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March 29, 2011

4

Protect your character from deadly environments

by Game designer

When fighting in a specific environment with the appropriate combat bonus skill, your character can win over a large number of more powerful characters. What is a combat bonus skill ? How determine the base skill value ? These are the two questions I will answer before  describing each skill available. I’ll explain to you in details how it’s enhanced your character’s survivability. Finally, I will show you how to use them in the game.

Some environments, where your character can fight are almost as deadly as your opponents. Characters spend years in training to be accustomed to these specific environments and to know how to survive and win any fight in arctic, desert, forest, space, underwater or urban environment. This is the purpose of these combat skill : to give your character a chance to survive and a crucial edge when they are fighting in a known environment.

DETERMINE THE SKILL’S VALUE

Like all skills, combat bonus skill’s values are directly related to the character’s traits. In that case, in order to obtain the base value, you must add the values of the endurance, coordination, flexibility, intelligence, reaction speed and psychic power traits. Then you divide the resulting sum by four and rounding the number obtained to the nearest number. According to these two easy following rules :

  1. If the fractional part is less than 0,5 then you must round down, example : 73,4 becomes 73.
  2. If the fractional part is equal or greater than 0,5 then you must round up, example : 7,5 becomes 8.

Before going further, you must understand that a bonus skill can never be improvised. In other words, if the character has the required environmental combat skill neither written on his character’s card nor mentioned in his occupation’s skills list, the game master must not giving a bonus by multiply the above rounded base value by 1%. Typically, if the required combat bonus skill has not been chosen but it is written in the character’s occupation’s skill list, the game master can multiply this rounded base value by 2%. And, if the required combat bonus skill has been written on the character’s card, the game master can multiply this rounded base value by 5%.

Example :
Marc is creating a new character and one of the skills available for his chosen occupation is “Arctic Warfare”. He wants to know, if he chooses this skill, how good his character would be at it. Marc has chosen a classic male character with a GVIII penhuman genotype. According this, his character’s traits are STR 5 END 7 COR 5 FLX 5 INT 4 RSP 8  CHA 4 PSY 5. You only have to follow this four easy steps to answer this player’s question :

1. Add the values of the appropriated traits : END+COR+FLX+INT+RSP+PSY = 7 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 8 + 5 = 34
2. Obtain the basis value : 34 / 4 =  8,5 becomes 9
3. If the skill if chosen : 9 x 5 = 45. So, Marc’s character will play with a skill Arctic Warfare = 45%
4. If the skill is not chosen, but needed later : 9 x 2 = 18. So, Marc’s character will do skill checks with Arctic Warfare = 18%

Now, let’s describe each combat bonus skill per environment.

ARCTIC WARFARE

  • Arctic combat does not always take place in mountainous terrain, and mountain warfare does not always take place in the cold but with this skill your character can handle both of the environment.
  • With this combat bonus skill, the character knows how to : use specialist equipment such as skis, snowshoes and mountain climbing techniques, use effective camouflage technics…
  • If this skill is used as a knowledge skill for survival, the character knows : how to survive in an exceptionally cold weather, usually in snowy and icy terrain, or maybe on ice-covered bodies of water.
  • Only if this skill is chosen at the creation character phase, because of years spend in various frozen hells the character also gain a special resistance to cold damage effect.

DESERT WARFARE

  • Desert warfare is combat in deserts. As space, in desert warfare the elements can sometimes be more dangerous than the actual enemy. The desert terrain is the third most inhospitable to characters following a arctic environment. The low humidity, extremes of heat/cold, and lack of obstacles and wild-life allows the increased use of electronic devices and unmanned antigrav for surveillance and attacks.
  • With this combat bonus skill, the character knows : how to use the lack of cover at his advantage, how to use mobility to gain crucial advantage against his enemy, how to walk in sand dunes without get is mobility too reduced and specific guerrilla tactics…
  • If this skill is used as a knowledge skill, the character knows : how using antigrav vehicles, y are also trained in an advanced level of motor mechanics to field-repair any antigrav vehicular breakdown. The character also know all the tips of the trade to survive in desert environment : like how looking for a water source, spot landmines, navigate without getting lost…
  • Only if this skill is chosen at the creation character phase, because of years spend in hellish conditions the character also gain a special resistance to the hot damage effects.

FOREST WARFARE

  • Forest warfare is a term used to cover the special techniques needed for your character to survive and fight in the forest. You must understand that all forest looks like our jungle terrain but are not necessary in a warm climate. There is planets which have very big pine-like forest with a “hot” 10°C temperature in summer…
  • The forest environment has a variety of effects on combat. Dense vegetation can limit lines of sight and arcs of fire, but can also provide ample opportunity for camouflage and plenty of material with which to build fortifications.  Forest terrain are often without roads and be inaccessible to antigrav vehicles, so makes supply and transport difficult.  which in turn places a premium on shuttle mobility. These problems of transport make engineering resources important as they are needed to improve roads, build bridges and space fields, and improve water supplies.
  • So forest environments can also be inherently unhealthy, with various exodiseases that have to be prevented or treated by medical services. Likewise the terrain can make it difficult to deploy armoured forces, or any other kind of forces on any large scale.
  • With this combat bonus skill, the character knows how to survive in this lethal environment, how using effectively small unit tactics.
  • Only if this skill is chosen at the creation character phase, because of years spend in various green shit holes and experimental vaccinations the character also gain a special resistance to disease.

SPACE WARFARE

  • Successful combat operations in the void and/or in zero gravity require skills that are unique to this type of fighting. This environment is the most dangerous for you as for your enemy and the slightest mistake get you killed.  Tactics are especially complicated by a three-dimensional environment and usually free fields of view and fire.
  • With this combat bonus skill, your character know how to move effectively whatever the gravity is, enter safely a spacelock, how to use special grenades effectively, how breaching a hull, how to use Nano-destructors, how to move in a spaceship or orbital stations…
  • With this skill the character will also become an expert in free falling with a gravity-parachute and High Altitude-Low Activating (HALA) and High Altitude-High Activating (HAHA) gravity-parachuting techniques.
  • Only if this skill is chosen at the creation character phase, because of years spend in zero gravity environment and in deadly meteor fields the character also gain a special resistance to disorientation.
  • If this skill is used as a knowledge skill for survival, the character knows : how to properly activate safety modules, the correct use of emergency space-suit, how to move in a meteor field, how to improvised a propulsion device…

UNDERWATER WARFARE

  • This is a very rare skill, because the underwater exploitation of natural resources represents only 2% of the universe total production. in volume But if this skill is chosen you can
  • consider your character as a  specialist in maritime skills using scuba diving.
  • With this combat bonus skill, the character knows how to : conduct an amphibious assault, stealthy deployment of land or boarding forces, arrival by water to assault land targets, exploitation platforms, conduct unauthorized underwater surveying in denied waters, recovering underwater objects, using submarine monitoring devices …
  • If this skill is used as a knowledge skill, the character knows :  how to defuse mines and remove other explosives underwater, the use of prehistoric devices like kayaks and rigid-hulled inflatable boats. These antic means are very stealthy and hard to be spot by sensors. The character also know how to protect watercraft, ports and installations, and other sensitive resources both in or nearby vulnerable waterways from potential threats or intrusions.
  • Only if this skill is chosen at the creation character phase, because of years spend in training in icy cold water the character also gain a special resistance to cold damage effects.

URBAN WARFARE

  • You can use this skill while your character is involved in a combat action conducted in urban areas such as towns and cities.  Urban combat is very different from classic combat in the open at both the operational and tactical level. Complicating factors in urban warfare include the presence of civilians and the complexity of the urban terrain.
  • For most of characters, civilians may be difficult to distinguish from combatants such as armed militias and gangs, particularly if individuals are simply trying to protect their homes from the attackers. But this combat bonus skill uses as a knowledge skill can help to take a decision.
  • Tactics are complicated by the limited fields of view and fire because of buildings, enhanced concealment and cover for defenders, below ground infrastructure, and the ease of placement of booby traps and snipers.
  • With this combat bonus skill, your character know how to conduct successful combat operations in urban areas without getting killed in the process. For example, he know how to move, enter a building, how to make a good fighting position, how to cross a wall rapidly…
  • If this skill is used as a knowledge skill for survival, the character knows : where to look at to find food storage, how collecting water, find a good shelter and how to improvised specific trap and where to look to find weapons…
  • Only if this skill is chosen at the creation character phase, because of years spend in various urban area along different galaxies the character also gain a special knowledge of the basic outline of whichever town he may be in.

HOW TO USE A COMBAT BONUS SKILL DURING THE GAME ?

The game master must first determine if the character is in a suitable combat environment to use his skill. You will find thereafter a couple of basics indications. Do not panic (yet!) environmental specific conditions are always written in all of my scenarios.

  • Arctic environment : if the character is on a mountain and/or if the temperatures are below -15°C on a planet.
  • Desert environment : if the character is in a region that receives a less than enough amount  of precipitation to support plants growth. Please note that the temperature are not relevant.
  • Forest environment : as soon as the character is in a dense vegetation environment. Try to think about something like Canadian forests or the Amazonia.
  • Space environment : obviously in the vacuum of space, in space ships or orbital station.
  • Underwater environment : as soon as all the body of the character is immersed in a liquid. The volume and nature of the liquid are not relevant.
  • Urban environment : as soon as the character is in a building on a planet, if the character is outside only if there is more than two buildings.

When you have determined that a character is in a suitable environment to use his combat bonus skill you must only do a simple subtraction. The bonus value added for all combat actions is obtained by the subtraction of the player’s character appropriate skill by the character’s skill’s value. In order to reflect hard training in hellish conditions, please note that it has also a reciprocal effect. That is to say, this bonus is permanent as long as both of the characters don’t change of environment.

Example :

Marc’s character is returning fire on the planet CTJ78.  The game master knows from the scenario that it was a sunny day on CTJ78 : a bright pink sky with summer conditions –35°C with 50 km/h winds. So, the player can use the combat bonus skill written on his character’s card, which is Arctic Warfare 45%. Because his character is engaged in a combat action (returning fire) and in arctic conditions (-35°C). The game master knows – always from the scenario – that the Non Player Character (NPC) is doing his best to kill the player’s character (PC).

First case : the NPC has no combat training  in this kind of environment – Arctic Warfare 00%. PC Arctic Warfare – NPC Arctic Warfare = 45 % – 00% = + 45% .  It means that for each of his combat action, Marc’s character will add 45% and the NPC will have – 45% penalty for each combat action against this player character.

Second case : the NPC is a highly trained soldier specialist of arctic conditions – Arctic Warfare 78%. PC Arctic Warfare – NPC Arctic Warfare = 45 % – 78 % = – 33%.   It means that for each of his combat action, Marc’s character will subtract 33% and the NPC will have +33% bonus for each combat action against this player character. Very bad news, isn’t it ? Good luck, Marco !

Third case : the NPC has basic combat training  in this kind of environment – Arctic Warfare 30%. PC Arctic Warfare – NPC Arctic Warfare = 45 % – 30% = + 15% .  It means that for each of his combat action, Marc’s character will add 15% and the NPC will have – 15% penalty for each combat action against this player’s character.

As you’ve surely understood, these six environments related skills provide an enormous power to your character in a combat situation during the game. Now you know what to do to protect your character from deadly environment : choose wisely the right combat bonus skill. However, please remember that a player can choose one or several of them only if they are available in the description’s occupation during the character creation phase. Have you got any question or comment about this powerful advantage ?

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mar 30 2011

    Hello Mr. Expert,

    When are going to write up a follow up article on this post… is it going to be anytime soon? 🙂

    _______
    “We run a Lawyer Directory about Immigration Lawyer” …

    Reply
  2. Mar 31 2011

    Hi Brian, I will post a follow up article in a couple of hours 😉

    Reply
  3. Apr 1 2011

    Hello Mr. Expert,

    When are going to write up a follow up article on this post… is it going to be anytime soon? 🙂

    _______
    “We run a Lawyer Directory about Immigration Law” …

    Reply

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