cybervaran RPG 3rd edition
big guns. no feelings. just the mission.
Well, it has to be something with scales. And reptiles are too general name, but varans... they are large, scaly and nice to pronounce. And have lots of nice characteristics making them ideal killing machines for the Masters.
This is the third edition of Neo-Troops. The original Neo-Troops was written summer 1998 and several scenarios were held. The original idea was to make a simple shoot-them-up type RPG, with very little character creation, with acceptable reason why there is no need to design a history or personality of your character (I have some players who dislike that). In addition, it is suitable for one-shot scenarios, so there is no need to get the same players around the same table every session, which has proven to be a problem in many of my campaigns.
The first version is quite similar to this current third one, but has a less streamlined combat system and it was written in Finnish. It can be found from http://iki.fi/marjola/neo/. The second edition was very much alike this, only small things are changed. The main important thing is that gamemaster section has become much bigger, and player section also has more information about various things.
Neo-Troops is entirely made by the same person, Kalle Marjola, who have also written other roleplaying games like Syndicate and RIP. His career as RPG designer extends back to '80, but the major breakthrough was Syndicate back to 1993. All the game systems have some common themes: simple game system and GM discretion. Normally new versions of the game systems have simplifier and faster systems than earlier ones.
Neo-Troops is situated to generic undefined space opera world, where everything is possible, from backward 20th century systems to space ships straight from Babylon 5. This undefined world means things like spaceships, lasers, plasma weapons and food pills. There are teleporters, anti-material converters, hover-tanks, psionics, or even non-crashing work stations. And then there are Them, those who have created cybervarans. They might be humans, aliens or even robots. No one knows. Maybe not even your gamemaster. But They have created cybervarans, and use them to perform various missions which are simply too hard for common troops. Or too suicidal. Or perhaps there are no common troops. Nobody knows.
Cybervarans are weapons. Biological weapons, that is. They are bred in a laboratory and held in stasis, coma or simulated sleep between their missions. The mission data is loaded into the memory bank of their implanted computer, which watches over the enhanced varan brain. Varans are sent to their mission and after the mission, if they survive, they are healed and repaired in the laboratory and put away to wait for the next assignment. The time delay between the missions is undetermined. As the 'career' of the cybervarans is what is it, dying of old age is not an issue.
However, the biological brain-computer interaction has a problem. As the brain must have enough freedom to allow organic thinking, learning and partial consciousness, there is always a possibility and danger that the varan can reach some kind of self-consciousness. And start to think other things than his name (code), mission and team.
As varans do not have hive-mind, all varan groups have an assigned leader, which ultimately decides tactics and duties for each varan. Each other varan must obey to leader as long as it does not contradict with mission objectives, although leader should use direct commanding as last resort when varans have contradiction opinions on tactics.
The leader is assigned by Them. If the leader is wasted or incapacitated, the varan with lowest ID (oldest generation with lowest number) takes lead until leader is back in line, if ever. The same happens if current leader is judged to be incapable of leadership by all other varans in group.
Although cybervarans are tough, resilient and armored and have no real brains, it does not mean that they must be played dumb. They have tactical insight and make their best to accomplish the mission. And that does not always mean a walk into a room full of goons and opening fire. No, use your cloaking device for best effect, and even more important is to use the team for its full effect.
All test rolls in Neo-Troops are made with a standard six-sided die (referred as d6). If ever multiple dice are thrown in tests, they are not added together but instead one or more of them are used as a separate result (usually selecting, say 2, highest numbers and discarding the rest). The dice result or the target number might be modified by some number, like an armor save with -1. In all such cases, negative numbers are penalties and make the test harder, while positive numbers are bonuses and make the test easier to succeed. So, add the number to appropriate place. Likewise, most test are marked like '3+' which means that a result of 3 or more must be rolled.
All rolls are made with one or more d6s against certain target number.
The basic number of thrown dice is 1, and is modified accordingly to
bonus and penalty dice.
If there are more than one dice thrown, one of them is picked after the
roll. The actual number needed is determined by the GM, according to
the situation. In normal cases, target numbers are as follows:
simple 2+, easy 3+, normal 4+, hard 5+, very hard 6.
The target number and dice thrown are modified by two things: situation and skills. Situation modifiers can be either direct modifiers to dice throw (say, like +2) or they can be extra or reduced dice. The GM may assign penalty dice in hard situations, in addition to high target number or modifier. For each skill (or boost-up) level, the character gains one additional d6. Likewise, all bonus or penalty dice are added or reduced from the number of dice thrown. If the total number of dice is reduced to zero or less, roll two dice and select the one with lower value.
In some cases, more than one thing is tested at the same, like when firing a rapid-firing gun or trying to stop 3 different things at the same time. In such a case, base dice is increased accordingly and as many highest dice are then selected after dice rolls. If test modifiers are negative, it means that not all tests can ever succeed, but is they are positive, select as many dice as there were original dice.
Example: varan shoots with ROF 3 weapon, with +1 accuracy. The player rolls 4 dice, selecting 3 highest. Later, when wounded, the same varan shoots with -2 penalty: the player rolls 2 dice (3+1-2), the third attack cannot hit at all!
To perceive something not-so-easily seen (or heard or smelled) a perception test must be made. The test is similar to other tests, and is only mentioned here because player characters (varans) are usually cloaked and thus other creatures must first succeed in perception test to notice them altogether. The target number is assigned by the GM, according to noise/movement. A stationary cloaked (or similar) target is very hard to spot, and usually requires that the watcher is specifically trying to see it.
Note that all varans have at least +1 perception unless wounded, and thus roll two dice. In addition, higher level (modified) perception has various automatic things linked to them:
|+1||automatic scanning in normal situation|
|+2||auto-detect powerful back radiation, like IR or UV lightning|
|+3||notice all non-normal signature, all-time scanning|
|+4||notice all signature|
Note that all these require that character has supporting sensors or scanners. Unless system is automatic, use of it must be explicitly stated. Note that automatic signature detection just means that all things that can be spotted are spotted - perception rolls are still needed for things not easily detected. Mainly it means that there is no need to explicitly state that varan is looking for cloaked things, for example, or notices that someone is also shooting at doorway.
When a varan tries to do some task that requires extra agility, like jumping and grabbing a quickly moving object or trying to take a hold of wall while being shot at, the GM may call for an agility test. The agility test is made as any other test, but notice that varan has normally +2 dice to test, rolling 3 dice unless hindered by load or wounds. Agility bonuses also tell quite well what the creature (or robot) can do without any tests in normal situation:
|+0||4||normal human agility|
|+2||5||flips on flat surface, scale any normal surface with high speed (half normal move)|
|+4||6||run on walls, scale by jumping and running (no reduction to movement rate)|
|+5||run on ceiling|
Any feat must be physically possible. Target number is used in combat, and the highest one is possible only while running. Any agility penalties from wounds are applied before checking the table. If the condition is special (like bad surface), an agility test might be needed. Handling of any items during hard physical feats usually require handling tests.
Note that if varan has any large weapons, the gamemaster may apply extra -1 dice for each large weapon to the agility tests when the weapon could hinder the movement.
There are several ways of moving around in Neo-Troops world, and this section covers most common ones.
Each creature can move a certain amount of meters per combat turn, with speed represented as walk-speed/run-speed. The 'walk-speed' isn't exactly walking, but short sprints and enough time to see what is going on.
Movement can be combined with jumping. Any jumps and turns made especially when running count toward total distance able to move - running 30 meters in straight line is faster than running 10 meters, turning in corner, running again 10 meters, turning in corner and finally 10 meters more.
If creature handles any items while in move, the gamemaster may call for agility test, and if it fails, the item is dropped or otherwise fumbled. Likewise, if the floor is slippery, any turn or jump may require agility test (ever seen movie Braindead?)
Each creature has base jump distance, which it can jump from stationary start. However, if the creature takes a running start, increase this distance by 1 meter per 10 meter (run) move - the creature does not need to run the entire distance, usually 1 meter per 1 meter jump distance gained is sufficient.
This jump distance is directly onward. For height, it is about half the normal allowance, with no advantage for the speed. Arms can be used to extend the distance. For example, varan with jump 4 and move 20/35 can jump 7 meters with 3 meter running start, or about 2 meters high with or without speed.
Note: the jumping distance onward can be increased with careful preparation, right kind of clothing etc. but this is mainly for humans and other humanoids, not for varans.
At times, varans may fall from great heights. When the total distance is known, reduce 2x jump value from distance. Add d6 if the varan had no time to prepare for landing (or simply fails to land on its feet - agility test may be needed), and further d6 for dangerous terrain, but deduct d6 if terrain is soft.
If the final distance is over 0, roll d6 per 2 meters. Each roll 4+ causes one hit, with no armor save possible. Critical hits should be aligned according to landing direction.
Example: a varan is knocked to lift shaft and it has no time to prepare for landing. Total distance is 10 meters, and varan has jump 4. Because varan has no time to land properly, d6 is added to distance, giving total as 14. As 14-4*2 = 6, 3 dice are thrown for damage.
Varans can cling to walls (or even ceilings) and scale sheer surfaces. When performing this, one arm can be used for other action (if not moving). The chance for staying on the wall is mainly dependent on varan total weight (including load), varan strength and strength of the surface.
When varan simply moves on the surface, it is far easier especially if both the arms of the varan are usable. Apply -2 to any agility levels if the other arm cannot be used.
Agile varans can also run on walls or ceilings for a very brief
time, using their speed and superior balance. Note that the total
running distance is then limited to about walking speed.
One combat turn is approximately 6 seconds and is from one action of the character to his next one. Thus, there is no combat turns per se, but subsequent actions in the same order. The original order is determined by the GM. The order may change under GM's discretion when something special happens. In addition, the character can delay his action. Those in melee can hasten their action, if someone tries to run away.
During each creature's (or robot's) turn, it can do one of the following actions:
If creature attacks while it runs, the attack is usually limited to those directly in front and if melee attack is aimed at something at the very end of the movement, usually only one attack can be performed.
Delayed action (or reactive action) is possible in some
cases, as allowed by the gamemaster. For example, a trooper can
wait until someone opens a door and when this happens, shoot at that
person before it can continue its action.
There are mainly two types of attacks in Neo-Troops: melee attacks and firing. Melee attack is close quarter attack with anything longer than hand or even powerful claws of a varan. Firing concerns all aimed shots, rapid fire and throwing things.
Target number: for all attacks, target number is target's 'target value', which is usually 4, or 5 for fast targets (6 for very fast and agile evading ones), 3 for slow and 6 for cloaked targets. Add target value by 1 (or even 2) for targets with decent cover, up to 6. However, if the target has 6+ target value by standard (a cloaked target) and is in decent cover, it gets +1 (or even +2) to all armor saves, as judged by the gamemaster.
Some attack actions are divided into multiple attacks - varans have multiple melee attacks and all rapid-fire guns have rate-of-fire more than one. For all such an attacks, instead of one base dice (see tests), base dice is equal to number of attacks. If test modifiers are negative, it means that not all attacks can ever hit, but is they are positive, select as many dice as there were attacks.
Example: varan shoots with ROF 3 weapon, with +1 accuracy. The player rolls 4 dice, selecting 3 highest. Later, when wounded, the same varan shoots with -2 penalty: the player rolls 2 dice (3+1-2), the third attack cannot hit at all!
When performing melee attack, the attacker must first close to target - if the target is already shooting someone with rapid fire weapon, random shots may hit the charger, see notes on sustained fire.
Melee skill is an important part of any melee combat. This skill is added to any attacks like any other bonuses, but it can also be used to parry incoming attacks in close range. Basic melee skill comes from creature's skill, wounds and its load, see varan laboratory for details. In addition, following things can modify it from round to round:
|-1||twin weapon (to-hit only)|
Superior position is given if the attacker has better reach, upper position, can surprise its opponent, is cloaked or target has negative melee skill.
Creatures with positive melee skill can parry attacks targeted them at close quarters. Parry can be done against any melee attack, or if the creature is itself attacking targets in melee, against shooting/grenades, too. Parry always requires that the attacking weapon can be parried or pushed aside.
The creature has parry saves equal to current positive melee skill. All normal modifiers to melee skill apply (superior position, run move), but the gamemaster may apply extra -1 if any large weapon is at hand.
Each parry save is an unmodifed 4+ save. Each save negates one hit, which misses, is pushed aside or parried. However, if the attacker had extra dice that could hit (but was discarded as ROF was exceeded), the attacker can then use these.
For example, a varan with melee skill +3 jumps in the middle of 3 soldiers armed with SMGs. These soldiers roll 3 hits, but the varan has 3 parry saves. As the range is very close, the gamemaster judges that these can be parries, and thus the varan has three 4+ saves.
Cloaked attacks: it is hard to parry an attack you cannot exactly see where it comes from. Target number for parry is 6 if the attack is cloaked - if the attack cannot be detected at all (surprise attack to back, non-detected cloaked attacker) no parry can be performed!
Shooting is performed as normal attack test, with attacks up to weapon ROF (rate-of-fire). As base skill, each creature has its accuracy skill and possible modifiers from wounds. Then, following modifiers apply from round to round:
|+1||aimed shot against stationary target|
|-1||long range (plus 50m max range without aiming)|
|+1||varan modular weapon system (see notes)|
|-2||quick load (see notes)|
|-1||for each 2 ROF (or part) when using two guns|
Gamemaster can deduct some dice if the firing condition is very bad, like bad visibility, lots of intervening target or unstable firing position. Note: in normal case, non-aimed shots cannot hit targets at range over 50 meters.
Aimed shot means that attacker is stationary and carefully aims at target. Even then the bonus is only given if the target has been stationary or moving slowly, no bonus is given against fast-moving target nor if the attacker fires more than one shot. However, aimed shot is also used to remove other penalties
Multiple targets usually more than one hit are automatically divided to multiple targets in close vicinity, unless the firing is concentrated by the attacker. The gamemaster may deduct one or more hits if the distance between targets is long. If firing at targets next to attacker, use highest melee skill to determine penalties.
When firing with rapid fire weapon (ROF more than 1), each attack is supposed to contain a burst of bullets, bolts or whatever. This also means that the area between intended target and shooter (and behind target) is quite dangerous to other creatures, too. The gamemaster may throw some random dice to all creatures in that area, especially if someone charges to that area. With this in mind, any creature with rapid fire weapon may intentionally cover some area with bullets, making it dangerous place to enter, until attacker's next turn.
If attacks are aimed to close combat or otherwise fail very miserable (roll 1 and then some extra low roll), they can hit wrong targets. If the atatck has less dice than ROF, this extra dice should be rolled for those attacks 'that cannot hit at all', too.
A typical varan carries big pile of weapons into mission, and thus certain rules are needed for handling them. As a basic rule, any amount of weapons can be carried, as long weight limits allow that, and all carried items are easily reachable, no need to think where they are carried.
All varan weapons (except for grenades and explosives) are inserted to varan battlesuit gyro and weapon mounts, thus making it easy and quick for handling any weapons. This system makes it possible for varan to easily switch weapons without danger of losing them, as when they release weapons from their hands, they just return to back/holster. In addition, any weapons in these mounts can be easily dropped by simple mental commands.
Following modifiers apply to varans, when they handle their own modular weapon systems, including melee weapons:
|-1||switch of weapons. This does not apply if there is no need to put anything away, i.e. the varan has only one weapon and is not switching to medium or large weapon|
|-1||using medium weapon single-handedly|
|-1||using 2-handed weapon with limited brace|
If the varan is using other weapons, or other creatures switch their weapons, gamemaster must use his judgement on the situation. Note that these penalties do not apply to melee skill but to attack rolls.
Most weapons do not have unlimited ammunition, and thus they must be loaded after a while. This requires one action, and if the loader moves at the same time (or tries to load two weapons at the same time), GM may call for agility test. Any ammunition left to old magazine is put aside (loading magazines takes a few turns)
Certain weapons can be loaded serially, one-by-one, but this is mainly left for special occassion - usually fast-load clips are used in those weapons, too. However, these weapons can be loaded while having the old clip in the weapon. For those, the loading speed is one shell per turn. As such weapons usually fire multiple kind of ammunition, the order of ammunition must be stated, if not all the same. Ammunition can also be ejected from other end if undesired shell comes up, but this is counted as firing action for that turn.
Quickload: some light weapons can be loaded very quickly thanks to varan modular weapon system - the clip extends from the battlesuit and weapon is clipped to that. Quickload causes -2 penalties to attack that turn and old clip(s) are automatically dropped. In addition, if the varan moves, some bad luck dice can be thrown. However, if the varan is using two weapons at the same time, they both can be reloaded with only -2 to-hit.
Quickload can also be performed by skilled humans and other opponents in some situations. Varans are manually too limited to do that without their special accessories.
Some weapons are very large and harder to use and carry around. If varan has any of these weapons, melee skill is at -1 (non-cumulative, so 3 large weapons is still -1 melee)
All large weapons are two-handed and some smaller weapons require two hands. These weapons can only be used two-handedly, i.e. the other arm must be free. However, if the other arm is disabled, the varan can still use its weapon mounts to brace the weapon and use it with -1 penalty.
Usually a varan (or human or whatever) uses only one weapon. However, at times the attacker might want to use two weapons in unison. Following rules then apply:
Thus, if a varan uses two SMGs, these have total ROF 6 and varan gets -3 to-hit. If the same varan uses 2 slicers, ROF is 10 but the varan is at -7 to-hit! (-5 from ROF and -1 per medium weapon used single-handedly)
This chapter describes system to rule hits on varans (and other creatures) - how hits are saved and what kind of effects can wounds inflict. The gamemaster section includes actual rules for determining the effect of hit, as gamemaster should roll all them, while players should only roll armor saves.
Whenever a target is hit, it must make an armor save against each hit caused or suffers a wound (or damage point) and critical hit. Only one critical hit is caused by one attack in normal case, even if several hits are caused (explosions and similar attack can cause several critical hits)
Armor save is made with d6 against the armor value of the worn armor. Any modifiers from hit are applied to this roll. The gamemaster can apply +1 (or even +2) bonus from good cover, if applicable.
If the roll is same or more than target's armor save, hit is glanced or absorbed by the armor. If the roll is less, one wound and a critical hit is suffered.
Natural 1: if the armor save is natural '1' and is still saved, the attack causes zero damage but one ciritical hit. As critical hits can cause extra damage, it is still possible to die. No special rules do apply if roll of natural 1 is a failed armor save.
Ignore: some solid or very big things can have armor save like 1+ (ignore -2) - those things ignore all hits with armor save as given or less. No armor save is ever made, unless save modifier is larger than the given ignore value. As exception, gamemaster may roll armor save in some situations.
Armor wear: armors usually get used up. Slowly, but eventually. After some 20 saved hits, the armor save of the armor can worsen by one point, as judged by the gamemaster.
Whenever varan is hit, it may suffer some damage, even if the armor save succeeds. If it fails, at least one hit point is lost, but in any case, one or more of the following damage results may happen (the gamemaster has rules to determine the type of damage):
|cloak damaged||Varan is visible until the cloak is repaired|
|mapping systems and scanners damaged, -1 perception||Varan cannot use scanners or map other varans, nor can other varans map this varan until this damage is repaired. Meanwhile radio/video transfer unreliable. The varan gets cumulative -1 to all perception tests.|
|accessory or weapon damaged||Accessory or weapon cannot be used until repaired|
|system destroyed||Direct destroy-result or second hit to damaged system destroys it beyond any repairing. Weapons and ammunition can explode when damaged/destroyed, depending on weapon type|
|legs wounded||Move and jump halved, agility at -2. Second or subsequent leg wound immobilizes (can still drag)|
|leg severed||Immobilized and cannot be regenerated, bleeds to death in 1 minute unless can stop to bind the wound|
|arm wounded||Arm disabled and cannot be used except for light work.|
|arm severed||As disabled, but cannot regenerate it. Bleeds to death in d3 minutes unless the varan stops to bind the wound|
|torso wounded||All attack rolls (melee, shooting and throwing) at -1 dice, unless able to brace attack very well. This penalty is cumulative|
|head hit||Automatic drug injection. If the varan survives that, is at -2 on all levels (melee skill, agility, shooting attacks, perception etc.). Second head hit is instantly fatal unless the previous is regenerated.|
Each varan has very powerful emergency use healing drugs as part of the battlesuit. These drugs are very dangerous but can save the varan in extreme situation. These drugs are used in following situations:
When a drug injection is done, as many d6 is rolled as how many times healing drugs are used, including this time. So if it the third time, roll three d6. If any of these is '1', the varan is instantly killed by drug overdose. Otherwise the varan instantly regeneates one hit point.
Varans are tough creatures filled with nanotechnology healing systems. Whenever they are damaged, if they stop for a while to bind the wounds (this requires that they uncloak and do some 3 rounds of first aid), they start to regenerate: After about 5 minutes, they regain one hit point and all wounded body parts are healed one level (so if the arm is twice disabled, it is now only once). Repeat this after next 5 minutes and so on. If the regeneration is interrupted with new damage, the regeneration must be restarted and it again takes full 5 minutes.
Healing drugs: If the varan has used any emergency healing drugs, their regeneration system might stop working and varan can get killed by metabolical overload of the drug. When the regeneration is about to happen (or about 5 minutes after last use of drugs, if the varans do not get chance to regenerate), repeat the drug test (see above). If it fails (one or more ones), instead of regeneration the varan takes immediate 1 damage and roll for critical!
When something explodes, was it a grenade, explosive shell or ammo supply, an explosion occurs. For target in the center of the explosion, use weapon statistics, but for the other targets, use following table:
|5m||d2+1x -2||2x +0||+2||-||-|
|10m||d3+1x -3||d2+1x -2||2x +0||+2||-|
|15m||d3+2x -4||d3+1x -3||d2+1x -2||2x +0||+2|
Weapons make noise, bright flashes and generate heat. The signature values for each weapon is meant mainly for gamemaster to rule who notices what, like are the guards in the next room alarmed or not.
Signature is divided into 3 categories: noise, visibility and heat.
Some weapons have their damage marked as 'fire'. Such weapons force target to make armor save at +2 or take one wound. Regardless of that hit or not, target is also ignited on d6 roll 4+.
Burning target can not usually do anything (well, they can scream and run around the area), especially if two or more fires are burning, but in case of robots or varans, it is only a hindrance, and thus they can act normally, although gain -1 penalty dice for shooting and perception because of reduced visibility.
At the end of burning target's turn, roll a d6. If the result is 6+, fire is extinguished. Add +1 for each person trying to help to extinguish the target (including the person itself, if not doing anything else), and +2 if fire-extinguisher used. If the fire is not extinguished, it causes a hit with armor save +2 and a possible external hit.
Fire-explosion: instead of normal save modifiers each hit is at +2 save and can ignite as above. If a fire explosion happens in enclosed space, normally equal number of hits (2 or 3) apply to everyone in area.
Multiple ignite: there is no such thing as multiple ignitation. If an already ignited target is to be re-ignited, apply an extra hit with save +2 and possible external hit. However, the gamemaster may apply special rules for targets obviously very heavily ignited.
Heat-wave: If the attack had heat wave, it can burst flammable targets into flames and cause general heat damage to targets close to attack, when even not primary target. An armor save +3 to targets in close vicinity but not actually hit by the attack is quite appropriate. For example, targets next to melta rifle hit can be severely damaged, or all persons in general direction of flame thrower shooting when inside (even behind corner) - this depends on used ROF, however.
Backblast:: rocket weapons cause a dangerous backblast of heat and flames when they are launched. In game-terms, an area up to 5-10 meters behind the launcher is subject to heat-wave attack, and if there is wall or other intervening obstacles, it affects the shooter, too.
Some weapons like grenades and rocket launcher rockets can have various types of explosives charge fitted on them. This table lists all the common ones (and only ones available for varans unless GM tells otherwise):
|Anti-Armor||none||H/m/l||2d2 hits, -4 save on center|
|Melta||basic||l/m/H||2d2 hits, -3 save on center, Heat-wave, explosion armor save +0 instead of +2|
|Flechette||5m||m/m/-||all hits armor save +1, no extra power in enclosed spaces|
sv: armor save modifier in center of the attack
area: explosion area-of-effect
sign: signature of the weapon, as noise/visibility/heat, with - = none, l = low, m = medium, H = high (see signature notes)
Most weapons are classified as firearms - weapons firing some kind of projectiles or energy beams. Here is a list of all standard weapons available to varans and opposition:
|m/l/-||M/2kg||10/1kg*||causes 2d3 hits on range 10m or less, d3 on 25m or less or explosion|
|Fire-attack, Heat-wave. If used on small spaces, use fire-explosion instead (no to-hit roll)|
|Grenade Gun||50/100*||1||-2||l/m/l||M/2kg||8/4kg*||Explosion, same ammo as in built-in|
|Melta Rifle||25/-||1||-3||l/l/H*||M/6kg||ul||Heat-wave, Must reload 2 turns after being fired|
|Rail Gun||100/200||1||-2||l/m/l||M/5kg||5/2kg||causes d2 hits, beam|
|Sniper Laser||100/200||1||0||l/*/l||M/3kg||ul||2-handed. Almost silent, uses IR laser (m visibility in IR)|
|10/1kg||2-handed. -1 to-hit unless aimed shot. Optional silencer is detachable.|
|Fusion Lance||50/-||1||-3||m/H/m*||M/4kg||1/1kg||2-handed, causes d3 hits, beam, 2m stick|
|Rocket Launcher||100/200*||1||-||l/m/l||L/6kg||6/9kg*||2-handed, backblast, uses any charge types in rockets|
|Pulse Rifle||50/200||6||0||m/l/l||L/10kg||30/2kg||2-handed, can also use 60/4kg or 90/6kg clips|
|Assault Cannon||100/200||1||-3||m/l/l||L/10kg||8/4kg||2-handed, causes d2 hits, explosion|
|Heavy Rail Gun||100/200||1||-4||m/m/m||L/12kg||5/4kg||2-handed, causes d2 hits, beam|
|Built-in Grenade Launcher||25/100*||1||-2||l/m/l||S/1kg||4/2kg*||2-handed, explosion, combined to other weapon|
|Mini-Rocket||50/100*||1||-3||l/m/l||(1kg)||-||explosion, as part of battlesuit|
|LAW||50/200*||1||-4||H/m/l||M/3kg||-||see notes on other weapons, 2-handed, backblast, -1 to-hit unless aimed shot, explosion, 2d3 hits on center|
|MAW||50/200*||1||-6||H/m/l||L/8kg||-||see notes on other weapons, 2-handed, backblast, -1 to-hit unless aimed shot, explosion, 2d6 hits on center|
range: weapon range, as short/long range. Apply -1 to-hit dice
at long range. Weapons marked with * fly slowly,
see dodging bullets, below.
Weapons can usually fire further than their max range here, but
extra penalties apply
rof: rate-of-fire, how many shots each turn
sv: armor save modifier for target
sign: signature of the weapon, as noise/visibility/heat, with - = none, l = low, m = moderate, H = high (see signature notes). Weapons with '*' emit minimal heat even when not fired. If weapon fires explosive charges, signature of those is not taken into account.
size: size of the weapon (S = small (quite easily one-handed), M = medium (usually two-handed), L = large, see large weapon rules, and weight of the weapon, excluding any ammunition.
ammo: size of magazine and weight of one magazine. Ammo marked with * can be loaded one-by-one. If there are several entries, the weapon can use any one of them, the other one usually being a larger backpack
notes: ignite, heat-wave and backblast as in fire rules, explosion as in explosion rules. Beam means that projectile usually flies through several targets if in way, i.e. damage is not inflicted upon impact. Quickload weapons can be loaded and fired in same turn, with -2 to-hit
As the names of the weapons are not always through-fully descriptive, this chapter gives some description of some weapon types.
Plasma guns use laser beam to ionize the air between the gun and the target, and then a packet of plasma (high-temperature ionized gas) is sent through this channel. Upon intact with target, the temperature difference causes an explosion.
Nailer is like a SMG, but uses larger ammunition with explosive tip.
Slicer ("dart gun") is a low-energy rail gun firing bursts of small flechette ammunition, slicing lightly armored targets.
Rail guns use magnetic field to accelerate DU tipped projectiles into great velocities. These projectiles then pass through any lighter targets in their path. Rail gun ammunition is combination of batteries and these projectiles.
Melta weapons act like high-power micro-wave cookers, heating the target to extreme heat in short time. Flammable targets are usually ignited and things close to hit can be burn badly.
Built-in grenade launcher fires its own type of small grenades. If you want to fire HE, inferno or melta grenades, you need to use rocket launcher (or rifle grenades for non-varans).
Combi-weapons: like built-in grenade launcher, some other weapons can be fitted together as allowed by the gamemaster. The main advantage in combiweapon is that there is no need to switch the weapon, but these combined weapons cannot be fired at the same time.
Some weapons have their projectiles marked as slow (*). These projectiles can be dodged by the target if it can spot the incoming projectile and is agile and fast enough. For a quick thumb of rule, target number for spotting is 5 if the target is watching the right direction, and 5 for agility test if the spotting succeeds. Reduce or add one to target number depending on distance
In addition, any moving target is hit with blind luck by GM's
judgment, unless the movement is very predictable.
Varans have following melee weapon and attack options. If any other creature uses these, results are judged by the gamemaster - most creatures have ROF 1 with their attacks, as they are not fierce close combat monsters. In the following table, ROF is as one/two weapons (remember that two weapons is at -1 to-hit)
|Combat Blades||2/3||-1||1kg||Inferior reach, battlesuit accessory|
|Combat Spear||2||-1||M/3kg||2-handed, +1 melee, superior reach. 2.5m spear which can be retracted to 1m when not used.|
|Haymaker (Manouver)||1||*||-||As used weapon, but save extra -1 per strong boost-up. Used weapon might get broken.|
|Grenade||(1)||-||S/1kg||Inferior reach, stick to target|
Reach: the side with best reach usually gets the superior position bonus, providing other things are even.
In addition to standard firearms, varans can be equipped with following extra stuff (excluding varan battlesuit accessories):
|grenade||S/1kg||can-sized grenade fitted with one charge, see grenades chapter>|
|LAW/MAW||varies||Single-shot anti-tank weapon. Must be prepared for one turn (opened. If moved around when opened, can accidentally discharge). When fired, armed after 5 meters. Any target smaller than car is hit by GM's discretion.|
|timed bomb||S/2kg||10m explosion (sign H/H/H), if set carefully (3 turns), causes 2d3 hits on -5 save at center, otherwise as normal explosion. Detonated with remote control (radio), timer or proximity, as selected when primed|
|melta bomb||S/2kg||5m explosion (sign m/H/H), Heat-Wave, causes 2d6 hits on -6 save at center if set carefully, otherwise 2d2 at -4. Primed and set as timed bomb.|
Notes: Bombs can be primed and thrown/dropped as one turn action (if not moving at the same time, or call for agility tests. Also remember that varans are not good at manual dexterity), and then detonated on next action or later via radio commands or originally set with timer. When proximity trigger is used, it usually has 3 turn activation time before it starts to work and has range of a few meters.
Grenades are thrown without accuracy bonus dice, they instead use bonuses from sensor boost-ups. Normal penalties from wounds apply. Grenades can be thrown to about 25 meters, more if the thrower is strong. Instead of throwing the grenade can be struck into target in melee (successful melee hit) via grenade sticky/magnetic part.
Grenades are primed during action (taking no time), and they explode at the end of user's next action, so you either throw it right away or you can first prime the grenade, then wait and throw it during next action - just hope that nothing makes you drop it before that.
If varan wants to handle more than one grenade, two can be primed (and thrown) at the same time if the varan does not move that turn, but apply -1 dice to-hit. If more than two are tried or varan moves at the same time, or anyone with a primed grenade gets hit or dodges etc. then GM may call for an agility roll to see if something goes wrong.
Similarily, the GM may call for extra agility rolls if the varan tries to perform hard physical fetas while handling grenades.
Varans are usually classified and type-casted into one of the following five roles:
These varan basic types are not strict and just give idea to what to create and how to arm it, but varan is usually called one of those, depending on its boost-ups and equipment. Usually a good mixture of these varans in a team make better teams, unless the mission needs some kind of specialty.
Note that if your varan survives its first mission, it is completely healed, any lost body-parts regrown, drugs removed from system and equipment restored. Only memories remain, and not always them. The surviving cybbervaran can also get a new boost-up, as it is obviously capable of sustaining current boost-ups. The equipment can be changed a bit between missions, but usually the varan type must stay the same - if it was created to be an assault varan, it will stay as one.
Varan is a bio-engineered killing machine, capable of incredible physical traits while still having an organic brains.
The mental abilities of the varans are not as impressive as the physical ones, but they are not mindless automatons either. The following things are characteristic for them:
Varans are strong, fast and agile creatures, and are able to sustain and regenerate horrible wounds. Even lost limbs can be recovered in medical labs. The standard varan has following physical chacarateristics:
Varans are very efficient close combat monsters. They all have basic better melee attribute than normal humans, and have multiple attacks with their close combat weapons (see melee weapons). They also usually have a superior position in combat as they are cloaked.
Haymaker: varan can concentrate melee attack to one single devastating one, if the varan is suitable equipped or has grabbed an enemy. If performed, no more than one hit can be caused, but save modifier is additional -1 per strong boost-up (for example, with 2 strong boost-ups modifier with melee weapon is -3). Use of this special attack must be announced beforehand, can easily break used weapon and does not work with grenades (good try).
Cybervarans are very durable creatures. They all have 5 hit points, which means that they must take 5 (or more) damage before being killed. Even then their automatic emergency systems kick in and can possible save them. In addition, cybervarans can regenerate even horrible wounds they have sustained. See system section for details.
Each creature can only carry certain amount of things around. The total load of the things carried affect the performance of the creature. The actual penaltiesd are determined by comparing the total load to various carrying capacity limits. Each creature has following limits:
If the creature has more load than max, it is classified as overloaded. Such creature is at -2 any actions requiring movement, in addition to penalties from max load, and has halved move/jump of the max load. The gamemaster may change this according to situation.
Notes about ammunition: for simplicity, each ammunition magazine weights its basic weight until discarded, even when part of it is used. So, assault cannon magazine weights 4kg regardless of how many times it has been used.
Each varan automatically has a varan battlesuit, which is an integrated part of a cybervaran. However, each varan battlesuit is specifically equipped for each cybervaran.
Following systems are automatically included in varan battlesuit, for no weight cost:
Any scanners and other systems are more powerful if the varan has sensor boost-ups (see below). Note that although enhanced sensors (and perception) grant certain automatic systems, some of them must be still explicitly stated.
Each varan is equipped with powerful cloaking device, making varan almost invisible to normal sight in almost any situation. However, the cloaking device cannot fully cope with things like smoke, fire or water, so do not try to find cover next to them. In addition, it sometimes takes some seconds for cloaking device to catch up, so it is much more powerful when varan is not moving or is moving very slowly.
A cloaked varan must be first spotted before it can be attacked. A perception (sensor) test against some target number is usually required, and even after that the spotter does not always know what it has seen.
In combat, cloaked varan has target value 6, even if spotted. If it is not spotted, attacks only hit with blind luck (random spray to right direction) and attackers normally do not gain bonuses from high skill. If the varan is shooting stationary at full rate or using weapons with high visibility, it can be shot at almost always, with target value 6.
Units with thermographic vision, motion detectors and other systems can detect varans more easily, but they still have problems, especially if varans keep silent and stationary, and do not have heated-up weapons - even those weapons emitting heat when turned on (most high-energy weapons) are not more easily spotted than a varan against a clear wall, for example. However, if varan is actively fighting, those with good sensors can attack against varan normal target value instead of 6.
Cloaking device can be damaged with critical hits, and water or liquids can damage it unless it is turned off. Cloaking device must be also turned off if any medical or repair work is applied to varan. Turning the cloaking device on or off is a free action as a part of varan's turn. Other varans can turn target varan's cloaking device off by touch, as they know where the switch is (in a case of cloaked but unconscious varan)
Thermographic: cloaking device does not help against thermographic vision. However, varans are semi-cold-blooded, and their battlesuit has rapid cooling and warming systems, so that varans are almost invisible to thermographic vision in normal situation. However, note that warm weapons (see signature) can give them away.
Active IR or UV: cloaking device does not help against either of these, i.e. if the surrounding area is lighted with powerful IR or UV lighting, the watcher able to see that lightning will also see cloaked varans.
Equipment: cloaking device cloaks any equipment carried by the varan, too, including any picked up. However, if the item is very large the cloaking device might be unable to cloak it, as it cannot cloak some special items (strange force field, for example).
Standard light battlesuit confers armor save 5+ for the varan. Usually this is not enough, so extra plating can be fitted:
|carbon-molecular (scout)||4+||5 kg|
|heavy carbon-composite (combat)||3+||15 kg||Hinders movement a bit even when unencumbered|
|heavy titanium (heavy)||2+||25 kg||Extra burden level|
The battlesuit can include list of special accessories built-in to it. In any case, maximum of 10 can be selected from the following list, and maximum of 2 of the same kind.
|Blowtorch||1 kg||The varan has a powerful blowing torch inserted to its arm. This torch can be used to cut and weld metal things. Melee use limited to against pinned targets.|
|Buzz-Saw||1 kg||This retractable buffsaw in one arm can be used to cut open doors, light walls and most melee targets. Count as improvised attack in melee, but if used against pinned targets, mimimum save at -2 (regardless of strong attributes).|
|Cable System||1 kg||A small rocket and 20 meters of cable is fitted to arm, and can be fired to grab something or to stop fall. One use only. If used as a weapon, use mini-rockets but armor save +1 and no explosion.|
|Combat Blades||1 kg||Retractable blades at arm. See melee weapons.|
|Fire Extinguisher||1 kg||When used as part of extingush action, adds +2 to extinguish roll. Enough charges for 10-20 uses|
|Mini-Rocket||1 kg||A small rocket and its launching system is fitted to a small compartment, see weapon table for rocket statistics|
|Power Drill||1 kg||Varan has a built-in drill with switchable points from screwdriver heads to normal drills. This drill is mainly usable for making holes and opening (large) screws quickly, any combat use is limited to against pinned targets.|
|Suction System||2 kg||The varan has enhanced suckers in its arms/legs and can be used to stick into sheer surfaces. Movement with them is very slow (1 meter/turn), and they do not work against very rough surface, but varan can hang from wall or ceiling with them. They produce only very minimal sound when used.|
In addition to battlesuit with built-in accessories, the varan usually carries a big pile of weapons into missions. These weapons are freely chosen from the equipment section (excluding GM special heavy weaponry) and can change from mission to mission. All these weapons are automatically counted to be part of varan modular weapon system, and thus confer +1 to-hit (firearms) and special switching rules.
A varan character can either be made by the player or the gamemaster, and it usually takes only some minutes. This chapter explains varan creation step-by-step. You just need a general idea of your varan, and then just follow the guidelines. When you get experience, you can create the character in different order, but for your first ones, it is suggested to do things in this order.
To keep the varan information up-to-date and to have something easily given to gamemaster after your varan has been wasted, a varan sheet is provided:
The sheet is divided into several parts (boxes), marked with A to G. The creation guidelines here will refer to various parts of the sheet. This sheet is of course available as postscript version without any letters on it, with 2 sheets per one A4.
Start the creation by filling your name and current date to appropriate rows in box A. Varan-ID and type are determined and given by the gamemaster, after your varan is ready.
Each varan is born different. Some are made stronger than others, some faster, some have enhanced senses. As cybervarans are boosted beyond any safe distances, it is unsafe to try to boost one varan with everything, but instead specialize them in something. To reflect this, each varan has six (6) boost-ups which are used to enchance their basic profile. These six boost-ups can be chosen freely but no boost-up can be taken more than 3 times. Each of them has following effects:
|strong||increased lift and carrying capacity, stronger haymaker|
|accurate||more accurate shots (but not throwing)|
|sensors||better perception (including automatic spotting) and throwing|
|mobility||faster movement, longer jump, increased agility|
|melee||better melee skill, increased agility|
Mark your choices by crossing out boxes in sheet box B. Of these, the strong boost-ups has most impact in choices in following steps, as it limits the total weight of things carried around.
Mark bonuses given from the various boost-ups to box C. These final modifiers for your cybervaran is as follows:
|accuracy||+1 per accurate boost-up|
|throwing||+1 per sensors boost-up|
|perception||+1 per sensors boost-up plus +1|
|lift||200 +50 per strong boost-up|
|weight||130 kg -10 kg per mobility boost-up +10 kg per strong boost-up|
|haymaker||-1 per strong boost-up|
Next, you need to select the armor plating fitted to battlesuit of the cybervaran. There are 3 choices, from light (scout) plating to heavy plating. In theory, you may opt to have no plating at all but that is rare. So make your choice, mark the save of the plating to box D.
First, mark load levels of the cybervaran. Check the carrying capacity table below and mark these to box E, in first row. The total load of all equipment carried by the cybervaran is checked against these limits, and cannot exceed the max value.
Next, fill up the move, jump and agility rows. First, find out the burden levels of the cybervaran. These depend on the armor plating carried by the cybervaran, and are as follows:
The first burden level is for light load, the second for heavy load and last for max load. Next, cross-check the mobility table to see the various cybervaran speeds, depending on the burden level and mobility boost-ups, and mark these to box E. Then mark jump and agility. Mark target value next to agility bonuses.
|move||see mobility table|
|jump||base 5m, +1 per mobility boost-up, plus modifiers from the mobility table|
|agility||base +2, +1 per 2 total mobility and melee boost-ups, plus modifiers from the mobility table|
|melee||base +1, +1 per melee boost-up, -1 if large weapons, -1 on max load|
Select any battlesuit accessories, firearms, melee weapons and other weapons carried by the cybervaran and mark them to box E. You can also write statistics of the same weapons into box G.
Then, count the total weight of the battlesuit accessories and add the weight of the armor plating to that and mark that to box E. Similarly count weight of any multi-use weapons and mark that to approrpiate row in box E. Finally, do the same with one-shot weapons and ammunition and mark that, too, to box E. Count the total load of these 3 together and write that number to big 'total' box in box E. You can then draw a circle around the load level the varan has (light, heavy or max).
Mark the melee skill of the varan to the row in box E. The melee skill as explained above in step 5 (but you could not know the final value before selecting the equipment). Note that light and heavy loads always have the same melee skill level and max load one lower.
If the varan has a combat spear, do not include that +1 in this box, but just remember to tell about it when appropriate.
And that's all! No need to think out history, personality, relations, hobbies or even a name, the gamemaster will assign you one. If you really want, you can describe the outlook of the cybervaran a bit, but that's just extra.
Here is some sample varans used in promotional games. Feel free to use them if you need quickly a varan. Please note that some things are left open (mainly types of carried grenades) and should be filled by anyone using these. Note that if the game system changes, these may become obsolete or contain errors for a while.
|2+ armor (25), blowtorch (1), fire-extinguisher (1)
plasma rifle (12), heavy rail gun (12), sniper laser (3)
3 x plasma ammo (12), 3 x rail ammo (12), 2 x LAW (6), 3 x timed bomb (6)
|2+ armor (25), buzz saw (1), 2x combat blades (2),
plasma rifle (12), assault cannon (10), nailer (4)
3 x plasma ammo (12), 4 x cannon ammo (16), 4 x nailer ammo (4), 3 x HE grenade (3)
|2+ armor (25), blowtorch (1), fire-extinguisher (1)
2 x rocket launcher (12), 2 x Nailer (8)
12 x HE rocket (18), 12 x AA rocket (18), 8 x nailer ammo (8), MAW (8), 6 x grenades (6)
|3+ armor (15), combat blades (1), fire-extinguisher (1)
assault cannon (10), slicer (4), sniper laser (3)
3 x cannon ammo (12), 4 x slicer ammo (4)
|3+ armor (15), buzz-saw (1), combat blades (1),
sniper rifle + silencer (6), flame thrower (4), nailer + built-in grenade launcher (5), fusion lance (3)
4 x nailer ammo (4), 10 x built-in ammo (5), 2 x sniper ammo (2), 3 x flamer ammo (3), 3 x fusion ammo (3), 5 x grenade (5)
|3+ armor (15), blowtorch (1), cable system (1),
2 x sword (4), nailer + built-in grenade launcher (5), sniper laser (3)
5 x nailer ammo (5), 10 x built-in GL ammo (5), 2 x LAW (6), 4 x HE grenade (4)
|2+ armor (25), buzz-saw (1), blowtorch (1), 2x combat blades (2),
power drill (1), fire-extinguisher (1)
2 x sword (4), 2x nailer (8)
3 x nailer ammo (3), 8 x grenades (8), 2 x LAW (6)
|3+ armor (15), buzz-saw (1), combat blades (1), fire-extinguisher
(1), cable system (1)
2 x sword (4), 4 x SMG (4), sniper laser (3), plasma gun (5), fusion lance (4)
4 x SMG ammo (2), 2 x plasma ammo (4), 3 x fusion ammo (3), timed bomb (2)
|4+ armor (5), cable system (1), fire-extinguisher (1)
combat spear (3), nailer (4), sniper laser (3)
2 x nailer ammo (2), 3 x inferno grenade (3), LAW (3)
|4+ armor (5), 2x combat blades (2)
2 x SMG (2), sniper laser (3), combat spear (3)
6 x SMG ammo (3), 2 x AA grenade (2)