Shapeshifters

The Magical Last Frontier

Combining Shapeshifters and Vesuvius Incident

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Situation Report, 13 September 2175

I don't know if anyone will ever get this message, but for the record, we kicked ass. That's one bunch of pirates who aren't bothering anyone again. The only hitch was on the way back to the Congrove, but it was a big one. One of the pirate ships had managed to stay low during the sweep, and we had the bad luck to run into it as it left. We flew right through their hyperfield just as it hit C+ and got bounced to God knows where. Or I should say, God knows when. Good thing Bresinski is a history buff, or it would have taken forever to figure out what happened.

As close as he can guess, we're in Eastern Europe right around the turn of the 10th century. We've befriended the natives, who are in the middle of - get this - a magic war. And to them, we're angels from heaven who'll get them out of this mess. Wish us luck, though I can't see how we'll need it. The bad guys are going to have to come up with something better than superstitious mumbo-jumbo to take out a squad of UNC Marines! I mean, I can't get real scared by a dude casting some voodoo spell on me when I've got a G71 by my side.

Well, I sure hope someone finds this. I intend to bury this thing in the forest along with an RF beacon and a fission generator. The Earth Firsters keep telling us that radioactives stay dangerous for thousands of years; for once I hope they're right.

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This supplement contains rules for using Marines and aliens in Shapeshifters games, or aiding the Marine squad with a little magical backup on the Last Frontier.

The system works by combining the two games at the points where the systems interact. Where they don't, use the rules from the "host" game.

Transforming

On this page are kingdom charts for aliens, marines and (for the truly demented) robots. Get agreement from all players before using them, please; they function as standard (if twisted) transform charts. (You can also grab a PDF version of these charts.)

Movement

Last Frontier denizens in Shapeshifters have the movement values listed on the transform chart. Wizards aboard the Feynman must calculate Last Frontier movement allowances. A creature's running MA is twice its Shapeshifters land move, while its jogging MA is half that plus one. Walking MA is 1/3 the run MA. Remember that everything moves the same way in microgravity.

Terrain effects aboard ship

Obstructed squares cost 4 MP, while cluttered ones cost 2 MP. (This is to compensate for the faster movement rates the wizards get.) Doors can only be opened by forms which have an attack strength of 1 or more, as they must have enough strength to pull the opening lever. The complex codes on the hatches require hands. Flying creatures cannot move through obstructed squares. No large creatures can exist on the ship, since there aren't any spaces big enough to hold them. (Maybe there will be somewhere down the line in the Last Frontier series, but that's a long way off.)

Combat

Combat in any crossover games uses the Shapeshifters system, since we don't want to come up with separate attack tables for each creature. Last Frontier inhabitants have the Shapeshifters stats shown on the transform charts. Except for ranged weapons, combat is resolved normally using the Shapeshifters rules.

Ranged Combat

Human ranged weapons can be used by any form that has hands. Resolve the to-hit roll as in Last Frontier, but with the following outdoor ranges:

LF Range Shapeshifters Hexes
Adjacent Same
Short 1
Medium 2
Long 3 or more

Long range is fired at as medium, but with an additional -3 modifier. Firing into tree hexes is a -2 modifier. Diving creatures cannot be fired at. All Last Frontier modifiers apply as well.

If a ranged weapon hits, figure damage using the Shapeshifters CRT and the following attack strengths:

Weapon Strength
G71 Rifle 5
G71 Grenade 6 *
RPP-7 Plasma 6
M135 Pistol 4
Welding Torch 3
Gas 2
* plus 3 to each adjacent hex

Gas is a special case; if it hits and does 2 or more hits, the target is KOed unless it is protected (doesn't need air for one reason or another) with effects as in LF.

Unarmed combat

Don't use the unarmed combat table from Last Frontier; the Shapeshifters rules take this attack form into account.

Damage

Alien creatures and Marines in Shapeshifters have the stats listed on the transform chart but don't have the magical hit point resources of wizards. Instead, HP damage from the Shapeshifters CRT translates to Last Frontier damage levels as follows:

Sh. HP LF Damage
1 L
2 D
3 or more K

Healing spells, medkits, etc follow the same rule, so a medkit could heal 1 HP per turn if used on a wizard. Note that all this makes wizards much more resilient than marines & aliens, which is as it should be. (It's magic, after all.) Of course, the marines have guns...

On the Shapeshifters map killed aliens do not spray acid blood and the acid sprayer has no ranged attack , since the hexes are too big.

Human Equipment

All equipment is handled by the Last Frontier rules. Only forms that have attack strengths of one or more can carry equipment, and only those with hands can use it. If a unit takes more than 2 HP in a single attack, it drops any equipment it was carrying.

Ambush and abduction

Wizards on the ship are immune to abduction regardless of whether they're alone or not. Ambush and discovery are handled normally.

Hiding

Guns cannot pounce at range on a hidden creature the way spells can, since they aren't magical. Units must be in the same hex as the hidden creature in order to pounce.

Creatures cannot hide in clear squares on the Feynman, but can hide in obstructed or cluttered ones.

Timing aboard ship

Wizards on the Feynman follow the Last Frontier sequence of play; transforming counts as a human action phase action.

Spells aboard ship

No spell can go through doors, and the fly spell is of limited use. Otherwise, all spells function normally. If some nimrod casts a lightning bolt in the same room as a computer, it automatically suffers one hit on the damage chart (7.1D in Vesuvius Incident).

Scenario ideas

OK, we haven't tested these rules, so these are just suggestions. The most obvious way to combine the two games is to trade marines for wizards, bearing in mind that wizards are a lot more powerful individually than marines. However, though single marines are vulnerable, a whole squad of marines can do a lot of damage in a short time if they have clear fields of fire. And wizards are less effective on the Feynman, where they must operate under restrictive conditions.

[Artwork]


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