Friday, August 12, 2011

Discussion: Super Soldiers

Today's discussion is going to be a bit different. Instead of talking about something about GMing or playing, I want to talk about a concept that rears its head in many of the games that we play. Most Sci Fi universes have some version of Super Soldier, and they're usually called something along the lines of "Space Marines" or have a reference to an ancient type of warrior. However, just what does it mean to be a Super Soldier? What traits do you have to have to be one? What traits are optional, but still common?

In my experience, dealing with the role in a strictly RPG capacity, Super Soldiers only really need genetic augmentation to be a bit better than everyone around them. This means that any PC with high enough stats can technically qualify, and in a lot of universes, things like Jedi would also count.

The most common other staple I've seen is some sort of cool, powered armor. Maybe it doesn't turn them into walking tanks, but it further augments their ability and enables them to carry a wide range of weapons and ammo.

What about you? What do you think of, or what picture pops into head immediately, when someone mentions the word 'Supersoldier'.


  1. When I think of Supersoldier and sci-fi, I immediately think of Soldier (1998), a movie starring Kurt Russell. It had no super armor, but instead was about what would happen if a normal human was raised from birth to be the ultimate outer space.

  2. That was an awesome movie, or at least it seemed to be at the time for me, haven't seen it since.

    When I think super soldier the primary trait I think of is amazing skill paired with physical superiority. Power armor is a secondary concern for me. In my mind a super soldier is just as spectacular in or out of armor.

  3. I agree with Atraties: something along the lines of just pure raw strength (for males) or incredible flexibility and poise (for females), regardless of additional weapons or external armor. Additionally, they're very well trained in multiple hand-to-hand combat or martial arts styles. Almost anyone can put on armor or work a machine gun, but only the best of the best can become truly superhuman in the physical fitness sense.

  4. I see supersoldiers as peak (or better than) human physical-abilities combined with extraordinary, if sometimes very narrow, training. They are what happens when you take someone inclined to be a soldier and train them (and maybe enhance them) so that is all they are, a honed weapon in human form.