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Vehicles and Spaceships


Atgxtg

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I was wondering. Just what sort of Vehicle rules do people want for BRP? I know not everybody wants them, and that's cool, but there are those BRP fans who want something to cover vehicles, spaceships and such. Pretty much every other "universal" RPG has rules to cover this sort of thing, too. Plus, like any other set of rules for BRP, those who don't want them can just ignore them.

As some are aware, I've been toying with conversions and design rules for awhile, but I am curious as to what sort of vehicle rules people would like to see. There isn't much point in wrting something if nobody wants to use it. So, I'd like some input. Just what do people want. And how detailed do they want it? Would a list of prestatted vehicles help?

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

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My ideal would be a simple set of rules that layers on to the Super Powers rules allowing building vehicles from budget points (amount decided by GM). Budget point values for relevant vehicle statistics would have to be included, and some powers (like dimensional travel) would probably need to be imported from Superworld or ACTSW and refined to suit vehicles.

That said, I'd pretty much be happy with anything that lets me build a Colonial Viper or a Jedi Interceptor. ;)

Edit: Oh yeah, whatever system comes up should have all the vehicles in the basic book "built" with it to show compatibility.

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I think there are two reasons for having spaceship rules in an RPG. First, for shooting at other spaceships. Second, for creating consistent deck plans as an actual adventure setting.

I think there are two reasons for having vehicle rules in an RPG. First, for getting from A to B or to allow A to get away from or catch up with B. Second, to let characters shoot at vehicles, to let vehicles shoot at characters, or to let vehicles shoot at each other

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The vehicle stats I actually use during a campaign are the vehicle's dimensions,

the passenger and cargo capacity, the type and range of sensors and weapons,

the presence of any special equipment ("the ATV has a winch", etc.), the fuel

requirements, the performance (range and speed), and the cost.

Any system which enables me to determine these stats, preferably in a simple,

"low math" and modular way (so I can design and add my own modules for the

setting specific stuff), and which provides me with some example vehicles to

compare my own designs to, would be most welcome.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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When I was in middle school, we played this scifi game called MANHUNTER by Myrmidon Press. I think RIFTS did a sourcebook for the setting at some point. Anyway, the game had really fun ship-building rules in which ships were represented by grids. Each system occupied one or more blocks in the grid. (Obviously, these structural grids were abstractions separate from deckplans). During ship combat, a successful hit would cause damage to whichever block was hit. During play, you earned money to upgrade ship systems etc. I think even the robot rules followed this model to a degree.

At any rate, a good vehicle/ship-building ruleset should be a fun mini-game unto itself, IMHO. :D

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In the AH RQ book 2 (Gamemasters Book), they had ship stats and rough combat guidelines. Would those work as a basis on what to make statistics like vehicles and spacecraft to be?

At a certain level, yes.

You could use the same principles, but would need to scale weapons accordingly. But having Hull Points and Structure Points works as well for spaceships as it does for sailing ships.

Combat would be a little different, though, as you would need some way of having special effects e.g. Systems Damage or Crew Damage on a normal hit.

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In the AH RQ book 2 (Gamemasters Book), they had ship stats and rough combat guidelines. Would those work as a basis on what to make statistics like vehicles and spacecraft to be?

To be honest, (and I'm so not a gear head) all I'd want in a set of vehicle rules that was any more detailed than the "statting gear" stuff in the BGB, would be a set of generic versions of those ship rules that covered most tech levels and vehicle types, ideally with some tweaks so they interface nicely with the chase rules from the BGB.

Actually, I think I started a set of starship rules like that at one point...

Cheers,

Nick

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For space vehicles, you would need different rules for vehicles that conform to something like the physics that we know and for vehicles that are "space opera" or "super science" so that you can just have them do anything convenient or cool.

My avatar is the personal glyph of Siyaj K'ak' a.k.a. "Smoking Frog."

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For space vehicles, you would need different rules for vehicles that conform to something like the physics that we know and for vehicles that are "space opera" or "super science" so that you can just have them do anything convenient or cool.

In other words, the Vehicle rules could vary dramatically depending upon the Setting of choice; especially for things in the SciFi arena.

SDLeary

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...you would need different rules for vehicles that conform to something like the physics that we know and for vehicles that are "space opera" or "super science" so that you can just have them do anything convenient or cool.

Couldn't this idea be taken up with vehicle modifications?

So you could have car, car with turbo charger, car with super charger, car with superturbo charger

Just like you would have space ship, space ship with FTL drive, space ship with wormhole portal generator, or space ship with antigravity.

You don't need different rules you need different gadgets. A standard space space ship (modern day, shuttle like) is the default template with all of its pitfalls and limitations, but you add to it an AntiGravity Conbobulator so you can do outrageous high G turns. The description of the AGC supplies the extra physics bending rules as a modular addon to the vehicle.

Just like a turbo charger would say something like '...increases overall top speed by 10%...'

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Couldn't this idea be taken up with vehicle modifications?

So you could have car, car with turbo charger, car with super charger, car with superturbo charger

Just like you would have space ship, space ship with FTL drive, space ship with wormhole portal generator, or space ship with antigravity.

You don't need different rules you need different gadgets. A standard space space ship (modern day, shuttle like) is the default template with all of its pitfalls and limitations, but you add to it an AntiGravity Conbobulator so you can do outrageous high G turns. The description of the AGC supplies the extra physics bending rules as a modular addon to the vehicle.

Just like a turbo charger would say something like '...increases overall top speed by 10%...'

I'm not sure there's a reasonable analogy for the difference between a space vehicle that complies with known laws of physics and a space opera type ship. Perhaps the closer analogy is that space opera vehicles are just mundane earth vehicles moving through space: the X-wing is a WWII fighter, the "space freighter" is just an oceangoing ship that moves between planets, and so forth. My main point is just that the two sorts of things are so different that overlap of relevant rules could be small.

A turbo charged car is still a land vehicle on rubber tires driven by an internal combustion engine. All the rules that apply to cars with normally aspirated engines apply to turbo-charged ones. A sailing ship and a steam powered ship are both vehicles moving on the water, but there need to be a lot of rules for how the sailing ship functions that are irrelevant to the steam ship: you don't care what direction the wind is, you don't care whether you have the weather gauge, etc. While you could call "steam engine and screws" an add-on to a sailing ship, it's really a vehicle whose fundamental operation is different, and for which a different set of rules would be relevant. And I would think that a sailing ship and a steam ship have a lot more in common than a "real" space vehicle and a space opera ship.

My avatar is the personal glyph of Siyaj K'ak' a.k.a. "Smoking Frog."

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Couldn't this idea be taken up with vehicle modifications?

I very much doubt it. For example, probably the most important stat for a "real

physics" starship with a reaction drive would be its delta-V, which is completely

irrelevant for a "fantastic physics" vehicle with a reactionless drive. Any system

written to enable the design of both types of starships, realistic and fantastic,

would need different formulas or at least different pre-calculated modules for

both types, it is not really possible to turn one into the other with a simple modi-

fication. A "fantastic" starship is not just a beefed-up version of a "realistic" star-

ship, it is a completely different animal, one could just as well try to modify a bal-

loon into a supersonic jet.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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You mean ... a dirigible-sized, one-stage, reusable rocketship with bubble canopy, dual forward ray guns, no discernible issues with lack of gravity, and only one seat (for the pilot; everyone else has to stand up, sorry) isn't feasible? But ... we installed the finest vacuum tubes money could buy! :(

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Thanks for all the info and opinions. Lets see if I can put this all together and see if I can come up with something that should cover most of what people want. Fee free to let me know if I missed something.

1) Guidelines for stating up real world vehicles.Why?

- It is heck of a lot easier for most of us to look up data on a 1977 Porsche Boxster 986, take the 240kph top speed and convert that to a MOV of 267 than it is to take a 1420 kg car, throw in a 150 kW engine and figure ouit what the top speed will be.

-Some people will want stats for existing vehicles for specific campaign settings. For instance, a 1920s CoC campaign would need stats for more than one car.

-Having some guidelines will make it easier to "eyeball" other vehicles, including fictitious ones. If you know your custom car is about as fast as a Boxster, you got a way to get a baseline MOV score.

-It gives up a common frame of reference to work with. That way one guy's writeup of a particular vehicle will have stats pretty much the same as another guy's writeup. That way each GM doesn't have to worry as much about who wrote up what and.

-Many vehicles in Sci Fi, Anime and Comic books, are given real world data in order to increase thier level of verisimilitude. Thius any guidelines that work for real vehicles should elp with imaginary ones. For example, if we know that an Avengers Quinjet is listed as having a Take off weight of 29000 lb, a top speed of Mach 2.1, and a total engine thrust of 36100lbs, we could use the guidelines to get game stats like this:

Quinjet

Skill: Pilot, Rated Speed: 50, Handling: +5%, ACC: 12, MOV 2858, Armor: 6/2, SIZ 72, Hit Points: 70, Crew: 1, Passsengers : 5

-Some consistent guidelines would give people to check up on game stats that look odd or are Obviously a typo. So if some idiot author (who I shall leave nameless to avoid self incrimination) gives a car an ACC of 87, anyone can look up the stats and work out if an 8 or 7 is the correct value.

2) Some sort of vehicle modification rules. Why?

-So people can customize things so they can do "road warrior" or superhero stuff. A simple way fopr people to figure out what happens if they add an inch of armor to thier car.

3) Super-vehicles.

Basically, a way to modify vehicles using the super powers. I see a couple of options here. This isn't too tough. We would just need to work out how some powers might apply to vheilces. Increased STR could up the vehicle's MOV, DEX allpy to handling and so on.

-First off, players could simply spend anyof thier hero points on thier vehicle.

-Secondly, characters could make some sort of skill roll to add some points to a vehicle. The more points the vehicle has, the harder it will be to modify.

4) A compendium of Vehicle Stats. Why?

- Whatever is already written up in already available for use. GM's and players don't have to do the work. Especially useful when you need stats during play and don't want to stop play and waste time to get the stats for a Porche.

-The more vehicles that are written up, the more data points we have to use as guidelines for new designs.

5) Vehicle Design/Construction Rules.

-This would allow us to write up stats for any sort of vehicle.

-Ideally, I think a "front end loader" approach would work best. What I mean by that is, like with some computer programs, there can be more than one method for designing vehicles, but all the methods would give similar (if not identical) results. That way we could have a quick and simple method for those who don't like a lot of complexity, and a more detailed method for those who want a higher degree of control and accuracy.

-The front end approach also ensure that the end user can be shielded from some of the math required. If we want to get decent stats, we need a method that is somewhat grounded is reality. At least for modern vehicles. Otherwise we risk "garbage in/garbage out" results.

6) Spaceship Design Rules.

-This should be generic, but capable of being adapted to any Sci-Fi setting, including Star Wars or Star Trek. For rather obvious reasons we can't do a Star Wars book without the rights (at least not if I hope to get this thing published). But with a good design system and maybe a Star Wars "plug-in" it should be possible for someone (even me

-Like the front end approach above, the spaceship stats should be the same/compatible with the other vehicle design stats, but thet could be stramlined to reflect the needs of Sci-Fi, and other stuff could be dropped, or simplified. For example, we probably wouldn't need spaceships of every SIZ value and could assign SIZ by type/function.

.

7) Cargo capacity, passenger accommodations, range, whether or not the vehicle has headlights, and other"fluff" data that could be useful in a game. Naturally, there must be some sort of cut off point to the level of detail. While I'm all for knowing the engine's power, STR rating, and how much weight something can carry, I don't want to get so involved as to work out the number of cup hiolders something has.

8) Rudimentary Weapon Design Rules

-Not much sense starting up WWII era tanks if we don't have the WWII era tank guns to go with them.

Does that look good?

Edited by Atgxtg

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

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You mean ... a dirigible-sized, one-stage, reusable rocketship with bubble canopy, dual forward ray guns, no discernible issues with lack of gravity, and only one seat (for the pilot; everyone else has to stand up, sorry) isn't feasible? But ... we installed the finest vacuum tubes money could buy! :(

Well, an "on" switch would have helped.

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

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