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Statting out spaceships/big vehicles of greater scale...


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I have some homebrew rules I was working on for spaceships. I showed it to a couple of people last year, and was planning on redoing the whole thing, but if you want to look at it (and assuming I can find it) I'll send it to you.

In a nutshell (hope I remember this right), you pick a SIZ and TECH LEVEL for the ship and that tells you how many SPACES you get to buy stuff like weapons, engines, and shields.

But, be warned, I was planning on revising this, so it is not very polished (or very good). But it does work/cover most SCI FI settings to some degree.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I have some homebrew rules I was working on for spaceships. I showed it to a couple of people last year, and was planning on redoing the whole thing, but if you want to look at it (and assuming I can find it) I'll send it to you.

In a nutshell (hope I remember this right), you pick a SIZ and TECH LEVEL for the ship and that tells you how many SPACES you get to buy stuff like weapons, engines, and shields.

But, be warned, I was planning on revising this, so it is not very polished (or very good). But it does work/cover most SCI FI settings to some degree.

I would very much want to take a look at it :)

Tea and Madness

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I love starship deck plans, a remnant of my Classic Traveller days. And I loved statting out ships using the original High Guard. But when forced to deal with them as a harried GM, once a ship gets beyond a certain size it ceases to be a vehicle and becomes a set piece, a plot device, a setting in its own right. It becomes a big McGuffin, where story is more important than stats.

So if I'm dealing with something like the Death Star from Star Wars, or the Warden from Metamorphosis Alpha, V'ger from Star Trek the Movie, or the Valley Forge from Silent Running we're in a whole new ballgame. I only map out small parts that I actually plan to show to the players (or the part I plan to show them during this session). I may figure out appropriate NPCs for that section. If they make clever role-playing choices and good skill rolls I let them find the tractor beam controls or make that one-in-a-million shot on the vulnerable exhaust port. It saves a lot of bookkeeping (the players rolling armloads of dice against the target's gazillions of hit points and armor). Besides, any ship I'd really let the players control probably wouldn't be capable of taking on the big boys toe-to-toe anyway.

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I would very much want to take a look at it :)

I'll dig it up off the hard drive. I know I did two or three versions, but am not sure which ones I have on the drive. I'll try to get it for tomorrow.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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What sort of battles did you have in mind, KjetilKverndokken? Fighters vs. capital ships (like Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica)? Duels between medium-sized battleships of roughly the same capacity (Star Trek)? Clashes between space armadas featuring vessels of various sizes (Star Fleet Battles)?

Do you envision these encounters in your game being more tactical battles, or more focused on role-playing, or a bit of both? How much detail do you want? Lots of crunchy details about weapon systems and defenses? Or a general idea of "this ship can dish out this much damage and endure this much in return"?

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I love starship deck plans, a remnant of my Classic Traveller days. And I loved statting out ships using the original High Guard. But when forced to deal with them as a harried GM, once a ship gets beyond a certain size it ceases to be a vehicle and becomes a set piece, a plot device, a setting in its own right. It becomes a big McGuffin, where story is more important than stats.

So if I'm dealing with something like the Death Star from Star Wars, or the Warden from Metamorphosis Alpha, V'ger from Star Trek the Movie, or the Valley Forge from Silent Running we're in a whole new ballgame. I only map out small parts that I actually plan to show to the players (or the part I plan to show them during this session). I may figure out appropriate NPCs for that section. If they make clever role-playing choices and good skill rolls I let them find the tractor beam controls or make that one-in-a-million shot on the vulnerable exhaust port. It saves a lot of bookkeeping (the players rolling armloads of dice against the target's gazillions of hit points and armor). Besides, any ship I'd really let the players control probably wouldn't be capable of taking on the big boys toe-to-toe anyway.

In the post Apocalyptic game I'm making, Brent Jord (Burnt Soil/Earth), a supplement I'm thinking about is a time in the future of the setting where the human race acquires tech to travel through space, and big space battles will be part of it. Cruisers vs cruisers and so forth.

And in the basic setting there may be something as simple as a normal battleship against a alien frigate. So I need to get a hand on, or make the possibility to controle those part with rules.

But yes, Deathstar things would be plot devices.

Tea and Madness

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What sort of battles did you have in mind, KjetilKverndokken? Fighters vs. capital ships (like Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica)? Duels between medium-sized battleships of roughly the same capacity (Star Trek)? Clashes between space armadas featuring vessels of various sizes (Star Fleet Battles)?

Do you envision these encounters in your game being more tactical battles, or more focused on role-playing, or a bit of both? How much detail do you want? Lots of crunchy details about weapon systems and defenses? Or a general idea of "this ship can dish out this much damage and endure this much in return"?

I think I answered a bit in my last post.

but, yeah, from fighters to battleships. Tactics and roleplaying, and a good deal of crunch would be good, but not if I shoot this, I not only have to keep track of shots, but the energy wavelenght of the reactor chrunchy ;), so something in the middle I suppose. Enough to design a ship/spaceship, and enough to make battles and functions fun and good system wise.

Tea and Madness

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the delay,

I found one very old version, that I need to edit before it will be of any use. It covers a lot, but is a bit confusing. I started reformatting and revsing it before I eventually opted to try a different approach entirely. I can't find the updated file yet.

I'll clean up and make the old version available, so you have something. If I get the chance, I'll take a shot at recreating the updated version over the weekend. In away, this could be a blessing, since I did all this before BRP was released, and it needed to be revised to match the final rules.

I should redo my vehicle design a quick write up rules too.

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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That would be mighty interesting to me too; I have been searching for a ship design system for BRP for quite some time (hunted the old Worlds Beyond boxed set about everywhere, but no luck), so it would be very nice to have!

Do you plan to upload it in the downloads section, Atgxtg?

Edited by sheridan5
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Do you plan to upload it in the downloads section, Atgxtg?

No & Yes.:o

The original version I had gave ships stats similar to PCs, on a (mostly) 3D6 scale. . That is the one that is mostly completed, and I was revising it into PDF form, when I decided to scrap the idea and redo it to make thing match up with the starfighter and laser weapon stats given in BRP (I wrote my supplement before BRP was released).

So No, the version That I'll make available soon, won't go into the downloads section, but Yes, the new version will, once it's finished. I just have to try and remember a few things I had in my notes, and check out the new SIZ table in BRP and make some adjustments. Oh, and them write the thing.

IF I'm smart, I'll put this in with my Vehicle Design rules so that I can cover everything.

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Okay, I got over the speedbump.

For the most part writeups are looking okay, but some design stuff isn't coming out as easy as I wanted. Originally I wanted to use a Engine STR- Vehicle SIZ formula and look up the remainder on a chart to get the speed.

But now I might have to use a power/mass formula.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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  • 2 months later...

So how is the progress running?

Not to badly. I7ve been working on what I hope will be fairly comprehensive set of stats and design guidelines for vehicles.

SIZ is currently something of a fly in the ointment. Specifically SIZ for large vehicles. The core book scales down the SIZ value for large vehicles like battleships and carriers and this is just the sort of thing that would apply to a Sci-Fi setting.

I've done a vechile SIZ conversion that can turn a SIZ score (based on mass) to the scaled down SIZ values used for vechicles, but those who have commented on it are not entirely pleased with it (author included) and would prefer something simplier, more elegant and (hopefully) inspired.

One possibly might be to assume that the large ship stats in the BRP Core book are in BRP Mecha's 1/10th scale. It a sneaky way of multiplying the Battleship and carrier SIZ and HP stats ten fold without throwing the official values out.

I'm trying to keep things as compatible with the official stuff as possible, so that it will be of the most use to the greatest number in the maximum number of settings. As I want the stats to be consistent with each other, and have been using real world data to try and make it easier to write up stats or port vehicles to/from other RPGs, progress isn't as fast as it could be if I had just gone with a point build method.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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