So here is Part II of Empyria: The Journey Beyond which will detail the Skills, Backgrounds and Motives which are available for the hero. Just as with Part 1, you vote and I will pick the most popular choice.
Over the course of the adventures, the hero will gain advancements which can be used to upgrade already known skills or learn new ones.
These Skills determines the hero’s proficiency in various forms of combat. The hero’s class will determine what skills can be chosen
Choose which melee weapons the hero will be proficient in. Warriors can skip this as they are trained for all. Sages and Sorcerers can only pick two. Traders, Operatives and Troopers can choose three.
• Unarmed – Proficiency in unarmed combat allows the hero to fight well without any weapons as well as improving the effectiveness of fist weapons such as brass knuckles, punch daggers and even allows access to mechanical weapons such as Power Fists and Shot-Gauntlets.
• Blades – Proficiency in Blades allows the hero to be skilled in the use of daggers, knives and swords as well as how capable the hero would be in dual wielding.
• Blunts – Proficiency in Blunts allow the hero to efficiently wield bludgeoning weapons such as Clubs, Maces, Guns (by whacking enemies) and axes. This also affects dual wielding.
• Polearms – This skill affects the hero’s ability to wield weapons placed upon long shafts such as spears, bardiches, glaives, voulges, bayonets and even staves.
• Shields – This skill determines how effective the hero will be in using physical shields such as those equipped by riot police or knightly orders.
Choose which ranged weapons the hero will be proficient in. Troopers can skip this as they are trained for all. Sages and Sorcerers can only pick two. Traders, Operatives and Warriors can choose three.
• Pistols – While all characters can wield pistols regardless of class, proficiency in this skill allows the hero to adequately wield pistols in both hands or allow the use of pistols which may have complex mechanisms. Machine Pistols count here as well along with certain sub machine guns depending on its size and sawed off shotguns.
• Basic – This skill affects the hero’s ability to use a variety of guns such as rifles, shotguns, carbines and certain submachine guns. (If you are familiar with the Fallout series then think of Small Guns but without the pistols)
• Marksmanship – Proficiency in this skill allows the hero to expertly wield sniper rifles as well as any other gun which has a scope attachment for long distance shooting.
• Throwing – This skill affects how far the hero can throw certain wepaons such as grenades, knives, spears and even rocks.
• Archery – The use of bows and crossbows can still be found on many worlds where the local populace have regressed into tribalism or on worlds where technology is advanced and the use of high tech projectile such as explosive arrows or acid tipped bolt can be found.
A note on weapons:
Certain weapons such as knives, pistols, spears, most fist weapons count as a basic weapon which everyone can use regardless of skill. Many weapons also use two different weapons skill depending on how they are wielded. For example, an assault rifle falls under Basic when firing it but if you try to hit an enemy with the stock then it counts as blunt but if you try to stab a foe with a bayonet then it counts a polearms.
Certain Polearm Weapons such as spears can be used by everyone as long as it does not exceed 6ft in length, any larger and it will only be usable for Warriors with their Juggernaut ability.
There also exists in the galaxy Cyber Weapons which are weapons that are attached to the hero’s body through mechanical augmentations. The skills which affect the use Cyber Weapons will depend on the nature of the weapon such as blade attached to the arm will count towards blades while fingers that end in claws count towards Unarmed.
Information regarding cybernetics as well as weapons and armor will be included in a future chapter
Multiple votes allowed! Vote!
Multiple votes allowed! Vote!
Crafting and Utility Skills I
These Skills are mostly non-combat related abilities that can help the hero out over the course of his/her adventures. From things like picking locks, repairing machinery, healing wounds and building your own weapons, having the right skills can mean the difference between life and death. Some skills also have unique synergies if taken together. Vote for three skills which the hero will be proficient in. Traders and Operatives can choose four instead and they start with a skill that does not count towards the limit which will be covered later.
Mechanics – This skill allows the hero to be able to fix machinery, weapons, metallic armor and various other items if the necessary tools are available. It can be useful for helping keep a ship up and running, disassembling guns, providing maintenance for equipment, scavenging scrap metal from destroyed machines, disabling land mines or low tech traps and tinkering around with items to make them stronger.
Metallurgy – Having knowledge of this skill allows the hero to be capable of smelting metal (both raw ore and already processed materials) and turning it into other useful components. From creating screws and nails for construction to forging swords or other melee weapons, Metallurgy synergizes well with Mechanics and Weaving, allowing for the creation of heavy suits of body armor and at higher levels even craft suits of Power Armor. Metallurgy also allows the hero to make their own metallic jewelry such as rings and necklaces.
Weaving – Throughout the galaxy, nearly every civilized species wears at least some article of clothing. Whether it be made from simple plant based fabrics to the hides of beasts, the skill of a Weaver is highly sought out throughout the galaxy. Weavers are capable of making items and armor using cloth, leather or even the shells of certain beasts and are capable of repairing items made from such materials.
Shaping – Across the cosmos lies many exotic materials such as crystals and gems which can be used for various items. Items such as the lens needed to project a laser weapon to precious gems embedded into a necklace; the Shapers are capable of transforming these valuable minerals into items which other skills can make use of.
Lock Picking – Despite the invention of advanced computers and electronic security systems, there are many worlds where humanity still use the tried and tested method of metal locks which require a key to protect the precious contents within safes or to keep doors sealed.
Programming – With the advancement of technology over the ages, the ability to hack into computer systems is considered an essential skill for many spacers. Whether it be stealing sensitive corporate information from a CEO’s computer or trying to steal a fancy hover car, the ability to hack into electronic software has many applications. Choosing this skill with Repair can allow the hero to build their own robotic companions or create small drones that can help out in a variety of ways such as providing repairs, first aid or shocking enemies with electric jolts.
Medicine – Knowledge of providing first aid and healing can be a great boon to any mercenary or spacer for disease is just as much a killer as a bullet. This skill allows the hero to be able to properly perform medical procedures ranging from bandaging wounds to performing complex surgery. At higher levels, Medicine can provide knowledge regarding alien anatomy and not only how to treat the injuries and sicknesses but it can also be a very useful source for…. “Other” activities. If this skill is taken with Programming and Mechanics, it will allow the hero to craft their own cybernetics.
Chemistry – Knowing how to mix up various chemicals whether it is from common household products to industrial grade items can be quite valuable under the right circumstances. With this skill, the hero can create poisons to coat their weapons, make acids that can be thrown like grenades, home-made fuels to power a ship’s engines and even be used to create chemical solutions that can upgrade equipment. If Chemistry is taken with Medicine, then the hero will be able to create their own healing items as well as drugs of dubious legality. If taken with Mechanics, it can be used to make your own bombs, grenades and other explosive devices.
Etiquette – Being proficient in this skill allows the hero’s own words to become a powerful tool. From talking your way out of a bad situation to haggling prices from an arms dealer, being able to finely craft your speech can also lead to greater rewards during adventures and inspiring allies to greater feats.
Crafting and Utility Skills II
Husbandry – As man traveled across the galaxy, he did not just find intelligent alien life forms but also many more that are truly bestial. Choosing this skill will allow the hero to have a knack in dealing with wild animals, whether it be creatures brought with humanity from earth such as dogs and cats to more exotic and dangerous entities found on other planets. With this skill, the hero could possibly tame and even befriend a beast type creature which can serve as an added companion as well as the breeding of animals for profits or other purposes.
Awareness – This skill determines how perceptive the hero is of his/her surroundings. Having a good awareness skill allows the hero to spot hidden dangers such as traps, land mines, trip wires and high levels can be used to spot enemies use cloaking technology. This skill is also useful in social interactions where it allows you to tell if someone is lying to you. Awareness is also capable of letting you track a target by following their footprints and at higher levels even discern their state such as if the target is wounded or is carrying heavy to light equipment.
Pick Pocketing – As the name says, this skill allows the hero to be able to pick the pockets of marks, allowing them to quietly acquire certain items without drawing any attention. Whether it be accidentally bumping into someone or passing by, the ability to pick the pockets of someone can help avoid particularly messy situations. This skill synergizes well with Etiquette as it will allow the hero to be able to bluff their way out if he/ she were ever screwed up or to throw off a mark before a Pick Pocketing attempt is made.
Imbuement – It was discovered long ago that a psychic is capable of granting a portion of their power into an inanimate object, thus giving it access to supernatural properties. From laser rifles that are mysteriously powered with more energy than it should have to swords that blaze with unnatural fire, the skill of a professional Imbuer is very much sought after by many powers. Depending on the competency and psychic strength of the Imbuer, an item’s imbuement can range from temporary to permanent and may or not may not be useable by non-psychics. Imbuement can also be combined with mechanics It must be stressed that this is a psychics only skill.
These skills are completely optional for the hero to take and are separate from Utility Skills but they have their uses in many, non-combative situations. Choose three if you wish.
Butchery – This skill allows the hero to properly skin and cut out the flesh, meat and bones of beasts, thus allowing them to be usable for other skills.
Botany – This skill grants the hero of knowledge of plants and herbs, thus making the hero capable of not only harvesting flora for various needs but also identifying which plants are poisonous, which have medicinal properties and which are edible.
Culinary – Being able to cook a hot meal can go a long way in keeping a group together as well as lifting spirits before a battle. For obvious reasons, it synergizes well with butchery and botany by allowing the hero to have access to a greater number of ingredients.
Mining – This skill allows the hero to properly mine of raw minerals and ores if they find any on their journey.
A note on Utility Skills:
Over the course of the adventures, the hero will meet many NPCs who may possess some of the Utility Skills listed above and the hero can work with these characters to combine both resources and technical knowledge to create powerful items or overcome obstacles. Whether that NPC will work with the hero depends on the hero’s influence over them which will be covered in a future chapter.
Traders and Operatives also start with a skill which does not count towards their skill limit, thus allowing a total of five. This also applies for Sages and Sorcerers who will automatically have imbuement and can choose three other skills.
• Traders start with the Etiquette Skill and can choose four more. They also have a bonus to any of the item crafting skills if it is chosen.
• Operatives can choose to have as their bonus skill Programming, Pick Pocket, Lock Picking and Etiquette. They can only choose one which will not count towards their skill limit.
Multi-Classing and Skills.
If the hero Multi-Classes then there are many options on what skills can be chosen.
• A Multi-Class of Trooper and something else can choose four of the range combat skills and three melee combat skills while the vice versa occurs for Warrior in regards to melee weapons.
• Operative and Trader Multi-Classes retain having one bonus skill that does not count but can only choose three skills, thus making a total of four.
• Sage and Sorcerer Multi-Classes will retain their bonus skill for Imbuement can choose three skills.
• If Trader or Operative Multi-Classes with Sage or Sorcerer, then they can choose to retain one of the bonus skills of their choosing, three utility skills and three of each combat skill.
• It should also be taken into account that a Multi-Class of a Sage or Sorcerer will not be as powerful as a pure member of those classes in terms of psychic abilities which will be covered in a future chapter.
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The Hero is too cool for these. None.
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The galaxy is a wide place with humanity having spread out across thousands of worlds. Over the millennia nations and empires have risen and fallen, leaving Man as among the most divided of species with a wide diversity in cultures. You may choose what sort of world and culture the hero hails from, each will affect the hero in some way.
On many worlds, there are people who can only dream and wonder what it is like to travel the empty void of space and living a majority of one’s life aboard these vessels but for you, it is quite the other way around. For you, spending a long period of time living on a planet seems like an alien concept, how people manage to even get by feeling the weight of natural gravity and having to put up with the constant change of the weather and seasons seems like a hassle. Having this background makes the hero very knowledgeable about ships as well as navigating and piloting one. Choosing this background will also throw the hero off a bit whenever he/ she arrives on a new planet as the protagonist will need more time than most others to adjust to the climates.
The story of a boy or girl from a humble farm dreaming to see the stars and being thrust into greater galactic events is a popular one that has captured the imagination of humans since Time of Terra. In modern times, there is no shortage of farmlands across the many thousands of human worlds for without the hard and often unappreciated labors of these simple folk, the cities inhabited by thousands to billions would starve and social unrest occurring at unprecedented rates. Choosing this background allows the hero to be knowledgeable about agriculture or ranching as well as knowing more about hunting and surviving in the wilds. Having this background can give the hero a bit of a stigma from urban dwellers who might think that the protagonist is some backwoods yokel.
It is said that when humanity began spreading across the stars they brought with it not only civilization and culture but that they had also brought crime. Your character was born and raised in the mean streets of some cesspit of a planet where you grew up learning from the school of hard knocks. Having long ago become desensitized to witnessing violent crimes and gangland warfare, you probably have some experience yourself with committing such things. Despite this harsh upbringing, you have not only survived but have thrived for having spent a lifetime among the seedier side of society has earned you a great deal of knowledge about dealing with criminal organizations and other shady businesses. This background also makes lawmen a bit fidgety around the hero as a number of them may recognize the subtle signs of someone who has spent a lot of time being on the wrong side of the law.
In every society, there are those at the bottom and those at the top and you count yourself among the latter. It is a common misconception that those who live among the privileged elite have lives of luxury which is quite true but for many, many worlds it is far more cutthroat than most people would realize. Regardless of such origins whether you are the child of a Mega Corporate Executive or the scion of a Noble House, you most likely have attended some prestigious university and have had to deal with the intrigues of your fellows. Coming from this background has made the hero very knowledgeable in many academic topics and allows you to better maneuver through the deadly political games that are rife in the highest echelons of human society. This background may mark the hero as someone of wealth, a prime target for terrorists looking to ransom somebody or for petty thugs to rob.
As humanity had spread across the galaxy, new religions sprung up and the old faiths from the Time of Terra had either disappeared or changed altogether. For as long as you remember, you have lived within the halls of a monastery, maintaining a life of piety and asceticism. How you left and why is of course up to you but life among monks has given you a great deal of both self control and self discipline which can come in handy as well as providing knowledge on various academic topics. Due to having lived a life of abstinence and self deprivation, if the hero loses control of his “base” urges then the hero, will really, really lose it.
This background does not provide any significant advantages or disadvantages. The hero was born to a normal life with a satisfying childhood with nothing very traumatic happening.
Other (specify in comment section)
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Given the choice, most people would not choose to live the life of a freelance vagabond, especially after learning the cold realities of which it entails yet here you are, in the void of space, waiting for the next job. Yet what drives someone to face danger on a regular basis? To dance with death and wake up every morning wondering if it will be your last?
It is said that greed and avarice are among the greatest motivators for humans and perhaps whoever came up with it was right. The desire to acquire more money drives the hero into danger, it matters not how many bullets he must evade, how many beasts he must slay and how many foes he face for in the end that big fat paycheck makes it all worthwhile.
Perhaps the hero is motivated by a sense of righteousness? A desire to see evil doers punished and eases the pain of a galaxy filled with strife? If such is the case then the hero will certainly have his hands full for the galaxy has no shortage of scum and villainy but it does for those who are willing to do the right thing no matter the cost.
At some point in the past, the hero had committed some sort of crime, or at least had done something that many would consider unforgivable. Whatever was the reason, the hero can no longer go home and was forced to take to the stars. Perhaps the hero is desperately searching for a new home? A new purpose in life? Only time will tell.
Many experts believe that despite the thousands of years which humanity and numerous civilized space faring species have existed, only a portion, less than even 5% of the entire galaxy has been explored. A great unknown awaits out there, beyond the darkness of the void among the distant light of the stars, filled with wonders and horrors waiting to be found. With this motive, the hero is driven by wanderlust to explore the forgotten and unknown reaches of the galaxy where no man has dared to tread before.
Conflict and strife are far too common across the galaxy. Turn on the Holovision and switch to the local news channel and most likely you will either hear a report of some conflict in a distant star system. For the Warmonger, being caught in the middle of a warzone is a far greater reward than any pile of cash for the rush of adrenaline, the smell of cordite, ionized air and freshly spilled blood is what they live for and in the Milky Way Galaxy, if there is one thing that will never is change is that there will always be war.
Other (specify in comments)
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That is it for now, the third chapter will deal with the crew and companions that will join the protagonist's adventures. Don't forget to check part 1 and cast your votes.