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A ship-building system?


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Honestly, the rules for vehicles are massively screwed up.

 

I mean, seriously.

 

Let's look at two real-world aircraft as presented in Ultimate Vehicle.

 

P 77, F-18 Hornet

Flight 35, Speed 5

This works out to a whopping 65 mph (35" * 25 phases/min * 60 min/hr = 52,500"/hr.  At 804.5"/mile that's 65.24 mph)

 

Or even more ridiculous...

 

P 81, Boeing 747-400
Flight 11, Speed 3
That's 12.3 mph.

 

That's more like "taxiing down the runway" speed, not flight speed.

 

And yes, I know that both of them have considerably faster non-combat speeds, but we're supposed to believe that these are the speeds those two planes fly in combat.

 

I seriously doubt that the F-18 could remain airborne at 65 mph, and I know good and well that a 747 traveling 12 mph is falling out of the sky.

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On 4/20/2015 at 1:21 PM, shadowcat1313 said:

you might want to look at the ship construction systems used in the various Traveller versions, the big problem I have always had with ship and vehicle construction in Hero, is that unless you go back to Champions 2., there hasnt really been a way of figuring out how much space something takes. I use Traveller Hero for that, and if something that doesnt fit Traveller Hero, I still use the rules in Champions 2. and hopefully SOON on the re-issue of Traveller Hero

 

 

Yep.

 

Fire, Fusion, and Steel (an old Traveller sourcebbok for ship building) is a fantastic resource for creating a ship-building system, even if you only use it as inspiration.

 

 

The biggest problem you are going to have designing a building system,for Star Wars is that there is only one difference between the ships (at keast in the source material): the number of people they can carry.  You can hop in a fighter and travel to another star system.  Speeds dont seem to vary to any significant degree, life support appears infinite, and you dont launch fighters,against capital ships unless there is a reasonable expectation that your fighters are a match for the capital ship.

 

I suppose you could take a distinctive feature limitation for the size of the explosion when its blown up or something.

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The primary issue with Hero and vehicles is they, just like several RPG's out there, chose to use the "vehicles as characters" method. 

Or as I like to call it "cop out method".  

 

The easiest way to avoid the issue is to outline a basic less than minimum vehicle/ship "character sheet" and then say "build them like a character".   Maybe toss in a few charts with vehicle'ish stuff in it.  That is pretty much the approach of the modern RPG.  It kinda works in rules lite games, especially ones that are just this side of coin flipping like Fate.  But in the end you usually fine droves of people in those systems home brewing "ship" rules.  The days of games taking the time to actually design vehicle/ship rules appears to be behind us.  Which is probably the reason we see so many people "borrowing" from games like Traveller.

 

My "new" personal approach is a complete paradigm shift for me. 

 

For smaller personal vehicles (motorcycle, speeder, car, fighter) the vehicle is a direct extension of the player "operating" it than a "character". 

For larger vehicles (ships) the vehicle is more like a location the PC move around in.  Like a Inn, Tavern or Castle.

 

Why try to write them up as characters. 

I have started experimenting with ships as "locations" that the players occupy and can perform functions at different stations.  Ship movement is more of a narrative descriptor than moving around on the map. 

 

An example of what I mean in the Star Wars universe of the OP. 

 

PC's are flying X-Wing's versus a IMP Frigate. 

The X-Wings (being one person small cockpit no room to walk about fighters) are represented just like I would do Ironman's suit as a added unified power on their regular character sheet. 

The Frigate is a ship.  Very large when compared to people and PC's.  It is just a location (with at least a general deckplan so the PC's can board and run around if they wish).  While narrative'wise it will be described and zooming along and maneuvering, the only actual on the table moving it can do is roll or change direction S L O W L Y.  Instead the PC's X-Wings will swoop around the Frigate, because they are FAR faster and maneuverable.  For "stats" I don't really go to far into details and I don't point it out at all.  I just assign values.  Six shields each at X ED.  So many turrets at X EB.  And so on.  For my players I need ot devote far more details to the crew because as soon as the Frigate Drive is disabled they will be boarding. 

 

But the main point is the "ship" is really not much different than a D&D Inn or Dungeon.  It is a location that has defenses that the PC's have to enter and move around in and do stuff.  Try to match up Player movement and action with ship/vehicle action is where most things fall apart.

 

Small vehicles = add-ons to the PC themselves.

Large vehicles (ships) = locations that narratively move

 

Just some thoughts and ideas.

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On 1/13/2021 at 9:42 AM, Spence said:

 

Small vehicles = add-ons to the PC themselves.

Large vehicles (ships) = locations that narratively move

 

 

One thing I saw recently, I think on JmOz's website, was a hero's motorcycle defined as Running bought through an OAF.

 

Frankly I've disliked dealing with small vehicles like motorcycles using vehicle rules and really like the idea of dealing with them as being a special effect.

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On 1/13/2021 at 10:42 AM, Spence said:

The primary issue with Hero and vehicles is they, just like several RPG's out there, chose to use the "vehicles as characters" method. 

Or as I like to call it "cop out method".  

 

Hero has the problem of being a toolkit system, which means that any vehicle rules will need to cover diverse settings, everything from Traveller to Spelljammer. Adapting the (extremely flexible) character creation rules isn't a bad approach. I agree that there could be a lot more advice about taking the basic vehicle rules and adapting them to a given setting.

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On 1/13/2021 at 10:42 AM, Spence said:

The easiest way to avoid the issue is to outline a basic less than minimum vehicle/ship "character sheet" and then say "build them like a character".  

 

 

That's pretty much what we've always done.  I know I've said this before, but for this conversation, I will restate it:  we needed vehicle rules before there were vehicle rules.

 

The universality of the character building rules made it fairly obvious to us that we could build them as Characters are built, simply by doing what you said-- defining a base vehicle-- and using the existing system.

 

The "base" vehicle seemed obvious to us:  A man-sized vehicle, since the system was built around man-sized characters.  So we opted for a motorcycle-- roughly the size of a person.

 

If you wanted to make it bigger, you used Growth and followed the mass / volume rules for that.  Shrinking did the same.  Powers (particularly Shrinking) were often bought with limitations like "only to reduce mass" or Growth: Only to increase volume.   We hand-waved out the need for size / mass powers to require END, etc, as they were essentially just the specifics of the vehicle in question.

 

Seems like we had at the time a couple of rules for components simply because-- well, there _had_ to be components!  :lol:   Things like a minimum amount of volume or mass that must be considered to house motor / engine needs, life support needs, etc.

 

When Fire, Fusion, and Steel landed, it really helped us establish a sort of scaling system.  Robot Warriors was pretty helpful when it came out, but FFS was the _snit_!

 

 

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