There’s a number of dangerous creatures out there, and any one of them could pose a threat to your hero when they least expect it. For this deluxe-sized edition of Threat Assessment, we present the most notable adversary from the classic Star Wars PC game Dark Forces. While Kyle Katarn is by far the most remembered element of that series, the Dark Troopers are a close second, ranging from simplistic droids to highly advanced armors. And though the Dark Trooper project was successfully brought to a halt by the actions of Kyle Katarn, the Empire isn’t known to let a valuable asset go completely to waste. And while stormtroopers can prove a dangerous adversary in FFG’s Edge of the Empire, sometimes the GM needs something just a little more dangerous to demonstrate the might of the Galactic Empire.
Dark Trooper Phase Three (Nemesis)
Game: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta
Perception 2, Vigilance 2, Brawl 2, Gunnery 3, Ranged (Heavy) 3
Adversary 2, Durable 2, Barrage 1, Lethal Blows 2, Targeted Blow
Wound Threshold: 18
Strain Threshold: 12
Special Abilities: Droid, Inorganic, Mechanical Being
Equipment: Light repeating blaster (Ranged – Heavy, Damage 11, Crit 3, Long, Auto-fire, Pierce 2, Cumbersome 4), missile launcher (Gunnery, Damage 10, Crit 3, Long, Blast 6, Breach 1, Limited Ammo 6), shoulder-mounted missile tubes (Gunnery, Damage 8, Crit 4, Long, Blast 6, Limited Ammo 12) or shoulder-mounted blaster cannons (Ranged – Heavy, Damage 10, Crit 3, Medium, Auto-fire, Pierce 1), phrik alloy battle armor (as Heavy Battle Armor with Cortosis and Superior qualities), comlink (built-in), scanner goggles (built-in)
Background: The culmination of General Ram Mohc’s Dark Trooper Project, the Phase Three design is a massive behemoth, standing nearly three meters in height and with a powerful frame to match that was made even more ominous due to its near-black color scheme. Where the Phase One and Phase Two models were intended to operate solely as battle droids, the Phase Three could also serve as a powered exoskeleton, providing the operator with vastly increased strength and protection. Additional anti-personnel armament was included by way of a pair of low-yield missile tubes, though the option to replace the missile launchers with a pair of dual blaster cannons was also present.
Thankfully for the Rebel Alliance, only a small number of Phase III Dark Troopers were constructed before the destruction of the Arc Hammer, General Mohc’s personal flagship which served as the primary construction facility for the entire Dark Trooper project. Still, the Emperor is not known for letting a valuable resource go to waste, and while there are no plans to re-initiate the Dark Trooper Project, there are still a number of Phase III Dark Troopers in operation even during the closing years of the Galactic Civil War.
Design Notes: You can thank Agents 00 and 790 for this one, as a brief Twitter conversion about the old Dark Forces game inspired me to write this article.
Personally, the first Dark Forces game, with Kyle Katarn as simply a bad-ass Rebel commando instead of being the Jedi warrior that later installments turned him into, was my favorite of the series, and I always felt the Dark Troopers could make some very dangerous adversaries in the Star Wars RPGs. Sadly, as most of my campaigns took place outside of the Rebellion Era, I never really got a chance to implement these mechanical monstrosities. But, with Edge of the Empire being pretty firmly set in the Rebellion Era, I figure GMs have a brand new chance to use this fearsome droid killing machines against their players. And if your players thought a Phase II Dark Trooper was bad news, a Phase III could very well end in a TPK if the heroes fail to play it smart. If anything, a Phase III Dark Trooper should be used much the same way it was in its debut appearance, as a major villain near the end of a story arc.
As with the previous Dark Trooper entries, I did play a little loose with the rules here and there. The missile launcher is the same as the one carried by the Phase II, and the missile tubes are reskinned frag grenades, simply changing the skill used and the range, while the optional blaster cannons are just a heavy blaster rifle with a reduction in range. The armor on the Phase III is very tough, and the PCs are going to either need to roll lots of successes or bring some really heavy-duty ordinance of their own to crack this nut.
While the Phase III Dark Trooper can operate as an independent foe, it can also double as wearable armor, perhaps allowing the major villain of the campaign arc to have a means of challenging the players in a fight. The stat block assumes the Phase III is operating as a droid, though it can just as easily be deemed that an elite stormtrooper is at the controls, simply removing the Inorganic and Mechanical Being traits from the write-up. Though if the GM wants to have a specific adversary of the group at the controls of this monster, simply swap out the Characteristic ratings in Intellect, Cunning, Presence, and Willpower for those of the adversary while also replacing the listed Skills and Talents with that of the specific NPC’s. Depending on the foe in question, this could make a fight with this version of the Dark Trooper incredibly dangerous, so caution on the part of the GM should be employed as the Phase III is plenty dangerous in its own right.
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