X-com area 51 V3 dm guide


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X-COM Area 51 V3 DM Guide

X-COM Area 51 V3 DM Guide

Hello, and welcome to X-COM Area 51, version 3! I’ve tried to make this module play as close as possible to the original Microprose game (rights now owned by Atari, ironic eh?), but of course some changes had to be made for the different environment. You could run this mod with many more alien encounters and reuse the ships, but I felt the number presented was sufficient. I didn’t want the ship missions to become repetitive.

This is the third version of this mod, not counting beta versions. Version 1 was made by me, but was awfully buggy. Version 2 was a heavy edit of that mod by Lazybones, who added and fixed a lot of things, most especially working stun rods, chryssalids, placeables for all the alien ships, and some new alien types and missions. Version 3 is a medium edit of Version 2 by me, basically just adding Longarm versions of the energy weapons and fine tuning everything for balance and consistency. I changed almost everything a little bit, but likely only LB or myself would notice most of the changes. A changelog is included for the highly curious, but even that only lists the major changes, not every feat/ability added or removed on every alien. And I did edit every alien.
For that matter, Version 1 was based on the d20 Base Mod Campaign by Forrestwolf, as I used many of the areas provided by the base mod.
Skyranger Transport System

Thanks to Gulfwulf, XCOM now has a fancy transport system. It requires placing and destroying (it's bashable) the placeable object under Custom3 called "Hatch to Enter Ship." Clicking on that invisible object takes you to the waypoint wp_skyranger, which is initially placed inside the SkyRanger. Clicking on the door area transition from within the skyranger, Lightning, or Avenger takes you back to the "Hatch to Enter Ship" object.

So, by moving that object around, you change where the party exits the ship to. I had originally just planned to use the DM Jump All command, but this is much fancier and allows for some to go back to the ship while others stay out. Once the party is in the ship and ready to launch, destroy the object, jump to the destination map, and place the object next to the vehicle placeable. Drop some sfx from the DM sfx wand for takeoff and landing (enters atmosphere), and the party uses the door to exit to the mission map. Destroy the object again after the party is done with the mission, jump to the hangars, place a new version of it next to the vehicle, use your sfx, and the party exits back to the hangars. Neat.
Chryssalid Embryo Implantation
After some experimentation, I was finally able to emulate this function from the original game. Chryssalid’s have the red slaad eggs disease, which after 6 minutes in real time (one game hour) should spawn an immature chryssalid, among other things. The medkits have been edited to no longer function as healkits until medkit IV, prior to that they just cast cure wounds spells. I’ve also removed antibiotics, so Chryssalid antidote (Special Custom 3) will have to be researched separately. Finally, little aliens jumping out of PC’s bodies! Hooray!
Note that Lazybones had previously created a Chryssalid implantation system for NPC’s that is still in the mod (certain NPC’s are coded to become infected when damaged).
Technical Errata

NPC’s/hostiles will not equip guns, so you have to put the gun in their hands, preferably in the palette. This should already be done for all NPC’s/hostiles that will be shooting, but some may have been missed.

The default onspawn script nw_c2_default9 has been heavily modified in d20 to include the d20 feats, among other things. The default onspawn script x2_def_spawn has also been heavily modified and is identical to nw_c2_default9, except the ranged attack preference has been enabled. So, melee critters should have nw_c2_default9, gun toting critters should have x2_def_spawn. Some gun toting critters have lbx_ranged, which should be identical to x2_def_spawn.

Unarmed citizens should probably have spawn_coward, to make them flee, though some of them have nw_c2_herbivore, which makes them basically stay put, then run if a hostile gets close, then turn and fight if it gets really close. It was an attempt at variety in citizen response.
There are no class restrictions other than spell casting PrC’s, but all PC’s should be proficient with personal firearms and light armor. Using only the freebee background feat for light armor (starting occupation military) will result in the armor being stripped on entry because it is implemented through a worn ring. This is very problematic for combat crashes, and of course they’ll need to take the light armor feat anyway to get the medium armor feat. Same issue exists with personal firearms, the background feat is useless if they want to take advanced and exotic.
There is a ring in the palette under Items\Custom\D20 Modern System Items\Special Abilities that is an alternate “Starting Occupation – Military” that grants the Point Blank Shot feat instead. I recommend allowing players to have the option to use that ring to prevent the armor issue, forcing them to take the Light Armor feat which they need anyway.
I originally made the traditional pistol, rifle, autocannon, etc., but later decided that d20 modern had so many nice guns that it was a shame not to utilize them, so I went with their guns instead. I didn’t add dual-wielded handguns as I was unable to get that system to work properly as an imported erf. It’s also feat intensive anyway; play testing found it to be more fashion than function and XCOM is a dangerous mod. Also, offhand weapons do magical damage, no matter what damage type the primary weapon does, and this is unsatisfactory in a mod with different ranged damage types.

The laser and plasma weapons are pretty much a match for the original XCOM, though the lasers were altered a bit for a lower damage output in exchange for higher accuracy and a free Rapid Reload feat. Rapid Reload, which allows a PC to get its full number of attacks with a crossbow, longarm or exotic firearm, is not available at level up. It can only be implemented on objects. It’s on the gun for man-made weapons, and available as a research option for the alien weapons at DM’s discretion. My preference is to have an Advanced Alien Weapon Training research option that then gives everyone a ring with the feat on it.

I did have to play with damage types to get the total damage output I wanted for the more powerful energy weapons. Adding two damage bonuses of the same damage type doesn’t work, they won’t stack. Hence both the electrical and positive damage types on the plasma. For more info on weapon and ammo damage refer to the d20 Modern forums.
Damage types are as follows:

  • Blunt/slashing: various melee attacks.

  • Piercing: Bullets and some melee attacks

  • Ballistic: Bullets (extra damage on gun, allows stacking of piercing damage, treated as piercing damage by NWN)

  • Magical: Bullets in feat form (autofire, etc). Creatures/armor with bullet resistance should have magical resistance as well.

  • Divine: Laser

  • Fire: Fire, and additional heat damage from lasers (also needed to trigger sfx).

  • Electrical: Plasma

  • Positive: Pure energy from Elerium not converted into plasma (also needed to increase damage outputs on plasma weapons)

This is important because different aliens have different vulnerabilities/resistances, which can be discovered through Researching various alien autopsies, though oftentimes the players just figure it out from combat outcomes.

Each of the energy weapons has a proper Pistol, Rifle, and Heavy version, as do the standard weapons. Melee weapons are all based on the short sword to allow for a melee specialist (only one weapon type to specialize in for the whole campaign), though the stun rod is based on the spear.

I spent a tremendous amount of time (far too much) playtesting options for the stun weapons. Nothing available in the game really fits for a long-term individual or area stun. I made a stun rod with slay outsider and rp’ed the stun, but Lazybones was able to edit the x2_def_ondamage script to make a great Stun Rod that leaves behind a “stunned alien” item. I went with Hold Monster at 20th level for the Stun Launcher, since that gets used on both aliens and PC’s. Sometimes the aliens got a coup de gras on held NPC’s, but I didn’t see it happen with PC’s. PC’s definitely get coup de gras on held aliens, but you can just rp this as a stun if it happens and drop a “stunned alien” item. May want to drag and drop that onto your quickslot bar.

In the palette are both d20 laser weapons and XCOM laser weapons. XCOM laser weapons are designated with a PP for “power pack.” Designation is also on the armor for matching armor (the power pack is a backpack that powers the laser weapons). The XCOM lasers have unlimited ammo, like the original game, but you may prefer the ammo requirement. That will require toolsetting to implement, as I didn’t make all gun versions for ammo usage.
Using stealth and automatic bursts, then ducking behind a wall to prevent being shot back at, is an extremely effective method of attack, FYI. Far shot is even more effective, to the point of it being an exploit really. At a great enough distance aliens won’t shoot back, or even perceive the PC, so a PC can do successive far shots with impunity. In the players’ manual I listed Far Shot and Double Tap as broken feats, for that reason and because they do magic damage. Also note that both far shot and automatic bursts do magic damage rather than piercing, so if you want to give something ballistic protection, e.g. DR 5 piercing, you need to give it DR 5 magic as well. It gets better, as DR 5 piercing gets counted twice, once against the base damage and once against the damage bonus, so in reality you need to give the creature DR 10 magic to match. Basically, use DR with caution, and be aware of engine exploits.
Another aspect of auto fire is that it bypasses AC and instead uses a DC check, but I consider this a feature. A smart player will switch to auto fire against high AC opponents. I did not give an auto fire feature to any of the energy weapons, as auto fire uses magic damage no matter what the energy damage type of the weapon is.

I started the party at level 5, but discovered that was probably a bit overpowered, especially once I gave them a tank. I would recommend not letting tanks be available until they get challenged. For small parties, henchmen XCOM Field Soldiers (AKA redshirts) are available in the palette, at progressive levels. You could also fast-track their weapons and armor research if desired. For my campaign I also ran a beta team of NPC’s that occasionally met up with the alpha team on large missions. They tended to have a lot of casualties.

The Game


The 509th Bomb Group regiment of the Army Air Corps were the first to officially report the crash of a "flying disk" in the desert near Roswell, deep within New Mexico. The original report explained that of the three occupants of what was termed a "UFO" (Unidentified Flying Object), one had survived the crash. Two had died. Before daybreak, however, government agencies had rapidly acted to retract this version of events, instead claiming that the "UFO" was in fact a weather balloon.

For the last sixty two years, men and women (many of them American in nationality) have claimed to have been abducted by alien lifeforms. Many claim to have been abused, or impregnated, or tested upon, or questioned. Most of the world chose to ignore these "crackpots", focusing instead upon the more mundane everyday events that plague us all. However, on the 63th anniversary of the Roswell incident, UFO sightings across the world skyrocket. Whilst this is at first believed to be caused by tabloid hype of the anniversary, after several legitimate video recordings are made of UFO's traveling across the sky soon intellectuals, officials and the legitimate press join the ranks of "the believers". One of the most popular headlines at this time is "We Are Not Alone". Whilst this has been claimed and theorised by many, it has never been proved.


Credible reports of human abductions steadily filter into government files and the press. These abductions all follow a similar pattern - the victims inhabited rural areas with a low population density, and the UFO fled before any interception could be attempted. The governments of the world, worrying at what this might really mean, begin to bring their armed forces to a state of full combat readiness. Contact is attempted, but no results are forthcoming. As the abductions continue, military action is considered to defend the peoples of the world, but the UFO's are mostly invisible to radar. Japan strangely takes the lead and forms the 'Kiryu-Kai' - the first anti-alien combat force. They are equipped with the very latest Japanese military equipment, which is mostly made elsewhere, and are manned by the country's finest, but after five months the Japanese government chooses to disband the unit due to them not encountering a single UFO. At least, that was the official version.

The United Nations was the next to take action. On the 11th of December, 2010, the Security Council gathered in Geneva to decide upon a course of action. It is eventually decided by the representatives of the world's nations that the only way to combat the aliens is to present a united front. Together, they agree to form a covert, multi-national military-based unit to investigate the alien threat and gauge it's depth. This organization is known as X-INV. They run operations for several months, and manage to gather a large amount of data, including the presence of human sympathizers to the alien menace.

After X-INV submits its final report, the aliens are formally decreed to be hostile, and are recognized as such by the new Council of Funding Nations. X-INV becomes X-COM - the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit.

X-COM is assembled from veterans of X-INV and the finest soldiers, pilots, engineers, scientists and intelligence operatives from across the world. Together with the very latest military equipment, it is hoped that this will be capable of defeating the alien menace.
The party starts off as soldiers, already recognized as among “the best of the best.”

There is a trial area that Lazybones built that is a great place for people to learn the interface, and I highly recommend using it if X-INV has not been played through first.

The game begins outside an unassuming shack in the Nevada desert. Now entering Area 51. It is Monday, January 15th, 2012, at 0900 hours, and the preservation of the human race is in the hands of X-COM.
The Base has many NPC’s, each with its own role. This introduction is for the players and is in the Players’ Manual:

  • UN Envoy Michael Garret – A.K.A. “The money guy.” He is your liaison to your many funding countries, so treat him well.

  • Base Chief Mark Hallorand – He runs the base while you are off shooting aliens. He’s also the one to talk to about base expansion, though be sure to run it past the money guy.

  • Dr. Kimberly Wagner – Science Research Chief. She’s the one you ask nicely about how that new laser weapon research is coming along. She coordinates the work of base scientists and their peers from around the world. She’ll be far more interested in your new alien gizmo than your stories of bravery.

  • Counselor Joan Beauvais – Psych Research Chief. She’s here to make sure you don’t go crazy, at least not too much. She’s also trying to get inside the alien mind. Hopefully she won’t go crazy either.

  • Engineer Grace Thelon – Engineering Chief. She’s the one you ask nicely about how those new laser weapons are coming along. She runs the fabrication workshop, and can make or special order and assemble just about anything you want.

  • Medical Officer Stanley White – He’s going to do his best to keep you alive. Fortunately for you he has some alien technology at his disposal. This *is* area 51, after all. He’ll even fly on the missions with you, though he stays in the plane with the pilot.

  • FBI Agent Inise Drake – She’s your liaison to Homeland Security, whose budget has recently tripled. You are in U.S. territory you know, despite that fancy UN guy that acts like he’s in charge. She will inform you of the latest alien activity, worldwide, and make sure you know where your loyalties lie. That sidearm isn’t a fashion statement. The United States is a gracious host, and wants X-Com to succeed. You just ask her.

  • Master At Arms Musa Babatola - An experienced arms and equipment dealer, working with X-Com on contract. He'll sell your goodies that you don't need to research, and he's got what you want, at a decent price. A decent price on guns is hard to get these days; seems everyone wants them now that the world is under attack by aliens. It’s a good time to be an arms dealer.

  • Skyranger Pilot Ken Yushi – Your two-way ticket to hell and back. Any landing you walk away from….

  • Tanks: Semi-Autonomous Heavy Weapons Platforms, A.I. and battle chassis designed by Lockheed-Martin-Northrup for the U.S. Marines. These units are still experimental, and have been programmed to be extremely aggressive. They have voice activation and control, and are capable of voice communication and independent friend or foe determination. In fact, their state of the art A.I. is considered to be partially sentient. They tend to quote Apocalypse Now and other war movies a lot. (Well, that was my original idea anyway. In game I literally didn’t have time to throw my voice to the tanks, gun combat is fast).

Here’s the DM’s version:

  • UN Envoy Michael Garret – I played him pretty straight up and level-headed. He is the one who has to report to the UN, so he is very interested in making sure XCOM succeeds.

  • Base Chief Mark Hallorand – I played him as a tough, by the book Marine type. He cared a lot about his troops, and tried to make sure they had the best resources they could get. He tried to maintain a high morale.

  • Dr. Kimberly Wagner – Very interested in science, very German, she was amused by the soldiers rancor. As the research head she ended up doing more talking than all of the other NPC’s combined. She gave presentations on research findings (a fair amount of which I simply journaled in the campaign forum) and asked the team what they thought should be researched next.

  • Counselor Joan Beauvais – She was actually the one all the guys tried to hit on. She worked hard to get into their heads, including performing fitness for duty evaluations, a trick I used to keep players from going too far afield in their rp. She actually declared one PC unfit for duty. She becomes a lot more important once the Psi Lab is operational.

  • Engineer Grace Thelon – I didn’t use her much. She would occasionally report on work in progress.

  • Medical Officer Stanley White – He gave a lot of inoculations to their behinds, and also took a lot of blood samples. I played the biohazard angle pretty heavily, something that was absent from the original game.

  • FBI Agent Inise Drake – I played her as very strong and determined, completely loyal to the US Administration, and also with an open disrespect of the XCom soldiers and their abilities. She would typically refer to them as “clowns” or “morons” or “KIA’s waiting to happen.” She also made a lot of veiled threats about the ability of XCom to continue on US soil, and pretty much took whatever she wanted from the spoils. She also took and destroyed data from missions she considered sensitive, and called Washington on occasion. She was the only one to directly challenge Garret, and she was obviously manipulating the entire project for the benefit of the US. In general, they quickly learned to fear and hate her, but they had to show her respect because of her direct ties to the US Government and their support of the program. She was a lot of fun to play.

  • Master At Arms Musa Babatola – I played him pretty laid back, but as an experienced black market arms dealer. Very experienced. They actually asked him about some of his history, and he talked about furnishing weapons for child soldiers and all the death he’d seen, with a smile. But he was their supply man, so of course they liked him.

  • Skyranger Pilot Ken Yushi – I actually had some improvised plots where the Skyranger broke down, stranding them at the mission site. They of course blamed Ken, and gave him a pretty hard time.

  • Tanks: They are very powerful, especially as damage takers. Use with care.

The Base

The base is designed to be expanded. I found that in game this just wasn’t pursued much. It isn’t necessary, as they have almost everything they need starting off. They built a large radar facility, and of course a Psi Lab is necessary. You could add a laboratory, a workshop, more storage, more living quarters, etc. I did not encourage this, as the base sections are already pretty heavy on the memory requirements, and I was afraid my computer would crash during the base assault if I added too much. Use at your discretion.

I had every player roll an intelligence check and wisdom check, averaged the result for each and multiplied by five for each, giving a score of zero to 100 (potentially a little higher than 100 but 100 is the maximum score). There are 10 “psi rating” items in the palette that correlate with those scores, giving a will save bonus when worn as an amulet. They don’t get to make the roll for psionics until they research a psionic alien, of course.

Research and Manufacturing

Although I followed the research tree that the players requested, I also threw in a lot of subjects that a gamer would tend to skip over in favor of weapons and armor. Lazybones made this even more interesting by having the PC’s actually do the research and manufacturing themselves, and giving various bonuses for researching non-combat topics. He basically made Research and Manufacturing into a second game played on the campaign forum. I was far too lazy to do something like this, so what I did was, for example, after they researched med-kits, while lasers were being worked on, they got the sectoid autopsy results for free without requesting it. After lasers they got alien alloys, the ship type small scout, and Elerium, etc. Basically I didn’t want the research process to take as long as it did in the original game, since I only had them running about twenty missions total, and they needed to make substantial research progress every week as they went. I also wanted them to see everything, even the stuff that normally gets skipped. Since then a few more missions have been added by Lazybones, and with base defense actions you’ve got about 28 missions total, though some are very short and some are huge. Both research systems have been successfully tested in campaign, both worked fine, so really just use whichever system you prefer. I have included examples of both in the Campaign Example section.

I've gotten a number of questions about the base operations part of the game. I don't want to spoil too much, but I thought I'd clarify a bit about how the system works, to help you all make informed decisions going forward. 

As you've no doubt noticed by now, your decisions will have a significant impact on how the campaign develops. You will need certain technologies and especially information to successfully overcome the alien menace. And furthermore, without the technological improvements gained from research, you will have a very difficult time surviving the latter part of the campaign. 

Here is how research and manufacturing/base construction works. 

The base started out with 10 "units" of research, medical, and manufacturing capacity, and 0 units of Base Defense capacity. Each time you complete an upgrade you add 10 units of capacity (and I add on a lab to the base map). When you work on projects, the amount of resources dedicated to it determines how long it takes to complete a given project. Since you've upgraded your research capacity (it will be finished by the end of the game/RL week), the base now has 20 units of capacity, and can focus on two major projects at once. Base Defense is a special category, since you can upgrade your technology there for bigger jumps. For example, the Missile Defense installation available at the start adds 10 units, while Laser Defense (when researched) will add 20 units of defense per upgrade. The higher-tech upgrades can take longer to install, however, and are more expensive (don't worry about $ at this point, I'm handling the base funding behind the scenes). 

Missions Summary






Staging Base

Trial Bots

Welcome; briefing from Garrett; trials to familiarize with weapons/d20M; false alien


X-COM Base


Orientation/guided tour of new base; outfitting; first briefing, setting of research/manufacturing priorities


Investigation - Forested Valley

Maddened Animals

Investigation of reported alien landing in mountains of Colorado; recover alien canister of bio agent


Utah High Desert


Crashed Small Scout


Shasta Farmland


Alien Incursion, Medium Scout; alien ship tries to get away; US tries to confiscate all alien weapons


Australian Base


Research Facility Investigation; No tank; psych counseling after


Canadian Rockies


Damaged Medium Scout


Florida Everglades


Tanks now available. Crashed Small Scout



(Investigate City Street)

Sectoids, “Hovering Disk”

First Terror Mission; Vala Knight


Riverside Elementary


Terror Mission


Ireland Abbey


Crashed Large Scout


Wisconsin Winter Farm


Alien Incursion, Large scout


Nevada All-Mart


Abductor Ship, psionic attacks, sectoid leader


Secondary Base, France

Enemy Agents, Helicopter, Tank, Sectoids, Cyberdiscs

Visit base, betrayal, flight


Cow Pasture




Russian Base

Russian soldiers, Ethereal, Mutons

Raid base to secure alien technology and intel; first contact with ethereal (escapes)




Supply Ship


Dallas Warehouse District

Floaters, Reapers

Terror Mission; Vala returns; spaceship inside warehouse



Mutons, Silicoids

Terror Mission


South Pacific

Snakemen, Chyrssalids

Crashed Terror Ship




Crashed Large Scout




Terror Ship; massive alien assault follows this mission (e.g. base attack); new ship type (battleship) introduced


French Alps

Mutons, French Commandos

Intel mission – sneak into base, steal data (can be integrated at any time toward the end of the campaign)



Sectoid, Cyberdiscs

Battleship; goal to recover Sectoid Commander (see copy: Battleship Landing)


Retaliation City (Los Angeles)

Floaters, Reapers

Alien Retaliation Mission


Alien Base (Canada, or China)

Mutons, Silicoids

Capture Muton Commander




If base lost, go to 25 b




Set up for final mission if needed


Cydonia, Mars


Final mission; see “Triumphant Return” area


X-COM Base


Base Assault missions: can be integrated at any time (typically after a big X-COM success); see XCOM Base Main Power Out area

CAMPAIGN EXAMPLE: Encounter Order with races, and possible research and manufacturing progress. This will vary campaign to campaign, but I included my campaign’s progress and a few from Lazybones’ as well for reference. Mine have pictures, his have lots of details.

LB Version:

FROM: Kimberly Wagner, X-COM Research Chief 
TO: Alpha Team
RE: Research and Manufacturing Priorities

Team members: per our briefing earlier today, you will be asked periodically to provide input on X-COM mission priorities. Director Garret has expressed confidence that your particular skills will help us to maximize our limited resources in these areas. 

I shared two of our current research projects at the briefing, and Chief Engineer Thelon has asked that I apprise you of a third option that she believes can yield long-term dividends. 

For research, here are our current open projects: 

  • Laser Weapons: Preliminary reports indicate that current-generation weaponry may be of limited utility against the "Sectoid" menace. We believe that we can develop man-portable weaponry from current advanced laser technology under development at DARPA, the European Scientific Colloquium, and the Advanced Technology Labs at MIT. The development of weapons will take time, but our research team indicates that this work is a necessary prerequisite toward the development of higher-order weaponry. 
  • Motion Sensor Technology: Doctor Sandesh has already developed a proof-of-concept prototype, based on a motion-detection technology used by the British S.A.S. Dr. Sandesh has suggested that this technology, once perfected, may yield useful battlefield application. 

  • Heavy Weapons Platform: Chief Engineer Thelon has submitted a brief for the development of a HWP based on the U.S. Army's TALON remote platform used in the Iraq War. Our plans involve the development of this technology into a semi-autonomous, compact armored weapons platform, capable of accompanying X-COM operatives into combat situations. The advantages of such a technology should be obvious. Engineer Thelon's brief includes two possible models, one mounting a 20mm semi-automatic, armor piercing cannon, the other a 40mm grenade launcher.

Naturally we will continue to pursue all of these projects as practical, but it is necessary to select priorities for this organization.

Another message regarding manufacturing priorities will be sent shortly. I understand that you are about to commence a field operation, but get back to me when you can with your input.

FROM: Kimberly Wagner, X-COM Research Chief 
TO: Alpha Team

RE: Research and Manufacturing Priorities (continued)

Here are our manufacturing projects, as submitted by Grace Thelon, X-COM Chief Engineer. 

  • Base Capacity: As you know from your initial tour, the X-COM facility is still under construction. We are continuing to develop the site, and have three areas where we can expand our capacity. These include: a) research capacity; b) manufacturing capacity; c) medical capacity. Improvements in these areas will expand our ability to respond to future developments. 

  • Base Defense: As stated in the mission briefing, we have not fully analyzed the capabilities of the "Sectoid" foe. However, it is clear from the destruction of the Chinese base that they possess an ability to strike with decisive force. While we intend to research defensive technologies in the future, we currently have the ability to install a Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) based on the PAC-3 missile. Implementing this system will involve considerable expense and effort, but it may be worth it for the peace of mind such a system can offer.

Your feedback on these priorities is welcome. More options will be provided as new developments are submitted by our Research Department.

1. Investigation – Ranger Cabin / Forested Valley

Colorado Mountains – Crazy animals

Investigation of reported alien landing in mountains of Colorado; recover alien canister of bio agent.

NPC Ranger: The ranger reported something in the sky to the northwest of his location, about 100-1000 feet above the ground. He went to investigate as there is a nice guy up that way, a hermit who is a hunter, with a permit to live on Federal grounds. The ranger was concerned about Mr. Jackson. Instead, the ranger was attacked by a wolf… man… not rabid. He ranger shot it or him in self-defense between the eyes, he claimed and left.

The ranger claimed that the wolf… man… was dead or whatever and probably eaten by wolves up there. In retrospect, I’m now speculating that what he saw was Mr. Jackson somehow; but, the wolves that ate his corpse suffered a similar madness as Mr. Jackson. More on all that later…
The ranger reported that there are wolves and bears up there in the mountains; but, the bears don’t normally come down that far…
Dead bear: a bear shot by … burn marks, for lack of a better term, laser fire? Tracks of a three-toed-small-humanoid lead north of that to what was presumably Jackson’s cabin with the wooden furniture in ruins… his hunting rifle discarded inside.

> “insane” wolves attack

Tracks lead northwest to a small pond and a faint humming sound. There is a small egg-like substance with a tiny tingle to it.
>Cyberdisc attacks!

FROM: Kimberly Wagner, X-COM Research Chief 
TO: Alpha Team 
CC: Michael Garret, Jean Beauvois 

RE: Project Update 

I hope you have had time to rest over the last few days. I suspect we're going to need you at full strength before too long. 

Per your suggestions we have been expanding our research capabilities. The new lab in the South Wing is almost finished, and while Dr. White has been complaining about having to share his medical facilities with our scientific staff, we have been able to make some progress. 

We have set up a program for the research of laser weapons technology. Dr. Sandesh has been given clearance to continue work on his prototype motion sensor, but priority has been given to the laser project. After consulting with Director Garret I assigned several of our biological and genetic scientists to studying the samples you brought back from the Utah mission. You heard about the unusual medical properties in the alien substance you recovered. The research team feels that this knowledge can greatly advance our medical technology, and eventually will lead to significant applications for our field teams. 

At the moment our resources are fully engaged in current projects, so I do not have a list of new priorities for you this week. However, once we finish getting the new lab up and running, I will send you another report with more information.

2. UFO Spotted! Utah High Desert

Mexican Desert – Sectoid

VSmall – Sectoid
>I had the Ranger break down on this mission and strand them on the mission map for a day. It is a prototype aircraft after all. Boy did they hate Ken after that.

FROM: Kimberly Wagner, X-COM Research Chief 
TO: Alpha Team
CC: Michael Garret, Jean Beauvois

RE: Project Update

You know, even looking down at the thing on the table, a part of me still can't believe it. 

We're keeping the Sectoid corpses in cold storage in the new containment area of the laboratory. Preliminary studies indicate a creature with a significantly different physiology than ours. The research team in unanimous in stating that a more extensive examination is warranted. Our preliminary study has indicated that the creature should be vulnerable to a potent shock, and work on the new Stun Rod should allow us to capture a live alien in the future. However, the voltage necessary means that a tazer-type ranged weapon is not practical, and Dr. White found such profound differences in its blood and cell makeup that he is not sure that a tranquilizer is possible. Research will continue in this direction. 

The physical sciences team reports that they believe that they are close to a breakthrough on the laser weapons project, and requests that it remain a priority. However, your findings at the crash site in Mexico have added several additional options for our research team. Because of the recent expansion of our research capacity, we can now prioritize two projects at the same time with minimal loss of efficiency. 

Research Priorities 

  • Laser Weapons: Already in Progress. 

  • Motion Scanner: Dr. Sandesh continues his solitary work. He can be reassigned to another project, but he insists that he can produce a working model if given additional time. 

  • Heavy Weapons Platforms: currently a low-priority project; no progress to report at this time. 

  • Alien Medicine: medical staff indicates that data collected from our study of the alien substance recovered from the Utah mountains can be used to greatly improve our medical capabilities. 

  • Sectoid Autopsy: the biological sciences team is eager to begin a detailed examination of the alien life forms taken from the Mexico wreck.

Chief Engineer Thelon is recommending that we focus our efforts on understanding the alien technology. She has added the following priorities to the research list; please consider them in addition to those provided above. 

  • Alien Alloys: the alien ship was almost completely destroyed in the crash, but we can extract a lot of useful information from an analysis of its construction. Chief Thelon indicates that the ship was made from an alloy not native to Earth. She has asked that we do what we can to recover an intact ship, so that we can learn more about the alien control and power systems. 

  • Alien Handgun: the weapons carried by the Sectoid use some sort of energized plasma technology. These weapons are highly complex and cannot be replicated using our current technology. Preliminary tests have indicated that the power supply for the weapon is highly unstable. Until we understand their operation, we are recommending that all alien devices be kept in the secure labs.

Until we complete our current and future research projects, our options for manufacturing priorities remain unchanged. I have listed our current emphases below: please indicate if you wish to change the current order. 

  • Research Capacity: work on the new research lab is nearly complete. As long as this remains our top priority, the facility should be completed in the next few days. 

  • Medical Capacity: Dr. White has requested that we separate the sickbay from the research center, and create a separate lab for his team. This would require a significant investment of resources. 

  • Manufacturing Capacity: given the new discoveries, Chief Thelon has suggested that X-COM could benefit greatly from an emphasis in this area. New devices such as the laser weapons and medikits will have to be manufactured on-site, so added capacity will decrease delivery time. Because the new research lab has taken up most of the currently available space, additional excavation would have to take place in the East Wing to make room for a second workshop. 

  • Base Defense: Base Commander Hallorand continues to state his concern about the vulnerability of the X-COM base. At the moment the aliens appear to be unaware of our existence, but this will likely change as our operations ratchet up. Chief Thelon has noted the technical feasibility of creating a laser defense system, once our research into laser weapons technology is sufficiently advanced.

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