The Agency operates several vehicles for exploration and military service. The M19 Land Ark was custom-built for long-range, long-term use on planets with hostile atmospheres. The M23 Mini-Ark is a similar vehicle, but only has a four man crew, and is much less capable (but much cheaper). Both use radiothermal generators, providing power for 14 years. The M213 is simply an adaptation of the venerable M113A3 APC, for use in moderate-threat situations where the crew can operate without life support. The M213 is far more common (47, compared to 7 M19s and 18 M23s). Numerous thin-skinned vehicles are also used (Hummers, mainly) in low-threat settings. The R-7 Dragonfly is usually carried for scouting purposes, usually one or two per eight-man team.
M19 'Land Ark': $2,884,000, 69 tons, 3000 cf body, 44 mph, unlimited range; DR 200; 1 medium turret: 152mm ATGM launcher w/12 missiles, 127mm SAM launcher w/6 missiles, 2 light turrets: 40mm GL w/600 shells and 7.62mm minigun w/6000 rounds in each; crew 8, 6 bunks, complete mini-workshop, operating room, NBC kits, sealed, full life support (w/800 man/days of provisions), two-man airlock, 350 cf cargo, amphibious (hydrojets, 11 mph), basic emission cloaking, basic chameleon
M23 'Mini Ark': $1,033,000, 22.8 tons, 1000 cf, 47 mph, unlimited range; DR 120; 2 light turrets: 40mm GL w/600 shells and 7.62mm minigun w/6000 rounds in each; crew 4, 3 bunks, NBC kits, sealed, full life support (w/400 man/days of provisions), one-man airlock, 100 cf cargo, amphibious (hydrojets, 8 mph), basic chameleon/sound baffling
M213 APC: $177,400, 9.5 tons, 400 cf, 52 mph, 1165 mile range; DR 120; no fixed armament -- pintle mount or turret up to 500 lbs/10 cf (the most common turret has a 40mm GL w/150 rounds and a 7.62mm minigun w/2000 rounds); crew 2, passengers 6, 30 cf cargo, amphibious (hydrojets, 10 mph)
R-7 Dragonfly: $4000, 70 lbs, 7.5 cf as cargo, 71 mph (stall 30 mph), 118 mile range; no armament; no armor; 230 lbs for pilot/cargo (see GURPS Ultra Tech, 1st Edition, or GURPS Cyberpunk, for more details).
M998A3 Hummer: $37,000, 2.36 tons, 235 cf, 83 mph, 553 mile range, DR 5; pintle armament, crew 2, passengers 3, 40 cf cargo
Other vehicles include experimental battlesuits and heavy trucks. For Combat missions, pure combat vehicles from the Army and Marines are available (M1A2 Abrams, LAV-25s, M2 Bradleys, etc.).
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Clothing: light kevlar suit, kevlar helmet, bush hat, hiking boots, personal kit, web belt, pistol holster (shoulder or hip). NBC combat armor may be issued in special situations. Basic camoflage patterns available are forest, desert and arctic. Ash-black gear is also available.
Standard Load: one week concentrated rations, personal basics, swiss army knife, backpack w/frame, canteen (quart), 50m cord, heavy flashlight, penlight, survival knife, enviro bag (w/heater), watch, simple first aid kit, headset comm, data diskman (w/10 disks), palmtop computer, magnetic compass, multi-view goggles, gas mask, military binoculars, gun cleaning kit, notebook in waterproof bag, waterproof marker, mechanical pencil
Tools: General tools (shovels, picks, hatchets, etc.) are carried as part of vehicle's normal tool kit. Crew members with special skills (doctors, mechanics, etc.) will be issued manportable kits (doctor's black bags, mini tool kits, etc.).
Weight of Clothing/Standard Load: 50 lbs (approx)
Sidearm: M92 Baretta 9mm or Colt Python .357 mag (5 loads each)
Light Automatic: MP5 9mm or M16 5.56mm (10 30-round clips each)
Special Longarm: M21 7.62mm sniping rifle (5 clips) or Atchisson 12-ga. auto-shotgun (3 drums) or M249 5.56mm SAW (1 box)
Grenade Launcher: M203 if M16, HK69 if MP5 (bandoleer w/6 40mm shells for each)
Special: Some advanced combination 7mmC assault carbines/25mm mini-grenade launchers are available. Anyone with Guns(Light Assault)-15+ may request one: roll (3 + Rank x3) or less to get one each mission. Basic ammo load is ten 7mmC clips and twelve 25mm grenades (type varies). This replaces the light automatic and grenade launcher selections above.
All vehicles carry extra ammo for the standard calibers (amount depends on vehicle size). Bulk ammo (ie, not in clips) is carried in 1 cf, 0.5 cf, 0.25 cf and 0.1 cf boxes in vehicles. The number and mix carried depends on mission and small arms carried (a common mix is 0.5 cf 9mm, 0.5 cf 5.56mm, 0.1 cf 7.62mm, 0.1 cf 12-ga and 0.25 cf 40mm). At least 0.1 cf of each of the above ammo types is carried.
Other: Individual crewmen may carry a personal, non-standard weapon(s) if desired (must be TL 7 or lower). However, the Agency will not provide extra ammo for it. The most common non-standard weapons are .25 automatic pistols or 12-ga. sawed-off pump shotguns. Some crew carry a fencing sabre or broadsword, many carry a trench knife.
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All characters are based on 125 points. No one should have disadvantages making them a risk to other team members or security, or severely handicapping them. No Magery, no psi powers greater than level 6.
It is suggested that each player create at least two characters, with dissimilar specialities. This makes mission assignments easier, and diminishes boredom during sessions.
[I may eventually replace what appears below with templates, but this should be sufficient for now]
Basic Agency Training (17 points total)
Boating [0.5 points], Brawling , Climbing [0.5], Demolition [0.5], Driving (Tracked) [0.5], Electronic Ops (Computers) , Electronic Ops (Sensors) , First Aid , Fishing [0.5], Gunner (one of: Machine Gun, Grenade Launcher, Guided Missile) [0.5], Guns (Grenade Launcher) [0.5], Guns (Pistol) , Guns (Light Assault) , Hiking , Intelligence Analysis [0.5], Knife [0.5], Naturalist [0.5], Orienteering [0.5], Pilot (Ultralight) [0.5], Riding (Horse) [0.5], Stealth , Survival (pick one) , Swimming [0.5], Tactics [0.5], Teaching [0.5]
Everyone must pick a primary speciality and secondary speciality. Note that these are field specialities only; only under the most unusual circumstances will a lab tech or adminstrator (for example) be sent on a mission.
Trade/Diplomat: Diplomacy, Fast Talk, Intimidation, Linguistics, Acting, Detect Lies, Merchant, Economics
Human Sciences: Archeology, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Theology, Linguistics, Sociology, Literature
Earth Sciences: Ecology, Botany, Zoology, Geology, Meterology, Cartography, Chemistry, Biochemistry
Security: Electronic Ops (Security Systems), Armory (smallarms and vehicle weapons), Camoflage, any two melee weapons, Guns or Gunner(one more), Lockpicking, Interrogation
Mechanic: Mechanic (Tracked Vehicle, Wheeled Vehicle, Ceramic Engines and Aircraft), Engineer (Guns), Metallurgy, Electronics (Computers and Sensors), Mathematics
Medical: Physician, Physiology, Surgery, Diagnosis, Electronics Ops (Medical), Psychology, Biochemistry
Survival: Survival (three types), Tracking, Scounging, Traps, Guns (Rifle or Shotgun), Bow or Crossbow
Psi: Automatic primary speciality if average Power level 3+, automatic secondary speciality if average Power level 1 or 2. Treat all allowable psi skills as speciality skills. (note: the advantages Empathy and Intuition are not considered psi powers for this speciality.) This specialist is rare, especially as a primary speciality.
Crew Leader: Not a true speciality; goes to the character with the highest (Leadership + Adminstration + Rank x5) score.
Speciality Points: Minimum 1 point in each primary specialty skill, with at least a skill level of 14+ in three primary specialty skills. For secondary specialty skills, minimum 0.5 points each skill, and a level 12+ in at least three.
Up to 10 points may be spent in skills unrelated to basic training or specialty skills (Leadership and Administration don't count towards this 10 point limit). Points gained during play can be spent as the player wishes.
Rank: depends on the number of previous missions; 1 for 0-4, 2 for
5-8, 3 for 9-12, etc. (ranks above 4 are not normally part of field teams);
starts at 1 for new PCs
|Rank||Roll (3d6)||Skills Required|
|1||6+||Leadership-10+ or speciality-14+|
Duty: to Agency, on 15 or less (-15 points); note that this also includes a Vow not to disclose the true nature of the Agency to anyone not previously approved by the Agency.
Assembling A Group
Normally, a field group is 8 men. Usually, the M213 APC is used, though the situation determines the transportation (a crew getting an M19 can expect a tough mission; getting a couple of Hummers usually means a pretty easy one).
The exact makeup of a group varies, but most have one of each field speciality (minus an Psi), plus an extra security expert, on routine missions. At a mimimum, at least one Crew Leader, Mechanic and Security Specialist are carried.
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A probe is sent ahead, to gather as much information possible. This includes: climate, atmospheric taint, radio/TV broadcasts, etc. It returns after 24 hours or if anyone approaches within 100 yards (terrain permitting).
Mission Difficulty Table
The team and their vehicles are placed on a platform, around which an energy field is created for the transfer. Time taken is almost instantaneous and low risk (roll 18 on 3d6 for a mishap each trip).
|1-2||Transfer Sickness||Roll vs HT or be -1 to skills and stats for (20-HT) hrs|
|3||Transfer Sickness, severe||As above, but HT-3, -2 Impairment|
|4||Partial Transfer||10-60% of platform load is left behind|
|5||Shortout||Transfer occurs, but platform is disabled for 1d6+3 days|
|6||Mis-transfer||Load is sent to different destination|
Trade: Make friends with the local people and swap
useful items and information
Survey: Map out in detail a defined area
Uplift: Raise the technology of the locals
Biology: Study unusual flora/fauna
Geology: Study unusual rocks/minerals
Exploration: Do a basic survey/census of an area
Espionage: Destabilize a local government/ruler
Combat: Attack a specified foe
Of these, Survey, Biology and Geology are most common, while Combat and Espionage are rare.
Note that, on a newly-contacted world, the first mission is always Exploration, followed by Biology and Geology then usually Survey (although Biology and Geology crews often carry out Surveys at the same time).
Mission Type Table
-2 if Easy, -1 if routine, +0 difficult, +1 hazardous
All Agency vehicles have a special locator/transmitter grid built into their frames. It is linked to a control box with four options: All Clear, Send Help, Never Come Here Again, Recall. Note that if all the team's vehicles (Dragonflys don't count) are lost, stolen or destroyed, the team is stranded. If the Send Help or Recall signal is sent, it takes HQ 3+2d6 minutes to prepare (or clear) a platform for recovery. Anyone not inside a vehicle (fully or partially) at the time of transfer is left behind.
Note: The grid is neither heavy nor expensive, but requires at least 97.3 sf of metallic hull. Thus, personal grids aren't possible. The transfer machines home in on this grid (each with an unique signature). The agency has nine transfer platforms; for each one out of operation, add 1d6 minutes to the time required for recovery or sending help.
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Bulk Ammo Crates
All ammo is 150 lbs/cf, except for 40mm (96 lbs/cf).
(any comments in '()' refers to the source of the gear)
Ration Pack (Morrow Project): 40 lbs, 60 man-days of vitamins and concentrated rations, plus cooking materials (pots, pans, untensils for 6 people)
Trade Pack (Morrow Project): 35 lbs, contains: 50 1-ounce gold coins, 50 1-ounce silver coins, 6 quarts of liquor, 10 packs of cigarettes, candy (4 bags hard, 4 bags chocolate), 6 sewing kits, 4 mirrors, 6 combs and brushes, 6 knives, 6 pocket fishermen
Data Diskman: This is an electronic book using a black and white LCD screen and standard-sized CDs. It includes a 20k memory chip for bookmarks and notes. The book CDs have ample chapter/section breaks. Music CD's are also useable (headphone or external speakers required). The data diskman can be plugged into the palmtop computer for data transfer (3' cable provided). A regular CD can hold one encyclopedia or 70 lengthy books.
Palmtop Computer: This is an advanced version of prior hand-held computers, and is actually useful (however, the tiny keyboard and screen give a -3 to use in emergencies, -1 otherwise). It is a Complexity 1 dumb small computer in GURPS terms. It contains 2 megs of memory (each removable), a basic word processor, a basic spreadsheet and a utility program combining calender, alarm and appointment book functions. Each of these are Complexity 1. No disk drive is provided, though there is a port for peripherals and an AC jack.
NBC Combat Armor (GURPS Autoduel -- AADA Road Guide 1: East Coast): This armor provides protection equal to light combat armor (PD/DR 4/20), but has some special features. An aluminum layer provides protection from microwaves and alpha and beta radiation (PF 10). An internal oxygen tank has 30-minutes of air and can either be left on or on standby (will come on when outside radiation levels are detected to be high, with a red light). There is a powerful flashlight built into each wrist, the helmet and right shoulder. The right wrist band contains a 5.5mm pistol (30 shots). A grappling hook on the left shoulder is attached to 15 yds of cable and a winch (with automatic release) able to lift 300 lbs of weight. The helmet has a built-in radio and IR goggles, and the lenses of the helmet are anti-glare. Its surface is covered with a liquid crystal skin, allowing any required camoflage pattern (for missions where combat is not expected, the suits are set to bright orange and each is clearly numbered). It takes 1-3 seconds to change color/patterns. A homing beacon (10 mile range) in built into the torso. 43 lbs, $15,600.
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