Friday, July 5, 2019

P&P GLOG Class: Soldier

All my previous classes are part of my GLOG hack Plaster & Pulque, based off of preapocalyptic/postapocalyptic Victorian-era Mesoamerica where the Triple Alliance (Aztecs, main focus), Mayan city-states, and Tawantinsuyu (Incan empire) were never conquered or colonized. This is the first class that I feel reflects some specifics of the setting.

Some music to set the mood.
GLOG Class: Soldier

All glory to Lexi, Spwack, and Type1Ninja for reviewing this for me.

A: Barter, Ground Pounder, +1 Attack
B: Training or PFC, Connection, +1 Fighting Style
C: Specialist or Captain, Stoic, Mandate, + 1 Attack,
D: Special Forces or Sergeant, Requisition, +1 Fighting Style

Bartering is second nature to you. You can exchange luxury items (tequila ration, cacao bars/powdered cacao, pulque, tobacco) for other luxury items, rumors, gossip, privileged information, ammunition, drugs, and more instead of using regular currency. You can even trade with people whose language you don’t know or hostile soldiers if you’re a prisoner of war. 

You’re a Ground Pounder. You can ignore up to Soldier [templates] of exhaustion from being encumbered, forced marches, or eating half rations. You can also stand 2 night watches without incurring exhaustion.

Exhaustion Sidebar: You gain exhaustion when undertaking strenuous physical activity without a break (usually a Con Save) or when you’re overencumbered. Each point of exhaustion takes up a slot of physical inventory that you choose without mutations, and if that slot is occupied, you have to get rid of whatever equipment is in that slot or take a cumulative -1 penalty to all rolls involving physical activities. If your number of exhaustion points takes up half your physical inventory, you must Save versus Con or collapse, unable to move until a point of exhaustion is removed. 
A full meal and a good night’s sleep removes all exhaustion.

You’ve caught the attention of someone who wants you to get some Training, if you wish. You may choose or roll one option from the list below. 

Training: (1d8)
  1. Combat Medic: As long as you have your medical satchel on hand, you may remove fatal wounds on a 3 in 6, halt the progress of fever, apply medication to prevent gangrene, and apply painkillers. 
  2. Mechanic: With a toolkit and necessary materials, you can fix damaged or malfunctioning machines (including guns) that you’ve seen before, and if you don’t have the needed materials, you know what they are. You can repair unfamiliar machinery with a 2 in 6 chance. You can also sabotage machinery, creating faults undetectable to casual inspection.
  3. Loader: You can operate and tow a field gun, howitzer, mortar, or cannon along with 3 other people. You can submit a request for special ammunition and have an exquisite pair of binoculars, earplugs, and a rangefinder. 
  4. Demolitionist: You can plant, set off, and defuse familiar explosives, and identify weak points in buildings and fortifications. You can defuse unfamiliar explosives with a 3 in 6. You have a small supply of blasting caps, safety fuses, and 6 sticks of dynamite or 6 gobs of blasting jelly.
  5. Field Engineer: You can direct the building of entrenchments and fortifications, divine rough floor plans of buildings you look at from 2 sides in 3 in 6, spot weaknesses/blind spots in fortifications, and create plans to remedy those blind spots. You have a scratchpad, charcoal, and a slide rule.
  6. Marksman: You have a scoped rifle that reduces penalties for aiming to 1/8th and one clip of sniper rounds along with a special uniform that helps you blend into either urban or jungle combat zones. You can sight for snipers, counter snipe, and divulge the directions of enemy movements or the possible locations of enemy commanders on 2 in 6. You can submit a request for special ammunition.
  7. Experimental: You’ve been assigned to test out experimental military technology/magic.
  8. Arcane: You’re given a rudimentary education in magic. Gain the cantrips and perk of a wizard school of your choice and the ability to detect combat magic like inverted goosebumps.
Experimental Technology (1d8):
  1. Flamethrowers
  2. Grenades (or special explosives)
  3. Guns (submachine guns, special ammunition, etc)
  4. Drugs (meth, regenerative, etc)
  5. Magical gear
  6. Enchantments
  7. Rubber gear or equipment 
  8. Petroleum derivatives
You’ve been promoted to a PFR (private first class, used liberally) and are put in charge of a 5-soldier unit, including yourself, that answers to a captain. You are responsible for your unit’s wellbeing and their behavior, and may give them orders that further your own and do not contradict or obfuscate any orders from higher ups except in extreme circumstances. Your soldiers will use hireling stats unless they’re other PC’s.
Despite your promotion, you don’t have to move any further up the command chain if you don’t want to.

You know a guy who knows a girl who has a Connection, enabling you to buy and sell contraband on black markets. Every time you buy or sell something, make a black mark and roll a d20. If you roll equal to or under the number of black marks you have, military police will show up (almost always in disguise) and investigate. For every week that goes by without you transacting via your Connection, remove a mark gained from your Connection.

Choose a Fighting Style from Mimics and Miscreants. Choose well!

You’re now a Specialist! Improve your Training to the corresponding Specialty if you already have one, choose another Training if you don't want to improve yours, or choose one Training if you don't already have one. You retain all the previous features of your Training unless otherwise noted.

  1. Field Surgeon: You have 2 combat medics to assist you and a portable surgery. When you have access to your surgery and an assistant, you may do anything a combat medic would do, amputate infected limbs, treat severe burns, reattach severed limbs successfully with a 1 in 6, cure gangrenous wounds with a 3 in 6, and remove fatal wounds with a 4 in 6. You can submit a request to use/carry special drugs or substances.
  2. Technician: You can design and construct mechanical devices and divine the function of unfamiliar machines. You can sabotage a machine to break down at a time within a day of your choosing with a 4 in 6 and jury rig a broken machine for one use or 1d6 rounds. You have a mechanic to assist you.
  3. Artillerist: You can operate any sort of artillery with 2 other people and are in charge of your own artillery piece, to be used at your discretion while following orders. You can diagnose malfunctions in artillery and detect unseeable faults in your artillery piece and its ammunition, and have access to special ammunition. With trained loaders, you can repair a damaged artillery piece with 2 in 6.
  4. Demolitions Expert: You oversee the destruction of strategic buildings and fortifications, infrastructure, and sapping efforts. You have 3 demolitionists under your command. You can also estimate the integrity of a damaged building and any weakened parts. You can also detect evidence of sapping operations, direct counter-sapping efforts.
  5. Engineer: You can plan and construct fortifications, buildings, and infrastructure. Additionally, you can identify hidden redoubts, bunkers, and artillery pieces. You have a field engineer to assist you.
  6. Sniper: You gain access to a sniper rifle and can manufacture a ghillie suit (camouflage suit) from surrounding materials while out of combat. You can acquire special ammunition.
  7. Experimental: You’ve survived testing the new innovation; it’s now yours to keep barring significant misconduct. Choose another thing to test!
  8. Arcane: You gain the drawback of the wizard school you chose, 1 MD, and 2 spells from that school. You can activate wizard vision in a 2 in 6 for one turn. 
If you were a PFC or performed an extraordinary feat, you’re promoted to Captain to oversee a team of 20 soldiers: 3 PFC’s, 12 accompanying soldiers, and 5 specializing soldiers to be distributed among your forces as you see fit.  You may give your forces orders that further your own.
If you take this feature but don’t have the PFC requisite, you gain the PFC feature instead.

You're Stoic, and can ignore one compulsion, phobia, and the like resulting from insanities while in an active combat zone. If you’re using this feature, Save versus Will with disadvantage after leaving an active combat zone or immediately suffer a breakdown.

You’re given a Mandate: permission to carry out your orders and preserve the lives of your forces as you see fit. For every time you publicly violate official regulations, disobey orders from higher-ups, or the like, make a black mark and roll a d6. If the d6 is equal to or less than the numbers of marks, your actions are subjected to review and you will be disciplined. If you ever acquire more than 6 black marks, you are subjected to discipline at the earliest possible opportunity.

Disciplinary Results: (1d6, 1d6 + black marks if you’ve acquired more than 6 black marks, including marks from your Connection.)
  1. 1 black mark. Keep track of these.
  2. 2 black marks.
  3. Demotion one rank (Sergeant → Captain, Specialist → Trained, etc. Please note that you don’t lose skills, just equipment and privileges. If you have rank and a Training/Specialty, you lose rank first.)
  4. Demotion one rank and 1 week of menial labor.
  5. Demotion two ranks. 
  6. Demotion one rank and imprisonment for 1d4 weeks.
  7. Demotion one rank and 2d4 weeks spent doing menial labor around the camp.
  8. Demotion two ranks and assigned to a non-combat position (cook, janitor, etc) for 1d6 months.
  9. Demotion to private.
  10. Dishonorable discharge. Lose everything except your skills.
  11. No punishment. Instead, a powerful figure will handwave your punishment and try to blackmail you into aiding their scheme.
  12. Imprisonment for 2d20 20-day months (or 2d12 months if your campaign uses a more Gregorian calendar). Time to plot an escape, prove innocence, or try another character.
  13. (13 and up.) The death penalty, to be carried out in 1d4 days. Escape or last-minute stays are never impossible.
Ryan Meinerding
You’re offered a chance to join a Special Forces team that operates on special assignments alongside friendly forces or alone. Upgrade a Training to a Specialty or choose another Training. You can choose a Soldier with 2 or more soldier templates to accompany you and gain access to special equipment to use on all your missions.

If you were previously a Captain, you’re promoted to Sergeant to oversee 4 captains with all their soldiers and either 4 specialists or 4 auxiliaries of your choice. If you were a PFC and took this feature, you become a Captain.

Auxiliary Forces:
  1. Sanctioned warlocks or wizards (Combat Mages)
  2. Sanctioned believers (Zealots)
  3. Sorcerer
  4. Sanctioned berzerkers
  5. Assassin
  6. Artillerist
  7. Prisoners of war fighting because you’re keeping loved ones hostage
  8. Mercenaries (can really be anything)
In the course of your mission, you may temporarily Requisition soldiers or materiel from lower ranking commanders.

Special ammunition for artillery/guns will be detailed in a separate post along with more complete encumberment/exhaustion/inventory/gun/artillery/etc rules.

Design Notes:
I’ve tried to create a class with a lot of career flexibility - one could either advance up the chain of command, improve individual capabilities and operate on a smaller tactical scale, or a little bit of both. The larger scale domain play (becoming a PFC, captain, and sergeant) requires more abstracted rules for combat to avoid lots of individual nitty-gritty dice rolls; probably lite wargame rules that work on at least 4 scales - individual (sniper duels!), PFC, captain, sergeant, and potentially higher.

This class is designed for maximum replayability. A captain with demolitionist training should feel and play very differently than a sniper with arcane training on a special forces team. Ideally, an entire party composed of soldiers would have a great time, while still feeling distinct from a group of thieves and wizards.

My hack doesn't have a class triad, but the Soldier is one of my Fighter analogues, along with my Veteran. I think there should be oodles of options for Fighterlike classes, to prevent the most interesting point of the class becoming "which weapon should I choose?" 


  1. Hello. Plaster & Pulque sounds like an interesting setting. What else can you say about it? I'd like to hear more if that's cool.

    1. Additional details are definitely somewhere in my next several posts! Basically, the preapocalyptic setting is defined by the conflict between the Triple Alliance and the Incan Empire over influence and land in the Mayan Confederacy. To win the grueling jungle wars, both sides are engaging in an intense arms race, seeking out knowledge both new and old. What's buried is emerging, what slept turns over, and the grand cities and armies change as something new and terribly old emerges from forgotten places...

      The postapocalyptic setting is about surviving in a world of demons and about holding on to what love and light is left in jungles, cenotes, and mountains threaded with corruption and relics of better times.

      I promise, more details to come!



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