Hey, all. Those who know me know that I am pretty Tau-friendly and have posted a lot of custom gear/weapons/drones/battlesuits in tandem with some other absolutely awesome people on these forums. Well, lately I have been attempting to make a full port of Tau PC (as well as auxiliary races) creation rules from what we have had access to in the past - largely Rogue Trader rules - to the DH2/BC/OW Aptitude system.
So far, it is not as detailed as the PC creation system in DH2, but it isn't necessarily meant to be.
In short: Tau PCs are based around three major foundations. These are Sept (homeworld), Caste (background), and Role. Given their strict caste system and dogmatic adherence to their place in life, Tau PCs will only ever have 7 Aptitudes which come from their Caste (1 Aptitude) and their Role (6 Aptitudes). I tinkered with the idea of having Sept also give an aptitude, but that task became too daunting. Perhaps in the future players could have 1 for Sept, 1 for Caste, and 5 for Role.
Without further ado:
Per page 9 of the Tau PC Guide, Roll 2d10 ten times and add 25** (this includes the Influence characteristic) and drop the lowest roll, then assign as you see fit. The Tau will also gain three + characteristic modifiers.
In addition to this, the following +/- rule from DH2 will be applied to characteristics:
+ Characteristic: When rolling to determine the specified characteristic, the character rolls 3d10, takes the two dice with highest results, and adds their results to 20 to determine the characteristic.
– Characteristic: When rolling to determine the specified characteristic, the character rolls 3d10, takes the two dice with lowest results, and adds their results to 20 to determine the characteristic. Tau Characteristic Mods: + : Ballistic Skill, Intelligence, & Fellowship. - : Weapon Skill & Strength
** I was torn here on following the Rogue Trader roll +25 for Tau or the more standard DH2 roll +20. Because I want the game to be more compatible with DH2, I was thinking of dropping it to +20. Thoughts?
Moving on to Classified Competence which I have kept from the RT Tau PC Guide with a slight amendment:
-In addition to the listed abilities in the Tau PC Guide, each classified competency comes with a +3 to the appropriate characteristic.
+ Windstrider, +3 AG
+ Adept Machinist, +3 INT
+ Dauntless Bulwakr, +3 WS
+ Exemplar of Unity, +3 FEL
+ Finder of Ways, +3 PER
+ Precise Hunter, +3 BS
Nothing game breaking here, but I wanted each of my CCs to have a bit more initial gifting/variation for the players.
Now for the meat and potatoes. This is where I would love to hear all suggestions and advice. What do people think works? What needs improvement? The auxiliaries I haven't really gotten into yet, but I know the RT books have me pretty much covered for Kroot, but Vespid, Gue'la, and others are proving trickier. Essentially, if a player wants to be an auxiliary, they don't yet have as extensive a PC creation process and that was somewhat purposeful given how the Empire treats its second-class citizens.
I pasted this straight from my PbP forum. Lime Green indicated I haven't filled that part out yet/"send help."
Sa'cea is a hot, densely populated, cosmopolitan Tau world. When the planet was originally settled by the Tau during the First Sphere of Expansion, the world was overrun with fierce flesh-eating predators that had to be hunted down and destroyed by the Fire Caste before settlers would dare to land. It is highly militarized and has one of the greatest proportion of fire warriors in the Tau Empire. During the Second Sphere Expansion it produced more colonization fleets than any other world. Benefits: PCs begin with Resistance (Heat) OR Double Team. Bonus Trait: "Accustomed to Population Density" - PCs from Sa'cea are used to the densely populated cities and ports that litter the planet. As such, they can weave through the densest mobs with ease. Crowds do not count as Difficult Terrain for Sa'ceans, and when Running or Charging through a dense crows, these Tau take no penalty to the Agility Test to keep their feet. - Pech
Pech, Homeworld of the Kroot, is a primitive Arboreal world with few lasting structures and only bare minimum manufacturing capabilities.The native Kroot live high among the tree tops in hives made of regurgitated wood. Areas devoid of the expansive planetary forests are covered in harsh tundra. The jagga tree, an evergreen tree native to this planet, blankets most of the largest continent where the fauna are also plentiful. Animal life of Pech consists almost entirely of Kroot and their cousin species including the peaceful, lumbering grazers called krootox, the savage kroot hound, and what may be the original kroot genus, the kroothawk. Pech has a deep spiritual significance for Kroot, and despite the Kroot presence across the whole Galaxy most will try to make a pilgrimage to Pech at least once in their lifetime. Benefits: PCs begin with Bonus Trait:
A frontier sept, those of Tash’var have been subjected to frequent Ork invasions and pirate raids. As a result, its people have become tenacious and hardy. Breacher teams from Tash'var are considered some of the best in the entire Empire. Benefits: PCs begin with Demolitions known OR Hatred (Orks). Bonus Trait: "Sure Kill" - In addition to the normal uses of Fate points, when a Tash'varian successfully hits with an attack, he may spend a Fate point to inflict additional damage equal to his degrees of success on the attack roll on the first hit the attack inflicts.
The Tau occupying this world wrested it from the grip of a fierce Ork warlord, though doing so cost them dear. The sept world has become a veritable fortress, though local battles still rage on its outlying worlds. Tau of this sept are known for a tenacious refusal to accept defeat, tempered by a stoic acceptance of the price all must pay in the furtherance of the Greater Good. Benefits: PCs begin with Resistance (Fear) OR Hatred (Orks) Bonus Trait: "The Tau'va is All" - When spending a Fate point to gain a +10 bonus to any one test, a PC from Fi'Rios gains a +20 bonus instead. - T'ros
Originally an Imperial mining company, the arid desert world of "Taros" was integrated into the Empire as T'ros. T'ros is today mainly inhabited by Gue'vesa who were formerly citizens of the Imperium but became turncoats because the Tau offered a better life. Gue'vesa and the subsequent Tau who settled T'ros are particularly tough and adaptable as a result. Benefits: PCs begin with Iron Jaw OR Die Hard. Bonus Trait: "Adroit" - At PC creation, characters from T'ros choose one characteristic. Throughout the game, any successful test with this characteristic (including skill tests related to it) gain an additional DoS.
+++[REDACTED BY ORDER OF ETHEREAL COUNCIL]+++
In addition to the planetary bonuses, Tau from the Farsight Enclaves also begin the game with these traits:
- "Mentally Hardened" - Centuries of living outside of the realm of the Greater Good has hardened the resolve of these Tau. A Farsight Enclave character halves the duration (rounded up) of any result from Table 8–11: Shock or Table 8–13: Mental Traumas (see pages 287 and 288 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook), and can remove Insanity points for 50xp per point rather than the normal 100xp.
- "Traitor to the Greater Good" - If the character must interact with members of the Greater Good outside of the Farsight Enclave, they are naturally distrusted and even at times disdained. All of these social interactions take a -30 penalty. - Vior'los
Vio'los is the capital of the Farsight Enclaves and the home of Commander Farsight and the majority of his military forces. Though Vior'los boasts a warm saline ocean teeming with life, the planet's contiguous landmass is both its principal training ground and its most stunning natural resource. The many tectonic borders are dotted with volcano chains, each of which harbours a training academy. It is said in the Enclaves that Vior'los, whose name loosely translates as "Son of Vior'la," can boast just as many warriors as its parent planet, if not more. Benefits: PCs begin with the Weapon Training (Choose 1) OR Combat Formation talent. Bonus Trait: "Inured to the Ork" - Vior'los characters have decades of experience fighting the hated Ork. These characters gain +20 to any Fear test caused by an Ork.
- Fire (Shas)
The Fire caste are the warriors of the Tau. It is the duty of these warriors to protect the other castes. Centuries of selective breeding has led to the Fire caste being the biggest and strongest of the Tau. Fire Warriors are strongly motivated by a strict code of honor in battle, and are not mindless thugs, preferring to use advanced ranged weaponry rather than brute force or close combat to win battles. Aptitude: Ballistic Skill OR Offense Benefits: The Tau gains +5 BS, +5 WS, and a +5 bonus to resist Fear or Pinning. Drawbacks: The Tau suffers a -5 Fel penalty. - Earth (Fio)
The Earth caste are the artisans and laborers of the Tau. It is they who build the machines, erect the dwellings, and provide the food for the rest of society. Engineers and scientists beyond compare, the Earth caste are responsible for the maintenance of Tau technology, and are sometimes seen accompanying Fire caste cadres into battle serving as combat engineers, battlefield technicians, or field surgeons. Tau of the Earth caste are short with squat, broad bodies. Aptitude: Intelligence OR Knowledge Benefits: The Tau gains +5 Int, +5 T (after calculating starting Wounds), and +5 to Tech-Use Tests. Drawbacks: The Tau suffers a -5 Ag penalty. - Air (Kor)
The Air caste members were traditionally messengers and couriers but now, with the march of technology, they encompass and drive the Tau Navy (Kor'vattra) onward to glory. They are pilots and spaceship crews beyond compare, transporting goods and warriors to where they are needed. Air caste members live almost entirely offworld, except for pilots of atmospheric craft (although frequently they live in orbital stations). Tau of the Air caste are the tallest of the castes, with hollow bones to better withstand extreme G-forces and gaunt features. Aptitude: Agility OR Finesse Benefits: The Tau gains +5 Per, +5 Ag, and +5 to Operate Tests. Drawbacks: The Tau suffers a -5 S penalty. - Water (Por)
Water is the element that can be found in all living things, flowing continuously to allow life to function. So it is that Water caste members are bureaucrats, politicians, negotiators and administrators. They are the merchants and diplomats, moving in and around the other castes to make sure that society functions smoothly. Water caste members often accompany Tau expeditionary forces to negotiate safe transit through alien systems and smooth the passage of Tau merchants and colonists. Tau of the Water caste are lithe, with rounded, soft features. Aptitude: Fellowship OR Social Benefits: The Tau gains +5 Fel, +5 WP, and +5 to Social Tests. Drawbacks: The Tau suffers a -5 BS penalty.
A Fire Warrior is a member of the Tau Fire Caste and thus serves as the primary soldier and the core combatant of the Tau Empire's multispecies armed forces. Fire Warriors are efficient, professional soldiers. They are well-equipped,and their absolute belief in the Greater Good and their fanatical trust in the Ethereal Caste makes them deeply determined soldiers, grim in defence and aggressive on the attack. Aptitudes: General; Agility, Ballistic Skill, Defense, Finesse, Offense, Perception, Tech Starting Gear: Pulse Rifle, Pulse Pistol, Tau Photon Grenades (x3), Tau Combat Armor w/inbuilt micro-bead, translator unit, and blacksun filter. Bonus Trait: "Gun Line" - When attacking a target that an ally attacked since the end of the Fire Warrior's last turn, the Fire Warrior can re-roll any results of 1 or 2 on damage rolls. - Shas'ui
Fire Warriors who work hard enough, can be promoted to the rank of Shas'ui. As Shas'ui, they can either lead teams of Fire Warriors or choose to become an XV8 Crisis Battlesuit pilot. Shas'ui are seasoned, competent, and respected among the shas'la they lead. The Shas'ui usually carries a Bonding Knife which is a symbol of unity within the group. Aptitudes: General; Ballistic Skill, Defense, Fellowship, Perception, Social, Strength, Toughness Starting Gear: Same as Fire Warrior w/choice of Pulse Carbine. All weapons good crafts. Bonus Trait: - Pathfinder
A member of the Fire caste must prove himself capable at the art of stealth before even being accepted
to undertake the training to become a Pathfinder, for the Fire caste has no shortage of recruits seeking to take on this dangerous battlefield role. As light reconnaissance units, Pathfinder Teams are the eyes and ears of their Tau Commander in a way no Tau Drone can yet emulate. A Pathfinder's role is not to engage the enemy, but instead to maximise the efficiency of the rest of their Hunter Cadre with their Marker Lights which designate priority enemy targets and guide the fire of their comrades. Aptitudes: General; Agility, Ballistic Skill, Fellowship, Fieldcraft, Finesse, Perception, Tech Starting Gear: Pulse Carbine, Pulse Pistol, Tau Photon Grenades (x3), Tau Recon Armor (AP: 4, +10 Stealth) Bonus Trait: - Breacher Aptitudes: General; Agility, Ballistic Skill, Finesse, Offense, Perception, Tech, Weapon Skill Starting Gear: Same as Fire Warrior w/Pulse Blaster instead of Pulse Rifle. Bonus Trait: "Close Quarters Dicipline" - Close Quarters Discipline: A Breacher scores one additional degree of success on successful Ballistic Skill tests he makes against targets at Point-Blank range, at Short range, and with whom he is engaged in melee. **Strikeout indicates potential future changes to PC creation
Tau register an incredibly small presence in the Warp. All Tests made to detect Tau by daemons or through the use of psychic abilities suffer a -30 penalty. - For the Greater Good!
The Tau value the group over the self, and further trust their comrades and commanders to always choose the best course of action. This enables every Tau to follow orders without hesitation or doubt. Once per encounter, a Tau Explorer may gain a +10 bonus to a Test made while directly following an order from another Tau character. Additionally, if this order places the Explorer into substantial danger to benefit the group as a whole, this bonus increases to +30 (GM’s discretion). - Heightened Senses (Smell)
The Tau olfactory organs are highly developed, allowing them to discern a wide spectrum of scents and pheromone signals other sentient races cannot. All Tau characters begin with the Heightened Senses (Smell) Talent. - Lessened Senses (Sight)
While Tau olfactory senses are superior to humans, they have a harder time focusing on objects at long distances. They make up for this deficiency with their technological innovations such as advanced optics and headgear. After 100 meters, any Tau character relying on their eyes without aid suffers a -10 penalty on all perception-based tests, including ballistic skill. - Non-Imperial
This character was not raised among humans, and knows little about the culture and history of the Imperium. The laws, traditions, religion, and superstitions of Mankind are unfamiliar and alien to characters with this trait. The character suffers a –10 penalty on all Common Lore, Forbidden Lore, and Scholastic Lore Tests relating to the Imperium of Man.
**Speak Not Unto The Alien only comes into play with Tau characters in other 40k settings and thus does not matter much for our purposes here.**
- Kroot Aptitudes: General; Agility, Ballistic Skill, Finesse, Fieldcraft, Offense, Strength, Weapon Skill. Racial Traits: - Gue'vesa Aptitudes: General + 4 Characteristic Aptitudes of the player's choice and 4 non-characteristic aptitudes of the player's choice. Racial Traits: - Vespid Aptitudes: General; Racial Traits:
All right, so that's where I am right now. Alpha stages, but putting in work. Sorry for the wall of text. Any and all advice is welcomed. Thanks, all. Cheers.
EDIT: The crossed-out aptitudes are a result of me trimming down my initial attempts of having role give ALL aptitudes for a player.