This is a roleplaying game (beta version) for the universe presented in John Ringo’s Legacy of the Aldenata book series A Hymn before Battle, Gust Front, When the Devil Dances, and Hell's Faire. The default setting is after the end of Hell's Faire. The Earth is free from the imminent threat of destruction of all organized human presence by the Posleen invaders, but rebuilding will require substantial effort. Some fraction of this rebuilding will be aided by bold bands who enter dangerous territory to salvage equipment and resources left in those areas, and to secure the areas for human use. The game is based on the d20 game system (d20 System License version 4.0; d20 System Guide version 3.0) issued by Wizards of the Coast so that players familiar with d20 games can pick this one up quickly. It is assumed that readers of this document are familiar with the d20 System Rules Document (SRD) or Dungeons & Dragons, Third edition (D&D3), and with the books of John Ringo. We have used a number of concepts and definitions from the basic d20 system. Changes have been kept to a minimum whenever possible. Each player group must have at least one copy of Core Rulebook 1 (Players Handbook), and we recommend that each also have a copy of Core Rulebook 2 (DMG).
'd20 System' and the 'd20 System' logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used according to the terms of the d20 System License version 4.0. A copy of this License can be found at www.wizards.com/d20. Dungeons & Dragons(R) and Wizards of the Coast(R) are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used with permission. “d20 Modern(tm) is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and is used with permission. Wizards of the Coast(R) is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and is used with permission.”
OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved. 1. 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Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License. 14. Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable. 15. COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. System Rules Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. Modern System Reference Document Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Wiker. Dragonstar: Starfarer's Handbook Copyright 2001, Fantasy Flight, Inc. Dragonstar (c) 2001, Imperial Supply (c), Fantasy Flight, Inc. The Quintessential Fighter (c)2001 Mongoose Publishing. Traveller20 Copyright (c)2002 Quicklink Interactive, Inc. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises and is used under license. Legacy of the Aldenata Roleplaying Game (beta version) Copyright 2003, Baen Publishing Enterprises; Authors Ben-David Singleton, Doug Jones, Doug Lampert, Deann Allen, Rob Von Allmen, Betty Gohr, Charles Prael, Robert Tharp. The terms Aldenata, Darhel, Dashon-Mentat, Fleet Strike, Fleet Recon, Hiberzine, Himmit, Indowy, Posleen, SubUrb, Tchpht, and descriptions thereof; ACS, associated systems, and the descriptions thereof; the description of the Cyberpunk prestige class, the names and descriptions of specific characters from the Legacy of the Aldenata book series, the names and descriptions of all Posleen and Galactic equipment, and all other material directly derived from the Legacy of the Aldenata book series are Product Identity and the property of John Ringo, Copyright 2000-2003. All fiction, art work, illustrations, maps, and diagrams in this document are Product Identity and property of their respective creators, or Baen Publishing Enterprises, Copyright 2002-2003. DESIGNATION OF OPEN GAME CONTENT
Not everything in this document is Open Content.The names, descriptions, and text of classes, feats, skills, equipment, and rules are Open Content unless otherwise noted. (See Copyright Notice above.) Other descriptive and narrative text is closed content and cannot be republished without the consent of Baen Publishing Enterprises. Permission is granted to copy and distribute this game as an inherent part of the overall CD compilation under the permissions granted by Baen Books. All other OGL restrictions against copying, redistributing, and creating derivative works remain in effect. END OF LICENSE
Changes from D20 SRD
All of the classes have been redone. All of the races except humans are different. Armor provides Damage Resistance in addition to AC. The equipment lists have been redone. Vehicle and Space combat sections have been or are being worked out. The world background is based on the Legacy of the Aldenata book series by John Ringo, a near-future, real-world milieu with extraterrestrial involvement.
Effectively any intelligent creature is a potential PC, but humans are the default. Game Masters should not allow Darhel or Posleen PCs. All prestige classes are optional; you can get by without them and still have a playable game.
The characters matter. Character skills, abilities, and other features are important. Instantly-kills-anyone powers and rules have been kept to a minimum. It matters not just how good your massive powered armor is, but who is inside it and how good he is. Things we have dropped from D20 SRD:
Alignment and Magic. ================================================================================
The Legacy of the Aldenata
Table of Contents Title page, legal, OGL, Designation of Open Game Content, changes from basic d20 SRD Chapter 1: The World of the Aldenata Chapter 2: Introduction Chapter 3: Characters Chapter 4: Races Chapter 5: Classes Chapter 6: Skills Chapter 7: Feats Chapter 8: Earth Tech Equipment Chapter 9: Posleen Equipment Chapter 10: Galtech Equipment Chapter 11:Backgrounds Chapter 12: Combat Chapter 13: The Current State of Humanity Chapter 14: Starting at Higher Levels
Prestige Classes Chapter 15: Adventuring and Campaign Ideas
Chapter 16: Treasures and Rewards Chapter 17: NPCs and Critters
Posleen Ecological System Credits
Legacy of the Aldenata Character sheet ================================================================================ Chapter 1 The World of the Aldenata
By John Ringo
In the beginning were the Aldenata.
Of them, little is known. To the Posleen they are legendary demons of trickery and deceit, capable of traveling from world to world with a thought, using suns for their forges and the deeps of space for their cradles. Demons of sky and fire that come with promises and hope and leave in death and fury.
To the Indowy they are gods, remote, inscrutable, but occasionally granting boons to the Clans that permit them to continue to eke out their weary existence.
To the Tchpht they are senior colleagues. Researchers emeritus, so to speak.
No Himmit has a tale about them.
Of them, the Darhel do not speak.
But it was from the Aldenata, the remote, legendary, possibly extinct Aldenata, in fire and darkness, in shadow and light, that all of the myriad tragedies of the Galactic Federation and their most intimate enemies sprang.
The basis of the tragedies are unknown. It is said that in the mists of time they uplifted the Posleen and then left them abandoned, far from their homes in the deeps of space. But, if so, the Posleen have no distinct record of it, just legends and enduring bitterness. It is said that they taught the Tchpht all they know, but the Crabs, normally free with information, will neither agree nor disagree. It is said that they changed the Darhel in some horrible fashion, making them into monsters. But the Darhel don’t agree that they’re monsters.
The conditions that they created, maybe, probably, legendarily, involves five sentient species: Indowy, Darhel, Tchpht, Himmit, humans and Posleen and (well) over two hundred habitable worlds encompassing a goodly part of this arm of the Milky Way galaxy.
Humans, officially, became aware of this in 1998 when Darhel Tir Lords contacted the President of the United States. They called him in his office, bypassing the various keepers of communication gates and told him three facts. 1. Humans were not alone. 2. There were good aliens (Indowy, Tchpht, Darhel and Himmit) who were interested in helping humans. 3. There were bad aliens (Posleen) who were interested in eating humans. And so humans were dragged, willy-nilly, into the train of tragedies touched off by the Aldenata.
Over the next eleven years, the humans prepared for a set of successive invasion waves while simultaneously providing forces to aid their erstwhile “allies”, the Indowy, Darhel, Tchpht and Himmit. In the end the Posleen were beaten back, but in the process the Earth was devastated. Throughout broad stretches of it, humanity was wiped out. And the aliens, once so helpful, have virtually forgotten the world. While the cream of the remaining population is skimmed off to fill the Fleet that has gone forth to conquer Posleen worlds.
The central worlds of the Galactic Federation are almost all populated by Indowy, short, broad, hominids with bat-like faces and green “fur” that is a chlorophyllic symbiont. The Indowy, by far and away, comprise the majority population of the Galactic Federation. An accurate census has never been taken but it is estimated that Indowy populations are in the range of ten to fourteen trillion individuals scattered across a bare hundred or so planets.
The Indowy are natural technologists and engineers. Where human children tend to bicker, strive for dominance and fight, Indowy children tend to naturally cooperate in building things. Indowy begin a long process of apprenticeship at about age ten and only slowly climb the ladder of rank and ability. Indowy primary building methods involve the manipulation of vat nannites through a cyber/psi interface that defies most human reverse engineering. At the molecular level, Indowy are capable of “forcing” low-probability chemical reactions so as to make materials that are virtually impossible to replicate. Some of the materials have theoretically impossible properties such as densities that vary on the basis of external stimuli.
What the Indowy are not, frankly, supreme at is the development of mechanical systems. For Indowy, each project is a custom work, each project is an entirely new design. And very rarely is a design intended to interface with other systems. Thus their hyper-cities are a patchwork, as are their space-stations, and whereas their ships are quite capable, they do not have an interchangeability of parts nor are they, in some ways, optimal designs.
They are generally found in vast factory planets of world-spanning cities, more planetoid habitations than planets; Indowy like nothing better than a few billion of their closest friends at arm’s reach. Perhaps the most extreme example is Rathant, one of the earliest Indowy colonies. Over the millennia it has been plumbed to the edge of the mantle, cities have been raised to the edge of the stratosphere and all water, food, light and air are continually reprocessed with materials being moved from mantle to stratosphere (and back) entirely by mechanical intervention. Cities have not so much been built as the crust of the planet has been expanded to cap the majority of the atmosphere.
At the far end of the same spectrum are Tchpht planets like Barwhon, sparsely populated, minimally developed. The Tchpht are a race of crab-like psesudo-crustaceans. Their legs have about the span of a King Crab but their body is more heavily built and they have small but fierce pincers. Despite a few indications of redoubtable ferocity, no Tchpht has ever been seen to commit any act that is even slightly violent. Indeed, Tchpht captured by the Posleen are the most resigned beings in the universe. It is believed that they don’t so much believe in reincarnation as know it to be a simple fact. Or, perhaps, they’re just very philosophical.
Some of the other species are sure that the Tchpht penchant for open spaces and individual privacy is nothing more or less than a land-grab of epic proportions. One of every four discovered habitable planets is set aside for the Tchpht. And, by and large, Tchpht population levels never rise above a half a billion or so. They end up scattered across the face of the planet in small communities, never more than a hundred or so in any one location.
And yet…from these small communities come scientific marvels to stun the world-weary. The Tchpht were the first to determine that psi function is a real and demonstrable trait. They can pulse the photospheres of stars. They can wrap time in a bubble or create a black hole from air. And these are just the things that mere humans can understand.
This, then, is the power of the Tchpht. They are called “science-philosophers” and whereas they are sometimes unworldy, when they come back down to earth for a moment and impart a bit of wisdom, it often turns out to be either the “next big thing” or a device to unleash hellish destruction. One suspects that if they ever got ticked they could simply erase another species without breaking a sweat. (So to speak. They’re pseudo-crustaceans, they don’t actually sweat.)
But that’s why nobody really wants to argue with them about the land thing.
Then there are the Darhel planets. The Darhel are generally human-height bipedal hominids that look remarkably “human”. The major difference is facial in that theirs are much narrower and “fox-like,” extending out in what impolite people call a “muzzle” that looks more baboonish than dog-like. They have vertical-slitted eyes with irises of variously green, gold and silver, long silvery “hair” that is, in fact, rather thicker tendrils, and a mouth that is full of very sharp teeth and relatively few molars. Which is strange since they are all vegetarians.
The majority of the population of “Darhel” worlds is Indowy, and total Darhel adult population is reputed to be under two billion, but then, the predator to prey ratio in any environment is pretty high.
Nobody is to sure how the Darhel ended up in charge. They don’t produce anything but AIDs and they aren’t as smart as the Tchpht. And the record is unclear. In fact, the record is so very unclear that it appears to have been tampered with systematically. And that gives a clue as to how. The Darhel are the master manipulators. Whether it is corrupting legal code or computer code, when it comes to anything having to do with politics, information management or legal theory, somewhere in the mix will be a Darhel busily doing his best to subvert the direct intent and supplant the wishes of the Darhel.
The Darhel love to study history. After all, it is nothing but words and the Darhel love words.
Rounding out the Galactic Federation circus are the Himmit, a frog-like species with a camouflage ability for which the term “magic” might aptly be applied. They showed up on the Galactic scene, apparently out of nowhere but fully conversant with the society and prepared to communicate and “ally” with them, a mere millennium ago. Nobody knows where they came from and nobody understands them. It is suspected that most of the time the Himmit don’t understand the Himmit.
No one is sure how they reproduce, where their “home” is, where their ships are produced, how they perform their feats of legerdemain (including such oddities as the ability to insert their ships through solid matter as if it were water), or any other vital fact about the species. When there is a need for help from the Himmit, they tend to appear. They may accept the task and they may not. They may ask a price for the help or they may not. If they do, they do not bargain. The price is the price and woe betide the person that attempts to cheat them. (One of the reasons they do not help the Darhel very much and never have.)
But the price never seems to jibe with the difficulty. Ask one of them to go recon a hostile planet on the other side of the galaxy and he (they are all “he” and no one knows how Himmit reproduce since they are clearly at least bi-sexual) may say no. Or he may ask for a bottle of original formula Coca-Cola or all the gold in South Africa. Or simply whistle “Okay” and disappear. Sometimes they don’t return, which means they have died. If a Himmit agrees to the conditions, he will continue the attempt until it kills him. Which is why they are always careful what they agree to. And upon their return they will tell you about their trip. In detail. Bring a lunch. And dinner. And breakfast for the next day. A Himmit can stretch out a yarn about the equivalent of going to the grocery store into a two day affair. Keeping them on track is a full-time job.
It is suspected that all Himmit work for a single director and are involved in a very deep and complex plot which manifests itself as apparently chaotic responses.
Or, maybe they're just flighty as hell. Who knows?
The enemy Posleen still exist in small numbers on Earth, as do the many pests, from at least three different alien ecologies, that they brought with them. The Posleen were scattered so widely that destroying them utterly, even with sweeping orbital laser cannons, was considered impossible. As human settlements advance, they wipe them out, just like any other predator, but in areas “on the fringe” or sparsely settled, they are an omnipresent danger.
This, then, is the fallen Earth. Where the remnant population of humanity digs in with its collective fingers and strives to reestablish the dominance it once held.
This, then, is to humans the ultimate Legacy of the Aldenata.
This is where you live. Copyright 2003, John Ringo. All rights reserved. ================================================================================
Chapter 2: Introduction
The game world Legacy of the Aldenata is a world where most humans would not want to live. It is far darker in most respects than the real world. It is a world where the human population on Earth has been reduced from 6.3 Billion to 1.4 Billion, fighting for the survival of the race. The world is filled with stories of the human race’s ability to survive under impossible conditions while also still maintaining the somewhat normal flow of life in at least some locations. The world in the Legacy of the Aldenata offers all sorts of possibilities for people to adventure. Which is why a group of fans approached the author, John Ringo, and offered to do that most difficult thing: Take a fictional universe from one medium to another, from the printed page to the world of table-top Roleplaying Games.
With that premise, the group started on their journey into creating the product you are looking at today. Our goal was to attempt to do justice to the world John created and at the same time, create a world the players could enjoy in an almost infinite number of different settings. Within this game you can play as a group of survivors living in the deserts, forests, tropics or anywhere on Earth, in Posleen-occupied territory, in the few militaries still fighting against the invaders up until the Fleet arrived to lift the siege, be a group of people living in one of the few untouched countries that escaped the worst of the onslaught, or be a group of people living on ships or islands that had to survive day-to-day without modern resources. It is also possible that your group may decide to take the most difficult challenge of all and decide that they would have their characters to actually live through the invasion and attempt to fight off the Posleen before the human race was almost wiped out.
We would also like to graciously thank those companies that have made it possible for us to create this project by creating the concept of the Open Game License, D20, and D20 Modern systems, and all of the other companies that have come up with great ideas that helped get our imaginations flowing, and enriched our lives. This is a Role-playing Game It is a game intended to allow people’s imaginations free rein and to entertain them, similar to watching movies, but where the characters and the plot are controlled by the players and the Game Master. There is no one way to play a role-playing game. To each group their own style should be whatever they enjoy and want to immerse themselves in. The Game Master generally knows where he wants the story to go, has planned ahead and done the background, but is only slightly less a spectator than the author who is watching his work be converted to a movie for the first time. Once the GM starts the game he only has a limited number of ways to guide the players in the direction he would wish them to follow. This is what makes being the GM so challenging and rewarding. The players are also there to have a good time and be entertained. Who has not watched a movie or a TV series and wished that they could be a particular character. But we would like to state a couple of thing first for those who have never role-played before and are picking up one of these books for the first time.
1) This is a role-playing game and in no respect does it represent reality, or beliefs in our shared reality, or how people should behave. I.E. it is not a good idea or recommended to resolve disagreements in real life through violence.
2) Neither John Ringo, nor the team that assembled this work, assumes that if and or when humanity makes contact with an alien civilization, that it will automatically lead to a war. Nor that aliens or cultures different from western culture are inherently evil, just different. This does not preclude peace or hostility between different cultures on Earth, let alone on other worlds.
3) Neither John Ringo, nor the team, automatically believes in the inherent superiority of the United States of America. The U.S. survived due to a number of factors, one being that geography favored the U.S. The placement of two mountain ranges allowed a defensive line that could be emplaced and would shelter a sizable portion of the U.S. industrial might and agricultural strength, at least enough to continue fighting. The U.S. does enjoy a large level of industrial and population mobility that would aid in survival, i.e. no U.S. government could possibly have stopped major corporations or people from moving out of the coastal plains if they wanted to. Besides that, a number of other countries survived completely untouched by the invasion due to their geographical location. This document, along with the Core Rulebook I (Player's Handbook) and Core Rulebook II (DMG), contains all of the information needed to play a game in this world. Check out the later sections of this Chapter to get an idea of the basic game mechanics of the system. When you get finished reading this chapter, it recommended that you start with LotA Chapter 3, Character Creation, through LotA Chapter 7, Feats, and LotA, Chapter 12 Combat, and other Rules to familiarize yourself with the game rules and/or any changes between this game and others in the D20 and D20 Modern systems. Characters
Characters are the heart and soul of the game.
Any character that a player could reasonably conceive can have a place in this world. Characters are the individuals a little apart from the masses of surviving humanity, or other species they belong to. Characters are highly skilled, resourceful individuals who are generally not afraid to face a little danger or a lot of danger in the course of their endeavors. Each character brings unique skills and strengths to the group, depending upon their backgrounds and previous experiences.
The majority of characters will be 1st level beginner, althrough there is no reason that the Game Master and the players could not decide to use characters starting at a higher level. Characters' starting play may be very young, mature or even quite old if the player so desires.
Characters can start the game as any of the following classes: Academic
Trader What You Need to Play This document.
The Core Rulebook I (Player's Handbook).
· Possession of the Core Rulebook II (DMG) is suggested.
· A copy of the Character sheet at the end of this document.
· A pencil or pen and some blank scratch paper; graph paper would also be useful in some
· One or more four-sided dice (d4), four or more six-sided dice (d6), one or more eight-sided die (d8), two or more ten-sided dice (d10), one or more twelve-sided die (d12), and at least one twenty-sided die (d20).
It is suggested that some sort of markers or figures be used to represent the player-characters and any hostile forces when combat is joined.
It is suggested and encouraged that a mat-like surface with a square grid be used for combat situations so that combat can be handled with the least amount of fuss.
All players should read LotA Chapters 3-7, LotA Chapter 12 Combat, and other Rules, so they will better understand how to develop their character and how combat is handled.