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Dragonmech Character Background bonuses

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:13 pm
by Arek
I don't know if anyone here has seen Frank and K's work, but they have some unusual ideas. I'm iffy on their idea of game balance, but some of the stuff they suggest is just...brilliant. Here's a link to the Tome of Necromancy, the Tome of Fiends, the Dungeonomicon, and Races of war. ... thread=684 ... thread=688 ... thread=698 ... thread=723

Now, I bring this up because one of the alternate rules they suggest is giving a character a concrete bonus for his or her background. I'll slap up a couple of examples...
Veteran of The War
There was a great and terrible war that wracked the lands, and you fought on one or more sides of it.
Effect: Veterans have proficiency with 3 Martial weapons and one armor type. Veterans who belong to a class that already has martial weapon proficiency begin play with proficiency in 3 Exotic weapons appropriate to the lands upon which the battles raged. Veterans also have nightmares sometimes and talk about The War more than is perhaps strictly required.
Street Rat
You grew up on the hard end of the streets. The part where kids are total jerks and sometimes the wererats just make one of your friends disappear, and noone else seems to care. You had to lie and steal just to survive, man.
Effect: You have Bluff and Sleight of Hand as class skills no matter what you do. You don't catch normal diseases because you've already had them all. You get a +2 bonus on handle animal checks with street animals like dogs, rats, and pigeons. Also, you have a small shell that a girl gave you when you were twelve. You think she's dead, but really she's been turned into a wererat, so when eventually you meet again it'll be traumatic and you might have to kill her. Or maybe you'll be able to convince her to turn away from Team Monster and live happily ever after.

As you can see, Frank and K have a certain style going for them.

The question is, what backgrounds would be appropriate for Dragonmech?

I can see backgrounds giving people Mech Pilot and Mechcraft as skills, as well as one that gives you a jump on the Steamborg process.

Any thoughts?

The backgrounds are in Races of war, the fourth link.[/list]

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:51 pm
by walrusjester
I'm a huge fan of this kind of thing. It makes the setting more real, and rewards players for making interesting characters. If you haven't checked out Second Age of Walkers, you should. I know that the Legion section has some things exactly like this, and I think one or two of the others do as well.

But I'm also interested in everyone's homebrew ideas...

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:00 pm
by Arek
I'm only a tentative homebrewer, but I have quite a collection of online resources logged in. Frank and K's stuff is some of my favorite--many of their classes are undeniably cool--but I also hit up's huge collection of magical items/spells. Oh, and I've got a list of Planetouched templates that contains one awesome Tiefling template. My friend took it for one of her characters and made the ultimate mech-wrecker.

So, uh, yeah, if anyone feels like pillaging some free, OGC stuff, feel to ask me.

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:36 am
by Arek
By rights, I should be working on a cross-section for my Stratigraphy class. Instead, I worked these up.
Feel free to suggest alterations. Like nigh-everything I do, this is trying to put crunch around a concept and the crunch is subject to change.


Endless Trader
You're from the Endless Traders! Whatever you may be doing now, you've spent a good portion of your life migrating to wherever the money is at this time of the year. As such, you've seen the art of the deal and know how to talk to people. Bluff and Diplomacy are always class skills for you, and you know most of the Trader clans out there. When it comes to hard bargaining, you're diamond-tipped and you gain a +5 bonus on your diplomacy check when you're haggling, a result of your parents making you haggle for how much food you got at supper each night. On the downside, you have an almost genetic compulsion to poke around any area for any neat objects for sell or trade later.

Religious upbringing
You were raised in an orphanage run by clerics, and all that talk about how your god was the best one stuck with you and now, as an adult, you've got religious leanings if you're not actually part of the clergy. Your faith is unshakeable, and your deity has noticed this and likes it. If you are a cleric, you receive a +1 to the Wisdom checks to see if you gain spells. If you are not a cleric, you have a +1 bonus to your choice of AC or one of the three saves as your god expends a tiny amount of attention to help keep you alive. K (religion) and K (the planes) are always class skills for you. On the downside, you may get a divine visitation and be expected to go through harrowing things to help your god's efforts in the wars against the lunar invasion. Also, publicly declaring your faith gets you some odd looks, as a lot of people have a hard time believing in gods these days.

Irontooth Clansman
You're from an Irontooth clan, and have the tattoos to prove it. You have extensive experience around mechs and always have Mech Pilot and K (mechs) are always class skills for you. You're useful to have around in Irontooth country because you know which clans are friendly and which clans are hostile, and you can be prevent a lot of trouble by telling an Irontooth patrol that the party is with you. You're also familiar with the usual Irontooth social conventions, like mech jousts, and if you're from a prestigious clan, some Stenian Mech Jockeys would like to make your acquaintance and maybe get a letter of introduction out of you. On the downside, some people automatically distrust you.

You hail from some of the Plains nomads and you're probably human. Choose two out of Ride, Survival, and Handle Animal, and those two will always be class skills for you. You're also familiar with the rider clans, and after doing a few more favors for your buddies in them, should be able to get a darn good mount, maybe even a true Dusk Devil.