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Tell Me Now

Tell Me Now



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Published by DarkDeva
A d20 Modern PDF. With rules for torture.
A d20 Modern PDF. With rules for torture.

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Published by: DarkDeva on May 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Requires the use of the d20 Modern™Roleplaying Game, published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel,inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights, 1948
“’The Christian in me says it’s wrong, but thecorrections officer in me says, ‘I love to make a grown man piss himself.’ ”
Charles Graner Jr., prison guard at Abu Ghraib,circa 2005
“You expect me to talk?“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
Goldfinger, 1965Sooner or later, you will break. You’ll tell the inter-rogator anything he wants to know. Torture is singu-larly effective at ferreting out information, becausesooner or later, everyone cracks. The best even thestrongest willed soldier can hope for is to hold outlong enough to be rescued, and hope that when he
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or she finally breaks, finally reveals something to stopthe pain, the damage is minimal.Blood drenched, tense interrogations, battles of willsand wits between POW and torturer are a staple of military fiction. Captured soldiers and elite espionageagents are mutilated deep behind enemy lines, usingevery ounce of willpower and courage to keep silentand preserve their honor. Otherwise heroic soldiersmight put aside morality and the law, brutalizing their enemies in the interests of national defense.The variant rules for torture and interrogation presented here can dramatically change the feel of your game. The “Break Counter” rule drags outtorture scenes, altering the pace of the game, forcing players and GMs alike to focus their attention andlarge blocks of game time to a horrific part of moderncombat. Instead of a brief scene before the inevitable prison break or rescue mission, where the hero has toroll a quick d20 Fortitude save to resist torture, usingthe rule presented in this book means that if a hero istortured those around the table will feel it.They’ll feel the effects when they have to roll d20after d20, watching their break counter slowly, inevi-tably fill. They’ll feel it as they struggle to come upwith tactics and countermeasures, when they rolldesperate Bluff checks against their interrogator.They’ll feel it when the counter finally reaches it’sapex, and they’re forced to reveal some vital bit of Intel, and they’ll feel it And when their character failsan attack roll or Reflex save later, months of gametime in the future, because of crippling injuries theysustained during the torture session, they’ll feel itagain.Be careful though. Torture, like explicit sex scenes, isan emotionally charged and potentially awkward thingto bring to the gaming table, and is usually glossedover in most campaigns. Played wrong, an in-gametorture session might be campaign endingly grim andhorrific, or even worse, an unintentionally hilarious parody, full of over the top machismo and war movieclichés.
The Break Counter: A Variant Torture System for D20 Modern 
Torture sessions are, at their simplest, extended usesof the Intimidate skill, designed to elicit informationfrom an unwilling character. Unlike conventionalIntimidate attempts, torture sessions can last hours,days or even longer, depending on the strength andconviction of the prisoner, and torture methods oftenleave lasting physical and emotional scars on thevictim, unlike the simplistic strong arm tactics theIntimidate skill usually covers.
Skill Synergies: 
If an interrogator has 5 or more ranks in Treat Injury,he or she receives a +2 synergy bonus on Intimidatechecks involving physical torture.If an interrogator has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge: behavioral sciences, he or she receives a +2 synergy bonus on Intimidate checks involving psychologicaltorture or emotional manipulation.If an interrogator has 5 or more ranks in Craft: phar-maceutical, he or she receives a +2 synergy bonus onIntimidate checks involving truth serums and drug- based interrogations.If a victim has 5 or more ranks in Bluff, he or shereceives a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves made toresist torture. The victim can easily lie under duress,misleading interrogators into believing they are gettingvital Intel.
Resisting torture: 
A character being tortured resists the interrogator’sIntimidate check with a Fortitude save. The difference between the interrogator’s initial Intimidate check andthe prisoner’s initial Fortitude save sets the starting position of the prisoner’s Break Counter.
 If the interrogator’s starting Intimidatecheck result is 15, and the prisoner’s initial Fortitude save result is 13, the Break Counter begins at 2, whichis the difference between the two check results. Had the prisoner rolled a higher starting Fortitude save, for example by rolling a 17, the Break Counter would have begun lower, at –2.
As the torture session progresses, additional opposedchecks move the Break Counter forward. Each timethe interrogator’s Intimidate check beats the prisoner’sFortitude save result, the difference is added to theBreak Counter. Several new feats, detailed in thefollowing section, allow strong-willed, battle hardenedcharacters to resist torture more effectively.Characters immune to fear effects cannot be tortured.Characters immune to physical pain effects cannot be physically tortured, but can be psychologicallytormented, or may break out of fear for their less-invulnerable allies.
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p   a   g   e   :  3   
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The Break Counter: 
The Break Counter is a simple modification to thed20 rule set based on the truism that sooner or later,everyone breaks under torture. Once the Break Counter’s starting position is set by the initial checks,it can never move backward.... only forward to theinevitable conclusion of the interrogation. The best atortured prisoner can hope for is to delay his or her  breakdown with additional Fortitude saves, delayingthe interrogator until help arrives or the interrogator moves on in search of easier prey.When the Break Counter reaches 20, the prisoner succumbs to the torture and reveals one piece of secretinformation. When NPCs are tortured, the GameMaster decides what information they reveal, andusually the first revelations are the most innocuous andleast tactically important. Tortured player charactersmust answer a specific question truthfully, which isasked before the torture session begins.Once a victim succumbs to torture, he or she is morelikely to fail again. The Break Counter is initially a‘to-20’ counter. After the victim breaks the first time,the Break Counter becomes a ‘to-19’ counter, meaningthe Break Counter must only reach 19 for the character to break again. Each time the tortured character revealsa piece of information, the Break Counter lowers byone, down to a minimum of 1. At this point, the pris-oner is an emotionally scarred wreck, who cannotmuster any further resistance to his tormentors. Oncescarred by torture, a character’s Break Counter cannever be reset.A prisoner can intentionally choose to reveal thedesired Intel, hoping to spare himself the potentiallycrippling effects of the torture. The shame of doing socan also cripple a character. If the prisoner intention-ally reveals information, he or she must make a Willsave (
 DC 20 + the interrogator’s ranks in Intimidate
)or have their Break Counter reduced by one, just as if they had succumbed to a torture session.The prisoner’s Break Counter fills during a torturesession. However, if the prisoner has a chance to rest between torture sessions, the Break Counter empties,and a new torture session must begin. At least 6 to 8hours of rest is required between torture sessions. If the prisoner is not allowed to rest, or if passive torturemethods like sleep deprivation or expose to continualloud noises, the Break Counter does not empty.Effectively, the victim is being exposed to one long,continual torture session, not several discrete sessions.
Torture Methods: 
Torture leaves scars that never fully heal. Even if a prisoner resists his interrogator’s demands, never onceletting a secret slip, he may still suffer permanentharm. Each of the torture methods described below isunfortunately used by several real world governments,and offers interrogators a circumstance bonus on hisIntimidate check. In addition, the victim of the torturemust make a separate Fortitude save, unrelated to theopposed torture checks which fill the Break Counter,to avoid suffering lasting, possibly fatal harm.
Phobic triggers: 
If a victim breaks as a result of torture, he or she mightdevelop severe phobias or post traumatic stress disor-ders from the experience. Even years after the fact, avictim might suffer debilitating flashbacks from their horrible experiences. Common triggers of their phobicflashbacks are listed for each torture.If a torture victim experiences extreme stress, andencounters one of his phobic triggers, he must makea Will save (
 DC 12 + number of times his Break Counter has filled 
) or become panicked for 1d4minutes. Success indicates the victim is merely shakenfor the duration. The GM may activate the character’s phobia at any time, but the torture victim gains atemporary action point (
which must be spent within 24hours
) each time the game master does so.The most common type of phobic trigger is encoun-tering someone with a resemblance (
either physi-cally, or in mannerisms
) to their torturer, being in aroom similar to where the torture took place or beingtortured again. These symptoms may apply to anyonewho has been tortured, by any method.
Strangulation, suffocation, slow hanging and drowning: 
Strangulation and suffocation are some of the mostcommonly used torture methods, inflicting primalterror on a victim without lasting harm or obviousforensic traces. Bringing a victim to the point of unconscious or the edge of death and than letting thatvictim breathe again can break even the strongest will.Strangulation and other breath control methods arealso incredibly cheap and easy to administer torturemethods, requiring nothing more expensive than alength of rope, a pail of water or a plastic bag, or eventhe torturer’s own hands.
Intimidation bonus:
+1. The intimidation bonus is+1d4 if the victim has previously been choked into

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