Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday Character Creation Guide (Genesis)

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Introduction

   Players can design their own characters in Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday and build a party of six heroes. With four classes and three races to choose from as well as fourteen skills, players can design a variety of parties, but some will be more effective than others. This guide covers the basics of party building as well as recommends several viable groups of characters that can be used to complete the game.

Stats and Thresholds

   Buck Rogers uses fairly complex Dungeons & Dragons style character mechanics that require some explanation. Below is a list of stats, their effects and a brief breakdown of their bonuses. The term “Threshold” is used here to indicate the value of a stat needed for a character to receive a bonus. For example, a character with a Strength of 15 will not receive a bonus to melee combat, but a character with a Strength score of 16 will receive a +1 bonus to his/her damage. The higher a stat climbs past the threshold, the greater the bonus will be. Some stats, like Strength still seem to impart bonuses to things like carrying capacity even if the value of the stat is below the bonus threshold.

Strength (Str)

   Seems to affect how far a character can move in combat. Also increases damage and accuracy of melee attacks. Strength is especially important for warriors who are more likely and able to engage in melee combat than other classes. The highest possible strength under normal circumstances is 20.

Strength Threshold = 16 (Maximum Strength = 22)

16 Strength = +1 to Damage

17 Strength = +1 to Melee Damage & +1 to Melee Hit

18 Strength = +2 to Melee Damage & +2 to Melee Hit

19 Strength = +4 to Melee Damage & +3 to Melee Hit

20 Strength = +6 to Melee Damage & +4 to Melee Hit

21 Strength = +8 to Melee Damage & +4 to Melee Hit

Constitution (Con)

   Determines the maximum amount of health for a given character. Constitution is vital to all classes, but most classes do not benefit from a Con greater than 16. Warriors will benefit from a Con score up to 19. A character can have 19 Constitution at most. Characters will receive an HP bonus based on their CON every time they level up.

Constitution Threshold = 15 (Maximum Constitution = 19)

15 Constitution = +1 HP

16 Constitution = +2 HP (Soft cap for all classes except Warrior)

Dexterity (Dex)

   An important stat for all classes, Dex determines how your characters react to certain events like explosions, how good they are at hitting enemies, and how well they can dodge attacks in battle. High dexterity is helpful for every character, so try to roll high Dex bonuses for every party member. Keep in mind that the negative AC score granted by high dexterity is a good thing, since characters with lower AC are more difficult to hit, the same goes for reaction bonus. It is possible to have a Dex greater than 21, but this will have no effect on your character’s performance. The highest possible Dexterity is 21 for Tinkers, followed by 20 for Desert Runners.

Dexterity Threshold = 15 (Maximum Dexterity = 22)

15 Dexterity = -1 AC

16 Dexterity = -1 Reaction Bonus, +1 Ranged Chance to Hit, -2 AC

17 Dexterity = -2 Reaction Bonus, +2 Ranged Chance to Hit, -3 AC

18 Dexterity = -2 Reaction Bonus, +2 Ranged Chance to Hit, -4 AC

19 Dexterity = -3 Reaction Bonus, +3 Ranged Chance to Hit, -4 AC

20 Dexterity = -3 Reaction Bonus, +3 Ranged Chance to Hit, -4 AC

21 Dexterity = -4 Reaction Bonus, +4 Ranged Chance to Hit, -5 AC

Charisma (Cha)

   This stat seems to have an impact on the Leadership and Fast Talk skills. Not very useful for most classes, but players may benefit from having a Warrior and/or Rogue with high Charisma. For the most part this is a dump stat that can be ignored for most party members. Charisma is capped at 18.

Charisma Threshold = Unknown

Exact values for Charisma are not available, but players who want a character that uses skills requiring charisma should try to have at least 16 Cha going from how the game tests other stats. 18 Cha is likely optimal if you rely on Fast Talk or Leadership.

Technical Know-How (TCH)

   Technical Know-How appears to be another skill governing stat, much like Charisma. It can also presumably be dumped by everyone except Medics and Rocket Jocks. Having at least one Medic and Rocket Jock with high TCH is vital to success in this game however, so be sure to pay attention to TCH as it has an impact on Treat Wounds as well as Rocket Repair.

Technical Know-How Threshold = Unknown

TCH is another vaguely defined stat, but it is safe to assume 16 is the bare minimum for a Rocket Jock or Medic to be effective at his/her trade and that a score of 18-21 is more desirable.

Derived Stats

These stats are derived from Dexterity, Strength, and Constitution, but are vital nonetheless.

Hit Points (HP)– How much punishment a character can take before dying. The higher the better. Constitution determines a character’s max HP along with career.

THAC0– Short for “To Hit Armor Class Zero” and is represented as a percentage in this game. Derived from Dex. Career and weapon specialization also has an impact on THAC0.

Armor Class (AC)– Determines the likelihood of the enemy hitting you, players will want low AC scores to survive.

Movement Rate– How far a character can move during their turn in battle. Seems to be defined by race and/or career, with Desert Runner Warriors having a max move of 10 and Tinker Medics having only 6 movement points. Every other race/career combination has a move of 8. The amount a character is carrying in his or her inventory (excluding equipped items) directly affects how far that character can move in battle. Holding three or less items incurs no movement penalty. Characters will begin to lose movement points in battle once they pick up a fourth item. The exact formula is unknown to me, but characters lose movement points for every item they pick up until they reach a base movement of 3, which cannot be further diminished outside of a failed Zero G check.

Races

There are three playable races in Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday: Humans, Tinkers, and Desert Runners. A character’s stats and career choices are dependent on his or her race. Below is a description of each race along with their possible careers and stat bonuses/penalties.

Humans

A well balanced and versatile race that can take any career. Humans generally do not excel in any role compared to the other races, however, though they are by default the best rogues.

Human Stat Bonuses/Penalties: +1 Constitution

Human Careers: Rocket Jock, Medic, Warrior, Rogue

Desert Runners

Easily the best Warriors in the game thanks to their stat bonuses. Desert Runners also make good Rocket Jocks, since their high Str and Dex make the class more effective in battle.

Desert Runner Stat Bonuses/Penalties: +2 Strength, +1 Constitution, +2 Dexterity, -1 Charisma

Desert Runner Careers: Rocket Jock, Warrior

Tinkers

Tinkers are clever creatures that are adept with technology, but they tend to be fragile. This race is also limited to the Medic class and cannot take any of the other careers. The upside is they make the best medics in the game in terms of healing thanks to their high TCH rating.

Tinker Stat Bonuses/Penalties: -2 Strength, +3 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +3 Technological Know How

Tinker Careers: Medic

Careers

Warrior: Out of all the classes, warriors have the highest innate HP and THAC0, which makes them perfect for combat. They can also specialize in a weapon type, increasing that weapon’s accuracy and damage. Friendly NPCs will sometimes come under the player’s control thanks to the warrior’s leadership skill and the tactics skill can give the entire party a bonus in battle. Every well rounded party should have at least a couple of warriors. Desert Runners make the best warriors thanks to their high STR, CON, and DEX.

Medic: This class is not great in battle, but the medic’s ability to treat wounds makes them a must have in any party. Players should try to keep their fragile medic(s) away from enemies or clusters of allies in order to avoid area of effect damage and regular attacks. Medics make great support characters if equipped with a grenade Launcher or a heavy weapon like the Plasma Thrower. Both Tinkers and Humans are well suited to the medic class, with Tinkers being the more effective healers and Humans having more survivability.

Rocket Jock: These pilots excel in space combat thanks to their Jury Rig/Pilot Rocket skill. As a fighter, the Rocket Jock is a rather mediocre, however, but can at least hold his or her own in battle with the right weapons, stats, and armor. Desert Runners make for more combat oriented Rocket Jocks.

Rogue: Bypass Security is the Rogue’s specialty, which makes them good for shutting down alarm systems. While a Rogue is worth bringing along, their signature skill doesn’t see much use and they are comparable with Rocket Jocks in terms of combat ability. Fast Talk and Stealth are good secondary skills for Rogues, since Fast Talk can help the player avoid battles and Stealth can boost the Rogue’s offensive capabilities, especially with melee weapons. Only Humans can become Rogues.

Career Skills

   The following are skills that are exclusive to each class. Many of these skills are compound skills that serve two functions depending on the situation. Most players will want to invest the full 12 points into these skills, though some skills like leadership/tactics and bypass security can be underdeveloped and still serve their purpose.

Leadership/Tactics (Warrior)- Warriors make a tactics check at the beginning of every round during combat. A successful tactics roll will result in the entire party receiving bonuses, presumably to THAC0 and AC. These bonuses are rather slight and do not appear to stack, but having multiple warriors with moderate to high tactics will increase the odds of the party receiving a bonus each round. Warriors can take control of friendly NPCs (who usually act independently in battle) with the leadership/tactics skill, allowing the player to directly command NPCs. Higher leadership/tactics scores will increase the likelihood of this occurring. Out of all of the career skills, leadership/tactics is perhaps the least vital (with the exception of bypass security) and players should feel free to cut corners here in favor of helpful general skills like rocket repair, stealth, and first aid if they are using more than one warrior.

Bypass Security (Rogue)- The Rogue’s specialty skill allows the player to occasionally shut down security systems or gain access to certain restricted areas. This is far from a mandatory skill and players can get away with a score of 8 if they are willing to save their game before attempting to use it.

Treat Wounds (Medic)- Players will want to have at least one highly skilled medic in their party to take advantage of the treat wounds ability. After battle the game will check the medic’s treat wounds skill to determine how much HP the party recovers. This skill is highly important and should be maxed out ASAP.

Pilot Rocket/Jury Rig: Pilot Rocket determines who acts first in space combat. In some cases the pilot will be able to line the enemy up in a manner that allows them to get an extra turn in which the hostile ship cannot move or attack. Jury Rig allows the Rocket Jock to repair one of the ship’s systems once per battle, restoring 10 HP to the damaged system. This skill should be considered vital, since it is tremendously useful in ship to ship combat and can spell the difference between victory and defeat.

General Skills

   Any character can invest points in general skills and enjoy their benefits. While the vast majority of these abilities are optional, players will need to invest points into Zero Gravity Maneuvering, because the party will frequently find itself fighting in low or null gravity environments. Parties should also train characters in Fast Talk, Demolition, Climb, and Programming (See the following skill descriptions for details).

Climb: A character’s ability to scale surfaces like cliff faces. While not used very frequently, the climbing skill really comes in handy near the end of the game and the player should have at least one hero with about three points in the climbing skill.

Demolition: Sometimes the best way to deal with a problem is to blow it up, which is where the demolition skill comes into play. Demolition will allow your party to blast open certain doors and other things. Demo Charges are needed to actually use this skill. Only a few doors can be blown open, however, so a score of about three is sufficient for this skill.

Fast Talk: A hero trained in fast talk can lie or persuade his or her way out of trouble. This skill is great for avoiding certain random battles and especially useful to players who prefer to skip space battles. Fast Talk isn’t exactly necessary to complete the game, but it makes life easier. Players should give a character with high Charisma about six points in this skill if they want to use it reliably.

First Aid: This skill can be used on a fallen ally during battle to bring him or her back from the brink of death. First Aid fails frequently at lower skill levels and needs a solid eight to twelve point investment to be really useful. Keep in mind this skill doesn’t seem to work on characters who are comatose or poisoned.

Library Search: The ability to search through digital libraries in order to find useful information… I’m not sure how this is a specialized skill… At any rate, players can use this skill in certain spaceport libraries to glean helpful information and a bit of experience. There’s even a secret mission that can be uncovered through research. As skills go this one is completely optional and players who want to use it can get away with a measly two point investment.

Perception: Allows characters to find things they would usually miss. I was unable to test this skill all that much, but perception seems to kick in from time to time while exploring hostile areas, resulting in the character with the perception skill finding a hidden item. Not exactly vital to the mission, so you can skip this one if you like. Worth putting a few points into if you like finding an extra item once or twice in a dungeon.

Programming: Characters with the programming skill can hack into computer consoles to take control of Auto-Docs, shutdown security, and do other helpful things. Every party can benefit from a hero with three or four points in this skill.

Repair Rocket: A nifty skill that allows the team to repair their spaceship after battle. Useful while exploring the solar system or if you like to fight in space. Repair Rocket isn’t exactly vital, but it can make life easier for the player and the more he or she invests into it, the better it will work. A hero with about three points in this skill is enough to benefit most players.

Stealth: This skill is purely optional, BUT characters with high stealth ratings and a decent Monosword can be deadly in battle.  Stealth users sneak up behind an enemy while in combat to get a backstab that deals extra damage. A good skill for strong rogues and warriors. The only downside to stealth is that you’ll need to dump at least eight points into it to really benefit.

Zero Gravity Maneuvering: Every character should train up to at least eight points in this skill, because it is checked when fighting battles in low gravity environments. Those who fail a Zero G check will receive hefty penalties to accuracy, movement, and armor class. Over half the game takes place in low gravity, so your party will suffer if you don’t invest at least a few points in this skill early on.

Arming Your Party

   Players are able to choose from a variety of weapons in Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday ranging from Laser Pistols to Plasma Throwers; choosing the right armaments can spell the difference between victory and defeat. Warriors in particular are masters of combat that can increase their skill with certain weapons in order to inflict more damage. It’s important to carry a variety of arms so your party can adapt to any situation.

Choosing Weapons for Rogues, Rocket Jocks, and Medics

   Most classes can and should use a variety of weapons. For example, Rocket Pistols have an excellent mix of range and damage, but certain enemies can jam the rocket’s guidance, rendering the weapon ineffective, so the player should keep a Laser Pistol or something on hand as a side arm. Another example would be Rocket Launchers, which work beautifully against tightly packed groups of enemies, but can put allies in danger if they are in close proximity to the target. In this case players will want a backup weapon so they can adapt to various tactical situations. Then there are melee weapons,which can be deadly in the hands of someone with a high stealth rating. You should also consider your hero’s THAC0 when choosing a weapon, since weapons that can’t hit their target are useless. Take some time to experiment with gear you acquire for your team and find a setup that works for you.

Warriors and Needle Gun Specialization

   While there is room for experimentation with most classes, Warriors are best suited to the Needle Gun thanks to their ability to specialize in the use of certain weapons. Specialization gives the Warrior a bonus point of damage and THAC0 for their weapon of choice. This means the Needle Gun, which can fire up to six shots at a time, will get 1-6 extra damage per specialisation rank. As a result, Warriors wielding Needle Guns will deal consistently high damage to enemies if they specialize in this weapon. Even better, Needle Guns work on every enemy in the game, unlike lasers and rockets.

Creating a Party

   Players can create up to six characters to take on their adventure. The base stats, career, and gender of each character can be determined by the player. Base stats, which are described above, are extremely important and players should strive to get the best roll possible for each career by re-rolling. Remember, every character can benefit from high dexterity. TCH is important for Rocket Jocks and Medics. Strength is useful for anyone who uses melee weapons. Charisma is important for characters that use the Fast Talk skill and possibly Leadership.

Recommended Starting Teams

   The following is a list of possible teams that are well suited to completing the game. Skills listed should get points put into them as the character gains levels, the number after the skill name is the amount the character should start with. If a skill has the word “Max” by it in parenthesis, then the number indicates the most points that should be put into said skill. Please note that under the Warrior career’s weapon specialization, the monosword is listed, because the player should consider placing at least one point in Monosword proficiency to make his/her warriors more effective in close quarters.

Note: This setup focuses heavily on Zero G Maneuvering to offset the issues caused by the Zero G penalty bug which can reduce a hero’s AC and THAC0 for long periods of time. Players can opt to put more points in other skills if they wish.

Party 1: All Purpose Squad

   This party is designed to cut down opposition while still being able to handle any situation. Many guides suggest having two Medics instead of three warriors, but I’ve found that a three warrior party can get along just fine without the second medic.

Warrior 1

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, First Aid 1

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Warrior 2

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Climbing 1 (3 Max), Rocket Repair (learn when warrior levels up)

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Warrior 3

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Demolition 1 (3 Max)

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Rocket Jock

Race: Human or Desert Runner

Skills: Pilot Rocket/Jury Rig 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Perception 1

Rogue

Race: Human

Skills: Bypass Security 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Fast Talk 1 or Stealth 1

Medic

Race: Tinker

Skills: Treat Wounds 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Library Search 1 (2 Max), Programming 1 (3 or 4 Max, learn when the medic levels up)

Party 2: Assault Team

  Like shooting your way through trouble? This is the party for you, thanks to a fourth Warrior in place of the Rogue. You may want to make the forth warrior a human in order to take better advantage of fast talk. You can also safely keep everyone’s leadership/tactics skill relatively low in favor of stuff like first aid and rocket repair. At any rate, this group will have plenty of firepower. Give your Medic and Rocket Jock some Stun/Chaff grenades to wreak havoc on enemy lines while your Warriors blast away with their needle guns.

Warrior 1

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, First Aid 1

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Warrior 2

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Climbing 1 (3 Max), Rocket Repair (learn when warrior levels up)

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Warrior 3

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Demolition 1 (3 Max)

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Warrior 4

Race: Desert Runner or Human

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Fast Talk

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Rocket Jock

Race: Human or Desert Runner

Skills: Pilot Rocket/Jury Rig 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Perception 1

Medic

Race: Tinker

Skills: Treat Wounds 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Library Search 1 (2 Max), Programming 1 (3 or 4 Max, learn when the medic levels up)

Party 3: Survivalists

   Here’s a party for those who like to keep their HP topped off. Have the Tinker Medic learn stealth so enemies are less likely to attack him/her. The Human Medic should have max dexterity and 16 constitution so he or she is as sturdy as possible. This team should have no problem wading through even the toughest dungeon in the game thanks to its two healers.

Warrior 1

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, First Aid 1

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Warrior 2

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Climbing 1 (3 Max), Rocket Repair (learn when warrior levels up)

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Warrior 3

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Demolition 1 (3 Max)

Weapon Specialization: Needle Gun, Mono sword (1 Max)

Rocket Jock

Race: Human or Desert Runner

Skills: Pilot Rocket/Jury Rig 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Perception 1

Medic

Race: Tinker

Skills: Treat Wounds 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Stealth 1

Medic 2

Race: Human

Skills: Treat Wounds 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Library Search 1 (2 Max), Programming 1 (3 or 4 Max, learn when the medic levels up)

Party 4: Ninja Warriors

   While this party is hard to get off the ground at first, it will be able to obliterate even the most powerful foes with the right equipment. The four Warriors will need to focus on Stealth (a final rating of ten or twelve being ideal) so you’ll have to cut corners on Leadership/Tactics. You should also place your specialization points in the Mono sword skill. Try to save up and buy Lunarian Monoswords from Tycho as soon as possible. The biggest disadvantage of this group is the need to close with the enemy and get behind them unnoticed to deal maximum damage, which can be difficult or impossible in close environments. Luckily, your Warriors will still deal quite a bit of damage even without the backstab bonus.

Warrior 1

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 1, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, First Aid 1, Stealth 2

Weapon Specialization: Mono sword, Needle Gun (1 Max)

Warrior 2

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 1, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Climbing 1 (3 Max), Stealth 2, Rocket Repair (learn when warrior levels up)

Weapon Specialization: Mono sword, Needle Gun (1 Max)

Warrior 3

Race: Desert Runner

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 1, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Demolition 1 (3 Max), Stealth 2

Weapon Specialization: Mono sword, Needle Gun (1 Max)

Warrior 4

Race: Desert Runner or Human

Skills: Tactics/Leadership 1, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Fast Talk 1, Stealth 2

Weapon Specialization: Mono sword, Needle Gun (1 Max)

Rocket Jock

Race: Human or Desert Runner

Skills: Pilot Rocket/Jury Rig 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Perception 1

Medic

Race: Tinker

Skills: Treat Wounds 3, Zero Gravity Maneuvering 4, Library Search 1 (2 Max), Programming 1 (3 or 4 Max, learn when the medic levels up)

More Resources

Looking for more info on classes? Check out the link below.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/genesis/586081-buck-rogers-countdown-to-doomsday/faqs/34876

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