Colonial Marines

(No relation to the videogame)

The Setup

You are, of course, Colonial Marines. Which means you're a reasonably tough bunch of bastards who get sent out to the far reaches of United Americas space to fight off xenolife threats, guard colonists, serve corporate interests and generally anything else that requires a fast response, large guns, balls of steel and yet doesn't require the superior numbers of the Army or Deep Space Navy.

You, the PC's, are relatively fresh out of boot camp, you've seen a few alien worlds, but mostly just doing dull police actions, so obviously you're looking forward to your first proper mission. The colonists of Sigma Librae Secundus have announced their displeasure with the corporation funding their colony, evicted(at gunpoint) or arrested(at gunpoint) most of the corporate agents there, and seized control of the colony for themselves. Due to the colony being right next to German-corporate space and refusing to hand back corporate property, the Colonial Marines are going to be the first force hitting the planet and disabling all weaponry that can reach into orbit. Once that's done, the Army will be arriving to occupy the planet and calm things down.

Sigma Librae Secundus

Sigma Librae(the star) is an M-class star, which translates to "it's very large and red." This means you won't get a tan living on SLS(Sigma Librae Secundus), but you also won't ever get a sunburn. Being a red star, it's considerably cooler than Earth's yellow star, and the lone habitable/terraformable world, the second one out from the sun, is hence closer. The star takes up almost a third of the sky at noon and it can be a bit hard getting used to.

The world had a native biosphere prior to terraforming and it hasn't changed much ever since the atmospheric pressure and gasses were about equalized with what humans can survive. Geographically the planet is basically a global swamp, even the seas are reasonably shallow and silty, and few places are dry. Most of the local plant life is black, dark green or deep blue in an attempt to milk as much energy from the weak sun's rays as possible, and the wildlife is similarly coloured for camouflage reasons.

Detailed surveys have not yet been completed on the local wildlife, but initial surveys suggest that the lifeforms which remain on land are generally benign, while several colonists have lost lives or limbs to the predatory things that live in the water.

All Colonial Marines on the Sigma Librae mission have been immunized against known local bacteria and illnesses.


You've got 20 points for Stats, 5 for Qualities and 35 for Skills. While your character is trained as a Colonial Marine, which means they know how to use at least one kind of gun, how to pilot/drive something and likely some kind of melee combat, the Colonial Marines also recognize that there's no telling what becomes relevant on the front lines, and hence your character may also have any other variety of skills. Stuff the Colonial Marines are likely to teach involves maintenance, sabotage and demolitions, while stuff they'd be interested for in a candidate would be knowledge of sciences and other things that might come in handy for surviving on alien worlds or in strange environments.

If you're a synthetic, you're statted exactly like a human character, except odds are you're geared less for combat and more for science/miscellaneous skills.


Your stats are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Perception and Willpower. All of these are pretty straightforward in what they do. You have at least 1 in every stat, and a maximum of 6. 1 is "below average," while 5 is "close to maximum human potential." If you somehow end up with 6 in something, that is literally about as good as humans can get, probably able to set world records.

Buying up stats costs as many points as it looks like up to 5. Having a Strength of 5 costs you five points. Any point above 5 costs three points each. Hence, a score of 6 Strength would cost you eight stat points.

You also have some secondary or "derived" stats: Life Points, Endurance Points, Speed and Essence.

Life Points(you die when you have none of these): ((Con*3 + Strength) *2) + 10
Endurance Points(you're just about unable to move when you run out of these): ((Con+Strength+Willpower) *3) + 5
Speed(how fast you can sprint, compared if something nasty is trying to chase you down or vice versa): (Strength + Dexterity) *2
Essence(effectively your sanity score): (Willpower + Intelligence + Perception) *2


Qualities are the usual selection of "merits and flaws" that most RPG's have. Buying Disadvantages gets you more points for Qualities.

Acute Sense(2 points per sense): +3 to any Perception roll using this sense. / Impaired Sense(2 points for sight or hearing, 1 point for touch, taste or smell): -3 to any perception roll using this sense.
Addiction(points depends on the addiction): If you don't get the drug you need, you may suffer small stat penalties or possibly even be at risk of death(for hard drug use).
Adversary(points depends on the adversary): Someone doesn't like you. They may be out to harass you, out to ruin your job or maybe even out to kill you.
Artistic Talent(3 points): +3 to anything related to a given artform, +12 Essence
Contacts(1 to 5 points): 1 point contacts provide information, 2 point contacts provide equipment, and 3 to 5-point contacts are actually willing to show up and personally help out.
Entropic Fortune(5 points): For each two points of essence you spend, you can give someone -1 to something they're doing that would otherwise do horrible things to your character or the rest of the party.
Fast Reaction Time(2 points): +3 to all initiative rolls and possibly also bonuses to things that require swift action.
Friend to Animals(2 points): You tend to know how to deal with animals, you can pretty much always calm down any animal that isn't aggressive, or at least you'll instinctively know what to do in order not to make it aggressive.
Hard to Kill(1 to 5 points): For every point, +3 Life Points and +1 to resisting toxins and diseases.
Luckbringer(5 points): You're a lucky mascot, you bring luck to everyone around you. For every point invested, you can add +1 to someone's roll at the cost of a point of Essence, but they have to be in the same general area as you.
Multiple Identities(2 points): You have the necessary ID and other relevant documentation/data to pretend you are someone entirely different.
Nerves of Steel(3 points): Your character is utterly immune to fear.
Photographic Memory(2 points): Your character remembers literally everything down to the very last detail.
Situational Awareness(2 points): A sort of "danger sense." If your character takes a moment to get a feel for his surroundings, he can usually tell whether he's being watched or whether there's something dangerous brewing.
Variant Human(1 point): Humanity's branched off in some odd directions in the last several hundred years. Ultimately this means that you'll look like a Star Trek alien(superficially different, but functionally the same) with some knobbly stuff on your forehead and/or an odd skin colour. May be useful for making colourful first impressions, but if you piss someone off it'll also make you more recognizable…


You've got two kinds of skills. Skills which just are, and skills which have a specialized field. For instance, Disguise is just Disguise, but Guns could be Guns(Assault Rifles) or Guns(Shotguns) or Guns(Pistols). If a skill requires a specific variant to be chosen, it'll have a * behind it. Skills are priced like stats, one point for one point up to and including 5, three points for every point over 5.

Acting: Bluffing and putting on a role.
Athletics: Climbing, swimming and running.
Brawling: Smacking someone around with your bare hands.
Bureaucracy: Getting something out of the system.
Computers: Breaking into or just plain using systems.
Craft*: Any sort of skill that makes stuff. From being a seamstress to a carpenter.
Demolitions: Where you want to put the boom to make the most stuff fall down.
Disguise: Dressing up like others.
Dodge: Not getting hit.
Driving/Piloting*: Anything from starships to bicycles.
Fine Arts*:
First Aid:
Gambling: Includes cheating.
Guns*: Stuff that goes pow, boom or bang.
Instruction: Teaching others how to do things.
Language*: Your character knows his or her native language at for free, any points in a language counts as knowing it well enough to speak and understand in most situations.
Medicine: Surgery and more complicated work than keeping someone from bleeding out right here and now.
Melee Weapon*: Whack, chop, smack, crash.
Notice: What you use for seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting stuff.
Riding: Just in case you find a planet with horses or velociraptors.
Science*: As in a science. Physics or something, for instance.
Sleight of Hand: Includes picking pockets.
Stealth: Not being spotted, heard or otherwise noticed.
Survival*: For a general, broad type of environment. Examples would be jungle, desert, airless or oceanic world.
Tracking and Surveillance:



(Damage/Magazine Size)

Standard Marine Pistol(M4A3): 1d6*4/12
An ordinary semi-automatic pistol.

Standard Pulse Rifle(M41A): 1d8*4/100
Standard Pulse Rifle(M41A), Grenade Launcher: 1d8*8/4
An assault rifle with an underslung grenade launcher.

Standard Smartgun(M56): 1d8*5/250
The smartgun automatically tracks targets that show up on infra-red as long as the user wears the smartgun harness and lets the articulated arm track freely(this translates to a +5 to hit anything the smartgun locks on to, but the infrared tracking can be confused or damaged), the firer can also freely choose whether a given shot is armor-piercing, standard or hollow-point effect.

Standard Flamethrower(M240): 1d6*X/10
For every two points scored over the necessary 9 to hit, the flamethrower is considered to have scored an "extra" hit on the target. The number of hits determines the multiplier. Anyone who's hit continues burning until they're extinguished.

Standard Sniper Rifle(M42): 1d8*5/15
The M42 is a technological wonder, its scope is loaded with enough sensors to count as a sixth sense for the marine using it, especially if other electronic sensors are active in the area as it can feed information them to its user. Confers a +4 to any aim actions.

Rocket Launcher(M5): 1d6*12/1
The M5 is an unguided standard rocket launcher made for blowing enemies to bits and armor to chunks.

Phased Plasma Cannon(M78): 1d8*10/30
The PPC is effectively an energy version of the M5, less blast radius, but far more effective at melting through armor. Generally used for anti-armor purposes.

Guided Rocket Launcher(M83A2 SADAR): 1d6*12/1
The SADAR is like the M5 except that it's capable of locking on to radar emissions and heat signatures(though "weak" signatures like living creatures may provide a shaky lock). The downside is that it cannot be fired unguided and acquiring a positive lock takes a while, during which the operator may be exposing himself to counterfire.

HIMAT(M112): 1d6*12/1
The HIMAT is a portable launcher that fires a missile into the air and then directs it towards a target of the operator's choosing, usually indicated with a targeting laser or similar. It's bulkier than the SADAR and useless without its targeting equipment, but better for taking pot shots at things without exposing yourself.

Mortar(M402): 1d8*10/10
The M402 is a mortar, which is what you use when you want to kill someone on the other side of a hill without letting him shoot back. This one's got the nice advantage of being fully automatic and having a ten-round magazine, allowing a single user to lay down an artillery barrage all of his own.

Shotgun, Buckshot: 1d8*6/10
Shotgun, Slug: 1d8*5/10
Shotguns are not an officially sanctioned weapon of the Colonial Marine Corps. Nonetheless, many marines bring them along as they have some tactical uses and are often handy against hostile xenolife. Buckshot sucks at penetrating armor(doubled armor effectiveness), but is a lot easier to hit with(+2 to hit), while slugs are just huge, heavy bullets that will knock someone over and probably also kill them horribly.

Entrenching Tool: (1d8+1)*Strength
Considered to be an axe for purposes of relevant skills.

Combat Knife: (1d6)*Strength
About the size of a small machete.

Welding Tool: 1d10
While not exactly made for killing people, the standard marine welding/cutting tool is capable of being used as a last-ditch weapon.


M3 Body Armor(and helmet): 15 Damage Reduction


If you want to do something, you go: 1d10+Stat+Skill. Is it 9 or better? You succeed! Is it opposed? Whoever rolls better and over 9 succeeds!

Generally "levels" of success, if they're relevant(largely for damage bonuses in combat), are considered to be for every two points over 9. So 9 is one "level," 11 is two, 13 is three, 15 is four, and so on.

Combat Rules

Combat starts with initiative. Barring ambushes or other situations that clearly means one group gets to act first, everyone rolls 1d10+Dexterity. Highest rolls go first, obviously.

In close combat, attacking is always an opposed roll(Attack vs Dodge), while someone under ranged fire only gets to Dodge if they spend their entire turn(to the exclusion of firing back, for instance), running, dodging, diving into cover, etc.

Unless you declare a specific location you're trying to hit, the hit location is then determined by a roll of 1d10, damage is rolled and armor is subtracted.

Specific Actions

Aiming: Aiming takes up your turn, but allows you to roll Weapon Skill + Perception. For every "level" of success, the following attack you make gets +1 to hit.
Burst Fire: Three to five shots. For every "level" of success, you score a hit, up to the number of shots fired.
Automatic Fire: Like a Burst, but with ten shots instead.
Multiple Shots: For every shot fired, you get a cumulative -1 to all shots made in that round due to recoil. Bursts add -3. Automatic Fire attacks add a -4
Suppressing Fire: Eats up half your magazine to suppress an area with gunfire. Anyone in that area who does anything but take cover or get the hell out of the line of fire automatically takes 1d4 undodgeable hits
Targeted Shots: Shots aimed at a specific body part, the penalty to hit and the bonuses to damage depend on the body part targeted.

Hit Locations

Head: -4 to hit. +2 multiplier for bullets, +2 multiplier for blunt damage, +3 multiplier for cutting/piercing damage.
Neck/Throat: -5 to hit. +1 multiplier for bullets, +2 multiplier for blunt damage, +4 multiplier for cutting/piercing damage.
Arms/Legs: -2 to hit. Doing more than a third of the target's maximum health in one attack cripples the limb.
Hand/Wrist/Foot/Ankle: -4 to hit. Doing more than a quarter of the target's maximum health in one attack cripples the extremity.

Random Hit Locations
1: Head/Neck
2: Right Arm/Wrist/Hand
3: Left Arm/Wrist/Hand
4-6: Torso
7-8: Right Leg/Ankle/Foot
9-10: Left Leg/Ankle/Foot

Damage Calculations

Step 1: Roll damage(For every two points you roll over 13, i.e. starting at 15, you add +1 to damage at this stage. So a roll of 17 would be +2. It's added to the roll before anything else, so for a shot with the pistol, it'd turn the damage into (1d6+2)*4).
Step 2: Subtract Armor
Step 2a: If the weapon is armor-pirecing, armor is halved. If the weapon is hollow-point or buckshot, armor is doubled. If the weapon is explosive or incendiary, it ignores armor not specifically made to deal with it.
Step 3: Use weapon's damage multiplier.

Damage Multipliers
Blunt Weapons: 1
Armor-Piercing Bullets: 1
Fire and Explosives: 1
Shotgun Shot: 1
Normal Bullets: 2
Shotgun Slugs: 2
Piercing/Cutting Weapons: 2
Hollowpoint Bullets: 3

Example calculation
Landing an M42(sniper rifle) headshot on someone who's not wearing a helmet, with a normal bullet.

Roll 1d8*5.
Subtract armor(none).
Multiply by 4(2 for a bullet as base, +2 for a headshot).
Call janitorial to clean up the mess.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License