Space Ship Rules
All piece of equipment (PoE from now on) have things in common.
Power describes how much power it requires to function at normal capacity. This power is subtracted from the engine’s total power output, lowering the total power the engine can supply to other systems. If a piece of equipment is ever installed without the proper power being available the equipment will not be able to function, unless power is diverted from other systems (see Maneuvers and Merits). It is possible to install a PoE undercharged, if at least half the power rounded up is available.
Power is a fluid thing on a space ship, and it can be freely diverted among PoE at any given time. Undercharge describes the effect a particular PoE will suffer while in undercharge mode. Undercharge is considered to be half the energy required to power the device normally (rounded up). To undercharge a system, the Undercharge Maneuver is used.
As a PoE can be undercharged, so can it be overcharged. Overcharge is defined as double the normal power required for normal operation of the PoE. These effects are almost always positive, but sometimes can come with risks such as overloading the PoE. To overcharge a system, the Overcharge maneuver is used.
Systems & Hubs
All spaceships require certain automated logic centers known as Hubs, that govern certain systems on the ship. Hubs are usually located in the depths of the ship, surrounded with heavy armor as they are critical points of the ships brain. If a hub of a certain system is damaged, that system no longer functions.
LIFE SUPPORT (required)
The most basic hub is Life Support, which governs the Life Support Systems. This includes oxygen scrubbing and production, atmosphere generation and temperature regulation. If the Life Support Hub is damaged, the ship will lose it’s most valuable system, and the crew has only ten minutes (modified by proximity to suns) before the oxygen goes bad and the temperatures become unhealthy. This usually means it’s time for escape, or in extreme cases to put on space suits and continue on.
Physical security is the Hub that governs the Internal Security Systems. This includes turrets or other defenses (if available), as well as locks and bulk door control. This means that when a P Security hub is disabled, all defenses become useless, locks no longer function and doors are left in whichever state they were (though manual overrides are now available, meaning anybody an simply walk through) and in case of depressurization bulk doors cannot be closed (automatically, still can be sealed manually) to seal off the effect parts of the ship.
Virtual Security is the Hub that governs the Cyber Defenses Systems. V Security Hubs have a defense rating, which is the automated protection it offers from viruses and other cyber based attacks. This hub’s effectiveness can be increased by manning it with a Cyber Security Officer, which will offer a bonus equal to his computer skill. A cyber attack has a attack rating. The defense rating is subtracted from this, and if the number is still above 0 that is the number of rounds a given effect will effect a ship. If this Hub is damaged, all cyber attacks freely effect the ship for the maximum amount of rounds.
Navigation Hubs govern the ship’s Navigational Systems. This includes thrusters, navigational computers, and DMC Drives. If this hub is destroyed, the ship may not move and it is doomed to continue it’s current speed and momentum in the direction it moved last (as space drift applies).
Many ships have defensive hubs, that govern the ships Defense Systems. This is anything that helps the ship physically defend itself, from Shields to counter measure turrets. When this hub is damaged all defensive systems stop to function.
Ships that are equipped with weapons have an Offensive Hub that deals with the ships Offense Systems. This includes all weapons the ship has, and anything else that causes damage or harm to others. This Hub can be boosted (much like V Security) by the presence of Fire teams, which assist the computer in dealing with threats. The max amount of people in a fire team depends on the number of weapons installed. Every person that helps adds their firearms score to the total roll for the space ship.
Sensors are the eyes and ears of every ship, and Sensor Hubs govern all such Systems. If a Sensor hub is damaged, a ship is blinded and must rely on human eyes to navigate.
Not every ship has a Utility Hub, as it governs secondary PoE that are not critical but grant the ship bonuses, abilities or other positive effects. This includes signal scramblers, stealth devices, cargo cranes etc. If this hub is disabled all those PoEs will stop to function.
All spaceship have this in common. Every ship needs to move, or else it’s just a floating metal box. Navigation is defined by a ships thrusters in short distances, and DMC Drive for long distances. Note that space drift is not an issue, as counter thrusters and dampeners eliminate this, though it can be forced.
In space navigation, (and when determining the power of a thruster or UMC Drive) there is a system of measurements used different from anywhere else because of the gigantic scale most space ships operate in. The system is metric, and therefore easy to understand. 1 micro AU (mAU) (this is what each square on the board represents) is the smallest unit of measurement, and most ships have their speed defined in this space. 10 mAU make 1 decro AU (dAU) and 100 dAU make 1 AU.
Thrusters are used for small scale movement and navigation. Thrusters rely on the ships Navigational System, which is operated from the Nav Hub (see Systems & Hubs). Depending on the thruster type, it may either drain a large or small amount of power. Thrusters are one of the few PoE that can be operated on a Throttle. The power of a thruster is considered to be at 100% output, but often a ship does not wish to move that much. Therefore when a ship moves slower than it’s max speed, the same percentage of power is conserved and in the Power Pool. (so if you have a speed 10 mAU and only move 5 mAU you get 50% of the power back in your pool for that round). Because of this, power may be spent ahead of time when it is declared that only a certain amount of power is required for the next move. If power is spent in access of what the thrusters require, the ship may only move as there is power left in the system (rounded up).
DMC units are used for large scale navigation through hyper space. All DMC units are marked with SUT, which stands for Spin up Time. This is the amount of time in turns that it requires for a DMC unit to be spun up and ready for hyper space to be activated. While a DMC spins up, no other navigational system may be accessed unless specified by the DMC as the DMC requires the full attention of the Nav Hub. This means that DMCs have large power costs, and they do not function unless the exact amount power is filtered into the system. All drives also have a Jump Distance, which is how far they can remain in hyper space before having to return to flush it’s vents. Flushing takes triple the spin up time, but is usually fairly quick.
Space is a mostly frictionless place, which means that once an object accelerates to a speed it will continue on that course forever unless it’s force is somehow diminished. All modern spaceships have counter thrusters and dampeners that keep Space Drift from occurring, however it is possible to force a ship’s counter systems to not stop a ship if Space Drift is desirable. It is a commonly used tactic, and it causes a ship move it’s last round’s speed in the direction previously traveled every round. This means power can be pulled from nav systems and moved to more critical systems, however this also leaves a ship on a possible collision course, as well as making it’s movement predictable.
There is a variety of ship to ship weapons, so many it would be impossible to go into every single one, however ship weapons are grouped into several categories making it easier to define them. All weapons have a damage stat that is added to the offense pilot roll (only one roll for all weapons unless there’s fire teams) and Range which is the standard rage unit a weapon can fire in. Range can be doubled for a -2 and tripled for a -4.
These weapons focus mainly on Rapidly dispersing bullets, with little thought to accuracy or range. These weapons usually have short range, and small damage compared to other offensive weaponry, however their low power cost makes them highly attractive for bundeling up. Most Rapid Fire Weapons also require Ammo. (see Ammunition) These weapons cannot use the Target maneuver.
Precise Fire weapons are used when accuracy is key. Precise fire weapons are used for the target maneuver, giving them increased damage to deal damage to a ship’s systems. These weapons often require Ammo (see Ammunition), but not always. Their range is medium to long, as they are the highest accuracy weapons available.
Propelled Fire is any weapon that has a propellant system of it’s own, such as missiles. Propelled fire weapons often come with target seeking features, insuring it finding it’s target. These weapons are often explosive, however they are also used to implant viruses or cause a variety of effects. The Target maneuver cannot be used, unless the weapon does not have Target Seeking.
Cyber Weapons are not always physical weapons, but usually signals and transmissions targeted at another ship. These weapons have to defeat a ship’s V Security before their effects are applied. These weapons can cause a variety of effects from overloading systems, to destroying hubs or causing special effects such as removing power. These weapons cannot use the Target Maneuver.
The biggest guns among space ship weaponry are cannons. This category contains heavy weapons such as Mass Drivers, Particle Accelerators and Meteor Launchers. These weapons can use the Target Maneuver.
DMC weapons are not common, as they are still in experimental stages. These weapons usually require a high amount of power and often have a chance to cause damage to the ship itself. Such weapons can create strange effects such as artificial black holes, drop ships into hyperspace or cause temporal shifts freezing ships in time. These weapons are usually not targeted, but if they are then the Target Maneuver can be used.
All Ships have various ways of defending themselves from damage, but there is more to defense than that. Ships have different stress tracks that cause different issues when depleted, which are described below.
Counter Measure – A ship’s counter measure track is made up of all of a ships counter measure equipment scores added together. The most common of these is shields, which protects the ship from physical harm through a variety of different methods. There is also counter lasers, emp pulses etc, all of which are just added to the same pool for ease of use. Note that the benefit of this stress track is to protect the often weak Hull of a ship, as the Hull Track is not touched until the Counter Measure track is depleted. If the last three boxes of the track are marked as damaged, a penalty of -1 -2 -3 is applied to the ship’s power score as systems are overloading causing power to be drained in excess(note disabling the shield can circumvent this). An attack that causes more damage then there is counter measure rolls over into Hull Damage. Counter Measure tracks regenerate, but the rate is based on the equipment. The PoE with the slowest recharge rate is what determines the recharge rate of all. Certain Weapons may circumvent this track, though those will be specially marked.
Hull – Every ship has a Hull score that represents it’s Hull integrity and armor. This is the base score to use, and it is often bolsters with additional armor plating. If such exists, add all Hull modifying PoEs together to come up with the final stress track score. Note that the Hull track is not touched until the Counter Measure Track is depleted. Once the Hull begins to take damage, most crews abandon ship, as things become nasty from here. Ships that posses a P Security hub will take care of depressurization and therefore that’s not an issue, however if the P Security hub is down, the ship is pretty much doomed immediately after it’s first Hull Damage. Otherwise, damage is just as normal. The Hull will resist a certain amount of physical damage before being destroyed. While the Hull is exposed, enemies may decide to make called shots to the various hubs to disable certain parts of the ship without destroying it. If a hub is targeted, the damage doen to the hub translates to hull damage. When a Hull reaches 1/2 of it’s stress track in damage, many critical systems on the ship will begin to fail and power output is effectively halved. This means that systems will have to be shuffled around in order to keep the ship operational. When the stress track reaches 3 away from the maximum it can take, the ship is considered to be disabled. All systems are failing, except life support which is on Emergency Power (See Emergency Power). If the Hull is completely destroyed the ship explodes.
Hull Repair and Upkeep – If a Hull takes damage, it can be repaired at Space Ports for a fee, or by mechanics on the crew. This is an extended intelligence+crafts roll, with each roll taking 6 hours. Each success repairs 1 hull damage to the ship. Note that the Story Teller may rule that supplies may need to be purchased, since metal is required to patch hulls. During Combat a crew can also attempt to upkeep a damaged hull to get it through a battle. During combat engineers and mechanics group together and roll their highest wits+crafts roll. This is considered an instant action, and each success reduces incoming damage to the Hull by however many successes were achieved in the next round.
Crew – The Crew track is a track that is completely separated from the others. Only special weapons can damage the crew, such as boarding parties or barb Rockets. When a Crew takes damage, it is considered to be the Personell on the board suffering wounds and trauma. When this stress track reaches the last 3 boxes, a ship is considered disabled as the crew is no longer capable of operating it, however still alive. If all crew boxes are filled, the crew is killed and the ship is ready for taking. The Crew track is the number of people required to operate a ship, plus fire teams or Cyber Officers currently manning their posts.
Sensors are the eyes and ears of ships, and probably one of the most important pieces of equipment on board. They don’t just allow a ship to see however, many sensors also offer special abilities such as being able to see through stealth shielding or identifying a ship.
Light detection and Ranging is the main sensor of every ship, and required for a ship to be space worthy. LAdar shoots out invisible spectrum light which then reflects and returns to the ship, as well as outside light that is collected. This creates a field of view all around the ship, the range of which is demonstrated by a LAdar’s Range Stat. Only things within that field can be “seen” and if an object leaves the field the ship is blind to it’s actions. Certain LAdars allow to be focused in addition to area of effect, which allows a ship to double it’s LAdar score, but only into one direction while being blind to all other directions. If a ship is stealth or using some other form of anti-detection technology, a ship has to roll Sensors to see if it can detect it or not. Any ship that is not stealthed and enters the field of view is immediately detected by the ship’s computer and the crew is then alerted.
Long Range Sensors
A variety of long range sensors exist, that allow a ship to “see” an incredible distance. One such example is particle fusion transmissions, which move through a particle slip stream rather than through space, allowing a ship to view fields of view incredibly far away. A ship designates it’s target and then actives it’s long range senors, after which rolling it’s Sensor score. Long Range Sensors are inaccurate and often hard to focus, so the a Story Teller sets a difficulty of the place to be viewed based on factors such as: Sun spots, solar winds, dark zones, stealth fields etc. If the Sensor score is higher than the score needed, the ship can effectively view the area, otherwise the sensor read is too blurred or vague to make out anything.
This is a newly emerging technology, in which millions of tiny robotic probes are released into a field around the ship. These probes then relay visual date back to the ship for digestion. Feeler probes are not perfected yet however, and at this point can only really be used to discern an object is present, but not as much the visuals of that object. That means that the user can roll Sensors in order to detect the presence of objects in the surrounding area, however not what those objects may be. However Probes make up for that by having a much larger range than LAdar, though it is no recommended for them to be used without it.
There is literally millions of Sensor enhancers on the market, all of which are devices that augment specific sensor types, rather than being sensors themselves. Examples of that are Infrared Measure Devices, that will add a measure of heat to LAdar read outs or S Field Detectors that add bonuses to Sensors for detecting stealthed ships.
Many weapons on a ship require ammunition to fire, such as rapid fire weapons. However instead of purchasing large amounts of ammunition and storing it all, all weapons on a ship use one of three types of ammo. Matter Ammo, is a large block of composite material that is rapidly “shaved” and ammo produced, then send to the weapons. This means every gun that uses physical ammo uses the same source, and thus Matter ammo is one of the three scores. It is represented by a dots, and after every battle you simply subtract one dot from the total. This means that counting bullets is not an issue during battles. A story teller may rule that a dot of ammo must be spent when a battle has gone on a long time, as he can rule that ammo does not need to be reduce because little to no ammo was used. Similar to that is Energy Ammo, which is simply a large stock of special Energy that is supplied to every energy weapon. The rules are the same for energy weapons, though as those are much rarer, the story teller should specifically tell the group when a dot must be used. The final type is Special Ammo, which is ammo for any kind of launcher weapon, such as missles. This ammo is listed and counted. So if you hae 4 Hellfire Rockets and 100 spider missles and your launcher can fire 8 at a time, you can reduce any of the scores by 8.
A ship does not have an initiative score, but rather the highest score of the crew is used, since human reaction time is still needed in order to move quickly. Other than that initiative works much the same way as in normal combat.
Much like willpower, Quality is what Space Ships have to even the odds. Two ships could look exactly the same, but one was build with much finer tools and resources, thus making a far superior ship. Quality is a score that is defined on a per ship basis, that can be augmented with certain equipment. Using Quality gives +3 to a dice pool, as the ship’s superior design and construction give it an edge in combat.
Flexibility describes a ships ability to adapt and overcome many different situations. Flexibility in combination with the crew’s highest pilot skill is rolled to achieve Maneuvers.
Evasion is the ability of a ship’s computers to evade incoming attacks, usually via movement. Evasion comes with each ship, and a pilot’s pilot skill is added. The total is subtracted from all incoming fire, except weapons that specifically state they cannot be evaded, such as seeking weaponry.