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Wolfgod
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Starship Construction Rules v1.0

Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:30 pm

I'm working on a very basic set of starship construction rules.

They're in Excel format. Is there a way to post them?
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bitweever
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Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:06 pm

Yah, just upload them to the forum as an attachment on a post. There should be an 'Add Attachment' button below.
The thermal exhaust port of your Death Star™ plays a critical role in the dissipation of excess waste heat produced by the Death Star's energy reactors. Under no circumstances is the thermal exhaust port to be covered, obstructed or modified in any way.
 
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Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:03 pm

OK, see if this works.
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Ship Design Rules ... earliest draft.
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Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:56 pm

Added quite a bit. It's getting to be something now. It needs a LOT more feats.

I think I'm also going to have to define our own space movement and combat rules in order for the set to make sense. Otherwise you get stuck with the clunky mechanics D20 Future has.

I'm trying to keep combat as much like D&D fights as possible, just treating starships as crewed single models. I hope. Many of the feats should come right over.

Still don't have proper ideas for shields and deflectors. I'm open to suggestions.
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bitweever
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Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:36 pm

It's all semantics, but could we call these things something other than 'Feats'? Maybe 'Features', or 'Equipment' or such. They're not really feats...
The thermal exhaust port of your Death Star™ plays a critical role in the dissipation of excess waste heat produced by the Death Star's energy reactors. Under no circumstances is the thermal exhaust port to be covered, obstructed or modified in any way.
 
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Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:31 pm

You can call them whatever you like. I'm not renaming things if possible in order to make the game mechanic as easily understood as possible.
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Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:34 pm

That's my point exactly. They're not feats, so to avoid confusion, why don't we call them something else?
The thermal exhaust port of your Death Star™ plays a critical role in the dissipation of excess waste heat produced by the Death Star's energy reactors. Under no circumstances is the thermal exhaust port to be covered, obstructed or modified in any way.
 
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:07 am

Well, they *are* feats. Armor proficiency, weapon enhancing feats, save enhancing feats, etc. I don't have nearly enough of them written up yet, but some if not most of the feats from D20 D&D or Modern can be lifted and modified slightly to fit a starship. We can call them something else, but that's what they actually are; or at least what they are meant to represent.
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:38 am

First of all, I think the system will work well. I'm not trying to imply anything about the quality of your work, just trying to avoid confusion. When it says 'Feats', my first thought is that they are feats that the crew inside the starship are going to have given to them as long as they are inside. As far as I know, 'feats' were always applied to characters (or animal companions, I believe), but never to equipment. I don't see how feats like 'Well Engineered' are applied to anything but the ship itself, or what the PC version of this feat is. Some of them are admittedly beneficial to the crew, but not all of them. When you're piloting a ship in combat, you get no sort of modification to your roll for it missing a hardpoint, or by it being built of cheap materials.

My objections to the about it is that (1) there are really too many of them to call them 'feats' and (2) feats are for PC's and NPC's. (1) Sure, characters get quite a few 'built-ins' for their class, but they're called 'Class Abilities' or such, not 'Feats'. Saying that you get '10 base feats' makes every munchkin drool, until he realizes that they're not feats like he knows them, rather 'features' of his starship. (2) Feats in the d20 universe always apply to characters, as far as I know. I appreciate the personification of the starships, but it's confusing. We never pick 'feats' for any of our other equipment. When we pick 'Keen', 'Shocking Burst' or such for our longsword, they're not called 'weapon feats', they're 'Special Ablilites'.

You named them 'Feats' to avoid confusion, but by diluting and/or extending the name, its having the opposite effect. I'm just trying to avoid the confusion that will ensue when we introduce feats that the PC's can take that will aid them in doing something in a starship. Would those not be called 'Starship Feats'? Would those be 'Human feats for Starships'?
:)
Last edited by bitweever on Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
The thermal exhaust port of your Death Star™ plays a critical role in the dissipation of excess waste heat produced by the Death Star's energy reactors. Under no circumstances is the thermal exhaust port to be covered, obstructed or modified in any way.
 
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:55 am

On deflectors and shields I could see them adding DR to the ship. Maybe split them between energy and ballistic weapons. Deflectors provide DR against energy and shields provide DR against ballistics.
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:20 pm

My thought on shielding, deflectors defence fields, ect. Either give the ship DR, or additional temp hit points. Give the individual shielding system a damage threshold, based on tech level. When in a round of combat, if damage from one or multiplt hits, overcomes this number. The system shuts down. For either a number of rounds for that matter untill repaired.

Hmmm, could make the system remove X number of dice from the shooters weapon. Or reduce the damage by a dice, D6 to a D4.

Could also make some Feats into shielding pre-recs. Such as immune to crits, ect. with this shield system.
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:45 pm

Greg - the reason I'm calling them Feats is because I'm treating each starship *as* a character, monster, or NPC, not as a bit of equipment. I think the problem with D20 Future is that it tries to treat them as something else, and the rules aren't really well written to handle that. So I'm basically trying to make a starship an NPC (with a crew). Therefore a fight between starships should play out more like a battle between two large monsters or high level characters, not as something clunky and weird.

I understand what you're thinking, and I don't disagree that calling them feats could be confusing ... but I would point out that ships also have HP, AC, Saves, Move, and so on, just like PCs or critters, and those aren't confusing. Renaming it would probably solve the issue. If I get around to writing up a formal Word document with all the instructions and so forth, I'll do that.

Shawn - I thought of DR, but most sci-fi has the mechanism of being able to knock shields down. DR, as used in D20, can't be knocked down (though it can be bypassed). It might work better as damage absorption like a Protection from X spell. Or perhaps one is DR and the other type is absorption.

Clay - I'm trying not to invent new things if I can, but rather steal existing rules so there is less learning curve. I'm trying to think of something graceful that works basically like your first paragraph, but is easily kept track of.
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:46 pm

I see what you're saying. I could see doing one as hit points similar to how a barbarian gets points when he rages. Then you could just say that they are absorbed first but eventually get overloaded.
It suddenly occurred to me just how absurd this scene was: a guy wearing a suit of armor, standing next to an undead king, both hunched over the controls of a classic arcade game.
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:00 pm

Another idea that just occurred to me. Deflectors could offer a miss chance. To deal with the "failure" aspect we could put the rule in that every time something gets through the deflector the miss chance gets smaller until it collapses. It could fall by 5-10% depending on how much deflection chance we want to give for each level.
It suddenly occurred to me just how absurd this scene was: a guy wearing a suit of armor, standing next to an undead king, both hunched over the controls of a classic arcade game.
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Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:12 pm

Dustin-
I can see where you're coming from now. I imagine there will be a fair bit of tweaking as things progress, so we'll see how things shake out. Hopefully it won't be too confusing.

As far as the shields issue goes, I'm liking Shawn's idea of additional HP as in a raging action. There could even be some sort of drawback to it, too, something like it's a move-equivalent or so action to repair 10% of the shields each turn (stuff like diverting power, etc).
The thermal exhaust port of your Death Star™ plays a critical role in the dissipation of excess waste heat produced by the Death Star's energy reactors. Under no circumstances is the thermal exhaust port to be covered, obstructed or modified in any way.
 
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Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:46 am

I was thinking that DR could be added as a feat. I personally like the idea of there being a difference between ballistic damage and energy damage. I would suggest something like this.

======================================

Crystalline coating - A thin coating containing millions of microscopic crystals is placed on the outer hull. The crystals help diffuse the damage from energy weapons.

This feat adds DR 1\ballistics to a ship. It can be taken multiple times and the effect stacks. It adds 10% to the construction cost of the vehicle each time it is taken.



Reinforced hull plating - The plating used for the hull are made from stronger materials that resist ballistic damage.

This feat adds DR 1\energy to a ship. It can be taken multiple times and the effect stacks. It adds 10% to the construction cost of the vehicle each time it is taken.

=========================================


Thoughts, criticisms?
It suddenly occurred to me just how absurd this scene was: a guy wearing a suit of armor, standing next to an undead king, both hunched over the controls of a classic arcade game.
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Wolfgod
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Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:37 am

Shawn's hull coating idea sounds good. I'll add that first chance I get.

The 'Rage Shield' idea sounds good as well. We may end up with two or three types of shield, which is fine.
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Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:58 pm

Having different kinds of shields sounds cool. It would echo different civilizations and different TL's. Speaking of TL's, are there going to be TL's associated with different feats and equipment?
The thermal exhaust port of your Death Star™ plays a critical role in the dissipation of excess waste heat produced by the Death Star's energy reactors. Under no circumstances is the thermal exhaust port to be covered, obstructed or modified in any way.
 
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Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:19 pm

Yes, right now TL's are pre-requisites (PR's). I'm sure there will be some TL feats. There will also be race-specific feats and flaws. Especially if you write the ones for your own races.
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Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:37 pm

Some Feats Clay and I discussed that need work:

Point Defense (AoO on missiles)
Robotic Point Defense (No gunner needed)
Counter-Missiles (anti-missile missiles)
Interceptors (bab5 type)
'Ion' Weapons working like 'curse' spells
'Charge Emitter' weapons disabling feats

and so on ...
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Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:21 pm

It's the next installment of the ship construction rules!

If you guys want to build some test ships and post 'em, it might bring some needed feats to light. You can try to build ships from other sci-fi universes.
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:43 pm

I've tried to hammer out some very ships from other sci-fi universes using the http://www.merzo.net/ starship dimensions page.

***

Serenity
TL6 Freighter
Size: Small
Crew: 8 Min Crew: 2
Passengers: 8 (.5 hardpoint)
Cost: 150,000$
Move: 35
AC: 12 (13)
HP: 48
Fort: 1
Ref: 8
Wil: 1
Shields: None
Range: 384 hours
Cargo: 382.5 cubic meters (8.5 total Hardpoints)
Small Craft: 2x Diminutive (1 Hardpoint)

Feats:
Well Engineered; +2 to all Repair Checks
Atmospheric
Heavy Landing Gear
FTL Drive (arguable, she might actually NOT have one of these, since she's an in-system ship in the series ...)
Agile; +1 dodge bonus to AC
Small Crew
Cheap Materials x5
Extra Hardpoint x4 (used for Cargo)

Flaws:
Short Ranged x5

Not too bad. I think it might be a tad oversized in the cargo area, (I'm assuming she's a maximum Small, making cargo about half her interior volume) but somebody building the ship for themselves might decide they wanted passengers, or more speed/maneuver options and could reduce the cargo area somewhat.

***

TIE Fighter
TL6 Fighter
Size: Diminutive
Crew: 2 Min Crew: 1
Cost: 7,500$
Move: 55
AC: 17 (21)
HP: 10
Fort: 0
Ref: 10
Wil: 0
Range: 20 hours
Cargo: 0

Feats:
Atmospheric
Fast
Light Armor
Agile
Highly Agile
Very Agile
Supremely Agile
Super Maneuverable
Cheap Materials x9

Weapons:
Twin Laser Cannons
(Tiny Pulse)
Ti, Fixed Forward
To-Hit: +2 (+4 vs Dm or Ti)
Range Inc: 10'
Damage: 2d6, 19-20 x2
Twin Mount, Anti-Fighter

Flaws:
Short Ranged x5
Fragile

This is the first fighter I've had a real problem with. It's SO bad there isn't anything to do in the system but make it silly cheap.

***

X-Wing Fighter
TL6 Fighter
Size: Diminutive
Crew: 2 Min Crew: 1
Cost: 75,000$
Move: 55
AC: 17 (21)
HP: 12
Fort: 0
Ref: 10
Wil: 0
Shields: 20 HP
Range: 40 hours
Cargo: 0

Feats:
Atmospheric
Fast
Light Armor
Agile
Highly Agile
Very Agile
Supremely Agile
Super Maneuverable (+4 AC vs larger vessels)
FTL Drive
Light Shields

Weapons:
Quad Heavy Laser Cannons
(Small Pulse)
Sm, Fixed Forward
To-Hit: +2 (+4 vs Dm or Ti)
Range Inc: 10'
Damage: 3d6, 19-20 x2
Twin Mount Multi-Mount, Anti-Fighter

Proton Torpedoes
(Tiny Missile)
Ti, Fixed Foward
To-Hit: +2(+4 vs Hg, Cl, Ga)
Range Inc: 30'
Damage: 2d10 20 x2
Twin Mount, Shipkiller, Ammunition (6)

Flaws:
...

Just about what I had in mind. :)

***

Aluminium Falcon
TL6 Smuggling Freighter
Size: Tiny
Crew: 4 Min Crew: 2
Cost: 165,000$
Move: 50
AC: 14 (18)
HP: 24
Fort: 1
Ref: 9
Wil: 0
Shields: 60
Range: 160 hours
Cargo: 40 (2 Hardpoints)

Feats:
Atmospheric
Fast
Light Armor
Light Shields
Medium Shields
Heavy Shields
Agile
Highly Agile
Very Agile
Supremely Agile
Super Maneuverable

Weapons:
Two Quad Laser Cannon Turrets
(Sm Pulse)
Sm, Turret
To-Hit: +2 (+4 vs Dm or Ti)
Range Inc: 10'
Damage: 3d6, 19-20 x2
Twin Mount, Multi-Mount, Anti-Fighter

Flaws:
Persnickety; +2 to all Repair checks, +10% cost

This one is about right. To get Han Solo's ship, you add concussion missiles and more Persnickety. The stock freight model would remove a lot of the fancy feats and guns, and add more cargo and 'cheap materiels'.
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KnightFall
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:39 pm

I might be missing something, but I don't see where there is a real advantage to pulse weapons vs beam weapons. The only real difference I see is the crit range for pulse weapons.
It suddenly occurred to me just how absurd this scene was: a guy wearing a suit of armor, standing next to an undead king, both hunched over the controls of a classic arcade game.
-Ready Player One
 
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Wolfgod
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:31 pm

Pulse crits more, Beam crits harder. Beam also has twice the range increment of Pulse. That, and each weapon has a little bit of text associated to it:

Beam: As a full round action, weapon system may make multiple attacks on the same target based on gunner's BAB; -5 per extra attack.

Pulse: As a standard action, weapon system may make multiple attacks based on gunner's BAB; -5 per extra attack.

So, Beam can burn a single target several times, but requires a dedicated gunner. Pulse can snap off lots of shots, and can be used by a pilot who is also using a move action to fly. So, if I'm an X-Wing pilot, I might be able to knock down two TIE fighters in a single Standard action if they're both in arc and I'm a good shot.

I admit things aren't laid out well at the moment. I was planning on getting the system to a point where we're happy with it, then writing up instructions for building ships as a Word doc, complete with long and short descriptions of feats, weapons, etc.
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:24 pm

Playing with a few more, since I'm not sleepy.

Klingon Bird of Prey
TL7 Warship
Size: Medium
Crew: 16 Min Crew: 8
Cost: 1,200,000$
Move: 40
AC: 15 (16)
HP: 56
Fort: 2
Ref: 6
Wil: 2
Shields: 120
Range: 3225 hours
Cargo: 0 (o Hardpoints)

Feats:
Atmospheric
Fast
Light Armor
Medium Armor
Light Shields
Medium Shields
Heavy Shields
Agile
FTL Drive
Artificial Gravity
Basic Stealth; 25% miss chance
Advanced Stealth; 50% miss chance

Weapons:
Two Phaser Cannons
(Med Beam)
Md, fixed
To-Hit: +4
Range Inc: 20'
Damage: 4d6, 20 x4
Fire Control, Advanced Fire Control

Photon Torpedo
(Huge Missile)
Hg, fixed
To-Hit: +2
Range Inc: 30'
Damage: 6d10, 20 x2
Fire Control, Ammunition x2 (12), Shield Piercing

Flaws:
Missing Hardpoint
Short Ranged



Hmm.


After playing with the system for a bit, I'm going to have to increase the thresholds. See, Serenity has an internal volume of roughly (very, very, unscientifically rough) 900 cubic meters or less. Or so. That's fine, she'll fit into the small category, which is where I think she belongs. The problem is, if I just keep the increasing thresholds I've got now, an Omega destroyer is a Gargantuan ship, which TL6 isn't even supposed to be able to build. A Star Destroyer is technically bigger (by volume) than an Omega. That's not even touching the *really* big ships.

I'll have to sleep on it, and make some changes.
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