Item description for Starship Troopers RPG: The Arachnid Empire (Starship Troopers) by Matthew Sprange...
At last, the secrets of the Arachnid Empire are revealed! This 160 page full colour hardback is packed full of information on the bugs, whether you are a trooper dedicated to saving the Federation or a Games Master looking to terrify your players. The Arachnid Empire includes a complete update on the universe of Starship Troopers, detailing the Road to Victory campaign, the disastrous Klendathu Invasion and its aftermath. A complete bug colony is mapped out, allowing you to set scenarios and camapigns based around raids into Ararchnid-held territory (cowards need not apply!), and there is a guide to over 30 different sub-species of bug! Added to this is information on Arachnid society, their aims and tactics, and you have a complete guide to Mankind's greatest threat.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.9" Width: 8.4" Height: 0.7" Weight: 1.55 lbs.
Release Date Feb 15, 2006
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
ISBN 1905176260 ISBN13 9781905176267
Availability 0 units.
More About Matthew Sprange
With a history in roleplaying and miniatures game design, Matthew Sprange has written over three dozen gaming books, including the "Babylon 5" and "Judge Dredd" roleplaying games, and has won two Origins Awards for his miniatures games.
Reviews - What do customers think about Starship Troopers RPG: The Arachnid Empire (Starship Troopers)?
Good, but could have been much better May 4, 2008
For fans of the d20 Starship Troopers roleplaying game, this volume was very much anticipated. Sadly, like most situations where you wait and wait and the anticpation builds for a certain product, the end result is usually disappointing, which was the case with this book.
Whilst I appreciate that the writer(s) did not want to prescribe too much detail, thereby limiting creative GM's games, the book tries to tackle an immense and extremely important topic and then condense it down to 160 pages. What results is a middle of the road offering that ultimately poses far more questions than answers.
The book is broken down six chapters: 1 - The Arachnid War, 2 - Planets, 3 - Warfare, 4 - Society & Physiology, 5 - Sub Species and 6 - Bug Central Charlie Victor.
Chapter One doesn't offer anything that a fan of the game doesn't already know; although it does give a nice blow-by-blow account of the Klendathu invasion.
Chapter Two describes the planets that make up the Arachnid Quarrantine Zone - but only in the most superficial manner and this for me was the most disappointing part of the whole book, especially since this is the essence of the entire book. Additionally, the map provided bears no relation to the one provided in the base rule book and clearly shows only a small portion of the AQZ (again very frustrating!). Why this is so important is due to the fact that mankind supposedly first encountered the Bugs on Pluto in the Sol system. Given the Arachanids apparently haphazard colonisation process, described in a later chapter, logic would dictate that this would mean that there would be a trail of colonies from the Alpha Hydrae system (Arachnid homeworld system) all the way to Pluto. However, the writer has decided that the Arachnids are in nicely enclosed little corner of space...which begs so many questions, such as if they are enclosed in a nice little corner of space, why did they travel tens of thousands of light years to the Sol system to populate a freezing plantetoid on the fringes of the system?
Chapter Three describes how the Arachnids conduct warfare across all three dimensions, all environments and takes special note of how the arachnids handle various MI incursions into their territory. Again, some interesting points, but its mostly been covered in previous publications.
Chapter Four describes the history of the arachnid species, life-cycles, society etc. This is an interesting chapter, because most of this stuff is only hinted at in previous publications. I think the only glarring omission here is the fact that there is no discussion on the 'Arachnid Empire', is there a Queen of Queens that directs the Arachnid colonisation process and direction? The book states that new colonies generally only occur when an existing colony gets to big and so Arachnid spawn is fired off into space...and yet somehow in this chaotic and seemingly random process some spawn managed to reach Pluto??? (re my point about no coherent trail of colonies from the AQZ to Pluto) - it's these sorts of inconsistencies that ultimately make the book very ho-hum instead of WOW!
Chapter Five details the myrid sub-species of Arachnids and goes to great length to show how adaptable the Arachnids are. This is generally a 'crunchy' chapter with lots of game stats for the various bugs. There is only one silly entry, which is the 'Control Bug'. These bugs are supposedly meant to latch onto the back of a target's neck and inject their proboscis into the character's brain thereby controlling the target's action. Nice concept. Then it comes unravelled. Firstly, the picture shows the control bug to be about as tall as a standard human's mid calf and has a length of about a standard size 10 human foot. Under the bio report it is described as having a weight of 25 Kgs! Can you imagine a 25kg bug the size of half a human leg going unnoticed as it controlled the actions of a MI Trooper (ignoring for the moment of the impracticality of it hanging off the back of the neck)??!?! Again, simple silly stuff that really detracts from the book. Then there's the transport bug, which takes silliness to a new level...
The final chapter showcases what is meant to be an entire bug colony! Wow, that would be cool....except it goes nowhere acheiving this lofty goal. Instead we get a two-dimensional schematic of PART of a standard bug colony, with the warning that due to the size of bug colony's it's impossible to show it in its entirety! But isn't that what was advertised? This gripe aside, the text for this chapter is actually pretty good - it details the main parts of a standard colony and then shows what kind of resistance a MI unit can expect in each part and level of alert that the colony is at.
The book then finishes off with a range of new missions, that are generic in nature. Players familiar with the base rule book missions will find these missions familiar in their layout. The beauty of these missions is that (except for the first one) are all lethal and make for some great game sessions!
Overall the book barely scrapes in at three stars - but there is enough in it to make it worth purchasing.