You can make a character with a career as an officer, soldier, or specialist (doctor, pilot, scientist.) You can also make an adviser (artificial person.) You can randomize some past assignments if you want to.
The magic system was swapped out for stress resistance. Guns are added in, with effects for burst and long burst fire, as well as grenades, missiles, smart-guns, and flame-throwers. There are a bunch of types of toolkits (that characters are trained to use) as well as sentry guns! One of my favorites. I sketched out a troop carrier.
Then a background, revealing that the militia works between dimensions instead of planets (but functionally you’ll end up in the same kind of place.) A brief note on organizational structure provides some context.
Then I describe the darkshells (“Aliens”) and star hunters (“Predators”) with enough information for you to use them right out of the box. There is room for a HUGE bestiary, of course.
Finally, I put in a mission generator, because those things are damn fun.
Let’s make a soldier named Jake.
I have 4 points to spend between the 4 basic abilities: agility, might, persona, and wits. I give him 1 in each—that should make him easy to play.
I take the “soldier” career, and get 1 Expertise die.
Let’s take 2 previous assignments.
- First: 5 years, patrolling a troubled sector, +1 Might, and Jake needed a cyber replacement. He rolls a 1, for his head. I figure an eye does the trick.
- Second: 3 years, patrolling a troubled sector, +1 Agility, disgraced with the powers-that-be.
So, he’s been in the military for a year of training, and 8 years active duty—he’s coming to the end of his second tour, trying to decide whether or not to re-enlist.
Agility: 2. Might: 2. Persona: 1. Wits: 1. Cybernetic eye. Disgraced with the powers that be. Soldier. 1 Expertise. 1 Luck.
He knows how to use all the specialist kits, so I’ll give him the medic kit. That should make him useful. He also gets all the standard gear: Jackhammer 48 rifle, Sledge 18 sidearm, Talon knife, and Carapace 16B armor.
Jake walks cautiously down the corridor, steps echoing on the metal deck plating. Then he hears it, the low hiss. He looks ahead in the dark and sees the darkshell drone as his blood freezes.
The DM tells him to make a Stress Resistance test at -2. He has Wits of 2, so that cancels the penalty. He rolls 2d6 and gets a 1 and a 2, total 3. He is overwhelmed! He will just stand there for 1d6 rounds, an easy target! That’s absolutely no good, so Jake uses his Expertise die—military training kicks in when it’s time for the shooting. He adds 1d6, rolling a 5. That, plus the 3, is an 8. He is -2 to rolls, but able to react.
Both Jake and the drone want to kill each other. The DM calls for opposed Wits. Jake is shaken, so he loses his 2 Wits with the -2 shaken penalty. He rolls 2d6, and gets 10. The drone gets 4, and adds in 2 (its Foe rating) but even 6 doesn’t beat a 10.
Jake doesn’t want to take any chances. He fires a long burst at the drone while it is still out of melee range. He rolls 2d6, getting a 6 and a 4 (10). He adds 1 for his Agility, and -2 for being shaken. That’s a 9, a hit! Jake also has +3, for firing a long burst, that can be added to the “to hit” roll or the “damage” roll. Instead of saving it for damage, he upgrades the shot to a 12, critical hit. His base roll was good enough that he can upgrade to full damage instead of rolling damage.
[Or, he can roll 2d6 for damage and add +3, possibly getting 9—or possibly only getting 4. He likes 6.]
The drone is hit for +6 damage. Its Might is 2 (its base Foe rating) and it has light armor (adding another 2) total 4. So, it would roll 2d6 at -2 trying to roll high. The best it could do would be “unconscious” and at that point it wouldn’t stand a chance.
The drone spends 1 of its Foe dice as a Luck die, to reduce damage by 1d6. It comes up a 3, reducing the damage from 6 to 3. Now the drone is +1 on the damage resistance roll.
The drone rolls 2d6 and gets snake eyes—two 1 results, +1, total 3. It is slain. Jake immediately takes a deep breath, and clears his -2 shaken status now that the danger has passed.
Jake heads back to the command center. Will he notice the darkshell clinging to the ceiling? Or the one in ambush in a cross tunnel next to it? He rolls 2d6 to see what he can hear, and gets 1 + 6 (7). On the skill column, that’s a minor success; he suspects something is out of place, and can slow down and check initiative as they spring.
But first, their psychic intimidation! His 2 Wits cancels their -2 to the stress resistance roll. He rolls 6 + 3 = 9, so he is unmoved.
He rolls 2d6 + 2 Wits, and gets 4 + 4 + 2 = 10. The drones roll 2d6 + 2 Foe, and get 3 + 4 + 2 = 9. Jake goes first! But the darkshells don’t like that; they have a Foe rating that can be used for Expertise, so they each burn a point and together roll 1d6 to add to their initiative. They get 4, so their initiative is 13 to Jake’s 10. Jake only pauses for a moment before spending his Expertise die to get another 1d6. He breathes a sign of relief as he rolls a 6, boosting his initiative to 16—still above the darkshells’ 13.
The DM tells him they are 5 meters away, so he pumps his grenade launcher and fires one at them, rolling 1 and 2 plus his 2 agility. That’s 5, a miss; the grenade shoots between them and explodes harmlessly down the corridor.
The darkshells gleefully attack. The first one rolls 1 + 3 + 2 Foe = 6 for a glancing blow. It has 1 die left of its 2, and it spends the point to get another 1d6 to hit. It rolls a 4, upgrading the attack to 10, a hit. For damage, its claws are medium weapons, so it rolls 1d6 and gets a disappointing 1.
Jake knows that he has 4 defense from his armor, so his damage resistance will be +3 on the roll. However, the best result on damage resistance is stunned, and next to that, unconscious—and both of those may as well be dead with two drones on him. With a sigh, he spends his only Luck die, but does not roll it; the minimum result would be a 1, negating the damage, so he does not have to roll. The claws scratch past on his armor, but he is unharmed.
Now the second darkshell, with 6 +6 + 2 Foe! That’s 14 to hit, so it does full damage, 6, without rolling. Jake’s armor reduces it by 4, and his Might reduces it by 2 more. Whatever he rolls will be unmodified, and he does not have any Expertise or Luck left. He rolls 5 + 1 = 6, dying. He can take no actions, and he must roll to resist damage again each turn.
So ends Jake’s short, unhappy life.