Starship Troopers – there’s so much in the name now. The original book brought me Power Armor which I got to revisit again in that horrible sci-fi novel “Armor” that affected my science fiction gaming for years. Then the movie came out, no armor, but instead we had a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek view of Heinlein’s politics and the war against the bugs.
Then they released the horrid sequels to the movie, and from my understanding as a non-cable viewer, a cartoon show that was more true to the original concept. And from all of this, mashed together, we have the Starship Troopers RPG.
Starship Troopers is a typical August Hahn OGL game, playing very close to the standard d20 rules set of D&D3.x. Unlike most Mongoose games, however, the game was very well supported with a full line of miniatures (published for their simultaneously released minis game of the same theme). It’s my understanding that the line is now being retooled to use the system from Mongoose’s release of Traveller.
As a big fan of both the classic sources – the movie and the novel – I’m going to put this game through the paces to make an infantryman sharpshooter.
My fandom is strongly tilted towards the movie when I think of characters, so obviously I want someone from Buenos Aires. Actually, let’s say he’s from Sao Paulo, Brazil, but his parents were visiting his aunt in Buenos Aires when the rock hit.
Stats are rolled using 2d6+6 for each ability score, then distributed as you want. A strong set of stats is the result for Mr Nolan of Sao Paulo, getting 17, 16, 15, 14, 14, 12. Going for the sniper concept, the highest stats go into Dex, Wis & Int, followed by Int, Con and Str. There is no “choice” for starting class in the core book, everyone fights, nobody quits, welcome to the mobile infantry, trooper Nolan. Mr Nolan (now private Nolan) gets two feats. A quick look at the prerequisites to become a Sniper tell me to focus on his rifle and the various ranged weapon feats. With that in mind he grabs Weapon Focus with his rifle and Point Blank Shot (the prerequisite for the two other feats he needs). Fortunately, one of those two needed feats is on the bonus feat list for the Mobile Infantry Troopers, and he gets one bonus feat at level 1 – just leaving him needing skill ranks and Far Shot to make it to sniper school.
He grabs some fairly typical skills for his would-be specialty, and throws in some sleight of hand so he can slip a few extra magazines out with him for target practice or when he thinks he’ll need more than he’ll be issued. Then he gets issued his standard gear (sadly with a standard Morita, not the sniper model he specializes in) and he’s ready to kill bugs and skinnies alike. If he wants his sniper rifle for a mission, he has to make a DC 20 roll using his Charisma and Prestige bonuses (+3).
Class: Mobile Infantry Trooper
Strength: 12 (+1)
Dexterity: 17 (+3)
Constitution: 14 (+2)
Intelligence: 15 (+2)
Wisdom: 16 (+3)
Charisma: 14 (+2)
Hit Points: 14
Action Points: 7
Base Attack Bonus: +1
Melee Attack Bonus: +2
Ranged Attack Bonus: +4
Move: 35′ (7 squares)
Class Defence Bonus: +1
Fort Save: +5
Ref Save: +4
Will Save: +3
Acrobatics +7 (4 ranks)
Computer Use +3 (2 ranks)
Investigate +4 (2 ranks)
Knowledge: Tactics +3 (2 ranks)
Perception +7 (4 ranks)
Sleight of Hand +5 (2 ranks)
Stealth +7 (4 ranks)
Survival +7 (4 ranks)
Advanced Firearms Proficiency
Point Blank Shot (+1 to hit & damage in 30′)
Power Suit Proficiency
Precise Shot (no -4 penalty firing into melee)
Simple Firearms Proficiency
Weapon Focus: Morita TW 202-L (+1 to hit)
Basic Training (Advanced Firearms Proficiency, Power Suit Proficiency, Simple Firearms Proficiency)
On The Bounce (+5′ movement, +1 initiative)
Combat Knife (1d4+1, 19-20/x2, 20 ft.)
Brunham TW-102-s ‘Peacemaker’ Pistol (2d6, 20/x2, 50 ft.)
Morita TW-203-a Rifle (2d8, 20/x2, 125 ft.)
M-1A4 Power Suit (+9 Def, +4 Max Dex, 30 ft.)