Orangeview Universe RPG - a tabletop role playing game


Orangeview Universe RPG is a science fiction campaign setting for role playing games. It is designed for use by Game Masters to referee a fast-paced Spy-fi campaign for three Players. It was written and copyright by Christer Kaitila under the GPL license. An online game is currently being made based on this lore. All you need to play are some six-sided dice - the Rules are included in this document. For more information please see the Appendix and Credits.

See also Politics | People | Chapter 1 | Combat | Damage | Appendix


The game is set in the year 3206.  The future utopia dreamed of by writers in the 21st century never really came true.  The Politics and Economy of Earth are still imperfect. Society still experiences strife.  There are still poor, there are still wars, and there are still criminals.  In fact, there are a lot of criminals.

The genre described in Orangeview Universe RPG is a vision of the near future with an emphasis on realism in terms of technology and cultural shifts over time. It presents a future in which there are no teleporters, no English-speaking aliens, no warp drives and no magic. Instead, there is a focus on stealth, intel, assassination, border disputes, arms manufacturing, homeland security, and espionage between giant corporations.

In this game universe there exists a human society very similar to our own. The technological advancements of a thousand years of science have enabled humanity to reach beyond the confines of our home planet. The Moon and Mars have been populated, and Travel between planets is common. Amongst the rapid growth and prosperity, competing factions secretly fight a cold war against each other behind the iron curtain of an interplanetary Black Market.

This game is played by four people sitting at a table. The GM (Game Master) is the referee, the teller of the story, who leads the three Players though an adventure played entirely in their imaginations.


It turns out that faster-than-light space travel is not possible given the laws of physics. Short-distance spaceflight has been nearly perfected, and spacecraft have evolved to be fast, light, maneuverable, and cost-effective for distances within the Solar System. Reaching other stars is still a trip that takes longer than a human lifetime, but travel between planets is common.

The trade routes between Earth and Mars are well established, and all shipments must be willing to pass inspection by The Security Bureau along the way. All incoming shipments from Mars are required to go through the Customs and Cargo checkpoint on the Moon before being allowed onto the Earth.

First Contact has been made, but only in the detection and verification of a repeating mathematical pattern that was broadcast from the Virgo Supercluster some 60 million years ago. Due to the great distances involved, nobody knows if this obviously sentient species still exists, whether they plan to visit, or whether they have heard our responses, which are due to be received in another 60 million years.

Map 1 - Established Trade Routes in the Solar System


Earth has gradually become a shanty-town, plagued by sweltering hot temperatures and high humidity. The environmental conditions are so harsh now that more people live in Offworld Settlements than on the Earth. The human population resides primarily between Earth and the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, on privately-run orbiting Space Stations or in drifting Scavenger Colonies.

Large portions of the surface have been deemed a wildlife sanctuary in order to put a stop to mass extinctions, and any that can afford it prefer to live off-world, in pristine Space Stations. Although 80% of the human population resides elsewhere, the planet is still densely populated: by those that refuse to leave, by the poor, and what little wildlife is left. Skeletons of a planet-wide megapolis are slowly being dismantled and wildlife refuges are now growing in what are now the last tiny pockets of anything that can be called wilderness.

Offworld Settlements

Thousands of space stations provide housing, jobs and tourism for billions of offworld settlers. Some are heavily armoured fortresses, some are privately-run gated communities, and others hold housing, vast shopping malls, and outposts along routes between the planets. The majority of the human population no longer lives on Earth - most spend the entirety of their lives in space.

Mars and it's moons Phobos and Deimos have been settled for many years. The city New Rio Lunar Colony (on the Moon) is one of the wealthiest of all human settlements. Mars Orbital Station has also grown to include millions of residents. Outside of the Earth, the Moon and Mars, very few humans live elsewhere: a few scattered scientists at the edge of the solar system are rarely accompanied by more than the few orbiting satellites that circle all of the planets in the solar system. Outside of the solar system, vast interstellar distances have kept Travel to other stars too costly to undertake.


The Moon plays an integral role in the Politics and Law in the thirtieth century. Planetary Defenses for the planet Earth are located on the Moon, which acts as a bordertown between Humanity's homeland and the rest of the Solar System. A massive Customs and Cargo inspection point has been established to make interplanetary trade safe and efficient.

After the destruction of Rio De Janeiro in 2666, the Federated South Americas undertook a massive construction program on the Moon that spanned 110 years. New Rio Lunar Colony is now the wealthiest and most powerful of all offworld settlements.


The red planet is fully colonized, with room for several million permanent residents, as well as cities, factories, spaceports. Mars is ringed by a grey superstructure in low orbit, the massive Orbital Station, which slowly rotates overhead like a black halo. Base of operations for the Security Bureau, this massive orbiting space station has over 200,000 permanent residents, several bustling ports of trade, and a surface area that casts a shadow the size of the Moon upon the surface of Mars.

There are also colonies of a primarily industrial nature on the moons, Phobos and Deimos. Deimos colony is a small city that consists of hotels, stores, banks and factories that service long-distance travel between Mars and The Earth. Phobos, on the other hand, is entirely privately owned.


Phobos is a moon that orbits Mars. The name (which translates to "fear") comes from an attendant of the Roman god of War, Mars.

Some scientists speculate that Phobos and it's twin moon, Deimos, are captured asteroids. It's composition is similar to the C-type (blackish carbonaceous chondrite) asteroids that exist in the outer Asteroid Belt. Phobos shows striated patterns which are probably giant cracks caused by a catastrophic impact event that left the largest crater on the moon, which is clearly visible today.

It is used primarily as a source of cheap Carbon and Methane Ice, and the only developments on this small moon are an ore processing plant and a pit mine, as well as worker residences that support 200 staff of the giant corporation Sol Mining LLC.

Asteroid Belt

The Asteroid belt is home to Scavenger Colonies, Pirates, and illegal settlements. Located between Mars and Jupiter, the Asteroid belt contains millions of primordial objects left over from the formation of the Solar System. It is thought that without the gravitational interference from Jupiter's huge mass, these asteroids would have formed into another planet similar to Mars or Earth.

While most asteroids may be only the size of pebbles, 16 asteroids have a diameter of 240 km or more and Ceres, the largest, has a diameter of about 914 km. The strong gravitational force of the planet Jupiter shepherds the asteroid belt, pulling the asteroids away from the Sun, keeping them from careening into the inner planets.

The Asteroid Belt has become the settlement of choice by those who live outside the law. Here, one can run a business anonymously, and pirate attacks are common. Only those spacecraft with heavy armour dare to fly within the treacherous expanse of shattered rock, comets, and space debris.

Virgo Supercluster

The Virgo supercluster is a massive cluster that contains over 100 galaxies (including M61, M87, M90, and M100) and copious amounts of X-ray emitting gas. This cluster is located mostly within the constellation Virgo. M87, "The Smoking Gun", is the brightest galaxy in the cluster, yet it is asymmetrical: scopes are said to show a slight nodule on one side of the core that shows up as an obvious bump in photographs. This cluster is roughly 60 million light years from Earth and is the closest cluster of galaxies to our galaxy (the Milky Way Galaxy). Interstellar Travel to this stellar cluster is impossible given the vast distance.


Many things that we took for granted in the early 21st century have been deemed illegal by the Security Bureau for our own protection. This centralized legal body maintains the rule of law throughout the Solar System. At the beginning of the adventure, The Players are new recruits working for the Security Bureau on Mars Orbital Station. Another faction that plays an active role affecting interplanetary law are Customs and Cargo, who influence trade by collecting duties and taxes on incoming shipments at their Mars customs checkpoint.

Most computer networks are self-contained - there is no longer an unregulated internet, because no networked computer is considered safe from hacker attacks. For this reason most computers are islands unto their own, safe from attack by outside hostile computers.

Because of technological abuses in the past that brought down both the world economy and the internet, self-reproducing automata (worms, virii, build-bots) are illegal, as are human-enhancement programs such as cloning, gene-therapy, mechanized human augmentation, and encryption. However, just because it is illegal does not mean that there is not a vast and thriving Black Market economy.

  • Mind altering drugs are illegal (due to drug wars circa 2000)
  • Fossil fuels are illegal (due to energy crisis circa 2100)
  • Most computers are not networked (due to internet plague circa 2200)
  • Biomods and gene splicing are illegal (due to clone uprising circa 2400)
  • Software patents and Intellectual property are illegal (due to second dark ages circa 2500)
  • Most of Earth has been designated as a conservation area (due to mass extinctions circa 2300-3300)
  • Sentient artificial intelligences are illegal (due to robot AI rebellion circa 3000)
  • Black Market

    The in the year 3232 there is a thriving Black market for stolen goods, drugs, software, refugees, and data. The majority of grey market commerce takes place in the Asteroid Belt by scavengers and pirates. Constantly doing battle with the forces of Law and order (such as the Security Bureau on Mars or Customs and Cargo on the Moon), anything not readily available for purchase from legitimate markets can be found for sale by somebody - if you are willing to take the risk.

    Security Bureau

    Located on a massive Orbital Station, the Security bureau enforces interplanetary law. It is also responsible for the security of the citizens of Mars. Those not part of this large agency know little of what goes on within it's walls, but rumors of a secret Cold War between rival factions as well as rampant corruption are common. Respected for it's strength and very highly funded, the Security bureau operates the largest force of starfighters in the Solar System, and regularly patrols long-distance shipping lanes - especially those originating from the Asteroid Belt.

    Contacts of note include human resources Director Maxwell, director of the investigative wing Director Johnson, and Instructor Black.


    Non-player-characters (NPCs) are controlled by the GM and are secondary characters in the overall story. They often impart intel, mission objectives, hints, as well as leadership during the course of the mission.

    NPC personalities of note include those from the Security Bureau, such as Director Maxwell, Director Johnson, Instructor Black, Professor Jenkins, and Private Ashbury.

    Unlike NPCs, which are controlled by the Game Master, The Players form a team of three player-characters (PCs): Sanchez Manuel (the sharpshooter), John Aster (the engineer), and Jan Torano (the pilot).

    Director Maxwell

    Maxwell: ice queen
    Human resources director of the Security Bureau at Mars Orbital Station, Lara Maxwell is a stern, well-spoken, white-haired leader who can read people with ease. Penetrating eyes and a steely demeanour have earned her the nickname (whispered by new recruits) "ice queen". Always calm and reserved - until the moment requires - Director Maxwell is the first NPC that the Players encounter after graduating top in their class.

    Stats: INT:7 PRE:8 WILL:7 TECH:4 MOVE:7 REF:5 DEX:3 STR:4 CON:4 BODY:4 HITS:20 STUN:20 SD:8 REC:8 RES:21 PUNCH:4d6 KICK:5d6 RUN:10m SPRINT:15m LEAP:5m Skills: Perception (INT) 8, Concentration (WILL) 6, Persuasion (PRE) 7, Computers (TECH) 5, Athletics (DEX) 5, Hand-to-Hand (REF) 6, Evasion (DEX) 5, Astro-navigation (TECH) 5, Handguns (REF) 4, Pilot Starship (REF) 6, Melee Weapons (REF) 5, Wardrobe/Style (PRE) 6, Interrogation (PRE) 4, Leadership (PRE) 8, Oratory (PRE) 7

    Director Johnson

    Johnson: in the know
    Director of the investigative wing for the Security Bureau at Mars Orbital Station, Karn Johnson is a powerful, battle-hardened master of espionage.

    Instructor Black

    Black: man at arms
    Equipment manager and student combat instructor, Dan Black handles weapon maintenance, equipment lockers, physical fitness routines, and tracks the athletic performance of new recruits of the Security Bureau at Mars Orbital Station.

    Stats: INT:4 PRE:4 WILL:5 TECH:5 MOVE:5 REF:6 DEX:6 STR:7 CON:4 BODY:3 HITS:15 STUN:15 SD:8 REC:11 RES:15 PUNCH:7d6 KICK:8d6 RUN:12m SPRINT:18m LEAP:6m Skills: Perception (INT) 3, Concentration (WILL) 2, Persuasion (PRE) 2, Computers (TECH) 3, Athletics (DEX) 4, Hand-to-Hand (REF) 6, Evasion (DEX) 2, Demolitions (TECH) 5, Interrogation (PRE) 3, Tactics (INT) 5, Heavy Weapons (REF) 3, Handguns (REF) 4

    Professor Jenkins

    Jenkins: dirty science
    A low-ranking scientist for the Security Bureau, Prof. Sam Jenkins Ph.D. has a background in theoretical physics, ion-rocket science and fuel optimization. She has recently drafted plans for a cold-fusion reactor, which would enable small vehicles to harness the power of a nuclear reaction without the instability inherent in other kinds of nuclear reactions. Still in the design phase, her groundbreaking work has attracted attention from many different factions.

    Stats: INT:8 PRE:5 WILL:6 TECH:8 MOVE:6 REF:5 DEX:3 STR:3 CON:5 BODY:2 HITS:10 STUN:10 SD:10 REC:8 RES:18 PUNCH:3d6 KICK:4d6 RUN:10m SPRINT:15m LEAP:5m Skills: Perception (INT) 5, Concentration (WILL) 7, Persuasion (PRE) 3, Computers (TECH) 8, Athletics (DEX) 3, Hand-to-Hand (REF) 4, Evasion (DEX) 5, First aid (INT) 4, Pilot Starship (REF) 4, Astro-navigation (TECH) 7, Seduction (PRE) 4, Shield Control (REF) 5, Security Systems (TECH) 6, Science: Propulsion Systems (INT) 8, Science: Nuclear Physics (INT) 8, Education: M.Sc, Ph.D. (INT) 7

    Private Ashbury

    Ashbury: lover of science
    Hotshot pilot, radical free-thinker and boyfriend of Professor Jenkins, Sven Ashbury has recently been influenced by an unknown entity to help smuggle the scientist out of the Security Bureau to begin work at another laboratory.

    Stats: INT:3 PRE:3 WILL:4 TECH:4 MOVE:4 REF:6 DEX:4 STR:4 CON:3 BODY:5 HITS:25 STUN:25 SD:6 REC:7 RES:12 PUNCH:4d6 KICK:5d6 RUN:8m SPRINT:12m LEAP:4m Skills: Perception (INT) 5, Concentration (WILL) 3, Persuasion (PRE) 3, Computers (TECH) 5, Athletics (DEX) 4, Hand-to-Hand (REF) 4, Evasion (DEX) 4, Acting (PRE) 5, Seduction (PRE) 3, Astro-navigation (TECH) 4, Pilot Starship (REF) 5, Pilot Starship (REF) 3

    Customs and Cargo

    The complex logistics and security required by interplanetary trade requires a legislative body of Trade Partners who contribute (via customs duty, shipping tariffs and licensing services) to CaC (Customs and Cargo), which boasts a well funded investigative wing for gathering intel as well as several fortified lunar bases. CaC controls all trade in and out of Earth, and operates a large armed forces base and customs inspection checkpoint on the Moon.

    Sol Mining LLC

    Operating quietly from its massive factory on Phobos, Sol Mining is a privately-held company that trades software, intel, and precious ore used in starcraft construction as well as fuel. Never calling attention to itself, most people only know that is was the first and last corporation to legally purchase a celestial body.


    This game is played by four people sitting at a table. The GM (Game Master) is the referee, the teller of the story. The GM leads the three Players though an adventure played entirely in their imaginations. The ruleset used for the play-testing of this campaign setting is based upon the excellent open-source RPG construction kit Fuzion, but it can be used as-is by creative players on any game system, D20 or otherwise.

    The lore used in this roleplaying game is that of a universe set in the near future that uses realistic future technology. The style of gameplay is designed to be exciting, but cerebral and realistic. The Players will have an adventure of galactic proportions, but all feats required of them are along the lines of what a real human being would be capable of, given a thousand years of technological, informational and scientific advancements.


    All skill, attack and defense rolls use 3d6. Whenever a player attempts something for which there is a chance of failure, three 6-sided dice (3d6) are rolled and added to any modifiers that the GM decides are applicable, plus the "relevant" skill, plus the attribute being tested. The reason that three six-sided dice are used for action resolution is that three dice produce a statistical bell curve, wherein low and high values are rolled very infrequently, but mid-range numbers are rolled often. This adds realism to the game where other RPG's are truly random.

    To resolve an action between one character and a thing, or to perform a skill, the GM determines the task's DV (difficulty value) and the player attempts to roll three six-sided dice high enough that adding the total to the value of the applicable Primary Attribute with the Skill being tested will be higher than the DV. For example, to determine if a Pilot can perform a tricky maneuver with DV 22, roll 3d6, add his Piloting Skill and his REF (see Character Skills) - the total must exceed 22 to succeed. If 18 is rolled (6+6+6), it is considered a critical success (add 2d6). If 3 is rolled (1+1+1), it is considered a critical failure (subtract 2d6).

    How to resolve Skill Rolls:
    Action Value (AV) = ATTRIBUTE + SKILL + 3d6
    Attribute/Skill Levels: (0-1:challenged, 1-2:everyday, 3-4:competent, 5-6:impressive, 7-8:incredible, 9-10:legendary)
    Skill Difficulty Value (DV)
    Skill Difficulty Values: (Challenged=10, Easy=12, Everyday=14, Practiced=16, Competent=18, Impressive=20, Heroic=22, Incredible=26, Legendary=30)

    In Combat, you compare the totals of the Attacker and the Defender. If the Attacker has a higher total, the hit succeeds and Damage (1d6 times the weapon's DC) is taken.

    How to resolve Combat Rolls:
    Attacker AV = REF + H2H Skill + 3d6
    Defender DV = DEX + Evade Skill + 3d6

    For example, in a fist-fight the applicable skills are Hand-to-Hand (which uses Reflex) for the attacker and Evade (which uses Dexterity) for the Defender. For other styles of combat, the GM chooses what skill and which attribute should be used, such as gunnery or thrown weapons. During dialog and role playing, the time scale is flexible. During Combat, each turn (PHASE) consists of 3 seconds, a ROUND (long action) is 12 seconds.

    At the end of each gaming session Players earn 1 to 4 experience points (XP). To buy up SKILLS: one XP for each LEVEL of skill (eg from 3 to 4 costs 4 XP). To buy up CHARACTERISTICS: costs 5 OP x the next level (eg from 5 to 6 costs 30 XP).

    Primary Characteristics

    During the game, each Player keeps track of the stats for their character on paper. This Character Sheet holds all pertinent information regarding the character that they control. During Character Generation, 50 points maybe distributed amongst the ten primary characteristics, with 2 being the minimum value and 8 being the maximum value at the beginning of the campaign. The stats that define the natural strengths and weaknesses of a character are scaled from one (lowest) to ten (highest).

    (0-1:challenged, 1-2:everyday, 3-4:competent, 5-6:impressive, 7-8:incredible, 9-10:legendary).

    Mental Characteristics:

  • INT intelligence - affects cleverness and perception
  • WIL willpower - affects courage, cool and determination
  • PRE presence - win friends and influence people
  • Combat Characteristics:

  • TECH technique - affects ability to use tools and improvisation
  • REF reflexes - affects aim, response time and speed
  • DEX dexterity - affects defense, balance, jumping
  • Physical Characteristics:

  • CON constitution - affects health, resistance, hits
  • STR strength - affects damage dealt, lifting, muscles
  • BODY body - affects size, subdual, hits
  • Movement Characteristics:

  • MOVE movement - affects running speed
  • Derived Characteristics:

  • STUN = BODY x5 - subdual damage limit before unconsciousness
  • HITS = BODY x5 - killing damage (not absorbed by armour) before death
  • S.D = CON x2 - (Stun Defense) subtracted from any Stun damage taken
  • REC = STR+CON - (Recovery) of damage during r&r (#Stun/turn,#Hits/day)
  • RUN = MOVE x 2m (per 3sec turn in combat)
  • SPRINT = MOVE x 3m (per 3sec turn non-combat)
  • LEAP (SWIM,DIVE,ROLL,ETC) = MOVE x 1m (per 3sec turn)
  • RES = WILLx3 - (Resistance) Mental hits before unconsciousness
  • Character Generator

    Use the buttons below to generate valid random numbers on the Character Sheet.

    Number of points to distribute to Primary Attributes:
    Number of skill points to distribute to skills:
    Number of random skills to add:

    - points are evenly distributed, minimum 2 for any attribute.
    - mimimum 4 on INT, PRE, WILL, TECH; minimum 3 for MOVE, REF.
    - mimimum 4 on TECH, MOVE, REF, DEX; minimum 3 for INT, BODY.
    - mimimum 4 on MOVE, REF, DEX, STR; minimum 3 for WILL, TECH.

    Character Sheet

    Name: Class:
    Primary Attributes
    Derived Attributes
    BODY x5
    BODY x5
    CON x2
    WILL x3
    STR d6
    1+STR d6
    MOVE x2m
    MOVE x3m
    MOVE x1m
    Weapon: ACC: ROF: RNG: DAM:

    Character Skills

    Each character can choose several SKILLS with option points (OP) during character generation. During Character Generation, players start with 50 OP to distribute. At the starting of the adventure, the maximum skill level is 5.

    Example skill level descriptions: 0-1: challenged ability - don't know how to perform this task. 1-2: everyday ability - learned the basics, a beginner. 3-4: competent ability - well trained and practiced, a professional. 5-6: impressive ability - a master craftsman of the skill. 7-8: incredible ability - one of the best at this skill, an Olympian. 9-?: legendary ability - a genius, a prodigy at this skill.

    The attribute in brackets is used during that skill's roll. Some skills require that the Player choose an area of expertise. For example, for the skill "Expert" a player could specify "Stamp Collecting". Players can also invent entirely new skills at the GM's discretion.

    How to resolve Skill Rolls:
    Action Value (AV) = ATTRIBUTE + SKILL + 3d6
    Attribute/Skill Levels: (0-1:challenged, 1-2:everyday, 3-4:competent, 5-6:impressive, 7-8:incredible, 9-10:legendary)
    Skill Difficulty Value (DV)
    Skill Difficulty Values: (Challenged=10, Easy=12, Everyday=14, Practiced=16, Competent=18, Impressive=20, Heroic=22, Incredible=26, Legendary=30)

    Certain Common Knowledge skills start at level 2 for free: Perception, Concentration, Persuasion, Computers, Athletics, Hand-to-Hand and Evasion.

    Skill List

    Fighting Skills:

  • H2H (REF+2)
  • Evade (DEX+2)
  • Melee Weapons (REF)
  • First aid (INT)
  • Ranged Weapon Skills:

  • Gunnery/Turrets (REF)
  • Heavy Weapons (REF)
  • Marksmanship (REF)
  • Handguns (REF)
  • Thrown Weapons (REF)
  • Awareness Skills:

  • Concealment (INT)
  • Concentration (WILL+2)
  • Deduction (INT)
  • Lip Reading (INT)
  • Perception (INT+2)
  • Shadowing (INT)
  • Surveillance (INT)
  • Tracking (INT)
  • Control Skills:

  • Pilot Starfighter (REF)
  • Pilot Starship (REF)
  • Pilot Mecha (REF)
  • Pilot Aircraft (REF)
  • Pilot Ground Vehicle (REF)
  • Body Skills:

  • Acrobatics (DEX)
  • Athletics (DEX+2)
  • Climbing (STR)
  • Contortionist (DEX)
  • Stealth (DEX)
  • Swimming (DEX)
  • Powerlifting (STR)
  • Social Skills:

  • Bribery (PRE)
  • Conspiracy (INT)
  • Conversation (PRE)
  • Interrogation (PRE)
  • Leadership (PRE)
  • Persuasion (PRE+2)
  • Seduction (PRE)
  • Streetwise (PRE)
  • Trading (PRE)
  • Wardrobe/Style (PRE)
  • Technique Skills:

  • Astro-navigation (TECH)
  • Shield Control (REF)
  • Computers (TECH+2)
  • Bugging (TECH)
  • Demolitions (TECH)
  • Electronics (TECH)
  • Forgery (TECH)
  • Gambling (TECH)
  • Lockpicking (TECH)
  • Mechanics (TECH)
  • Paramedic (TECH)
  • Security Systems (TECH)
  • Weaponsmith (TECH)
  • Performance Skills:

  • Acting (PRE)
  • Disguise (TECH)
  • Mimicry (PRE)
  • Oratory (PRE)
  • Performance (PRE)
  • Singing (PRE)
  • Sleight of Hand (REF)
  • Ventriloquist (PRE)
  • Animal Handler (INT)
  • Education Skills:

  • Bureaucratics (PRE)
  • Business (INT)
  • Computers (TECH)
  • Criminology/Forensics (TECH)
  • Cryptography (INT)
  • Education (INT)
  • Espionage (INT)
  • Expertise (INT)
  • Language (INT)
  • Local Expert (INT)
  • Medicine (INT)
  • Navigation (INT)
  • Professional (INT)
  • Research (INT)
  • Science (INT)
  • Survival (INT)
  • Systems Ops (TECH)
  • Tactics (INT)
  • Teaching (PRE)
  • Skill Modifiers

    Unfamiliar tools, weapon, vehicle -4
    Don't have right tools or parts -2
    Complex Task, multitasking -3 to -4
    Under stress of attack, distracted -3
    Trying to perform tasks secretly -4
    Lack of instructions for task -2
    Hostile Environment -5
    Have never done this before -1
    Drunk, drugged, or tired -4

    Which Characteristic to use when I don't have that particular skill listed?

    knowledge, memory, problem solving INT
    interact, lie, convince, impress PRE
    resist influence, danger, fear, stress WILL
    manipulate tools, computers, scanners TECH
    race, swim, ski, catch up, get away MOVE
    hand-eye: fight, drive, fly, shoot REF
    athletics: evade, jump, fists, blades DEX
    raw physical strength: lift, push STR
    endurance to pain, disease, shock CON


    To begin a battle, roll REF rolls to determine initiative. Free actions include moving up to your MOV, getting up, yelling. In initiative order, each character chooses 1 action per phase.

    How to resolve Combat Rolls:
    Attacker AV = REF + H2H Skill + 3d6
    Defender DV = DEX + Evade Skill + 3d6

    Typical single-phase Combat Actions:

  • draw weapon
  • attack
  • get up
  • block (DEF roll, attack delayed)
  • dodge (+3DV, no attack)
  • grab (-2 to perform, -3 DV for both)
  • move (free action up to MOVE meters)
  • run (full combat move)
  • sprint (full non-combat move, 1/2 DEX, 0 REF)
  • throw (-4 if not made for throwing)
  • abort (interrupt an opponent's turn to dive, run for cover. Costs 1 action.)
  • aim (stand still +1 AV per phase max +3)
  • choke hold (if grabbed, 2d6 two-handed KILL damage/phase)
  • disarm (if attack hits, resolve STR+H2H rolls to drop)
  • dive for cover (evade roll DC=7+#meters)
  • draw and attack (-3AV but only 1 phase)
  • entangle (weapon roll vs defense roll)
  • escape (detangle, ungrapple: STR+H2H vs STR+ATH)
  • haymaker (+3 damage, -3 to hit)
  • move (and attack, free)
  • move-by (and attack, -2REF, -2DEX, 1/2 DAM + 1/10m, receive 1/3 DAM)
  • move-thru (and attack,-3REF, -1REF-1/10m, STR DAM + 1/5m, receive 1/2 DAM)
  • recover (-5DEX, regain REC amount of STUN
  • trip (if H2H hits, -2 ATK, +2 ATK for you)
  • wait (until an event occurs)
  • Combat Modifiers

    Target 5-10m away -2
    Target 11-50m away -4
    Target >50m to weapon's range -6
    Target action is dodging this phase -3
    Target is moving -1 per 10m
    Target Silhouetted +2
    Target has cover: Half Body -1
    Target has cover: Head + Shoulders -1
    Target has cover: Head Only -2
    Target has cover: Behind someone -2
    Target partially behind something -1 to -4
    Target Obscured by smoke, darkness -4
    Vehicle Mounted weapon (no turret) -4
    Aimed Body Shot: Chest -1
    Aimed Body Shot: Shoulders, Thighs -3
    Aimed Body Shot: Legs, Hands, Feet -4
    Aimed Body Shot: Stomach -5
    Aimed Body Shot: Vitals, Head -6
    Firing from hip (undrawn weapon) -2
    Aiming: +1 per phase, +3 max
    Braced: +2
    Tiny Target (bullseye, eye, button) -6
    Small Target (head, limb, lamp) -4
    Large Target (tree, car, horse) +2
    Very Large Target (truck, side of barn) +4
    Surprise Attack (target fails PER roll) +5
    Target Prone (lying down) -2
    Improvised Weapon (rock, bottle, 2x4) -2


    Maneuvering: Roll 3d6+REF+Piloting Skill against the DV of the maneuver being attempted. If you fail your roll by 4 or less, you made a mistake (skid or stall 1d6 units forward). Failing by 5 or more means you lost control must attempt to regain control next round (spinning in wrong direction: 1:fwd 2:back 3-4:left 5-6:right).

    Maneuver Difficulty Values:

  • Tight turn at speed: 22
  • U-Turn, 180, Reverse: 26
  • Emergency Stop: 22
  • Swerve, Avoid: 20
  • Go thru/under obstacle: 30
  • Regain Control: 22
  • Dogfighting: When two opponents are flying/driving against each other, they both vie for tactical positioning. Roll 3d6+REF+Pilot Skill+ vehicle's MV (Maneuver Value) to come up with your AV. The winner gains the advantage and gets to either shoot or flee. The loser does not get an attack at all and must attain a better position next phase. If the advantage is TAILING, the winner gets +2 to AV during the next round's attack.

    Dogfighting advantage:

  • Tied Roll: Perpendicular (no advantage)
  • Win by 1: Head On (no advantage)
  • Win by 2 or 3: Side On (no advantage)
  • Win by 4 or more: Tailing (+2AV next round)
  • Damage

    Weapons: Can cause either HITS or STUN damage. A blunt object would cause STUN, but a knife or gun would cause HITS. The DC (Damage Class) of a weapon is the number of d6 you roll for damage on a hit. For Melee attacks, DC of punch is equal to STR, KICK is STR+1 but has -1 to hit.

    Hits: When you reach 0 HITS, you are dying, losing -1 HIT per round. You can still move (unless your STUN is 0 and you are unconscious), but all Primary Characteristics are -6. Death occurs when you get to -2xBODY.

    Stun: All HIT damage is also STUN damage, but not the other way around. If you take >50% STUN in one hit, you are stunned: -5 to all primary characteristics for one phase. All STUN damage done after STUN is below 0 becomes killing (HITS) damage. If your STUN reaches 0, you are unconscious, but regain STUN:

  • 0 to -10 - Recover +1 STUN per phase
  • -11 to -20 - Recover +1 STUN per round
  • -21 to -30 - Recover +1 STUN per minute
  • Armour: Absorbs damage - subtract the KD (killing defense) of your armour from amount of damage dealt (HITS or STUN). Also, if you have SD (stun DEF derived char) subtract it if it is higher then your armour. For example, if I am hit with 15 STUN, and my SD (or Armour KD) is 10, I only take 5 STUN damage.

    Healing: For every 24 hours of medical care, you regain as many HITS as your REC score. To save a dying character, roll a First Aid (Medical) skill check with DC -HITSx2. For example, a friend is at -7 HITS, I must make a Med skill roll against a DC 14.

    Damage Types: Falling damage is 1DC per 6 meters. Asphyxiation is 3DC per phase after max breath held (CON*2 phases). Mild poison/electricity/fire does DC1-4. Intense poison/electricity/fire does DC5-10. Deadly poison/electricity/fire does DC11-20.

    Aimed Shot bonus damage multipliers:

  • Head x2
  • Hands x0.5
  • Arms x0.5
  • Shoulders x1
  • Chest x1
  • Stomach x1.5
  • Vitals x1.5
  • Thighs x1
  • Legs x0.5
  • Feet x0.5
  • Structural Damage

    Structural Damage (or SDC) is like HITS for objects. When on object's SDC is 0, it is non-functional, when it's SDC is -X2 it is utterly destroyed.

    For massive objects like tanks, KILLS are used rather than HITS/STUN or SDC (Structural Damage) to avoid rolling too many dice. Each point of KILLS is equal to one 14 + KILLSd6 of damage. A weapon doing 5 KILLS damage would do 19d6 damage against a small foe, but just simply 5 KILLS to a large target. Each DC of hits is worth 1/14th of a KILL. So a grenade doing 36DC damage would do (36/14=2.5) 2 KILLS of damage.

    Object SDC Comparison Chart:

  • Normal Door/Table (KD=7 SDP=5)
  • Heavy Door/Table (KD=9 SDP=12)
  • Wall (KD=7 SDP=15)
  • Metal Grate (KD=20 SDP=20)
  • Metal Door (KD=20 SDP=30)
  • Concrete Wall (KD=30 SDP=50)
  • Automobile (KD=10 SDP=50)
  • Starfighter (KD=1K SDP=5K)
  • Tank (KD=3K SDP=7K)
  • Small Starship, Skyscraper (KD=5K SDP=50K)
  • Asteroid, Mountain, Small City (KD=10 SDP=600K)
  • The Planet Earth (KD=100K SDP=3200K)
  • Players

    Action sequences, plot lines and puzzles in this roleplaying game are designed to require the cooperation of three players with complementary skillsets. This helps to foster inter-player collaboration, keeps the group together, and makes every person essential to the team's success.
  • John Aster - The Engineer. A skilled technician, hacker, and strategist, the engineer comes from a deep science background and is trained in the use of all high technology, including computers, warp engines, force field generators, and surveillance equipment.
  • Jan Torano - The Pilot. An agile flyer, combat pilot and master of the helm, the pilot is essential when evasive maneuvers, gravitational sling-shotting, or take-off and landing is required, for vehicles including spacecraft, ground vehicles, or mecha.
  • Sanchez Manuel - The Sharpshooter. A battle-hardened cool hand with an eagle eye, fast reflexes and dead aim, the sharpshooter can use and repair energy cannons, ballistic weapons, and battle armour, and is trained in the use of martial arts and assassination techniques.
  • Two examples of situations that require all three players to cooperate are: 1. a spaceship battle (engineer takes the shields + warp drive + radar, sharpshooter takes the guns, pilot takes the helm) and 2. an assassination: (engineer hacks the doors + cuts the lights, sharpshooter takes out the target, pilot was a distraction and is now the getaway).

    John Aster

    Aster: not a technophobe
    The Engineer - John Aster is a skilled technician, hacker, and strategist, the engineer comes from a deep science background and is trained in the use of all high technology, including computers, warp engines, force field generators, and surveillance equipment. Thesis: Reintegrating Computer Networks.

    Stats:Int 7 Pre 6 Wil 5 Tech 7 Move 3 Ref 5 Dex 6 Str 3 Con 4 Body 4 Hits 20 Stun 20 SD 8 REC 7 Res 15 Punch 3d6 Kick 4d6 (-1 AV) Run 6m Sprint 9m Leap 3m Skills: Perception 2 Int, Concentration 4 Wil, Persuasion 2 Pre, Computers 6 Tech, Athletics 2 Dex, Hand to Hand 2 Ref, Evasion 2 Dex, Surveillance 4 Int, Lockpicking 4 Tech, Shield Control 6 Ref, Electronics 6 Tech, Criminology/Forensics 5 Tech, Security Systems 6 Tech, Cryptography 4 Int, Mechanics 6 Tech, Security Bureau 101 2 Int, Astro-Navigation 3 Tech Inventory: Defensive Vest 5kd damage absorbtion, Datapod with data recorder, camera, spectral analyzer: +2 Perception, +2 Tech, +2 Tracking, +2 Survival

    Jan Torano

    Torano: a flyboy scoundrel
    The Pilot - an agile flyer, Jan Torano is a combat pilot and master of the helm, the pilot is essential when evasive maneuvers, gravitational sling-shotting, or take-off and landing is required, for vehicles including spacecraft, ground vehicles, or mecha.

    Stats: Int 4 Pre 6 Wil 5 Tech 5 Move 4 Ref 8 Dex 6 Str 4 Con 4 Body 4 Hits 20 Stun 20 SD 8 REC 8 Res 15 Punch 4d6 Kick 5d6 Run 4 Sprint 12 Leap 4 Skills: Perception 4 Int, Concentration 4 Wil, Persuasion 3 Pre, Computers 2 Tech, Athletics 2 Dex, Hand to Hand 2 Ref, Evasion 2 Dex, Pilot Starfighter 7 Ref, Pilot Mecha 2 Ref, Pilot Ground 5 Ref, First Aid 2 Int, Tracking 2 Int, Astro Navigation 5 Tech, Mechanics 2 Tech, Electronics 2 Tech, Interrrogation 1 Pre, Bribery 1 Pre, Gambling 3 Tech, Stealth 1 Dex, Streetwise 1 Pre, Seduction 1 Pre, Handguns 3 Ref, SecurityBureau 2 Int, Fashion Sense 1 Pre. Inventory: Clothes (fashionable), Duffel Bag, Swiss army knife equivalent (blade, saw, file, scissors), EMP grenade (computers: DC10 SDC 10m, humans: DC2 STUN, 5m), Flight suit with helmet (10KD armour), Defensive vest (5KD armour).

    Sanchez Manuel

    Manuel: cool under fire
    The Sharpshooter - Sanchez Manuel is a battle-hardened cool hand with an eagle eye, fast reflexes and dead aim, the sharpshooter can use and repair energy cannons, ballistic weapons, and battle armour, and is trained in the use of martial arts and assassination techniques.


    This document is © copyright 2005 by Christer Kaitila, yet it has been built upon the shoulders of giants. Grateful acknowledgements must be made to all those who's open-source content has been incorporated into the work, such as R. Talsorian's Fuzion core ruleset, which is an open-source toolkit for creating your own role playing game.

    Space images used in this document are derived from real NASA/JPL data. Many thanks go to the Bleary Owl Gamers, with whom I have been lucky enough to be able to play-test this RPG.

    Finally, much of the spirit of role playing owes a debt of gratitude to the Wizards of the Coast, for the creation of the mother-of-all RPG's, Dungeons and Dragons. Oh, and thanks George and Gene, we love you guys.

    Chapter 1

    "Gentlemen, welcome..."
    The man sits down. He looks at us across the polycarbon table at a room full of young faces. "Gentlemen, welcome. You have all finished the exams. You are free to go. Further instructions will be sent to your quarters."

    I look around me at the other students. They wear expressions of interest, excitement, and even trepidation. I can feel none of that. My path was set 3 years ago. The Bureau will be my home. These others are still not decided. They have yet to make their choices. For them, they are waiting to see how well they rank on the exams and what aptitudes the directors tell them they have before they will decide. Some of the poor bastards will live their whole lives without making that decision. I pity those ones if they ever have to work with me.

    There are only two entities in the galaxy that can give me legitimacy. I chose the Security Bureau.

    The general law of the land is upheld by the Security Bureau. We inspect and respond to calls from every location save the moon.

    Our only inherent detriment is that we are becoming interplanetary and we have a monopoly on law enforcement. The area that we must police is so large, some parts are definitely feeling like the wild west of old. The upshot is that the Bureau gets there too little and too late for most of the calls. The impact that we have is more of a deterrent in heavily populated areas. But still, we try. And occasionally, we nail those unfortunate enough to become, shall we say, indiscreet.

    Customs and Cargo is the other organization that claims a jurisdiction. C and C are solely concerned with collecting duty, inspecting ships and foiling terrorists. But all of this activity is only for the moon. The rest of the known galaxy falls to us.

    The hallways flow past my shoulders at a steady pace. The new boots are comfortable and not noticeably too large. Even though they have space for a few extra gadgets, which I hope to earn the right to wield shortly. My jacket looks a little big, but the extra large shoulder pads of the latest fad help to balance the look and hide the space for any additional rounds of ammo I might one day be issued, including the special electronics silencers that come standard. They don't do much for humans, but they can take out any electronics if they can tap just one cable of the system. At least, that was the theory as told by the Bureau quartermaster.

    I reach my cubicle and am just relaxing when the call comes in over the intercom, "Report to Director Maxwell's office at 7am tomorrow morning." Perhaps the final exam didn't go that badly then, I muse. Ah, well. I had better make sure that I don't need to return here to collect anything. I turn to the task of getting my clothes and manuals. With a little slick packing I can fit everything I need into a small duffle.

    The room I enter is larger than I would have thought. There are a great many students here. My hopes dim a bit as I realize that this is not a special call but only a standard handing out of the grades.

    At 0700 a brusque looking woman opens the door of Director Maxwell's office. She is Director Lara Maxwell herself and is the dean of the Bureau's training center. My name is called along with two other names, "Sanchez Manuel, John Aster, Jan Torano, please come with me." We enter the director's office.

    Her office is a picture of pretension. I study it well, as I have aspirations of pretension myself. No one has yet accused me of making up my name, but I have my suspicions that they know anyways.

    "I have good news..."
    Maxwell offers us a seat in her soft-spoken assured manner. "I have good news for each of you. In your domains of expertise, you are the best this year has to offer. Each year we pick the best to form a team. This is a reward, as you can rely on others who are the best in their areas. Now, you three can kill the usual first few years of routine drudgery and accept some of the better assignments right away. We have investigated you and are happy to offer this chance. You have been selected to work together. Jan Torano, your piloting skills are better than any recruit previously tested. Your tests showed many signs of a certain luck that shows itself many times to be, perhaps, better than luck. John Aster, your technical skills are very thorough and perhaps a bit too hopeful as it goes against the pessimism of what is possible these days. Sanchez Manuel, we have seen people with better aim than you, however, on the assassination attempts, the entire time, your galvanic skin tests and other stress levels showed amazing control. You will be known as copper team. You are the new recruits that will hopefully move up to replace the bronze, silver, and even gold teams which are the best we have to offer. You will encounter some jealousy from others, but you will need to overcome this without creating enemies to be effective in your new work. Tomorrow, please report to our investigative division. Your income will double. Please be on time and choose your assignments wisely. Report at 0600 to Director Johnson."

    Well, I mused, this certainly could speed up my advancement. No, this had just sped up my advancement. I looked at my new team members, especially at John. Director Maxwell had implied he was an optimist. I better triple check his planning. The last optimist I was partnered with almost cost me a hand.

    Just as the director was dismissing us, the entire station gave a gigantic shudder. We looked at each other and then at Director Maxwell. The director asked us to remain for a minute, then she became very busy communicating with officers.

    "There has been an attack on the station. Please report to emergency shuttle dock A."

    Just as we were leaving she said "Wait, please report to copper team's lockers, then to command deck 5."

    Without asking for particulars, we head out. We beeline it to Copper Headquarters.

    There is a guard waiting. The martial arts professor is at the locker room. He tells us to get a move on and then supervises our outfitting.

    In the locker are a small duffel and ceramic armour for me. I don't see what the other two are given as I am busy changing. I strap the armour on overtop of my "special" fashion clothes. I do get a few laughs, as I don't have a fashion sense. Well, some of us are endowed with other gifts.

    We are told that this is the first attack on the station in 5 years. Our mission will be to intercept a space shuttle. Instructor Black, the hand-to-hand expert escorts us to command deck 5.

    There are many students there mostly getting into escape pods. We take an elevator drive down to Director Maxwell. She asks if we are ready, commends us for our alacrity and informs us that our orders have changed slightly. She tells us that, "A junior scientist is aboard the shuttle and we doubt it is under her control. She has probably been forced into this, but we know not whether she is currently alone. Go and bring Professor Jenkins back even at the cost of the shuttle itself. We do not currently register any other lifeforms on the shuttle, but we can't know for sure, so be careful. Rendezvous at docking station A on Mars."

    We quickly jump into the only shuttle available for our use. It is a model that Jan is intimate with as it was out training shuttle. We quickly assume out places. Myself at the weapon and shield array. John at the engine. Jan at the helm.

    We quickly launch and begin tracking toward the South pole of Mars trying to overtake the renegade shuttle.

    We plan our attack on the way. John begins scanning the shuttle to see if perhaps there are more people on board than just Sam. He confirms by some arcane calculation based upon fuel consumption of the other shuttle that there is an extra 220 pounds of weight on board.

    Our plan is for Jan to fly in with a surprise manoeuvre and let me take a shot at the other shuttle's far gun. As we make gun range I squeeze off an early shot and blow off the near gun. Jan tries to barrel roll over the top. The roll was not quite successful, and so I missed my second shot. After a quick realignment I manage to eliminate the other one. With their teeth pulled I relax, knowing our shuttle is safe.

    Jan swings in behind allowing me to disable their engine with a nice little shot up the aft. A quick realignment and John opens up their hull with the portal punch.

    As the metal heats up and begins to flow we hear angry voices emanating from the other ship.

    Hmmm, 220 pounds. I had better go in fast or I might get double teamed. I am unsure if that weight is distributed over more than one individual. With the metal still hot from the punch, I launch through with an arm up in front of my head.

    I can barely see inside: the air is filled with a choking black smoke and most of the lights are out. As I enter, a large thug swings at me with a stun baton. My body armour protects me by absorbing the energy of his attack. I let him do this twice before putting him down with my stun gun. One shot sends him flying backwards into the control panel, crumpling to the ground.

    "Holding cell unlocked..."
    John comes through and we begin our search for the missing junior scientist. John is working at the door of the holding cell. It appears to have some sort of code locking it. The security door access panel has a grid of circuits that John figures out need to be placed in specific positions to complete the circuit. I locate search the cabin and find three available flight suits while John cracks the code.

    The shuttle is breaking up, and begins to spiral uncontrollably toward the atmosphere of Mars. If we don't get out of here within 4 minutes we will burn up on reentry. Finally the door access is granted and the holding cell opens to reveal Professor Jenkins, unconscious in the holding pen.

    We hastily exit the shuttle after John determines where the ship was headed. The ship was headed for Damacles Station, on the Southern tip of Mars.

    Jan takes control of our ship and detaches from the crippled shuttle as it plummets toward the planet. We have succeeded in stopping the kidnapper who now lies unconscious by our feet.

    Professor Jenkins is soon brought back to consciousness. We interrogate her with great effectiveness, proud to be using our newly learned field training. It takes only a few short minutes before her story starts to break down. The voices we heard shouting while we were boarding, the fact that the kidnapper was alone and barely armed, and the fact that she was obviously concerned for his welfare all pointed toward her lie. She was not kidnapped, the truth is that she and her lover Sven, (Private Ashbury) were recruited by Sol Mining LLC on the condition that Jenkins share her top-secret research regarding cold fusion propulsion engines. She has been exposed as a defector - and more importantly, she was planning to sell proprietary research that belongs to the Security Bureau. Sam exclaims in desperation: "Join us! Sol Mining LLC has resources that the Security Bureau dreams of, and pays accordingly".

    We radio back to Director Maxwell and report on our success: "Target is dirty". The encrypted text-only radio channel lies silent for a few moments until new orders arrive. Our orders are terse: "Pursue all leads. Eliminate target".

    An argument between the three of us ensues - do we kill Professor Jenkins now? If not now, when, if at all? Can we trust the professor? Can we trust Sol Mining? Can we even trust our orders? The bureau owns her research, but do they own her? Who are we to question orders? Do we use her to bring us to her planned rendezvous? What do we do with Private Ashbury? How far do we pursue these leads? Could we infiltrate their organization before our cover is blown?

    Looking back at a distant Mars Orbital Station, we see that it is still being bombarded by the diversionary forces that attacked the station when before we left.