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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 78 - most online ever: 843 (October 22, 2020, 11:18:00 PM)
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Author Topic: [Solar] But what about the Space Battles?  (Read 17414 times)
Simon JB
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2008, 01:30:03 PM »

Once again, thanks a million for all the help! These discussions really help me get under the hood of Solar.

I'll see what becomes of this (not least when we actually get to playing it!), and if it ends up on some wiki or the other...
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Paul T
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Posts: 383


« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2008, 11:33:12 AM »

This is great stuff! And I've been meaning to get my hands on the Honor Harrington series, as well.

It would be nice, however, also to have a simpler, more character-oriented version of this stuff. that can work for any type of vehicles in any genre. Please let me know if I'm on the right track!

Something like this:

A vessel consists only of a Harm track and some Secrets, like these:

Secret of Advanced Sensors
Any character trying to use the ship's sensors to discover or interpret something always adds a bonus die to their Ability check.

Secret of Maneuverability
Any Piloting (I) check made by a pilot who is trying to carry out tricky maneuvers is made with a bonus die.

Secret of the Targeting Computer
The ship has a Gunnery Ability at Competent level, which it can use to take parallel actions to cause Harm to other ships or targets whenever ordered to do so by the pilot.

Is there a better way to handle Secrets like that last one? Abilities that the ship can use on its own?

While all rolls (except for exceptions, like above) use the Abilities of the characters, harm is dealt to the ship itself, and must be "healed" by a mechanic with the proper tools and equipment.

Is there a way to make it possible for the characters in the ships to be harmed sometimes, as well? It would be nice if it could be semi-random, or somehow otherwise unpredictable. Two things come to mind: the pilot takes the same Harm as the ship itself, or makes some kind of Endure roll to determine how much Harm is taken, so it can be higher or lower than the ship itself. Is there a good way to do this?

Scale isn't really an issue, I think, for such a loose/space opera sort of type of game. For things of a smaller scale, they just get hurt normally. So, a huge space cannon hitting your ship might deal Harm: 4. If you're in the area hit, you suffer Harm: 4 as well, as a piece of a bulkhead falls on your leg, or something similar. Treating scale as weapons/armor, like Eero describes, is probably best here, at one point per difference of scale.

For large vehicles, they could have Secrets along those lines, as well:

Secret of the Tiger Class Tank
This thing is so huge that it can only suffer Harm from weapons with the Secret of Armor Piercing or Secret of Large Scale Firepower.

Or is there a cleaner, easier way to handle this sort of thing?

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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2008, 01:10:46 PM »

Any news on your space game, Simon?

For a really light-weight space ship solution, I'd actually get rid of the ship itself as a concept altogether and just make the spaceship hardware a bunch of character traits. Require a "Secret of Space Ship" for a character to own the ship and then a bunch of "Secret of Equipment (X)" for different sorts of specialized equipment, such as sensors, weapons, warpdrives or whatever. Each of these Secrets could give a free Effect for the purpose, and a suitable mechanically inclined character could of course create more such Effects in a temporary manner.

Then, when the ship goes into battle or such, just have the pilots of each roll Ability checks against each other and use the normal extended conflict rules to assign Harm. Shooting at a space ship and scoring a solid hit would cause Harm to somebody - probably the opposing captain would be my call, although a total hull rupture would also work against everybody else in my books.

In other words, the space ship can be handled as a piece of leverage that allows characters to travel and fight in space, but it's still a contest between the characters, same as always. This is probably the best method for dealing with space ships when they're not a very important part of the genre - Star Wars and anything more earthbound than that, in other words.
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Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Simon JB
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2008, 02:32:16 PM »

Thank you for asking, Eero!

We played it the other day, but never got to any ship action. In fact, in play it felt a bit foreign to change the perspective in the way I was thinking about in the earlier posts, regarding the ship as a character and all that. So now it actually feels more adequate to do as you two suggest in the last two posts above.

However, we'll see, we'll probably keep the more advanced system in our back pockets to pull out if the situation suddenly warrants it!
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Spoo
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2009, 04:45:27 AM »


Then, when the ship goes into battle or such, just have the pilots of each roll Ability checks against each other and use the normal extended conflict rules to assign Harm. Shooting at a space ship and scoring a solid hit would cause Harm to somebody - probably the opposing captain would be my call, although a total hull rupture would also work against everybody else in my books.


This could work. I was thinking something similar, having the ships/systems provide ways to use abilities, but to also have their own harm track.

Any suggestion which kind of harm would be delivered. Physical damage to pilot comes to mind, but does not describe captains / fleet commander etc. well.

I was thinking about pool of "duty" or whatever for also other purposes. The harm would make sense. Also pool refreshment by doing / running exercise with the crew or whatnot. Problem with this is that almost all abilities tend to go here.

Also, in general I don't understand harm, and especially the healing harm with abilities other than physical that well. It seems quite weird to get severe mental traumas by trying to outsmart opponents or whatever.

By the way, traditional TV scifi has lot of potential for refreshment scenes. The writers seem to like to invent weird board games / musical instruments / physical sports for the future. And so would probably the players. On the spot.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2009, 06:32:53 AM »

Harm is one of those rules that is always handled effect-first: the rules tell us when Harm is assigned, knowing where it comes from is a mere colorful convenience for us. The procedure of play does not care whether the type of Harm you pick for a situation makes sense; you should pick whichever seems like a good idea at the time and let it ride. I myself usually use Instinct Harm for social things and Reason Harm for mental things, but when I'm uncertain, I just go with the Pool of the Ability that caused the Harm in the first place.

Healing non-physical Harm usually takes the form of counselling, psychiatry, friendly advice, talking about it with others (for social Harm) and so on. I don't find it that weird for characters to suffer mental Harm when they get outsmarted, as that Harm does not need to be a psychological illness of some sort: in fact, most Harm is best described as temporary exhaustion, confusion and lack of confidence. Those are all things that may easily result from a mental conflict.

Also, that's a good call about switching the Pools. If I were doing full-blown military scifi, I'd probably make Duty one of the Pools just as you say.
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Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
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