- Character Customization
- Pirates! (with Spellbound bonus)
- Agents of Faith
- The Complete Guide to Beholders
- Dark Lore
- Blood and Guts
Blood and Guts
Let’s start with one of the new Prestige Classes from Blood and Guts. There are seventeen new Prestige Classes covering special ops characters, and this is one of my favorites. The Air Force special ops units don’t get nearly as much attention as Delta Force or SEALs, but they are just as dedicated, just as professional, and just as dangerous.
Air Force Pararescue
The job of the Air Force’s elite Pararescue Special Operations Unit is to parachute into enemy territory and recover downed pilots, providing any necessary medical attention, and escorting them to safety. If injured personnel are too injured to be moved, the Pararescue unit stays with them until a rescue is possible, making contact with any friendly indigenous forces if possible.
Pararescue was born in the Second World War, when the crew of a C-46, 21 men, ditched into an uncharted jungle near the China-Burma border. Lt. Colonel Don Fleckinger, and a volunteer unit of medical corpsmen, parachuted in, and with the help of friendly natives, tended the wounded for more than a month before escape was possible.
In addition to more traditional Special Ops training, including small unit tactics, HALO Paradrop training, and advanced firearms training, Pararescue soldiers also become fully trained trauma physicians, in a course that is both physically and mentally grueling, and lasts a full year.
In peacetime, the Pararescue acts as an elite search and rescue force during times of natural disaster, assisting Coast Guard and allied foreign nations. They also provide emergency retrieval teams to NASA.
Pararescue forces wear maroon berets, and live their motto: “These things we do, that others may live”.
Air Force Pararescue units are stationed all over the world to allow a quick response. In addition to being posted at several American airfields, Pararescue units are stationed in Britain, Okinawa, and Iceland as well.
To qualify for Pararescue, a character must meet the following criteria.
Allegiance: Active or Reserve Duty (U.S. Air Force)
Skills: Paradrop 8 Ranks, Treat Injury 8 Ranks, Craft (Chemical) 5 Ranks, Craft (Pharmaceutical) 5 Ranks
Feats: Personal Firearms, Teamwork (U.S. Air Force)
Advanced Training: MOS (Medical) Skill Level 2, Jump School, one terrain Warfare College (usually Amphibious, but each unit tries to have at least one specialist for each terrain), Defense Language Institute.
The following features pertain to the Air Force Pararescue prestige class.
Hit Die: 1d8
Action Points: 6 + ½ character level, rounded down, every time the character gains a level in this class. Class Skills: Climb, Communications Operation, Craft (Chemical), Craft (Pharmaceutical), Diplomacy, Drive, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Tactics), Move Silently, Navigate, Paradrop, Survival, Swim, Treat Injury, Use Rope
Skill Points per Level: 9+Int. Modifier
Table: Pararescue Level BAB Fort Ref Will Def Rep Special 1st +0 +1 +1 +0 +1 +0 Talent 2nd +1 +2 +2 +0 +1 +0 Bonus Feat 3rd +2 +2 +2 +1 +2 +0 Talent; Grace Under Pressure 1/day 4th +3 +2 +2 +1 +2 +1 Bonus Feat 5th +3 +3 +3 +1 +3 +1 Talent; Bush Medicine 6th +4 +3 +3 +2 +3 +1 Bonus Feat 7th +5 +4 +4 +2 +4 +2 Talent; Grace Under Pressure 2/day 8th +6 +4 +4 +2 +4 +2 Bonus Feat 9th +6 +4 +4 +3 +5 +2 Talent; Grace Under Pressure 3/day 10th +7 +5 +5 +3 +5 +3 Bonus Feat
Grace Under Pressure: At 3rd level, Air Force Pararescue characters can add their class level to the following skills once per day: Craft (Chemical), Craft (Pharmaceutical), Diplomacy, Hide, Move Silently, Paradrop, Treat Injury. At 7th level this ability may be used twice per day, and at 9th level three times per day.
Bush Medicine: Pararescue characters are used to performing medicine in less than ideal conditions. At 5th level, the character can perform the following skills without the proper tools or facilities, at no penalty: Craft (Chemical), Craft (Pharmaceutical), Treat Injury. The character may also take 10 on Treat Injury skill checks even while under stress.
Bonus Feats: Advanced Firearms Proficiency, Air Traffic Control Expert, Alertness, Armor Proficiency (heavy), Armor Proficiency (light), Armor Proficiency (medium), Athletic, Burst Fire, Combat Martial Arts, Combat Reflexes, Cover Fire, Dead Aim, Double Tap, Endurance, Far Shot, Fast Track, Forced March, Guide, Heroic Surge, Improved Damage Threshold, Marksman, Mountaineer, Paratrooper, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Quick Reload, Renown, Sharpshooter, Stealthy, Strafe, Surface Vehicle Operation, Tactician, Toughness, Track, Voice of Command, Weapon Focus, Advanced Training (All)
The character must meet all prerequisites for any feat taken as a bonus feat.
Blood and Guts also has some new skills, and again I’ve picked a favorite.
Airborne insertions are a powerful military tool for inserting soldiers behind enemy lines for scouting, surprise raids, and special operations. In modern warfare, heavily fortified positions can be bypassed, encircled, and defeated with far less casualties than were taken in past conflicts. This skill allows a character to land precisely where she wishes to, and also allows parachuting under less than ideal conditions (from a very fast-moving craft, a low-flying craft and so forth). This skill also covers preparing equipment to be dropped.
Failing this check means the character lands 100 yards off target for every two points by which his roll missed the DC. Failing a check by more than 5 means the character has landed somewhere dangerous (depending on the situation, a dangerous landing could be in proximity to enemy soldiers, power lines, dense foliage, etc).
Failing the check to safely land in dense Foliage such as a forest means the character has become fouled in the brush 10-100 feet above the ground. Getting down usually involves climbing or simply cutting yourself free and falling the remaining distance.
Failing the check from a high speed or low altitude insertion results in 1-4 points of damage per 2 points by which the character missed the DC (in addition to possibly landing off target, and landing somewhere dangerous). The character may attempt either a Reflex save (DC 20), or a Tumble check (DC 15) to reduce this damage by half.
Forces on the ground need to roll a Spot check (DC 10) to detect incoming paratroopers 1-6 rounds (50-300 ft) before landing. Paratroopers in the air are extremely vulnerable to enemy fire, being treated as flat-footed both while in the air, and for 1-4 rounds after they land (while the soldiers get free of their heavy parachute riggings). A successful Paradrop skill (DC 15) will allow a character to get clear of his riggings in the minimum time (1 round).
For these reasons, soldiers will only be dropped into a hostile landing zone when absolutely necessary. Often Special Operations forces will be sent in first, to make sure an area is secure (neutralizing any enemy forces encountered) before more conventional troops are paradropped in.
For special operations, the HALO, or High Altitude Low Opening method of deployment is considered the ideal. Troops are dropped from extreme altitude, making the presence of aircraft harder to detect. The soldiers so deployed then wait until they are extremely low before deploying their parachutes. HALO landings are only spotted by forces on the ground on a Spot check of 20 or higher, and if a HALO drop is spotted, forces on the ground only have 1-2 rounds at which to attack the incoming Paratroopers.
LALO, or Low Altitude Low Opening method of deployment is also very popular, used when aircraft must come in under the radar of a potentially hostile group, or to avoid a diplomatic incident. LALO insertions are risk, as the soldiers are pulled from the craft, their chute opens, and they hit the ground, all in under a minute. On a LALO jump, characters receive 2d6 points of subdual damage from the stress and impacts of the jump.
|Check Sample Actions||DC|
|Land within 100 feet of target||15|
|Land within 100 yards of target||10|
|Land within one mile of target||5|
|Paradrop Safely through dense Foliage||25|
|Clear Riggings in 1 round||15|
Special: Characters with 5 or more ranks in Tumble receive a +2 Synergy bonus on paradrop checks. Characters with the Paratrooper feat gain a +2 bonus to Paradrop checks.
I know this is a radical thing to include in a book- and you will find this hard to believe, but Blood and Guts has some new feats as well! Just to give you a taste of the book’s flavor, I’ve picked a couple of nice ones.
Fast Track (General)Description: The character has gained the notice of his superiors and marked for rapid promotion, either through demonstrating his ability to lead, or his ability to brown-nose.
Effect: The character may immediately make a Promotion Check upon taking this feat. The character receives +4 on this and all future Promotion Checks.
Teamwork- Specific Team (General)
This character represents extensive training in small unit tactics. When the character takes this feat, he chooses one group for it to work with, such as the SEALs, the Rangers, the 82nd Airborne, and so forth.
Prerequisite: Allegiance (Specific Team)
Effect: Whenever the character is in an engagement with someone with the Teamwork feat for the same team (Army, Navy, Air Firce, Marines, Police, and so forth), he gains +2 to attack and skill checks. Each character serving on an artillery crew with this feat reduces the loading time of the weapon by one round. Characters with this feat can use hand signals to communicate simple information, such as “You and Johnson go left and keep your eyes open, I will go right”.
Special: Characters who have this feat gain a +2 bonus on Promotion checks (team players just fare better in the military at Promotion time).
A new type of ability unique to Blood and Guts, characters who are on Active or Reserve Duty (treated as Allegiances in the game) can take additional training, in the form of a feat. This can either be an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty- your military job) or a training course such as Jungle Warfare. These packages work a lot like Occupations, and represent the fact that an Army Medic, and an Army Infantryman both received some different training,
Arctic Warfare College (All)
Description: The character has learned how to fight and survive in arctic terrain.
Skills: The character gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls, and a +2 bonus to the following skills in arctic terrain: Balance, Climb, Demolitions (for rigging avalanches, landslides, and cave-ins), Drive, Hide, Knowledge (Tactics), Spot, Survival. Characters with this training are also proficient in the use of skis, which negate any movement penalties due to snow/arctic conditions.
MOS Combat Engineering (All)
Description: The character is trained in combat construction and bridge laying, as well as mine laying and mine removal.
Skills: Choose any three of the following as permanent class skills: Craft (Chemical), Craft (Electronic), Craft (Mechanical), Craft (Structural), Demolitions, Disable Device, Drive, Knowledge (Technology), navigate, Repair, Search, Survival. If a skill the character selects is already a class skill, he or she receives a +1 competence bonus on checks using that skill.
Feat: Surface Vehicle Operation (Heavy Earthmovers and Bridgelayers)
Rank and Promotion
It’s not all work for our men and women though, there’s also glory. Blood and Guts allows you ambitious types to rise in rank, gaining privileges as you ascend the ranks of your branch of service. Rank gives bonuses to Requisition checks, and a Wealth award when you leave the service (in the form of benefits, scholarships, pensions, and so forth). Let’s look at the Army Enlisted ranks for a peek. There’s a table like this for each branch of service, for the Enlisted, Warrant Officer, and Officer ranks.
Army Enlisted Ranks
|Name||Promotion DC||Requisition Modifier||Pay Grade|
|E-3||Private First Class||16||+2||+3|
|E-7||Sergeant 1st Class||22||+10||+7|
|E-9+||Command Sgt. Major||27||+18||+9|
|E-10||Sgt. Major of the Army||30||+20||+10|
But Wait There’s More!
I could go on, but I don’t want anyone to fall asleep. Just to let you know what else there is, Blood and Guts has a system for gaining medals, new combat rules to make the game more realistic, or downright gritty, aerial combat, indirect fire, and submarine warfare combat rules, Small Unit Combat rules (not really mass combat, but enough to run engagements with 100-500 combatants on each side without losing your mind), new weapons, and over 50 new vehicles, including some never seen in d20 Modern before, such as fighter jets, bombers, and submarines.
- Visit the RPGObjects website