USCMC Questions and Suggestions

Let us know what you think of the USCMC PDF!

Hi Luke, thanks for publishing this. I played an ORE game at gencon a few years ago with a similar theme:

Do you guys plan on developing this further?

Do you have any ideas or concepts fleshed out for a one shot con style game using these rules? Would love to hear ideas even if they are just informal thoughts.

We’re going to release more material in the next few weeks.

And I ran two scenarios with it. I did Hadley’s Hope—aka the movie—and a mission I designed on my own.
My mission worked great! I had a squad of marines backed up by their APC take a small village. The village continued humans and locals who were protesting the marine presence as well as an insurgent group setting up an ambush. Very simple, worked very well!


This is probably a dumb question, but what rule set does this work best with, or are they all compatible? I have Torchbearer and Mouseguard hard cover books but a friend of mine has wanted to run an X-Com themed game for a long time. This short PDF seems like a dream come true for him so I just want to share it and point him in the direction of the best rule book to pick up!

Works with Torchbearer!


Genemod benefits, anyone?

Aliens is one of my favorite movies and Burning Wheel(or Torchbearer, or those of that ilk) is one of my favorite RPG systems.

You guys are my heroes.

Wow I’ve been out of the loop. This is excellent, cheers guys.

Love what I have read so far. A question I have from the first PDF: characters start the game with a rank depending on how many players compose the party, effectively “skipping” levels upward? Or am I reading this completely wrong?

Stay cool :cool:

Correct. There’s a note about it in the Marine Advancement section.

So, Luke. When should we stat up the Protoss?

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Someone pointed out that we forgot starting values for Resources and Circles. Oops!

Starting Resources
Privates 0
Corporal 2

Starting Circles
Privates 1
Corporal 3

A few questions about character creation, advancement and loadout:

  1. if you start at PFC you will basically remain with the Rifleman MOS, and if starting at Corporal you retain the Infantry Unit Leader MOS, correct?
  2. How do loadouts work? Do you automatically take the loadout pertaining to your MOS?
  3. If so, does that mean that only characters starting at Private can take a loadout other than Rifleman or Squad Leader, or are characters open to take any loadout they choose?
  1. Correct. I believe this is noted in the Advancement section.
  2. Correct.
  3. Privates are always Riflemen. PFCs can choose Com-Tech, Corpsman, SgO or Scout Sniper. Corporals choose Infantry Unit Leader or Squad Leader or whatever we called it.

Awesome, thank you.

Some personal items discovered on the bodies of a certain covert operations squad…

(Two of these are probably unbalanced. But then again, it didn’t matter, the jungle killed them anyway.)

Blaine’s Private Reserve Chaw: one dose will eliminate the Exhausted condition. “This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus.

Mac’s Non-Regulation Depilatory: +1D to a Nature test, but breaks after use. If used in the Base phase to carouse, a gamemaster might generously allow the item to not break. “I’m gonna have me some fun.

Blaine’s Big-Ass Knife: +1s Attack, -1D Defend. “We’re all gonna die.

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Belief: If it bleeds, we can kill it.
Instinct: Don’t leave any trail, clear the area, and get rid of all the other evidence.
Goal: Get to the chopper.

For the purposes of thinking through that movie, and how to crib from it for adventures, working with the assumption that PC’s are Might 3, is that Predator Might 5? They can’t kill it in a stand-up fight- but they do drive it off a couple of times. Dutch is only able to defeat it from a prepared position (Might 4 and 5 barricades and traps?), and still only just.

It’s a pretty good structure for a scenario. Squad arrives in a area, makes their way to presumed baddies, wipes out the Might 2 plebs with the help of their Fresh condition, and feel powerful and competent doing so. Then the real baddie strikes, and now they are fighting something they really can’t handle, and fighting the grind. If they make it through they really will have earned it. If they don’t mess around they head straight for extraction- then its on the GM to hit their BIT’s hard to make them slow and try and fight… and die.

Now, clearly the sequel is a different beast. Whatever the first cinematic example is, the follow-up is clearly weaker, more vulnerable, and had to come with a ship full of help. That one is Might 3, and what would really happen is that Harrigan has earned his place, and would be “kidnapped” to go and fight the real threat. Making it USCMS, the squad beats some novitiate Preds, and are then taken off to fight a real challenge next adventure. A Queen, or sandworms or something. Pretty sure the old LE Adventure Game had mention of a sandworm type thing, because, hey, why not. Anyway, a Safari ship would make a pretty cool Base to operate from for a scenario or two. Just re-skin the facilities- use the Laboratory to stand in as a “Trophy Room”, or such.

Stat up the graboids and we’ll talk.

One of my players broke another. They were noticing sand moving under them in the desert. Graboids were theorized, then he found this:

Seriously, what?