Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review & Commentary on The Colonial Troopers Rpg System From Night Owl Workshop For Your Old School Rpg Campaigns

Colonial Troopers puts the hard military sci fi spin on OD&D zero edition as a head spinning retro clone. This is the interstellar setting and mix of influences like  Star Ship Troopers, hard military sci fi, European comics from the 70's and a ton of other sci fi pop culture i distilled down into a zero edition style game.


PC's can choose between classes such as agent, hunter, diplomat, mercenary, trooper, and pilot as well mixing classes with the usual OD&D penalties. Races include Rackni (K’tk^nit’m~on) are alien biological adapting spideroids ,Humans, Lur (Clodhoppers) are giant eight legged vaguely reptilian aliens ,Zassarians (Skinnies, or Scalies) alien thin reptilian humanoids,Synthetic (Syntiacs)(self contained androids created by joint alien/human technologies) & Zealots are an ideology as much as a mixed factional race if you will.
This is a much a role playing game as it is a role playing game with an interstellar war, Colonial Troopers is like picking up an issue of early Eighties Heavy Metal and being thrust into the center of the story. You have to hang on and figure out what's going on. That's not a bad thing and the combination of OD&D tactics and PC generation along with the fluff of the game makes this work on a couple of levels. The artwork is up to the standard that we've seen in Guardians but the focus is solid military and warfare. This isn't Warhammer 40K at all but a completely different vibe. The PC's and party are going to have real motives and reasons for being together and this is bound into the meat and fluff of the game.

The game presents a solid frame work for your PC's to have military style adventures against the backdrop of space and has a nice assortment of specific toys and whistles to accomplish this sort of an interstellar game and its a well done story concept that echoes throughout the system.
"In the 21st century man created computers that process and correlate data
millions of times faster than any human. This lead to a near catastrophe when a
machine designed to seek out and mine uranium nearly destroyed the Earth by
perfecting the production of uranium at the expense of humans, and monopolized
the resources of the Earth, moon, and nearby asteroids (including several powerhungry
nations) to accomplish its purpose. A grueling battle for humanity’s survival was fought against this artificial superintelligence and its allies, and barely won by a ragtag band of hardened human soldiers led by a great military genius, Adam Benjoseph. A federation of surviving states formed a new constitution, rebuilt civilization from the ashes, and outlawed artificial super-intelligence."

Now the big question on everyone's mind is two fold, is this game fully compatible with Warriors of the Red Planet Second edition and can I use it with Guardians! The answer is yes but one thing about all of these games from  Night Owl Workshop  is that they are and can stand on their own. If you've already got a Warriors of the Red Planet Second Edition game in motion and play are you really going to want to introduce super heroes or hard military sci fi into the mix of play. These are questions that you as a DM really need to ask both yourself  and your players. This is a game with some very nice add ons and ideas but PC's in personal power armor can do a number on an existing campaign. So I say the above statements with warning and some caution. That being said I think that this is a welcome addition to the market. Colonial Troopers provides a whole range of interesting systems that can be used to port over incredible military style systems into a wide range of campaigns. I also think that this is a game that has a ton to offer. Within one hundred pages you get a fully working star ship combat set of rules and wargaming systems. World generating tables and stats, complete work ups for sci fi equipment and more.

The artwork is very nice, the tone rings true for a Seventies military style game and the material is solidly done. I think that this would work as a fully thought out system unto itself or a DM could mix and match this with other Night Owl Workshop  products to create the campaign that they want. That having been said I also think I need to address something. I don't know that Colonial Troopers would be a good expansion for White Star. There's two things going on here. White Star puts the PC's at the center of a Star Wars style space opera. Colonial Troopers puts the PC's into a military situation and then brings the action into focus where the PC's while internal to the greater events of the universe are not going to make a heck of a difference to the overall  interstellar picture. Colonial Troopers has the sort of vibe that echoes through the late Sixties and early Eighties post Vietnam science fiction. Echoes of warfare and the lessons of war coupled with the classic science fiction lessons of Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert. This makes Colonial Troopers a winner in my book. Download and start playing with this game today.

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