Thursday, January 30, 2020

It takes a village to raise an adventuring party

So what if you got really gamey with how businesses and establishments in towns work? A friend of mine told me he wants to do a sort of frontiersman campaign where the players establish a township and can invest their treasure from dungeoneering in different kinds of businesses and town things. I think that sounds like a lot of fun, and started wondering how I would do it. I immediately was inspired by Darkest Dungeon, and how you build up the hamlet over the course of dozens of dungeon crawls. 

So a core premise of the campaign would be that the village is a sort of shared character among all the players. Of course your individual characters are your own, but the village is a communal baby that ye all must feed with treasure until it is fat and handsome. All the mangy settlers that live there are their potential future dungeon runners, and they must love them. 

"Fan the flames, mould the metal; we are raising an army"

When the party returns to town, packs laden with loot, they spend their gold on character XP as they would carousing, but, with the added benefit of investing that gold in the town's establishments, eventually leveling up their capabilities as well. Each player may invest their establishment XP however they want, and it is up to the group to decide among themselves if they will pool their resources towards a common goal. It could also be fun for the DM to attach other goals to the leveling requirements for establishments, like acquiring a magic anvil for the blacksmith, or an eldritch tome for the wizard. 

It occurs to me that the town persisting in strength of utility regardless of character death is an interesting potential counterbalance to an XP penalty for said character death. It might shift some player investment from the individual characters and onto the town itself, because like, the town can't die. That is, until the denizens of the dungeons they've been delving gather an army and march on the village...

Anyway, I came up with a handful of establishments to get started with. For now they have 3 vaguely defined levels of investment, but I feel like some could warrant more, such as the Wizard's Tower and the Temple.

General Store 
  • Lv 1 - Offers a really slim selection of basic stuff like, rope, backpacks, torches, etc.
  • Lv 2 - Sells more advanced adventuring gear like lanterns, telescopes, and collapsible 10ft poles. 
  • Lv 3 - Art, gems, and other non-coin treasure items are worth double character XP

  • Lv 1 - Can only repair weapons and armor, not make them. Can only craft tools. 
  • Lv 2 - Sells weapons and armor, can temporarily enhance a weapon for 1 session? 
  • Lv 3 - Attracts an occasional wandering arcane artisan, selling 1d3 random magic items.

Wizard's Tower: 
  • Lv 1 - Can identify magic items. 
  • Lv 2 - Apprentices available as hirelings. They can cast detect magic once per day and come with an area of expertise such as languages, monster lore, or alchemy. Also, random potions are available for sale. 
  • Lv 3 - Offers permanent enchantments, such as flight, darkvision, remove the need to eat, skin as stone, detect a monster type, etc.

  • Lv 1 - Sells holy water, Can cure poison and mundane disease 
  • Lv 2 - Cures blindness/deafness and petrification, and cure magical disease
  • Lv 3 - Can reincarnate/raise dead, Removes curses

Tavern (The idea is that vagrants and mercenaries pass through the township in greater numbers as it becomes more famous. Also I wrote the hirelings with Maze Rats + GLOG magic in mind)
  • Lv 1 - 1d6 hirelings available from tier 1 per visit to town. Heal 1 hit point per day spent resting. 
  • Lv 2 - 2d6 potential hirelings available from tiers 1 and 2, 3 points healed per day spent resting. 
  • Lv 3 - 3d6 potential hirelings from any tier, 5 po ints healed per day spent resting

Tier 1 Hirelings
  • Porter - Morale: Poor, Cost: 1 coin/day - Carries stuff for the party
  • Torch Bearer - Morale: Poor, Cost: 1 coin/day - Holds a torch
  • Ruffian - Morale: Poor, Cost: 2 coin/day - Wields a single handed weapon, does not own armor or a shield. 

Tier 2
  • Marksman - Morale: Fair, Cost: 5 coin/day - Wields both a ranged and single hand weapon, owns no armor. 
  • Man at arms - Morale: Fair, Cost: 5 coin/day - Wields a single hand weapon and shield, wears light armor
  • Halberdier - Morale: Fair, Cost: 5 coin/day - Wields a two handed weapon, wears light armor

Tier 3 
  • Dwarf - Morale: Fearless, Cost: 10 coin/day - Darkvision, wields two handed weapon, wears heavy armor, 1/2 damage from magic
  • Elf - Morale: Fearless, Cost: 10 coin/day - Wields one handed weapon, wears light armor, knows 2 random spells, has 2 magic dice
  • Cleric - Morale: Good, Cost: 10 coin/day - Wields one handed weapon and shield, light armor, can cast heal and turn the unholy, 3 magic dice 
  • Wizard - Morale: Fair, Cost: 10 coin/day - Single hand weapon, no armor, can cast fireball and sleep, 4 magic dice
  • Ranger - Morale: Good, Cost: 10 coin/day - Two single hand weapons, ranged weapon, light armor, can cast cure poison, 1 magic dice, passively detect magic beasts

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

16 cantrips for fun and profit

Some of these aren't really spells that you choose to cast, and are more like passive magical effects that might be useful. I came up with names for some, but not all. The naming got in the way of actually writing them down. 

1 - Ocular Phalange: An eyeball sprouts out of the tip of your finger

2 - Quaff of the Calf: You can derive an entire day's nourishment from a single child's portion of dairy. Milk, cheese, butter or yogurt. In addition, imbibing spoiled dairy does not cause you any ill effects. 

3 - Hammerhead: Your head turns into a huge carpenter's hammer. While maintaining this spell you may not speak, but can see and hear normally. You may attack with your head as a mace, and are considered proficient with these attacks. 

4 - Caustic Tears: Your tears are a potent acid. You may produce 1 vial of acid per day that you spend entirely coaxing yourself to cry. Your acid tears become inert and mundane 1 week after being shed. You are immune to your own tears. 

5 - Mirrormorph: As long as you maintain this spell, your flesh, hair, and worn belongings become perfectly polished mirror. 

6 - Echo: You may absorb 1 sound of a relatively short length, such as a tiger's roar, cannon fire, or a single sentence, and store it in your brain. You may then recreate this sound at it's original volume, expelling it from your mind in the process. You may overwrite an unused sound with a new one at will. 

7 - Kiss of Death: You may kiss a corpse (or skeleton) to learn how it died. You do not see the death nor learn the circumstances surrounding it, the manner of death simply springs into your mind, such as "Stabbed in the heart" or "Bit by poisonous creature"

8 - Self Petrify: You may turn your flesh into stone over the course of a minute. While you are petrified you are completely unaware of your surroundings. You may unpetrify yourself at will. 

9 - Out of sight: If you are not being directly observed by living eyes, you are invisible.

10 - Sympathetic Telepathy: Passively detect creatures within 30 yards that are experiencing similar emotions as you. If you are nervous, you detect other nervous creatures, etc.

11 - Blip: Teleport 1d10' through open air.

12 - Brain Static: You can read minds at will, but the thoughts are translated into a language you do not understand

13 - You can fly at a running pace for as long as you can hold your breath. You slightly puff up like a balloon 

14 - While under the effects of alcohol you enjoy a bonus to saving throws against poison 

15 - Spider's Sleeve: You may produce up to 50' of rope from your sleeve. If the rope is cut or snapped, take damage as though you were attacked with a sword.

16 - Reverse Lycanthrope: If you bite a mammal there is a 50% chance they will become wereman, and turn into whatever you are on the next full moon.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

"You Sprout a Bouquet of Gun Wielding Arms" (Shiva of Guns GLOG Class)

Shiva of Guns

For each template of Shiva of Guns you have, guns you hold gain +1 ammo capacity

A: GD +1, Cantrips, Gun Power (Bullethell)
B: GD +1, Curve the Bullet, 2 Gun Powers
C: GD +1, Trigger Happy, 2 Gun Powers
D: GD +1, Fastest There Ever was, 2 Gun Powers

Starting Skill: 1. Gambler, 2. Gunsmith, 3. Law

Equipment: Hat, pistol, lantern


1. Transmutagun - turn any handful of material into a pistol with d6 shots. Materials like sand, mud, flesh or leaves may not be able to withstand firing as many shots as things like stone, metal, or wood, at the DM's discretion. 

2. Detect Guns - you are innately aware of the presence of guns at a radius of 10 yards x the number of Shiva of Guns templates you have. 

Gun Powers & Gun Dice (GD)

Gun Powers are abilities unique to the Shiva of Guns, they are activated and cast like spells, but are not spells. Gun Dice cannot be spent on Wizardly magic. 

To use a Gun Power select a number of Gun Dice (GD) you wish to invest, roll them, then add the numbers together if the power asks for a (Sum), (Dice) means the number of dice invested. Dice that roll 1-3 return to your die pool and can be used again, but dice that roll 4+ are removed from your die pool until High Noon, at which time you regain all expended dice. 

At template A you automatically gain the following power, Bullethell. At each subsequent template gain two more powers randomly. 

Bullethell: You sprout a bouquet of gun wielding arms and become a whirling fury of gunsmoke and hot lead. Deal (Sum) + (Dice) damage to all foes within a 20' radius 

D6 Gun Powers

1. Jammer - Use your magic to jam (Sum) guns you can see. It takes a number of rounds equal to your number of templates in this class to unjam a gun affected by this power. 

2. Back Breaking Dodge - When you take damage from a missile weapon you may use this power to reduce the damage by (Sum)

3. Teleportagun - You may teleport to a place you have shot before and can visualize clearly within a radius of (dice) miles. 

4. Gunslinger's Judgement - Make a regular gun attack. Reroll the attacks' damage (dice) times and keep the best result. 

5. Ethereal Sniper - Target takes (Sum) damage from an unseen sniper each time it attacks. This effect persists for (Dice) rounds. 

6. Speak With Guns - Lasts for (Sum) minutes 

Curve the Bullet: Your gun attacks ignore cover and do not require line of sight.

Trigger Happy: When you roll max damage on a gun attack, not a power, regain a GD. (This can be triggered by Gunslinger's Judgement)

Fastest There Ever Was: If you are wielding a gun you always have first place in the initiative ladder, even if the rest of your party lost initiative. You also always act in the surprise round. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Buns in the oven, aka Games I want to run

I've got a couple ideas for future games I'd like to run. Most of them are still in the embryonic stage, consisting of an elevator pitch or less.

The continued adventures of Dog Blart

Set in the crowded streets of a Bastion-like super city choked with smog, grime, and sweat, an ever rotating troupe of unlikely treasure hunters seek fortune and freedom in the deepcountry tombs and back alleys. With a bludgeon in one hand and a tome of eldritch power in the other, steel yourself against the horrors that lurk where the light of the streetlamps dares not reach. 

Player Directives
  • Pay off your hideously gigantic debt to Don Fabliousa
  • Seek out magical artifacts to give yourself an advantage
  • Develop a network of contacts to find jobs, potential scores, and cheap goods
  • Engage in your vices to cope with the stress of adventuring
  • Trust no-one

Mausritter, the 3 kingdoms

Beneath our feet, out of sight and mind of most people, is a tiny, sprawling world of adventure. The folk of the numerous Beast, Bug and Fairy kingdoms live in hiding from the wider world of massive giants, fire-breathing cats, soulless unfeeling birds, and other aberrations. If one hopes to defy these dangers and return home with plunder, they should seek the safety of numbers, the strength of a warband.

Player Directives
  • Always be on the hunt for plunder. The human city is endless and fat with treasure, but extremely dangerous
  • Use your wealth to recruit cronies and put together a warband. Numbers are your greatest asset
  • Retire as a fat noble

Something Witchy

You've seen some shit. And I don't mean you've had one or two troubling encounters, I mean the entire world has gone down the shitter and you see something horrible almost every day. It's the modern day, or somewhere close to it, there's no way to be sure. Society is in the death throes of what we understand it to be, and the supernatural underworld that has always been there is eagerly bubbling to the surface. The bureau of paranormal research and defense was exposed to the public and shattered into secretive warring sects, fighting with one another as often as they fight against the encroaching darkness. If you want to stay alive in this hellscape of eternal-night and hyperviolence, you've gotta be the scariest thing out there.

Player Directives
  • Make that money any way you can. Hijack shipments of donated blood and sell it to vampires. Clear quarantined neighborhoods of zombies on behalf of the CDC. Rob wizards and sell their grimoires to demons, or vice versa.
  • Rub elbows with cults, government agencies, covens, mafias, hunters, gangs, and outright freaks. Just remember that you can't make a friend without making an enemy.

Automatic Weapons & the shooting of them

Someone on discord the other night suggested a really cool premise for an Esoteric Enterprises game. The MIB or BPRD or whoever your paranormal hunting government agency might be has splintered off into warring cells named after the major tarot. The Tower are a group of agents who found their way into the underworld and never really came back out, The Chariot are a hyper-religious, hyper-conservative sect with itchy trigger fingers. You can see how this is some cool shit. 

So now my brain has been abuzz with how to hack some modern Esoteric Enterprises type elements onto my Into the Odd/GLOG hack. It's been slow going so far, but I think I've landed on a rule for automatic weapon fire that really shines. 

"Firing an Electrical Gatling" The telegraphic journal and electrical review, November 28, 1890

Firing an Automatic Weapon (Or, the ol' Spray n' Pray)

Roll up to 3 damage dice and keep the best result, then roll your ammo usage die once for each damage die you rolled, one die step at a time.


Now that I'm writing this out, maybe this should just be the core rule for shooting a gun. Like, you don't take a special action to do this with certain kinds of guns, this is just how shooting guns functions, and maybe special guns deviate from this. 

I'm not sure how I would want to handle the ammo die. In the black hack your ammo would be represented wholesale by the usage die, and you would roll it at the end of a gunfight. That's a solid rule, and it would function fine on it's own. But I feel like the rule I wrote implies that you roll the ammo die every time you attack, so if the usage die represented all of your ammo you'd be running out pretty quick. I think I would rather it represent the ammo left in the gun. 

I use item slots, but I'm unsure what an item slot's worth of ammo should be. Should it fill your gun entirely? That's what I'm leaning towards. 

I break weapons down into 3 categories, Light-Medium-Heavy. This determines their damage die, the number of item slots they take up, so why not their maximum ammo usage die size? Maybe it could just be equal to the size of the weapon's damage die. I keep thinking to myself "but then shotguns will have a weirdly high amount of ammo" and the cognitive dissonance prevents me from making any headway on the idea. 

But, now that I'm looking more at this black hack blogpost about guns and ammo, I think defining the kind of gun you're using by slapping a special tag onto the standard light-medium-heavy weapon statblock would be a cool way to handle it. 

So you would take one of these tags (These are just a few examples)

Shotgun: Increase weapon's damage by one step, decrease max ammo usage die by one step. 

Sniper/Scoped: If you do not move this round, increase weapon damage one step

Arrow: Max ammo usage die is d12, but you cannot use the Spray n' Pray maneuver 

And apply it to one of these 

Weapon Type
Damage/Max Ammo Usage Die
Encumbrance Slots
Heavy (2 hands)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

GLOG class: Mimic Tamer

So this is the product of a one-off joke at last week's game, I just couldn't get the idea out of my head. 

You are a Mimic Tamer! Handler of the strange and aberrant, friend of the shapechangers and dopplegangers. You spend a large portion of your professional time spelunking through crypts and caverns in search of that famous ambush predator, the Mimic. While most folks revile such predatory and alien creatures, you know that they are more intelligent than they get credit for, and are even kinda cute. 

Mimic Tamer

The tamer and mimic act as one character, and share an HP pool. 

For every template of Mimic Tamer you possess, gain a +1 on reaction rolls versus mutants, horrors, and aberrations. Also, +1 to notice disguised mimics and other shapeshifters. 

Starting skill: 1. Game trapper 2. Impressionist 3. Whisperer

Equipment: Bludgeon, Leash, Whistle, Treats


Small & Obedient Mimic - through careful and patient training you have tamed a mimic the size of a small dog. It can shapechange into any mundane object that could fit in a backpack, but retains the density of flesh. It can also perform single word tasks such as "fetch, stay, sick'em, protecc". It is cowardly unless the tamer is within eyesight, and cannot make attacks on its own, only in tandem with the tamer or an ally (see "ankle biter") 

Ankle Biter - When you or an ally make a melee attack while adjacent to the Mimic, roll an additional d4 along with your damage dice. If the result on this die is greater than your own damage result, use it instead. The mimic can only provide this bonus once per turn. 


"Hold this for me" - Your mimic is now the size of a large dog, and has mastered turning into a chest, it now has 6 item slots! It stores things in it's belly, any retrieved item is covered in a thin mucus. 

Ankle Biter - Increase the die to a d6. 


"Ride like the wind!" - Your mimic is now the size of a couch, and can be ridden by one adult, or two children. 

Ankle Biter - Increase the die to a d8 


"They grow up so fast" - Your mimic is now fully grown! It gains an additional 4 item slots and is intelligent enough to understand full sentences and follow instructions that a 10 year old could follow. 

Ankle Biter - Increase the die to a d10

Friday, October 18, 2019

GLOG class: Toon

So for a little while I've been thinking about introducing cartoons as a character type into my games. A character that permits, even demands the player to be goofy is exactly what some folks are looking for. This class is a first draft and draws from some standard cartoon tropes.


For every Toon template you possess, gain a +1 on reaction rolls 

Starting Equipment: Bludgeon, Acme Catalog

Starting Skill: 1. Song & Dance Man - 2. Silent Actor - 3. Animal 

A: Episodic Existence
B: Two Toon Traits
C: Two Toon Traits
D: Remaining Toon Trait

Episodic Existence - You cannot be killed by conventional means. If you are murdered by any kind of damage other than acid you begin the following session right as rain, ready for action. You either have no recollection of your previous demise, or write it off as a gag. You always casually forget the details of your previous exploits and adventures as though they never occurred. Only major events, like the death of a party member, make a dent in your continuity warping existence.

Toon Traits

Stretch & Squish - While unarmored, you enjoy a +2 to max HP per Toon template

Back Pocket - You have no need for backpacks and burlap sacks, everything you need seems to fit into your back pocket. Additionally, a number of times per session equal
to your total toon templates you may produce a random item from the following table: 

1) A pie     
2) A mallet 
3) An anvil 
4) A salmon 
5) A bomb (Like a big black iron ball with a fuse sticking out) 
6) A double barrel shotgun

Blast Proof - On a successful save explosives cause you no HP damage, instead you are temporarily burnt to a crisp, your headwear smoldering and your facial 
features rearranged.

2 Dimensional - You can hide behind objects that would not be otherwise broad enough to hide behind, such as lampposts, trees, fence posts, flagpoles, etc. 

Exit stage right - Once per session you may declare yourself to be walking off screen. At any point thereafter you may re-enter the scene and reveal yourself from the 
background of the scene, ideally from somewhere implausible. 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

36 Fantasy City Encounters

Everybody has space for another table of things to see while wandering the winding back alleys of a fantastic metropolis

1. 2d4 dwarves in elf masks, pubcrawling

2. A courtier and their guard are splattered with mud by a speeding carriage

3. d6+1 greasers tuning up an arcanocycle give you the evil eye

4. A wizard whizzes by overhead on a magic carpet 

5. d4 naked halflings, covered in molasses, push through the crowd. Pursued shortly by a large woman with a carving knife

6. This side street is lined with pillows and rugs, tall hookahs and crowds of lounging cityfolk. Shisha vendors preach the unique flavors of their secret blends. 

7. A fishman is loudly arguing with a street vendor about the exchange rate of abalone shells to hash coins

8. Various folk of all shapes and size squat around the corner of a bar, smoking and playing a complex card and dice game involving intersecting chalk circles on the ground  

9. A birdperson offers you a flier to a cockfight

10. A small gang of gagoyles are running an outdoor seafood buffet, the smell doesn't bother them

11. A swarm of beggar children surround you, you can feel your shoes being untied

12. A man is passed out in the gutter, an older man is urinating on him 

13. Two dogs grapple over a dead chicken in the middle of the road

14. A dirty old man is singing songs and strumming a fish skeleton like a mandolin 

15. Two magitech cyborgs tumble out of a nearby bar, slamming pneumatic fists into one another and belching flame

16. An old blind woman has enchanted 1d6+1 musical instruments to busk for passerby

17. The taxman and his posse are charging you with a "Just passing through tax"

18. A woman is selling fairies trapped in bottles as lanterns

19. A mage-peddler has set up an illusion of himself to give sales pitches while he takes a nap. The illusion cannot hold objects, so patrons must make change out of a bowl of currency

20. A lad is taking a nap with his pigs in a big pile

21. It seems like there are dozens of crows lining the rooftops of this alley, and they are all watching you

22. A procession of unusually large pumpkins are being hauled into the inner city on wide wooden pushcarts. 

23. All the local children are dressed up in spooky masks and causing a ruckus, it's some kind of holiday

24. You see the glint of brass in a gutter, the handle of an old oil lamp. There is a faded inscription on the side in an obscure language

25. Folks in the undercity swap stories of a huge blind crocodile, with jaws wide enough to swallow a cow whole, lurking in the sewers

26. A festival is being celebrated with 1d12 days of nonstop drumming, the revelers take it in shifts

27. A giant has led her herd of sheep into the city, hoping to trade for a new pipe

28. A man is hanging from a public gallows, he has no pants, but fine shoes

29. A dozen fresh pies were just dropped off at the nearby tavern, the entire neighborhood is congregating for breakfast

30. You stumble across a relatively famous costumed vigilante, beaten to hell and unconscious in a gutter 

31. Exhaust grates in the city walkways release a thick vapour that seems to twist into sneering human faces

32. A gaunt alien beckons you over from a dim alley, "Hey kid, wanna buy a couple demon hearts?"

33. A young noble is throwing a massive block party, open bar, free food, blood sport with random compulsory participation, good times

34. A dead body falls out of a passing corpse wagon, you feel like you can hear it whispering...

35. A fishmonger hawks trinkets and magic charms found in the bellies of sewer sharks and sky whales 

36. Some mysterious figure has purchased this entire block of the city, and today is eviction day. Squatters are haunted by horribly violent nightmares. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Adventure Ideas and Micro Classes for a Stormtrooper Funnel

So I recently encountered this blogpost right here, it's a really cool read from 2015 about running a Star Wars DCC funnel as a posse of Stormtroopers. I'm not a huge DCC player, mostly because I don't own d24s and shit, but I love any excuse to make players roll on an occupation table, so I'm into it. Let's roll up some 0 level shlubs. 

The table is great, love it, I'm using it, but what am I going to make these Stormtroopers do? This has been the major obstacle for me every time (like maybe twice) I've approached running a Star Wars themed game, what the hell do you do? Like, what gives something that Star Warsy sheen that separates this game from another space opera? I honestly don't have an answer that I can articulate, but it's probably not a big deal.

d4xd6 Stormtrooper Missions 

1.1  Board and sabotage a rebel battleship's shield generator to turn the tide of a battle
1.2  Seek out and destroy a rebel base's shield generator to enable a ground assault
1.3  Destroy a communications relay tower 
1.4  Destroy a rebel heavy armor and munitions depot 
1.5  Destroy a supply convoy (D6: 1-3 Speeders, 4-6 Train)
1.6  Find, board and recover a stolen Imperial shuttle from rebel scum

2.1  Destroy a rogue Jedi 
2.2  Recover a Sith artifact 
2.3  Investigate a distress beacon 
2.4  Liberate Imperial POWs 
2.5  Escort an Imperial aristocrat
2.6  Bust up a worker uprising on a forge world  

3.1  A group of rebel spies are reported to have infiltrated a TIE fighter manufacturing facility
3.2  The rebel scum have boarded our Star Destroyer, we are being overrun! 
3.3. The rebel scum sabotaged the ship, we have to evacuate!
3.4. There has been a massive prison break on a remote planet, apprehend the convicts 
3.5. Reclaim an abandoned Imperial keep, evict any and all squatters or hostile wildlife
3.6  A shipment of blaster rifles was stolen in transit, find the blasters and capture the thieves

4.1. A squad near stationed near your current position have been unresponsive for 7200 hours, check in 
4.2. A squad of deserters have been sighted near your position, hunt them down
4.3. Break off from the main fighting force and take out their anti-aircraft guns 
4.4. One of our spies has been found out! Find them before the rebels do
4.5. A crimelord has some intelligence on the rebels, go and negotiate their price
4.6. A famous bounty hunter is wanted for assassinating multiple imperial officers, bring them down

I think I bring over a little too much baggage from Warhammer 40k's imperial guard when I envision what Stormtrooper life is like, brutal, short, and entirely unceremonial. But I really enjoy imagining that the amount of training one receives upon signing up is less like boot camp, and more like the info class you have to take before they let you skydive. It would explain their eternally memed aiming skills.  

I like the idea that each player's troopers are their own specialized squad, it's fun for flavor and allows the players to feel like their troopers are distinct from their allies mechanically, even if the major difference is basically just what kind of equipment they are deployed with. I have no idea if this is at all accurate to Star Wars canon, but I'm gonna cite the Battlefront video games from the Playstation 2 era as evidence that maybe it is. 

Each player's squad consists of 3 (or more, at GM discretion) Stormtroopers. The player designates what squad type their troopers belong to only when rolling up a brand new squad. A squad that has suffered casualties during a mission must roll up new 0 level recruits before the next mission. All troopers share the same base class, and then gain different little abilities based on squad type. 

I'm not writing this for any particular ruleset, you could use your favorite retroclone, Cyber Sprawl Classics, Stars Without Number would be perfect, whatever, it's all you, baby. Anything that incorporates attack rolls, armor class, and saving throws should be chill. 

This is what I scribbled in my notebook


Attack +
Saving Throw
1 Mission

Standard Gear: E-11 blaster rifle, Light armor

ANTI ARMOR squads have received enough heavy weapons training to know which end to point away from their friends. The squad is deployed each mission with 1 rocket launcher, and d4+1 high-explosive missiles.  

Lv 1 Tank-Hunter: The trooper can detect trails left by speeders and hover vehicles that others would never notice, as though they had wheels. They also enjoy a +1 on saving throws versus explosions. 

Lv 2 Opportunistic Ordnance: The lieutenant knows how to concentrate their fire and press an advantage. At the beginning of each mission you gain a pool of 3d6 Ordnance dice. Whenever you successfully attack a vehicle, fortification, or droid that has already suffered damage, you may spend any number of these dice, and add the results to your damage roll.

ANTI INFANTRY squads are equipped with assault weapons designed to combat other ground forces. They are equipped with either a Heavy Blaster Cannon, or a Flamethrower.

Lv 1. Suppressive Fire: The trooper designates a medium size area, all foes within that have a sense of self preservation must make a saving throw/morale test or lose their movement actions until the trooper's next turn. On a critical failure they lose all actions. 

Lv 2. Shrapnel Grenades: The Lieutenant deploys for each mission with d3 shrapnel grenades (4d4, small AOE, short range, save for 1/2 damage, ineffective against targets with AC 14+)

MEDICAL squads are responsible for maintaining the fighting strength of the battalion. Although the average medical recruit has no more training than basic first aid, the squad is deployed with d3 dosages of bio-epoxy, which does most of the work for them. 

Lv 1. Preventative Medicine: When an ally within 5' of you takes damage you may siphon off a portion or all of that damage for them.

Lv 2. Field Surgery: If you can reach a comrade's corpse before it cools (# of rounds equal to their HD, minimum 1) you may perform a field surgery to return them and return them to life as an action. For the remainder of the mission the recipient of the field surgery moves at half speed, and will die permanently if they take any damage from any source.

SABOTAGE squads are outfitted for close-quarters combat and demolitions. Recruits are given a "Tactical infiltration and you" pamphlet to read on the shuttle ride to their first mission. Saboteurs are deployed with Scatterguns instead of Blaster Rifles and d4+1 landmines or bricks of C4.

Lv 1. Hold-Out Blaster: You always have a blaster pistol on your person, whether you are taken prisoner, searched, whatever. Also, enjoy a +1 when impersonating a rebel.

Lv 2. I Shoot First: When you make an attack against a foe that has not yet acted in the battle, deal double damage. Also, your armor is treated with an electromagnetic polymer that interferes with electronic surveillance equipment, you cannot be detected by security cameras, droids, or targeting systems. 

SHOCKTROOPER squads are the first into the fray and the last to leave. Instead of standard gear they are deployed with heavier armor (AC 14), a blaster pistol, and a vibroblade, they get an extra pudding in the mess hall for their bravery.  

Lv 1. Fury of the Emperor: If you are wielding two one handed weapons, you may attack with both as a single attack action. 

Lv 2. Powerful Parry: You are no force user, but your ability to predict your opponent's strikes sometimes borders on the supernatural. After a foe succeeds in hitting you with a melee attack, but before damage is revealed, make an attack roll of your own, if your roll exceeds theirs, the attack fails.

SNIPER squads employ slug thrower rifles to engage in long range combat and assassination. Instead of the standard E-11 blaster rifle they are deployed with a sniper rifle and blaster pistol for each trooper.

Lv 1. Storm of Lead: When you inflict a critical hit on a foe, you can make an immediate bonus attack. Also, the trooper ignores the "snapfire" penalty, allowing you to attack with a sniper rifle and move in the same round.   

Lv 2. I am Become Death: Once per mission, if you are equipped with your sniper rifle you may force a target to save or die instantly. To do this you must remain undisturbed for a number of rounds equal to the target's HD.


Blaster Pistol - D4 - Short Range - One hand
Blaster Rifle - D6 - Medium Range
Scattergun - D8 - Short Range
Sniper Rifle - D10 - Long Range
Heavy Blaster - 2d6 - Medium RangeFlamthrower - 1d6+4 - Short Range

High Explosive Missile - 4d6 - Medium Range
Shrapnel Grenade - 4d4 - Short Range
Thermal Detonator - 1d12 - Short Range

Vibroblade - 1d4 - One hand
Electromace - 1d6 - One hand
Force Pike - 1d8 

Standard Trooper Armor - AC 12 - Full movement
Shocktrooper Armor - AC 14 - 3/4 movement

Bio-Epoxy - Apply over a full round, heals a living trooper for 1d8+1 

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