Brothers-in-Arms

Brothers-in-arms are additional clones whose inclusion facilitates squad-level play. They are designed to not overshadow the player characters. Instead, they add a small bonus to their teamed player characters’ actions or they allow player characters to perform a variety of actions through them.

Brothers-in-arms are minions that benefit from a few additional rules. Each player makes a single minion character that helps to fill out the ten-clone squad. This non-player character trains with the player character and works closely with him in all things, including battle. The brother-in-arms is roleplayed by the Game Master, but each player determines the actions of his brother-in-arms during combat and in other actions that require dice-rolling.

Numbers

These rules anticipate having five player characters. If each player generates a brother-in-arms, the squad will consist of its standard nine Troopers and one Sergeant. (The Sergeant can be a player character or one of the minions, as determined by the Game Master.)

In the case of fewer players, the Game Master can fill out the additional numbers by creating stand-alone brothers-in-arms. Players can switch out their own brother-in-arms minion for one of these extras at the start of a mission or other applicable point in the story, given them some additional flexibility in capabilities that might otherwise be missing from a small group of player characters.

If there are more than five players, the players should decide amongst themselves which player character will not have a brother-in-arms, fairly rotating this distinction at the start of each mission or other applicable story point. The Game Master might require that these trade-outs be the same minions, traded between player characters. Or they can be alternates that trade into the ten-man team at different times, allowing each player to pair up with a minion of his own creation.

Speaking of which, brothers-in-arms tend to reflect the capabilities of their paired player characters. This is the natural result of choosing Skills and equipment that can aid the player character’s Skill checks. For story purposes, it supports the notion that a squad often splits up into two action groups of roughly equivalent capabilities. (Each clone on an action team has a roughly equivalent role to his counterpart on the other team.) This parity of capability explains why, when the Game Master determines that only five clones are needed for a mission or a particular scene, that a squad’s clones typically part ways with their individual brothers-in-arms. Each five-man action group ends up representing the same broad range of capabilities.

CREATION

Brothers-in-arms are abstract characters. They do not have Backgrounds or Motivations. Neither do they have Duty or Contribution Ranks. Follow these steps to create a brother-in-arms:

  • Each brother-in-arms has a single Dissociation, determined randomly. This Dissociation has no rating; it triggers when the paired player character’s Dissociation triggers.
  • Brothers-in-arms are Arkanian Clones starting with 3 Brawn, 3 Agility, 2 Intellect, 2 Cunning, 2 Willpower, and 2 Presence. Each clone gets a single point to boost one Characteristic above its starting value.
  • A brother-in-arms must have Ace, Commander, Soldier, or Spy as his career. His associated specialization only controls what Skills he will have access to; brothers-in-arms never get Talents.
  • Start the brother-in-arms’ Skills list with Ranged (Heavy) and Ranged (Light). Add additional Skills as indicated by his career and specialization. Do not double up on any of these; minion Skills have no rankings and only determine what tasks a brother-in-arms can assist with (or that the paired player character can perform through him).
  • Each brother-in-arms has his own Requisition budget, a mere 500 credits. Add to this a blaster rifle and suit of laminate armor, just like other clone troopers. These two items can be exchanged according to the rules on the Equipment page.
  • Calculate Wound Threshold as 4 + Brawn. Calculate the other derived attributes as normal (Defense and Soak), excluding Strain Threshold. (Minions do not use Strain.)

Advancement

Brothers-in-arms never use XP; their advancement is as abstract as their creation. Each brother-in-arms gets certain benefits when his paired player character advances beyond 0 Contribution Rank.

At each Contribution Rank beyond 0, a player character’s paired brother-in-arms gains one bonus Characteristic point, not to exceed any ratings of six.

At each Contribution Rank beyond 0, a player character’s paired brother-in-arms gains one bonus Wound Threshold, independent of contributions from Brawn and equipment.

At each Contribution Rank beyond 0, a player character’s paired brother-in-arms gains one additional Skill, even if it is not associated with the brother-in-arms’ Career or Specialization.

The brother-in-arms’ Requisition budget goes up to 1,500 credits when his paired player character reaches Contribution Rank 1, and to 3,000 (it’s maximum) when the paired player character’s Contribution Rank is 3 or higher.

USE

Brothers-in-arms are minions. They generally follow the rules for minions, except as otherwise noted here. These rules only apply when the brother-in-arms is grouped with a player character.

  • Groups. A brother-in-arms is never targeted individually; his injuries are always incidental to the paired player character’s. Neither do these teamed minions use their own actions and maneuvers; they can keep up with the movement of their paired player characters, and automatically do so unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
  • Skills. A brother-in-arms can form groups like other minions. When paired with a player character, the player character gains a bonus Skill rank for any task that the brother-in-arms has the right Skill for. This point cannot let the player character exceed six ranks in any particular Skill. Often a brother-in-arms needs particular equipment to help a player character with a Skill check. Any check that requires equipment to attempt (rather than the equipment providing bonuses or offsetting penalties) requires a second set of that equipment for the brother-in-arms to help. In combat, the brother-in-arms needs a weapon that uses the assisted Skill, with a range that can also reach the target.
  • Fire Teams. When acting in concert, the player character can use his normal Skill rating through his paired brother-in-arms if that minion has the Skill in question. This typically allows the player character to choose which of their two weapons gets fired that round. For example, a clone pilot flying a starfighter could use his action to roll his own Gunnery Skill through his assigned brother-in-arms, employing whatever weapon was linked to the gunner’s chair. He could use his remaining maneuver to fly the fighter from the pilot’s chair.
  • Injuries. A player can elect to have any hit made against him apply instead to his brother-in-arms. If the hit does damage in excess of the minion’s Wound Threshold, the excess returns to the player character, without consideration to the player character’s Soak. Likewise, a player can pass on a critical injury to his brother-in-arms, even if he does not pass on the hit that caused it. As a minion, the brother-in-arms simply suffers a number of Wounds equal to his Wound Threshold (disregarding Soak), enough to turn him into a casualty. As above, excess Wounds go back to the player character.

SAMPLE BROTHER

Hawk-Nose

Career: Soldier
Specialization: Commando
Dissociation: Military Focus

Soak: 6
Defense: 0/0
Wound Threshold: 8

Characteristics: 4 Brawn, 3 Agility, 2 Intellect, 2 Cunning, 2 Willpower, 2 Presence

Skills: Athletics, Brawl, Knowledge (Warfare), Medicine, Melee, Ranged (Heavy), Ranged (Light), Resilience

Equipment: Laminate Armor (0 cr, 1 en), Comlink (25 cr, 0 en), Respirator (25 cr, 1 en), Field Ration Packs x5 (5 cr each, 0 en each), CDEF Blaster Pistol (150 cr, 1 en), Vibrosword (750 cr, 3 en), Riot Shield (300 cr, 5 en), Backpack (50 cr, -4 en), Stimpacks x3 (25 cr each, 0 en). Cost: 500 (after 900 trade-in credit for Blaster Rifle), Encumbrance: 7

Brothers-in-Arms

The Grand Army of the Republic Randy Randy