Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Rogue Space - Splinter Shield

I haven't done very much for Rogue Space lately, so here's a field type I came up with a while ago inspired by the Shields Shall be Splintered! rule.

Splinter Shield

A splinter shield projector is a compact device based on the coalescence technologies developed in Oboric planar travel, initially adapted to the Chargers of Rrrn Y. It is often worked into a chestplate or pendant and converts kinetic energy into shards of matter.

An individual with a splinter shield gains 1 point of Protection against ranged attacks, a hit from which sprays the area with apical shards: for each point of Damage caused by the hit, the radius of this area is 5' and there is a 1 in 6 chance of each target within it - except the individual protected - being struck by an attack doing 1D3 points of Damage.

For example, if 4 points of Damage are caused by a ranged attack, anyone up to 20' from the individual protected is hit on a roll of 1-4 on 1D6, suffering if so 1D3 Damage.

In addition, if the total Damage done by a ranged attack is 6 points or more, the shield fails after the hit is resolved, collapsing into 2D6 splinters, each with the following profile.
                                                                                                                              

 Coalesced splinter      -     S      Brittle: one use; wielder loses first 1 HP if any Dam.
                                                                                                                              

There's a bigger, nominally Rogue Space project on the way too, involving the excellent Lithus Sector, and from here the Trippies and Orəq especially. I'll be trailing that soon...

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5 comments:

M. Jared Swenson said...

I like it. I also read the article by trollsmyth that you linked. Generally in my games with shields i would give them a set amount of punishment they can absorb, like HP. This could be true for melee shields or energy shields. They shield would have a blocking power of 10 points, and if you choose to use the shield, you take the damage from it instead of your own health. So someone hits you for 4 points you take it out of your shield and now it has 6 points remaining. If an attack exceeds the remainder, it destroys the shield and you subtract the remaining points from the damage and you take the rest. A lifesaver. For energy shields you could make a recharge rule, that if you give it a minute to rest, it restores a few points, or just rule that the punishment your shield takes is energy drained from its battery.

garrisonjames said...

Interesting...but what happens in a closely packed fire-team of four hyper-mercs, each equipped with one of these shields, when said team comes under fire and their shields start pinging one another with shards? The escalation of damage could be catastrophic...unless there is some provision, or failsafe built-in to prevent exponential feed-back loopage. Of course, this could also be a desirable feature in certain extreme circumstances, much as the Holtzman Effect was sometimes used as an improvised weapon in Dune, or how certain Starfleet officers jury-rigged communicators to explode...

Is there a way to deconvert apical shards into kinetic energy? If so, then you have just invented a wicked-nasty hyper-explosive, as well as a truly interesting energy-storage medium that might be just the thing for making battledress or mechs a bit more efficient...

Very interesting idea. Whomever these planar-traveling Obors are, they possess some seriously game-changing capabilities with this mysterious coalescence technology...and that is very welcome indeed! Looking forward to more details!

Porky said...

@ M. Jared Swenson - That rating makes good sense. I'll generally avoid numbers for it, but I do aim to take into account material type, age and ambient conditions over time, to have wood say rotting away in boggier lands or cracking in dry heat. It's a question of recording or deep concentration on the variables. I think how much we consider really depends on system type, party size and players, just how much expectation and scope there is for it in play. To be honest, I'm worried this is already overly detailed for Rogue Space - so far we've all been pretty good at keeping it simple, but I'm letting myself get a bit too baroque here.

Re the recharge, one of the posts I've had at the back of my mind for a large part of the history of the blog is a listing and diagram of the elements in field nature, aspects of behaviour and performance that can be considered and tweaked in designing tech or modding existing options. Capacity and recharge rate are definitely in there, and in theory can be added to pretty much any field in any system that doesn't already cover them. Have a look at the way Gotthammer deals with fields in Firezone - it's moderately detailed, but he keeps it simple and clear in presentation.

@ garrisonjames - That potential trouble for friends is all part of the deal, and it could be over pretty quick if a team with these got stuck in a tight corner. I see those Chargers as high impact assault troops, and this particular shield would be best turned on by someone in an equivalent role, or taking point or on a flank. I'm not assuming any particular availability here, but this is the kind of thing I'd make a rarer item, more likely to be found by chance in a weirder place.

Re the conversion back to kinetic energy, yes indeed - I'd allow it to be explored without a doubt, and with thinking like that I'd be happy to have you in my adventuring party, any system, any setting.

As for the Obors, they need some fleshing out for sure, and after all this time between planes that's no metaphor...

Also, for anyone wondering, 'apical' is a real-world word.

garrisonjames said...

It might be interesting to equip a solo-skirmisher with one of these shields and then drop them right into the middle of an enemy formation. What glorious havoc one could then inflict upon all those enemies thinking that they have your unit surrounded, when in effect, the shield just made them their own worst enemy...returning any attack as an area effect of escalating reflected damage...

Makes one look for a good sniper and the right counter-measure to neutralize one of these units right quick...before thy mow through and decimate the ranks in a panic-inspiring muddle of chaos, confusion and ricochets...

Fun little toy...

Porky said...

It makes me think that while we see a lot of fields in gaming, we don't so often see dedicated counter-measures like jammers, or means of distorting or otherwise interacting with the bubble. Some of the possible results could be nasty, and with a field like this that kind of device might be used to trigger releases or sculpt the matter it produces. Maybe the projector itself could be played around with to get a similar effect, more directional say.