"Special Abilities" in Dead and Back represent areas where a character isn't just knowledgeable, but at the top of their field.Although I don't particularly like the d20 style feats mechanic of giving each character a list of special rules I though this would be helpful given the limited number of skills a character has to get something notable to stand out.
Although such a rule doesn't exist - I'm thinking that there should be a limit of one version of an SA per group. That is you can't have two martial artists or two pilots in a group of players. This may be waved for purposes of story - say if the focus is on a group of survivors from the RAF or in the case of the pilot ability - they specialize in different craft - a boat captain and an airline captain aren't necessarily redundant.
- Clout: Enhanced access to top secret information
- Awareness: Initiative rolls as 3-6 success
- Pilot: Controlling vehicles other than cars
- Ammo Conservation: Enlarge Ammo die one step
- Martial Arts: Bare Hand attacks have a DR of 2
- Controlled Burst: Attack 5 targets rather than 3
- Tactics: Can combine fire with another survivor
- Blasting: Knowledge of the use of explosives
- Reanimation: Knowledge of creating and stopping undead
- Heavy Weapons: Ability to use the big stuff
Possible Generic Additions:
- Paralegal: Good at making arguments, and oddly trusted despite the lawyer jokes.
- Sniper: +1 SDI when aiming at a single target.
- Psychiatrist: Difficulty 2 Wits test to restore metal attributes (deadening/lucidity) during game rather than down time.
- Surgeon: Negates the "-1" difficulty of repairing people.
- NanoScientist: Qualifications in Identifying, using, and creating micro-robots. Possibly with separate specializations in medical (creation and use of nano-surgeons/vaccine) and industrial (nano-batteries and material science)
- Biochemist:working with acids or creation of new medicines and antibiotics
- Pathfinder: Easier time getting around ruins and wilderness.
- Pharmacology: Encyclopedic knowledge of drugs, dosages, and where to find them.
- Drone Operator: Trained in the use of tele-operated machinery or robots.
- [Vehicle Type] Mechanic: +2 dice when repairing a specific class of machines. (Jet Aircraft, Small boats, cars, drone craft...)
The base D&B rules are written to be generic to cinematic survival horror, with the anarchy zones eclipsing them as a setting to show off these concepts. So the idea for SAs based on allegiance didn't occur to me at first. However, requiring the use of ones SA slot is a good balance to the perks otherwise granted by being part of a larger organization.
- Rank (Defense Force): Access to better digs, higher pay, and possibly a squad mate or two
- Trusted Supplier: Better prices/allowed to take contraband/etc.
- Member of Special Force:
- Government Official:
- Ranger: Access to safe houses and the communication network of the unofficial rangers, as well as the respect/stigma that comes with it.