A science-fiction roleplaying game set in a galaxy at war with a bug-like alien menace. The Player Characters are part of a special Space Marine unit assigned to combat the bug Hive Mind before it comsumes all of mankind. FORCE 9 takes much of its inspiration from the Alien films (especially the second), and more recently, Starship Troopers
Designer: John Harper and Jonathan Elliott
Link to RulesEdit
Storing a copy of the rules here just in case
FORCE 9 is a science-fiction roleplaying game set in a galaxy at war with a bug-like alien menace. The Player Characters are part of a special Space Marine unit assigned to combat the bug Hive Mind before it comsumes all of mankind. FORCE 9 takes much of its inspiration from the Alien films (especially the second), and more recently, Starship Troopers.
FORCE 9 has been designed as a "pamphlet game" - in other words, only the essentials required for play are included here (spiced up a tad with cool graphics, of course). The hardcopy, plain text version of the game should take up no more than nine letter size pages. Future expansions will be provided, detailing other parts of the setting, more Space Marine missions, new equipment and enemies, etc.
FORCE 9 may have grown a little beyond its origins, but it was initially designed as a "beer and pretzels" game - something simple and fun to play as a break from your regular roleplaying. We think it still works great in this respect. Character creation is fast, the setting and tone are familiar to any sci-fi fan, and missions seem to write themselves. If your gaming group finds itself with a free afternoon, don’t pick up those Magic decks, generate some Space Marines and kick alien ass!
FORCE 9 Credits
All text copyright c1997, John Harper and Jonathan Elliott.
FUDGE is copyright c1992 by Steffan o’Sullivan. FUDGE is a role-playing game written by Steffan O'Sullivan, with extensive input from the Usenet community of rec.games.design. The basic rules of FUDGE are available on the internet here, and in book form or on disk from Grey Ghost Games, Inc., P.O. Box 838, Randolph, MA 02368. They may be used with any gaming genre. While an individual work derived from FUDGE may specify certain attributes and skills, many more are possible with FUDGE. Every Game Master using FUDGE is encouraged to add or ignore any character traits. Anyone who wishes to distribute such material for free may do so -- merely include this ABOUT FUDGE notice and disclaimer (complete with FUDGE copyright notice). If you wish to charge a fee for such material, other than as an article in a magazine or other periodical, you must first obtain a royalty-free license from the author of FUDGE, Steffan O'Sullivan, P.O. Box 465, Plymouth, NH 03264. DISCLAIMER The following materials based on FUDGE, entitled "FORCE 9: SCI-FI COMBAT ROLEPLAYING" are created by John Harper and Jonathan Elliott and made available by Disturbance Games and are not authorized or endorsed in any way by Steffan O'Sullivan or any publisher of other FUDGE materials. Neither Steffan O'Sullivan or any publisher of other FUDGE material is in any way responsible for the content of these materials. Original FUDGE materials Copyright © 1992-1995 Steffan O'Sullivan, All Rights Reserved.
Some of the FUDGE system tweaks that we used for F9 were shamelessly stolen from Alpha Station, a homegrown sci-fi setting for FUDGE. Check it out.
FORCE 9 SOURCESEdit
F9 is obviously inspired by the Alien movies, especially the second. They are:
- Alien Resurrection
The F9 designers hghly recommend watching Aliens just before running your first session. Nothing will put you in the mood better. There are many cool Aliens pages on the web. Here are a few of our favorites:
What really got us started on this whole "space marine" kick, however, was a very cool roleplaying session with Jason Werner, one of the designers of Biohazard Games' BLUE PLANET. Jason ran a tournament-style mission for us called "Deep Sh*t" in which a squad of Colonial Marines have to investigate an underwater science station that has stopped communicating with the surface. We lost the everyone in the squad to the last man. It was a blast. And, when Starship Troopers finally hit the big screen, we just couldn't put aside that Bug-stomping feeling any more. So, FORCE 9 was born.
THE FALL OF THE COLONIESEdit
Once, there was a single Bug planet, far beyond Federation Space. Unchecked, the Bugs must have flourished there, by the billions, for unknown millennia.
25 years ago, Federation seeder ships from the [Colony Belt] found the Bug system, which was perfect for supporting human life. The colonists approached, unaware of any danger until it was too late. Without warning, the overwhelming psychic force of the [Bug Hive Mind] consumed the willpower of all the crews of those first Federation vessels. Their names live on in our memories: Republic, Emissary, Columbia, Mercury, Wayfinder, Pacific.
Once consumed, the Hive Mind used the crews’ expertise to send the ships on a return course back into the colony belt, loaded with Bug Warrior Drones. In smaller concentrations, the Hive Mind could no longer consume an entire fleet at once, but still they advanced, relentlessly, consuming unsuspecting outposts and transports. As the Bugs’ captured fleet grew, they returned again and again to their homeworld, loading larger vessels with drones. The tiny hyperspace slingshot brought by the first colony ships made this process a slow one.
Even so, the outer colonies fell in a matter of months. Space Force launched a counterattack, based on vague first-hand reports by survivors of an "alien menace." The first wave of Space Force vessels was consumed by the Hive Mind after only a brief exchange of fire.
Through psychic-control and careful deployment of its forces, the Bugs acquired an armed space fleet of roughly 50 ships. The remaining Space Force vessels were ordered to destroy all slingshots in the Belt with enough power to launch a ship back to earth. This they accomplished before being consumed, effectively creating a massive blockade against further spreading of the Bugs into human space. This artificial barrier, known as the Quarantine Zone, has remained intact for the past 25 years. No Bug-controlled vessels are known to have escaped the colony-belt in that time.
THE HUMAN TELEPATHIC FACTOREdit
The Federation Regency of Science has spent decades studying the Enemy and the consuming psychic-control of the Hive Mind. They have discovered, through rigorous experimentation, that the process is reversible if the consumed human is separated from the concentration of Bugs that consumed him or her. The individual’s personality will resurface in time, though memories of the Hive experience seem to be totally lost, even to hypno-regression.
In studying the Hive Mind effect, Federation scientists discovered the precise element that allows the Bug to Consume us: the Human Telepathic Factor.
All humans have some capacity for psychic transference. The human mind is constantly giving off and receiving a low-level stream of psychic energy, of which most individuals are not aware. Because of their unique collective-brain quality, the Bug species can focus its psychic force when gathered in large numbers. This force is much greater than the natural psychic threshold of a single human, allowing the Hive Mind to exert its influence. The human loses all willpower and individuality, while retaining most of its memories and skills.
Some humans, however, have a much greater capacity for psychic-transference. This capacity is known as the Human Telepathic Factor, or T-Factor. High T-factor humans are more resistant or totally immune to the Hive Mind. Humans with high enough T-factors can even psychically transfer their consciousness from one body to another, across any distance.
It is this ability that has allowed the Federation to build a space fleet to strike back at the Bugs. A fleet comprised solely of genetically engineered clone bodies, controlled by expert telepaths, immune to the effects of the Hive Mind. This fleet is known as Federation Space Task Force 9, or FORCE 9 for short.
Force 9 troopers are all clones of telepaths back on Earth. The clone bodies are simply lifeless hulks, until motivated by the telepath. While psychically linked, the telepath experiences the world as if he was the clone. The telepaths are given rigorous physical and mental training to make them the most effective fighting force in the galaxy.
When a trooper is killed in action, a new clone body is simply re-grown and shipped to the marine’s staging area, where the telepath once again takes control. Some new command frigates even have cloning facilities on board, making transition even easier.
Clone Death and Telepathic ShockEdit
When a clone body dies, the controlling Telepath suffers a nightmarish experience that can mentally scar him or her or even lead to Psychic Death. Telepaths can willingly "disconnect" from their clone at any time. However, to reduce the risk of Telepathic Shock, the procedure must be done over a period of hours, as the telepath carefully severs the links to the clone form.
FORCE 9 GAME SYSTEMEdit
FORCE 9 uses the Freeform Universal Do-it-yourself Gaming Engine, or FUDGE for short. FUDGE is a free roleplaying system available on the internet. The following chapter will make a lot more sense after you have read through FUDGE, so you might want to go ahead and download your copy now, by following the Downloads link from the Main page.
Note: There are probably as many dice mechanics for FUDGE as there are FUDGE players. The method preferred by the F9 designers is the classic 2d6 method from the FUDGE rules. Designate one d6 as the "positive" die and one as the "negative" die. Roll both dice and subtract the negative result from the positive result. +5 or -5 results are too extreme for FUDGE, so treat them as "0."
You can find plenty of alternative methods for randomizing your outcomes by going to: http://fudge.ouvaton.org/fudgedicegen.html
As in regular FUDGE, all attributes are rated from -3 to +3 for humans. A rating of Fair (0) is standard for most attributes of a typical human. The Psi attribute has a default rating of Terrible (-3).
As a reminder, the trait levels are: (-3) Terrible (-2) Poor (-1) Mediocre (0) Fair (+1) Good (+2) Great (+3) Superb
Strength Toughness Move Speed Action
Perception Knowledge Fortune Willpower Psi
Lifting capacity, base HTH damage. You might make a STR roll when a character tries to move something heavy or wants to break an object, though most feats of strength should be automatic if the character has the required trait level.
Resistance to damage. You might make a TGH roll when the character is exposed to poison or disease, or when the character goes without sleep and must function normally.
How fast you can run, swim, fly, whatever. Move rolls are rarely necessary unless the terrain being moved over is especially difficult or unusual.
Reaction time, determines who goes first. SPD rolls are called for at the beginning of each combat round, to determine the order in which everyone acts. You might also call for a SPD roll when two characters are rushing to complete an action (such as a fastdraw contest).
Overall physical coordination, athleticism. An ACT roll can determine the success of acrobatic maneuvers, jumping, throwing, catching, or dodging attacks.
Awareness, intuition. Make a PER roll to notice those Bugs lying in wait for you, or sneaking up behind you, or burrowing beneath you, or...
How much stuff you know and can remember. KNO rolls can be made to see if a marine has specific experience for the task at hand. For example, if knowledge of colonial terraforming systems is required, the marine can roll his or her KNO to see how much they remember. KNO rolls are made to recall obscure details and trivia; there is no need to roll to see if a marine can remember their mission assignments or how to load their weapon.
Luck. The good kind. You may spend a level of Fortune to get a +1 bonus to one roll. Only one level may be spent at a time. Fortune levels return at the end of each Mission.
Ability to perform under pressure, endurance. WIL rolls are most often made in combat, when the character attempts to resist the effects of damage and fight on. Cruel GMs will call for WIL rolls whenever there is a chance for the characters to lose their cool. Kinder GMs know that F9 troopers are psychologically hardened for warfare, and seldom break under pressure.
Psionic power. PSI rolls are made to resist the psychic influence of the Bug Hive Mind or the effects of Psi Combat. Telepaths lose a level of PSI every time their clone body dies while they are linked to it. A level of PSI is gained for every mission completed in the same body. More details on PSI are included in the Psi Corps Supplement.
Skills in F9 use the normal trait range of Terrible to Superb, plus one additional level: Expert (+4). The default rating for unskilled attempts is Poor, or even Terrible if the skill is complex or requires special knowledge.
Covers all close-quarters combat, both unarmed and armed. HTH Combat can be used to strike, pin, or throw an opponent. See Combat section for more details.
The use of small arms, from hold-out pistol to assault rifle.
The use of weapons of mass-destruction, such as incinerators, grenades, and rocket launchers.
Covers the operation of crew-controlled weapons on board vehicles, including remote and turret-mounted weaponry.
The safe and effective use of explosives, including the ability to set and disarm mines and bombs.
The dangerous aplication of personal Psi energy to perform superhuman feats such as mind-control, telepathy, and pyrokinesis. Psi Combat will be covered in a forthcoming game supplement.
Zero G OpsEdit
The ability to maneuver effectively in low gravity environments as well as technical expertise with jetpacks and spacesuits.
The ability to hide, move silently, camouflage, and set ambushes.
The ability to operate a particular class of vehicle, such as Ground Vehicles, Atmosphere Craft, Water Craft, or Space Craft. You may pilot an unfamiliar class of vehicle at -2 levels.
Knowledge of survival techniques in dangerous environments, including the ability to locate and catch food, construct shelter, and conserve resources.
This skill is primarliy first aid and battlefield medicine, but at high levels it can represent the abilities of a skilled surgeon or medical researcher.
Knowledge of highly technical systems and information, such as electrical engineering, computer operation and programming, communication systems, and sensors.
Ability to maintain and repair complex mechanical devices such as firearms, vehicles, power-generators and robots.
Advanced knowledge of a particular scientific field such as Bioengineering, Astrophysics, Hyperspace Theory, Alien Psychology, Xenobiology, or Psioncs.
All attributes start at Fair. Distribute three levels to Non-Physical Attributes. Physical Attributes are set by the "Clone Body" Gift, below.
All F9 Marines get 3 free gifts (see below). You may also pick two additional Gifts which represent the special training schools your Marine has completed.
Clone Body (all F9 PCs get this Gift for free) You are in telepathic control of a genetically engineered clone body, designed for combat. This body is faster, stronger, and more durable than an ordinary human body. You have the following traits: Strength: Superb Move: Great Toughness: Superb Speed: Superb Action: Great (You may swap STR and ACT for a leaner, more graceful clone body) Damage Capacity: You have 1 extra "Hurt" damage box and 1 extra "Very Hurt" damage box, due to vital organ redundancy and enhanced bone and muscle structure. Heightened Senses: Your clone body has eyes that can see in infrared, ultraviolet, and thermal imaging. You suffer no PER penalties due to darkness. Environmental Adaptations: Your artificial body can operate without difficulty underwater or in vacuum for up to eight hours. You can go without food or water for up to six weeks.
Telepath (all F9 PCs get this Gift for free) You have an exceptional T-factor and can shift your consciousness into a clone body. With extensive training, you may be capable of other feats of mind over matter, such as telekinesis or psychometry. You have the following traits: Psi: Default: Fair Psi Combat: Terrible Psi Affinity: Choose Telekinesis, Psychometry, Pyrokinesis, or Mind Control. Heightened Sense: You can sense the presence of Bugs by feeling the powerful psi-energy of the Bug Hive Mind. The trait level of this sense is equal to your Psi attribute. Force 9 Marine (all PCs get this Gift for free) You have completed the grueling Space Force boot camp and the even more exclusive Force 9 training facilities. During your extensive schooling, you have aquired the following
skills: HTH Combat: Great Gun Combat: Great Heavy Weapons: Fair Zero G Ops: Good Stealth: Good Survival: Superb Medical: Fair Besides your 3 free starting Gifts, you may pick two more from the list of Training Schools, below. All of the following Gifts have two levels of ability. Each level counts as one full Gift.
Marksman Covert Ops Specialist Combat Pilot Heavy Weapons Specialist Medic Combat Engineer
Marksman Level 1: Gun Combat: Superb Stealth: Great Level 2: Gun Combat: Expert Stealth: Superb
Covert Ops Specialist Level 1: Stealth: Superb HTH Combat: Superb Level 2: Stealth: Expert HTH Combat: Expert
Combat Pilot You can fly all types of military craft, from dropships to aerospace fighters. Level 1: Pilot: Great Gunnery: Great Level 2: Pilot: Superb Gunnery: Superb
Heavy Weapons Specialist Level 1: Heavy Weapons: Great Demolitions: Superb Level 2: Heavy Weapons: Superb Demolitions: Expert
Medic Level 1: Medical: Great Science: Good Level 2: Medical: Superb Science: Great
Combat Engineer Level 1: Mechanical: Great Technical: Good Level 2: Mechanical: Superb Techincal: Great (Swap Mech. and Tech. ratings if you want)
Character Creation Notes:Edit
Since all PCs will have nearly identical Physical traits and similar Non-Physical traits and skills, it is important to have a strong character concept and personality in order to differentiate between characters. In F9, it’s not what your character can do that sets her apart, it’s how she does it. We all know why everyone remembers Hudson and Vasquez from Aliens, while few people remember Frost, Crowe, or Spunkmeyer.
A FORCE 9 squad is made up of five enlisted men and one officer. One of the enlisted is a sergeant, the rest are usually corporals. The officer is a Lieutenant or a Captain. It’s up to the players who gets what rank in the squad. If no consensus can be reached, play rock-paper-scissors or something.
Often, one PC will outrank the others. Since this is a fairly strict military-style game, that means that the lower-ranking PCs must shut their traps and hustle when orders are given. However, in most circumstances, direct orders will not be required. Regular group decision-making will still be the norm, but when the CO makes up his mind, that’s it. No more room for argument. Good CO’s will learn to listen carefully to their troops before going off half-cocked, however. Too many screwed-up missions will bust you down a rank or two, so reign-in some of that ego.
FORCE 9 combat is very much like the standard FUDGE combat mechanics. For clarity’s sake, however, the system is described here, along with minor tweaks.
Combat is fought in rounds, each of which lasts 3 seconds of game time. Characters act in order of their Speed roll. Ties go simultaneously. During one round, a character may:
Make an attack Defend against attacks Change position (run somewhere, or get up, or jump behind cover, etc.) Reload a weapon Use a skill (like Medical on an injured companion) Use a piece of equipment (like a scanner, welder, remote, etc.)
Combined Actions Characters can do more than one thing during a combat round. For each extra action they perform, subtract 1 level of ability. For example, a Marine could fire his sidearm once at Great skill, twice at Good skill, or three times at Fair skill. Or, a Bug might smash open a security door (first action) and then attack at -1 skill (second action).
ATTACK AND DEFENSEEdit
To make an attack, roll your skill and compare it to the minimum level needed to hit. If your skill is equal to or greater than the required level, you hit.
For Gun Combat, the minimum level required is equal to the range to your target: Long Range: Great difficulty Medium Range: Fair difficulty Close Range: Poor Difficulty For HTH Combat, the minimum level required is Poor. For thrown weapon attacks (like rocks, thrown knives, etc.) use the Action attribute. Grenades use the Heavy Weapons skill.
If your target is actively defending itself this round, you must equal or beat the opponent’s defensive skill roll and beat the minimum difficulty in order to hit. The defensive skill used depends on the type of attack: Attack Gun Combat HTH Combat Thrown attacks Explosions Defense Action -2 HTH Combat Action Action, -1 per 2m of effect
HTH COMBAT MANEUVERSEdit
A target may be grabbed with a successful HTH Combat roll. Grabbed characters can take no further actions until they escape the grab. Each round the grab is maintained, roll for the grabbed character and for the attacker. Strength or (HTH Combat -1) may be used for this roll. If the defender wins, they escape. If the attacker wins, they may inflict damage equal to their Strength (+ relative degree) or throw the defender. Throwing distance is equal to (Strength level) + (relative degree) - (Scale) in meters.
Both the grabbed character and the attacker cannot defend against other attacks while the grab is maintained.
MOVEMENT Move Terrible Poor Mediocre Fair Good Great Superb Partial .5m 2m 5m 7m 10m 12m 15m Max. 1m 5m 10m 15m 20m 25m 30m
Characters can move their Partial Move distance and still do other things during the round with no penalty. If a character moves farther than their Partial Move distance, they suffer a -1 penalty to all subsequent actions that round.
Autofire: 1m area effect per 3 round burst, or +1 against a single target (max bonus+1) Target Cover: For hard cover, ignore hits in locations behind cover. Attackers can attempt aimed shots at exposed areas at -3. Poor visibility: -1 Total darkness or other lack of sight: -4 Long range (more than 2x Medium Range): Minimum Great result needed to hit Medium range: Minimum Fair result needed to hit Close range (less than 1/2 Medium Range): Minimum Poor result needed to hit
AREA EFFECT ATTACKSEdit
Make an attack roll against each target in the area, separately. You do not take the penalty for multiple targets.
Mass attacks are important in F9, since the Bugs almost always attack in swarms. For clarity’s sake, some of the FUDGE rules are reprinted here, with some minor revisions:
When a group of opponents attacks a single fighter, they have, at least, a positional advantage. To reflect this, the lone fighter is at -1 to his skill for each additional foe beyond the first.
The lone fighter rolls once, and the result is compared with each of the opponents' rolled degrees, one after the other. The solo combatant has to defeat or tie all of the opponents in order to inflict a wound on one of them. If he beats all of his foes, he may hit the foe of his choice. If he ties his best opponent, he can only wound another whose result is at least two levels below his.
Example: Sgt. Capone is facing three corporate troopers in HTH Combat, who have just rolled a Great, Good, and Mediocre result, respectively. Capone takes a -2 penalty and rolls a Great result, tying the best trooper. He hits the trooper who scored a Mediocre result (at least two levels below his result) and is not hit himself (he tied the best trooper).
The lone fighter takes multiple wounds in a single round if two or more enemies hit him. Usually, he can inflict damage on only one foe in any given round -- his choice of those he bested.
A well-armored fighter facing weak opponents can simply concentrate on one foe and let the others try to get through his armor (that is, not defend himself at all against some of his attackers). In this case, the lone fighter can damage his chosen foe even if he is hit by other, ignored foes.
There's a limit to the number of foes that can simultaneously attack a single opponent. Six humans is about the maximum under ideal conditions, while only three or four can attack if using weapons or martial arts that require a lot of maneuvering space. If the lone fighter is in a doorway, only one or two fighters can reach him. Because of their large size, only three Warrior Drones can attack a single human at once.
Mass Attack rules usually only apply to HTH Combat. If several opponents are shooting at a marine during the round, the marine simply takes a -1 to his dodge roll for every attacker after the first. He doesn’t have to beat all the shooters’ rolls to return fire himself.
Again, the F9 damage system is a lot like basic FUDGE with a few minor changes. Here’s a synopsis:
Total the Offensive Damage Factor: Weapon Damage + (STR for HTH attacks) + Relative Degree Subtract the Defensive Damage Factor: Toughness + Armor The difference is the total damage done. Consult the damage chart (printed on the character sheet for reference) to determine how severe the wound is: 1,2 Scratch ooo 3,4 Hurt (-1) o 5,6 V.Hurt (-2) o 7,8 Incapacitated o 9,10 Mortal o 11+ Instant Death
For example, if you took a total of 4 damage points, you would be Hurt, and at -1 trait level for all attempted actions. One more point of damage (a total of 5), and you would be Very Hurt, and -2 to all actions.
A result of "Incapacitated" means the character falls unconcious either from pain, shock, bloodloss, or some other trauma. A Great Willpower roll will allow a character to struggle back to semi-consciousness (enough to converse and vaguely sense the world around her). No further actions may be attempted until healed.
A result of "Mortal Wound" means the character is incapacitated and will soon die from his wounds. The character must succeed in a Fair difficulty Willpower roll or die next round, unless healed. Every round the character is left untreated they must make a Fair Wilpower roll, +1 difficulty for every minute they have been dying. A Great Medical roll will stabilize a character who is dying.
A result of "Instant Death" means just that. The character is blown apart in a shower of gore.
The boxes below the wound levels represent how many of each wound type a character can take. When a wound is received, mark off the appropriate box. If there is no open box for a given wound result, the character takes the next highest wound for which there is an open box.
Since clone bodies are exceptionally tough, all Space Marines receive 1 extra Hurt box and 1 extra Very Hurt box.
CLONE DEATH AND TELEPATHIC SHOCKEdit
When a clone body dies, the controlling Telepath suffers a nightmarish experience that can mentally scar him or her or even lead to Psychic Death. A character loses a trait level of Psi every time their clone body dies while they are connected to it. If a character's Psi rating ever drops below Terrible, they suffer Psychic Death and permanently lose the ability to link to a clone. The character is effectivley out of the game.
For every mission completed in the same clone body, add a level of Psi attribute. This level cannot be higher than Superb.
BUGS AND DAMAGEEdit
For ease of play, Bugs don’t take wounds. They are either still fighting, or dead. When a Bug is hit in combat, compare the Offensive Damage Factor to the Bug’s toughness rating. A damage total of 8 or more kills the Bug. Anything less and it keeps fighting. Don’t forget to describe the hits a Bug takes, even if they have no effect. A Marine might blow off a few legs or shoot out an eye before the creature finally keels over. The more grisly the wounds, the more relentless the Bugs will seem.
Since PCs will be using the same weapons from mission to mission, it’s easy calculate the relative degree necessary to drop each type of Bug. In fact, we’ve included this info in a handy table below. You’re welcome. Weapon Bug/Relative Degree needed M250 Warrior Drone: +3, Winged Drone: 0, Spinner: +1 M250 on auto Warrior Drone: +2, Winged Drone: -1, Spinner: 0 VX-80 Warrior Drone: +3, Winged Drone: 0, Spinner: +1
HIT LOCATIONS AND SPECIAL EFFECTSEdit
To determine where a hit lands, roll and consult the table below (these numbers are also printed on the character sheet for easy reference):
-4 head -3 left arm -2 left leg -1 left arm
0 torso 1 right arm 2 right leg 3 right arm 4 head
(Note: With this system, arms get hit more often than legs because they tend to be in the way, not because of actual target size.)
Hit locations are normally used just to see whether or not a shot hits the character’s armor and/or cover. However, for a more gruesome combat, rule that a result of "Mortal" or "Instant Death" when hitting a limb severs that location. A Great Willpower roll allows the character to tough it out and keep fighting at -2. Death checks must still be made every round, like a normal Mortal wound. A result of "Incapacitated" renders the limb useless until healed.
Sgt. Capone is investigating an empty corridor on board the Bug-controlled Cruiser Europa. He has been seperated from his team, and is trying to find an operational ship's intercom unit in order to contact them.
Suddenly, from behind, Capone hears the distinctive clicking and whispering of Bugs closing in. He turns to find four Warrior Drones scuttling down the corridor after him.
The GM makes a Stealth roll for the Bugs, and a Perception roll for Capone. Capone wins by one level, so he notices the Bugs' ambush and reacts in time.
The Drones are at the far end of the corridor, but experience tells Capone that it is useless to run. The Drones are faster sprinters than his clone body, anyway. Still, some extra distance couldn’t hurt. Capone does a partial move to back another 12m away from the Bugs. At the same time, the Sergeant takes up his M250 and opens fire on full auto. The Bugs rush him as fast as they can.
The GM makes a Speed roll for the Drones as a group. They get a Good result. Capone gets a Superb, which means he goes first.
Capone is shooting 2 bursts on autofire, which lets him attack a 4 meter area with his M250. This is enough to cover the entire corridor. However, the bugs only fit two abreast down the hallway, so Capone can attack only the lead pair. Since he is making an area effect attack with the assault rifle, Capone takes no multiple target penalty for shooting at more than one Bug.
The lead Drones are 50m away, which is Close range for the M250, so Capone needs to get a Poor or better to hit the Bugs. However, the Bugs are trying to avoid the spray of death from the assault rifle, by hunkering down low as they charge forward.
The Bugs make a defensive roll based on their Action attribute -2 (the penalty is for dodging fast projectiles). They take another -1 penalty since they are covering more than their Partial Move distance this round. They get a Fair result. Capone now needs a Fair or better to hit the Drones. He rolls his Gun Combat skill against each Bug seperately, getting a Great result for each.
The damage rating of Capone's M250 assault rifle is 6, +2 for his realtive degree., for a total Offensive Damage Factor of 8. The Drones have a Defensive Damage Factor of 1 which drops the overall damage down to 7. A damage total of 8 is required to kill a bug, however.
The explosive shells from the M250 tear into the charging Bugs, blasting off limbs and chunks of exoskeleton. The Bugs do not stop. At the end of the round, the Bugs have moved 30 meters and Capone has moved 12. There are now 32 meters between the Marine and the Bugs. If Capone repeats his performance from last round, he can retreat for two more rounds before the Drones overtake him. He manages to do this, dropping two of the Bugs in the process. It’s not enough, though. On round 4, the Bugs come into HTH combat range and tear the unfortunate Sergeant to pieces. Better luck next clone.
Wounds are healed with the Medical skill.
A Scratch is too insignificant to require a roll. Scratches are usually erased after a battle, provided the characters have five or ten minutes to attend to them.
A Good result heals all wounds one level (Hurt to healed, Very Hurt to Hurt, etc.). (Scratches do not count as a level for healing purposes. That is, a Hurt wound that is healed one level is fully healed.) A Great result heals all wounds two levels, and a Superb result heals three levels.
The use of an AutoDoc (a portable first-aid robot) adds +1 to the Medical skill roll. Using a fully operational medical suite (such as those aboard large starships or at military outposts) adds +2 to the roll.
Wounds heal on their own at one wound level per week of rest. That is, after a week of rest, an Incapacitated character becomes Very Hurt, etc. Mortal wounds never heal naturally.
It is now known that the four types of Bugs encountered so far are actually the same organism that undergoes several metamorphoses during its life cycle (similar to an earth caterpillar).
STAGE ONE: The Spinner Spinners are small (roughly 1/2 meter long) arachnoids, with black fibrous bodies. They have the unique ability to spin monofilament from an orifice in their thorax. This monofilament is typically woven into dense strands that are used for the construction of webs and nests, or for wrapping egg sacks. The monofilament may also be laid out in extremely fine threads, which the Bugs use for traps. This mono-thread can slice through all kinds of ceramics, plastics, and metals. Note: Bug monostrands are extremely fine and hard to spot. They require a Great Perception roll to notice. Coming into contact with monofilament does 8 damage per strand (armor has no effect). A ship corridor or doorway is typically covered with up to d6 strands.
Mass Scale: 0 (human)
STR: Poor TGH: Mediocre MOV: Fair SPD: Good ACT: Superb PER: Mediocre KNO: Terrible FOR: Poor WIL: Great PSI: Terrible/Superb
Throw Webbing: Great (Ensnares a human-sized target at Superb strength. Range: 30m). Spinners have enough webbing for two attacks like this. Bite Attack: Fair, Damage: 4 Cunning: Fair Stealth: Great
STAGE TWO: Warrior Drone After a four-month cocoon cycle, the Spinner emerges more than five times its original size, covered in an armored exo-skeleton, and bristling with piercing claws and rending mandibles. This is the Warrior Drone. Drones are roughly 2.5 meters long, weighing over 250 kilos, yet they can still outrun the best human sprinters. Their primary claws can rend through ceramic or titanium armor with ease. Drones are fearless fighters, willing to sacrifics themselves by the dozens to protect egg-layers or territory. The Hive Mind link allows the drones to coordinate much better than human fighters, giving them a nearly flawless tactical ability.
Mass Scale: 3
STR: Great(5) TGH: Poor(1) MOV: Superb SPD: Superb ACT: Great PER: Superb KNO: Poor FOR: Poor WIL: Superb PSI: Terrible/Superb
Claw Attack (2 per round): Superb, Damage: 8 (if both attacks hit, target is Grabbed) Rend To Pieces (only after Grab): Damage: 12 Tail Pincers (free attack on any target behind the Drone): Good, Damage 6 Cunning: Good Stealth: Great Figure Out Simple Technology (how to open doors, use an elevator, etc.): Good Figure Out Advanced Technology (read a scanner, use a comlink, etc.): Terrible
STAGE THREE: Winged Drone After another four month cycle, the emerging bug is armor free, emaciated, and winged. Roughly 1.5 meters long, its wingspan twice that, the flier makes up for the lost sturdiness with a newfound speed. When facing a swarm of these fliers, the marine's best hope is to pray, for they can descend, tear a squad to pieces, and fly away before aynone knows what happened. Primarily, the fliers attack in groups, as individually they are much less affective. These swarms are often labeled with the age old term "death from above", as their agility and erratic flight patterns make it nearly immpossible to kill enough of them to reduce the swarm's lethality.
Mass Scale: 0
STR: Good TGH: Poor MOV:
Fly: Superb+2(5) Ground: Poor
SPD: Superb ACT: Superb PER: Superb KNO: Poor FOR: Poor WIL: Superb PSI: 1 / 10
Move Distance per round while flying: Partial:30, Max:60 Claw Attack: Great, Damage:6 Winged Drones usually attack in swarms of 6-10 creatures, so use the mass attack rules when dealing with them. Cunning: Fair Stealth: Great
STAGE FOUR: Egg Layer No bug at this stage has ever been seen. Presumably because the droves of insects which must undoubtably be protecting the lair, create enough of a hive mind effect to overcome even Force 9 marines. Space Force scientists can only hypothesize about the nature of this bug. It is hoped that one day, a defense against the hive mind effect can be found, and that a live "queen" specimen can be obtained. If this were to happen, it could possibly lead to development of a poison which would kill larvae inside the eggs before hatching.
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M250 Assult Rifle Fires 7.62mm explosive round. An electromagnetic charge accelerates the bullet, rather than a chemical reaction, allowing the weapon to function in vacuum or underwater. Unlike the VX-80 laser (below), the M250 is safe to use aboard starships, due to its relatively low penetration. Accepts standard MOD secondary weapon system (which may be a shotgun, grenade launcher, or incinerator -- designated M250-S, M250-G, or M250-I, respectively). Damage: 6 ROF: single / auto Medium Range: 500m Durability: Superb Capacity: 30
AutoShotgun: 6 (area effect 1m) ROF: single / auto Medium Range: 100m Durability: Superb Capacity: 12 Grenade: 9 (area: 5m) ROF: single Medium Range: 200m Durability: Great Capacity: 12
Incinerator: 5 (area: 5m) ROF: single Medium Range: 100m Durability: Good Capacity: 20
VX-80 "SABER" Variable-beam Laser Rifle The beam on this laser weapon may be adjusted from a tight beam to a wide cone of light. The Saber is perfectly silent, making it ideal for covert ops. Damage: 5* (1m area effect for each extra shot expended. Max: 4m) ROF: single Medium Range: 1000m Durability: Fair Capacity: 5 (recharges 1 per round when not firing)
- ignores armor/toughness and cover
MKII Fusion Incinerator Rifle-like design with canister magazine of fusion material. Weapon projects a highly destructive spray of superheated plasma up to 40m. This weapon will work underwater or in a vacuum. A modular version (MKIIB) mounts to the M250 assault rifle. Damage: 5 (area effect up to 10m) (target takes damage for 1d6 rounds) ROF: single Medium Range: 100m Durability: Good Capacity: 40
P110 Marine Sidearm 10mm autoloader handgun. Like the M250, the P110 can fire underwater or in vacuum. Damage: 4 ROF: single Medium Range: 250m Durability: Superb Capacity: 20
Full Suit protects: All locations. -1 Action, Move, and Speed penalties. Partial Suit protects: Head, Torso. No penalties. Ceramic-composite Armor: 2 points
Non-composite Armor: 1 point
FORCE 9 Troopers typically wear a partial suit of composite armor, though occaisionally, the mission requires something different.
This aeresol spray will disintegrate Bug webbing or mono-strand on contact. Use liberally ahead of you when investigating previously Bug-controlled areas. Barrel-mounted and greande-canister versions are also avaialble. Range: 5m Durability: Good
Scanner This portable hand-unit can be set to detect motion, heat, or electromagnetic signals. A powerful and versatile device, the scanner depends largely on the skill of the operator to correctly interpret the data it provides. Make a Technical skill roll to read the scanner. Complex or "loud" environments increase the difficulty of this roll. The scanner requires two hands to use. Effective Range: 100m Durability: Fair
Comlink This multi-band communication system is usually built into a Space Marine’s helmet. Special cameras and displays in the visor allow video as well as audio communication. Range: 20 miles (range unlimited w/ satellite uplink) Durability: Great Note: Nuclear reactors, bad weather, or dense materials can degrade or interrupt a com signal.
Power Toolkit Good for battlefield repairs of weapons and equipment, spot welds, electrical work, or vehicle maintenance. The toolkit is roughly the size of a hardcover book. Durability: Superb
Hand Comp A palmtop computer that can carry mission plans, technical readouts, or the Federation Encyclopedia. With a satellite uplink and a hyperspace radio, a handcomp can connect to the FEDNET information system back on earth. Handcomps can also interface with mainframe terminals and ship computers. The Technical skill is used to operate computers of all kinds. Durability: Fair
AutoDoc The AutoDoc is a portable first-aid "robot" equipped with surgical lasers, antiseptic sprays, wound-stitchers, painkillers and other medical gear. The AutoDoc folds down to the size of a briefcase. Use of the AD in the field adds +1 level to any Medical skill roll. Durability: Good THE SLINGSHOT During the orginal War with the Bugs, Space Force developed a policy: No hyperdrive capable ships were to be sent into Bug-controlled regions of space, for fear that they would be Consumed and used against the Federation. To this end, the Slignshot was developed. The slingshot is a massive magnetic rail-cannon that is designed to accelerate small craft (6-10 crew) to hyperspace velocities, giving them a one-way ride to distant star systems.
Despite the Clone Marines' resistance to the Bug hive-mind, this policy remains in effect to the present day. It is common for "deep" missions to consist of a single assault boat, loaded with one squad of Marines, slingshot onto a [possibly] bug-controlled planet. If the marines can secure the site, a Hyperspace-capable vessel will arrive to retrieve them. If not, well... good luck next clone.
Several Bug-controlled solar systems have old Federation Intruder Defense Arrays (IDAs) as well. This system hurls asteroids at any hyperspace disturbances or unfriendly signals that approach the system. The only way to get in is to ride the slingshot to the Array (in total unpowered stealth-mode) and disable it so backup can arrive.
The slinshots themselves are kept as far away from Bug space as possible. If one of them fell into Bug hands, the Bugs could use it to fire their Drones onto Human worlds!
FORCE 9 MISSIONSEdit
The primary mission of Force 9 is to re-take the Human Colony Belt, which has been overrun by Bugs for 25 years. Consumed humans are to be extracted and removed to Earth for rehabilitation. The Bugs are to be killed until there are no more left to kill. No diplomats will be sent to negotiate treaties.