Continuum II: The Rogue

   In Continuum II, any predominantly skill-based character falls under “Rogue”. That means that a number of specialist variants refer back to the basic Rogue – so here it is:

   Rogues are defined by three basic attitudes; a preference for dealing with their problems by avoiding them (whether that means finding someone else to deal with it or building a machine), depending on other, more directly productive, people to sustain them, and living by their wits. A rogue may use a variety of strategies for dealing with a problem which can’t be avoided, depending on his basic skills. While the class does include thieves, burglars, pickpockets and cutpurses, highwaymen, bandits, and various other scoundrels, it also includes merchants, lawyers, minstrels, technicians, scientists, inventors, courtesans, yakuza, assassins, pilots, hackers, jesters, geisha, detectives, magical or psychic dabblers, ninja, spies, entertainers, hijackers, beggars, gamblers, and “security consultants”. Most rogues hate to be pinned down to anything in particular anyway.

   While Rogues put up a fairly good fight in an emergency, they are generally mere dabblers at magic, psychic powers, or invocation, as the problems inherent in learning such disciplines can neither be evaded nor conned – barring a major natural talent. Rogues have few inherent abilities, receiving instead a wide variety of major and minor skills.

   Recommended Attributes: Intelligence, Dexterity, and Perception in most cases. Other attributes should be appropriate to the rogue’s speciality – if any. A rogue’s level limit is normally based on the lower of Dexterity and Will.

   Resistance Bonuses: None

   Combat Abilities: Rogues are secondary combatants, and are normally limited to relatively light (standard bulk or smaller) and easily-concealed weapons and to those which a wandering “civilian” might be expected to possess in a given setting. For example, a primitive setting calls for a spear, almost any simple fantasy setting will excuse a short hunting bow, and an oriental setting probably justifies a staff – possibly with some concealed features. Learning martial arts involving weapons which do not fit into these categories costs a rogue an extra skill point. As secondary combatants, rogues may by default learn martial arts up to rank five and wear light armor with a mere -1 penalty on relevant rolls. Medium armor imposes a -3 penalty, while Heavy and Ultraheavy armor makes many skills impossible to use, and is hopelessly encumbering as well, unless they opt to take the Armor Tolerance major skill.

Rogue Advancement Chart:

Level

Hit Dice

Skill Points

Bonus Points

Special Abilities

1

1D6

3

Streetwise

2

2D6

3

1

+1 Minor Skill

3

3D6

3

1

Urban Survival

4

4D6

3

2

+1 Major Skill

5

5D6

4

2

Rural Survival

6

6D6

4

3

+1 Minor Skill

7

7D6

4

3

Home Base

8

8D6

4

4

+1 Major Skill

9

9D6

5

4

Reputation

10

10D6

5

5

+1 Minor Skill

11

+2

5

5

Position

12

+4

5

6

+1 Major Skill

13

+6

6

6

Followers

+1

+2

+1/4

7

None

Ability Descriptions:

  • Bonus Points must be spent when they are acquired, each point spent on an ability gives a +1 on the users effective characteristic score for using that ability. A sixth level rogue might have used his 3 bonus points to gain bonuses of +2 on Stealth and +1 on Acrobatics. Rogues never gain more than seven bonus points.
  • Streetwise covers basic knowledge of the underworld, “black markets”, common “scams”, and the seedy side of civilization. It’s handy when looking for, talking to, or spotting, criminals and street gangs or when trying to avoid violating street “etiquette”.
  • Urban and Rural Survival usually allow the user to “get along” in such environments automatically, although an (Int) roll may be required under unusual circumstances. This doesn’t imply luxury but the user need not worry about basics.
  • “Home Base” lets the rogue acquire a reasonably secure hideout or base of operations, the user may select the area, but the exact location and specifics are up to the GM. If something goes seriously wrong, a new base can be found in 1D6 weeks.
  • A “Reputation” depends a great deal on the “thieves” specific profession, a minstrels will be very different from an assassins but both will find it useful in finding work. The reputation always “spreads out” from around the characters “Home Base”. Eventually this reputation will attract “Followers”.
  • Followers are a set of 4D6 lesser “rogues”, of similar professions, as students, disciples, assistants, etcetera. While these are quite loyal, it is possible to alienate them. The “Positions” offered vary, but are always worthwhile.

   Rogues receive a choice of 12 major, and 9 minor skills. As always, if they take five skills from one sublist, they receive the sixth from that sublist as a bonus. Rogues can increase the number of skills they get by taking limitations on their activities, as noted below. The exact effects of the skills varies with their specific profession; a bandit, a minstrel, and a research scientist may all take “gang leadership” – but the results are very different. Sadly, skill choice may be restricted by the setting with regard to magical, technological, or psychic skills.

Rogue Major Skill Lists:

  • Armed Robbery: Armored Maneuvering, Brawling, Sniper, Swashbuckling, Toughness, Weapon Training.
  • Espionage: Escaping, Infiltration, Intelligence, Nightvision, Saboteur, Surveillance.
  • Exotic Masteries: Heightened Movement, Horse Thievery, Law / Criminology, Master Artist, Professional Skills, Thespian.
  • Exotic Technologies: Ab Initio, Exotic Tech, Minor Psionics, Strange Device, Tech Mastery, Unique Technology.
  • Major Technics: Computer Operation, Cybernetics, Cyberware, High-Tech, Technician, Ultra-Tech.
  • Mental Training: Eidetic Memory, Linguistics, Luck, Minor Magic, Read Scrolls, Truthsense.
  • Ninjitsu: Back Stabbing, Martial Arts, Nerve Points, Poisons, Throwing, Tracking.
  • Percipience: Chaos Manipulation, Cloaking, Hypnosis, Minor C’hi, Minor Divination, Spirit Contact.
  • Social Skills: Alternate Identity, Caravan Master, Guild Membership, Heightened Charisma, Legal Protection, Syndicate Backing.
  • Technology: Demolitions, Drugs and Medicines, Find/Remove Traps, First Aid, Locksmith, Mechanician.
  • Trained Reflexes: Alertness, Dodging, Heightened Dexterity, Inner Stillness, Leaping, Stealth.
  • Trickster: Acrobatics, Con Artist, Evasion, Slight of Hand, Special Devices, Ventriloquism.

Rogue Minor Skill Lists:

  • Assassins Arts: Ambush, Awakening, Intrigue, Resist Poisons, Seduction, Survival.
  • Burglar: Casing, Catwalk, Climbing, Perception, Rope Use, Search/Conceal.
  • Confidence Games: Begging, Extortion, Fortune Telling, Gaming, High Society, Oratory.
  • Cunning Tricks: Bribery, Disguise, Distraction, Forgery, Hide Trail, Mimic.
  • Exotica: Body Parl, Clandestine Activities, Embezzlement, Forced Entry, Jack Of All Trades, Precision.
  • Investigation: Cartography, Conversation, Cryptography, Interrogation, Mnemonics, Tailing.
  • Merchandise: Bargaining, Counterfeiting, Estimate Value, Fencing, Scrounging, Smuggling.
  • Minor Technics: Electronic Warfare, Forward Observer, Gunnery, Hostile Environments, Photography, Sensor Operation.
  • Networking: Connections, Contacts, Field Lore, Information Gathering, Intimidation, Reputation.
  • Thief Basics: Direction Sense, Inconspicuousness, Money, Recognizer, Sixth Sense, Specialist.
  • Thievish Lore: Counterskills, Gang Leadership, Poaching, Read Languages, Secret Signs, Thieves Cant.
  • Transport Skills: Cultural Adaptability, Horseman, Personal Vehicle, Piloting, Special Vehicle(s), Water Techniques.

   Rogues can, as noted before, can get additional skills by taking restrictions from the following list. Every restriction taken is worth 1 general skill point. The GM has the final say on whether any specific character may, or must, take restrictions and on which ones. The skill points can be spent normally (one per general skill, two per minor skill, three per major skill, or one to upgrade a specific skill or martial art by one rank). Once taken, restrictions become a permanent part of the character. They can not be “bought off” or otherwise eliminated later on unless the GM decides to make a specific exception. Possible restrictions include:

  • Delayed Acquisition: Characters with this restriction don’t get some of their skills until later, whether as a form of advanced training, the development of faith, due to self-training, lack of opportunity to exploit a potential, or whatever. He must delay the user of one minor skill until level four, and the use of one major skill until level ten.
  • Duties: This restriction indicates that the character has duties, traditions, or responsibilities to uphold. While this may be duties to a clan, vows of secrecy, a code of honor, or loyalty to the CIA, the exact duties must be negotiated with the GM. Regardless of what the duties are, the character is obligated to fulfill them to the best of his ability.
  • Enemies: This restriction is simple enough, the user may be an outlaw, have a large price on his head, have a bunch of personal enemies, or merely have a horrific aura which makes people and animals dislike him. While the mechanism differs in detail, they all tend to lead to trouble. The exact nature of this restriction must be negotiated with the GM, but whenever it applies the characters chance of running into trouble is increased by roughly 50%.
  • Limited Devices: For one reason or another the rogue doesn’t use very many fancy devices – whether psychic, magical, or technological. Discounting those that are either of the characters own creation or are common in his culture, he may not retain more then seven such items. The reason may be tradition, belief in his own skills, lack of trust in gadgetry, or whatever, but it must be a fixed part of the characters personality.
  • Slow Learner: Due to the complexity of the characters training, his slow wits, divine disapproval, bad luck, or some other difficulty, the character needs 10% more time and experience then usual to rise in level.
  • Spendthrift: People with this restriction just can’t seem to hold onto money or wealth, whether due to free spending habits, gambling “addiction”, poor relatives, charitable impulses, or what-have-you. Such characters never ow n more then they can easily transport, tend to spend money much faster then normal, and promptly give away, spend, or otherwise lose track of 20% of any new funds they acquire.
  • Trademark: The character feels impelled to leave some personal symbol at the scene of the crime, refusing to leave until he does so unless the situation is utterly critical and a roll versus Wisdom succeeds. Trademarks can be relatively simple, but must be distinctive. The trademark may offer clues to any investigators, always links the character with his actions, and is regarded as personal property. Anyone “infringing” on a characters trademark will offend the character enormously.
  • Unpopular: Whether due to peculiar personal habits, a lack of social graces, innate secretiveness, being unwilling to trust anyone, or being a miser, a character with this restriction has a hard time hiring people or keeping employees. Effective charisma for the purpose is reduced by 1/3, say from a 12 to an 8. An unpopular character generally can’t hire anyone at all – or at least not for long – until his level exceeds his charisma “penalty” since, the better they look, the more annoying it is when they turn out to be a surly bastard.
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