Thursday, February 27, 2014

Meet The Trooper

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The Soldier class was actually the one class that was pretty much dead-on from the start; the only real issue was that all Soldiers were clearly from the same service branch – the Infantry. I wanted my players to be able to create a military aviator, or a driver from the mechanized cavalry, or an Infantry medic if they wanted to, so I put together the Trooper class for my revision of X-PLORERS.


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Troopers, whether they are ground pounders, armored cav or espatiers, are the muscle of modern society. They are trained to fight and they do it well; this is reflected in the fact that two of their class ‘skills’ are actually advancing modifications to a the character’s combat rolls. Military aviators should cross-train in the Astronautics skill, tank or APC operators in the Heavy Equipment skill, medics in the First Aid skill and espatiers in the Zero-G skill but otherwise have fun.

The skills for a Trooper character are:

  • Hand-to-Hand (I renamed this because soldiers aren't taught any particular form of martial art, rather they are taught key moves from several different syles) is the same as the Soldier Skill ‘Martial Arts’ found in the X-PLORERS rule book, page 7. It also applies to knife-fighting.

  • Marksman is the same as the Soldier Skill ‘Weapon Specialist’ found in the X-PLORERS rule book, page 7.  However, it applies to all ranged attacks made by the character.

  • Soldiering: Skill encompassing any ability common to soldiers. Examples include: boarding/repelling actions, small unit tactics, demolitions, survival training, use and maintenance of various weapons and armors, etc.

  • An elective skill selected from any of the other classes available in the game.

Additionally all Troopers receive a +1 on all their dice rolls for hit points when created and when leveling (they should be at least as tough as colonists, no? [see page 27 of the X-PLORERS rule book]).

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While we're on the subject, can I just say how much I love the Critical Hits idea presented in this game? It really re-enforces the original thinking behind hit points, not that they represent damage to a character but rather the character's ability to endure the stresses of combat until, finally, they are no longer able to avoid the inevitable and fall to a genuine wound. I like it so much that I'm toying with the idea of renaming Hit Points to Endurance or Stress Points to better reflect this.

So that's all of the original classes revised. You're probably thinking I ended up creating some skill holes when compared to the original classes and you're right I did. Medicine in particular, but I'll address that next time!

Up next: The new Physician class.

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  1. Man, I have to say I am REALLY enjoying your X-Plorers articles, but - Heavy Equipment skill? where did you put it?

    1. Yeah, it hasn't made the website yet. I've been meaning to publish the additional skills as a single post, but other things - RL included - have been interrupting. So, since you've asked specifically, I'll post that skill here:

      Heavy Equipment (QKN) is the skill needed to operate things like bulldozers, cranes, dump trucks, fork loaders, 18 Wheelers (Commercial transport trucks) or tanks and APCs. Skill checks are required for avoiding problems during unusual or risky operation (speeding, chases, off-road, etc.).

      Hope that helps!

    2. Hey, thanks! I was thinking of something in the same lines, but is good to have an official statement. I am working in something like The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey mixed with Jovian Chronicles. Mecha, elusive (and dangerous) aliens, lots of corporate intrigue, everything AT FIRST in the Solar System, uplifts, androids, Asteroid Belt commerce leagues fighting the Corporate Alliance, and a kitchen sink.

      I mean, I LOVE 50's Sci-Fi, but when I first read X-Plorers, that's what came to my head (and stayed there). Thanks for your postings, they really helped make my ideas take definitive shape on how to use the mechanics of X-Plorers to achieve what I wanted in the setting.