Man, this GM sure takes his sweet time. When's he going to start?
Class III Modular Tactical Armor seems to be missing some fragment protection that the Flak Jacket it replaced has.
Yeah, but the Spycraft version also gives a straight up increase in carrying capacity.
Whatever. Throw in a weight reduction (light SAPI plates exist, they're just expensive, double the price, half the weight), nomex underbritches, tactical glasses (with three lenses), and built in knee and elbow pads. Most of this gear is COTS [Commercial Off The Shelf] stuff.
Sure, if you guys want to put those upgrades on, go ahead, as long as you can "afford" them. I'm just dictating the style, and I'm only limiting the equipment some to fit with the setting. The rest is up to you guys.
On a separate note, some overall design decisions I want to run by you guys, get your opinions on them:1.) That which doesn't kill you...
The current campaign qualities I have activated (excluding the changes I will note below) definitely tips things against the PCs. Hits come fast, they come hard... basically, it will be very easy to die. This isn't helped by the fact that Small Screen
means that you won't have as many points to work with. However, because it would make sense that such a job would be the ultimate form of Darwinism, I am also activating Fast Attributes
and Fast Feats
.2.) ... makes you... stranger
As I have mentioned before, a common XCOM practice is to "clone" a dead character by renaming one of the new recruits with the dead person's name. I also felt that it was weird, so I activated a modded version of Revolving Door
instead. However, I have come to realize that doing so takes away the risk of failure that is also an XCOM staple.
So instead, PC death means that the player has to start again with a level 3 character.However
, any player that has to do so WILL be allowed to resubmit their dead character, with tweaks if they so choose, the only requirement being that they put a corresponding number (X deaths + 1) behind the new character's name.
As GM, I also reserve the right to randomly require the PC to roll 1d4 to determine the new "clone's" gender.3.) Frickin' Laser Beams
Yes, there will be energy weapons. However, there is a slight translation problem between an "Earth Defense Simulator" and a tabletop RPG.
In XCOM, part of the game is trying to upgrade your equipment (to energy weapons, naturally) to have more of a fighting chance. However, Spycraft is specifically designed to avoid "tech creep" with it's gear system, with focus being with character growth.
So for the sake of Game Balance (and because I am a bit partial to ballistics. Mmm-mmm, shell casings...), energy weapons won't be the "be all, end all" weapon, just an alternate way to kill your enemies. What I have cooking up is basically:
Plasma- High power, short range.
Laser- High AP, low damage, medium range.
With ballistics' usual advantages of long range and variable ammo rounding things out. Of course, who knows what strange weapons that the filthy Xeno might employ. 4.) Who's in charge here?!
Because this is a military game, the PCs will be shouted at by various high ranking individuals. However, being ordered around by the GM is boring, so I plan to practice a "votable order" approach. Basically, Mission Control will "identify and prioritize" approaches to a mission, and the PCs get to vote on which one they will get to do.
For example: Say a UFO has dropped off a strike force of Xenos near a subway tunnel in a suburban area. HQ has reason to believe that the aliens have entered it in an attempt to terrorize one of the stations. For this mission, HQ will need a team to go down the tunnel after them, another team to enter each station through the main entrance to try to cut them off, and one more team to check the nearby suburbs to make sure that the Xenos haven't infiltrated there instead. The PCs then vote on which they want to do. Then we proceed as if HQ had intended to order the party that way anyway.
Also, don't be afraid to speak up about possibilities and approaches I might have missed. If you can present your case well enough, HQ can "reevaluate" their intel.
and finally:5.) Home is where the bombs are stored
Another part of the fun of an EDS is the chance to choose what missions you go after from what bases you have. In DXS (working title), there will be three main bases, essentially "hubs", that the PCs will be able to choose missions from:
-Castletonne, Great Britain
-Area 89, Island in South Asian seas
And if the party becomes renowned enough, maybe a few... classified... bases will be opened up to them. So much typing... need to rest...