A Party of Starship Troopers

Howdy Folks!

Today I’m sharing the PCs for the Heinlein-inspired game I had intended to run at Orccon 2019, “The Only Good Bug…

Starship Troopers PCs | Downloads: 902 | Size: 810.1 KB

I plan to offer this game again at Gamex 2019, coming up in May, so these characters may get tweaked a bit, and there is no actual adventure structure yet (at least written down, mwaa haa), but they’re still pretty much good-to-go as characters.

Some random notes, in no particular order:

  • I’m hewing much closer to the book than the movie (hence the power armor), so any in-setting differences you note may be because the two universes have been blended.
  • Starship Troopers are true bad-asses, trained and prepared to battle Arachnid warriors by the swarm. Their power armor has jump jets, semi-ablative DR in the double digits, flamers, grenade and rocket launchers, poison gas grenades, even tac-nukes. The (hopefully non-human) body count in this game will likely be very high.
  • The power armor has semi-ablative DR of 50, and only loses a point of DR for every 10 full points of injury. Combined with their overwhelming firepower, I’m feeling even odds, even in the face of swarms of marauding Warrior Arachnids (and maybe worse). Jump jets in particular give them great mobility in most encounters.
  • Each character has two sheets, one while wearing armor and one while not. Name, age, gender, etc. are, as usual, left blank for the player to fill in. They all have assault rifles, pistols, and sabers (for when things get really messy), usable both in and out of armor. They are all Privates (plot circumstances), and their squad roles are:
    • Grenadier, Repair/Melee: Marauder Armor, Triple Thud Grenade Launcher
    • Heavy Ordnance, Comms/Tech: Marauder Armor, Morita Javelin Rocket Launcher
    • Neodog Handler, Medic/Sensors: Scout Power Armor (DR 40, better maneuverability), Paired Shredder Rifles, Neodog (an NPC that is basically a trained combat dog’s brain transplanted into a hardened robotic casing)
    • Scout-Sniper, Intel: Scout Power Armor (DR 40, better maneuverability), Sniper Rifle

I think that’s about it. By all means, let me know what you think… I’ve still got time before the game to make changes for the better. Enjoy!


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  1. Funny, I was going to something similar for DunDraCon 43. My game was a mash up of SST, the book not the movie, Stargate SG-1, and Tunnel in the Sky another Heinlein book.
    Questions I have are “!Mobile Infantry” a Wildcard skill? If so, what are the skills it covers? Is there any point in the game where the PCs could be pulled from the suit?

    • Hiya, Tom!

      For 90% of my convention one-shots, I use a wildcard skill on the pre-gens in case I forget anything obvious that the character should logically know. So, the “skills it covers” is basically “whatever makes sense for a Mobile Infantry that isn’t already on the sheet.”

      I haven’t written down the adventure yet, but I’m thinking that if their armor ever reaches zero DR and they get pulled out of it, they’re dead barring some seriously divine intervention lol. But, while the majority of the game is set pieces of the PCs in their armor fending off swarms of ravenous Bugs, there’s at least one encounter that will find the four unarmored humans vs. a single (possibly a pair) of Warrior Bugs.

      The adventure basically starts as the movie “Aliens,” broken by a single scene where it becomes more like the first “Alien,” then it’s back to “Aliens” once they recover their armor.

      A Stargate game sounds sweet, and I’m already tracking down “Tunnel in the Sky” 🙂

      • Well Mook, “Tunnel..” is Heinlein’s last juvenile. It’s available on Kindle.

        If you are going to use the MI platoon from the book you should know the platoon is much bigger than a standard US Army or Marine platoon. The 1976 Avalon Hill game, which I used to have, used work sheets to keep track of available ammo for man in the platoon. The platoon strength is at 54.
        Here’s a screenshot from BGG that features the picture, I hope: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/3734537/starship-troopers

        If not, just click on the images and you will see the MI platoon sheet.

        • Sweet sheet! I think the Mongoose Starship Troopers RPG mentioned something about a larger than usual platoon size, but I knew it was just gonna be 4 PCs so I didn’t worry much about it.

          Might give that book a peek!

          • It’s like chicken soup. It can’t hurt.
            Avalon Hill really knew how to make games in those days.

            I noticed on your character sheets the PCs have Military Rank 1 for Privates and PFC. In most settings, MR 1 are for corporals and sergeants,, aka junior NCOs. Is this an error?

            I do like that you made the powered armor DR ablative. Very nice.

          • I often (always?) simplify the *hell* out of things for pre-gens. The military rank thing is solely because most people seem to hate a “0 level” of any trait, so it’s easier to just shift everything and avoid the conversation altogether.

            Ablative armor, yes! Thank you — there needs to still be some danger of course, but I don’t want the PCs just shredded in the first encounter either, so… ablative!

            :: swarm of Bugs with scratching mandibles and raking claws ::

            “COMPUTER: Structural integrity of Power Armor at 20%… 15%… 10%…”

    • Hiya, Tom. When you add the Advantage “Damage Resistance” (with or without the semi-ablative modifier), that footnote should appear (I’m assuming you’re talking about the one with a dagger footnote symbol that says “+50 from ‘Damage Resistance.’)

      If it doesn’t show up, open the Character Sheet Options button, select the Phoenix character sheet, and under the “Footnote Options,” make sure the box for Defenses is checked in both lists.

      Hope that helps!

  2. How did you delete the bite attack from the Battlesuit version of the character sheet? I found I can add Striking and Lifting ST to battlesuit directly with the gives(tag). but I have a battlesuit that can bite. Yes, I know it might be cool to some. But no.

    • I’m at work and dont have GCA in front of me, but I think each of the unarmed fighting skills (in this case Brawling or Karate) have a modifier called something like “Remove Bite entry”

      • Thanks, that worked. This might of stumped Arvin. Anyway. As of now the “Mark IIA Battlesuit” has Striking ST + 10,Lifting ST + 10, Super Jump + 5, DR(semi-ablative)+ 75, Acute Hearing + 2, and Hyperpectral Vision. The Bonuses do show up on the character sheet in the appropriate sections. Not in the basic stats. Gives() works wonders on a battlesuit.
        Thanks for your help

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