I’ve always loved the versatility of the Wilderness Scout O.C.C. from Rifts. It includes a long list of skills with great diversity in what can be chosen in keeping with the idea of an individual who can scout, survive on their own, and explore the wild and dangerous world of Rifts. To start with our stat rolls that became Mikal, we have IQ – 16, ME – 13, MA – 11, PS – 14, PP – 16, PE – 13, PB – 12, and Spd – 7. Another excellent bonus set of bonus rolls means that he starts with an IQ of 21 and a PP of 22. For the first time, we have a character roll up minor psionic abilities as well. This means he will get more Inner Strength Points and two psionic powers. His Hit Points start at 13 and he has PPE in the normal human range. Rifts also includes Structural Damage Capacity, or S.D.C., to reflect non-life threatening injuries and as a non “Man of Arms” O.C.C., he starts with 4D6 S.D.C., or 20.
Wilderness Scouts have a long list of O.C.C. skills as you can see in the attached character sheet. These are what you would expect from a Wilderness Scout like Land Navigation, Track Animals, Identify Plants, Hunting, and Fishing but also include a set of Weapon Proficiencies and several languages. For Mikal, I added languages that other members of the party hadn’t covered just to make sure it was covered . Looking at the “Other” skills, I wanted to make a more mercenary Wilderness Scout instead of a purely living off the land type of character. Because the Wilderness Scout is required to take several Physical skills, I started with Boxing and Gymnastics because they cannot be taken as Secondary skills and provide a significant amount of bonuses and skills to use. I added swimming and Boat Building because I like the idea of running away from angry people by making a quick raft. Despite the Lore skills being repeated across different characters, it only made sense for Mikal to have them as well. In the Secondary skill category, I made sure to include a few more ancient weapon proficiencies, Piloting Boats, Botany, and Anthropology. These are fun sort of character points that drive home the Wilderness Scout’s purported knowledge base.
As a minor psychic, Mikal gets to have two psionic powers and I chose two from the Physical Psionic list. Keeping up with the Wilderness Scout idea, I selected Resist Thirst and Resist Fatigue. This enhances the resilience and ability to keep moving through the wilds of the Earth.
I wanted to make use of the Bow and Arrow, so the Weapon Proficiency: Archery was chosen specifically to work with the expansion of high tech arrowheads in the Rifts: Sourcebook. I added several different kinds of arrows, including Mega Damage Capacity explosive arrows even though they are markedly expensive to be able to play up this aspect of the character. Other weapons include a Wilks Laser Rifle for overall utility and the slight bonus the Wilks design provides and an Assault Rifle for S.D.C. damage. For his armor, I am choosing the Huntsman light armor because it seems to fit thematically. The Crusader armor provides a better amount of M.D.C. as well as less of a prowl penalty, but we already have a suit or two of that in the party. In his regular gear, I added a Sonic Flea and Tick repellant from the Rifts: Sourcebook because it just makes sense. Despite the tempting desire to make a robot horse (mentioned in the Rifts First Edition book but not available) using the Robot creation rules in the Sourcebook, I will stick with the A.T.V. Hover Cycle as a fast, relatively quiet vehicle that can be used on lots of different terrain.
Looking at Page 18 of the Rifts First Edition book, here are the results of the Optional random tables to round out the character:
- Birth Order: First Born of twins
- Weight: I rolled skinny, but the stats don’t support that so I am going to change it to Average
- Height: Tall
- Disposition: Shy, timid, tends to be a loner
- Family Origin: Human
- Type of Environment: Wilderness town or city with magic and/or psychics
- Sentiments towards Coalition: Dislike and Distrust the Coalition. Well informed and know a lot about the CS’s philosophies, laws, and activities, and they seem to be pretty unjust if not outright evil
- Sentiments towards Non-Humans: Is wary of demons, but has had mostly good experiences with non-humans and treats them as equals, without doubt or suspicion.
In the next section, these will be worked into Mikal’s character description
Some people are born to be outsiders, but the world conspires to push them into groups. Mikal was born a twin, the first of the pair, to a nice couple in a small wilderness town. Mikal grew up playing in the outdoors, chopping wood, and otherwise roaming just a little further away from town than his parents were comfortable. He and his brother were extraordinarily bright, but his brother, Piter, wasn’t nearly as taken with the call of nature as Mikal. It’s a story that is almost as old as time itself as the two grew in similar but distinct directions. Mikal was more comfortable alone in his thoughts while in the wilderness and Piter grew more social especially when his parents moved them to Lazlo.
It was a simple choice for Mikal’s parents. Lazlo wasn’t too far away and was a place that promised safety and understanding. A bustling city of nearly half a million that welcomed all D-Bees, magic users, and others into the fold, Lazlo was a huge shift for young Mikal. He was no longer surrounded by the woods and animals that he had grown accustomed to. He was instead in the middle of a city with all of the people, noises, smells, and bustling that entails. It wasn’t what he wanted. Piter went on to become a Body Fixer in Lazlo, plying his trade to heal humans and D-Bees alike to the best of his ability while Mikal found a way to spend time in the wild away from the noise and the people that left him feeling exhausted. He became a Wilderness Scout by avocation and eventually vocation.
Leaving his family behind, but without any malice, he ventured to make his way across the continent using his skills to be hired as a scout and guide for the people who lacked his affinity for the world as it is, instead of as it they want to make it. For a time, he found this to be a good way to make his life his own. The Coalition State of Iron Heart interfered with what would have been a quiet life. Iron Heart had always been particularly violent and opposed to the people of magic, D-Bees, and people of learning which left Mikal with a cold feeling. After all, he was raised around D-Bees, magic users, and people of learning in Lazlo and seeing the persecution they felt under Iron Heart’s cold rule left him shocked. He was never the brunt of this persecution as a normal human, but when he came across a ragtag group struggling through the wilderness pursued by Iron Heart, it forced him into action. T-Ball gets him and his desire for solitude, often asking him to scout ahead and gain some space from the rest of them and his timid nature means he doesn’t really get along with Audacious but if Iron Heart wants them dead, they must be doing something right. His parents taught him to do what is right, not what is easy and so he has stayed with T-Ball’s pack thus far.
T-Ball’s Pack overview Here.
Mikal – Wilderness Scout Character Sheet
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