D20 Modern Horror – Scholars Part 1

1.3 Scholar Meta-class Abilities

1.3.1 Field Researcher

In the quest for knowledge you have to get your hands dirty (and no that wasn’t a play on words). This Protagonist has a passion for science and putting theory into practice. Field Researchers tend to be loners and self-reliant combined with a keen and insightful intellect. Inspirations: Angus MacGyver, Mary Elizabeth Winstead from The Thing Prequel, Finn Carter from Tremors, and of course Indiana Jones.

PRIME REQUISITES – A high INT is essential for delving into the secrets …out there. A good DEX and WIS also prove useful.

PROTAGONIST ALIGNMENT – Field Researchers are guided by the Scientific Method and see the underlying Order that provides. All Field Researchers are Lawful in alignment.

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER – These Protagonists are loners and mavericks by nature and their mental afflictions reflect that fact. A Field Researcher chooses a single disorder from one of the following disorder categories: Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder or Obsessive / Compulsive Disorder.

CLASS SKILLS – All Field Researchers start with Latin (Rank 4) as a spoken and written language. Balance, Bluff (Archaeologist only), Climb, Concentration, Craft (Pharmaceutical – Medical Examiner / Coroner , Cryptozoologist and Biologist only, Electronic and Mechanical – Parapsychologist only), Decipher Script (Archaeologist / Anthropologist and Parapsychologist only), Disable Device (Archaeologist only), Disguise (Non-modern disguises only – Anthropologist only), Drive, Escape Artist (Archaeologist / Anthropologist and Parapsychologist / Cryptozoologist only), Forgery (Non-modern only – Anthropologist only), Gamble (Archaeologist only), Gather Information, Handle Animal, Hide (Archaeologist / Anthropologist only), Investigate (Medical Examiner / Coroner only), Jump, Knowledge (Anatomy (Human) – Medical Examiner / Coroner only, Arcane Lore – Parapsychologist only, Archaeology – Archaeologist only, Anthropology – Anthropologist only, Behavioural Sciences – Anthropologist only, Earth and Life Sciences – Biologist and Cryptozoologist only, History – Archaeologist / Anthropologist only, Theology and Philosophy – Archaeologist/ Anthropologist and Parapsychologist only), Listen, Navigate, Pilot, Profession, Repair (Knowledge skill items only), Ride, Read / Write & Speak Language, Research, Search, Spot, Survival, Swim, and Treat Injury (Medical Examiner / Coroner only).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (7 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (7 + Int modifier)

FEATS – Field Researchers start with 2 Feats at 1st level and then 1 feat every level divisible by 3 (3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, etc). Aircraft Operation, Alertness, Archaic Weapon Proficiency (Archaeologist / Anthropologist only), Armour Proficiency (Light only), Athletic, Attentive, Brawl (and related feats), Cautious (Archaeologist only), Confident (Archaeologist only), Deceptive (Archaeologist / Anthropologist only), Dodge only, Educated, Endurance, Focused, Gearhead, Great Fortitude, Guide, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Low Profile, Medical Expert (Medical Examiner only), Personal Firearms Proficiency only, Point Blank Shot only, Power Attack  only, Quick Draw, Quick Reload, Renown, Run, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Stealthy, Studious, Surface Vehicle Operation, Toughness, Track (Cryptozoologist only), Trustworthy, and Windfall.

CLASS FEATURES – At 1st level each Field Researcher receives a bonus feat : Archaeologist / Anthropologist starts with Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Medical Examiner / Coroner starts with Surgery, Parapsychologists start with Builder, Biologists and Cryptozoologists start with Animal Affinity. Bonus Features : At 2nd level the Field Researcher gains the Weapon Smarts ability (he may apply his INT mod instead of STR mod for melee weapons to hit bonus and instead of DEX mod for ranged weapons). At 4th level the Field Researcher achieves Defensive Smarts : he may replace his DEX bonus with his INT bonus for Reflex saves and Armour Bonus purposes. At 5th level the MacGyver Effect kicks in, whenever the Field Researcher is under a time limit for imminent death all INT based skills have their ranks doubled until the time runs down or the Field Researcher dies. At 7th level the Field Researcher learns Tactical Smarts and may now apply his INT as a damage bonus to his attacks instead of the standard Stat Bonus (whichever is greater). At 8th level the Greater MacGyver Effect occurs, the ranks are now tripled for INT based skills during time limited life-or-death situations.

SAVE TABLES (PHB3.5 PG.22) – Fortitude (Good), Reflex (Good), Will (Poor)

BASE ATTACK BONUS (PHB3.5 PG.22) – Average

STARTING EQUIPMENT: All Field Researchers start with either a 4×4 pickup truck, an off-road ATV or a dirt bike. Medical Examiner / Coroners start with a full first aid kit and set of surgical tools. Biologists start with a tranquilizer gun and 10 doses of one type of tranq, Biologists and Parapsychologists / Cryptozoologists start with a pair of low-light / IR Goggles, and Archaeologists / Anthropologists start with one exotic weapon of their choice. Wealth bonus is 10 + Level + INT modifier.

1.3.2 Scientist

Science is the purest pursuit of Truth in all its many facets, but all these Truths are grounded in the Natural. When Scientists face the true horror of things beyond rational explanation that is the moment when their minds finally break, and yet its freeing in a way, allowing them to fight against the Darkness with the powerful intellects at their disposal. The only good Scientist is a Mad Scientist! Inspirations: Seth Brundle from The Fly, Sam Neill in Event Horizon, Blair from The Thing, Walter Bishop in Fringe, and frickin‘ Dr. Who!.

PRIME REQUISITES – A high INT is essential for delving into the secrets …out there. A good DEX and WIS also prove useful.

PROTAGONIST ALIGNMENT – Scientists are guided by the Scientific Method and see the underlying order that provides, but that does release them somewhat from the normal bounds of human morality and ethics. All Scientists are Neutral in alignment (NG, TN, LN, CN, NE).

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER – The only good Scientist is a Mad Scientist! A Scientist chooses a single disorder from one of the following disorder categories: Personality Disorders, Anxiety Disorder or an Obsessive / Compulsive Disorder.

CLASS SKILLS – All Scientists start with Computer Use (Rank 4) and Latin (Rank 5) as a spoken and written language. All Scientist also start with one Rank in their Special Knowledge Skill (History, Astronomy Cryptology, etc). Bluff (Psychologist only), Concentration, Craft (Chemical – Chemist only, Electronic – Physicist only, Pharmaceutical – Geneticist only, Writing – all), Decipher Script (Historian and Cryptologist/Symbologist only), Diplomacy (Psychologist only), Drive, Forgery (Cryptologist only), Gamble, Gather Information, Knowledge (Art – Historian and Symbologist only, Behavioural Sciences – Psychologist only, Earth and Life Sciences – Geneticist only, History – Historian only, Physical Sciences – Astronomer, Physicist, and Chemist only, Theology and Philosophy – Historian and Psychologist only, Genetics – Geneticist only, Astronomy – Astronomer only, Psychology – Psychologist only, Cryptology – Cryptologist only, Symbology – Symbologist only), Profession, Repair (Knowledge skill items only), Research, Read / Write & Speak Language, Research, Sense Motive (Psychologist only), and Swim.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (7 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (7 + Int modifier)

FEATS – Scientists start with 2 Feats at 1st level and then 1 feat every level divisible by 3 (3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, etc). Armour Proficiency (Light only),  Attentive, Brawl (and related feats), Builder (Chemist and Physicist only), Confident, Creative, Dodge only, Educated, Focused, Gearhead, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Low Profile, Medical Expert (Geneticist only), Meticulous (Cryptologist only), Personal Firearms Proficiency only, Point Blank Shot only, Quick Draw, Quick Reload, Renown, Run, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Studious, Surface Vehicle Operation, Toughness, Trustworthy (Psychologist only), and Windfall.

CLASS FEATURES – At 1st level Scientists receive a bonus feat : Scientific Improvisation (Specific to the Scientific Discipline of the Protagonist, see D20 Modern pg. 176)) Bonus Features : At 2nd level the Scientist gains  Defensive Smarts : he may replace his DEX bonus with his INT bonus for Reflex saves and Armour Bonus purposes. At 5th level the Scientist achieves a Minor Breakthrough (see D20 Modern pg.176). At 7th level the Field Researcher learns a Major Breakthrough (see D20 Modern pg. 177). At 8th level the MacGyver Effect occurs, see the Field Researcher for details.

SAVE TABLES (PHB3.5 PG.22) – Fortitude (Poor), Reflex (Good), Will (Good)

BASE ATTACK BONUS (PHB3.5 PG.22) – Poor

STARTING EQUIPMENT: All Scientists start with a mid-size sedan. Wealth bonus is 10 + Level + INT modifier.

1.3.3 Occultist

Occultists search the depths of human knowledge and history for a hint of what lies beyond reality…beyond death. This pursuit of forbidden knowledge permanently damages the psyche of the Protagonist but the cost is worth the reward. Inspirations: Professor “Broom” Bruttenholm from Hellboy, Constantine / Hellblazer, Setrakian from The Strain trilogy, many characters in Clive Barker‘s Imajica, Weaveworld, and The Damnation Game.

PRIME REQUISITES – A high INT and WIS are essential for delving into the secrets …from beyond.

PROTAGONIST ALIGNMENT – The pursuit of hidden secrets and forbidden knowledge is all-consuming for Occultists and they are also quite unhinged so they are always Chaotic in alignment or True Neutral.

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER – And you thought the Scientist was crazy… the Occultist chooses a single disorder from either a Personality Disorder, an Impulse Control Disorder, or a Phobia / Mania.

CLASS SKILLS – All Occultists start with Knowledge (Arcane Lore) (Rank 4), Decipher Script (Rank 4) and Speak & Read Latin (Rank 4) as a spoken and written language. At 1st level all Occultists also start with one Rank in their Insanity Skill, either Knowledge (Damnation Lore) OR Knowledge (Cthulhu Lore). Each Occultists may only spend skill points on the skill chosen at 1st level, the other skill may only be learned and increased through the course of normal play like any other Protagonist would. Also, the Occultist still incurs SAN loss with every skill point he spends on his Insanity Knowledge Skill.
Concentration, Craft (Visual Arts, Writing), Decipher Script, Disguise (Arcane or Occult disguises only), Drive, Forgery (Occult related only), Investigate, Knowledge (Arcane Lore, History and Theology / Philosophy), Profession, Research, Read / Write & Speak Language, Research, Swim, Use Magic Device.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (7 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (7 + Int modifier)

FEATS – Occultists start with 2 Feats at 1st level and then 1 feat every level divisible by 3 (3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, etc).  Note: Occultists are one of the few classes that never use guns (they‘re like horror Jedi). Archaic Weapon Proficiency, Athletic, Brawl (Only), Combat Expertise (Only), Creative, Deceptive, Educated, Endurance, Exotic Melee Weapon Proficiency, Focused, Frightful Presence, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Low Profile, Meticulous, Power Attack (Only), Renown, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Studious, Two-Weapon Proficiency (Only), Weapon Finesse, and Windfall.

CLASS FEATURES – At 1st level Occultists receive a bonus feat : Spell Resistance (see D20 Modern pg. 294). Bonus Features : At 2nd level the Occultist gains Arcane Research (Scrolls) (see D20 Modern pg. 294). At 7th level the Occultist gains the Arcane Research (Items) feat (see D20 Modern pg. 295) but the items are restricted to wands, rings, and weapons.  At 10th level the Occultist gains Banish as seen on pg. 295 of D20 Modern with one alteration, the creatures that the Occultist may banish are only those associated with his chosen Insanity Skill.

SAVE TABLES (PHB3.5 PG.22) – Fortitude (Good), Reflex (Poor), Will (Poor)

BASE ATTACK BONUS (PHB3.5 PG.22) – Poor

STARTING EQUIPMENT: All Occultists start with a compact or sub-compact car. Wealth bonus is 10 + Level + INT modifier.

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