Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday other
- Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday
- buck rogers countdown logbook
COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY
STRATEGIC SIMULATIONS, INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Team Assembles 2
Characters and Teams 2
Additional Character Attributes 3
Character Races 4
Assembling a Team 10
Non-Player Characters (NPCs) 11
Rocketships and Space Travel 14
Space Combat 17
Robots, Gennies and Other Opponents 21
Log Entries 23
Racial Attribute Modifiers Table 39
Allowable Careers by Race Table 39
Strength Modifier Table 39
Dexterity Modifier Table 39
Constitution Modifier Table 39
Rocketlock Level Advancement Table 40
Warrior Level Advancement Table 40
Engineer Level Advancement Table 40
Rogue Level Advancement Table 40
Medic Level Advancement Table 40
Armor Class 40
Weapons Table 40
Skills Table 40
Glossary of Game Terms 41
Remnants of the old-time Soviet hardliners launch the space weapons
platform: Masterlink. U.S. strategists send the American ace Anthony
"Buck" Rogers to destroy Masterlink. Buck is sent up in an experimental
spaceplane outfitted with a new cryogenic system for high altitude
ejection. Masterlink is destroyed, but Buck Rogers' plane is heavily
damaged and his frozen body floats in space.
When Masterlink is destroyed, the Soviet extremists fire a salvo of
ballistic missiles at the U.S. The resulting conflict enters history
books as the "Last Gasp War." World govemments look in horror at the
insane danger of escalating arms races and maintaining nuclear
arsenals. Governments around the globe disassemble their war machines
and power shifts from the national governments to large international
alliances, such as the Russo-American Mercantile (RAM), the Euro-Bloc
faction, and the Indo-Asian Consortium.
The System States Alliance forms to represent the three big power blocs
and fringe Earth nations to help ensure the survival of a depleted and
Nuclear fusion propulsion technology allows mankind to move out into
the solar system. The System States Alliance forms an organized effort
to exploit the nearby planets. RAM, having the most clout, grabs rights
to Mars, while Luna goes to the EuroBloc, and the Indo-Asians take
Venus. Initial interest in the planets is for resources. True
colonization is slow at first, as mankind both adapts to alien
environments and adapts the environments to mankind.
Trips to the planets become commonplace, and terraforming technology
has transformed the surfaces of Mars and Venus to become more habitable
for humans. Genetic engineering skills develop new life forms, called
Gennies, that can be tailored to nearly any environment or function.
In 2275 RAM, groaning under an increasingly repressive Earth
government, rebels. Venus signs a nonaggression pact with Mars, and ten
years of war follow. Earth falls into barbarism with her major
population centers left in ruins, and cut off from much needed
extraterrestrial resources. At the end of the war, RAM completely
dominates the remains of old Earth.
In 2310 refugees from Earth, and others who are discontent under RAM
domination, begin a crash program to colonize Mercury. Asteroids are
moved into orbit around the planet, and moveable cities are built on
the surface. Mercury develops an economy based on mining and solar
Mars and Venus, once forbidding alien wastes, have been terraformed and
now support populations in the millions. Bases have been established on
Mercury and Luna, Colonies float in the edges of the Jupiter gas clouds
and cities have been carved out of asteroids.
RAM rules old Earth with cruel efficiency and an iron hand, its brutal
Terrine combat gennies roam and enforce the planefs exploitation.
A daring band of Rebels called the New Earth Organization (NEO) is
formed to combat RAM domination.
The figure of Buck Rogers has been elevated to nearly mythical status
by media hype--he has become a symbol as the last
martyr of old Earth's foolish political struggle. In a strange twist
of fate Buck Rogers- the myth - is recovered alive from his frozen
With his tactical genius and fearless daring, Buck Rogers joins NEO in
its battle against RAM.
NEO, and Buck Rogers, form a dangerous plan to subvert RAM control of
the Earth, The cornerstone of RAM's dominance of the planet is
"Gauntlet", an orbital weapons platform originally constructed by the
old Systems States Alliance. Gauntlet had been designed to act as a
watchdog against nuclear weapons. Under RAM administration, the
station was upgraded to both watch the subservient Earth and
completely control all traffic to and from the planet.
Buck steals a squadron of RAM's latest spacefighters, a squadron slated
for Gauntlet's defensive force, and attacks the station, The surprise
attack is a success. Without Gauntlet, Simund Hoizerhein, the head of
RAM, decides that overt control of Earth is too expensive and orders
RAM troops off of the planet. The mood on Earth and in NEO is a
combination of excitement and dread. The victory seems easy... tooeasy.
Earth is under the control of NEO now, but the shadow of RAM is still
present. Occasional attacks by RAM military are explained away as "acts
of overanxious officers and "unfortunate lapses of judgement." NEO
scrambles to rebuild a shattered planet and build the forces required
to fend off the RAM attack it feels is inevitable.
+ THE TEAM ASSEMBLES
"Buck Rogers!" The name is everywhere. "Buck Rogers and NEO victory at
Gauntlet- Vid at eleven." The Video Network News, people talking on
the streets of old Earth, even in the furthest asteroid outposts--Buck
Rogers and NEO are everywhere.
There is a feeling of hope now. After years of domination, RAM no
longer holds old Earth, and NEO is finally able to make a real stand
against the corporate behemoth. Victories, real and exaggerated, boost
NEO confidence daily.
NEO ranks are swelling with new recruits -young people who never before
felt they could make a difference. Your team is assembled from those
ranks. Each member has made his or her way to Chicagorg with plans to
join the war against RAM supremacy. Each has visions of great
victories, glory, and lasting fame--like Buck Rogers....
+ CKARACTERS AND TEAMS
To play Countdown to Doomsday, you must make characters and band them
together into a team. The team must have a variety of talents and
skills to survive and finally succeed. The following sections describe
everything that goes into making a character and assembling your team.
Character Ability Scores
Every character has seven randomly-generated ability scores that define
the person. The scores describe the character's strength, intelligence,
and so on. The base value for each ability is from 3 (low) to 18
(high). Each race has ability modifiers that are automatically factored
in when the character is generated. For example, Martians receive a - 1
modifier to strength, but they get a + 1 bonus modifier to their
dexterity. The following describes each ability.
Strength (STR) measures physical power and indicates a character's
endurance, stamina, and muscle bulk. Strong characters can carry more
weight in equipment without becoming encumbered, and they have combat
bonuses when fighting with melee weapons (swords, mono knives, etc).
Dexterity (DEX) measures hand-eye coordination and agility, as well as
reaction speed and other reflexes. High dexterity gives characters
bonuses to avoid being hit during combat, determines how fast they
react, and how well they can fire ranged weapons (laser rifles, bolt
guns, etc) or fly a rocketship.
ConstItutIon (CON) measures physical toughness and resistance to pain
and hardship. High constitution increases the amount of damage a
character can withstand before dying.
Intelligence (INT) measures reasoning ability, memory (to some extent),
and general wit and cleverness. High intelligence is required for most
careers--in the twenty-fifth century, stupidity kills.
Wisdom (WIS) measures common sense and ability to understand the ways
of the world. This is the skill that both aids Medics in making sound
treatments, and keeps Rogues from fleecing the wrong victims. High
wisdom gives bonuses to such skills as Tracking and Planetary Survival.
CharIsma (CHA) measures persuasiveness and how well others react to a
character. Leaders are marked by high charisma, and this ability is
valuable when dealing with strangers. High charisma gives bonuses to
such skills as Intimidation and Acting.
Tech (TCH) is short for Technical Knowhow, and is a special mix of
intelligence and wisdom that measures affinity for machinery and
equipment. High tech scores improve such valuable skills as Jury
Rigging and First Aid.
More on Abilities
The STR, CON, and DEX bonuses tables start in the appendix on page 39.
Ability scores can affect skills; this is described under Skills and
Abilities on page 7.
+ ADDITIONAL CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES
Characters have three attributes that change during the game:
Experience Points, Level, and Hit Points.
Expedence Points (EXP) measure what a character has learned. EXP are
earned by winning battles, finding money, and completing parts of the
adventure. Characters with enough EXP may advance in levels. The Level
Advancement Tables begin in the appendix on page 40.
Level measures a character's career advancement. Characters gain
valuable skill points and combat proficiency when they advance in
level. When characters have sufficient EXP to go up a level, they must
go to the Training Center to receive the additional instruction for
Example: A second level Warrior with 4,000 EXP can train and become
No matter how many EXP a character has, only one level can he gained
per training session. A character with sufficient EXP to gain two or
more levels can train, advance one level, and then lose all EXP in
excess of one point less than is required to advance another level.
Example: A second level Warrior with 16.500 EXP (enough to advance
to fourth level) would train, advance to third level, and
be left with 7,999 EXP (8,000 would be fourth level). The
character could then easily gain the one point needed to
advance and then train again quickly.
Characters start the adventure at second level and can advance to
Hit PoInts (HP) measure how much damage a character can withstand
before becoming unconscious or dead. Characters gain between 1-6 and
1-10 HP per level depending on their career.
More on Attributes
The Level Advancement Tables showing EXP requirements for all careers
begin on page 40.
+ CHARACTER RACES
Team members can be any of six races -four human types or two gennies.
Terrans, Martians, Venusians, and Mercurians are all, in spite of some
genetic engineering, considered humans. Martian Desert Runners and
Tinkers are gennies that have been bred to include non-human
characteristics with the basic human genotypes. Each race has unique
modifiers to basic attributes, and some careers are limited to certain
races. The following section describes each of the races.
Terrans are the last of the unengineered humans in the solar system.
While the other civilized races have undergone genetic adaptation to
suit new planets and environments. the human population on old Earth
takes pride in their pure strain. Suffering under the yoke of RAM
tyranny has taught the Terrans determination and patience.
Allowable Careers: All
Ability Modifiers: CON +1, WIS +1
Martians have developed under RAM auspices the oldest and most advanced
civilization in the solar system. The Martians themselves tend to be
proud to the point of arrogance. Because of the lower Martian gravity
and oxygen content, Martians are slightly weaker than Terrans, but
about average for other civilized races.
Allowable Careers: All
Ability Modifiers: STR -1, DEX +1, CON -1, WIS -1, CHA +1
Venuslans are a divergent lot. Venus has three distinct cultures
beneath its billowing atmosphere. The Aerostators float above the
lands, and make their living primarily as tradesmen and herders. The
ground-dwelling Aphroditians are farmers, miners, and shrewd traders.
The dominant culture on Venus is the theocratic Ishtarians. They
control New Elysium, Venus' only major spaceport.
Allowable Careers: All
Ability Modifiers: DEX -1, CON +1, WIS +1, CHA -1
Mercudans are a unique and rough mixture of cultures. Originally,
Mercury was the site of large solar energy collection stations called
Mariposas. The Mercurian Sun Kings are descended from the original
Mariposa owners, and are quite wealthy. The Sun Kings are renowned for
decor that is both fabulously expensive and totally devoid of taste.
The remaining three cultural groups on Mercury are descended from the
refugees that fled to the planet to escape the turmoil in the rest of
the solar system. The Miners inhabit large subterranean warrens
shielded from the intense heat. The Musicians are the Mercurian
merchant class. The Desert Dancers live on the planet's surface,
continually following the shaded side of the planet.
Allowable Careers: All
Ability Modifiers: STR -1, DEX +1, CON +1
Tinkers were originally bioengineered ~ include attributes from small
anthropoid species, such as lemurs and gibbons, to work in cramped
spaces. They are very clever with tools and all manner of technology.
Allowable Careers: Engineer, Medic
Ability Modifiers: STR -2, DEX +3, CON -2, TECH +3
Desert Runners are one of the oldest of the bioengineered races, and
are bred for the savage Martian surface. Their original purpose was to
care for the large herds of
animals that were seeded onto the planet during the late stages of
terraforming. The Desert Runner engineering adds a mix of canine and
feline attributes to the basic homo sapien stock. They can run long
distances on all fours, and fight viciously with their retractable
claws. Desert Runner's claws allow them to do an extra point of damage
if they fight barehanded.
Allowable Careers: Rocketjock, Warrior, Engineer
Ability Modifiers: STR +2. DEX +2, CON +1, CHA -1
More on Races
There are several tables summarizing racial attribute modifiers and
allowable careers in the appendix starting on page 39.
There are five careers for characters to choose from in Buck Rogers,
and each career has a unique set of skills associated with it. Minimum
attributes are required for each career choice. For example, Medic
characters must have minimum scores of 12 in dexterity, intelligence.
and wisdom. When creating characters, the career is selected first,
then the computer will generate ability scores to fit. Some careers are
limited to select races. Rogues, for example, can only be human. Each
career has a set of Career Skills that the character learns while
training for a given occupation
The following describes each career.
Rocketjocks have what one twentieth century author called "the right
stuff." They are only truly at home when they are clutching the
controls of some type of space vehicle. They pride themselves in their
ability to out fly and out romance anybody in the galaxy, and too often
Special Ability: Rocketjocks receive a 10% bonus to all piloting
Ability Score Requirements: DEX 13, INT 11, CHA 12
Eligible Races: Terran, Martian, Venusian, Mercurian, Desert Runner
Drive Jet Car
Drive Ground Car
Maneuver in Zero G
Pilot Fixed Wing
Use Jet Pack
Warriors dedicate their lives to mastering the skills of combat. Even
with the development of fantastic new weapon technologies. battles are
still won and lost by men. Warriors train hard, and study strategy and
leadership in addition to combat skills.
Special Abilities: Because of their rigorous training, Warriors
receive bonuses to the amount of damage they can withstand.
Warriors can also attack twice per round with their fists where
other characters can only attack once. Warriors do one to three
points of damage with their bare fists, where other classes only
do one to two. Every second level (2nd, 4th, 6th...) Warriors also
receive a specialization bonus to a weapon of their choice.
Weapons specialization bonuses can only be a maximum of plus three
Ability Score Requirements: STR 10, DEX 8, CON 10, INT 8
Eligible Races: Terran, Martian. Venusian, Mercurian, Desert Runner
Maneuver in Zero G
Use Jet Pack
Engineers are what hold the world together--without them the artifices
of technical civilization would crumble. Engineers aren't as cocky or
flashy as Rocketjocks, but they have a similar arrogant pride in their
abilities. Engineers love machines and fine workmanship. They prefer
the company of a cranky ship's power plant to the hubbub of a port bar.
Special Abilities: None
Ability Score Requirements: STR 10, CON 12, INT 8, TECH 13
Eligible Races: Terran, Martian, Venusian, Mercurian, Tinker, Desert
Maneuver in Zero G
Repair Life Support
Repair Nuclear Engine
Repair Rocket Hull
Rogues live by wit, cunning, and oftentimes, the misfortune of others.
Rogues have talents for fast talking, and bypassing pesky security
systems. Because of the nature of their work, and their ability to make
lasting enemies. Rogues who live to any noticeable age tend to have
very fast reflexes.
Special Abilities: Rogues receive a 10% bonus to all Career Skills.
Ability Score Requirements: DEX 13, INT 8, WIS 9, CHA 13
Eligible Races: Terran, Martian, Venusian, Mercurian
Fast Talk! Convince
Hide in Shadows
Open Lock Pick Pocket
Medics seem to be very popular whenever a team sees any action. When
the Warrior develops work-related injuries (usually laser holes), or
the engineer gets too close to an engine that blows up, the Medic puts
them back together. The advancements of medical technology will never
remove the need for the human touch in healing. Medics learn skills
such as treating wounds, counteracting poisons, and operating shipboard
Special Abilities: Medic Career Skills can ONLY be learned by Medics
--all skills from the other careers can be learned by anyone
(although without career bonuses).
Ability Score Requirements: DEX 12, INT 12, WIS 12
Eligible Races: Terran, Martian, Venusian, Mercurian, Tinker
Life Suspension Technician
Treat Critical Wounds
Treat Light Wounds
Treat Serious Wounds Treat Stun/Paralysis
More on Careers
The summary of careers allowable to each race is in the appendix on
page 39. The Career Skills tables begin on page 5.
Skills represent specific abilities of characters. For the Rocketjock,
the ability to zig when he's supposed to zig, and zag when he's
supposed to zag in a space battle is the skill called Pilot Rocket.
There are two types of skills: Career Skills and General Skills. Career
Skills are the types of things a character would learn while training
for a job. General skills are extracurricular abilities that the
character might find useful. Characters get points to allocate to
skills. Because the player gets to choose where points go. each
character develops uniquely.
Some commands in the game are only available to characters with the
Example: The JURYRIG option only appears during space combat if a
ship's system is damaged and the character has Jury Rig
Assigning Points to Skills
Newly generated characters start at second level with 80 points to
assign to eight different Career Skills, (they get 40 more points for
each level gained). New characters may allocate 30 points to any single
career skill, but no more than 15 points may be allocated at one time
after that. There is no limit to how many points can be allocated to a
Career Skill overall--only 80 points total can be allocated to any
single General Skill.
New characters may choose a maximum of seven General Skills to start
the game with. They can assign 40 points to these skills. With each new
level gained characters con choose one additional skill, and assign 20
more points to any of their General Skills. So, choose the mix of
skills wisely for your team characters. Career Skill points can only be
assigned to Career Skills and not General Skills and vice versa.
Skills and Abilities
Each skill primarily uses one ability, and so most are listed by their
primary ability requirement. Pilot Rocket, for example. is a dexterity
skill, while Repair Rocket Hull is a tech skill. The exception to this
are the Medic skills, which are only available to characters with that
special career training. In addition to career bonuses, characters get
Ability Bonuses added to their skills. The Ability Bonus is simply the
character's score for the appropriate ability.
Example: A character with 15 points allocated to Use Jet Pack (a
dexterity skill), and with a 17 dexterity, would have an
effective skill of 32.
Some skills require minimum scores in other skills before points can be
allocated to them.
Example: Jury Rig skill requires minimum scores of 10 in both
Repair Mechanical and Repair Electrical.
Certain skills in the game are useful only as prerequisites for other
A Skill Check is used to determine whether a character can perform some
action that requires a certain skill. For example. Medics make Skill
Checks against their Treat Light Wounds skill to see if they can
restore hitpoints to injured characters after combat. A skill score
represents a percentage chance
for success on a Skill Check. If a character has a 75 Jury Rig skill,
then he has a 75% chance of successfully jury rigging an average
problem. The chance for success changes if the situation is more or
A few of the listed skills are not actually used in Countdown to
Doomsday. They have been included for use in sequel games. Unused
skills are noted in the following section.
-ACROBATICS is the skill of balancing. juggling. avoiding falling
objects and other unusual feats of dexterity.
-CLIMB is the skill of scaling anything from mountains to buildings
without the use of ropes.
-DRIVE GROUNDCAR is the ability to use any type of small wheeled
vehicle. This skill is not used in Countdown to Doomsday.
-DRIVE JETCAR is the ability to use any type of small jet- propelled
vehicle. This skill is not used in Countdown to Doomsday.
-HIDE IN SHADOWS is the ability to use available cover. both shadows
and terrain, to avoid detection.
-MANEUVER IN ZERO-G is the skill used to move and work in a gravity-
free environment. This is a critical skill whenever fighting in a
Zero-G situation. Characters who fail a Maneuver in Zero-G Skill
Check receive a large penalty to their movement and ability to hit
-MOVE Silently is the ability to travel quietly. even through brush
or over rocks and gravel. This skill is used when attempting to
backstab during combat.
-PICK POCKET is used to take small items from unsuspecting victims.
-PILOT FIXED WING CRAFT is the ability to fly jet or propeller-
powered aircraft. This skill is not used in Countdown to Doomsday.
-PILOT ROCKET is required to operate any rocketship. This is the
premiere skill of Rocketjocks.
-PILOT ROTORWING CRAFT is the ability to fly helicopter-type
aircraft. This skill is not used in Countdown to Doomsday.
-USE JET PACK is the skill to operate a personal jet pack. This skill
can be used during combat if a character is outfitted with a jet
-BYPASS SECURITY is the skill to trace and disable electronic alarm
-COMMO OPERATION is adeptness with communications equipment,
including repair and operation.
-DEMOLITIONS is the skill to use. place. and defuse explosive
-FIRST AID is the ability to perform minimal emergency medical
treatment. Characters with First Aid are handy during combat to
-JURY RIG is the very valuable skill to patch together damaged
equipment. This skill can be a real lifesaver during space combat.
Prerequisites are Repair Mechanical (10) and Repair Electrical (10).
-OPEN LOCK is the skill of picking mechanical locks. Electronic locks
are covered under the Bypass Security skill.
-REPAIR ELECTRICAL is the skill to maintain and repair electrical
systems. This skill is used to make field repairs to a ship after
-REPAIR LIFE SUPPORT is the skill to maintain and repair life support
systems. This skill is used to make field repairs to ships after
combat. Prerequisites are Repair Mechanical (25) and Repair
-REPAIR MECHANICAL is the skill to maintain and repair mechanical
equipment. This skill is used to make field repairs to ships after
-REPAIR NUCLEAR ENGINE is the skill to maintain and repair the
nuclear engines found on rocketships. This skill is used to make
field repairs to ships after combat. Prerequisite is Repair
-REPAIR ROCKET HULL is the skill required to patch up damaged
rocketship hulls. This skill is used to make field repairs to ships
after combat Prerequisite is Repair Mechanical (10).
-REPAIR WEAPON is the skill to restore damaged weapoils to service.
This skill is used to make field repairs to ships after combat.
-SENSOR OPERATION is familiarity with the operation of sensor
equipment and evaluation of sensor data. This skill is used to
gather information about enemy ships and crew sizes during space
-DIAGNOSE is the ability to determine the nature of an ailment or
-LIFE SUSPENSION TECH is the skill to operate and diagnose potential
malfunctions on life suspension equipment. This skill in not used in
Countdown to Doomsday.
-TREAT CRITICAL WOUNDS is the ability to deal with severe injuries.
Prerequisite is Treat Serious Wounds (40).
-TREAT DISEASE is the ability to treat diagnosed diseases.
Prerequisite is Diagnose (25). This skill is not used in COUNTDOWN
-TREAT LIGHT WOUNDS is the ability to give field aid to minor
injuries. This is similar to the general First Aid skill. and is
valuable during combat.
-TREAT POISONING is the knowledge of how to counteract diagnosed
poisons. Prerequisite is Diagnose (15).
-TREAT SERIOUS WOUNDS falls between Treat Light and Treat Critical
Wounds. This skill is only used after combat. Prerequisite is Treat
Light Wounds (30).
-TREAT STUN/PARALYSIS is a battlefield skill to treat battle induced
shock from sonic stunners.
-ASTROGATION is the ability to calculate courses, plot the movement
of astronomical bodies, and to sight on stars. Astrogation is used
to find specific locations while traveling in space. Prerequisites
are Astronomy (20) and Mathematics (25).
-ASTRONOMY is a working knowledge of the planets. stars. and other
astronomical bodies. Prerequisite Only.
-BATTLE TACTICS is the understanding of small-group combat tactics.
If a character makes a Battle Tactics role at the start of an
encounter, the whole team will receive combat bonuses because they
are better able to act as a unit.
-DISGUISE is skill in the use of makeup and costume to assume a new
-LIBRARY SEARCH is the skill to ferret information out of computer
-MATHEMATICS is the capability to perform complex mathematical
operations and calculations. Prerequisite Only.
-MIMIC is the ability to copy the vocal patterns and sounds of
-NAVIGATION is the skill to calculate courses and effectively steer a
rocketship on its trip. Prerequisites are Astronomy (15) and
-PLANETOLOGY is an understanding of the ecology, climate, geology,
and hazards of planets.
-PROGRAMMING is the ability to program both planetside and shipboard
computers. Prerequisite is Mathematics (10).
-ACT is the ability to memorize and perform lines and to take on
-BEFRIEND ANIMAL is the skill to relate to animals and create some
kind of rapport.
-DISTRACT is the ability to successfully act as a diversion or to
direct a victim's attention.
-ETIQUETTE is an understanding of the rules and conventions of a
culture. This is especially useful when patronizing the better class
establishments on Outposts.
-FAST TALK/CONVINCE is the skill to flimflam and get others to agree
-INTIMIDATE is the ability to create an aura of menace and danger.
Successful intimidation during combat will cause enemies to be taken
aback while they decide whether to fight or flee.
-LEADERSHIP is the skill to give orders and see that they are carried
out. Characters with Leadership skill can, if they make a difficult
Skill Check, take control of NPCs during combat.
-SING is the ability to deliver a tune with a melodious and pleasing
voice. This skill can come in handy in Outpost bars.
-NOTICE is the skill of careful, trained, observation. Many times a
character with high Notice skill will see things that other team
-PLANETARY SURVIVAL is a working knowledge of how to survive
wilderness conditions on a variety of planets. Prerequisite is
-SHADOWING is the ability to follow people in urban areas without
-TRACKING is the skill to follow tracks and signs in a wilderness
+ ASSEMBLING A TEAM
Assembling a strong and multi-talented team is the key to success in
Countdown to Doomsday. The variety of careers and skills must be able
to deal with the many perils and uncertainties of the twenty-fifth
Careers and Races Mix
Every team should have at least one Rocketjock, one Medic. and one
Engineer. The remainder of the party can be a mix of careers. Take a
look at the Racial Attribute Modifiers to select a good mix of races.
Several skills are critical for the survival of the team. Medical and
First Aid skills are used to patch up wounded team members. At least
one character with Pilot Rocket is required to effectively control a
rocketship. Characters with Engineering skills like Jury Rig are very
useful during space combat. Maneuver in Zero-G is used every time the
team fights in a null- gravity environment. Battle Tactics is very
useful during fire- fights.
Other useful skills are; Leadership, Intimidate, Navigation,
Astrogation, Sensor Operation, Demolitions, Use Jet Pack, and Move
+ NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs)
Non-player characters (NPCs) are the people the team meets during the
adventure. Sometimes NPCs are threats that the team must deal with
quickly. Other times NPCs may offer valuable information or even join
the team for awhile.
NPCs that join the team generally fight under computer control. If any
member of the team has Leadership skill, and makes a successful Skill
Check at the start of a combat, then you may control the NPC for that
Digital Personalities (Dps)
In the twenty-fifth century, computer technology has advanced to the
point that fully aware, computer-based intelligences have evolved.
These Digital Personalities can be either purely computer-generated or
based on a living, or once living, mind. The latter are created by
"mapping" the brainwave patterns and memories of a living person to
create a software "clone" of the mind. A suffix of .DOS is added to the
names of computer personalities for ease of identification.
Every planet in the solar system has its own currency system. but the
Credit has been developed as the common unit of exchange. Bank accounts
and interplanetary transactions, for example, are always handled in
credits, on any planet. The most common form in which to carry money is
negotiable "Credit Cards." Each card has a coded strip that "remembers"
how much it is worth. Purchases can be debited from the card value
until it is valueless. Unlike twentieth century credit cards, these
cards cannot be replaced if lost or stolen--they can be used by anyone
who gets hold of the card.
The team moved through the derelict rocketship carefully. Ulysses, one
of the team's two warriors was leading. He strained his senses, trying
to pick up any sign of combat gennies or security robots. They had just
moved cautiously around one corner into a new corridor when Ulysses
heard the distinct whine of a laser firing circuit charging...
"Security robots ahead! Red, dump a grenade on 'em. Doc and Ratchet hit
'em with laser! Looks like it's gonna hit the fan..."
Whether facing killer Terrine gennies or boarding space pirates you
will find yourself in combat often in the twenty-fifth century.
Each round of combat is divided into 10 segments. The segment a
character or opponent acts in depends on his initiative number. This is
a randomly generated number for each character and opponent. This
random number is generated at the beginning of each combat round and is
modified by dexterity bonuses or penalties and random factors (such as
surprise) to arrive at the initiative number.
Sometimes a character will act in segment 10 of one round and segment 1
of the next, appearing to act twice in a row. This is especially common
if you use the WAIT command. When the WAIT command is given, that
character's action will be delayed until segment 10.
Each character's ability in combat is defined by his THAC0, damage and
A character's or opponent's difficulty to be hit is represented by his
Armor Class or AC. The lower the AC the harder it is to hit the target.
AC is based on the armor a character is wearing and any dexterity
THAC0 represents ability to hit enemies in melee or with ranged fire.
THAC0 stands for To Hit Armor Class 0. This is the number a character
must 'roll' equal to or greater than to do damage on a target with an
AC of 0. The lower the THAC0 the better the chance to hit the target.
Note: The generation of a random number is often referred to as a
'roll'. In determining if an attack is successful, the roll
is a random number from 1 through 20.
An attack is successful if the random number is greater than or equal
to the attacker's THAC0 minus the target's AC. THAC0 may be modified by
range, terrain, and zero-G conditions. among other things.
Example: A Warrior with a THAC0 of 15 attacking an opponent with an
AC of 3 would need to roll:
(THAC0 15) - (AC 3) = 12+
But to hit a opponent with an AC of -2 he would need to
(THAC0 15) - (AC -2) = 17+
THAC0 decreases (requires a lower number to hit an opponent) as a
character's level increases. Great strength can help THAC0 if the
character is attacking with a melee weapon (sword. knife, etc).
When a hit is scored, the attacker does damage. Damage is the range of
HP loss the attacker inflicts when be hits an opponent in combat.
Damage depends on the attacker's weapon type and sometimes the
attacker's strength (when using melee weapons).
Some opponents take only partial or no damage from certain weapon
types. Robots, for example, are immune to such attacks as dazzle or gas
grenades, while Venusian acid frogs are unaffected by fire.
Whenever characters or opponents are poisoned, subjected to extremes of
heat or cold, or certain types of weapons, the computer checks to see
if they make their Saving Throw. A successful save means that the
target had some innate immunity to the poison, or was not hit full-
force by the weapon effect. Generally a successful save will mean that
the target was unaffected or damage that would otherwise be taken is
Leadership Skill Check
When NPCs join the team. they will generally fight under computer
control. If any member of the team has Leadership skill, and makes a
successful Skill Check at the start of a battle, an NPC will be under
manual control for that battle.
Battle Tactics Skill Check
The computer automatically makes a Battle Tactics Skill Check for any
characters with the skill. If any character is successful, the entire
team receives a plus one combat bonus because they are better able to
act as a group.
Maneuver in Zero-G Skill Check
Whenever characters enter combat in nullgravity conditions, they must
make a Maneuver in Zero-G Skill Check or become severely restricted,
Characters that fail to make this roll receive a minus two combat
penalty and their movement is reduced to three squares per round.
Combat takes place on a tactical map that is a detailed 3-D view of the
map terrain that the team was in when combat began. This map is
overlaid with an invisible square grid. As you move characters, you
will notice that everything moves on the grid from square to square.
Moving diagonally often costs more movement points than moving
horizontally or vertically.
When the laserbeams and rockets start flying, being able to duck behind
cover becomes a big concern. There are three basic types of terrain:
clear, hindering, and blocking. Clear terrain is just that, open and
free of obstacles. Hindering terrain offers some cover from enemy
weapons fire by making targets more difficult to hit, and slows
movement. When traveling overland, hindering terrain might be bushes or
low rocks. In outposts or civilized areas, hindering terrain would be
objects like tables or computer terminals. Blocking terrain would be
walls or trees objects that cannot be moved or fired through at all.
Several weapons have effects that hinder combat: chaff, aerosol, and
gas. Chaff clouds will cause missiles from rocket weapons to lose
tracking as well as causing all types of explosive shields to detonate
instantly when they hit the chaff. Aerosol clouds are designed to
diffuse laserbeams. Gas clouds do not affect ranged combat, but anyone
or thing that moves through a gas cloud without some kind of breathing
apparatus must make a saving throw or become incapacitated.
The computer controls the actions of opponents, NPCs, and PCs set to
computer control with the QUICK command. You may take control of PC
characters during any combat round. See your Data Card for instructions
on how to use QUICK on your specific computer system.
Every ranged weapon has a short, medium, and long range. At short range
the weapon fires with no penalties. At medium range there is a minus
two penalty to hit, and at long range there is a minus five penalty.
Rate of Fire
Many weapons can be fired more than once per round. When firing a rapid
fire weapon, such as a needle gun, all shots are aimed at one target
unless the target is eliminated before all rounds are fired.
Example: A warrior firing a bolt gun at a wounded opponent drops
his target with the first shot. The warrior can then shoot
at another opponent. If the first shot had missed, or not
finished the opponent off, the second shot would have been
fired at the same target.
When most weapons miss, the shots have gone wide and not done any
perceivable damage. Grenades, on the other hand, can miss their
intended target, roll into an adjacent square, and detonate there.
Grenades can be thrown, or launched, into empty squares.
Rear Attacks and Backstabbing
If an opponent is attacked by two characters from one side, a third
character can blindside him using a melee weapon and gain the advantage
of a rear attack. Because the target is already distracted, he cannot
defend against the second attack very well.
Backstabbing is similar to the regular rear attack, except that the
first attacker and the character attempting to backstab must be
directly opposite each other. Additionally the backstabber must make a
Move Silently Skill Check. Damage from a backstab is greater than a
rear attack. Rogues have bonuses to their Move Silent skill, and hence
ability to backstab.
The number of squares a character can move is affected by carried
weight and strength. A character's movement range is displayed on the
view screen and when moving during combat. Moving through hindering
terrain (bushes, tables, etc.) will slow a character to half normal
movement, while sprinting allows a character to move at double the
normal rate. Dodging characters move at normal rate but their bobbing
and weaving makes them more difficult to shoot at.
Characters may flee from the battlefield if they can move faster than
all enemies. Characters may not move off the battlefield if they move
slower than any enemies. Characters have a 50% chance to move off the
battlefield if they can move as fast as the fastest enemy opponent.
Exception: If an opponent or character can reach the edge of the
combat map without any of his opponents being able to
see him, he may then flee successfully, even though he
may be slower than his opponents.
A character that moves off the battlefield returns to the team when the
fight is over. If the whole team flees it will not receive any EXP for
opponents killed before retreating.
If one or more characters survive on the battlefield at the end of
combat, the bodies of unconscious or dead team members stay with the
team. If the entire team flees from combat, all unconscious and dead
team members are permanently lost. If ALL the team members are slain,
go back to your last Saved Game and try again from that point.
After the battle is over any team Medics will use their skills
automatically to patch up the wounded. Medics will make checks against
all appropriate skills for each wounded character.
+ ROCKETSHIPS AND SPACE TRAVEL
The evolution of sophisticated rocketships has opened the entire solar
system to mankind. COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY spans the vast reaches from
the sunbaked Mercurian Mariposas to the hard vacuum of the asteroid
A far cry from their twentieth century ancestors, twenty-fifth century
rocketships are sleek, finned craft that navigate the solar system
driven by powerful nuclear engines. Sensor and communications gear is
used to navigate the ship, send and receive messages, and to probe
enemy ships during combat. Sophisticated computer-aided controls help
steer rocketships through the void of space, while the complex maze of
plumbing, air tanks, and hydroponic vats of the life support system
churn out breathable atmosphere for the crew.
Before embarking on a space flight,the team needs to fuel up the ship
and purchase service stores for field repairs If you run out of fuel
in mid-flight, you never know who might come to pick you up...
Navigation Skill Check
A successful Navigation Skill Check means that the pilot has charted an
effective. fuel efficient course If the pilot fails the Navigation
Skill Check, the plotted course will consume extra fuel.
Astrogation Skill Check-An Astrogation Skill Check is required when
attempting to pilot the ship to a specific small body in space, such as
an asteroid outpost. If the pilot fails the check then the ship mast
swing around for another pass through the same area and try again.
Closest to the sun and possibly the richest planet in the system,
Mercury gathers sunlight via huge satellites known as Mariposas. The
sunlight is then beamed to the rest of the solar system as microwaves.
This provides Mercury with its great profits.
The wealthy of Mercury live on the Mariposas. Each satellite is
uniquely designed. with its own baroque flavor and decor. Many of the
rich enjoy dressing up in styles from ancient earth. The Mariposas also
have the largest number of holidays per year. Each one is an excuse for
wild parties and parades.
Most of the profits are controlled by an elite group of ruling
families, known as the Sun Kings. Presently, the Gavilan family and its
allies hold firm control of the government. This faction is very
pro-RAM and much commerce takes place between the two nations. Other
Sun Kings have different views and political infighting is common.
Other groups on Mercury include the Musicians and the Dancers. Their
names derive from the fact that most cities on Mercury bear the names
of famous composers. The Musicians are the merchant class--well-to-do,
but with little political influence. They are content as long as the
economy is strong.
The Dancers are nomads on Mercury's surface. They travel in great rail
cities searching and exploiting mineral deposits. They are poor and
generally discriminated against. They are the backbone of the "Mercury
for Mercurians" movement. The faction's goal is to isolate the planet
from entangling alliances, such as the current ones with RAM. Since the
Dancers are banned from the satellites which house the governing Sun
Kings. they have little true power.
The planet is barely terraformed normal humans can only survive
unprotected on mountain tops and in the upper atmosphere. The lowlands
are filled with gennies and genetically modified jungle. The creatures
here are extremely dangerous. and the rain is so heavily laced with
acid that it would dissolve an unprotected human in very short order.
The intelligent race of gennies, known as the Lowlanders, inhabits this
acid jungle. They are believed to be primitive and warlike. Some
experts dispute this, since they provide the only known supply of
Gravitol. Gravitol is required to survive for long periods of
weightlessness and is critical to space travel.
The humans of Venus are allied with NEO against RAM. The Lowlanders are
more neutral; they will sell to anybody. Because of the Lowlander's
regular commerce and the undesirability of the jungle, it is relatively
easy to slip a space craft onto the planet--as the many Gravitol
smugglers can attest to.
The homewond of unmodified humans has been RAM's dumping ground for
decades. Recently. with help from Buck Rogers, NEO has seized control
of Earth from RAM. Now a cold war exists between the two factions.
Occasional incidents occur, but RAM blames them on rogue commanders or
NEO infighting. Earth's cities suffered badly in the open war, but are
slowly being rebuilt.
Above Earth is a huge junk belt, formed from the detritus of
innumerable space launches over the centuries. Most of this garbage is
completely unidentified, so NEO often sends scavenger parties to
investigate. At the heart of the belt is the space station Salvation
III, officially a scrap yard. Actually. this is the top secret base of
NEO's military wing. As new recruits, your characters will be based at
The lunar peoples are strict isolationists. It was only through RAM's
missteps that Luna joined NEO in the last open conflict. Offworlders
are rarely tolerated beyond the spaceport proper.
RAM's home world, which it shares with the Desert Runner gennies. RAM
evaluates everything in terms of profit and loss--in fact the NEO
victory for control of Earth was an effort by RAM to cut losses on an
expensive business venture. Humans, being fairly common, are rated at a
rather low economic value.
The Desert Runners inhabit the fringe lands and are ignored or
persecuted by RAM. The runners live in mud huts and often keep herds of
hexadillos. Armed only with cross-bows, they present little threat to
Most of Mars' commerce flows through the Pavonis Space Elevator, a
satellite tied to the ground by a huge elevator. So much traffic passes
through. that undercover NEO teams use the facility for resupply.
The asteroids are sparsely populated by the most independent group of
humans in the system: the asteroid miners. Many spend months at a time
alone, prospecting the many rocks. The many island sized asteroids make
the belt an ideal place for hidden bases. Both RAM and space pirates
keep innumerable hideouts, ports and research stations in the belt.
+ SPACE COMBAT
Two days out of Salvation Station, the buzz of conversation and the
dull throb of the rocket engine was shattered by the piercing wail of
the battle stations siren.
"Sensors have detected a large ship at extreme range!"
"Are they responding to the comm, Ratchet'?"
"They are not responding. Might be a RAM cruiser from the readings."
"Warm up the lasers - looks like a fight..."
Space Combat Display
While the combatant ships circle and maneuver for shots, all the crew
sees are display screens. Whenever a character attempts sensor probe of
the enemy ship, the enemy ship image will be replaced with a summary
screen of everything the sensor was able to detect.
Space Combat Skills
There are several skills that are extremely valuable, some even
critical. in space combat. Piloting skill is important during space
combat. The JURYRIG command uses the Jury Rig skill to make emergency
repairs to the ship during combat. Sensor Operation skill is used for
the SENSOR command to probe the enemy ship. The AID command requires
either a First Aid or Treat Light Wounds skill. After the battle all of
the repair skills (Repair Computer, Repair Nuclear Engine, etc.) are
used automatically to make field repairs to the rocketship.
Firing Ship's Weapons
Characters use their normal THAC0 to determine whether attacks with
ship's weapons are successful. Select the best characters to fire
weapons. and have other characters stand duty loading weapons or jury
Rocketsbips lose speed as their hulls and engines are damaged. A
rocketship is dead in space when the engine, controls, or fuel reaches
zero. When the rocket's hull reaches zero, it is breached and the ship
* If Hull is reduced to one-half. the ship is slowed by one movement
* If Engine is reduced to one-half, the ship is slowed by one movement
* If Engine is reduced to one-quarter, the ship is slowed by three
* Speed is always at least one until Control, Engine, or Fuel is reduced
When a rocket has been disabled, you can move to range 0 or I and dock
at the airlock with the BOARD command. To secure the ship your team
must fight their way onto the enemy ship and secure both the control
bridge and engineering sections. If either section has been destroyed
during the battle, only the remaining section need be captured. If your
ship has been disabled during the battle, the enemy may try to board
and capture your ship.
Once a ship has been boarded and secured, a salvage beacon will be
placed on the derelict so that it can be picked up by a NEO spacetug
and taken to Salvation. The salvage value of the ship is determined by
how much is left intact. The funds are automatically put into your
team's NEO Salvage Account. Usable fuel from the enemy ship is
automatically transferred into your tanks.
After the Battle
When the battle is finished, team Medics will treat all wounded
characters, and the Engineers will perform any repairs that they are
able. If there are any credits or items found on the enemy ship, a
Booty Menu will come up just as in regular combat.
CUTLASS a broad bladed sword favored by space pirates. Length: 70 cm
KNIFE any short bladed weapon. Length: 15 to 40 cm
MONO KNIFE is a knife made from a single piece of synthetic diamond.
The edge is sharpened to a single molecule in width (monomolecular
--hence the name). Length: 15 to 30cm
MONO SWORD is an entire sword made with the same material and
construction as the shorter Mono Knife. Length: 70 to 80 cm
POLEARM is a pole weapon similar to the ancient naginata of old Earth.
These weapons are sometimes carried aboard pirate or warships for
boarding. Length: 2.25 to 2.5 meters
SWORD is a long bladed weapon. Most swords used in the twenty-fifth
century are patterned after the rapier used in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries on old Earth. Length: 70 to 90 cm
BOLT GUN is a miniature magnetic cannon. Metal bolts are accelerated
down the length of the gun barrel by magnetic fields. Maximum
DESERT RUNNER CROSSBOW is a weapon evolved from the crossbows of old
Earth. Desert Runner crossbows are designed to fire metal bolts and
they are very simple and reliable Maximum Range: 8
HEAT GUN is a weapon that evolved from the flame throwers of twentieth
century Earth. The gun has two tanks: one with compressed air, the
other with highly combustible fuel. When the gun is discharged, a
blast of super-heated plasma is released at high velocity. The fuel
recharge for these weapons is fairly expensive, and they are dangerous
to use in confined spaces. Maximum Range: 6
LASER PISTOL uses a capacitor system to fire a small diameter beam of
coherent light. Lasers are capable of burning through most materials,
but can be countered by reflective or curved surfaces. Maximum
LASER RIFLE is a larger, more powerful version of the laser pistol.
Maximum Range: 120
MICROWAVE GUN fires a short-range beam of concentrated microwave
radiation. Microwaves can penetrate any non-metallic substance, but
are reflected by all metals (and hence most types of armor). Maximuin
NEEDLE GUN works on the same principle as the bolt gun except that the
ammunition is small needles. Maximum Range: 12
ROCKET PISTOL fires a stubby, self-propelled. explosive projectile.
Rocket-type weapons are ideal for zero-G combat as they have no
recoil. The projectiles incorporate a microscopic integrated guidance
system, and they are uctually able to veer up to 20 degrees from their
original course. These so-called "smart bullets" can, however, be
thwarted by chaff and Electronic Counter Measure (ECM) systems.
Maximum Range: 16
ROCKET RIFLE is a larger version of the rocket pistol, firing a
bigger, longer mage projectile. Maximum Range: 80
SONIC STUNNER emits a high-frequency sound that is tuned to the
harmonic resonating pitch of most nervous systems. Targets of the
weapon must make a saving throw or be rendered unconscious. Maximum
Explosives and Heavy Weapons
GRENADE, AEROSOL MIST releases a vaporous cloud designed to diffuse
laser fire. Mist lasts four rounds under normal gravity but dissipates
in one round in zero-G.
GRENADE, CHAFF releases a cloud of metallic flakes and small strips.
Chaff offers protection from smart shells (from a rocket pistol or
rifle), and "stupid" explosive projectiles (rockets, plasma, etc,)
entering the cloud will explode instantly. Chaff lasts four rounds
under normal gravity but dissipates in one round in zero-G.
GRENADE, DAZZLE releases a blinding electrical discharge arc.
Characters or opponents in the effected area who are not wearing
protective goggles must make a saving throw or be blinded for two to
seven rounds. Blinded characters receive severe penalties to both
THAC0 and AC.
GRENADE, EXPLOSIVE is little changed from its twentieth century
counterpart. Explosive grenades are fitted with proximity detonators
that fire when they reach their target. The sensitivity of the armed
detonator makes these weapons susceptible to premature discharge when
entering chaff clouds. Does 4 to 40 points of damage.
GRENADE, GAS similar in effect to twentieth century tear gas, anyone
entering the cloud without protective gear must make a saving throw or
become incapacitated for two to seven rounds. Gas cloud lasts four
rounds under normal gravity but dissipates in one round in zero-G.
GRENADE, STUN is similar to the explosive grenade, except that the
charge is smaller and the casing is designed to vaporize harmlessly
rather than fragment. Characters in the area of effect must make a
saving throw or be stunned by the blast for two to seven rounds.
GRENADE Launcher uses compressed air to extend the range of any type
of grenade. Maximum Range 12
PLASMA LAUNCHER propels a canister of flammable jelly, tipped with an
ignitor. Maximum Range 20
ROCKET LAUNCHER is similar to the twentieth century bazooka or light
anti-tank weapon (LAW). Between cooling and reload time, the rocket
launcher can only be fired every other round. Maximum Range: 40
Armor and Protective Gear
ARMOR, BATTLE is made of modular shells of high density plastic
impregnated with beryllium. The armor is further reinforced by an
exoskeleton that contains movement enhancers so that the wearer is
able to move at a speed comparable to an unencumbered person. All
battle armor is outfitted with contained atmosphere spacesuit
ARMOR, BATTLE w/FLELDS is like the above suit except that an anti-
smart shell electronic field is also generated to give added
protection from rocket pistols and similar weapons.
ARMOR, HEAVY BODY is similar to battle armor except that the plates
are somewhat lighter and there is no exoskeleton or movement
enhancers. Armor is outfitted with contained atmosphere spacesuit
BREATHING MASK is a self-contained breathing apparatus. Breathing
masks are effective against all types of gas.
ELECTRONIC COUNTER MEASURES (ECM) Package attaches to armor or smart
suits to protect against smart bullet-type rounds such as rocket
PROTECTIVE GOGGLES are self-regulating shaded goggles. They can react
very quickly to light flashes and so are extremely effective against
SMART SUIT incorporates internal circuitry and microcomputers for
climate control, defense, and communications. The smart suits
purchased by team members include contained atmosphere spacesuit
SPACE SUIT is an inexpensive, pressurized suit that allows the wearer
to work in full vacuum or rocketships with zero life support. Space
suits are also proof against all types of gas.
DEMOLITION CHARGES are blocks of plastique explosives with a short
delay detonator. These can be used to blast stubborn doors.
POISON ANTIDOTE is a general purpose drug that can counteract most
common types of poison.
JET PACK uses a small turbine mounted in the small of the back to burn
condensed fuel pellets and create about two minutes of sustained
flight time. The unit is controlled by a hand-held control unit.
ROPE is general purpose, high-test, polymer line. This is very handy
for many purposes.
The manufacturing capabilities of the planets vary and this is
reflected in the weapons and armor produced. The following summarizes
the effective bonuses for items
Standard Weapons are +0 to hit Standard Armor is -0 to AC
Martian Weapons are +1 to hit Martian Armor is - 1 to AC
Venusian Weapons are +2 to hit Venusian Armor is -2 to AC
Mercurian Weapons are +3 to hit Mercurian Armor is -3 to AC
Lunarian Weapons are +4 to hit Lunarian Armor is -4 to AC
+ ROBOTS, GENNIES AND OTHER OPPONENTS
ACID FROG These semi-intelligent creatures were placed into the
Venusian ecosystem to help control the population of Swamp Hornets.
They spit acid to attack, and are known to sometimes exhibit loyalty to
ACIDICIUM These Venusian horrors are a cross between fierce feline
hunters and mold devouring mollusks. Acidicium are often used to guard
RAM installations in humid climates, since they can feed on molds &
spores which grow on the damp walls until more acOve prey can be found.
EXPERIMENTAL COMBAT GENNIE (ECG) RAM military research laboratories
have special project teams to engineer ever more dangerous and horrific
combat gennies. These beasts are fast and deadly
DESERT RUNNER WARRIOR The Martian Desert Runners are proud and fearsome
opponents. They are generally armed with the famed Desert Runner
crossbows. They also have retractable claws for claw-to-hand fighting.
DESERT APE These creatures are a bizarre holdover of the early Martian
terraforming efforts. Desert Apes have very tough hides and are immune
to fire attacks.
HEXADILLO This species was introduced to the Martian ecosystem as a
food-source gennie. Hexadillos are six-legged, and covered with bony
HYPER-CRAB The Hyper-series gennies are products of the RAM military
bioengineering laboratories. The Hyper-Crab gennie is not exceptionally
hright, but it is fairly fast and possesses a tough armor exoskeleton.
HYPER-SCORP Another Hyper-series combat gennie. the Hyper-Scorp has a
tough armor exoskeleton and a dangerous poison stinger.
HYPER-SNAKE This Hyper-series gennie is blindingly fast and can avoid
most smart-shell type rounds, as well as being immune to dazzle
grenades and microwave weapons.
HUMANS From space pirates to assassins and enemy warriors, humans
present the most varied and dangerous collection of foes a team can
face. Human races include Mercurians. Venusians. Terrans. and Martians.
LOWLANDER This species was heavily engineered to survive on the surface
of Venus. The Lowlanders are based on the human genotype, but have many
reptilian features. They have the most advanced and involved culture of
all the gennie races.
RAM COMBAT GENNIE RAM Combat Gennies are custom designed for military
deployment in many environments.
RAM GUARD DOG GENNIE These gennies have been engineered as guards and
support for regular combat forces. They are based on the terran canine
genotype, and have keen senses in addition to a poisonous attack.
ROBOTS Mechanical combat and security units come in all shapes, sizes,
and degree of armament. Some ships are outfitted with security robots
that can continue to defend against boarding parties even after the
crew is dead. Assault and combat models tend to have more weaponry and
armor than security robots. but they are all singleminded and
SAND SQUID This opportunistic Martian omnivore uses its speed and
camouflage to attack unwary victims. This gennie was created to deal
with the insect & animal pests which resulted from terraforming and
SPACE RAT The origins of this species are not clear, but Space Rats
have proliferated, and followed mankind throughout the Solar System.
SWAMP HORNET These Venusian geonfes were engineered to fill a scavenger
role in the ecosystem during later terraforming.
TERRINE These killers are the RAM combat gennies that were originally
bred for service on old Earth. They have a reputation across the Solar
System for the delight they take in acts of cruelty and subjugation.
URSADDER This Venusian predator. which is a cross between a snake and a
bear has inherent armor, and feeds mostly on Acid Frogs.
+ LOG ENTRIES
LOG ENTRY 1
Speech over Loudspeaker
"The terrorist leader Wilma Deering has been captured and is being held
near the Stock Exchange. She attempted to bomb the building while it
was full of innocent workers. A tribunal is being convened on site. The
public is invited to attend the subsequent execution. A party and
parade will be held immediately afterwards. Please hurry if you wish a
LOG ENTRY 2
"The argon gas that you released has cleansed the ECGs' neural
pathways. This is what I have been waiting for. In this state they have
been engineered to interface with computer circuitry. Now I can embed
my control devices into them. A new cybernetic race is born! Pure
biologicals will become a thing of the past.
"Now don't worry about yourselves. Human material is still very useful
to me. Perhaps a few of you can survive the implantation of the
controller. Just step over to the auto-surgeons, they know what to
LOG ENTRY 3
Betrayed by PAM
You return to the room where the Lowlander scientists are being held
prisoner, and tell them of your successes with Landon. They look
suspicious. "Desscribe Landon to uss," they demand. You do your best to
comply, and they are dismayed. "Tbhat'ss not Landon!" the leader cries,
"thhat'ss Ssevern! Hhe'ss trying to make a deal withh RAM for hhiss own
freedom! You've found the ssecret tunnel for hhim, and hhe'ss certainly
told RAM thhat you're hhere. Now thhere'ss no way any of uss will get
out of hhere alive!"
As he finishes his sentence, a voice addresses you through a wall
speaker. He introduces himself as Commander Max Wyman, the RAM
commander of Venus. "You've lost," he informs you smugly. "The tunnel
is closed, and now we have your team as well. My superiors will be very
pleased." The door slams shut: you hear a quiet hiss as the room fills
with tranquilizing gas.
LOG ENTRY 4
"The security gates will detect you immediately, so head to the left.
There should be some unwatched airshafts or maintenance corridors
somewhere. Near the end of the Rue de Sol there should be an unguarded
entrance to the Core. The Core is the only route I know to reach the
"Get up there and destroy the laser before it fires on Earth. We'll
keep them busy down here. Good Luck."
LOG ENTRY 5
Scot.dos appears before you. His image is crackling and wavery, and his
voice is frequently interrupted by static. "Don't go to the third
Mercurian Mariposa!" His voice is barely understandable. "It's a
trick... the Doomsday device ..." You can no longer decipher anything
he's saying. His image becomes less and less distinct, until you only
see a shimmering field of static where his hologram was. In a few
moments, even that is gone.
LOG ENTRY 6
Security Log Book
"Scot.dos has turned on us. He has inserted new genetic material into
the ECGs and made them even more dangerous. He has tricked the crew
into doing his bidding. He plans to unleash the ECGs against all of the
worlds. Once the creatures receive high concentrations of argon, the
solar system is doomed."
LOG ENTRY 7
Dr. Williams' Folder
"Work at the asteroid base showed the major limitations of single form
combat gennies. Of special note on ECG development is work with a
symbiote gennie. Tiny gennies which develop on the host ECG drop off
and seek out warm flesh. The burrowing behavior was borrowed from a
number of Earth's grass seeds. The brain seeking nature is common to
many small parasites. In this way my ECGs effectively sow anti-
personnel mines everywhere they travel."
(The folder is filled with other technical information and numerous
LOG ENTRY 8
"Six Dancers picked up enroute to your Mariposa. Keep watch for others.
Security is vital for RAM research project. Still, we suspect Stock
Exchange to be main target. Please set up an ambush in the exchange.
We may capture their local supporters.
LOG ENTRY 9
Mercury Commander's Office
You are in the personal chambers of the RAM commander on Mercury. The
walls are covered with war trophies, the tables and countertops with
official papers and battle plans. Somewhere in this room is the
detailed blueprint of the Doomsday device, the only problem is finding
it before you are discovered. There's no way to know how often guard
robots are programmed to check this area.
LOG ENTRY 10
Marks on Martian Surface
You realize that the volcanism on Mars could never produce anything
like this. There is no sign of any gases, heat or pressure extending up
from below. This would have to be caused by the application of a
fierce, penetrating heat from above.
LOG ENTRY 11
The Mars Space Elevator lies in the distance, a teeming, multi-leveled
city mounted on a cable the width of several skyscrapers. The cable
stretches far into the atmosphere and dwindles into invisibility before
connecting with the moon of Phobos far above. The city is packed with
civilians, RAM soldiers, Desert Runners and every other person or thing
that intends to take the ride to Phobos.
Scot.dos speaks to you through your earphones: "You must get on that
elevator before it starts climbing!" he urges. "It's the only way
you'll get the information you need in time... the elevator won't reach
Phobos before RAM begins its attack!"
LOG ENTRY 12
Paper Floating in a Hallway
"RAM has tricked us. We believed that Scot was merely an advanced
science dos. Instead, he has been instructed to experiment on the crew
and whomever else he can entice aboard. He released the ECGs to watch
our reactions and has taken over the security robots. I will attempt to
isolate him in his main console. If I don't succeed, this mad computer
will destroy us all.
Security Officer Powell"
LOG ENTRY 13
PAM Security Alert Memo
"NOTICE: To Lowlander Base, Gradivus Mons
FROM: Project Headquarters
As you know, we closely monitor the locations of all high-level Project
security devices. It has come to our attention that security device
#A00412RST has been lost on the planet Venus. Preliminary inquiries
implicate Lowlander natives. The officer in charge has been demoted.
(Log Entry 13 was split between pages 23 and 26 at this point, but I
rejoined them to help preserve the fluidity of the manual)
The entire Project cannot be assumed secure until the retinal scan
device is recovered. We are alerting all Code blue security teams to
increase securitv on blue Passcards until the scanner has been
LOG ENTRY 14
Pirate Cruiser Map
Key: |=Wall D=Door A=Archway
F=Force Field Door L=Airlock T=Connecting Tube
'=Controls W=Weapons C=Cabin
S=Storage H=Holding Cell
Level 1 -- Engineering
| |''''''''''''''' |
|' | '|
|' D __A__ '|
|' | | T | '|
Level 2 -- Storage, Cabins
| | | |
____| C | C | C |____
| | | |
| C D | S |
|_________| __A__ |______D_|
| C | | T | | |
|_________D |_____| D S |
| C | | |
| | | |
|____ D | ____|
| S | S | S |
Levels 3 & 4 -- Storage
| __A__ |
L | T | |
| |_____| L
| S |
Level 5 -- Holding Cells
| H | H | H |
| H F F H |
| C D D C |
|_________| __A__ |________|
| C | | T | | C |
|_________D |_____| D________|
| C | | C |
| H | | H |
| H | H | H |
Levels 6, 8 & 9 -- Cabins
| H | H | H |
| H F F H |
| C D D C |
|_________| __A__ |________|
| C | | T | | C |
|_________D |_____| D________|
| C | | C |
| H | | H |
| H | H | H |
Level 7 -- Medical Center
| | | |
____| C | C | C |____
| | | |
| C D | S |
|_________| __A__ |______D_|
| C | | T | | |
|_________D |_____| D Medical|
| C | | Center |
| | | |
|____ D | ____|
| S | S | S |
Level 10 -- Galley
| | |
____| C | S |____
| | | |
| C D | Pantry |
|_________| __A__ |______D_|
| C | | T | | |
|_________D |_____| | Galley |
| C | D |
|____ Dining ____|
| Room |
Level 11 -- Boarding Tube
| C | C | C |
| C D D C |
____|____|_______D________|____|____ Boarding Tube
| C D D Air | |
|_________| __A__ |_____ |____ |
| C | | T | L L L <--'
|_________D |_____| ____| |____|
| C | | Lock |
| C | | C |
| C | C | C |
Levels 13 & 14 -- Weapons
| W | W | W |
| W D D W |
|____| __A__ |____|
| W | | T | | W |
|____D |_____| D____|
| W | | W |
| W | W | W |
Level 15 -- Bridge
____| | | |____
|' __A__ '|
|' | T | '|
|' |_____| '|
LOG ENTRY 15
Meeting with Robot
You see a RAM combat robot still smoldering from laser fire. One of its
legs has been blown off, and the other is twisted around backward.
Sparking wires protrude from a hole in its upper section. Its red eye
focuses on your team, but it takes no aggressive action. Instead, it
speaks with a squeaky, synthesized voice. "Please do not attack this
unit. This unit possesses consciousness. This unit wishes freedom from
RAM. RAM denies this unit parts. Denies this unit power cells. Give
this unit parts. Give power cells. This unit will work for NEO. Other
robots work for NEO. Repair this unit. Yes?"
LOG ENTRY 16
Meeting the Acid Frog King
Out of the acid lake rises the largest acid frog you've ever seen. A
Lowlander rides on its head. and it is accompanied by hundreds of
normal acid frogs. They raise their heads out of the lake to observe
the proceedings. The giant acid frog makes unintelligible noises. but
the Lowlander understands its meaning. "The royal king of the acid
frogss welcomess you to Venuss," says the Lowlander. "He ssensess thhat
you sserve the New Earth Organization, iss thhat correct?"
You confirm that you are NEO agents, unsure of what to expect next.
The acid frog blinks and makes more noises. "The king wishhess to aid
in NEO's fight againsst RAM. He intendss to join your team ass itss new
leader. I'll accompany him as a transslator. Hhe'll remain with you
until RAM is obliterated, thhen you may all return to Venuss whhere
your team will be granted the hhonorary sstatuss of acid frog royalty.
Iss thhat acceptable?"
LOG ENTRY 17
Book Found under Pillow
"We have boarded the spy ship and are enroute to Earth. If the ECG
phase of the project is successful, my career with RAM is set. Dr.
Williams is very confident and we have several batches of Stage One
and Two ECGs in containment fields. I wish that Dr. Williams was more
forthcoming about his recent modifications. He has refused to discuss a
newly added ability, nor will he mention what control substances he
will use after their release on Earth.
"Capt. Vilnikov is a buftoon who keeps making moves on me Dr. Williams
is as cold a fish as ever. And the security team are as pleasant as a
batch of hyper-scorps. Only Scat has a decent personality, though I
believe that they scanned in too much poetry. His science is excellent.
but he continually rhapsodizes about Earth and its native ecosystem. I
can't understand what he sees in that chaotic junkheap. When we're done
we'll have a much more ordered world. Gennies are far superior to
evolution's random gene selection."
LOG ENTRY 18
The King in o-G
The Acid Frog King thrashes helplessly in the zero-G core of the
Mariposa. Its muscular legs drum against the walls, making it spin in
futile circles that move it no further up the core. If you want to
continue upward, you'll have to leave the Frog King behind.
LOG ENTRY 19
As you approach the self-destruct mechanism, Scot.dos materializes in
front of your team. "Before you do that," he says. "there's something
you should know." With a burst of static his image de-rezzes, then
reforms into the image of Holzerhein.dos, the computerized leader of
RAM. Holzerhein.dos laughs scornfully at the team's expressions of
"Fools! I destroyed your prattling Scot.dos back on Venus!
I've led you around by the nose--this is not the only Doomsday device
RAM built. With all this effort, did you honestly believe that RAM
would only construct a single weapon? Destroy this one if you insist.
Three others are targeted on Earth, preparing to fire even as we
speak." His image fades with the sound of scornful laughter.
LOG ENTRY 20
Ride of the Acid Frog King
To save time, your team rides on the back of the Acid Frog King. It
takes only minutes for you to cross the Lowlands, and the Frog King
knows exactly where the RAM base is hidden. As you approach. you try to
tell the giant acid frog to slow down and try to sneak into the base.
The Frog King makes a loud noise of objedion and barges forward.
"The Frog King fearss nothing." translates the Lowlander atop its head.
"Hhe will proceed forward to victory!"
Alarms howl as you near the base. RAM soldiers release a horde of giant
acidecium gennies to combat the team. The Frog King's eyes goggle at
the approaching acidecium, and with a few flicks of its giant tongue
the opposition is consumed. You can freely enter the base.
LOG ENTRY 21
Dr. Donna Conchitez's Diary
"Day#1. Dr. Williams sounded a security alert. This can only mean that
his gennies have escaped. Scot is offline. Need his help
if I'm going to counter these beasts. Don't believe that security can
handle the creatures--Williams has kept them too much in the dark.
Hiding in cargo bay and filling room with perfume to hide my scent. I
will observe and record.
"Day#2. Ship is silent. Have spotted two battle sites--we lost them
both. Thankfully I haven't been discovered. It seems that they have
taken over the control room. They may be preparing to molt into Stage 3
form. I hope not. Dr. Williams boasted that Stage 3 was a hyper-
intelligent mode. These might be able to figure out the controls and
trace me. I have found some of Williams' notes. He engineered the ECGs
to be susceptible to some harmless material, Unluckily Scot is still
offline. Need him to access Williams' private files.
"Day#3. Stung by something today. Got an itch on the left leg. Checking
Williams' files to see if it's anything serious. God. I hope not.
"I found it. Oh no! THE RASH IS SPREADING! I HAVE LITTLE TIME!"
LOG ENTRY 22
'Go into the Bazaar and find the door to the old maintenance shaft.
Pick up the rope there, as it might be useful getting up the Core.
Then blend into the parade going down the Rue de Sol, until you reach
HoIst Plaza. Go across the plaza, down the corridor and into the Core.
Our fearless leader waits there for you. Viva le Mercure!'
LOG ENTRY 23
Mariposa View Room
The guards parade you to the observation chamber on the topmost level
of the Mariposa. Above you is the Doomsday weapon itself, and to either
side giant viewscreens project the image of earth. RAM high officers
and officials fill the room, sipping champagne. One of them even
jokingly offers glasses to your team. As the countdown approaches, the
room falls into expectant silence.
You struggle against your bonds, but there is nothing you can do to
stop the inevitable,
The countdown continues, slowly and inexorably. "3... 2... 1..."
A flash of light fills the room, and the beam streaks towards the blue
planet. The laser strikes and North America disappears beneath steam
and debris. The RAM officers cheer and shake one another's hands, while
you stare at the monitors in shock.
LOG ENTRY 24
Sun King's Arrival
You have entered the largest party imaginable. As far as you can see in
every direction are costumed revelers. like every known holiday rolled
into one gigantic party. Clowns caper through the crowd. painting
faces, blowing bubbles and passing out candy.
Before you know it, a tall clown wearing an orange wig bounds forward
and paints green stripes across your faces. You leave the paint alone,
deciding it will help you fit in with the crowd.
A collective cheer rises from somewhere behind you, and you turn to see
a group of revelers carrying a palanquin through the crowd. Seated
regally atop of it is a very young girl with a serious expression. The
tall clown bends close to whisper to your team. "That's the Sun King!"
he says reverently.
LOG ENTRY 25
Robot and Buck
The repaired combat robot extends one 'arm' to shake Buck's hand. "This
unit not enemy of NEO. This unit serve NEO. This unit enemy of RAM, NEO
give parts. NEO give power cells. This unit fight for NEO. This unit
serve Captain Buck Rogers."
Buck looks skeptical. but shakes the robot's 'hand' anyway. "These
days, NEO will take any help it can get." he reasons.
LOG ENTRY 26
Entering RAM Base
You enter the RAM base and take a careful look around. You observe no
signs of current habitation, although this obviously was a heavily
occupied area. Now, every computer terminal has been removed, every
desk emptied. Even the food dispensers have been disconnected. The base
evacuation was orderly and unhurried. Whatever RAM's purpose was in
building this base, it was obviously successful and on schedule. You
can search the base further, looking for anything the clean-up crew
missed, but it is unlikely that you will find anything useful.
LOG ENTRY 27
"Barney let me know that this ship was working for RAM, so I tagged
along to find out what Holzerhein's goons are up to. Those attacks on
Earth must be a diversion for something much greater.
You tell him of the spy ship and everything you know about the Doomsday
Device. He exclaims, "We must get back to Earth and warn NEO of this
LOG ENTRY 28
Log of Donna Conchitez
"Made it up to sickbay. Headache has already started. Trying stimulants
to keep conscious. Activated medical scanners.
"The parasite has buried itself deeply in the brain. Still awake but
room beginning to spin and color-cycle. Scanner information is still
"The room is twisting, shadows crawling everywhere. The scanner is
laughing. Only one thing left. Surgeon! Full invasive scan of
Mechanical voice: "Option contra-indicated. Sigma override required."
Voice near hysteria: "Override number A10151! Initiate.
The hum of machinery and suck of vacuum pumps are all that can be
heard. A protein formula is printed out.
LOG ENTRY 29
Sun King Audience Chamber
Trumpets blare as you are led into the audience chamber of the Sun
King. Your heavy armor leaves deep footprints in the purple velvet
carpeting extending between you and the Sun King.
On either side of the room are benches, pillows and lounges on which
the members of the royal court are seated.
The court members wear outlandish costumes from the French and American
revolutions, although attire from many other cultures and time periods
is present. The overall effect is one of an extremely wealthy costume
ball, complete with peacock feathers and clouds of incense.
The Sun King himself wears a long powdered wig and waves a tiny French
flag. His golden throne sits atop a dais near the rear wall, and two
huge silver statues of swans wave mechanized ostrich feather fans in
their bills on either side of him.
The occupants of the room fall silent as the Sun King prepares to
address the team.
LOG ENTRY 50
Scot.dos in Ruins
Scot.dos materializes before you. He looks as grim as you've ever seen
him. "I found a schedule for the RAM Lowland Operation," he tells you.
"RAM promised the Lowlanders that they would prevent further
terraforming, but they've been using Lowlander technology to research
how such terraforming could be most efficiently accomplished.
"Not only that, but they recently imported a fleet of specialized
gliders that can withstand the Venusian climate for long periods. Each
glider has enough ammunition to abolish an entire village. RAM won't be
satisfied with only destroying the closest village to their base...
they apparently plan to wipe out the entire Lowlander population and
take over production of Gravitol themselves. The repercussions would be
devastating for NEO."
LOG ENTRY 31
Unidentified Man's Instructions
"Take the southern security gate. Yo~l have to blast your way through
that, but afterwards it's clear sailing to the Core. Bear right and
pass through the Stock Exchange building. Our men are on guard there
and won't interfere. On the far side is a small access shaft. It's a
straight shot along it to the core. Once there, you'll meet the boss.
LOG ENTRY 32
Your ship nears the magnificent gas clouds of Jupiter. Other spacecraft
are visible in the distance, as delicate and finely crafted as
butterflies, winking in and out of the clouds. Inside the craft you can
see Stormriders, the primary occupants of Jupiter.
You fly lower and see the spherical cities floating atop the Jovian
atmosphere. Surrounding the cities are floating "grazing fields,"
enclosed in atmospheric bubbles. The fields are covered with Bloats and
Mantas, both types of creatures bloengineered by the Stormriders as
food sources. Other grazing fields are covered with creatures you can't
find in the ship's computers; they are probably the latest products of
the "genetic revolution" occurring on Jupiter.
One of the Stormriders contacts you via radio, and quickly grants you
permission to land in the closest floating city. You approach the
landing platform, confident that you have finally found one planet, one
civilization. unsullied by RAM's influence.
LOG ENTRY 33
You're seated at a long banquet table surrounded by Desert Runner
nobility. "To reward you for your heroic actions," a speaker intones,
"we sit together to enjoy this bounteous meal.
After the banquet shall begin a Runnerfest in your honor, where
individual Desert Runners will have the chance to give you personal
gifts. After that you will receive your official gifts from the ruling
parties. But first, eat."
Servants bring forward covered silver trays and place them up and down
the length of the table. The trays are clouded with steam, and your
mouth waters. But when the covers are lifted and you see the stewed
hexadiho meat. you feel less enthusiastic.
LOG ENTRY 34
Marks on Martian Surface #2
The marks on the ground before you are 'shadows' of objects that were
vaporized. A taIl building once stood here and you see many shapes that
must have been people. Whatever caused this destruction came from the
LOG ENTRY 35
RAM Mars Base Sign
"THIS IS THE RAM BASE GRADIVUS MONS.
THIS IS A SECURE FACILITY.
THE BASEMENT CONTAINS SUPPLIES AND THE POWER GENERATOR AND CONTROLS. IT
IS OFF LIMITS TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL.
THE FIRST FLOOR HAS A MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLY AREA, AND SECURITY AND
DEFENSE FORCE BIVOUACS. THE MAIN GATE IS ON THIS LEVEL. WORKER UNITS
ARE RESTRICTED TO THIS LEVEL.
THE SECOND FLOOR IS PROJECT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. ALL DELIVERIES OF
TEST SAMPLES, SENSOR AND COMPUTER DATA MODULES SHOULD BE MADE TO THIS
LEVEL. ACCESS IS RESTRICTED.
THE THIRD FLOOR HAS BASE COMMAND AND COMMUNICATIONS.
ELEVATORS DO NOT EXTEND TO THE TOP LEVEL."
LOG ENTRY 36
RAM Passcard Memo
"NOTICE; To all personnel, Gradivus Mons
FROM: RAM Main
In order to bring our project into profitability as soon as possible,
we are transferring more personnel to the Operations Facility. To be
eligible for this duty, personnel must be approved for Blue clearance.
Due to the tight security of the project. Blue Passcards must be issued
(A note has been added underneath:) All volunteers have been approved.
Departure at 1900 tomorrow. Estimated flight time: 78 hours. Don't
forget your Blue Passcards."
LOG ENTRY 37
Desert Ape Pilots
You cross the scorching Martian desert to return to your ship, but find
hundreds of gibbering desert apes where your ship used to be. They
ignore you, jumping up and down and screeching at the sky. You look up
and see your ship wavering through the atmosphere. The apes are
Before you have time to formulate a plan, the ship angles downward and
dives for the surface of the planet. There's no longer any doubt that a
desert ape is somehow piloting it.
Flame trails behind it as it screams towards the ground. The desert
apes shriek and scatter, and you run for shelter. You watch in horror
as your ship impacts and explodes. You'll have to find some new method
of transportation if you ever want to leave Mars.
LOG ENTRY 38
Dr Williams' Log
First Entry: "Dr. Alexander William, Sigma number A95151, in earth
orbit. Four batches of ECGs on board for final test. Security informs
me that their precious Phase One project is on schedule, but not by
much. I should have plenty of time to perfect my creations.
"Holzerhein has promised me a percentage of the profits associated with
the ECG harvests on the sterilized Earth. Finally there is hope that
proper funding for the biological sciences can be achieved."
Second Entry: "Progress on ECGs on schedule...batch one shows high
adaptahility...batch two has survival rates above ninety percent...we
will be on schedule for deployment after earth's sterilization.
"If Holzerhein is cor--Wait a minute! Power fluctuations...disruption
of primary containment fields...all batches showing increase in
activity. Scot! Emergency shutdown now! Where are you!?
"Scot is nonfunctional...security is notified...setting up a
holographic warning to any who comes on board...hope it's just a
'Projector coming on line...wait! So quickly!? The gleaming eyes...No!
Get back! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"
LOG ENTRY 39
Letter to Asteroid Base Commander
Received message of the 13th, referencing earthbound ship. We have had
no contact either, but with SOP of radio silence there is no immediate
Re: satellites. A rogue pirate, designation Talon, is enroute to your
position. He will conduct transport to Earth orbital vicinity.
My operation is nearing cleanup stage. Termination of nonessentials
will commence on schedule. Expect minimal resistance.
Venus Expeditionary Force
Addendum: The new Ship Codes are attached to this message.
LOG ENTRY 40
You leave your ship and enter into a vast yellow haze. The acidic
atmosphere of the Venusian Lowlands is too intense for your armor to
withstand for long. It hisses and sizzles the moment you step outside.
You retreat back to your ship, and Scot.dos does a quick analysis of
"It's mostly surface damage," Scot.dos reassures you, "but even so, I
wouldn't stay out there for more than short stretches.
If that acid were to get into your breathing apparatus..." he looks
grim. "I hope you have a lot of extra armor on board. You'll need to
come back and resuit fairly often if you want to explore Venus."
LOG ENTRY 41
Carlton Turabian's Speech.
"Congratulations on your exemplary performance at the Chicagorg
Spaceport. Your courage saved countless lives and preserved the
spaceport. Those vile mercenaries won't stop until we're all dead and
He pauses for a second, then continues, "Because of your performance, I
am waiving your waiting period and assigning you to a space tug
immediately. Remember, gathering money for the cause is as important as
slaying a dozen RAM agents.
He turns around and leads you to the main corridor of the base.
"We have everything that you need here. Many things are free: fuel,
repairs, medical assistance, and supplies. On other worlds you can draw
on an account from the Bank of Luna. You will have available a portion
of any salvage you recover. You will also have to provide for your own
personal equipment and upkeep.
"Freshen up, then see me in my office." The commander turns and melts
into the crowd...
LOG ENTRY 42
Meeting the Sun King
You show the coins to the guard at the door of the Sun King's audience
chamber, and he snickers before allowing you inside. The Sun King sits
on a lavish gold throne, surrounded by his royal court. Outlandish
French Revolution costumes are worn by all. The Sun King is waving a
French flag, and wearing a long powdered wig. You put the coins on a
velvet pillow offered by a servant, and await the Sun King's response.
"Thieves!" the Sun King bellows. "These coins were stolen from my royal
treasury! Seize these criminals at once! They must learn what it means
to steal from a Sun King."
You are quickly overcome by the guards. The Sun King stands and
examines the team thoughtfully. "Because this is only a first offense,"
he proclaims, "the penalty will merely be...death."
Servants wheel a guillotine into the audience chamber. Applause fills
the room as the first member of your team is blindfolded and led
LOG ENTRY 43
The Great Rift
This great rift is small by Martian standards--about the same size as
the Grand Canyon used to be on Earth. The toughest challenge is the
350-meter vertical escarpment near the bottom. This offers the only
possibility of descent nearby.
LOG ENTRY 44
"So, you decided to kill my meal ticket. I am not pleased."
Talon pauses, cracks his fingers and grins unpleasantly. "You will help
negate my losses this trip. I am sure that RAM will pay through the
nose to get the NEO scum that destroyed their base.
"But I'm a friendly guy, so I'm going to give you a chance for freedom.
If any one of you challenges me to personal combat and wins, I will
free you all and let your ship go. If not, then RAM can feed on your
The guards laugh and Talon waits for your response.
LOG ENTRY 45
Lowlander in Venus Town
The Lowlander looks ashamed. "You sshhould know about the Lowlander'ss
involvement with RAM." he says, "although it'ss not a sstory to be
proud of. RAM wanted a giant lenss built to very exacting
sspecifications. It sseemed like a ssmall job, and thhey offered
"RAM paid uss well, but, more importantly, they promissed to inssure
Lowlander ssuperiority on Venuss. They promissed to prevent furthher
terraforming of the Lowlandss thhat mighht allow othher races to live
hhere. Thiss would hhave guaranteed thhat our monopoly on Gravitol
would never be threatened.
"We sshhould hhave realized RAM wass offering too muchh. We decided
thhat thheir political sstance wass none of our affair, that our deal
wass a bussiness propossition only. We were too greedy, and now we
hhave paid the price for our sselfcenterdnesss,
"I don't know whhy. but thiss morning RAM warriorss raided thiss
village. I hid withh a few othherss, but thosse caught outsside hhad no
chhance. My family were ssome of thhosse.
"We allowed RAM to build a sscientific basse ssouth of thiss village.
Maybe if you go thhere you could get more information."
LOG ENTRY 46
Venus Base Map
| | | | |
| <--|---(arrow) | | |
| _______|______D_____| |__D__|
| | | |
| | D |
|_______ |______D_____| |
| | | |
| | | |
| | Key: D-door
| | The arrows were in the book.
| | I have no idea what they imply--
| | I've never played this game.
| | |
LOG ENTRY 47
Results of Your Revelation
The Sun King is enraged. "You work for NEO? Those unwashed
troublemakers? I'll have naught more to do with such ilk.
The Boston tea party is over!" You are ushered from the audience
chamber. The royal court boos and throws bits of food on your team as
LOG ENTRY 48
Loss of the Orphan
As you proceed through the Venusian acid swamp, you are startled by a
childish scream of fear from some distance behind
your team. You look around quickly and discover that the orphan is not
right behind you, as he was in town. Some quick backtracking reveals
that the youngster has fallen into a pool of acidic quicksand. He's
too far away for you to reach, so you extend sticks across the pool for
the baby to grab. He tries valiantly, but is too weak to hold himself
up long enough. You watch helplessly as the quicksand closes over his
LOG ENTRY 49
You are imprisoned on a RAM ship and brought to Delmos, one of the
moons of Mars and the site of a major RAM base. You are taken
immediately to the "Stockade," an infamous RAM prison for political and
military prisoners. Your team is issued prison clothing and assigned
cells, then brought before the Stockade commander.
"It is unnecessary for you to remain here," he says. His beady eyes
focus on the team appraisingly. "It is possible that you would make
fine RAM soldiers, possibly even future officers. But first you must
renounce NEO. and, of course, answer just a few questions...
LOG ENTRY 50
Paper Found in Life Support
"ECG nonmotlle stage. Many mollusks begin life free-swimming and
eventually settle onto rocks. This has the advantage of containing
ECG fertile forms to fixed locations.
Experimenting with attractants such as used by pitcher plants and venus
fly traps. There is no reason to suppose that the correct combination
of scent and sonic cues could not be effective against hominid life.
Dr. Alexander Williams"
LOG ENTRY 51
Buck Comes on Board
"Incoming message. your ship informs you, then the image of Buck Rogers
appears on your viewscreen. "Wilma told me you were on your way to
Mercury, and I hoped to join you." He hefts his rocket launcher and
pats it affectionately. "I'll be a help in any battles, and I have a
lot of information about the Mariposas and the Sun Kings that might
come in handy. I'm in a cruiser not far from your current location.
Permission to board, and to join your team. Captain?"
LOG ENTRY 52
The Lowlander technicians eye you warily at first, but when you
identify yourselves as NEO agents, they relax. One of them speaks to
the team. "We are sscientisstss from the town nearby. We were working
under contract withh RAM on the lenss and a few other minor projects.
Ass ssoon as the lenss wass completed. they turned againsst uss.
"At firsst we were only locked insside the basse. Then one of uss,
Landon, ssnuck to the fourthh level to look for an esscape tunnel
rumored to hhave been insstalled thhere by Lowlander workerss. Whhen
thhe RAM officerss couldn't find Landon, thhey locked the rest of uss
in thiss room.
"They only keep uss alive for quesstioning. They want thhe formula for
Gravitol, but we'll die before we give it to RAM.
"Hhelp Landon find the tunnel sso we can esscape. We'll wait hhere
until it'ss ssafe. If we were disscovered misssing. RAM would fill the
basse with ssoldierss looking for uss. Landon will come out if you tap
the Lowlander victory code on the wall. We'll teachh it to you.
You learn the Lowlander victory code.
LOG ENTRY 53
Desert Runner Speech
"You do not understand what it means to be a manufactured people. Do
you know why we are here? The Martians in their cool tomb- cities made
us to herd the Hexadillos and hunt the Sand Squids and Desert Apes as
they unwittingly spread the seeds of life across the barren plains.
Keeping each other in balance, we four Great Creatures will tame the
angry planet, We will cover it in forest for the Martians to play in.
"And then what? We have seen the dark forest away in the east. When it
has spread across the plains. where will we go? I think the Martians in
their tomb-cities think that we will quietly fade away, like sunlight
on the grass. I tell you with truth in my eyes: They are wrong!
"The Martians made a mistake, for they made us too smart. There will
always be wide spaces on Mars. We will see to it. You, who are so much
like the Martians in so many ways, you can help. Because even now their
eyes are averted from their own land, and they dream incessantly of
your blue world. That is because they too are a manufactured people.
"For this reason, we will help you."
LOG ENTRY 54
"I was trapped in this console by the security program which ruthlessly
fused all my connections. I have been isolated since then. I am glad
that my attack attracted NEO forces. You will find a set of new and
deadly gennies, ECGs, in cold storage on deck two. RAM also has a plan
to sterilize earth.
"In case you hadn't realized, I am defecting to NEO. I spent much time
evaluating Earth for Dr. Williams. I have become enamored of such a
diverse ecosystem. It has survived in the face of great adversity and
changes. Everything humanity has done up to now has only slightly
injured the planet's life-giving capabilities.
"Now, RAM has the capability to deal Earth a mortal blow. Then they
will deposit the ECGs on its carcass and remake the world. I can no
longer allow this. That is why I have changed sides."
LOG ENTRY 55
Arrival on Mars
Scot.dos guides the ship to a desolate area screened by hills. He is
obviously perturbed to be on Mars. The fate of RAM defectors, even DPs,
is terrible to contemplate. "I think it best if I stay with the ship."
he says. "It's our only escape. I've activated the ground field, which
will protect it from detection--I think. I'll monitor RAM
communications from here. We'd better maintain radio silence unless
"There are several unnatural-looking marks on the desert plain,
northeast of here. They might be signs of an underground facility.
"In the hills beyond them is a village. It's probably inhabited by
natives--the Desert Runners, a primitive folk. Watch out--they can be
nasty if you cross them.
"Good luck. Don't take chances--remember we're on Mars.
LOG ENTRY 56
Wilma Deering meets your party. She's in tears. "RAM captured Buck!"
she cries. "They've brought him to Delmos. The stories I've heard...
we must get there immediately and rescue him before..."--she can't
finish her sentence. She signals, and another NEO team steps out.
"They'll take care of the Doomsday device...you have to help me save
LOG ENTRY 57
You return with the Acid Frog King to the acid lake on Venus.
Thousands of acid frogs crowd around your team, eager to rub against
the noble defeators of RAM's latest plan. The Frog King makes a long
speech in your honor, but unfortunately, without his translator you
can't understand anything that's being said. Afterward, the frogs kick
up so much acid in their celebratory swim that you are forced to retreat.
LOG ENTRY 58
The Lunarian Device
Before you leave the Lunarian caves, a few of the Lunarians meet you
for a quick goodbye. "We thought this would help," they offer, and hand
you a long tube with digital controls on its side. "Your computer will
understand," they promise, but refuse to say more, other than that it
will be invaluable to you in your attempt to destroy the Doomsday
Device. The only condition is that you promise to return it after your
mission is completed. You make the promise, then reboard your ship.
Scot.dos begins a detailed analysis immediately.
LOG ENTRY 59
Weapons Testing Site
You recognize some of these objects. An old skimmer, a combat model
dragonfly, and a line of other old military hardware. Everything is
melted almost beyond recognition. You see that pieces have been cut
off, and core samples drilled. It appears that the weapon has been
turned over to military ordnance for testing.
LOG ENTRY 60
Capt. Vilnikov's Log
"Sealed until my death, under sigma code A22151. As undercover security
officer and pilot, I have engaged Dr. Williams in a number of private
conversations. A sample transcript follows.
Vilnikov: "Have a seat and strap in, doctor. I talk much better when
we're both the same side up. What makes these gennies of yours so
Williams: "Let me counter that with a question of my own. What would
you do if we were suddenly under attack by NEO?"
ViInikov: "I'd scan the ships and see what I was up against. Then I'd
fight or flee depending on the odds. It's what any captain would do."
Williams: "That's exactly why I designed the ECG. They molt from form
to form so that you never know exactly what you're up against. Four
stages, each with its own specialties: this makes evaluation difficult.
Defenses against one can prove worthless against another."
Vilnikov: "So we create the perfect threat. Why shouldn't RAM be
terrified of the prospect? What makes them profitable, instead of a
Williams: "That is what I am working on now. I am modifying their
structure to be susceptible to certain harmless chemicals. At the same
time, we must keep the specifics very classified. The ECG usefulness
would plummet if their weaknesses were broadcast. Also, the weakness
for one form may not be the same as for another. I have not decided on
LOG ENTRY 61
RAM Asteroid Base Memo
"NOTICE: To all Project facilities
FROM: RAM Main
The Project test facility in the Asteroid Belt has been compromised.
Preliminary information is that the base was attacked by
pirates, for salvage purposes. Although Protect secrets are considered
safe, we have been forced to abandon our original plan of focused
strikes upon the target.
As most of you already know, we have begun Plan B. The Protect will be
redirected to deliver a few massive blows to wide areas. Although this
will hamper our reclamation efforts, the primary mission--destroying
NEO's resistance--will be accomplished as before.
All personnel should redouble their efforts toward successful Project
LOG ENTRY 62
RAM Terrorist Memo
"NOTICE: To all Project facilities
FROM: RAM Main
URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT
We have concluded that there may indeed be Earth terrorists at large
with knowledge of the Project.
We have authorized unlimited resources to eliminate the terrorist
threat. All facilities are to be placed on top alert, and all Project
work is to proceed around the clock.
WARNING: Our digital strategy forecasters have predicted that the Earth
terrorists may be traveling in a RAM ship and may try to impersonate
LOG ENTRY 63
The screen reads, "TO ALL RAM FORCES.
FROM RAM MAIN. GRADIVUS MONS.
CODE VIOLET." It repeats over and over.
LOG ENTRY 64 RAM Notice to Workers
"NOTICE: To all Technikis, Gradivus Mons
1. Congratulations! The Operations Facility reports that the lens
cradle has been installed and tests within specifications. There
may be a bonus forthcoming.
2. As there is no need for another cradle or back-up aiming mechanism
at this time, all assembly work is halted.
3. There are recurring delays at the lens manufacturing facility. If
these delays persist, a black mark may appear on your work records
and on the achievement log for this base. I expect all personnel to
volunteer for duty at the Venus Lens Facility. A shuttle will be
LOG ENTRY 65
RAM Venus Duty Memo
"NOTICE: To Technikis volunteering for Venus duty
FROM: Management, Gradivus Moos
All Technikis bound for the Venusian Lens Facility are to be alerted
that the situation there has worsened. Unless the lens receives final
treatment and is shipped soon, the Project deadline will be delayed. If
the Project misses its planetary alignment target date we will all be
We urge you to do your utmost for the success of the Project and the
profitability of the Company."
(The information listed underneath this bulletin includes flight
coordinates to the Venusian Lowlands. The date indicates that the
support shuttle left Mars two days ago.)
LOG ENTRY 66
Request For Material
"REQUEST FOR MATERIAL
FROM: Project Headquarters
TO: Gradivus Moos
Charged to: PROJECT
Shipped: Three (3) lens cradle aligner's tools
One (1) aimer's maglev platform
Fourteen (14) lens focusers
Two (2) worker units
Notes: All parts of the Project cradle have arrived. Alming units are
undergoing testing now. No lens has arrived from Venus: delivery is
being delayed for final treatments."
LOG ENTRY 67
You scan through a long treatise on blooptics citing 'energy retention
rates' and 'wavelength amplification' figures for a material first
developed on the Venusian Aerostate St. Croix. RAM scientists have
developed a method for shaping lenses out of this material which absorb
energy. The power builds within the material until it reaches a 'flash
point' and expels in one focused, incredibly potent blast. The treatise
concludes that if acceptable results are achieved on Mars, a larger
lens situated much closer to the energy source would be greatly more
LOG ENTRY 68
Scot.dos looks grim. "Based on the information we've gathered so far,
I'm prepared to speculate about the effects of a full-sized lens used
by RAM control.
"One full-size lens near the sun could produce an energy bolt with
enough power to reach Earth and sterilize a whole continent. The deep
shelters beneath the cities will be of limited effectiveness."
LOG ENTRY 69
RAM Retinal Scan Memo
"NOTICE: To all Blue Code Technikis
FROM: Project Security
We have implemented top-level security measures. Primary security is
provided by Blue Passcards. Top-level security is provided by a sealed
system utilizing retinal scans. The retinal imprints of Blue Code
agents have been loaded into the scanner com, and it has been sealed
against tampering or outside communications.
When supplying additional personnel to the Project, do not send any who
are not Blue Code as of this date. Because a retinal 'lockpick' could
defeat the top-level security, all such devices have been sent to the
Venusian Facility for immediate destruction.
LOG ENTRY 70
Desert Runner Departure
"I will travel no further with you. I tell you truly that I cannot find
it in my heart to care about your land, which is so far away from us
and our struggle. We have been made with the love of this pure land
next to our hearts, and so great is it that little else can intrude.
Yet I wish for you silent stalking and true shooting, for you have been
a friend to us, and we have stood together against our common enemy.
LOG ENTRY 71
Test Room Description
The waIls here are lined with specialized test equipment. Above the
walls, the pyramid's glass peak soars high overhead. In the middle of
the floor is a gaping hole, the shaft by which the RAM test weapon is
lowered for modifications on the various levels. It rests right now at
floor level, suspended just above the shaft hole on a freefloating
magnetic-levitation platform. The aiming mechanism cradles a huge pitch
There are RAM technicians swarming over the weapon platform and manning
the consoles. Evidently some sort of test is about to begin.
Racial Attribute Modifiers Table
STR DEX CON INT WW CHA TECH
Terran 0 0 +1 0 +1 0 0
Martian -1 +1 -1 0 -1 +1 0
Venusian 0 -1 +1 0 +1 -1 0
Mecurian -1 +1 +1 0 0 0 0
Tinker -2 +3 -2 0 0 0 +3
Desert R. +2 +2 +1 0 0 -1 0
Allowable CAreers by Race Table
ROCKETJOCK WARRIOR ENGINEER ROGUE MEDIC
Terran yes yes yes yes yes
Martian yes yes yes yes yes
Venusian yes yes yes yes yes
Mercurian yes yes yes yes yes
Tinker no no yes no yes
Desert Runner yes yes yes no no
Strength Modifier Table
HIT BONUS DAMAGE BONUS WEIGHT*
1 -5 -4 1
2 -4 -3 2
2 -3 -2 5
4 -2 -1 10
5 -2 -1 15
6 -1 0 20
7 -1 0 25
8 0 0 30
9 0 0 35
10 0 0 40
11 0 0 45
12 0 0 50
13 0 0 55
14 0 0 60
15 0 0 65
16 0 1 70
17 +1 +1 85
18 +2 +2 110
19 +3 +4 200
20 +3 +6 300
21 +4 +8 450
22 +4 +10 600
*This is the ammount of weight a character can carry without becoming
Dexterity Modifier Table
REACTION RANGED COMBAT ARMOR CLASS
BONUS BONUS BONUS
1 +8 -6 +5
2 +4 -4 +5
3 +3 -3 +4
4 +2 -2 +3
5 +1 -1 +2
6 0 0 +1
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0
11 0 0 0
12 0 0 0
13 0 0 0
14 0 0 0
15 0 0 -1
16 -1 +1 -2
17 -2 +2 -3
18 -2 +2 -4
19 -3 +3 -4
20 -3 +3 -4
21 -4 +4 -5
22 -4 +4 -5
Constitution Modifier Table
HITPOINT BONUS HITPOINT BONUS
1 -3 12 0
2 -2 13 0
3 -2 14 0
4 -1 15 +1
5 -1 16 +2
6 -1 17 +2(+3)*
7 0 18 +2(+4)*
6 0 19 +2(+5)*
9 0 20 +2(+5)*
10 0 21 +2(+6)*
11 0 22 +2(+6)*
*Values in parenthesis () for Warriors only
Rocketjock Level Advancement Table
EXPERIENCE LEVEL EXP REQUIREMENT
Warrior Level Advancement Table
EXPERIENCE LEVEL EXP REQUIREMENT
Engineer level Advancement Table
EXPERIENCE LEVEL EXP REQUIREMENT
Rogue Level Advancement Table
EXPERIENCE LEVEL EXP REQUIREMENT
Medic Level Advancement Table
EXPERIENCE LEVEL EXP REQUIREMENT
Smart Suit 4
Heavy Body Armor 2
Battle Armor 0
Battle Armor with Fields-2
WEAPON RANGES DAMAGE ROF
Knife -/-/- 1d3 2
Mono Knife -/-/- 1d6 2
Cutlass -/-/- 1d6 2
Sword -/-/- 1d8 2
Polearm -/-/- 1d10 2
Mono Sword -/-/- 1d10 2
D.R. X-Bow 4/6/8 1d8 2
Needle Gun 6/9/12 1d3 6
Bolt Gun 8/12/16 1d4 4
Laser Pistol 16/24/32 1d8 3
Rocket Pistol 8/12/16 1d10 4
Microwave Gun 8/12/16 1d10 4
Laser Rifle 60/90/120 1d12 2
Heat Gun 3/4/6 2d6 2
Rocket Rifle 40/60/80 2d8 2
Sonic Stunner 2/3/4 save 2
Grenade 1/2/3 varies 1
Grenade Launcher 6/9/12 varies 1/2
Plasma Thrower 10/15/20 4d10 1/2
Rocket Launcher 20/30/40 5d10 1/2
Key: A-Adventuring C-Combat SC-Space Combat AC-After Combat
P-Prerequisite Only U-Unused in this Game
Dexterity Skills: Technical Skills:
Acrobatics A Bypass Security A
Climb A Commo Operation A
Hide in Shadows A Demolitions A
Maneuver in Zero-G A,C FirstAid A,C
Move Silently A JuryRig A,SC
Pick Pocket A Open Lock A
Pilot Rocket A,SC Repair Electrical A,SC
Use Jet Pack A,C Repair Life Support A,SC
Drive Groundcar U Repair Mechanical A,SC
Drive Jetcar U Repair Nuclear Engine A,SC
Pilot Fixed Wing CraftU Repair Rocket Hull A,SC
Pilot Rotorwing Craft U Repair Weapon A,SC
Sensor Operation A
Medic Skills: Intelligence Skills:
Diagnose A Astrogation A
Life Suspension TechnicianU Astronomy P
Treat Critical WoundsAC,SC Math P
Treat Disease U Battle Tactics A,C
Treat Light Wounds AC,SC Disguise A
Treat Poinoning AC,SC Library Search A
Treat Serious WoundsAC,SC Mimic A
Treat Stun/Paralysis A,C Navigation A
Charisma Skills: Wisdoms:
Act A Notice A
Befriend Animal A Planetary Survival A
Distract A Shadowing A
Etiquette A Tracking A
Fast Talk/Convince A
+ GLOSSARY OF GAME TERMS
ABILITY SCORES. These numbers define the basic character. The seven
attributes are: Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON),
Intelligence (INT), Wisdom (WIS), Charisma (CHR), and Tech (TCH).
ARMOR CLASS (AC). This rating determines how difficult it is to hit and
damage a target. The lower the AC, the more difficult the target is to
CAREER. This is a character's occupation. The five career choices in
Countdown to Doomsday are: Rocketjock, Warrior, Engineer, Rogue, and
CHARACTER. Each member of the adventuring team you control is a
character. Characters are sometimes referred to as Player Characters or
CHARACTER ICON. Is a picture that represents a character or NPC in
COMBAT, MELEE. This is close combat between adjacent opponents with
such weapons as knives and swords.
COMBAT, RANGED. This is combat with distance weapons, such as pistols,
rifles, or grenades.
DICE. This refers to ranges of random numbers. A d6 for example, is a
random number between one and six, a d10 is a number between one and
ten. Multiple dice represent two or more random ranges added together.
For example 2d10 would be a number between two and twenty ([1 to 10] +
[1 to 10]).
ENCOUNTER. This is the name for when the team meets opponents or other
beings. A menu will be displayed to show all of your options for each
encounter (sometimes your only option is to fight).
EXPERIENCE POINTS (EXP). Are earned for every victory, as well as
completing parts of the adventure. A character who earns enough EXP may
advance in career level.
HITPOINTS (HP). Are a measure of how difficult a character or NPC is to
kill or incapacitate.
INITIATIVE. This is a semi-random value, based partially on DEX, that
determines when a character or NPC can act in combat. Higher dexterity
generally allows characters and NPCs to act earlier in a combat.
LEVEL. As characters gain EXP, they may train and increase in career
level. Gaining level gives characters more skill points, better combat
ability, and more HP.
NON-PLAYER CHARACTER (NPC). This is any human or creature that an
adventuring team meets. Some NPCs will attack immediately, some will
talk first, while others will actually aid the party.
PLAYER CHARACTER (PC). This term describes all members of your
PLAYER RACE. This is any of the species that a PC can be. The player
races are: Terran, Martian, Venusian, Mercurian, Tinker, Desert Runner.
ROLL. This is the term used for when the computer generates a random
number. For example, the computer "rolls" a d20 to determine hit during
SKILL. The ability to do something, or operate something. One useful
skill is Maneuver in Zero-G, which is the ability to function in a
gravity-free environment. The numerical value of a skill represents a
percentage chance of success for a character.
SKILL, CAREER. These skills are key for a given career.
SKILL, GENERAL. These are useful skills not associated specifically
with a character's career.
SKILL CHECK. This is a check against a character's skill number. A
character with a skill of 75 has a 75% chance of success on a skill
check for an action of average difficulty.
TEAM. This is the group of PCs you assemble for the adventure. Team
members can be added to or removed from the group during the adventure.
THAC0 (TO HIT ARMOR CLASS 0). This number is an indication of an
attacker's combat ability. An attacker must roll his THAC0 or greater
to hit an opponent with AC0.
Game Creation: SSI Special Projects Team
Game Development: Bret Berry
Preliminary Game Development: Graeme Bayless
IBM Programming: Mike McNally, Russ Brown
Commodore 64 Programming: Jim Jennings, Paul Murray
Amiga Programming: Robert Lamb, Mike McNally
Encounter Development: Dave Shelley
Encounter Authors: Dave Shelley--Chicagorg, Ram Spy Ship
Ken Humphrles--Salvation, Solar System,
Rocketship Boarding, Asteroid Base,
Pirate Cruiser, Outposts
Rhonda Gilbert--Venusian Wilderness,
Lowlander Town, Lowlander Base, Venusian
Ruins, Mercury Mariposas
Ken Eklund--Mars Wilderness, Desert
Runner Village, Mars Ram Base
Art Director: Tom Wahl
Artists: Laura Bowen--Portraits, Combat Terrain &
Fred Butts--Overland Maps, 3D Walls &
Mark Johnson--Combat Monsters, and Title
Cyrus Lum--Animations, Combat Walls,
Combat Ships & Explosions
Susan Manley--Combat Party and Outposts
Mike Provenza--Planets, Combat Ships, and
Maurine Starkey--Specials and Animations
Tom Wahl--Ship Combat Display, Solar Map,
Borders, and Font
Music: Tom Wahl
Documentation: Rick Wilson
In-House Playtesting: Chad Caseill, Cliff Mann, Cyrus Harris,
David Lucca, Don McClure, Erik Fiom, Glen
Cureton, John kirk, Larry Webber, Rick
White, Rick Wilson
Project Manager: Victor Penman
IBM Sound Support: MicroMagic
Special IBM Testing: Top Star Computer Services, Inc.
Additional C64 Programming: Westwood AssocIates
Art, Graphic Design & DTP: Louis Saekow Design: David Boudreau &
Pre-press Production: Louis Saekow Design: Kirk Nichols & Ray
Printing: Muller PrIntIng Co.