I have noticed that on military characters, or OCC’s in the matter, have one very important, missing factor. How do they get trained? And where are all the bonuses that they should have if they are trained properly?
Primarily about basic training that all soldiers go thru one way or another, be it long and drawn out like your family being mercs and you growing up learning to become one, or the CS basic that is sorely left out of detail… And the attribute requirements…I’m sorry, but if you look at today’s soldiers, they obviously have a better starting average in attributes, especially the CS Infantry Grunt. I mean come on, anybody can be one? Not in today’s army, you have to be in peak physical condition to be qualified in the infantry, let alone being a commando, ranger, Special Forces (SF), Intel, etc.
I like what they did in the Merc sourcebook, by introducing a detailed basic training regimen to the game, complete with bonuses and experience. This is the template I use in my games, with little tweaks here and there when going into different militaries, i.e. Coalition States (CS), Mercs, Free Quebec (FQ), etc. And that brings me to another point, the specialized military OCC’s.
Special Forces in the CS should rival the training that the United States goes through, if not be harder in the Rifts world, as there are more variables such as Psi, Magic, and supernatural. Training for modern SF candidates takes place over a year-long intensive training plan. Depending on their specialization, after they have met all the requirements such as airborne and air assault, they are then only geared for a specific region. Then step down to Rangers, which are elite infantry beyond all others. Airborne infantry, or as I see it, the CS Commando, is next on the SF Totem pole. And there are countless other units under an SF flag.
Which brings me to a point, the specialized military OCC’s should not be entry level, as they say. A character should strive to better himself enough to get accepted into those units, to be trained to be the best. So I propose the fact that there should be a multiclass rule, as to be experienced enough of a soldier to become SF. For example, a CS infantry grunt goes through basic, gets stronger, proves himself in combat, and his commanders present him with the opportunity to TRY for the special forces (at around level 3 and above). he then undergoes the training, taking the skills he knows as infantry and adding the ones from SF (including any bonuses to existing skills) and just blend him into the SF occ. Of course, the esperience tables are different, and it will take him longer than before to get used to his training, but that is what he strived for. This might make it harder for some GM’s, but it instills a pride in your character like no other.
And for those other classes, like snipers. Palladium Fantasy has a longbowman OCC as a dedicated long-range warrior. But after studying the character classes and looking through bonuses and skills, I would state that the best way to make a true sniper would be to start off as a Paratrooper OCC from the Merc sourcebook, and then multi-class into a headhunter assassin OCC from the Canada worldbook.
I will be making additions to this posting, and I hope that this will bring some insight.