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Considering a Fast and Furious type game with significant focus on driving, how can I discourage players from wanting to buy their Combat Driving up as high as they can afford?

 

Specifically, I'm looking for different game-mechanic options so that not every thing is Combat Driving roll after Combat Driving roll after Combat Driving roll after ... you get the picture.

 

 

 

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This is where old fashioned tools like the Combat Effectiveness Calculator come in handy.

 

Set some campaign caps for specific skills (Maybe combat driving at 14 or less initially and scaling up over time) along with caps for total ability.

 

Ex:  Let's say you're tracking OCV/DCV/Combat Driving ability (1 for base, 1 for each bonus rank).

If you have individual caps of OCV 7 / DCV 7 / Combat Driving 15 or less (5 total ranks)

AND

An overall max of 15 points then someone can be OCV 7 / DCV 7 / Combat Driving 11 or less

OR 

OCV 5 / DCV 5 / Combat Driving 15 or less

OR

OCV 5 / DCV 7 / Combat Driving 13 or less

and so on, but they can't be maxed in all areas.

 

You'll have to determine which skills are important enough to warrant balancing and their weight.  Maybe each rank of Combat Driving is worth 2 points in a driving focused game.

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The Fast and Furious series are really Caper movies with driving as the action scenes in stead of individual combat. You can't take Combat Driving out so do what you can to emphasize the other skills needed for the Caper.

 

I'd suggest that most of the PC's be drivers but that each should have a specialty related to the job. 

 

So you'd have the Hacker, the Con Artist, the Mechanic, the Navigator, the Fighter, the Thief and any other roles necessary to execute the investigation and planning phases do most of the sessions  before the climatic chase scene occurs. 

 

And of course everybody drives at the end. Encourages friendly banter and competition at this stage. They still want to be the best.

 

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Although it unfortunately never got released for 6th Ed, the Ultimate Vehicle for 5th edition has a lot of extra vehicle combat stuff that might be helpful to make the combat driving more interesting and would be easily adaptable to 6th ed. 

 

But as to your question, I think since vehicle combat, driving and stunts are going to be such a major part of the game you should use Hero to create what you want to see/experience. 

 

Maybe create some new skills like: Vehicle Stunts, Fast Driving, Fast Turns, Vehicle Jumps, Off Road, Chasing (both to follow someone and lose someone following them), Etc... And the players have to buy all these skills and they can by levels in each of them to start and as they progress. This will allow some of them to specialize in different aspects of driving and use them to their advantage. And make things different and challenging in situations. Maybe keep Combat Driving as the "control skill" (so no one can have any of the sub-skills higher then their Combat Driving skill) and they roll Combat Driving either only in situations where no other skill might apply or as a complementary skill roll to the other rolls in special situations. 

 

And then maybe modify some of the other skills to be driving related. For example, allow the Teamwork Skill to be used in driving to coordinate special stunts (two cars towing a giant safe down a city street and working together to use it to take out the cars chasing them, or one car spinning and facing the other teammates car coming up behind them, and using their car as a ramp so the teammates car can use the "ramp car" to make a jump, or when a passenger has to jump from one car to the other) 

 

You can make some Talents like: Damaged Driver (gives penalty skill levels when driving a damaged car), or modify Deadly Blow so that it makes the car do extra damage when ramming another vehicle. 

 

Some powers might be: Hood Holding (Clinging, but only for staying atop a moving vehicle), Drive Thru (Tunneling but only for driving car car through a wall or building without taking damage), Slow Down (Drain vehicle movement but only by hitting the other car first), Smoke Screen (Darkness, but only by spinning the wheels of the car and burning the rubber).

 

This is all off the top of my head, but you get the idea. There could/can be tons of great ways to build up and make a game like this really fun and cool, including adding in maneuvers and driving martial Arts like dmjalund suggests. 

 

 

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Didn't want to Edit the last post, so doing another one. Sorry for two posts in a row. 

 

One of the things I remember form the movies is that they always say stuff like "It's not the car, it's the driver" and you put any of the lead characters behind the wheel of any car and they can make it do amazing things.

 

So maybe focus on that, not only stuff in my last post, maybe also have stuff like Aid (increase movement, only for car they are driving), Resistant Protection (only for the car they are driving), etc...

 

I mean by the time they got to the 4th or 5th movie they are basically super heroes so nothing wrong (and it is probably right and fitting for the genre) to allow them to build powers to simulate so much of what they do in the movies. 

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52 minutes ago, mallet said:

Maybe create some new skills like: Vehicle Stunts, Fast Driving, Fast Turns, Vehicle Jumps, Off Road, Chasing (both to follow someone and lose someone following them), Etc... And the players have to buy all these skills and they can by levels in each of them to start and as they progress. This will allow some of them to specialize in different aspects of driving and use them to their advantage. And make things different and challenging in situations. Maybe keep Combat Driving as the "control skill" (so no one can have any of the sub-skills higher then their Combat Driving skill) and they roll Combat Driving either only in situations where no other skill might apply or as a complementary skill roll to the other rolls in special situations. 

 

I just remembered that I wrote something up for this a few years ago.  Automobile Combat Hero

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2 hours ago, mallet said:

Although it unfortunately never got released for 6th Ed, the Ultimate Vehicle for 5th edition has a lot of extra vehicle combat stuff that might be helpful to make the combat driving more interesting and would be easily adaptable to 6th ed. 

 

But as to your question, I think since vehicle combat, driving and stunts are going to be such a major part of the game you should use Hero to create what you want to see/experience. 

 

Maybe create some new skills like: Vehicle Stunts, Fast Driving, Fast Turns, Vehicle Jumps, Off Road, Chasing (both to follow someone and lose someone following them), Etc... And the players have to buy all these skills and they can by levels in each of them to start and as they progress. This will allow some of them to specialize in different aspects of driving and use them to their advantage. And make things different and challenging in situations. Maybe keep Combat Driving as the "control skill" (so no one can have any of the sub-skills higher then their Combat Driving skill) and they roll Combat Driving either only in situations where no other skill might apply or as a complementary skill roll to the other rolls in special situations. 

 

And then maybe modify some of the other skills to be driving related. For example, allow the Teamwork Skill to be used in driving to coordinate special stunts (two cars towing a giant safe down a city street and working together to use it to take out the cars chasing them, or one car spinning and facing the other teammates car coming up behind them, and using their car as a ramp so the teammates car can use the "ramp car" to make a jump, or when a passenger has to jump from one car to the other) 

 

You can make some Talents like: Damaged Driver (gives penalty skill levels when driving a damaged car), or modify Deadly Blow so that it makes the car do extra damage when ramming another vehicle. 

 

Some powers might be: Hood Holding (Clinging, but only for staying atop a moving vehicle), Drive Thru (Tunneling but only for driving car car through a wall or building without taking damage), Slow Down (Drain vehicle movement but only by hitting the other car first), Smoke Screen (Darkness, but only by spinning the wheels of the car and burning the rubber).

 

This is all off the top of my head, but you get the idea. There could/can be tons of great ways to build up and make a game like this really fun and cool, including adding in maneuvers and driving martial Arts like dmjalund suggests. 

 

 

 

This.  This is what I was looking for.  I cannot Rep you enough.

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I liked Mallet's and Dmjalund's suggestion as they mirror my own ideas on the subject. 

 

Years ago I was thinking about trying do something like Top Gun but didn't like the air combat rules.  I devised martial maneuvers for side slip, slides, quick vertical climbs and drops.  All of which you could do with Combat Piloting but if you blew the combat piloting roll or rolled a natural 18, you'd lose control of the vehicle and possibly crash.  For instance, evasive maneuvers was a 3 point martial maneuver to give +5 to the vehicle's DCV, but to perform it with combat piloting, you needed to make your roll by 6.  If you fail the roll, but didn't fail your combat piloting, you wasted your action and that's it.  If you fail combat piloting totally or rolled an 18, you lost control of your craft and suffered a penalty based on a second combat piloting roll.  Of course, if you bought the maneuver, you didn't need to make the roll.

 

Recently, I get the itch every now and then to make a Star Trek style Hero campaign.  To give the pilot more to do than always a single die roll, Combat Piloting would allow you to adjust OCV and/or DCV of the vessel.  Vehicular Maneuvering would give you the ability to adjust turn mods.  Finally, Vehicular Performance would increase acceleration and deceleration.

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If all you do is to call for combat driving rolls, the players are going to buy that up.   If you want to avoid that then  make sure to use other skills.  Shadowing can be used to follow another car , or to spot someone following you.  Area Knowledge can be useful to find short cuts or to figure out where someone is going.  Even navigation could be used to get somewhere quickly, maybe with AK being complementary.  Also don’t forget that combat skill levels can be used with vehicles.  Having a combat driving roll of 17< does not mean you can avoid being hit by another car.  That would be a straight out attack roll using the OCV and DCV of the vehicle.  So someone with skill levels with vehicles can use that to hit or avoid being hit by another car.  Using a variety of rolls will mean that the players have to spread around the points and not just put in a single skill.  

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On April 15, 2020 at 10:34 AM, Chris Goodwin said:

I'd say give them plenty of things to do outside of the cars.

 

That is my personal favorite suggestion, right there:  if you tell a player "well, it's a game about sword fighting," you wouldn't be surprised to find that he built a character centered around being really good with swords.  If you were doing the Lewis and Clark thing, you'd find lots and lots of survival, navigation, cartography, and hunting-related skills.  

 

Similarly, if you build around driving, those people who plan to do a lot of driving will be very, very good at it.

 

 

Sorry-- I have been culling through old issues of White Dwarf looking for things to send to a dear friend, so I've got oodles of that floating through my head at the moment.  I'd like to borrow a suggestion that was published there for the old Judge Dredd RPG, and combine it with something that happened to HERO between 2e and 4e, guided by a personal tendency to favor flavor.  There might even be a bit of old-school Traveller thrown in here as well.

 

 

Look at the differences: 

 

With sword fighting, you've got lots of skills to chose from-- various familiarities, maneuvers, weapons, shields, off-hands-- all kinds of things that some players will favor over others, making each sword-centric warrior still just a little different from the ones on either side of him.

 

The same with the explorers:  there are so many different things that go into surviving and exploring-- no one character could possibly be the very best at all of them.

 

The more Pokemon you have, the more of them have crap stats because you can only train so many (I think.  I know diddly-crap about pokemon, except that the people screaming and squealing at the card games have run me away from more than one gaming table)

 

 

All told, it simplifies to this:

 

Split up the Skill.  Make specialties:

 

So you have a basic "combat driving."   That's a good "fall back on" for things you don't have proficiencies in.

 

If you want variety and proficiencies, then just break it down:

 Evade gunfire

Off-road driving.

high-speed cornering.

Power slide

recover from slide

drift

maximum braking (seriously: the level of success can be used as a modifier or to negate maneuver penalties imposed by what is correctly-termed "threshold braking."  The driver has an ability to know just how had he can stop and still maintain perfect traction (which, for the record, actually reduces stopping time and distance) and direct his line of momentum to work _with_ the next maneuver instead of against it)

Redline-- Character can achieve maximum acceleration with minimum risk to the vehicle-- failing this roll can result in blown or damaged engines, glassed clutches, cracked cylinder heads-- whatever.

 

"Feel for the streets"-- character has a decent understanding of the economies and tendencies of road building in a particular municipality, meaning he's got a good instinct for when he's headed toward narrower and more congested roads, alleys, neighborhoods, or wider and more trafficked roads or highways-- it gives him an edge to avoid traffic, dead-ends, badly-repaired roads--

 

there's another one!

 

Broken field:  character can dodge potholes, heaves, chunked pavement, puddles, and old sneakers with such skill as to negate up to "level of success" penalties for maneuvers under these conditions.

 

Get Lost: character can work his way rapidly into a crowd of vehicles and chameleon his driving style to match that of commuters around him, allowing him  a better-than-normal chance to lose a tail.

 

Shake Chopper: you're on your own with how this works in any given location, but it's the same thing, only with ariel observers.....

 

 

And of course, it goes on for as long as you want (or need) and as specifically as you want (or need).

 

You could even make certain maneuvers a Skill of sorts:  flying 180, drift into parking spot, strafe onto sidewalk (I don't know if you've ever had the pleasure, but at speed?  That curb will snatch the wheel out of your hands and into a whole different county)-- even a specific skill to "jump" a car (be reasonable: this is _brutal_ on the car, fatal if there's not receiving ramp and the jump is of any considerable size).

 

Barrel Roll!  That'd just be impressive.

 

Fake crash: the character can "crash" the vehicle into a barrier or object in such a way as to minimize (or possibly completely avoid) structural damage while maximizing cosmetic damage, debris, etc-- when his pursuers leave their cars to investigate, he's off and running again (possibly even ramming one or more of them right through the radiator to prevent a whole lot more pursuit.

 

Text: the character can successfully drive while not actually looking anywhere near the road

 

Sidearm:  Character can negate up to "success level" penalties, divided evenly, for attempting to drive one way and fire his weapon a different direction (like at the guy behind him; I don't know-- it's your game)

 

Steady:  The character can maintain the vehicle at a precise velocity and heading, observing road conditions so far in advance that his corrections are minor and slow, providing an excellent platform for other characters to leap onto or stand on while attempting other things (like climbing into a truck or grabbing a helicopter skid or repairing that roof-mounted 60 cal.

 

Pit:  I think we all know what this is at this point:  Character can perform a pit, and his success level provides a negative modifier to his target's appropriate "don't get pitted" roll.  a Pit roll verus Pit roll may even allow a _positive_ modifier to safely recover from a pit without loss of momentum (we've all seen that video with the Mustang making the Highway Patrol look like clowns, right? )

 

Not enough?  Divide it up between classes of vehicles:  Front wheelers, rear-wheelers, eighteen wheelers, straight-trucks, tracks, whatever.

 

 

Still think it boils down to  roll after roll?  

 

Well it does.  That's how the skill systems work in pretty much any game:  you roll your skill.  If you want them to use a skill, they have to roll for that skill.

 

This leads to the suggestion to analyze the vehicle movement rules.  See what you can re-work to either eliminate certain skill rolls or to require very specific ones.  Pick up Car Wars, if you haven't already gotten it.  Use that when it's time for on-the-streets action.  I do.  It works fine-- it actually works better than HERO, because nothing is shoe-horned into the rules; the Car Wars rules were written specifically for this sort of stuff.  Even if you don't use it outright, use it as a guide to modify the HERO rules to make the car chase game that you want to play.

 

 

 

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On 5/10/2020 at 3:41 PM, Duke Bushido said:

 

That is my personal favorite suggestion, right there:  if you tell a player "well, it's a game about sword fighting," you wouldn't be surprised to find that he built a character centered around being really good with swords.  If you were doing the Lewis and Clark thing, you'd find lots and lots of survival, navigation, cartography, and hunting-related skills.  

 

Similarly, if you build around driving, those people who plan to do a lot of driving will be very, very good at it.

 

 

Sorry-- I have been culling through old issues of White Dwarf looking for things to send to a dear friend, so I've got oodles of that floating through my head at the moment.  I'd like to borrow a suggestion that was published there for the old Judge Dredd RPG, and combine it with something that happened to HERO between 2e and 4e, guided by a personal tendency to favor flavor.  There might even be a bit of old-school Traveller thrown in here as well.

 

 

Look at the differences: 

 

With sword fighting, you've got lots of skills to chose from-- various familiarities, maneuvers, weapons, shields, off-hands-- all kinds of things that some players will favor over others, making each sword-centric warrior still just a little different from the ones on either side of him.

 

The same with the explorers:  there are so many different things that go into surviving and exploring-- no one character could possibly be the very best at all of them.

 

The more Pokemon you have, the more of them have crap stats because you can only train so many (I think.  I know diddly-crap about pokemon, except that the people screaming and squealing at the card games have run me away from more than one gaming table)

 

 

All told, it simplifies to this:

 

Split up the Skill.  Make specialties:

 

So you have a basic "combat driving."   That's a good "fall back on" for things you don't have proficiencies in.

 

If you want variety and proficiencies, then just break it down:

 Evade gunfire

Off-road driving.

high-speed cornering.

Power slide

recover from slide

drift

maximum braking (seriously: the level of success can be used as a modifier or to negate maneuver penalties imposed by what is correctly-termed "threshold braking."  The driver has an ability to know just how had he can stop and still maintain perfect traction (which, for the record, actually reduces stopping time and distance) and direct his line of momentum to work _with_ the next maneuver instead of against it)

Redline-- Character can achieve maximum acceleration with minimum risk to the vehicle-- failing this roll can result in blown or damaged engines, glassed clutches, cracked cylinder heads-- whatever.

 

"Feel for the streets"-- character has a decent understanding of the economies and tendencies of road building in a particular municipality, meaning he's got a good instinct for when he's headed toward narrower and more congested roads, alleys, neighborhoods, or wider and more trafficked roads or highways-- it gives him an edge to avoid traffic, dead-ends, badly-repaired roads--

 

there's another one!

 

Broken field:  character can dodge potholes, heaves, chunked pavement, puddles, and old sneakers with such skill as to negate up to "level of success" penalties for maneuvers under these conditions.

 

Get Lost: character can work his way rapidly into a crowd of vehicles and chameleon his driving style to match that of commuters around him, allowing him  a better-than-normal chance to lose a tail.

 

Shake Chopper: you're on your own with how this works in any given location, but it's the same thing, only with ariel observers.....

 

 

And of course, it goes on for as long as you want (or need) and as specifically as you want (or need).

 

You could even make certain maneuvers a Skill of sorts:  flying 180, drift into parking spot, strafe onto sidewalk (I don't know if you've ever had the pleasure, but at speed?  That curb will snatch the wheel out of your hands and into a whole different county)-- even a specific skill to "jump" a car (be reasonable: this is _brutal_ on the car, fatal if there's not receiving ramp and the jump is of any considerable size).

 

Barrel Roll!  That'd just be impressive.

 

Fake crash: the character can "crash" the vehicle into a barrier or object in such a way as to minimize (or possibly completely avoid) structural damage while maximizing cosmetic damage, debris, etc-- when his pursuers leave their cars to investigate, he's off and running again (possibly even ramming one or more of them right through the radiator to prevent a whole lot more pursuit.

 

Text: the character can successfully drive while not actually looking anywhere near the road

 

Sidearm:  Character can negate up to "success level" penalties, divided evenly, for attempting to drive one way and fire his weapon a different direction (like at the guy behind him; I don't know-- it's your game)

 

Steady:  The character can maintain the vehicle at a precise velocity and heading, observing road conditions so far in advance that his corrections are minor and slow, providing an excellent platform for other characters to leap onto or stand on while attempting other things (like climbing into a truck or grabbing a helicopter skid or repairing that roof-mounted 60 cal.

 

Pit:  I think we all know what this is at this point:  Character can perform a pit, and his success level provides a negative modifier to his target's appropriate "don't get pitted" roll.  a Pit roll verus Pit roll may even allow a _positive_ modifier to safely recover from a pit without loss of momentum (we've all seen that video with the Mustang making the Highway Patrol look like clowns, right? )

 

Not enough?  Divide it up between classes of vehicles:  Front wheelers, rear-wheelers, eighteen wheelers, straight-trucks, tracks, whatever.

 

 

Still think it boils down to  roll after roll?  

 

Well it does.  That's how the skill systems work in pretty much any game:  you roll your skill.  If you want them to use a skill, they have to roll for that skill.

 

This leads to the suggestion to analyze the vehicle movement rules.  See what you can re-work to either eliminate certain skill rolls or to require very specific ones.  Pick up Car Wars, if you haven't already gotten it.  Use that when it's time for on-the-streets action.  I do.  It works fine-- it actually works better than HERO, because nothing is shoe-horned into the rules; the Car Wars rules were written specifically for this sort of stuff.  Even if you don't use it outright, use it as a guide to modify the HERO rules to make the car chase game that you want to play.

 

 

 

 

Awesome on so many levels.  Agreeing with lonewolf's post as well, I don't want them just stocking up on one skill and using it for everything - I just wasn't sure how to pull that off.  

 

LOL at the Text skill.  

 

 

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Thanks!

 

I won't say there was a lot of thought tossed at that (I still have a few books to buy, and it's hard not to look in at the forums while I'm here  :(  ).

 

I would offer the following-- not necessarily as the completed "driving system," but as a way to organize your thoughts on this until you come up with something that works for you.

 

I'd break the Combat Driving into vehicle types almost immediately.  That one's self-explanatory, and I'll leave you to that.  Next, I'd break the Combat Driving skill into three categories:

 

 

Maneuvering

 

Terrain

 

Actual "Combat."

 

 

 

Maneuvering:  Sit down and think about some really cool maneuvers you've seen-- movies, youTube, stunt shows, or even just read about in books.  Decide which ones are close enough to each other to be "harder" or more complicated versions of others.   That should get you on your way to creating a list of Maneuver Skills, and even give you some idea of the kinds of negative modifiers you'd assign for "this version of drift" versus "that much longer more complicated drift."

 

Then look at terrain:  Paved roads are different even from each other, as you can have broken terrain in pavement as well: densely-populated urban areas and poor areas area well-known for it (anyone ever even _try_ to run the interstate through Shreveport any anything _close_ to the speed limit?  You'll cough up your own kidneys!)  "Mud" and "sand" are very, very_ different (I live in a state filled with roads made of each.  Seriously:  if it rains hard enough, we lose roads until they can be shored back up), as is clay (though for game purposes, _you_ decide what's different enough to need its own skill).

 

Dirt roads are different from off-road, and broken terrain is different from sand, mud, cliffs--- again, decide where you want to break it, what qualifies as what-- and you've got skills for each terrain.

 

My own suggestion here is to use the Driving: Terrain X as a compensator for terrain penalties, period.  It doesn't _add_ to the potential to make the maneuver roll, but it can be used to offset -- say, up-to-level-of-success number of penalties assigned to the maneuver that are due to the terrain.  You might go nuts and say if he makes it by more than half, he can use that "under half" success as positive modifiers to the maneuver roll, demonstrating just how comfortable he is with this terrain.

 

Combat:  This may be a poorly-named category.  I mean, yes:  you can fill it lots of skills like "dodge enemy fire" and "shoot while driving," etc.  But it's also a catch-all for those skills that require your attention to be split on both driving and something else-- like the guy standing on the hood, trying to get into the back of that truck.  Or paraglider you're trying to catch on the run as the enemy pursues, or even using that computer to access whatever-it-is-you-need while hammering your way down the highway.  It might even be appropriate for attempting to keep surveillance on another vehicle without giving yourself away or having an accident while you're watching to see which way he turns....

 

 

Just tossing this out as an idea:

 

have your players, when they select "Combat Driving," pick -- I don't know: one (or perhaps 2, if you'd rather) category of vehicles, then select -- say 1 Skill from each of the three sections, or possibly even two from one and one from each of the others-- again; it's your game.  These are their specialties.

 

When they increase their "Combat Driving," these are the skills they are increasing.  All other Skills with be raw -- whatever: Dex, Reflexes, whatever you want-- rolls, or 9- rolls, or, again: whatever you decide.  These other skills must be improve one at a time, like any other Pro Skill-- or you might allow an eight-point Skill Level to provide a +1 with an entire vehicle type, or an entire Terrain type (or all terrain, period, but that's harder to justify having practiced) or all of a particular kind of maneuver:  "I'm really good at Drifting; I should be able to buy a 5-pt level to cover Drifting, fishtailing, Alabama Roundhouse, and High-speed parking maneuver!"  Okay, fine.  Done.  

 

 

At the end of the day, you have players who will be invested in bad-assed drivers that have individual unique skill sets and flavors.

 

 

But yeah; it's a buttload of up-front work.  Everything good _is_, though. ;)

 

 

 

 

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