M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Episode 2, Pt. 2)

Cody and Kent were men of few needs. That is why they decided to stay on the boat. There were strange things to discover, like old photos of the father, a younger him, next to a woman that looked extremely similar to Cathryn Applegate. They were definitely taken many years ago, and she should have been a baby back then, but the similarities were uncanny. The different open bottles of wine were something that intrigued Cody and he picked one up. Just as he did, he got a strong whiff of sulfur, they both did, that lasted briefly but was very powerful. They were below deck when that happened, but continued their investigation. Cody went above deck to notice they were out at sea, and the marina was just a cluster of lights in the distant night horizon.

He went to the upper deck to see if he could turn on the motor and steer it back, but he suddenly felt a heavy sharp smack at the back of his head that knocked him down. Cody was a big man, so it would take a lot more to knock him out, so he caught a look at a shadowy figure holding an oar standing above him. Kent came to the upper deck to check it out, and he saw it too. In fact, they saw many shadowy figures.

Ghosts, or something like that, of all different types of people began materializing around them. They could immediately tell that they were in the exact same conditions of their deaths, and gruesome deaths at that. The one with the oar looked familiar, and they recognized him from a picture Cathryn Applegate gave us; of her father. Cody is not a patient man, so he immediately pulled his willpower to summon gauntlets of shadow around his hands and met the ghost with a powerful hit, it flew back and dematerialized. He stood imposing asking if anyone else wanted to take him on, when a visage of a little girl stepped forward: "Will you help us?"

Just then, the boat began to warp. The whole thing twisted its shape and bent at the middle like it was made of rubber. Cody and Kent barely held on to prevent themselves from falling in the ice cold lake. Below them they saw a great maw of blackness form, and the ghosts began chanting for help. But the normals arrived. They were spotlighted by a coast guard boat, and everything instantly returned to normality as though it didn't happen.

Flint, John, and Hank were wondering what to do when the boat, the Revelry was its name, was being escorted back to the marina, and Kent and Cody recounted their experience.

The group got back to the office when Cathryn came back to ask for an update. There was something strange about the woman, and they got the sense that she was awakened. It is likely however that not even she knew she was. When they grilled her about her father, and the photos of him and the woman, she seemed to get frightened. They may have come on a little strong. "I hired you to find out what was going on, not be ghostbuters." she said, and hurried off. Flint went after her, quickly writing his number on one side of a sticky note, and a locator spell on the other, but he wasn't fast enough. He just wanted to comfort her and let her know he would be available to talk anytime.

Kent knew what to do, and knew how to shadow people, so he followed her in his vehicle. The rest of Nightfall LLC wanted to investigate some more, despite the fact that they were fired from the job. This was just too serious to put down. The rest went to the shipwright. The ones who made the boat for Cathryn's father. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They said the father was very specific about how he wanted the boat built and paid a lot of money for it. When asked if there were any unusual specifications, they did mention he had a window put in at the bottom at the exact center of the boat.

They got a call from Kent that Cathryn had gone to work and did some errands and eventually ended up back at the marina. The group all piled in a car ad headed there immediately. They found her car parked and searched it. The only thing they found was a business card of a security company, but it did have a tracking spell on it. Similar to the one Flint tried to make and give to her. Someone else was watching her. The group proceeded to the Revelry quietly. The boat was in its slip, but no sign of her, except photos laid out allover the captain's cabin, and her Franklin Covey planner. Flint felt the urge to take it. They also had Flint prepare something in case the ghost events would happen again..

Flint had never worked with ghosts, but wanted to try something that he thought might work. John had bought a can of salt earlier because he knew it could ward or trap ghosts. Flint ran a line of it around the outer edge of the boat, and prepared a spell circle with his magic pen on the deck. It was supposed to trap and anchor any spiritual being that stepped through it, hoping they could get some answers.

Then they noticed Cathryn standing at the dock in front of them, completely pale-faced, and holding a bouquet of roses in one arm, and a pistol in the other. Without saying a word, she brought the gun up to her chest and shot herself. Her figure topped over into the dark lake. John immediately dove after her, having good dark vision, and fighting off the effects of the cold water. He brought her back up to the surface. She was bleeding an unusual amount of blood from her chest wound, and coughed awake. Kent immediately recognized what she was, she was a homunculus, like him. The homunculi are a form of magic creature that were created for a purpose. Kent's purpose and past is something he has been searching for his whole life. They never age, are extremely resilient, but they can still die. When they die, they wake again, memory completely erased, and can start a new life. She woke, but had no memory of anything, or who she was. They called the ambulance while the others decided to check the dock house of the security company the business card mentioned. But they instead found a dead man, holding a wooden rod in his hands that had that triangle symbol on it from the day before. His ribcage was torn wide open.

The police and ambulance got there and the group was questioned of the events. Needless to say they were left with many more questions than were answered.

So Cathryn was a homunculus, but what for? Her father seemed to know. What was he doing with the boat? Why was it enchanted and what was with the spirits asking for help, or the events that happened on it in the lake? Who was the man of the security company that was watching Cathryn, and why did he get killed? Everything now was a crime scene, so it would be a while before they got any questions answered. Cathryn had rebooted. She started a new life, but Nightfalls LLC was determined to keep an eye on her.

As for Flint, he had her day planner, and he will search it, see if it can bring about any clues to this mystery.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Serro's Ship Log

Entry 214

As soon as we had a chance to breathe from the action, Gra' restrained Jin'kins. I had some questions. No quiv fights with that martial skill unless they were built for it. He didn't fight my inquisition. He let me know he was simply on a delivery. He had something important to give to a quiv politician on Krutos. He seemed sincere that he didn't want trouble. He's seen enough in his life under servitude. Still, I wanted to make sure.

I don't often like to use my unregistered psionic ability. Ever since I was a child I could get a sense of other minds around me, even delve into them with enough concentration. I pulled the quiv close and got a look. He was telling the truth, and it didn't seem like he was supposed to kill me. Which was important.

Regardless, we are going to drop him off in Krutos and be done with it.

Entry 215

Compared to the thousands of barely habitable worlds in the galaxy, Krutos would be considered pretty decent. A mere strip around the equator of the world is considered habitable. The rest is black frozen wasteland. Because of the intense storms from the disparate climates, you need to enter atmosphere at one of the poles and ride underneath it to the equator and get to the main city. It's a tradeworld. All tourin lanes leading to and from it are fast. It's also the last stop between Melthos and Primeus space. Many a trader could set-up shot here and never be lack of work. The only thing that stops many of them from doing that are harsh Primeus trade embargoes and taxes.

The city itself is like a giant scaffold with structures suspended in between the bars. Lifts and rails between them provide the avenues for transport. If there is one thing you can say nice about Primeus, its that they know how to build efficiently. The city is about as tall as it is wide.

Once docked, we said our goodbyes to Jin'kins, and got to business. We were met by the consort to the local Primeus planetary royal family. Guess who the wood was for. He was the usual stuck-up wealthy type. Once things were finalized we got our pay. After a long trip, Gra' and I needed a drink.

Entry 216

Combat Assist Frame
Well Jin'kins came back, but this time he came back with a job. He met Gra' and I in the bar as I was putting my name out there for work. His contact here, a Melthos politician, wants a ride off, him and his battlebred bodyguard. He is offering 1.5 million for the job. For some reason I had an uneasy feeling about this. Like I knew it was going to be trouble. I agreed as long as I got to meet this politician. He did have a meeting time and spot. Some cha'el day spa. It was a few hours off, so we had time to do some shopping. Gra' was anxious to see it parted on some expensive military goods. Also I reluctantly commissioned a repair job to the Combat Assist Frame (CAF) we looted from that moonspider ship. I don't have any proficiency with wearing them, but it may come in handy one day.

We took a transport to meet the Melthos politician, a quiv named Nykus. He did have an imposing female quiv battlebred bodyguard, but she seemed loyal to Nykus. He explained that he needed to go someplace, but wouldn't tell where, and by doing this we would probably be branded enemies of the state with Primeus. Now, I never did like Primeus all that much, but to do so could be suicide, especially since I do get work from them, and they own a lot of space. With that I upped the price of the trip. I figured 2.5 million should cover it. He agreed.

Then we heard a booming voice from outside the spa call for Nykus. Jin'kins peeked and it was a hezak mercenary with his band of about 8 fully armed fairin. All wearing the colors of a Hezakian Combine group. Nykus wasn't willing to turn himself in, but we saw it would be too much for us to take, even if we had a battlebred on our side. Our best option was to hurry out the back. The mercs gave chase and we caught a taxi, threw out the driver, and piled in. We soon found ourselves running from a Combine military hovercraft.

After an intense chase, we made it to our ship and escaped in time. One thing about Krutos, and Primeus docks in general, it's extremely expensive to stay there. Nykus gave us coordinates to a distant planet in this system, so no tourin travel. I'm now headed somewhere I don't know or have any documentation of, and a lot more quiv on my ship than I am comfortable with, and an enemy of Primeus. I may have just ruined my career.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Episode 2, Pt. 1)

Flint came to understand that he was in over his head, severely. It seemed like it would be another call for another mystery on January 30th, 2012. A lady came up to Nightfall LLC's 'office'. Flint was dumbstruck by what he considered one of the most beautiful women he has seen. She had blond hair tied back in a ponytail and an office pantsuit. What's more, she clutched her Franklin Covey day planner across her chest. Flint fumbled with the words as he invited her in and asked how they could help.

She explained that after the passing of her father, she inherited his boat. It wasn't too long ago from the sound of it. He had taken his sailboat out into lake Michigan one night, and never returned. The coast guard found the boat out there the next day drifting alone, with nobody aboard. He was declared missing, but due to the circumstances, and the open bottle of wine, they eventually declared it a suicide/accident. His body was never recovered. Now the poor woman had the boat to look after. She presented to us a handful of citations from the coast guard. They were all for failure to keep a boat tied at dock. Since the night of the father's death, about once every 2 or 3 days, the boat would be found adrift in the middle of the lake. No evidence of anyone on board using the boat, except each time an opened bottle of wine. This woman, Cathryn Applegate, suspected something strange.

Last night she hired a group of teenagers to stay the night aboard her boat. This morning she got a call from the coast guard that they found her boat again, and nobody aboard.

The group decided to split up for the investigation. Hank and John went check up on the kid's houses, see if they made it home. Flint and Cody wanted to check out the boat. Kent decided to stay behind, and do some actual 'police work', using his skills as an ex-detective.

Hank and John got nowhere, only finding out that the kids never came home. The parents didn't seem worried, but more concerned with 2 strange men asking after them.

Kent made a few calls to some of his old police buddies and found the kids were reported to be in the hospital for hypothermia.

Meanwhile, Cody and Flint went to check the dock. The dockmaster was very helpful and pointed them to the boat's slip. It wasn't there because the coast guard hadn't brought it in yet. Flint checked for magic residue surrounding the area or the rope, but found nothing. He did notice security cameras overlooking the marina. Cody flashed a government badge (whether it was real or fake, we don't know. There is a lot about Cody we don't know) and asked to see the security footage of the nights the boat went missing. The one camera always reported to cut out each incident. Cody left his number so the dockmaster would call when the boat came in. They found out everyone was headed to meet at the hospital where the kids were.

At the hospital, all but one of the kids was conscious. A jock, from the looks of it, was willing to answer some questions. Cody and John grilled him on the events. The kid remembered the partying on the boat like they were told too, then they all saw some strange symbol and freaked out and jumped. His memories were a jumbled mess. Cody got him to draw the symbol while John used his mind magic to check the kid's memories.

John could definitely sense that reality was trying to erase the supernatural events from the kids memory like it normally does. If they hadn't gotten to this kid, he would have had no memory of what happened at all. Paradox tends to reject supernatural events from reality, and those not awakened generally don't remember magical things happening soon after. But as John delved deeper into the memory of the boat, he saw something ... terrifying. Something from the memory had knocked John on his ass and got the kid screaming hysterically. Bloody horror screams filled the halls of the hospital. The group was escorted out, knowing little of the case. The symbol intrigued them. A few noticed it looked similar to one of the emblems of the magic houses.

They got a call from the dockmaster that the boat was back. It was nightfall, so detecting magic would be easier. They were all very eager to investigate the boat.

There it was, loaded in its slip and tied up properly. John used his psychometry to glean something from the boat's nature. When he touched it, the entire thing glowed! Arcane and magic runes covered the decks and hull. This was no normal sailboat. Flint almost cracked up when he recognized many of the runes were in elvish, as in the language from JRR Tolkein's work. They went inside and did indeed see evidence of a party. Open bottles of beer, food, and even condoms lying around.

The group decided to give sleeping aboard a try. Cody and Kent decided to stay while the others went back to pack some things.

As soon as Flint, John, and Hank got back to the marina, the boat was gone...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Kickstarter: Busty Barbarian Bimbos

I have already had a post here before about my opinions of Kickstarter. I think it is wonderful, but can also have a lot of poor stuff on it. Today I bring to you sort of a controversial project. One that I was at first reluctant to bring up, but I will explain why I decided to do so.

It would seem like a misogynistic pile of male chauvinism and objectification (whew, big words). But I implore you to look a little harder and deeper. Once you do, you see the spirit of the project. It's actually a tongue-in-cheek tribute to busty fantasy art. The game is designed to take you back to the day when you were a snickering adolescent when looking at those pin-up rpg covers. The creator describes it well on his kickstarter page:

For decades, games have been marketed with scantily-clad, shapely young women prominently displayed. All too frequently these games aren't about those cheesecake pin-ups at all. The girl is a damsel in distress or villain, and the majority of play revolves around sweaty muscle-men running around being manly. Not so with Busty Barbarian Bimbos. Here the players take on the roles of the titular characters in a world that is dominated not by bearded wizards and savage swordsmen, but by the values of aesthetic beauty, fashion, and social standing.

Core design concerns, taken into account whenever possible, include
  • Pretty girls get preferential treatment. They are treated better by other characters. They are treated better by their clothes. They are treated better by the rules. * An aggressive absence of math. No hit-points, no numeric bonuses, very little counting. 
  • Disdain for slavish book-keeping. Book-keeping leads to math, math leads to tedium, and tedium isn't what games are for. 
  • Disdain for verisimilitude. While the assumed setting is essentially a post-apocalyptic swords & sorcery environment, getting too serious about questions like “what kind of economic and industrial infrastructure is present to allow for the supply of lip-liner and daiquiris?” is a buzz-kill. 
  • Dismissal of manliness. Men don't matter. The heroines aren't encouraged to solve problems by emulating manly characters from other games. We aren't taking Conan the Cimmerian and photoshopping a bikini onto him. Not to knock Red Sonja, but the model of empowering girls by having them act like boys is not the goal here.
There is enough on the internet to make you feel guilty for liking chainmail bikini stuff, and there has been enough of a social backlash against it. Through all the guilt ridden attitude, it is refreshing to see something like this get support and funding. I had a small part in the game's development, and at first I didn't give it any credence. I thought it was just another basement dweller's fap material. But once you look through it, it's not that at all. The game isn't meant to be perverted or an erotic roleplaying game, nor is it meant to be an ironic empowering women through sex agenda game. It's meant to be a fun romp for snickering adolescents, as the creator described it. Even my wife, who generally isn't into roleplaying games, finds the concept of this game fun and intriguing, and would be willing to sit down for a session.

As far as gameplay, it's actually pretty sound. It's meant to be simple and use as little math as possible, and the creator did a great job with that. Usually when they describe the main stats, that is when people get up in arms. Similar to Rogue Space's FASER, this uses a simple acronym. Watch the video on the kickstarter page to find that out.

It's already reached its funding goal and is growing healthy and strong, so this isn't a cry for support. Mainly I just want to bring attention to this fun project, but not start any arguments, or alienate any of my readers. If you still find this project offensive after taking a closer look at it, that's cool. Move on. Even the creator knew he would get some flack and negativity, but I think it's important to point out that he didn't make this to troll the internet, and neither am I.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Star*Drive Saturday: Temporary Hiatus

I missed Star*Drive Saturday last week. I started a second job which has been taking up some time, and I am also in 2 different campaigns. The modern fantasy campaign, and the Wartech campaign. So I have been very busy.

The Star*Drive Saturday posts take a while to write because I summarize a lot of material, so I will put it on temporary hiatus for a bit, at least until I end one of my campaigns, which may be in a month or so. I have enjoyed writing them because it has been giving me some practice and teaches me to work with deadlines. I appreciate you all for reading and offering feedback, but this isn't a dead project.

So I will leave you with a couple pieces of awesome artwork from the Star*Drive universe for now.
Happy Valentines Day, Star*Drive style.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Serro's Ship Log

Entry 212

We caught word of work available on one of the lesser known vacation spots in Primeus space. Tenion, a remote world in the Zeyus system. While its stellar location is well within known space, its considered a 'remote' world merely for the slow tourin lanes leading to and away from it. Anyone wanting to take an expensive off-world vacation rarely has the time. One other thing that makes the world stand out is it's natural luminescent forests. Few people use wood furniture, and those few are after some retro or art-deco look only the wealthy bother to try. Apparently the wood from the trees here retain their shimmer even after construction or treating. The local government is really into conservation so exporting the lumber tends to be erratic and limited. It's impossible to establish any consistent trade with the world for the lumber, making it a rare commodity for unique furniture. Which is what brings me here.

Gra'zeknum was in the process of getting a small load of the shimmer lumber on the Needle when I was approached a quiv asking for transport off the world. He claims he just missed his flight, so when I asked for his flight ticket to see if his claim was legitimate, that was all the documentation i needed. I'm not the transport authority. Besides I figured any quiv trying to get off any Primeus world would be a worthy cause. It didn't stop me from overcharging him a little though.

He called himself Jin'kins. His gear suggested some Primeus military training, especially the long range rifle slung on his back. I just had Gra' lock his gear away and keep an eye on him. We finalized the trade documents and went on our way to Krutos in the Fellos. The cost of the trip really doesn't make the job that profitable, but it's on our way, and I hear Krutos has more business opportunities.

Entry 213

Just as it was getting to Tenion, the trip away was long and uneventful. We took a lane change when things turned weird. Our ship signaled that there was something obstructing the lane up ahead, I had to quickly pull the grip to prevent us colliding with whatever it was. When the ship slowed down I found the free-floating asteroid field. Usually these are pushed away by gravity emitters, but our sensors told us one of the emitters must have been out. As I got closer to maneuver through the field we get a distress signal. A courier class ship is floating in the field. Usually this happens when inexperienced pilots try traversing the fields they can end up space hulks when they're not careful. I called back for confirmation and they gave a response believable enough.

I called Gra' to suit up in case there was trouble. Jin'kins offered to help as well. But as our ship got closer, the scanner finally picked up an emblem on the ship it didn't recognize, but I did. The Moon Spiders. A pirate clan of quiv that emerged before the quiv rebellion. Things weren't working fast enough for them in getting out from Primeus control, so they escaped. Nobody would offer amnesty for fear out of making an enemy with Primeus, so they could only survive through piracy. When the quiv finally won the rebellion and formed Melthos, they refused to join. Whatever reasons they had for it, they never said, only that their raids and captures stay frequent enough to reach the ears of any independent trader, but not too frequent, so as to require a call for action against them by any major nation.

I immeditately called an alert, turned the ship about, and pushed the impulse full power. If there was one thing the Needle was good at, it was getting away. But this small courier apparently had the same idea. They stepped up some sort of short-lived booster and kept on our tail. I had Gra' take shots at them with our plasma cannon, but he's definitely a better shot with the personal firearm than the ship-mounted. With a chase getting nowhere in open space, Gra' opted for the boarding pod, apparently so did the pirates. Gra' took the new guy and boarded the enemy ship and gave them hell. Meanwhile I had to deal with 2 pirates that boarded my ship, alone.

I securely locked my systems to buy some time in case they tried to take control. When they found me I was ready. I took a few ineffective shot, but my purpose was to lead the 2 invaders through our cargo hold and space them. Meanwhole Gra' and Jin'kins were fighting through the enemy forces of the ship to the bridge. After spacing my own invaders, I made my way back to the cockpit and got the ship up and running. Through some creative hacking I was able to take control of the Moon Spider ship, and get to their captain's CAF (combat assist frame), which provided enough a challenge to halt Gra' and Jin'kins' progression, but luckily Gra' has experience and is geared to take on heavy powered armor.

After Gra' killed their captain, and the rest of the crew, we salvaged what we could from their ship, I wiped their computer to get rid of any evidence of us being there, and moved on. Gra' reported to me the capabilities and actions of our new guy. I'm going to need to question him and find out what his intentions are aboard my ship, or get rid of him as soon as I can. Whatever it is we'll need to figure it out before we hit Krutos.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wartech Campaign: Introduction

Wartech is a game system and setting that Jarom and I have been working on for a while now. Since Jarom is home for winter break from college, we decided to run a campaign while he was still here. He is GMing it and my brother James, Jarom's friend (James A.), and I are the players. This campaign's purpose is to help explore and flesh out the setting more than paytest our RPG rules. So for simplicity we are using the Rogue Space system. We liked it during our MECHS campaign and modified it a bunch to fit the nuances of the setting. I am borrowing a lot of the mechanics and rules in my Star*Drive posts as a basis.

I may cover these in more detailed posts later, but these are some of the other things we have modified for it:
  • A skill system: Instead of backgrounds for your character, you have a list of skills. When creating your character you buy skill ranks with some skill points set by your GM, and when making an action, you add the skill's rank (if applicable) plus its appropriate FASER attribute. It's a little more structured and dynamic than character backgrounds.
  • Stun points: You still have your standard hit points, but you also have a second health track called stun points. Your stun points are half (rounded down) of your hit points. Some weapons and attack types (like stutter weapons, and unarmed attacks) do stun damage. When you run out of stun points, you are knocked out. They also can represent fatigue.
  • Two damage types: There are 2 damage types in this game. Energy and Physical. Laser, particle, and stutter weapons etc. do energy damage. And slug weapons, unarmed attacks, blades, etc. do physical damage. The only thing this factors into is armors have 2 protection values. So an armor may be L against physical attacks, but M against energy attacks, etc.
  • Different archetypes: Fitting with some of our original game's terminology, the archetypes are renamed. Technician stays the same; Warrior is renamed to Combatant; Rogue is renamed to Operative; and a fourth is added, Moderator. Which is the leader or diplomat type archetype.
  • Broad psionic skills: Psionics are changed with broad categories. Buying ranks in a category allows you to attempt any power under the category. I'll clarify the categories and powers another time.
  • Dynamic gear system: Jarom presented a neat system we are playing with that allows players to create the gear they get on their character, by buying traits of the weapons and armor. Credit costs for the traits helps to curb min-maxing but give the player freedom for defining what their character has. If it works well here, we will try implementing it with our original system planned.
  • Expanded ship rules: No real changes to how ship construction or combat works, just expanded upgrades, weapons, quirks, etc.
With these new mods, we got excited for our game. The basic premise is my brother James and I are independent traders. We built a ship that is more akin to the Millenium Falcon (we built it to make our own Kessel Run.) We called it the Needle, and rolled sturdy hull and haunted quirks. The haunting we're not sure what it means yet, but we know it will be giving the two of us strange dreams.

Here are the three of the player's basic dossier's.

Player: Jared (me)
Archetype: Moderator
Race: Fairin
As a child he exhibited some psionic ability, but in the nation of Saunos, psionics are known to suddenly disappear from families. His parents sent him to live with his uncle to work on a remote relay station for his early years, in hopes of evading government agents. He grew up there, saving his money, until he could buy a ship and became an independent trader, and captain of the Needle.

Player: James (my brother)
Archetype: Combatant
Race: Cardoon
Like most cardoon, Gra' was born on his homeworld and conscripted into the Hezakian Combine. And like many cardoon, he was put into the shock trooper squads with low survivability rates. His specialized in taking on heavy armor. Despite all odds, he survived his term and like most cardoon, was given a crappy pension. He was later recruited to work for Serro as the muscle for when things get ugly. He takes the job seriously.

Player: James A. (Jarom's friend)
Archetype: Operative
Race: Quiv
A Primeus escapee built for a specific purpose, and a hidden past. He hitches a ride on the Needle with the rest of the party in the first adventure when he gets caught up in things.

I will be posting journal entries of Serro, captain's logs, as they are happening.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Star*Drive Saturday: Heavy Armor

Last week we covered the lighter conventional armor, this week it is:


Heavy armor is restrictive and bulky. Those without proper training find them awkward to use. The following armors have Restriction values. That number is subtracted by your character's Fighting score and the resulting number is the penalty you take to your Movement and Initiative while wearing the armor. Example: The attack armor has a restriction value of 3. A character with a +2 Fighting score would take a -1 penalty to his Movement and Initiative. However, a character with a -1 Fighting score would be severely hindered by the armor, taking a -4 penalty to his Movement and Initiative. If you have a high enough Fighting score, you cannot have your Movement or Initiative increased above their normal value. Example: A character with a +3 Fighting score wearing cerametal armor (restriction value 2) does not gain a +1 bonus to Movement and Initiative while wearing the armor.

(Fighting Score) - (Restriction Value) = Penalty to Initiative and Movement while wearing the armor [maximum 0]

Attack Armor
Cost: 1,200 cr
Protection: V
Restriction: 3
Earliest forms of true attack armor are improvements of typical assault gear. A breastplate and helmet of lightweight polymere guards the user's vital areas, while flexible CF weaves cover the limbs.
  • At a cost of 1,000 credits, you may have the following electronic equipment built-in to this armor:
  • Targeting system - Built-in binoculars reduces the long range penalty -1.
  • Image enhancement system - The binoculars include night-vision and infrared capability, removing the penalty to shooting in low-light conditions.
  • Communication suite - Allows communication over long distances with others that have sync'd comm gear.
  • Trauma pack - Two med-kits are attached at the thigh packets, and one at the small of the back.

Cerametal Armor
Cost: 1,500 cr
Protection: V
Restriction: 2
One of the latest developments of heavy unpowered armor. Cerametal technology combines lightweight ceramic weaves with more standard armor materials. The cerametal plates cover most of the body, including the head. The protection is fantastic by previous standards for the weight, and is less restrictive.
  • At a cost of 1,000 credits, you may have the electronic equipment listed, under attack armor above, built-in to this armor.

Body Tank
Cost: 9,000 cr
Protection: X
Restriction: 6
Special: Grants a +3 bonus to strength checks.
The invention of sturdy, small, and powerful servos makes the powered "body tank" armor possible. Most of the armor consists of neutronite alloy plating, with only a few awkward joints made of carbonate fiber. A body tank is just that - a heavy, full suit of armor turns the soldier wearing it into a mobile fortress. Systems included in the body tank are:
  • Targeting system - Built-in binoculars reduces the long range penalty -1.
  • Image enhancement system - The binoculars include night-vision and infrared capability, removing the penalty to shooting in low-light conditions.
  • Communication suite - Allows communication over long distances with others that have sync'd comm gear.
  • Trauma Pack type II - Contains two automatic med-kits that activate when the suit's occupant suffers damage.
  • Threat receiver - An electromagnetic/infrared sensor detects active fire control and rangefinding systems directed at the wearer. You gain a +1 bonus to awareness tests to detect such threats.
  • Smart display - Geomapping system provides a view of the surrounding area, granting the user a +1 bonus to tactics tests.
  • Laser designator - Helmet-mounted device allows the soldier to instantly relay requests for fire support and air strikes through his data uplink.
  • Built in shoulder mounted Bantam Launcher

Recon Body Tank
Cost: 10,000 cr
Protection: X
Restriction: 5
Special: Grants a +3 bonus to strength checks.
The recon body tank is lighter and more expensive than the regular version, but somewhat more common. It features the same on-board systems as the standard body tank.

Zero-G Body Tank
Cost: 12,000 cr
Protection: X
Restriction: 7
Special: Grants a +4 bonus to strength checks.
The heaviest armor available and is equipped with all the features of the standard body tank in a suit slightly larger than the normal body tank. It also includes the following additional features:
  • Air/space radar - A small but powerful radar system allows a soldier to keep an eye on enemy aircraft or spacecraft movements.
  • Oxygen supply - Fully sealed suit and has a supply of oxygen for up to 10 hours.
  • Instead of the bantam launcher, the purchaser of the zero-g body tank can include any one of the following on the shoulder mount:
    • Grenade launcher - With 2 loads of 6. They feed into the gun independently, so the wielder can choose which load to fire from.
    • Heavy charge machine gun - Double load.
    • Arc gun - Double load.
    • Mass cannon - Double load.
    • Plasma gun - Double load.
    • Quantum mini-gun - Double load.

Khe! Burund (Weren Mail)
Cost: 500 cr (the cost does not need to be increased for fitting a weren)
Protection: V
Restriction: 1 (for weren), 4 (for everyone else)
Normally chain mail doesn't stand up to modern weaponry, but it's different for weren. Their variation of chain mail is much thicker and tougher than any ancient human designs. Developed within the last hundred years on their homeworld to resist musket balls, the khe! burund is a hauberk of chain mail with stiff leather straps woven between the links, worn over a leather arming coat. The coat covers the wearer's arms to the elbow, the legs to the knee, and includes a hood. Favored by many weren mercenaries and expatriates because it's an element of weren technology that stands up to human weapons. Just like the flintlock pistol, it has become an emblem of weren tradition in the face of overwhelming change.
Had'niltas (Mechalus Armor)
Cost: 1,100 cr
Protection: V (for mechalus), L (for everyone else)
Restriction: 0 (for mechalus, 2 (for everyone else)
Special: Grants a +2 bonus to strength checks for mechalus. No bonus for everyone else.
An outstanding example of alien technology, the mechalus had'niltas is a superior suit of powered armor. Unlike the bulky plated suits developed by human armorers, the had'niltas is light and flexible. It consists of a full-body jumpsuit or wrap of advanced fabric. Inside the suit's fabric is layers of liquid metal containing millions of nanocircuits. These instantly respond to any attack, hardening the suit at the point of impact and dissipating heat or energy. The suit reacts to mechalus biocircuitry, so it's worn like second skin for a mechalus, but awkward and unresponsive to anyone else.