as similar vessels such as

Bersk Wrestling Kill skybarges and overstrikers.

You attain mastery of Bersk wrestling, and can pin a foe and break his neck with one quick twist.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters Table 1-17: Recruitment

Check Result Followers 19 or less 0 20–24 2d6 1st level, led by 1 2nd level leader 25–29 2d10 1st level, 2d6 2nd level, led by 1 3rd level leader 30–34 4d10 1st level, 2d10 2nd level, 2d6 3rd level, led by 1 4th level leader 35–39 6d10 1st level, 3d10 2nd level, 2d10 3rd level, 2d6 4th level, led by 1 5th level leader 40–44 8d10 1st level, 4d10 2nd level, 3d10 3rd level, 3d6 4th level, 2d4 5th level, led by 1 6th level leader 45–49 10d10 1st level, 5d10 2nd level, 4d10 3rd level, 4d6 4th level, 2d6 5th level, 1d4 6th level, led by 1 7th level leader 50 and up 12d10 1st level, 6d10 2nd level, 5d10 3rd level, 5d6 4th level, 2d8 5th level, 2d4 6th level, 1d4 7th level, led by 1 8th level leader to buy restricted items, the black market purchase DC modifi er is halved (round down). Furthermore, you can C ombat Hook buy a black market item in a matter of hours rather You wield your hook in either close combat or at range with than days; you can buy a licensed item in one hour, a equal facility. You can use the motion of the hook to keep restricted item in two hours, a military item in three hours, your guard up even when hurling it telekinetically at your and an illegal item in four hours. enemies. Normal: Buying a licensed item takes one day, a restricted Prerequisites: Defense bonus +1, base attack bonus +2, item two days, a military item three days and an illegal Telekinesis 5 ranks, Exotic Weapon Profi ciency (hook), item in four days. Weapon Focus (hook).

Champion Benefi t: When you make a ranged attack with your hook, you never provoke an attack of opportunity as long as you

Every country has a number of champions — characters make the attack at a range of 8m or less. recognized throughout the land as defenders of the nation and its people. Smaller regions aspiring to become nations Defensive Rotation Shield in their own right (for example Nokgorka) may also have champions. The U.R.R.S. calls its champions “Heroes of the By setting your hook in spinning telekinetic motion, you form Red Star;” other nations also have a specifi c name for their a temporary shield impervious to most small arms fi re. champions. You are one of these heroes. Prerequisites: Defense bonus +1, Telekinesis 5 ranks, Exotic Prerequisites: Character level 10, Reputation 4, Allegiance Melee Weapon Profi ciency (hook). (a nation or region). Benefi t: When armed with a hook, you can activate or Benefi t: Double your Allegiance bonus to your Charisma- deactivate your Defensive Rotation Shield as a move based skill checks. Furthermore, if you reveal you’re action. The shield provides a +10 defl ection bonus to recruiting for a specifi c cause, you can make spend one your Defense against handgun and submachine gun day to make a modifi ed character level check (1d20 attacks. Select a direction for the shield to protect you in. + character level + Reputation + Charisma modifi er + The shield then provides its defl ection bonus against any Allegiance bonus). See Table 1–17: Recruitment for the attacks coming in from opponents within a 180-degree breakdown of the followers recruited. arc from that direction. You cannot place the shield directly behind you. These followers serve your cause, at your behest, but they will not do personal, private missions for you, only those related to the defense of the nation. They are under D iehard your command for a few days (usually 1d4 days), long You’re hard to kill, capable of pushing yourself beyond the enough to carry out a particular mission or fi ght a battle. physical limits of ordinary men and women when close to At the GM’s discretion, they may leave if you abuse your death. command, but in general, they are content to fi ght and die for you and your cause. It takes 1d3 days to gather the Prerequisite: Endurance. followers. You may recruit further followers to your cause Benefi t: When reduced to –1 to –9 hit points, you if you desire, but you must keep track of when each automatically become stable. You don’t have to make a leaves, for if you spend too long recruiting, the earliest Fortitude saving throw to see if you lose 1 hit point each recruits lose interest and leave. This feat does not grant round. permanent followers.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

When reduced to negative hit points, you may choose to act as if you were disabled, rather than dying. You E xtended Defensive must make this decision as soon as you are reduced to negative hit points (even if it isn’t your turn). If you do not Rotation Shield choose to act as if you were disabled, you immediately You learn to spin your hook around your body, while fall unconscious. continuing to rotate it along its axis to provide a shield. This When using this feat, you can take either a single move double rotation requires greater telekinetic ability, but enables or standard action each turn, but not both, and you you to defend against attacks from all sides. cannot take a full round action. You can take a move Prerequisites: Defense bonus +2, Telekinesis 6 ranks, action without further injuring yourself, but if you perform Defensive Rotation Shield, Exotic Melee Weapon any standard action (or any other action deemed as Profi ciency (hook). strenuous by the GM) you take 1 point of damage after completing the act. If you reach –10 hit points, you die. Benefi t: When you activate your Defensive Rotation Shield, it circles all around you rather than just in front of you, Normal: A character without this feat and reduced to between providing its defl ection bonus against all appropriate –1 and –9 hit points is unconscious and dying. attacks coming from all directions.

Engine Pull Champion G unnery

As a paragon of Red Star military virtue and physical prowess, You can use all vehicular weaponry except protocol you can apply the same iron self-discipline giving you the body weaponry. of a champion to more cerebral pursuits. Your unparalleled physical strength bolsters your willpower, and vice versa. Prerequisite: Personal Firearms Profi ciency. Prerequisites: Str 13, Wis 13, base attack bonus +1, Benefi t: You can fi re any vehicle-mounted weaponry without Telekinesis 4 ranks. penalty, except for protocol weaponry. If the vehicular weapon is capable of autofi re, you may also fi re it on Benefi t: You may add your Strength modifi er to your Wisdom autofi re without penalty. If the vehicular weapon is modifi er for all Telekinesis skill checks, and you may add capable of indirect fi re, you may use indirect fi re. your Wisdom modifi er to your Strength modifi er for all melee combat attacks and Strength checks. Normal: Characters without this feat take a –4 penalty to any attack rolls made with vehicular weaponry, or –8 if fi ring vehicular weaponry on autofi re; they may not use,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

indirect fi re at all. A character with the Aircraft Operation attacks with a base damage of 2d8 or less, as well as all or Surface Vehicle Operation feat takes no penalty when handguns and submachine guns. Furthermore, you may operating a vehicular weapon mounted on the chosen activate or deactivate it as a free action. vehicle type, but still may not use indirect fi re.

Improved Slivers on the Wind Improved Combat Hook

Experts with the Sha-Osk pins can control the path the pins With your hook, you are ready to attack your enemies the take to their enemy, allowing them to target specifi c parts of moment they drop their guard. the body — traditionally the face. Prerequisite: Defense bonus +5, base attack bonus +10, Prerequisites: Telekinesis 8 ranks, Slivers on the Wind. Telekinesis 12 ranks, Combat Hook, Exotic Weapon Pro- fi ciency (hook), Weapon Focus (hook). Benefi t: You know the technique of telekinetically hurling your Sha-Osk pins directly into an opponent’s face rather Benefi t: When you have your hook ready (either in your hand than simply sending them in his general direction. An or used for a defensive rotation shield) you threaten an attack to the face imposes a –4 penalty on the attack area up to 8 meters away as if you had reach. You can roll, but deals double damage (4d4) on a successful hit. make attacks of opportunity against, fl ank, and sneak at- Furthermore, a successful attack to the face ignores all tack opponents within that area by using a ranged attack armor other than zero armor or STRIFE armor. from your hook. Attacks to the face also have the potential to cause blindness. The target must succeed a Refl ex save I mproved Defensive against a DC 10 + 1/2 attacker’s level + attacker’s

Rotation Shield Wisdom modifi er or become permanently blinded. Recovery might be possible at the GM’s discretion, but

By spinning your hook faster and faster, while incorporating only with full modern medical facilities. an element of unconscious precognition into the spin to stop specifi c projectiles, you become nearly invulnerable to small L ogistician arms fi re. You are an expert in army logistics, knowing the right Prerequisites: Defense bonus +2, Telekinesis 6 ranks, questions to ask whenever you need to requisition something. Defensive Rotation Shield, Exotic Melee Weapon Profi - You also understand the chain structure of the supply kaster ciency (hook), Weapon Focus (hook). organization, allowing you to get rapid results when you need Benefi t: The defl ection bonus from your Defensive Rotation something quick. Shield increases to +15, and it now applies to all longarm Prerequisites: Wis 13, Profession 4 ranks. Benefi t: You gain a +2 bonus to all Requisition checks. On a successful Requisition check by which you succeed by 5 or more, you acquire the item in far less than the usual time, gaining common items in 3d6 minutes, or uncom- mon items in 1d4 hours. Otherwise, you gain the items in the normal time. Normal: Requisitioning takes 24 hours for less common items, or 1d4 hours for common items.

O ffensive Rotation Shield

You can use your hook as a weapon without compromising the integrity of your Defensive Rotation Shield. Prerequisite: Defense bonus +2, base attack bonus +3, Telekinesis 6 ranks, Combat Hook, Defensive Rota- tion Shield, Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency (hook), Weapon Focus (hook). Benefi t: You may use your hook to attack as normal, either ranged or as a melee weapon, while still gaining the ben- efi ts of your Defensive Rotation Shield.

Precise Strike

Your superb training with your weapon of choice allows you to cut or stab straight through the weak points of your opponent’s armor.,

Chapter One: Red Star Characters

Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +5, Weapon Focus (any slashing or piercing melee weapon). Sorcery Expert Benefi t: Choose a type of slashing or piercing melee weapon Your knowledge of sorcery is wide-ranging. in which you already have the Weapon Focus feat. All Prerequisite: Kast 5 ranks. attacks you make with the chosen weapon ignore the fi rst ten points of the target’s armor. If the weapon is also an Benefi t: You learn one new invocation or protocol of your armor-piercing weapon, halve any armor beyond the fi rst choice. ten points as usual. Special: You may select this feat more than once. Each additional time you select it, the number of new invocations

P rotocol Gunnery or protocols (spells) you gain increases by one. Thus, the fi rst

time you select the feat, you gain one new spell; the second You are familiar with the specialist protocols required to shoot time, two new spells; the third time, three new spells and so vehicular protocol weapons. on. Prerequisite: Must have the ability to kast at least one pro- tocol. T elekinetic Autofire Benefi t: You can fi re any vehicle-mounted protocol weap- You master the diffi cult technique of shooting a telekinetic onry. weapon at automatic rates of fi re. Normal: Characters without this feat may not fi re vehicle- Prerequisites: Telekinesis 4 ranks, Telekinetic Firearms mounted protocol weaponry at all. Profi ciency.

R ailfighting Benefi t: You can fi re any telekinetic fi rearm on autofi re without penalty (provided, of course, it has an autofi re

You are trained in railfi ghting on the internal rails of a setting). skyfurnace’s Combat Grid. Normal: Characters without this feat take a –4 penalty on at- Prerequisites: Balance 4 ranks, Jump 4 ranks, Medium tack rolls made with telekinetic fi rearms set on autofi re. Armor Profi ciency. Benefi t: You may use railsuits as a transportation and Telekinetic Firearms Proficiency combat mechanism, not just as armor. See Chapter Shooting a telekinetic fi rearm is quite unlike shooting any Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment for details on other type of fi rearm. You hone your natural telekinetic railsuits. abilities, and learn to use them to power the assortment of telekinetic fi rearms available.

Red Fleet Connections Prerequisite: Telekinesis 1 rank.

You have a number of connections both within and outside Benefi t: You can fi re any telekinetic fi rearm. of the usual rank structure in the Red Fleet, and are well aware of whom you need to ask to have a particular favor Normal: Characters without this feat may not fi re telekinetic done. fi rearms at all. Prerequisite: Wis 13, Profession 4 ranks, Junior Lieutenant Special: The feats on the Personal Firearms Profi ciency or higher rank in the Red Fleet. tree (that is, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Advanced Benefi t: Firearms Profi ciency, Burst Fire, and Strafe) may not Your Wealth bonus increases by +1. You also be used in conjunction with a telekinetic fi rearm. Other gain a +2 competence bonus to all Requisition checks feats affecting ranged weapons work as normal. Note and a +2 competence bonus to all Profession checks. the multiplier to range increment for the Far Shot feat Finally, any members of the Red Fleet under your direct applies after any increase for class features or other command who do not have this feat themselves gain a factors. +1 competence bonus to their own Profession checks, simply due to your presence in their chain of command.

T elekinetic Warrior S livers on the Wind You have such fi ne control over your telekinesis you can use

it instinctively to guide thrown grenades or fi red bullets in You know the Nistaani fi ghting art of the Sha-Osk, allowing mid-fl ight. you to use your telekinesis as a weapon to hurl Sha-Osk pins at your enemies. Prerequisites: Str 13, Wis 15, base attack bonus +3, Teleki- Prerequisite: nesis 6 ranks. Telekinesis 4 ranks. Benefi t: Benefi t: You may add your Wisdom modifi er to all ranged at- You are profi cient in the use of Sha-Osk pins. tack rolls, including grenade attacks and indirect fi re.,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment

or soldiers of the massive and powerful Red Fleet, including Red Fleet offi cers, Red troopers, hailers and sorceresses, Fmost equipment is issued as part of their duties rather than purchased personally. Zeks, by contrast, are rarely assigned or issued anything other than what is necessary to do the job at hand, though they often acquire or scrounge other items when possible.

Weapons

This section includes all the personal weaponry likely the deadliness of this powerful pistol through the medium of assigned to characters by the Red Fleet (hailers, hooks, a “Reality Broadcast” show involving him personally hunting and some conventional weaponry) plus the improvised and down criminals and suspected Red Agents. stolen weapons used by the Nokgorkans. Nistaani weaponry is also covered, being typically a mix of native hand-to-hand Caso Assault Gun, Mark 16 weapons, scavenged Red Fleet gear, and mass-produced armaments supplied by the Western Transnationalist Alliance. The CAG-16 was the standard assault rifl e of the W.T.A. for many years, though its operational needs now call for small At his or her discretion, the GM may permit or introduce other forces with extreme fi repower — hence the CPW-20. W.T.A. weapons from d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, perhaps to fi ll allies and reservists still use the CAG-16, which remains an out the non-Red Fleet/W.T.A. weapons of the world, such as effective and time-tested weapon. the guns of the Great Continent or Isle of Lions forces. For the most part, however, the weapons presented here replace those given in d20 Modern Roleplaying Game. Caso Personal Weapon, Mark 20 Though its offi cial

T elekinetic designation is CPW-

20, the ordinary

Weapons troopers of the Western

Certain weapons are telekinetically powered Chapter Two: Transnationalist Alliance know this protocol-supercharged assault including the melee rifl e by the ironic name weapon known as the “CaP-gun.” The CPW- hook and all ranged 20 is the most powerful weapons under the Personal personal fi rearm Telekinetic Weapons devised, rivaling an heading. Telekinetic earlier generation of weapons work much tripod-mounted heavy like any other, but may machineguns with its only be operated by a Weapons and accuracy, range, and character with at least 1 stopping power. It rank in the Telekinesis achieves this distinction skill. Furthermore, any by being manufactured character whose ranks Equipment using protocols at every in Telekinesis are lower step of the way down than his or her Base the assembly line. Attack Bonus takes a Caso only employs circumstance penalty equal to the difference between the two sorcerers at its factory in New Lions, and uses a combination on all attack rolls with a telekinetic weapon. of rigorous quality control and the latest hi-tech fabrication Example: Yuri the 5th level hailer has a base techniques to ensure it produces a gun whose standards attack bonus of +5, but has foolishly only put three surpass those of hand-made weapons, but at almost the ranks into Telekinesis. All his hailer attacks will suffer production rate of any other arms factory. Despite this, limited a –2 circumstance penalty to all attacks made with supplies and high cost mean that only the regular infantry telekinetic weapons (5-3=2). of the W.T.A. forces are issued with the CPW-20; reservists, vehicle crews, and foreign allies will have older weapons, such as the CAG-16 or CSP. Protocol Weapons The CPW-20 fi res the equivalent of a 40mm armor-piercing Certain weapons are powered by or enhanced by protocols. round, though in fact the projectiles are almost perfectly The benefi ts of protocals are further explained in the conical in shape. Propelled entirely by protocol energy, they appropriate weapon descriptions. are completely without recoil. The most impressive feature of the gun, however, is the near-perfection of the supply

Bronson Home Defense Cannon protocols used to form the projectile. Nothing so crude as a

magazine or power cell is necessary; rather, the weapon’s The Bronson is the most popular personal handgun in the barrel forms a new projectile over 100 times a second, for W.T.A. Its popularity spiked after its inventor demonstrated, Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Table 2-1: Ranged Weapons

Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Size Weight DC Restriction Handguns (requires the Personal Firearms Profi ciency feat) Bronson Home Defense Cannon (12 mm autoloader) 2d10 20 Ballistic 8mS7box Med 2 kg 19 Lic (+1)2 Caso Security Pistol (9mm autoloader) 2d6 20 Ballistic 6m S 12 box Small 1 kg 15 Res (+2)2 Model 17 Samsonov (9mm autoloader) 2d6 20 Ballistic 6m S 11 box Small 1 kg 17 Mil (+3) Model 79 Samsonov (10mm protocol machine pistol) 2d6+24, 7 20 Ballistic 8m S, A 20 box Med 1 kg 246 Mil (+3) — Sam-79-G (protocol grenade launcher) 3d6+37 20 Slashing 10m (2m) S3 Protocol — +0.5 kg 246 Mil (+3) Energy Buildup3 Munny Dueling Pistol1, pair (10mm revolvers) 2d6 20 Ballistic 6mS6cyl Med 1 kg 19 Res (+2)2 Offi cer Personal Sidearm1 (OPS) (10mm autoloader) 2d6 20 Ballistic 10m S 20 box Small 1 kg 20 Mil (+3)2 Longarms (requires the Personal Firearms Profi ciency feat) Caso Assault Gun, Mark 16 (5.56mm assault rifl e) 2d8 20 Ballistic 30m S, A 30 box Large 4 kg 16 Mil (+3)2 Caso Personal Weapon, Mark 20 (protocol assault rifl e) 2d12+24, 7 20 Ballistic3 100m S, A Protocol3 Large 6 kg 256 Mil (+3)2 — CPW-200 (protocol grenade launcher) 5d6+54, 7 19–20 Adaptable3 100m (4m) S3 Protocol3 — +1 kg 256 Mil (+3)2 Dragunov Sniper Rifl e (15mm rifl e) 2d124 20 Ballistic 40m S 12 box Huge 15 kg 22 Mil (+3) Hook Variants — Hook sniper rifl e (12mm rifl e) 2.10 20 Ballistic 36mS5box — +3 kg 18 Mil (+3) Kuvalda Assault Shotgun (12-gauge shotgun) 2d84 20 Ballistic 10m S, A 20 Large 4 kg 21 Mil (+3) Molot Backup Shotgun (12-gauge shotgun) 2d8 20 Ballistic 6m Single 8 box Large 3 kg 16 Mil (+3) RKG-41 Assault Rifl e (7.62mm assault rifl e) 2d8 20 Ballistic 16m S, A 40 box Large 5 kg 15 Res (+2) RKG-75 Assault Rifl e (5.56mm assault rifl e) 2d8 20 Ballistic 20m S, A 50 box Large 4.5 kg 18 Mil (+3) — RKG-75-G (protocol grenade launcher) 3d6+3 20 Slashing 30m (2m) S3 Protocol — +1 kg 23 Mil (+3) Energy Buildup3 RKS-81 Submachine gun (10mm submachine gun) 2d6 20 Ballistic 10m S, A 30 box Large 2.5 kg 17 Mil (+3) as long as the trigger is depressed, allowing a rate of fi re the CPW-200 trigger forms and fi res a new protocol grenade, comparable to that of an aircraft-mounted autocannon. The giving the CPW-200 limitless ammunition. CPW-20 usually comes with the CPW-200, an under-barrel protocol grenade launcher. Furthermore, the protocol grenades launched by the CPW- 200 are adaptable; the energy released when they “explode” deal whichever damage is most effective against the target, C aso Security Pistol whether slashing, concussion, fi re, piercing, or bludgeoning, This is the standard sidearm of police and security forces in and is always armor-piercing (the damage reduction of the W.T.A. countries, though many CSPs found their way into target is halved against it, rounded down). The CPW-200 the hands of rebels and other quasi-military units around the targets a 2m-square, like other grenade-like weapons; a world. It was originally designed for the W.T.A. army in the miss will usually hit a nearby square (see Chapter Four: years preceding the Great Patriotic War, but is now regarded Equipment in the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game for as outdated by the W.T.A.’s armed forces. details).

C PW-200 D ragunov 60mm Autocannon

As might be expected, the CPW’s grenade launcher is This heavy assault gun has a rotating barrel capable of considerably more powerful and sophisticated than its incredible rates of fi re — so much so it’s equipped with a U.R.R.S. equivalents. The main advantage to this weapon bite grip to protect the user’s teeth from the recoil. Sorceress is there is no requirement to fi ring the CPW itself in order to Engineers were unable to meet Central Command’s build up protocol energy before fi ring a grenade. Each pull of requirements for the weapon without a physically damaging,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Table 2-1: Ranged Weapons (continued)

Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Size Weight DC Restriction Heavy Weapons (each requires a specifi c Exotic Firearms Profi ciency feat) Dragunov Anti-Krawl Gun 5d103,4 20 Ballistic 30mS1shell Huge 22kg 18 Mil (+3) Hook Variants — hook machine gun (7.62mm machine gun) 2d8 20 Ballistic 30m A 50 box — +4 kg 18 Mil (+3) MTK-90 Cannon1 (protocol machine gun) 2d8+27 19–20 Concussion 30m A3 Protocol3 Large — Special — (2m burst radius) SWORD System 6d104 19–20 Concussion 20m11— Large 5kg 19 Mil (+3) Telekinetic Weapons (requires the Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency feat) Dragunov 60mm Autocannon5 4d12 20 Ballistic 60m3 A Linked Large 50 kg 22 Mil (+3) Hailer (telekinetic squad support weapon)5 — basic machine gun mode1 2d10 20 Ballistic 30m3 A 250 drum — — — — compartment3 — experimental beam weapon mode 5d8 — Fire 30m3 S 20 drum — — — — compartment3 — fl amethrower mode 3d6 — Fire (2m x 2m x 50m) 3 18 drum — — — — compartment3 — grenade launcher mode By grenade type — By grenade type 30m3 S 50 drum — — — — compartment3 — mortar mode 12d6 19–20 Concussion 100m3S5drum — +5 kg — — (12m burst radius) compartment3 — rocket-propelled grenade launcher mode 4d104 19–20 Concussion 30m3 A 20 drum — +2 kg — — compartment3 Hook Variants — hook mortar5 10d6 19–20 Concussion 100m11— +15 kg 18 Mil (+3) (10m burst radius) 1 This mastercraft weapon grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls. 2 Western Transnationalist Alliance weapon; add +5 to DC if purchased outside W.T.A. or an allied country. 3 See the description of this weapon for special rules. 4 This weapon does armor-piercing damage. See p. 57. 5 Telekinetically powered weapon. See p. 46 for special rules. 6 Ultra-modern weapon; only available for campaigns set during or after the Nokgorkan confl ict. 7 Protocol-enhanced damage; damage dealt includes +1 per damage die for protocol enhancement. amount of recoil, especially to the user’s teeth (weapons groups. SWORDs are rare among the rebels, and are testing in the U.R.R.S. is an unfortunate duty). Central reserved for use against Hydra-Class krawls. The Dragunov Command didn’t care, and had each profi cient trooper issued is a recoilless rifl e rather than a true rocket launcher, fi ring a bit as part of their assigned kit. armor-piercing shells with almost as much power as a vehicular cannon. It is usually deployed with a fi rer and a The autocannon is specifi cally designed for use by a hailer loader, who between them can reload the gun in one full on skyfurnaces to repel boarding parties, though other round. A lone character takes three full-round actions to profi cient characters can also use it as well. A hailer (the reload it. It is intended for use mounted on a tripod or bipod, weapon) is usually inserted into a slot in the autocannon, but can be shoulder-fi red by a strong character (minimum which both stabilizes fi ring and assists in accuracy by Strength 13). allowing the operator to use the same protocols he has available for hailer use. Any character attempting to use this autocannon without being armed with a hailer takes a –4 Dragunov Sniper Rifle penalty to all attack rolls. Sniper rifl es are common throughout the world. The better versions by Caso and others, to which the Western

Dragunov Anti-Krawl Gun Transnationalist Alliance and certain nations of the Great

Continent have access, are considered mastercraft weapons The Dragunov anti-krawl gun was designed in the aftermath (+1 to all attack rolls). The sniper rifl es found in and around of the Great Patriotic War, though it was still in service with the U.R.R.S. are made by Dragunov and are slightly less many reserve units at the time of the war in Al’Istaan. The accurate weapons, though they are still capable of felling a Red Fleet uses the Dragunov 60mm autocannon or SWORDs horse from over a kilometer away in the hands of a skilled in Nokgorka, though many outdated anti-krawl guns have operative. found their way into the hands of the Nokgorkan resistance,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment

Telekinetic Weapons Profi ciency for the hook mortar, or the

H ailer Personal Firearms Profi ciency feat for the hook sniper rifl e.

The hailer is a shoulder-mounted, telekinetic machine gun useable with several different kinds of ammunition in various Hook Variants (machine gun) battlefi eld roles — including fl amethrower, if incendiary This light machinegun is available for use as a squad support canisters are available. Hailers are vital on the fi eld, as they weapon by Red troopers cut off from hailer support. are both a “base of fi re” solution and serve as bodyguards for warkasters. Because of this, no expense is spared to get Hook Variants (mortar) them the best the Red Fleet has to offer, including multiply variant weapons and protocol-enhanced ammunition packs. The hook mortar is a simple weapon, essentially a short These backpacks are multicompartmentalized protopacks tube attached to the hook. The main purpose of the body of (protocol-enhanced ammunition packs), specifi cally known the hook here is to provide a solid, straight, well-grounded as ‘Drums.’ They take their name for the original oil-drum support for the tube, allowing fi re from a stable position. shape of the packs during the Great Patriotic War, and for Unlike conventional mortars, the hook mortar does not have the distinctive heavy thumping sound made by the fi rst hailer any propellant of its own; rather, the tube acts as an amplifi er weapons. and accelerator for the fi rer’s own telekinetic ability, and each shell is specially manufactured to be easily movable by Depending on the drum supplied, each hailer has three telekinetic power. weapon options available. Each hailer has all the appropriate attachments to reconfi gure the weapon appropriately for the Hook mortars can fi re up to 50 range increments, but may not ammunition types carried by the drum or drums available. fi re into the adjacent range increment; in effect, the minimum Note that the range increment given for hailer weapons is range is 100 meters. As an indirect fi re weapon, the hook always a base amount; characters with a high level in the mortar uses the indirect fi re rules (see Chapter Three: To hailer character class can typically coax a much higher range Fight and Die for the Motherland). The hook mortar targets a out of these telekinetic weapons. 2m-square, like other grenade-like weapons; a miss will usually hit a nearby square (see d20 Modern Roleplaying Game).

H ook Variants Hook Variants (sniper rifle)

The hook is an enormously fl exible weapon, capable of This is similar to the standard sniper rifl e, but with a lower modifi cation with a number of additional packs and variants. caliber. Its barrel is mounted along the shaft of the hook. Red troopers are only issued with hook variants once they are qualifi ed to use them, having either the Exotic Firearms Profi ciency (hook machine gun) for the hook machine gun, Kuvalda Assault Shotgun Designed as a short-range but powerful weapon for Red Fleet krawl offi cers who have to leave their vehicles in a combat zone, the Kuvalda is regarded as too heavy for a skyfurnace offi cer to carry. Each krawl crew seat has a fully loaded Kuvalda and two spare magazines of API ammo (see below) mounted beneath it in an easily accessible compartment. Unusually for a shotgun, the Kuvalda is capable of fully automatic fi re. By virtue of its over-and-under double-barreled design, it is also capable of fi ring two shots simultaneously, with a single pull of the trigger. Thus, the Kuvalda has three fi ring settings: single shot, double shot, and automatic. A Kuvalda fi ring on automatic obeys the normal autofi re rules, and appropriate feats may be used as usual. A Kuvalda fi ring with both barrels deals an additional 1d8 points of damage, but expends two shells with each shot. There is no particular benefi t for having two barrels when using automatic fi re; both barrels fi re, but alternately to achieve a high rate of fi re, rather than simultaneously as for the double shot setting. The Kuvalda is always issued with API (Armor Piercing Incendiary) ammunition, though it may fi re ordinary buckshot if so loaded. API ammunition hitting an armored target is only reduced by half the target’s damage reduction (rounded down). If it deals any damage, it deals an additional 1d6 points of fi re damage the following round and the target may catch fi re if he does not succeed a DC 15 Refl ex save. If he fails this save, he takes 1d6 points of damage each round until he extinguishes himself or until he succeeds a Refl ex save on a subsequent round.,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment M odel 17 Samsonov RKG-75 Assault Rifle

This antiquated sidearm is testament to the dependability Some years prior to the War of Al’Istaan, the U.R.R.S. military of Republic workmanship. Though it was one of the fi rst launched a revamp of the venerable RKG-41. The RKG- weapons to be manufactured by the fl edgling U.R.R.S., 75 closely resembles its ancestor, but advances in military in the days of the Fourth Chronicle, it is still seen on the engineering allowed a lighter frame fi ring a smaller caliber battlefi eld as a junior offi cers’ handgun and general-purpose bullet without any signifi cant loss in the power of the rifl e. sidearm. Modern U.R.R.S. doctrine regards the RKG family of

Model 79 Samsonov weapons with some disdain, focusing as it does on the hook as a standard infantry weapon and the hailer for squad

The Model 79 is a compact protocol-powered machine support. Many units still use the RKG-75, though, particularly pistol issued only to special forces and to high-ranking Red those garrisoning the motherland and its outlying republics. Fleet offi cers, usually those of Colonel or above. It is said U.R.R.S. prison guards and other paramilitary forces without to have been the main weapon used by the assassins sent hook training favor it as well. to slay Al’Istaan’s original leadership, to give the U.R.R.S. a plausible reason to be invited in to take control. R KG-75-G

M olot Backup Shotgun Many RKG-75s were issued with protocol grenade launchers. These weapons were among the fi rst of their kind, and are

This is a pistol-grip, pump-action shotgun, and serves as the not nearly as sophisticated as the Sam-79-G or CPW-200 standard secondary weapon issued to hailers. of more recent years. The RKG-75-G is powered by the sorcery buildup of energy from the RKG-75 itself. Once it Munny Dueling Pistols, Pair fi res at least twenty bullets, suffi cient energy builds up in the lower chamber that the user can pull the lower trigger and These fi nely made, perfectly balanced revolvers are based fi re off an anti-personnel protocol grenade. No more than one on the classic “six-shooter” pattern popular in the early years grenade is available for use until the fi rst one has been used, of the W.T.A. Many of the fi rst political disputes in the W.T.A. regardless of however many bullets of RKG-75 ammunition were decided by duels using weapons very similar to these, are fi red. If the grenade is not fi red, its energy dissipates and the tradition lives on with the Munny pistol, still the most uselessly three rounds after the machine pistol stops fi ring. popular dueling weapon in the W.T.A. Munny dueling pistols Firing the grenade launcher is an attack like any other, and are always sold in pairs. The price includes a padded, impact- can be done as one of the attacks during a full attack action, resistant hardwood case for the paired pistols. with the other attacks fi ring RKG-75 bullets if so desired. RKG-75-G grenades deal damage in a 2m burst radius. The

MTK-90 Cannon RKG-75-G can only be used with the RKG-75. The RKG-

75-G targets a 2m-square, like other grenade-like weapons; This weapon may only be conjured with the appropriate a miss will usually hit a nearby square (see d20 Modern protocol. It is a huge, ghostly machine gun, translucent in Roleplaying Game). appearance and weightless. The MTK-90 is capable of fi ring high explosive anti-personnel rounds at 10,000 rounds per minute. See MTK-90 Protocol in Chapter Five: Military R KS-81 Submachine Gun Industrial Sorcery on page 95 for more information on the This weapon is similar to the RKG-75, essentially a stripped- weapon and how to summon it. down RKG rechambered to fi re pistol caliber ammunition. It is a common backup weapon for vehicle crews not deemed

Officer Personal Sidearm (OPS) suffi ciently important to be given Kuvaldas or Model 79

Samsonovs. This light but powerful handgun is a clear demonstration of the technical prowess of the W.T.A. Though not protocol- enhanced in any way, it is still one of the fi nest sidearms on Sam-79-G the planet. The most widely issued variant of the Model 79 Samsonov incorporates an under-barrel protocol grenade launcher,

RKG-41 Assault Rifle powered by the sorcery buildup of energy from the main

machine pistol portion of the weapon. Once it fi res at least This antique assault rifl e is still used by many in the ten bullets, suffi cient energy builds up in the lower chamber Nokgorkan Resistance and other paramilitary forces the so the user can pull the lower trigger and fi re off an anti- world over. It is ineffective against heavy armor or the personnel protocol grenade. No more than one grenade is defensive shield rotation of an experienced Red Trooper. available for use until the fi rst one has been used, however The RKG-41 was originally designed as the standard many bullets of machine pistol ammunition are fi red. If the infantry weapon of the Great Patriotic War, but its ease of grenade is not fi red, its energy dissipates uselessly fi ve manufacture and use led to its adoption over much of the rounds after the machine pistol stops fi ring. world, particularly among the allies of the U.R.R.S. and in impoverished regions. Firing the grenade launcher is an attack like any other, and can be done as one of the attacks during a full attack action,,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment

with the other attacks fi ring machine pistol bullets if desired. Samsonov grenades deal damage in a 2m burst radius. The 9mm, 10mm, 12mm Pistol Sam-79-G can only be used with the Model 79 Samsonov. The Sam-79-G targets a 2m-square, like other grenade-like These calibers are generally used in pistols or submachine weapons; a miss will usually hit a nearby square (see d20 guns, and are sold in boxes of 50 bullets each. The 12mm Modern Roleplaying Game). pistol round is not compatible with the much-larger 12mm rifl e-caliber cartridge.

Single Shot Weapon (Ordnance: 12-gauge Buckshot, 12-gauge Rocket) Delivery System ( SWORD) Armor Piercing Incendiary

This is a shoulder-fi red missile weapon capable of destroying a Hydra-class krawl. It deals armor-piercing damage, so Shotgun cartridges, also known as buckshot, are sold in the damage reduction of the target is halved (round down) boxes of ten. The far scarcer 12-gauge API (Armor Piercing against a SWORD. Incendiary) shells were designed for the Kuvalda Assault Shotgun and are supposed to be issued only to elite krawl crew, but many fi nd their way into the hands of hailers looking

Ammunition for a more powerful shell for their backup shotguns than mere

buckshot. Table 2–2: Ammunition details ammunition for fi rearms and other ranged weapons. Dragunov Anti-Krawl Shell 5.56mm, 7.62mm, 12mm Rifle, 15mm These long, heavy shells come in boxes of fi ve. These calibers of ammunition are generally used in rifl es, assault rifl es, or machine guns, and are sold in boxes of 20 H ook Mortar Shell bullets each. The 12mm rifl e and 15mm are huge cartridges, Issued in cases of fi ve, these large shells are designed for generally fi red from heavy machine guns but also adapted to use in the hook mortar. Packed with high explosive, they are a few models of powerful sniper rifl es. ideal for shelling an area. 60mm H ailer Drum These autocannon bullets are telekinetically neutral partly Hailer ammunition is carried in large backpacks known as accounting for their high cost. drums: metal boxes for machine gun and other conventional ammo, or pressurized canisters for fl amethrower fuel. Ammunition feeds into the barrel, as a conventional belt for the machine gun bullets or in a segmented tube for most other munitions, including fl amethrower fuel. Although this method of ammunition storage allows for an enormous number of bullets to be carried, it potentially makes reloading slower than would otherwise be the case. Putting on or taking off a hailer backpack (including connecting or disconnecting the ammo feed to the hailer itself) takes 1d6 rounds, or 3d6 rounds for a character without the Telekinetic Autofi re feat. For the machine gun, the ammunition comes off the backpack in a linked belt; it is possible for a hailer operator to feed another linked belt through from a second backpack if the fi rst is exhausted, without necessarily putting on the second backpack fi rst. In this case, the hailer needs an assistant to carry the second backpack, or needs to remain stationary and leave it on the ground. Most of the time, hailers have access to protocol- based reloading of their drums. In the fi eld, however, far from supply kasters, emergency measures may need be required. Depending on the particular drum and other accessories mounted, the hailer may be used in a wide variety of roles. A hailer is a one-man fi re support platform, designed to give offi cers solutions in as many situations as a particular battle might present. The following drums are typically available: Close Assault (machine gun, grenade-launcher and fl amethrower), General Purpose (machine gun, grenade-,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment

launcher, and rocket-propelled grenade launcher), and Anti- Armor (machine gun, mortar, and rocket-propelled grenade launcher). Table 2-2: Ammunition In each case, the drum incorporates a full load of ammunition Ammunition Type (Quantity) Purchase DC for the appropriate weapon loadout. The cost of the drum includes the cost of all ammunition for it and any accessories 5.56mm (20) 4 required to reconfi gure the hailer appropriately. Note the 7.62mm (20) 4 mortar weapon may only be used with indirect fi re (see 9mm (50) 5 Chapter Three, page 69). Experimental hailer drums (machine 10mm (50) 5 gun, experimental beam weapon, grenade launcher) are 12mm pistol (50) 6 occasionally available, but characters should note these are 12mm rifl e (20) 6 prone to malfunction wildly (at the GM’s discretion). 15mm (20) 7 60mm (20) 11 Hailer drums are always enhanced with protoclip-style 12-gauge buckshot (10) 4 technology (see page 61), enabling them to carry their 12-gauge armor piercing incendiary (10) 9 enormous quantity of ammunition without becoming Dragonov Anti-Krawl shell (5) 8 unbearably heavy to wear. All hailer drums also have the Hook mortar shell (5) 10 capability to receive new ammunition from a supply kaster’s Hailer Drum, any non-experimental 15 supply protocols, in exactly the same way as a Crate can Hailer Drum, experimental 25 (see page 61).

Ammunition Weight

personnel expected to be operating in the bloodhound’s To determine how much a loaded magazine weighs, look it area of deployment get badges in advance. Signals from the up on the Table 2-3, rounding the number of rounds in the bloodhounds determine the nature of the potential target. If it magazine up. Shotgun shells are a little heavier, so use the is a Red Fleet member, the bloodhound remains concealed in weight value for one damage step higher. a semi-dormant state. Any character without the appropriate signal badge triggers

Grenades and Explosives the bloodhound. An activated bloodhound fl ings itself up from

the ground and launching towards the target on low-powered

A ralov Blade-Jaw protocol charges, reaching the target in less than a second and exploding instantly.

This is a protocol-enhanced anti-vehicle mine, capable of disabling even an Invasion-class krawl. Only a vehicle C luster-Satchel Protocol massing 1 ton or higher, and not personnel, sets it off. The blade-jaw targets the underside armor of the vehicle, which is Charges (CSPC) usually only one-half the damage reduction of the front armor (rounded down). A heavy (25kg) pack of explosives used to destroy bridges, buildings and vehicles. The core of the weapon is a plastic

B loodhound explosive variant, but powerful protocols enhance its destructive power.

Bloodhound mines are designed to lie buried beneath a thin layer of soil or concealed by debris and junk, until a person Concussion Grenade approaches within 10m. The bloodhound’s built-in sensors scan the target to determine if it is friend or foe. All Red Fleet The concussion grenade deals additional damage if used in confi ned spaces. When it explodes indoors, note the

Table 2-3: Ammunition Weight

Weight per Number of Rounds Damage 10 20 30 40 50 100 2d6 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.5 kg 0.5 kg 1 kg 2d8 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.5 kg 0.5 kg 1 kg 2d10 0.25 kg 0.5 kg 0.5 kg 0.75 kg 0.75 kg 1.5 kg 2d12 0.5 kg 1 kg 1.5 kg 2 kg 2.5 kg 5 kg Special Ammunition Weight Mortar Shell, 1 1 kg Hailer Drum, any 15 kg,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Table 2-4: Grenades and Explosives

Damage Burst Refl ex Range Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type Radius DC Increment Size Weight DC Restriction Aralov Blade-Jaw 10d10 — Piercing — — — Med 10 kg 18 Mil (+3) Bloodhound 6d6 — Slashing 2m 16 — Med 4 kg 14 Mil (+3) Concussion grenade 3d6 — Concussion 4m 18 8m Small 0.5 kg 12 Mil (+3) CSPC 2d6x10 — Concussion 10m 20 — Large 25kg 17 Mil (+3) Fragmentation grenade 4d6 — Slashing 6m 15 8m Tiny 0.5 kg 15 Mil (+3) Smoke grenade — — — See text — 4m Small 1 kg 10 — Tear gas grenade See text — — See text — 4m Small 1 kg 12 Res (+2) Thermate grenade 4d6 — Fire 2m 12 4m Small 1 kg 17 Mil (+3) White phosphorus grenade 2d6 — Fire 16m 12 4m Small 1 kg 15 Mil (+3) Render mine 5d10 — Slashing & Piercing 4m 15 — Small 6 kg 17 Mil (+3) size of the room or corridor in which it explodes. For each disperses after 10 rounds, though a moderate wind (16+ kph) dimension of the room (width, breadth and height) less than disperses the smoke in 4 rounds and a strong wind (31+ kph) 6m, the concussion grenade deals an additional 1d6 points disperses it in 1 round. of damage. For example, a concussion grenade exploding in a 20m by 4m corridor with a 3-meter-high ceiling deals 5d6 A character caught in a cloud of tear gas must succeed a DC points of damage (base 3d6, +1d6 for corridor width of 4m, 15 Fortitude save or be nauseated. This effect lasts as long +1d6 for corridor height of 3m). as the character remains in the cloud and for 1d6 rounds after he leaves the cloud. Those succeeding their saves but In addition to the damage dealt, a concussion grenade remain in the cloud must make a new save each round they deafens and stuns its targets. Anyone damaged by it must remain in the area. A gas mask renders the target immune to make a Fortitude save against a DC equal to the damage the effects. A wet cloth held over the eyes, nose, and mouth dealt or be stunned for 1 round and deafened for 2d6 grants a +2 circumstance bonus to the Fortitude save. The minutes. purchase DC given is for a box of 6 grenades.

Fragmentation Grenade Thermate

The most common military grenade, this small explosive Thermate is a modern, improved version of the thermite once device sprays shrapnel in all directions when it explodes. The used by soldiers in the Great Patriotic War. Thermate does purchase DC given is for a box of 6 grenades. not explode. Instead, it creates intense heat, designed to burn or melt through an object upon which the grenade sits.

Smoke Grenade Military forces use thermate grenades to quickly destroy key

pieces of equipment. Used against an object too large or Military and police forces use these weapons to create tough to be destroyed outright, a thermate grenade still infl icts temporary concealment. A smoke grenade fi lls the four signifi cant damage, typically fusing the metal parts together squares around it with smoke on the round thrown. On the to render the target inoperable. following round, it fi lls all squares within 4m, and on the third round it fi lls all squares within 6m. The smoke obscures all Thermate continues to burn for 6 rounds, potentially causing sight, including the darkvision ability granted by night vision additional damage to those within the area of effect if they goggles. Any creature within the area has total concealment remain there after the fi rst round. The purchase DC given is (attacks suffer a 50% miss chance, and the attacker can’t use for a box of 6 grenades. sight to locate the target).

White Phosphorus Grenade

The smoke disperses after 10 rounds, though a moderate wind (16+ kph) disperses the smoke in 4 rounds and a strong White phosphorus grenades use an explosive charge to wind (31+ kph) disperses it in 1 round. Smoke grenades are distribute burning phosphorus across the burst radius. In available in several colors, including white, red, yellow, green, addition to the normal damage, the white phosphorous and purple. As such, they can be used as signal devices. The grenade deals an additional 1d6 points of fi re damage in the purchase DC given is for a box of 6 grenades. following round, and the subject is at risk of catching on fi re. Furthermore, the white phosphorous grenade burns for 10

Tear Gas Grenade rounds, causing additional damage to those within the initial

area of effect if they remain there after the fi rst round. Military and police forces use these weapons to disperse crowds and smoke out hostage takers. On the round thrown, A white phosphorous grenade also creates a cloud of smoke. a tear gas grenade fi lls a 2m radius with a cloud of irritant Treat a white phosphorus grenade as a smoke grenade (see causing eyes to fi ll with tears. On the following round, it fi lls above), except it fi lls squares within 16m of the explosion a 4m radius, and on the third round, it fi lls a 6m radius. It point. The purchase DC is for a box of 6 grenades.,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment R ender Mine the main turret. In the fi rst round, the zek makes two

attacks, the fi rst one hitting and dealing 14 damage. This is an anti-vehicle mine intended for use against troop This is not enough to penetrate the krawl’s DR, carriers and other relatively soft targets. The vehicle’s but it reduces the DR to 16 in the immediate area damage reduction applies, though it is halved as usual for being attacked by the arc kutter. Next attack, Ned mine attacks. Any damage that gets through the damage hits automatically and deals a further 9 damage, reduction also injures the vehicle occupants if they are within reducing the DR to 7. The following round he makes the burst radius. two more attacks, again hitting automatically, dealing 12 damage then 10. The fi rst attack reduces the

Melee Weapons DR to 0 and infl icts 5 hit points’ damage, while all 10 damage for the second attack comes straight off

the krawl’s hit points. If Ned were to move away and Arc Kutter attack a different area on the krawl, he would be Perhaps the heaviest “melee weapon” ever devised, the arc facing a DR of 30 once more. (Note that if Ned had kutter is not intended for use against personnel, but rather Kutter Training as a specialty, he would be still more against heavy armored vehicles such as krawls. Against a effective). target that is stationary in relation to the arc kutter operator (for example, a krawl on which he or she is standing, or a Bayonet (fixed) grappled enemy), the arc kutter reduces the target’s damage reduction in the small region being attacked; no attack roll is Any longarm designated as an assault rifl e can incorporate a necessary after the fi rst attack. Note that a character never bayonet. A bayonet always fi ts a specifi c type of assault rifl e. adds his or her Strength bonus to damage with an arc kutter. It does not interfere with the rifl e’s normal functions when so fi tted. An assault rifl e fi tted with a bayonet may be used as a Example: The arc kutter is used to make an double weapon, clubbing with the butt and stabbing with the attack against a Hammer-class krawl (damage bayonet. A bayonet removed from its assault rifl e functions as reduction 30) by Ned, a 12th level zek holding onto a knife.

Table 2-5: Melee and Archaic Weapons

Damage Range Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type Increment Size Weight DC Restriction Simple Weapons (requires the Simple Weapons Profi ciency feat) Club 1d6 20 Bludgeoning 4m Med 1 kg 4 — Knife 1d4† 19–20 Piercing 4m Tiny 0.25 kg 7 — Pistol whip 1d4 20 Bludgeoning — Small — — — Red Fleet knife 1d6† 19—20 Slashing 2m Small 0.5 kg 8 — Rifl e butt 1d6 20 Bludgeoning — Large — — — Archaic Weapons (requires the Archaic Weapons Profi ciency feat) Bayonet (fi xed)* 1d6@/1d6 20 Piercing or Bludgeoning — Large +0.5 kg 7 — Hailer longknife 1d8@ 19–20 Slashing — Med 1 kg 9 Mil (+2) Hammer 1d8 20 Bludgeoning — Small 2 kg 4 — Sickle* 1d6† 20 Slashing — Small 0.5 kg 5 — Spear* 1d8† 20 Piercing — Large 2 kg 6 — Exotic Melee Weapons (each requires a specifi c Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency feat) Arc Kutter* 2d10 20 Slashing and Fire — Large 25 kg 9 Mil (+2) Engineer Ace 2d6† 20 Slashing — Large 4 kg 8 — Greatsword 2d6† 19–20 Slashing — Large 2 kg 12 — Hawk talon* 1d12† 20 Slashing or Piercing — Large 2.5 kg 10 — Hook*~ 2d6† 20 Slashing or Piercing Telekinetic* Large 2.5 kg 8 Mil (+2) Nistaani sword 1d10† 18–20 Slashing — Large 2 kg 11 — Scythe* 1d10† 20 Slashing — Large 1.5 kg 6 — Exotic Ranged Weapon (requires the Slivers on the Wind feat) Sha-Osk pins, handful 2d4* — Piercing Telekinetic* Diminutive 0.05 kg 8 — * See the description of this weapon for special rules. ~ Telekinetically powered weapon; see page 46 for special rules. † This weapon deals armor-piercing damage; halve any damage reduction from armor, rounding down.,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment

to turn it into a machine gun, sniper rifl e or mortar, as well (see

Club page 50). A trooper can also telekinetically set his hook in

midair, like an immovable rod (see Sidebar). Trained troopers Almost any long, weighty object serves as a club, from a can telekinetically spin it in a “Defensive Rotation Shield” (see building joist to a length of lead piping. A police offi cer’s Chapter One: Red Star Characters) capable of blocking most nightstick is also a club. slug-throwers and other forms of ranged attacks.

E ngineer Axe If you use a ready action to set a hook against a charge, you

deal double damage on a successful hit against the charging This enormous weapon character. You can use a hook to make a trip attack; if you resembles an oversized lose the opposed attack rolls, you may drop the hook to avoid fi re axe. Skyfurnaces carry being tripped yourself, or if profi cient with telekinetic weapons them for use in emergencies. you need not even drop the hook. If you are profi cient with A skyfurnace’s structure is on telekinetic weapons, you can reconfi gure the hook as a such a massive scale that an free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. ordinary axe would never cut If you are not profi cient with telekinetic weapons, altering through it in time, particularly in the confi guration is a full action and provokes attacks of situations when the skyship’s opportunity. ventral array must be cut loose to save the ship. When used as a ranged weapon, a hook has a range increment of a number of meters equal to the user’s ranks in Telekinesis. The user may retrieve the hook as a move

G reatsword action, if he or she succeeds at a DC 10 Telekinesis check.

Though the greatsword Alternatively, the hook need not be retrieved — it is quite is almost never seen on the permissible for the wielder to simply telekinetically hurl physical battlefi eld, its symbolic value as it from one target to the next, treating the previous the Sword of Truth is crucially important target as the starting point for the next attack. to the Red Woman and those who are allied with her. Knife Anything from a cook’s chopper to a modern tactical

H ailer Longknife folder or small fi ghting dagger may be treated as a

Resembling the standard Red Fleet knife, knife. With a blade typically 10 to 20 cm long and but with a blade some 60cm long, the hailer an ergonomic handle, this versatile weapon can be longknife is almost a sword. Hailers are elite used for everyday cutting tasks, self-defense, or soldiers, and even their backup weapons are assassination. designed both to be lethally effective and to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. Pistol Whip Any pistol can be used simply to reinforce

H ammer the hand and provide a harder surface with

This is a lump hammer, much loved by rebels and which to punch. In a less military context, saboteurs for general destruction of people and materiel, brass knuckles, a roll of coins, or a small but not so useful for knocking in nails. fl ashlight all provide the same effect.

H awk Talon Nistaani Sword

Named from a line in an ancient Nistaani victory poem, the Descended from the tulwar of hawk talon is a modern version on the traditional tribal war- the old Nistaani warriors, this spear, adopted to take on the dreaded Red Fleet hook on curved two-handed sword is as equal terms. Its curved blade can both stab and slicw and lethal at close quarters, even the butt features small spikes, allowing use of either end on the modern battlefi eld. with equal effectiveness. If you use a ready action to set a hawk talon against a charge, you deal double damage onaRed Fleet Knife successful hit against the charging character. This is a strong-bladed, single-edged knife around 30cm long, issued to every Red

H ook trooper as a backup weapon in the event his hook is lost or

The Red trooper’s primary weapon is a telekinetically destroyed. enhanced hook, confi gurable for either close combat or ranged use. It’s a 1.5m to 2m long “Swiss-army knife,” capable R ifle Butt of serving as a compass, sundial, fl ashlight, splint or even cooking spit; special attachments can be chosen or assigned The butt of any longarm may serve as an impromptu club.,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment I mmovable Rod

This rod is a fl at iron bar with a small button on one end. When the button is pushed (a move action), the rod does not move from where it is, even if staying in place defi es gravity. Thus, the owner can lift or place the rod wherever he wishes, push the button, and let go. Several immovable rods can even make a ladder when used together (although only two are needed). An immovable rod can support up to 3,600kg before falling to the ground. If a creature pushes against an immovable rod, it must make a DC 30 Strength check to move the rod up to 4m in a single round.

Scythe Telekinesis. Nistaani sometimes poison Sha-Osk pins when they really want to make certain of her foe’s doom.

This old-fashioned farming tool is rarely seen save in the most poverty-stricken regions, but remains an important Sickle symbol of death. Any character armed with a scythe may perform a coup de grace as a move action instead of taking a Although originally designed as an agricultural tool, the sickle full action. This still provokes attacks of opportunity, as usual. has a sharp, curved blade optimal for cutting throats. Any character armed with a sickle may perform a coup de grace

Sha-Osk Pins as a move action instead of taking a full action. This still provokes attacks of opportunity, as usual.

These short silver pins are barely recognizable as a weapon to anyone other than a Nistaani. They are hurled at the face Spear telekinetically. One of the oldest of humanity’s weapons and still found Because they are easily concealable and used by telekinesis occasionally on the battlefi eld, particularly in Al’Istaan, only alone rather than needing to be drawn by hand, a character those who can afford nothing better use it. If you use a ready armed with Sha-Osk pins and no other weapons gains a action to set a spear against a charge, you deal double +4 circumstance bonus to her Initiative roll at the GM’s damage on a successful hit against the charging character. If discretion, and only if the opponents do not suspect the you use a spear to make a charge while mounted on a war- presence of Sha-Osk pins. Sha-Osk pins have a range trained animal such as a Susk-Dath, you deal double damage increment of a number of meters equal to the user’s ranks in on a successful attack.

Armor

Armor in the world of The Red Star Campaign Setting is more than just a means of becoming immune to low-caliber gunfi re. B ronja Vest Other than the Bronja vest, every piece of armor in the game is also an identifying mark. A character wearing hailer armor This is similar to the crew vest, but cheaper and old- is assumed a hailer; one who wears zero armor or STRIFE fashioned. Bronja is the standard U.R.R.S. material for armor is someone feared the world over. bulletproof armor, developed during the Great Patriotic War for fl ak jackets. Today Bronja vests are used by police forces, The GM should enforce penalties to Charisma-based skills military personnel from relatively poor or small countries, and (other than Intimidate) for anyone wearing zero armor or mercenaries. The Bronja vest incorporates front and back STRIFE armor, and have NPCs react accordingly to anyone pockets to add ceramic plates for additional protection, if wearing inappropriate armor for their rank and station. A Red desired. trooper wearing hailer bodyguard armor had better have a good reason, or face a court martial. Crew Vest D amage Reduction and Originally designed for elite fi ghter pilots, the crew vest uses high-tech lightweight materials to provide excellent protection at a lower weight and bulk than a typical Bronja vest. It has Armor-piercing attacks front and back pockets to add ceramic plates for additional Armor in The Red Star Campaign Setting grants damage protection; though inserting the plates takes the usual time, reduction, rather than making the wearer harder to hit. The they can be removed again by simply pulling a tab as a free one notable exception is STRIFE armor, which gives a action. This allows the wearer to rapidly discard the additional defl ection bonus to Defense in certain circumstances, but bulk in case he must squirm out of a burning cockpit or fl ee even it offers a damage reduction rating. approaching enemies. Certain attacks are designated as armor piercing. The The crew vest also incorporates equipment pouches damage reduction of armor is halved (round down) against an capable of holding up to 5 lb of additional equipment armor piercing attack. (usually survival gear, fl ares etc.). Krawl crews and other,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Table 2-6: Armor

Damage Nonprof. Maximum Armor Acquisition Armor Type Reduction Bonus Dex Bonus Penalty Speed (10m) Weight DC Restriction Light Armor Crew Vest Tactical41+5 –1 10 2.5 kg 18 Military (+1) Bronja Vest Tactical41+5 –2 10 3 kg 14 None Offi cer Greatcoat* Concealed51+6 –1 10 2 kg 25* Military (+1) Medium Armor Railsuit Tactical72+4 –387kg 24 Military (+1) Red Trooper Armor Tactical62+3 –486kg 17 Military (+1) Heavy Armor Hailer Armor Tactical93+1 –7 6 12 kg 19 Military (+1) Hailer Bodyguard Armor Tactical83+1 –5 6 10 kg 24 Military (+1) Reactor Shieldsuit Tactical53+0 –9 6 15 kg 16 None STRIFE Armor* Tactical 15 3 +0 –9 6 20 kg 30 Military +1 Extras Steel Plates Tactical +2** +1** –3** –3** 8 +3 kg 17 Military (+1) * Protocol enhanced armor – see text for special rules. ** These game statistics are cumulative with those of the original armor. ground vehicle drivers are rarely issued with crew vests: their surrounding environment and granting the wearer a U.R.R.S. policy is they should rely on the protection provided +2 equipment bonus to all Hide checks. Finally, they have by their vehicles. limited temperature control, granting a +4 circumstance bonus to all Fortitude saving throws concerning extreme heat

H ailer Armor and cold (but not fi re). Note that the Purchase DC is for a

Major-rank offi cer greatcoat; higher-ranking greatcoats have Perhaps the ultimate in non-protocol-enhanced personal progressively higher costs. In every case, the cost for the armor, hailer armor provides maximum protection by the greatcoat is identical to the cost for the appropriate Autoshield simple expedient of being thicker, tougher and heavier than Protocol Generator it comes with (see page 61). The other any other armor. Hailers are almost always big and strong, elements of the greatcoat are negligible in cost, compared to capable of wearing even very bulky armor without being the cost of the autoshields. signifi cantly impeded. Hailer armor enhances the hailer’s sturdy appearance. R ailsuit

H ailer Bodyguard Armor The railsuit’s main function is to propel the wearer at high

speed along a skyfurnace (or other military-industrial edifi ce) Hailers chosen to act as bodyguards for sorceresses are by making use of the skyfurnace’s internal rail grid. More the elite of an already exclusive troop type within the Red about this use can be found in the section on railfi ghting (see Fleet. Accordingly, they have armor of even higher quality. Chapter Three: To Fight and Die for the Motherland). Hailer bodyguard armor offers almost as much protection The railsuit is highly protective armor far less restrictive of as ordinary hailer armor, but is signifi cantly lighter. More movement than most. Its powerful exoskeletal legs provide importantly, it is a non-refl ective dull gray and designed to a +4 equipment bonus to all Jump and Balance checks, minimize noise while maximizing freedom of movement. This canceling out the railsuit’s armor penalty with respect to those allows the wearer to be considerably more stealthy and agile skills. than if she wore ordinary hailer armor.

R eactor Shieldsuit Officer Greatcoat

This thickly layered suit provides a +4 bonus to Fortitude Senior Red Fleet offi cers (Major rank and above) receive saves to resist environmental hazards of all kinds. It also protocol-enhanced greatcoats. Offi cer greatcoats have provides its full damage reduction against energy-based autoshields protocol (see Chapter Five: Military-Industrial attacks of all kinds, including fi re, radiation, and electricity. Sorcery for details) of a power depending on the wearer’s Sjyfurnace reactor crews always wear reactor shieldsuits rank. They also incorporate experimental, low-power versions to protect themselves against the deadly levels of heat and of the Crypsis Systems more commonly seen on U.R.R.S. other hazards found in the reaction chambers of the mighty vehicles, allowing the greatcoats to change color to match skyships of the Red Fleet.,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Red Trooper Armor

This is based on an armored vest of ballistic cloth, with an additional array of hard composite plates to provide melee combat protection to the arms, upper legs and torso. The plates are held together by a webbing structure and can easily be removed as a free action or put on as a full-round action (treat the remaining armor as a Bronja vest if the plates are removed).

Steel Plates

These rigid ballistic plates may be added to any light armor, providing increased protection to the most vulnerable areas of the body. Two plates are included, one for the chest and one for the back. Light armor with steel plates inserted temporarily becomes medium armor. So long as the armor is not worn at the time, the two plates can be removed as a full-round action or inserted in 2d4 rounds. Although the W.T.A. and its allies use ceramic plates for such additional protection, the U.R.R.S. sticks to the tried-and-trusted technology of steel — the same steel with the same weight-reducing protocol enhancements as are used on many of its krawls and other armored vehicles.

STRIFE Armor

The Strategic Tactical Reconnaissance & Infi ltration Field Envelope (STRIFE) system is more than personal protection. STRIFE armor incorporates suffi cient reactive protocols for With its reactive strobe-shield protocols, it can prevent an six uses, but these may be recharged in the fi eld by a quick enemy missile or protocol attack from even reaching the radio call for sorcery support. STRIFE armor is equipped armor itself, let alone the wearer within it. with full anti-glare shielding as part of its suite of protective functions, rendering the wearer immune to the stroboscopic Any time a heavy weapon attack or any non-scheduled shield and most other blinding effects. STRIFE also protocol effect comes within 10 meters of an activated incorporates state-of-the-art sensory enhancement, including STRIFE unit, it deploys one of its reactive strobe-shield passive infrared vision, low-light vision, a thermographic protocols. This provides a +12 defl ection bonus to the sensor and an active hearing sensor (which additionally wearer’s Defense, a +12 bonus to all Refl ex saves against provides complete protection against hearing damage from area effect weapons, and a +12 bonus to all saving throws loud noises and explosions). against protocol effects for one round. In addition, the powerful stroboscopic side-effect of the shield protocol STRIFE armor’s outer surface incorporates a chameleon causes any character who can trace a line of sight to the system which, when activated, completely negates the armor STRIFE armor (however far away) to make a DC 25 Refl ex penalty to Hide checks and provides a further +4 bonus to save or be blinded for 1d6 minutes, unless his or her eyes are all Hide checks. The chameleon system can be activated for shielded in some way. up to 24 hours at a time before needing to be recharged; a further day in bright sunshine will achieve this.

A Note on Helmets

All of the armor presented above incorporates a protective helmet of some kind, whether the lightweight comms headgear worn by aircrew or the visored ballistic helmets used by infantry. In game terms, however, there is no penalty for not wearing a helmet. Characters in the comic tend to lose theirs (perhaps sometimes deliberately) once the action heats up, and it is very much in keeping with the art style and heroic genre of The Red Star for PCs to do the same. Quite simply, a Red trooper or hailer in full armor and other gear, minus the helmet, looks a lot cooler than a similar character rendered faceless by headgear. The only disadvantage to losing one’s helmet is an informational one; almost all Red Fleet helms have heads-up displays built-in, feeding detailed information about enemy forces, enemy protocol use and other vital battlefi eld information to the wearer, all thanks to the local Infokasters.,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Protocol-Enhanced Equipment

Certain weapons, items of equipment, types of armor Note some of the weapons listed in Table 2–1: Ranged and special ammunition can be enhanced with the right Weapons are inherently protocol-powered, or otherwise protocols. These are included here, though rules for protocol-enhanced. These are detailed on a case-by-case manufacturing them are given in Chapter Five: Military- basis in the weapon descriptions. Industrial Sorcery. Usually only offi cers or special forces units have protocol Protocol Utility Smoke Grenades enhancements available for their weaponry, although Known affectionately as Pugs, these user-confi gurable ammunition enhancements are more common. Availability smoke grenades are highly versatile. With a mental of protocol enhancements is always at the GM’s discretion, command from the thrower (as a free action), the grenade and depends on factors ranging from rank to importance can alter the color and even shape of the smoke it of mission to one’s ability to con the supply offi cer or make emits. This can be used for signaling, target designation, purchases through the black market. Generally, wealth concealment and anything else the user can thing of. Pugs checks and requisition checks can be made as usual, with are identical to standard smoke grenades, but with a DC 15 appropriate modifi ers, but the GM is always free to rule a Purchase per case of ten grenades. particular enhancement to be completely unavailable from time to time. Equally, for some missions it may be entirely appropriate for the PCs’ superior offi cers to issue them all Ammunition Enhancements with protocol enhanced weapons, protoclips, and whatever other fi ne gadgetry they can carry. Many ammo clips, pouches and crates in The Red Star Campaign Setting are protocol-enhanced. This can allow for

Weapon far greater quantities of ammunition to be carried than would Enhancements otherwise be possible.

The basic protocol enhancement for any weapon is Damage Example: An Artillery Unit is assigned a Enhancement I. This increases the damage dealt by the certain number of crates of shells. The quantity is weapon by +1 for every die of damage usually dealt. For approved by a deck kaster, who then orders the weapons that always come with Damage Enhancement I, the supply kaster, who uses a crate supply protocol to bonuses are already fi gured into the damage listed in Table “designate” these shells as accessible through the 2–1: Ranged Weapons. crates that will be taken into the fi eld by the Artillery Unit, effectively multiplying the capacity of the fi eld Other enhancement protocols also exist. These are detailed gun without multiplying the Unit’s carry weight. below along with their nominal cost. The following protocols apply only to the personal weapons detailed in this chapter; the vehicular weapons listed in Chapter Four: Red Fleet Ammo Pouch Vehicles require their own protocol enhancements, which Protocol-enhanced ammo pouches automatically pull new are identical to those listed here but have a Purchase DC +5 magazines into them from a sorcery linked ammo reserve. higher. When the soldier pulls his or her magazine, the pouch it was

Table 2-7: Weapon Enhancements

Protocol Enhancement Purchase DC Restriction Benefi t Damage Enhancement I 25 Mil (+3) Damage increases by +1 per damage die Damage Enhancement II 30 Mil (+3) Damage increases by +2 per damage die Damage Enhancement III 35 Mil (+3) Damage increases by +3 per damage die Armor Piercing I 30 Mil (+3) Weapon gains the armor piercing quality Armor Piercing II 35 Mil (+3) Weapon gains the armor piercing quality, but its targets’ damage reduction is divided by three against it (round down) rather than halved Protocol Piercing I 27 Mil (+3) (Available for ammunition only, and bought by the bullet.) On a natural roll of 16–20, this bullet bypasses the target’s autoshields, if any. Further more, this bullet deals double damage to all autoshields if it does not bypass them Protocol Piercing II 35 Mil (+3) (Available for ammunition only, and bought by the bullet.) This bullet bypasses all autoshields,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Table 2-8: Ammunition Supply Enhancements

Ammunition Supply Benefi t Enhancement Range Wealth Restriction DC Ammo pouch Refi lls with new, identical clip as soon as one is removed 10 km 25 Mil (+3) Crate, 50 kg ammo content Crate weighs only 5 kg 100 km 20 Mil (+3) Crate, 100 kg ammo content Crate weighs only 10 kg 100 km 25 Mil (+3) Crate, 150 kg ammo content Crate weighs only 15 kg 100 km 30 Mil (+3) Protoclip, double Double ammunition capacity — 20 Mil (+3) Protoclip, triple Triple ammunition capacity — 25 Mil (+3) Protoclip quadruple Quadruple ammunition capacity — 30 Mil (+3) pulled from refi lls if the soldier is in range of such support. There is no limit to the number of times this can be done. A utoshields Each ammo pouch can hold up to three 50-bullet magazines, The best-known autoshield protocol generators are mounted or a larger number of smaller magazines. on the Red Fleet’s offi cer greatcoats but they can be added to any armor. An autoshield protocol generator (APG) creates

Crate a force-fi eld of protocol energy around the wearer on her

mental command. Each garment or armor incorporating an The crates are a long distance solution. Based on the same APG is protocol-tailored to the intended wearer, who gets a principle as the ammo pouch, they are a one-use item. specifi c mental command word via a protocol kast directly The ammo assigned to them can be accessed at far longer into his or her brain, much like the hailer protocol allowing ranges than the clips and pouches. The protocol is kast as hailers to mentally reconfi gure their guns. part of an attack plan. Activating or deactivating the APG is a free action that can

Protoclip be performed at any time, so long as the wearer is not fl at-footed.

A protoclip is a magazine capable of holding double, triple, An autoshield has a number of hit points protecting the or even quadruple the normal capacity of rounds at no extra wearer against all Ballistic, Concussion, and ranged Slashing weight. In effect, space and mass are distorted within the damage. It does not protect against melee damage or any protoclip. Protoclips may not be refi lled manually except kind of ranged Piercing or Bludgeoning damage. Any damage by sorceress engineers. Note the Wealth DCs of protoclips of the appropriate type that would injure the wearer is do not include the cost of the ammunition, which must be deducted fi rst from the autoshield’s hit points. arranged separately. Hailer ammo is also usually enhanced in this way, with the protocol-enhanced backpacks being known Damage comes off the autoshields before applying the effects as protopacks (see page 50). of damage reduction from armor. Ultra-heavy autoshields have their own damage reduction, reducing any damage

Armor Enhancements affecting the autoshield’s hit points, but is only effective when the shield is active.

A variety of protocol enhancements can be kast or generated The autoshield’s hit points are also reduced by 1 hp per by specially engineered suits of armor. The offi cer greatcoat round when activated. Autoshields reduced to 0 hp are not (see page 58) already has several protocol enhancements destroyed, but are temporarily rendered inactive (switched that come as standard issue, but other armor can also be off). An APG regenerates lost autoshield hit points at a rate of enhanced. 1 hp per round after the autoshield is switched off.

Table 2-9: Autoshields

Name Hit Points Reduction Damage DC Purchase Offi cer Greatcoat Rank Light Autoshield 100 — 25 Major Medium Autoshield 125 — 27 Lieutenant-Colonel Heavy Autoshield 150 — 30 Colonel, Major-General Ultra-Heavy Autoshield I 150 4 35 Lieutenant-General, Colonel-General Ultra-Heavy Autoshield II 150 8 40 General Ultra-Heavy Autoshield III 150 12 45 Marshall, Senior Marshall Ultra-Heavy Autoshield IV 150 16 50 Marshall of the Red Star,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment

Autoshields, being confi gured to the wearer’s own mind, Generally, clothing gives a maximum equipment bonus as cannot usually be activated by anyone else, even if another follows: +4 to Fortitude saves relating to extremes of heat and character acquires them somehow. One method of disabling cold, +10 to Hide checks, and/or +4 to Move Silently checks. that confi guration is alter protocol. See Chapter Five: Each +1 bonus adds +1 to the Purchase DC of the garment, Military-Industrial Sorcery for details on alter protocol with the minimum Purchase DC before additions being 14. For example, Makita’s clothing grants a +1 equipment

Protocol-Enhanced Equipment bonus to Fortitude saves against extreme temperatures, +2 equipment bonus to Hide checks and +2 equipment bonus

to Move Silently checks, for a total Purchase DC of 19 (14

Clothing + 1 + 2 + 2). Armor granting a bonus to Hide checks uses

the same type of protocol enhancement as Crypsis systems Various protocols may be incorporated into clothing. Most camoufl age paint for vehicles (see page 83). commonly this is high-end kit, such as enhancements to the Offi cer Greatcoats listed on page 58, but even the Nokgorkan resistance fi ghters sometimes have protocol-enhanced gear Tools provided by their priestesses. For example, in Run Makita Most tools and items of professional equipment are available Run, Makita’s hat and coat have some temperature control with a protocol enhancement. This increases the Purchase and stealth enhancements that still function despite the DC by +2 or to 16, whichever is higher, but grants a +2 bonus obviously tattered nature of her clothes. to all relevant skill checks.

Sorceress and Telekinetic Equipment

the location sent to are within range of Protocol Enhancement Sorceress Equipment Stations. The smaller stations are often set up by special forces teams in advances of broader troop movements.

Protocol Component Case

This is a briefcase-sized box, heavily protected by both T elekinesis-Neutral Objects protocols and mundane lightweight armor plate to be virtually Certain items such as hooks and Sha-Osk pins are indestructible by either sorcery or shell (damage reduction telekinesis-neutral; that is, they may be manipulated with the 6, sorcery resistance +8). It contains enough heavily padded Telekinesis skill far easier than other items of a comparable space for up to 3 kg of protocol components, and accessible size and weight. Most objects require a great deal of mental by a character holding it as a free action. All Red Fleet effort and concentration to shift telekinetically, but telekinesis- sorceresses are assigned a case as soon as they graduate. neutral objects have been manufactured from materials treated with special protocols to reduce their “telekinetic

Protocol Enhancement Station inertia” to virtually nothing.

This fi eld installation eases the kasting of jumpgate transfer A telekinesis-neutral version of any item of equipment protocols, gate transfer protocols, and supply protocols imposes a +3 increase to the Purchase DC. Hooks, Sha-Osk (see Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery) into the pins, and the ammunition for telekinetic fi rearms are already area within its range, therevy strengthening lines of supply. appropriately treated, and the increased cost is refl ected in Sorceresses kasting any of the aforementioned protocols the Purchase DCs for such items. within range receive a +4 equipment bonus to the appropriate Kast checks, raised to +8 if both the location sent from and Note that it is impossible to modify an object to become telekinesis-neutral after its manufacture.

Table 2-10: Sorceress Equipment

Sorceress Equipment Purchase DC Weight Notes Protocol Component Case 10 0.5 kg Holds 3 kg of protocol components Protocol Enhancement Station, Portable 15 10 kg Enhances appropriate protocols that are either sent from, or arrive at, a location within 10 meters Protocol Enhancement Station, Outpost 20 500 kg Enhances appropriate protocols that are either sent from, or arrive at, a location within 500 meters Protocol Enhancement Station, Headquarters — 10,000 kg Enhances appropriate protocols that are either sent from, or arrive at, a location within 10 kilometers,

Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment Other Equipment

Most items from the General Equipment list in the d20 and cost, these are otherwise identical to the equivalent Modern Roleplaying Game can be acquired in the world of binoculars. The only exception is the night vision monocular, The Red Star Campaign Setting, though the GM is at liberty which is identical to night vision goggles (and thus does not to restrict any items that do not fi t his interpretation of this provide the benefi ts of binoculars). world.

Zero Options D rop Line Harnesses This special hook add-on has ultra-compact versions of the

following tools: vice-wrench, crowbar, welder and chainsaw. A drop line harness is a high-tech climbing, abseiling Zeroes carry it for use in destroying materiel. A character and grappling harness. It comes with a variety of high- using these tools can deal 3d6 points of damage per round strength cable-ropes, each capable of carrying 1,000 to any vehicle or other inanimate object, so long as he or she kg of weight if need be. These can be pre-set to drop a is undisturbed. If outside the vehicle, the character will need set distance then arrest the user’s fall safely, allowing to fi rst spend one round per 20 points of damage reduction very precise and carefully controlled abseiling. A variety or part thereof cutting through the outer layers of the armor, of end-mounts are available for the drop lines, including before beginning to deal 3d6 damage per round to the powerful electromagnets, hydraulic grippers that fi t inside object’s hit points. crevices, and titanium alloy grappling claws that can fi nd a hold even on an armored vehicle’s surface. A drop line harness provides a +2 equipment bonus to all Climb checks Mashurs (enabling the type of anti-krawl tricks used by Makita in Run The mashur is a veil, originally worn by the Nistaani warriors Makita Run), has a Purchase DC of 12, and weighs just to keep the sand out of their eyes. Even in ancient times, 5 kg. A protocol-enhanced version is also available (see however, it had another use, when the Sha-Osk pins became Protocol-Enhanced Tools, on page 62). commonplace on the battlefi elds of Al’Istaan. A Nistaani discovered that by using a slightly heavier weave of cloth for

H ook Accessories the mashur, it could to provide a defense against Sha-Osk attacks.

In addition to the weapon, compass, sundial, splint and In any case, the practice became widespread throughout cooking spit options for the standard hook, a hook can have Nistaani society. Today many mashurs are sorcery- special options or confi gurations to suit the Red Fleet’s enhanced or contain highly sophisticated electronic systems, operational needs. The following table shows pieces of allowing them to perform equipment that can be added a variety of informational, to the basic hook, as well as sensory enhancement and their cost and weight. Unless otherwise noted, the items Table 2-11: Hook Accessories communications functions in addition to protecting the of equipment are identical in face. function to their equivalents Object Weight Purchase DC in the d20 Modern Bolt cutter 1.5 kg 4 As a general note, mashurs Roleplaying Game, except Fire extinguisher 1 kg 8 are only available in Al’Istaan. they may only be used when Monocular, standard 0.5 kg 6 The design of mashurs is attached to a hook. Monocular, night vision 0.5 kg 16 very regionally distinct, and Monocular, rangefi nding 0.5 kg 13 a Nistaani can typically tell

Monocular (various) Monocular, electro-optical 1 kg 17 (Spot check, DC 15) the age

Zero options 4 kg 15 and place of manufacture of a Though confi gured for use mashur. by one eye to reduce weight

Table 2-12: Mashurs

Object Benefi t Weight Purchase DC Mashur, combat +4 defl ection bonus vs. Sha-Osk pins only 0.25 kg 2 + radio communicator As basic walkie-talkie +0.25 kg 8 + military communicator As professional walkie-talkie +0.25 kg 16 + night vision enhancement As night vision goggles +1 kg 18 + fl ash protection As fl ash protection goggles +0.5 kg 16 +targeting sorcery +1 circumstance bonus to all ranged attacks +0.25 kg 22, Section II: The Military industrial Complaex,

Chapter Three: To Fight and Die for the Motherland

ed troopers fought for the Motherland since long before instead of guerrilla warriors fi ghting for their freedom from Rthere was a United Republics of the Red Star, when they U.R.R.S. oppression. Thus, massed bombardments from were not even Red troopers — just peasants and workers skyfurnaces, huge krawl advances, artillery support and other battling to defend their handful of earth against rival tribes, large-scale warfare is practiced even against foes who will not or against the Bleak Horsemen, or against the tyranny of the stand and fi ght, but destroy by subtlety, guerrilla warfare, and Ancient Dynasties. More than at any other time in their history, spells of unprecedented power. though, they fought against the Volksreich in the Great Patriotic War — and died under Volksreich guns and lightning storms. N onlethal Damage Westerners scoff at U.R.R.S. participation in the Great Patriotic War, hinting the Red Fleet’s only contribution was as cannon Nonlethal damage works somewhat differently in the world of fodder to occupy the forces of the enemy, that Imbohl and his The Red Star. Most characters do not get knocked out with generals simply threw their troops carelessly into the breach. It is one punch, however powerful — unless they’ve already been true the soldiers of the Fleet paid the highest price of any nation, kasting a lot of protocols. evidenced by the war graveyards so massive they require their own rail systems. Yet what Western analysts tend to see as a Dealing Nonlethal Damage futile waste of lives, a patriotic soldier of the Fleet might have felt was a necessary sacrifi ce. Those who did not serve in the Fleet Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such in the days of its glorious, unshakeable self-confi dence simply as heat or being exhausted, may also deal nonlethal damage. cannot comprehend the fervor When you take nonlethal of its troopers, often simple damage, keep a running farm boys before they signed total of how much you’ve up to defend their homes. accumulated. Do not deduct They willingly gave their lives the nonlethal damage number when necessary, dying in their Chapter from your current hit points. It millions to turn back Krieger’s is not “real” damage. Instead, tide of evil. when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, In truth, too, their sacrifi ce you’re staggered; when it was not in vain, nor was it exceeds your current hit lacking in military insight. Three: points, you fall unconscious. Imbohl’s generals were prepared to sacrifi ce the lives Nonlethal Damage with a of their soldiers, but only Weapon that Deals Lethal when crucial from a military perspective. Their grasp of To Fight and Damage: You can use a me-lee weapon that deals lethal the strategy and tactics of damage to infl ict nonlethal large-scale krawl, skyfurnace damage instead, but you take and protocol warfare was unmatched by the end of the war, and the courage and Die for the a –4 penalty on your attack roll.Lethal Damage with a dedication of their troops was Weapon that Deals Nonle- similarly peerless. thal Damage: You can use a The lessons learned in those Motherland weapon that deals nonlethal dark days shaped U.R.R.S. damage to deal lethal damage military doctrine to the instead, including using an present. The fi rst, and most unarmed strike, but you take a important, was “Not One Step –4 penalty on your attack roll. Backward!” This was the motto of the Red Fleet during the Great Patriotic War. Imbohl demanded absolute determination Staggered and Unconscious on the part of every member of his army. Red troopers, more than once, shot at other retreating Red troopers with warning When your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, shots—at least to begin with—to serve as reminder of this you’re staggered. You can only take a standard action or a move dictum. Were the Lands of the Red Star ever attacked again action in each round. You cease being staggered when your from without, this motto would doubtless serve them in good current hit points once again exceed your nonlethal damage. stead once more. Unfortunately, it is less applicable to a nation When your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points, on the attack, and if any lives were truly wasted rather than you fall unconscious. While unconscious, you are helpless. sacrifi ced in the Great Patriotic War, a far higher proportion of the dead in the Al’Istaan War died for no reason. Healing Nonlethal Damage Still, a military doctrine is a military doctrine. The contemporary You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per leaders of the Red Fleet — perhaps less capable than those character level. When a protocol or other effect cures hit point of the Patriotic War, perhaps just less daring — continue to damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage. fi ght as though they battled Krieger’s vast conventional armies, Chapter Three: To Fight and Die for the Motherland,

Chapter Three: To Fight and Die for the Motherland Table 3-1: Carrying Capacity Table 3-2:

Light Medium Heavy Encumbered Speeds Strength Load Load Load Previous Speed Current Speed 1 up to 1 kg 2–3 kg 4–5 kg 2 up to 3 kg 4–6 kg 7–9 kg 8m 6m 3 up to 4 kg 5–9 kg 10–14 kg 10m 8m 4 up to 6 kg 7–12 kg 13–18 kg 12m 10m 5 up to 7 kg 8–15 kg 15–23 kg 14m 12m 6 up to 9 kg 10–18 kg 19–27 kg 7 up to 10 kg 11–21 kg 22–32 kg Heavily Encumbered Speeds 8 up to 12 kg 13–24 kg 25–36 kg 9 up to 14 kg 15–28 kg 29–42 kg 8m 4m 10 up to 15 kg 15–30 kg 31–45 kg 10m 6m 11 up to 17 kg 18–34 kg 35–51 kg 12m 6m 12 up to 20 kg 21–40 kg 41–60 kg 14m 8m 13 up to 23 kg 24–46 kg 47–69 kg 14 up to 26 kg 27–52 kg 53–78 kg 15 up to 30 kg 31–60 kg 61–102 kg Table 3-3: 17 up to 38 kg 39–76 kg 77–114 kg 18 up to 45 kg 46–90 kg 91–135 kg Hampered Movement 19 up to 53 kg 54–106 kg 107–159 kg 20 up to 60 kg 61–120 kg 121–180 kg Condition Additional Movement Cost 21 up to 70 kg 71–140 kg 141–210 kg Diffi cult terrain x2 22 up to 80 kg 81–160 kg 161–240 kg Obstacle1 x2 23 up to 91 kg 92–182 kg 183–273 kg Poor visibility x2 24 up to 106 kg 107–212 kg 213–318 kg Impassable — 25 up to 121 kg 122–242 kg 243–363 kg 1 26 up to 139 kg 140–278 kg 279–417 kg May require a skill check 27 up to 157 kg 158–314 kg 315–471 kg 28 up to 182 kg 183–364 kg 365–546 kg 29 up to 212 kg 213–424 kg 425–636 kg +10 x4 x4 x4 costs that apply. (This is a specifi c exception to the normal rule for doubling.) In some situations, your movement may be so hampered you don’t have suffi cient speed even to move 2 meters (1 square). In such a case, you may use a full-round action to

Unusual Terrains move 2 meters (1 square) in any direction, even diagonally. Even though this looks like a 2-meter step, it’s not, and thus

When the Red Fleet was fi rst formed, the worst obstacle the provokes attacks of opportunity normally. (You can’t take krawls and infantry had to slog through was occasional knee- advantage of this rule to move through impassable terrain or to deep mud. The Isle of Lions and the W.T.A. supplied some move when all movement is prohibited to you.) You can’t run or of the fi rst U.R.R.S. krawls to help counter the threat of the charge through any square that would hamper your movement. Volksreich, but these were designed for desert environments, and unable to cope with clogged tracks. Still, the enemy was Railfighting and the Combat Grid as disadvantaged by the terrain as the Fleet were, so it was of little concern. Today, however, the valiant soldiers of the All skyfurnaces have an interior Railsystem, consisting mostly U.R.R.S. often seem to be battling foes capable of using the of the “Combat Grid” or simply “the Grid.” local terrain — be it desert or ruined buildings — to their own A character traveling and fi ghting on the endless rails of the advantage with guerrilla warfare. Combat Grid must wearing a railsuit (see Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment for details). The many

Hampered Movement prongs of the railsuit are protocol-engineered to catch and

ride rails. A character in a railsuit can propel herself along Diffi cult terrain (including most deserts, hills and mountains, a Combat Grid at incredibly high speed, leaping from rail jungles and dense forests, and tundra), obstacles (commonly to rail (typically with a Jump check — DC 15 to DC 20). He encountered in ruined cities), or poor visibility can hamper or she does not need to ride the rails standing up, but can movement. When movement is hampered, each 2-meter hang, slide, roll or drag, using the many sets of attachments square counts as two squares, effectively reducing the the railsuit supplies. This allows for a full use of any dodge distance a character can cover with a move action. If more bonuses, as well as maneuvers such as fl anking, grappling, than one condition applies, multiply together all additional and so forth.,

Chapter Three: To Fight and Die for the Motherland Scale, Distance, and Weight

The Red Star Campaign Setting uses the metric system. The 5-foot squares of d20 Modern are replaced by 2-meter squares. All rules that would usually apply to 5-foot squares instead apply to 2- meter squares. Weights are also given in the metric system, so revised Carrying Capacity and Encumbrance tables are used. As a guide, one kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds. For converting equipment from the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, divide the listed weight by 2.2 and round to the nearest half or quarter kilo, according to preference and common sense. The railsuit draws power from the Grid, allowing for speeds of up to 200 meters rather than the character’s usual speed. For long distance trips, they can actually lie down and let the railsuit do the work. It is possible to isolate the Combat Grid by closing a series of massive bulkheads known collectively as “The Vault.” This is sometimes done to hinder a Zero or enemy infi ltrator’s attempts to move freely from one target to another. Not all Combat Grids are on a skyfurnace. Industrial plants in the fi rst range increment. A penalty of –10 is applied to all of all kinds, defensive installations, and underground indirect fi re shots, and all range penalties apply as usual. fortresses all use railsystems and combat grids, as well as anywhere else where fast transit is required. Railsystems A miss when an attack is made from between 6 and 10 are not only meant for combat but for basic transportation, range increments uses the middle portion of the thrown so cargo and passenger freighters, railbikes, gun platforms explosive deviation diagram to determine direction, but the and other kinds of vehicles may also move along the world’s shell deviates by 1d6+3 2-meter squares, rather than 2 2- many railgrids. meter squares. A miss at 11 to 15 range increments deviates by 2d10+3 2-meter squares, and a miss at 16 to 20 range increments (the maximum) by 3d20+3 2-meter squares. Indirect Fire Each shot thereafter at the same square gains a cumulative Certain weapons are capable of indirect fi re. When fi ring +1 ranging bonus; by the 11th shot at the same square, the indirectly, a wielder points the weapon upwards launching the penalty is cancelled out (–10, +10) and by the 12th shot the shell into the sky, hopefully to land on or near the target. This indirect fi re actually starts to get more accurate than direct method of attack is considerably less accurate than direct fi re, as the gunner zeroes in on a precise point. If the gunner fi re, at least on the initial shots, but the more shots aimed at ever gets a direct hit on a square, he or she gains a +4 to all the same location, subsequent attack the more accurate it rolls on the same tends to become.

Table square (in effect, 3-4: Indirect Fire

An indirect fi re the same fi ring attack is always settings may be Modifiers and Effects made at a specifi c retained, though 2-meter square, Modifi er Effect minor changes rather than in the wind and All indirect fi re –10 modifi er directly against an weather mean that Each shot after the fi rst Cumulative +1 modifi er opponent. All the absolute precision Previous direct hit +4 modifi er rules for thrown is impossible). Miss at 2–3 range increments Deviation by 1 2-meter square explosives apply A gunner who Miss at 4–5 range increments Deviation by 2 2-meter squares (see the d20 changes targets Miss at 6–10 range increments Deviation by 1d6+3 2-meter squares Modern Roleplaying and aims at a Miss at 11–15 range increments Deviation by 2d10+3 2-meter squares Game), except new square loses Miss at 16–20 range increments Deviation by 3d20+3 2-meter squares indirect fi re attacks all accumulated may never be made bonuses., Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles s the Red Star Campaign Setting is principally a Modern Setting, characters can expect to fi nd all manner of Acontemporary civilian vehicles as described in the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, from subcompact cars to passenger aircraft. However, this world is an alternate history, with many similarities, but many differences as well. There shouldn’t be a Ford Motors, GMC, or AMC for that matter. Instead, try to come up with names that evoke a connection, being similar, but without an overtly obvious connection.

Vehicle Overview

The following new vehicles are available to both characters in the Red Fleet and many of their opponents (who tend to Weight use scrounged or captured U.R.R.S. vehicles themselves). This entry gives the vehicle’s weight in tons. One ton equals Note the civilian vehicles already listed in the d20 Modern 1000 kg. The weight of a vehicle determines how much of Roleplaying Game may be used without modifi cation in another vehicle’s cargo capacity it takes up as cargo. The Red Star Campaign Setting, but all military vehicles are replaced by the ones given in this chapter. Hardpoints Four new entries can be found on Table 4–2: Military Vehicles. These are Weight, Hardpoints, Weapons, and A hardpoint is a potential mount for a military weapon. Some of Extras, and are explained below. Also, the Cargo and the more powerful weapons require more than one hardpoint, Passengers entries are slightly different from their d20 and some take up cargo space. Two fi gures are given for this Modern Roleplaying Game equivalents. category, the second in brackets. The fi rst fi gure is the total number of hardpoints available on the vehicle before any weapons are fi tted. The second fi gure is the number remaining

Cargo/ after the vehicle’s standard Passengers loadout of weapons has been fi tted. Table 4–3: Vehicular

All the military vehicles in Weapons gives the number The Red Star Campaign Chapter Four: of hardpoints each vehicular Setting are re-confi gurable weapon takes up.to a greater or lesser extent. In almost all cases, Weapons however, their passenger accommodation is The vehicle’s usual array of considerably more basic Red Fleet weapons is listed here. If a than is a Western luxury vehicle mounts more than vehicle or even troop one weapon of a particular transport, often consisting type, the number is listed in of no more than a simple brackets. collapsible metal bench for Vehicles a number of passengers. Extras For this reason, any amount of cargo space can be swapped out for passenger Any Vehicle Options (see page 83) this vehicle is fi tted with space, or vice versa, at a ratio of 100 kg to 1 passenger. as a factory standard are noted here.

Air Vehicles O verstriker service in supply roles or in the militaries of smaller or less advanced countries. A skybarge is potentially a terrifying

This is akin to a destroyer escort for skyfurnaces. Certain sight to infantry and other ground forces, but is no threat to wealthy commercial combines also have similar vessels to a true skyfurnace. use as cargo carriers, or even pleasure ships. In the Red Fleet, overstrikers are typically assigned in groups of four to Skyfurnace six as escorts for skyfurnaces. Originally designed by Sergei Koralev, the skyfurnace is a

S kybarge heavily armored warship used for the rapid deployment of infantry and certain military vehicles, as well as supporting

Scarcely larger than a modern overstriker, this is an older siege operations. Though an airship, it never actually lands. model skyfurnace from the years after the Great Patriotic Massive towers with skyscraper-height installations built to War and throughout the rest of the century. Some still see accommodate skyfurnaces serve to resupply these warships. There are also fl oating permanent bases; these are favored, Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles

by the Western Transnationalists for their own skyfurnaces, since they’ve have the resources to build them.

Named Skyfurnaces Named skyfurnaces include: Firin, known for her durability;

The named skyfurnaces presented here have all Konstantinov, the fl agship, known for her armor but also been modifi ed according to the rules above on with excellent fi repower; Solaris, known for her speed (she skyfurnace enhancements and options. Any statistic survived the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate by an emergency not listed here is assumed to be identical to that of a ascent, dropping her ventral array); and Taktarov, known standard skyfurnace. for her fi repower. Twelve furnaces were lost in the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate in Al’Istaan, including the Aurora, Beria,

Firin Kaganovich, Vyshinsky, and Yagoda.

Cargo Capacity: 110,000 tons Crew and Staff Damage Reduction: 62 Hit Points: 1700 The command crew for a skyfurnace typically consists Speed: 150 (15) of the following, starting at the top of the chain of Weaponry: 48 isolator tunnels, 6 main ventral blast command: Skymarshall (commander), Chief Engineer, furnace coils, 20 Markov truss cannons, 1 000 Chief Protocol Engineer, Chief of Security, Head Deck heavy DSHK deck guns, 87 BHX Rykov hook Kaster, Head Medical Offi cer, Infantry Commander, Krawl missiles, 132 KGT Sickle drop missiles, and 112 Drop Commander, Markov Cannon Commander, ZIK medium Shadow anti-aircraft missiles Elite Squadron Leader. The total crew and passenger Hardpoints: 1450 (29) complement varies depending on the ship and mission; it can range anywhere between 10,000 and 25,000. It usually

Konstantinov includes Red troopers, warkasters and hailer guardsmen,

with quarters and provisions. Most of the actual crew Cargo Capacity: 100,000 tons members required to flyaskyfurnace and operate its Damage Reduction: 70 weaponry are Red Fleet Offi cers, zeks, and deck kasters. Hit Points: 1,500 Offi cers must spend six years at the Academy before Speed: 150 (15) graduating to skyfurnace duty. Weaponry: 48 isolator tunnels, 6 main ventral blast furnace coils, 26 Markov truss cannons, The Zero 1,000 heavy DSHK deck guns, 106 BHX Rykov hook missiles, 132 KGT Sickle drop missiles, Of special note among the crew are Zeros elite Red 112 medium Shadow anti-aircraft missiles, 20 assassins. All Red Fleet skyfurnaces have secret political Katyushas (1000mm) offi cers on board, who are always ready to crush a mutiny if Hardpoints: 1,550 (0) necessary. These are known as Zeroes.

Solaris In The Red Star, Volume 2, #2, Volkov was able to invoke a special order that sent his own Zero to infi ltrate the

Cargo Capacity: 108,000 tons Konstantinov and try to crush the uprising (Urik had already Damage Reduction: 60 taken care of his Zero during the mutiny). They are named Hit Points: 1,500 “Zeros” because nobody knows their identities, even other Speed: 180 (18) Zeroes. They are trained in locked leather masks with which Weaponry: 48 isolator tunnels, 6 main ventral blast they are forbidden to tamper. Zeros are the deadliest, most furnace coils, 20 Markov truss cannons, 1 000 ruthless soldiers at the disposal of Central Command. heavy DSHK deck guns, 87 BHX Rykov hook missiles, 132 KGT Sickle drop missiles, and 112 In the Zero’s repertoire of attacks is the ability to take down medium Shadow anti-aircraft missiles an entire skyfurnace using specially built demolitions charges Hardpoints: 1450 (29) placed at key junctures within the superstructure of the vessel. They wear railsuits to permit full use of the Combat

Taktarov Grid for their activities, and carry specially modifi ed hooks confi gured with a wide range of demolition tools.

Cargo Capacity: 100,000 tons Damage Reduction: 60 Controlling a Skyfurnace Hit Points: 1,500 Speed: 150 (15) A skyfurnace is usually piloted by the Head Deck Kaster, Weaponry: 48 isolator tunnels, 6 main ventral blast assisted — or if need be, replaced — by a small crew of furnace coils, 36 Markov truss cannons, 1,100 senior deck kasters. Only deck kasters have the necessary heavy DSHK deck guns, 94 BHX Rykov hook powers and sensitivity to take full advantage of a skyfurnace’s missiles, 136 KGT Sickle drop missiles, and 121 capabilities. A skyfurnace that goes out of control (often medium Shadow anti-aircraft missiles as a result of a failed jumpgate transfer protocol, but also Hardpoints: 1650 (0) sometimes due to battle damage or for other reasons) goes into a tumble, with the severity dependent on the amount by which the Pilot check was failed. See Table 4-1: Skyfurnace Tumbles for more information.,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles Skyfurnace Nomenclature Note

Most skyfurnaces are named after prominent people from the real-world Russian Revolution and its downfall after the Bolshevik takeover. Skyships in the service of the antagonists are named after villainous fi gures from this history, whereas protagonist vehicles are named after historical heroes; the Konstantinov, for example, is named after the middle name of Marshal Konstantinovich Zhukov, the commander responsible for holding back the Nazis in WWII. The following are some suggested skyfurnace names for your own campaigns, if you do not choose to use the already-named vessels. Protagonists: Glazunov, Khristenko, Loza, Skornov, Zemska Antagonists: Beria, Brezhnev, Kaganovich, Kirov, Molotov, Orlov

Physical Structure directions. They are used for attitude adjustments, such evasive action as a skyfurnace is capable of (which is not a

The total length of a skyfurnace varies slightly by skyfurnace, great deal), and dealing with turbulence, among other things. though two to three kilometers is typical. Weight is around 300,000 tons. Each skyfurnace is divided into a complex Gate Chambers system of sectors and subsectors, usually named by a letter The supply kasters of the Kasting Deck (see below) make for the sector and a number for the subsection within that. For use of gate chambers to make kasting gate transfer protocols example, Subsector B8 would be the 8th subsector in B Sector. with greater ease. A sorceress can take a day to “attune” Vertically, each skyfurnace is also divided into eight decks to all the gate chambers on a particular skyfurnace she is named for the fi rst eight letters of the Greek Alphabet: Alpha, aboard, allowing her to make full use of the increased range Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, and Theta Decks. offered by these chambers when gating to them. Each deck is far taller than a single level, since most decks must contain vast apparatus or subsidiary vehicles, such as Kasting Deck krawl columns. The central deck of any skyfurnace is the Kasting Deck, typically the workplace of some 500 to 800 deck kasters Blast Chambers along with a mix of around 600 to 1,000 warkasters, supply These cavernous chambers are vital to the skyfurnace’s most kasters, medikasters, sorceress engineers and infokasters. powerful attack mode — full ventral immolation. A reactor The kasting deck includes a number of gate chambers. This crew mans each blast chamber. More information on blast is where a jumpgate transfer protocol will be kast from, if a chambers and their use can be found on page 82. skyfurnace is to be transported to a new battleground.

Almost every aspect of skyfurnace fl ight and combat is Corrective Engines controlled and powered here, by rank upon rank of deck

These small rocket thrusters are found in a number of places kasters. Most provide their personal sorcerous energies over the skyfurnace’s exterior, pointing in several different directly, so vast numbers of shield reinforce protocols can

Table 4-1: Skyfurnace Tumbles

Control Roll Failed By Result 1–5 Class I Tumble. The skyfurnace spins off to one side in a movement that resembles the skid of an earthbound vehicle. No height is lost, but all weapons fi re from the skyfurnace is at a –2 penalty for the duration of the spin. A new DC 10 Pilot check may be made as a full action, with success indicating that the tumble ends. 6–10 Class II Tumble. As Class I tumble, but the penalty is –4 and the Pilot check DC is 15. 11–15 Class III Tumble. As Class I tumble, but the penalty is –6 and the Pilot check DC is 20. 16–20 Class IV Tumble. As Class I tumble, but the penalty is –8 and the Pilot check DC is 25. Furthermore, there is a slight vertical component to the tumble. The skyfurnace loses 1d4 x 100 meters of altitude per round of the tumble, and all crew not strapped down must make DC 15 Refl ex saves each round or be dealt 1d6 damage. 21 or higher Class V Tumble. The skyfurnace tumbles end over end, plummeting towards the ground. No weapons fi re is possible from the vessel until it is brought back under control (DC 30 Pilot check as a full action). Each round it tumbles, the craft loses 3d6 x 100 meters of altitude; and all crew not strapped down must make DC 20 Refl ex saves or be dealt 2d6 damage.,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles

rupturing or exploding. This has the side effect of making be kast during a battle as necessary, or a number of deck the skyfurnace far faster and somewhat easier to maneuver, kasters can divert their attentions to providing support for the giving a +1 to all Pilot checks made with respect to it and +20 kasting of a jumpgate transfer protocol. (+2) to Speed. Cutting away the ventral array takes at least two minutes of heavy work with engineer axes (see page 58

Quarterdeck for details on the engineer axe). A ventral array contains 500

Skyships from the Isle of Lions have a small additional deck of the skyship’s base 1500 hit points (or one-third of its hit above the top deck on the rear quarter of the vessel, called points, if it has more than 1500). the quarterdeck. Most of the high-ranking offi cers, including the Commander, are expected to stand on the quarterdeck Work Lifts during combat, exposing themselves to the worst of enemy These elevator shafts transport zeks to their various duties fi re, as a demonstration of their faith in their own battle plans aboard skyfurnaces. Multi-level, open-air elevator cars, and a nod to the nautical traditions of the Isle. Full command known as “cages” to the zeks, hold up to three squads of 60 and communications apparatus are thus installed on the men total. quarterdeck. Other countries do not include a quarterdeck on their skyships. Weaponry

Siege Locks The precise weaponry found aboard a skyfurnace varies by

the ship, though virtually all have 48 isolator tunnels in 16 These extendable bridges are used for grappling or boarding. batteries of three, as well as 6 main ventral blast furnace A siege lock can extend out from nothing up to 200 meters in coils. These are built into the skyfurnace’s structure, and so one round, locking on to anything it comes into contact with cannot usually be swapped for another weapon. A typical at the other end by a combination of powerful electromagnets loadout for the remaining weapon capacity follows: 20 Markov and vast titanium grappling claws. truss cannons, 1 000 heavy DSHK deck guns, 87 BHX Rykov hook missiles, 132 KGT Sickle drop missiles, and 112

Top Deck medium Shadow anti-aircraft missiles.

Like the top deck of a sea ship, this deck is uncovered by any roof, leaving anyone aboard it unprotected by the skyship’s Vehicular Carrying Capacity damage reduction (though they still have cover against attacks Precise vehicular carrying capacity varies by skyfurnace from below). For this reason, it is not used during battles, only and mission. Again, the following loadouts are typical, but for assemblies, infantry drills, and other non-combat purposes. not universal. Note all vehicles carried also have support by Top deck is more formally known as Alpha Deck. appropriate stores of fuel and ammunition, as well as hangers and repair shops.

Ventral Array

Krawls are organized in columns of 25. A typical loadout A skyfurnace’s ventral array is the massive substructure of would be 15 Invasion-class krawl columns and 10 Hammer- grillwork that includes the ventral blast coils. The ventral array class krawl columns. Furthermore, up to three Hydra class can be cut away to reduce the risk of the main ventral tanks krawls can be constructed from their various components,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles Table 4-2a: Military Vehicles

Damage Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Reduction Skyships Overstriker 500 100 10,000 tons –8 –8 200 (20) 2 40 (+8)* Skybarge 750 500 15,000 tons –8 –8 150 (15) 2 30 (+6)* Skyfurnace 10,000 15,000 150,000 tons –8 –8 150 (15) 2 60 (+12)* Other Aircraft Bullpup MiG (fi ghter) 1 0 20 kg –2 –2 1400 (140) 8 10 ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft (fi ghter) 1 0 10 kg111500 (150) 9 5 ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft Bomber2050 kg001000 (100) 8 5 Krawls Hammer Class Krawl (tracked tank) 5 0 500 kg –4 –4 90 (9) 6 30 (+6)* Hydra Class Krawl (tracked tank) 24 90 (+20*) 2000 kg –8 –8 70 (7) 2 50 (+10)* Invasion Class Krawl (tracked tank) 10 0 750 kg –4 –4 80 (8) 6 40 (+8)* Other Land Vehicles Armored Personnel Karrier (tracked APK) 3 12 250 kg –4 –4 95 (9) 6 20 Dragunov SPG (tracked self-propelled gun) 8* 0 100 kg –4 –4 80 (8) 6 20 Hoverkraft472000 kg –2 –2 120 (12) 8 15 Hydra Class Krawl Track (tracked APK) 2 30 400 kg –4 –4 70 (7) 6 50 (+10)* Kleaver Half-Track (tracked APK) 5 20 500 kg –2 –2 100 (10) 8 15* Nomad Half-Track (tracked APK) 5 8 750 kg –2 –2 110 (11) 8 15* Extras Krawl Drop Casing — — * — — * — 10* * See text for special rules (see Hydra-class Krawl, page 77). Constructing a Hydra- mission, but three ZIK squadrons, two elite ZIK squadrons class krawl is typically a 12- to 36-hour process, depending and one ZIK bomber squadron would be typical, with 20 on how unusual the Hydra loadout is and how many zeks a aircraft in each squadron. Commander allocates to the task. All three can be assembled simultaneously if required. Bullpup MiG fi ghters are also carried, usually one squadron of 20. These are held in place in the ventral array, just to the Self-propelled guns are often attached directly to krawl sides of the ventral blast coils. Each fi ghter has a fore and columns in the command structure, usually at a ratio of aft stop which can be released at the touch of a button; the fi ve Dragunov SPGs per krawl column. This allows every aircraft then lurches forward and downward, going into freefall krawl column to have indirect fi re support available. At the on release. discretion of the Commander, the SPGs may instead be deployed separately; there is usually one SPG per fi ve krawls Infantry Capacity aboard a skyfurnace. Red Fleet infantry are organized in battalions of 600 each, Armored Personnel Karriers may be carried in various with each skyfurnace typically taking fi ve to ten battalions quantities. Usually a skyfurnace will expect to deploy its onboard. Given a skyfurnace’s total passenger capacity of troops directly onto the battlefi eld via gate transfer protocols, 15,000 people, transporting twenty to twenty-fi ve battalions but occasionally stealth or logistics necessitates the use of troops would theoretically be possible without reducing of APKs. Typically a skyfurnace might have 20 APKs, 10 the vessel’s regular crew, but that would leave very little Kleaver half-tracks and 3 Nomad half-tracks. surplus capacity for krawl and other vehicle crews, ground ZIKs (Zero-Inertia-Kraft) are a form of combat aircraft. ZIKs vehicle and aircraft maintenance technicians, warkasters, and have highly specialized roles, and are not always present in a support staff. Skyfurnace’s arsenal. ZIK capacity varies by skyfurnace and,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles Table 4-2b: Military Vehicles

Name Hit Points Size Weight Hardpoints Purchase DC Restriction Skyships Overstriker 300 C 30,000 tons 100 (0) 54 Mil (+3) Skybarge 400 C 40,000 tons 75 (0) 54 Mil (+3) Skyfurnace 1500* C 300,000 tons 1450 (29) 56 Mil (+3) Other Aircraft Bullpup MiG (fi ghter) 35 H 20 tons 4* (0*) 51 Mil (+3) ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft (fi ghter) 25 L 10 tons @* (0*) 52 Mil (+3) ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft Bomber 30 H 25 tons 5* (0*) 53 Mil (+3) Krawls Hammer Class Krawl (tracked tank) 80 G 50 tons 3* (0*) 48 Mil (+3) Hydra Class Krawl (tracked tank) 150 C 500 tons 5* (0*) 50 Mil (+3) Invasion Class Krawl (tracked tank) 100 G 150 tons 6* (0*) 49 Mil (+3) Other Land Vehicles Armored Personnel Karrier (tracked APK) 60 G 20 tons 1 43 Mil (+3) Dragunov SPG (tracked self-propelled gun) 65 G 50 tons 1 44 Mil (+3) Hoverkraft 30 H 10 tons 2 44 Mil (+3) Hydra Class Krawl Track (tracked APK) 150 G 50 tons 1* — — Kleaver Half-Track (tracked APK) 60 H 15 tons 3 42 Mil (+3) Nomad Half-Track (tracked APK) 50 H 10 tons 2 40 Mil (+3) Extras Krawl Drop Casing 20 * 10% — 12 Mil (+3)

Skyfurnace Enhancements and Options a pair of KGT Sickle drop missiles, rather than its usual

loadout of three medium Shadow anti-aircraft missiles and a In addition to the options listed later in this chapter and single self-ranging burst gun. available for any vehicle (see page 83), skyfurnaces are customized according to the needs of the Red Fleet and Zero Inertia Kraft (ZIK) the whims of their Commanders. For every 2,000 tons of cargo capacity given up, to a maximum of 20,000 tons, the This small fi ghter plane has an inertialess protocol engine skyfurnace can gain either an additional +20 hardpoints, an (see page 83), making it one of the most maneuverable additional +2 to Damage Reduction, an additional +5 (+0.5) to vehicles in the world. As a relatively new innovation, the top speed, or an additional +50 to hit points. inertialess protocol drive has so far been fi tted only to ZIKs of various kinds.

Other Air Vehicles ZIKs are used for general-purpose combat, as their

weaponry is fl exible enough to function in an anti-aircraft, The following conventional aircraft are carried into the anti-krawl, anti-infantry and even anti-skyfurnace role. theatre of war aboard a skyfurnace, and then launched to Certain elite ZIK squadrons fl y modifi ed ZIK fi ghters, at a destroy whichever targets the Commander gives them. Note Purchase DC increase of +2 each, which grant a +1 bonus the air vehicles in this section, being much smaller than to all relevant Pilot checks and a +1 bonus to all attack rolls skyships or krawls, may not mount any weapon taking up with the mounted weaponry. more than one hardpoint, even if they would usually have suffi cient hardpoints to do so. Zero Inertia Kraft

B ullpup MiG Bomber (ZIK Bomber)

This is a medium-sized fi ghter plane with enough room for ZIK bombers were the fi rst variant of the ZIK fi ghter to be a single pilot. It can be used in the role of a strike/attack released. Retaining the ZIK’s sleek lines and protocol- aircraft if need be, though its most common use is as a enhanced I.P. (inertialess protocol) engine (see page 83), heavy fi ghter escort for skyfurnaces. In urban fi ghting the ZIK bomber is the most maneuverable aircraft in its size around Nokgorka, it was pressed into service in a ground class. It somehow fi nds space for a full complement of fi ve attack and close reconnaissance role, outfi tted accordingly Sickle drop missiles, however, allowing it to devastate ground with twin Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst guns and installations and troops.,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles Table 4-2c: Military Vehicles

Name Weapons Extras Skyships Overstriker Markov truss cannon (10); heavy DSHK deck gun (25); Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol BHX Rykov hook missile (10); medium Shadow shielding systems, Crypsis systems anti-aircraft missile (15) Skybarge Markov truss cannon (2); heavy DSHK deck gun (50); Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol BHX Rykov hook missile (6); Katyusha 600mm (3) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Skyfurnace Markov truss cannon (20); heavy DSHK deck gun (1 000); Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol BHX Rykov hook missile (87); KGT Sickle drop missile (132); shielding systems, Crypsis systems medium Shadow anti-aircraft missile (112) Other Aircraft Bullpup MiG Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun; Crypsis systems (fi ghter) medium Shadow anti-aircraft missile (3) ZIK Zero Inertia Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun; Crypsis systems Kraft (fi ghter) BHX Rykov hook missile ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft Bomber KGT Sickle drop missile (5) Crypsis systems Krawls Hammer Class Krawl Forward cannon, 221mm; arc-fi ring protocol Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol shielding (tracked tank) mount; Katyushas, 500mm systems, Crypsis systems Hydra Class Krawl Forward cannon, 2000mm (3); arc-fi ring protocol Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol (tracked tank) mount; Katyusha rocket battery (1000mm) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Invasion Class Krawl Forward cannon, 315mm; composite Zhukov Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol (tracked tank) capacitance cannon (2); arc-protocol fi ring mount (4) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Other Land Vehicles Armored Personnel Karrier (tracked APK) Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun Crypsis systems Dragunov SPG (tracked Howitzer, model MK-132 25mm Crypsis systems self-propelled gun) self-ranging burst gun Hoverkraft Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun, Crypsis systems BHX Rykov hook missile Hydra Class Krawl Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol Track (tracked APK) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Kleaver Half-Track Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun; Crypsis systems (tracked APK) R5-K close defense lance-protocol batteries (2) Nomad Half-Track (tracked APK) Heavy hailer; arc-protocol fi ring mount Crypsis systems Extras Krawl Drop Casing — —

Land Vehicles K rawls the protocols involved.). A Hammer-class has a crew of fi ve, including a commander, driver, protocol gunner (sorceress),

Ever since the Great Patriotic War, the armored assault conventional gunner, and loader. vehicles known as krawls have been the bulwark of the Red Fleet, even more than skyfurnaces. Skyfurnaces may H ydra Class Krawl command the skies, but only krawls and infantry can take and hold the land beneath. The Hydra Class superkrawl is a group of modular heavy weapon / transport systems that can be confi gured according to the needs of the confl ict. The precise specifi cs of this are Hammer Class Krawl up to the GM. It is suggested that as with the other krawls, the Hammer Class krawls can be deployed by skyfurnaces from main guns themselves cannot be removed or replaced easily, a high altitude (using an armored crate or “drop casing,” but variant bodies and turrets are available (with perhaps 12 supported by sorcery. See page 94 for more information on hardpoints added for each main gun that is not carried).,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles

The shells for a Hydra Class’s main guns are too large to armored crate or “drop casing”, supported by sorcery). The store many within the krawl itself; a complement of supply crew of ten includes a commander, driver, four protocol kasters is assigned to the vehicle to help resupply as gunners (usually warkasters or sorceress engineers), three necessary. Hydras, at some four stories tall and wider than a gunners, and a loader. two-lane highway, are too big to be deployed in a drop casing and are instead teleported via jumpgate transfer protocols. Other Land Vehicles Each of its treads can be armed and fi elded independently, A variety of transport and other land vehicles are available to functioning as a troop transport (see page 79). The three the Red Fleet, and are often stolen or otherwise acquired by treads each hold 30 passengers and are each maintained by their Nokgorkan and Nistaani enemies. two engineers with the offi cial titles of driver-mechanic and gunner-mechanic, meaning that they are qualifi ed both to keep a track in good working order when it is attached to a Armored Personnel Karrier (APK) krawl, and to operate it and its weaponry when detached. The APK is used to transport troops to the frontline. Although The crew of 24 includes the six driver-mechanics (two per it carries little or no weaponry, it does include fi ring ports track), a commander, a driver, a relief driver, a sorceress allowing its occupants to shoot their personal weaponry from engineer and two zeks as her assistant engineers, three inside the vehicle, with nine-tenths cover. supply kasters and three zeks as assistants (with all six acting as reloaders for the main guns), four gunners, one Dragunov Self-Propelled Gun (SPG) medikaster, and one warkaster (as protocol gunner). The Dragunov SPG is the basic artillery weapon of the Red The additional 20 passengers carried are the “Deck Squad,” Fleet. U.R.R.S. military doctrine calls for SPGs to haveaascore of Red troopers stationed on the upper hull of the frontline role, alongside krawls and skyfurnaces, using its Hydra class krawl, ready to respond to boarding actions and main gun in both direct fi re and indirect fi re as required. other infantry threats. They were traditionally armed with There are many kinds of SPGs throughout the world, all with submachine guns, leading to their nickname in the Great essentially similar game statistics. A Dragunov has eight Patriotic War: the “avtomatchiki,” or “automatics.” Older crew members: a commander, driver, two gunners, and troopers still refer to the deck squad as ‘avtomatchiki’,’ though four loaders. Only the fi rst four crew positions are inside the today they use a mix of hooks and RKS-81 submachine guns. vehicle; the loaders either use a separate transport of their If need be, they can be replaced after battles with reserve own, or ride atop the vehicle’s hull. troops form the complement carried in the tracks.

Drop Casing Invasion-Class Krawl

An armored crate or framework used to drop vehicles, mainly Invasion Class krawls are larger and more powerful than krawls, from a skyfurnace at Rapid Deployment Altitude the Hammer Class, but are otherwise similar. They can (RDA). A drop casing weighs 10% of the weight of the krawl it be deployed by skyfurnaces from a high altitude (using an contains. Its armor is added to that of the krawl inside in the,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles

event of any attack targeting the krawl itself while still within standard APK, however, as well as being faster. It also carries the drop compartment. Note that if a drop casing itself is suffi cient armament to act in a support role for its troops, so attacked and reduced to zero hit points, the krawl within will long as it can stay well away from enemy krawls and artillery. tumble to the ground immediately, being dealt full damage for the fall. Krawl drop protocols must be kast to ensure the safe The Kleaver has a crew of fi ve: a commander, driver, gunner, landing of each vehicle. protocol gunner and a loader. Like most half-tracks, the Kleaver-class has either no roof, or only an unarmored waterproof roof; in either case, the passengers do not get the H ydra Class Krawl benefi t of its damage reduction, unless attacked from below.

Track (tracked APK) Nomad Half-Track

This is a single track from the Hydra-class krawl, detached from the main vehicle (or never assembled into it) and used This vehicle is favored by special forces teams. Of the as a heavily armored, if rather slow and under-gunned, crew of fi ve, the commander is often a veteran trooper or armored personnel karrier. Note that the hardpoint on a warkaster, the driver is usually a medikaster, the gunner and Hydra Class krawl track is only accessible when the track loader are hailers, and the protocol gunner is a warkaster. is not attached to the rest of the krawl; thus, if this track This allows for a staggeringly powerful special forces team, is encountered after the remainder of its krawl has been especially when combined with eight or so elite Red troopers. destroyed, it will almost certainly be unarmed. As with the Kleaver Class, the Nomad half-track does not have an armored roof, leaving the passengers reliant on their

K leaver Half-Track own personal armor to defeat enemy fi re.

The Kleaver serves as a type of armored personnel karrier. Hovercraft Its armor is relatively light, making it unsuitable for direct battlefi eld use. Usually troops aim to dismount before This is an amphibious vehicle used mainly for high speed entering combat if they expect to face krawls and similar travel over water. It can transport troops or cargo as necessary. dangers. It does carry signifi cantly more troops than the

V ehicular Weapons

The following new vehicular weapons are available for main power plant. Its “ammunition” replenishes at a military vehicles to mount. All require the Gunnery feat in rate of 1 shot per round. It can be fi red in two modes, order to use them. standard charge and overcharge. A capacitance cannon on overcharge deals double the normal damage, but has a –2

Arc-Protocol Firing Mount penalty to hit and uses up the equivalent of 5 shots, rather

than just one. A protocol gunner, usually a low-ranking warkaster, fi res the arc-protocol fi ring mount. The weapon taps directly into Forward Cannon, 221mm the protocol gunner’s life force to launch a devastating arc of white-hot electrical energy. It is typically mounted on an This large main gun is mounted on Hammer Class krawls, Invasion-class krawl, though other vehicles also use them. allowing them to take on enemy krawls up to Hydra Class The gun deals 1 point of nonlethal damage to the kaster each size, if armor-piercing rounds are used. time she fi res the gun, due to the energy she must expend.

F orward Cannon, 315mm BHX Rykov Hook Missile This is the 315mm cannon is usually found on an Invasion

The hook missile is a general-purpose missile suitable Class krawl. Even without armor-piercing rounds, it is against aircraft, skyships, krawls, other vehicles, and infantry capable of attacking most krawls with some degree of targets. It is an armor-piercing weapon, so only half the success; with armor-piercing rounds, it could even take on a damage reduction (rounded down) of the target counts. This skyfurnace. is due to its shaped charge, concentrating most of the force at the target that takes the hit directly. As a side-effect of this, Forward Cannon, 2000mm any targets damaged by being in its burst radius rather than taking a direct hit are only dealt half damage and may count Perhaps the largest cannons in the world, these guns are their full damage reduction. big enough for a man to stand in. They fi re shells the size of a small car and are capable of devastating bombardment

C omposite Zhukov missions. They are only ever found on Hydra Class krawls, each of which mount three of these monstrous weapons. A Capacitance Cannon forward cannon takes a full round to reload with two loaders

operating it; one of these must usually be a supply kaster, Usually mounted on an Invasion Class krawl, this massive transporting the shell into the crew compartment with a gravito-electric cannon is powered directly by the krawl’s supply protocol.,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles Table 4-3: Conventional Vehicular Weapons

Damage Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Hardpoints DC Restriction BHX Rykov Hook Missile 2d8x103 19–20 Concussion 500m11125 Mil (+3) (10m radius)3 Composite Zhukov Capacitance Cannon 1d4x103 20 Fire 50m S 303 1 25 Mil (+3) Forward Cannon, 221mm 1d6x10 20 Ballistic 80m S 120 int. Structure4 — Mil (+3) 315mm 1d8x10 20 Ballistic 100m S 88 int. Structure4 — Mil (+3) 2000mm 3d8x10 20 Ballistic 200m S3 1 int.* Structure4 — Mil (+3) Heavy DSHK Deck Gun 1d6x10 20 Ballistic 50m A Linked 1 24 Mil (+3) Heavy Hailer1 — — — — — — 1 22 Mil +3 machine gun mode 4d10 20 Ballistic 30m A 500 box — — — fl amethrower mode 4d6 — Fire (3m x 2m x 50m)3 1 20 box — — — rocket-propelled grenade launcher mode 8d104 19–20 Concussion 30m3 A 40 box — — — Howitzer 315mm 2d4x10 19–20 Concussion 50m/500m3 S3 40 int. Structure4 — Mil (+3) (30m radius)3 Katyusha 400mm 1d8x10 19–20 Concussion 50m3 (2m radius)3 A 18 rack 1 21 Mil (+3) 500mm 1d10x10 19-20 Concussion 100m3 (4m radius)3 A 12 rack 2 22 Mil (+3) 600mm 1d12x10 19–20 Concussion 150m3 (6m radius)3A6rack 3 23 Mil (+3) 1000mm 1d20x10 19–20 Concussion 200m3 (8m radius)3S1424 Mil (+3) KGT Sickle Drop Missile 8d62 20 Slashing 250m3 (20m radius)311120 Mil (+3) Markov Truss Cannon1 2d6x10 20 Ballistic 200m A 1000 int. 5 30 Mil (+3) Medium Shadow Anti- Aircraft Missile1, 3 1d4x10 19–20 Concussion 1000m (10m radius) 11126 Mil (+3) Model MK-132 25mm Self- Ranging Burst Gun1 3d10 20 Ballistic 150m A 1000 int. 1 22 Mil (+3) Ventral Blast Furnace Coil 10d62 — Fire 0m (300m radius)3 S 13 Structure4 — Mil (+3) 1 This mastercraft weapon grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls. 2 This weapon does special damage. See the weapon description. 3 See the description of this weapon for special rules. 4 This massive weapon must be built into the structure of the vehicle at the time of manufacture; it takes up no hardpoints per se, and cannot usually be left off the vehicle.

Table 4-4: Protocol Vehicular Weapons

(requires the Protocol Gunnery feat) Damage Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Hardpoints DC Restriction Arc-Firing Protocol Mount 4d10+4 — Electricity 40m S — 1 25 Mil (+3) Isolator Tunnel Beam 10d10+10 — Force Kaster levels x 10 S — Structure4 — Mil (+3) R5-K Close Defense Lance- Protocol Battery 6d10+6 — Fire 10m A — 1 24 Mil (+3) 1 This mastercraft weapon grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls. 2 This weapon does special damage. See the weapon description. 3 See the description of this weapon for special rules. 4 This massive weapon must be built into the structure of the vehicle at the time of manufacture; it takes up no hardpoints per se, and cannot be left off the vehicle. It is possible for a character to clamber into one of these piercing shell it deals its full damage to the krawl without the cannons and fi re weaponry directly into the heart of the benefi t of the krawl’s armor. If the 2000mm cannon’s shell krawl, hopefully setting off an explosion — if fi red at just was not of the high explosive armor-piercing variety, it does the right moment, as the crew opens the breech to reload. not explode. In either case, the attack renders the cannon Assume any attack occuring on a round when the crew inoperative if it deals 30 or more points of damage in the reloads can do this. Attacking at the right moment bypasses initial attack. Of course, the character needs to climb into all armor. If the attack deals at least 30 points of damage, it position fi rst, past the deck squadron’s guns (see page 78) causes the shell to explode and if it is a high explosive armor- and the krawl’s secondary weapons.,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles H eavy DSHK Deck Gun

This massive-caliber autocannon is a standard fi xture of Table 4-5: skyfurnace decks. Each cannon has an adjustable gunner seat and a customizable control set; any character with Isolator Tunnel Malfunctions the Gunnery feat who has a chance to spend a full round adjusting his preferences in the seat gains a +1 bonus to Die Roll Malfunction attack rolls with that particular DSHK gun, so long as another 1 Assembly Problem: DC 15 Fortitude user does not alter the preferences in the meantime. save or be dealt 8d6 damage due to Most DSHK guns come with 1,000 rounds of ammunition incorrect reassembly linked into a massive belt that weighs some 500kg; a further 2–3 Coolant Fluid Malfunction: The belt can be linked to it if necessary, a full-round action warkaster is drowning (see d20 for two loaders assuming they have a handcart or similar Modern Roleplaying Game). She device to maneuver it about (or a friendly supply kaster). will drown in coolant fl uid unless DSHK deck guns defend a skyfurnace against boarding rescued, or unless she somehow actions and attacks from light aircraft; they are not powerful frees herself. enough to be effective against other skyfurnaces except in 4–6 Biofeedback Shock: The caster is dealt the case of the rare lucky shot. 2d6 damage, with a successful DC 20 Will save halving the damage.

H eavy Hailer

This is a large, swivel-mounted hailer, fi ring two high-caliber, protocol or the equipment... The fact most warkasters serve side-by-side streams of bullets about a meter apart. The something of an apprenticeship on isolator tunnel duty before twin-barreled heavy hailer requires the Gunnery, Telekinetic moving on to less risky roles within the Fleet only enhances Weaponry, and Telekinetic Autofi re feats to fi re. Almost all heavy the risk. Though they have the benefi t of a full Academy hailer operators are trained hailers; telekinetically fi ring two education, nothing quite prepares new sorceresses for the hailers at once is very diffi cult for other troopers. Heavy hailers stresses of a full-blown battle on isolator tunnel duty. are most commonly mounted on Nomad-class half-tracks. On a natural roll of 1 with an isolator tunnel beam, there is Heavy hailers have three different modes of fi re, but both a risk of serious injury to the warkaster who embodies the barrels always fi re in the same mode at any one time. Like beam when she attempts to return to normal. Roll 1d6 and the Dragunov autocannon, the heavy hailer has a slot in the consult the Isolator Tunnel Malfunctions Table to determine side into which the hailer fi ts his own personal hailer weapon, the precise nature of the malfunction. synchronizing the two systems together for maximum effi ciency and accuracy. Unless noted otherwise, all the characteristics of hailers and hailer ammunition also apply to heavy hailers and heavy hailer ammunition. See Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment for full details on the hailer.

H owitzer, 315mm

This massive artillery piece fi res high explosive rounds. With four loaders available, the howitzer may be fi red every second round. Firing and loading are both full-round actions. If only three loaders are available, reloading takes two full-round actions; if only two loaders are available, four full-round actions. A single loader cannot reload the gun alone. The howitzer may be fi red using either the indirect fi re rules (see page 69), in which case it has a range increment of 500 meters, or direct fi re mode with a range increment of 50 meters.

Isolator Tunnel Beam

On skyfurnaces, warkasters use these (with the aid of deck kasters) to cast devastating transformation protocols. A broadside of these can destroy enemy vessels. Even with the intervention of deck kasters who work to stabilize the sorceress by kasting the transformation protocol, only 1 in 30 warkasters survive isolator tunnel duty. That is not to say that only 1 in 30 survive each shot, but a particularly combat- heavy tour of duty may include one shot every minute for several hours. Eventually, something goes wrong with a,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles Katyusha R5-K Close Defense Lance-

Katyushas are massive single-shot rockets, with smaller calibers available in packs and capable of being autofi red. Protocol Batteries Katyushas are ineffective during the fi rst range increment This is fi red by a protocol gunner, usually a low-level of their fl ight. They take a certain amount of time to arm. If warkaster. The R5-K is most often seen mounted onaakatyusha strikes a target less than one range increment Kleaver Class half-track. A lance-protocol battery fi res large away, it deals only one-quarter normal damage. That numbers of close-range, fl echette-like spikes of fl ame, damage is bludgeoning damage, with no chance to infl ict a created and shaped by protocol energy. The kaster takes 1 critical hit and no area of effect. Katyushas armed properly point of nonlethal damage each time she fi res a single shot are high explosive armor-piercing weapons — the damage from the gun, or 1d2 every time she uses autofi re, due to the reduction of armor is halved against them, but they only deal energies she must expend. half damage (with no armor piercing quality) to targets in their explosive radius but not hit directly. Katyushas come in 400mm, 500mm, 600mm and 1000mm sizes. Ventral Blast Furnace Coil These six massive rings beneath a skyfurnace are each over

K GT Sickle Drop Missile 300 meters across, making them by far the largest and most

devastating weapon in The Red Star Campaign Setting. A blast The drop missile is intended for use against ground targets, chamber powers each coil. It takes six hours to prepare a blast particularly soft targets such as infantry and unarmored chamber for a ventral blast, though they can be held in readiness vehicles. Its range increment applies to horizontal motion indefi nitely. A Commander who orders a full ventral blast — all six only; it may drop vertically for any distance without penalty, ventral coils fi ring simultaneously — must wait six hours before being more like a guided bomb than a missile in any case. he can fi re again. For a sustained assault, individual ventral On striking the ground, it detonates with devastating force, coils can be fi red independently depending on the needs of the hurling massive, razor-sharp, curved blades of shrapnel in all Commander, potentially allowing for a more limited fi ring every directions. Any characters within the area of effect may attempt hour if the ventral coils are used in a staggered order. DC 25 Refl ex saves for half damage. Vehicles and other targets in the area take full damage with no saving throw. A ventral blast unleashes a great blast of fl ame, heat, and concussive force, bursting open vehicles, blasting down buildings

M arkov Truss Cannon and frying people over an enormous area. Characters within its area of effect may attempt DC 25 Refl ex saves for half damage,

Nominally a conventional weapon, the Markov cannon as they scurry to fi nd some minimal cover or protection. incorporates a powerful protocol-enhanced targeting computer which analyzes apparently random possibilities with Note that if more than one blast furnace coil is fi red unparalleled precision. Each bullet is semi-smart and semi- simultaneously, there is a small amount of overlap between guided, signaling new data back to the targeting computer the blasts, resulting in an area of effect like a round-cornered instantaneously for analysis and course changes. In effect, oblong some 3000 meters long by 600 meters wide. this gives the cannon superb range and uncanny accuracy. The impact of a ventral blast over water is jokingly referred to as a “steambath” by furnace crews, since an entire lake

Medium Shadow Anti-Aircraft can be vaporized within a few minutes by the intensity of the

prolonged heat. A traditional Red tactic is to deny enemy

Missile forces natural supplies of drinking water using such methods;

the same “scorched earth” policy applies to crops and other Built for accuracy rather than damage, the Shadow homes in natural food supplies. on all possible emissions signatures the target has, including heat, light, gravitic, radar, magnetic and even protocol Another side effect of ventral blasts occurs within dense emissions. Using its intelligent protocol-enhanced software urban areas. The streets in the city of Bahamut, for example, routines, it shadows the target, calculating an approach are uninhabitable for hours or even days after a blast due to vector by which it will be almost completely undetectable. the persistence of swirling superheated vapors. Scars and Unlike most explosive weapons, this is not an armor-piercing burns are common enough sights on the faces of Nokgorkans shaped charge, but deals full damage to all targets in range. these days. Superheated vapors do 2d6 damage, with a DC Since aircraft are usually lightly armored but evasive, it 20 Refl ex save avoiding the damage entirely. is more useful to have a fully effective near miss than a Yet another example of a type of ventral blast is the “liquid powerful punch on a direct hit. fi re” variant. This is a napalm-style fl ood of molten accelerant, devastating to ground based personnel. This is used frequently

Model MK-132 25mm in the War in Nokgorka in an attempt to fl ush out the expansive

subterranean bases used by the Resistance. It is achieved by Self-Ranging Burst Gun using a lower temperature blast and igniting the high volume This is a very accurate, if somewhat underpowered, heavy of blast fuel. Liquid fi re does slightly less damage (7d6) but machine gun or light autocannon. It is found on a variety is far more diffi cult to protect against (DC 30 Refl ex save for of vehicles, particularly when space and weight are at a half damage), and seeps down beneath the surface into any premium. tunnels or excavations that may be below ground.,

Chapter Four: Red Fleet Vehicles Table 4-6: Vehicular Weapon Ammunition

Ammunition Type (Quantity) Weight Purchase DC Notes Forward Cannon, 221mm (10) 500 kg 20 — Forward Cannon 221mm high explosive armor piercing (10) 500 kg 25 Gains critical multiplier 19–20 and the armor piercing quality (but no burst radius) Forward Cannon, 315mm (10) 1000 kg 22 — Forward Cannon, 315mm high explosive armor piercing (10) 1000 kg 27 Gain critical multiplier 19–20 and the armor piercing quality (but no burst radius) Forward Cannon, 2000mm (1) 2000 kg 27 — Forward Cannon, 2000mm high explosive armor piercing (1) 2000 kg 32 Gains critical multiplier 19–20 and the armor piercing quality (but no burst radius) Heavy DSHK Deck Gun (1000) 500 kg 23 — Heavy Hailer (full box) 50 kg 16 Contains full ammunition loads for all three weapon modes Howitzer, 315mm (10) 1000 kg 24 — Markov Truss Cannon (10) 1500 kg 25 — Model MK-132 25mm Self-Ranging Burst Gun (100) 50 kg 12 —

V ehicle Options

The following options are available as add-ons for vehicles. Each option listed takes up either cargo space within the Protocol-Reinforced Armor (PRA) vehicle, hardpoints atop it, or both. The armor on some vehicles is reinforced with sorcery, Note that several of the vehicles come with one or more of providing additional damage reduction unless disabled by these options already. Where appropriate, this is noted in offensive protocols. A vehicle with protocol-reinforced armor the vehicle’s entry on Table 4–1: Military Vehicles, and has its damage reduction increased by +20% (rounded has already been added into the vehicle’s Purchase DC and down). Protocol-piercing rounds (see page 60) ignore this Cargo Capacity on that table. increased damage reduction.

Crypsis Systems “Salamander” Self-Regenerative Armor (SRA)

Crypsis systems — self-correcting camoufl age — are Advances by the Western Transnationalist Alliance spurred standard on military vehicles throughout the world. The research into armor with a limited ability to repair itself in the vehicle changes color like a chameleon, adapting to its fi eld. The cost and complexity of such armor prevented its environment. This is a simple protocol engineered into the introduction into the Red Fleet, though there are rumored to paint. Any vehicle with Crypsis systems is spotted only by be some prototype vehicles. A vehicle fi tted with this system an observer making a Spot check with a +5 modifi er to the has its cargo capacity reduced by 500 kg (if Large), 1,000 kg DC. A better-quality system is available, increasing the Spot (if Huge), 2,000 kg (if Gargantuan) or 4,000 kg (if Colossal). DC by +10, but vehicles painted with it are signifi cantly more SRA restores 1 hit point per round to the vehicle if it is expensive than those with a standard Crypsis system. damaged.

Inertialess Protocol Engine

Aircraft other than skyships may mount this protocol-enhanced drive system, at a cost of +2 to their Purchase DC. An inertialess aircraft has its Maneuver bonus increased by +2. Table 4-7: Vehicle Options Option Purchase DC Weight Crypsis Systems +1 —

Vehicular Weapon Ammunition Advanced Crypsis Systems +2 —

Inertialess Protocol Engine +2 200 kg Vehicular weapon ammunition is often available in Protocol-Reinforced Armor +5 — several types, depending on the purpose desired Salamander and the targets it is to be used against. See Table Self-Regenerative Armor +10 500+ kg; 4-6 above for more information. see text, Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery he d20 Modern Roleplaying Game regards magic and psionics as something beyond the capabilities of most people. THowever, in this setting, magic is the heart of technology. Sorceresses establish lines of communication between units, fuel the weaponry of the dreaded skyfurnaces, even serving on the frontlines against the nation’s enemies. With magic as an accepted part of the world, viewed as a natural phenomenon, instead of being the province of bizarre occultists, demonologists, or psychics even, the world powers exploit it as they would any other natural resource. This chapter presents the full rules for the codifi ed sorcery of the U.R.R.S., though it could serve as the model for magic systems of other nationalities.

General Concepts

Many characters have abilities that might be regarded as number can increase the range of the protocol or determine supernatural. The Telekinesis skill, for example, is common to the effectiveness of the spell. The higher the result, the better soldiers throughout the world, who have a variety of different the effect and/or the harder it is to resist the effects. A failure combat uses for it. They do not generally regard it as sorcery indicates that the protocol does not take effect. per se, since it is such an ordinary part of their lives. For them, it is just another survival skill, like being able to fi re a Whether the Kast check succeeds or fails, the sorceress gun or drive a krawl. takes the appropriate damage for kasting the spell. This is usually a small amount of nonlethal damage — see Protocols are something more than mere psychic powers, Kaster Physical Systems Safety Wards on below, and though. For the dedicated sorceress, a variety of different Overkasting, on page 86 for more information — and is effects are possible — some of them devastating, others determined by the protocol being kast. This damage is spectacular, others just extremely useful. halved (rounded down) if the Kast check result is at least 10 higher than the DC for There are cultural differences the protocol. The damage is in the practice of sorcery. The avoided entirely if the Kast Nistaani, for example, favor check result is at least 20 shamanic magic in contrast higher than the DC. to the industrialized version used by the Red Fleet. This chapter concentrates on the Chapter Five: Characters heal nonlethal damage caused by kasting U.R.R.S.’s protocol magic, a protocol at the usual rate. though it is possible for non-U.R.R.S. personnel to Hazards of use it. For more information Military- on Nistaani invocations, Sorcery see Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm. Industrial Usually, a sorceress can keep kasting until reaching a state of exhaustion, or even Protocols death — every protocol takes U.R.R.S. personnel use a little out of her, but this may protocols rather than spells. Sorcery not be very noticeable if she The spells from d20 Modern is already healthy and rested. Roleplaying Game are not The more powerful protocols typically used in this setting, are always painful in one way and should be considered or another, severely taxing unavailable to characters trained in Nistaani or U.R.R.S. the sorceress’s physical and mental capabilities. The nonlethal kasting methods. Protocols require components, but spells damage, as described above, refl ects this. (known as invocations within The Red Star by their kasters) do not. In refl ection of this, protocols are more powerful than Kaster Physical Systems (KPS) spells, but less fl exible. The method of kasting spells is the same as kasting protocols. Safety Wards Every time a sorceress kasts a protocol, the sorceress makes KPS Safety Wards are a set of continuous “background” a Kast check (using the Kast skill described on page 39). The protocols learned by all sorceresses. They prevent the appropriate protocol component should be present if possible. magical energies fl owing through a sorceress from A character without the correct protocol component may permanently injuring her. A sorceress can drop her KPS still attempt to cast a protocol, but has a –10 circumstance Wards to increase a spell’s power, but this is risky and not penalty to his or her Kast check and may never Take 10 or recommended. Dropping KPS Wards changes the damage Take 20 on the roll. dealt to the kaster from nonlethal damage to lethal damage, though the amount of damage dealt is unaffected. Success on the Kast check indicates the sorceress kasts the protocol correctly. The check result is compared to the Dropping KPS Safety Wards is a free action and can have protocol’s description. Results above the required target any one of the following effects as appropriate to the spell, at the kaster’s option., Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

* Increase the range of the protocol from Touch to Close, A kaster who is not concerned about her own life may instead from Close to Medium, or from Medium to Long. select “Overkast to Fatal.” Only a kaster who has dropped her * Reduce the kasting time from one full round to one KPS Safety Wards can “Overkast to Fatal.” When doing so, action, or from one action to one free action. the character takes 1d4 point of Constitution damage. The * Double the area of effect character takes additional 1d4 points Constitution damage * Double the number of targets affected (except if the until the player has a Constitution of 1 or 0. If reduced toa1range is Personal). Constitution, the sorceress is still alive, but falls unconscious * Gain a +8 bonus to effective Kast skill check, solely for for 3d6 minutes. If reduced to Constitution 0 or below, the purposes of defeating sorcery resistance. she dies. The total number of dice rolled equals the fi nal * Multiply a non-random numerical effect of the spell by Grade of overkasting, applied to the protocol in question as 1.5 (rounded down), before adding any bonuses from appropriate. overkasting. Example: Maya Antares has a Constitution of 12. Dropping KPS Safety Wards can be done in combination with She selects “Overkast to Fatal” during the defense overkasting. of the Konstantinov against the Taktarov (The Red Star, Volume 2, issue 3). To save time, rather than

Overkasting rolling each 1d4 separately, her player rolls 3d4 to

begin with, since that could potentially reduce her Overkasting boosts the strength of a protocol but signifi cantly Constitution to 1 or below.The rolls come up 8, so drains the kaster’s health. This is usually done in combination she rolls another d4, this time getting a 3. 11 points with dropping KPS Safety Wards in a last ditch effort to save is suffi cient to reduce Maya to a Constitution of 1, one’s comrades or kill one’s enemies. and she collapses unconscious for 3d6 minutes. In order to overkast, the kaster must fi rst select how much she Had she rolleda4on the last d4 roll, bringing her wishes to overkast. There is no set limit to the Grade one can total to 12, she would have been dead. In either overcast to: from “Overkast to Grade I,” “Overkast to Grade II,” case, she Overkast to Grade IV, kasting her chosen “Overkast to Grade III,” and so on. Most protocols allow a near- protocol at an extreme level of power. infi nite expansion of effect from overkasting allowing the kaster The effects of overkasting depend on the protocol, and are to choose the power level appropriate to the effect desired. listed for each appropriate protocol. A protocol not listing an Each grade of overkasting deals 1d4 points of Constitution overkasting effect cannot be overkast. damage, which the kaster recovers at a rate of 1 point per Note that a reduction in Constitution also reduces a day. However, kasters whose KPS Safety Wards are up character’s base hit points, which is often suffi cient to knock and who attempt an Overcast are not in danger of killing a sorceress unconscious through accumulated nonlethal themselves. Constitution damage dropping their Constitution damage, even if the Constitution damage does not kill her score to 0 instead drop to 1. Should this occur, the protocol in itself. Should the sorceress die, the protocol still goes into automatically fails. Should the character not have her KPS effect as planned. Safety Wards in place and take suffi cient damage to kill her, the protocol fails as well. Sorceresses cannot overkast invocations/spells.,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery How to Read a Protocol Description

Many of the entries listed as part of each protocol sorceresses use their Protocol Mastery class features to description are identical to those found in spell descriptions master the more combat-oriented protocols fi rst, so they (see d20 Modern Roleplaying Game). The exceptions are gain a degree of certainty in their kasting where preci- given below. sion really matters. Protocol/Spell Type: Rather than detailing the precise tech- Area: All area effect protocols may be “sculpted” by the nical school of magic a protocol falls under, this entry kaster’s mental command of the kaster as the protocol shows the country of origin and (if U.R.R.S.) the type of is kast. For example, the kaster may select a smaller sorceress to whom the protocol is usually taught. size than maximum if desired, and/or designate specifi c Nonlethal Damage: regions within the area of effect that are completely This is the amount of nonlethal dam- untouched by the protocol. She may even go so far as age dealt to the kaster by kasting the spell. to choose which 2-meter squares are affected within the Component Purchase DC: area of effect and which are Protocol components are not. (For an example of this expensive to manufac- in the comics, see Maya’s ture, and are given out A Female Art? kasting of krawl drop protocol only with great care in The Red Star #7). by the supply kasters In the U.R.R.S. and throughout the world of The Red Star Campaign Setting, women make up Saving Throw: Determine responsible for logistics. It is not uncommon for the majority of spellcasters, but this is not without all saving throw DCs by this sorceresses to run out exception. Men are not restricted in what sorcery formula: of appropriate protocol they may learn, though they often use such abilities 10 + (1/2 kaster level) + components in mid-mis- in conjunction with external objects such as krawls kaster’s Charisma bonus. sion. The purchase DC and combat aircraft. It is even theorized such given here applies both weapons as hooks and hailers and their wielders are Kaster level is the total to attempts to purchase another example of male sorcery working through class levels of all character the protocol compo- external focuses. classes for which Kast is a nent and attempts to class skill: sorceress, Nistaani requisition it. Protocol shaman, Red Fleet offi cer, components cannot be and zek. bought on the open market; they must be bought on the Sorcery Resistance: Sorcery resistance works similarly to black market, and are classed in every respect there as spell resistance in d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, but Military (+3). with some important differences. The sorcery resistance Component Weight: Most protocol components are about for creatures or vehicles is given as a positive number, the size and weight of a half-pound container of food. such as +5 or +10. If a creature with sorcery resistance is targeted by a protocol, the Kast DC needed to affect it will Kasting Time: Some protocols have a kasting time of “one be increased by the target’s sorcery resistance. free action.” In most cases, this action can be taken at any time, so long as the kaster is not fl at-footed. No An area effect protocol may fail completely if a single sor- more than one protocol or spell may be cast in any one cery resistant creature is within its area of effect, due to round, however, no matter how short the kasting times. the raised DC. If more than one sorcery resistant creature or object is within the protocol’s area of effect, only the Kast Check DC: The DC for the kaster’s Kast check. See highest sorcery resistance value is used. page 39 for more information about the success or fail- ure of Kast checks. Almost all protocols and spells are affected by sorcery Range: Protocol ranges are resistance, even those kast very similar in effect to those given in the d20 Table 5-1: onto inanimate objects, such

Range as armor-piercing protocols

Modern Roleplaying Extreme Range Kast check result x 100 meters kast onto weapons. The Game, but are always Long Range Kast check result x 10 meters major exception to this is based directly on the Medium Range Kast check resultx4meters that permanently protocol- kaster’s check result, Close Range Kast check result in meters enhanced items, as crafted meaning results can vary Personal * by sorceress engineers, are wildly from what was Range expressed in Meters * not usually affected by sor- intended, either exceed- Touch * cery resistance. Specifi cally ing or failing to meet the designed protocol-piercing kaster’s expectations. * As their equivalents in the d20 Modern protocols are usually less For this and other rea- Roleplaying Game. severely affected by sorcery sons, most experienced resistance.,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery U.R.R.S. Protocols

The U.R.R.S. is one of the world leaders in protocol design, with only the Western Transnationalist Alliance coming close to its A rmor Piercing Protocol, reputation. Traditionally, the W.T.A. has preferred technology to sorcery, but recently it has opened up far more to the Vehicular (APP-V) possibilities of sorcery as a means of waging war — particularly when combined with its advanced technology. The U.R.R.S. has U.R.R.S. (Deck Kaster, Nokgorkan Priestess, Sorceress a long folk history of sorcerers good and wicked alike, however; Engineer, Warkaster) it has a good array of reliable, battle-proven protocols to choose Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 from, and more sorceresses in the Red Fleet than in all the other Component Purchase DC: 19 standing armies of the world combined. Component Weight: 0.5 kg Kast Check DC: 16

Accelerated Healing Kasting Time: 1 standard action

Range: Long (Kast check result x 10 meters)

Protocol (AHP) Effect: One vehicular weapon

Duration: One round U.R.R.S. (Medikaster, Nokgorkan Priestess) Saving Throw: N/A Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 Sorcery Resistance: Yes Component Purchase DC: 15 This protocol is identical to armor piercing protocol, personal Component Weight: 0.25 kg except as noted above. Most users of either this or the APP-V Kast Check DC: 17 protocol refer to whichever one they use most often simply as Kasting Time: 1 standard action an APP or armor piercing protocol, only using the full name Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter) for the version they rarely use. Thus, a krawl crew warkaster Target: One creature and an infantry unit warkaster both talking about armor Duration: See text piercing protocols will be speaking of two slightly different This protocol restores a number of lost hit points equal to protocols. the Kast check result. The target’s body clock is temporarily Overkast: As for armor piercing protocol, personal. accelerated, healing wounds at an incredible rate. The protocol takes one round to have its full effect, so the target regains the appropriate number of hit points one full round after kasting. A utoshields Protocol (ASP) Overkast: Increase the healed hit points by +10 per grade. U.R.R.S. (Nokgorkan Priestess, Warkaster) Nonlethal Damage: 1d6

A rmor Piercing Protocol, Component Purchase DC: 16

Component Weight: 0.25 kg

Personal (APP-P) Kast Check DC: 15

Kasting Time: 1 full round U.R.R.S. (Nokgorkan Priestess, Warkaster) Range: Personal Nonlethal Damage: 1d3 Target: Self Component Purchase DC: 15 Duration: One day, or until the autoshield runs out of hit Component Weight: 0.25 kg points. Kast Check DC: 12 Saving Throw: N/A Kasting Time: 1 standard action Sorcery Resistance: N/A Range: Medium (Kast check resultx4meters) The autoshields protocol protects the sorceress with a wall Effect: One non-vehicular weapon of force in all directions, which appears instantaneously Duration: One round when she is attacked so long as she is aware of the attack. A Saving Throw: N/A heads-up display shows the kaster the percentage of strength Sorcery Resistance: Yes remaining in the shields. This protocol assists in penetrating armor. The weapon affected Autoshields works identically to the autoshields protocol acquires the armor piercing quality, along with any ammunition enhancement for armor or clothing (see page 61) except it fi res. Any time it strikes a creature, vehicle or other target with as follows: if the autoshield produced is ever reduced to 0 damage reduction, this spell halves the damage reduction. A hit points, the protocol ends immediately. The shield cannot target with sorcery resistance is only affected if the Kast check regenerate if reduced to 0, though it regenerates as normal if result exceeded the sorcery resistance DC. deliberately switched off. Overkast: Grade 1, damage reduction divided by three rather An autoshield kast with this protocol has 30 hit points and no than halved; Grade 2, damage reduction divided by four damage reduction. rather than halved; Grade 3, damage reduction divided by fi ve rather than halved; and so on. Overkast: Autoshield has +15 hit points per grade.,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery Table 5-2: U.R.R.S. Protocols by Specialty Deck Kaster Sorceress Engineer

Armor Piercing Protocol, Vehicular (APP-V) Armor Piercing Protocol, Vehicular (APP-V) Blast Control Protocols (BCP) Burst Voltage Protocol (BVP) Cooperative Reinforcement Protocol (CRP) Defensive Shell Protocol (DSP) Defensive Shield Protocol (DFP) Expanse Protocol (EXP) Jumpgate Transfer Protocol (“Jumpgate” or JTP) Field Repair Protocol (FRP) Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Vehicular Vehicular (PRSP-V) (PRSP-V) Shield Reinforce Protocol (SRP) Shield Reinforce Protocol (SRP) Supply Protocol I (SUP-1) Supply Protocol II (SUP-2)

Infokaster Stimulant Protocol (“Stim Shot” or SSP)

Burst Voltage Protocol (BVP) Transpathic Detonator Protocol (TDP) Cooperative Reinforcement Protocol (CRP) Jump Information Protocol (“Slave Protocol” or JIP) Supply Kaster Map Protocol (MAP) Cooperative Reinforcement Protocol (CRP) Reenact Protocol (RE Protocol or REP) Expanse Protocol (EXP) Supply Protocol I (SUP-1) Gate Transfer Protocol (“Gate” or GTP) Stealth Protocol (STP) Jumpgate Transfer Protocol (“Jumpgate” or JTP) Stimulant Protocol (“Stim Shot” or SSP) Krawl Drop Protocols (KDPs) Transpathic Signal Protocol (TSP) Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Area (PRSP-A) Supply Protocol I (SUP-1)

Medikaster Supply Protocol II (SUP-2)

Supply Protocol III (SUP-3) Accelerated Healing Protocol (AHP) Supply Protocol IV (SUP-4) Defensive Shell Protocol (DSP) Final Mercy Protocol (FMP) Instant Medical Protocol (IMP) Warkaster Paramedic Protocol (PMP) Armor Piercing Protocol, Personal (APP-P) Shield Reinforce Protocol (SRP) Armor Piercing Protocol, Vehicular (APP-V) Stimulant Protocol (“Stim Shot” or SSP) Autoshields Protocal (ASP) Burst Voltage Protocol (BVP) Defensive Shell Protocol (DSP)

Nokgorkan Priestess Defensive Shield Protocol (DFP)

Accelerated Healing Protocol (AHP) Drop Protocol (DRP) Armor Piercing Protocol, Personal (APP-P) Expanse Protocol (EXP) Armor Piercing Protocol, Vehicular (APP-V) Gate Transfer Protocol (“Gate” or GTP) Jumpgate Transfer Protocol (“Jumpgate” or JTP) Autoshields Protocal (ASP) Krawl Drop Protocols (KDPs) Defensive Shell Protocol (DSP) MTK-90 Protocol (MTKP) Expanse Protocol (EXP) Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Area (PRSP-A) Paramedic Protocol (PMP) Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Personal (PRSP-P) Supply Protocol I (SUP-1) Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Vehicular (PRSP-V) Transpathic Detonator Protocol (TDP) Shield Reinforce Protocol (SRP) Transpathic Signal Protocol (TSP) Stealth Protocol (STP) Transformation Protocol (TFP),

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

The target rolls 1d20, adding +10 if the system in question

B last Control Protocols (BCP) is shielded (almost all dedicated military technology is

shielded). If the target is larger than Medium size, add +1 for U.R.R.S. (Deck Kaster) Large, +2 for Huge, +4 for Gargantuan, and +8 for Colossal. Nonlethal Damage: 1d2 Larger vehicles and other electrical devices are more robust Component Purchase DC: 10 than smaller ones, typically having improved safety systems. Component Weight: 0.25 kg Consult the following table: Kast Check DC: 15 Kasting Time: 1 standard action Burst Voltage Protocol Range: Long (Kast check result x 10 meters) Target: One isolator tunnel, and one willing warkaster within it Modifi ed d20 Roll Effect Duration: Concentration (to a maximum of 2 minutes) 1-3 Electrical systems are severely This set of protocols is used to monitor and oversee a warkaster damaged (may not be used in an isolator tunnel (see page 81). With it, the deck kaster again until repaired), and on fi re may alter the target’s heart rate, body temperature, breathing 4-6 Electrical systems are severely patterns and virtually every other vital function, tuning her to be a damaged (may not be used perfect weapon of war, the embodied will of the state. again until repaired) 7-15 Electrical systems are out of A set of blast control protocols must be continued for at least action for 1d6 rounds, then a full minute to properly prepare the target warkaster for come back online. kasting a transformation protocol. 16+ No effect. If the blast control protocols are not kast correctly (that is, if Though the protocol itself is instantaneous in its action, the the deck kaster fails her Kast check), the warkaster in the damage done may well cause problems for far longer than isolator tunnel is unable to kast her transformation protocol the protocol lasts. (see page 98). Overkast: There is a –4 penalty per grade to the modifi ed If the deck kaster’s concentration lapses during the blast 1d20 roll to determine the protocol results. In addition, all control protocols’ duration, the transformation protocol can be creatures and objects within the area affected take 2d6 kast normally, but the warkaster take 5d6 points of damage points of electricity damage per grade. They receive a at the end of the transformation protocol’s duration, when she Refl ex save for half damage. attempts to return to normal. This also occurs if the warkaster kasts the transformation protocol after being the subject of the blast control protocols for less than a full minute. Cooperative Reinforcement If the deck kaster’s Kast check for her blast control protocols Protocol (CRP) succeeds by 10 or more, the warkaster gains a bonus of +2 to U.R.R.S. (Deck Kaster, Infokaster, Supply Kaster) all her attack rolls while affected by her transformation protocol. Nonlethal Damage: 1d10 Overkast: Overkasting increases the warkaster’s attack roll Component Purchase DC: 16 bonus for her transformation protocol attacks by +1 per Component Weight: 0.25 kg grade. This protocol is almost never overkast, however, Kast Check DC: 16 as each grade of overkasting increases the damage dealt Kasting Time: 1 full round per additional kaster involved the warkaster by +1d6, should the deck kaster’s Concen- Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter) tration fail. It also increases the DC of the Concentration Effect: Up to one additional kaster per point of Kast check result. checks by +5 per grade. Duration: See text Saving Throw: See text

Burst Voltage Protocol (BVP) Sorcery Resistance: See text

U.R.R.S. (Infokaster, Sorceress Engineer, Warkaster) The cooperative reinforcement protocol allows multiple kasters to work together in kasting a single protocol, such Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 as creating a transfer protocol big enough to fitaskyfurnace Component Purchase DC: 17 through it. This allows the kaster of the CRP to lead the other Component Weight: 0.5 kg kasters in what is in effect a ritual (see the Ritual skill on Kast Check DC: 18 page 39), but substituting Kast skills for Ritual skills in every Kasting Time: 1 standard action respect, and with the total time taken reduced. Range: Long (Kast check result x 10 meters) Area: Sphere of radius (Kast check result x 5) meters A CRP takes one full round to kast per kaster involved, and Duration: Instantaneous (see below) never gets bonuses for longer kasting times. At the end of Saving Throw: See text the kasting time, the kaster kasts the next protocol, gaining Sorcery Resistance: Yes bonuses to his or her Kast skill check. For each participant with between 1 and 9 ranks of Kast, the kaster gains a +1 Use burst voltage protocol to target enemy electrical systems. bonus to her Kast check; for each participant with 10 to 19 In its standard form, the protocol affects all electrical or ranks of Kast, the bonus is +2; for each participant with 20 or electronic systems as follows. more ranks of Kast, the bonus is +3.,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

As autoshields protocol, except defensive shield protocol

Defensive Shell Protocol (DSP) protects one vehicle and all its occupants. The shield has

250 hit points. The shield stays in place continuously, rather U.R.R.S. (Medikaster, Nokgorkan Priestess, Sorceress Engi- than switching on automatically as autoshields protocol; neer, Warkaster) however, it decays at a far slower rate, losing only 1 hit point Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 per minute rather than 1 hit point per round. The size of the Component Purchase DC: 18 vehicle determines the Kast check DC. Component Weight: 0.75 kg Kast Check DC: 17 Defensive Shield Protocol Kasting Time: 1 standard action Range: Medium (Kast check resultx4meters) Vehicle Size Kast Check DC Effect: Hemisphere of radius (Kast check resultx2meters) Medium or smaller 20 Duration: Until cancelled, or until shield runs out of hit points. Large 21 Defensive shell protocol is an immobile defensive shield used Huge 22 during battle to protect severely wounded individuals who are Gargantuan 24 unable to defend themselves. It is also used during heavy Colossal 28 shelling to protect vehicles and soldiers. Overkast: Shield has +50 hit points per grade. Defensive shell protocol creates a shield very similar to that of the autoshields protocol, but with the following differences. D rop Protocol (DRP) The shield created cannot move (though it does not impede U.R.R.S. (Warkaster) the movement of those within it), and has 100 hit points. The shield stays in place continuously, rather than switching on Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 automatically as for autoshields protocol; however, it decays Component Purchase DC: 19 at a far slower rate, losing only 1 hit point per minute rather Component Weight: 0.25 kg than 1 hit point per round. Kast Check DC: 20 Overkast: Kasting Time: 1 standard actionShield has +25 hit points per grade. Range: Personal Area: Circle of radius (Kast check result x 0.5 meters),

Defensive Shield Protocol (DFP) excluding the kaster’s 2-meter square

U.R.R.S. (Deck Kaster, Warkaster) Duration: Instantaneous.Saving Throw: Refl ex negates Nonlethal Damage: 2d6 Sorcery Resistance: Yes Component Purchase DC: 20 Component Weight: 1 kg This protocol causes the ground to fall away around the Kast Check DC: Varies, see text kaster, dropping all assailants into the depths of the Earth. A Kasting Time: 1 standard action chasm in the earth opens with a depth of (Kast check result) Range: Touch (must be aboard vehicle at the time) x 10 meters, dealing appropriate falling damage to all affected Effect: One vehicle by it. Duration: Until defensive shield runs out of hit points. Those within the area of effect may attempt a Refl ex save Sorcery Resistance: No to get out of the way altogether (if within 4 meters of an,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

unaffected 2-meter square) or catch onto a hold part-way down if not within 4 meters of an unaffected 2-meter square. Field Repair Protocol (FRP) A failed Refl ex save indicates the subject fall, taking falling damage as normal (1d6 per 4m fallen). U.R.R.S. (Sorceress Engineer) Overkast: Increase the Refl ex save DC by +2 for each Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 grade. Component Purchase DC: 15 Component Weight: 0.5 kg

E xpanse Protocol (EXP) Kast Check DC: 10Kasting Time: 1 full round

U.R.R.S. (Nokgorkan Priestess, Sorceress Engineer, Supply Range: Touch Kaster, Warkaster) Target: One vehicle Duration: Instantaneous. Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 Component Purchase DC: 15 Sorceress Engineers use this protocol to repair damage Component Weight: 0.5 kg to vehicles — patching holes in armor and fi xing structural Kast Check DC: 17 damage. The protocol does not address mechanical Kasting Time: 1 standard action problems, such as a ruined engine. It can repair any vehicle Range: Medium (Kast check resultx4meters) that has at least 1 hit point, restoring lost hit points equal to Area: Bridge 2 meters wide and up to (Kast check resultx2the Kast check result. meters) long Overkast: Restore a further +30 hit points per grade. Duration: Concentration. This protocol creates a bridge of reddish energy to facilitate F inal Mercy Protocol (FMP) transportation across craters, or across streets above ground level. The bridge is supernaturally strong and can support U.R.R.S. (Medikaster) any weight, but it is vulnerable to damage (100 hit points). Nonlethal Damage: 1d2 Anyone crossing it also risks the kaster losing concentration Component Purchase DC: 10 or being killed, either of which cause the bridge to disappear Component Weight: 0.25 kg instantaneously. Kast Check DC: 10 Overkast: An additional bridge can be created for each Kasting Time: 1 standard action grade, joined onto either the fi rst to simply make it longer, Range: Touch or side-by-side to enable larger numbers of troops to cross Target: One willing creature with 0 hit points or less rapidly. Duration: Instantaneous. Saving Throw: None (but see text) Sorcery Resistance: No Use fi nal mercy protocol to provide merciful release to badly injured comrades if no imminent means of restoring them to health is at hand. The target must be willing; an unwilling target cannot be affected at all. The protocol instantly and painlessly kills the target. Note: It is possible even for an unconscious character to be willing to die, at the GM’s discretion. This protocol detects a willingness to die on the part of the spirit inhabiting the body; there is no need for the character to confi rm this with speech. Overkast: One additional creature can be touched per grade.

Gate Transfer Protocol (“Gate”/GTP)

U.R.R.S. (Supply Kaster, Warkaster) Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 Component Purchase DC: 17 Component Weight: 0.25 kg Kast Check DC: 14 Kasting Time: 1 standard action Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter), plus see text Area: Square gate of2x2meters in size Duration: Kast check resultx1minute, or until cancelled This protocol creates a pair of linked freestanding “gates” to transport soldiers and their equipment. Any creature or,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

object touching the gate instantly transports to the other gate. to make a Concentration check, however, throwing the Kast vertically near the ground, these gates can be used for outcome of her jumpgate transfer protocol into question. evacuations; “siege gates” are usually cast horizontally at a Regardless of whether the save succeeds or fails, failure small elevation for assaults. Gates can be color-coded when on the Concentration check means her jumpgate transfer cast so troopers know basic information on destination, which protocol fails (with potentially disastrous consequences for unit should enter or exit which gate, etc. the vehicle making the jump). One of the two gates must appear within Close range of Overkast: Increase the target’s Will saving throw by +2 per the kaster (Kast check resultx1meter). The other gate grade. may appear either anywhere within Extreme range of the kaster (Kast check result x 100 meters), or in any skyfurnace Jumpgate Transfer Protocol gate chamber the kaster is attuned to (see page 73), at the kaster’s choice. The gates may rest on the ground, or not, as (“Jumpgate” or JTP) the kaster prefers. U.R.R.S. (Deck Kaster, Supply Kaster, Warkaster)

I nstant Medical Protocol (IMP) Nonlethal Damage: 1d10

Component Purchase DC: 22 U.R.R.S. (Medikaster) Component Weight: 1 kg Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 Kast Check DC: See text Component Purchase DC: 20 Kasting Time: 1 minute Component Weight: 0.5 kg Range: Touch (must be aboard vehicle) Kast Check DC: 20 Target: One vehicle moving at transfer speed (or more Kasting Time: 1 standard action vehicles with overkasting; see text) Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter) Duration: One round Target: One creature This protocol typically employs the combined efforts of Duration: Instantaneous numerous sorceresses via a cooperative reinforcement This protocol restores a number of lost hit points equal to the protocol. It teleports a vehicle, most often a skyfurnace, Kast check result. Furthermore, it restores 1d3 lost ability after it fi rst accelerates to transfer speed — a speed of at points (target’s choice as to which ability points are restored least 100. The destination may be anywhere the kaster fi rst), cures blindness and deafness (whether temporary or knows personally or has been given coordinates for, though permanent), and removes any diseases the target might if this is an otherworldly location (see Chapter Eight: The have. Spiritrealm), the Kast check DC increases by +40. Overkast: Increase the healed hit points by +15 per grade. Kasting this protocol produces profound atmospheric and sorcerous disturbances around the target vehicle, which

J ump Information Protocol are obvious to anyone familiar with the effects of sorcery. A successful DC 10 Spot check notices the disturbances. A

(“Slave Protocol” or JIP) successful DC 15 Knowledge (arcana) check will correctly identify the cause as being a jumpgate transfer protocol. U.R.R.S. (Infokaster) Other ships may attempt to “slave on” to the jump coordinates Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 using the jump information protocol, making actual transfer Component Purchase DC: 21 more diffi cult by adding the mass of the second vehicle to the Component Weight: 0.25 kg equation. Each additional vehicle successfully “slaving on” in Kast Check DC: 24 this manner requires the jumpgate’s kaster to overkast by one Kasting Time: 1 full round grade (see below) or abandon the jump attempt. The extreme Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters) diffi culty of kasting a jumpgate is why this protocol is usually Target: One kaster kasting a jumpgate transfer protocol kast co-operatively. Duration: See text Saving Throw: Will negates, but see text The Kast check DC for the protocol depends on the size of Sorcery Resistance: Yes the vehicle. A jump information protocol allows the kaster to “slave” onto Jumpgate Transfer Protocol the coordinates to which the target’s vehicle jumps (see jumpgate transfer protocol). This drags the kaster’s vehicle Vehicle Size Kast Check DC through the same jumpgate, incidentally forcing the target to Medium or smaller 30 overkast the jumpgate transfer protocol due to the extra mass Large 35 involved. Huge 40 Jump information protocol may be kast at any time during Gargantuan 50 the kasting of the target’s jumpgate transfer protocol. Colossal 60 The target is permitted a Will saving throw at the usual Transferring through a gate of this size always requires one DC; if successful, it allows her to throw off the effects of round, hence the duration. The spell requires the kaster’s full this protocol entirely. Making that saving throw forces her attention throughout the duration; any lapse in concentration,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

results in the jumpgate collapsing, potentially sending the vehicle out of control due to the extreme energy fl uctuations involved. The pilot or driver of any vehicle attempting to go through a collapsing jumpgate must succeed DC 25 Pilot or Drive skill check or lose control of the vehicle. Overkast: An additional vehicle of identical size may be brought through the jumpgate for each grade, so long as it is slaved onto the fi rst.

Krawl Drop Protocols (KDPs)

U.R.R.S. (Supply Kaster, Warkaster) Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 Component Purchase DC: 15 Component Weight: 0.25 kg Kast Check DC: 15 Kasting Time: 1 standard action Range: Touch (must be aboard vehicle at the time) Target: One vehicle Duration: Concentration This is actually an array of three major and several minor protocols used to drop a krawl safely from a skyfurnace onto a battlefi eld. The most vital protocols of this group are the gyro-stabilization protocol (GSP), which prevents the drop casing from spinning; the impact protocol, used to cushion the krawl drop casing on impact, protecting both the vehicle and its crew from serious damage; and the retro-shock protocol, which slows the krawl at the very last moment before impact. For game purposes, these various protocols subsume into one protocol, lasting for the duration of the krawl drop. The kaster must concentrate on this protocol from the moment the krawl is released from the skyfurnace to the moment of impact. Any lapse in concentration could be fatal for both krawl and crew, leaving the vehicle in an uncontrollable spin at terminal velocity for a few seconds until it impacts the Earth with devastating force. Standard procedure is to allow the krawls to drop at full speed to begin with, only slowing them with the retro-shock protocol at the last possible instant. The kaster must continue concentrating on the krawl drop protocols for the entire duration of the drop. The GM should determine how long the drop takes using the information below, depending on the height of the skyfurnace when the krawl drops.

Krawl Drop Protocols

Drop Height Drop Duration (rounds) 200m or less 1 round 201-550m 2 rounds 551-900m 3 rounds 901-1250m 4 rounds 1251-1600m 5 rounds 1601-1950m 6 rounds 1951-2300m 7 rounds 2301-2650m 8 rounds 2651-3000m 9 rounds 3001m-3350m 10 rounds Each additional 350m +1 round,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

If the krawl drop protocols fail (usually due to the kaster’s failure to maintain concentration), the impact deals 20d6 M TK-90 Protocol (MTKP) points of damage to the krawl. If strapped in, the occupants take half of this damage. Those not strapped in may attempt U.R.R.S. (Warkaster) a DC 30 Refl ex save to halve this damage. Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 Depending on the point at which the protocols fail, it Component Purchase DC: 20 may be possible for the same or another kaster to re- Component Weight: 0.5 kg kast them, saving the krawl. This may be done at any Kast Check DC: 21 point prior to impact since most of the krawl’s speed is Kasting Time: 1 standard action arrested in the fi nal instant in any case. Each kasting of Range: Touch krawl drop protocols beyond the fi rst on a single drop is Target: Personal progressively more diffi cult however, since the krawl goes Duration: (Kast check result) x 1 round into an uncontrolled spin when the fi rst protocol fails. Add This protocol conjures a weapon capable of fi ring high a cumulative +2 to the Kast Check DC for each additional explosive anti-personnel rounds at up to 10,000 rounds per kasting required beyond the fi rst. minute, with tracers on variable rounds, depending on the Overkast: This is only regarded as necessary when an needs of the kaster. The weapon’s game statistics are given in initial set of krawl drop protocols have failed and the kaster Chapter Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment, though needs to rapidly re-kast in an emergency. Each grade those statistics are subject to enhancement as follows. cancels one +2 increase to the Kast Check DC for the The basic weapon fi res at 1,000 bullets per minute, with no protocols being re-kast. tracers. For every rank of Kast skill the Kaster possesses, she may add an additional +500 bullets per minute to the

M ap Protocol (MAP) fi ring rate, gaining a +1 bonus to all damage rolls with the

weapon (to a maximum of 10,000 bullets per minute total, U.R.R.S. (Infokaster) for +18 to all damage rolls). Alternatively, she may add one Nonlethal Damage: 1d2 tracer per hundred rounds fi red, with each tracer granting Component Purchase DC: 15 a +1 bonus to attack rolls (to a maximum of 20 tracers per Component Weight: 0.25 kg hundred rounds, for +20 to all attack rolls). Kast Check DC: 14 Kasting Time: 1 standard action For example, a 10th level sorceress with 13 ranks of Kast Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters), or Touch could conjure an MTK-90 capable of fi ring 5,500 bullets per Area: Sphere of either (Kast check result x 100 meters) or minute (for +9 to damage) with four tracers per 100 rounds (Kast check result x 20 meters) radius (for +4 to all attack rolls). Duration: (Kast check result) x 1 round As the weapon and ammunition are entirely composed of Saving Throw: See text protocol energy, there is never any concern about running out Sorcery Resistance: No of bullets. Map protocols create holographic images of the kaster’s Tracers can be set to different kinds of vision: human-eye, surroundings. This protocol can be kast in one of two ways. thermal, night vision, and so on at the kaster’s preference. In either casting of the map protocol, characters adjacent to the kaster may observe the effect. P aramedic Protocol (PMP) Static Map: A static map is a recording of the area within it, U.R.R.S. (Medikaster, Nokgorkan Priestess) showing large-scale (an area with at least two dimensions measuring at least 2 meters each) inanimate features only. Nonlethal Damage: 1d2 The map does not reveal any moving object within this area, Component Purchase DC: 12 though it does reveal a stationary vehicle of a suffi ciently Component Weight: 0.25 kg large size. This version of the protocol has a range of Kast Check DC: 14 Extreme and an area that is a sphere whose radius equals Kasting Time: 1 standard action the Kast check result x 100 meters. Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter) Target: One creature Trace Map: A trace map is an instant map whose radius Duration: Instantaneous equals the Kast check result x 20 meters, measured outward from the kaster. It includes extremely fi ne detail This protocol instantly stabilizes an injured character. It does and includes a zoom control, allowing the kaster to see not restore lost hit points. everything within its area of effect if desired. She may make Spot and Search checks as though she were anywhere Protocol Resistance Shields within the map’s area, though she takes a –4 circumstance penalty to these checks. Living creatures in the area of the Protocol, Area (PRSP-A) map may attempt a Will save against the Protocols’ DC to avoid being shown by the map. U.R.R.S. (Supply Kaster, Warkaster) Overkast: Doubles the area of effect at Grade I, triples it at Nonlethal Damage: 2d6 Grade II, etc. Component Purchase DC: 30,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

Component Weight: 1 kg Kast Check DC: 30 Protocol Resistance Shields Kasting Time: 1 full round Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter) Protocol, Vehicular (PRSP-V) Area: (Kast check result) x 100 meters U.R.R.S. (Deck Kaster, Sorceress Engineer, Warkaster) Duration: (Kast check result) x 10 minutes Nonlethal Damage: 1d10 This protocol grants any individuals in the area Sorcery Component Purchase DC: 25 Resistance +4. Any kaster attempting to kast a protocol Component Weight: 0.5 kg or spell into, out of, or within the protocol’s area adds the Kast Check DC: 25 appropriate sorcery resistance to her Kast Check DC. The Kasting Time: 1 full round original kaster of this protocol may specify named individuals Range: Touch (must be aboard target vehicle) or those with a particular Allegiance to be unaffected by the Target: One vehicle protocol resistance shields protocol allowing them to kast Duration: (Kast check result) x 10 minutes freely. This protocol grants the vehicle itself, and all aboard it, Sorcery Overkast: Increase the Sorcery Resistance by +2 per grade. Resistance +4.

P rotocol Resistance Shields Overkast: Overkasting increases the Sorcery Resistance by

+2 per grade.

Protocol, Personal (PRSP-P)

U.R.R.S. (Warkaster) R eenact Protocol Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 (RE Protocol or REP) Component Purchase DC: 20 U.R.R.S. (Infokaster) Component Weight: 0.25 kg Kast Check DC: 20 Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 Kasting Time: 1 full round Component Purchase DC: 24 Range: Personal Component Weight: 0.5 kg Target: Self Kast Check DC: 25 Duration: (Kast check result) x 1 hour Kasting Time: 1 full round Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter) This protocol grants the target Sorcery Resistance +4. Area: Sphere of radius (Kast check resultx2meters). Overkast: Increase the Sorcery Resistance by +2 per grade. Duration: Concentration Saving Throw: See text Sorcery Resistance: No This protocol creates a searchable, holographic replay of history fi lterable for specifi c information. The holograph created is unpleasantly bright, with all the images composing it consisting of blinding white, dark purple, or some shade in between, light. As a side effect of the main protocol, it sometimes dazzles those who watch it if they are unprepared. Any character within the area of effect at the instant the protocol fi rst takes effect, or looking in that direction, must make a Refl ex saving throw or be blinded for one round. A character who specifi es she is covering or closing her eyes avoids the blinding effect without needing to make a saving throw. After the initial round, it is possible to look at the holograph, with one’s eyes gradually adapting to the brightness. As long as the kaster concentrates, she can observe, search and even request specifi c information from the protocol. The kaster can “scroll” back and forth through history, viewing events up to a number of years into the past equal to the Kast check result. She can slow down or speed up the “recording,” focus in on tiny details at her will. She can use Search, Spot and Listen each with a +4 circumstance bonus to examine specifi c occurrences and objects that may not be immediately obvious. The only constraint is the amount of time all this will take — perhaps the best guideline for the GM is to imagine,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

a detective movie, in which the protagonists focus in on details of a photograph or video still to spot a crucial piece of Supply Protocol evidence. The more information the kaster wants out of the Kaster’s Knowledge Kast Check protocol, the longer it takes. of Destination Penalty This is an advanced protocol which must be registered for Extremely thorough; a very use with Informnet before ever being actually kast. Failure to familiar location, perhaps do so will result in disciplinary charges brought against the the kaster’s home –2 kaster. Thorough; a place the kaster Overkast: All the details are clearer and sharper still; the has visited many times, kaster gains an additional +4 bonus to Search, Spot and for extended stays –4 Listen when examining the protocol, for each grade of Overkasting. Familiar; a place the kaster has visited several times –6

S hield Reinforce Protocol (SRP) Fleeting; a place the kaster

has only seen once, and U.R.R.S. (Deck Kaster, Medikaster, Sorceress Engineer, that briefl y –8 Warkaster) Overkast: Grade I: double either the weight of the target, or Nonlethal Damage: 1d3 the maximum range; Grade II: either double both range Component Purchase DC: 12 and weight, or triple either the range or the weight; Grade Component Weight: 0.25 kg III: either triple the range and double the weight, double Kast Check DC: 15 the range and triple the weight, quadruple the weight, or Kasting Time: 1 standard action quadruple the range; and so on. Range: Medium (Kast check resultx4meters) Target: One autoshield, defensive shell protocol, or defensive shield protocol. Supply Protocol II (SUP-2) Duration: Instantaneous U.R.R.S. (Sorceress Engineer, Supply Kaster) This protocol adds +20 hit points to the target shield. Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 Overkasting: The effect is increased by a further +20 for Component Purchase DC: 15 each grade; thus, +40 instead of +20 at Grade I, +60 at Component Weight: 0.5 kg Grade II, +80 at Grade III and so on. Kast Check DC: 15Kasting Time: 1 full round

Range: Kast check result x 200 meters Supply Protocol I (SUP-1) Target: One inanimate object or container weighing up

U.R.R.S. (Infokaster, Nokgorkan Priestess, Sorceress Engi- to 10 kg neer, Supply Kaster) Duration: Instantaneous Nonlethal Damage: 1d2 This protocol is similar to supply protocol I, but may carry Component Purchase DC: 10 more and has a greater base range. Component Weight: 0.25 kg Overkast: Grade I: double either the weight of the target, or Kast Check DC: 10 the maximum range; Grade II: either double both range Kasting Time: 1 full round and weight, or triple either the range or the weight; Grade Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters) III: either triple the range and double the weight, double Target: One inanimate object or container weighing up the range and triple the weight, quadruple the weight, or to 1 kg quadruple the range; and so on. Duration: Instantaneous This protocol allows the supply kaster to teleport a small Supply Protocol III (SUP-3) quantity of material, typically from a base or equipment cache, to troops on the front line. U.R.R.S. (Supply Kaster) The origin point of the target must be within 2 meters of the Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 kaster, but the destination point can be anywhere within Component Purchase DC: 20 range, so long as it is either a place that is known personally Component Weight: 0.75 kg to the kaster or a dedicated supply receptacle such as a Kast Check DC: 20 protoclip, protopouch, protopack or crate (see Chapter Kasting Time: 1 full round Two: Personal Weapons and Equipment). If the former Range: Kast check result x 500 meters type of destination is used, the kasting is considerably more Target: One inanimate object or container weighing up diffi cult; the kast check has a penalty of –2 to –8 to the die to 100 kg roll, depending on how well the kaster knows the location. A Duration: Instantaneous dedicated, protocol-enhanced supply receptacle never suffers This protocol is identical to supply protocol II, but may carry from this penalty. more and has a greater base range.,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery

Overkast: Grade I: double either the weight of the target, or Component Weight: 0.25 kg the maximum range; Grade II: either double both range Kast Check DC: 15 and weight, or triple either the range or the weight; Grade Kasting Time: 1 standard action III: either triple the range and double the weight, double Range: Close (Kast check resultx1meter) the range and triple the weight, quadruple the weight, or Target: One creature quadruple the range; and so on. Duration: Instantaneous

Supply Protocol IV (SUP-4) Medikasters use this to rejuvenate otherwise exhausted troops, giving them the equivalent to a good night’s sleep.

U.R.R.S. (Supply Kaster) It is not recommended for use on other sorcerers except in dire emergencies. A sorcerer’s highly honed will does Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 not respond well to being pushed around by others, and Component Purchase DC: 25 a sorcerer affected by this protocol becomes somewhat Component Weight: 1 kg befuddled as an unfortunate side effect. Kast Check DC: 25 Kasting Time: 1 full round Stimulant protocol has the following effects: Range: Kast check result x 1000 meters * A fatigued target is no longer fatigued. Target: One inanimate object or container weighing up to 1000 kg * A target who is tired receives the equivalent of 8 hours’ Duration: Instantaneous sleep. This protocol is identical to supply protocol III, but may carry * A target who has been dealt nonlethal damage heals more and has a greater base range. an appropriate amount as though he or she has had 8 hours’ sleep — that is, 8 x character level. Overkast: Grade I: double either the weight of the target, or the maximum range; Grade II: either double both range * A target that has any levels in Kast or Ritual is dealt 1d4 and weight, or triple either the range or the weight; Grade temporary damage to each of Intelligence, Wisdom and III: either triple the range and double the weight, double Charisma. the range and triple the weight, quadruple the weight, or The target of the kasting must be willing, or the protocol has quadruple the range; and so on. no effect.

S tealth Protocol (STP) Overkast: Increase the recovery of nonlethal damage by

another 4 hours’ sleep-equivalent per grade. U.R.R.S. (Infokaster, Warkaster) Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 Transformation Protocol (TFP) Component Purchase DC: 15 Component Weight: U.R.R.S. (Warkaster) 0.25 kg Kast Check DC: 15 Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 Kasting Time: 1 standard action Component Purchase DC: 12 Range: Long (Kast check result x 10 meters) Component Weight: 0.25 kg Target: Up to one creature per kaster level or up to one vehicle Kast Check DC: 15 per three kaster levels, or some combination thereof Kasting Time: 1 standard action Duration: Kast check resultx1minute Range: Personal Saving Throw: Will negates; see text Target: Self Sorcery Resistance: Yes; see text Duration: One round This protocol allows its targets to move and attack in This protocol may only be used in an isolator tunnel (see complete silence. No Listen check can detect them, unless page 81), usually found only on skyfurnaces. In conjunction they deliberately speak. The protocol is designed so all with the blast control protocols it transforms the sorceress sounds other than human speech are silenced, so radio into a living weapon: a sun-hot, blasting beam of light that communication is still an option. In most cases, though, a lances out from the side of the skyfurnace she is aboard, transpathic signal protocol is used in conjunction with this destroying everything in its path. protocol, obviating the need for any sound at all. For the duration of the protocol, the sorceress no longer has Overkast: An additional vehicle or three additional creatures any of her usual game statistics; in effect, she becomes an can be affected per grade. isolator tunnel beam (see Vehicular Weapons, page 81) for the duration of the protocol. She has no free will at this point;

Stimulant Protocol the deck kasters even aim her like a weapon.

(“Stim Shot” or SSP) On a failed Kast check, the sorceress takes 2d6 points of damage as a side effect of the protocol. Isolator tunnel work U.R.R.S. (Infokaster, Medikaster, Sorceress Engineer) has myriad risks, and few survive it to go on to better things. Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 Overkast: The isolator tunnel beam does +10 damage per Component Purchase DC: 15 grade.,

Chapter Five: Military-Industrial Sorcery Transpathic Detonator Protocol (TDP)

U.R.R.S. (Nokgorkan Priestess, Sorceress Engineer) Nonlethal Damage: 1d3 Component Purchase DC: 10 Component Weight: 0.25 kg Kast Check DC: 14 Kasting Time: 1 full round Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters), but see text Target: One explosive device of any size Duration: Until set off Used in conjunction with standard explosives, a transpathic detonator protocol allows a warkaster to trigger the device by mental command (as opposed to a more conventional timer, tripwire or pressure plate). Any explosive device, including a mine or protocol-powered explosive, can be so triggered, but the kaster must touch the device when the protocol is kast. The caster may trigger it at any time thereafter as a free action, so long as the explosive is within range.

T ranspathic Signal Protocol (TSP)

U.R.R.S. (Infokaster, Nokgorkan Priestess) Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 Component Purchase DC: 12 Component Weight: 0.25 kg Kast Check DC: 13 Kasting Time: 1 full round Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters) Target: Two willing creatures touched Duration: (Kast check result) x 1 day Saving Throw: See text Sorcery Resistance: No A transpathic signal protocol creates a two-way mental link for battlefi eld communications. This works in a very similar manner to a walkie-talkie, but is not vulnerable to conventional jamming and allows the transmittal of more information. It does not create telepathy, but a user is capable of sending brief “snapshots” of his or her memory or senses. This might include a “portrait” of an enemy, or the view from a particular building. One side effect of this protocol is it can give the target a headache. There are no particular game effects of this, though characters are encouraged to roleplay occasional headaches if using TSPs a lot. Overkast: Up to two additional creatures can be affected per grade, allowing for four-way communication at Grade I, six-way at Grade II, etc., Section III: The world, Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star he Lands of the Red Star are vast nearly beyond imagining. Stretching from the borders of the frigid Danelands in the Twest to the near endless plains of the icy Eastern Tundra, there lays a great empire, forged by the dreams of millions of workers and the will of one man. Not so long ago, there was a very different sort of kingdom across that immense land, ruled with a cruel hand by scions of an ancient house. That tyranny lives no longer, however, for no people will endure slavery forever. With Imbohl’s Revolution, the Ancient Dynasties were thrown down and the people now rule themselves through the advent of the Red Council. Or so they would like to believe.

The C hronicles

The history of the Lands of the Red Star has always been could not be easily recounted though he always claimed the collected into a vast folio called, “The Chronicles.” As each hardest quests he ever accomplished were the ones his wife era passes, a new Chronicle is added to the cycle. Exactly set him for the price of her hand. what determines when a new Chronicle is to begin is oft subject to scholarly debate, Urik’s wife was a powerful but it is inevitably a great sorceress named Bella Vara. change for the people of the It was widely believed she Motherland. could read the future as readily as a priest could read

Chapter Six: a book. While the pair was First away on a journey, a pair of Vakir — terrible shape Chronicle shifting beasts that preyed

on the tribes — killed their Even in their oldest recorded entire family. Urik soon found days, the Reds were a fi erce The United out that his people had people. They needed to be desperately begged for aid if they wished to survive from other tribes in fi ghting the many hardships of their the Vakir, but they had been chosen home. They roamed Republics denied. A force both great across the mountains and and terrible arose within the fi elds of their lands, driving prince; he was determined their herds — and often their that what had happened to enemies — before them. of the Red his family would never be allowed to happen again For many long years, there while there was breath in were hundreds of scattered his body. With Bella’s help, tribes, each one differing Urik rallied the remains of his from the others, sometimes Star people, and hunted down the wildly, especially if they Vakir.came from entirely different environments. The hill tribes If Urik’s revenge had ended of the southwest had as with the shifter’s deaths, the little in common with the farmers of the central plains as history of the Motherland would have been very different. those farmers in turn had with the nomadic ice walkers who It did not. The prince reasoned that what had happened to roamed over the Eastern Tundra. Still, a man of great vision his family would continue to happen to others if the current rose to unite them, setting a pattern that was to recur many situation of disparate tribes was allowed to continue. If all times over in the Lands of the Red Star. His name was Urik the tribes were united into one mighty nation, however, their Koroleva Zimyatov, but the First Chronicle remembers him as strength would hold all enemies at bay. Furthermore, the Prince Urik I. vicious intertribal raids that had claimed so many lives over the years would also be ended. Urik was the third son of a tribal warlord. He was gifted, or perhaps cursed, with a ranging mind that ever searched the Bella Vara fully endorsed his bold new plan and together they next horizon. He traveled set about conquering the far in his youth, meeting Motherland. Their courage many different tribes and and conviction won them absorbing their varying “From the dust I came, and to the dust I shall many allies, including cultures, something rare for the time. He was an one day return. But my people will endure and the Deathless Seer, Kiril and the legendary extraordinarily skilled this land will endure, yea, even unto the ending General Samsonov. Their swordsman, a master of numerous deeds fi ll a languages, and perfectly of the world, the Red Star will still shine.” large portion of the First content to be the third son. In time, his brave deeds -Prince Urik I, First Chronicle Chronicle, but not all they did is pleasant to hear., Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

Urik was indisputably heroic, but he was also ruthless. He a mismatched pair of Warrior Kings, one in the west and one ordered entire ruling families that fought against him put to in the east, to end their perverse rule forever. the sword, so they could never rise again to plot revenge. Bella Vera employed terrible forbidden magic to secure her husband’s position. On a number of occasions, she used T hird Chronicle her powers to kidnap or kill children of intractable tribal Dmitri Baranova was born on a frozen plain in the middle of leaders who would not bow to Urik’s persuasion, but were too the Eastern Tundra, his mother forced to camp down for the powerful to attack directly. Because of these and many other night as she traveled from one outlying village to another dark deeds ascribed to her, true or not, her name remains a delivering medicine. She rose the next morning, mere hours curse, a warning to make children behave in the Lands of the after her labor and proceeded onward with her new son in Red Star to this very day. In the end, they were triumphant. tow. Such was the mother that bore him, and Dmitri lived up Urik’s empire endured for several centuries after his demise, to her hard legacy. up until the coming of the Depraved Ones of the Golden Horde and the Great Darkness. In his tenth year, Dmitri slew a full-grown man for an insult. As a teenager, he snapped the spine of a huge wolf using his As for Bella Vera, there are those who say that she lives still. bare hands when he caught the beast in the midst of stealing a child. He was tactically gifted and so strong of mind he

S econd Chronicle could move objects with the force of his will, a rare but not

unknown talent in the Lands of the Red Star at that time. He They came from the southeast riding their great steeds over was famous for hurling javelins by thought alone with such the fi elds and taking heads like a farmer would scythe wheat. force they could split stone. One year the Bleak Horsemen Why they came is the source of long debate, for there is no sent a creature after Dmitri, a creature summoned from some single answer. Perhaps Urik’s aging empire was weak and dark plane. He slew it by impaling it with cold iron spears, ripe for the taking. Perhaps it was perceived as strong; in which was the fi rst time anyone had ever managed to kill one those early years, the Bleak Horsemen loved a challenge. of the things. And thus his legend grew. Whatever their reason, the Depraved Ones, the most wicked of all the tribes of the Golden Horde from the Lands of the As Dmitri came into manhood, he knew the time had come to Dragon, came. Their own people cursed them and whispered end the Great Darkness forever. He determined the Depraved dark stories around late fi res of their twisted deeds. They fed Ones had become weak with the years and they were ripe for their horses on the fl esh of men and prayed to beings best overthrow. When he raised his banner in the east, men and left unnamed. They came and swept away all that had been women fl ocked to him from across all the Motherland. Within before, replacing it with their cruel and capricious dictates. a year, he approached the Ice Wall Mountains with an army at his back. The passes were closed when they arrived, but The Golden Horde passed through many lands, demanding to the awe of his followers, Dmitri shattered a mountainside or taking tribute as they went, but even those fell warriors had with his spears, creating a new route allowing his army to been unwilling to bear their malevolent kin for long, so they sweep through the few fortresses the Depraved Ones still banished them to the north, to the Lands of the Red Star. The had manned. They marched down onto the steppes all but Bleak Horsemen found the Motherland suited them, and they unopposed, to where the Grand Duke of the Citadel was set up a system of provinces allowing them to more easily waiting for them. subjugate their massive, newly conquered realm. While Dmitri fi rst toddled across the tundra, Prince Ivan The laws of the Golden Horde were seldom just, nor their Vasilovitch was born to the ruling family of the Citadel. For treatment kind. Anguish was the lot of the dominated Reds, many years, the Citadel gained in prominence. The seat of and woe to any daring to raise a fi st against one of their new Pravda’s worship was placed there a century before Ivan’s masters. They regularly demanded tribute in crops, in gold, birth, causing the Depraved Ones to avoid the city. Because and in blood. They seized children and sacrifi ced them on of this, it was rich enough their taxation never managed to basalt altars to their thirsty gods. In the hours when no light reduce its wealth. shines, they cavorted with creatures they’d called from other planes, setting them to hunt peasants for sport when no other A kindly monk and Ivan’s wet nurse raised the boy, for his amusement presented itself. noble parents had little time for him, embroiled as they were in the battle for political control. Ivan grew up on the heroic The rest of the riders of the Golden Horde eventually tales of the distant past and with his naturally calculating mind withdrew to their own lands, but not so the Depraved Ones. and modest training in scheming (learned by observing his They found the Motherland too much to their liking by far. family), he grew into an exceptionally clever, idealistic man. The Chronicles name their long and terrible reign, “the Great Long before he took his place on his father’s throne, he laid Darkness.” out his plans. The nobles of the Reds retained their titles but little real Within days of becoming Duke Ivan III, he secretly invaded power, mainly so they could supply the Bleak Horsemen with several neighboring cities using highly trained foreign the goods they demanded. Throughout those dark centuries, mercenaries and seized their annual tributes before they however, the people always looked to the nobles for could go to the Bleak Horsemen. When the Depraved Ones guidance, regardless of how little power they actually wielded; complained about the lack of tribute, he claimed bandits this was eventually to be the Depraved Ones’ undoing. Still, would be bandits and he would do his best to make it up to for nearly three hundred years, the Lands of the Red Star them in following years. Their reluctance to come near the bore the heavy yoke of the Great Darkness. It took the rise of seat of Pravda’s worship greatly aided his plans, naturally,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

and after using this and a number of other equally clever ruses, he established a sizable war chest before making his pitch to his fellow nobles — by whom would they rather be ruled: the Bleak Horsemen or one of their own? They decided unanimously for Ivan, but only after he had made some painful concessions in regards to their control over their provinces. Ivan could order them about, but their control over their people was absolute. With their backing secure, the Grand Duke turned his eyes towards the remnants of the Depraved Ones. Many decades of easy tribute and soft living had taken its toll upon the once mighty Bleak Horsemen. Where once they would have instantly swept in with fi re and sword over the missing tribute money, destroying all regardless of guilt, they now sent nothing more than sharply worded demands. They still had terrible allies to draw upon; these allies occupied many of Ivan’s thoughts. Before he had decided on any course of action, however, news from the east interrupted him. It seemed a great army fl ooded through the Ice Wall, demanding retribution for years of oppression. Ivan stopped only to give thanks at Pravda’s shrine for what he knew was more than coincidence before taking a small contingent of his best warriors and riding at once to meet the “Lord of the Tundra,” as Dmitri was then called. One would think the two men, so diametrically opposed, would immediately detest one another. In fact, quite the opposite occurred. Both men were superb judges of character, and each found in the other a brother-in-arms he had long sought. Whereas Ivan was cunning and adept at politics, Dmitri was fearless and a master of battle. Several books of the Third Chronicle are devoted to their epic struggle against the Depraved Ones. Many lives were lost to accomplish it, but after three years the Bleak Horsemen were destroyed and the Great Darkness was lifted at last. For a brief time at least, the people of the Lands of the Red Star breathed easier. Ivan married Dmitri’s sister, with Dmitri marrying one of Ivan’s cousins in turn. This founded the two fi rst families of what would eventually be referred to as the Ancient Dynasties, in part because both families claimed descent from lines that stretched all the way back to the time of Urik I.

The Ancient Dynasties

For many years, the various families of the Ancient Dynasties and the other noble houses were quite content to maintain the status quo throughout their empire. They continued to demand their peasants produce as much as they did during the years of the Great Darkness, but instead of passing the fruits of their people’s labor onto a foreign power, they kept it to themselves. As the rest of the world slowly advanced, the Lands of the Red Star remained mired in their old ways. Their conservative brethren eliminated nobles seeking reform — until the coming of Gregor the Stone, so called because of his knack of outwardly appearing to be emotionless and his skin’s uncanny ability to turn assassins’ blades. Gregor traveled throughout the Great Continent in his youth, absorbing the ways and culture of a number of other countries. When he returned from his journeys abroad to assume control of the Citadel and rule a large portion of the west, he forced a number of changes to bring his land in,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

line with the rest of the world. He reformed the antiquated of the Lands of the Red Star rose, a righteous anger burning bureaucracy, founded technical schools — including the Iron in their hearts. Denied so much for so long, their rage once Hall (a school dedicated to sorcery) — encouraged the arts, unleashed was all but uncontrollable, save for the will of updated the alphabet, and established military conscription. Imbohl. Imbohl marshaled the conscripted forces of the Red Gregor’s conscription acts were actually the basis for the fi rst Fleet, long drawn almost exclusively from the peasantry, incarnation of the Red Fleet. to rise up against the corrupt noble houses that armed them. Imbohl carefully planned the efforts of the Revolution, Though Gregor succeeded, somewhat, in modernizing miraculous in his ability to accurately guess the movements his country, he did so at the expense of the peasantry. He of his enemies. Imbohl’s will could move mountains and his passed the costs of his changes onto his nobles, who in turn words could topple nations. forced them upon their subjects. While the privileged families of the Great Dynasties eventually benefi ted a great deal from It was only a short time before the Revolution swept the Gregor’s reforms (though they complained about them bitterly Ancient Dynasties away. Most of the ruling families either as they happened), the increasingly impoverished peasants were put to the sword or exiled to the Eastern Tundra, though ultimately paid the price. a small number who had retained the good will of their people were allowed to join in the Revolution. Victory in hand, Imbohl Most of Gregor’s successors made little lasting impression, proposed the foundations of a utopian new government, at least until Lady Niole came to the throne. Niole was a where all people would help in dictating the will of the state. powerful sorceress, a patroness of the arts, and a skilled politician. Under her reign, the Motherland continued to The proud comrades of the Revolution strongly supported expand in infl uence on the Great Continent. Niole was also a Imbohl’s plan. Their new country was to be named the United ruthless classicist and intolerant of dissent, however, caring Republics of the Red Star, in tacit acknowledgement of the little for the troubles of her people. Despite this, scholars many different provinces that were, essentially, their own generally deem her one of the last scions of any of the independent bodies, but that all had chosen to join a new, Ancient Dynasties’ lines with any foresight. and greater, whole. There were some voices of dissent, notably in Nokgorka, but these were soon silenced. From Niole onward, a combination of complacency, insanity, and — so rumor goes — inbreeding plagued the various In less than a year, the fi rst Red Council convened, elected noble families. A few of the noble lines struggled to retain from the leaders of the Revolution representing all the varying their ancient dignity, while the rest plunged into decadent republics. Imbohl, at his fellows’ insistence and reluctantly madness. Vicious blood sports, drunken orgies, and far worse to all appearances, took his place at their head. Once fi rmly became commonplace throughout the empire, as the ruling ensconced in his position and given the power he had fought noble house of each province tried to outdo the others in so long for, Imbohl changed. their debauchery. All the while, the peasants suffered long drudging lives the nobles deemed to be worth less than the At fi rst, the differences were slight. His supporters stated cost of their tiniest silver spoons. When the Revolution came, he was merely absorbed in rebuilding the Republics after unbelievably, the nobles actually had the gall to be surprised. the destruction caused by the Revolution and he couldn’t be pressed for other matters. His detractors… well, therein lay the problem. At fi rst, Imbohl quietly exiled his detractors

Fourth Chronicle — even ones not public about their disapproval —to the

Eastern Tundra. But within a few years, though, there was There are so many stories about the glorious leader of the nothing quiet about it. Anyone who said anything against the Great Revolution it is diffi cult to separate myth from fact. glorious leader of the Revolution was fortunate to merely be The active encouragement of differing versions of the tales sent to the icy east, never to return. Many others were simply doesn’t make the task any easier. executed on the spot. His name is Imbohl, and depending on which story you A courageous few brought to light the fact that many of the believe, he is either the son of an aristocrat, a farmer with a Nokgorkan Elders had been “persuaded” to join the Republics gift for sorcery, or a demon from the Ice Wall. All accounts of the Red Star with a bullet to the back of the head. Slowly, agree he is one of the most gifted sorcerers to ever be trained some of the Reds began to realize they had exchanged a in the Iron Hall. whole group of tyrants for a single one. Any plans directed at As the Ancient Dynasties entered their last years of removing Imbohl stopped forever as fate, in the form of the existence, a new philosophy swept across the Motherland. Aryan Nationalist Party, intervened. Worrisome news from the Imbohl was one of its chief proponents, though not its actual Great Continent of the rise of the Volksreich drew off criticism architect. It was called Internationalism. from Imbohl. When the “wise” leader of the Revolution smoothly maneuvered into a brief peace with the Volksreich, Internationalism is generally described to be a belief in the his people once again hailed him as a visionary leader. rights and dignity of the common man the world over. Under its tenets, all men are equal, none more important than any Imbohl’s pact with the Aryan leader, Krieger, was merely a other. Through labor, all work to the greatest universal good, delaying tactic. He could clearly see how Krieger’s lust for and all men and women are comrades in the struggle for a power rivaled his own. Within hours of walking away from his better world. fi nal meeting with the Aryans, Imbohl quietly passed a law through the Red Council tripling conscription numbers for the This then, was the basis of the Revolution. From their muddy new and improved Red Fleet. Long before the Volksreich ever fi elds and dilapidated villages, the long tormented peasants attacked the U.R.R.S., Imbohl planned for the war to come.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

Even Imbohl’s great foresight didn’t entirely allow him to prepare After the fi rst two decades of the Ironhold, Imbohl nominally his country for the sheer impact of the Aryans’ army. Still, the stepped down from being the First Comrade of the dark clouds of the Great Patriotic War held an unseen benefi t Red Council. All Reds with any conception of how their for Imbohl. Many of his critics, and even a number of less-than- government worked, however, were well aware the old man fanatical supporters, were sent to the front lines to be crushed was still in charge and his will remained intractable. The state under the Aryans’ krawls. Millions fell defending the Motherland, labeled dissenters as unpatriotic and anyone speaking out and all the while, Imbohl’s position simply grew stronger. too loudly against the policies Imbohl and the Red Council favored was deemed a spy or subversive from the West, and Following the war, Imbohl and the Red Council found then exiled to the Eastern Tundra. themselves exactly where they wanted to be. The only force left in the world that could truly oppose the U.R.R.S. was the As useful as the Ironhold was in some respects, it effectively Western Transnational Alliance (W.T.A.). Imbohl fi rmly upheld masked certain truths. Many Reds that might have usefully the idea of establishing the Global Council, telling his fellows contributed to their society stayed silent in the face of the on the Red Council it would allow them to keep an eye on the conservative regime, leading to stagnation in a number doings of the W.T.A. Actually, Imbohl found the existence of of areas of the Republics. Innovation was often frowned the W.T.A. highly useful to his schemes. Imbohl was known to upon to the detriment of all, causing a widening gap in privately joke the Westerners had done him a big favor, for if technology and sorcery with the more research-liberal West. the W.T.A. hadn’t have existed, he would’ve needed to create The dogma of the Red Council rang increasingly hollow as something exactly like the Ironhold without them. modern communication devices showed the W.T.A. was defi nitely improving beyond the means of the U.R.R.S. Having an enemy to divert their people’s attention was to prove extremely useful many times over the years for Imbohl Despite this, the state allowed nothing to change. More and and the Red Council. It allowed them to both further their more Reds braved exile to the east to voice their belief their militaristic agenda and to suppress all opposition, all for the country headed towards destruction, yet the Internationalist cause of “the Motherland.” Money for programs the people Party and the Red Council insisted everything was to go on of the Republics might have insisted upon to benefi t all exactly as it was. Internationalism would eventually triumph. comrades, such as decent health care and improved social All was well with the United Republics of the Red Star, and services, found its way in military research. There was always they would show the world this by sending the invincible Red another confl ict somewhere in the world that attention could Fleet to assist comrades in need of aid ... be diverted to, inevitably a country needing assistance from the corrupt decadence of the West. ...to the country of Al’Istaan.

Hope & Fear: Life in the U.R.R.S.

sides and loose soil. Fortunately, a number of broad passes

The Lands of the Red Star mitigate the danger, but historically many lost their lives

crossing it, lending to its sinister reputation. The United Republics of the Red Star encompass a staggering 18,035,000 square kilometers, stretching over The south is mostly uplands and the beginnings of mountain one seventh of the world’s land surface. Such a vast amount ranges that fi nd their fruition in other countries. Several of terrain covers a variety of environments, including large inland bodies of water also lie to the south, including forests, mountains, grasslands, desert, volcanoes, and — of the Sea of Hyrkahn, which dominates a fair portion of the course — a lot of tundra. Unfortunately for the Reds (and border. Winters are relatively mild in the west and summers occasionally their neighbors as they were forced to expand), pleasantly warm. a huge portion of their land is unusable for agriculture, due to Beyond the Ice Wall lies the vast plain of the Eastern Tundra, arid temperatures, bad soil, or extreme cold. Nevertheless, constituting just over two-thirds of the total landmass of the the abundant farms of the Motherland still produce over 90 U.R.R.S. The Eastern Tundra is only partially tundra, despite million tons of grain each year. its name. The western and southern portions are generally The west is a long series of broad plains and low hills, the swamplands, with a large number of rivers running off the seat of much of the nation’s agriculture. Relatively mild in Ice Wall and deep lakes. Moving northwards, the land rises temperature and somewhat humid compared to the rest of from the wetlands to become taiga — wide coniferous forests the Motherland, the west is often considered to be the most running to the horizon in all directions. The taiga ends where agreeable place to live, making it no surprise that the Citadel, the permafrost starts, the true beginning to the enormous capital of the Red Star Republics, sits there in the center of a tundra dominating the thoughts of nearly every Red — it is broad plain. there, in the freezing north, that the infamous labor camps dwell. The Ice Wall Mountain range runs through the heart of the western Republics, bisecting the great central plains and east Winters in the Eastern Tundra can be devastating. A warm from west. Starting in the North Sea and stretching almost day is when the temperature climbs to –26° Celsius. While directly south, the Ice Wall is over 2600 kilometers long, the the Eastern Tundra is rich in mineral resources and lumber, highest peak being the People’s Hook, which stands just over the diffi culties in extracting raw materials from that harsh 2000 meters. The Ice Wall is a treacherous range, with sheer landscape have discouraged any real efforts at development.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

At the end of every summer, “Pravda’s Nights” grace a large disproportionately large number of Reds to become fanatics, swath of the Motherland. For a week or so, the sun does not cynics, and/or alcoholics. sink below the horizon, leading to brightly lit evenings and a general lack of sleep for those unaccustomed to it. Reds The Reds value strength, endurance and honor, holding consider it unlucky to start any new ventures other than the individuals with such traits in high favor. A comrade known opening of more cases of vodka during Pravda’s Nights; little to be a villain is held favorably if he’s a tough and honest is accomplished during this period, other than a great deal of villain. Culturally, they commit themselves to excellence, revelry. encouraging all of their fellows to strive to be the best at whatever it is they do. The government continually reinforces this notion by rewarding the fi nest in many fi elds. Comrades All This long-standing practice, however, confl icts with the Picture a warrior, resolute and bold, who takes on any tendency most Reds have towards being conservative. They challenge, faces any enemy, all because he believes in his are painfully slow to embrace new ideas and concepts. Those destiny and in his people. Picture this same warrior as he gaining distinction typically do so by upholding the old “tried begins to see the subtle cracks running through the dogma and true” ways in a method superior to their predecessors’ supporting him, as he suspects his bright and shining truths efforts. This unusual combination of values produces a slowly twist into lies, leaving him helpless to change it. Picture number of frustrated visionaries over the years, but those this, and you can begin to grasp the character of the Reds of willing to discuss innovation in the last century have dwindled the Republics. to a trickle under the hard gaze of Imbohl and the frequently Frustrated and impotent, they sadly look on as the ancient unseen menace of the Fourth Hook of the Kommissariat. history of their people repeats itself, mangling their utopian The Reds, once widely known as a gregarious people, have dreams. They are trapped, trapped because they so want become taciturn to ward away an unexpected trip to the east. to believe that the United Republics of the Red Star is the Comrades are now publicly praised for their “noble stoicism,” fi nest country in the world. They desperately deny what which serves as a backhanded complement directed at those their senses tell them, trusting Imbohl and the Red Council skilled at keeping their mouths shut. Complete trust is rare know what they’re doing. To a people dedicated to Pravda, among them, making Reds loyal to their true friends and Goddess of Truth, there is no sin as unforgivable as a correspondingly bitter to those who they feel have betrayed deliberate and malicious lie. Because of this, they do not them. They are not even vaguely forgiving. In fact, the Reds allow themselves to believe their leaders deceive them, and are famed for the lengths they’ll go to in order to achieve they certainly won’t accept they help to further the lie through vengeance for even the simplest slights. their inaction. The cycle grows worse with each year, causing a number of social problems the Red Council always blames Many of the varied Republics retain their own character on other factors. The stress of their chosen course caused a quirks, which outsiders fi nd diffi cult to determine, but fellow Reds note within minutes of meeting a new comrade.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

Those from the south are strongly inclined towards religious doesn’t have a choice whether she joins the military — it is convictions, though whether their faith is directed towards required on penalty of death. Pravda or the One True God depends on the region from which they come. Reds from the west are typically relaxed The U.R.R.S. has a number of globally well-regarded and given to whimsy, though they are shrewd about politics, institutions of higher learning, the two most prestigious being more than are their fellows. Reds hailing from the mountains the Academy and the Iron Hall. The Academy is one of the of the Ice Wall and the Eastern Tundra are as hard as they foremost military academies in the world; the majority of come, for neither of those regions suffers fools gladly. They’re Red Fleet offi cers are alumni. The great Gregor the Stone also thought to be stern and humorless. founded the Iron Hall and it is more theoretical in its approach to sorcery than the battlefi eld practicality of the Academy’s Sorcery Corps.

D aily Life Most protocol research is connected to the Iron Hall in one-

“Do your duty and be content” is one of the mottos of the way or another. Since Imbohl was a graduate of its honors Republics, though many fi nd it a diffi cult concept to embrace. program, entry is a highly sought after prize. Sorcery, once The United Republics of the Red Star is nominally a modern regarded as a spiritual and otherworldly force, is a science country, with all the jobs and tasks that entails, though according to the offi cial policy of the U.R.R.S. There has greatly fi ltered through the philosophy of Internationalism. been a conscious effort by those in power to strip away any Correspondingly, all young citizens take directed classes spiritual signifi cance from the casting of protocols. They are from an early age preparing tools, no more, no less. While them to be productive sorceresses, and the rarer members of the sorcerers, are widely Republics and utilize their respected, Reds grant natural skills to the best them the same due they advantage. They’re also would any skilled surgeon. subject to a great deal The only exceptions to of subtle (and some not this are Warkasters, who so subtle) indoctrination, people rightly regard from the fi rst moment as living weapons, and they set foot in a school. therefore approach them cautiously. While a regimen of practical classes sounds Agriculture counts for over good in theory, a number a third of the Republics’ of students fi nd that revenues and the majority they’ve been incorrectly of citizens not in the pigeonholed into a career military are involved in that doesn’t suit them, some way in farming. long after too much time The U.R.R.S.’s major has passed to do anything industries include oil, gas about it. This, however, is only the lot of the lower classes, production, mining, construction equipment, and timber as children of the privileged families have a greater say in exports. Fish, paper, and textiles are also widely exported. As their destiny and therefore enjoy fl exibility when it comes the government owns the majority of businesses, individual to changing careers. That, of course, brings up the fact comrades tend to benefi t little from their success or suffer there are advantaged lineages. As the old saying goes, “All from their failures. Most Reds live just above the poverty line. comrades are equal, and some are more equal than others.” Luxuries of every sort are rare and expensive. Items from Fortunate families are inevitably involved with the Red the West are especially favored but are dangerous to own, Council, the military, or both. Many are descendants of the as showing interest in such goods can bring unfavorable founders of the Revolution and the original supporters of attention from the Kommissariat. The Republics proscribed Imbohl. Others come from the noble lines that survived the or censored an extensive list of items and the list changes fall of the Ancient Dynasties; a rare few hold their place regularly. A book legal a year ago may be a capital offense by sheer talent or genetics (strong psychics or potent now. The list includes the majority of addictive drugs, works in sorceresses for example). The only way a “commoner” gets any medium that decry the superiority of Internationalism, and out of their pre-ordained path is by joining the military, which all forms of fantasy fi ction depicting sorcery as being magical. is by far the largest employer in all the Republics. The only One of the constants Reds have to deal with is losing friends other industries coming close are a variety of commonwealth and loved ones to the Eastern Tundra, as no one goes farms. without losing someone they know to exile. Seldom does Over 20 percent of the total population of 200 million workers anyone know why a given comrade was exiled to the East; is either a member of, or support for, the Red Fleet. Indeed, asking such questions is grounds for following after them. a number of ex-citizens, specifi cally the Zeks of the Eastern Quiet speculation on the subject is commonplace, of course, Tundra labor camps, have no choice but to support the Red and remains a popular topic for discussion. There are as Fleet as their very lives depend upon it. A Red who shows many theories on how citizens are picked for exile as there any aptitude for sorcery, regardless of her social class, are Reds. All agree keeping your head down and your mouth,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

shut is the best way to avoid trouble, but even this sage internal pressure by the government, and only the worst advice hasn’t stopped people from being sent to the tundra, offenders get more than a token slap on the wrist. who were to all observers innocent of any wrongdoing. The most common theory is the Kommissariat developed The UR.R.S is famous for its commitment to the arts, though a protocol capable of reading disloyal thoughts; the most the government prefers works of a non-controversial nature. publicly scoffed-at theory is there is a secret lottery where Correspondingly, the Red Council is swift to praise artists names are drawn at random when lacking true subversives upholding “traditional” Republics’ values and censor those to exile. that don’t. Reds wear simple, functional clothing. Very few materials There remains a large underground of creators daring exile other than plain cloth and wool are affordable on the budget or worse for the sake of their work. Life in the Republics most families have to live on. Even if they can afford to have forces the passions of many Reds to run deep. Sometimes, fi neries, Reds automatically dress down in public to avoid the only way they can safely express their true inner feelings undue attention. Members of the Red Fleet wear appropriate is through art. A number of skilled painters come from the uniforms, frequently combat armor in the case of front line Republics. Their intricately carved religious icons, especially troops. the many depictions of Pravda, are justifi ably celebrated. The government sponsors several internationally famous ballet companies, which tour abroad regularly.

E ntertainment

Where the Reds truly shine, though, is in their moving The Reds are avid sports fans, and admire skilled athletes literature. Authors fi ll their books with honorable characters from every sport. They enjoy a wide variety of games, though forced to make incredibly hard, and often selfl ess, choices for Handless-style ice hockey is the likely favorite. Players the sake of their people, along with a wide variety of subtle compete using modifi ed hooks, which they cannot grasp philosophical musings. The most famous of all Red authors while on the rink. Their love of excellence in any endeavor is the defi ant “Goyeskov” — a pseudonym, Imbohl himself applies here, though, and they appreciate cerebral challenges wants the author behind the name for high treason by. To as well. Chess is a common pastime at all levels of society, own any of his works in the Republics is punishable by exile, and masters achieve wide recognition. Go is profoundly yet his epic Tears in Winter is the most famous and widely respected at the Academy, as it is believed to hone the minds read book in the history of the Lands of the Red Star. It is the of its players for strategy on the battlefi eld. story of a young Red Trooper named Vladimir Fyoderov who Reds love a good scrap and they aren’t above starting one joins the Great Revolution to fi ght for the future of his country. if bored. Since they are also fond of alcohol, this leads to As the tale progresses, the harsh realities of war and a wide a regular eruption of drunken brawls in many cities of the array of archetypal characters drawn from the entire history of Republics. The state sees this as a good “steam valve” for the Motherland strip away his idealism. By the fi nal chapter,,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

he becomes one of the greatest heroes of the Revolution, but to destroying what they left to give no succor to the enemy. chooses to commit suicide with his own hook rather than live They burn their own fi elds rather than let an opponent have in the country built on lies he helped create. Naturally, Imbohl them. This actually led to the development of some diplomacy objected. among the early tribes, as they were all aware their opponents would give them nothing. They’ve since extended this attitude

Beliefs to their confl icts abroad. What the Reds have long regarded

as standard practice though, the rest of the world looks on The offi cial state religion of the United Republics of the Red with a slight amount of awe. While some many question their Star is the worship of Pravda, Goddess of Truth. Pravda’s sanity, no one questions their courage or willingness to do symbol is the Red Star, whose light supposedly pierces into whatever it takes to achieve victory. The blood soaked fi elds of the deepest trenches and the darkest hearts, exposing the Pravdagrad proved that for all time. lies to which the unjust cling so fi ercely. Their doctrine holds that Pravda was imprisoned, some accounts say forcibly Martial skills were straightforward among the Reds until the exiled, countless planes away from the world of man. This, arrival of the Depraved Ones. While the Bleak Horsemen they claim, is why deceptions are so predominate in modern certainly didn’t intend their conquered foes to learn anything culture, because Pravda’s sister, Krivda, Mistress of Lies, from them, the Reds studied their fi ghting style with interest. roamed the world unopposed for so long. Flashier martial arts never really appealed to the Reds’ nature, but they took to using a number of the more practical holds Still, her lingering infl uence manifests in the actions of the and throws in their grappling, leading to the development just. Pravda’s clergy settle disputes, as their impartiality and of a distinctly Red wrestling style called Bersk. Bersk is a dedication to truth are regarded as sacrosanct. Several of brutal practical form whose sole purpose is to incapacitate an the most dedicated detectives in the history of the Lands of opponent long enough for a killing blow. Regular practitioners the Red Star were among Pravda’s chosen priests. Followers have hugely muscled forearms and stern expressions. of Pravda regard “Pravda’s Nights” during the summer as a holy time, and restrain themselves from the rampant The hook is the Red weapon of choice; it is certainly one of carousing occupying most Reds during those weeks. State the fi rst things non-Reds think of when asked to describe a propaganda holds the Red Fleet is Pravda’s Army and their Red soldier. The core of the standard hook fi ghting style is mission is to bring the light of truth into the dark places of the attributed to the Warrior King, Dmitri Baranova. The basic world, cleansing them of evil. Because of this, Internationalist thrusts and parries with a hook taught at the Academy are ideology states the worship of Pravda is acceptable, but too taken from a short treatise he wrote later in life. As more fervent a faith is inappropriate in a party member. A number advanced weaponry was introduced to the battlefi eld, hook of the southern provinces, especially Nokgorka, are devout use evolved in a number of ways. That a spinning hook could followers of the One True God and adhere to the teachings of defl ect low caliber arms fi re was discovered by accident his Law. during the Great Patriotic War, where a similar technique was being used to block shrapnel. While the Reds are disinclined The Reds are a superstitious people, prone to reading omens towards innovation, their love of effi ciency led them to into a number of natural phenomena. While they now benefi t continually expand the hook’s repertoire and add on modular from modern educations, the “peasantry” still falls back on the components to change its battlefi eld role. The hailer is less old ways when confronted by forces they don’t understand. famous, but no less deadly. The limited number of individuals Many Reds suspect that demons of wind and snow still haunt with a will strong enough to wield one, however, effectively the lonely passes of the Ice Wall, though one hasn’t been limits its use to all but the most elite forces. seen in generations. When a wolf pack grows too clever, they murmur of the Vakir, the dread Shifters; when a child goes The U.R.R.S. believes in a policy of applying overwhelming missing, they whisper tales of the Great Darkness and the force against any obstacle. They always deploy more than Bleak Horsemen’s fell allies and they shudder. Down all the the maximum number of soldiers they needed for any given long years, the legend of Bella Vera never faded, only grown. situation. Their scores of successes have made many Red The offi cial stance of the U.R.R.S. is nothing goes bump in commanders arrogant regarding what they believe their the night without their permission — scant comfort when one troops can accomplish. They underestimate their foes, hears strange ululating cries echoing over the steppes in the sending only a handful of the forces at their disposal to wipe darkness. out a threat. If the fi rst wave of an attack doesn’t succeed, their solution is always to send more troops. While this frequently gets the job done, the attrition rate of Red soldiers F ighting Traditions is extraordinarily high. Red troopers use the phrase, “He’s If there was ever a time when peace held sway in the searching for a gold chest,” when referring to a commanding Motherland, it is remembered nowhere in the Chronicles. offi cer who is especially well known for considering his troops The culture of the Lands of the Red Star has always been a to be expendable, as the belief runs a high body count in an martial one, and the coming of the U.R.R.S. did nothing to engagement leads to more medals for the unit’s commander. change that. In fact, Imbohl and the Red Council encouraged A growing number of soldiers suspect the highest-ranking it, as it suited their ambitions. offi cers in the Red Fleet engage in tactics specifi cally Early confl icts in the Motherland were always fought over designed to kill off large numbers of their men. Since that resources, most often arable land. This developed a vindictive thought seems ludicrous on the surface, of course, they fi nd habit among the Reds of using “scorched earth” policies in their it hard to credit. Certainly none of their comrades wanted fi ghting. In other words, as they gave ground, they’re inclined to believe it either, but this quiet misgiving affects morale throughout the Red Fleet.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star The Red Fleet coordinating the efforts of millions of soldiers. He used the Infokasters of the Sorcery Corps as the underlying support

The nobles of the Ancient Dynasties created the fi rst for his new command structure, knowing such a group was incarnation of what would one day become the Red Fleet critical to directing so large a military force. By all accounts, to protect their various fi efs from the aggressions of their he succeeded. The Red Army was the largest body of fi ghting neighbors, or to infl ict those same aggressions if they so troops ever assembled on the planet, and they worked with chose. For over a thousand years, all fi ghting troops in far more precision than anyone believed was possible. It the Lands of the Red Star had been either freemen or is true millions of comrades fell in the Great Patriotic War, mercenaries, for the peasants weren’t allowed to carry but there were millions more to take their places and fi ght weapons. Professionals cost money, however, and from for the honor the U.R.R.S. After victory was declared, the the point of view of their rulers, the lives of peasants were Red Council saw no reason to entirely disband their newly free. Thus, they inducted them into small militias, lead by a formed might, especially in light of their increasingly strained younger ambitious noble. relationship with the West. Gregor the Stone modifi ed the practice further by requiring As the scope of the Red Army’s duties expanded and the each province place a peasant levy at his disposal to form number of confl icts rose, the Red Council decided the a single, national Red Army, continuing the old tradition of parameters of its operational capacity had to change. Enter putting an upper class offi cer over the peasant troops by the wildly brilliant sorcerer-engineer Sergei Korolev. founding the Academy. Many of the noble houses created Korolev’s revolutionary designs changed the structure of the their own peasant units, forcing them to perform a number of Red Army forever. His innovations in krawl design and fi ghter revolting acts for the nobles’ amusement. With the arrival of craft haven’t been duplicated to this day, but his hallmark was the Revolution, it was easy for Imbohl to persuade the Red the creation of the mighty skyfurnace. Each one is unique Army and other forces of the Ancient Dynasties to join him, and constructed under different parameters, though all were as the greater bulk of them came from such long-abused built with two overriding concerns in mind: moving massive peasant families. numbers of troops anywhere in the world at a moment’s After the rise of the Aryan Nationalist Party of the Volksreich notice, and utterly intimidating the enemies of the Republic. and Imbohl’s meeting with Krieger, he knew the forces of the Korolev succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. U.R.R.S. were not nearly large enough to stand against the The Red Army was literally renamed the Red Fleet because Aryans. He immediately ordered a staggering increase in of Korolev’s work. Half of the world trembled before the now the number of recruits and restructured the way the military wide-ranging might of the U.R.R.S. While the W.T.A. can functioned by creating the Central Command. rightfully claim to have troops at their disposal as effective Imbohl wanted to create an army larger than any the world as those of the Red Fleet, they and their allies chose, after had ever seen before, and needed a group capable of the Great Patriotic War, to direct their military into smaller, elite forces with greatly advanced weaponry instead of the massive battalions the Red Fleet favors. The gigantic number of personnel the Red Fleet asserts they have is subject to a lot of deception, for the bulk of their crewmen are made up of Zeks from the Eastern Tundra’s special labor camps. The exiles are trained in how to repair and crew a number of the Fleet’s ships, including some of the most dangerous work in the ventral blast chambers of the skyfurnaces. The thin hope of a possible pardon for exemplary service compels many of them to go about their hazardous work with a zeal many freemen never show in the service. Students of history fi nd it ironic despite all the changes enacted after the Great Revolution, very few things fundamentally changed in the Lands of the Red Star. The Red Fleet is still commanded by the elite, as the greater part of the offi cer corps are graduates of the Academy and come from privileged families, whereas the average Red trooper comes from the more common ranks of the comrades. In other words, the “nobles” are still in charge of the “peasants” in the military. This isn’t all that surprising as the Red Fleet is intimately tied to the Red Council in more uses of the term than one, for a number of Red Fleet personnel are the sons and daughters of Council members. Nearly every deputy of the Council has served time in the Red Fleet, in one capacity or another.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star The Government of the U.R.R.S

The U.R.R.S. is the world’s fi rst Internationalist state. It elected by the Comrade’s Council for a fi ve-year term. The has a constitution of sorts, originally written by Imbohl and Prosecutor-General has great power, as he or she places all some of his comrades near the end of the Revolution. It has high-tier prosecutors throughout the Republics and chooses been modifi ed on several occasions since then. The largest to grant approval or not on all lower-tier prosecutors his changes made to the document were enacted after the Great subordinates put forth. Traditionally, only individuals of the Patriotic War. They mostly consist of adding an expanded highest character can hold the offi ce of Prosecutor-General. mission statement of Internationalist ideology and greater More often than not, a sorceress held the post. rights for individuals. The constitution holds the collected Republics’ governing body, the Red Council, is the supreme The Red Council elects the members of the highest court in executive authority within their union, it is, in fact, greater than the Republics, the Red Chamber, for fi ve-year terms. All local the sum of its parts. To put it another way, the Red Council’s courts are structured into tribunals consisting of one formally power allows it to make every single decision of importance trained judge, one lay assessor, both of which are popularly for all of its member republics, including whether or not they elected by local committees, and an assigned prosecutor. can “legally” secede from the U.R.R.S. The tribunals handle both criminal and civil cases. All true power in the U.R.R.S. lies with the Internationalist Each of the Red Star Republics has their own constitution Party, commonly called the People’s Party (and quietly and legislature, but all of them are subordinate to the Red referred to as “Imbohl’s Party”). The Party was formed Council. The Red Council funds all health and welfare before the conclusion of the Great Revolution and its leaders services in the U.R.R.S. While all comrades always have were all Imbohl’s closest allies. The Party is a hierarchical some access to decent medical care, hospitals and clinics organization, divided into a series of People’s Committees are short of fi nances. In theory, the Red Council guarantees whose members permeate a wide number of other all able-bodied citizens a job. In practice, comrades who buck organizations throughout the Republics. Each committee the system and refuse to follow the career path early testing reports to an increasingly larger, more important committee, states they are “suited” for have a great deal of diffi culty up to the largest policy-making body, the Internationalist fi nding employment later in life. Many of these liberal thinkers Grand Committee, or IGC, formed by the leaders of a number eventually end up joining the military because they have no of the other People’s Committees. The IGC elects the Grand other real prospects. Council, the group directly responsible for expressing the will of the Internationalist Party. While there are written provisions The Kommissariat for the election of another leader, from its very inception the leader of the Grand Council was, and always has been, The Kommissariat is offi cially designated as a state Imbohl. committee connected to the Council of Electors, which means, on paper, they are responsible for directing its efforts. The nominal head of the U.R.R.S. is the First Comrade of the In reality, the Kommissariat has the most autonomy of any Red Star Republics, usually referred to outside of the country U.R.R.S. government body and operates with a large degree as the President of the U.R.R.S. The First Comrade sits at of independence from both the Electors and the Red Council. the head of the Council of Electors, whose job it is to enforce the dictates of the Red Council. Neither the First Comrade The duties of the Kommissariat are many and varied, but they nor the Electors make policy; only the Red Council does. consist of three large groupings: the uncovering of political Since the Red Council posts the First Comrade and all of the and criminal crimes amidst the citizenry of the Republics, the Electors to their positions, they can be removed at any time protection of state secrets, and the ongoing struggle against by a simple vote giving them a great deal of incentive to do foreign spies and agents — most frequently the operatives of exactly what they’re told. the W.T.A.’s Bureau of Central Intelligence. The Kommissariat has a separate committee of the same name in every The Red Council is the legislative branch of the U.R.R.S., republic, all of which report to the Central Offi ce, located in and it consists of two bodies: the Comrade’s Council of the the Citadel. Republics and the Red People’s Council. Each of these houses consists of 800 deputies elected from a list of The Kommissariat’s functions are distributed through a approved candidates put forward by the Grand Council of the number of very different special departments, each with their Internationalist Party. Traditionally, the Comrade’s Council own area of expertise. The divisions of the Kommissariat consists of regional leaders and military personnel, whereas are named Hooks, in reference to the standard weapon of the Red People’s Council is drawn from a wide variety of the Red Star Republics. All Kommissariat agents are called unions, youth groups, and professional organizations. The kommissars, though their duties vary considerably depending Red Council meets twice a year, for two months at a time, on which Hook they serve with. Any given Kommissariat during which time they usually enact any policies that the IGC committee has kommissars from multiple Hooks represented has requested. Thus, the government of the United Republics in its ranks to give them a broader range of operational of the Red Star is effectively the enforcement arm of the capacity. Internationalist Party’s leader, Imbohl. The First Hook is responsible for foreign operations and The Offi ce of Republics’ Security runs the judicial system intelligence gathering activities. Theirs is the eternal shadow of the U.R.R.S., whose head, the Prosecutor-General, is war against the agents of the BCI and other world powers.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

Kommissars from the First Hook have a great deal of latitude Chairman in his duties. Decisions affecting the Kommissariat in determining where their duty lies, and others give them are decided by the Iron Circle, a collective leadership body a wide berth. The First Hook frequently deals with tense composed of the Chairman, his fi rst deputies, the heads of all situations and some of the fi nest Zeros are permanently the Hooks, and a rotating number of respected leaders from attached to its service. All First Hook kommissars have various committees throughout the Republics. extensive training in reconnaissance, sabotage and counter- terrorist activities. In other words, they’re all spies. Of course, Those outside of the U.R.R.S. often think the Kommissariat is those skills are just as readily turned against citizens of the just an arm of the Internationalist Party. It is certainly true the U.R.R.S. when needed. IGC has a large interest in controlling the Kommissariat and that a large number of kommissars are loyal party members. It The Second Hook deals exclusively with the Red Fleet, is also true Imbohl personally chose every single Chairman of including military intelligence and political surveillance of Red the organization, though the Red Council supposedly appointed Fleet personnel, especially offi cers with liberal reputations. them. The Kommissariat, however, has always been a bastion Kommissars within the Second Hook are all graduates of independent thinkers as well. Knowledgeable outsiders of the Academy and highly familiar with the command say it’s the nature of the beast, really. Sometimes, the only structure. They are empowered way to catch a rebel is to employ in certain specifi c situations to a better rebel. This dichotomy execute Red Fleet offi cers who frustrates the hardliners of the act in “traitorous” fashions. Internationalist Party to no end, but there is nothing they can The Fourth Hook deals do about it other than be quick with dissent of all kinds, about removing kommissars including religious and of liberal leanings if artistic types. They are they are ever caught directly responsible screwing up. for all censorship in the U.R.R.S. A kommissar from the Fourth Hook is placed The Third at every major government institution with the job of ensuring Department proper security regulations are You might have noticed there was followed, while monitoring the no Third Hook in the above listing. political sentiments uttered by That is because the organization employees. The Fourth Hook is in question is always referred to widely suspected of recruiting a large as the Third Department. Nobody number of informants to help them in knows what the Third Department their duties. They are near universally does. Nobody. Rumor has it they hated, as most Reds believe it is the are somehow involved with the Fourth Hook that causes their friends Special Labor Camps of the Eastern and loved ones to be exiled. Tundra, but how, or in what capacity, While the Fifth Hook is the none can or will say. This isn’t very smallest branch of the Kommissariat, a number of surprising when you consider kommissars from the Third extraordinary individuals staff it. More than half of the Fifth Department seem to have the legal authority to execute any Hook’s kommissars are sorceresses. The rest are specialists Red, at any time, without ever having to justify their actions. in a wide variety of esoteric pursuits. The Fifth Hook deals with An Elector once stopped a Third Department kommissar “unsolvable” crimes, supernatural disturbances and felonies in the midst of crossing a Citadel street and demanded to involving the use of illegal protocols. There are offi cially no serial know what he was about, as the Elector had recently heard killers in the U.R.R.S., but if there were, it would be the Fifth some disturbing rumors about the Third Department. The Hook’s responsibility to stop them, by any means necessary. kommissar calmly drew his sidearm and blew the Elector’s The Sixth Hook provides security for high-ranking Red head off, then proceeded on his way. The next day, all Council members, International Party heads, foreign U.R.R.S. papers reported the tragic death of the Elector due dignitaries and the Citadel. The Sixth hook is also involved to a traffi c accident. in protecting communications and decrypting the messages of other nations. Kommissars from the Sixth Hook tend to have a wide variety of skills, but all of them are highly trained Special Labor Camps bodyguards. On the northern plains of the Eastern Tundra lies Imbohl’s The head of the Kommissariat is the Chairman of Internal answer to rebellion: the special labor camps. They are the Security and holds a seat on the Council of Electors. In theory, ultimate destination of almost every exile in the U.R.R.S., and the Chairman could be removed from his position by a majority some of the harshest prisons ever conceived of by humanity. vote of the Red Council, but this has never occurred before. The average winter temperature on the Eastern Tundra is Two fi rst deputies (one of whom is always a protocol user) –35° Celsius, rising to a “balmy” average of 4.40° Celsius and a small panel of four to six veteran kommissars assist the during the short summer. Permafrost, which is permanently,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

frozen subsoil, covers the gravel that passes for soil there. been found guilty of “political crimes,” and were sentenced The mournful cry of the wind never ends, though the howls of without being present for their own trial. New prisoners are hunting wolf packs roaming over the frozen plain occasionally often convinced a mistake was made and they will one day sound above it. be vindicated of their non-existent crime. Old prisoners often don’t have the heart to tell them they felt the same way, The camps are scattered across the north, each one serving years before. No Zek has ever been released due to being a different function, as the Red Council decided long ago it “incorrectly sentenced,” though a few have won their freedom was ineffi cient to “let prisoners off” by giving them nothing due to battlefi eld amnesties, which Red Fleet commanders to do. Prisoners are called “Zeks” and organized into work are capable of bestowing for bravery. groups of twenty, commanded by a penal squad leader. Some of them produce cheap mass-market goods. Others have the “privilege” of being specially educated in ventral The Citadel blast furnace maintenance and operation so they can serve aboard skyfurnaces and other ships of the Red Fleet. Their The seat of the U.R.R.S.’ government is the ancient fortress life expectancy is very, very short. city known as the Citadel, a massively fortifi ed metropolis that has withstood many a siege in its time. The Citadel lies on the The special labor camps do have walls, but they are mostly broad plains west of the Ice Wall Mountains, and served as for protection from the weather and the native wild life. the capital of the Lands of the Red Star for over a thousand Beyond the camps are wolves that stand out on the ice as years. All branches of the government are headquartered large as a man is tall, and polar bears with claws capable there, and it is where the Red Fleet Academy was built. The of punching a hole through all but the thickest krawl plates. Citadel National Cemetery is the largest burial ground in all of The only reason guards bother to keep track of prisoners that the Motherland, so big, in fact, it requires its own rail system. run off, since there is nowhere to go for hundreds of miles, is Soldiers are buried according to the battle in which they fell; if too many go missing, the guards might have to take their it takes over a full day to walk across the Great Patriotic War place. fi elds. Imbohl’s mansion is located at the heart of the Citadel, The consensus among Zeks is the worst thing about exile though he is rumored to travel extensively. The Citadel’s to the special labor camps is never knowing what you are famous domed architecture and iconography dedicated to supposed to have done. Zeks seldom hear what they were Pravda draws tourists from across the globe, though they are accused of; the few that did were typically told they had never encouraged to stay for long.

The C ommonwealth of the Lands

of the Red Star Skyfurnaces having never known the kiss of earth lay recover from the defeat they suffered. Instead of following burning on the sands of Al’Istaan, and the once invincible orders and returning home, they took their ships with them Red Fleet was routed from the fi eld: the fi rst heralds of the to the Republic of their birth. Many soldiers, long weary of end for the United Republics of the Red Star. The U.R.R.S.’s the war and the Red Council’s dictates, eagerly joined the defeat at the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate set off a series of rebellion. successions and rebellions throughout the Motherland that has not ended to this day. There are those that believe the The exact number of political kommissars executed that day U.R.R.S.’s collapse was an orchestrated event, brought about has never been recorded, but even conservative estimates by their many enemies. Others claim it was inevitable and the place it in the hundreds. The Republics varied in their disastrous war with Al’Istaan only brought their inevitable fall responses. Many of the outlying provinces, having long about faster. Those blaiming the war with Al’Istaan it was only chaffed at the Red Council’s authority, immediately threw the determined efforts of the Internationalists and Imbohl’s their lot in with their rebellious commanders. Some calmly ruthlessness that held the Republics together for so long. accepted them back, and then executed them the next day. Whatever the cause, the United Republics of the Red Star If it had been just a handful of offi cers, or the U.R.R.S. had are no more, their union crumbled. still been at the height of their power, they could’ve easily managed to hold on for a time, eventually bringing all to heel. However, Kar Dathra

The Civil effectively shattered the

strength of the Red Fleet for

Wars “When a giant falls, there are few years to come. The troops the

places to hide where you will not be Republics would’ve normally Even as the Red Fleet used to crush the multiple retreated from Al’Istaan, crushed. How much worse when the uprisings were many of the a new course for the giant was a dream?” same ones rebelling. Motherland’s future was laid. A number of the Red Fleet’s Multiple Republics that could - Goyeskov, Red Author senior offi cers realized not be forced to submit the U.R.R.S. would never declared their freedom,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

and left the rest of the U.R.R.S. to their fate. Imbohl and the barest of training in battlefi eld tactics. The once year-long the Internationalist Party, however, would not accept their brutal training regime all Red Troopers had to endure has dream was over. They insisted the Republic’s constitution been reduced to a month, wherein they are taught only the made it clear the Republics could not secede without the most basic hook fi ghting. The Commonwealth is barely able Red Council’s permission. Thus, the Civil Wars began on a to pay its employees — not that the money is worth much technicality. anyway — and is forced to resort to issuing pay vouchers. Many Red Fleet personnel work solely for food and board. Bitter beyond reason is the fi ghting between former countrymen, and the Civil Wars were vicious. A case could be Internationally, the Commonwealth is in a precarious position. made they aren’t yet over. The relatively massive battles of The U.R.R.S. made many enemies over the years and few the early days ended after three years when the Red Council mourn its passing or the ending of the Ironhold. The W.T.A. fi nally accepted defeat and reconstituted the remaining looks on the Commonwealth with an odd combination of former Republics into a new government, the Commonwealth smug vindication over their victory and thinly veiled concern of the Lands of the Red Star. There have been a number of over the disposition of the huge number of incredibly brushfi re rebellions since, however, though all of them pale in powerful weapons the Republics once controlled. In fact, the comparison to the confl ict raging in the war-torn province of Commonwealth shares the latter worry, as a number of those Nokgorka. weapons went “missing” since the U.R.R.S.’ fall, probably into the hands of arms dealers, criminals, and terrorists.

The Commonwealth The thought of certain weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of the Nokgorkans fi lls the government with

The Commonwealth is structured like the former U.R.R.S. absolute dread. government, though the Internationalist Party is no longer consulted for who can and cannot be elected to the Red Life in the Red Star Council’s various bodies. The position of First Comrade rotates throughout the Council of Electors, but they are far more than the powerless fi gureheads they used to be. The Commonwealth Electors include in their number two Red Fleet commanders If there is one constant throughout the Lands of the Red Star with elite troops loyal to them, several wealthy businessmen, at the present, it is need. Food shortage is a daily reality. the former head of the First Hook and one known crime lord. Most families make due with the little they can grow for Unfortunately, it is the Electors who are powerful, not the themselves on small plots of land. Munitions are diffi cult to government they supposedly represent. They regularly jockey come by, sometimes even for front line troops. The money for position in a near-constant struggle; it could be highly of the old Republics is near worthless, and barter is the entertaining to watch, if the lives of hundreds of millions of most common form of currency exchange. Almost all social people weren’t regularly affected by it. services have collapsed, as the government cannot pay for The Commonwealth has tried desperately to restore some them. The education and the job training programs originally semblance of order to their beleaguered nation, but a number promised to every Red child by the former regime are no of factors hamper them. Several of the Commonwealth’s longer sustainable. All public schooling is now done in private provinces were forced to join at hook point, and stand poised homes, usually by parents, though some communities are to rebel at a moment’s notice should this new Red Council fortunate enough to have former teachers among them. Even falter. When the southern province of Nokgorka declared its if there was still job training, there are next to no legal jobs to freedom, the Red Council moved swiftly and as viciously as be had; unemployment is near universal. The military remains they could to crush it — not necessarily because they couldn’t a favored choice, but only because the Red Fleet offers at stand to lose the traditionally rebellious Nokgorkans, but least the possibility of regular food. because they secretly feared a domino effect rekindling the While a number of their freedoms were limited under the rule Civil Wars. of the Republics, life was regimented and usually predictable Seeing the government’s weakness, too many individuals — which, for many people, made it comfortable. Many Reds made power grabs at the expense of the new administration. fervently wish for the “good old days,” having conveniently While still infl uential, the Internationalist Party continually forgotten the fear of being exiled that used to be a constant loses ground as more and more of its members are forced threat in their lives. Exiling still occurs, but these days most to accept the all-too-obvious fact their leader’s vision failed. everybody knows why a given individual disappears. Though seldom seen in public, Imbohl became increasingly The mechanisms once used to sort out spies and enraged at the “incompetents” surrounding him. This has malcontents, whatever they were, seem to have broken served, perversely enough, to push away many of his most down. Certainly, many of the crimes once leading to competent former allies, many of which have gone into incarceration have been removed from the books. Censorship “business” for themselves to the detriment of the Party. is all but eliminated, though the government still frowns on Several of the Hooks of the Kommissariat have been any truly radical material or media preaching the system disbanded and the rest are all but uncontrolled, yet still hold a should be overthrown. vast number of useful and sometimes terrifying secrets, which The Special Labor Camps still exist, but many of their many kommissars are now willing to sell to the highest bidder. prisoners are in serious trouble, exiled and forgotten by one The Red Fleet resembles its former glory in name alone. government, ignored by the next. They lead uncertain lives, Offi cer cadets are now rushed through the Academy with only never knowing when, or if, they will get free. One story that,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

the entire world has heard involves SNK 24601, a camp on Red troopers were exposed, for the fi rst time, to a number of the far northern end of the Tundra. illicit substances in the black markets of Al’Istaan that they’d never been allowed to encounter under the watchful gaze of Several years ago, all power, equipment and food was cut the Red Council. Drugs with far more serious repercussions off to SNK 24601 due to what is now claimed to be a “clerical than alcohol spread through the front-line troops, as soldiers error,” though a number of commentators suggested it was sought ways to dull the pain of their memories. Many done on purpose, as a high number of political agitators were troopers, once passionately faithful to the propaganda of the known to be incarcerated there. Regardless of the cause, Internationalist Party, became unrepentant cynics after their the prisoners and their minders soon faced the unpleasant idealism was stripped away by the harshness of the war. choice of either starving or freezing to death. After a long Many conscripts (especially those from Nokgorka) felt terribly series of talks, there was a struggle among the guards and betrayed by the Red Council when they found they fought several were killed. The remainder set the prisoners free against their fellow faithful of the One True God. The Battle of and all began the long struggle back to civilization. Over Kar Dathra’s Gate wasn’t a terrible tragedy to many of these ten thousand men set out from SNK 24601, only thirty-two soldiers; it was the inevitable and proper ending to the farce. reached the Kyrshan Pass of the Ice Wall. One of these was the infamous, to the Reds at least, Justinas Astakhova, now After the retreat from Al’Istaan, many of these soldiers found suspected of being the head of the resistance in Nokgorka. that they couldn’t go back to the life they held before; they had While no other camps have suffered such a dire fate, seen too much and often had done too much to simply put it the condition of the entire system is clearly beginning to behind them. A large number brought their addictions back with disintegrate. them, and the general lawlessness of the Civil Wars allowed criminal cartels to be set up to supply their new needs. As bad as the situation in the Motherland is, however, the greatest heroes of the Lands of the Red Star always Other Red troopers never really returned from the killing arise when things are at their worst. An entire company of fi elds of Al’Istaan. The Reds call all of these soldiers “shells” Medikasters from the both as a reference to Red Fleet quietly went how many of them are AWOL from their posts, only a shadow of their leaving only a note stating former selves, as well their comrades needed as the concept of how them. They now travel they were spent in the incognito throughout the war. These bitter soldiers Commonwealth, healing integrated as best they all those in need. The could throughout the valiant former kommissars Commonwealth, but their of the Fifth Hook of the scorn shaped the new Kommissariat quietly generation of Reds. Many proved they are true believe they are directly heroes. Despite the fact to blame for the breakup their Hook was formally of the Republics. While disbanded, they’ve probably an unfair charge, continued to struggle shells did not slow the against the sinister U.R.R.S.’ demise. A large predators still preying on number of shells found their fellow Reds, often with new meaning in fi ghting for little supplies and only the support their comrades can give their ancestral homelands; many of the Nokgorkan resistance them. In every walk of life, men and women of extraordinary leaders fought, to their present regret, at Al’Istaan. character encourage their fellows to endure, for they can feel a great change is coming, though they have no words to describe what it is they so dimly perceive. A reckoning is at The Shadow Economy hand, if they can all just hold on for a few years more…. There is a saying these days in the Commonwealth that has become sadly common: “fi nding a job is easy, it’s fi nding a legal

Shells job that’s hard.” Ten years ago, the black market in the U.R.R.S.

was small and mostly concerned with censored or Western The War for Al’Istaan left scars on the soldiers of the Red goods. Today, the black market is the single largest section Fleet that, in many cases, time has never healed. During of the Commonwealth’s economy and it deals in everything: the course of the war, many of them were ordered to drugs, medicine, food, weapons, body parts, munitions, slavery commit terrible crimes against the Nistaani, and the honest — everything. If you can conceive of buying it, then it is for sale followers of Pravda found their actions hard to reconcile with somewhere in the Lands of the Red Star, though you may not the Republics’ dogma. Killing warriors on the fi eld of battle like the price — it is fi rmly a seller’s market. is one thing; hunting down teenagers wielding outmoded small caliber arms that can’t even penetrate your defensive Many legal goods have become so expensive, due to high hook shield, yet being ordered to slaughter them anyway, is governmental tariffs and the expenses of importing that even something else entirely. honest comrades turn to dubiously acquired merchandise.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

Smugglers of all stripes fi nd great success along the all carrion and shoot them at the fi rst opportunity — which Motherland’s borders. Since the money of the Commonwealth has, of course, served to make them extremely bitter. is near worthless, many citizens sell or barter off whatever they have, be it meager crops, family heirlooms, their bodies, The shadow trade that worries the government the most or anything valuable they’ve managed to steal if they truly — indeed, it worries multiple governments far beyond the need a given item, such as medicine for their children. Almost Commonwealth — is the underground sale of weapons of all transactions between communities and families at a local mass destruction, specifi cally fi ssionable materials and black level moved exclusively to barter. market protocols. Considering it only takes a single bomb fi tting into a small briefcase to level a city, many people One of the more unpleasant features of the Commonwealth’s become nervous when such items go missing. The chaos of troubled present is the rise of war profi teers derisively referred the government has allowed a number of such weapons to to as “carrion,” due to their practice of scouring battlefi elds after go unaccounted for, which causes the Global Council to put the fi ghting is done. Some carrion are shells that have lost all pressure on the Council of Electors to clean up their mess. sense of purpose, while others are foreign opportunists looking for wealth at the expense of the already poor. Rumor has it Yelena Dideleva, who is both the head of the Gorska Syndicate and an Elector, is willing to pay well for such Carrion steal whatever arms and equipment they can get weapons with no questions asked, ostensibly to remove them their hands on, selling them off to the highest bidder. In the from circulation. Some suggest she gathers the weapons for Nokgorkan confl ict, they are quick to pick up stragglers from her own purposes, but for a crime lord, she’s known to be both armies and ransom them off to whichever side will pay fairly honorable. Black market protocols run the gamut from the most for them. Many of the more “professional” carrion unstable experimental prototypes to divinatory protocols, such have connections to the various criminal cartels that arose in as unregistered re-enactment protocols, capable of revealing the Commonwealth, the better to move their ill-gotten goods. secrets the government wants to keep hidden. Numerous soldiers, regardless of the side they’re on, despise

A History of Resistance - The Land of Nokgorka

Directly to the south of the Lands of the Red Star lies a enslave the Gorkas, whom they regarded as little better than mountainous country, of high, rocky hills and deep forested animals. Hyrkahn was the fi rst war leader to bring his people gorges sittin on the edge of the world’s largest inland body down out of the highlands. He conquered a wide swath of of water, the Sea of Hyrkahn. The land is named Nokgorka the steppes surrounding the mountains, which the Gorkas after the native hill tribes, the Gorkas, who lived in the region eventually cultivated into farmlands. for over two thousand years. There has seldom been a time in the long history of Nokgorka in which the Gorkas weren’t Hyrkahn never built an empire, though his people would have fi ghting for their freedom against outsiders seeking to control gladly accepted his rule if that was what he wanted. Instead, their beloved home, for either its strategic value or its natural he saw himself as the champion of Nokgorka: a fi rst among resources. equals when it came to warfare, but he readily gave his ear and support to those whom he deemed wise among the Their ongoing war for freedom, however, has never before mountain tribe elders. His example laid the foundations of the burned as hot as it does now. Nor have they ever been so Gorkas’ political system that remains to this day. close to achieving this elusive dream. When he fell at last, the great sea he had loved was re- named in his honor. Many Gorkas believe he watches Hyrkahn the Fierce over his people still, though according to the Law they’ve Centuries before Prince Urik I was born, a hero rose in the embraced, he would have been a heretic. When questioned highlands of Nokgorka to unite his people and lead them on the subject, the Priestesses of the hill tribes smile against their enemies. His name was Hyrkahn, and he earned enigmatically and say he is one of the Righteous, though they his title, “the Fierce,” many times over during the course of never bother to explain what that means to anyone else. his life.

The Darkness in the North

Hyrkahn was so large no horse could easily hold his weight. Legend claims the blood of the ancient Nephalim ran in his The Gorkas were relatively unaffected by the Reds for many veins. He was swift to laugh and swift to anger. He never centuries, though they did manage to establish some trade broke a promise, nor betrayed an ally. He hunted with a pack with Urik’s empire. The coming of the Golden Horde and of snarling wolves that treated him as their alpha; on moonlit the rise of the Great Darkness in the Lands of the Red Star, nights, the hills echoed with their cries. however, were not easily ignored. The Gorkas had little worth stealing; the majority of the Horsemen left them alone, but In his day, Nokgorka was beset by the ancestors of the the Depraved Ones found the fi erce hill people to be worthy monstrous Huan, along with a number of vicious wandering sport. The eerie cries of their twisted creatures echoed Red tribes continually raided for goods or attempted to through the hills as the Bleak Horsemen sought prey in the,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

highlands. They soon learned, however, incautious hunters in The Gorkan version of the Law is not as severe as that Nokgorka all too frequently become the hunted. practiced by the Nistaani of Al’Istaan. In fact, their pagan roots are still discernable if one knows where to look. Gorkas It took the Gorkas decades and a heavy cost in lives, but they use the vows, “I swear on the Bones of the Mountains” and eventually drove the Depraved Ones back to the steppes far “By the Gleaming Sun,” both holdovers from the Old Faith, from the highlands. It remains a point of Gorkan pride that the yet if you accused a Gorka used either of being a heretic who Bleak Horsemen eventually offered them tribute to leave their has departed from the Law, he would be deeply offended. forces alone.

The Coming of the Law Red Aggressions and Grim Days

When Gregor the Stone undertook his sweeping reforms of Nokgorka was a bastion of the Old Faith for a very long time. the Lands of the Red Star, he knew a number of the nobles The Old Faith is a primal animistic religion that looks upon the would need to be mollifi ed when he took away some of their natural world as a sacred place. To practitioners of the Old rights and privileges. He accomplished this by bribing them Faith, forests are temples and the mountains are holy, which with new lands and territories — only they weren’t his to give. explains in part why it was so prevalent among the Gorkas. He offered, among a great many other lands bordering his Women have always been the caretakers of the Old Faith, empire, to his allies in the Ancient Dynasties the northern as it is believed their ability to create and carry life ties them reaches of Nokgorka in exchange for their compliance more closely to nature than men. with his schemes. They were on their own for enforcing As the world changed, the Gorkas’ Elders became sovereignty over “their” new lands, though he offered some dissatisfi ed with the Old Faith, feeling it had less and less assistance with his newly conscripted troops. bearing on their daily lives. When the fi rst missionaries came The border wars of the era are still talked about among from the south bearing the words of the One True God, they Gorkas as if they only happened yesterday. It was certainly found a ready audience in Nokgorka. Within a few years, the a time of great victories and crushing defeats. The Gorkas Gorkas adopted the Law as their own, though in a fashion fought as they always had: with passion and fury. Ultimately, unique to them. Seeing they the Ancient Dynasties were might be supplanted, the militarily rebuffed. The few Priestesses of the Old Faith noble houses making any publicly embraced the Law, so they could continue to “To die or live in freedom is our fate.” headway against the Gorkas eventually drifted apart from administer to the spiritual - The ancient motto of Nokgorka, their fellows. The Gorkas needs of their people. They accepted their honorable never entirely abandoned attributed to Hyrkahn the Fierce foes, all of which went native, their original beliefs, though. adopting the Law as their,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

religion; most stayed on the northern steppes rather than take could still work if they were structured formally. They tried and the forbidding highlands as their home. rejected a number of different governments. The Gorkas still discussed the matter when they learned of a new philosophy The rest of the Reds never completely gave up. Every few called... Internationalism. decades, a new wave of expansions would be called for, and once again, the Ancient Dynasties would try to bring Nokgorka fi rmly under their control. They repeatedly failed, The Great Revolution and the though a great deal of blood spilled with each attempt. After realizing force would never get the job done, a few of the Grand Betrayal more clever nobles decided some judicious bribery might When Imbohl’s agents fi rst approached the Nokgorkan Elder work instead. Unfortunately for the Gorkas, they were correct. Councils that still existed in the highlands, the Elders were The nobles offered to help the relatively primitive Gorka tribes highly skeptical of the bold, new utopia promised to them. They to modernize by educating their youth and expanding trade eventually responded by saying they had already found their in the region. The Nokgorkan elders, realizing the world was paradise, rough though it was, and had no interest in joining indeed leaving them behind, reluctantly accepted the Red any world sweeping community. They also stated, however, overtures. Several rail lines crossed the mountains, and talk they’d be willing to help the Internationalists in exchange for began of an oil pipeline stretching from the north to the Sea the right to decide their own destiny after Imbohl had won. of Hyrkahn. Gorkas found themselves fi ghting in foreign wars The founder of the Revolution readily agreed to the Gorkas’ alongside their new Red allies who, in spite of themselves, request, as he likely did not intend to ever keep his end of were impressed by the Gorkas’ tenacity. the bargain. Many of the most vicious strikes early in the The peace didn’t last very long. After a century of relative Revolution happened in the south of the Red Star Lands, as non-interference, the Ancient Dynasties decided the Gorkas the Gorkas turned their old hatred of the Red nobles to good had to be “civilized” for the use. A number of the ancient dynastic lines met terrible ends last time. Compulsory at the hands of Gorka education and forced marauders, characterized relocations began as the by the perpetrators as just nobles attempted to bring repayment on old blood the Gorkas to heel. debts. Present day Gorkas Not long after the fall of refer to this period as the the Citadel to the forces Grim Days. Many of their of the Revolution, the hereditary leaders were United Elder Council sent slain or exiled far from a message to Imbohl Nokgorka, never to return. congratulating him on his Priestesses were forced worthy victory and wishing to modify their teachings his new country the best to include ideals the Reds of luck in its glorious new approved of, beyond what future. Imbohl sent back a was written in the Law. message stating that the Many of them had to give Revolution could not have up the sacred ways of succeeded without the help power they had cherished of the Reds’ Nokgorkan and practiced for centuries. Instead, they were compelled comrades, and he wished to open discussions with them for to learn the ways of Red sorcery. It is from this time forward the future relations between the two countries. This sounded Priestesses were trained as sorceresses; though there are reasonable enough and they welcomed him to send an envoy. rumors a few tribes in the most inaccessible highlands have Imbohl sent an agent called “Troika” to negotiate for him. Priestesses who still practice in the traditional ways. Troika took two weeks in determining which Elders would be Agitators from the north expertly set the mountain tribes favorable to unifi cation with the soon to be formed Republics against each other; with all the trusted leaders gone, and which would not. He assassinated all of the ones that Nokgorka degenerated into chaos. The Reds soon found would not in a single night. This was kept secret long enough though, they did too thorough a job of disrupting Nokgorka. for the “traitorous” Elders to join Nokgorka into the United Large groups of Gorkan raiders swept across the plains and Republics of the Red Star. looted the lands of the bordering nobles. For every voice The truth eventually came out, though it did the Gorkas little calling for peace, fi ve called for war, though they were hard good. They did, however, kill every single one of the Elders pressed to say who or what they truly wanted to fi ght. that agreed to give away their freedom, mostly by stoning The Grim Days lasted for close to a century and a half, them to death. Gorkas call the events surrounding their part marked by constant civil war and bloodshed. Many believed in the Revolution and its aftermath, “the Grand Betrayal.” the old ways could no longer serve them and Nokgorka Within a year of learning the truth, massive riots spread needed a new form of government to deal with the many throughout Nokgorka, which the newly formed Red Council problems besetting it. Others stated the traditional ways sent the Red Fleet to deal with. Hundreds of thousands of Gorkas were killed or exiled to the Eastern Tundra. It is,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

unlikely the Gorkas would have ever yielded, but eventually requests of the Reds ever lead to any good. It was, however, they ran out of bodies; the number of Red troopers seemed near impossible to turn down a chance to travel to Al’Istaan endless. It took close to fi ve years, but fi nally they could no — a land deemed holy by the Gorkas as one of the possible longer resist — the Grand Betrayal was complete. birthplaces of the Law itself.

The Reds were clever enough to use the Nokgorkan’s faith Nokgorka & the against them, painting the whole enterprise as a chance to Great Patriotic War help fellow faithful of the One True God against the heathen Western oppressors. With a great deal of reluctance,

Nokgorka remained a problem for the Red Council, one they Nokgorka answered the Republics’ call. could never seem to be rid of. Every decade or so, separatist It was less than a year after deployment in Al’Istaan that the movements swept across the province, once again forcing Gorkas learned they’d been duped once again. The Shaman the Reds to take action. The Gorkan councilor rarely publicly of the Nistaani, so similar to their own Priestesses, whispered addressed the Red Council over the next three decades. to them of the Reds’ duplicity when the Gorkas visited The Internationalist Party always took the Gorkas’ “betrayal” marketplaces. Many Gorkas swore they’d never again be a of the ideals of the Revolution very personally, seeing it as pawn of the Reds, no matter the cost. Some went deserted and a condemnation of everything they believed in. When the a few even joined the Nistaani resistance, the Nasr Kien. The Volksreich began its grand rise to prominence, Imbohl was rest though, were trapped with chains of honor and duty. They’d convinced the Gorkas harbored sympathies towards the sworn to serve, false pretenses or no, and the principles of the Aryan Nationalist Party and engaging in secret talks with Gorkas run deep. Though their heart was not in it, they stayed Krieger’s subordinates, though he had no real proof of either. until the end, on the sands before Kar Dathra’s Gate. The Red Council planned a massive series of deportations to remove the greater bulk of the population of Nokgorka to the Nokgorka Now Eastern Tundra when something near miraculous occurred. A The Gorkas watched with no small amount of satisfaction greatly respected Elder named Izrador Shatalin was allowed as the United Republics of the Red Star crumbled into to speak to the Grand Council of the Internationalists before oblivion. They quietly cheered from the sidelines as the the Gorkas were removed. He passionately pleaded for various republics went to war, remaining carefully neutral to two hours, fi nally begging his people to be given a chance outsiders. While some youths called for instant action, the to stand at the front of the Red Army and prove their good Elder Councils demanded patience. The Elders took part in faith. With a single nod from Imbohl, Nokgorka’s destiny was the new Commonwealth government, while considering their altered and the Gorkas were inducted en masse. every action and waiting for an opportune moment. Their courage during the terrible struggle of the Great Patriotic Outsiders point to the arrival of the legendary guerilla fi ghter, War remains a shining testament to the will of a people who Justinas Astakhova, as the spark lighting the fi res of rebellion, would not be broken. Gorkas units were continually placed but in truth the Elders were already prepared. Nine long years at the front of the lines and had to endure far longer than after the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate, Nokgorka’s leaders average stretches of combat without relief from the Red Army. withdrew all diplomats from the Commonwealth and declared Ultimately, a considerable number of the most decorated their nation sovereign once more. The Commonwealth men and women of the war were from the Gorka regiments. immediately stated they would use all force necessary to Many W.T.A. and Lionist commanders swore the Gorkas were safeguard the “integrity of our great nation;” the Red Fleet among the bravest soldiers they’d ever had the honor to fi ght mobilized to bombard the Gorkas into submission. Enormous alongside. By the end of the war, they actively requested areas of Nokgorka’s countryside were turned to ash by the various Gorka units by name to assist in delicate operations. ventral blasts of skyfurnaces, rendering them near incapable Sadly, their prowess caused them further trouble. When the of ever again sustaining crops. Nokgorka’s capital, Bahamut, forces of the Volksreich were fi nally defeated, the U.R.R.S. was reduced to a ruin. The Red Fleet, after dropping a banished many Gorkas to the Eastern Tundra, as the Red payload of 4,000 heavy detonations per hour, every hour Council feared what an infl ux of battle-hardened veterans of the day, for 40 days, offered terms of surrender. The would do to the situation in already-quarrelsome Nokgorka. Nokgorkans gave but one reply: The majority of the exiled Gorkas were settled throughout “To die or live in freedom is our fate.” the taiga regions of the east, where the Red Council didn’t have to worry about them, though the most “dangerous” were The fi nal war for Nokgorka’s freedom—or ruination—has begun. incarcerated in the northern Special Labor Camps. It took decades before the Red Council was willing to allow any of the exiled to leave the east and return to their homeland. Life in Nokgorka Nokgorka stretches over 25,000 square kilometers, over

Gorkas and the War of Al’Istaan three-fourths of which is lightly forested mountainous terrain.

The northern portions of Nokgorka are all steppes bordering Before the Red Council announced their intention to help the Lands of the Red Star. They were once fertile though their southern comrades in Al’Istaan by liberating them from occasionally dry farmlands, all of which have since been the tyranny of the West, they quietly asked for the assistance reduced to cinders or land-mined into near-permanent no- of the Gorka Elders. This obviously made the Elders man’s lands. exceedingly suspicious, as at no time in their history did the,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star

The highlands are a jagged series of uneven peaks, sharp truly despise tyranny, as it goes against the very nature of their crags, and deep gorges in which it is easy to get lost. Most culture. The traditional Elder Councils have been mangled by of Nokgorka’s agriculture was in the north, though every fi ghting and for many years, constant exiling, leaving a number mountain village has a small communal plot of land for local of villages with only a bare handful to lead them. Many elders farming. The Sea of Hyrkahn borders Nokgorka on the east. from across Nokgorka gathered in Bahamut to either be part of It has a surface area around 375,000 square kilometers their people’s victory or fall with them. and all the characteristics of a lake as well as a small sea. Nokgorka’s normally hard terrain gives way to lush river Despite their tradition of collective decision-making, the valleys and thick forests around the Sea of Hyrkahn. The Gorkas are well aware in war, there is little time to spare to Hyrkahn Sea’s fi sh are famed for their excellent taste and have strategy meetings. Whenever Nokgorka chose to fi ght the high quality caviar they produce. Both fi sh and caviar are in the past, the United Elder Council always elected a single major exports for the region. individual, called the War Chief, to be the commander of their forces. While the War Chief is answerable to the United

Elder Council as a whole, he can only be removed from All But Lost his post by a three-fourths majority vote, which means the

In this section, you would normally be introduced to the ways elders use great care when choosing their candidate. The and honored traditions of the Gorkas. present War Chief, head of the Resistance — and in effect, unacknowledged president of Nokgorka — is the legendary There aren’t any, not any more. Justinas Astakhova. The systematic destruction of generations of Gorkas has They say he runs with wolves. taken an enormous toll upon them. Once, they had a rich tradition of tales and songs, some of which were over Priestesses millennia old. Gone, all gone. Dust on the winds of the Eastern Tundra. Of all their ancient heroes, only the tales of During these troubled times, the Gorkas increasingly turn Hyrkahn the Fierce remain. The only legacies the Gorkas to their native holy women for comfort; the Priestesses of pass down to their children now are the hard lessons of their Nokgorka have been sorely pressed, for they seem to be bitter history and the ways of war. needed everywhere at once. They are not only the guardians of their peoples’ faith, they are also skilled fi ghters, trained The Reds have much to answer for. medics, and powerful sorceresses — and every one of their skills is The Elder Councils badly needed by the Resistance. Nokgorka’s government is unique in “To be born on this soil All Priestesses with any talent for that it partially embraced democracy is to be born a warrior.” sorcery were forced to serve with over a thousand years before the Red Fleet in some capacity at the idea was even considered by - Rudov Galilei, Makita’s Father one point or another in their lives. If other countries. This is due, in no they weren’t already indispensable small part, to the many enemies for all their aforesaid expertise, the Gorkas had to deal with. The their tactical advice would make gruesome Huan regularly preyed on them so. Their country’s desperate the Gorkas. The Reds have long believed the Vakir originated situation and the lack of alternatives forced a number of in Nokgorka — a charge the Gorkas never deny — and in Priestesses to become exceptionally adept in the use of black the old days used it as an excuse to kill as many of them as market protocols of all kinds, including some dangerous ones. possible. The Priestesses do the best they can to mitigate the dangers, Even though they have supposedly given up on the old but they still take enormous risks on a regular basis. prejudices, many Reds are active in their hatred of Gorkas. The Priestesses have secret councils of their own, where they The constant skirmishes with their multitude of foes led the discuss a number of subjects: from the state of their people Gorkas to become a proud, insular people, with few social to how they intend to infl uence the Elder Council to do what and class distinctions among them. All were equal in the eyes they want on issues they believe are important. The Old Faith of their enemies, and likewise they regarded themselves. is alive and well among Priestesses from the highlands, which Nokgorka never really had a feudal period the way most of occasionally causes a bit of friction with the devout followers the other countries of the Great Continent did, including the of the One True God, but they always present a united front Lands of the Red Star. Thus, Gorkan villages were usually to outsiders. The Priestesses quietly asked the Shaman of self-ruled communities that controlled their own tribe’s Al’Istaan for their aid, but the Nistaani Priests were aware of traditional lands, under the administration of a group of the heretical views many of them held, so they refused their trusted elders and usually a Priestess or two. A local Elder assistance. With the coming of the W.T.A. to their land, it is Council always handled any problems with one’s fellows. likely any such aid would’ve come to a close anyway. Decisions affecting Nokgorka as a whole were settled by the Rumor among the Gorkas has it the Priestesses are also United Elder Council, a group made up of the most respected involved in some sort of struggle they will not speak of, elders of all the different tribes of Nokgorka. leading to a great deal of speculation about their motives. The Gorkas have always preferred to make decisions by Regardless, most Gorkas would readily lay down their lives to consensus, allowing everyone’s voice to be heard. Thus they save a Priestess.,

Chapter Six: The United Republics of the Red Star Life in the Resistance: Bahamut

To talk about the Gorkan Resistance is to talk about Bahamut, for if one falls, so will the other. Bahamut is both the literal and fi gurative heart of Nokgorka, as it’s the traditional meeting place of the United Elder Council, and sits near the exact center of the country. Bahamut was once a beautiful city, but it is now a broken wasteland fi lled with corpses and carrion of all kinds. Only one building in twenty is undamaged by bombing. All power, water, electrical and sewer systems are ruined. Any access to such is via either small generators or protocols. It is under near constant attack from the Red Fleet, but not only has this failed to deter the Gorkas, they’ve used it to their advantage. The Resistance turned the city into a series of traps and perfect locales for ambushes. Their plan is to bleed the Commonwealth dry, making the price of taking Nokgorka so costly they will be forced to abandon it. Outsiders dismissing the Gorkas’ chances for success are unaware of just how much experience a large number of the leaders of the Resistance have at this sort of war. Many of them fought during the War of Al’Istaan; some of the most revered elder commanders are the still-living veterans of the Great Patriotic War. There are literally no civilians left in Bahamut. The entire populace is in the Resistance. This has greatly disturbed a number of Red Troopers, as they regularly fi nd themselves fi ghting teenagers and sometimes even younger children. Various stress disorders are ommon amidst the Gorka children, but there is little they can do to combat such problems while fi ghting a war, short of removing the children completely. enhanced mines, called “Bloodhounds” by the Gorkas, are liberally placed around the city. Unlike conventional mines, If the underage combatants bother them, the Black Widows Bloodhounds spring up from the ground and actively charge are worse. The Black Widows are a group of Gorka women into targets that don’t broadcast the appropriate signals to who’ve lost their loved ones to the war, along with others deactivate them. The Gorkas have managed to arrange a few who feel they have nothing to lose. They are fanatical in their “accidents” during Red Fleet deployments, so their troop’s convictions; their willingness to destroy themselves if it takes disabling broadcasts to the mines were jammed, resulting in more of the enemy with them has already become renowned. heavy loss of life for the Reds. Central Command has since They regularly use ploys such as playing up the “woman in become very careful in approving new bloodhound placement. distress” angle to lure the mostly male Red Troopers closer, then setting off protocol-laced suicide bombs. The Red Fleet instantiating a standard policy to shoot all unknown non-Fleet Why? individuals in Bahamut on sight, but has refrained due to So why is the Commonwealth so determined to hold on to an the diplomatic nightmare it would cause if news of the policy eternally rebellious province that regularly saps away their leaked out to other countries. resources and causes them endless political nightmares? In Many Gorkas living outside of Bahamut have either retreated a word: oil. deep into the highlands or abandoned the country altogether. The Commonwealth’s money is near worthless, making Since their declaration of independence, the Gorkas lost access the already-valuable commodity even more precious to the to outside goods and equipment. Their brethren in the hills insecure government. The oil reserves lying all but untapped manage to move a few needed goods to the Resistance, but under the Sea of Hyrkahn are some of the world’s richest. they mostly do without or — better yet — steal from the Reds. The Commonwealth rightly fears an independent Nokgorka Gorka tribesmen from the deep hills are famous for their would swiftly fi nd a way to cut them and their pipelines out thick accents and fi erce (even for Gorkas) natures. Most of of the profi t loop. There is certainly an element of age-old them seem to enjoy the challenge of traveling to and from bigotry against the Gorkas involved in the sheer viciousness Bahamut. A few of their Priestesses use protocols that are of the war, but that alone isn’t enough to keep the majority of completely unlike anything the Reds have seen before, or at the Red Fleet deployed in and around Nokgorka. least, not for several centuries. The Global Council continually repudiated the actions of the Smugglers willing to risk traveling to Bahamut for profi t and not Commonwealth, as have nearly all international humanitarian patriotism are rare, as it is always a harrowing experience. The aid organizations. Since the Western Transnationalist Alliance Red Fleet constantly monitors the surrounding countryside, publicly stated the “Nokgorka Affair” was an internal matter, there are tons of unexploded munitions strewn throughout however, best handled by the Commonwealth government as the area, and a particularly vicious series of protocol- they saw fi t, the Gorkas are well aware they’re on their own.,

Chapter Seven: The World

hough the Lands of the Red Star are the stage for the comics, they are not the sum of the world. Even though the TU.R.R.S. was once one of the most powerful nations in the world, it could not act without challenge from its neighbors. Great powers, like the W.T.A. and the Isle of Lions, actively opposed them since Krieger’s fall, with war a looming and present danger. On the other hand, small nations, like Al’Istaan, resisted the U.R.R.S., just as others would the W.T.A., bloodying the nose of one of the greatest empires. Beyond the iron walls of secrecy are other countries, nations, and powers, each with motives and designs of their own. This chapter widens the lens of the Red Star Campaign Setting, to provide critical details of the major nations in the present day arena of international politics.

Al’Istaan

To the southeast of the Lands of the Red Star lies a fi ercely rumors of what happened at the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate, beautiful land of windswept mountains, arid plains, and rolling they’re no longer certain. fertile hills. It is home to a proud and ancient people that never willingly bowed to any conqueror, foreign or domestic Passing Kingdoms — the Nistaani. They are a simple folk, many of whom still lead nomadic lives, wandering over the greatly varied A kingdom arose on the plains as the Nistaani’s ancestors terrain of their land singing hymns to the moon, as they herd cultivated the fertile soil lying along the Kosa River. They livestock with their immense beetles. Yet these simple people uncovered the secrets of crop rotation and irrigation, making stood against, and ultimately defeated, one of the strongest their land prosperous. Various religions from the Land of armies the world has ever known: the Red Fleet of the United 10,000 Gods made their way through Al’Istaan, but none took Republics of the Red Star. hold for long. Conquerors came and went, each leaving their mark on the region, but none succeeded in ever subduing the

A history in Nistaani. Then came the Huan.

Charging down from the

Sand North in vast waves, the bestial Huan didn’t come to

The oldest legends of the conquer, they came to kill. The Nistaani state it was Soliman Huan shattered the region’s of the Seven Winds who fi rst Chapter civilizations so badly that even wrested what was to eventually after they had passed on, an be Al’Istaan from the hands of organized culture didn’t rise the Jinn. The Jinn were beings Seven: again for centuries. When it did, of air and fi re, a capricious race it was imitative of the Huan’s that sped over the mountains rather the preexisting culture and plains, tormenting any before the conquerors came. unfortunates happening to cross their paths. Soliman’s people The Lawless Days had been wanderers for a very long time. Upon coming into The World The Huan were a bestial the Kosa river valley, they knew wandering race, caring little they’d found the place they for cities or civilization. They wanted to settle. The Jinn’s slept in tents, forever traveling outrages, however, made it impossible. in search of pasture for their strange beasts and prey to slaughter. They bowed to many gods, but none exclusively. Soliman was a wise Shaman. After his Chieftain asked him to stop the Jinn, he devised a plan. Knowing the Jinn The Nistaani became as the Huan, fracturing into nine warrior were arrogant and liked to boast of their abilities, Soliman tribes that roamed over the hills and plateaus of their land, raiding tricked them, one by one, their neighbors at will. Some of into a specially crafted vase the weaker tribes were driven from which they could not into the great southern desert escape. When he managed “There is but One True God and Kar called the Dusty Sea. Instead of to capture the greatest of the Dathra is his prophet. “ perishing, however, they tamed Jinn’s Chieftains, he bargained the massive beetles native to Al’Istaan for the Jinn’s freedom. -Traditional Nistaani Greeting Al’Istaan’s deserts, called Susk- The Jinn reluctantly agreed. Dath, soon letting them travel over the sands at great speed To ensure their people’s and strike where they willed. compliance, Soliman kept seven Jinn as hostages, and used Nistaani tribal leadership inevitably fell to the strongest, changing them to perform many wonders before his death, hence his hands in bloody coups. Many of their leaders dreamed of surname. There are numerous tales about Soliman, and the gathering the nine tribes together under one banner, but even the Nistaani treasure them all. Until recently, modern scholars strongest could never manage more than three before infi ghting regarded the tales of Soliman to be apocryphal. After the tore their carefully wrought alliances apart., Chapter Seven: The World,

Chapter Seven: The World

The only constant was the tribal Shaman; they deemed the desert or up at the moon and stars without blinking. One the person sacrosanct, though time since eroded this once day, he announced he would journey, alone, into the heart of immutable law. Those who clearly hearing the voices of their the Dusty Sea, to confront the terrible spiritual guardians still ancestors became Shamans, though, on occasion, a cunning holding the ancient Plateau of Sighs. He ignored his tribe’s claimant could seize the position for a time. Well-taught holy pleas to dissuade him, allowing only Quratul to accompany him men were steeped in stories and lore from the past, allowing part of the way. Quratul later returned to the Pashtir, his hair them to impart their wisdom through parables. streaked white from what he saw, though he refused to speak about his experience for the rest of his days. Even with the infl uence of the Priests, however, the tribes all but forgot their identities. The brief lives of the Nistaani were After six months, when his people had all but given up hope, frequently marked with sorrow, for no child born in Al’Istaan their Chieftain returned. during the dark years before the Law ever saw adulthood without loosing someone close. And so it was for several He had changed. centuries, until the coming of the one who would change In his eyes, burned a fi erce light; in his hands, he carried a everything. large tome and a moon-topped staff that blazed with power. He stated he defeated the Jinn of the mountain gate lying

The Prophet of Al’Istaan beyond the Plateau of Sighs, and thus earned the right to

enter the realm of the spirits. There, the Chosen Prophet of He was born to the Dusty Sea tribe called the Pashtir, though the One True God visited him to teach him the living word of his birth name has been lost to the pages of history — or the Most High. At the Prophet’s feet, he transcribed the Book perhaps purposefully forgotten, lest it be used as a weapon of Law into the tongue of the Nistaani, which he had brought against him. In his youth, he entered long periods of quiet back with him, to lift his people up out of their barbarous ways introspection, after which he would utter odd phrases and and show them the true way to paradise. occasionally, predictions. In that hour, his people named him Kar Dathra, which means When one of his prophecies occurred, his parents placed him “Great One” in the Nistaani tongue, and the future of Al’Istaan into the care of their tribe’s Priest, where he swiftly excelled was irrevocably altered. Word of the Prophet of Al’Istaan and learning everything the old man had to teach him in less than the Law of the One True God spread across the land, as tribe a year. From there, however, he parted from tradition. Instead after tribe journeyed to the desert to meet him. One by one, of becoming a Shaman’s, he left his tribe and wandered over they embraced the teachings of the Law. the face of Al’Istaan. In just a few years, there were no longer nine tribes, but only There are many stories of his traveling years, but none one. Kar Dathra held dominion over all the people of Al’Istaan. are accepted as absolute truth. Some say he was an Using the Law as his guide, he turned them away from their itinerant healer, succoring all in need. Others claim he was unruly past. He moved his court to the ancient city of Koba, reckless and wild, fi ghting for coin and raiding with a band founded in the very fi rst days of Al’Istaan. Under Kar Dathra’s of mercenaries. One tale holds a powerful sorcerer captured leadership, the arts fl ourished and science advanced. The and forced him to seek out a powerful staff guarded by ancient irrigation systems of the Nistaani once again knew the witches within a hidden city, long ago consumed by the desert rush of water, bringing life to the dry plains and allowing a large sand. All tales agree, though, after an absence of ten years number of Nistaani to cultivate crops. They erected a great he returned to his people and claimed the Chieftain’s seat. temple at the edge of the Plateau of Sighs, and named the This was unprecedented, for in all the history of Al’Istaan, portal to the spirit world guarded Kar Dathra’s Gate, to honor no Priest had ever before done so. At the time, the Chieftain the prophet who had risked all for his people. of the Pashtir was Quratul Battatu, a huge fi ghter who had The Nistaani encouraged Kar Dathra to take a wife. He wed built an entire tent from swords he took from defeated rivals. Isha, a woman from the Land’s Teeth famous for her sharp At fi rst, the Chieftain thought the young Shaman was joking, wits and her skill as a healer. Nistaani still quote many of but when the long wandering holy man stripped off his jerkin, Isha’s sayings, as well as her commentary on the Law, to revealing a heavily scarred and muscled torso, Quratul this day. Unfortunately, the pair never had offspring, but Kar realized just how serious he was. Quratul tried to dissuade Dathra always claimed he thought it proper for all of the the young warrior, saying it would be a terrible dishonor for Nistaani were their children. him to fi ght a Priest, but the young man replied, “All who fi ght for the honor of Al’Istaan are holy,” a phrase destined After decades of peaceful rule, Kar Dathra passed on and to be oft-repeated many times in distant years to come. At Isha followed him within days. On his deathbed, however, he last, Quratul stepped into the ring, where the young Shaman swore a mighty oath before the One True God that should soundly defeated him. Instead of killing Quratul, as was his the Nistaani ever be threatened by a force they could not right, the new Chieftain honored him by offering a place at his overcome, he would return and defend them. side. The amazed Quratul accepted and became one of his most devoted advocates in the years to come. The Great Mourning The man who would become the Prophet of Al’Istaan ruled his Following Kar Dathra’s death, Al’Istaan went into a long age tribe for several years, and word of the fi rst Priest-Chieftain of decline and frequent internal upheaval, the Nistaani refer in Al’Istaan’s history spread. His reign was just and wise, but to as the Great Mourning. Their name for the period partly his people whispered behind his back. As the years turned, refers to their sorrow over the loss of the Prophet of Al’Istaan, his visions grew in strength; he spent long hours staring out at but more specifi cally, to the loss of unity Kar Dathra had,

Chapter Seven: The World

granted them. All of Al’Istaan joined peacefully under his rule, and disputes over the Law were always handled in debates he moderated. With Kar Dathra’s demise, various sects arose, each one claiming to have the best interpretation of the Law and the “true word” of the Most High, as well as a willingness to harm others who disagreed with their viewpoint. The most ambitious opportunists among the Nistaani found it advantageous to support whatever faction’s beliefs were most useful to advancing their own positions. The shadow of the old ways of tribalism fell over the Nistaani’s unity, but this time cloaked in dogma. When the colossal invading Golden Horde from the Lands of the Dragon came to Al’Istaan they found a country divided, offering little resistance to their rampaging and capable of yielding nothing but a poor tribute to make them leave. The Horsemen destroyed the Nistaani’s ancient irrigation systems before they left, eventually causing so much ecological damage large portions of Al’Istaan’s most fertile fi elds were permanently turned into deserts. This, in turn, caused years of deprivation. Hunger makes people desperate, and the desperate are dangerous because they have little to lose. The Lawless Days echoed in Nistaani’s many battles both internally and with other countries, many of which were fought under the pretense of being holy wars to spread word of the Law or to enforce a particular orthodoxy on other Nistaani. Various dynasties came to power in the region, but not one eclipsed the reign of Kar Dathra. So it was for several centuries, until the coming of the legendary Chieftain Ribhi Aburia. In Aburia, the Nistaani found the visionary they needed combined with the political sagacity to stride onto the world stage. Aburia came from one of Al’Istaan’s older noble families. He spent much of his early life in court intrigues and dodging assassination attempts. After being approached by a Lionist agent in Dharmai while on a trip to the Land of 10,000 Gods, he agreed to join in the Subtle Dance (see page 140), as the southern advances of the Reds had worried him. Aburia proved he was no tool for the interests of the West, and skillfully balanced his obligations to his allies with the advancement of the Nistaani. He established a democratic council to moderate the voice of the Chieftains, though he made certain to leave the largest part of the military intact and answerable only to him. He encouraged youths to study abroad, to help bring Al’Istaan into the “modern” world, but at the same time absolutely refused to allow the establishment of any infrastructure, such as railways or telegraphs that might give the West infl uence over his country. He was a devout follower of the Law and wrote a number of tracts about the subtleties of the text. On his deathbed, he passed on two famous pieces of advice to his eldest son. “The most important thing for the advancement of our people is unity. Unity, and unity alone, can make Al’Istaan great. But my last words to you are these: never trust the Reds.”

The Wind from the North

The Aburia family initiated reforms in Al’Istaan, though several of them fell to assassins in various military coups. When the last of the line was slain, a variety of Chieftains rose and fell every decade or so. Al’Istaan refused to participate in the,

Chapter Seven: The World

Great Patriotic War, claiming it was not theirs to fi ght, though the use of torture to coerce “confessions” frequent, many they assisted Lionist troops on several occasions. Nistaani felt a call to take up arms and fi ght for their people. They named themselves “Nasr Kien” or “Bright Eagles,” and After seeing the devastation caused by the weapons and they felt it their holy duty to fi ght for a free Al’Istaan. protocols of the rest of the world, the Nistaani approached the W.T.A. to sell them old arms in an attempt to bolster The Lionists regarded this as one of the most critical their military, but were refused. The Red Councils of the movements of their Subtle Dance and convinced the W.T.A. U.R.R.S. on the other hand, greeted the Nistaani with to provide the Nistaani with “advisors” to help train them in open arms. Imbohl publicly declared his admiration for “our guerilla tactics and give them arms with which to fi ght. The fi erce southern comrades.” Ominous as this portent should Eagles swiftly made their presence known, removing several have been, the Nistaani were in no position to effectively of Maidi’s allies and destabilizing his government. Rumor acknowledge it, and as the years rolled on, they became spread that the One True God in fact chose some of the Nasr, embroiled with the Red Star Republics. as their holy powers manifested while they fought. Several Priests joined the Nasr and openly declared that to take up A group of Nistaani youths quietly embraced the political arms against Maidi’s government was to engage in Jihad, the leanings of the Internationalists, and the Red Nistaani Party Holy War against infi dels. formed under a man named Golam Maidi, a confi dant of Imbohl’s. While the ruling Chieftain Elrashidi was away on a When the Nasr killed over forty of Maidi’s “secret” police in a trip to the West, Maidi illegally seized power in a bloody coup, single week, his Northern allies decided they’d had enough declaring the Chieftaincy was no more and that he was the of his incompetence and ordered him removed. Maidi was new President of Al’Istaan. Maidi immediately consolidated assassinated by his second in command, a U.R.R.S.-raised his position, placing his allies in power and establishing a Nistaani named Farhad Thamir, who then declared himself brutal secret police force to suppress all opposition. Maidi acting President. His fi rst offi cial action was to ask the Red soon offered a friendship treaty to the U.R.R.S., which the Star Republics for aid in quelling the Nasr’s violent uprisings Red Council quickly ratifi ed. threatening his new “just and peaceful” government. Three days later, the U.R.R.S. responded — forward elements of Maidi’s year in offi ce was one of the darkest in Al’Istaan’s the Red Fleet entered Al’Istaan. long history, but one of the great Nistaani hopes for the future also rose in that year. As mass arrests became common and The War for Al’Istaan had begun.

The Land, the People and the Law: Life in Al’Istaan

down from the Land’s Teeth. Violent dust storms regularly

The Land sweep through the area, capable of stripping an exposed

man down to bone in a little less than a few minutes. The arid Al’Istaan is widely known for its harsh, mountainous terrain. plains of the Dusty Sea offer little sustenance to travelers The long curling line of the Land’s Teeth mountain range, though the Susk-Dath are native to the desert. To the running roughly from the northeast to the southwest, and Nistaani, however, the Dusty Sea is the most sacred ground forms a natural barrier between the north and the rest of the in all of Al’Istaan for it was the birthplace of the Prophet and country. The Land’s Teeth range is over 1,600 kilometers long Kar Dathra’s Gate lies deep within it. and nearly 300 kilometers wide. Several dozen mountain peaks throughout the range exceed 7,000 meters high. Below The Northern Reach holds the most fertile ground Al’Istaan the snowy summits, the Land’s Teeth are a maze of bare, has to offer. The beautiful Kosa River runs through a region jagged stone, nearly incapable of supporting vegetation. The measuring about 100,000 square kilometers. From here Land’s Teeth have always been of great military importance, originates the greater bulk of Al’Istaan’s crops. Nistaani farms as they form a natural fi rst line of defense for the Nistaani. are often terraced and multi-tiered to take advantage of the They’ve also always been a prime target for invading lush sloping hills dominating the north. The Northern Reach armies, however, as the crucial Iron Pass — the legendary also contains a large number of mineral deposits, including gateway to the Land of 10,000 Gods — is situated along their gold and silver. southeastern edge. The highlands surrounding the Land’s Teeth are fi lled with The People narrow valleys running in great deep swaths throughout the region. The soil of the area is steppe-like and diffi cult The tribal structure underlying the Nistaani has never entirely to cultivate. Koba, the capital city of Al’Istaan, sits on the disappeared, and it colors a great number of their values. The southern edge of the highlands. Nistaani hold blood ties dearly. They typically put their family’s welfare before all other considerations except in matters To the south lies an expanse of colossal plateaus and silt of faith. They also trust people coming from their own tribe deserts called the Dusty Sea. It covers an area of over before other Nistaani, and other Nistaani before any outsider. 130,000 square kilometers. It is a desolate region, nearly This has unfortunately made them insular and close-minded. lifeless except for the shores of the Huriya River, which runs Change comes slowly to Al’Istaan.,

Chapter Seven: The World

There is an old expression about the Nistaani, stating, “Know a man’s region, know a man’s character.” There are defi nitely traits of the Nistaani psyche specifi c to the province in which they were raised. The mountains are referred to in Nistaani religious texts as a forge to test one’s mettle, and the rare people of the highland tribes invariably are self reliant and hard. The majority of the fi ercest warriors Al’Istaan ever produced hailed from the mountains and highlands of the Land’s Teeth, and the bulk of the original Nasr recruits came from there as well. Tradition holds they are a stoic people, but many of those allowed to know them are surprised to fi nd how quick they are to laugh — they’re just well practiced in hiding their mirth from outsiders. “Our home is grim,” they say, “but our hearts aren’t.” The desert tribes of the Dusty Sea, on the other hand, are a fi ercely passionate people. Lavish in their loves, fervent in their hatreds and zealous in their faith, their unforgiving region seems to breed souls of powerful character. “Only the strong can survive the desert,” they claim. They are also quick to point out Kar Dathra came from their stock whenever anyone criticizes their excesses of character. Despite their wild emotions, denizens of the Dusty Sea are also a practical people. Surviving the trials of the open desert gives a body little choice in the matter if one wants to survive. Nistaani from the Northern Reach have a reserved and wistful character, but their emotions are no less than their southern cousins; they just run deeper. A Nistaani mother of the Northern Reach, upon hearing she had lost a son to battle, would likely shed only a single tear before continuing her work for the rest of her day, seemingly unfazed. That night, though, D aily Life she would sing a lament that could make a stone weep. Many The Nistaani value simplicity in all areas of their lives. of Al’Istaan’s most treasured poets hail from the verdant hills Al’Istaan literally translates as “The Land,” and Nistaani in of the north. Of all the Nistaani, they are the most inclined to turn means, “The People of the Land.” They are distrustful politics, not because they like it, but simply because they’re of complex technology and scorn it as a crutch if traditional suited to diplomacy. The northerners’ cool heads have helped ways work better. Because of this they use modern fi rearms to balance their ardent countrymen to the south with their in war, while Nistaani farmers hoe their fi elds with hand tools. taciturn countrymen to the east, and allowed all sides to focus on important issues without being caught up in petty feuds. Very little modern industry is evident in Al’Istaan, though the Nistaani don’t seem to miss it. The majority of the populace

The Dune-Ra consists of either farmers or nomadic herdsmen. Farmers rise with the sun and work through the morning before

The Nistaani regard themselves as the natives of Al’Istaan, retiring during the mid-day heat, and then come return but there is another race with an equal claim. The Dune-Ra for the remainder of the day until sundown. Wheat, fruits, have lived on the Dusty Sea and under the Land’s Teeth and pistachios are the most common crops, though some since before the banishment of the Jinn. They are massive farmers expanded into opium production. Herdsmen direct beings, related to the Mountainwalkers of the Roof of the livestock from the backs of their Susk-Dath, staying within a World, stand three meters tall and weighing over two hundred reasonable distance of water sources. The roving tribes all and thirty kilograms. Their skin has the texture of stone, and have long established routes they follow, to avoid disputes each of their three fi ngered hands can crushing a human with their fellows; in lean years, however, they require a Priest skull like an egg. They are a simple people, unconcerned with to mediate, lest blood be spilt, forcing them to range wider a the day-to-day intricacies of other cultures; they are usually fi eld. devout followers of the Law. Tribal leaders negotiate collectively with merchants to sell They believe the spirit of Al’Istaan watches over them and wool, mutton and sheepskins for a good price, so none of speaks to them in dreams. The Dune-Ra taught the Nistaani them get undercut and their families go without. Nistaani do the secrets of Sha-Moram (see page 133). The Nistaani use not engaging in animal husbandry or agriculture are often Dune-Ra on the battlefi eld as a form of “living krawl,” for they involved in textile production, crafting widely famed rugs and can easily tote enormous anti-vehicular weapons and rockets. carpets. A few of the Land’s Teeth tribes are famous for their Most Dune-Ra use large, sealed, round pots of boiling lead skills in cutting precious gems. called “Krevaak” as devastating grenades to burn fl esh and Nistaani wear locally produced clothing. Men wear layered melt equipment. wool overcoats and baggy trousers, often topped with a,

Chapter Seven: The World Dune-Ra

Dune-Ra are the native Mountainwalkers of Al’Istaan. They are primitive but devout followers of the Law. They stand between 3 and 4 meters tall, and have large, three fi ngered hands, thick trunks and oversized jaws. Most wear fetishes and many of them have tribal tattoos.

Dune-Ra

CR 2; Large giant; HD 4d8+8; hp 26; Mas 15; Init –1; Spd 10m; Defense 11, touch 8, fl at-footed 11 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +3 Natural); DR 5/–; BAB +3; Grap +11; Atk +7 melee (2d6+5, Iron-shod club), or +6 melee (1d4+4, slam); or +1 ranged; FS 4m by 4m; Reach 4m; SQ Low-light vision; AL Al’Istaan or The Law of the One True God; SV Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +1; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 19, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 6; Wis 10, Cha 9; Climb +8, Listen +2, Spot +4; Archaic Weapon Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (Iron-shod club); Adv by character class.

Dune-Ra as Player Characters

In certain Al’Istaan campaigns, a GM may wish to present one of the players with the opportunity to play one of the Dune-Ra. The following traits apply to Dune- Ra PCs: Size: Large. As Large creatures, Dune-Ra take a –1 penalty to Defense and a –1 size penalty on attack rolls. They gain a +4 size bonus on grapple checks and take a –4 penalty on Hide checks. Ability Modifi ers: +8 Strength, –2 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, –4 Intelligence, –2 Charisma. Extra Hit Dice: Dune-Ra PCs retain their 4 Hit Dice (4d8 Hit Points) as giants. Con bonus applies to all Hit Dice. They also retain their base attack bonus of +3, their base saves (Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1), 12+Int modifi er skill points, and one feat. Base Speed: 10 meters. Special Qualities: Dune-Ra’s naturally rocky hide gives them a Damage Reduction 5/–. They can navigate by starlight and have low-light vision. Fighting Space: Dune-Ra occupy a 4m by 4m space; Dune-Ra havea4meter reach. Allegiance: Dune-Ra must begin play with an allegiance to either Al’Istaan or the Law of the One True God. Bonus Feats: All Dune-Ra begin play with the Archaic Weapons Profi ciency feat. Level Adjustment: +2. rounded cloth cap called a Pakol or a turban. Women wear long fl owing dresses, and cover their heads and shoulders E ntertainment with shawls. Both sexes may wear a mashur, a thin cloth Both passion and beauty motivate the Nistaani people. face-covering veil offering protection from blowing dust (see They value poetry and song. Depth of expression and open page 63 for more information on mashurs). displays of emotion are common among them, though Nistaani use many layers, as the temperatures vary wildly only the Dusty Sea tribes show this side of themselves to from day to evening in many regions of Al’Istaan. They outsiders. Individuals extemporizing poetry suitable to any tend towards brown and white coloring in their clothes: given occasion fi nd immense favor in Al’Istaan, as do skilled brown because it hides dirt well and white for the religious storytellers. connotations. Then again, crimson dresses are popular with Falconry is a popular pastime for the wealthy, and those who women, and men often add red accents to their own garb. cannot afford the maintenance for those raptors still enjoy a,

Chapter Seven: The World

good hunt. However, generations of skilled hunters forced Sha-Osk directly led to another Nistaani practice: “To don the native prey animals to hone their skills in hiding, so much the mashur is to go to war,” the old phrase runs. Mashur are so that being a renowned hunter holds greater meaning here the face-covering veils that the Nistaani use to protect their than in other parts of the world. eyes from blown sand, which is, in effect, a kind of war, but the mashur Nistaani put on for combat are very different. Nistaani also enjoy gambling, even though the Law frowns While originally made from heavy cloth as a protection against upon it. One of their favored wagers is betting on the outcome Sha-Osk, the modern era has seen war mashur become of Shaihidi fi ghts. Shaihidi are lizards native to the Dusty sophisticated pieces of equipment. Many are technologically Sea who sport a frill of brightly colored feathers and nasty advanced instruments laced with protocol enhancement, offering venom they accurately spit up to fi ve meters or more. Shaihidi their wearer a broad range of tactical battle information. Some of territorial duels are exciting as the combatants employ subtle the more ancient mashur were supposedly woven with powerful feints and feats of blinding refl exes. A champion Shaihidi is rituals, but what they do for their wearers, none can or will say. quite valuable. No discussion of the Nistaani’s fi ghting traditions would All other joys pale in comparison, however, to the Nistaani’s be complete without mentioning their beloved Susk-Dath. national obsession: Suskashren. An ancient sport, literally The large beetles play a number of roles on the battlefi eld, translated, it means, “hunting from a beetle.” There are depending on their age and size. The Nistaani use the several different ways to play, but the most common variant younger and faster Susk-Dath as high-speed cavalry, is Taba. A circle of riders sitting astride younger, but highly engaging an enemy’s fl ank before swiftly retreating. The trained Susk-Dath surround a headless goat or sheep older, massive Susk-Dath have weapons and armor welded carcass. At the signal from a fl ag, the riders try to sweep up to their thick carapaces and function as living tanks. the carcass and move it outside the original starting circle by riding in any direction. Sounds easy? It isn’t. Most riders never get close to the “ball” let alone push it outside the ring. Chieftains and the Suskashren competition is extraordinary, and the winner of a bout gainseasubstantial prize awarded by the sponsor G overnment of the match. Riders train for years to compete, as do their The Nistaani have a great deal of loyalty to Al’Istaan itself, Susk-Dath, for communication between the two is crucial to but they’ve had so many governments come and go over victory. Some of the other variations of Suskashren involve the years most of them actively loath of politics. The majority the use of points to carry the carcass around a fl ag, before of Nistaani look to their tribal leader fi rst, then to their local depositing it in a specifi c spot. It is a dangerous sport. Every Priest and fi nally to the government, if they want to get year, some well-meaning Nistaani politicians try to get it anything done. banned, but they never succeed: Kar Dathra himself loved Suskashren, and played it a few times a year. For over a thousand years, government existed at the local level. A tribal Chieftain and his council of handpicked advisors

Fighting Traditions set policy and made decisions for the area his or her tribe

controlled. Actions impinging on aspects of the Law fell to the Al’Istaan boasts no great standing armies. It does however tribe’s Priest for his advice. There was often a “Chieftain of have some of the most defensible terrain in the entire world. Chieftains” — a King in all but name, whom other Chieftains The Land’s Teeth defeated armies for centuries, to say deferred to, but not necessarily with any formalized structure. nothing of the crippling effects of the Dusty Sea. Nistaani are naturally suited to guerilla warfare, as it builds on a variety of It used to be any tribe member who thought he could do a better the strengths they learn as hunters. job than the current Chieftain could challenge him for the role. As certain families consistently won challenges, chieftaincy The Nistaani have several forms of wrestling that they’ve long eventually became a matter of birthright. The Nistaani never truly practiced, one of which probably derived from their exposure forgot the old ways, however; every few decades, a challenge to the Golden Horde from the Lands of the Dragon. It involves is declared. The last century has seen the rise of a form of a variety of sweeping kicks along with grappling holds democracy in Al’Istaan, often referred to as “Aburia’s Legacy” in capable of bringing a foe close for a throat cut. reference to the great Reforming Chieftain. Nistaani favor rifl es over pistols, for they have a greater range Ribhi Aburia created a “People’s Council” made up of thirty and uses beyond mere warfare. They use an assortment of democratically elected individuals from across Al’Istaan. different bladed pole arms along with a number of dagger The only condition of being on the council was that a given styles, most often katar. Nistaani seldom offer a straight up individual could never have been a Chieftain, nor related to fi ght if they can help it, preferring to engage in a series of one in less than three generations. Council members serve a rapid strikes and feints before swiftly retreating. fi ve-year term, spending part of the year at their homes and Nistaani warriors also practice a fi ghting technique in which they part at Koba. The Council advised the “King” and his advisors telekinetically control clusters of short silver pins, they usually by giving them access to the thoughts of the common people. carry in a small leather pouch at their side. At a crucial moment In theory, a two-thirds majority of the Council could overturn in a fi ght, they hurl a handful at their opponent and direct them decisions made by the Great Chieftain. In practice, the into his eyes. This style, Sha-Osk or “Slivers on the Wind,” is People’s Council was always hard pressed to get more diffi cult to master, but devastating to face on the battlefi eld. than ten members to agree on anything. When Golam Victims seldom live long enough to lament the resulting Maidi seized control of Al’Istaan’s government, he ordered blindness coming from a particularly accurate attack.,

Chapter Seven: The World Susk-Dath

Susk-Dath are massive beetles native to the Dusty Sea region of Al’Istaan. Susk-Dath grow their entire lives, and some of them have lived for centuries. The younger, swifter Susk-Dath serve as fast cavalry, while the eldest are like living krawls, with massive chitin plates reinforced with metal, with weaponry mounted on them.

Susk-Dath

CR 5; Large vermin; HD 7d8+21; 52 hp; Mas 22; Init +0; Spd 12m; Defense 14, touch 9, fl at-footed 14 (–1 size, +5 natural); BAB +5; Grap +15; Atk +10 melee (4d6+9); Full Atk +10 melee (4d6+9); FS 3m by 3m; Reach 4m; SA trample 2d8+3; SQ Damage reduction 7/–, darkvision 30m, smart bug, vermin traits; AL none; SV Fort +8, Ref +2, Will +2; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 23, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 4; Wis 10, Cha 10; Skills: Move Silently +10; Adv 8-10 HD (Large), 11-21 HD (Huge). Trample (Ex): Refl ex half DC 19. Save is Strength based. Smart Bug (Ex): Despite being vermin, Susk-Dath have an intelligence score. the People’s Council to ratify his Presidency on pain of The Law is, basically, a series of parables on wisdom, proper death. Several of those noble men and women went to their doctrine, how and when to worship, daily life and just behavior. martyrdom, refusing to sanction a despot. Others managed to It is beautiful with rich multi-layered meanings the Nistaani fl ee, and a few became some of the fi rst leaders of the Nasr. studied and expounded upon for centuries. They consider the Law to be inviolate; any deviations from the true text are Policing in Al’Istaan is also handled at a local level. One of a ignored as fl awed. The Law states there is but One True God Chieftain’s advisors is usually a Giver of Justice, the person and all other deities are false, though the Most High does have directly responsible for local law enforcement. These men many spiritual servants who are powerful enough they could and women are always well versed in the Law, as the greater fool humans into believing they were deities if they so choose. precepts of Al’Istaan’s justice system are all based upon it. It can be a diffi cult job, especially if he fi nds the individual The Law describes a Judgment Day upon which all thinking responsible for a crime is well connected. One of the stories beings will be called to account for their actions in life. Those the Nistaani appreciate, though, is about a Giver of Justice who didn’t lead a righteous life according to the tenets of the named Khalil Mourad. Law face the Fire. The Law also holds all life forces have a fate awaiting them, a divine predestination the One True God Mourad was asked to investigate a series of murders has in mind for them. Paradoxically enough, it also says all scattered throughout the Land’s Teeth. After he determined creatures have free will. These seemingly opposing tenets the guilty party was, in fact, his own son, he confronted him. are explained simply by stating every individual’s choices With tears in his eyes, Mourad killed his eldest boy while the inevitably lead them to their fate, whatever it is meant to be. youth resisted arrest. To this day in Al’Istaan, to honor such dedication, individuals known to stop at nothing to achieve The Law proscribes certain forms of behavior and their goals are said to have, “Khalil’s Will.” encourages others, as most religious texts do. Men and women are equal by the Law, with different, but no less

The Law important, duties each performs within a family. Traditionally, women are the instructors of children and the directors of

Some say while the Nistaani are relatively uncomplicated, daily life, where men earn money. Women can own property their faith is not. The majority of Nistaani would deny this and work if they choose to, and many do so without stigma if with a laugh, saying their religion is very simple: it is all about they are without children, or once their children have grown. submission to the One True God. The Nistaani believe Kar Nistaani faithful identify themselves and regularly proclaim Dathra was a prophet of the Most High and he transcribed the their faith by stating: “There is but One True God and Kar words of the Chosen Prophet, he that fi rst brought the Law to Dathra is his prophet.” A proper follower of the Law prays the world, into the Nistaani language. regularly, fi ve times a day. The Law encourages the faithful to,

Chapter Seven: The World

put money aside to help the needy and unfortunate. Once in simple conviction are often shocked to silence when they the life of every devout Nistaani, if time, circumstances, and learn Nistaani skilled at Sha-Moram or “Harkening to the resources allow, they make a pilgrimage to the Plateau of Wind” can authoritatively speak of old battles, new confl icts Sighs and visit Kar Dathra’s Gate. The Nistaani believe they and events happening just over the next rise. worship their deity best by the way they choose to live their lives. By following the doctrines of the Law in their everyday behavior, they give the greatest praise to their One True God. K oba The oldest city in Al’Istaan and certainly the most sacred,

Shaman Koba was the seat of Kar Dathra’s later reign. He chose

Koba, in part, because it was the fi rst city founded by the Outsiders often think of Nistaani Shaman as “Priests of the wandering tribes originally making up the Nistaani. When Law;” while there is some truth to that, it misrepresents their the Chieftain Sharha encountered the smooth promontory actual place in the life and history of Al’Istaan. Priests existed overlooking the rest of the highlands, offering views of the among the Nistaani long before the coming of Kar Dathra. distant horizon and the gleaming white caps of the Land’s From the oldest times, remembered now only in oral history Teeth shining to the north, he knew he found the home for traditions, come tales of Shaman who bargained with spirits which he long sought. and the shades of their people’s ancestors to allow the Nistaani tribes to dwell safely within their lands. Priests were frequently Koba’s position offers an unparalleled view of the surrounding consulted on how to placate angry ghosts and the best way to countryside. It is impossible for a large force to get within 100 deal with troublesome spirits. For example, the Shaman Soliman miles without notice. Koba’s broad thoroughfares support supposedly bound the Jinn for the benefi t of all Nistaani. a wide variety of traffi c, while Koba’s extensive assortment of mosques draws tourists, and Koba’s infamous markets With the coming of the Prophet of Al’Istaan, the Priests’ role cater to any taste or desire. The Nistaani dealing in illicit changed. The Shaman of Kar Dathra’s era swiftly saw the goods rationalize their behavior by declaring if infi dels wish to wisdom and truth of the Law. They transitioned from their destroy themselves, it’s their own affair. old roles into new ones as interpreters of the Law, but still the guardians of the spirit of Al’Istaan. Nistaani, following old Koba’s skyline is a short one. The largest buildings in Koba, tribal customs, originally started asking them to intercede other than a few mosques, stand three stories tall. The two most with the One True God on their behalf. The Priests, however, notable structures in Koba are the Chieftain’s Palace, which fi rmly corrected their people, stated all were equally valued always served as the seat of Nistaani government, whatever its before the Most High and each Nistaani should feel free stripe, and the University of Koba. The University is a modern to ask what they would of the One True God. The Shaman learning institution, using the latest protocol-enhanced relays to would be around to advise them whenever they wished, but teach the arts, sciences and study of the Law. nothing more. Priests still play an active role in Nistaani life. The priests play K ar Dathra’s Gate a number of roles, from community leaders to tribal advisors, The holiest site in Al’Istaan and one all faithful are expected marriage counselors to politicians, and most commonly, spiritual to take a pilgrimage to at least once in their lives, the temple mentors. When Nistaani are troubled, most inevitably turn to a surrounding Kar Dathra’s Gate is a massive edifi ce carved trusted local Shaman to whom they may unburden themselves. from the side of a mountain. Followers of the Law must walk Priests know a great many truths about the world of which for three days over the Plateau of Sighs to reach the temple others are blissfully ignorant; though it is a heavy burden, they awaiting them on the far side. Legend holds no mortal hand hold those secrets dear. It is their curse to dwell among their actually formed the temple. The precision of the cuts into the people, but always be somewhat apart, never entirely at ease surface of a mountain far out into an inhospitable desert go even in the communities their presence helps foster. far to further that belief.

Other Beliefs The War for Al’Istaan

The Nistaani hold the moon sacred and depict it on many of their mosques. The crescent moon is the fi rst mortal sight Kar Incredulous to outsiders as it a may sound, the Red Fleet Dathra’s eyes beheld as he emerged from his long sojourn expected to be welcomed into Al’Istaan with open arms. After in the spirit world. It was also the symbol topping his staff. all, the soldiers of the fl eet had been told that they were going Scholars of Al’Istaan’s history suggest the wandering moon to Al’Istaan to defend it from the ambitions of the Western is a very old symbol, from long before the time of Kar Dathra, Transnationalist Alliance and its allies, as well as countless connected to their former status as a nomadic people. horror stories of the atrocities committed upon the Nistaani Regardless of the symbol’s origin, the moon retains its hold people by a ruthless group of terrorists. High-level fl eet on the Nistaani’s hearts, evidenced in Nistaani poetry. offi cers upon arrival in Al’Istaan found mass graves fi lled with the supposed victims of the Nasr by agents of “President” Wind also fi gures prominently in Nistaani tales. They believe Thamir’s administration. It was a year or two before they the wind is the voice of Al’Istaan, singing to them of the past discovered the greater bulk of the corpses they believed were and present. Some say the wind carries the last vestiges of the Nasr’s work were actually the results of Golam Maidi’s the Jinn, or that their ancestors can whisper through it. While governance, but by then, even if they had been so inclined, this is perhaps expected, considering how much the wind it was far too late to do anything about it. The Red Council affects the sands of the dry region, outsiders disdaining this would not be denied its “inevitable” victory.,

Chapter Seven: The World

To the Nasr, the coming of the Red Fleet increased the supposedly a small, insignifi cant force, yet they managed to stakes in the struggle they already fought. Indeed, Lionist stymie the U.R.R.S. And though the Red Fleet nominally held agents already informed them in advance of the arrival of all of Al’Istaan, none of it was truly within their control. the U.R.R.S.’ troops. From the very beginning of the war, the Nistaani knew trying to fi ght in direct combat with the Red As the Red Council demanded more and more ruthless Fleet was suicidal. You don’t stop an angry Susk-Dath with actions from their troops, a vicious cycle of bloody reprisals force; you give it shallow, bleeding cuts and let it eventually between the Red Fleet and the Nasr Kien continued to drop from its blood loss. escalate. Civilians and neutral parties both were killed in the crossfi re. The U.R.R.S.’ actions were almost unilaterally At fi rst, the Nasr Kien were a small group of individuals condemned at a meeting of the Global Council some three determined to change the course of their country’s future. years after the war began, but the Red ambassador claimed When the Red Fleet arrived, they secretly numbered well they were helping an ally with an internal affair and it was over a thousand. Within 6 months, they’d swelled to ten times none of the business of the rest of the world. that number, and their numbers continued to rise This and the continuing steadily throughout the violence against Al’Istaan’s war. Indeed, recruitment civilian population actually was not the Nasr’s led to other countries problem — logistics was. lending their assistance They had so many recruits to the Nistaani. The size they couldn’t arm them of the battles in Al’Istaan all, leading to an wide increased exponentially, variety of weaponry being as the Nasr Kien grew pressed into service. The from a guerilla force into W.T.A. and the Isle of a full-fl edged army. This Lions supplied them with same growth, though, shipments of small arms, made it diffi cult to hide their but never large amounts or forces from the Red Fleet’s regularly, a fact eventually surveillance and led to leading the Nasr’s larger engagements. leadership to question their After nine long years of allies motives. warfare, the Red Council The engagements of the war were largely feints, designed decided it was past time to fi nish the game. Information had for each side to test the other’s resolve and strengths. The been leaked to the Red Fleet concerning the whereabouts of infantry soldiers of the Red Fleet learned something their the main encampment of the Nasr Kien. Believed to be hidden government wouldn’t listen to or accept until long after the in an area the Nistaani considered sacred, around something war was over: the Nistaani would never surrender. Time after called “Kar Dathra’s Gate”. The Red Council demanded a time, cornered Nasr Kien would fi ght to the last, even after full-scale attack of the entire Red Fleet, including every active offered a chance to lay down their arms. Worse, a number of skyfurnace, with the purpose of utterly annihilating all trace of their opponents were children. the Nistaani resistance and securing their long awaited victory. As the war progressed, many soldiers were forced into The Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate policing duties they’d never been trained for and were regularly exposed to the brutality and corruption of Thamir’s No spy, or at least, no spy in the Red Fleet’s employ, slipped government. Scores of them turned to alcohol or drugs them the information concerning the location of the Nasr. unavailable in the U.R.R.S. but readily accessible through Some believe it was the last of a series of intricate steps in Al’Istaan’s black market. Many committed suicide, incapable the Subtle Dance of the Lionists, or the manipulations of the of reconciling the reality of what they experienced with their W.T.A. Others claim it was just chance. All veterans of the country’s propaganda. War for Al’Istaan, though, fi rmly hold to the conviction the Nistaani’s Priests purposefully revealed the information to Finally, some of the Red Fleet troopers, especially the ones their enemies to draw them in for the fi nal stroke of a long from Nokgorka, were devout followers of the Law. When they conceived plan. Sacrifi cing well over twenty thousand faithful learned they were not in fact liberating a land they deemed warriors to the ventral blasts of the Red Fleet skyfurnaces holy from the insidious forces of the West, they were at pains allowed the Nistaani Priests to summon Kar Dathra the to check their rage. The Nasr were well aware of the Red Eternal, the Prophet of Al’Istaan. Fleet’s many problems and would sometimes go to ground for months at a time, offering no targets to fi ght, specifi cally to give Much has been told of this battle elsewhere. Suffi ce it to say their enemies plenty of time with nothing to do. The deleterious within a minute of Kar Dathra’s appearance on the battlefi eld, effects these circumstances had on the surviving soldiers’ the Red Fleet was nearly annihilated. The remaining armed morale was powerful. Only the fact that the Red Fleet was well forces of the United Republics of the Red Star withdrew trained at the time kept it from collapsing altogether. almost completely from Al’Istaan less than twenty-four hours later, leaving only a token presence behind. The Red Star Republics became desperate as the years rolled on as their death toll mounted. The Nasr Kien were The Nistaani resistance had won the war.,

Chapter Seven: The World

The war also collapsed the Nistaani’s economy, and the

The Aftermath & the Present crippling lack of funds led President Saleed to encourage the farmers of the Northern Reaches to grow opium, saleable

The Nistaani paid a high price for their victory. Nearly an to world markets at great profi t, but also invoking the ire of entire generation was lost to the carnage and whole family some of Al’Istaan’s would-be allies. Even more dangerous, lines became extinct. The lack of farmers to tend the fi elds of a large number of the Nasr Kien refused to lay down their the Northern Reach resulted in widespread famine requiring arms. A number of the younger grew up with war and knew foreign aid to alleviate even partially the hunger. no other way. Some of them joined radical groups demanding immediate change, both in their own country and others as The Nistaani’s government was in total shambles. Farhad well. Thamir had been assassinated several years previously, and the “Presidency” of Al’Istaan had been fi lled with a succession Amidst these troubles, there were some bright spots. The of Red Council appointees. The Nasr Kien publicly executed the appearance of Kar Dathra caused the attendance in mosques latest in the line, one Syed al-Amri, within days of their victory. and faith in the One True God to soar. Converts from all over the world journeyed to Al’Istaan to take a pilgrimage to Kar The Nasr refused to accept Chieftain Elrashidi back as their Dathra’s Gate. After a few hard years, the Nistaani managed leader, stating that as he had stayed out of the entire war as a to get a hold on their troubles and started to turn their political exile, he had done nothing for the war effort. Elrashidi’s situation around… backers claimed he had done a great deal behind the scenes in directing the aid of the West to the Nasr’s war efforts. Such …until the Imperial City Bombing. claims incensed the Nasr more though, because many of One of the Western Transnationalist Alliance’s largest and them felt that the West had given aid only with the intention most cherished downtowns was nearly leveled in a protocol- of prolonging the war to weaken the Reds, and that they laced explosion destroying fi ve square city blocks. The cared little about the fate of the Nistaani. In addition, the large terrorist attack on the Imperial City was linked to a group of number of deaths across family lines had all but devastated radical Nistaani based out of the Land’s Teeth, and the W.T.A. the old royal bloodlines. The Nasr Kien unilaterally decided for demanded the government of Al’Istaan turn them over at Al’Istaan the time for Chieftains had ended. once. When the government stated they were unable to do They elected Jahal Saleed to be the new President of so, the Westerners declared they would come in and take Al’Istaan, a former member of the People’s Council who had them by force, regardless of the Nistaani’s opinion on the been with the resistance from the very beginning of the war. subject. A tense political situation swiftly developed in which countries The troops of the West have but newly arrived in Al’Istaan. wishing to aid in the rebuilding of Al’Istaan were unable to Whether or not they’ll repeat the mistakes of the Red Fleet assist; the dispute as to which government was actually has yet to be determined. legitimate took years to resolve., Chapter Seven: The World

The W estern Transnational Alliance

n ocean away from the Lands of the Red Star lays the rebels against the crown, every prisoner on the isle, and Aterrible might of the last global superpower, the W.T.A. anyone wanting to escape their life on the Great Continent Theirs are the hands now holding the tiller of the world, was offered amnesty, along with passage to the New World directing it as they choose. Their armies are as a tidal in exchange for a modest portion of their crops and a wave, effortlessly sweeping all before them. Across the globe, reasonable sum in taxes to be collected once they managed the letters “B-C-I” are often whispered with barely concealed to establish successful outposts. King Aaron didn’t really care terror in dark cloakrooms and late night council chambers. An if they succeeded or not; he really just wanted them gone. empire so vast is not easily held though, and many of their When tobacco and respectable amounts of silver began enemies would pay any price to teach the arrogant Westerners trickling into the royal coffers a decade later, long after he’d a lesson. Indeed, some recently moved against them with easily crushed the few insurgents who hadn’t taken up his destructive results. offer, he declared the entire venture a rousing success. The Western Colonies grew and expanded outwards from

The Land of the Brave the coast of the New World. The colonists slaughtered

natives they encountered with practiced ease, unless they The Isle of Lions founded the colonies that eventually had powers or abilities potentially useful to the colonization, became the W.T.A. several centuries ago. Then, a series of in which case they were “strongly encouraged” to join the totalitarian despots, each rapidly growing colonies. more conservative than As the West became more the last, ruled the Lionists. and more self suffi cient, King Aaron the First was “Let all the world rage as they will. We it depended on the Isle of similar to his forebears, Lions less and less. except he was far more will do what’s right, regardless of the creative than ever were consequences.” After a century and a half his predecessors. of rule, they stunned the The King hit upon a plan -General Wade Lathrop on the bombing of world by declaring their independence from the to seem magnanimous, civilian targets who may have been Lionists. The various reduce his woes, and harboring terrorists. colonies gathered under possibly make money a single charter dictating all in one maneuver. All their rights and fi nancial,

Chapter Seven: The World

obligations. The forces of the Isle of Lions swiftly found the the ideals of Transnationalism and the principle of the colonists were far more deadly than they had ever supposed. Next Horizon to countries beyond their borders. Soon they The Westerners decimated the Lionist troops sent to quell commenced propping up governments they favored, including their rebellion, annihilating entire regiments with their guns any claiming to be an enemy of the Reds, regardless of and protocols, whose heads they then cast in bronze and how sadistic or corrupt the regime. They asked for only sent back to the Lionists’ parliament as a warning. The a few “small” favors in return for money, equipment and Lionists got the message and peace was declared. training, such as exclusive trading rights, lack of customs taxes for Western goods, the ability to establish military The Western Transnationalist Alliance, as the new nation bases wherever they liked, and total immunity to local law called itself, redoubled its efforts in securing territory and enforcement for their troops. advancing across the continent. Their philosophers came up with a concept to which they still cling, called the “Next Whenever the Red Council chose to back a given party or Horizon.” Basically, the Next Horizon is an idea rooted in the individual, the Alliance government was swift to help the consciousness of many Westerners telling them they must opposition. The Ironhold, what the world called the two forever seek the frontier and conquer whatever it has to offer. nation’s monopolies on world power, allowed the W.T.A. They learned to thrive on adversity and relish combat with a to accuse its unruly citizens of being “Red Sympathizers,” disturbing intensity. effectively silencing them regardless of how fair their criticisms may have been. It also allowed for the escalation Empires, kingdoms and tribes of all kinds were destroyed of the military’s budget, which suited many Western business en masse in vicious battles, some lasting decades, as they interests. They poured billions of dollars into military and marched towards the far western shore of “their” land. Even protocol research, determined to have the most technically when they fi nally succeeded in securing their continent, advanced forces in the world. Landing on Luna-1 was merely their blood lust was not sated and they fell to fi ghting among the culmination of something the West was already convinced themselves. The infamous Brothers’ War raged across their of: their infallibility. land, killing hundreds of thousands and burning dozens of cities before it ended. They only managed to rebuild from the The increasingly smug attitude shattered nearly three destruction just a few decades before the Great Patriotic War decades after the Great Patriotic War when they were broke out. delivered their greatest defeat, not by the U.R.R.S, but by a small jungle country south of the Lands of the Dragon, called With the memories of the Brothers’ War looming large in the the Kingdom of Jade. The Jade Kingdom seemed to have Westerners’ minds, much of their populace was somewhat little the W.T.A. wanted, but the Reds were interested in it and dubious about involvement in a war in which they felt they had that was enough. no stake in the outcome. They ignored the pleas of the many immigrant families making up a large portion of the populace At fi rst, they supported the Kingdom of Jade’s aging monarch, of the W.T.A. who wanted to assist their ancestral homelands. whom a U.R.R.S. fi nanced opposition group attempted to A number of the West’s more visionary warriors recognized the overthrow, sending in military advisors to aid him. Alliance Aryan Nationalist Party for the terrible threat to all life it was bureaucrats insisted that ground troops be sent in, but and demanded their countrymen respond to the danger. It was they did not. And not too long after the fi rst W.T.A. advisors not morality, however, but cold logic and ambition that fi nally were in place, however, assassins eliminated the king, won the day, as the rulers of the Alliance correctly realized supposedly by Red agents. The whole situation collapsed, if the Volksreich collapsed the only threat left to their global and the warmongers of the Alliance had their way. The W.T.A. supremacy would be the United Republics of the Red Star. deployed the fi rst troops. The Westerners were not prepared for what they found.

The Rise of Transnationalism The Kingdom of Jade thwarted all of their combat training.

After the fall of the Volksreich, the W.T.A. was ideally situated The jungle corroded their equipment as if it had a will of its to take the lead in world affairs. The West assented to the own; carefully mapped paths shifted overnight, and their formation of the Global Council to use it as a tool to keep opponents moved through the trees like ghosts. Worse, the others in check, knowing they would never be completely Western soldiers discovered the Reds had entirely pulled beholden to its dictates. out. They realized they didn’t even know whom they were fi ghting or what they were fi ghting for. A large number of them In the U.R.R.S and the philosophy of Internationalism was succumbed to insanity as the Jade Kingdom devoured their an enemy the W.T.A. could rally against. The W.T.A. claims wills. Drugs became a favored means for dulling the entire the philosophy of Internationalism seeks to erode all the experience. differences of culture they embrace, turning the world into one homogenous mass devoid of character or individuality. While the upper levels of the W.T.A. government insisted They maintain the viewpoint that Transnationalism embraces on fi ghting until they liberated the country from the Reds, the differences and upholds them, while allowing all to equally the public demanded a satisfactory conclusion to the whole share in the profi ts of their collective efforts. Every Westerner affair, which they eventually received. After fi ve bitter years, is expected to go as far as their will and luck can take them, the W.T.A. declared victory and withdrew from the Kingdom as they are all equal in the eyes of the state. That, at least, is of Jade. Nobody in the Global Council was fooled by their what their dogma says. bravado. In the halls of the Citadel, the Reds laughed with delight to see their great foe cowed by such a little realm. To combat what they perceived as the growing infl uence of Internationalism and the U.R.R.S, the W.T.A. applied Irony, it seems, never goes out of style.,

Chapter Seven: The World

Professional gladiators are worshiped nearly as gods, second

Still Standing only to movie stars in the West. Their gladiatorial arenas draw

massive crowds, who come to appreciate the bloodletting With the fall of the U.R.R.S., the Western Transnationalist with expert eyes. Criminals participating in death matches Alliance is the last player in the game — and they know it. are offered pardons if they can manage to win, a rare but not The Commonwealth blusters on about their importance, but unknown prospect. they fool no one. The Westerners are the de facto rulers of the world, though bringing their might to bear on small targets Tourists from the Great Continent claim Westerners are becomes increasingly diffi cult. obsessed with weapons, especially fi rearms. Not only are the majority of Westerners swift to agree with this assessment, Many believe the rise of terrorism correlates to the West’s they will often produce a favored sidearm to help prove the power, as few of their many opponents are suicidal enough to point. Many of them can quote the characteristics of weapons even attempt to resist the W.T.A. in open warfare. Their choice the world over from memory. They can talk for hours about to specialize in smaller, elite forces has served them well as the relative merits of a Mark 16 versus a RKG-75, expounding fi ssionable deterrents and other weapons of mass destruction, upon the virtues of differing munitions and the quality of their though still a threat, are seldom seen as viable by any but the stopping power. They’ve greatly admired hooks in secret for most insane of antagonists. Unfortunately for the Westerners, some time; with the fall of the U.R.R.S, such appreciation is some of their opponents are desperate and fanatical. And the now publicly acceptable, which has lead some Westerners with devastating loss at the Imperial City Bombing proved what their a talent for telekinesis to take up hook fi ghting as a hobby. enemies are prepared to do to hurt the West. The West has a long tradition of honor dueling stretching back to its early foundation. Westerners feeling they’ve been Armed and Very Dangerous: insulted or belittled may demand satisfaction with a duel.

They have a strict series of rules of etiquette, regarding what The Culture of the W.T.A. weapons can be used and how long the duel is meant to

last. They fi ght most duels with either fi sts or knives, ending The Westerners embrace many lofty ideals. They uphold with unconsciousness or the fi rst serious injury. Duels to the courage, honor, devotion, loyalty, and doing one’s duty, death are a serious matter, and a judge must sanction them. reserving their greatest praise for those who can hold to such Westerners regard dueling as a spectator sport; particularly beliefs in the face of hardship, when it would’ve been easier serious fi ghts can draw gigantic crowds who will pay top or convenient to ignore their principles. They are famous for dollar for admission. Refusing a duel is acceptable, but it is maintaining their humor, despite adversity. They are at their also social death. Most Westerners would sooner be dead best when a situation is at its worst. They give their aid freely than thought of as a coward. wherever a natural disaster strikes anywhere in the worldy. They take the best of what many cultures have to offer and blend them all into a whole greater than the sum of their The West’s Military parts. Their scientists are the forefront of new breakthroughs in medicine and technology. Their Deterrents have become The fi rst image that comes to the mind of non-Westerners some of the most advanced sorcery users in the world, when asked what they think of the W.T.A. is that of the ominous continually developing more powerful, effi cient and useful faceless soldiers of the West, the Centurions and their nearly protocols. There is a lot to admire about the West. unstoppable STRIFE armor. The W.T.A. spared no expense in training their troops to be the fi nest in the world and equipping On the other hand, they praise the strong for being strong. them with all the latest enhancements their highly advanced They are far too quick to believe, consciously or not, might technology has to offer. Even the lowest ranking soldier has makes right. They are convinced theirs is the greatest country weapons and fi eld equipment laced with protocols. Their backup the world has to offer, thus entitling their citizens to special support includes continuous global-wide information feeds, privileges even when they travel abroad. They are naïve, often satellite positioning, and readily available transfer protocols. believing what their leaders tell them without questioning too Centurions can call down coordinated protocol strikes at a closely or considering the full ramifi cations of what they’ve moment’s notice nearly anywhere in the world when drawing been told. They are often arrogant, cocky as hell, and have a upon the might of their infamous Deterrents, powerful kasters great deal of diffi culty living up to the morals they regard so who are more machine than they are women. Their krawls highly. Many of their corporations indulge in the most awful are whisper silent and have armor plates capable of actually aspects of Transnationalism, absolutely consumed with the regenerating combat damage. Their air carriers can level need to make money, pushing all other considerations aside in mountains, docking in phenomenally large fl oating fortresses the their pursuit of wealth and success. The worst of them happily size of small cities, which never leave the sky. level entire nations to increase their profi t margins. Their researchers in both technology and sorcery are often ordered Armies daring to stand against the West usually do so only as to leave morality behind if it would impede their progress. delaying tactic. To face them on the fi eld is to lose.

Duels and Entertainment The Alliance Government

Violence is an intrinsic part of the West’s culture, interwoven The W.T.A. boasts the fi rst democratically elected republic at every level of their society. It pervades the bulk of consisting of a large number of affi liated states bound their amusements. Few of their sports are non-violent. together by a common charter. Each territory has a,

Chapter Seven: The World

constitution and way of handling their internal affairs, but is national security, counterespionage, and inter-territorial nominally subsidiary to the overall charter. The Charter of crimes of all kinds. They have a directorate dedicated to each the West dictates their basic rights and laws, as well as the aspect of their duties. obligations each territory has to the overall government, such as providing taxes and troops. Agents of the Investigation Directorate are among the only operatives of the B.C.I. ever openly welcomed outside of the One of the main reasons behind the Brothers’ War was W.T.A., as their abilities with forensic evidence and divinatory a struggle for control between the Alliance government’s protocols are legendary worldwide. In addition to their law ability to dictate policy versus the individual territories right enforcement duties in the W.T.A., they freely assist the Global to self-governance. The damage caused was so great the Council in catching the most elusive criminals, whether war ended before the issue was truly decided. In time, the psychotics or terrorists. individual territory governments determined all local affairs for themselves, though they all hold to the basic principles Agents of the Counter Espionage Directorate are never of the Charter of the West. The central government handles publicly welcomed anywhere at anytime. Called “Ghosts” all international policy and can supersede the authority of a by the Reds and a variety of other colorful names by territory government if a security threat to the stability of the everyone else, agents from the C.E.D. are spies, one and nation as a whole is involved. Outsiders are often surprised all. The Ghosts of the C.E.D. are responsible for a number the Alliance government hasn’t taken more direct control, of atrocities in world affairs. During the Ironhold, the Ghosts but it isn’t all that mysterious were the liaisons between the — Westerners are swift to Alliance and the various assassinate overly ambitious dictators they supported. While bureaucrats. they’ve taken a less public approach in recent years, their The President of the duties are unlikely to have West, the Alliance’s senior changed. U.R.R.S propaganda executive, is often considered always painted the Ghosts the most infl uential fi gure as the absolute worst of all in world politics, especially Westerners, stating they would since he is the ultimate happily kill a child if it would authority in directing the advance their nation’s agenda. West’s military. His power is Disturbingly enough, the party muted, however, both by the line wasn’t far from the grim limited duration of his offi ce truth. — a six-year term that can only be held once — and The fi nal in the triumvirate of the structure of the Alliance’s divisions is the Internal Affairs charter. While the President Directorate, or I.A.D. The can put forth a new policy, the Council of Territories must I.A.D. handles organized crime within the Alliance, security ultimately decide whether to vote any new laws into place. for government personnel, and border patrols. Agents of the I.A.D. have an agent from the Investigation Directorate The Council of Territories is a combination of offi cials from assigned to their teams, and the two groups work together every local territory government and elected Councilors who well. Both directorates regard the arrogant Ghosts of the come from all walks of life, though the majority are wealthy C.E.D. with a great deal of distaste and avoid working with or ex-military. There are Councilors who have been in offi ce them whenever possible. for decades, for they have no term limits; they hold the true power in the Alliance government. It is reasonable to assume an elected republic should be subordinate to the desires of its The Imperial City Bombing electorate, but it is seldom the case with the W.T.A. The terrorist attack on the Imperial City has sent shockwaves The Alliance is infamous for ignoring the will of its people through the Western Transnationalist Alliance. Until and proceeding on whatever course of action assisting the the bombing, the Westerners fi rmly believed they were corporate fi nancial backers of the various Councilors and unassailable. A signifi cant majority of the their populace had politicians who are in offi ce at any given time. They are so bought into their government’s propaganda they could not experts at directing the fury of their people outwards, so the even understand why other groups would wish them harm for people don’t notice the underhanded dealings that regularly any reason other than mere jealousy. Questions were asked occur on the Council Floor. that made a number of groups in the W.T.A. very nervous. In order to forestall any real answers, they announced they’d

The Bureau of Central tracked the culprits to a group of fanatical Nistaani operating out of the highlands of Al’Istaan. The Alliance government Intelligence was very careful to avoid mentioning the Ghosts of the C.E.D. taught a number of those same Nistaani how to fi ght

While the Centurions of the West’s armies are among the a decade and a half earlier. The Centurions of the West have most feared soldiers in the world, the agents of the Bureau deployed in Al’Istaan, but to the government’s chagrin, the of Central Intelligence tend to cause the worst nightmares. questions have not stopped. What will happen next is not yet The B.C.I. is the wing of the Alliance government handling written.,

Chapter Seven: The World The rest of the World

hile the U.R.R.S and the W.T.A. have certainly played the leads in recent world history, the rest of the Ironhold’s Wchessboard is not without interest. Not all of the listed countries are necessarily less signifi cant than the big two, but they presently lack the resources or power needed to affect world affairs without pooling their efforts with others.

The I sle of Lions

“For once he roared and all did cower, or tremble before his he was brave enough to “fi ght without weapons.” It took the guile. Now when he cries it’s the kitten’s whimper, the sun has Grand Parliament another decade, but they fi nally accepted set on the Lion’s Isle.” their place in world affairs was now to advise and not to direct. The last of their colonies went in peace. -Lucinda Graham, Poetess The Lionists have accomplished a great deal in their time, As unlikely as it seems, a small island off the western coast but historians frequently rank the Subtle Dance as their fi nest of the Great Continent once held the world’s largest empire achievement. When the Ancient Dynasties of the Lands of within the silken contours of its fi st. The placement of the Isle the Red Star fell to the Revolution, the Grand Parliament of Lions turned out to be fortuitous, as the Lionist monarchy became more than a little concerned about the spread of the emerged relatively unscathed from the Burning Times Internationalist philosophy and the widening borders of the sweeping across the rest of the Great Continent with fi re, U.R.R.S. Their spies told them Imbohl planned to seize large sword and protocol. portions of the Great Continent; he was especially interested The Lionists were not the fi rst to turn their eyes outward to in the Land of 10,000 Gods, their greatest holding at the time. fi nd prizes for conquest, but they were ultimately the most Lionist agents quietly initiated what they called the Subtle successful. Their magi-crafted hulls helped make their navy Dance, a long series of maneuvers and intrigues specifi cally the fi nest in the world. They sailed around the globe, cowing a designed to thwart the expansion of the U.R.R.S. Due to the number of more primitive cultures to their will and establishing clandestine nature of the Subtle Dance, there is no way to colonies to further the wealth of their country. The Lionist know which of the setbacks the Reds suffered were planned monarchy eventually gave way to their Grand Parliament, which for and which were bad fortune. However, most present managed their assets with a fair amount of grace for close to two historians believe the War of Al’Istaan and the subsequent centuries before changing times fi nally caught up with them. disillusion of the Republics were somehow related to the last The fi rst of their holdings to break away occurred with triumphant movement of the Subtle Dance. the rebellion of the Western Colonies. While that setback Within the Global Council, the Lionists took to playing “Good eventually led to reconciliation with their wayward “child” Cop” to the W.T.A.’s “Bad Cop.” Their dry wit can prevail with giving them a powerful infl uence in world affairs, at the time it the Westerners when all other forms of persuasion failed, was a blow to both their coffers and their pride. Their defeat and they typically council patience. Those attempting to take at the hands of the fl edgling W.T.A. rankled so much they advantage of the Lionists’ outwardly affable nature usually do redoubled their efforts in enforcing their will on their other so just once, however, for the some of the most dangerous colonies. This proved to be a mistake, as their increasingly hand-to-hand troops in the history of the world await their harsh treatment brought about revolutions all the quicker. summons at all times. Their frayed empire was well on its way to dissolution when Called the “Claws of the Lion” by friends and foes alike, the the Great Patriotic War struck. Krieger’s obsession with Ghuri come from the high mountain villages of the Roof of the annihilating the Lionists is well documented, though no World. When they enter the service of the Isle of Lions, they one has ever been able to discover why. Regardless, their join what they consider a sacred band of warriors. All Ghuri steadfast courage in the face of the Aryan Nationalist Party give up their names, retaining only an alphanumeric call sign was a shining example during dark days. Ironically enough, a to identify themselves by, until (or if) they leave the service. mere fi ve years later, the legendary Sakhadari of the Land of Even the Centurions of the W.T.A. pause at the thought of 10,000 Gods defi ed the Lionists in a similar fashion, though having to fi ght one of the Lion’s Claws.

The L and of 10,000 Gods

Through the renowned Iron Pass sitting on the southeastern The Dustani are a faithful people, often fervently so, which edge of the Land’s Teeth of Al’Istaan is a country often has caused more than a few civil wars over their long history. referred to as the “Crucible of Religions” due to the They have had a strict caste system in their society for extraordinary number of infl uential faiths migrating outwards millennia that has only begun to break down in the last two from its fertile river valleys. The Land of 10,000 Gods is decades, due to the infl uence of other countries and their actually a subcontinent of its own, with the Roof of the World own modernization. Their capital city, Dharma, has recently marking the border where it touches the Lands of the Dragon. become the center of a great deal of technological research,

Chapter Seven: The World

and innovation, as a number of global corporations have is belief in the One True God and his Law. Since followers of taken advantage of the Dustani’s poverty relative to the rest the Law hold all deities other than the One True God as false, of the world to pay them less for their labor. The Land of Dustani upholding that faith scorn the rest of their countrymen 10,000 Gods suffers terribly from overpopulation and frequent as infi dels. This led to massive tension and the fl are-ups droughts that lead to widespread famine. The recent infl ux of holy wars on a number of occasions, which the Lionists of wealth, however limited, allowed a number of their young always ruthlessly suppressed. With their former rulers now people to study methods of using advanced protocol research decades gone, however, the strain has mounted on this to help with their country’s troubles — at least the ones matter yet again. Dustani on both sides of the issue claim caused by nature. the only way there will ever be peace is for the followers of the Law to be granted their own country, which the Dustani As one of the world’s fi rst civilizations, the Dustani had a government always emphatically rejected. very long time to consider just what it is that they believe. Their largest religion holds there are a great many gods, While the Dustani have a rich spiritual life, they were slow hence their namesake, but also states all such beings are to develop any advanced technology, which allowed the merely separate facets of a single deity called Ahtman, as Isle of Lions to conquer them with relative ease when their are all living beings. Dustani priests and devout warriors draw empire fi rst expanded. The Dustani were long subjected to upon the Fire of Ahtman to channel the aspects of various Lionist rule, which grew increasingly harsh until the rise of an deities through their fl esh, invoked in a number of greatly extraordinary leader during the Great Patriotic War. His name varied ways. Calling upon Porama the Healer, for instance, was Sakhadari, and his philosophy of passive resistance produces a very different effect indeed than calling on, say, literally changed the world. Dinanath the Man-Flayer. Sakhadari’s idea of non-violent struggle against oppression The ritual practices needed to correctly call upon the Fire was even more amazing considering just how powerful of Ahtman require complete concentration, beyond what he was with the Fire of Ahtman. He asked, not ordered, most humans are capable of achieving. The Dustani mystics his followers to accept Lionist abuse without fi ghting back, develop the required will by undergoing long fasts and assuring them eventually their resolve would break the practicing a series of body modifi cation rituals involving Lionists. Observers that laughed at him fell silent as his multiple piercings of an intense nature. The various shoots of peaceful ways won out where violence had not. Eventually the Dustani’s faiths uphold or emphasize different teachings the Dustani came to regard him as a living saint regardless of their countless holy priests have imparted down the centuries, their religion, but even Sakhadari could never reconcile the but all of their religions acknowledge the existence of the followers of Ahtman with the believers of the Law. He died myriad gods — save one. while using his power to hold back a fl ash fl ood, saving over three hundred thousand lives with his fi nal sacrifi ce for his This has, unfortunately, been one of the causes of the beloved people, regardless of their respective religions. greatest schisms amidst the Dustani, as the lone exception

The Roof of the World

The aptly named Roof of the World is the largest mountain can navigate wide swaths of the entire range from memory. range on the globe. From west to east, it arcs for just over Their shamans sing to the spirits of the snow and supposedly 2500 kilometers and covers a staggering 615,320 square know rituals that can start an avalanche or stop one in mid- kilometers, most of which consists of perpetually snow clad motion if need be. Outsiders seeking to travel through the peaks. The Roof of the World is so massive it stretches over Roof of the World should always hire a member of their tribe multiple countries, from the Land of 10,000 Gods to the as a guide, if they wish to survive their journey. Lands of the Dragon, with several small mountain kingdoms in between. Despite having one of the most diffi cult and The People of the East Wind have long coexisted with the dangerous environments to live in on the planet, millions of Mountainwalkers of the Shir-ora tribe. Mountainwalkers are natives make their homes amidst the high peaks. towering humanoids related to the Dune-Ra of Al’Istaan, and those native to the World’s Roof range are covered in thick The varied peoples of the region have all been infl uenced by white fur. They are naturally gentle creatures, though their religions from the Land of 10,000 Gods. A large number of wrath can be terrifying to behold when angered. Though them, however, retained their ancient animistic beliefs — with rarely seen by outsiders, they always keep watch over the good reason, as spirits of wind and ice haunt the high places mountain passes. A number of expeditions owe their lives of the world, harming those who cannot or will not appease to the Mountainwalkers, who became experts at saving the them. foolhardy from danger. Of the many cultures existing along the Roof of the World, Not long after the Isle of the Lions took control of the Land two are famous far beyond the mountains’ borders. The of 10,000 Gods, they heard many tales of the riches of the People of the East Wind dwell on the lowest slopes of the mountains and the people living there. The Dustani referred tallest mountain in the world, the Great Sky Mother, who to a group of tribes they said named themselves as the stands 8,850 meters above sea level. The East Wind People People of the Yak. The Yak People seldom came down from consider the Great Sky Mother to be holy, and claim you can the high places or their small kingdom, which they called see the stars at all times from her upper reaches. They are Manaphotse, but when they did, they inevitably brought some of the greatest natural mountaineers in the world, and diamonds or small ingots of gold with them for trading. The,

Chapter Seven: The World

Lionists, intrigued by the strange tales, decided to take to discover what “really” happened. None of them returned. several companies of troops along and see for themselves It took several years and a number of wasted lives before whether the mysterious mountain kingdom was worth seizing. the Grand Parliament realized there might have been some As they trekked up into the Roof of the World, they met a truth to Talcott’s story. He was taken from prison and offered number of Dustani merchants who confi rmed the stories, a chance at a pardon, on the condition he present himself some even producing diamonds the size of a robin’s egg to to the court of the King of Manaphotse as the Isle of Lions’ prove it. ambassador. Talcott accepted the commission and headed into the Roof of the World with a small expedition. The Lionists decided they would add the Kingdom of Manaphotse to their conquests and proceeded to search Unlike his predecessors, Talcott eventually returned; at his for it. It only took them a few weeks to fi nd the fi rst outlying side stood ten of the warriors of the Yak People who formally village of the tiny kingdom. When the Lionists marched into swore themselves to the service of the Isle of Lions to bring the settlement and announced to the nearest locals they were peace between the two nations. Talcott stated the warriors taking over, the villagers actually laughed at them. The Lionists were “Ghuri” which literally translates from their language as were taken aback; they had never encountered that particular “Yak Protector”. At fi rst, the Lionists were uncertain exactly reaction before and it didn’t exactly sit well with their pride. what they should do with the seemingly primitive tribesmen, They proceeded, as they often did in those days, to make an but while the matter was still under debate in the Grand example of those mocking them by killing a third of the village’s Parliament, an uprising occurred in the Land of 10,000 Gods. population. They were more than a little bit disturbed by the The Ghuri quelled it with a single day of bloodshed, and their villager’s reaction to their violence. Instead of running in fear or place as the “Claws of the Lion” was forever secured. reacting with anger for that matter, the village’s shaman simply shook his head and began singing prayers for the Lionists’ souls. Now well over a century later, the Ghuri still serve the Isle The faintly disturbed soldiers bivouacked for the night several of Lions with distinction. The Ghuri call the weapons that miles south of the village. By dawn, all of the Lionists save one. Spencer Talcott fi rst described Kura Wind Blades. They aren’t physical weapons, per se; they are the creation of a The only survivor, Spencer Talcott, tried to stop his fellows Ghuri’s force of will. Each Ghuri learns to mold his own Kura from killing the villagers, but his fellows ignored him. Talcott from the elements surrounding him, typically wind, snow and lived so he could deliver a message to his superiors. He ice, though the most experienced eventually learn to form it stumbled out of the mountains weeks later, barely alive from nothing but their thoughts. The Ghuri only accept the with a story that seemed absurd. Talcott claimed a small hardiest of Yak People fi ghters into their ranks and even their band of warriors, who moved so fast they couldn’t have raw recruits can create a Kura that can cut through stainless been human, decimated his fellow soldiers while wielding steel as if it were paper, to say nothing of fl esh and bone. The strange curved blades made of either ice or diamonds. eldest among them can summon up blades capable of laying Talcott was court-martialed and more companies were sent open the side of a krawl as though it were made of tinfoil.

The Lands of the Dragon

If there is a country that rises to challenge the W.T.A.’s Lands of the Dragon gave rise to a large number of unusual supremacy in the coming century, it is sure to be one of the philosophies, many of which were affected by, and infl uenced Lands of the Dragon. This large collection of loosely affi liated in turn, religions coming from the Land of 10,000 Gods over nations covers over 30 percent of the world’s landmass, from the Roof of the World. the Roof of the World to the Sea of Fire. The mountains of the World’s Roof have always formed a natural barrier across the The most widely held faith is simply “the Way.” Believers in west of the Dragon Lands, while providing them with a great the Way teach all aspects of the world have spirits, which number of rivers from the melting snows. Thus, the Lands both guard and help defi ne whatever it is they are attached to. of the Dragon have historically been diffi cult to approach or They believe all humans when they die can also become such leave, leading to an insular population, disdainful of outsiders. spirit guardians, so they are always careful to venerate their ancestors, even the ones they didn’t particularly like in life. Their cultures are some one of the world’s eldest, with histories stretching back many thousands of years. Farming One of the most dangerous philosophies in the Lands of and silk production are the largest industries of the region, the Dragon is Fei Han Nai, a violent sect who believes if though the last decade or so has seen great strides forward every law were absolute in its application, there would be in modernizing their relatively outdated technologies. The no need for any governments. They acknowledge neither West is very interested in developing their markets, but circumstances nor justice, only law. They will happily cut they have (probably wisely) delayed the Westerners from down a child for stealing a piece of candy, convinced they becoming too involved in their internal affairs. are completely within the right. All of the governments of the Dragon Lands despise the Fei Han Nai and brutally crush The history of the Lands of the Dragon is an epic series of them at every opportunity, but they always return. civil wars lasting centuries and grand empires lasting longer still. The mighty Golden Horde and its fi erce Horsemen The world-renowned martial arts of the Lands of the Dragon originally came from the desert plains of the northern Dragon are all esoteric combinations of spiritual, mental and physical Lands, to which their southerly neighbors managed to push foci. Over the years, they developed over a hundred schools only after generations of warfare. The rich culture of the of fi ghting, a number of which have ancient lineages devout,

Chapter Seven: The World

practitioners can quote from memory. Some of the styles are House of Laughing Waves charge forward into their enemies, actually dedicated to meditation or physical conditioning, not their bodies twisting around their foes’ weapons as if their violence. However, the spectacular schools of the Raging bones were made of water, whereas masters of the Steel Spirit are what most foreigners think of fi rst when anyone Skin School wait calmly for their opponents as even 7.62mm mentions the Dragon Lands. rounds defl ect harmlessly off their shining metal limbs. The grandfather school to all the others has many names, though Students of the various Raging Spirit styles harness their its monk practitioners call it Burning Forest. When they fi ght wills to channel their body’s energy in amazing displays of — which is seldom, for they are pacifi sts — their fi ngers mystic power and control. Their fl esh warps and twists at extend into terrible hooked claws, scintillating scales writhe their command, as they assume their school’s fi ghting stance across their features, and their breath is the fi re of a dragon. in preparation for combat. For example, fi ghters from the

The Kingdom of Jade

The name of this small jungle nation came from both its lush W.T.A.’s soldiers. It took the Cai many years to rebuild their vegetation and its exquisitely carved statuettes, which many home after the war, and only in the last few years have they claim bring good fortune. By all accounts they work, as the started to prosper once again. Enough time has passed for Jade Kingdom was the cause of the Western Transnationalist diplomatic relations with the W.T.A. to resume, offering bright Alliance’s only defeat — not its soldiers mind you, though prospects for the Kingdom of Jade’s future. they don’t lack courage, but the land itself. The Jade Kingdom is a beautiful realm sharing a long border The Kingdom of Jade is alive, brimming with an inexplicable with the sea. Tourists the world over travel there every year sentience giving visitors the feeling they are watched at all in the spring to see the wonderful Dance of Shifting Leaves, times. The natives of the Jade Kingdom, known as the Cai, a traditional Cai puppet show featuring dolls made from claim the jungle whispers to them and helped them defeat the protocol shaped water.

The V olksreich

The central Great Continent nation that once made the Riverland has no tolerance for the Aryans in their midst and world tremble has fi nally managed to gain the goodwill of its uses every legal means to suppress them, as well as not-so- neighbors, after decades of well-earned distrust. After the legal means whenever they think they can get away with it. Great Patriotic War, the rest of the world was determined to ensure the Aryan Nationalist Party would never again The Volksreich was once a land of impressive rivers and rise. The Volksreich was carved up piecemeal into different dark forests that held a great many ancient secrets. Krieger’s sections e all nominally under the control of the victors of the grim factories, however, and the destruction of the war all war. After decades of peace, rebuilding, and the collapse of but leveled the Volksreich’s natural resources. After years the U.R.R.S, they fi nally reintegrated. of careful husbandry and the use of specialized protocols, though, the land has been able to rejuvenate itself. The modern Volksreich strives in all ways to be an exceptionally forthright country. They are always one of the fi rst The citizens of the Volksreich were once famous for their to encourage a peaceful solution to any diplomatic problem stern demeanors, fi erce natures and their love of strong beer. between other nations. Despite all that occurred, however, The people of the modern Volksreich have strived to retain there are still those who cling to the ideologies of the Aryan only one of those character traits —and they still brew some National Party in the Volksreich. The government of the of the strongest beer the Great Continent has to offer.

Other Nations of the G reat Continent

To the north of the Volksreich and west of the Lands of Halberdiers helped refuges escape from the Volksreich the Red Star stretch the Danelands, a series of imposing and held the Aryans at bay with their widely famed Thermal countries, each one colder than the last. While the other Pikes. Helvetia has since become one of the playgrounds Danelands all fell to the Volksreich’s army, the monarchy of of the Great Continent, and its choice skiing slopes draw ancient Fryslân defi ed the Aryans to the last during the Great enthusiasts the world over. Patriotic War. Fryslân’s famed Ice Skalds called down cold so intense they turned the metal of the Aryans’ krawls brittle to a South of Helvetia the land drops to the Tuscan Peninsula point even a thrown rock could shatter their armor. and the Holy See, center of worship for the Risen Son. West of the Volksreich lies the nation of Gallia, which suffered The Danelands have been slow to modernize, but their greatly during the war as the Gauls had long been the bane efforts redoubled since the fall of the U.R.R.S. South of of the Aryans. Gauls are famous for their love of life and their the Volksreich, the land rises to the beautiful snow capped carefree manner, though when it comes to global politics they mountains of Helvetia, where the Unterlon Halberdiers can be deadly serious. South of Gallia lies the troubled but dwell. Throughout the Great Patriotic War, the courageous beautiful land of Aragón, whose Dons struggle in a protracted civil war for control over their homeland.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

ll you have read in the World of the Red Star is basically correct, but told in half-truths. There is another world, a deeper Aworld, lying beyond the senses of most beings. Its once-human denizens, known as Immortals, call it the Spiritrealm: an infi nite collection of other planes of reality that make up the rest of all that is. The closest layer, commonly referred to as the Mirror Land, overlaps the world of fl esh, though it is nearly invisible to mortal vision. When a person dies, their spirit crosses to the Mirror Land. All too often now, it becomes currency in an epic struggle for control of the planet, for the more souls a being or country can bind, the greater their infl uence on the corporeal world.

The Eyes of Imbohl

There was not always a war in the Spiritrealm to have power As the Revolution spread, Imbohl tested the limits of his over the physical world. Indeed, the war is recent, being little power. He used an ancient ritual on three of his most loyal over a century old. Souls coming to the afterlife used to go followers, who volunteered to undergo it so they could better about their separate destinies unhindered, some heading on serve him. Imbohl fused their three spirits into a single entity to planes of reward or punishment, others going back to be named Troika, which he bound into a construct body forged reborn, and a few slipping into oblivion, the fi nal dissolution of from protocol-laced Spiritrealm metal called soul iron. Troika an individual spirit’s consciousness. There have always been swiftly became his chief agent, especially after “it” discovered beings that traffi cked in souls, and others capable of using with enough soul energy, or Humanitas as it was known then, sorcery could make use of such energy, but never on a large it could take on a physical form for a brief time. scale — not until the coming of Imbohl. Imbohl found an unexpected sideeffect to his manipulations The father of the Great Revolution is a mighty sorcerer, but of the Spiritrealm – the more entities he controlled, the there have been others before him greater still. Imbohl has more personally powerful he became. His protocols grew a magnifi cent gift, however, nearly all of his predecessors increasingly potent, his words more convincing; everything lacked: the ability to perceive about him became larger clearly the beings of the than life, for he was in fact Spiritrealm. When Imbohl drawing on the energies came to understand the of many spirits to advance visions he experienced since himself and his agenda. After childhood were actually true the Revolution succeeded glimpses of the Spiritrealm, Chapter and he had taken absolute he immediately realized their control of the Lands of potential. His vision coupled the Red Star, Imbohl and with his will to dominate his followers set about others, his undeniable Eight: The conquering the Mirror Lands charisma, and a series of of the U.R.R.S. In fact, his protocols he developed in increasing involvement with secret allowed him to force Spiritrealm the Spiritrealm was the only souls to do his bidding. reason why he and the Red Had Imbohl been born in a Council didn’t attempt to different era, his story may seize larger portions of the have ended sooner, but Great Continent sooner. destiny and technology both were on his side. In this, however, Imbohl suffered his fi rst true defeat. A number of the Spiritrealm’s elder entities were not easily From the foundation of the Revolution, Imbohl played his overthrown, nor susceptible to his sorcery. The demons of comrades false. He chose the darkest souls he could fi nd the Ice Wall laughed at his attempts to control them, and the as his minions, correctly reasoning by offering to bind them spirits of the Nokgorka Elders he had ordered assassinated to his service instead of sending them on to their richly by Troika were aware of the cause of their demise. Not only deserved torments, he would receive as much loyalty as such was their rage unassailable, to Imbohl’s dismay, he swiftly beings would be capable of giving. He recruited the shades of learned their resistance to his expansion into their domains executed killers, twisted butchers, and madmen. was led by no less a champion than the legendary Hyrkahn the Fierce himself. With these “perfect” spies, whose comings and goings no other While Imbohl never entirely mortal could perceive, Imbohl “You shall know the truth, and the abandoned expanding his easily out-planned his enemies. dominion over the Spiritrealm, His legendary foresight in truth shall make you mad.” he increasingly turned towards guessing the movements of the experimenting over what he Revolution’s opponents didn’t -Aldous Huxley did control. To acquire more involve the slightest guesswork at Humanitas, he created the Special all. In some cases, he literally had Labor Camps and set Troika to perfect copies of their plans, transcribed by his Spiritrealm harvesting the souls of the dead for his use. His Spiritrealm agents for his convenience. spies provided regular lists of active dissenters throughout, Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm Great War Veterans

Veterans of the Great Patriotic War seldom openly talk about all they experienced, and true accounts of the war aren’t recorded in the majority of history books. The war’s more supernatural elements are always downplayed, or referred to as the doings of sorcery. This isn’t accidental. A number of the spirits involved in the war consciously tried to erase their existence from the memories of those around them, believing positive proof of an afterlife would unduly infl uence humanity’s faiths. If you allow one of your PCs to be a Great War Veteran (see page 166), allow them to make Will Checks with a DC 15 if they are ever exposed to stimuli that could trigger some of their supernaturally buried memories of the war. the Republics, though some of those malicious entities used ancient Daneland prophesies, Krieger believed he and his their position to continue the murder of innocents by fi ling chosen followers would survive the ending of the world to be false reports. Imbohl was aware of their transgressions but the founders of a new “golden age” the old tales stated would didn’t care in the slightest. follow the world’s destruction. After a decade of intensive research, he discovered three The sorcerous furnaces Krieger designed before the war important facts: the greater an individual becomes in life, came to him in demented visions, and he bargained with the more powerful the soul they bear; a soul consigned to otherworldly entities for the designs to a number of his other oblivion gives off an insignifi cant amount of Humanitas when weapons. All of them were intended to draw the Humanitas compared to how much can be regularly harvested from an off murdered humans. Many of the Aryans’ death factories imprisoned soul; his aging process had been tremendously had both corporeal world and Spiritrealm components, slowed by his work. Imbohl reasoned with enough Humanitas, and required enormous sacrifi ces of all kinds to be kept he could make himself ageless permanently. He implemented operational. The more beings Krieger’s Lightning Guard the construction of a series of small penitentiaries called sacrifi ced, the closer they came to succeeding, which is why “soulprisons” throughout the portions of the Spiritrealm he in the later years of the war they seemed more intent on their controlled uncontested, all of which were designed to channel butchery than on fi ghting their opposition. “Post Human Energy” (P.H.E.) to himself. Krieger’s determination to destroy the Isle of Lions was based He barely started benefi ting from his new plan, however, on his Inner Circle’s interpretation of a counter-prophecy when interrupted by a continuous stream of reports from that spoke of the rise of a “past and future” king who could his farther-ranging spirit minions concerning strange events disrupt his plans. Imbohl’s Spiritrealm minions and a group in the Mirror Lands of the Volksreich. Imbohl entered into of gifted mystics destined to be instrumental in the founding talks with Krieger to fi nd out just how much he knew about of the Western Transnationalist Alliance’s Bureau of Central the Spiritrealm. Even Imbohl, as callous as he was, was not Intelligence all managed to ascertain what Krieger was up prepared for the depths of Krieger’s insanity. Imbohl wasn’t to, which was one of the primary reasons why they all allied just concerned when he left the fi nal round of talks with the against the Aryans. Aryans; he was frightened, for he had correctly discerned that Krieger had every intention of murdering the entire world. Both sides learned a considerable amount about the Spiritrealm and the powers of Humanitas as they sought a way to stop Krieger. The vast number of Red deaths

The True Face of the Great signifi cantly increased Imbohl’s power, but only on a fl eeting

basis, as the greatest surges happened immediately after

Patriotic War battles, then swiftly faded. The Westerners referred to the

souls of the dead as “Post Human Energy” in their covert war The arrivals of the Volksreich’s armies were always heralded dispatches. They soon began using a shortened version of by freak lightning storms that would scour the terrain, laying the formal title, the acronym “P.H.E.,” when discussing the waste to entrenched fortifi cations and exploding uncovered measuring of a given soul’s Humanitas. Both sides’ efforts ammo dumps. Skies blacker than any pitch hurled rain down were greatly assisted by a number of famous souls from their onto every battlefi eld, leaving them mud-covered hells that own country’s past, many of whom physically manifested at infantry struggled to cross, while the Aryans’ krawls drove decisive battles at great risk to themselves to fi ght against over them smoothly. Strange and terrible fi gures raged across Krieger’s forces. the clouds of the storm-drenched skies and the thunder echoed with their war cries. Their studies revealed Krieger had all but doomed himself. A number of the entities he had dealt with, or perhaps his own During some of the most crucial struggles of the war, soldiers insanity, had played him false; the bulk of his devices were from other times of history literally appeared on the fi eld and designed to fail. Within an hour of his Spiritrealm defenses fought alongside those opposing the Aryans, for Krieger collapsing, he was eliminated, for it was no “suicide protocol” and his Inner Circle were not interested in merely taking that destroyed the Aryan leader. over the Great Continent; they were trying to bring about Der Weltundergang—the Ending of All Things. According to The W.T.A. and the U.R.R.S. immediately moved to seize as many of Krieger’s engines as they could for study, along,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

with the sorcerer-engineers who had been involved in their though. While Imbohl was far more concerned with direct design. Imbohl had the ones he didn’t exile to the Eastern personal power, the Westerners used the designs of their Tundra tortured to death to discover all they knew, whereas Volksreich sorcerer-engineers to advance an agenda directed the W.T.A. set their “recruits” up with labs in various choice at global supremacy. locations throughout their continent and pampered them, while they were watched at all times. It isn’t diffi cult to predict Imbohl spent three years designing a series of incredibly which group began to produce the most useful technology for complex protocols, which were to be his masterpiece. When their new country. ready, he summoned up the most terrible northern winter imaginable, slaying over 70% of those exiled to the Eastern Tundra along with countless other Reds. Using the P.H.E.

The Other Side Troika and his loyal thralls gathered from their souls, he

shattered the Mirror Lands of the Red Star, twisting a massive of the Ironhold piece into a shard-plane of his own devising, secure from both his enemies and his own people. On this plane, he built The Ironhold was a struggle for control of the world’s his mightiest edifi ce in the Spiritrealm — a massive fortress- post-human energy — the only power, as all parties had soulprison named Archangel. discovered during the war, which truly mattered. The secret behind Krieger’s meteoric rise to power was based in his Imbohl was ever mindful of the results of his early control over others, both the living and the dead. Krieger had experiments. He wanted to imprison the post-human energy effectively “squandered” the vast majority of his power by of all Reds, allowing them neither peace nor oblivion, for using the P.H.E. his furnaces harvested during the sadistic either way they would no longer be of use to him. As his liquidation of those he deemed undesirable, by using it to Spiritrealm soulprison network expanded and Troika’s fuel his apocalyptic schemes. When P.H.E. is effectively soul-harvesting duties increased, Imbohl’s infl uence over managed, it allows for greater control over the physical world the people of the Republics extended until only the most and the Spiritrealm. exceptional Reds could even think of defying his will, and he became all but immortal. The system was not effi cient, The knowledge wrested from the Aryans allowed both however; Imbohl trusted no one to carry out the collection Imbohl and the West to greatly expand their research into of souls other than Troika. His absolute reliance on a single the Spiritrealm. Their practical applications of that knowledge agent, no matter how powerful that agent was, hampered his were the foundations of the Ironhold. All of the political plans. maneuvers and petty confl icts across the globe, the constant sparring between the two great nations, were merely the While Imbohl was inwardly focused, the Westerners looked outward refl ections of the true battle. The agendas and outward for their post-human energy. The Ghosts of the modus operandi of the two groups were wildly at odds, “Counter Espionage Directorate” of the B.C.I. were well, if ironically, named, as a fair number of them are involved in,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

directing and monitoring the control of P.H.E. for the West. diffi cult for them as their county’s Chieftains became more involved with the Reds, which they knew could only end in Unlike the U.R.R.S., the West chose to draw its post-human disaster. When some of their youths spouted Internationalist energy from the souls of the nations it subjugated. The West philosophy, they decided the time had come to act. To the has become highly effi cient at building spectral soulprison farthest holy realms of the One True God, they sent word, work camps within the Mirror Lands of their conquests, asking for guidance; they were answered. allowing the souls of the native populations to pay off the debts the W.T.A. believes they accrued by “forcing” the West Kar Dathra the Eternal returned from one of the Far to act as a police force for the rest of the world. Realms to the Mirror Lands of Al’Istaan. He helped inspire the foundation of the Nasr Kien from the Spiritrealm and The spirit of the Jade Kingdom is very powerful, however, destroyed any Thralls of Imbohl daring to cross into his and one of the main reasons why the West was completely domain. The Red Fleet’s constant stream of diffi culties thwarted when they tried to use their standard tactics in Al’Istaan was due, in no small part, to their Spiritrealm against the small nation. Customary procedure is for Ghosts forces being completely overwhelmed by the Nistaani’s. from the C.E.D. to slip into a nation well in advance of an invasion and “soften” the territory by infl uencing the living Kar Dathra gracefully “allowed” the presence of a few natives towards cooperation with the West. A large number Ghosts from the West he considered honorable, but even of the Western Spiritrealm agents who entered the Mirror the noblest were aware of having every action they took Lands of the Jade Kingdom never returned, their fate noted. The battle before his sacred gate was planned unknown. Bereft of any Spiritrealm support (though the years before it actually occurred. Over thirty thousand Nasr bulk of them are unaware that there is such a thing), the willingly sacrifi ced their lives, and thus their P.H.E., to Kar Centurions of the West were easy prey for the spirit of the Dathra so he could show the Reds the wrath of the One jungle. True God. The infl uence the control of post-human energy grants is greatly affected by the manner in which it was taken. Souls Troika’s Fall willingly give off a portion of their energy to a cause they believe in foster a very different feel in the world of the The situation in the Mirror Lands of the United Republics fl esh than imprisoned ones do. In other words, immediately of the Red Star had deteriorated for a long time before the after the Great Patriotic War, both the U.R.R.S. and the Red Council ever decided to invade Al’Istaan. Imbohl’s W.T.A. were well regarded as nations of heroes. The increasing age, coupled with his total unwillingness ever-increasing anger and distrust the West is currently to accept the world was changing, was causing rifts experiencing, though, will only grow worse as they continue throughout the U.R.R.S., refl ected in the Spiritrealm. The to spiritually impoverish the dead of other nations. mounting populations of the Republics made Troika’s duties increasingly diffi cult, but its troubles with soul harvesting Most of the world’s governments are unaware of the were nothing when compared to the problems caused by existence of the Spiritrealm, which is precisely what the one damnably elusive Immortal: the Red Woman. greater powers want. The few aware countries lack either the interest or the resources to do anything with the Once a Sorceress Commander in the Great Revolution, information. In addition to the souls of some very powerful she was allegedly executed after murdering her husband, heroic knights from their history, the Isle of Lions hasaafellow Commander, who tried to stop her from defecting number of ocean spirit allies, but the changing face of world to the West, or so one story goes. Others claim she started politics eventually rendered them obsolete, especially when a vicious counter-Revolution, attempting to put one of the all of the Lionists’ enemies attacked from the sky. Since remaining scions of the Ancient Dynasties back on the the Dustani mystics of the Land of 10,000 Gods believe throne. However she ended her life, Pravda, the Goddess all spirits are part of one being, abusing them would be of the Lands of the Red Star, chose the Red Woman to be like infl icting torture upon their own persons and they act her Champion in death and entrusted her with the legendary accordingly. The Lands of the Dragon have been aware Sword of Truth, an ancient relic of the Reds. of the Spiritrealm for a very long time, but interfering with The Red Woman succeeded in liberating a number of the ancestor spirits is utterly blasphemous to followers of “The smaller outlying soulprisons of the Republics’ Mirror Lands Way” as well as to a number of their other philosophies. and continually tried her hardest to make Imbohl’s life Which brings us to Al’Istaan…. miserable. She and Troika clashed several times over the decades, which were terribly bitter for her, as during the

The War of Al’Istaan Revolution all of the men who made up Troika had been her

trusted subordinates. The Nistaani Shaman have always spoken with their ancestors’ spirits. In fact, Nistaani ritual magic is basically The Red Woman’s fame spread far through the Spiritrealm, an invocation into the Spiritrealm, asking for an Immortal long before the War of Al’Istaan. It was Kar Dathra himself to help the Priest maintain a mystical effect in the physical that sent word to her that some of his fellow Priests had realm. The holy men of Al’Istaan had known what an given one of the troopers of the Red Fleet, not one, but abomination Imbohl was for several generations before two sacred marks of their people — an unprecedented the invasion of their land, but the secrets of the Istamoiran feat, especially for an infi del. What is more, the High Priest — The Land Beyond Life — are not for even the faithful of Al’Istaan stated he believed the soldier could see the to know, so they kept silent. This became increasingly denizens of the Spiritrealm without the aid of sorcery.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

The night following the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate, the themselves. They are always cautious in their dealings, Red Woman searched the blasted battlefi elds of Al’Istaan though, as they know exactly what will happen to them if for the warrior who could see the Spiritrealm, the fi rst man they die on the Motherland’s soil. to achieve the Eyes of Imbohl in many, many generations. She barely found him in time to save him from Troika’s The greatest threat to Imbohl’s power by far is the Red deadly scythe. With the help of her goddess, the Red Woman, who redoubled her efforts since the Battle of Kar Woman defeated Troika, consigning the creature to a just Dathra’s Gate. An entire army of souls she liberated from imprisonment for its many crimes. Then, with the Immortal Imbohl’s prisons now fi ghts to save the beloved Motherland, honor guard of Prince Urik I, she escorted the fallen warrior as do a number of Immortal heroes from the earlier into the Spiritrealm. Chronicles of the Lands of the Red Star. The repercussions of Troika’s destruction have been The Red trooper she saved before Kar Dathra’s Gate widespread; the loss of his most valued agent has certainly occasionally travels at her side; the warrior’s name wounded Imbohl. As the smooth fl ow of P.H.E. was is Marcus Antares, whom the Thralls of Imbohl name disrupted, so to was the cohesiveness of the U.R.R.S., “Wanderer.” They whisper not only is he unstoppable in which soon broke apart, refl ecting the diminishing of battle, but he, like their master, can see the denizens of the Imbohl’s power in the Spiritrealm. Imbohl’s diffi culties in both Spiritrealm with living eyes. worlds are one of the primary reasons that the Gorkas have made a play for their freedom. The Counter Espionage Imbohl retains a massive amount of power, as many of his soulprisons still stand, including the mightiest. He is Directorate’s New Plan not, however, the nearly omnipotent being he once was. Countless Thralls are still fanatically devoted to his service, Since the fall of the U.R.R.S. the Ghosts of the C.E.D. both as well as a few select Spiritrealm-briefed kommissars from living and Immortal, discussed how they wish to proceed, the First Hook, but none are Troika’s equal. Even if they now their country has effectively won the Ironhold. They were, Imbohl doesn’t completely trust any of them. recently concluded implementing a plan not unlike Imbohl’s is an excellent notion, as long as it is skillfully managed. They In this, Imbohl is wise. During the Civil Wars, a number intend to construct a series of modifi ed soulprisons within of kommissars who were aware of the Spiritrealm sold the Mirror Lands of the W.T.A. with the express purpose of their information to the highest bidder. The rise of the enslaving their own population for their P.H.E., in addition Commonwealth hasn’t changed their lot much, really. to the foreign souls they have already dominated. Their A considerable number of the more knowledgeable arrogance will have repercussions they do not even dream of, kommissars, present and former, are strictly out for but that story is not yet told.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm The Spiritrealm - What Lies Beyond

The Spiritrealm is vast beyond reckoning; even a dozen refl ection in the Spiritrealm, whereas a prosperous nation has lifetimes worth of travel wouldn’t reveal more than a portion an idealized refl ection. of what it has to offer. There are terrible dimensions that can scour the minds of Immortals who dare to traverse them, There are structures in the Mirror Lands mortals cannot see, and places of such beauty they can break the hardest heart. as they exist entirely within the Spiritrealm. Such buildings The Spiritrealm is home to a myriad of beings other than the are often constructed from pure energy held in place by souls of humanity, most of which are perilous in one way or protocols, or from Spiritrealm materials such as soul iron, another, though not necessarily unfriendly. permanently infused with P.H.E. to make it solid to Immortal touch. Many of the buildings once served as way stations, where Immortals could congregate to talk with their fellows.

The Mirror Lands All too often now, they are bunkers and various fortifi cations

designed by the Immortals of a given nation to defend their Most souls fi nd it diffi cult to leave the Mirror Lands for many people against enemies who would prey on their dead. Most long years after their deaths, as it is hard to give up one’s ties Mirror Land structures are simple, though the W.T.A. Ghosts to life. Those that presently fall under Imbohl’s control have have centers constructed within physical buildings, causing little to no choice in the matter. jarring spatial distortions to Immortal onlookers not prepared The Mirror Lands are coterminous with the physical world and for their bizarre geometry. are similar in many ways. Everything existing in the mortal world can be seen from the Spiritrealm, though none of it is Shard-Planes solid to an Immortal’s touch. Immortals that enjoy emotional pain can follow their loved ones around for years, observing Shard-planes are pocket dimensions created by sorcery, or all that they do if they wish. Affecting the corporeal world, sometimes belief. The Mirror Lands are diffi cult to shape, however, is diffi cult. Physically affecting it is nigh impossible as they always eventually shift back towards refl ecting the and incredibly dangerous. physical world. Shard-planes, on the other hand, are almost extensions of their creators’ will. At the most, shard-planes Most Immortals eventually content themselves with looking are the size of a football fi eld; the majority, though, are far in on their loved ones on special occasions, but otherwise smaller. The sacrifi ces needed to create a larger one are leaving them to live their own lives. Mirror Lands, as befi ts beyond most beings’ resources and willpower. their name, imitate the character of the nation with which they are coterminous. A country of suffering people has a distorted Shard-planes don’t necessarily have a fi xed entrance, which makes them so useful. For example, a shard-plane can be placed in some hidden spot and the entrance could be keyed to a specifi c phrase, allowing an owner to enter it from almost anywhere. They’re also handy for rapid transit, as two doors in a single shard-realm could be placed in Mirror Lands on opposite sides of the globe, allowing an Immortal to walk into one in the Eastern Tundra, down the hall, and out the other, which leads to the eastern seaboard of the W.T.A. Shard-planes are typically well guarded, but their owners seldom spend a great deal of time in them; getting caught in a collapsing shard-plane can very well become a trip to oblivion.

Imbohl’s Legacy & the Storm of Souls

Through the blood sacrifi ce of millions of his own people, Imbohl shattered the Mirror Lands of the U.R.R.S. to create one of the most massive shard-planes ever conceived. Crafted as a prison plane designed with the purpose of holding the soul of every Red, it is a dreary, quiet place full of mist and shadow. Imbohl’s Thralls roam through the darkness, seeking for new Immortals and escapees. The landscape is desolate, fi lled with sharp crags and the broken remains of soulprisons destroyed by the Red Woman and her allies. What little of the sky that can be seen through the haze roils with an unending tempest, punctuated with lightning-like,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

energy fl ares. The Storm of Souls, as it is called, teems with systematic destruction of their people warped Ishundra, the damned, free of Imbohl’s soulprisons but bound to his though, and it is now a place of darkness. Rivers sluggish dreadful realm. When a soulprison falls, its occupants have with blood feed grass that slice a soul to ribbons. Twisted, few options: join the resistance against Imbohl, seek out bitter Immortals and nature spirits whose domains have been another soulprison and return to slavery, or take refuge in the corrupted to a point where they exist in constant agony, plot storm. Most choose the storm. from here to destroy the Western government by any means necessary.

The Far Realms Lacaris

Beyond the Mirror Lands of the world lie the countless planes of the Far Realms. If you can conceive of a concept; if you A lightless plane of evil and torment, Immortals choose or are can picture something, no matter how strange or wondrous, forced to dwell in Lacaris are damned in every sense of the then it exists somewhere in the Far Realms, as do many term. Its “natives” chose to settle their dispute millennia ago; things beyond mortal comprehension. The majority of in the lands of humans, they are known as demons. Immortals once traveled to the Far Realms soon after their death, but the troubles the Mirror Lands experienced of late The Eternal Citadel has not only caused many to stay, but also brought back heroes of old who left the physical world behind centuries A holy fortress plane of shining white walls and silver domes ago. The following are but brief examples of what the set against a perfect azure sky, the Eternal Citadel is the Spiritrealm has to offer. dwelling place of a large number of the Ancients, heroes from the Chronicles of the Lands of the Red Star. For a very long time, they had refrained from involving themselves in the

Far Kathon struggle against Imbohl, but the courage of Marcus Antares

An archipelago of islands on a brilliant opal sea, Far Kathon has acted as a clarion call upon them. Many emerged from is reached by means of winged vessels that dock on the edge their stronghold armed for war. of the plain. The native inhabitants are creatures of great light and purity, though they welcome Immortals who seek a Paradise peaceful afterlife among them. The promised land of the faithful of the One True God is simply Paradise. There are no descriptions of it beyond that which is

I shundra written in the Law, for no words can truly hold its perfection.

Once a beautiful realm of shining fi elds and fl owing rivers, The faithful of the One True God believe it is near heresy to Ishundra was the dwelling place of many of the native spirits even try. Devout Immortals earning the right to venture there of the Western Transnationalist Alliance’s continent. The seldom return for any but the most important of causes.

Immortal (Template)

The spirits of the dead are as much a part of the World of the the soul in question. Those willing to take risks with their Red Star as the earth and sky, though they are all but unseen continued existence can use the dangerous practice of by the living; the chasm between the worlds is far too great. “soul burning,” which transforms their core energy into more Their presence can be felt in the form of unexpected hope directly useful ambient P.H.E.; to do so, however, is to court and courage in dark hours, or dread and hopelessness on a oblivion. beautiful summer day. The souls of the fallen are Immortals because they are Immortals appear as they did in life, though those skilled in both ageless and enduring. Their energy can be disrupted illusions can show any appearance they choose. Their eyes, to a point where it permanently loses all cohesiveness, a however, lack both pupil and iris, instead resembling pools of state they refer to as “oblivion” — you have to be alive to glowing energy, with the intensity of the radiance varying with be “killed.” Immortals have an unusual relationship with their moods. Their forms are somewhat translucent, allowing time. When they are actively involved in human affairs, they light to pass through their bodies, though they can take on an experience the passage of time as mortals do, but when left opaque presence if they so choose. to their own devices, decades can pass them by without their notice. Immortals know all that they did in life, though some Not every soul becomes an Immortal. Humans lacking recollections, generally the ones without emotional weight, “spirit” in life seldom acquire it in death. Their souls usually are dimmer than others. become Shades, sad quiet beings devoid of personality. The Deterrents of the West euphemistically refer to the souls of the departed as post-human energy, a term many Immortals Creating an Immortal despise, though it is an essentially accurate description. “Immortal” is a template that can be acquired by any sentient All Immortals can learn to use their own energy, once referred races (hereafter referred to as the base creature). An to as “Humanitas” but since been relegated to “P.H.E.,” to Immortal has all the base creature’s statistics and special produce an incredible number of effects. The amount each abilities except as noted here. Immortal can safely draw upon varies with the strength of,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead. Do the human world. They can move through solid objects, not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. including living creatures, as if they were not there, Size remains unchanged. though they cannot see through them. An Immortal Hit Dice: can affect other incorporeal beings as if they were both Same as base creature. Immortals have no material. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, none of their Constitution score; use their Charisma modifi er in place abilities can touch the mortal world. of Con for Hit Die bonuses. Defense: P.H.E. Pool (Su): All Immortals gain a P.H.E. Pool. See The quicksilver nature of Immortals gives them a the following section for details. natural +2 Defense Bonus. Attacks: Unturnable (Ex): Despite being a form of undead, An Immortal retains all the attacks of the base Immortals cannot be turned. Some places can be creature. mystically warded to bar their entrance. Special Attacks: The base creature retains any extraordinary Ability Scores: Immortals have no Constitution score and or supernatural attacks upon gaining this template. therefore substitute Charisma for Concentration checks Special Qualities: The Immortal retains all the base and hit die bonuses. creature’s special qualities and gains all of the ones Allegiances: Same as base creature, though many described below. Immortals either have their beliefs reinforced or strongly Damage Immunity (Su): Immortals are completely altered once they get acclimatized to the Spiritrealm. unassailable by mortal weapons. P.H.E. Infused weapons Skills: Immortals received a +4 species bonus to Move can affect them normally. Silently checks. Darkvision: Immortals have darkvision with a range of 20 Feats: Same as base creature. meters. Extraordinary Healing (Ex): Advancement: By character class. The lost core energy of Immortals (their hit points) continually replenishes, Challenge Rating: Same as base creature. regardless of any other factors. Immortals recover twice their character level in hit points every 12 hours. Immortal Protocols Immunities: Immortals are immune to all mind-based Immortals do not take nonlethal damage and they lack a mystical effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, Constitution score, the two mechanical traits from which patterns and morale effects), poison, sleep, paralysis, kasting draws. Living sorceresses actually draw energy stunning, disease, and necromantic effects. They are not through their own souls to bring about their effects in subject to critical hits, non-lethal damage, ability drain, conjunction with a protocol’s components, however, or energy drain. They are immune to fatigue, exhaustion, explaining why they take damage. Immortal sorcery users and the effects of massive damage. spend two points of P.H.E. to kast a protocol and six points if Out of Phase (Su): Immortals are beings of pure energy, they have no components. Each level of Overkasting forces no longer bound to the physical world. They are therefore a modifi ed soul burn; an Immortal sorceress spends 1 extra are completely invisible and incorporeal in regards to P.H.E. and 2d8 Hit Points for each level of Overkasting.

Spiritrealm Advanced Classes Skills: Knowledge (any one) 6 Ranks.Free Spirit Required Allegiance: Every Free Spirit must have an

Allegiance of some kind. Free Spirits are Immortals dedicating their existence to a cause or ideal. Regardless of what they believe, they are passionate beings who struggle towards achieving their goals Game Rule Information in the face of all opposition. Hit Die: 1d8. Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level, rounded down, every

Example Free Spirits time the Free Spirit attains a new level in this class.

The Red Woman, Kar Dathra the Eternal, and Troika are all Free Spirits. C lass Skills The Free Spirit’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill)

Requirements are as follows.

To qualify to be a Free Spirit, a character must fulfi ll the Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape following criteria. Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Investigate (Int), Kast (Int)†*, Knowledge (Any) (Int), Listen Species: Immortal Template (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Navigate (Int), Profession (Wis), Base Attack Bonus: +3. Ritual (Cha)†*, Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm Post-Human Energy (P.H.E.)

The acquisition and control of post-human energy drives most confl icts in the world of the Red Star, though the number of living beings aware of that fact is but a tiny fraction of the whole. Imbohl’s control over hundreds of millions of souls allowed him to hold half the world in his grasp, though his grip is now slipping, even as the West’s seems to be growing tighter. The purpose of Imbohl’s soulprisons is to channel their prisoners’ P.H.E. to him, whereas the W.T.A.’s Spiritrealm work camps often direct P.H.E. toward their government in general. Souls and the energy they hold are the currency of the Spiritrealm. When a being states they have post-human energy to trade, they mean they actually have sentient Immortals or Shades within their possession, usually held in a form of containment known as a Bond. In other words, souls they’ve enslaved, though Shades typically have no thoughts on the subject. If they say they wish to deal in P.H.E., they specifi cally mean the ambient energy all souls produce, which can be held in various containers, typically ones crafted from soul iron. Obviously, “post-human energy” is made up of P.H.E. — but one is an ever-renewing resource, and the other is a “fi xed” commodity. Not every soul is equal, and there are otherworldly creatures that specially collect certain types of souls. All Immortals have a pool of P.H.E. they can draw upon to power Immortal Feats and a few other abilities from the two following advanced classes: Free Spirit and Soul Thief. Immortals can continue to progress in the character class they had in life, in which case they have access to Immortal Feats as bonus feats during their standard level progression. Calculate an Immortal’s P.H.E. Pool by using the following formula: Character Level + the sum of all positive ability modifi ers for Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma + class bonus + miscellaneous modifi ers derived from certain Immortal Feats = Total P.H.E. Pool P.H.E. recovers very slowly. Immortals recover only a half of their Character Levels, rounded down, in P.H.E. per day. Immortals who desperately need P.H.E. can attempt the dangerous practice of soul burning, which is the conversion of their core energy (hit points) to P.H.E. Immortals do this by stating how many P.H.E. they need, then rolling an equal number of d8s, which they take as damage. If they haven’t just sent themselves to oblivion, they can use the P.H.E. garnered in the usual way. Soul burning is excruciatingly painful for an Immortal. If they have a choice in the matter, and they still have P.H.E. in their pool, they must succeed a DC 20 Will Check to practice it. Soul burning is a free action (though not often regarded as a sane one). Language (none), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Telekinesis chosen tool for a round, giving it an enhancement bonus (Wis)*. to hit and damage equal to one-half their free spirit level rounded down. If the chosen tool is a kasting aid, it adds +2 †These are only Class Skills if the Immortal had them in life. to all Kast checks. *See page 39 for details on these new skills. Skill Points at Each Level At 5th level, the Free Spirit’s chosen tool grows in power. A : 7 + Int modifi er. single P.H.E. empowers their chosen tool for fi ve rounds. If the tool is primarily a weapon, its threat range is increased Class Features by one and it counts as armor piercing if it wasn’t before. All of the following are class features of the free spirit In addition, by expending 1 point of P.H.E. the weapon advanced class. deals an additional +2d6 points of damage. Do not multiply this extra damage on a critical hit. The source of the extra

Dedicated damage should be worked out between the player and GM, e.g. it bursts into fl ame, becomes like liquid metal slipping

The free spirit chooses two skills, one of which must be a past armor, screams with deafening unholy joy, and so on. If Knowledge skill. All checks on the chosen skills receive an the tool was a kasting aid, it instead adds a bonus of +5 to insight bonus equal to her class level in free spirit. In addition, all Kast checks and allows one level of overkasting without the free spirit can always Take 10 on the chosen skills. causing any automatic soul burn.

Chosen Tool At 8th level, the free spirit’s chosen tool reaches its apex of power. The chosen tool is permanently empowered.

At 2nd level, the free spirit acquires a tool, most often If the tool is primarily a weapon, its increased threat a melee weapon, by which they come to be identifi ed. range doubles and by expending a point of P.H.E. the The free spirit’s chosen tool automatically counts as an weapon deals +4d6 points of damage. This extra damage Infused (see page 158), capable of harming Immortals and supercedes and does not stack with the extra damage creatures only vulnerable to magic weapons. As a free gained at 5th level. Do not multiplu this additional damage action, the free spirit can expend 1 P.H.E. to empower their on a critical hit.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm Table 12-1: The Free Spirit

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Reputation P.H.E. Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Bonus Class Features 1st +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +1 +5 Dedicated 2nd +1 +0 +2 +2 +1 +1 +10 Chosen tool 3rd +2 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 +10 Bonus feat 4th +3 +1 +3 +3 +3 +2 +15 Synchronicity 5th +3 +1 +3 +3 +3 +2 +15 Chosen tool II 6th +4 +2 +3 +3 +3 +2 +20 Bonus feat 7th +5 +2 +4 +4 +4 +3 +20 Awe inspiring 8th +6 +2 +4 +4 +4 +3 +25 Chosen tool III 9th +6 +3 +4 +4 +5 +3 +25 Bonus feat 10th +7 +3 +5 +5 +5 +4 +30 Unbound Example: Ayele bears the sacred Nistaani sword Synchronicity Moon Shadow that started with a threat range of 18–20. At 5th level, her sword caused threats on a The free spirit’s continuing defense of her ideals affects 17–20. At 8th level, in Ayele’s hands, Moon Shadow the Spiritrealm in subtle ways. Events conspire to put the causes threats on a 13–20. free spirit where he needs to be to uphold his cause; useful information fi nds its way to him, seemingly by accident. If the tool was a kasting aid, it instead adds a bonus of +10 to Whenever the Free Spirit is in need of information or allies, all Kast checks and allows two levels of overkasting without even if not entirely aware of whom or what she might need, causing any automatic soul burn. In addition, regardless of she can spend 1 action point to encounter someone or the type of chosen tool, it acquires a single special ability something useful. Synchronicity should always help advance determined by the GM with the player’s input. For example, the plot of an adventure, though how may not be immediately it could kast a single protocol once per day as if it had a Kast apparent at the time. check result of 40 and 4 levels of overkasting, or the ability to summon a powerful outsider for a single service once per Awe Inspiring week. The free spirit’s dedication to her cause inspires her allies and frightens her enemies. The free spirit can give a rousing speech or threatening oratory to those around her. At the end of a full round, the free spirit must make a successful DC 10 Charisma check. On a successful check and if attempting to inspire allies, the free spirit grants a +3 morale bonus to all saving throws, attack rolls and damage rolls for a number of rounds equal to half the character’s free spirit levels, rounded down. If the free spirit successfully threatens her foes, they must succeed a Will Save against a DC equal to 10 + the free spirit’s total character level + the free spirit’s charisma modifi er. On a failed save, the subjects takera–3 morale penalty to all saving throws, attack rolls and damage rolls for a number of rounds equal to half the character’s Free Spirit levels, rounded down. A Free Spirit is unaffected by her own Awe Inspiring ability. She can inspire or intimidate a number of beings equal to one-half her character level, rounded down, within hearing. Any given individual can only be affected by this ability once per hour.

Unbound

The free spirit progresses to a point where only his own ideals can hold him back from his chosen course. The free spirit can automatically break any Bond placed upon him. Incarcerating an Unbound soul is impossible. Locks open before such a Free Spirit and chains simply fall away. Note this ability will not allow a free spirit to walk into a soulprison, but if they were somehow forcibly transported to one, they could walk right out.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm Bonus Feats Class Features

At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, the free spirit gets a bonus feat. The All of the following are class features of the soul thief bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the advanced class. free spirit must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it. Agile Riposte, Attentive, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Expertise, In the Know Combat Refl exes, Dodge, Energy Shield, Frightful Presence, Soul thieves make a point of knowing everything of interest Great Cleave, Heroic Surge, Immortal Illusions, Improved that goes on in the Spiritrealm. If they don’t know something, Initiative, Improved Soul Burn, Infuse, Iron Will, Lightning they know who does. Through contacts, spies, eavesdropping Refl exes, Living Infl uence, Low Profi le, Mobility, Power Attack, on the living and assorted other avenues, a soul thief keeps Precise Strike, Pure of Heart, Quick Draw, Renown, Righteous, track of whatever might lead to profi t. Siphon, Spring Attack, Strength of the Damned, Sunder, Telekinetic Warrior, There Is No Gravity, Track, Trustworthy, The soul thief can make a Gather Information check on general Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Whirlwind Attack. or specifi c information instantaneously, and spends only an hour making a Gather Information check for restricted information.

Soul Thief Retries may be made under normal rules. Protected information still requires 1d4+1 hours for a check. The purchase DC for

Soul Thieves are Immortals who aid the fl ow of Spiritrealm using Gather Information is reduced by 10. commerce. They range from streetwise scholars, cagey diplomats, to dubious rogues. The best of them steal innocent Favors Immortals out from under Imbohl and the W.T.A. The worst The soul thief has the ability to acquire minor aid from anyone sell post-human energy to the same. he meets. By making a favor check, a soul thief can gain important information without going through the time and trouble

Example of a Soul Thief of doing a lot of research. Favors can also be used to acquire

access to certain shard-planes, the loan of equipment, or to Iakos from Run Makita Run is a Soul Thief. receive other minor assistance over the course of an adventure.

R equirements A soul thief spends 1 action point to activate this talent. To make a favor check, roll 1d20 and add the character’s favor

To qualify to be a Soul Thief, a character must fulfi ll all the bonus, equal to the character’s soul thief level + Charisma following criteria. modifi er. The GM sets the DC based on the scope of the favor being requested. The DC ranges from 10 for a simple Species: Immortal Template favor to as high as 30 for formidable and highly dangerous, Base Attack Bonus: +2. expensive, or illegal favors. A soul thief can’t take 10 or 20 on Skills: Diplomacy 6 ranks, Gather Information 6 ranks, this check, nor can the character retry the check for the same Knowledge (arcane lore, business, current events, (or virtually the same) favor. history, or streetwise) 6 ranks. Favors should help advance the plot of an adventure. A favor

Game Rule Information enabling a character to avoid an adventure altogether should always be unavailable to the character, regardless of the

Hit Die: 1d6. result of a favor check. The GM should carefully monitor a Action Points: 6 + 1/2 character level, rounded down, every soul thief’s use of favors to ensure this ability isn’t abused. time the Soul Thief attains a new level in this class. The success or failure of a mission should never hinge on the use of a favor, and getting a favor shouldn’t replace good

C lass Skills roleplaying or the use of other skills. The GM should disallow any favor deemed too disruptive to the game.

The Free Spirit’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) At 7th level, a soul thief’s fame and infl uence grows to are as follows. encompass a wide variety of unusual Spiritrealm denizens. A Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Cha), Craft (Bonds) (Int)*, Soul Thief at this level can make Favor requests of a number Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), of otherworldly entities with the expectation of having them Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gamble (Wis), Gather granted. The soul thief’s ability and reputation for repaying Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Investigate (Int), Knowledge favors grows, allowing a Soul Thief to lower the DC of a favor (arcane lore, business, current events, history, streetwise) by anywhere from 5 to 10, depending on what he sort of Favor (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Navigate (Int), he is willing to take on himself to reimburse his benefactor. Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Research (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Elusive Speak Language (none), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex). At 4th level, the soul thief gains the ability to suppress her *See Immortal Skills and Feats starting on page 157 for loyalties, if she has any, from any and all protocols, spells details. or supernatural abilities that can detect allegiances. In cases where such divinations are made, the soul thief may Skill Points at Each Level: 9 + Int modifi er. attempt a Will Save (DC 10 + the character level of the prying,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm Table 12-2: Soul Thief

Class Base Attack Fort Ref Will Defense Reputation P.H.E. Level Bonus Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Bonus Class Features 1st +0 +0 +1 +1 +0 +2 +2 In the know 2nd +1 +0 +2 +2 +1 +2 +4 Favors 3rd +1 +1 +2 +2 +1 +2 +6 Bonus feat 4th +2 +1 +2 +2 +1 +3 +8 Elusive 5th +2 +1 +3 +3 +2 +3 +10 Dealmaker 6th +3 +2 +3 +3 +2 +3 +12 Bonus feat 7th +3 +2 +4 +4 +2 +4 +14 Extended favors 8th +4 +2 +4 +4 +3 +4 +16 Master of doors 9th +4 +3 +4 +4 +3 +4 +18 Bonus feat 10th +5 +3 +5 +5 +3 +5 +20 Shard plane individual) to negate the attempt. Negated attempts reveal nothing, making her effectively appear as a blank slate. Example: Lothar the soul thief has a shard-plane in the Mirror Lands of Nokgorka, set in the hills just east

Dealmaker of Bahamut’s refl ection. The shard-plane’s fi xed portal

leads to the Isle of Lions. Wherever Lothar travels, The soul thief is well known in the Spiritrealm, though whether save a few exceptions like Imbohl’s shard-plane, he well regarded or feared varies by his reputation. Regardless, can always call up the portal to his refuge. After he he is known as a being that shouldn’t be crossed, gaining a enters his domain, until he closes the fl oating portal, it circumstance bonus equal to his Reputation when making opens to wherever he just came from; once he closes Diplomacy or Gather Information skill checks. it, however, he cannot reopen it to or from some other place else until he travels there, and can only leave his

Master of Doors shard-plane via the fi xed portal to the Isle of Lions.

The soul thief’s extensive knowledge of the Spiritrealm’s denizens Fixed portals can be relocated, but the process is esoteric and their secrets allow access to places where most can never and takes a few months to accomplish. Shard-plane portals go. The soul thief can cross the world using shard-plane back cannot be seen by the living and are concealed from the doors, secret mystic paths and the occasional short cut. dead, requiring a DC 30 Search check to fi nd. There are The soul thief and a number of compatriots equal to one-half some legendary protocols capable of collapsing a shard- his character level rounded down can get from anyplace in plane, but they are extremely rare and guarded. If for some the Spiritrealm to any other place in the Spiritrealm within reason a soul thief should lose his shard-plane, the GM a single hour. The soul thief can use master of doors once should let him acquire a new one within an adventure or a week, as Immortals get wise, and new routes continually two. have to be researched.

Bonus Feats Shard Plane At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, the soul thief gets a bonus feat. The

The soul thief acquires a Spiritrealm bolthole. The shard- bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the plane is approximately 10 meters squared and the interior soul thief must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it. resembles anything the soul thief can dream up. The soul Alertness, Attentive, Deceptive, Educated, Immortal Illusions, thief must determine where the shard-plane resides with GM Improved Soul Burn, Infuse, Lightning Refl exes, Living approval. The shard-plane has one fi xed and one fl oating Infl uence, Low Profi le, Lucky Soul, Meticulous, Mortal Coil, portal. The fl oating one will always be keyed to the soul thief Quicksilver Dodge, Read Destiny, Renown, Siphon, Stealthy, and cannot be connected to a place where he is not. There Is No Gravity, Trustworthy, Windfall.

Spiritrealm Currency Issues

The rules for Wealth allow one to “gloss over” the unpleasantness of what many Spiritrealm denizens regard as currency. Heroically minded players may feel uncomfortable playing an individual whose wealth comes from “slavery.” Not to worry: ethical Immortals strictly deal in P.H.E., ingots of soul iron, and various knick-knacks that have value to other Immortals and various outsiders. Morally fl exible individuals, like most soul thieves, deal in shades, which are basically mindless husks of souls and not sentient Immortals. Others may not care in the slightest.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm Immortal Skills and Feats Skills Immortal illusions

Complexity Will Save DC

C raft (Bonds) (Wis) Trained Only Illusion affects a single sense 10

This skill allows you to build mystic Bonds — metaphysical Illusion affects two senses 15 devices that can hold an Immortal or Shade imprisoned or at Illusion affects all senses 20 bay. The complexity of a Bond determines what it can hold or Simple (random noise, static image, etc.) +0 protect and the diffi culty for breaking it. Bonds have a variety Complex (coherent sound, of different appearances. Bonds meant to hold post-human moving images, etc.) +5 energy within them appear as a container of some sort such Very Complex (multiple over- as a small clay pot, but others are heavy, linked soul iron lapping sounds or images) +10 chains. Bonds sealing a location from entrance or exit are You may Take 10 when creating an Immortal Illusion, but often referred to as Wards. not 20. Immortal Illusion is a full round action which requires “Bonds” is a generic term; every culture has their own name Concentration to maintain. It costs the illusion’s DC divided for them, from soul cages to spirit locks. Making a Bond is by 5 in P.H.E. every round maintained. The Will save not an intrinsically evil act, but individuals regularly producing against believing an Immortal Illusion is equal to 10 + half them for enslaving Immortals are not well regarded in a the Immortal’s ranks in Immortal Illusion + their Charisma number of places in the Spiritrealm. modifi er. Bonds can hold Immortals in a small area, to which their Since the illusion isn’t real, it cannot produce any real effects. energy-based bodies conform. If an Immortal fails the initial It cannot cause damage, support weight, provide nutrition, Will Save, they cannot make another one for 6 hours; it takes illuminate darkness, or provide protection from the elements. a great deal of effort to break a Bond. Characters encountering an illusion do not get a saving throw unless they have cause to think something is amiss, or they Immortals exposed to a Bond and who fail their Will saves interact with it in some fashion. For example, characters have the P.H.E. drawn by the Bond’s holder automatically. passing by an illusory wall concealing an ambush would only A number of Bonds have further protocols placed on them, get a saving throw if they stopped and leaned against it. making them invisible or causing damage to beings trying to break them. There are even rumored to be W.T.A. Bonds A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be built using advanced electronics projecting Bonds in the form false, but a translucent afterimage remains, showing where of energy fi elds. Note that unlike most Craft skills, this skill is the illusion was placed. Failing to save against the illusion Wisdom based rather than Intelligence based. means the character cannot see anything amiss. A character faced with incontrovertible proof that an illusion isn’t real

I mmortal Illusions (Cha) doesn’t need a saving throw. A character who communicates

that something is wrong to others gives them a +4 bonus on You can fool the senses of others by creating illusions out of saving throws against that illusion. P.H.E. Retry: No. You can attempt to affect the same targets after Required: Immortal Illusions Feat time has passed, but not in the same encounter or scene. Skill Check: You make an Immortal Illusions check with a DC based on the complexity of the illusion. If successful, an R ead Destiny (Wis) illusion appears where you specify. It is no more diffi cult to By studying the soul of a mortal, you can make inferences as create a small illusion than a huge one. to what their fate will be.

Table 12-3: Craft (Bonds)

Type of Bond Purchase DC Craft DC Time Will Save Simple (suffi cient for holding a single Shade) 8 15 2 hr. 8 Moderate (capable of holding an Immortal) 12 20 24 hr. 12 Complex (capable of holding several Immortals or warding a small building from entrance) 20 24 72 hr. 20 Advanced (Spiritrealm fortress, Soulprison walls) 40 40 6 Months 30 Increased DC of Will Save +2 +1 +1 hr, Adv. +1 wk +2,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

Required: Read Destiny Feat

I mmortal Illusions

Skill Check: You must study the mortal’s spirit for a minute (10 rounds) then make a Read Destiny Check against the You have the ability to learn the Immortal Illusions skill. following chart. You may take 10 when Reading Destiny, Prerequisites: Immortal template but not 20. There is no save against Read Destiny. Benefi t: Immortal Illusions is a class skill for you.

Read Destiny Normal: Characters without this feat cannot learn the

DC Result Immortal Illusions skill. 10 A vague vision of the subject’s future over the next Improved Soul Burn 24 hours. Not necessarily accurate. 15 A vision of subject’s future over the next 48 hours. You have the strength of will and the skill to effi ciently convert Accurate, but not very detailed. your form’s energy. 20 A vision of a specifi c critical event in the subject’s Prerequisites: Immortal template, base attack bonus +10, future and exactly how long before it occurs. base Will save +5. 25 A series of visions touching upon the subject and all others involved in the critical event. Benefi t: You roll a 1d4 for every point of P.H.E. you wish to 30 Total awareness of the likely course of the generate; you need never make a Will Check to do so. subject’s life over the next decade, including Normal: Characters roll 1d8 for each point of P.H.E. for soul time, place, subject and other participants in burning and have to make a Will Save if they have any several critical events. P.H.E. in their pool in order to do so. 35 Perfect knowledge of the subject’s destiny including the day he will die. Total clarity on any I nfuse signifi cant event, including death, and all parties directly involved with the subject at the time. You have the ability to saturate equipment with P.H.E., allowing its use by and against Immortals. You have the Retry: No. The tangled skein of that particular mortal’s fate is ability to create soul iron. beyond your ability to discern. Prerequisites: Immortal template, Wisdom 13.

Immortal Feats Benefi t: By placing your hand on an object, you can inundate

it with P.H.E. It takes 5 P.H.E. per kilogram of material.

Energy Shield The material becomes usable by Immortals. If a melee

You can form your soul’s energy into an effective, albeit weapon, it becomes capable of cutting Immortals. If temporary, shield. armor, it can be worn for its full defensive value. Infused equipment must be continually handled or worn by an Prerequisites: Immortal Template Immortal, or it looses its “charge” within an hour, though the individual who infused the item doesn’t have to be the Benefi t: By spending 1 action point and a variable number one who maintains it. Soul iron is a Spiritrealm metal that of P.H.E. you can form a barrier that grants a damage has been eternally infused. It takes 30 points of P.H.E. to reduction 5 for each point spent. There is no limit to the permanently infuse 1 kilogram of soul iron. A kilogram of number of points you can spend, but the shield only soul iron has a Purchase Value of 12 in the Spiritrealm. lasts for a single round. Thus, an Immortal knowing she was about to be attacked by, say, the burning hull ofaKast in Iron skyfurnace could spend 1 action point and 15 P.H.E. to put up a damage reduction 75 shield. Energy Shield is You gave your soul up to be forged into a weapon designed used as a reaction, meaning you may use this feat even to enforce the will of the state. when it is not your turn. Prerequisites: Immortal template, Allegiance to Imbohl, Siphon

E yes of Imbohl Benefi t: You become one of Imbohl’s Thralls, a soul iron

You are destined for greatness, but your life is unlikely to be construct designed to collect souls for your ageless easy. master. You are incapable of betraying him. You take on a Thrall template, as follows. Prerequisites: GM’s approval, Wisdom 15. • You acquire damage reduction 10/–. This damage Benefi t: You can see into the Spiritrealm. You perceive reduction cannot be reduced by armor piercing attacks. Immortals despite being alive yourself and interact with • You gain +10 Hit Points, and all of your attacks count as them. You acquire a P.H.E. Pool as if you were an Immortal Infused. and you can take feats that have the Immortal prerequisite. • You also gain variety of natural bladed attacks dealing All of your personal weapons count as being infused. 2d8 points of slashing damage, with a critical threat range of 19–20. Special: The Eyes of Imbohl either must be taken at 1st • Your P.H.E. pool is permanently reduced to one-quarter its level or alternatively, after the character has entered or previous total, rounding down. Any further gains to P.H.E. glimpsed the Spiritrealm while at 0 to –9 Hit Points. are similarly quartered, rounding down.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm Benefi t: You gain a body mortals can perceive, allowing you Living Influence to interact with the corporeal world. In order to gain a

You can reach over the gulfs separating the mortal world from mortal form, you must spend 25 points of P.H.E. The body the Spiritrealm. created is not a true human form, but only a simulacrum. While it appears like a human body to all senses, it is Prerequisites: Immortal template, 3rd level in an Immortal only a shell. While using Mortal Coil, an Immortal loses 1 advanced class, Wisdom 13, Wisdom 13. P.H.E. every fi ve minutes in the simulacrum. You do not Benefi t: Spend 1 action point and 1 P.H.E. to speak to the regain P.H.E. or Hit Points while in this form. Using Mortal spirit of a mortal. While he does not consciously hear Coil takes a full round action, both to take on a Coil and you, his soul may. The mortal makes a Will Save (DC 10 to allow one to dissipate. If an Immortal “dies” while using + Immortal advanced class level + Charisma bonus). If Mortal Coil, they’re consigned to Oblivion. the mortal succeeds, she can ignore the compulsion at the GM’s discretion. If the target fails, she automatically Pure of Heart reacts as below. The effect lasts for the Immortal’s Your soul shines with clarity of purpose. advanced class level + Charisma bonus in rounds. Prerequisites: Immortal template, allegiance to a noble Despair: The mortal suffers a –2 morale penalty on cause (GM’s discretion). saving throws, attack and damage rolls, and ability and skill checks. Despair dispels the effects of hope. Benefi t: Add +10 to your P.H.E. pool. Fear: The mortal fl ees from the object of its fear (chosen by you). Fear dispels rage. Quicksilver Dodge Friendship; The mortal’s attitude shifts toward the next more You move with blindingly inhuman speed, dodging blows, positive reaction. Mortals involved in combat continue to hooks, bullets and even protocols. fi ght back normally, however. Friendship dispels hatred. Prerequisites: Immortal template, Refl ex Save +6. Hatred: The mortal’s attitude shifts toward the next more Benefi t: For a single round, you can avoid all forms of attack, negative reaction. Hatred dispels friendship. even ones supposedly unavoidable — such as protocols Hope: The mortal gains a +2 moral bonus on saving allowing no saving throws. Spend 3 points of P.H.E. for throws, attack and damage rolls, and ability and skill each attack, making a successful DC 20 Refl ex save for checks. Hope dispels fear. each one. Success means you suffer no adverse effects Rage: The mortal gains a +2 bonus to Strength and at all, regardless of the attack’s description. Quicksilver Constitution scores, a +1 morale bonus on Will saves, Dodge is a full round action. and a –1 penalty to Defense. They are compelled to fi ght, heedless of danger. Rage will not stack with any Read Destiny other similar effects. Rage dispels fear. The Immortal can You have the ability to learn the Read Destiny skill. infl uence more mortals at once by spending more P.H.E. Each extra point of P.H.E. spent doubles the amount Prerequisites: Immortal template. affected; so 2 P.H.E. affects two mortals, 3 P.H.E. affects Benefi t: Read Destiny is a class skill for you. 4 mortals, 4 P.H.E. affects 8 mortals, and so forth. In would take 15 P.H.E. to affect 16,224 mortals — the crew Normal: Characters without this feat cannot learn the Read of the Konstantinov, for example. Living Infl uence is a full Destiny skill. round action that requires the utmost concentration. An Immortal attempting it counts as being fl atfooted. Righteous Normal: Characters without this feat cannot affect the living Yours is a soul that knows only the path of honor; those in any way. around you can sense this with ease. Prerequisites: Immortal template, no sinister allegiances

Lucky Soul (GM’s discretion).

You are famous in the Spiritrealm for succeeding against Benefi t: You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to Charisma- impossible odds. based skills when dealing with others that have any kind of belief system other than unrepentant evil. Prerequisites: Immortal template, Reputation +5. Normal: Only when a character shares an allegiance with Benefi t: Once per day, after you failed an attack roll, saving another do they get a Charisma bonus. There are beings throw, or skill check, you may spend a number of P.H.E. in the world of the Red Star who are unlikely at best equal to the difference between the target number and to deal with others that do not share their views — for the actual roll to succeed the attack, save, or check. example, those faithful to the Law of the One True God.

Mortal Coil S iphon

For short times, you can take on a physical form. A feat only possessed by those willing to enslave others, Prerequisites: Immortal template, 7th level in an Immortal siphon allows you to trap another soul in a Bonded vessel advanced class. rather than destroying them.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

Prerequisites: Immortal template, base attack bonus +5, Benefi t: For every point of P.H.E. you spend up to a total Weapon Focus. of fi ve, you add a bonus of +2 to either your Strength Benefi t: or Dexterity for a number of rounds equal to one-half As long as you have an empty soul cage or other your character level, rounded down. Thus, a 10th level kind of containment unit ready, you may force a soul into Immortal, who spent 4 P.H.E. to raise his Dexterity, that Bonded vessel. In order to use this feat, you must gets a bonus of +8 to the attribute for 5 rounds. Using deliver a fi nal blow to an Immortal foe with any weapon for Strength of the Damned is a move equivalent action. which you have taken the Weapon Focus feat. Instead of You can enhance both attributes simultaneously for the infl icting hit points that would send them to oblivion, the appropriate cost in P.H.E. blow automatically forces them into your Bonded vessel. It costs 3 points of P.H.E. per soul captured to use siphon, and is a free action. There Is No Gravity As a being made of soul energy, you’ve realized the forces of

S trength of the Damned earthly gravity need no longer affect you.

You have learned to channel the energy through your spirit to Prerequisite: Immortal template. enhance your grace or power. Benefi t: You can move in any direction at will. Prerequisites: Immortal template, Engine Pull Champion.

Nistaani Invocations

The shamans of the Nistaani spoke to the spirits of their versions; a shaman must choose which one while kasting ancestors long before there was an Al’Istaan. Theirs is the the invocation. Recipients can be affected by just one of the terrible burden of knowing many truths of the world, but being effects at a time. unable to speak them, sworn to secrecy to safeguard the faith of their people. They are well aware of the war in the The fi rst version turns bare fi sts into lethal weapons, though Spiritrealm and many of them pity the Reds for their ignorance. there is no outward change in appearance. All targets increase their unarmed attack damage to 1d6 points of lethal damage. Nistaani Invocations, or “spells,” as infi dels call them, are not On a Kast check result of 40 or more, they do 1d6+1 lethal. protocols (though they are mechanically similar). Rather, they are ancient prayers that cross between the mortal world and The second version grants the melee weapons of all targets the Spiritrealm to ask an Immortal ancestor for aid. held at the time of the invocation to deal +2 points of damage on a successful attack. If the Kast check was 40 or more, the As noted earlier in this chapter, it is diffi cult for Immortals to damage bonus is +3. affect the corporeal world. The strength of a Nistaani Priest’s faith, however, coupled with the power of the prayer, allows Dance of the Desert an Immortal to direct ambient Spiritrealm energy into the conduit a properly kast invocation creates. The more powerful Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) the kasting, the stronger is the call, and therefore the greater the Immortal coming to assist. The greatest rituals can Nonlethal Damage: 1d12 summon legendary heroes out of Paradise itself to assist a Kast Check DC: 25 worthy shaman, and the power they direct is immense. Kasting Time: 1 full roundRange: Medium (Kast check resultx4meters) Unlike protocols, invocations do not require components. Target: Number of creatures equal to Kast check result; if Invocations also cannot be overkast. Most invocations have Kast check is 50 or more, the number of targets becomes greatly expanding effects, depending on the result of a 10 times the Kast check. successful kast. Duration: Kast check resultx1round; see text Saving Throw: Will negates

Claws of Stone Sorcery Resistance: Yes

Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) The spirits of Al’Istaan shield the faithful as they race along the border of the Spiritrealm, fl ickering in and out of the Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 mortal world. During the war with the U.R.R.S. the Nistaani Kast Check DC: 16 used this invocation to disrupt the Reds’ battle lines by Kasting Time: 1 standard action attacking both rear and fl ank positions. All targets “blink” in Range: Close (Kast check result in meters) and out of the battlefi eld, appearing and disappearing as they Target: Up to one creature per kaster level + 1 for every point move. All attacks against those under the effects of Dance over the Kast Check DC of the Desert have total concealment (granting a 50% miss Duration: Kast check resultx1minute chance). Affected individuals also suffer half damage from Saving Throw: N/A area attacks. Sorcery Resistance: No Affected creatures strike as invisible creatures, with a +2 Nistaani shamans use this invocation to great effect in areas bonus to attack rolls, and their opponents are denied their where weapons are forbidden. Claws of stone has two Dexterity bonus to Defense.,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

Using dance of the desert counts as a move action. It is impossible to attack with ranged weapons while using the Dance. Affected individuals must remain in contact with the land of Al’Istaan at all times. If an individual loses contact with the ground while under the effects of the Dance, the invocation ends for that person or creature only, though others affected retain the effects of the spell.

F ury of the Sands

Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) Nonlethal Damage: 1d10 Kast Check DC: 18 Kasting Time: 1 full round Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters) Area: 1/2 kilometer x Kast check result Duration: 10 Minutes x Kast check (D) Saving Throw: No, see text Sorcery Resistance: No The shaman calls up a fi erce sandstorm to scourge his enemies or obscure an area he wants undisturbed. The storm forces all living creatures within its path to succeed a DC 15 Fortitude check or be unable to move forward into it. Within the storm, ranged attacks are impossible. All beings within the storm take 1d3 nonlethal damage for each round they remain in the open without shelter. The storm’s passage leaves dust a meter or taller in its wake. 15 Strength check. A failed Strength check requires the If the result of the Kast check was 40 or more, the shaman sinking character to make a DC 20 Swim check or go under may increase the severity of the storm, at his discretion. Such completely. All vehicles in the quicksand halt and cannot a storm deals 1d6 points of nonlethal damage every round move, but they do not sink. and requires a DC 20 Fortitude check to advance.

M antle of Stone G rasping Earth Shaman Invocation (Nistaani)

Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) Nonlethal Damage: 1d10 Nonlethal Damage: 1d10 Kast Check DC: 19 Kast Check DC: 17 Kasting Time: 1 standard action Kasting Time: 1 full round Range: Touch Range: Long (Kast check result x 10 meters) Target: One creature Area: Kast check result x 10 meter radius circle, centering on Duration: 1 round x Kaster level spot of Kaster’s choosing Saving Throw: Will negates Duration: Concentration Sorcery Resistance: Yes Saving Throw: Refl ex negates for individuals; no save for When this invocation is cast, the target’s skin becomes vehicles as hard as the core of the Land’s Teeth. Visible mottling Sorcery Resistance: Yes appears on the recipient’s skin, reminiscent of marble or The shaman asks Al’Istaan to thwart infi dels by slowing their granite. The spell bestows damage reduction 10/–, stacking passage. The land transmutes into mud, absorbing feet and with other forms of armor. The target’s base speed slows treads. All affected creatures in the area of effect can take by 10 meters and they take a –1 penalty to attack rolls and a single move action or a standard action each turn, but Refl ex checks. not both. All creatures suffer a –1 penalty on attack rolls, Defense and Refl ex saves while in the area. Grasping earth O asis of Faith also slows vehicles to their Alley speed. Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) On a Kast check result of 50 or more, Al’Istaan truly shows its anger. Large portions of the land turn into quicksand. Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 All characters in the area of effect must succeed a Refl ex Kast Check DC: 16 save, or sink. On the following round, they must succeed Kasting Time: 1 full round a DC 15 Swim check or start drowning as per the d20 Range: Medium range (Kast check resultx4meters) Modern Roleplaying Game. An unaffected character can Area: Kast check resultx4meters pull a comrade out of the quicksand by succeeding a DC Duration: 1 minute x Kaster Level,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

Targets: All kaster allies with the allegiance “The Law of the Saving Throw: No One True God” within the area of effect Sorcery Resistance: Yes Saving Throw: Will negates Sorcery Resistance: Yes This invocation wreathes a faithful warrior of the One True God in fl ames of devotion. Any creature attacking the subject The shaman beseeches the One True God to watch over his with a melee weapon can deal normal damage on a strike, faithful warriors. All eligible subjects gain a +1 sacred bonus to but they simultaneously take 1d8 points of damage +1 point attack rolls, Defense and saving throws. In addition, all affected for every character level the subject has in the following subjects may re-roll one missed attack roll. On a Kast check classes: Nistaani shaman, Nistaani warrior, and Nokgorkan result of 40 or more, all present know the Most High stands resistance fi ghter. Shield of Burning Faith’s damage acts as with them on the battlefi eld, increasinf the sacred bonus to +2. armor piercing damage. The Oasis lasts for the duration of the entire battle.

Spirit of the Dune-Ra S haihidi’s Kiss Shaman Invocation (Nistaani)

Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 Nonlethal Damage: Kast Check DC: 25 1d6 Kast Check DC: Kasting Time: 1 full round20 Kasting Time: Range: Touch 1 standard action Range: Target: One creature Close (Kast check result in meters) Area: Duration: 1 round x Kaster level Line-shaped burst Duration: Saving Throw: Will negates Instantaneous Saving Throw: Sorcery Resistance: Yes Refl ex negates Sorcery Resistance: Yes The fi ghting spirit of the mighty Dune-Ra fi lls the target, but so does a portion of its recklessness. The shaman borrows the infamous breath of Al’Istaan’s native Shaihidi lizard and spits forth a stream of corrosive venom. The target gains a +8 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Shaihidi’s Kiss deals 2d6 points of damage + 1d6 points for Constitution, and a +2 bonus on Will saves, but takes a –2 every 5 full points of Kast check result. penalty on Defense. The increase in Constitution increases the target’s hit points by 2 points per character level, but

Sha-Moram these hit points go away at the end of the invocation when

their Constitution score drops back to normal. These extra hit Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) points are not lost fi rst the way temporary hit points are. Nonlethal Damage: 1d4 While gripped by the spirit of the Dune-Ra, the target must Kast Check DC: 20 charge the fi rst available enemy and cannot use any ranged Kasting Time: 3 full rounds attacks. The target cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Range: Personal Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Target: You Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities Duration: Instantaneous that require patience or concentration. The subjecr of this Saving Throw: No spell can use any feat possessed except Combat Expertise. Sorcery Resistance: No When the invocation ends, the target becomes exhausted With this invocation, a shaman listens to the wind and hears (taking a –6 penalty to Strength, a –6 penalty to Dexterity, what news it has to bring him. The wind carries information and they move at half speed, and may not charge or run). regarding two topics from the following list: the ground or terrain, plants, minerals, bodies of water, people, animals, Trackless Steps environmental erosion, the destruction wrought by machines, Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) or unnatural creatures. Sha-Moram stretches out for the Kast check result in kilometers. A shaman has to continuously travel Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 for half a day to not get the same result when kasting Sha- Kast Check DC: 18 Moram again, unless he waits a week before kasting it again. Kasting Time: 1 full round Range: Medium (Kast check resultx4meters)

S hield of Burning Faith Target: Up to one creature per kaster level + 1 for every point

over the Kast Check DC Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) Duration: 10 minutes x Kast check result Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 Saving Throw: Will Negates Kast Check DC: 17 Sorcery Resistance: Yes Kasting Time: 1 standard action As they honor the land, so does Al’Istaan protect the Nistaani. Range: Touch Target: 1 creature with the allegiance “The Law of the One At the shaman’s request, the land moves to conceal its True God” defenders. All targets gain a +5 circumstance bonus to Hide Duration: 1 round x Kaster level checks—+10 bonus if they stand still. In addition, as long as they,

Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm

move over the natural landscape of Al’Istaan, subjects leave no The winds of Al’Istaan carry the shaman’s words to his allies. trace at all; neither footsteps nor scent betrays them. Tracking The communication is two-way, though whispering winds the subjects cannot be done without powerful protocols. cannot be used to contact indoor targets. On a Kast check result of 50 or more, Al’Istaan shrouds the On a Kast check of 30 or more, the shaman can direct his targets with haze, granting concealment (20% miss chance in message to any number of allies within the invocation’s range. combat) for the duration.

W isdom of the Ancients T remor Wave

Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) Nonlethal Damage: 1d8 Nonlethal Damage: 1d10 Kast Check DC: 20 Kast Check DC: 35 Kasting Time: 1 full round Kasting Time: 1 standard action Range: Personal Range: Long (Kast check result x 10 meters) Target: You Area: Radiates out from Kaster in all directions to maximum Duration: Instantaneous range; cannot be sculpted Saving Throw: No Duration: 1 round Sorcery Resistance: No Saving Throw: See text Sorcery Resistance: No This invocation allows a shaman to ask his Immortal ancestors for guidance. Unfortunately, Immortals don’t know everything. An invocation shamans rarely use as it breaks Al’Istaan The nature of the invocation is such that answers are often itself, Tremor Wave rips the land apart in a brutal shockwave somewhat cryptic as well. With a Kast check result of 20, radiating out from the kaster. Though the kaster is immune, there is a base 60% chance for the summoned Immortal to assistants can be affected if tremor wave is kast as a ritual. know something useful. The percentage chance increases proportionally with the Kast check, increasing by +1% for every All creatures in the area of effect must succeed a DC 15 point of 20 on the check. Thus, a 45 Kast check results in an Refl ex save or fall prone. Huge fi ssures rip over the surface 85% chance of getting a usable answer. in the area and every creature on the ground has a 25% chance of falling into one (DC 20 Refl ex save negates), as do Answers are always couched in poetry or obscured in some vehicles (no save). At the end of the invocation, all fi ssures other way, regardless of the Kast check result. A shaman should grind shut, killing any creatures within them and crushing all heed the advice of whatever Immortal does come to his aid, as vehicles as well. it is unwise to insult them by not doing so. Word swiftly travels through the Spiritrealm of a “rude” Shaman. This invocation is

The Wanderer’s Well highly taxing, and after casting it, a Shaman counts as fatigued.

Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) The Wrath of the One True God Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 Kast Check DC: Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) 15 Kasting Time: 1 standard action Nonlethal Damage: 2d10 Range: Close (Kast check result in meters) Kast Check DC: 40 Effect: Kast check resultx1liter of water Kasting Time: 1 full rounds Duration: Instantaneous Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters) Saving Throw: N/A Area: Spread centered on the caster equaling Kast check Sorcery Resistance: No result x 100 meters Duration: Instantaneous In the desert, water is everything. The wanderer’s well produces Saving Throw: See text the Kast check resultx1liters of fresh water before drying up. Sorcery Resistance: No Water so created may be Kast inside containers, or bubble up from the ground, but it may not be kast inside a target. This is an invocation of last resort, called upon only when Al’Istaan itself is threatened. The sky blackens as the shaman

Whispering Winds calls out the words of the Law, directing the One True God to

destroy the heretics who defi le the Nistaani’s holy land. Shaman Invocation (Nistaani) An energy wave ripples out from the shaman striking all targets, Nonlethal Damage: 1d6 living creatures and vehicle, which do not have the allegiance Kast Check DC: 16 “The Law of the One True God.” The Wrath of the One True God Kasting Time: 1 standard action deals 1d6 points of damage for each point above a Kast check Range: Extreme (Kast check result x 100 meters) result of 40. At 60 or more, the damage deals x 10 to vehicles. Target: 1 creature Duration: Kast check resultx1minute No form of armor, damage reduction, or protocol can Saving Throw: Will negates completely stop the damage caused by this invocation. At the Sorcery Resistance: Yes GM’s discretion, targets at the edge of the wave may be able to avoid the full impact with a successful Refl ex save.,

Chapter Nine: To the Last of Us All!-Running The Red Star

he Red Star Campaign Setting allows the possibility Tfor a variety of campaign styles, focusing on different Krawl Campaignaspects of this richly complex world. The following are just a few of the many possibilities that await. The characters form a krawl crew. This can be an excellent campaign style, since it allows the group to be transported by skyfurnace (touching on the skyfurnace campaign above), Red Fleet Campaigns while giving them a self-contained vehicle for their own use. In the most typical campaigns in The Red Star Campaign Krawl crews don’t merely stay inside their krawls all the time. Setting, characters are members of the U.R.R.S. military They are also expected to leave their krawls from time to forces, battling the enemies of the Republics and advancing time, typically in response to one of the following scenarios. the Internationalists’ creed. This approach follows the style They may conduct reconnaissance on foot to scout the of the comics closely, making it immediately familiar for topography before a planned assault. They may defend, readers. repair, hide or destroy their krawl after it becomes damaged behind enemy lines. Furthermore, when a krawl is destroyed

Skyfurnace Campaign in battle, with any NPC crew left for dead — some of the PCs may be captured by the enemies and taken from the krawl by

This may involve a mixed group of characters, like Marcus, force. The remainder, injured, might then have to carry out a Maya and Alexandra, all nominally aboard the same rescue before their comrades are tortured to death... skyfurnace but with very different roles in the Fleet. Slight variants of the This type of approach krawl campaign focus on rewards a narrative other vehicles, such as a approach to mass battles Dragunov SPG crew game, along with plenty of non- for example, or a Special combat interaction, since Forces campaign revolving the characters will rarely Chapter Nine: around a Nomad half-track. be in precisely the same location on a combat Infantry mission (though see The Red Star #1-3 for ways to To the Last Campaign bring them together, even Hailers and Red troopers then). form most of the characters Alternatively, the campaign in this campaign, perhaps may revolve around the of Us All!- commanded by a Red Fleet command crew of the offi cer and accompanied by skyfurnace, with all the a Warkaster. The infantry characters being Red Fleet are very much at the sharp offi cers or high-ranking Running The end of Red Fleet combat sorceresses. The pressures activities, going up against of such a command are the ferocity of the Nistaani high, and offi cers must or stubbornness of the forever mind their tongue Red Star Nokgorkans armed with little around the resident Second more than hooks and hailers. Hook kommissar. This is a great campaign to illustrate the uncaring nature This style allows for tactical of high command, with the missions with a high potential for resource management, PCs abandoned behind enemy lines or even burned by their where characters must determine precisely how many of own side’s ventral blast furnaces if it furthers the strategic their several hundred deck kasters to assign to kasting shield aims of their leaders. For players who revel in close-quarters reinforce protocols, blast control protocols and other combat violence in a high-sorcery, high technology setting, this can be sorcery. Alternatively, it could be a game of crafty political the perfect campaign. manuevering and scheming for the best way to advance in rank. Zek Campaign In any case, the skyfurnace is a vast and intriguing environment by itself. At three kilometers long and ten decks Though all the characters are zeks, they often have radically high, it has a suffi cient amount of space for internal politics different backgrounds. This campaign is in the style of The and feuds, with hidden places and unusual personalities to Red Star #5, often even down to commencing within a gulag make for a rewarding adventure location, even without the as characters strive for recognition as fi t for the honor of prospect of being sent to Al’Istaan or Nokgorka to suppress military service. Expected, even encouraged to die for the the rebels, or mutinying against the Red Fleet authorities and glory of the motherland and atonement of their supposed jumpgating off to the Spiritrealm. crimes, the zeks soon fi nd themselves wishing for the cold and relative security of their punishment camps after they, Chapter Nine: To the Last of Us All!-Running The Red Star,

Chapter Nine: To the Last of Us All!-Running The Red Star The Last of their Kind

It can be worthwhile to allow a player wishing to try something different to play a veteran of the Great Patriotic War. Great Patriotic War veterans should be 5th level at the very least. The youngest inductees into the war were 15 at the time, so during a War of Al’Istaan game such veterans would be in their mid-50s. The same characters could be in their mid-60s during a Commonwealth era game. Remember to apply the appropriate age modifi ers from the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game. All Great Patriotic War Veterans also have the following ability.

Living Inspiration

Great Patriotic War v eterans are legends to their younger comrades. Once a day as a full-round action, a veteran can inspire his or her fellows with a story from the old days or a show of bravado. All allies get a +1 insight bonus to attack rolls, Defense, and saving throws for a number of rounds equal to the veteran’s character level. serve a watch, overwhelmed by the heat of a skyfurnace’s A Fifth Hook game is a wonderful bridge campaign for a GM reactor chambers in a battle. Zeks are faceless to ranking with more traditional fantasy oriented players, who may be members of the Red Fleet, and any zek campaign should somewhat dubious about this “odd” setting with telekinetic have themes of prejudice, regaining or reshaping lost guns and sorcery. They still get to play heroes that go off on identity, pursuing personal freedom, and the politicization of adventures where others fear to travel, only with higher stakes. even the lowest levels of U.R.R.S. society. Remember, all It isn’t gold that’s in the offi ng, but the lives of innocents who are equal in the U.R.R.S.; some are just more equal than have no one else willing or able to protect them. others. A creative GM can use quite a few d20 threats from a variety of other settings with only a little tweaking in a Fifth Hook

Other Campaign Styles game, providing a vast array of unusual foes to beset the

valiant PCs — to say nothing of the human criminal cartels Moving away somewhat from the purely military campaign, dominating the modern nation. the following options are possible among many others. Some of the best campaigns can mix-and-match several styles. Scavengers All

Kommissars of the Fifth Hook Occasionally it’s darkly entertaining to let one’s inner villain

run loose. In this campaign, the characters are all carrion: war They struggle in the darkness so their comrades may live in profi teers, looters, zeks that know exactly what they did wrong, the light. Though the Commonwealth government offi cially fallen Shell veterans, and black market protocol kasters. This disbanded them, the threats they regularly faced haven’t game isn’t about valor, it’s about profi t. Some of the most suddenly gone into retirement. If anything, the shadows powerful stories, however, are those of redemption. Maybe have grown longer with the general lawlessness befalling the along the way, these supposedly black hearted rogues do a Lands of the Red Star. medicine run into Nokgorka “on a dare” just to prove they can do The (former) kommissars of the Fifth Hook are outnumbered, it. Sometimes heroism can be just as slippery a slope as villainy. outgunned, and low on supplies. The only thing they have in abundance is courage. They regularly face twisted predators, Immortals gruesome monsters, and ruthless criminals, yet there are neither medals nor ticker tape parades for their deeds. The All the characters are immortals, from the start of the only reward they get is the ability to look in the mirror and be campaign, rather than just having characters attain this status proud of what they see, with the occasional quiet adoration of as they die during play. This makes for a truly grim campaign, different communities of Reds as the all-too-infrequent bonus. with the PCs having to escape from the torture of a soulprison

Death is Just a Beginning

The Red Star Campaign Setting presents players with a unique opportunity: the ability to play characters beyond the point of death. The general presumption most other games is when a PC dies, either they are raised, or the player generates a replacement character. In The Red Star Campaign Setting, the reverse is true. Unless a PC specifi cally requests otherwise, or the GM regards it as inappropriate or unwieldy for the campaign, a death merely means the acquisition of the Immortal template. PCs are already heroes of such magnitude that their souls will move to the Spiritrealm on death, even at 1st level. What they do there is up to the player concerned.,

Chapter Nine: To the Last of Us All!-Running The Red Star

to head across the damaged landscape of the Spiritrealm, one time or another, the GM can skillfully weave together the in search of The Red Woman or a similar hero to lead them. lives of apparently incompatible characters. For example, in a Alternatively, it could be a high-powered campaign, with Red Fleet campaign, a Nistaani warrior could act as a contact the PCs taking on roles analogous in power to The Red of the other PCs when they are on a pre-invasion, peaceful Woman and Iakos the Soul Thief, infl uencing the mortal mission to Al’Istaan; then spend years fi ghting them — mostly world and striving to destroy Imbohl and Troika’s tyranny “off-camera” during downtime between adventures (though over the Spiritrealm. Heroes continuously face off against the if you have the Duel one-shot from The Red Star comic, relentless Thralls of Imbohl, Immortals who’ve had their souls contact between the two forces is possible without them Kast in Iron to prove their absolute loyalty to the state. breaking out into open warfare given the right circumstances).

He may see them once more at the Battle of Kar Dathra’s The Enemy Gate; perhaps contact one of them for some reason (a reason

The characters are the enemy of the Red Fleet, but freedom of similar magnitude to connections between Makita, Alexandra fi ghters to their own people. A campaign centering on and Maya concerning Makita’s delivery of the letter from the Nokgorka or Al’Istaan, with the players portraying the locals, Spiritrealm). Likewise, a Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter could can attain heights of heroism and depths of tragedy just as start out as a Red Trooper among the PCs during the Al’Istaan much as any other game set in The Red Star Campaign sequence, then fi ght them during the Nokgorkan sequence. Setting. What can be more heroic than defending one’s Red Star Campaign Setting games need not start at 1st level. homeland, after all? Many of the campaign styles we’ve suggested require higher- The ruined cityscapes of Nokgorka are some of the grimmest level characters to run properly. With that said, epic isn’t any images of the comics, with every Nokgorkan resistance fi ghter arbitrary level — it’s a feeling. Characters in epic campaigns or Priestess having a dreadful tale of sacrifi ce and loss. come together for moments of destiny, often on opposing Al’Istaan can be almost as gritty, but the heroism of desert- sides. The minutiae of day-to-day life is ignored for years dwellers always seems sharper and immediate than that of at a time, if need be; what is important is those moments of city-based guerrilla warriors, even though they fi ght much the destiny, when connections are strengthened for good or ill, same kind of war against the exact same enemy. Campaigns when tragedy or victory are equally likely. based around Nistaani warriors and shamans take on the tone If one of them falls, Immortality is always a possibility, even of a desperate but noble struggle against overwhelming odds, a likelihood. Old enemies can still have mutual respect for as a race of born warriors battles the might of the Red Fleet one another, especially if all discover one side was played for with centuries-old tactics and stolen weapons. Occasionally fools. Eventually, the true villains — Imbohl and his minions a renegade Red trooper, Red Fleet offi cer, or hailer may — will be revealed for all their evil. fi nd their way into a Nistaani or Nokgorkan force, grudgingly accepted on the grounds of fi ghting ability and willingness to We actively encourage you to take the world we’ve placed swear allegiance to the faith of the One True God, or a zek before you and make what you will of it. may fl ee the harsh life of the reaction chambers to go native. Do svidanja.

Epic Campaigns

All The Red Star Campaign Setting games should strive for an epic feel. This is a larger-than-life game, with larger- than-life heroes. Yet if they are to be true to the protagonists of the comics, they must have human loves, losses, and loyalties; even the extraordinary Maya Antares and Urik Antares are still torn open by grief when Marcus is lost to them at the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate. The players should be encouraged to form bonds and shared histories of similar intensity between their characters, allowing for emotional gaming when PCs start dying. An epic campaign can incorporate aspects of several others, even including character classes that might otherwise be inappropriate. You can achieve this by giving the campaign roots set in the past along with hints of the future. It might feature several short, connected adventures, separated by years of time, perhaps commencing before the U.R.R.S. invasion of Al’Istaan and ending with the liberation of Archangel and defeat of Imbohl’s forces on the Spiritrealm, before passing through the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate, the decline of the Red Fleet, the breakup of the Republics, and the Nokgorkan confl ict along the way. By refl ecting the storytelling of the original comics, which brings together members of most of the character classes at, Appendices,

Appendices Heroes of the Red Star Krawl Captain Alexandra Goncharova

Alexandra was the commander of the 8th Krawl Column attached to the skyfurnace RSS Konstantinov, but died on the streets of Nokgorka. Tough, capable, loyal, and determined, she was one of the few Red Fleet survivors of the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate and the last person to see Marcus Antares alive. Alexandra graduated from the same military academy as Maya, Marcus, Kyuzo and Urik. She fi rst met Maya there, and their friendship and comradeship continued to build throughout their service in the Red Fleet, even after Marcus’ death. Alexandra’s fi rst posting after leaving the Academy was to Bahamut in Nokgorka, where she met and married a native, Rudov Galilei. They had a daughter, Valentina, who grew up not knowing her mother. Soon after the War of Al’Istaan ended, Alexandra fl ed Nokgorka, following death threats from Galilei’s tribe during the growing anti-Red sentiment that led eventually to the Nokgorkan crisis. Alexandra would only see her daughter once — in battle, on opposing sides of the war.

Alexandra Goncharova

Female human Red Fleet Offi cer (staff) 10; CR 10; Medium Humanoid; HD 10d8; hp 45; Mas 10; Init +3; Spd 10m; Defense 16, touch 16, fl at-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +3 defense bonus); Base Atk +7; Grp +12; Atk +12 melee (1d8+3 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +9 ranged (2d8+2 API, Kuvalda shotgun); Full Atk +12/+7 melee (1d8+3 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +9/+4 ranged (2d8+2 API, Kuvalda shotgun); SA +2 to attack rolls with vehicular weapons, tactical aid, tactical superiority; SQ +2 to Drive and Pilot checks, damage reduction 4/–, education, rank (Captain); AL Maya Antares, Alexandra’s krawl column Feats: Armor Profi ciency (light), Bersk Wrestling, Brawl, crew, Marcus Antares, the Red Fleet; AP 85 max.; Rep Combat Martial Arts, Drive-by Attack, Gunnery, Improved +3; SV Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +8; Str 16, Dex 17, Con 10, Brawl, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Simple Weapons Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 14; Profi ciency, Surface Vehicle Operation: krawls, Vehicle Skills: Computer Use +17, Concentration +14, Drive +21, Dodge, Vehicle Expert Knowledge (history) +17, Knowledge (tactics) +17, Gear: Crew vest, Kuvalda assault shotgun (with Damage Intimidate +16, Navigate +17, Profession +15, Repair Enhancement I) and three magazines API. +17, Search +17, Spot +15, Treat Injury +15.

Guardsman K yuzo

Kyuzo is another graduate of the Red Fleet Academy, where As Maya’s bodyguard, Kyuzo is utterly steadfast and he was part of the same circle of friends as Maya and determined. Even if he were not still secretly in love with her, Marcus. He fell deeply in love with Maya when he fi rst met his strong sense of duty and honor would mean he would die her, but by that time, she had just started seeing Marcus. Out rather than allow her to be harmed. He shows no mercy to of respect for the two, and his own personal honor, he kept any who might wish to do her injury. his feelings secret, never acting on them even after Marcus’ death. He now serves as Maya’s personal bodyguard and a After the RSS Konstantinov rebelled against the Fleet, Kyuzo leading non-commissioned offi cer in the RSS Konstantinov’s befriended Makita in his own gruff way, recognizing that her hailer division. small frame concealed a warrior spirit as tough as his own.,

Appendices Kyuzo

Male human Hailer 10; CR 10; Medium Humanoid; HD 10d12+30; hp 104; Mas 16; Init +4; Spd 8m (armor); Defense 16, touch 16, fl at-footed 14 (+2 Dex, – armor, +4 defense bonus); Base Atk +10; Grp +16; Atk +15 melee (1d8+4 AP/19–20, hailer longknife), or +15 ranged (2d10, hailer); Full Atk +15/+10 (1d8+4 AP/19–20, hailer longknife), or +15/+10 ranged (2d10, hailer); SA hailer training: enhanced range (50 m), hailer training: armor piercing, telekinetic burst fi re, telekinetic strafe, weapon specialization (hailer); SQ hailer link, rank (Guard), armor mastery (+1/1, speed 8); AL Maya Antares, Marcus Antares, the Red Fleet; AP 85 max; Rep +2; SV Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +6; Str 19, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 9. Skills: Climb +13*, Intimidate +12, Hide +15*, Knowledge (tactics) +10, Listen +18, Move Silently +15*, Profession +7, Spot +20, Telekinesis +16. Feats: Alertness, Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), Armor Profi ciency (heavy), Bersk Wrestling, Bersk Wrestling Pin, Bersk Wrestling Strike, Combat Martial Arts, Improved Critical (hailer), Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Stealthy, Telekinetic Autofi re, Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (hailer), Weapon Focus (hailer longknife). enhancement granting +4 to Spot checks), hailer and Gear: Hailer bodyguard armor (armor penalty –4, already close assault drum, Molot backup shotgun and two applied to asterisked skills; helmet has a special protocol magazines buckshot, hailer longknife.

Makita

Fierce as the mythic “wolf princess” of Red folklore that her parents named her after, Makita is one of the most dangerous of the younger generation soldiers in the Nokgorkan Resistance. Only a few years into her teens, Makita already has years of combat experience and a burning hatred of the Reds. Her bright green eyes often shine with a feral light as she stalks through the ruins of Bahamut, hunting for Red stragglers to pick off. Occasionally, in rare moments of calm, her buried youthful nature reasserts itself and she’ll hum or skip until she realizes what she’s doing. The love of Makita’s life, Proto, fi ghts alongside her in the Resistance. Her father, Rudolf Galilei, was a well-respected Gorka veteran of the Red Fleet who survived the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate. He taught his daughter everything he knew about war, indoctrinating her in the ancient martial traditions of the Gorkas. Valentina Galilei, embittered by her mother’s abandonment and the Red Invasion, took up arms in defense of her homeland. She took the name Makita, after the mythical Wolf Princess of Nokgorkan Lore. Rudolf’s fi nal request of his daughter was to make her swear to carry a very special letter to a woman named Maya Antares; a letter he said could change the course of their people’s future. Makita agreed to do so; unaware at the time that Maya was a Red Sorceress.

Makita

Female human Nokgorgan Resistance Fighter 6; CR 6; Medium Humanoid; HD 6d8+12; hp 45; Mas 15; Init +4; Spd 10m; Defense 17, touch 17, fl at-footed 13 (+4,

Appendices

Dex, +3 defense bonus); Base Atk +4; Grp +4; Atk +4 (history) +5, Knowledge (streetwise) +7, Knowledge melee (1d6+1, masterwork sickle or 1d8+1, masterwork (tactics) +7, Listen +8, Move Silently +16, Repair +7, hammer) or +8 ranged (2d6+2, Model 79 Samsonov or Search +7, Spot +13, Treat Injury +8, Tumble +14. 3d6+3, Samsonov 79-G); Full Atk +2/+2 melee (1d6+1 and 1d8+1, masterwork sickle and hammer) or +8 ranged Feats: Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Archaic Weapons (2d6+2, Model 79 Samsonov or 3d6+3, Samsonov 79-G); Profi ciency, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency: SWORD, SA sneak attack +2d6; SQ area knowledge +1, contacts, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Point Blank Shot, Shot on evasion, orphan, uncanny dodge; AL Proto, Father’s the Run, Simple Weapons Profi ciency, Stealthy, Two- memory, the Nokgorkan Resistance; AP 45 max.; Rep +1; Weapon Fighting. SV Fort +4, Ref +9, Will +5; Str 10, Dex 18, Con 15, Int Gear: Twinned Model 79 Samsonov protocol machine pistols 14, Wis 16, Cha 15. with under slung 79-G protocol grenade launchers and Skills: Balance +9, Bluff +7, Climb +5, Demolitions +7, triple protoclips, mastercraft sickle and hammer. Gather Information +7, Hide +16, Jump +5, Knowledge

Infantry Captain Marcus Antares

war. It is rare for any foreigner to be so honored and unheard of for Reds. Marcus has had visions all his life that he cannot explain. He catches glimpses of images and ghosts that others cannot see, but he has always managed to conceal this from all others, even Maya. Future history will name Infantry Captain Marcus Antares as the greatest hero of the Fifth Chronicle, but for the moment, he’s just a soldier who wants to survive until the end of the war. The following statistics represent Marcus circa the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate.

Marcus Antares

Male human Red Fleet Offi cer 7/Red Trooper 5; CR 12; HD 7d8+28 plus 5d10+20; hp 112; Mas 18; Init +5; Spd 8m (armor); Defense 19, touch 19, fl at-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +6 defense bonus); Base Atk +10; Grp +14; Atk +20 melee (2d6+6, hook) or +15 ranged (2d6+2, hook); Full Atk +20/+15 melee (2d6+6, hook) or +15/+10 ranged (2d6+2, hook); SA tactical aid, tactical superiority, weapon specialization (hook); SQ damage reduction 6/–, improved reaction, rank (Captain); AL Maya Antares, Urik Antares, the Red Fleet; AP 108 max; Rep +3; SV Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +10; Str 19, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 14. Skills: Balance +13, Climb +6*, Demolitions +10, Diplomacy +9, Drive +8, Intimidate +12, Jump +8*, Knowledge (current events) +8, Knowledge (history) +10, Knowledge (popular An exceptional man and a champion all his life, Marcus culture) +7, Knowledge (tactics) +18, Navigate +10, Antares is what all Red Troopers are supposed to aspire to Profession +15, Read/Write (Western), Sense Motive +12, be: honorable, strong and brave. Marcus is the second son of Spot +14, Survival +12, Swim +5*, Telekinesis +24, Treat the legendary Great Patriotic War hero, Antares. He and his Injury +10. beloved elder brother Urik always knew they were destined Feats: Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), for greatness and a “glorious” life in the Red Fleet. They Cleave, Combat Hook, Defensive Rotation Shield, Engine joined the Academy, where Marcus fi rst espied his future Pull Champion, Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency (hook), wife, Maya from afar. Their deep love is the cornerstone of Eyes of Imbohl, Great Cleave, Gunnery, Improved Combat Marcus’ life and the pair spent almost the entirety of their Hook, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Power Attack, Precise marriage fi ghting in the War of Al’Istaan. Captain Antares Strike, Weapon Focus (hook). fought in a number of legendary engagements, often against incredible odds. Such is his nobility in combat that Nistaani Gear: Hook, Red Trooper armor (armor penalty –4, already Shaman twice decorated Marcus for his actions during the applied to asterisked skills).,

Appendices The Wanderer Antares

How much do you love your people and your country? Enough to leave your one true love behind, never knowing if you will ever see her again? Enough to spend a decade of your life fi ghting in a place you never knew existed for a cause you were unaware of? The Red Woman saved Marcus’ life from the soul collector Troika at the conclusion of the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate and told him or her struggle to free their people from Imbohl’s tyranny. Marcus willingly walked into the Spiritrealm to learn how to use the “Eyes of Imbohl” that he had been gifted with. Marcus has been fi ghting at the Red Woman’s side for ten years, and Imbohl’s Thralls fear him as no other. The pair searched for a way to break the mighty sorcerous Bonds holding the souls of countless Reds imprisoned within Imbohl’s massive fortress- soulprison, Archangel. As the fi nal assault upon Archangel approaches, Marcus prepares himself not only for the fi ght, but also for a reunion with his wife and brother he was never certain would happen. The following statistics represent the Wanderer circa the Storm of Souls.

Antares

Male human Red Fleet Offi cer 7/Red Trooper 12; CR 19; HD 7d8+28 plus 12d10+48; hp 185; Mas 18; Init +5; Spd 10m; Defense 22, touch 22, fl at-footed 19 (+3 Dex, +9 defense bonus); Base Atk +17; Grp +21; Atk +29 melee (2d6+6/19–20, hook) or +24 ranged (2d6+2/19–20, hook); Full Atk +29/+24/+19/+14 melee (2d6+6/19–20, hook) or +24/+19/+14/+9 ranged (2d6+2/19–20, hook); SA hook (Western), Sense Motive +22, Spot +19, Survival +17, training (trip), tactical aid II, tactical superiority, weapon Swim +9, Telekinesis +31, Treat Injury +10. specialization (hook); SQ improved reaction; AL Maya Antares, Urik Antares, the Red Woman, his people (Reds); Feats: Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), AP 204 max; Rep +4; P.H.E. 28; SV Fort +12, Ref +11, Will Cleave, Combat Hook, Defensive Rotation Shield, +13; Str 19, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 19, Cha 14. Diehard, Endurance, Engine Pull Champion, Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency (hook), Eyes of Imbohl, Skills: Balance +19, Climb +16, Concentration +11, Great Cleave, Greater Weapon Focus (hook), Gunnery, Demolitions +10, Diplomacy +9, Drive +8, Intimidate +22, Improved Combat Hook, Improved Critical (hook), Lucky Jump +12, Knowledge (current events) +8, Knowledge Soul, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Power Attack, (history) +16, Knowledge (popular culture) +7, Knowledge Precise Strike, Renown, Weapon Focus (hook). (tactics) +21, Navigate +16, Profession +17, Read/Write Gear: Hook

Sorceress-Lieutenant Maya Antares

Maya Antares was something of a romantic and mystic as a truth and leave behind the strictures of military-industrial student at the Academy, constantly reading banned books of sorcery. It seems likely that in the Spiritrealm, united once mythology and folk tales, waiting for her own personal knight more with her now-Immortal husband, she will do just that. in shining armor to sweep her off her feet. Marcus did just that, and their love for one another is legendary. That love did not diminish with Marcus’ death at the Battle of Kar Dathra’s Maya Antares Gate, and though it made Maya something of a tragic fi gure it Female human Sorceress (warkaster) 10; CR 10; HD 10d6; never prevented her doing her duty. hp 38; Mas 10; Init +0; Spd 10m; Defense 12, touch 12, In her own way, Maya is as strong and determined a warrior- fl at-footed 12 (+2 defense bonus); Base Atk +5; Grp woman as her great friend Alexandra Goncharova, though +4; Atk +4 (1d3–1, unarmed strike), or +4 ranged; SA she fi ghts with protocols and brilliant strategic insights rather +2 bonus to all attack rolls with protocol weapons and than her fi sts or her krawl. Maya’s mystical streak makes her protocol-enhanced weapons, protocol mastery (armor- potentially one of the most powerful sorceresses the Red piercing protocol — personal, burst voltage protocol, Fleet has ever seen, if she could ever open her eyes to the gate transfer protocol, transformation protocol); SQ rank,

Appendices

(Lieutenant), reduced protocol cost (-2); AL Marcus Antares, Alexandra Goncharova, the Red Fleet, Urik Antares; AP 85 max.; Rep +3; SV Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +12; Str 9, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 19, Wis 17, Cha 18. Skills: Concentration +13, Kast +17, Knowledge (arcana) +19, Knowledge (current affairs) +12, Knowledge (history) +19, Knowledge (religion) +19, Knowledge (tactics) +19, Profession +16, Research +13, Navigate +17, Search +13, Spot +16. Feats: Diehard, Educated x2 (arcana, religion, history, tactics), Endurance, Iron Will, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Protocol Gunnery, Simple Weapons Profi ciency, Sorcery Expert (x2). Protocols: Armor-piercing protocol — personal, autoshields protocol, burst voltage protocol, drop protocol, jumpgate transfer protocol, krawl drop protocol, MTK-90 protocol, re-enact protocol, shield reinforce protocol, stealth protocol, transformation protocol. Gear: Uniform greatcoat (not protocol-enhanced), protocol case, protocol components: armor-piercing protocol — personal (x2), drop protocol, gate transfer protocol, shield reinforce protocol (x4), transformation protocol (x3).

The Red Woman

Beautiful, stern and proud, the Red Woman is the Champion of Pravda, Goddess of Truth. She is an Immortal, dedicated to stopping Imbohl’s atrocities in death, though she served him in life. For decades, she sought for some meaningful way to confront Imbohl or his minions. She liberated many soulprisons over the years and slew countless thralls, but her victories barely advanced her cause as Imbohl’s power continued to grow. With the coming of Marcus Antares and the hope his vision gives her, she believes Pravda has at last given the Reds the champion they desperately need, and she dedicated herself to preparing Marcus for the trials awaiting him. The Red Woman wears her Rose necklace as a constant reminder of past loves and past sins. See Chapter Eight: The Spiritrealm for more details on the Red Woman’s history.

The Red Woman

Female Immortal Sorceress 8 / Red Fleet Offi cer 4 / Free Spirit 8; CR 20; HD 8d6+40 plus 4d8+20 plus 8d8+40; hp 194; Mas –; Init +2; Spd 10m; Defense 21, touch 21, fl at-footed 21 (+2 Dex, +7 defense bonus, +2 immortal bonus); Base Atk +13; Grp +14; Atk +22 melee (2d6+5/15–20, Sword of Truth) or +15 ranged; Full Atk +22/+17/+12 melee (2d6+5/15–20, Sword of Truth) or +15/+10/+5 ranged; SA +3 to attack rolls with protocol weapons and protocol-enhanced weapons, protocol mastery (drop protocol, protocol resistance shield protocol — personal), Chosen Tool III (Sword of Truth);,

Appendices

SQ awe-inspiring, dedicated (Knowledge: tactics, Gather Immortal Illusions +24, Kast +23, Knowledge (arcana) Information), immortal qualities, synchronicity; AL Pravda, +17, Knowledge (history) +17, Knowledge (religion) +18, her people (Reds), Marcus Antares; AP 220 max.; Rep Knowledge (tactics) +30, Move Silently +14, Navigate +9; P.H.E. 67; SV Fort +5; Ref +9; Will +20; Str 12, Dex +19, Profession +13, Read/Write (Western, Old Tongue), 15, Con —, Int 16, Wis 18, Cha 21. Search +20, Sense Motive +16, Spot +14. Special Qualities (Immortal Qualities): Damage Immunity Feats: Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Defensive Martial Arts, (normal weapons). Darkvision (20m); Extraordinary Educated x2 (arcana, history, religion, tactics), Elusive healing. Immunities: all mind-based mystical effects Target, Energy Shield, Immortal Illusions, Iron Will, Living (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns and morale Infl uence, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Precise Strike, effects), poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, and Pure of Heart, Renown, Righteous, Simple Weapons necromantic effects, fatigue, exhaustion, and the effects Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (Sword of Truth). of massive damage; not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Out of Phase. Protocols: Accelerated healing protocol, armor-piercing Unturnable. protocol — personal, drop protocol, map protocol, protocol resistance shield protocol — personal, re-enact Skills: Concentration +25, Diplomacy +12, Gather protocol, stealth protocol, transpathic signal protocol. Information +30, Intimidate +14, Investigate +20, Gear: The Sword of Truth, Rose Necklace.

Skymarshall Urik Antares

The older brother of Marcus Antares, Urik knew from the time he was a boy he would one day join the Red Fleet and serve as an offi cer on a skyfurnace. He expected to be at Marcus’ side as the forces of the U.R.R.S. fi nally triumphed over the deceptions of the Western Transnationalist Alliance. With Marcus dead, Urik is wracked by grief, though he rarely lets it interfere with his considerable abilities as skyrfurnace commander and strategist. Occasionally when the pain becomes too much he turns to strong liquor, but for the most part he grieves silently. He was powerless to stop his brother’s death, but he does all within his power to ensure the same fate does not meet Maya and the rest of the crew of the RSS Konstantinov. Still, he is prepared to put those concerns aside and betray his country when he has a chance to fi nd Marcus again.

Urik Antares

Male human Red Fleet Offi cer 13; CR 13; HD 13d8+39; hp 101; Mas 17; Init +1; Spd 10m; Defense 15, touch 15, fl at-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 defense bonus); Base Atk +9; Grp +12; Atk +15 melee (1d4+3, unarmed strike), or +10 ranged (2d6+2, Model 79 Samsonov); Full Atk +15/+10 melee (1d4+3, unarmed strike), or +10/+5 ranged (2d6+2, Model 79 Samsonov); SA tactical aid I(standard action), +2 to attack rolls with vehicular weapons; SQ damage reduction 5/–, education, rank (Skymarshall); AL Marcus Antares, Maya Antares, any troops or vessels Urik is serving with, the Red Fleet; AP 120 max.; Rep +4; SV Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +11; Str 17, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 15. Martial Arts, Defensive Martial Arts, Educated (popular culture, tactics), Engine Pull Champion, Gunnery, Skills: Computer Use +9, Diplomacy +21, Gather Information Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Point Blank Shot, Precise +21, Knowledge (popular culture) +21, Knowledge Shot, Shot on the Run, Trustworthy. (tactics) +21, Intimidate +19, Navigate +19, Pilot +20, Profession +20, Research +19, Sense Motive +20, Gear: Offi cer greatcoat (autoshield: 125 hp), Model 79 Telekinesis +16. Samsonov protocol machine pistol and a triple protoclip, protopouch (Model 79 Samsonov clips). Feats: Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Aircraft Operation (skyships), Armor Profi ciency (Light), Burst Fire, Combat,

Appendices Common Characters

Use the following characters for generic opponents and allies. range (40 m), telekinetic strafe, weapon specialization (hailer); SQ armor mastery (+1/1), damage reduction 9/–,

Red Fleet Hailer hailer link, rank (Guard); AL Unit comrades, Red Fleet; AP –;

Rep +1; SV Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +2; Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Red Fleet Hailer, male or female human Hailer 1; CR 1; HD Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10. 1d12+2; hp 8; Mas 14; Init +1; Spd 6m (armor); Defense 11, touch 11, fl at-footed 10 (+1 Dex, – armor); Base Atk +1; Skills: Intimidate +8, Knowledge (tactics) +5, Profession +10, Grp +3; Atk +3 melee (1d8+2/19–20, hailer longknife) or +3 Spot +9, Survival +5, Telekinetics +10. ranged (2d10, hailer); Full Atk +3 melee (1d8+2/19–20, hailer Feats: Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Armor Profi ciency (light), longknife) or +3 ranged (2d10, hailer); SQ damage reduction Armor Profi ciency (medium), Armor Profi ciency (heavy), Bersk 9/–, hailer link, rank (Guard); AL Red Fleet, Unit comrades; Wrestling, Bersk Wrestling Strike, Combat Martial Arts, Personal AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1; Str 15, Dex 13, Firearms Profi ciency, Point Blank Shot, Telekinetic Autofi re, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10. Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (hailer). Skills: Intimidate +4, Knowledge (tactics) +3, Profession +5, Gear: Hailer armor (armor penalty –6), hailer and general Spot +5, Telekinetics +5. purpose drum, hailer longknife, Molot backup shotgun, and Feats: Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Armor Profi ciency two magazines of buckshot. (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), Armor Profi ciency (heavy), Bersk Wrestling, Combat Martial Arts, Personal H oly Warrior of Al’Istaan Firearms Profi ciency, Telekinetic Autofi re, Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (hailer). Holy Warrior, male or female Nistaani Warrior 1; CR 1; HD 1d8+2; hp 6; Mas 14; Init +2; Spd 10m; Defense 13, touch Gear: Hailer armor (armor penalty –7), hailer + general 13, fl at-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 defense); Base Atk +1; Grp +0; purpose drum, hailer longknife. Atk +0 melee (1d12–1, hawk talon) or +3 ranged (2d8, RKG- 41 assault rifl e); Full Atk +0 melee (1d12–1, hawk talon) or +3

Red Fleet Veteran Hailer ranged (2d8, RKG-41 assault rifl e); SA righteous fury (1/day);

SQ region origin (land’s teeth); AL The Law of the One True Red Fleet Hailer, male or female human Hailer 3; CR 3; HD God, Al’Istaan; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will+1; Str 3d12+6; hp 25; Mas 14; Init +1; Spd 6m (armor); Defense 8, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 12. 12, touch 12, fl at-footed 11 (+1 Dex, – armor, +1 defense); Base Atk +3; Grp +5; Atk +5 melee (1d8+2/19–20, hailer Skills: Bluff +5, Gather Information +5, Hide +6, Knowledge longknife) or +6 ranged (2d10, hailer); Full Atk +5 melee (religion) +5, Listen +4, Move Silently +6, Navigate +5, (1d8+2/19–20, hailer longknife) or +6 ranged (2d10, hailer); Profession +4, Spot +4, Survival +4. SA hailer training: enhanced range (40 m), telekinetic strafe; Feats: Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Diehard, Dodge, SQ damage reduction 9/–, hailer link, rank (Guard); AL Unit Exotic Weapon Profi ciency (hawk talon), Far Shot, Personal comrades, Red Fleet; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will Firearms Profi ciency, Simple Weapons Profi ciency. +2; Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10. Gear: Hawk talon, RKG-41 Assault Rifl e, and an extra clip. Skills: Intimidate +6, Knowledge (tactics) +3, Profession +9, Spot +7, Telekinetics +9. Veteran Holy Warrior of Al’Istaan Feats: Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), Armor Profi ciency Veteran Holy Warrior, male or female Nistaani Warrior 3; (heavy), Bersk Wrestling, Bersk Wrestling Strike, Combat CR 3; HD 3d8+6; hp 19; Mas 14; Init +2; Spd 10m; Defense Martial Arts, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Point Blank Shot, 14, touch 14, fl at-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 defense); Base Atk Telekinetic Autofi re, Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency, Weapon +3; Grp +2; Atk +2 melee (1d12–1, hawk talon) or +5 ranged Focus (hailer). (2d8, RKG-41 assault rifl e); Full Atk +2 melee (1d12–1, hawk talon) or +5 ranged (2d8, RKG-41 assault rifl e); SA righteous Gear: Hailer armor (armor penalty –7), hailer and general fury (1/day); SQ region origin (land’s teeth), specialization I: purpose drum, hailer longknife. holy warrior (smite infi del); AL The Law of the One True God; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +4, Ref +3, Will+2; Str 8, Dex 15, Con

Red Fleet Elite Hailer 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 12.

Red Fleet Hailer, male or female human Hailer 5; CR 5; HD Skills: Bluff +5, Gather Information +5, Hide +6, Intimidate 5d12+10; hp 42; Mas 14; Init +2; Spd 6m (armor); Defense +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (tactics) +5, Listen 14, touch 14, fl at-footed 12 (+2 Dex, – armor, +2 defense); +4, Move Silently +10, Navigate +5, Profession +4, Spot +8, Base Atk +5; Grp +7; Atk +8 melee (1d8+3/19–20, hailer Survival +8. longknife) or +8 ranged (2d10+2, hailer) or +7 ranged (2d8, Feats: Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Diehard, Dodge, Molot backup shotgun); Full Atk +8 melee (1d8+3/19–20, Exotic Weapon Profi ciency (hawk talon), Far Shot, Personal hailer longknife) or +8 ranged (2d10+2, hailer) or +7 ranged Firearms Profi ciency, Simple Weapons Profi ciency, Track, (2d8, Molot backup shotgun); SA hailer training: enhanced Weapon Focus (hawk talon).,

Appendices

Gear: Combat mashur, Hawk talon, RKG-41 Assault Rifl e, and an extra clip.

Nasr Kien Soldier

Nasr Kien Soldier, male or female Nistaani Warrior 5; CR 5; HD 5d8+10; hp 32; Mas 14; Init +3; Spd 10m; Defense 16, touch 16, fl at-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +3 defense); Base Atk +5; Grp +4; Atk +6 melee (1d12–1, mastercraft hawk talon) or +8 ranged (2d8, RKG-75 assault rifl e); Full Atk +6 melee (1d12–1, mastercraft hawk talon) or +8 ranged (2d8, RKG- 75 assault rifl e); SA righteous fury (1/day); SQ child of sand and rock, region origin (land’s teeth), specialization I: holy warrior (smite infi del), specialization II: holy warrior (aura of courage); AL The Law of the One True God, the Nasr Kien; AP –; Rep +1; SV Fort +5, Ref +4, Will+3; Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 12. Skills: Bluff +5, Gather Information +5, Hide +6, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (tactics) +10, Listen +4, Move Silently +10, Navigate +5, Profession +4, Spot +10, Survival +10, Treat Injury +5, Telekinesis +4. Feats: Archaic Weapons Profi ciency, Diehard, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Profi ciency (hawk talon), Far Shot, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Simple Weapons Profi ciency, Track, Weapon Focus (hawk talon). Gear: Combat mashur with night vision, mastercraft hawk talon, RKG-75 Assault Rifl e, and two extra clips.

Resistance Recruit Skills: Bluff +5, Climb +3, Demolition +8, Drive +5, Hide +6, Gather Information +5, Jump +3, Knowledge (current events)

Resistance Recruit, male or female Nokgorkan Resistance +6, Knowledge (pop culture) +6, Knowledge (streetwise) Fighter 1; CR 1; HD 1d8; hp 4; Mas 10; Init +1; Spd 10m; +7, Knowledge (tactics) +4, Listen +8, Move Silently +5, Defense 12, touch 12, fl at-footed 11 (+1 Dex, +1 Defense); Profession +6, Search +6, Spot +8. Base Atk +0; Grp –1; Atk +0 melee (1d6–1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +1 ranged (2d8, RKG-41 assault rifl e); Full Atk +0 Feats: Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Alertness, Brawl, melee (1d6–1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +1 ranged (2d8, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency: SWORD, Personal Firearms RKG-41 assault rifl e); SQ area knowledge +1, contacts +2, Profi ciency, Simple Weapons Profi ciency, Streetfi ghting. origin (citizen); AL Nokgorka; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +0, Ref Gear: Random grenade assortment (4), RKG-75 assault rifl e +3, Will +2; Str 8, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 13. and an extra clip. Skills: Bluff +5, Climb +3, Drive +5, Gather Information +5, Jump +3, Knowledge (current events) +6, Knowledge (pop Black Widow culture) +6, Listen +8, Profession +8, Search +6, Spot +8. Black Widow, female Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter 5; CR Feats: Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Alertness, Brawl, 5; HD 5d8; hp 22; Mas 11; Init +1; Spd 10m; Defense 14, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency: SWORD, Personal Firearms touch 14, fl at-footed 13 (+1 Dex, +3 Defense); Base Atk +3; Profi ciency, Simple Weapons Profi ciency. Grp +2; Atk +3 melee (1d6–1 nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +4 ranged (2d6, Model 17 Samsonov); Full Atk +3 melee (1d6–1 Gear: Battered RKG-41 assault rifl e and an extra clip. nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +4 ranged (2d8, Model 17 Samsonov); SA sneak attack +2d6; SQ area knowledge +1,

R esistance Operative contacts +6, origin (avenger); AL Memories of lost family, the

Nokgorkan resistance; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +1, Ref +5, Will Resistance Operative, male or female Nokgorkan +4; Str 8, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 13. Resistance Fighter 3; CR 3; HD 3d8; hp 13; Mas 10; Init +1; Spd 10m; Defense 13, touch 13, fl at-footed 12 (+1 Dex, Skills: Bluff +5, Climb +3, Demolition +8, Drive +5, Hide +6, +2 Defense); Base Atk +2; Grp +1; Atk +2 melee (1d6–1 Gather Information +5, Jump +3, Knowledge (current events) nonlethal, unarmed strike) or +4 ranged (2d8, RKG-41 +6, Knowledge (pop culture) +6, Knowledge (streetwise) assault rifl e); Full Atk +2 melee (1d6–1 nonlethal, unarmed +10, Knowledge (tactics) +4, Listen +8, Move Silently +10, strike) or +4 ranged (2d8, RKG-41 assault rifl e); SA sneak Profession +6, Read/Write (Red), Repair +7, Search +6, Spot attack +1d6; SQ area knowledge +1, contacts +4, origin +8, Treat Injury +6, Tumble +9. (citizen); AL Nokgorka; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +3; Str 8, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 13. Feats: Advanced Firearms Profi ciency, Alertness, Black Market Connections, Brawl, Exotic Firearms Profi ciency:,

Appendices

SWORD, Personal Firearms Profi ciency, Simple Weapons Skills: Balance +3, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (current events) Profi ciency, Streetfi ghting. +1, Knowledge (pop culture) +3, Knowledge (tactics) +3, Gear: Navigate +2, Profession +6, Spot +5, Survival +4, Telekinetics A CSPC, Model 17 Samsonov and an extra clip, +8. random grenade assortment (3). Feats: Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium),

Red Fleet Infantry Cleave, Combat Hook, Combat Martial Arts, Defensive

Rotation Shield, Exotic Melee Profi ciency (hook), Power Red Fleet Infantry, male or female Red Fleet Trooper 1; Attack, Simple Weapon Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (hook). CR 1; HD 1d10+2; hp 7; Mas 15; Init +1; Spd 8m (armor); Defense 12, touch 12, fl at-footed 11 (+1 Dex, +1 Defense); Gear: Red Trooper armor (armor penalty –4), hook. Base Atk +1; Grp +3; Atk +4 melee (2d6+2, hook) or +3 ranged (2d6, hook); Full Atk +4 melee (2d6+2, hook) or +3 Elite Red Trooper ranged (2d6, hook); SQ damage reduction 6; AL Red Fleet, unit comrades; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +1; Str Elite Red Trooper, male or female Red Fleet Trooper 5; 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10. CR 5; HD 5d10+15; hp 42; Mas 16; Init +3; Spd 8m (armor); Defense 14, touch 14, fl at-footed 13 (+1 Dex, +3 Defense); Skills: Intimidate +4, Knowledge (current events) +1, Base Atk +5; Grp +7; Atk +8 melee (2d6+4, hook) or +7 Knowledge (pop culture) +3, Knowledge (tactics) +3, ranged (2d6+2, hook); Full Atk +8 melee (2d6+4, hook) or +7 Profession +5, Spot +5, Telekinetics +5. ranged (2d6+2, hook); SA weapon specialization (hook); SQ Feats: damage reduction 6, improved reactions; AL Unit comrades, Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), Red Fleet; AP –; Rep +1; SV Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +3; Str 14, Combat Martial Arts, Exotic Melee Profi ciency (hook), Power Dex 12, Con 16, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 10. Attack, Simple Weapon Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (hook). Gear: Skills: Balance +3, Demolitions +3, Intimidate +8, Knowledge Red Trooper armor (armor penalty –4), hook. (current events) +1, Knowledge (pop culture) +3, Knowledge (tactics) +3, Navigate +2, Profession +9, Spot +6, Survival Veteran Red Trooper +5, Telekinetics +11. Veteran Red Trooper, male or female Red Fleet Trooper 3; Feats: Armor Profi ciency (light), Armor Profi ciency (medium), CR 3; HD 3d10+6; hp 22; Mas 15; Init +1; Spd 8m (armor); Cleave, Combat Hook, Combat Martial Arts, Defensive Defense 13, touch 13, fl at-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 Defense); Rotation Shield, Exotic Melee Profi ciency (hook), Power Base Atk +3; Grp +5; Atk +6 melee (2d6+2, hook) or +5 Attack, Simple Weapon Profi ciency, Weapon Focus (hook). ranged (2d6, hook); Full Atk +6 melee (2d6+2, hook) or +5 ranged (2d6, hook); SQ damage reduction 6; AL Unit Gear: Red Trooper armor (armor penalty –4), hook, three comrades, Red Fleet; AP –; Rep +0; SV Fort +4, Ref +3, Will assorted grenades. +2; Str 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.,

Appendices Weapons & Equipment Ranged Weapons

Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Size Weight DC Restriction Handguns (requires the Personal Firearms Profi ciency feat) Bronson Home Defense Cannon (12 mm autoloader) 2d10 20 Ballistic 8mS7box Med 2 kg 19 Lic (+1)2 Caso Security Pistol (9mm autoloader) 2d6 20 Ballistic 6m S 12 box Small 1 kg 15 Res (+2)2 Model 17 Samsonov (9mm autoloader) 2d6 20 Ballistic 6m S 11 box Small 1 kg 17 Mil (+3) Model 79 Samsonov (10mm protocol machine pistol) 2d6+24, 7 20 Ballistic 8m S, A 20 box Med 1 kg 246 Mil (+3) — Sam-79-G (protocol grenade launcher) 3d6+37 20 Slashing 10m (2m) S3 Protocol — +0.5 kg 246 Mil (+3) Energy Buildup3 Munny Dueling Pistol1, pair (10mm revolvers) 2d6 20 Ballistic 6mS6cyl Med 1 kg 19 Res (+2)2 Offi cer Personal Sidearm1 (OPS) (10mm autoloader) 2d6 20 Ballistic 10m S 20 box Small 1 kg 20 Mil (+3)2 Longarms (requires the Personal Firearms Profi ciency feat) Caso Assault Gun, Mark 16 (5.56mm assault rifl e) 2d8 20 Ballistic 30m S, A 30 box Large 4 kg 16 Mil (+3)2 Caso Personal Weapon, Mark 20 (protocol assault rifl e) 2d12+24, 7 20 Ballistic3 100m S, A Protocol3 Large 6 kg 256 Mil (+3)2 — CPW-200 (protocol grenade launcher) 5d6+54, 7 19–20 Adaptable3 100m (4m) S3 Protocol3 — +1 kg 256 Mil (+3)2 Dragunov Sniper Rifl e (15mm rifl e) 2d124 20 Ballistic 40m S 12 box Huge 15 kg 22 Mil (+3) Hook Variants — Hook sniper rifl e (12mm rifl e) 2.10 20 Ballistic 36mS5box — +3 kg 18 Mil (+3) Kuvalda Assault Shotgun (12-gauge shotgun) 2d84 20 Ballistic 10m S, A 20 Large 4 kg 21 Mil (+3) Molot Backup Shotgun (12-gauge shotgun) 2d8 20 Ballistic 6m Single 8 box Large 3 kg 16 Mil (+3) RKG-41 Assault Rifl e (7.62mm assault rifl e) 2d8 20 Ballistic 16m S, A 40 box Large 5 kg 15 Res (+2) RKG-75 Assault Rifl e (5.56mm assault rifl e) 2d8 20 Ballistic 20m S, A 50 box Large 4.5 kg 18 Mil (+3) — RKG-75-G (protocol grenade launcher) 3d6+3 20 Slashing 30m (2m) S3 Protocol — +1 kg 23 Mil (+3) Energy Buildup3 RKS-81 Submachine gun (10mm submachine gun) 2d6 20 Ballistic 10m S, A 30 box Large 2.5 kg 17 Mil (+3) Heavy Weapons (each requires a specifi c Exotic Firearms Profi ciency feat) Dragunov Anti-Krawl Gun 5d103,4 20 Ballistic 30mS1shell Huge 22kg 18 Mil (+3) Hook Variants — hook machine gun (7.62mm machine gun) 2d8 20 Ballistic 30m A 50 box — +4 kg 18 Mil (+3) MTK-90 Cannon1 (protocol machine gun) 2d8+27 19–20 Concussion 30m A3 Protocol3 Large — Special — (2m burst radius) SWORD System 6d104 19–20 Concussion 20m11— Large 5kg 19 Mil (+3) Telekinetic Weapons (requires the Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency feat) Dragunov 60mm Autocannon5 4d12 20 Ballistic 60m3 A Linked Large 50 kg 22 Mil (+3) Hailer (telekinetic squad support weapon)5 — basic machine gun mode1 2d10 20 Ballistic 30m3 A 250 drum — — — — compartment3,

Appendices

Ranged Weapons (cont’d) Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Size Weight DC Restriction — exp. beam weapon mode 5d8 — Fire 30m3 S 20 drum — — — — compartment3 — fl amethrower mode 3d6 — Fire (2m x 2m x 50m) 3 18 drum — — — — compartment3 — grenade launcher mode By grenade type — By grenade type 30m3 S 50 drum — — — — compartment3 — mortar mode 12d6 19–20 Concussion 100m3S5drum — +5 kg — — (12m burst radius) compartment3 — rocket-propelled grenade launcher mode 4d104 19–20 Concussion 30m3 A 20 drum comp.3 — +2 kg — — Hook Variants — hook mortar5 10d6 19–20 Concussion 100m11— +15 kg 18 Mil (+3) (10m burst radius) 1 This mastercraft weapon grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls. 2 Western Transnationalist Alliance weapon; add +5 to DC if purchased outside W.T.A. or an allied country. 3 See the description of this weapon for special rules. 4 This weapon does armor-piercing damage. See p. 57. 5 Telekinetically powered weapon. See p. 46 for special rules. 6 Ultra-modern weapon; only available for campaigns set during or after the Nokgorkan confl ict. 7 Protocol-enhanced damage; damage dealt includes +1 per damage die for protocol enhancement.

Ammunition Hook Accessories

Ammunition Type (Quantity) Purchase DC Object Weight Purchase DC 5.56mm (20) 4 7.62mm (20) 4 Bolt cutter 1.5 kg 4 9mm (50) 5 Fire extinguisher 1 kg 8 10mm (50) 5 Monocular, standard 0.5 kg 6 12mm pistol (50) 6 Monocular, night vision 0.5 kg 16 12mm rifl e (20) 6 Monocular, rangefi nding 0.5 kg 13 15mm (20) 7 Monocular, electro-optical 1 kg 17 60mm (20) 11 Zero options 4 kg 15 12-gauge buckshot (10) 4 12-gauge armor piercing incendiary (10) 9 Dragonov Anti-Krawl shell (5) 8 Hook mortar shell (5) 10 Hailer Drum, any non-experimental 15 Hailer Drum, experimental 25

Ammunition Weight Weight per Number of Rounds

Damage 10 20 30 40 50 100 2d6 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.5 kg 0.5 kg 1 kg 2d8 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.25 kg 0.5 kg 0.5 kg 1 kg 2d10 0.25 kg 0.5 kg 0.5 kg 0.75 kg 0.75 kg 1.5 kg 2d12 0.5 kg 1 kg 1.5 kg 2 kg 2.5 kg 5 kg Special Ammunition Weight Mortar Shell, 1 1 kg Hailer Drum, any 15 kg

Grenades and Explosives

Damage Burst Refl ex Range Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type Radius DC Increment Size Weight DC Restriction Aralov Blade-Jaw 10d10 — Piercing — — — Med 10 kg 18 Mil (+3) Bloodhound 6d6 — Slashing 2m 16 — Med 4 kg 14 Mil (+3) Concussion grenade 3d6 — Concussion 4m 18 8m Small 0.5 kg 12 Mil (+3) CSPC 2d6x10 — Concussion 10m 20 — Large 25kg 17 Mil (+3) Fragmentation grenade 4d6 — Slashing 6m 15 8m Tiny 0.5 kg 15 Mil (+3) Smoke grenade — — — See text — 4m Small 1 kg 10 — Tear gas grenade See text — — See text — 4m Small 1 kg 12 Res (+2) Thermate grenade 4d6 — Fire 2m 12 4m Small 1 kg 17 Mil (+3) White phosphorus grenade 2d6 — Fire 16m 12 4m Small 1 kg 15 Mil (+3) Render mine 5d10 — Slashing & Piercing 4m 15 — Small 6 kg 17 Mil (+3),

Appendices Melee and Archaic Weapons

Damage Range Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type Increment Size Weight DC Restriction Simple Weapons (requires the Simple Weapons Profi ciency feat) Club 1d6 20 Bludgeoning 4m Med 1 kg 4 — Knife 1d4† 19–20 Piercing 4m Tiny 0.25 kg 7 — Pistol whip 1d4 20 Bludgeoning — Small — — — Red Fleet knife 1d6† 19—20 Slashing 2m Small 0.5 kg 8 — Rifl e butt 1d6 20 Bludgeoning — Large — — — Archaic Weapons (requires the Archaic Weapons Profi ciency feat) Bayonet (fi xed)* 1d6@/1d6 20 Piercing or Bludgeoning — Large +0.5 kg 7 — Hailer longknife 1d8@ 19–20 Slashing — Med 1 kg 9 Mil (+2) Hammer 1d8 20 Bludgeoning — Small 2 kg 4 — Sickle* 1d6† 20 Slashing — Small 0.5 kg 5 — Spear* 1d8† 20 Piercing — Large 2 kg 6 — Exotic Melee Weapons (each requires a specifi c Exotic Melee Weapon Profi ciency feat) Arc Kutter* 2d10 20 Slashing and Fire — Large 25 kg 9 Mil (+2) Engineer Ace 2d6† 20 Slashing — Large 4 kg 8 — Greatsword 2d6† 19–20 Slashing — Large 2 kg 12 — Hawk talon* 1d12† 20 Slashing or Piercing — Large 2.5 kg 10 — Hook*~ 2d6† 20 Slashing or Piercing Telekinetic* Large 2.5 kg 8 Mil (+2) Nistaani sword 1d10† 18–20 Slashing — Large 2 kg 11 — Scythe* 1d10† 20 Slashing — Large 1.5 kg 6 — Exotic Ranged Weapon (requires the Slivers on the Wind feat) Sha-Osk pins, handful 2d4* — Piercing Telekinetic* Diminutive 0.05 kg 8 — * See the description of this weapon for special rules. ~ Telekinetically powered weapon; see page 46 for special rules. † This weapon deals armor-piercing damage; halve any damage reduction from armor, rounding down.

Armor

Damage Nonprof. Maximum Armor Acquisition Armor Type Reduction Bonus Dex Bonus Penalty Speed (10m) Weight DC Restriction Light Armor Crew Vest Tactical41+5 –1 10 2.5 kg 18 Military (+1) Bronja Vest Tactical41+5 –2 10 3 kg 14 None Offi cer Greatcoat* Concealed51+6 –1 10 2 kg 25* Military (+1) Medium Armor Railsuit Tactical72+4 –387kg 24 Military (+1) Red Trooper Armor Tactical62+3 –486kg 17 Military (+1) Heavy Armor Hailer Armor Tactical93+1 –7 6 12 kg 19 Military (+1) Hailer Bodyguard Armor Tactical83+1 –5 6 10 kg 24 Military (+1) Reactor Shieldsuit Tactical53+0 –9 6 15 kg 16 None STRIFE Armor* Tactical 15 3 +0 –9 6 20 kg 30 Military +1 Extras Steel Plates Tactical +2** +1** –3** –3** 8 +3 kg 17 Military (+1) * Protocol enhanced armor – see text for special rules. ** These game statistics are cumulative with those of the original armor.,

Appendices Weapon Enhancements Protocol Enhancement Purchase DC Restriction Benefi t

Damage Enhancement I 25 Mil (+3) Damage increases by +1 per damage die Damage Enhancement II 30 Mil (+3) Damage increases by +2 per damage die Damage Enhancement III 35 Mil (+3) Damage increases by +3 per damage die Armor Piercing I 30 Mil (+3) Weapon gains the armor piercing quality Armor Piercing II 35 Mil (+3) Weapon gains the armor piercing quality, but its targets’ damage reduction is divided by three against it (round down) rather than halved Protocol Piercing I 27 Mil (+3) (Available for ammunition only, and bought by the bullet.) On a natural roll of 16–20, this bullet bypasses the target’s autoshields, if any. Further more, this bullet deals double damage to all autoshields if it does not bypass them Protocol Piercing II 35 Mil (+3) (Available for ammunition only, and bought by the bullet.) This bullet bypasses all autoshields

Ammunition Supply Enhancements Ammunition Supply Benefi t Enhancement Range Wealth Restriction DC

Ammo pouch Refi lls with new, identical clip as soon as one is removed 10 km 25 Mil (+3) Crate, 50 kg ammo content Crate weighs only 5 kg 100 km 20 Mil (+3) Crate, 100 kg ammo content Crate weighs only 10 kg 100 km 25 Mil (+3) Crate, 150 kg ammo content Crate weighs only 15 kg 100 km 30 Mil (+3) Protoclip, double Double ammunition capacity — 20 Mil (+3) Protoclip, triple Triple ammunition capacity — 25 Mil (+3) Protoclip quadruple Quadruple ammunition capacity — 30 Mil (+3)

Autoshields Name Hit Points Reduction Damage DC Purchase Offi cer Greatcoat Rank

Light Autoshield 100 — 25 Major Medium Autoshield 125 — 27 Lieutenant-Colonel Heavy Autoshield 150 — 30 Colonel, Major-General Ultra-Heavy Autoshield I 150 4 35 Lieutenant-General, Colonel-General Ultra-Heavy Autoshield II 150 8 40 General Ultra-Heavy Autoshield III 150 12 45 Marshall, Senior Marshall Ultra-Heavy Autoshield IV 150 16 50 Marshall of the Red Star

Sorceress Equipment

Sorceress Equipment Purchase DC Weight Notes Protocol Component Case 10 0.5 kg Holds 3 kg of protocol components Protocol Enhancement Station, Portable 15 10 kg Enhances appropriate protocols that are either sent from, or arrive at, a location within 10 meters Protocol Enhancement Station, Outpost 20 500 kg Enhances appropriate protocols that are either sent from, or arrive at, a location within 500 meters Protocol Enhancement Station, Headquarters 10,000 kg Enhances appropriate protocols that are either sent from, or arrive at, a location within 10 km.

Mashurs Object Benefi t Weight Purchase DC

Mashur, combat +4 defl ection bonus vs. Sha-Osk pins only 0.25 kg 2 + radio communicator As basic walkie-talkie +0.25 kg 8 + military communicator As professional walkie-talkie +0.25 kg 16 + night vision enhancement As night vision goggles +1 kg 18 + fl ash protection As fl ash protection goggles +0.5 kg 16 +targeting sorcery +1 circumstance bonus to all ranged attacks +0.25 kg 22,

Appendices Military Vehicles Military Vehicles, Table A

Damage Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Reduction Skyships Overstriker 500 100 10,000 tons –8 –8 200 (20) 2 40 (+8)* Skybarge 750 500 15,000 tons –8 –8 150 (15) 2 30 (+6)* Skyfurnace 10,000 15,000 150,000 tons –8 –8 150 (15) 2 60 (+12)* Other Aircraft Bullpup MiG (fi ghter) 1 0 20 kg –2 –2 1400 (140) 8 10 ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft (fi ghter) 1 0 10 kg111500 (150) 9 5 ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft Bomber2050 kg001000 (100) 8 5 Krawls Hammer Class Krawl (tracked tank) 5 0 500 kg –4 –4 90 (9) 6 30 (+6)* Hydra Class Krawl (tracked tank) 24 90 (+20*) 2000 kg –8 –8 70 (7) 2 50 (+10)* Invasion Class Krawl (tracked tank) 10 0 750 kg –4 –4 80 (8) 6 40 (+8)* Other Land Vehicles Armored Personnel Karrier (tracked APK) 3 12 250 kg –4 –4 95 (9) 6 20 Dragunov SPG (tracked self-propelled gun) 8* 0 100 kg –4 –4 80 (8) 6 20 Hoverkraft472000 kg –2 –2 120 (12) 8 15 Hydra Class Krawl Track (tracked APK) 2 30 400 kg –4 –4 70 (7) 6 50 (+10)* Kleaver Half-Track (tracked APK) 5 20 500 kg –2 –2 100 (10) 8 15* Nomad Half-Track (tracked APK) 5 8 750 kg –2 –2 110 (11) 8 15* Extras Krawl Drop Casing — — * — — * — 10* * See text for special rules

Military Vehicles, Table B

Name Hit Points Size Weight Hardpoints Purchase DC Restriction Skyships Overstriker 300 C 30,000 tons 100 (0) 54 Mil (+3) Skybarge 400 C 40,000 tons 75 (0) 54 Mil (+3) Skyfurnace 1500* C 300,000 tons 1450 (29) 56 Mil (+3) Other Aircraft Bullpup MiG (fi ghter) 35 H 20 tons 4* (0*) 51 Mil (+3) ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft (fi ghter) 25 L 10 tons @* (0*) 52 Mil (+3) ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft Bomber 30 H 25 tons 5* (0*) 53 Mil (+3),

Appendices Military Vehicles, Table B, Continued

Name Hit Points Size Weight Hardpoints Purchase DC Restriction Krawls Hammer Class Krawl (tracked tank) 80 G 50 tons 3* (0*) 48 Mil (+3) Hydra Class Krawl (tracked tank) 150 C 500 tons 5* (0*) 50 Mil (+3) Invasion Class Krawl (tracked tank) 100 G 150 tons 6* (0*) 49 Mil (+3) Other Land Vehicles Armored Personnel Karrier (tracked APK) 60 G 20 tons 1 43 Mil (+3) Dragunov SPG (tracked self-propelled gun) 65 G 50 tons 1 44 Mil (+3) Hoverkraft 30 H 10 tons 2 44 Mil (+3) Hydra Class Krawl Track (tracked APK) 150 G 50 tons 1* — — Kleaver Half-Track (tracked APK) 60 H 15 tons 3 42 Mil (+3) Nomad Half-Track (tracked APK) 50 H 10 tons 2 40 Mil (+3) Extras Krawl Drop Casing 20 * 10% — 12 Mil (+3)

Military Vehicles, Table C

Name Weapons Extras Skyships Overstriker Markov truss cannon (10); heavy DSHK deck gun (25); Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol BHX Rykov hook missile (10); medium Shadow shielding systems, Crypsis systems anti-aircraft missile (15) Skybarge Markov truss cannon (2); heavy DSHK deck gun (50); Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol BHX Rykov hook missile (6); Katyusha 600mm (3) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Skyfurnace Markov truss cannon (20); heavy DSHK deck gun (1 000); Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol BHX Rykov hook missile (87); KGT Sickle drop missile (132); shielding systems, Crypsis systems medium Shadow anti-aircraft missile (112) Other Aircraft Bullpup MiG Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun; Crypsis systems (fi ghter) medium Shadow anti-aircraft missile (3) ZIK Zero Inertia Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun; Crypsis systems Kraft (fi ghter) BHX Rykov hook missile ZIK Zero Inertia Kraft Bomber KGT Sickle drop missile (5) Crypsis systems Krawls Hammer Class Krawl Forward cannon, 221mm; arc-fi ring protocol Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol shielding (tracked tank) mount; Katyushas, 500mm systems, Crypsis systems Hydra Class Krawl Forward cannon, 2000mm (3); arc-fi ring protocol Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol (tracked tank) mount; Katyusha rocket battery (1000mm) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Invasion Class Krawl Forward cannon, 315mm; composite Zhukov Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol (tracked tank) capacitance cannon (2); arc-protocol fi ring mount (4) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Other Land Vehicles Armored Personnel Karrier (tracked APK) Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun Crypsis systems Dragunov SPG (tracked Howitzer, model MK-132 25mm Crypsis systems self-propelled gun) self-ranging burst gun Hoverkraft Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun, Crypsis systems BHX Rykov hook missile Hydra Class Krawl Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun Protocol-reinforced armor, protocol Track (tracked APK) shielding systems, Crypsis systems Kleaver Half-Track Model MK-132 25mm self-ranging burst gun; Crypsis systems (tracked APK) R5-K close defense lance-protocol batteries (2) Nomad Half-Track (tracked APK) Heavy hailer; arc-protocol fi ring mount Crypsis systems Extras Krawl Drop Casing — —,

Appendices Conventional Vehicular Weapons

Damage Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Hardpoints DC Restriction BHX Rykov Hook Missile 2d8x103 19–20 Concussion 500m11125 Mil (+3) (10m radius)3 Composite Zhukov Capacitance Cannon 1d4x103 20 Fire 50m S 303 1 25 Mil (+3) Forward Cannon, 221mm 1d6x10 20 Ballistic 80m S 120 int. Structure4 — Mil (+3) 315mm 1d8x10 20 Ballistic 100m S 88 int. Structure4 — Mil (+3) 2000mm 3d8x10 20 Ballistic 200m S3 1 int.* Structure4 — Mil (+3) Heavy DSHK Deck Gun 1d6x10 20 Ballistic 50m A Linked 1 24 Mil (+3) Heavy Hailer1 — — — — — — 1 22 Mil +3 machine gun mode 4d10 20 Ballistic 30m A 500 box — — — fl amethrower mode 4d6 — Fire (3m x 2m x 50m)3 1 20 box — — — rocket-propelled grenade launcher mode 8d104 19–20 Concussion 30m3 A 40 box — — — Howitzer 315mm 2d4x10 19–20 Concussion 50m/500m3 S3 40 int. Structure4 — Mil (+3) (30m radius)3 Katyusha 400mm 1d8x10 19–20 Concussion 50m3 (2m radius)3 A 18 rack 1 21 Mil (+3) 500mm 1d10x10 19-20 Concussion 100m3 (4m radius)3 A 12 rack 2 22 Mil (+3) 600mm 1d12x10 19–20 Concussion 150m3 (6m radius)3A6rack 3 23 Mil (+3) 1000mm 1d20x10 19–20 Concussion 200m3 (8m radius)3S1424 Mil (+3) KGT Sickle Drop Missile 8d62 20 Slashing 250m3 (20m radius)311120 Mil (+3) Markov Truss Cannon1 2d6x10 20 Ballistic 200m A 1000 int. 5 30 Mil (+3) Medium Shadow Anti- Aircraft Missile1, 3 1d4x10 19–20 Concussion 1000m (10m radius) 11126 Mil (+3) Model MK-132 25mm Self- Ranging Burst Gun1 3d10 20 Ballistic 150m A 1000 int. 1 22 Mil (+3) Ventral Blast Furnace Coil 10d62 — Fire 0m (300m radius)3 S 13 Structure4 — Mil (+3) 1 This mastercraft weapon grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls. 2 This weapon does special damage. See the weapon description. 3 See the description of this weapon for special rules. 4 This massive weapon must be built into the structure of the vehicle at the time of manufacture; it takes up no hardpoints per se, and cannot usually be left off the vehicle.

Protocol Vehicular Weapons

(requires the Protocol Gunnery feat) Damage Range Increment Rate of Purchase Weapon Damage Critical Type (Area of Effect) Fire Magazine Hardpoints DC Restriction Arc-Firing Protocol Mount 4d10+4 — Electricity 40m S — 1 25 Mil (+3) Isolator Tunnel Beam 10d10+10 — Force Kaster levels x 10 S — Structure4 — Mil (+3) R5-K Close Defense Lance- Protocol Battery 6d10+6 — Fire 10m A — 1 24 Mil (+3) 1 This mastercraft weapon grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls. 2 This weapon does special damage. See the weapon description. 3 See the description of this weapon for special rules. 4 This massive weapon must be built into the structure of the vehicle at the time of manufacture; it takes up no hardpoints per se, and cannot be left off the vehicle.,

Appendices Isolator Tunnel Malfunctions Vehicle Options

Die Roll Malfunction Option Purchase DC Weight 1 Assembly Problem: DC 15 Fortitude Crypsis Systems +1 — save or be dealt 8d6 damage due to Advanced Crypsis Systems +2 — incorrect reassembly Inertialess Protocol Engine +2 200 kg 2–3 Coolant Fluid Malfunction: The Protocol-Reinforced Armor +5 — warkaster is drowning (see d20 Salamander Modern Roleplaying Game). She Self-Regenerative Armor +10 500+ kg; will drown in coolant fl uid unless see text rescued, or unless she somehow frees herself. 4–6 Biofeedback Shock: The caster is dealt 2d6 damage, with a successful DC 20 Will save halving the damage.

Table 4-6: Vehicular Weapon Ammunition

Ammunition Type (Quantity) Weight Purchase DC Notes Forward Cannon, 221mm (10) 500 kg 20 — Forward Cannon 221mm high explosive armor piercing (10) 500 kg 25 Gains critical multiplier 19–20 and the armor piercing quality (but no burst radius) Forward Cannon, 315mm (10) 1000 kg 22 — Forward Cannon, 315mm high explosive armor piercing (10) 1000 kg 27 Gain critical multiplier 19–20 and the armor piercing quality (but no burst radius) Forward Cannon, 2000mm (1) 2000 kg 27 — Forward Cannon, 2000mm high explosive armor piercing (1) 2000 kg 32 Gains critical multiplier 19–20 and the armor piercing quality (but no burst radius) Heavy DSHK Deck Gun (1000) 500 kg 23 — Heavy Hailer (full box) 50 kg 16 Contains full ammunition loads for all three weapon modes Howitzer, 315mm (10) 1000 kg 24 — Markov Truss Cannon (10) 1500 kg 25 — Model MK-132 25mm Self-Ranging Burst Gun (100) 50 kg 12 —,

Appendices Movement & Combat Carrying Capacity Encumbered

Light Medium Heavy Strength Load Load Load Speeds 1 up to 1 kg 2–3 kg 4–5 kg Previous Speed Current Speed 2 up to 3 kg 4–6 kg 7–9 kg 8m 6m 3 up to 4 kg 5–9 kg 10–14 kg 10m 8m 4 up to 6 kg 7–12 kg 13–18 kg 12m 10m 5 up to 7 kg 8–15 kg 15–23 kg 14m 12m 6 up to 9 kg 10–18 kg 19–27 kg 7 up to 10 kg 11–21 kg 22–32 kg 8 up to 12 kg 13–24 kg 25–36 kg Heavily Encumbered 9 up to 14 kg 15–28 kg 29–42 kg Speeds 10 up to 15 kg 15–30 kg 31–45 kg 11 up to 17 kg 18–34 kg 35–51 kg 8m 4m 12 up to 20 kg 21–40 kg 41–60 kg 10m 6m 13 up to 23 kg 24–46 kg 47–69 kg 12m 6m 14 up to 26 kg 27–52 kg 53–78 kg 14m 8m 15 up to 30 kg 31–60 kg 61–102 kg 17 up to 38 kg 39–76 kg 77–114 kg 18 up to 45 kg 46–90 kg 91–135 kg Hampered 19 up to 53 kg 54–106 kg 107–159 kg 20 up to 60 kg 61–120 kg 121–180 kg Movement 21 up to 70 kg 71–140 kg 141–210 kg 22 up to 80 kg 81–160 kg 161–240 kg Condition Additional Movement Cost 23 up to 91 kg 92–182 kg 183–273 kg Diffi cult terrain x2 24 up to 106 kg 107–212 kg 213–318 kg Obstacle1 x2 25 up to 121 kg 122–242 kg 243–363 kg Poor visibility x2 26 up to 139 kg 140–278 kg 279–417 kg Impassable — 27 up to 157 kg 158–314 kg 315–471 kg 28 up to 182 kg 183–364 kg 365–546 kg 1 May require a skill check 29 up to 212 kg 213–424 kg 425–636 kg +10 x4 x4 x4

Indirect Fire Modifiers

and Effects Modifi er Effect All indirect fi re –10 modifi er Each shot after the fi rst Cumulative +1 modifi er Previous direct hit +4 modifi er Miss at 2–3 range increments Deviation by 1 2-meter square Miss at 4–5 range increments Deviation by 2 2-meter squares Miss at 6–10 range increments Deviation by 1d6+3 2-meter squares Miss at 11–15 range increments Deviation by 2d10+3 2-meter squares Miss at 16–20 range increments Deviation by 3d20+3 2-meter squares,

Index A Cluster-Satchel Protocol Charges 53 Living Infl uence 159

Commonwealth 115–118 Lucky Soul 159 Aircraft Operation 41 Composite Zhukov Capacitance Cannon 79 Mortal Coil 159 Al’Istaan 124–135 CPW-200 48 Pure of Heart 159 Beliefs 133 Crate 61 Quicksilver Dodge 159 Daily Life 129 Crew Vest 57 Read Destiny 159 Dune-Ra 129 Righteous 159 Entertainment 130 D Siphon 159 Fighting Traditions 131 Government 131–132 Damage Reduction 57 Strength of the Damned 160 There Is No Gravity 160 Koba 133 Dragunov 60mm Autocannon 48Dragunov Anti-Krawl Gun 49 Forward Cannon, 2000mm 79Land 128 Law 132 Dragunov Anti-Krawl Shell 52 Forward Cannon, 221mm 79 Dragunov Self-Propelled Gun 78 Forward Cannon, 315mm 79Shaman 133 Susk-Dath 132 Dragunov Sniper Rifl e 49 Free Spirit 152 Allegiances 12 Drop Casing 78 G Ammo Pouch 60 Drop Line Harnesses 63 Ammunition 52–53 Dune-Ra 130 Global Council 6–7 Weight 53 Goncharova, Captain Alexandra 170E Ammunition Enhancements 60–61 Greatsword 56 Antares 173 Engineer Axe 56 Great Continent 143 Antares, Captain Marcus 172 Equipment Great Patriotic War 4–5, 146 Antares, Skymarshall Urik 175 Starting 38 Grenade Antares, Sorceress-Lieutenant Maya 173 Eternal Citadel 151 Concussion 53 Aralov Blade-Jaw 53 Fragmentation 54 Arc-Protocol Firing Mount 79 F Protocol Utility Smoke 60 Arc Kutter 55 Smoke 54 Armor 57–59 Far Kathon 151 Tear Gas 54 Armor-piercing 57 Far Realms 151 White Phosphorus 54 Armored Personnel Karrier 78 Feats Armor Enhancements 61 Advanced Combat Hook 41

H

Autoshields 61 Advanced Defensive Rotation Shield 41 Hailer 12–15, 50, 176 Examples 12

B Hailer Armor 58

Bayonet 55 Hailer Bodyguard Armor 58 BHX Rykov Hook Missile 79 Hailer Drum 52 Black Widow 177 Hailer Longknife 56 Bloodhound 53 Index Hammer 56Bonus Feats 12 Hawk Talon 56 Bronja Vest 57 Heavy DSHK Deck Gun 81 Bronson Home Defense Cannon 46 Heavy Hailer 81 Bullpup MiG 76 Helmets 59 Bersk Wrestling 41 Holy Warrior 176

C Bersk Wrestling Kill 41 Hook 56Hook Accessories 63

Caso Assault Gun, Mark 16 46 Bersk Wrestling Pin 41Bersk Wrestling Strike 41 Hook Mortar Shell 52Caso Personal Weapon, Mark 20 46 Black Market Connections 41 Hook Variants 50Caso Security Pistol 48 Chronicles 102–107 Champion 42 Howitzer, 315mm 81 Hydra Class Krawl Track 79 First 102–103 Combat Hook 42 Fourth 106 Defensive Rotation Shield 42 I Second 104 Diehard 42 Third 104–105 Engine Pull Champion 43 Immortals 151–152 Classes, Regional 10 Extended Defensive Rotation Shield 43 Immovable Rod 57 Class Features Gunnery 43 Indirect Fire 69 Free Spirit 153 Improved Combat Hook 44 Invocations, Nistaani 160–163 Hailer 12–15 Improved Defensive Rotation Shield 44 Claws of Stone 160 Nistaani Shaman 15–16 Improved Slivers on the Wind 44 Dance of the Desert 160 Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter 21–23 Logistician 44 Fury of the Sands 161 Red Trooper 26 Offensive Rotation Shield 44 Grasping Earth 161 Sorceress 28 Precise Strike 44 Mantle of Stone 161 Soul Thief 155–156 Protocol Gunnery 45 Oasis of Faith 161 Zek 32 Railfi ghting 45 Sha-Moram 162 Class Information Red Fleet Connections 45 Shaihidi’s Kiss 162 Nistaani Warrior 16 Slivers on the Wind 45 Shield of Burning Faith 162 Class Skills Sorcery Expert 45 Spirit of the Dune-Ra 162 Free Spirit 152 Telekinetic Autofi re 45 Trackless Steps 162 Hailer 12 Telekinetic Firearms Profi ciency 45 Tremor Wave 163 Nistaani Shaman 15 Telekinetic Warrior 45 Wanderer’s Well 163 Nistaani Warrior 16 Feats, Immortal 158–160 Whispering Winds 163 Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter 20 Energy Shield 158 Wisdom of the Ancients 163 Red Trooper 26 Eyes of Imbohl 158 Wrath of the One True God 163 Sorceress 28 Immortal Illusions 158 Ironhold 6–7, 147 Soul Thief 155 Improved Soul Burn 158 Ishundra 151 Zek 32 Infuse 158 Isle of Lions 140 Club 56 Kast in Iron 158 Isolator Tunnel Beam 81,

Index K Defensive Shield Protocol 91 Shard-Planes 150

Drop Protocol 91 Sickle 57 Kar Dathra’s Gate 133, 134 Expanse Protocol 92 Skills Kaster Physical Systems Safety Wards 84 Field Repair Protocol 92 Craft (Bonds) 157 Katyusha 82 Final Mercy Protocol 92 Immortal Illusions 157 KGT Sickle Drop Missile 82 Gate Transfer Protocol 92 Kast 39 Kingdom of Jade 143 Instant Medical Protocol 93 Read Destiny 157 Kleaver Half-Track 79 Jumpgate Transfer Protocol 93 Ritual 39 Knife 56 Jump Information Protocol 93 Telekinesis 39–40 Red Fleet 56 Krawl Drop Protocols 94 Skybarge 70 Krawls 77–79 Map Protocol 95 Skyfurnace 70–74 Hammer Class 77 MTK-90 Protocol 95 Sorcerers 32 Hydra Class 77 Paramedic Protocol 95 Sorceress 28–32 Invasion-Class 78 Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Area 95 Sorceress Equipment 62 Kuvalda Assault Shotgun 50 Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Per- Sorcery Hazards 84 Kyuzo 170 sonal 96 Species 15 Protocol Resistance Shields Protocol, Ve- Spiritrealm 150–151

L hicular 96 Starting Feats

Lacaris 151 Reenact Protocol 96 Hailer 12 Lands of the Dragon 142 Shield Reinforce Protocol 97 Nistaani Shaman 15 Land of 10,000 Gods 140 Stealth Protocol 98 Nistaani Warrior 17, 17–20 Stimulant Protocol 98 Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter 20

M Supply Protocol I 97 Red Trooper 26

Supply Protocol II 97 Sorceress 28 Makita 171 Supply Protocol III 97 Zek 32 Markov Truss Cannon 82 Supply Protocol IV 98 Starting Invocations Mashurs 63 Transformation Protocol 98 Nistaani Shaman 15 Medium Shadow Anti-Aircraft Missile 82 Transpathic Detonator Protocol 99 Steel Plates 59 Mirror Lands 150 Transpathic Signal Protocol 99 Storm of Souls 150 Model 17 Samsonov 51 Protocol Component Case 62 STRIFE Armor 59 Model 79 Samsonov 51 Protocol Enhancement Station 62 SWORD 52 Model MK-132 25mm Self-Ranging Burst Protocol Weapons 46 Gun 82 T Molot Backup Shotgun 51 MTK-90 Cannon 51 Telekinesis-Neutral Objects 62 Multiclassing 10 Telekinetic Weapons 46 Zeks and 35 Thermate 54 Munny Dueling Pistols, Pair 51 Troika 148

N Index U

Nasr Kien Soldier 177 U.R.R.S 102–115 Nistaani Characters 19 Beliefs 111 Nistaani Shaman 15–16 Daily Life 109 Nistaani Warrior 16–20 R Entertainment 110 Nokgorka 118–123 R5-K Close Defense Lance-Protocol Batter- Fighting Traditions 111 Daily Life 121 ies 82 Government 113–115 Elder Councils 122 Railsuit 58 Lands 107 Priestesses 122 Rank 36–38 Military 112 Nokgorkan Priestesses 32 People 108Benefi ts of 37 Nokgorkan Resistance Fighter 20–23 Rank and File 13 Unusual Terrains 68 Nomad Half-Track 79 Reactor Shieldsuit 58 Nonlethal Damage 66 VReality Option 10 Red Fleet Vehicles 70–79

O in Decline 24 Vehicle Options 83

Offi cer Greatcoat 58 Red Fleet Offi cer 23–26 Vehicular Weapons 79–82 Offi cer Personal Sidearm (OPS) 51 Red Trooper 26–28, 178 Ventral Blast Furnace Coil 82 Overkasting 86 Red Trooper Armor 59 Veterans 146, 166 Overstriker 70 Red Woman 174 Volksreich 143 Render Mine 55

P Requirements W

Free Spirit 152 Paradise 151 Wealth 38Soul Thief 155 People 128–130 Weapons 46–57Resistance Operative 177 Pistol Whip 56 Weapon Enhancements 60Resistance Recruit 177 Post-Human Energy 153 Western Transnational Alliance 136–139Rifl e Butt 56 Protoclip 61 Bureau of Central Intelligence 139RKG-41 Assault Rifl e 51 Protocols 84, 86–97 Culture 138RKG-75-G 51 Accelerated Healing Protocol 88 Entertainment 138RKG-75 Assault Rifl e 51 Armor Piercing Protocol, Personal 88 Government 138RKS-81 Submachine Gun 51 Armor Piercing Protocol, Vehicular 88 Military 138Roof of the World 141 Autoshields Protocol 88 Z Blast Control Protocols 90 S Burst Voltage Protocol 90 Zek 32–36 Cooperative Reinforcement Protocol 90 Sam-79-G 51 Zero Inertia Kraft 76 Defensive Shell Protocol 91 Scythe 57 Zero Inertia Kraft Bomber 76 Sha-Osk Pins 57,

License

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You agree not languages), potation, modifi cation, correction, addition, extension, to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, (c) “Distribute” means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open (d)”Open Game Content” means the game mechanic and includes Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent of that Product Identity. 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