The Pathfinder O.C.C.:
Pathfinders are a type of Wilderness Scout who blazes new trails through the wilderness and knows one or more regions with astonishing familiarity. A Pathfinder is often the only means of communication for wilderness people and out of the way villages because the character is willing to carry messages (spoken), warnings of danger (raiders, Splugorth, monsters, strangers, war, infection, famine, etc.), and deliver letters, packages, medicine, and so on, from village to village or person to person. Most are also willing to share news, rumors, and recent events as well as being good at storytelling, making them a welcome visitor to Swamp Stompers, Trappers and other Wilderness Scouts who have been isolated in the wild for weeks or months without company.
Many Pathfinders stick to one particular region, though that range may span hundreds and hundreds of miles. Others are constantly on the move, roaming from one territory to the next, often just to see what is over the next ridge or around the next river bend. Highly skilled cartographers, their services are desperately sought after by communities and individuals in need of regional maps. Pathfinders regularly lead groups, individuals and settlers from village to village, and take adventurers and explorers through woods and swamp that might otherwise seem virtually impossible to navigate. The ability to take people safely through the swamps to their appointed goal or destination is a rare one, making the Pathfinders (and the Swamp Stompers) important people in Dinosaur Swamp. Payments for a Pathfinder’s service may come in the form of credits, precious metals (gold, silver, etc.), pre-Rifts artifacts, or tradable goods, supplies or special services. The latter three may include new clothes, new gear, weapons, machine parts, furs, food, grain, booze, repair service, healing, and so on. However, pay is often low, because the people who live in the region are poor, so many Pathfinders take their reward in the company of people, a hot meal and the knowledge that they did a good thing for someone. This makes Pathfinders "people persons,” and many are skilled storytellers or musicians.
Unfortunately, the Pathfinder‘s skills also bring them unwanted attention as they are often the targets of bandits, raiders, spies and invaders who have need of the scout’s special regional knowledge and force him into service, or don’t want their enemies/intended victims to have the resource of a Pathfinder at their fingertips and hunt them down and kill them. Many Pathfurders in the fallen Kingdom of Tolkeen haven’t been heard from since the war. Most are missing in action and presumed dead.
Alignment: Any, but leans toward Principled, Scrupulous, and Unprincipled.
Attribute Requirements: I.Q. 9, M.A. 9, M.E. 9, and P.E. 12 or higher. A high P.S. is helpful, but not required.
Special Bonus: Add a bonus of 2D6+10 to the character’s physical S.D.C., +1 to the P.E. attribute and +1D6+6 to Speed attribute, +1 to saving throws vs poisons and disease, and a +1 to save vs Horror Factor at levels 1, 5, 9, 11, and 15.
Cartography (+30%; see Special O.C.C. skill)
Cross-Country Pacing (+20%; see Special O.C.C. skill)
Detect Concealment (+10%)
Horsemanship: General (+10%)
Language (choice of two, +15%) plus Speak Native Language (American) at 98%.
Land Navigation (+20%)
Land Navigation: Regional (see Special O.C.C. skill)
Mathematics: Basic (+20%)
Road wise (+20%; see Special O.C.C. skill)
Tracking (People; +15%)
Trail Blazing (+30%; see Special O.C.C. skill)
Wilderness Survival (+20%)
W.P.: Two of choice.
Hand to Hand: Basic; can be changed to Hand to Hand: Expert at the cost of one O.C.C. Related Skill, or Martial Arts (or Assassin if an evil alignment) for the cost of two O.C.C. Related Skills. (At the cost of 4 O.C.C. Related skill 1 Hand to hand of choice can be selected from N&SS Forms)
O.C.C. Related Skills:
Select 14 other skills, but at least 2 must be selected from the Piloting category and 1 from the Wilderness category. Plus, select three additional skills at level two, and one at levels 4, 6, 8, 11, I4, and 15. All new skills start at level one proficiency.
Communications: Any (+5%).
Domestic: Any (+10%).
Electrical: Basic Electronics only.
Espionage: Detect Ambush, Detect Concealment, Escape Artist and Intelligence only (+5%).
Horsemanship: Exotic Animals only (+l0%) but counts as two skill selections.
Mechanical: Basic Mechanics and Automotive Mechanics only.
Medical: First Aid (+10%), Animal Husbandry (+10%), and Holistic Medicine (+15%) but tlne latter counts as two skill selections.
Military: Find Contraband; Recognize Weapon Quality, and Trap Detection only (+10%).
Physical: Any, except Acrobatics (+10% where applicable).
Pilot: Any, (+20% to Kayak/Canoeing and sailboats), excluding Robots, Power Armor and Military vehicles.
Pilot Related: Navigation and Read (and Operate) Sensory Equipment Only (+5%).
Rogue: None, except Cardsharp Gambling (standard) and Seduction.
Science: Advanced Mathematics, Anthropology, Biology, Xenology, and Botany only.
Technical: Any, except Cyber jacking (+10% applies to Lore, Language, Rope and Salvage skills only).
Wideness: Any (+20%).
The character also selects eight Secondary Skills from the O.C.C. Related list and these are limited to
(Any, Only and None) as previously indicated. These skills are additional knowledge that the character has picked up but they do not benefit from the bonuses listed in parentheses. All Secondary Skills start at the base skill proficiency.
Special Pathfinder O.C.C. Skills:
(See O.C.C. Skill list for additional bonuses.)
1. Land Navigation: Regional: This is specific knowledge about one particular region that the Pathfinder is known to frequent. It can be the character‘s home range, an adopted stretch of territory or favorite region for hunting and exploring. The Pathfinder’s extensive knowledge of the area enables him to find hiding places (+30% to Camouflage skill to conceal him/herself a vehicle or inanimate objects, but only +10% to Camouflage himself and others unless they are also some type of Wideness Scout, Native American or Psi-Stalker). He can also travel at maximum speed when on the nm without leaving much of a trail behind for others to follow (or leave a super-obvious one if he desires to lead them on), or do general scouting without missing a vital detail, while covering twice as much ground as those in pursuit.
Bonuses: When in that region, the character applies an additional bonus of +10% to Land Navigation, Tracking (people and animals), and Prowling. Camouflage bonus noted above.
Range: Regional knowledge is centered on one specific landmark, such as a particular la.ke, river, mountain peak, valley, village, ruin, or outpost. The home range extends for a radius of 1D6x10+60 miles (112 to 192 km) around the landmark. Add 1D4x10 miles (16 to 64 km) for each level of experience the Pathfinder has remained predominantly in this region. No increase if he has been traveling or adventuring beyond that territory. Exclusive to the Pathfinder O. C. C.
2. Cross-Country Pacing: Pathfinders are known for pacing themselves for cross-country travel. This not only includes pacing their physical exertion and speed, but also pacing their food and water intake, enabling them to cover great distances on foot, horseback or by mountain bicycle for maxirnurn speed at a pace that can be maintained for days.
This skill combined with Regional Land Navigation also enables them to accurately predict how long a trip will take (for them alone or with others in tow — the latter always taking twice as long) within 2D6x10 minutes, 6D6 hours if unfamiliar with the area.
This makes the Pathfinder an excellent messenger between parties with no other form of communication. While no substitute for a radio, or a jet pack equipped courier, the Pathfinder is able to cut across country avoiding roads and other well trafficked areas, in favor of little known back roads, hunting trails, waterways and shortcuts, olien ensuring secrecy and safety for the travel. (Note: A scout never reveals his most secret and favorite routes to clients or strangers accompanying him unless it is an absolute emergency.) These guys come and go without anyone knowing how, when or where they’ve been. Once a Pathfinder travels out of sight, he seems to simply vanish into the wilderness. On a bicycle, this skill enables the Pathfinder to achieve three times his running speed on level ground, and travel cross—country at twice normal running speed. They can maintain this maximum bike speed for a time equal to their P.E.xl0 in minutes without overexerting themselves. On foot, this skill enables the character to move at full running speed cross-country for a time equal to his P.E.x5 in minutes without overexerting himself
Base Skill: 25% +5% per level of experience. Exclusive to the Pathfinder O. C. C.
3. Trail Blazing: Not only can the Pathfinder navigate the swamps and forests of the southeast, but he can cut and mark nails through the wilderness for others to follow. Base Skill: 20% +5% per level of experience.
4. Cartography: The specialized art of mapmaking, cartography is one of the most important skills that a Pathfinder learns. Characters with this skill can produce highly accurate maps with a wide variety of tools, including pen and paper, computer plotting and even advanced holographic displays.
(Computer mapping requires a character to have the Computer Operation skill.) The Cartography skill also includes the rudiments of mathematics. A character with the Cartography skill has the equivalent of the Basic Math skill at a fixed
base of 50%, plus any applicable bonus for an exceptional l.Q. attribute, or provides a bonus of +5% to Math: Basic if it is also selected as an O.C.C. Related or Secondary Skill. Base Skill: 30% +5% per level of experience.
A successful roll means the map is not only accurate and easy to use, but elegant and aesthetically pleasing. A failed roll indicates that some details are wrong, other details have been left out, and the scale and specified locations are off by 1D10 miles. Note: With Game Master approval, the Cartography skill can be purchased by any character as a Technical Skill, but counts as two "O.C.C. Related Skill" selections, and cannot be taken as a Secondary Skill. Base Skill: 34% +4% per level of experience.
5. Road wise: Same as the Road wise skill described on page 83 of the Rifts® G.M. Guide, but applies only to territory that falls within his Land Navigation: Regional skill. Basically knows every road, back road, hunting trail, bike trail, path, and shortcut in the region. Base Skill: 26%+4% per level of experience.
They are likely to carry map making and survey equipment in a protected, hard case.
Writing implements include
Six pieces of white chalk,
Two pieces of charcoal,
A mechanical pen with 24 refills,
1D6 Pens and markers, plus two pocket note pads,
A sketchbook/w 6D6 sheets of loose paper,
A laser range-finder,
A language translator.
Plus the usual gear like: one extra set of traveling clothes, a set of dress clothes, two pairs of boots, a pair of leather gloves,
1D10 Pairs of plastic surgical gloves,
Utility belt/w 40 pouches,
1D4 Sacks made of heavy cloth,
1D4 Waterproof sacks,
60 feet (18.4 m) of lightweight rope,
Folding utility knife,
Silver Survival Knife
1D6+6 Signal flares,
1D6 Smoke grenades,
A dozen pencil—sized chemical lights,
Infrared distancing binoculars,
Telescopic gun scope,
Passive night-vision goggles.
Those with a Computer skill will also have a portable or pocket-sized computer.
Weapons: One for each W.P. known by the Pathfinder. Tend to prefer lightweight weapons like the Wilk’s line of laser weapons. They tend to shy away from large, heavy, cumbersome weapons in favor of those that make travel light and easier.
Vehicle: All Pathfinder characters will start with a sturdy mountain bicycle or a fair quality riding horse. Tend to prefer ATV type vehicles, hover-cycles and off-road motorcycles. They aren’t likely to have a street bike, or other road bound vehicle.
Money: Starts with 3D4x10000 in Universal Credits and 3D4x10000 in tradable goods.
Cybernetics: Pathfinders will usually avoid “unnatural” implants and augmentation unless absolutely necessary as a prosthetic. Even then, they will seek to replace the prosthetic through such means as magic.