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D20 Babylon 5 Roleplaying...


I am planning to make a D20 Role Playing Game (pen and paper, like Dungeons and Dragons) of Babylon 5. I was wanting to get some feedback from you guys and gals in regards to how to handle some things. I was hoping to use this topic to ask you question of how you feel I should handle things. First thing I was going to hit on were the Races. If you could put down any races you can think of, even if someone else already mentioned them, and what ability modifiers you feel are appropriate. The abilities are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. Also, if there are any "special" abilities the race would have I would love to hear what they would be. I have my own notes, but I am hoping to better refine them with your thoughts. The races I want would be those used by Player Characters, so no Drakh, Shadows, Vorlons and the like.

The races I have thought of are...

I know there are tons more (Ipsha for example), but I am trying to make the list something not so HUGE. I would be thrilled with 10. What ten would you suggest, and what would their game stats be?

I'd say run humans as standard, no mods. Minbari should probably be like elves and have various subsets , if you've seen the d20 forgotten realms you could base different casts on different types. Elves rock. Not sure what to do with the others, the real stumper would be the classes I imagine.

Lyta had a little Vorlon
Her skin was pale as snow
And everywhere that Lyta went
Her Vorlon was sure to go.
You are correct on the class issue. I am brain storming on that now. I know Rangers will be a Prestige class. Telepath will be a class (with PsiCop as Prestige). I am trying to find a class for Dureena (I know she is a Rogue/Thief, but I am trying to come up with a better name). Soldier would be a good one, with Officer as a Prestige class. Healer is another good class. It is a tricky one. I can also remove the "class" function, as Call of Cthulhu (sp?) is doing with it's d20. This is hard. I have actually thought of trying something like Stargate SG-1 instead (since it would probably be easier since race is a non-factor) or Andromeda (since I don't have the love of the material, and therefore the desire for perfection, that I have with B5 stuff. Oh well, time will tell.

That was a great idea on the elves. More accurately treating the casts of minbari as "sub-races" so to speak. That could make things ALOT easier.

I would agree with your chosen races except maybe the Markab. Obviously, the only way you could have the Markab is if you base your campaign before late 2259 or you "bend the rule" and assume that a handful of Markab survived.

You could add a race like the Abbai or the Hyach, but the Pak'ma'ra and Gaim are already obscure enough. They may always be around, but we don't know much about them. At least with the Drazi, we've seen their homeworld, we know a little of their culture, and we know a little bit about their biology.

You could almost get by on just the four main non-First-One races plus the Drazi. Also, how about the Brakiri? Don't know too much about them either, but they'd probably be easier to take dramatic license with than the Pak'ma'ra or Gaim. I mean that Day of the Dead thing is pretty mysterious.

To expand on the class concept, here are a few ideas:

<LI> Administrator/Governor: for Human Senators, Centaurum members, Kha'Ri members, Grey Council members, Drazi Green/Purple leaders; these examples are probably best for the elite version of this class; could be the class that ombudsmen (station court judges) fall into
<LI> Archeologist/Scientist: for IPX members like Anna Sheridan & Max Eilerson; could be called IPX class if you want it specific, or you could keep it general and call it Scientist class
<LI> Aristocrat: this would be mostly for Centauri; would be the class for members of the noble Houses and the royal court
<LI> Business Mogul: like William Edgars and the Garibaldi of the future; could be an elite version of the Merchant class or could even be included as a subcategory of Aristocrat; this could be a favored class of the Brakiri, as I read somewhere they're very businesslike
<LI> Cleric/Clergy: a major aspect in the B5 universe portrayed by the entire Minbari religious caste, Brother Theo's monks, Reverend Dexter, 5th Season G'Kar, etc.
<LI> Colonist: this could be a "catch-all" for people who farm, build, terraform, etc. on a habitable alien world
<LI> Diplomat: for Ambassadors, Attache's, business negotiators, etc.; this is a crucial class in the B5 universe, but members are often multi-class (G'Kar and Delenn were both diplomats and "administrators", Londo was a diplomat and an aristocrat, and Sheridan & Sinclair were both Soldiers doubling as council representatives)
<LI> Entertainer: like the Centauri jester and Cailyn the singer Franklin met in downbelow
<LI> Investigator/Police/Security: like station security and forensics; could be the class that ombudsmen would fall into
<LI> Medic/Surgeon/Healer: doctors, nurses, and clinic facilitators such as Dr. Laura Rosen (Ep. 121 The Quality of Mercy)
<LI> Merchant: bartenders, Zocolo kiosk owners, black market sellers, gambling facilitators, those struggling in downbelow, etc.
<LI> Pilot: like Lt. Keffer; granted, there are lots of B5 people trained in piloting, but these would be specialists like Keffer who weren't good for anything else
<LI> Ranger: lump this into Soldier if you don't make Ranger it's own separate class
<LI> Reporter/Journalist: another important aspect of the B5 universe; would include ISN reporters, alien reporters, and those working behind the scenes to cause propoganda; could include writers like G'Kar if Writer isn't good enough to be it's own separate class
<LI> Rogue/Thief: like Dureena Nafeel; on B5, thieves were all over the place; guild members could be considered elite
<LI> Soldier: like Ta'Lon, Minbari warrior caste members, Earth Force members, marines, etc.; could include Rangers if Rangers aren't their own separate class; could also include security personnel if you don't include Investigator/Police/Security as a separate class
<LI> Technomage: like Galen, Elric, Alwyn, etc.; self-explanatory
<LI> Telepath: like Talia, Lyta, Bester, Byron, etc.; if you just make telepathy a skill instead of making Telepath a totally separate class, use Psi-Cop as an example of another appropriate class such as Administrator or Investigator/Police/Security; keep in mind that Minbari telepaths are usually--if not always--a part of the religious caste
<LI> Worker/Engineer: for Minbari worker class members and folks like Mack and Bo
<LI> Writer/Philosopher: for folks like G'Kar; this may be best to lump into another class

Hope this helps.

An Old Egyptian Blessing: May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places that you must walk.

Thoughts & prayers to citizens of NY, DC, and to us all.

[This message has been edited by Ninja_Squirrel (edited November 18, 2001).]
More class ideas...

Mystic/Psychic/Prophet (like Centauri women who can see the future)
Entrepeneur (good name for a combined Merchant/Business Mogul class)

Also... Politician would be a better name for the Administrator/Governor class I suggested, Shadow Associate (like Morden or Justin) could be another example of the Diplomat class, and special-assignment fact-finders (like Mr. Endowi, 1st ep. of 3rd season) could be another example of the Investigator class.

Don't get me wrong; I know this is way too many classes. I'm not suggesting you use all of them, but B5 had a lot of variety to it, so you'll probably need at least 10-12 classes to keep things realistic and flexible. You could combine a lot of classes. This may be why the official (yet crappy) B5 RPG has no class restrictions; you just write down what you want to be and you're it. In that game, it has more to do with personal background than skills, bonuses, penalties, etc.

I also like the suggestion of having "sub-races". If you're Minbari, you're either Worker, Warrior, or Religious. If you're Centauri, you're either nobleman, bureaucrat, lady, guard, soldier, slave, or "peasant". If you're Human, you're either soldier, bureaucrat, clergy, entrepeneur, journalist, or blue collar worker. If you're Narn, you're either warrior or, well, survivalist, I guess. Of course, each race would need to have Diplomat available to them as a class, and depending on when you base the campaign some or all of the races would need to have Ranger available to them.

Attribute Modifiers

<LI> Minbari: bonus to Wisdom and/or Strength; maybe a penalty to Charisma to compensate
<LI> Centuari: bonus to Charisma; a penalty to Wisdom (or maybe even a bonus if you factor in the prophetic dreams aspect)
<LI> Narn: bonus to Constitution and perhaps Strength; also a penalty to Wisdom (G'kar & Ta'Lon seemed to be exceptions)
<LI> Drazi: bonus(es) to one or more physical attributes; penalty to Intelligence and/or Wisdom and/or Charisma
<LI> Brakiri: bonus to Intelligence and/or Charisma; penalty to ???
<LI> Pak'ma'ra: bonus to ???; penalty to Charisma
<LI> Gaim: bonus to ???; penalty to Charisma
<LI> Hyach: bonus to ???; penalty to Wisdom and/or Constitution
<LI> Abbai: ???

An Old Egyptian Blessing: May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places that you must walk.

Thoughts & prayers to citizens of NY, DC, and to us all.
Thanks for the advice. As far as the Markab, I put them in there because Confessions and Lamentations said in the "news cast" at the end that although some small groups of Markab may have survived on isolated outposts, the civilization was destroyed. That made me think "how many" and "what did they do after that", which is fascinating to me.
A small fraction of an entire racial population of a galaxy could be millions of people.

makes you think

Yeah, I'd always thought that the idea of a low-population race would be interesting too. The Markab are good candidates, because I can't help but think that somehow, somewhere a few Markab survived.

Also, keep in mind that Sheridan blew up the Markab jump gate. If the last remaining Markab found out about it, they might be honked off that it's that much harder for them to get home (assuming the plague would not affect anyone new considering it already killed off everyone who was already on the planet).

Ooh, there's another idea. The Markab is now a dead world, but the leftovers could still be used by someone. It could be used as a base of operations; a new jump gate could be created in secret; if there are Markab survivors, they may even try to repopulate; the Markab homeworld could even have been a future destination of the Excalibur if it hadn't been for Crusade being cancelled.

You're right. It does make you think.

An Old Egyptian Blessing: May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places that you must walk.

Thoughts & prayers to citizens of NY, DC, and to us all.
This all reminds me of something I had started but never got done (none of my friends are into both b5 and roleplaying in as much eagerness). I was planning on doing a website for pooling information and resources for B5 related resources. I should be getting myself set up with a nice bit of webspace soon, along with domain (.com or .co.uk).

I would be very interested in doing something like this, but could not on my own. If there is any interest please do tell me, even if it is only passing. ANY help would be very useful. ANY help.

Lyta had a little Vorlon
Her skin was pale as snow
And everywhere that Lyta went
Her Vorlon was sure to go.

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