A question about armor and vehicles


I like the idea of cards for ships because the bigger the ship the longer the turn radius. Thats why the Titanic hit that iceburg even though they knew about it, you just can't turn on a dime. If the Titanic had been a jet ski they could have done a 180 in a couple seconds and the iceberg wouldn't have been an issue.

I'd represent the different sizes of ship by how many cards are on their track. All ships would add 1 card to the end of their track and turn over and move what's under the first card in their stack. That way the smallest nimble ships with a 1 card track maneuver immediately whereas a super large barge with a 4 card track is performing the maneuver input 4 rounds previously.

What I'm describing makes naval combat a mini game, but I think it's this minigame that makes it feel different.

For something quicker like dogfighting, the key word be to represent getting behind your target and staying there while you line up your shot. For that I'd go with something akin to the grapple rules where you have a neutral (not grappled), Advantaged (Grappled), or Targeted (Pinned) states. I'd probably make it a series of opposed piloting checks to "grapple" or escape, allowing actual shots to be taken when the opponent becomes targeted.

log in or register to remove this ad


The Question
When do you switch between these two modes?

Iron Man wears armor. I figure it gives him AC or DR, but it's still Tony Stark's hit points that determine if he's able to keep fighting. You can knock him out without having to destroy the armor. And if Pepper Potts is in the armor, it still protects her, but she's probably got fewer HP.

If Tony gets into the Hulkbuster armor, that's much bigger. Is it still giving him AC or DR? Or does it now have its own HP total? Can you defeat Tony without destroying the armor?

Ages ago, Polyhedron magazine had a d20 Modern mini-game called "Mecha Crusade" where the mechs gave the PCs additional hit points (and an improved defence). Fundamentally, though, the hit point total came from the PC - so a more skilled pilot effectively made the 'ship' both harder to hit and more resilient to damage. Given that at least some portion of hit points represents plot immunity, that made a lot of sense to me.

That being the case, my preferred approach would be that 'small' vessels (those that can be piloted by a single individual) should take their hit points and AC primarily from the capabilities of the pilot, while 'large' vehicles should be essentially fixed, with perhaps only a small modification for the quality of the crew.

(That also has the useful effect of explaining why Luke's X-Wing can be hit three times yet remain almost entirely functional, Wedge is disabled but not destroyed by one hit, and most of the other pilots are killed outright by one hit.)

However, I'm not aware of any current RPG that adopts such an approach.

An Advertisement