Pitching a BoB X-Com Hack

I think progression is an interesting area.

I almost might recommend going with a Burning Wheel style trait vote every once in a while, where the players, playing the command staff a la BoB, vote on promotions and medals rather having them earned with experience points. Promotions typically bring more responsibility and authority, not more skill, and a marksmanship badge is, as you say, to recognize achievements.

2 Likes

Brainstormed some faction ideas last night, since this idea won’t get out of my head it seems. Names are placeholders and often just point to where the idea came from.

Collaborators
Humans who choose to side with the alien invaders.

  • Transitional Authority/Puppet Government - Those who rule the human colonies, safe zones, and cities in the name of the alien invaders.

  • Civil Protection/Homeland Security - Boots on the ground, the military arm of the transitional government who enforce their laws with brutal authority.

  • The Corporation - This company works with the aliens to make products and jobs that make the alien’s lives and the occupation easier, hoping to receive the secrets of advanced alien tech in return.

  • Influencers - Those who buy into and distribute alien propaganda.

  • Thin Men/Men in Black - Alien hybrids or early human collaborators that can blend into human populations and spy on the resistance. Maybe they’ve been doing this for a very long time, prepping the world for invasion.

Aliens
The invaders who occupy the earth

  • The Conclave/Fleet Command - Top of the alien food chain, who rule all alien interests far removed from Earth. They manage their empire from another dimension/distant space/another time.

  • Alien Generals/Commanders - The few key players that hunt insurgents, lead the alien military, and oversee projects on Earth (each a separate faction, or leads a separate faction?)

  • Alien Shock Troops - first line of invasion and defense for the aliens. Serve as bodyguards for VIPs on Earth

  • Drone Swarm - Robots and machines of alien design that help hunt insurgents and keep the peace (may or may not have sentience).

  • Xeno Beasts - Creatures of alien origin. A minor hindrance or pet for the aliens, but a deadly predator for us. Swarm throughout unprotected areas on earth (they mostly come out at night, mostly).

The Resistance
Those who fight back

  • Pirate Radio - Artists and speechwriters who spread messages of hope, constantly on the move to evade capture.

  • Radicals - Resistance fighters who are unconcerned with human collateral damage in their pursuit of the aliens and their collaborators.

  • Clinics/Doctors - Those who treat wounded resistance members, diseases the occupation deems unfit to address, and alien physiology when they can.

  • Xeno Rebels - Aliens who rebelled against the occupation and try to work with insurgents to fight back

  • Survivalists - People who fled the cities or survived the alien occupation by retreating to the wilderness or the abandoned suburban sprawl outside the city.

  • Spooks - Remnants of intelligence agencies and spies from the world before the invasion, trying to organize an insurgency that sees the old status quo re-established.

4 Likes

Those are good. Might be worthwhile looking at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCormick_Magic_Diamond

I was introduced to it via sigmata. It’s a good model of organizational relationships in a COIN setting, and how both the occupier and insurgents try to attack and disrupt each other’s relationships.

This is spookily similar to something I’ve been working on! The link to the google doc is here if anyone would like to see if there are useful insights to salvage:

3 Likes

I just skimmed it, but it looks cool so far :+1:

This is a very cool start - although I wonder if having six “default” stations is too much for a BoB hack, they’re almost always going to end up being split between less players.

My thinking was that rather than the required/optional split that Bob uses, all six positions are 'core but split up as much as possible, with the expectation that they will be combined in typical groups. It is after all easier to give one person two playsheets than split responsibility for one playsheet between two players. The final version will have suggested combinations (for example, biomedical and science will usually go together in a 5 player group).

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1YdCPvI1rN7yED0QZHTzSQUo-UvWjac3U?usp=sharing

If anyone is interested, my attempt at hacking Band of Blades/Blades in the Dark to run something like X-Com 2 meets Half Life 2 is playtest ready.

3 Likes

I really like this. The playbooks gave good flavor, but the cadre leader took me a while to realize that it was a “rookie” type character. I love the q branch special ability.

I need more time to process the section sheets, but they look good. Having the GM spend threat to disrupt the resistance should work well to drive play.

This is a pretty cool model for any type of resistance.

I really like what I’m seeing here, Ranx, and it seems to be a pretty faithful and straight forward adaption of some of the tropes.

Thank you!

I’m fairly dissatisfied with the name ‘Cadre Leader’, it’s not euphonic and also the playbook should allow people to play as actual rookies rather than having to be leaders. the playbook was originally called just ‘Cadre’ but that caused all sorts of confusion. I’d welcome suggestions along those lines!

(and any other suggestions of course)

Thank you!

Rookie, grunt, combatant, green, soldier (since the others are all specialists), Cherry, Noob, Fodder, FNG (F’n New Guy)

1 Like

Carl’s work here is inspirational - and I’m strongly considering running this game in the new year. Having a couple of hours free today, I threw together some revised playsheets based on Carl’s Occupation: Earth above (and suggested a new possible name.

2 Likes

I ended up going with ‘Partisan’, since it is another term for guerrilla/insurgent but also has connotations of ‘blind loyalty’ that fit the playsheet abilities.

Those playsheets are superb, John! And seeing something I worked on get picked up by someone else in the community is a great feeling. If you do end up running it I expect a detailed debrief!

I was thinking Rebel Planet as the name but Alien Dawn is good too.

1 Like

This is really exciting.

left some comments and suggestions. Disregard at whim =)

1 Like

The rpg Sigmata dies a nice job of conflicting agendas and conflicts between allies during an insurgency.

Can you go into any details on this?

The premise of Sigmata is that PCs are part of a resistance fighting back against a fascist government in a near future / alternate USA. The setting includes 4 factions that are allies to the characters / resistance. The factions have very different ideologies, with the only thing in common being a hatred of the current government. During a “campaign phase” type of segment, the PCs are faced with a complication caused by a faction doing something true to their ideology that complicates the rebellion.

In a FitD hack, it could be as simple as having different types of engagement rolls. So, how does the government respond? What problems (or benefits) do the allied factions cause? How do these events move the rebellion forward, or set it back?