At the beginning of the 21st century, a new kind of war gripped the battle-scarred country of Afghanistan. Players from around the world created d20 characters, pledging their Dungeons and Dragons derived soldiers to capture the terrorists who called the land home and punish those who supported them.
A lot of people thought it was “too soon” to be publishing an RPG about military action in Afghanistan when Holistic Designs released “Real Life Roleplaying – Afghanistan” in 2002. Further, it was released before the d20 Modern RPG , so while a modern era d20 RPG, it relies on the 3.0 Dungeons & Dragons books for the core rules of the game.
The game “feels” very D&D derived. The character classes can be tracked back to D&D character classes, and there are even two NPC classes (grunt and observer). The game does add rules for shock from wounds (if you take fire and suffer damage, make a Fort save with the DC of the damage taken to avoid shock). All firearms basically do the same damage as under the d20 modern rules set, with 3 round bursts dealing one extra die of damage (as per “double tap” in d20 modern), and long bursts dealing two extra dice of damage. There are also “suppression” rules like those in the classic Delta Force RPG, where the targets of suppression make a Will save to not be pinned by suppressive fire.
Not surprisingly for a d20 game from Holistic, the book also includes a class that grants “social feats” (which they introduced in the d20 version of Fading Suns) – in this case the “officer” class. Which is what I’m going to roll up now. Captain Gorman of the U.S. Army.
For ability score generation, I’m going to try the “organic” method. 4d6-L in order, switch two stats, re-roll one. The initial rolls are 13, 12, 18, 10, 10 & 14. Wanting a natural leader type, I’m going to switch Con and Cha, and then re-roll the Wisdom of 10. The re-roll is a 15. Since all characters are humans in the game, they’ve added an optional “background” that you can choose from if you want to. The choices are Urban, Rural and Upper Class, the last of which suits my cliched vision of Gorman as the son of a long line of officers. This gives him +2 Int and -2 Wisdom, making his final stats a pretty uniform 13, 12, 14, 12, 13, 18 with that one spike for his Charisma.
As an upper class twit, he also has double the starting money, +2 Diplomacy & Intimidate, and may not take any Craft skills. As a level 1 Officer, he gets the Commissioned special ability (making him a 2nd Lieutanant) and one bonus Social Feat as well as his level 1 feat and his feat for being human. He gets Speak Language (English) at level 4, and one other language at level 1 because of his Intelligence bonus – he selects German after spending time posted in Germancy. He also gets a nice pile of 24 skill points to spend. With his existing bonuses in Intimidate and Diplomacy, those get maxed first. Max ranks in “Call Support” will make him valuable because he can bring in some pretty heavy guns when needed when combined with his high Charisma. He’s also good at Gather Information, but he’s not used to using it outside of yacht clubs and the officer’s mess. Hopefully he’ll realize that he can use it with the locals too.
To get to Captain rank, he needs to pick up the Military Rank feat, which is a social feat so he gets it as his bonus feat for being a level 1 officer. This gives him a +1 bonus on intimidate and diplomacy checks against lower-ranked individuals. As a front-line commander, he grabs the “Nerves of Steel” feat that allows him to automatically make his saves against suppressive fire and thus grant his team members a +4 on their saves from his brave example. Finally, “Point Blank Shot” is a prerequisite for a number of ranged combat feats, which he’ll be wanting in time.
Background: Upper Class
Strength: 13 (+1)
Dexterity: 12 (+1)
Constitution: 14 (+2)
Intelligence: 12 (+1)
Wisdom: 13 (+1)
Charisma: 18 (+4)
Hit Points: 10
Base Attack Bonus: +1
Fort Save: +4
Ref Save: +1
Will Save: +3
Feats & Special Abilities
Commission (2nd Lieutenant Rank)
Basic Weapon Proficiency
Carbine & Submachine Gun Proficiency
Modern Armor Proficiency
Military Rank (Captain Rank, +1 Leadership (+1 Intimidate & Diplomacy vs lower-ranked characters))
Nerves of Steel (Automatically make Will saves vs suppression. Allies gain +4 on their Will saves vs suppression if he stays standing)
Point Blank Shot (+1 to hit & damage within 30 feet)
Call Support +8 (4 ranks, +4 Cha)
Diplomacy +10 (4 ranks, +4 Cha, +2 Racial)
Gather Information +8 (4 ranks, +4 Cha)
Intimidate +10 (4 ranks, +4 Cha, +2 Racial)
Speak Language (English) +4 (Full Fluency)
Speak Language (German) +1 (Simple Concepts Only)
Spot +5 (4 ranks, +1 Wis)
Use Computer +3 (2 ranks, +1 Int)
Use Tech Device +3 (2 ranks, +1 Int)