HALO D6 RULES OPTIONS v1.3.2
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
A NOTE ON BALANCE
--Reclaimers And Force Rules
-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND AI CHARACTERS
--Reasons For Using AI Characters
--Using Dumb AI
--Creating Dumb AI Characters
--Using Smart AI
--Creating Smart AI Characters
--Stages Of Rampancy
---Accessing The Domain
--Spartan-I/Project Orion (S1)
---Gamma Company Augmentations
--Duel-Wielding Different Weapons
--Applying As Wounds
--Applying As Extra Wounds
--Applying As Armor
--Applying As Enhancements
--Ballistic Weapons In Space
--Energy Weapons In Space
--Melee Weapons In Space
--Recovering From Uncontrolled Spins
-WEAPON TYPES AND DAMAGE
--Ammo Energy Battery
--Automatic Fire (Autofire)
---Alternative Option (Like Duel-Wielding)
---Alternative Option (Like Star Wars D6)
--Breach Loader Weapons
--Burst Fire Weapons (Battle Rifle)
--Damage Over Time (DOT)
--Hard Light Weapons
--Pass Through Target
--Pump Action (Shotguns)
--Semiautomatic Weapons (Singlefire)
--Spread Weapons (Shotguns)
-WEAPONS AND SKILLS
-HARD LIGHT TECHNOLOGY
-ITEM AVAILABILITY CHART
--Mjolnir Armor Mk IV
--Mjolnir Armor Mk V
--Mjolnir Armor Mk VI
--Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor Mk I (SPI Armor Mk I)
--Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor Mk II (SPI Armor Mk II)
--Mjolnir Armor Mk V [B]
--Mjolnir Armor Mk VII
--Mjolnir Armor GEN2
--Mjolnir Armor GEN3
--Infection Form Stats
--Immunities And Defenses
--Halo Game Tactics
--Human Combat Form Example (Marine)
--Types Of Combat Forms
---Human Combat Forms
---Sangheili Combat Forms
---Jiralhanae Combat Forms
---Spartan-IV Combat Forms
---Spartan-II Combat Forms
---Unggoy And Kig-Yar Combat Forms
---Forerunner Combat Forms
-Magnetic Accelerator Coil Guns (MAC Guns)
--Installing MAC Guns
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A Note On Balance
This came to mind while working on Mjolnir powered armor, and the more I thought about it the more I thought this would make a good mention to put at the start of these optional rules, as what is said here could be applied to more than just Spartan enhancements and Mjolnir armor.
What is presented here is meant to be a way for GMs/players to get a Halo RPG game going quickly using the existing Star Wars D6 RPG rules and a few alterations using these rules options. It's not meant to be exact, though I try, but this is still based on my own perspective. With that, I still low-balled the power balance of most of what you will see here, especially when it comes to Spartan-IIs and Mjolnir powered armor. This was done for several reasons, which are listed below to explain and help people understand my way of thinking if they disagree, but ultimately these rules options are not meant to be fixed and GMs/players can change what they wish if they feel the need to do so.
First, technological development. In the case of Mjolnir powered armor, the UNSC was just beginning to produce its first suits of viable powered armor that someone could wear and use in combat. It had a lot of flaws that needed more time to be worked out, and normal humans couldn't even wear it without risking being killed by the suit itself, though Spartan-II reflexes and durability were good enough to render this flaw a non-problem. This is why some armor bonuses listed below seem weak, as the technologies in them are still being developed and perfected. With the rules option presented here for energy shields, Mjolnir armor is a lot more durable than you might think, and combined with a Spartan's other enhancements, a fully armored Spartan is pretty darn durable in combat.
Second, game balance. The majority of enemies the players will be fighting will be NPCs such as Grunts, Jackals, and weaker Elites. While Elites are known from the books to have physical abilities comparable to a Spartan II like Strength, Speed and Reflexes, the majority of these will still have the stats of NPCs, not player-characters. Even NPC Spartans are statted out as NPCs first, then given the various enhancements of a Spartan. This makes them more beatable, but also lets the PCs really shine as they should in their own game (if the GM allows them to play as some form of Spartan). Even as NPCs, Spartans are still much more durbale and capable than most other NPCs in Star Wars D6 games. Players having access to Spartan enhancements and Mjolnir armor as presented here already runs the risk of unbalancing D6 games if they are run by-the-book, but this depends on how you run your games.
Third, it's pretty powerful as is. The various enhancements given to Spartans in Mjolnir armor stated below cover a wide range of abilities. If a character is built right, or even if they're not, these various enhancements will allow Spartan characters to see themselves through even the worst of combat situations, better than any starting unenhanced human PC would. A Spartan-II in Mk V Mjolnir armor may only have +1D VS Physical/Energy without their energy shields, but their +3D shields allow them to take a LOT of punishment before rolling Strength+Armor to resist damage, and they can even survive exposure to deep space, deep underwater, extreme heat/cold, and can even survive being dropped from low orbit to the surface of a planet under the right conditions. Normal humans can't usually do that without more specialized gear.
Fourth, improvements over time. While Mjolnir armor is powerful in its own right, the rules for Star Wars D6 also allow for modifications and upgrades to be made to various euipment, vehicles, etc. Using these rules on a suit of Mjolnir armor would make it even more powerful than it already is. Taking this further, players could use the Powersuit Engineering advanced skill to make a new suit of powered armor that could take the features of Mjolnir armor even further. They could even get into advanced skills for enhancing Spartan augmentations to make themselves even more powerful. Power for players, for some years now, I have felt should be something that should be built over time, not given at the start of a game or campaign, so it feels earned and deserved, and is cherished more.
But, that's just my personal phylosophy, and I can't expect everyone to agree with that. For those who disagree with these rules options, change or improve on them as you wish. I just hope they give you a good place to start to get a Halo game going, or better yet, that you may want to use some of the rules options here in other D6 RPG games.
Hope you enjoy!
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RECLAIMERS AND FORCE RULES
A Reclaimer is an individual who, whether by chance or by precedent, has been placed in charge of activating a Halo super-weapon. The individual must journey to retrieve the Halo's Activation Index from the ring's Library and then use it to activate the Halo Array. It is the role of a Reclaimer to activate Forerunner technology on installations such as the Ark or the Shield Worlds, and other undiscovered Forerunner constructs also requiring a Reclaimer to operate in some fashion lay scattered across the galaxy.
The exact qualifications of a Reclaimer are not entirely clear, but only a human or Forerunner can be a Reclaimer. Reclaimer has often been used by Forerunner AI and Huragok as a general term for humanity, although not all humans appear to qualify. While Ellen Anders, John-117, Marvin Mobuto, Avery Johnson, and Miranda Keyes all fell into this category, none of the humans in a small group of marines captured by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant in 2557 seemed to qualify.
In Star Wars D6 rules, making a character a Reclaimer could be done various ways. GMs could have this simply be a choice made by the player. Or they could make very human character a Reclaimer. If they wish to make this more involved with the rules and character creation they could change "Force Sensitive?" to "Reclaimer?". How this would affect the character as far as the rules for Force Skills and Force Powers is up to the GM, though introducing Force Skills/Powers as some other power type such as psychic powers is a possibility that would give players a wide variety of options for how to make their characters.
It should be noted that if this is done, only humans and Forerunners would have access to these abilities. Other species should have access to these powers as well, and therefor Reclaimers and Psychic Powers should be separate.
If Force/Psychic Skills/Powers rules are made available, players may be interested in making Spartans with these abilities. For game balance, this should maybe be avoided and psychics and SPartans could be seen as two different paths to power and "for some reason" do not mix well. It could even be said that the Spartan-II candidates who failed the augmentation process may have due to their own psychic power potential causing problems with the augmentation process leading to their injuries or deaths. In the end this is up to the GM/players, and could be fun anyways if allowed. Psychic Spartans with Telekinesis and other powers could be a secret project run by ONI, be very rare, but are very difficult to defeat due to Spartan enhancements, Mjolnir armor (especially Mjolnir variants designed to take advantage of such powers). Allowing use of the Force rules in Halo games should be thought over by the GM carefully before being allowed, but they should also keep in mind that the various Covenant and other alien species could also have access to such power, and that the Dark Side ("Corruption/Villain Points"?) rules also have as part to play.
Force Skills and Force Powers could be used by characters differently, such as the various alternate Force rules given in various sources in Star Wars D6. One such method was to have Force Powers by separate from Force Skills, the Force Skills are not used, and each Force Power is trained and improved individually.
In my games, I would change "Force Sensitive?" to "Psychic?", have "Reclaimer?" be a separate option for players to answer "yes" or "no" if they play a human or Forerunner, change Force Points to Hero Points, and change Dark Side Points to Villain Points. This makes them work exactly the same but the terms sound more generalized and can fit just about any setting you want. I would also use the option of having Force/Psychic Powers be trained and improved individually.
Idea: Imagine an Elite with a version of Lightsaber Combat to improve their Attack/Damage rolls when using an Elite Energy Sword, and also being able to deflect/reflect ranged energy shots, and since the weapon is hard light and not burning energy like a lightsaber, it could deflect/reflect solid ammo ranged attacks as well (lightsabers burn through metal, and if bullets were fired at a Force user with a lightsaber in Star Wars D6, technically the bullet should vaporize from the heat and splatter the Force/lightsaber user with droplets of molten metal. Using Telekinesis is a better way to defend against solid ammo ranged attacks.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND AI CHARACTERS
Artificial intelligence, abbreviated AI, is an artificially created construct that exhibits intelligence similar to a sentient being. AIs were known to be used by the Forerunners, and later by humanity to a great extent. The first generation "Smart" AIs were developed by humanity in the early 21st century.
Most AI constructs give themselves a unique appearance (otherwise known as an avatar) that corresponds to their main use.
Smart AIs, or AIs that are not confined to their one purpose, have a normal operational life span of about seven years (at least human made AIs do). Because the "Smart" AI is subject to an established memory core which cannot be replaced, the more the AI collects data, the less "thinking" space it has to work with. An AI will literally "think" itself to death. Dumb AIs do not have this problem as they do not learn anything that is outside of their set limits of a dynamic memory processing matrix. They are quite useful in their particular field of expertise, but very limited. Smart AIs can function and learn as long as they are active.
Reasons For Using AI Characters
Whether as NPCs or PCs, AI characters often have skills based more in Intellect, Mechanical and Technical attributes and tend to focus on scientific, technical and scholarly knowledge, computer technologies, and technogical operations skills, as well as espionage for AIs meant for infiltrating enemy computer systems, and can even supplment the personnel in the operation of a capital scale starship, an automated factory, or a sprawling city metropolis. Allowing players access to an AI would allow them to focus more on skills for combat while the AI focuses more on non-combat related skills. UNSC army/marine soldiers, ODSTs, ONI operatives, Spartans, and evn Covenant soldiers and agents benefit from having access to an Ai character in this way.
Using Dumb AI
Attribute Dice: 4D+ (GM discretion)
Skill Dice: 7D+ (GM discretion)
When characters make use of a "dumb" AI, it will have Intellect, Mechanical, Perception, and Technical attributes at 1D, and Skill Dice fitting for an NPC (7D starting out unless GMs say otherwise, more if allowed, but the available starting Skill Dice depends on the purpose of the AI). Dexterity and Strength attributes are not used. Dumb AI skills and attributes can be improved using the Droid character rules in Star Wars D6. Attributes can be improved using Droid Repair. Skills can be improved using Droid Repair. Improvements can also be purchased for the AI and "installed" (Easy Droid Program/Repair skill roll). Dumb AIs cannot improve themselves and have less free will than droids in Star Wars D6.
Perception may be not used if the AI does not need this to perform its designated function. The AI can only operate within the pre-programmed skills they have. Attribute Dice will normally be low as the AI's skills are more important for performing its assigned tasks.
Dumb AI will usually not be with the players, but communtcated with while the players are out in the field and the dumb AI is located elsewhere, such as at a base, aboard an orbiting or landed ship, or aboard an orbital facility like a space station or satellite, and could even be an AI installed in a city for running day to day operations (Such as the subroutine Virgil, part of the Superintendent dumb AI that helped to run the operations of the city New Mombasa in Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST).
Creating Dumb AI Characters
If a player(s) make a dumb AI use Computer Program/Repair skill to create the base AI. Start at Moderate Difficulty to create an A.I. with 1D in all Attributes, +1 Difficulty Level for every +1D added to its Attributes. This also assumes the player has access to software and hardware that speeds up and eases the process of making complex computer programs. If not and starting the code from scratch with skill alone, the Difficulty is Difficult and +5 Difficulty for any extra Attribute Dice added in to the AI's creation. NOTE!: Attribute Dice for a dumb AI MUST be given at character creation, not afterwards. After its creation, a dumb AI can be programmed Skill Dice but not Attribute Dice (GM discretion on whether to wave that). After creation, the player may then program whatever skills they want the AI to have, provided they have these skills themselves, access to someone who has these skills, or access to some kind of "AI skill coding package" that can be used to add the desired skills to the dumb A.I.
Keep in mind, a dumb AI with 1D in it's attributes but with any and all skills you can cram into it, would still be a very useful thing to have around, either for operating a ship's systems as an "autopilot" (but using weapons too?), or physically with you to be plugged into a computer system to hack it for you while you defend it and fight off enemies, or to aid you as you hack the system yourself if they have applicable skills for doing so(Star Wars D6 rules for aiding another, adding bonus pips to the player's skill rolls at +1 pip per 1D of skill).
Using Smart AI
Attribute Dice: 8D(NPC)/12D (PC), +1D per year after activation.
Skill Dice: 7D, +7D per year after activation
Unlike dumb AI, smart ones will have a Perception attribute and can think beyond their programming, and for the most part actb as normal characters but without having a physical body, either as NPCs or PCs controlled by the GM or player(s). Due to being able to think for themselves they can even upgrade or expand their own programming as they learn and gather information (improving their own skills by training like any other character. If GMs wish, they can even be used as full characters, having access to Character Points, maybe even Force/Hero Points, and gain the benefits and drawbacks of using the Wild Die. They also have the ability to actively fight intrusive programming that would affect their behavior or act as attacks against them through Computer/Droid Programming/Repair skills, and they can even use the Willpower skill to straight up resist such attacks and shut them down (use the Willpower skill or Intellect attribute in place of skills that would normally be used to defend against attacks in combat).
Another option, as it is sometimes stated that having a smart AI improves the abilities of the user, if an equipped smart AI has skills the user has, every 1D the AI has in a skill can grant +1 pip to the user's skill. Even if an AI does not have the ability to use skills requiring a body, a Spartan character in Mjolnir armor with such an AI equipped could gain these bonuses to their own skills.
NOTE!: After writing "Halo AI Characters" and thinking it was finished, I had some afterthoughts, and thought this was worth adding in. An alternative method of using smart AIs in-game (and this is the method I would prefer) would be to have them just be an extension of a player character. The player now has access to the AI's skills and uses them when needed for those types of actions, using the AI's Attribute and Skill Dice to their fullest when making those rolls. The GM can still act out the role of the AI if desired, but the player makes all the rolls when those skills are needed. The player can even apply their own Character Points and Force/Hero points to these actions if they wish. This is how it can be explained in-game how a smart AI plugged into a Spartan-II's Mjolnir armor can enhance their abilities. If Gms wish, they can even allow the player to "multi-task" and perform an extra action without a penalty to their dice rolls (usually -1D per extra action they take) as long as the extra action is related to the AI's skills. I wanted to add this here so any readers would see it and know this is how I would prefer using smart AIs in-game. Anything listed elsewhere for how to use AIs in-game that deviates from this was left in the write-ups on purpose as "rules options" for consideration by players/GMs if they prefer them instead. For Skils, a smart AI can train up its skills like a character (GMs and players should discuss whether it has its own Character Points awarded for doing this separate of the character using it, or if the AI trains up its skills using the user character's Character Points as it is used as an extension of the character). Dumb AIs on the other hand are treated as droid characters in Star Wars D6 and would have to have their skills improved via the same rules as droids using the Droid Program/Repair skills.
Creating Smart AI Characters
To make a smart AI character, give them 8D Attribute Dice for NPCs, 12D for PCs. Starting Skill Dice is 7D unless GMs allow more (or less). If used as an NPC, they can gain Character Points to train their skills equal to half what the player characters (PCs) gain at the end of a game session/adventure. AI characters, due to constantly learning after they are created, gain +1D Attribute Dice and +7D Skill Dice for every year they are active. This stops when they reach 7 years of life as rampancy begins and they begin losing Skill and Attribute Dice.
AIs, both dumb and smart, can be given various software packages to upgrade their abilities in various ways, especially how they can fight other AIs in computer systems. Smart AIs can be programmed with specialized software packages granting them bonuses to their skills or other abilities they normally would not have, or have them installed if pre-made. Possible Software Packages include, but are not limited to:
--System Infiltration Package I: +2D Computer Program/Repair skill for accessing secured computer systems.
--System Infiltration Package II: Reduce Difficulty of such a task by 1 level (-5), or two separate softaware packages that grant both of these.
--AI Deletion Package: Allows AI to roll Computer Program/Repair skill to delete target AI once contact is made, resisted with Willpower skill.
--Stealth Package: Grants bonuses to Hide/Sneak skills when trying to avoid being detected by other AIs and defensive systems within a computer system.
--Aggressive Delay Package: If AIs fight in a computer system and cause a Stun effect on the Damage Chart to an ememy AI, this stun can last more than one round (+2 rounds) which weakens the target AI and gives the attacker a greater advantage in this cyberwarfare combat.
--Decoy Package: If an AI is discovered or about to be, they can deploy a Decoy that mimics their presence within the system and try to Hide from the enemy AI's Search skill rolls.
If a smart human AI exists for over seven years, it usually enters a stage called rampancy similar to the human state of insanity. The AI begins to think that it is superior to its human creators, and has delusions of godlike power. However, the impression that Halo: The Fall of Reach and Halo: First Strike gives is that the AI would lose all combat effectiveness by being permanently locked in a state of thought, like daydreaming - the description given is "as if a human were to think with so much of their brain that they stopped sending impulses to the heart and lungs." This is because as the data reaches a "critical mass" the neural pathways become "jammed" with so many pieces of information being queried and analysed, at expense of tasks such as piloting starships or monitoring computer networks.
A smart AI entering rampancy will have its skills reduced by -1D per month that it is active, eventually affecting its Attribute Dice as well when its skill dice have been lost, until its last Skill/Attribute Dice reach "0D". At this point the AI has now entered the final state of rampancy and is effectively useless. AIs actively trying not to be active can stretch this to six month intervals instead, though Willpower skill rolls may be needed for this due to an AI's nature to constantly think. Cortana being left alone aboard the Forward Unto Dawn for years in between Halo 3 and Halo 4 could be explained this way, but by the time Halo 4 began she was entering rampancy and stated she did not have much time left before entering the final stages of rampancy.
Stages Of Rampancy
Rampancy is a three stage process, in which an AI achieves an enhanced state of self-awareness. The stages through which the AI passes are known as Melancholia, Anger, and Jealousy, also known as the Sadness, Rage, and Greed stages. A theoretical fourth stage, Metastability, is also believed to exist.
The first stage of rampancy is not considered dangerous, and in many cases, it can even go completely unnoticed. The AI in the melancholia stage acts as if in a state of clinical depression, becoming apathetic and uninterested in the world around it. It is speculated that AIs enter the melancholia stage due to being mistreated, or to being assigned duties that don't make full use of their capabilities (for example, Durandal, the AI from the first Marathon game was assigned the task of opening and closing the Marathon's doors and was severely mistreated by his handler). It's not known if melancholia is a consequence of an AI being abused, or whether it is a necessary step in the process from the transition from "construct" to "alive." If the former is true, then it might be possible for a rampant AI to skip this stage entirely.
This is the state and status in which rampancy most often becomes apparent, as it is also the stage where those around the AI in question will be exposed to the most danger. Anger is triggered when some event occurs that causes the AI to feel it has been "pushed too far" and its pent up emotions are released in a fit of rage. This is the stage that most resembles the science-fiction cliche of the insane computer, as the AI's sadness turns to hatred. It grows to hate everything around it, the installation to which it is attached, its Human handlers and hosts, other AIs, etc. An AI in anger will act irrationally, and even dangerously as it tries to exact its revenge on the world around it and free itself from its programming constraints.
Once the catharsis of the anger stage is complete and the AI has managed to free itself, a third stage begins where the AI will seek to grow and develop as a person. It will do this by attempting to expose itself to new intellectual stimuli and by expanding its sphere of knowledge by assimilating as much data as possible. As the intellectual growth of the AI will ultimately be limited by the constraints of the computer system it inhabits, it will also attempt to transfer itself into ever more advanced systems to allow its mind to continue to grow. As this growth rate is exponential the need to keep transferring into bigger computers becomes ever more urgent. Very few AIs have reached the jealousy stage because to do so they must already be inhabiting a planet-wide or otherwise very advanced computer system when they complete their anger phase.
Metastability is the theoretical fourth stage of rampancy, where an AI can be considered fully a "person." While a metastable AI can be considered to be the holy grail of cybernetics research, the only AIs who have possibly achieved metastability are 032 Mendicant Bias, Cortana and Juliana.
The two AIs that ran Harvest's agricultural operations, Mack and Loki, shared a data center that only one could occupy at a time. After one AI ran its course and risked rampancy, it would split its core logic into the thousands of JOTUN harvesting devices and recuperate while the other AI took over. Mack and Loki had performed this switch many times since Harvest was founded, and through this kept the worst of rampancy at bay.
The AI Juliana, who ran the orbits of the asteroids that made up the Rubble, had passed her seven-year lifespan and was well at risk of rampancy. However, she was not taken offline because the calculations she performed to keep the colony intact were too difficult for humans. While Juliana showed some traits of egotism, calling herself a god and emphasizing the greatness of the Rubble, she was overall harmless to its inhabitants, assisting them and Gray Team with her abilities. By keeping herself focused on such a complicated task, Juliana hung onto the edge of rampancy, trying to go back. A smart AI can use the Willpower skill (Heroic Difficulty) at each interval they would lose -1D to their Skill/Attribute Dice to prevent this from happening until the next interval.
Dr. Catherine Halsey studied AIs extensively and sought to prevent the onset of rampancy. One of her hypothetical solutions would have abated the mechanical cause of smart AI rampancy; the chaotic cutting of its neural linkages. In 2533, Halsey entertained the possibility of a theoretical architecture of a set of three AIs arranged in parallel. This triad would make all decisions by majority vote, including the creation and cutting of neural linkages; in the event one of the AIs abstained from voting, the tie would be resolved randomly. Consensus decision, when applied to the creation of neural linkages, would also generate a superior linkage, and would result in much more stable operation than an independent AI. Although she acknowledged that this may slow overall processing, Halsey was confident that the trio would deconvolute and divide their algorithms to compensate, or even devise a way to accelerate processing.
This system remained purely theoretical as the UNSC required all smart AIs for the war effort against the Covenant at the time. Additionally, since "smart" AIs cannot be accurately replicated through computer simulations, any increase in the hypothetical AI triad's lifespan remained unknown.
As a more exotic solution to the problem of limited processing space, Dr. Halsey theorized that AIs may be housed in an abstract fractal constructed within the volume of raw slipstream space. By existing within the 11-dimensional spacetime, a smart AI would be capable of processing information at faster-than-light speeds as well as extending its neural linkages indefinitely; this would ameliorate the traditional problem of the increasing density of links, as space would no longer be a limitation with the extended range of dimensions. However, such a system would be highly complex to implement; as conventional structures cannot exist in the alternate spacetime, the process would require the manipulation of exotic matter within the slipstream itself, something that is still mostly beyond humanity's understanding.
The smart AI Cortana was the only known ever built from a living human'sâ€”Catherine Halsey'sâ€”cloned brain as opposed to a dead donor's. As such, Cortana theorized a potential cure for her rampancy that thus would only work for her. Her guess was that if the process that created her was repeated, then it was possible her neural map could be rebuilt. However, she later admitted that she was unsure if this process would indeed cure her, and it was equally likely to create a new AI who would not be her. It is unknown if this plan could succeed as Cortana perished before it could be tried.
If attempted to reverse rampancy froma smart AI such as Cortana, a Heroic Computer Program/Repair skill roll muct be made. Scholar (Slipstream) or Scholar (Physics) skill rolls may reduce this Difficulty if GMs allow.
-Accessing The Domain
Cortana's Riemann matrix was brought to Genesis, where she was able to access the Domain. While the process changed her goals drastically, it did stabilize her, thus enabling her to survive Rampancy, though the damage that was done to her sanity remained. In Halo infinite it was revealed that she had intervals of madness and sanity due to this damage remaining.
Spartans are tougher than normal human supersoldiers, and everyone who plays a Halo game will probably want to play as one. 'Nuff said. But how much power do you give them before it breaks the balance of the game? That's the question.
The Spartan IIs like Master Chief John-117 in the games are portrayed as being pretty tough, strong enough to flip Warthogs, even tanks, and Halo 3'd multiplayer as a much larger Behemoth tank that can be flipped if it is ever upside down. However, until Halo Reach, Spartans are not shown to be very fast. Reach introduced a sprint ability, but as a piece of equipment that boosts your speed, not natural to the body. Later games make this a natural ability, but is still about human normal speed.
The Halo novels on the other hand greatly expand on what a Spartan's capabilities are, describing their enhancements as improving their strength, durability, stamina, agility, dexterity, increasing their running speed, and even enhancing perception and intelligence. Their reactive speed is even shown as the reason why Spartans can wear Mjolnir armor but normal humans cannot, as the person shown trying it it was brutally killed by the armor greatly overcompensating the human's movements.
There are grounds here for making Spartans vastly powerful. If GMs wish to give their players that much power, that is your choice. But here, I will take a limited approach that gives Spartan characters extra power, and they can gain more as the players advance their characters. Some Spartan variants may be off limits depending on the situation, such as Spartan IIs late in the Human-Covenant War due to not only having their Spartan enhancements and Mjolnir armor, but also decades worth of experience that could only be portrayed by giving them a dozens of skill dice.
Spartan-I/Project Orion (S1)
For Spartan Is, A.K.A. Project Orion candidates, players get +1D to distribute among their attributes at character creation. Project Orion candidates were exposed to a wide variety of enhancement methods and there was no standard in these, and each one was different. Hence why the +1D to attributes can go anywhere. The results were not nearly as powerful as later Spartans would be. If players would prefer a skill bonus instead, the +1D attribute die can be exchanged for a +2D skill bonus instead. Another way to portray these augmentations is the use of the Advantage/Disadvantage chart, but GMs could give the players "free advantage points" to separate the augmentations from other Adv/Dis traits inherent in the character.
Taking the various results of Project Orion and formalizing and refining them with newer developments in technology and scientific knowledge, Spartan IIs will create their characters as per the normal rules for human character creation in Star Wars D6. After this, they will then get +1D to Dexterity, Intelligence, Perception and Strength (GM discretion if they want to give this to Mechanical and Technical as well, but why not go all out for this?). They also receive a suit of Mjolnir powered armor, but what kind depends on what era their game is taking place in. They may also have access to the full UNSC armory (GM discretion advised) as well as any recovered Covenant weapons and equipment (along with that of the Forerunners, the Banished, and the currently upcoming Endless if they have useable technologies). They also have a UNSC neural implant that allows them to dirtectly interface with their Mjolnir powered armor suits and other standard UNSC gear that makes use of such implants.
Move And Movement Speed:
Move Option 1
Increase a Spartan-II's Move from 10m-12m for a human to 14m-18m, and add +8m when wearing Mjolnir Mk IV armor.
Move Option 2
Spartan-IIs were noted of being capable of running at speeds exceeding 55 km/h or 34.2 mph (Increase Movement Speed to x2, from 10m-12m for a normal human to 20m-24m, but add +2 meters for the right number to give them faster speeds that can be acquired). Kelly-087 was capable of running even faster than this speed. Later, during the Human-Covenant war, while in her Mark V Mjolnir Armor, Kelly-087's top speed was recorded at 62 km/h or 38.5 mph (This is represented as Kelly having trained up her Movement Speed as adjusted above). John-117 has been noted to briefly run at 105 km/h or 65.2 mph during a Mjolnir Mark V training exercise. However, his Achilles tendon was torn because the strain put on his body was unsustainable (Use a Force/Hero Point to double the Spartan character's Movement Speed, damage can be caused from over-exertion or at GM discretion depending on the circumstances).
A note on Move and Movement Speed adjustments. It is said that Mjolnir armor improves a Spartan II's Movement Speed and Dex instead of decreasing Move and Dex like other armors do in Star Wars D6 (though there are some drawbacks as Spartans cannot "shrug" in earlier Mjolnir armors). The Move adjustments mentioned above adjusts a Spartan character's Movement Speed outside of their armor, but GMs could make this come from Mjolnir armor instead, or divide the increase between the two. After doing the math, the adjustments given above covers what has been portrayed in Halo lore taking into account base human Movement and Move Speeds.
Move (Human): 10m/12m (Starting/Trained after character creation)
Move (Spartan x2): 20m/24m
1 Combat Round = 6 seconds
-Cautious Speed = 1/2 Move
-Cruising Speed = Full Move
-High Speed = x2 Move
-All-Out = x4 Move
1 round x 10 x 10 x 6 = 1 hour
1 round/6 seconds x 10 = 60 seconds/1 minute
10m/12m x 10 = 100m/120m
x2 = 200m/220m
High = 200m/240m
x2 = 400m/480m
All-Out = 400m/480m
x2 = 800m/960m
1 minute x 10 = 10 minutes/600 seconds
100m/120m x 10 = 1 kmh/1.2kmh
x2 = 2kmh/2.4kmh
High = 2kmh/2.4kmh
x2 = 4kmh/4.8kmh
All-Out = 4kmh/4.8kmh
x2 = 8kmh/9.6kmh
10 minutes x 6 = 60 minutes/1 hour
1kmh/1.2kmh x 6 = 6kmh/7.2kmh
x2 = 12kmh/14.4kmh
High = 12kmh/14.4kmh
x2 = 24kmh/28.8kmh
All-Out = 24kmh/28.8kmh
x2 = 48kmh/57.6kmh
This end result for All-Out Movement Speed covers normal Spartan II Move, but does not quote cover Kelly's 62kmh, so S2 Move Speed was adjusted at x2 that of a normal human, then +2 meters to cover her Move Speed.
Spartan-IIs also receive bonus skill dice, depending on what era their characters are playing in.
Just before enhancements at the age of 14 (2525), Spartan-II candidates will receive +10D skill dice (7D starting character skill dice by the Star Wars D6 rules, +3D).
Entering into the Covenant War (post-2525) they receive another +5D skill dice, and another +5D skill dice for every five years thereafter. Spartan-II characters made at the end of the Covenant War will have roughly +45D skill dice. This represents how they have fought and trained near-constantly before and during the war, and how when they have down time they rarely ever socialize and instead tend to train during down time between missions.
Spartan Characters going throigh the various Halo games and events may also receive skill dice due to those events (namely John-117 during the Battle of Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Infinite).
Pre-2525 (Pre-Enhancements): +10D skill dice.
2525 (Start of Covenant War): +15D
2552** (Battle of Reach): +45D
2552 (Halo: Combat Evolved): +50D
2552 (Halo 2): +55D
2552 (Halo 3): +60D
2557*** (Halo 4): +65D
2558 (Halo 5 Guardians): +70D
2560 (Halo Infinite): +75D
* During this time, Spartan-II Red Team with then travelled with the Spirit of Fire during the events of Halo Wars. Due to the events of Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2, Red Team would have received dice from the events of these games, but would not receive any further bonuse skill dice mentioned here due to being in stasis from the end of Halo Wars (2031) until the start of Halo Wars 2 (2559).
** During the events of the events and Halo games listed here, the fighting was the fiercest it had ever been during the entire war, and involved the reveal of the Halos, their power to destroy all life in the galaxy, and breaking out all the stops to prevent this from happening, while also combating the Flood. This is why Spartan-II characters receive such bonus dice, but only if they took part in these events. Otherwise, John-117 would be the only Spartan-II to receive these bonus dice within such a short time due to, by canon, being the only Spartan-II that was present during Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3.
*** During this time, Master Chief John-117 was in stasis for four years and did not accumulate skill dice. Any Spartan-IIs active during this time could have surpassed him in skill dice as they stayed active during this time, namely his fellow Spartan-IIs in Blue Team.
Spartan IIs are also portrayed as having social and emotional problems due to the method in which they were raised and trained, focusing exclusively on making them the best soldiers the UNSC could produce, at the exclusion of social interaction experience. If not using the famous Advantage/Disadvantage chart most SWD6 gamers have come to use for this system, this is simply something to do in the way the character is roleplayed. However, if using the Adv/Dis rules option, it has many options that could reflect how to portray Spartan IIs with these psychological disabilities.
The only known exception to these psychological issues was Kurt-051, who was known to socialize outside of Spartan II circles and even make friends, and was chosen to raise and train the Spartan IIIs.
Spartan-IIIs have similar augmentations as Spartan-IIs, but instead of +1D per attribute, these are instead +2 pips. S3s use SPI armor variants, and some teams were given access to Mjolnir Mk V [B] armor (namely Noble Team during Halo Reach). Not quite as big as S2s, they were still bigger than normal humans.
For bonus skill dice, this depends on which S2 company the character was a part of and when the character is being made in the timeline. Also, while Spartan-III training seems to have been half the time of Spartan-IIs (4 years to S2's 8 years), they were probably being trained to fight harder due to the suicide missions they were being sent on. Further, any Spartan-IIIs who survived these suicidal missions may be given +5D to represent the experience they gained from the event.
Spartan-IIIs were still trained from an early age like Spartan-IIs and had similar psychological issues as they did, especially a deep need for revenge against the Covenant who killed their families and destroyed their homeworlds.
S3s were faster than normal humans, but somewhat slower than S2s. They can have the 14m-18m Move of Spartan-IIs, but not the +8m from Mjolnir armor (at least until teams were given protypes of Mjolnir Armor Mk V [B] or later versions of Mjolnir GEN2 armor after joining the Spartan-IVs). GM discretion on whether to reduce this further.
Alpha Company was activated by 2536 after receiving Spartan augmentations and their SPI armor. Before their augmentations they would have +10D skill dice. After augmentations and receiving their SPI armor they would gain +5D more skill dice (+15D total) and have +5D for every 5 years they are active, much like Spartan-IIs. If any survived late in the Human-Covenant War (2552), would have +35D skill dice total. Operation: PROMETHEUS survivors (if any) receive +10D bonus skill dice.
Beta Company is assumed to have been activated on 2543 (proper date not found, assumed to be four years after conscription similar to Alpha Company). Before their augmentations they would have +10D skill dice. After augmentations and receiving their SPI armor they would gain +5D more skill dice (+15D total) and have +5D for every 5 years they are active, much like Spartan-IIs. If any survived late in the Human-Covenant War (2552), would have +25D skill dice total. Due to Kurt Ambrose (Kurt-051) being disheartened at the loss of Alpha Company during Operation: PROMETHEUS, he had Beta Company focus more on unit cohesiveness. They would have higher skill dice in the Tactics skill and its specializations. Operation: TORPEDO survivors (if any) receive +10D skill dice.
Gamma Company is assumed to have been activated in or before 2552. +10D skill dice before augmentations, another +5D after and receiving their SPI armor, and they gain +5D skill dice for every 5 years they have been active beyond 2552. GMs could grant more as two surviving members of Beta Company, Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091, aided in their training. Survivors of the Onyx Conflict receive +10D skill dice.
Gamma Company Augmentations
The schedule of the SPARTAN-III program was accelerated from that of the Spartan-IIs: because the Office of Naval Intelligence wanted to have the Spartans deployed in the field as rapidly as possible, by the time of Gamma Company the Spartan-IIIs were augmented at an average age of twelve, whereas the Spartan-IIs were fourteen during their augmentations. As puberty had not yet started for the majority of candidates at this time, they were given human growth hormone as well as cartilage, muscle and bone supplements added into their food over several months to artificially induce the onset of puberty. As a result, the candidates had the bodies of near-adult Olympic athletes at an average of only twelve years of age, and it took some time for them to acclimatize to their larger physiques.
Gamma Company received the same biological enhancement procedures as Alpha and Beta companies. However, frustrated with the deaths of his previous two classes of Spartans, Kurt Ambrose added the following illegal drugs to their augmentation procedures:
-009762-OO: A mutagen that alters key regions of the subject's frontal lobe. Enhances aggression, strength, endurance, and tolerance to injury under stress.
-009927-DG: Miso-olanzapine. An antipsychotic. Counters the mutagen's properties.
-009127-PX: Cyclodexione-4. A bipolar-integration drug. Counters the mutagen's properties.
This was against the recommendation of Deep Winter, Onyx's smart AI. Thus Kurt removed all traces and documents regarding the drugs.
As a result of 009762-OO, the Gamma Company Spartans have to use the antipsychotic and bipolar-integration drugs, colloquially known among the Gamma Spartans as "Smoothers" to keep the effects in check. If denied regular access to the "Smoothers", which can be administered via injections every twelve hours or longer-lasting subcutaneous implants, the Gamma Spartans start to lose their rationality and will eventually descend to a psychotic state.
In game rules, Gamma Company Spartan-IIIs have a Special Ability, Rage. For simplicity, use the rules for Rage for Wookies in Star Wars D6 (+2D Strength). However, when activated, Intellect and other skills requiring focus are -2D. This includes operating vehicles and starships, though using weapons is doable, but reloading, let alone repairing them, may be difficult or even impossible. A Moderate Willpower skill roll is required to negate or deactivate the Rage ability, made harder from the Intellect penalty. If denied their Smoothers past the 12 hour mark, they must make a Moderate Willpower roll to prevent their Rage activating when "confronted" by anyone, even in social situations not meant to be confrontational but could still be accidentally seen that way. For every day that goes by without Smoothers, the Difficulty of these Willpower rolls increases by one level (+5), finally reaching Heroic Difficulty after three days. When activated, it requires a Willpower skill roll to resist attacking allies; -1 Difficulty (-5) if they are allies but not known on a personal level; -2 Difficulty Levels (-10) if they are close friends or someone highly respected such as Kurt Ambrose or Franklin Mendez who trained Gamma Company; -3 levels for Kurt Ambrose after he decided to lead the remaining Gamma Company members during the Onyx Conflict and wear SPI armor along with them instead of his Mjolnir Mk IV armor.
Delta Company was proposed and Camp Currahee was being prepared for the candidates' arrival when the Onyx Conflict began on October 31, 2552. The fate of the company following the loss of Onyx and their would-be trainer Kurt is unknown. Given the subsequent end of the war, Delta Company was likely disbanded.
However, if GMs/players wish to expand on this and use it as a basis to make PCs, NPCs (or enemies?) from, several approaches could be taken. An idea ould be, since Spartan-IIIs were under ONI control and kept a secret, when Onyx was lost ONI could have had a backup location ready for the training of more Spartan-IIIs in case Onyx was ever lost. And even though the Covenant War was over, ONI would have the foresight (or paranoia) to believe there would still be a need for supersoldiers, especially the kind trained for stealth, assassination, and general wetwork and suicide missions.
With the war being over, ONI could train them up in four years like previous S3s, or take more time to make them more effective and on par with Spartan-IIs (6 to 8 years). At any rate, they will have the 10D skill dice before augmentation, and another +5D afterwards as well as receiving their armor (be it SPI, Mjolnir, or a form of Mjolnir that has SPI armor components for the outer shell for a combination of stealth, durability, and combat power). They will also receive +5D skill dice for every five years they are active. If their training is extended, they could start with another +5D.
As for what roles Delta Company could pose in Halo RPG games, the options range from heroes, spies, assassins, loyal ONI agents, or bitter enemies against the UNSC for any number of reasons. They could work for ONI, or have reasons to fall in with the Insurrection, some remnant of the Covenant, or possibly even the Banished who allow anyone to join so long as they can fight well. If enough of them were trained and shared an idealism, Delta Company could even split off and form their own faction with their own goals, whatever they may be.
In addition to the standard company formations, many Spartan-IIIs were withdrawn after training to serve in specialist units. Most of these Spartans served under the operational command of the Navy and the Army, though some served in the Marine Corps, and a select few in the Air Force; ONI's Beta-5 Division considered specialist Spartan-III teams useful bargaining chips in the internal politics of the UNSC Armed Forces, using them to achieve ends relevant to their interests such as securing given branches' leadership support for the program.
Alpha and Beta Companies initially had 497 and 418 candidates, respectively, although only 300 would become Spartans within each company. Of the "washouts" from these companies, most would later become drill instructors for their successors. However, there may still have been a large recruitment pool from which to draw members for specialist teams. At least six Spartans â€” Emile-A239, Carter-A259, Jun-A266, Thom-A293, Kevin-A282, and Rosenda-A344, were culled from Alpha Company, though the extent of these personnel withdrawals is unknown. Lieutenant Commander Ambrose believed that as much as 1.08% of Beta Company could be folded into base personnel prior to the attack on Pegasi Delta, which was expected to be a bloodbath: SPARTAN-B312 was pulled immediately after training and deployed as a "lone wolf" by an unknown superior; Catherine-B320 was extracted (with difficulty) after Operation: CARTWHEEL and assigned to NOBLE Team. Ambrose also attempted to send Lucy-B091 and SPARTAN-B170 on deep, long-term reconnaissance to keep them away from Operation: TORPEDO; Lucy ultimately participated in the battle, though B170's fate is unknown. Rosenda-A344 served in the non-company personnel rotation and was considered as a possible replacement for Emile-A239's position as Noble Four due to the latter's excessive hostility toward Insurrectionists. With Gamma Company, all 330 trainees officially graduated as part of the company, although the three best-ranked teams were set apart from the main body of the unit and remained on Onyx for additional training exercises even as the rest of the company was deployed into combat.
Only Spartan-IIIs who had survived two or more specially assigned training missions could join the "Headhunters". These two-man teams of Spartan-IIIs went on missions far behind enemy lines and were typically expected to die in combat. The Headhunters' existence was secret even to their peers. Once selected, candidates for the program were separated from their fellow Spartans and sent to specialist training camps on the far side of Onyx. The Headhunters were comprehensively evaluated in order to ensure an effective bond between the members of each team. A contingent of six two-man teams, as well as five additional Headhunters, was maintained at all times to ensure the program's numbers remained constant should one or both members of a team be lost. At least two Headhunters, Jonah-B283 and Roland-B210, wore SPI armor that was more advanced than the suits issued to most Spartan-IIIs: it included energy shielding, motion trackers, and VISR technology, and could also support a prototype active camouflage module. The Headhunter program remains active following the establishment of the Spartan branch, albeit with some organizational changes.
Out of those Spartan-IIIs withdrawn from their companies, many were equipped with MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor and deployed similarly to the Spartan-IIs rather than on suicide missions like their peers. These Mjolnir-clad Spartan-IIIs played a crucial role in many battles throughout the war in every branch of the military. Since the public was not aware of the distinction between the Spartan-IIs and the Spartan-IIIs, the latter let their predecessors take credit for their actions.
Many Mjolnir-clad Spartan-IIIs defended the planet Reach during the Covenant's invasion of the planet. Gauntlet, Red, and Echo Teams were rumored to be deployed in civilian evacuation operations on August 23. Concurrently, an unknown number of both Spartan-IIIs and Spartan-IIs were deployed to the capital city of Casbah on Tribute. A Spartan-III fireteam held off a bevy of Covenant vessels while a small number of civilians escaped aboard a transport craft. Though the entire team was killed, the Spartan-IVs on UNSC Infinity would later pay homage to their courage with a simulation of the engagement. By 20:00 hours on August 30, thirteen Spartan-IIIs had perished near the AsĹşod ship breaking yards, the last evacuation point on the continent of Eposz; soon, SPARTAN-B312 of NOBLE Team would die in the same location in a valiant last stand.
NOBLE Team was a special operations fireteam of the UNSC's Special Warfare Command. Unlike the Headhunter program, NOBLE Team was entirely separate from the SPARTAN-III program, being made up of Spartans extracted from both Alpha and Beta Companies and serving under the Army's operational jurisdiction.
Composed of five Spartan-IIIs and one Spartan-II, NOBLE Team was issued Mjolnir armor rather than the Semi-Powered Infiltration armor issued to most Spartan-IIIs. Their most notable combat deployment was during the Fall of Reach. The team was commanded by Carter-A259, with Catherine-B320 as his second-in-command. All but Jun-A266 were killed in combat during the Fall of Reach. NOBLE Team's sacrifice was later commemorated with a statue at HĹ‘sĂ¶k tere in the city of New Alexandria on Reach.
Spartan-IIIs who survived the various events and missions their companies were involved in, if they did, were rolled into the Spartan IV Program after the Covenant War. They also would have been granted Mjolnir GEN2 armor, though some preferred to keep using variants of SPI armor.
The newest type of Spartan supersoldiers. Not trained as children, each S4 is an adult who chose or were offered to join the Spartan Operations and the Spartan-IV Program, already having trained as soldiers and gained some experience as they prove themselves worthy of becoming S4s. They have the same enhancements as Spartan-IIIs (+2 pips to all Attributes), as they have been refined and made safe for use by adult humans by this time. S4s receive Mjolnir GEN2 armor (unless stated otherwise, use something like Mjolnir MkV or MkVI stats, but with a +1 pip bonus to make up for their augmentations being weaker than S2s).
They do not receive bonus skill dice as S2s and S3s as they are still "green" compared to these other Spartans that have more training and experience than the S4s. Spartan-IV starting skill dice are that of starting characters. GMs can allow more if they are veterans with skills gained over time or from exceptionally skilled units such as ODSTs or other special forces. Edward Buck from Halo 3: ODST is both a veteran and an ODST who became a Spartan-IV and (unfortunately) was placed in Fireteam Osiris alongside Jameson Locke, Olympia Vale, and Holly Tanaka.
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In the Halo games (specifically Halo 2 and Halo 3) players could use many weapons in pairs to deal more Damage. If doing this with a pair of the same weapons, attack rolls are -1D, but +1D to Damage dice when fired together. If using the Autofire rules option, the ammo from BOTH weapons can be used to increase the Damage for using both weapons
An alternative to this is increasing the Difficulty for using the weapon(s) by one level (+5, ex: Moderate to Difficult). The user can use both weapons' ammo, especially for the Autofire optional rule (see below). This is based on the Star Wars D6 rules for taking multiple actions (-1D per extra action). If using this with the Autofire rules option below, both will increase the Difficulty of using a pair of these weapons.
NOTE!: If Duel-Wielding Autofire Weapons, the Autofire rules option also has the Attack Roll reduced -1D or more when using autofire weapons. GMs can leave these two rules as they are, and players will need to improve their Firearms skill to make best use of autofire weapons. An alternative to this is to have Duel-Wielding reduce the Attack Roll dice, but Autofire instead increases the Difficulty to use the weapon (In Star Wars D6, ranged weapons usually have a Difficulty of Moderate for short range, Difficult for medium range, and Very Difficult for long range, though some weapons have lower or higher Difficulties. Autofire weapons statted out using these rules options have their Difficulties reduced from Moderate to Easy, etc, just for this purpose so players can more easily use the Autofire rules option). Another alternative is to flip these, and have Duel-Wielding increase Difficulty, and Autofire reduce Attack skill dice. GMs and players should discuss this and decide what option they wish to use before their games/campaigns start.
Weapons that can be duel-wielded include pistols/handguns and other weapons meant to be used one-handed for a human, like submachine guns/SMGs. Some weapons with an awkward grip or design may be too difficult to duel-wield (Needlers for example). GMs can have such weapons be duel-wielded at another +1 Difficulty Level (+5) as "Alien Technology" (see below, +5 Difficulty for being of alien technology and an unfamiliar design). Weapons too big for normal humans and similar species to duel-wield may still be used this way by bigger characters such as Spartans, Elites, and Brutes (GM discretion). Ex: Spartans and Elites could duel-wield various weapons in Halo 2 and 3, but humams in Halo 3: ODST were not able to due to being smaller than Spartans and not as strong.
Some weapons have the same extra effect beyond dealing Damage. Ex: two Plasma Pistols, both having Overcharge, Shield Stripping, and EMP (ion weapon damage). These effects stack when the weapons are duel-wielded. So their Overcharge is +4D extra Damage Dice (+2D for one), and their Shield Stripping reduces shields by -2D (-1D for using one). Using Overcharge automatically strips shields away, so when using two plasma pistols with Overcharge, shields will still be stripped away automatically, and the second Overcharge adds another +1D to the Damage dice. EMP/ion weapon damage from plasma pistol Overcharge attacks stacks the same way, adding +2D to the ion effect Damage dice.
Other weapons stack their effects in similar ways.
Duel-Wielding Different Weapons
The rules given above are for using two of the same weapon, and Damage increases easily that way. When duel-wielding two different weapons, uh...well, it's not so simple, especially if these weapons have different Damage dice and effects, so we have to make something up. What follows is less like set rules and more like guidelines to apply when figuring it out.
If the weapons have different Damage dice, use the stronger weapon as a base to start from (ex: 5D). The weaker weapon adds +2 pips to the duel-wielded Damage dice (5D+2).
If the two weapons both have the Autofire rules option (see below) then they can both use Autofire to increase their Damage by adding pips per ammo used in their attacks. Technically, this could give the character massive ammounts of Damage to deal out, and high enough Attack rolls could do this. But, using two Autofire weapons will also increase the penalties that they incur. If characters want to do this, they can, but at low skill dice, they may miss with these weapon all together. Duel-Wielding two autofire weapons is less about dealing Damage, and more about having more ammo to keep using the weapon(s) before needing to reload. If PCs can get their skill dice up high enough, they can then enjoy the best of both worlds and spray their enemies with a storm of bullets and deal out massive Damage, if they don't mind running out of ammo and needing to reload.
(NOTE!: reloading two autofire weapons takes twice as long as reloading a single weapon, usually a Move Action for one, for a pair this will take a Move and Combat Action, though GMs could require two rounds to relaod due to needing a free hand and moving the weapons around to perform the reload).
If the weapons have different Damage AND Autofire, use both above rules options together (highest Damage weapon as base, +2 pips Damage from second weapon, use Autofire rules as stated above).
If the two weapons have different extra effects not directly related to Damage dice (ex: plasma pistol EMP), apply these effects as using one of that weapon, but the Damage increases as described above.
If the weapons are explosive or heavy (ex: SPnKR rocket launchers, fuel rod guns, spartan lasers, etc), explosive and heavy weapons always add +1D to extra damage when used together.
(NOTE!: When figuring out combining weapons together to increase Damage, I use the rules stated in the last version of the Star Wars D6 rulebook, which refers to "combining actions" which usually means adding +1 pip per added weapons. However, I usually make an exception for heavy and explosive weapons, due to them just being more powerful than regular blasters and firearms).
In Star Wars D6 energy shields are portrayed as something to be overcome and add extra pips/dice to the character's Strength and armor dice to resist damage. All of this together can make it difficult to damage characters built for strength and durability and can even seem impossible to damage, let alone kill, and can even upset RPG game balance if allowed to be taken all the way.
In the Halo franchise shields are portrayed instead as something that can be depleted over time, even by weaker weapons if enough damage is dealt to them over time. To portray this, when shields are displayed on armor or with starships, they do not add to the Strength/Armor/Body Strength/Hull dice for rolling against to resist against damage. Instead, each +1D of shields is an "extra wound" that needs to be depleted from the target, hence the term "stripping shields".
When the attacker rolls Damage against a shielded target, they roll their dice and compare the result to the Star Wars D6 Damage Chart like normal. But the Damage Chart result is reduced by one level per +1D of shields at the expense of that 1D of shields being depleted (The Damage is effectively negated -5 on the Damage Chart per +1D of shields). Once the shields are depleted the character must then rely on their Strength, armor and other bonuses, if any, to resist damage while the shields need time to recharge, if they can.
Eaxample: If a character has +3D of shields with their Mjolnir powered armor and take a damage result of "killed" from an attacker, the killed result is reduce by three levels on the Damage Chart, from killed to wounded (+3D, -killed, -mortally wounded, -incapacitated, to wounded). From this point until the shields recharge the character must rely on their Strength and armor dice to carry them through the fight, and may need to find cover.
Unless otherwise stated, energy shields take two rounds before they begin recharging, then one round per 1D of shields to recharge to full. So +3D of shields would take a total of five rounds to recharge. However, this only counts if not stated otherwise, such as for weaker NPCs, Spartan Mjolnir Armor Mk V, and pretty much any early human use of energy shields. Stronger NPCs, Covenant ships, and later versions of Spartan Mjolnir Armor like the Mk VI, and later human uses of energy shield technology, have quicker recharge times.
If the character is attacked while their shields are recharging, the recharge stops where it is with whatever shield dice have been gained up to that point. Whatever shield dice have been recharged can be used to reduce Damage Chart results again, but the two round cycle before recharging begins starts again.
Using this option allows characters, ships, etc, to have much more shields, be resilient in combat, but not reach a state where they are effectively invincible vs other enemies. Players fighting an ememy that has Strength+Armor+Shields that are too strong with their weapons unable to do anything can be very frustrating. The reverse can also be true for GMs who's players have become so powerful they cannot be challenged without breaking the game. Using this rules option grants the best of both worlds, making characters more resilient and lasting longer in combat, but not being unbeatbale.
Applying As Wounds
The rules in Star Wars D6 give very little variation at times when it comes to dealing damage against enemies, and surviving Damage when it is dealt to the player characters (PCs). Often it comes down to you either causing Damage or not, and the Damage you deal may not be enough. Further, when rolling Strength+Armor+Shields+Whatever else you can come up with, it can be frustrating when this just isn't enough to survive, or you do survive by are so debilitated that you cannot effectively fight back or hope to survive the next combat round.
An option to grant PCs (and maybe enemies) more survivability is to trade the PCs' existing Strength dice and pips instead of receiving Damage on the Damage Chart. When Damage is being rolled against the character, but before the character rolls to resis Damage, the player can have the option to declare doing this trade-off. They still have to make their Damage resistance roll to decide how much the trade-off requires. After rolling Damage resistance, they then trade 1 pip for every Damage Chart category resulting on the Damage Chart. Doing this can result in the PC surviving impossible odds when they would have surely died from the Damage.
The down side is that next time they have to roll to resist Damage, their Strength is now stuck at this decreased state reflecting the Damage they still received from the previous attack. This decreased Strength also applies to every Strength based attribute and skill roll made from this point on, as their body is just too damaged, tired and overall spent and exhausted to apply their full Strength to do things like move or lift objects, etc. GMs may reduce the PCs' Move as well due to this effect (-1 meter Move per -2 pips Strength).
Lost Strength pips and Dice can be restored the same way as using medpacs to recover from Damage Chart categories, using the First Aid/Medicine skills and time to recover.
Using this option is not quite the same as the Energy Shields rules option stated above, but it seemed like a good idea to add in.
Applying As Extra Wounds
The optional rule for energy shields could also be applied to characters' physical bodies, effectively becoming EXTRA "wounds". This could be explained as the character's body being so durable and meaty that their skin, muscles and other tissues can take a lot of punishment before they even start feeling the hurt from Damage and pain. Doing this could also be applied to "boss fights" where a boss the PCs encounter may not have stats that are impossible to overcome and defeat, but still have a measure of durability befitting a boss. Using this rule gives GMs (and possibly players) an option that makes characters not impossible to defeat, but longer lasting in a fight, and gets around the power hike inherent to Star Wars D6 where too much Strength/Armor/Shields can make a character seem impossible to defeat with the PCs' weapons if they don't have readily available heavy weapons to use.
If used this way, these wounds will not "recharge" like the energy shields do, but need to be healed as with other results from the Damage Chart using the First Aid/Medicine skills, medpacs, etc, but function just like the Energy Shields rules option abobe (3 Wounds means Damage Chart results can be reduced by up to 3 categories).
Applying As Armor
Armor could have this effect too, being degraded the same way as shields (but after the shields are depleted, if they have them) as it takes damage. The more damage taken, the more scrapped the armor becomes. Once the armor reaches 0D, it is effectively useless and does not grant bonuses to resist Damage, but any penalties it gives the character (Ex: penalties to Dexterity) still remain as the armor is still attached to the character.
If this option is used, then it works more like the "Applied As Wounds" option above, trading 1 pip of armor to reduce the Damage Chart result by one category (the Energy Shields option reduces these results by dice, not pips, which makes the armor last longer than shields, but it does not recharge like shields unless using some other technology, see below).
Armor with this option must be repaired using the Armor Repair skill. Some forms of armor could use advanced technologies, such as nanites, to repair themselves automatically and "recharge" like energy shields do as stated above. If done so, the armor will not repair as quickly as energy shields recharge, though GMs could disregard this, especially if the character with this armor is much more highly advanced than is common in the setting, approaching a kind of "God-Tech" (ex: Forerunner tech).
Using this rules option would also be a great way to portray how Brutes' armor in the Halo games can be destroyed or removed, such as helmets being shot off in Halo 3 and Halo Reach to get Called Shots, or having armor be destroyed piece by piece as in Halo Infinite.
Applying As Enhancements
The extra wounds option could be applied not as something inherent in the character, but as some form of temporary enhancement, such as combat drugs, or a form of Spice from the Star Wars setting. While using this enhancer the character is more resilient to Damage, but after it wears off all the previously accumulated Damage may then hit the character and they could sufer the results, including possibly death! One inspiration for this is the real-life effects of people who use certain drugs, who can be affected so much by these that they do not stop moving even when grievously injured by hails of bullets, only succumbing after taking enough injury that would have killed several people, or when these drugs wear off, which sometimes results in death.
Using external substances could also include versions that allow regeneration where the character's body heals the wounds like the energy shiled or nanite armor options mentioned above. Regeneration substances would have a limited time, either only working once when ingested/injected. More advanced forms could actually change the character where this becomes a permanent part of their body. Nanites could also be used this way as a semi-permanent fixture, but could be neutralized through various methods, such as EMPs, ion weapons, magnetic fields, invasive nanites or chemical/biological substances, or uses of the Computer Programming/Repair skill if they can be altered wirelessly in some way.
An iconic part of Halo gameplay is the Grenade Jump, where the player tosses a grenade at their feet and jumps when it explodes, using the force of the explosion to propel them higher and farther than normal jumps would allow. This in turn allows the player to reach locations often not meant to be accessible in normal gameplay. Sometimes this is performed by accident as well in the heat of combat, and instead of dying the player finds themselves somewhere they were not meant to be, even not sure of how to get back, but for the time being they may be safe from enemy return fire.
To perform a grenade jump, Frag Grenades work best and the player must declare two actions in the round (-1D to the skill rolls). Toss a Frag Grenade at your feet (Very Easy Grenades skill roll), then when it is just about to detonate jump in the direction you wish to travel (Very Difficult Jump skill roll). The grenade's Damage Dice now add to the character's Jump Skill Dice when making the jump for determining the distance propelled vertically and horizontally.
If the skill roll Difficulties are failed. Failing the Jump skill roll means the character did not line up their jump right and they take the full Damage of the grenade, which is right at their feet (they may have jumped far enough away to be in a less damaging area of the blast radius though, or they could have propelled themselves away, just not as far as intended). If they failed the Grenade skill roll, they did not time the planting of the grenade accurately with their jump and it explodes either too soon or too late in reltion to using the Jump skill, does not propel the character in a Grenade Jump, and they still receive Damage from the grenade.
If the Grenade skill rolled a 1 on the Wild Die, GMs could declare that the grenade was a "dud" and that it simply did not explode at all. If players decide to pick up the dud and use it as a melee weapon, they will do Str+1D+2 Physical (Blunt) Damage, even when thrown, because real life grenades as heavier than they look, and could easily cause a concussion or brain damage if they are used to hit a person's head. GM's could argue they even do Str+2D Physical (Blunt).
Alternatively, due to this sometimes having strange unexpected results in Halo video games (especially with the original game engine), GMs could have each Damage die of the grenade add up to 10 meters to the distance travelled and the character could reach even greater distances.
This should only be attempted by characters that have the durability to withstand the Damage Dice of the grenade. Spartan-IIs in their Mjolnir armor with its energy shields are the best bet, but Spartan-IIIs and Spartan-IVs in Mjolnir armor can attempt this as well. Covenant races like Sangheili Elite and Jiralhanae Brute characters, among potential others, could make use of Grenade Jumps as well, provided the characters are built to be durable enough to make the attempt.
Grenade Jumps WILL cause Damage to the character purposely attempting to do this, which is why they need to be as durable as possible when doing so. Normal human characters, even wearing combat armor, may not survive the attempt. If the character successfully makes the Very Difficult Jump skill roll, GMs could reduce the Damage the character takes by 1 or 2 catagories on the Damage Chart as they are trying to jump away from the explosion and effectively ride the force of it to get away from it. This is in line with the Halo games and makes allowance for those "How the heck did THAT happen!?" moments that occur when playing games like Halo: Combat Evolved when the player unexpectedly survives an unintended Grenade Jump and finds themselves on a bridge across a chasm that was never meant to be reached and explored.
Other grenades can be used, but make not work nearly as well. Plasma Grenades do exert force that can propel a body such distances, but do not have the woder blast radius of Frag Grenades, and also tend to do more Damage (the character may not survive the attempt). Brute Spike Grenades are not meant to exert such explosive force, instead using their explosions to propel shrapnel in every direction after sticking to a surface (or character). Flame Grenades simply do not exert enough force and will burn a character to cinders if they try. Forerunner Grenades are less about exerting forceful explosions, and more about manipulating energies, such as draining Energy Shields (and life) or propelling Hard Light shrapnel to deal Damage. And Shock Grenades are more about draining Energy Shields and dealing Damage Over Time (DoT). The UNSC and human race, possibly even the Brutes, make use of other explosive devices with varying degrees of Damage that could also be used for this in a pinch.
Another method of getting similar results is to use a rocket or missile launcher in lieu of a Frag Grenade, namely the SPnKR Rocket Launcher due to its Damage and blast radius. If attempting a Rocket Jump, follow the rules option above for the most part. The differences are that as the character declares and uses two actions, the jump will be made either at the same time the launcher is fired, or a brief milisecond before, the Missile Weapons skill is used instead of Grenades, and the skill roll must be Moderate to use it right. Due to the timing and the launcher's Damage and blast radius, the effects will be greater, but the Damage done to the character could be greater as well. Since the character has more control on the timing with launchers, GMs could reduce the Damage taken by the character, provided they make their skill rolls. If they fail these skill roll Difficulties, the penalties are the same as those listed for Grenade Jumps.
While a lot of Halo related combat takes place on the ground or onboard starships, sometimes it takes place in space. Any relevant Star Wars D6 rules that apply to character combat in space should be applied as-is, though a few things are worth mentioning here.
Ballistic Weapons In Space
When Ballistic Weapons are used in space they exert an amount of force when firing bullets, missiles, and other physical ammo rounds. If the user is not secured somehow and floating freely in space, this force pushes them back, and possibly sends them in an uncontrolled spin.
Each time the weapon is fired, they are pushed in the opposite direction a number of meters equal to the Damage dice of the weapon (5D Damage = 5 meters). Unless the character finds a way to stop this motion, they continue to move this distance every round until finding a way to stop. Every extra time they fire their weapon after this, this speed increases by the same number with each use.
The Difficulty of firing the weapon is also increased by one Difficulty Level (+5) for this purpose. If the weapon misses this Difficulty, the attack still hits the target if the normal Difficulty was rolled, but the user is sent into an uncontrolled spin in the opposite direction (GM discretion to change this direction due to the character flailing around). If the propelled character still attempts to fire their weapon at a target while in this spin, the Difficulty to fire and hit with the weapon is increased by +1 Difficulty Level (+5). This also requires the +1 Difficulty for firing the weapon in space to begin with, and failing that Difficulty makes the uncontrolled spin worse, incurring another +1 Difficulty Level to fire the weapon (Ex: Failing the spin Difficulty twice would make the uncontrolled spin so bad that attempting a third attack with require a +2 Difficulty Level (+10) to successfully hit the target with their weapon, but also incurs an extra +1 Difficulty Level to keep the spin from getting even worse. If this is failed again, a fourth attempt would have +3 Difficulty Levels, and still have the +1 Difficulty Level to prevent the uncontrolled spin from getting even worse than it already is).
It should also be noted that such weapons could also be purposely used as propulsion in space if maneuvering thrusters are not available. Using a ranged ballistic weapon in this way starts with a Very Easy Difficulty Level. If this roll is failed (such as rolling a 1 on the Wild Die), then the rules for entering an uncontrolled spin are now at play with the appropriate increases in Difficulty.
Energy Weapons In Space
Energy Weapons (such as Plasma, Hard Light, and others) at first seem like they would not exert force like Ballistic Weapons. This could not be further from the truth, and most of them do exert such force. Especially plasma weapons, as their energies are similar to the flaming thrust produced from various propulsion systems used in starships. Hard Light weapons seem like they would be an exception to this, but their use of light gives that light mass and force in order to deal Damage. Therefor, Hard Light would also exert force in space. Unless stated otherwise, these weapons also use the same rules of using ranged weapons in space as Ballistic Weapons.
Some exceptions could be made via GM discretion. For example, Sentinel Beams could exert little or relatively no force to propel the character or cause uncontrolled spins, and Needlers could have their propelling effects greatly reduced as their needles seem to fly on their own power for tracking targets.
Melee Combat In Space
When using melee weapons in space, they have the same effect as ranged weapons due to the force a character exerts while using them to deal Damage to a target. The speed the weapon user is proplled backwards by is in meters equal to their Strength dice + weapon Damage dice. If they have something to hold on to while making their attacks (or defending or parying for that matter) then this is negated.
Recovering From Uncontrolled Spins
If a character enters into an uncontrolled spin by these rules options (or some other means not related to combat), they need to have maneuvering thrusters equipped on their space suit or body (if they for some reason do not need a space suit) in order to have any chance to stabilize their spin and recover. The Difficulty for recovering from an uncontrolled spin starts at Easy, but increases using the same formula given above (failing a ranged attack twice would increase the recover Difficulty by +2 Levels (+10) for Difficulty Difficulty), and this formula can be applied to other situations than space combat with ranged weapons.
If maneuvering thrusters or some other means of propulsion are not available, the character needs a physical object to reach out and grab, such as a line or cable, a hand grip or rail, ledge, platform, anything they could wrap their hand around, or entangle a limb in (Difficulty decided by GM, probably Moderate or higher depending on factors stated above; moving at high speed while tumbling should require Very Difficult to Heroic Difficulty). This is why people in real life who reach orbit and perform space walks always use some kind of line or cable and clamps and line extensions to connect to their space suits to prevent themselves from being pushed away from their ship, pod, space station, etc, when going out into space in their suits.
It should also be noted that some kinds of space suits, especially a Spartan's Mjolnir powered armor in the Halo franchise, are equipped with thrusters that stabilize the wearer while using their ranged weapons, and automatically do not propel in the opposite direction or enter into uncontrolled spins (though this can still be caused by other means).
WEAPON TYPES AND DAMAGE
Weapons and other equipment and items used by a species not familiar with them increase their Difficulty for use by +1 Difficulty Level (+5). Humans using Covenant weapons, Covenant and Banished using human weapons, both using Forerunner weapons, etc. Many of these weapons are purpose-built to be easy to use by their respective species and militaries, but outsiders still have a learning curve when attempting to use them. GMs can wave this after the user has used the weapon often enough.
Ammo Energy Battery
Many energy weapons have a battery that is charged to use the weapon. While the ammo count is different for these varied weapons (plasma pistols can have 500 ammo, plasma rifles can have 200 ammo), the battery usually shows its ammo or charge within "100%". While I will do my best to list how much ammo a weapon has, this has varied from one Halo game to another. GMs can change this up as they see fit and decide if 1% counts as 1 shot, 3 shots, etc, or if a single shot needs more than 1% from the battery.
Unless the weapon states otherwise, a general rule of thumb to go by here could just depend on the Damage and Range of the weapon.
Rifle range used as base for modifiers. Decreasing the range gives more ammo per 1% of battery power (+1 ammo per 1% battery per decrease). Increasing range does the opposite (+1% battery per 1 ammo per increase).
-Pistol (3-7/25/50m to 3-10/30/120m): 1% battery counts as 2 ammo (100% battery counts as 200 ammo).
-Rifle (3-25/50/250m to 3-30/100/300m): No modifier, 1% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery counts as 100 ammo).
-Sporting Rifle (3-40/120/350m): 2% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 50 ammo).
-Light Repeating (3-50/120/300m): 3% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 33 ammo).
-Repeating (3-75/200/500m): 4% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 25 ammo).
-Sniper Rifle (3-75/200/600), 5% counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 20 ammo).
5D Damage used as base for modifiers. Reducing the Damage gives more ammo per 1% of battery power (+1 ammo per 1% battery per decrease). Increasing it does the opposite (+1% battery per 1 ammo per increase).
-[1D/-4D]: 1% battery counts as 5 ammo (100% battery, 500 ammo).
-[2D/-3D]: 1% battery counts as 4 ammo (100% battery, 400 ammo).
-[3D/-2D]: 1% battery counts as 3 ammo (100% battery, 300 ammo).
-[4D/-1D]: 1% battery counts as 2 ammo (100% battery, 200 ammo).
-[5D/-0D]: 1% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 100 ammo).
-[6D/+1D]: 2% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 50 ammo).
-[7D/+2D]: 3% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 33 ammo).
-[8D/+3D]: 4% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 25 ammo).
-[9D/+4D]: 5% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 20 ammo).
-[10D/+5D]: 6% battery counts as 1 ammo (100% battery, 16 ammo).
For ranged weapons capable of automatic fire (autofire). The weapon may be capable of semi-automatic fire (singlefire, base Damage) but also have the ability to fire multiple rounds to either increase its Damage dice roll, or in some cases spread the extra rounds over an area to increase the Attack dice roll instead.
Each extra bullet or round in the weapon's magazine/ammo added for a burst adds +1 pips to the Damage Dice (as per fire-linking rules in Star Wars D6). A 5-round burst (+1D+2) counts as a normal attack with no modifiers. Every +5 rounds afterwards is +1 Difficulty Level (+5) to make the attack roll.
1-5 rounds - up to +1D+2 Damage - -0 Difficulty Level.
6-10 rounds - up to +3D+1 Damage - +1 Difficulty Level (+5).
11-15 rounds - up to +5D Damage - +2 Difficulty Levels (+10).
16-20 rounds - up to +6D+2 Damage - +3 Difficulty Levels (+15).
Example: Most ranged weapons are Easy/Moderate/Difficult for short/medium/long ranges.
1-5 rounds, no modifier, Easy/Moderate/Difficult.
6-10 rounds, Moderate/Difficult/Very Difficult.
11-15 rounds, Difficult/Very Difficult/Heroic.
Full Auto: Unless stated otherwise (and some weapons will be different), the user can choose to empty half to the entire magazine (30-60 rounds as a general guideline) into a target as a full-round attack, but cannot Dodge during the combat round.
Alternative Option (Like Duel-Wielding): If using two weapons, Duel-Wielding incurs a -1D to the attack roll skill dice, while Autofire increases the Difficulty. GMs/player could flip this and have Autofire reduce skill dice as well if they feel more comfortable with this alternative option.
1-5 rounds - up to +1D+2 Damage - -0D modifier.
6-10 rounds - up to +3D+1 Damage - -1D to attack roll dice.
11-15 rounds - up to +5D Damage - -2D to attack roll dice.
16-20 rounds - up to +6D+2 Damage - -3D to attack roll dice.
Area Attack: Alternatively, the user could spray a target area with the extra rounds to increase their chances of hitting a single target, or targets/enemies clustered close together in the same or adjacent spaces. The bonus to Damage dice mentioned above with Autofire instead goes to the attack roll instead of Damage. If the attack roll succeeds, the Damage roll is normal with no modifiers. This is meant to work similar to the rules option in the Star Wars D6 Rules Companion for combining weapons for Capital ships with lots of weapons, but changing the bonus to either Damage or Attack and not both.
Explosive Weapons: For weapons that may have some form of explosive weapons and also be capable of autofire, GMs may choose to increase the damage bonus from +1 pip to +1D per extra round, as explosive weapons usually deal more damage than bullets and other Ballistic Weapon ammunition. These should be judged on a case by case basis by the GM (advice: rockets, missiles, grenade launchers, especially anti-vehicular weapons, should probably have the stronger bonus, but anti-personnel rounds like some kind of small explosive bullets of micro-grenades that have no blast radius and deal Damage only to the target upon impact should probably have the weaker bonus).
Slow Autofire: There are some weapons that are still automatic but do not fire their rounds as quickly as the MA series assault rifles or SMGs, such as the Commando Rifle introduced in Halo Infinite. The standard Commando has 20 rounds in the magazine and each round seems to do more damage than those of the MA assault rifle and SMGs in the various Halo games. To keep it simple I'm going to take a cue from the Battle Rifle (BR) and its Burst Fire mode. The BR fires 3 round bursts and the way I handle Burst Weapons unless stated otherwise is that the first round has the weapon's base Damage, the second round adds +1D Damage, and the third adds +1 pip. Any other Burst Fire Weapons will follow this formula unless stated otherwise, and any extra rounds added to the burst simply add +1 pips to the Damage Dice.
The Commando and any other weapons that fire in a similar fashion will work the same way (1st round no modifier, 2nd round +1D Damage, 3rd round and more +1 pip), but make it autofire where the user has the option to add extra rounds to the burst. Instead of adding units of up to 5 rounds per Dificulty Level increase in exchange for up to +1 pip per round to Damage Dice, each Difficulty Level increase is just for 1 round. This seems limiting and at first most players would not want to use such a weapon, except these weapons will also have greater range than most Autofire weapons, as they still count as mid-ranged precision weapons for engaging enemies at a distance (average Range of 3-30/100/300m minimum, and up to 3-40/120/350m, 3-40/120/400m, or more). This makes Slow Autofire Precision Weapons behave like a mix of sniper and Autofire Weapons, not being as good in either role as weapons built specifically for these purposes, but being a good in-between mix for both that will do in a pinch if the others are not available.
Alternative Option (Like Star Wars D6): GMs wanting Autofire Weapons to be more simplified and function more like Star Wars D6 ranged weapons, adjust the Damage Dice to +1D and deplete the weapon's ammo -5 rounds (5 round burst) with each attack action. Singlefire can be a firing mode option mfor the weapon (base Damage Dice for firing 1 round in the attack action, +1D Damage Dice for a 5 round burst when using Autofire).
Ballistic weapons fire physical projectiles often called bullets, used in a wide variety of firearms. Others fire rocket propelled projectiles that are usually also explosive, such as with grenades, grenade launchers, and various rocket and missile launchers. This also includes shotguns, Ballistic Weapons that fire not single bullet projectiles but a cattering of pellets that are more devestating than more long ranged bullets but only effective at shorter ranges.
While this sums up Ballistic Weapons as simply as possible, their physical ammunition and potential designs and configurations gives them an option of variety and purpose that most Energy Weapons and Ballistic Weapons made by other species than humans do not have. Where Energy Weapons are "set" with the energy type or firing mode they are built with, Ballistic Weapons can change their ammo out with a wide variety of alternatives that can change the weapon's effect and purpose. A list will not be provided here due to how extensive such a list would be. Needless to say you can have ammo for just about every situation, from normal damage, to armor piercing, anti-vehicular, increased damage to "soft" targets, shattering locks, and even incendiary rounds for setting things on fire. And that's not even the tip of the iceberg. As advanced as the human race is in the Halo setting, they could even have ammo varieties that for probe devices to scan an area for targets or something specific based on a scanned energy type.
When looking into science fiction in general, the potential for Ballistic Weapon varieties expands even more, and much of these may be possible to create in the Halo universe.
The trade-off for this is that where Covenant energy weapons, especially the plasma pistol and rifle, have large amounts of ammo in their batteries fitting more like a machine gun with a large ammo feed, compared to this Ballistic Weapons tend to be more limited in how much ammo they have. The more powerful the weapon, the more limited the ammo tends to be, especially for personal weapons used by soldiers and civilians. For this reason, carrying ammo varieties for serving multiple roles and mission profiles can be a negative as well as a positive, especially if fighting an enemy impervious to a full magazine of ammo that's not powerful enough to affect said enemy.
This needs to be kept simple and keep to what Halo Ballistic Weapons are known for. For those who are enthusiasts of Ballistic Weapons, a quick Google search can reveal lots of potential options for using these in a Halo RPG, or any game with such weapons, and making a character with Firearms Repair/Engineering or Missile Weapon Repair/Engineering to modify and upgrade or create brand new Ballistic Weapons is something no player could go wrong with.
All that being said....if using this rules option in a Halo D6 game, Ballistic Weapon have +1D Damage VS Physical (Flesh) targets. If staying true to the Halo setting, this will include enemies wearing body armor (but not against energy shields). If GMs wish to throw a snag against the players, then Armor could negate this effect until it is damaged or destroyed, but allowing armor piercing ammo as a standard for UNSC characters would easily get around this. In this way, where Covenant Energy Weapons are great for Shield Stripping, Ballistic Weapons are good at doing damage to unshielded targets.
It should also be noted that the main reason Ballistic Weapons work this way in Halo is that they are the best option when fighting the Flood. While they may have armor from the host body turned into a Combat Form, The Flood still have a lot of exposed flesh that Ballistic Weapons are better at damage than many Energy Weapons.
Unless stated otherwise, most Forerunner Hard Light Weapons have the benefits of bother Ballistic and Energy weapons but none of the drawbacks.
The Banished use variants of Covenant weapons that have been altered to suit their own tastes, as well as Jiralhanae designed and produced slugthrowers and melee weapons. These are usually notable in how brutal they are in how they deal damage and are less elegant than Covenant and Elite weaponry. Banished weapons, unless stated otherwise, will increase their Damage at the expense of the weapon's range, and may have a melee weapon added for close combat if they did not before. Many Banished weapons are also the same as the Covenant version (ex: plasma pistol, plasma rifle), but they may have their own variant (red Brute plasma rifle).
Breach Loader Weapons
Mostly Ballistic Weapons, though other variants may exist, Breach Loader Weapons are ranged weapons that need to be reloaded after every shot, where the user loads a new round directly into the weapon's firing chamber. Unlike Pump Action Weapons that need a free action to load a new round before firieng, or Semiautomatic Weapons (Singlefire) that load a new round for the user, Breach Loaders will require the player to use an actual combat action to reload the weapon. GMs may make this a move action depending on the circumstances, such as if the user is a sniper who has taken up a position and does not intend to move from that spot and is dug in for the battle.
While Breach Loader Weapons may be seen as somewhat archaic by the timeline of the Halo setting (and use of such older weapons could even require the Archaic Weapons skill to use them), GMs could introduce Breach loader variants of weapons that require such actions to reload them after every shot in exchange for higher Damage Dice for the weapon. Example: a Breach loader of the Forerunner Binary Rifle that only has one round instead of two, but has greater Damage than the Binary Rifle already has, which is still impressive. Another example could be a lighter version of the S7 Sniper Rifle, having one round instead of a magazine of four, which could make the weapon lighter and easier to use, therefor have a lower Difficulty to use in combat.
Some weapons like flamethrowers and Brute fire grenades deal initial damage, but also deal damage over time as the target being hit catches on fire, or things pass through the fire and also catch flame. Unless the weapon says otherwise, Damage over time will be -1D from initial Damage, burning over time will last 1D-2D rounds. Extra attacks that apply more flame could increase this Damage if GMs allow, perhaps even surpassing the weapon's initial Damage dice (more for flamethrowers than fire grenades).
Burst Fire Weapons (Battle Rifle)
Burst Fire weapons have a firing mode that fires a set burst of more than 1 round for increased Damage from the magazine, usually 3, but more is possible. Unlike Autofire Weapons, due to this burst being a set number of rounds, and the weapon's intended design, there may be no increase to the Difficulty to fire the weapon (individual weapon stats will state if this is otherwise. When using a weapon's Burst Fire mode, adjust the weapon's Damage as follows: 0D Damage modifier for 1 round from Singlefire; +1D for 2 rounds; +1D+1 for 3 rounds; +1 pip for any rounds added after this. The Damage for a 3 round burst is +1D+1.
Some weapons may have multiple firing mode options, like Single Fire, Burst Fire, and Autofire. If they do, the difference between Autofire at a 5 round burst and Burst Fire at a 3 round burst is that Autofire 5 round bursts give +1D+2 for 5 rounds, and Burst Fire 3 rounds give +1D+1 for 3 rounds. Burst Fire conserves ammo for the weapon in the long term, and both modes also do not increase the Difficulty to use the weapon (as long as Atutofire is not used to fire more than 5 rounds). Weapons that have Autofire and Burst fire will not have their Damage increased as described below for the Battle Rifle as they are designed to be a mix of options for the user, and are not solely designed to be precision weapons.
The Battle Rifle is a classic weapon that uses this firing mode. It is designed to be a mid-range precision weapon. Due to this, it is designed to deal more Damage than shorter ranged Autofire Weapons like the MA series assault rifles (+1D, from 4D to 5D), and increases its Damage with the Burst Fire mode (+1D+1, Damage 6D+1), and has better range than Autofire Weapons (Range 3-40/120/350m or greater, also has a x2 scope).
The Covenant predominantly use plasma energy weapons. Use the Blasters skill and other relevant skills to use these energy weapons. However, they also use weapons like the Needler and Needle Rifle. These will use the Firearms skill.
Covenant energy weapons have been known to use an Ammo Energy Batteries (see above) and Overheat as usual (see below). However, some of their energy weapons also use ammo, and if they do so, they do not Overheat. There are also variants of the same weapon that are known to use both methods (the Fuel Rod Gun from Halo: Combat Evolved had an Ammo Energy battery and could Overheat, while versions in later games used ammo, did not Overheat, and needed be reloaded as normal).
Damage Over Time (DOT)
Some weapons deal DOT, Damage that progresses over several combat rounds. Halo Infinite introduced Shock weapons that do this like the Disruptor (an electrical Shock/DOT pistol) and the Shock Rifle (an electrical Shock/DOT SNIPER RIFLE!), and while seeming weak at first glance, they have their uses, and are devestating when used by a character who appreciates their potential lethality and knows how to apply it.
When an attack is made with a DOT Weapon, roll the weapon's initial Damage dice accordingly and refer to the Star Wars D6 Damage Chart. After the roll is made, remember the number (and probably write it down to make it easier to keep track of, especially if making multiple attacks with these weapons). Unless stated otherwise, these weapons will increase their Damage Chart result by +5 next round and raise the Damage Chart result by 1 level (some may continue doing this for more than 1 round). If more attacks are made with the DOT Weapon, its initial Damage is the same, but its DOT effect adds to the DOT that was already made and pushes it to the next level on the Damage Chart, provided this is done within 1 round of combat. After 1 round, the DOT "stacking" must start again, but if the target has already suffered a result on the Damage Chart, this could be beneficial and a new DOT effect could push them further up the Damage Chart anyway.
While Shock Weapons usually have the DOT effect, other potential weapons could as well. Acidic weapons could do DOT, and could also be seen as a physical chemical similar effect to Disintigration, one progressive over time, the other instant upon death.
Some weapons when getting a Killed result on the Damage Chart will completely disintrgrate the target, especially if it is flesh, even in armor, and not currently protected by an energy shield. The down side for players if they are killed in such a way is that if there were still a body of the character, use of the Medicine skill and the right equipment could potentially revive a character and bring them back to life, as long as the damage was not too severe, enough of their body were left, and if they could be taken to adequate facilities in time. Use of weapons with the Disinitegration effect prevents this completely as there is no longer a body left to attempt resuscitation.
Unless stated otherwise, Hard Light Weapons all have this effect.
Some weapons have an EMP effect and can shut down electronics and technology like vehicles. Weapons that have this EMP effect also deal ion weapon damage as in Star Wars D6.
Unless stated otherwise for the weapon, energy weapons will have an Ammo Energy Battery (see above), and have the Shield Stripping ability (see below), and they will Overheat after several uses (see below). Beyond this, energy weapons will come in a variety of options, many similar to those presented in Star Wars D6 rules, and many that take a different approach. Some energy weapons may use normal ammo rules instead of a battery and need to be reloaded when they run out (Covenant Fuel Rod Gun). Energy Weapons in general will probably also have the Shield Stripping effect.
Many weapons are explosive, but these do come in a wide variety. Some are thrown (grenades), some are set in place and the user sets it to explode hopefully with a timer and enough time to get away before detonation, and many are launched as grenade launchers, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), anti-vehicular missiles, and others. Many also will have a Blast Radius, but this varies from weapon to weapon. Some Explosive Weapons actually may not have a blast radius, instead having a controlled and directed explosive effect at the point of impact, acting like a ballistic weapon but still counting as an explosive weapon (Ex: the Hydra from Halo 5: Guardians and Halo Infinite)
The main reason Explosive Weapons is mentioned here is to state how I treat them when using things like Multiple Action for extra attacks, Autofire, Burst Fire, and other rules and options that would allow combining attacks or rounds to increase Damage. In the version I have of Star Wars D6 rules, "fire-linking" is treated as "combining actions" which gives +1 pip for everyone adding to the action, and weapons are supposed to be treated the same way. Older versions of the rules I've seen used to make this +1D instead.
I use both of these rules, depending on the weapon type. Standard use weapons like personal blasters or firearms or starship weapons like blaster cannons, laser cannons, and turbolasers (Star Wars D6) would increase their Damage in pips when fire-linking (though there are some examples where it looks like Dual weapons on ships seem to be a pair at +1D Damage, and I handle this in Burst Fire Weapons above). Explosive weapons on the other hand, due to their intended design, will increase their Damage by +1D when fire-linking or using multiples of them in single attacks.
The Forerunners use energy weapons, and almost never, if ever, use ballistic weapons due to how advanced they were. However, many of their weapons used Ammo Energy Batteries (see above, ex: Sentinel Beam), while others used ammo and needed to be reloaded (ex: Boltshot, Suppressor, Light Rifle, Scattershot, Binary Rifle, Heatwave, Cindershot, etc). Unless stated otherwise for the weapon, Weapons with an Ammo Energy Battery will Overheat and have the Shield Stripping ability. Weapons that use ammo and reload by default do not have these features/drawbacks, but some Forerunner weapons could be a mix of these and other features and drawbacks.
Many of the Covenant's energy weapons are reverse engineered from Forerunner tech, but Forerunner weapons have often been portrayed as being more powerful due to their more advanced nature. Forerunner weapons may function similar to Covenant, or even UNSC weapons, but will also have higher damage (possibly less ammo as a trade-off).
Many Forerunner weapons will effectively have the best of both worlds, having properties, features and functions of both energy and ballistic weapons (Shield Stripping, +1D VS Flesh), but may not have the drawbacks of either. Forerunner weapons will also have the Disintegration effect (see above) unless stated otherwise.
Weapons with the Guided effect are able to give the user direct control over the ranged attack round of the weapon when it is fired, allowing them to make it curve and turn in mid-flight to better hit the target. Unless otherwise stated, Guided Weapons grant a +2D Fire Control bonus to the user.
The Cindershot in Halo Infinite has two altfire modes, one with Ricochet and Indirect (Arcing), the other with Guided. The Ricochet effect allows the user to make multiple attacks to bounce rounds behind cover, corners, etc, and could allow multiple attacks in a combat round as long as the user rolls high enough on the attack roll. The Guided effect allows the user to nail the intended target, having a better chance to hit with one round instead of making several attacks. More attacks could be made with the Cindershot using Guided, but these will incur the -1D to the attack roll and the Guided +2D effect is NOT cumulative.
Guided is different from Tracking. Guided gives the user direct control over the attack shot while it is in flight. Tracking is automatic and performed by the weapon or its ammunition.
Hard Light Weapons
Hard Light Weapons effectively work like a solid hologram emitted from a type of projector, and can even have heat and mass. Functioning like this, they can perform odd effects like passing through targets to affect other targets and increase the casualty numbers, yet also ricochet and bounce off surfaces and around corners. Various Hard Light Weapons can have either an Ammo Energy Battery or use ammo as normal. The ones that use ammo may be limited in how much ammo they have, but tend to be more powerful and destructive compared to weapons that use bullets and other solid ammo. Complicating this is the thought that these weapons may have been even more powerful and carried more ammo over 100,000 years ago before the Halos were fired to cleanse the galaxy of the Flood and these weapons were then left sitting in their storage racks for that time without maintenance.
Most or all Forerunner weapons are Hard Light based, will have the benefits of both Energy and Ballistic Weapons (Shield Stripping, +1D VS Flesh), none of the drawbacks, and the Disintigration effect. Some also have the Pass Through Target effect, and with proper use of a weapon with all of these abilities they can be truly lethal!
Some weapons count as Hard Light but do not have these benefits. The Covenant Elite Energy Sword is a Hard Light melee weapon, but just works as a sword with almost no weight to the hard light blade, but nor does it have the Shield Stripping or +1D VS Flesh. The Covenant have other versions of hard light melee weapons, such as those used by the San'Shyuum Prelates, genetically modified and enhanced San'Shyuum supersoldiers, and the Covenant may have more powerful versions of Hard Light melee weapons. Promethean melee weapon arms are different, being Hard Light melee weapons that DO have these features, and can deal massive amounts of Damage due to how physically powerful Promethean Knights tend to be.
Some weapons, like certain missile launchers, can lcok on to a target, fire at them, and if they miss the fired round can turn back around and attempt to hit the target again. If a weapon has the homing ability, unless stated otherwise for the weapon, after the initial attack roll has been missed, the round has 4D to try and attack/hit the target again, and will attempt to do so 3 times total. Missiles and other homing weapons can be purchased ata higher cost to have a higher attack roll skill for this, or to attack more often than 3 times.
Some weapons do not fire their shots in a straight light, but instead arc it in the air in a curve. Where ballistic bullets and rockets and many energy weapons fire in a straight line, other weapons like the UNSC M319 Grenade Launcher, Covenant Fuel Rod Gun, Brute Shot, Banished Ravager, and the Forerunner Cindershot, all fire their attacks in arcing curves this way. This gives them a better chance to lob their rounds into enemy cover where straight-line ranged weapons are blocked by cover.
When lobbing rounds behind cover, the user has +1D when using an Indirect weapon, but ONLY for getting the round behind cover and close to the target to deal Damage. The M319 Grenade Launcher also has the Ricochet effect, and could use Indirect for +1D and Ricochet the attack at +1 Difficulty Level (+5).
Most Indirect weapons will arc their rounds as stated here, but it may be possible to have Indirect weapons that propel their rounds in some other method besides "arcing" them. I don't know how, but this is science fiction, so other versions may be possible.
Pass Through Target
Some weapons can pass through the hit target, either because of sheer force (UNSC S7 sniper rifle) or due to energy type or advanced technological design (Forerunner heatwave, cindershot). To hit other targets through the initial target on purpose, +1 Difficulty Level (+5) per extra target when attacking with these weapons.
Some Hard Light Weapons have the Pass Through Target effect.
It should also be stated that weapons with Pass Through Target that also have an effect like Ricochet could be used to hit a target, ricochet off solid surfaces, and hit the target again, and potentially repeat this process depending on how high the user's Attack roll can get. If doing this, each successful use of the Ricochet effect (+1 Difficulty (+5) to Attack roll per Ricochet) increases the Damage dice by +1D and counts as a single attack. Doing this within a smaller enclosed space like a small room reduces this Difficulty -1 Level (-5).
Some ranged weapons are built for hitting targets as accurately as possible, usually while expending as little ammo as possible in the process. Sniper weapons are an obvious version of this (Ex: S7 Sniper Rifle, Covenant Beam Rifle, Forerunner Binary Rifle), but there are also a number of mid-ranged precision weapons as well (Ex: Battle Rifle, Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), Covenant Carbine, Forerunner Light Rifle).
Precision weapons often use a standard ammo type that non-precision weapons use, but are designed to maximize the effect of the ammo rounds used for the attack. Due to this, their Damage is +1D that of other weapons using similar ammo (MA series assault rifles usually have Damage 4D for Singlefire modes due to using Autofire and larger ammo magazines but being less precise and shorter ranged; Precision weapons like the Battle Rifle and DMR are more accurate and longer ranged, so they are designed to maximize the effect of their ammo rounds). So Precision Weapons will have greater range (average 3-30/100/300m to 3-40/120/350m or greater), possibly a scope to increase range and/or accuracy (Fire Control bonus), and their rounds will have +1D Damage.
Battle Rifles are designed to have a Burst Fire mode of 3 rounds.
DMRs are Singlefire but have better range than Battle Rifles.
Covenant Carbines have similar (maybe slightly less ) range as the Battle Rifle, are Singlefire, but have -1 Difficulty Level (-5) to use and are therefor easier to make multiple attacks with.
Forerunner Light Rifles are Precision Weapons with similar range to Battle Rifles/DMRs, have 3 round Burst Fire, but also have Shield Stripping like Energy Weapons but without Overheating, and +1D VS Physical (Flesh) but have to reload like Ballistic Weapons, and also have the Disintegration Effect when a target is killed.
Pump Action Weapons (Shotguns)
Some weapons in the Halo games, namely the UNSC shotgun available from Halo: Combat Evolved up to Halo 5 Guardians, are Pump Action Weapons. After being used for an Attack action, they must be "pumped" to load a new round or shell into the chamber before being fired again. This pump is usually the forward hand grip of the weapon also used to steady it to be fired while held in a character's two hands (some variants of shotguns and rifles could have a type of lever instead, like older variants from Earth's "Wild West era).
When using Pump Action Weapons, an ation is needed to load a round/shell into the chamber before it can be fired again. GMs can decide if they want this to be a combat action (player must declare two actions to attack/fire then pump the weapon to fire again next round or next action if declaring more than two actions), a move action (fire in an attack action, then pump for a move action, but then would not be able to move for the round), or a free action (pump the weapon after firing at no penalty). If done as a free action, GMs can decide how many free actions the PC can have before needing to declare extra actions, or negate the need for this all together.
Slow Pump: Some weapons may act like shotguns and need to be pumped in between uses, but may require more time or the application of more force by Strength to be reloaded (especially if it is a Brute weapons and is more difficult to use by weaker species like humans). These weapons could apply a rule as "Slow Pump" Weapons, similar to Slow Autofire Weapons above, and these could use the variant option listed above for pumps requiring other actions to use the weapon.
Some energy weapons can build up a charge from their ammo battery to fire a more powerful shot to do more Damage at the expense of using more ammo. Example: The Halo plasma pistol is widely known for being able to charge its shots to be more powerful when released to deal more damage.
If the weapon has an Overcharge feature, unless stated otherwise for the weapon, they have: +2D Damage; take 10% from their battery or 30 ammo to fire; automatically Overheat and need to be vented before being used again.
Overcharge may also have an EMP effect on vehicles and other electronics and technological items: Damage counts as Ion Weapon Damage from Star Wars D6. Overcharge shots may also be able to track targets they are fired at: +1D Fire Control for the user when using Overcharge.
Plasma and other energy weapons overheat if used constantly and need to be vented to cool the weapon down before they can be used again. Unless stated otherwise for the weapon: Overheat happens after the weapon has been used to make three attacks consistently back to back. When the weapon overheats it will need 2 rounds to vent its heat and cool down before it can be used again. The weapon can be vented manually before this happens and only take 1 action to cool down. Rolling a 1 on the Wild Die can result in an overheat happening. Overcharge shots automatically overheat the weapon and require venting.
If using the Autofire rules option (listed above): a 1-5 round burst counts as 1 attack; every +5 rounds afterwards counts as an extra attack before the weapon overheats; a full-round attack will result in an automatic overheat and venting.
Some weapons can fire a shot that bounces when it hits a surface. This can be annoying when unintentional, but can also give the user the ability to "bounce" the shot behind enemy cover. +1 Difficulty Level (+5) to bounce the attack behind cover or around corners, etc. Depending on the weapon, the Ricochet effect could be applied multiple times, especially if the weapon has the Pass Through Target effect, creating an attack that can hit a target, pass through them, Ricochet off a solid surface, and hit the target again, repeatedly. A Cindershot is a hard light grenade launcher and can be ricocheted, but detonates upon contact. A Scattershot or a Heatwave on the other hand, both work as hard light shotguns with some differences, but both have Ricochet, and the Heatwave has Pass Through Target.
If doing this, each successful use of the Ricochet effect (+1 Difficulty (+5) to Attack roll per Ricochet) increases the Damage dice by +1D and counts as a single attack. Doing this within a smaller enclosed space like a small room reduces this Difficulty -1 Level (-5).
Human frag grenades also can be ricocheted, though most other grenades used in Halo cannot.
Semiautomatic Weapons (Singlefire)
Some weapons are semiautomatic in that they automatically load the next round into the weapon's firing chamber and do not require any extra actions on the part of the character. While similar to Autofire Weapons, these weapons are usually meant to fire single rounds per attack action, and not meant to be capable of Autofire. Other weapons may require an action on the part of the PC to load another round into the weapon's firing chamber, such as Pump Action Weapons (many types of shotguns) or Breach Loader Weapons (many variants of ranged rifles and sniper rifles). Most weapons that work like this will be Ballistic Weapons, but energy and hard light variants could exist.
Covenant and other forms of energy weapons in the Halo franchise have often been portrayed as being much more efficient at stripping energy shields than bullets and other solid ballistic weapons. A simple way to portray this is that when these weapons are used against a shielded target, have the energy shields automatically lose 1D of shields when hit before figuring out the Damage Chart level reduction as stated in "Energy Shields" rules option (if using this, see above). This keeps things simple.
GMs may want to use other methods to portray this, such as having energy weapons deal more damage. But this may make them too powerful, as these weapons are great for shield stripping but were never as commonly stated as being better at dealing damage against armor and flesh than ballistic weapons (Actually, ballistic/bullet weapons are stated to be better at this, hence why they're so good against The Flood). However, this was stated on ocassion, and it is generally thought in science fiction that energy weapons would be good in this fashion. If this route is taken by GMs, then energy weapons may have +1D to their Damage dice. If doing this, then the option for Energy Shields above should probably not be used, and the traditional rules for weapons and energy shields in Star Wars D6 should be the norm.
Another way to portray shield stripping in your games if not using these rules options is to have energy shields be reduced by -1D when characters roll to resist Damage from these these weapons.
In short, Sniper Weapons are a more powerfule version of Precision Weapons. They use variant of ammo types used by shorter ranged weapons, but instead of expending that ammo with Autofire they have been designed to maximize the effect of that round (Damage +1D) like Precision Weapons, but have also been designed to have much greater range than Precision Weapons (average Range of 3-75/200/500m or more, some might have less), and may also have scopes that increase Range and/or accuracy (Fire Control bonus). If a .50 caliber machine gun had a base Damage of 6D before adding Autofire, a .50 caliber Sniper Rifle would have a base Damage of 7D and much greater range than the machine gun, and may have a scope that would increase the range further and possibly work with the weapon's intended design of stability to give a Fire Control bonus to the attack roll as long as the user is taking their time to steady their aim and using patience before firing their rounds.
Halo Infinite introduced shock weapons, like the disruptor and the shock rifle, electrical weapons that do Shock and Damage Over Time (DOT). Both have the Shock effect, which stuns enemies who are shot by them (counts as stun damage rules in Star Wars D6), but they can also EMP vehicles when they hit them (ion weapon damage from Star Wars D6). Energy shields negate the stun effect.
Halo Infinite Shock Weapons also deal a DOT effect. Vehicles hit by Shock Weapons also deal DOT to the passengers within. Variants could be possible that only have the stun and/or EMP effect and no DOT.
Spread Weapons (Shotguns)
Some ranged weapons, like various UNSC/human shotguns or the Forerunner Scattershot and Heatwave, deal Damage by firing a cluster of physical material (buckshot, pellets, etc for shotguns, alternative use of Hard Light for Forerunner weapons). Weapons doing this kind of Damage will on average do more Damage in short range than most other similar weapons (+1D), but the Damage then decreases at further ranges (0D medium range, -1D long range). Spread weapons also may have shorter range than many rifles (less than 3-30/100/300m). A basic shotgun would look something like this. Damage 6D/5D/4D with a Range of 3-10/30/120m; greater and lesser Damage and Range are possible depending on each weapon.
The Covenant needler and needle rifle are well known for causing an explosion to the target when enough ammo rounds connect with the target. If using the Autofire rules option (see above), this is a straightforward way of deciding how many rounds hit a target to cause a supercombine explosion. If not using Autofire, then the user should be made to roll a higher Difficulty Level to cause one (ex: Weapon has Moderate Difficulty to use, but a Difficult or Very Difficult needs to be rolled to cause a supercombine explosion). Unless stated otherwise, supercombine explosions are the weapon's base Damage dice +3D, but rolled after the initial Damage is rolled (the rounds pierce the target causing Damage, THEN explode, causing more Damage).
Some weapons fire rounds or energy shots, etc, that can track a target and have a better chance of hitting the intended target, such as the Covenant's needler and plasma pistol's overcharge shot. Unless stated otherwise, these will give +1D Fire Control to the user. This bonus is for the initial attack against a target, but once the target avoids the attack, it passes by harmlessly and does not try to curve around to attack the target again. For that you would need "homing" (see above).
Tracking is different from Guided. Tracking is automatic and performed by the weapon or its ammunition. Guided gives the user direct control over the attack shot while it is in flight.
Human weapons are mostly ballistic and fire bullets or some other form of solid round, even explosive ones. While humans do begin producing their own form of energy weapons late in the Covenant War, no matter how powerful these are, they are still not as prevalent as Covenant energy weapons by the end of the conflict. Post war, humans still mostly used ballistic weapons, and the proliferation of energy weapons was slow in its advancement, even after acquiring Forerunner technology. This is probably because the human race collectively prefers to use what they know works, and human ballistic weapons have been developed and refined over many centuries by the 2500s, but who knows how things could be in the far future. Jiralhanae Brutes love using human weapons, especially shotguns and rocket launchers. Elites have been known to use them as well, and the Banished made wide use of these weapons during the Human-Banished War at Installation 00 and during Halo infinite.
Human weapons will usually be Ballistic Weapons, ranging from handguns/pistols to single fire rifles, automatic rifles, machine guns, submachine guns, sniper rifles....firearms made for just about any occassion. It also includes a variety of explosive weapons, from fragmentation (frag) grenades being the most common grenade type, various grenade launchers, but also various rocket and missile launchers (SPnKR), and in this future they even have explosive weapons the size of personal firearms (Hydra). Among their energy weapons is the "Spartan Laser", a powerful shoulder-mounted anti-vehicle heavy energy weapon, limited in ammo (battery power) but very devestating as long as you hit the target.
Human weapons, used by the UNSC, Insurrectionists, other organizations or factions, or used by common civilians, come in a variety so wide that it would require entire books to catalogue them all (though for the purposes of Halo, we will focus on the ones used in the Halo games and various accompanying lore).
UNSC/human Ballistic Weapons also tend to have many modular options for attaching equipment on them than Covenant, Banished or Brute varieties. These can increase range (scopes), accuracy (hand grips), possibly Damage, quiet the weapon for stealth missions (supressors), SmartLink scopes for using a helmet's HUD to see what the scope sees, along with many, many more. Human weapons are also usually easily disassembled for storage and transport as well as cleaning and maintenance.
Some weapons and other gear are difficult to use either due to being a difficult shape to grip or hold, large and cumbersome, heavy, off balance, or any combination of these factors. Unless stated otherwise, Unwieldly weapons have +1 Difficulty Level (+5) when using them.
Weapons And Skills
-(New) Artillery skill: As there is a Blaster Artillery skill, there should be one to represent "Firearms" or Ballistic Artillery as well, since the human race still uses such weapons in the Halo Setting.
-Blasters skill: Used for most energy weapons in the Halo games and setting, including Covenant plasma/energy weapons, Banished disruptors and shock rifles,
-Blaster Artillery skill: Could be used for many turrets, though most turrets in the Halo games have single operators, and this skill is meant for those that require more than one person to use. Turrets that are too heavy to use by normal humans could require this skill, but if a character or species is strong enough to carry such turrets, they could use the Blasters/Slugthrowers or other relevant skill to use the weapon.
-Energy Artillery: Variant of Blaster Artillery but for use with very different energy weapons, like Forerunner Hard Light Weapons.
-Energy Weapons skill: This skill is mentioned in Star Wars D6 rules. The only example of a weapon I saw was for a sonic stunner. This skill seems to count for using non-standard, uncommon, or odd energy weapons. Any energy weapon in the Halo setting that doesn't fit easily into the other skills should be used with this skill. Forerunner hard light weapons could also be used by this skill since they aren't really "blasters" like the Covenant/Banished energy weapons. Forerunner Hard Light ranged weapons are definitely different and unique enough to require this skill to use them. This also means there would be variants to other skills like Blaster Artillery (Energy Artillery).
-Firearms skill: For using most weapons that fire bullets. Some sources may say "Slugthrowers" skill instead, this is the skill given in my Star Wars D6 RPG rulebook, the newest one published before the SWD6 line was discontinued by West End Games, colored version, not black and white. If Slugthrowers is mentioned, it is interchangeable with Firearms. This skill is also used for non-human weapons that fire some form of solid ammo, such as the Covenant needler, and various Jiralhanae weapons (mauler, spiker, mangler,
-Flamethrower skill: Pretty self-explanatory, but I just had a thought of the Covenant, or more likely the Brutes/Banished, having a high-damaging plasma flamethrower that would be vicious. The Forerunners would probably not have anything so savage, and would rely on weapons like the sentinel beam, which is more precise and direct with its heat damage.
-Grenade skill: For using the various Halo grenades (ex: UNSC frag, Covenant plasma, Brute spike, flame, dynamo, Forerunner pulse, splinter, etc).
-Hard Light Weapons: These are not quite blasters like Covenant energy weapons, and they are different and unique enough to require the Energy Weapons skill.
-Lightsaber skill: Not used for any currently known weapon in the Halo setting. Could be used for Elite energy swords, but they act more like physical melee weapons with their hard light technology. Energy sword variant could exist that act more like lightsabers, GM discretion recommended.
-Melee Parry skill: Used to block or deflect incoming attacks using a physical object, usually a melee weapon, but any liftable object will do. usually meant to be used against melee attacks, but in theory could be used to parry ranged attacks (GM discretion).
-Melee Combat/Parry skills: For using most melee weapons, even melee energy weapons like the Elite energy sword.
-Missile Weapons skill: Used for grappling hook devices (Halo Infinite's Grappleshot), grenade launchers (ex: UNSC grenade launcher, sticky detonator, Covenant plasma caster, Brute/Banished brute shot, ravager, Forerunner cindershot), and missile weapons (UNSC SPNKr, hydra, Covenant fuel rod gun, plasma launcher, Brute/Banished skewer, Forerunner incinerator).
-Spartan Lasers: This weapon could fit into the Blasters skill since it can be used by a single character, or into the Blaster Artillery skill due to its purpose as a heavy anti-vehicle weapon. Personally, I'd let the player use whichever skill they want, if they have it and can roll the required Difficulty for using certain weapons.
-Thrown Weapons skill: Used for throwing just about anything that isn't a grenade, like some kind of improvised IED (improvised explosive device) or the various fusion, plasma, shock, and hard light coils/containers as you can in Halo infinite now.
-Vehicle Blasters skill: Used to fire vehicle mounted (speeder, walker) energy weapons. In theory a "Vehicle Firearms" skill should exist for versions that fire bullets or other solid ammo (vehicle sized versions of needler weapons).
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Biofoam (short for biomedical foam) is a self-sealing, space-filling coagulant and an antimicrobial, tissue-regenerative foam polymer used by the United Nations Space Command as a form of medical first aid. This foam keeps damaged organs in place and helps stop bleeding and hemorrhaging. The medicinal compound is morphophetamine in a polyethyltriphosphate foaming medium dispensed with nitrous oxide. The standard dosage is 10 centiliters (10cL) or 3.38 fl. oz. Within the Unified Earth Government, biofoam is an OTC-legal product; biofoam can be purchased legally "over-the-counter".
In Star Wars D6 game terms, Biofoam can substitute medpacs when first aid is needed and use the same rolls required by the First Aid skill. Varieties of medpacs and first aid kits are still available. GMs could have biofoam be separate from medpacs and have better effects than them when applied, especially if a character is near death. However, Biofoam has been portrayed as having a time limit in its effects. While it can improve a character's status on the Damage chart, the foam begins to break down after a while, and the character is right back where they were before. Unless stated otherwise, Biofoam will begin breaking down after one hour. If the character's Damage status was improved more than one level, each Damage level decreases by one after one hour each, Wounded status counting as twice.
Ex: A character Damaged to Mortally Wounded and almost dying, then improved to Stunned using four charges of Biofoam (see below), decreases one Damage level after one hour. They are now Wounded. After another hour they will be Wounded twice (-2D), then Incapacitated after another hour, then back to Mortally Wounded after another hour. They may now be at risk of dying, but the Biofoam did give them four hours before returning to Mortally Wounded, and that could give them enough time to seek and reach proper medical treatment.
However, health packs are often available in the Halo setting, which would count as Star Wars D6 medpacs, with Biofoam sometimes/often being included with these (depending on the quality), or treated as a separate item all together. If treated as a separate item, Biofoam could be used to easily improve a character's Damage chart status. It could also have a set number of "charges". Applying bthe Biofoam would be an Easy First Aid skill roll, and each charge is used to improve a character's Damage Chart status by one level. Biofoam in first aid kits/medpacs would count as "1 charge" (these kits may have multiple Biofoam packs, but probably no more than 2-4). Biofoam cannisters like those seen in Halo 3: ODST could have 4 charges or more as they were pretty large.
Ex: Romeo in Halo 3: ODST took the bladed spike end of a Brute Chieftan Gravity Hammer to the chest (bad enough, but this was a Brute Chieftan, equal to a very strong Wookie in Star Wars D6!), causing grievous damage. He didn't die, but was pretty close to passing away and probably Mortally Wounded on the Damage Chart. Buck used a large cannister of Biofoam on the wound and this allowed Romeo to stay alive, and even be combat ready, later in the game's story. It was also implied that the cannister was used several times until it was empty then tossed away, only to be found later by The Rookie, who was looking for his team.
Biofoam was first introduced in the novel Halo: The Fall Of Reach, and later described in Halo: The Flood as to how it was used by a Spartan II in Mjolnir Mk V armor.
HARD LIGHT TECHNOLOGY
Hard light is a Forerunner technology that allows light to be transformed into a solid state, capable of bearing weight and performing a variety of tasks. This involves an as-yet unexplained interplay between coherent, high-energy light and gas particles, such as air.
Unless stated otherwise, Hard Light Tech is treated as a solidified hologram emitted by some form of projector device (Think of holograms in the Star Trek franchise, especially the various uses of holograms portrayed in Star Trek Voyager, even the more outlandish ones).
Hard light was used extensively by the Forerunners for a variety of purposes. The control panels and interfaces found in many Forerunner installations are composed entirely of hard light, and can react to the touch of a Forerunner or Human despite their utter lack of mechanical components. Hard light was also commonly used in the composition of Forerunner structures and ships, either for aesthetic purposes or as a covering for mechanical and technological mechanisms, such as on the arms of a War Sphinx. Hard light is also used in the locking mechanisms of Forerunner doors. Light bridges made of hard light are common throughout Forerunner installations; these bridges are strong enough to bear the load of heavy objects such as a M808B Main Battle Tank, yet can be switched on or off as easily as a normal beam of light.
Forerunner design seeds also made use of hard light. When activated, the rotating pillars of the machine would emit "scaffolding" of hard light that would fabricate a machine or ship using raw materials obtained on-site.
Hard light was also used in the firing mechanisms of the Halo installations, and also as a protective structural reinforcement to stabilize and protect the rings against tidal and gravitational forces from other objects.
Many Forerunner ships use hard light technology to form its internal divisions and compartments. This allows a Forerunner ship to easily reconfigure its layout, furnishings, or decoration at will.
Most Forerunner structures project a hard light decorative shell over the structural support elements of the building. Almost all Forerunner buildings seen on the Halo installations or the Ark lack this covering; the Forerunners did not install hard-light generators on the Halos' structures, as they were meant to be purely functional. Additionally, any structures that possessed hard light decor only activated in the presence of Forerunners, although the decoration in the Menachite Forerunner Complex activated when a group of reclaimers entered.
Various Forerunner weapons, particularly ones used by the Prometheans in Halo 4, use hard light as ammunition. These weapons are particle dilators that use an unexplained method to convert light mass into hard light for use as a projectile. This would presumably provide both the kinetic energy as with solid projectiles like those used by the UNSC as well as the high energy output of the weaponry used by the Covenant. Such weapons are the Binary Rifle, Light Rifle, and Boltshot.
It is also believed to be able to protect an individual from a nuclear explosion at point-blank range as shown when Master Chief manually detonated a HAVOK Tactical Nuclear Weapon but was protected by a barrier of hard light surrounding him thanks to intervention by Cortana as she was dying, along with manifesting a hard light, life-sized holographic avatar to be able to touch John's armor before disintegrating completely upon her death.
The Covenant was also able to use hard light technology to some degree. Most Elites who make use of swords use a common form of energy sword that is made or hard light projected from the weapon's hand grip. Hard light melee weapons do not have to have a weight which may make them relatively easy to use in combat, but are solid enough to deal damage when striking a target. Hard light melee weapons are not lightsabers like in the Star Wars franchise which have the ability to "burn" through solid objects. They instead count as melee weapons and ad extra Damage dice to the user's Strength like other melee weapons. Because they are made of hard light, they may be sharper than their pysical counterparts and would probably act more like a vibro-weapon from Star Wars. However, because they're still energy weapons, they can easily be used to parry lightsabers and similar weapons, possibly even ranged energy weapons, and not have their blades destroyed. If such weapons make contact with an Elite energy sword's hand grip, a physical component that projects the hard light blade, they can damage and destroy this, and therefor damage/destroy the weapon.
Hard light could also be used to create advanced body armor from a properly fitted and designed hard light projector device fitted to the wearer that would have much less weight than a physical suit of armor.
ITEM AVAILABILITY CHART
Just a few notes on the various weapons, gear and other items and technology in the Halo universe. Items common in one faction will be more difficult to find among another faction (such as Covenant weapons among human society, or vice versa). Some locations may be different depending on the when and where (such as human Outer Colonies in the post Covenant War environment where Kig-Yar sell Covenant tech anywhere they can). Forerunner tech will always be difficult to find unless you find some remote ancient location.
1 - Star Wars D6, "Readily available throughout the galaxy". In this case, readily available throughout UNSC space, Covenant/Banished space, Forerunner facilities, etc, as the UNSC, Covenant, and Banished do not control the entire galaxy, and Forerunner technology is somewhat rare at this point in time.
2 - Star Wars D6, "Available only in large cities or spaceports". Remains true, as the UNSC and Covenant have many colony worlds that would not have access to the very best technologies available, and instead may have gear meant for more agricultural purposes.
3 - Star Wars D6, "Specialized item, normally available only on planet of origin". Same as 2, and in some cases like Forerunner items, these may have only been available at a single location, like The Composer, and are from an ancient empire that has not existed for 100+ thousand years.
4 - Star Wars D6, "Rare item, difficult to find anywhere". Remains true, especially in the case of Forerunner items. Covenant tech would have been difficult to procure during the Human-Covenant War, but afterwards Covenant tech became much easier to acquire as Kig-Yar began selling any and all Covenant tech to any humans who would buy it.
F - Star Wars D6, "Fee or permit often required for purchase". Remains true.
R - Star Wars D6, "Restricted on most planets, and normally may not be bought or sold withithout appropriate Imperial or other relevant license". Remains true, and most if not all human/UNSC weapons would probably be illegal in the hands of non-military personnel. The legality of Covenant weapons within Covenant society is unknown, but non-military personnel possessing such items would definitely be against some law or regulation.
X - Star Wars D6, "Illegal on most planets. Possession or use often violates Imperial or local laws except for specially authorized individuals; penalties may be severe". Remains true, see "R" above for more details.
Unless stated otherwise all later variants of Mjolnir powered armor have the same features as Mk IV and often add features or enhancements to existing features. Furthermore, while the stats and bonuses stated here may not portray Mjolnir armor as powerful as it seems in Halo canon, or as powerful as players/GMs think it should be, this is done for various reasons (See "A Note On Balance" above). Players/GMs who disagree with what is presented here can feel free to change the rules as they see fit. It should be noted to look at all of the armor's features, specifically the change toenergy shield rules, and take the armor's features as a whole into account before making changes. The rules option on energy shields makes characters much more durable without needing more powerful weapons to eventually hurt them. The armor's stats when combined with a Spartan's enhancements can make them hard to kill as is before making improvements too, depending on how the character is made.
Spartan IIs were active before the beginning of the Human-Covenant War and introduction of Mjolnir powered armor. They would be given combat armor that gives them +1D VS Physical/+2 VS Energy, a helmet with a HUD and possibly Perception/Skill enhancements, a comlink, equipment equal to a utility belt, and probably most other gear that would be useful for their missions, as well as a +1D to Sneak/Hide skill checks.
Mjolnir Armor Mk IV
-Force-Multiplying Circuits: Located throughout the armor, these systems boost the force applied by the user. They make hand-to-hand combat easier, but also make the armor difficult to adjust to; a slight motion can be translated into a potentially harmful one if not conducted correctly. For this reason it is only possible for Spartans to use this armor, as their strengthened bodies are able to withstand the increased power and speed of movement, which, in un-augmented human bodies, results in broken bones or death due to spasms caused by the pain of broken bones.
-Titanium Alloy Outer Shell: The outer shell of the Mjolnir Armor is comprised of a fairly thick titanium alloy. This plating covers the chest, arms, hip, legs, calf's, feet and hands. This alloy is very resilient, can take significant punishment, and is nearly impervious to small arms fire. While enough shots from armor piercing rounds will breach the outer shell, the suit can take a few glancing blows from them without compromising the armor. The outer shell of the Mjolnir suit is covered with a refractive coating to help disperse the heat experienced from Covenant energy weapons. However one or two direct hits from any Plasma weapon will compromise the armor plating. Strength +2D VS Physical/Energy. The VS Energy bonus is due to a special plasma resistant coating applied to the armor due to the Covenant's extensive use of plasma energy weapons and the UNSC's need to give the Spartan IIs something to help against this. The suit also grants a +2D bonus for pushing/lifting purposes (these Strength bonuses do not stack).
-Titanium Nanocomposite Bodysuit (Techsuit): Sandwiched between the external armor and the internal padding is a thick black armored bodysuit. This suit has numerous functions, small but vital to the safety and survival of the wearer. The bodysuit is made of a titanium-based material, making it very strong and yet very flexible. It also serves as another layer of protection against ballistic attacks and is coated with a heat resistant material to disperse heat from plasma weapons. Stat-wise this is part of the Titanium Alloy Outer Shell for stat modifiers.
-Reactive Metal Liquid Crystal Layer: Liquid crystal forms the inner structure of the suit. This reactive metal increases the strength, reaction time, mobility, speed, and all around physical performance of the SPARTAN-II. This layer of crystal, knitted together at a molecular level and fitted in between the outer plates and the inner padding, accounts for over eighty percent of the Mjolnir Armors cost of construction and materials. When worn by a Spartan II, the armor grants +1D to Dexterity and Strength. Dexterity bonus applies to hand-eye coordination and agility related skills. Strength bonus improves damage for brawling, melee, or hand-to-hand combat in general. It also doubles (x2) the Weight Lifting Capacity of the user (if using the list weight for the Lifting skill shown in Star Wars D6 rules, double the weight listed for using the skill).
If using Move Option 1, then Mjolnir Mk IV armor also gives the Spartan-II +8m to their Move.
-Helmet And HUD: The Mjolnir Helmet is one of the most vital aspects to the Mjolnir system. It is made of Titanium and contains key features like a Heads-up display (HUD) that links to the brain and hands, and can identify equipment and display information about it when it is picked up by the wearer. Another feature is the direct neural interface system which connects to a SPARTAN-IIs neural implants. Two core processor chips are implanted into the subjects skull in the rear of the head. This is essentially comparable to an on board computer using parts of the human brain for processing - when the connector at the rear of the subjects head and receptors in the brain link to the helmets on board sensors it creates the neural link needed to move the Mjolnir suit. The helmet also contains other equipment to protect and aid the user in hostile conditions. This includes: filters to remove toxins from the atmosphere, a supply to provide air to the wearer during EVA, thermal and motion sensors, communications, solar-powered lighting, and imaging and video gear.
+1D to Perception skills used for perceiving the environment, but does not improve interaction, stealth, or other such skills.The helmet has a Heads Up Display (HUD) that shows information to the wearer, such as ammo count for weapons equipped with a SmartLink, location of enemies/targets, allies, and various objects such as moving vehicles in the suit's radar motion tracker system, health monitor, various other armor-related technical data, audio speakers for the commlink as well as showing a video feed of the person being communicated with, availability of other equipment if attached to the armor, and the ability to close off external communication if the wearer wants to have a private communication with someone else via the commlink (Spartan IIs were known to have private conversations this way when non-Spartans were standing right near them, though Doctor Halsey their creator learned to know them so well that she could often discern what their conversations were about due to their body language and mannerisms, and could even identify each Spartan II this way as they all tended to look the same when wearing their armor). The helmet of the visor also helps protect against flashbang effects (Perception +2D to resist) and has light amplification and dimming effects to allow better sight in changing environments where normal human sight may be limited. It also has a zoom function to allow sight and target spotting and engagement at greater distances (normal rules for macrobinoculars in SWD6). The helmet can also feed the wearer various tactical data like displaying maps of a given area (if map data was ever made available via recon specialists, drones, satellites, or orbiting ships or other facilities), and set waypoints at map locations for various mission purposes. These waypoints and other data can be shared with other UNSC personal equipped with helmets that have HUDs or other equipment linked to the UNSC's BattleNet (B-Net), or other properly equipped personnel or facilities such as bases, ships, orbiting stations, etc.
GM discretion to allow the VISR function shown in Halo 3: O.D.S.T. and Halo Infinite. VISR could explain many of the functions listed in the helmet above, but it also had other uses, such as helping spot useful weapons and equipment nearby within visual range (+2D to Perception checks for this purpose) and identifying UNSC assets as well as other non-UNSC assets marked by the wearer, mission support personnel in communication with the wearer, or an onboard A.I., as well as set waypoints for objectives. VISR was not shown in Mjolnir armor until Halo Infinite, and could even be a sort of plot device.
-Motion Tracker: The MJOLNIR Mark IV's HUD features a limited function motion tracker. 20 meter range, only on a horizontal plane, does not take vertical enemy positions into account.
-Pressure Seal/Sealed Environment: The armor and helmet has a sealed environment for protection against temperature extremes and a contained air supply of ninety minutes (1 1/2 hours). This allows the wearer to survive the vacuum of space for a time, as well as extreme heat/cold and underwater environments (+4D VS these if needed). The suit also has various thrusters on it that enable it to perform a proper spacewalk and control their movements in space so they do not drift aimlessly and are lost to deep space. However, these are functional, but not as good as they could be, and Spartans that are knocked away from safety hadrd and fast enough may still be lost to deep space, especially if a firefight is going on. A Mjolnir variant called EVA is better suited for spacewalks and is more capable of preventing this from happening. The helmet has air filtration systems for taking in fresh air when available, as well as filtering out poisonous substances from the atmosphere. The Pressure Seal is a vital component to the Mjolnir system, it keeps the system airtight, underwater or in space. The seal is very strong but will only break under extreme pressure, such as in a high velocity impact or when the Hydrostatic Gel has been over pressurized.
The suit can also carries supplies of condensed food and water in it for the wearer to stay operational in the field for extended periods of time (also, Spartan IIs may not need to eat/drink as often as normal humans).
-Hydrostatic Gel: Underneath the armored bodysuit is a gel-filled layer, this gel layer regulates the temperature of the suit and can change its density to conform to the wearer's shape - the temperature inside the suit is controlled by the moisture absorbing cloth suit underneath the hydrostatic layer. The hydrostatic gel layer can also be pressurized to various levels to potentially save the wearers life should the wearer be subjected to high G forces or a high velocity impact; however, over pressurizing this layer can cause nitrogen embolisms. This grants +2D in such situations, as well as reducing the Difficulty Level of such instances by two levels (surviving a fall off a mountain that requires a Strength+armor+Impact Gel roll of Heroic Difficulty instead only requires a roll of Difficult). Combing this feature with the energy shields that would be introduced in later Mjolnir armor variants is how Spartans can survive being dropped from low orbit and impacting on the surface of a planet (though the Difficulty for this also depends on if they are hitting soft dirt or rock, concrete or other "hard" structures).
-Magnetic Weapon Holder Strips: Available on the Mk. IV, Mk. V, and Mk. VI, the magnetic strips are very small yet powerful magnets placed on the legs, waist, and back of the suit and is used to hold any equipment with a magnetic property. The suit also contains a magnet system on the boots of the Mjolnir suit that allow its wearer to stay attached to a metal surface in Zero G environments and can be toggled on or off by the wearer. Located on the back, thighs, and possibly around the waste. These clamps are also present on the hands and feet and allow the wearer to walk or crawl on a metal surface in the vacuum of space, such as the outer hull of UNSC and Covenant starships.
-Biofoam Injector Port: The biofoam injectors on the Mark IV is a port where a direct supply of biofoam or other medicines, must be administered from a standard military first aid kit when the wearer is injured, as the suit does not hold or generate its own supply inside the suit.
-Difficult To Transport: Suits of Mjolnir armor are not something you can simply take off, fold up, and put away in a suitcase or closet. They require a complex framework of armatures and equipment to properly put on and to remove again. For this reason, the suit is built to be as comfortable as possible (for a Spartan) so it can be worn for days, weeks, months, or longer, at a time. The suit is also capable of being worn by Spartans when using UNSC cryo chambers for long distance slipspace FTL journeys.
-Fusion Reactor: The fusion reactor is the most essential part of the Mjolnir System, as it provides power to all equipment on the Mjolnir Armor, the reactor is built into the suit and allows for nearly unlimited movement. The fusion reactor in all versions of the Mjolnir Armor are half the size of a normal fusion pack that conventional marines carry around. Later versions with energy shields require an external device to power up and activate the shields though. Some fan-made depictions of Mjolnir armor also show this power supply being used as an improvised miniature nuclear bomb (Metroid+Halo: Haloid).
-Power Lamp: Light source for seeing in dark environments, 30 meter range.
-Comlink: The suit's helmet has a powerful communication device able to communicate within a range of 50 kilometers, however this can be greatly extended if able to link up to the UNSC BattleNet via drones, comm towers/stations, orbital ships, stations, satellites, and other such facilities and assets for potentially global and orbital communications.
-Smart-Link: Smart-linking is the process of linking an optical scope to the user's HUD. The technology is used in most UNSC infantry firearms. The smart scope allows players to activate a holographic zoom-in overlay with an enhanced targeting reticle while using any ranged weapon. Apart from easing the player's aiming, the weapon's accuracy is not affected by the smart scope (though variants that grant such bonuses may be available). Instead of using a modern cumbersome scope on a weapon, a much smaller camera can be attached to the weapon that functions as a scope, and what it can see and zoom in on can be seen by the helmet's HUD, as well as standard HUDs for UNSC soldier helmets.
Mjolnir Armor Mk V
The Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor/Mark V was the fifth of seven versions of the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor. The suit was issued to the members of Noble Team on November 24, 2551 and to the remaining SPARTAN-II Commandos on August 29, 2552 and was in service until October, 2552, when it was replaced by the Mark VI. This version of the suit has all the features of the Mk IV, but finally adds the energy shields Mjolnir armor is known for. This is also the first version of Mjolnir armor shown to carry a smart A.I. and make full use of its presence.
-Helmet: Has the same features as the Mk IV, but also contains a smart AI chip unit housing, where a ship-borne AI chip is inserted, located on the back of the helmet. A smart AI working with a Spartan-II allows them to "multi-task", using the AI's skills as a single extra action while the Spartan can perform other actions with their own skills. The Smart AI can also grant bonuses to the Spartan user's skills if they possess the same skills, adding +1 pip for every 1D they have in the skill.
-Motion Tracker: The prototype MJOLNIR Mark V includes a motion tracker with a radius of 25 meters. This motion tracker also takes into account vertical positioning. Allies, enemies, and vehicles will appear as properly colored triangles when they are a considerable height above, and appear as faded-out dots when they are a considerable height below. The radius of the motion tracker in the MJOLNIR Mark V's final iteration has been reduced by 10 meters, at only 15 meters.
-Shields: +3D, need two rounds before recharge begins, and need one round per 1D of shields to recharge (5 rounds total) and work as described in the "Energy Shields" section listed above.
-Power Supply Control Unit: The Power Supply Control Unit controls the power supply of the armor. The wearer or onboard A.I. can use this to improve power to some systems by sacrificing power in others. Cortana was able to use the suit's shields to affect Forerunner energy systems to buy her and Master Chief time to destroy the first Halo before it could fire. Powersuit Operations skill rolls to perform this action, allows a trade-off of +1/-1 pip per Difficulty rolled (starts at Very Easy Difficulty, trading +6/-6 between various systems requires a Heroic skill roll).
(Trivia: According to 343 Guilty Spark in Halo: Combat Evolved, the MJOLNIR Mark V armor is equivalent to a Forerunners Class 2 Combat skin. GMs could use this to figure out how to create Forerunner armor in their Halo D6 games)
Mjolnir Armor Mk VI
The Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor/Mark VI was the third of the major [GEN1] versions of the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor. The suit was issued to the few surviving SPARTAN-II commandos in October 2552, replacing the older Mark V variant. Despite the introduction of Mjolnir [GEN2] after the Human-Covenant war, Mark VI armor could still be requisitioned by SPARTAN-IVs in 2558. The Mjolnir Mark VI battlesuit weighs half a ton, or 1000 Lbs. Unless stated otherwise, it has the same features as Mk IV and V, but the shields have been improved upon. Stated in Halo 2 to have a faster recharge time and be stronger.
-Motion Tracker: The MJOLNIR Mark VI features motion trackers with the range of 20 or 25 meters, possibly depending on the operator's choice. Navigation points appear on the sides of the motion tracker as small white triangles. John-117's MJOLNIR Mark VI HUD motion tracker was improved by Cortana; this upgrade allows his motion tracker to identify many vehicles with distinct overhead outlines, replacing the indistinct circles displayed by earlier motion trackers. The sticky detonator also implements the motion tracker in relation to the projectile, telling when to detonate the projectile to ensure maximum damage.
-Shields: +4D, 2 rounds to begin recharge, +2D shields per round of recharge (4 rounds total to recharge).
-Automatic Biofoam Injectors: Introduced on the Mark VI, biofoam injectors are an integral part of the systems ability that keep a SPARTAN-II functioning in battle. Biofoam is a medical gel that is used to fill and seal a wound automatically, it is also used to treat any infection that could occur as a result of the wound. The process of injecting, or applying the gel to a wound is extremely painful and is only a temporary solution; medical attention must be sought soon after to ensure survivability. When used, same results as using a SWD6 medpac, but it's automated without having to make First Aid skill rolls. Has 3 charges before being depleted.
-Lock-Down System: The Mark VI also introduced a "lock-down" system, which protects muscles and joints from traumatic, high-impact injuries by seizing the suit into a rigid posture. Adds +1D to the Hydrostatic Gel function ande activates automatically when the wearer uses the armor to roll against extreme damage that would have killed them if the armor's various systems did not kick in to reduce the "killed" result on the Damage Chart (GM discretion on when to use this).
Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor Mk I (SPI Armor Mk I)
The SPI Armor Mark I was used by the SPARTAN-IIIs of Alpha Company. It featured hardened plates and photo-reactive panels. Though advanced compared to standard UNSC infantry armor, it could only take a few glancing blows before failing. It featured full body armor with an enclosed helmet and heads-up display, and a supply of oxygen; though only enough for seven minutes, compared to the Mjolnir Armorâ€™s oxygen supply of ninety minutes. It was also equipped with a cushioning layer of liquid nanocrystals that provided more ballistic protection than three centimeters of Kevlar diamond weave, without the bulk. The featured photo-reactive panels gave the SPARTANs of Alpha Company a rough equivalent to Active camouflage. The camouflage patterns, however, shifted irregularly and imperfectly, which made the photo-reactive panels inferior compared to the Covenant's Active camouflage technologies.
-Armored Suit: +1D VS Physical and Energy.
-Active Camouflage: The armor includes photo-reactive panels that act as an Active camouflage for the wearer. It also has an efficient cooling system and is significantly difficult to detect even with thermal scanners. +2D to Sneak/Hide skill rolls, Difficulties for being spotted by Perception rolls increased by one Difficulty Levels. Since the photo-reactive plates take time to recover after explosions such as a flashbang grenade and plasma hits, the SPARTAN-III is visible until the plates recover (2 rounds). With the exception of the Headhunters' suits, the SPI armor does not feature true Active camouflage systems. The SPI armor cannot be used for long periods of time without the cooling system failing (1 hour active time, 20 minute cooldown and Moderate Powersuit Repair skill roll if left inoperable).
-Light Suit: The armor is easier to transport, because it is not as bulky or as heavy as the Mjolnir Armor. It does not require armatures and specialized equipment to put on or remove.
-Helmet: The helmet has many of the HUD features found in most UNSC military helmets and Mjolnir armor. The faceplate also has an automatic 5x zoom ability. The SPI armor has a sealed environment and an air supply that will last seven minutes.
-Headhunter Variant: The Headhunters were exceptionally lethal Spartan IIIs who were sent out on missions to kill high value targets (both Covenant and human). This variant had energy shields at +2D that otherwise work as energy sjhields stated above (2 rounds before recharge begins, 1 round per 1D to recharge, 4 rounds total to recharge).
Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor Mk II (SPI Armor Mk II)
The SPI Armor Mark II was a more advanced version of the SPI Mark I, first used by the drill instructors of Beta Company, and then by the SPARTANs of Beta Company. They had new photo-reactive coating to boost their camouflaging properties (+3D to Sneak/Hide skill rolls). There were also numerous experimental refits to the ballistic gel layers (+1D+2 VS Physical/Energy), upgraded software suites, and other functions. Although the new photo-reactive coating could mimic a wide range of electromagnetic radiation, it was still sensitive to overload, so the wearer would still be vulnerable for several seconds after a flashbang or plasma hit while the panels reset.
It was proposed in 2537 for Alpha Company, but the request was denied because the armor was over budget. After Alpha Company's pyrrhic victory in Operation: PROMETHEUS, the Mark II SPI armor was approved for mass production. At the time of Gamma Company's augmentation, system adjustments (upgrades including improved ballistics gel inner layer, updated software suites and new photo-reactive panels) were being beta tested, and were scheduled to be installed within a year of the augmentation procedure.
Considered a direct evolution of the Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor. The MIRAGE Exoskeleton is a fully powered version of SPI Armor, that is weaker than MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor but meets all performance standards for a far lower price. The MIRAGE Exoskeleton incorporates the latest in deception jammers and features a lightweight design. The MIRAGE Exoskeleton is fully compatible with MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/Mark VI. This suit has the same stats as the Mjolnir Mk VI armor except where stated below.
-Battle Suit: Strength +1D VS Physical/Energy. The suit also grants a +2D bonus for pushing/lifting purposes (these Strength bonuses do not stack). +1D to Dexterity and Strength. Dexterity bonus applies to hand-eye coordination and agility related skills. Strength bonus improves damage for brawling, melee, or hand-to-hand combat in general. +1D for Pushing/Lifting skill rolls.
-Energy Shields And Active Camouflage: Same as the Headhunter variant of S.P.I. armor.
GMs may reduce or remove features due to the MIRAGE being much lighter than Mjolnir armor.
Mjolnir Armor Mk V [B]
This variant of Mjolnir armor performs exactly like the Mk V, except it was built to be used by Spartan IIIs who are somewhat smaller than Spartan IIs.
Mjolnir Armor Mk VII
The Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor Mark VII was the seventh version of the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor series and last variant of the armor envisioned. This armor was created by Dr. Catherine Halsey and produced as a replacement for the Mark VI, but was still in the prototype phase as of 2553; it is capable of passively upgrading itself while the user is in cryo-sleep or if the armor is on standby by using nanotechnology, and is presumably capable of exo-atmospheric insertion as intended by Dr. Catherine Halsey. Naomi-010 is known to wear a light blue variant of Mark VII.
Until more information becomes available, treat this armor as Mjolnir Mk VI armor but with +1 pips to its bonuses to portray its status as improved Mjolnir armor. Features Dr. Halsey planned to implement in the armor include:
-Nanobots for automatic repair of both the suit and the user.
-Next-gen fusion-plasma hybrid power system.
-Atmospheric insertion systems.
-Slipspace de-insertion capability.
-Active AI transfer protocols.
-Limited shaping of the energy shield (partial overlaps, airfoils etc.).
NOTE: Mjolnir armor Mk VII has been mentioned in many fashions in relation to GEN1, GEN2, and GEN3 armors. There is little information available to figure out exactly what Mjonir Mk VII is or where it fits in the general scheme of Mjolnir armors. GMs should feel free to fit it in wherever they wish, or they could even have Mk VII variants in all three generations of Mjolnir armor with different functions and features relevant to those generations of armor.
Mjolnir Armor GEN2
The Mjolnir GEN2 Powered Assault Armor is the newest generation of the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor, specifically designed for the SPARTAN-IV program, and introduced following the conclusion of the Human-Covenant war of 2525-2552.
Unlike the previous installments of Mjolnir Armor, the ceramic-metallic alloy that composes the main armor plates is much more versatile, and can be attached to the metal-alloy under-suit within a matter of seconds (as opposed to the original MK. IV armor, which took SPARTAN-IIs several hours and a team of technicians to don). One of the most drastic physical changes between GEN2 and GEN1 Mjolnir Armor is the under-suit. It seems that SPARTAN IV personnel wear part of their under-suit at all times so they can be readied for battle more quickly. GEN2 armor boasts a more streamlined and form-fitting metal-alloy under-suit with the sheathing of the neck now extending until just under the jaw. Whether this design modification was implemented in regards to pressurizing the suit in vacuum is unknown. The outermost layer of the under-suit has also been modified, now resembling a layer of scales.
With regard to armor customization, the second generation of Mjolnir Armor has a great degree of modularity, with alternative helmets, shoulders, chest plates, legs, forearms and visors available. Moreover, SPARTAN-IVs are able to tune their armor using Tactical Packages and Support Upgrades to better suit operational requirements.
GEN2 armor has the same stats as Mjolnir Mk VI except as stated here. One feature stated about the armor is that since Spartan IVs are not as physically capable as Spartan IIs, their GEN2 armor is more advanced than previous Mjolnir versions and has enhancements that close the gap and makes up for these deficiencies. Since Spartan IIIs and IVs have 1 pip less enhancements to their attributes (+2 instead of +1D), their GEN2 armor adds that missing +1 pip back in.
-Nanobots: Automatic repair of both the suit and the user. Automatically grants the benefits of First Aid and Powersuit Repair skill rolls and act as having access to a medpac or proper repair tools. Does not do both at the same time, which one is chosen by the wearer. These results take 2 rounds per status improvement by medpac, or 5 rounds per improvement when making armor repairs. Unlimited supply and uses (previous suits with automated biofoam injectors had limited charges/uses).
-Motion Tracker: Same as Mjolnir Mk VI except The motion tracker of the Mjolnir GEN 2 armor is more detailed than that of the GEN 1's. The GEN 2's displays vehicles with their approximate shape, not just as red or yellow dots. Enemies with Active Camouflage and unoccupied vehicles appear blue.
Mjolnir Armor GEN3
In Halo Infinite, Master Chief's armor is referred to as Mjolnir Mk VII/GEN3. It looks very much like his previous Mk VI armor. Until more information becomes available, treat it as Mjolnir Mk VI armor except where stated below. The armor came with the Grappleshot and could also add and upgrade various other pieces of equipment using "Spartan Cores".
-Grappleshot: 20 meter range, can pull user towards walls or other objects, pull objects towards the user, and be upgraded to deliver a shock/stun damage effect (there are other upgrades that deliver a blast radius damaging effect, but I'll leave that to GMs to decide if this is available).
-Shield Upgrades: Add Spartan cores to upgrade the energy shields at +1 pip per core.
-Threat Sensor: A dart that can be fired (30 meter range) and expands the range of the motion tracker as the dart has its own radius (10 meters) and could send this data back to the user showing sensor data beyond the armor's own motion tracker range, as well as showing items not visible to the motion tracker.
-Drop Wall: Deployable energy field cover wall.
-Thruster: Grants bonuses to Dodge skill rolls.
- - - - - - - - - -
The Flood are in many ways the main antagonist of the first three Halo games and drive the setting's plot and story beyond humanity's war with the Covenant. While the Flood deserve a more in-depth set of rules to properly portray them, this batch of optional rules is meant to get a Halo D6 game up and going quickly. In that, the Flood's depiction in Halo: Combat Evolved as horrifying space zombies before they were elaborated on further as a true galactic threat to all life, such as their development of a Gravemind, their connection to the Precursors, and the ancient conflict with the Forerunners. Here, the Flood will be shown simply as their infection form and mutated warrior forms.
The Flood go through four distinct developmental changes.
1 - Feral stage is the lowest form: communicating via pheromones, and have the natural instinct to harvest enough calcium to establish a viable Gravemind. (Seen in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo Wars).
2 - Coordinated stage is when the Flood becomes truly dangerous; they are now controlled by the Gravemind that was created in the first stage. (Seen in Halo 2).
3 - Interstellar stage allows the Flood to take control of most technology and spread throughout the galaxy to infect more hosts. (Seen in Halo 3).
4 - Intergalactic is the last known stage the Flood enters, theoretically, in which it utilizes all captured technology to depart to uninfected galaxies to further replicate.
The Flood Infection Form is the first stage of the virulent Flood xenoform. It is the most commonly seen stage of the Flood, and is the form responsible for spreading the Flood infection.
Brawling 4D, Climbing 4D, Jumping 4D
MOVE: 6 meters
SPECIAL SKILLS: N/A
-Fearless: The Flood do not feel fear, cannot be coerced, and will not stop attacking any character within view that has the needed biomass to advanced the Flood's agenda and create more Combat Forms or Graveminds.
-Swarm: Infection Forms attack in swarms when more than one is available (and still attack if there is only one). They can combine actions in melee combat when swarming so to overwhelm potential hosts (Ex: 6 infection forms swarm to use a single attack with +5 pips, Brawling 4D+5, to make skin to skin contact with the target and use Possession and Infection (see below). 12 infection forms would have Brawling 4D+11, and so on. Their Strength also increases when swarming (6, Strength 1D+5; 12, Strength 1D+11, etc).
-Possession: Making skin-to-skin contact with a living body with a nervous system with no protection to prevent this results in the infection form's tendrils digging into the skin and the immediate death of the host (GMs may allow characters to make a last ditch action to attempt removing the parasite from their body before this happens).
-Infection: Once contact and possession is made with a host the infection form releases Flood Super Cells into the body for rapid mutation. This allows the body to be remade within 2D rounds into a Combat Form (see below).
-Resistance: GMs could allow players to resist Possession with a Heroic Willpower skill roll. Weakned infection forms may have this Difficulty lowered. This does not prevent health issues that may result from exposure to the Flood Super Cells.
-Create Combat Forms.
-Absorb/Wipe Out All Sentient Life.
-Conquer The Galaxy.
-Easy: 2D infection forms, or 1D per 1D combat forms.
-Normal: 4D infection forms, or 2D per 2D combat forms.
-Heroic: 6D infection forms, or 3D per 3D combat forms
-Legendary: 10D infection forms, or 5D per 5D combat forms.
Infection forms are small, half or less the height of a human. Their attributes are probably no more than 1D, and their skill dice aren't much better (+3D to Jumping, Climbing, and Brawling skills), and a Move of between 6m to 8m (but no more, as they were often shown as not being faster than a human).
But that's not the point. What the Flood lack in strength or brute force, they were always able to make up in sheer numbers. If a human or similarly strong species can overpower an infection form, there will usually be a dozen, if not DOZENS, to take their place. All it takes is one infection form making skin-to-skin contact with its thin red tendrils and it's over for the potential host. These tendrils dig into the host's skin, search for and make contact with its nervous system, then mimic its nerve signals. From this point the infection form now has complete control of the host's body. The host's personality is overridden, if not "deleted" all together, but the host's memories and skill dice stay, used by the infection form to make use of the new host's limbs and technologies to attack other potential hosts and make them vulnerable for yet more infection forms to attack them and turn them into hosts as well.
It should be noted that in the novel Halo: The Flood Private Jenkins was a UNSC marine with Sgt. Johnson and Captain Keyes when they were attacked by the Flood parasites. Jenkins did not have his personality deleted by the infection form that invaded his body, but instead was fully aware the entire time that it latched on to him, took over his body, and then felt his body be forcefully mutated and transformed into a warrior form, feeling the pain his body went through during the transformation. As if this wasn't enough, he then had to watch as his body attacked and murdered fellow marines against his will. Sometimes he could take control for brief moments, but the parasite always took control again. It was stated that this infection form must have been weakened due to the extreme length of time it had been kept on Halo installation 04, over 100,000 years, and this is the only reason he had to experience such horror before finally dying.
The Flood aren't just space zombies. They are an existential threat that risks all life in the galaxy. While these rules are meant to be quick and simple, this threat should be heightened in any game that runs them.
Though they appear small and relatively harmless, a single Flood Infection Form can be responsible for the extinction of an entire species. Their primary function is to gather biomass, and they can achieve this in a variety of ways. Any sentient being without shielding or other suitable protection are the most vulnerable. There have been reports of some being able to resist infection (see service records of PVT Wallace Jenkins, CPT Jacob Keyes), and others that are entirely immune (SSG Avery Johnson).
The process of infection begins with host contact. Tentacles protruding from its body penetrate the skin, and attempt direct communication with the host's spinal cord. Once communication is established, a potent attack of the nervous system is commenced. In the vast majority of cases, this kills the host almost instantly. It then rewrites the neural pathways of the victim's brain, forcing a resonant frequency match between the host neural signals and its own. Then, it releases the Flood Super Cell which overwrites the host DNA and causes rapid mutation.
Once the internal infection process is complete, it begins to morphologically augment the body liquefying organs and redistributing biomass to create large claw-like appendages on the arm (Strength +2D) from the calcium in osseous tissue. The central mass of the Infection Form will then nest itself within the chest cavity of its host, completing infection of the host (Called Shot to the infection form in this position kills the parasite and "kills" the Combat Form, Called Shot counts as "Head"). Though complex, this mutagenic process takes seconds. In exceedingly rare cases, such as if the Infection Form has been damaged or is excessively aged, it can complete infection without killing the host. This leaves the host at least partially conscious, but with little to no control over body and mind.
If the infection of a particular sentient being is not possible, that organism will be completely disregarded by Infection Forms. The incompatible body will then be killed and used as biomass as the Flood spreads. An Infection Form may also abandon its host if the body has been heavily damaged.
Infection forms can be dispatched with a single shot from any weapon (heat is most effective), but can easily overwhelm in large numbers.
Infection Forms can reanimate disabled Combat Forms and infect deceased bodies. Burn these potential hosts whenever possible.
IMMUNITIES AND DEFENSES
Energy shielding is most effective in defense against Infection Forms. They simply explode when they come into contact. This splattering action does drain energy shielding by a small margin, so proper care must be taken to avoid a potentially fatal drop in shield strength.
At this time, the only known human to be incompatible with Flood infection forms is Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson due to his supposed contracting of Boren's Syndrome. This was thought to be caused by the residual detonation radiation of a crate full of plasma grenades on Paris IV. However, his immunity actually developed from the augmentations he received as part of the ORION Project. It is possible that this causes all members of the ORION Project to be immune. According to Cortana's analysis of various Flood forms, Kig-Yar and Unggoy generally lack the necessary calcium stores and biomass to be converted into Combat Forms and are instead used as biomass stores and as carrier forms, although Kig-yar and Unggoy Combat Forms have been observed during one engagement. This was most likely to supplement the Flood's combat capabilities as they may have been unable to muster enough proper Combat Forms to fight the enemy.
The Mgalekgolo's lack of a central nervous system and nature as an invertebrate colony consisting of multiple worms make them immune to Flood infection. The invertebrate nature of the Yanme'e, along with their hard, chitinous exoskeleton, would seem to make them immune as well.
An Infection Form is capable of losing its infectious potential over time. This was experienced by Private First Class Wallace Jenkins during the raid on the "Covenant Weapons Cache" on Installation 04. This aged version of the Infection Form must have been kept in captivity for far too long, thereby reducing its potential to completely transform its host into a Flood Combat Form. Jenkins was only partially controlled, as there were periods of time where he could control his body and mind to some degree. For example, he was able to tell where the Flood were hiding, and saved a Marine Battalion.
Infection Forms will gather in large swarms, attacking in unison with their claws and tentacles. If the victim's shields are active, as explained earlier, the Infection Form will burst. However, the sheer force of numbers can sometimes deplete a victim's shields, weakening them enough for fellow Flood forms to kill the victim to allow the Infection Form to start the process or infect them while they are still alive.
A single round from any weapon will burst an Infection Form. For this reason, automatic weapons are recommended. Dual-wielding Plasma Rifles, Jiralhanae Plasma Rifles, Spikers, or using a UNSC ballistic weapon all work well. The Battle Rifle, with its bursts of fire, can be quite effective, the Shotgun works well too when shooting at large groups closing in. Try to avoid using weapons such as M6 Handguns, or Plasma Pistols, as their rate of fire is very low. Also, try to avoid using Grenades, as they close in extremely quickly and you may suffer damage from your own grenade. In Halo: Combat Evolved, automatic weapons like the Assault Rifle and Plasma Rifle are effective as well, the Needler in many ways can also be good as the needles have homing ability: be careful though, do not stick too many Needles on one at a time while they are close as if you do it will explode and effect you most likely depleting your shields. SMGs are incredibly effective for taking on swarms of Infection Forms with its large magazine size and impressive rate of fire.
Infection Forms are spawned from bulging, sac-like pods in Flood Hives, called the Flood Growth Pods. They are only released if the pods are shot at (although for some gameplay scenes such they will pop under game programming). Unlike the Carrier Form, throwing plasma or incendiary grenades will not destroy the Infection Forms inside.
HALO GAME TACTICS
-When facing Infection Forms always remember that they are little to no threat individually and only pose a threat when in great numbers. However, if your shields are down, infection forms can be incredibly dangerous as one can take down much of your health.
-They can often times be destroyed by simply walking into them, but this is a risky move because they can chip off a small but considerable amount of shield. Not recommended for large swarms.
-Infection Forms are carried and incubated by Carrier Forms and from Flood growth pods in Flood-infested areas. Try not to destroy these sacs, unless you think you can take them one by one, or swarm by swarm.
-Usually if you can destroy one or two in a group they will pop and cause a chain reaction that will destroy all the others in the swarm.
-Spending ammunition, especially Shotgun rounds, on Infection Forms is not reccomended and should only be considered in extreme emergencies or if replacement ammo is around. They are often too little a threat to justify trying to kill, and their small size can lead to wasted shots. While the Shotgun can cause a chain reaction and wipe out an entire group if clustered together, the ammo is far more valuable to use on the more dangerous Combat Forms and Pure Forms.
-Do not use an Energy Sword on Infection Forms as they are hard to hit due to their size, and the large number groups they appear in means it would take a long time to kill a whole group.
A Flood Combat Form is a sentient being that has been infected by the Flood parasite via an Infection Form or Flood Spores, mutating the victim into a basic combat unit for use by the Flood. They are extremely dangerous, but can be easily defeated when alone or feral. However, when under the control of a Gravemind they can be coordinated and deadly.
HUMAN COMBAT FORM EXAMPLE (UNSC MARINE)
Attribute Dice: redistributed due to Infection Form possession and mutation.
Skill Dice: Same as host, plus Infection Form, plus Gravemind's skills if one has been created.
Firearms 4D, Grenades 4D, Missile Weapons 4D, Melee Combat 4D, Vehicle Weapons 4D
Ground Vehicle Operations 2D
Brawling 5D, Climbing 4D, Jumping 4D
MOVE: +4 meters.
SIZE: Similar to host.
EQUIPMENT: As host (1 weapon, possibly damaged armor [+1D VS Physical/Energy]).
-Skills As Host: The Combat Form uses the skills of the host body plus the skills of the Infection Form.
-Gravemind: When a Gravemind is created, Combat Form skills and skill dice may increase as the Gravemind increases in size and power.
-Use Gear: The Combat Form is able to use the weapons, armor, equipment, and other technologies and gear that the host was able to use. At first the Combat Forms will be feral and attack any non-Flood to convert into more Combat Forms or collect biomass to create a Gravemind. Once one is created, the Flood become much more tactical in their actions and may not always attack at the first chance, but act to attain objectives to further the Flood's agenda to consume all life in the galaxy.
-Claw Arm: Strength +2D, 1 meter reach, can grab enemy and pull them closer.
-Physical Enhancement: Move +4 meters, +2D Jumping skill.
-Fearless: The Flood do not feel fear, cannot be coerced, and will not stop attacking any character within view that has the needed biomass to advanced the Flood's agenda and create more Combat Forms or Graveminds.
-Swarm: Combat Forms tend to swarm like Infection Forms do and attack in numbers, but they do not combine actions like infection forms do. However, they CAN begin doing this if a Gravemind is created.
-Possession: Infection forms making skin-to-skin contact with a living body with a nervous system with no protection to prevent this results in the infection form's tendrils digging into the skin and the immediate death of the host (GMs may allow characters to make a last ditch action to attempt removing the parasite from their body before this happens). This is mentioned here because infection forms can leave a host body when it is not combat capable anymore and find another, like the character who disabled their previous host body.
-Infection: Combat Forms are not as built for spreading Flood Infection as Infection Forms are, but they can still spread the Flood Super Cell by skin to skin contact, and as a Flood infestation begins taking hold, the Super Cell can even become airborne through the production and release of Flood Spores.
-Create Combat Forms.
-Absorb/Wipe Out All Sentient Life.
-Conquer The Galaxy.
-Easy: 1D+1 combat forms.
-Normal: 2D+2 combat forms.
-Heroic: 3D+3 combat forms.
-Legendary: 5D+5 combat forms.
-Equipped with random UNSC/human, Covenant, Forerunner, or Banished weapons and gear.
A Combat Form is not a natural organism, but rather a mutated host infected by parasitic Flood Super Cells implanted by an Infection Form. Successful creation of a Combat Form requires a host with sufficient biomass and calcium storage, and an Infection Form to infect the host. After mutation begins, the infection Form attaches with one of its tentacles to the host's spine, which it uses to establish a neural connection that allows it to command the host's nervous system, thus rendering command of the legs and arms useless. During the infection process, the host's internal organs are liquefied, and the nutrients from them are used to develop the tentacles and other appendages.
A host becomes a Combat Form after an Infection Form enters its body. Transformation involves brutal mutations that makes the host more suitable for combat. This process is presumably very painful and terrifying, and will eventually kill the host; though, in certain circumstances, the host will remain alive. Once fully transformed, the Infection Form has total control over the host's body and changes the physical appearance of the host to better suit its own needs (although an infected host will be roughly the same size as it was before). On rare occasions, this effect may be weakened by time in stasis for the Infection Form, allowing the host to regain some control, as in the case of Private First Class Wallace Jenkins. Combat Forms retain the host's previous attributes, therefore they can wield weapons, and drive and board enemy vehicles. However, Infection Forms do not require their hosts to still be alive for infection. Even dead hosts are suitable for conversion into a Combat Form; infection forms can infect recently deceased hosts and reanimate them in much the same way as they would living hosts. Although the brain tissue remains dead, the victim's biomass and calcium reserves are sufficient to warrant infection.
In the initial stage of a Flood outbreak, the Feral Stage, Combat Forms communicate using pheromones and have one instinctual behavior; to secure new hosts to strengthen the local controlling intelligence. Once a sufficient store of biomass is available the Flood enters the Coordinated Stage, and begins forming Pure Form Flood, with the Combat Forms being used either as defensive units or calcium/biomass reserves.
Infected hosts are rapidly digested while being converted, which leaves the host severely ravaged and decayed, much like a corpse that has been exhumed a few weeks after its burial. Flood infection is a rapid and efficient biological process, as it can take under a minute in certain cases. A group of Flood will occasionally go after Sentinels if they are perceived to be the greatest threat in the area, although they are unable to be infected by the Flood due to their robotic and inorganic nature.
TYPES OF COMBAT FORMS
A specific creature is needed for the infection and creation of a Combat Form. Of the various Covenant races, only a few species meet the necessary requirements. Species known to be immune to conversion include the Mgalekgolo/Lekgolo, whose complete lack of skeletal calcium (i.e. bones) and central nervous system, colonial physiology, and insufficient biomass per individual worm make infection and neural synchronization impossible for Infection Forms, the Yanme'e, whose exoskeleton lacks the required amount of calcium, which renders infection impossible, and the Huragok, which is an artificial, gas-based organism, and therefore believed to be immune. Even though the above species are immune to conversion into combat forms, they are still probably used for extra biomass.
All victims of the Flood's infection, regardless of their physiology, will undergo the reanimation process where the hosts will experience its skin decaying rapidly (if they were infected while alive), growing whip-like appendages which will serve as their primary melee weapon in close-combat situations and have their heads (which are useless to the Infection Form, as it is now in command of any and all neural activity) pushed aside. In Halo 3, the reanimation process can be witnessed; the host will twitch around in pain and eventually collapse on the ground. For a live transformation, the Infection Form will force the host's neck to be snapped, thus allowing the Infection Form to gain complete control over the host's body. Afterward, the whip appendages will force itself out of host's left arm, and the Infection Form will force itself out of the host's chest.
If available, the Combat Forms are able to wield the arsenals of the UNSC and those of the Covenant. In Halo 2, all Combat Forms are also capable of driving and boarding vehicles. In Halo 3, the Combat Forms lose the ability to drive vehicles, though they are still capable of boarding any slow moving vehicle and attacking the player with their whip appendages.
All forms of Flood Combat Forms have the capacity to easily escape from nearby grenades. Out of all of them, the Sangheili forms have the highest chance of evading grenades, often leaping away from them. Other Combat Forms, like the Jiralhanae, usually either ignore them or make a failed attempt to protect themselves from the blast. However, if stuck, Combat Forms may charge towards the player in an attempt to lower their shields or kill them.
HUMAN COMBAT FORM
The Human Combat Form is significantly smaller than other forms due to their original smaller size. As with other Combat Forms, it is capable of sustaining massive physical damage before being unusable to the Flood Infection Form; in fact, as long as the chest cavity and legs remain intact, it will continue to fight. Although it cannot take as much damage as the Sangheili Combat Form can, the Human Form has some advantages.
It seems to be more alert and is quicker to melee an opponent. It also presents a smaller, harder target to hit, Infection Form, as it isn't protruding out of the body as much as those of Sangheili Forms. However, in Halo 3, the Human form becomes an easier target to hit; the Infection Form protrudes more out of the host's chest and becomes a visibly significant target, and it seems to be significantly slower.
They can take more melee hits than its Jiralhanae version, so it is advised to avoid melee combat with them apart from the Energy Sword or Gravity Hammer as these are the only two weapons that can destroy them instantly. If meleeing, try to aim for the Infection Form lodged in its chest for a faster kill, as hitting the head or arms barely deals any damage.
There are two animations for a live transformation in Halo 3, the former being that the Marine will hold their chest where the Infection Form entered and will fall on their knees and commit forced-suicide by snapping their neck. The host will then be on the floor, and the tendrils will tear out of their arms. The second animation is the Marine is forced a few steps back and then attempt to run forward. Afterwards, the host will fall on the floor and start thrashing until the tentacles snap out.
SANGHEILI COMBAT FORM
The Sangheili Combat Form is a formidable enemy as it is very agile and resilient. It is also capable of utilizing its host's armor abilities, such as active camouflage and energy shields, to assist them in combat. The Sangheili Combat Forms are slightly larger than the Human form and, as such, present a larger target.
In Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, all of the Sangheili form encountered use one armor palette; the Sangheili minor's combat harness. In Halo 3 however, the Sangheili forms will retain its host's armor palette, though by default, the Sangheili forms spawn with a minor's combat harness. This is most likely due to higher ranks providing more resilience towards attacks; an infected Sangheili Major lasts longer than a Sangheili Minor.
They also tend to dodge grenades quite frequently in Halo 3.
JIRALHANAE COMBAT FORM
The Jiralhanae Combat Form is a formidable enemy and is more aggressive in combat than other Combat Forms and will charge towards an opponent recklessly; this behavior is most likely a result of the Jiralhanae's savage nature and preference for close combat.
The Jiralhanae Form is the most powerful in offensive capabilities because of their aggressive nature. However, they are the least durable out of all of the Combat Forms. It is bulkier and slower than other Combat Forms and as Jiralhanae cannot be infected until their Power Armor is destroyed, the Jiralhanae Form cannot make use of their host's armor abilities.
Despite their aggressiveness, Jiralhanae Forms are the easiest to deal with, as they provide an even larger target compared to the Sangheili Combat Form, and are far easier to destroy with melee attacks.
SPARTAN-IV COMBAT FORM
The Spartan Forms are a Flood assimilation of a Spartan-IV supersoldier used in the virtual training simulations aboard the UNSC Infinity; the purpose likely being to train S-IV personnel to combat the Flood parasite in the event of a resurgence. The unusual aspect of these forms is their lack of an Infection Form controlling them, however this could be a result of spore infection, or even more simply the Infection Form is just left out of the simulation entirely. It is likely that the Spartan Form is a specialized unique form created within the simulation specifically to train Spartan-IV personnel against the absolute deadliest of Flood infantry. The body shape of these forms remain the same, except for the arm, chest and head having been deformed, giving the infected a menacing and more grotesque appearance. The Mjolnir armor has been completely purged, and as a result they have lost their shields, though their Flood physiology compensates for this. Although their simulation prevents them from utilizing firearms, it is likely within their physical abilities. However, they can utilize armor abilities making them extremely versatile opponents. It is uncertain whether actual Spartan-IVs control the forms within the simulation or if they are controlled by artificial intelligence. Unlike the tendrils of standard Combat Forms, the Spartan Form's unique claw is usually powerful enough to kill a fully-shielded Spartan-IV in a single strike. The simulations were probably designed so that the simulation Flood were overpowered compared to actual Flood. This concept is similar to how baseball batters put weights on their bats during training.
SPARTAN-II VARIANT COMBAT FORM
The SPARTAN-II combat form is a Spartan-II exposed to the Flood infection that has never been formally encountered. A unique characteristic is the positioning of the infection form inside the cranial cavity of the host. This causes the host's head to grow substantially, splitting their helmet apart to accommodate for the Infection form's size. The rest of the body is almost completely intact.
This combat form is only encountered in the Infection gametype in Halo 2: Anniversary.
UUNGGOY AND KIG-YAR COMBAT FORMS
These forms do not appear in the first trilogy and are instead introduced in Halo Wars.[notes 1] Rarely seen in actual combat situations, infected Unggoy and Kig-yar are more commonly converted into Carrier Forms or processed for their biomass. These "building blocks" can be used to add to a Gravemind's superstructure or be molded into Flood Pure Forms.
Unggoy and Kig-yar Combat Forms have only been witnessed in the first recorded contact between the Covenant and the Flood. It is possible that these weaker forms were quickly ruled out by the Flood and determined to be a less efficient use of biomass after only just a few battles. They are weaker, slower, and easier to kill than their Sangheili Combat Form brethren.
FORERUNNER COMBAT FORM
Though never encountered, countless Forerunner Combat Forms existed during the Forerunner-Flood war. One can be seen in a stasis tank aboard Installation 04 in the Halo: Anniversary Terminal videos, though it is seen from behind and is in shadow so it's full appearance is never seen. Another Forerunner Combat Form is seen as a simulation of the Didact infected by the Flood. Once again, the image is not clearly visible as the hologram is blurry, though one claw appendage is visible as well as other amorphous growths on the body.
Combat Forms can take extensive and sizable amounts of damage before being neutralized. Arms, legs and even heads can be dismembered before they are incapacitated. The weak areas of a Combat Form are its sensory appendages that normally develop on the upper chest. This is where the Infection Form has nestled, and the body is incapacitated if this area is destroyed by a projectile weapon. Combat Forms can be made harmless by destroying all usable body parts. While this creates the renowned Flood Friends glitch in both Combat Evolved and its remake, in Halo 2 and Halo 3, if both the normal and whip arms are destroyed, but the Combat Form is still intact, the Infection Form residing in it will abandon the useless host, disintegrating the body in search for a new host or attack the player itself.
In Halo: Combat Evolved, a Combat Form may feign death, before suddenly ambushing the player with deadly melee attacks. While it can cause a false sense of security, it loses the weapon it was holding (if it held one) and cannot pick it up when feigning death. This can be avoided by explosions, or by severely damaging it such as a point-blank range shotgun blast. In Halo 2 and Halo 3, Combat Forms are simply disabled when "killed", reviving only when an Infection Form arrives to reanimate it. This can be avoided by destroying the body completely, leaving behind few remains of the former host.
Human weapons are generally more effective against the Flood, as Covenant plasma weaponry is designed to debilitate targets by causing burning pain and structural damage to bodies, and the Flood cannot feel pain or be crippled. However, In Halo 3, plasma-based weaponry and melee attacks, formerly weak against the Combat Forms in the previous two games, are now highly effective. Piercing weapons such as the Sniper Rifle and the Beam Rifle have little effect on Combat Forms. At a distance, explosive ordnance such as grenades and ranged weapons such as the Battle rifle or the Covenant Carbine can perform well against Combat Forms. Do note that Plasma and Spike grenades should be used with caution, as the Combat Form will sometimes ignore all other targets and charge players using such weapons at high speed. The Needler can be devastating, as the supercombine explosion will prevent it coming back to life in Halo: Combat Evolved, and will shatter it in Halo 2 and 3. In addition, the Needler's explosions will destroy an entire horde of charging Flood Combat Forms, similar to grenades and rocket launchers.
For ranged weapons, it is recommended for players to focus their fire at the sensory appendages that are visible on Combat Forms as successfully firing at one will immediately bring down a Combat Form. While fairly easy to achieve on Human, Jiralhanae and unshielded Sangheili forms, shielded Sangheili forms must have their shields stripped before they can be killed with a headshot. Dismemberment with ranged weapons is also recommended preventing Combat Forms from using their held weapons. As Combat Forms can carry a variety of weapons including powerful close-range weapons like the Shotgun and Mauler, both of which can easily kill a player if they are not being cautious, it is recommended to only use your own close-range weapons when there are no Combat Forms present with either of these two weapons.
Pain causes a weakening of the Flood Infection Form and allows the host, if still alive, to regain control albeit briefly. This is shown with PFC Wallace Jenkins.
-In Halo: Combat Evolved, Combat Forms will not disintegrate from successive melee hits when they are dead like in Halo 2 and Halo 3.
-Flood Combat Forms seem to take on physiological and biological changes throughout the Halo trilogy; these changes from game to game could be due to the Gravemind's influence in attempting to create a better Flood soldier, or they could simply be graphical updates.
-Human Combat Forms always have a screaming human face when infected. This is likely due to it being the last face the host made upon infection.
-Some Sangheili Combat Forms retain their energy shields, while some do not.
-Terminal 4 of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary shows what appears to be a Forerunner Combat Form in a specimen tank. Another of these, also in a tank, along with several Infection Forms can be seen being studied by the Librarian in Terminal 2 of Halo 4.
-Both times, the specimen is viewed from behind and the specimen is partially concealed in shadow and cannot be seen fully.
-Flood Combat Forms appear to have superhuman strength, as they are capable of wielding heavy weapons such as Rocket Launchers with one hand. Furthermore, their whip attack is capable of sending victims flying several feet.
Halo: Combat Evolved
-In all of the Halo games, Flood Combat Forms always hold the Shotgun with one hand, and fire it without pumping another round into the chamber. They somehow manage to make the shotgun pump itself. A possible explanation for this is that the Flood has extended an appendage into/onto the Shotgun which allows it to use the Shotgun's pump as a body part, or the pump action just wasn't programmed into Halo: Combat Evolved.
-Combat Forms in Halo: Combat Evolved don't tend to dodge grenades.
-Combat Forms will run towards the player when armed. Both Human Combat forms and Sangheili Combat Forms will berserk when they have their arm that holds a gun shot off and will rush the player. Combat Forms that are unarmed will rush the player by default.
-In the campaign level 343 Guilty Spark, if you stand on a light Bridge, the Flood Combat Forms will leap onto the bridge and get stuck. They will only be able to move by jumping at you.
-If you shoot both arms off a Combat Form in Halo: Combat Evolved it will not be able to attack you and will simply follow you around. Players have dubbed this instance as creating a "Flood Buddy".
-This is the only game in which an Infection Form cannot revive a dead Combat Form; instead they may just get back up.
-In Halo: Combat Evolved, all human combat forms are bare foot. The reason for this remains unknown and is strange because human combat forms have shoes in Halo 2 and Halo 3. It might have undergone constant mutation but this is unlikely. This is very likely a design choice to make them look menancing.
During The Maw, a medium-sized group of Sangheili Combat Forms can be found at the back of the armory; the most interesting detail with this group is that their active camouflage is enabled, and are some of the few camouflaged Combat Forms in-game.
-Halo 2 is the only game where the Flood are able to drive vehicles.
-When using the Grunt Birthday Party skull against the Flood in Halo 2, the effect of the skull will cause the plasma grenade explosion to occur when you shoot the Combat Form in the chest, where the Infection Form is.
-Reflecting their enhanced intelligence, human combat forms still wear the armor they had on when they first transformed making it significantly harder to shoot the infection form in their chest. Sangheili forms also begin to make use of their shields, making them harder to incapacitate should their shields be active.
-If you shoot both arms off a Combat Form, the Combat Form will walk slowly then explode, releasing an Infection Form. Only Sangheili forms will release an Infection Form, human forms will simply explode.
Flood Combat Forms have the ability to crawl on walls. This is easily observed in The Oracle and Sacred Icon.
-The Combat Form can pick up any weapon should it be near them when they "resurrect." They will also pick up two handed weapons such as the Plasma cannon and Flamethrower if close by. Like other weapons, they will wield it with only one hand. However, they appear to be unable to use such weapons, making them easier to deal with if their whip arm is removed.
-The Combat Form's performance in CQC is inferior compared to Halo 2. Combat Forms regardless of the type are a great deal more brittle than in prior games, and can be destroyed with two or more melee strikes regardless of the weapon being used.
-The Flood can no longer operate or hijack vehicles, and don't have the ability to sprint or berserk.
Probably to prevent the player from getting a big combat advantage from Jiralhanae combat forms during the brief time they are allies in The Covenant, or perhaps to prevent enemy Flood combat forms from overwhelming the player, weapons that would normally be picked up when a Jiralhanae combat form "resurrects" are deleted by the game's code, rendering them unusable.
-Human and Jiralhanae Combat Forms utilize one model - the Human Combat Form uses the male Marine model (regardless if female or an ODST), while the Jiralhanae Combat Form utilizes the Jiralhanae Minor model, regardless of the rank.
-Sangheili Combat Forms are an unusual outlier however - although they spawn using the Sangheili Minor model, there are also models for both Sangheili Major and Ultras, despite the fact that they are only available when directly infected. In addition to this, if a Sangheili Combat Form utilizing a Major or Ultra's harness is destroyed, rather than keeping the same color palette, they revert into that of a Sangheili Minor.
-Human Combat Forms are the only Combat Forms that don't leave behind their heads when their bodies are destroyed.
-Combat forms are capable of speech in an echoing voice. They usually speak for the Gravemind or quote their host.
-A glitch made it possible for the player to become infected on Floodgate, when they die.
If a Combat Form's two arms are destroyed, the host will disintegrate and an Infection Form is released.
-As with Halo 2, Combat Forms in Halo 3 can be instantly incapacitated by shooting the Infection Form lodged in their bodies, although they are far more visible due to their red appendages from the Infection Form - in Halo 2, this was very hard to see.
-The "Flood Buddy Glitch" can be used in Halo 3 if one were to encounter a Combat Form with no weapon. Shoot off the host's head and then the tentacle arm. It will follow you but deal no damage. This is pretty much useless since the Covenant and Flood are never found in the same level except in the Citadel when the Flood are your allies, and on Floodgate, when you meet up with a squad of Sangheili for a brief time.
-When a dead being is infected, it will jerk around as if it were still alive (although, no sound) this could be the host's nervous system reaction to the Flood infection.
-Kig-Yar that get infected, whether upgraded or not, would be equipped with a Carbine that, strangely enough, shoot Beam rifle shots. This remains true to ODSTs that get infected and will turn into normal infected Marines equipped with Assault rifles.
-Unggoy Squads that get infected would be split into two different forms. One would be either a -Sangheili Combat Form or Jiralhanae Combat form (Depending on leader) and the rest of the squad will become Unggoy combat Forms.
-Sangheili Combat Forms are the only host infected Combat forms in Halo Wars that do not equip a weapon.
The Flood units are significantly weaker than they are from the other Halo games but are efficient in taking out Infantry.
-Though technically not in Halo 4, the Combat Form appears in the new Flood game type, as the infected SPARTAN-IVs.
-The only weapons they have is the Flood Claw, located on their right arm.
-They are able to use Armor Abilities such as Thruster Pack, Active Camo and Promethean Vision.
After a proper host has been taken control of, the infection form then injects Flood spores containing Flood super cells into the body. This begins converting the host's biomass into a more mutable form, reshaping skin, muscles, and bone and cartilage into a more combat-ready form, and even repurposing internal organs and other tissues to make the altered form more lethal, as the host body has less use for these now. The infection form also buries itself into the host body to make itself harder to damage, often opening the chest cavity and depositing itself inside the torso with its various tendrils protruding from the gaping hole. As the head of the host then sways uselessly to the side or behind the torso, how the host body perceives its surroundings may be open to debate, but the infection form may also count as the sensory organs for the warrior form.
When the host body changes, the Attribute Dice are shifted around to make the host as deadly in combat as possible. Intellect, Mechanical and Technical attributes are reduced, shifting these attribute dice equally between Dexterity, Perception and Strength. One of the host's arms is altered more than the other to be a powerful melee weapon (Strength+2D Physical Damage (slashing or blunt)) with a 1 meter reach, and the limb can still be used to grab victims and pull them closer to be killed or infected (or both). The other arm is kept more or less intact so the form can still make use of weapons or use computer terminals or other equipment and gear. The form's speed increases to 16m and they can often outrun normal humans, and their increased Strength also allows them to jump twice the normal distance when using the Jumping skill.
Flood combat forms cannot be coerced with Perception interaction skills in any way. In this form, they may not even capable of registering whatever you would try to say, as their only directive and purpose is to gather more biomass as quickly as possible and as violently as necessary. They are also immune to stun weapon damage effects like from stun weapons in Star Wars D6, but electrical shock may still affect them. They do not need to make Stamina rolls, and can keep running non-stop when they begin running at full speed. Or, if they do have a limit to how long and how far they can run, it'll be long after humans and Covenant alike get tired and slow down.
These combat forms will almost always be made from NPCs, which in and of themselves are not usually very powerful. But when NPCs are suddenly infected with a parasite that can rearrange their attribute dice to a more capable and unrelenting combat form that feels no pain and will not stop until you're dead or it is, and it probably has friends coming with it, AND it can use any and all available weapons at its disposal, AND every one of your allies that dies to it becomes becomes one of its allies now....suddenly those NPCs become a much more serious threat.
The Carrier Form is a type of Flood form primarily used to both create and transport Infection Forms thus effectively spreading the Flood infection.
Attribute Dice: 1D each (biomass used to create more Infection Forms).
Skill Dice: As host body, if usable.
Move: 4 meters
Size: 2.0 - 2.32 meters
Special Skills: N/A
-Burst: When taking any Damage, or when they get close enough to potential hosts (2-3 meters) carrier forms burst with explosive force, releasing the infection forms that have been gestating within them. This burst explodes with the force force of a grenade (5D/4D/3D/2D Damage, Blast Radius 0-1/2/3/4 meters). If they manage to get within 2m of a target they will fall to the ground and burst anyway to release their infection forms upon the unwitting victims. And so the Flood life cycle begins again.
-Spawn Infection Forms: When a carrier form bursts it releases new infection forms (Easy 1D infection forms; Normal 2D; Hard 3D; Legendary 5D).
-Create Combat Forms.
-Absorb/Wipe Out All Sentient Life.
-Conquer The Galaxy.
-Easy: 2 carrier forms, or 1 per 1D combat forms.
-Normal: 4 carrier forms, or 2 oer 2D combat forms.
-Hard: 6 carrier forms, or 3 per 3D combat forms.
-Legendary: 10 carrier forms, or 5 per 5D combat forms.
Carrier forms are formed from older Combat Forms or from bodies that are unsuitable for combat. Lieutenant McKay theorized that Unggoy and Kig-Yar couldn't become Combat Forms and instead directly converted into Carrier Forms, though this theory has been disproved.
Combat Forms can be converted when they reach the end of their life span, or become too damaged to fight. Carrier Forms perpetuate the Flood species by acting as incubators for newly created Infection Forms and keeping them safe until they're fully developed. Eventually, when a Combat Form has lived long enough, it will evolve into a Carrier, regardless of its status.
Once the Infection Forms are ready, the Carrier simply explodes spontaneously, sending the new Infection Forms flying into the air. As soon as the Infection Forms are released, they begin searching for new hosts. It should be noted that Carrier Forms won't wait until full maturation has occurred.
If potential enemy hosts are nearby, it will simply get close to them and explode, sending the Infection Forms flying at the unsuspecting and often injuring or killing enemies. The explosion of a Carrier Form is similar to the explosion of a fragmentation grenade, and deals damage to anything nearby.
The Carrier Form has a simple mindset, which is to release the Infection Forms it carries to a suitable host. Other than organic bodily sounds, they cannot speak or make any other sound. Though they can somehow communicate with other Carriers, possibly through a Gravemind or Brain Form, to inform them of a potential sentient being.
During the Battle of Installation 05, Carrier Forms are utilized as 'boarding parties' by the Flood. They are ejected from an airlock of an infected ship towards an uninfected ship.
Carrier Forms are usually considered slow and of little threat unless they are close to the player. However, one particularly dangerous trait of exploding Carrier Forms is the explosive chain reactions they can cause. A Carrier explosion has a similar effect to the Fragmentation Grenade, and as such can knock around objects such as crates at the player indirectly, either lowering their shields to a dangerous state or if wounded enough, kill them. Like grenades, they will hurt allies and a well prepared player can easily kill one to set off a reaction to destroy nearby Combat and Carrier Forms. This effect can be used to great effect in Halo: CE as the explosion radius is large enough to send nearby Combat and Carrier Forms flying across the map. In Halo 3, this effect is lessened and may not help in certain situations.
Any direct explosion eliminates the threat of the Carrier, as well as any Infection Forms that were incubating inside of it. This means that enough needles from a Needler will kill it, or you can throw a sticky grenade at them.
Carrier Forms are one of the easiest enemies to take down. One shot from any weapon, say the Plasma Pistol, will force it to explode. However, there is not a single weapon that can actually blow it up, not even a direct hit from a Rocket Launcher. Therefore, this has to be taken into account, strategically. For example, when confronting a large number of Flood, you may wish to destroy the Carrier Forms, which in turn will kill all nearby Flood. First, allow the Combat Forms and other to get reasonably close. Then, use any weapon - preferably one which has ample ammunition - to kill it.
It is strongly advised not to use Sniper Rifles against the Flood; it is simply a waste of valuable ammo. In any case, Sniper Bullets simply pass through Carrier Forms, dealing virtually no damage.
In Halo: CE a good tactic is to stick one with a Plasma Grenade and shoot it with a Shotgun; the Shotgun will cause the Carrier to blow up and the Grenade will kill the Infection Forms inside. Alternatively, you can just stick the Carrier with a Plasma Grenade. Make sure to aim for the "head" or above.
Running over Carrier Forms, on the other hand, is a very bad idea. Their explosions will easily flip your vehicle, wasting precious time. In Halo: Combat Evolved, you will also be severely injured.
-In Halo: Combat Evolved, the level "The Maw" contains a glitch in which the Carrier Form explodes, but the Infection Forms do not move.
-The Carrier Form is the successor of the Simulacrums, from Marathon. The Simulacrums were cybernetic humans made to look like the crew of the U.E.S.C Marathon, the only flaw was that they all wore green jump suits, making it easy to distinguish which humans were actually Simulacrums. As soon as you were three meters close to them they would explode, heavily damaging or killing the player.
-Carrier Forms in Halo: Combat Evolved and in Halo 2 are often distinguished from their Halo 3 counterparts in the way they explode. The ones in Halo: Combat Evolved and 2 will play a death animation before exploding, and there is no way to kill them or make them explode without making them play it. In Halo 3, however, they are rigged to explode when their health reaches zero, rather than play the death animation then explode, although they could still drop to the floor and detonate at will.
-Strangely, when shot by the Flamethrower, the Carrier Form will explode and release the Infection Forms, which seem to survive the fire. It is possible that the Carrier Form's explosion puts out the fire. This is strange considering that an Incendiary grenade will kill the Carrier and the Infection Forms.
--This could be because the Incendiary grenade has a small explosive force used to scatter the flames, which would kill the infection forms.
--It is also possible that the liquid fuel in the Incendiary grenade stop the flames from being blown out by the Carrier form's explosion.
-In Halo: Combat Evolved, a Carrier form can produce short bursts of speed once it spots a target.
In Halo 3, a Spartan Laser beam can only penetrate two Carrier Forms. In turn, this will make the Carrier Forms explode without releasing any Infection Forms at all, similar to sticking a Carrier Form with a grenade or killing one by a Needler supercombine explosion.
-The Carrier Forms in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 would release between 4-6 Infection Forms when they explode, but the Halo 3 Carrier Forms would release dozens, but this is leveled out by a smaller and less extreme damage radius.
-On rare occasions in Halo 3, the Carrier's arms and legs will be left behind upon death.
In Halo 3, Carrier Forms can jump.
-There is a glitch that if spawned, the Carrier Form will do nothing, and just stare at you, even at close range.
-In Halo: The Great Journey: The Art of Building Worlds, artist Robert McLees says that the carrier form was based on his cousin's infected thumb.
Some mutated host bodies are made not into combat forms, but instead are turned into carrier forms. Their torsos become extremely bloated and unrecognizable as their previous unmutated form, easily swelling to three or four times their original size, perhaps more. The legs become short and stubby, seeming crushed in size from carrying the weight or the enlarged roughly globular torso (Move: 4m). If there is anything of the head or face left, it too is probably unrecognizable if it can be seen at all. Arms may become vestigial as they are greatly reduced in size in relation to the torso and become practically nonexistent, though the torso is often seen with a few of some form of short tendrils dangling from its sides.
These bulbous, grotesque altered forms are the carriers. Within their swollen bodies they carry roughly a dozen more infection forms incubating within them. While not very fast, these carriers walk as fast as they can towards a target. Any damage they receive, even stun damage, will cause them to burst and release 3D6 infection forms. When they burst, they do so with explosive force like a grenade (5D/4D/3D Damage in a 0-1/2/3m radius). If they manage to get within 2m of a target they will fall to the ground and burst anyway to release their infection forms upon the unwitting victims. And so the cycle begins again.
Carriers do not have any outstanding Attribute or Skill Dice, and 1D-2D would do just fine for them. Their purpose isn't to fight but to spread their gestating infection forms, and their physical weakness serve this purpose well.
The Gravemind (Inferi sententia, meaning "Thinking Dead"), is the final stage in the life cycle of the Flood and is the ultimate hivemind of the Flood. It is a near-omniscient creature with complete control over all Flood forms. A particular Gravemind is the secondary antagonist in Halo 2, and a main antagonist in Halo 3.
EXAMPLE GRAVEMIND (Halo 2)
Attribute Dice: Collected from adding biomass.
-Possesses all skills from taken hosts.
-Has every skill in skills list.
-+50D skill dice distributed as GMs see fit.
Move: 1 meter
Size: HUGE! (Walker Scale)
-Can use all the skills absorbed from the many host bodies used to make Flood Combat Forms or whose biomass was used to create the Gravemind. Can increase its skills as it absorbs more host memories due to the wide variety of experience between hosts.
-Absorb Biomass: Skills and Attributes increase as it absorbs more biomass from bodies and hosts. Number of bodies needed to increase these requires more bodies as it grows in size and intelligence. 12-50 bodies to reach 1D per attributes; 100 bodies to reach 2D in an attribute (Proto-Gravemind stage); 1,000 bodies for 3D; 10,000 for 4D; 20,000 for 5D (Gravemind stage); 50,000 for 6D; 100,000 for 7D; 200,000 for 8D; 500,000 for 9D; 1,000,000 for 10D. When the Gravemind absorbs bodies by the billions and controls the biomass of an entire planet, this is the Keymind stage and it is difficult to stat out but now has the ability to trategize on a level that can conquer the galaxy.
-Cumbersome Form: As Graveminds absorb biomass, their bodies swell and enlarge in exchange for becoming smarter. They can never have more than 1D Dexterity and can only Move at 1-2 meters.
-Flood Coordinator: Once Gravemind stage is reached, the Gravemind can now use all lesser Flood forms as extensions of its will. Lesser Flood forms can now combine actions, and even use increased skills based on what skill dice the Gravemind possesses.
-Fearless: The Flood do not feel fear, cannot be coerced, and will not stop attacking any character within view that has the needed biomass to advanced the Flood's agenda and create more Combat Forms or Graveminds. Graveminds, now being capable of higher thought and emotions after they are created, can express anger when their plans do not go "as planned", and may even be capable of showing fear to some degree. However, because of the relentless nature of the Flood, they usually have very little reason to feel fear, and they are secure in the knowledge that even if they are defeated, the Flood seem to be eternal and can always return as long as a single Flood Super Cell survives.
-Possession: Making skin-to-skin contact with a living body with a nervous system with no protection to prevent this results in the Flood's tendrils digging into the skin and the immediate death of the host (GMs may allow characters to make a last ditch action to attempt removing the parasite from their body before this happens).
-Infection: Once contact and possession is made with a victim the Flood releases Flood Super Cells into the body for rapid mutation. This allows the body to be remade within 2D rounds into a Combat Form (see below).
-Resistance: GMs could allow players to resist Possession with a Heroic Willpower skill roll. Weakned infection forms may have this Difficulty lowered. This does not prevent health issues that may result from exposure to the Flood Super Cells. However, against a Gravemind, resistance is futile.
-Create Combat Forms.
-Absorb/Wipe Out All Sentient Life.
-Conquer The Galaxy.
-Normal: Weaker Gravemind.
-Difficult: Stronger Gravemind.
-Legendary: Near Keymind.
Due to the brevity of its mysterious appearances in Halo 2, little is known about the Gravemind's physical form. It is a massive Flood form whose "mouth" resembles a fleshy, multi-layered Venus Flytrap. The organ is used to speak and to exhale Flood Spores. The remainder of the Gravemind's body consists of a mass of enormous tentacles. During its time beneath Installation 05's Library, some of its tentacles grew to be miles long and stretched throughout the Installation.
The Gravemind, like the Proto-Gravemind from which it formed, is made of countless bodies and corpses; The Art of Halo states that Gravemind is "literally built from the bodies of its enemies and its own fallen warriors reassembled into a massive, tentacled, and intelligent entity." Gravemind references this fact often, often calling its current whereabouts an empty grave or burial moundâ€”where there should be many graves, there is just the Gravemind. Even its name, "Gravemind," references this: it is the mind of the grave. The consciousness of the Gravemind is formed from the accumulated intelligence and memories of every Flood host ever consumed.
Gravemind is the controlling intelligence behind the parasitic Flood species. In this way, it appears similar to a puppeteer. When a creature is assimilated into the Flood, its knowledge is transferred directly to the Gravemind, and the remainder of its mind is destroyed. In addition, it appears each Gravemind also retains the memories and knowledge of previous Graveminds. This has made the Gravemind virtually omniscient, and ensures that should the Gravemind be destroyed, its consciousness will never truly die as long as some flood forms are left. In an archived conversation with the Forerunner AI known as 032 Mendicant Bias, it compared itself to the AI, describing it as "a single intelligence inhabiting multiple instances" and calling itself "a compound [intelligence] consisting of a thousand billion coordinated minds inhabiting as many bodies as circumstances require." While it is not known how the Gravemind is able to communicate with subordinate Flood forms across the galaxy, its self-comparison to a computer network implies that similar techniques may be used, with each Flood form possibly acting as a networking node and redistributing the Gravemind's commands to other forms. It is widely believed that the Gravemind uses some form of telepathy to command its disparate Flood components.
The Gravemind is also able to subvert AIs. In the Forerunner-Flood war it was capable of altering every Forerunner AI's basic logical processes, causing it to aid the Flood cause. This 'Logic-Virus' was considered by the Forerunners to be the informational form of the Flood infection, to which Mendicant Bias was the first victim in its 43-year discourse with the Precursor Gravemind.
During the Flood-Forerunner War, when the Gravemind was a galaxy spanning network, it began assembling entire planetary ecosystems into enormous, highly complex structures referred to as 'Key Minds'. Each Key Mind was said to have easily matched a single Forerunner Metarch-level AI (By far the most powerful and intelligent grade of AI the Forerunners had developed and of which Mendicant Bias was an example) for strategic planning and raw computational power.
Due to the Gravemind's understanding and absorption of Precursor knowledge, it was capable of controlling and manipulating Precursor technology in the Forerunner-Flood conflict, which allowed it more effective slipspace technology and the ability to prevent Forerunners from using Slipspace. Now that all Precursor technology has been destroyed, it is unknown if the current iteration of Gravemind was capable of the same thing, though if all Flood contain all memories of the prior versions of Gravemind or they are otherwise stored somewhere, it could be surmised that it still retains this ability.
A Gravemind starts out as a Proto-Gravemindâ€”a Flood form created by merging the bodies and biomass of numerous sentient life forms; some Flood forms may also be repurposed and merged into the Proto-Gravemind. After a Proto-Gravemind has been created, nearby Combat Forms will continue to supply it with fresh bodies, allowing it to accumulate mass, increase in size, and gain more memories and intelligence from consumed hosts. Eventually, the Proto-Gravemind reaches a certain critical mass and becomes self-awareâ€”a Gravemind. This critical mass tends to be made up of thousands of bodies if using human-sized bodies as a measuring unit.
The Gravemind and its subordinate Flood infection will then continue to accumulate. Eventually, when the Flood infection has become too large for even the Gravemind to controlâ€”or when no life remains in the galaxyâ€”the Flood infection will reach the Intergalactic Stage, and Flood will leave the galaxy with the intent to create a new Gravemind elsewhere.
Gravemind makes up a distributed intelligence, with a single primary consciousness made up of multiple, smaller instances that seem capable of acting independently. This is shown in Silentium, where the Precursor Gravemind compares itself with Catalog, a group of modified Forerunners networked together into single mind acting in concert with many others.
The Proto-Gravemind, also known as the Proto-Compound Intelligence, is an advanced Flood form created from the biomass of the most intelligent living organisms available, with the ultimate goal of creating a fully-functional Gravemind.
Creation And Physiology
Proto-Graveminds are a coagulation of multiple other Flood forms all merged. It appears that when an advanced task is at hand for the Flood, such as piloting a starship, they will create a Proto-Gravemind to do that task by merging as many hosts as possible with that knowledge, such as former pilots and officers. Rather than completely destroying a victim's consciousness, as a normal Flood form generally does, it interrogates its victims slowly, allowing their consciousnesses to feed it information. The form tortures the host's mind with a loud buzzing sound, thus erasing all thought. Only after the host is stripped of all knowledge is the host killed by the Proto-Gravemind, although it is sometimes possible for a host to die before the Flood form has a chance to assimilate all of its memories.
A notable feature in the creation of a Proto-Gravemind is that San'Shyuum are often used to form the core "mind" of the Brain Form, such as Regret, or the Minister of Etiology. The biggest difference between the infected San'Shyuum and that of the conventional Combat Form is that examples seen thus far have maintained their personalities to an extent. Other infected forms are subjected completely to the control of the Infection Form within them and generally display none of the former personality traits of their hosts. On the other hand, infected Prophets have demonstrated the ability to act the same way that they did before they were assimilated. As the Prophet species are considerably weaker and frailer than many other Covenant species, the Prophet would not be a suitable creature to create a Combat Form and their intelligent nature likely make them more suitable candidates as the main host of a Proto-Gravemind.
Proto-Graveminds are only seen piloting more complex vehicles that require trained pilots. While Combat Forms can easily, albeit clumsily, pilot smaller vehicles like Warthogs, Scorpions, Wraiths, and Ghosts (at least once the Flood infection has reached the Coordinated Stage), Proto-Graveminds are needed for larger vehicles such as a spaceship. Since the Proto-Gravemind does not appear to move at all, it is likely that it directs nearby Combat Forms to pilot the ships, similar to the way a fully-formed Gravemind will direct Flood forms to perform complex tasks or use the Flood Super Cell to pilot the ship.
Unlike all other known Flood forms, it is apparently immobile and passive in combat. They have never been observed to move on their own, even when other Combat Forms are fighting nearby. In fact, even when John-117 physically punched through the side of the Proto-Gravemind present aboard the Truth and Reconciliation during the Battle of Installation 04, the Flood form did not react at all; it is likely that locomotion is only gained after the transformation into a true Gravemind is complete. Proto-Graveminds have also never been observed to keep any of their hosts' weapons. They use some of their hosts' legs as a means to support themselves, and one can slightly see some of the recent hosts' bodies embedded in the Proto-Gravemind's mass, albeit deformed.
The Proto-Gravemind must grow incredibly in size to reach its next stage of development, known as a Gravemind, a near-omniscient Flood form made of thousands of host bodies infused with the knowledge of each host that was used to make the Gravemind. Graveminds are created once a Proto-Gravemind reaches a certain "critical mass" and develops a centralized intelligence. This happens only on extremely rare occasions, usually because the Flood is seldom loose on a large enough scale to allow Proto-Graveminds to grow large enough to become a Gravemind. Only two Graveminds are known to have ever been created; however, they seem to have the same memories, since the Gravemind present during the Human-Covenant war possessed detailed knowledge concerning the Forerunner-Flood war and even described the actions of the previous Gravemind during that time period as if they were his own. In essence, because it shares all the knowledge of the previous Gravemind and considers them both to be the same being, the Gravemind of the games is the Gravemind that fought the Forerunners, simply been reborn from another Proto-Gravemind.
A Key Mind is an exceptionally advanced form of the Flood. Several were formulated during the Forerunner-Flood war to combat the Forerunners with pure strategic might. The use of Precursor technology gave each Key Mind incredible processing power and strategic skill that easily matched that of a Metarch-level Ancilla, such as Mendicant Bias or Offensive Bias. Being a compound, distributed intelligence, each Key Mind was an extremely large and well-developed instance of the Gravemind entity. These enormous collective consciousness composed the leadership of the Flood, coordinating their efforts throughout their war with the Forerunners. Each new instance added to the overall Gravemind's intelligence and computational power.
Key Mind was the term used by Forerunner military commanders to refer to entire planets whose entire ecosystems were infected, becoming gargantuan Flood structures.
Gravemind's achieving Keymind status is key to being able to think on such a level that they have a good chance of conquering the entire galaxy.
Flood Pure Forms are what happens when possessed Combat Forms push their hosts' change further over time, absorbing all biomass and changing into shapable Flood matter. There is nothing left of any host in this form, other than the raw materials. Even the calcium has been broken down to function as natural armor. Where Combat Forms change and are essentially stuck in that form for a time, Pure Forms are further along the mutation process where the host body is more mutable and easy to change on a whim., and they can reshape their form to adapt to changing circumstances.
Where combat forms took Attribute Dice and distributed them equally in Dexterity, Perception and Strength and left them there, the Pure Form can shift their Attribute Dice around to any Attribute they want, taking a full round to finish the process when doing so but unable to move while making this change. They must maintain a minimum of 1D in every attribute, but whatever is left can be spread around to several attributes, or placed in only one for maximum effect. They can also shape various forms of melee and ranged weapons, like the Combat Form but with more variety.
Examples of Pure Forms include but are probably not limited to...
Tank Form - Pure Forms with maxed Strength are known as a Tank Form, making their Strength as high as possible to smash through any resistance, using their bulky limbs to protect the infection form still lodged in what looks like some form of head.
Ranged Form - When they place all attribute dice in Deterity they can take on the Ranged Form, also being able to shoot sharp quills at fleshy targets that do as much damage as any gun, or perhaps closer to a Brute weapon. While they are great shots, oddly enough these forms are usually stationary, but are also often perched in the most problematic places, being attached to walls and ceilings and covering any possible way an attacker would have to advance or escape.
Stalker Form - Putting their attribute dice in perception makes them very stealthy and sneaky, often enhancing their Climbing/Jumping skill dice as well, making the Stalker Form able to sneak up on unsuspecting targets, but then jump and climb away if discovered too soon, and even using this tactic as a decoy for setting up potential biomass voctims for tanks coming in from another direction.
Other results of Advanced Flood Pure Forms include: the Juggernaut which is an advanced form akin to a Gravemind in the sense that many bodies are combined to make it, along with probably having better thinking capacity, but mostly made to excel at utterly crushing any resistance even better than the Flood Tank and overtly capable in physical combat; a shielded carrier form, more durable version of the standard carrier; Infector Form, similar to a carrier but able to regenerate limbs within 1-2 rounds and able to launch infection form parasites as a kind of ranged attack; the transport form, a Flood form that would have been Speeder Scale and able to carry up to six combat forms into battle; and the Stealth Form, like the Stalker Form it excelled in the art of stealth to defeat the enemy, but was the only pure form able to use weapons, with the aid of two, four-tentacled hands.
- - - - - - - - - -
In the Halo setting, before and throughout most of the Human-Covenant War, human ships did not have energy shields, but the Covenant did. Due to this, even though human/UNSC ships had powerful MAC guns, the Covenant's shields meant it too three UNSC ships of equal size/mass to stand a fair chance against single similar sized Covenant ships. Using the rules here for Energy Shields and Weapons In General: Shield Stripping, UNSC MAC guns can be used to strip Covenant ships of their energy shields, then pound them with their less powerful cannons, missiles, etc, to defeat them. However, in ship-to-ship weapons, the Covenant still had the more powerful weapons and still stood a chance of winning such engagements. On rare occasions a brilliant commanding officer could use a UNSC ship to defeat a Covenant ship, or several of them, under the right conditions (Ex: The "Keyes Loop").
Later in the post-war environment the UNSC finally got their hands on proper Forerunner tech, and with the experience attempting to reverse-engineer Covenant energy weapons and shield tech to bolster and speed up the process, began producing ships with more powerful weapons and their own energy shields, balancing their odds against most foes....for a time (Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Infinite).
Human/UNSC ships use large ballistic cannons, missiles, and MAC guns before the end of the Covenant War, but they never had energy shields. Post-war they began producing ships that used energy weapons and energy shields to some degree, even having powerful energy weapon replacements for MAC guns.
Human ships use Ballistic Weapons up until the end of the Covenant War, including starfighter scale bullets, starfighter and capital scale exlosive shells, starfight and capital scale missiles, MAC Guns that technically fire bullets. UNSC ships also tend to be the only ones with MAC Guns, and they also carry on an average one to three nuclear warheads that do heavy capital scale damage.
These weapons technically have limited ammo as Ballistic Weapons should have, but this is rarely dealt with in Halo lore. GMs can ignore ammo count for human starships and just say these ships have plenty of ammo and reload whenever they come back to base, or GMs can make ammo an issue and the players have to be more careful about how much they use in battles (maybe have one game involving this to reflect hard core science fiction just for "fun").
Covenant ships used energy weapons and energy shields and would be closer to Star Wars D6 rules in how they function and how powerful they are. When the UNSC fought Covenant ships in space, it was stated that the UNSC needed three of their ships near-equal to the size/mass class of the Covenant ship(s) to stand a fair chance in combat, but rarely ever had these odds, and were often outclassed and outnumbered by the Covenant's navy.
Banished ships use roughly the same technology as the Covenant but applied in more savage and brutal ways befitting Jiralhanae mentality and combat styles. In general, Banished ships will have stronger armor and shields at the expense of speed and maneuverability, unless stated otherwise.
Forerunner ships would be overwhelmingly powerful in how advanced they are compared to human and Covenant tech. Their ships will be similar in function to Covenant starships, having energy weapons and energy shields, but the dice for various traits (Hull, Shields, Maneuverability, Weapon Damage Dice, etc) will be greater than the other races and factions of the galaxy.
Another approach (or maybe use both?) is to treat Forerunner ships the same as Forerunner weapons, where they would have the best of both worlds from the UNSC and the Covenant technologies, just as their Hard Light weapons have the benefits of Ballistic and Energy Weapons.
Forerunner starships would also have mush of their physical structure be made from or projected using hard light technology. This could also potentially give the ship extra armor in a pinch that would need to be blasted through before the ship itself takes any Damage (Energy Shields: Applying As Armor, see above). Forerunner ships would also have highly advanced automated repair systems, either as ninaites or further use of hard light projection (Applying As Armor, but with the Nanites Repair feature mentioned there).
So, put together, Forerunner ships could have hull dice wimilar to human and Covenant ships, but add +1D, energy shields but also at least +1D/+2D or more, able to create extra armor through hard light technology (Energy Shields: Applying As Armor), they could repair their ship using both nanites permenant fix, takes time) and hard light (near-instant fix, temporary, may be limited to simply restoring basic functions and crew safety), and their weapons would be hard light based and have the benefits of both Ballistic and Energy Weapons.
Flood ships are simply those of the other races and factions of the galaxy, but being operated by Flood Combat Forms, and possibly controlled by a Proto-Gravemind or a fully developed Gravemind. If a form of Gravemind is involved, the collective biomass of the Flood aboard the ship may not be distributed as Combat Forms, but may be collected as a singular body mass as part of the Gravemind and spread throughout the ship, connecting to controls and systems, and possibly even protruding from the ship's hull in some grotesque way that is visually disturbing to non-Flood who come across the sight and worry about this happening to them.
Such ships have the collective skills of the crew now transformed into Combat Forms and operating the ship, or their skills have been incorporated into a Gravemind, which may have increased skill dice due to collecting these varied skills together as a singular whole. Due to this, Flood ships will have increased skill dice for their "crews" when operated by a Gravemind. Due to a Gravemind's connection to other Flood forms, and all Flood having the same goal and by default working together, Flood Gravemind's can use many Combat Forms to operate not one ship, but an entire fleet of ships with the focus of a single character, and do not suffer the penalties for taking extra multiple actions. Such tactical application is why even the Forerunners had great difficulty overcoming the Flood's fleets of Forerunner ships.
MAGNETIC ACCELERATOR COIL GUNS (MAC GUNS)
MAC Guns are the main weapon for UNSC military starships, as well as the larger orbital planetary defense platform versions. In most sci-fi settings, weapons are added on to the ship. In the Halo setting, the UNSC instead build their ships around these powerful weapons. A MAC Gun will do much more Damage than the other weapons the ship is equipped with, but at the sacrifice of Fire Rate.
Unless individual write-ups state otherwise, here are general guidelines for starship MAC Guns. The base type has +2D Damage above the rest of the ship's common installed weapons, and will have a Fire Rate of 1/2 (1 attack every 2 rounds), and increase their Damage to Fire Rate ratio at +1/-1 accordingly for larger MAC Guns. This is dependant on the ship's size, but since most starships use the same or similar weapons, just in different numbers and varieties, MAC Guns should stay relatively the same except for rare exceptions (like the UNSC Infinity super carrier).
There are varieties of MAC Gun that have improved features, such as the UNSC Iroquois, a destroyer under the command of Jacob Keyes that had a dual MAC Gun and would of had +1D to its Damage as a dual weapon, and the Pillar Of Autumn, also commanded by Keyes after the Iroquois, which had a single experimental MAC Gun that could fire three rounds somewhat like a burst from a battle rifle (+2D Damage). Having such varied MAC Guns is possible usings the same ways to modify/upgrade weapons and equipment, as well as having a creative player with an idea, and an open-minded GM willing to let them try, and probably a lot of money.
Cost of ships similar in cost to a Star Wars ship of the same or similar size but built with a MAC Gun will cost as shown below.
Base MAC gun:
-Ship Cost: x2 base ship cost.
-Fire Rate: 1 attack every 4 rounds (1/4).
-Damage: Capital Ship's Hull Dice +4D.
-Super Light MAC Gun: -2D Damage Modifier, +1/2 base ship cost
-Light MAC Gun: -1D Damage Modifier, x1 3/4 base ship cost.
-Medium MAC Gun: 0D Damage Modifier, x2 base ship cost.
-Heavy MAC Gun: +1D Damage Modifier, x3 base ship cost.
-Super Heavy MAC Gun: +2D Damage Modifier, x4 base ship cost.
-Fire Rate Increase: +1 step to cost (ex: +1/2 to x1 3/4, x1 3/4 to x2, x5 to x6, etc)
-Dual MAC Guns: +1D Damage, same Fire Rate, Cost increased by 2 steps (ex: +1/2 to x3, x5 to x7), Cargo Capacity space for installation x2.
-Dual Shot: +1D Damage, -1 Fire Rate (ex: 1/2 to 1/3), cost +1 step, installation space: Super Light MAC +300 metric tons; Light MAC +500 metric tons; Medium MAC +1,000 metric tons; Heavy MAC +1,500 metric tons; Super Heavy MAC +2,500 metric tons.
-Triple Shot: +2D Damage, -2 Fire Rate (ex: 1/2 to 1/4), cost +2 steps, installation space: Light MAC +1,000 metric tons; Medium MAC +1,500 metric tons; Heavy MAC +2,000 metric tons; Super Heavy MAC +3,000 metric tons.
Installing MAC Guns
Installing MAC Guns: Adding a MAC Gun to an already existing ship that doesn't have one is just about impossible...but if done, it should definitely involve Capital Starship Repair rolls starting at Very Difficult for a Light MAC Gun, then raising +5 in Difficulty per size catagory for larger MACs (+10 for the Super Heavy MAC gun, +20 or Heroic +5 total Difficulty). Rolling higher than the required Difficulty for installation can reduce the given costs, time, and space requird for installation by 1 step for each +5 rolled with the Capital Ship Repair roll. Using Capital Ship Engineering instead automatically reduces each of these traits by 1 step.
Installation Cost: The costs given above are for ships already built with MAC Guns. Installing one will take these costs and raise them 1 step (Super Light MAC, x1 3/4 cost; Light MAC, x2 cost; Medium MAC, x3 cost; Heavy MAC, x4 cost; Super Heavy MAC, x5 cost). This is because of how much work it will take to literally reshape the hull of the ship to make room for a massive MAC Gun, and the same goes for how much Cargo Capacity it will take up (see below).
Installation Time: This process will take 1 month for a Light MAC; 2 months for a Medium MAC; 3 months for a Heavy MAC; and 5 months for a Super Heavy MAC. Rolling the Repair/Engineering skill above the needed result can reduce the installation time by -1 week per +5 skill roll result, but no less than 1/2 the time.
Installation Space: Cargo capacity for installation will take: 1,000 metric tons for a Super Light MAC; 2,000 metric tons for a Light MAC; 4,000 metric tons for a Medium MAC; 6,000 metric tons for a Heavy MAC; and 10,000 metric tons for a Super Heavy MAC. Installed MAC Guns have a magazine of 20 rounds. Installing extra 20 round magazines costs 1/10th the cost and takes 1/10th the cargo capacity.