Friday, August 28, 2015

IMTU Drive Shticks and Vehicle Combat 1

2.5 Drive Shticks

The players were asking after these so I feel I have to work in some elements of high speed chases and ship to ship combat for this game. I don’t know how common these were in CT (though speaking with an old CT player his group apparently had a lot of them) and the ‘everyone on the same ship’ doesn’t lend itself to the Fast and Furious style chase fights of Feng Shui so will be modifying some elements of the Star Trek RPG.

2.5.1 Ship Combat Essentials

My main goals are keeping things exciting and giving everyone something to do. My secondary goal is to have the ship combat mirror regular combat as much as possible in its mechanics. These are mostly compatible.

Scaling

In a regular fight the scales are Mook, Named, Mech and there are slightly different rules for each level of opponent to ease bookkeeping. Same thing her, where the scales are Fighter, Trader and Capital ships.

Fighter ships are analogous to Mooks: they do not have health points and are either sill fighting or out of the fight. They can be dangerous if they are really skilled or appearing in masses but since they aren’t the scale that PCs normally operate at we’re glossing them over. They have a single score for attacking, dodging & maneuvering.
Free Traders serve the same function as Named PCs, and they cover any vessel of similar size, which also means some combat ships. They have health tracks and rely on different skills for what they’re doing, in part so multiple PCs can contribute dice rolling for the action.
Capital Ships are the really big ships, either the large navy vessels or the big merchant ships. They have large amount of armor that let them soak up an enormous amount of damage and can be festooned with weapons. They fight by slugging it out because they’re too big to dodge.

This is a very superficial explanation of the FS2 drive rules. Go purchase those for the real high octane thing.

Basic Rules

As I intimated before the system is really abstract. Chase Points are the equivalent of Health, and if your enemies get to many of them before you do you get to decide what happens to them: do you escape them, are they blown to smithereens, do they have to stand down and be boarded? This should make sense in terms of your tactics for the fight but you ultimately get to decide. Similarly if you get too many Chase Points first they get to decide what happens to you. Fighters, as Mook equivalents, don’t have Chase Points and instead are taken out if your maneuver or attack has an outcome of more than 5.

Vehicle Stats

Vehicles have 4 stats that take the place of a character’s stats.

Acceleration

Use this in place of Reflexes for Initiative.

Handling

This takes the place of Body for Maneuvers – as the acting party it’s your Handling +2; defenders just use Handling.

Frame

Takes the place of Body for ramming and sideswiping. It’s Frame +2 if you’re hitting, Frame by itself to shrug off hits.

Classic

This is a special Fortune point pool that applies only to the most enduring ship models. The Beowulf class free trader, for example, has a Classic of 2, because it is one of the longest serving models out there. These ships will usually have lower vehicle stats, being nothing special, but will run forever and come through in a crunch.

Action Skills

Initiative is determined by the vehicles Acceleration score. This determines when the ship can go – not necessarily the people in the ship, who may be able to do other things.

Every 3 shots the ship can take action as if it were a player character (or take a snap shot to go faster for a penalty, or g more slowly for a bonus). Those are going to be rolls against Piloting, Guns or both depending on the described action. For simplicity’s sake these two are linked, so the pilot taking a lot of active dodges will deny the gunner clear shots and delay their actions. The pilot and gunner (who may be the same person) have to make the rolls to do these things.

Bridge Skills

Hrm, this gets a little confusing since they are not necessarily skills used on the bridge, but…. In any event all of the usual rules for bridge skills supporting action skills apply – a 3 shot action and a die roll against the target’s Mind score to, if successful, give one ally a +2 on their next roll. This has several uses in space combat

Command can coordinate two other PCs actions, so giving either the gunner or the pilot a +2 on their next roll. Often a complex maneuver that needs split second timing, the PCs providing the bonus can feel free to describe whatever insane thing she wants the others to accomplish.

Info: Science makes use of the ships sensors and comn arrays to detect opponents (this can always be used to replace Mind for these perception checks), but also to predict opponents moves based on their drive signatures, locate weak spots on their ship, jam their sensor arrays to make them easier to dodge or pilot and so on.

Repair can be used to fix the ship (restoring health points lost) but as with the Medicine skill it can only be used once a fight with a shot cost of 6, so there are tactical decisions as to when to use it. Until that point PCs can use the Repair skill to super charge or modify the engines or other systems for a Drive bonus or fiddle with the targeting or missile loads for a guns bonus, or come up with some other tech idea.

Through the Comms system any PC can try to engage in social combat (deception & intimidation, possibly command and trader) to defuse the fight or throw off the opposition. Usually in the heat of a gunfight this is limited to the usual +2, so lets not get the theory that your Intimidation 13 will end all fights before they start forever.

Other skills can be used as the players and GM deem fit the scene, but the rules are usually the same.