Thursday, 29 December 2011

Rogue Space - Vehicle construction and use

Following the posts on the transhuman warrior and equipment, here's a possible vehicle system. I've adapted a sample from the Empyre, the Nova armoured transport gyrocopter, or ATG.

I want these rules to reflect those for spacecraft, partly for symmetry, and partly so that if you know one, the other should need little learning and cause minimal slowdown. This is key given that Rogue Space is really about speed and improvisation, fast before fiddly.

In Rogue Space the basic profiles for characters and spacecraft form easy-to-remember acronyms - FASER and SHIPS - so with the vehicles I'm continuing this trend by using CHASE, standing for Compartments, Hardware, Armour, Speed and Engineering.


Vehicle construction follows the approach to ship construction, with Engineering taking the place of Structure as the overall total. The concept of the Location is also used; a Location is any one compartment, weapon, operable system or actual point of Speed.

Compartments: Capacity for crew and passengers is up to five human-sized individuals or the equivalent per point spent on Compartments, with the total points divided into any number of Locations. Each point allows one external hatch, door or ramp to be placed.

Hardware: Mounting capacity for weapons and operable systems is up to five per point spent on Hardware. This capacity may be distributed among weapons and other equipment at the cost of the Rating of the individual item (S=1, M=2, V=3 and X=4).

Armour: Armour may follow the approach for shielding or be represented by Protection as with body armour. If the latter, total Protection is 5 per point spent on Armour.

This Protection is allocated among Locations, but each nominal point of each Location must receive Protection, e.g. a compartment with three points of capacity may have an overall Protection of 4 only if a total Protection of 12 is allocated; if a Location had less than one point spent, it counts as having one for the purpose of allocating Protection.

Speed: The usual maximum movement rate of a vehicle is 5' per second, raised to the power of the number of nominal points spent on Speed, e.g. two nominal points spent on Speed = 52' = 5 x 5' = 25', while three nominal points spent = 53' = 5 x 5 x 5' = 125'.

However, to represent mass, for every full 10 points of Engineering above 10 the cost in actual points for each nominal point of Speed rises by one, e.g. a vehicle with 35 points of Engineering pays three actual points to move at up to 5', or six to move at up to 25'.

A vehicle with two or more nominal points spent on Speed may also skim terrain, while a vehicle with three either skims or flies, and a vehicle with four or more must fly. The GM may set a maximum number of nominal points which may be spent on Speed.

The additional speed provided by each nominal point is a speed band; a vehicle may accelerate or decelerate by no more than one band per turn, e.g. a vehicle moving between 625' and 125' may decelerate to between 125' and 25' in the next turn.

Engineering: Given the mutual dependency of Speed and Engineering, construction may be simpler if a range is set for Engineering before spending on other attributes.

Movement and combat

Vehicle movement and combat can follow the rules for ship movement and combat, with the GM deciding how many and which of the various individual rules and options to use.

Alternatively, a vehicle can be thought of as a combination of its crew, with a) the crew moving together at the vehicle's speed, b) each able to drive / pilot or operate one item of hardware, or perform any other action, using the appropriate Attribute in each case, and c) receiving the Protection for the Location in which they are located. Systems may be integrated at the discretion of the GM, e.g. to allow the driver / pilot control of a weapon.

Under the Protection approach, a Location has 5 HP per nominal point spent on it; if a Location had less than one point spent, it counts as having one for this purpose. Loss of a full 5 HP from a Location is the loss of one point and the benefits of the Location are reduced by the same. Loss of HP may alternate between a Location and its occupants or affect the occupants only when a threshold is crossed, at the discretion of the GM.

Attackers may target individual Locations, the GM deciding difficulty based on facing, size and range; difficulty level could be based on facing and size, modifier on range.

The optional rules for ammo, charge, overhauls and armour degradation may be applied.

Nova ATG Mk. III

The Nova armoured transport gyrocopter is a light skimmer used across the Empyre to deliver human forces into battle. The Mk. III is a heavily-armed assault variant deployed chiefly on raids against armoured columns, defence lines and the larger war machines.

C     25%    [1]   Cabin (max. 3 crew, top hatch)  [3]  Hold (max. 12 pass., front ramp, rear ramp)
H     10%    [1]   1 Mini Rocket Launcher     [1]  1 Mini Rocket Launcher
A     35%    [8]   C: 4, 5  H: 1, 1  S: 3 
S     30%    [6]   125', skims
E     100%    20

All thoughts are welcome. The free downloads are here, news goes up at Rogue Space and there's more material on the way there and at Swords & Stitchery and Hereticwerks.

Update: This has been reorganised, revised and expanded for Rogue Transmission #1.



Fenway5 said...

FANTASTIC! I am really impressed with your work on this and how well it bolts right on to Rogue Space core rules and philosophy! Brilliant sir!

Porky said...

Thanks very much, but I can't take all the credit of course - it's really down to the framework and suggestion in the existing materials. It's easy to get inspired. The hardest thing was knowing when to stop.

Again, not all of this is useable as is just because the construction refers partly to the way you did things with ships, and potentially also the approach to movement and combat. If you think there's any tweaking needed, just let me know or go right ahead - I don't want to tread on your toes, and projects like this can also benefit from some kind of editorial force, a guiding vision, someone to set practical limits.

For the future I'm thinking some extra pieces of tech and some more variation on the ATG idea, maybe a modular ground vehicle. It could also be worth setting out a human trooper starting character to go with the the transhuman. There'd likely be no change to the core approach, just a note on Warrior being the Archetype and a list of equipment options, so in that sense it's not absolutely necessary. We could look at those possible sub-Archetypes for paths, or just offer slight variations for militia, conscript and professional.

I'm still pondering what we could do as regards specific locations too. I haven't written any background for the human empire beyond what's in the Nova blurb, and I quite like the idea of it being built up in small snippets like that and maybe being written up more fully later based on everything to date. I don't have any real thoughts on the larger picture, and I'm guessing you might have something in mind to match the materials so far. If so, just go right ahead and I'll make what I do fit that.

Fenway5 said...

@Porky-Please let me know how to email you a draft copy of the core rules book, while un-edited at this point, it may help answer questions or provide more guidance.

The Pocket Mod format is great for building snippets as they strike you, and focuses one on creating "just the facts" material. So Nova Empire, and vehicles or even a Sub Archtype addition are all perfect candidates!

Needles said...

Very lovely guys! I've got to get through the rules on Saturday & I'll be turning out more stuff soonish!