The Shadowed Galaxy and the Party of Last Resort

After fifteen sessions working together, the Shadowed Galaxy group has opted to develop a Party Template. Hey, it’s a few extra points – and those can be hard to come by in a low-level game. For a group name they have gone with “Last Resort Inc.” – although they’re hoping to become publicly known by something better.

It’s a pity that Party Templates do not work that way; unless they come up with a public name very very fast indeed, they will indeed soon be well known as “that bunch of guys you hire as a Last Resort”.

Party Disadvantages:

  • Outcast: The party is known to be heavily “infected” by Idiotic Tech – and so is unwelcome on many major inhabited worlds. This was sort of inevitable, given that their group includes an AI which generates robotic versions of various undead creatures to embody itself, a “Vampire”, a “Mummy”, and a woman with an alien crystalline symbiote, as well as several dabblers in powers that humans can’t handle very well.
  • History: With quite a few sessions behind them, the party has definitely built up some history. Sadly enough, this has led to a lot of people expecting them to do large jobs, successfully, on the cheap.
  • Obligations: Currently the group has some massive debts, mostly with respect to their vehicles, and has an assortment of NPC hirelings to protect (and pay salaries to).
  • Restriction: Characters who wish to get the benefits of the Party Template must cooperate, work towards their goals, and engage in little or no backstabbing.

With a current base level of four, this +0 Template is worth (10 CP for Disadvantages + 4 CP for a restriction over three levels) = 14 CP. That isn’t a lot – but it’s enough for some handy little bonuses. Their template will include: ..

  • A +3 Specialty in Bullet Time / Reducing Damage (1 CP).

That’s not an enormous increase in their ability to withstand damage, but it’s not at all bad for 1 CP.

  • A +3 Specialty in Armory / Life Support Systems (1 CP).

Given that most of their operations are in space, and many of the remainder are in airless locations, they might as well have cheap access to life support systems. Otherwise it’s just a required fee for playing, and those generally aren’t much fun.

  • A +3 Specialty in Stealing The Scene (Deadly Strike and Perfect Coordination). Note that this is only usable if the character has access to Stealing the Scene in the first place (1 CP).

Like it or not, the party fairly often finds themselves trying to coordinate some bizarre maneuver that’s all too likely to get them killed if they fail – and they often find themselves trying to make some critical shot too. Rather than force them all to buy Luck so that I won’t have to deal with a total party kill if their plan doesn’t work out, here’s a way that they can – when the situation is suitable – just have it work.

  • Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted/Only for Skill Emphasis, can only be changed by extensive retraining, provides a +2 boost to any single skill (3 CP).

This is another cheap bit – but being able to rely on the others lets them focus on their personal specialties just a bit more. So they get a small skill bonus on whatever they invest that extra time and effort in.

  • Immunity to Friendly Fire (Very Common, Major, Minor, Corrupted/only works when the party member “firing” is aware of the user’s presence, 7 CP). Stops up to 12 points of damage or gives a +4 bonus on a relevant save.

The party has become adept at placing attacks and effects so as to minimize the effects on each other – allowing them to get a lot freer about firing into melee, throwing grenades all too near their friends, and employing similar tactics. Admittedly, this lesson was learned from shooting or blowing each other up all too many times – but that’s all forgiven! they’re all friends now! Right? Right? Er… Did you HAVE to use the flamethrower on the guy who was wrestling with me?!?!

  • +1 to Vehicles, Double-Specialized for Increased Effect: only for Piloting checks, only for making up for the usual “-4″ non-proficiency penalty for using each other’s vehicles (1 CP).

Double specialization is normally a pretty big red flag – and “for increased effect” is worse – but in this instance it seems pretty reasonable. Just as importantly, no really obvious likely abuses are coming to mind for being able to give the controls of a vehicle that they’ve seen you pilot a dozen times to someone else for a bit without risking a disastrous fumble – so I’m going to allow it this time.

And that’s 14 CP. This isn’t quite as distinct a “party identity” template as I might have liked – it’s full of combat training instead of group contacts and such – but then they are PC’s and an interstellar exploration setting isn’t very conducive to developing detailed local knowledges, special contacts, and similar stuff. Tactical stuff it will just have to be.

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