Character Design

Character Design Guidelines
PCs will be built as standard Savage Worlds novice characters using the Science Fiction Companion, with a single Advance.
Race: Humans are the default.  Most of the races from the Science Fiction Companion are allowed, including Constructs but excluding Deaders, Florans, and Insectoids (see Races).  Players may create custom races in consultations with the GMs.  Races may also be modified with GM consent (e.g. the Aquarians of Mariana VIIc live under an ice cap that covers the entire moon, so they’re adapted to darkness and cold, but suffer from heat and bright light; the Yeti of Ymir IV come from a high-gravity world where they live in Stone Age tribes battling mighty snow-beasts, so they’re strong and good hunters, but even more primitive & backwards than most Yeti.)  Since almost all aliens are second-class citizens under Alliance rule, you may take the Outsider (Minor, except for Droids) Hindrance inside your racial package.
Attributes: the standard five points.
Skills: The standard 15 points, except as follows:
Athletics (Strength or Agility): This Skill includes a variety of athletic activities.  It combines Climbing, Swimming, and acrobatic and contortionist feats.  Roll this skill to perform Agility Tricks in Combat.  Thief grants 2 to this skill only for the purposes of climbing and escaping bonds.  Acrobat grants +2 to all uses of this skill.
Security (Smarts): This skill includes Lockpicking, and includes getting past  all sorts of manual and electronic security systems.  Security will let you open up electronic systems and manually plug into secured computer networks. However, to rewire or reprogram them, rather than simply deactivate them, you’ll need Science (Electronics) or Science (Computers), respectively.
Starship Operations (Smarts): This is the basic skill for performing shipboard tasks other than Piloting, Shooting, and Repair. The Starship Operations skill covers all the necessary skills to operate sensors, shields and other spaceship systems. It is required to successfully deploy shields or ECM, analyze damage reports and diagnostic readouts.
Knowledge (Smarts): Important Knowledge skills include Computers, Electronics, Engineering (used to understand the overall design of large structures such as buildings and starships), Astrogation (the ability to navigate in space – required for hyperspace jumps; on modern ships, the ship’s NavComp usually makes those calculations, but if it’s damaged and none of the crew has Astrogation, then you’re in real trouble), Science (a general scientific background which can be used to identify a variety of phenomena) Societies (which indicates a general understanding of the histories and cultures of a number of human and alien societies), and Battle (which can be used to lead troops in combat.)
Basic training: As military veterans, the PCs start with the following skills at the d4 level for free: Fighting, Shooting, and either Starship Operations (Navy) or Athletics (Army).
Edges and Hindrances: Most of those listed in the basic Savage Worlds book and the Science Fiction Companion are available, subject to GM approval. PCs should consult with the GMs before taking any Edge that increases their starting wealth. In addition, the following new/custom edges are available. Please ask Bill if you are interested in the Psi Knight edge.
        Monologuer (Major Hindrance)
Some folks can’t help running their mouths, taunting people, lecturing, or making lengthy observations about their surroundings when they should be fighting for their lives. Any time the character’s Action Card is a Club, he must make a Smarts roll at −2 or spend his action rambling on about one thing or another. The talkative character may only take free actions during his monologue.
Mania (Minor or Major Hindrance)
The character has a serious and negative mental illness of some kind, such as the lack of empathy toward others, significant bipolar tendencies, or a psychopathic compulsion to cause harm. Either version reduces Charisma by 2 to those who know of it. A Minor Mania occurs infrequently or isn’t likely to get the character killed. A Major Mania is a more-or-less full time obsession with serious consequences if caught or discovered.
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Requirements: Seasoned, Smarts d6, Tracking d6
, Streetwise d6+
Bounty Hunters gain a 2 to all Tracking, Streetwise, and Knowledge rolls relating to their current target. You can only have one target at a time. The bonus lasts until the target is found or captured. Due to your reputation you receive +1 on Intimidation rolls.
Diplomat
Requirements: Seasoned, Smarts d6
, Notice d6+, Persuasion d8+
The Diplomat is there stop conflict or, better yet, prevent it from breaking out. You receive 2 to Persuasion rolls and +2 on Notice rolls to determine if someone you are talking to is worried, lying, hiding something etc. NPCs react better to you so you receive +1 on reaction table rolls.
Hacker
Requirements: Novice, Smarts d8
, Investigation d6+, Security d8+
A hacker receives 2 to all Investigation rolls when using a computer and +2 on Security rolls when hacking a computer.
Navigator
Requirements: Seasoned, Smarts d6
, Knowledge (Astrogation) d8+
The Navigator knows most of the galaxy's nav maps by memory. She has visited many star systems and is an expert on gravity wells and FTL travel. Whenever a Navigator is plotting a course add 2 to her Knowledge (Astrogation) roll. If she uses the skill differently the bonus is +1. Because a Navigator knows the void very well she always saves an additional d6 of travel time (See FTL Rules).
Psi Knight
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Psionics), Psionics d8
, Fighting d8+
Psi Knights are psychic warriors who have honed their mind and body into a double-edged weapon. Some do so to be ultimate warriors; others do it in the service of a cause or belief system.
Upon taking this Edge and at each new Rank, they may choose to change the trappings of one of the following powers to work only on themselves but be activated as a free action: boost/lower trait, deflection, healing, smite, or speed. The Psi Knight must have the power to begin with, and this does not allow them to activate more than one power in a round.
Quick Study
Requirements: Novice, Smarts d10+
You have a first-rate education, an extraordinary memory, or both.  You may purchase Knowledge skills at half the regular Skill Point price.  When you spend a skill point on Knowledges, you gain either a two-step increase in that skill, or one-step increase in two Knowledge skills.  To raise a skill above your Smarts level, or to buy a skill at d4 after character creation, only costs a single skill point.  So with a single Advance, you could, for instance, buy a new Knowledge at d4 and increase two other Knowledges by one step each.  Note that this benefit only applies to Knowledge; it does not extend to other Smarts-based skills in the way that Jack of All Trades does.
Scavenger
Requirements: Novice, Smarts d6+, Repair d6+
A Scavenger travels the vastness of Space on the lookout for forgotten and ruined installations and wrecked starship hulls they can strip of any valuable items and materials. You receive a 2 bonus on Common Knowledge rolls to figure out what an unknown device is used for and how it is used or the value of a find. You also add a +1 to any Repair rolls.
Scoundrel
Requirements: Novice, Gambling d6
, Persuasion d6+, Shooting d6+
A scoundrel lives just outside of the boundaries of the law but usually gets out of trouble with a quick tongue. And if that does not work, shooting is always an option. You receive 1 to Charisma and +2 on trick rolls.
Shipwright
Requirements: Novice, Knowledge (Engineeering) d6
, Repair d6+
Shipwrights have talent for getting the best from their ships and are always trying to improve them. Whenever a shipwright levels up he may roll Knowledge (Engineering) at a 2 to gain a level up for his ship too. A ship may only benefit from one shipwright at a time. This Edge is only available when the Spaceships as Characters rules are used.
Smuggler
Requirements: Seasoned, Piloting d6+, Persuasion d6+
You get the cargo to wherever it needs to be. Whether it's legal or illegal doesn’t really matter. Customs agents are your enemy but you are used to dealing with them. You receive 2 to Persuasion rolls when speaking to law enforcement officials and +2 on Piloting when you try to stay undetected while flying your ship.
I Know a Guy
Requirements: Novice, Persuasion d6
, Streetwise d6+, Charismatic 
Some people seem to know someone everywhere they go. The contact may not be the most amazingly helpful person— they may even hate the hero for some past slight or money owed. The person known may be well-placed in an organization, or just as easily homeless and only know a few possibly helpful rumors. The point is, however, almost anywhere he goes, the hero seems to know someone, and that person usually at least knows something of value or can contact some helpful folks. Once per session, the player can invoke this Edge to effectively have the Connections Edge with any person or group. Use the rules for Connections to determine if the contact can be reached, and if he will help in any way. If the attempt to contact a particular person fails, the once-per-session use of this Edge is not used up; failures on the Persuasion check to get help still trigger that session’s use of the Edge. 
Dirty Fighter 
Requirements: Novice,  Agility d8+ or Smarts d8+
Some fight with honor. Some fight to win. This Edge is most likely known by thugs, mercenaries, and assassins. A Dirty Fighter is particularly good at Trick maneuvers, gaining a 2 bonus with them.  If he successfully uses a Trick in the middle of a Social interaction, he automatically gets The Drop on his opponent.
Tricky Fighter 
Requirements: Seasoned, Agility d8
or Smarts d8+, Dirty Fighter
The hero suffers no multi-action penalty when using a Trick in the same round as a Fighting attack. The player must choose which type of Trick this Edge applies to (Agility or Smarts) and must have a d8+ in that attribute. The character may take this Edge twice to apply it to both kinds of Tricks.
Battle Hardened 
Requirements: Seasoned, Spirit d6+, Vigor d8+ 
The hero’s conditioning reflects the rigors of a martial career. He adds +2 to all Soak rolls.
 
 
Powers: Arcane background: Psionics is available.  These powers are rare, except among the mysterious Serran race.  Scientific research into psionic powers has been suppressed and their use is illegal in the Alliance.  So a Serran PC with Psionics will probably have been trained by a master within a long-standing tradition, but a Psion of any other race may have had to learn by trial and error while hiding his abilities from suspicious neighbors, or may be the subject of an ultra-secret experiment.

Starting Equipment: PCs start with $1000 worth of gear from the Science Fiction Companion.  However, the starting scenario assumes the PCs to be down on their luck, so they should not start with substantial cash savings nor with an income.  Also, PCs should not start with cybernetics or any item labeled Ultra-Tech without GM permission.  Items of Medieval or Black Powder tech levels may be purchased for half the price listed in the Savage Worlds core book.  Items of modern or higher tech levels should use the prices in the Science Fiction Companion.
Roles: The PCs will engage in a variety of missions requiring an assortment of skills – technical, social, infiltration, survival, and of course combat skills.  Some scenarios will involve ship combat or chases.  The skills involved in these scenarios are Piloting, Shooting, Repair, and Starship Operations.  The group should have at least one member with each of these skills. Generally, one and only one character can assist in the performance of each skill.  For ideas about building characters, look at the Archetypes on pp. 17-18 of the basic Savage Worlds book, and also the Characters on pp. 66-71 of the Science Fiction Companion (note that some of the latter are more experienced than Novice characters.)
Backstory: It has been five years since the end of the Galactic Civil War.  Your characters are assumed to be veterans of that war, but it’s not required.  For whatever reason, however, you find yourselves broke and at least a little desperate on a border world far from the center of civilization, willing to take on a dangerous and probably illegal task.  Feel free to elaborate on how your character got into this situation.  In fact, if you write up an entertaining tale of woe, I’ll give you some kind of bribe perhaps an extra Benny or two to start the adventure with.

Character Design

Stellar Horizons DTalon2011 DTalon2011