Saturday, February 18, 2012

Space Combat System

So basically the last post didn't get it's intended result. While I did end up getting some work done, I actually ended up finally drawing out most of my combat system for a savage worlds space game. Mainly I didn't feel too great about the system they had implemented, so I drew up a different one. I feel like this one grants a lot more dynamic and interesting system for four plus players in one ship.

Roughly put, each system and facing on a ship has a different damage record. For simplicities sake I'm restricting the facings to fore, aft and starboard. If this seems too few, I'll switch things around and add a top and bottom. Also there is the core and system which can be targeted by another ship.

Attacking a ship is simply a matter of determining which side is facing you, then targeting a side or system based on that. Targeting a side facing you has no penalty, targeting a side at 90 degrees grants a -2, targeting a system is -4 and targeting the core is -8. Targeting the core is targeting the weak innards, while targeting the side is not caring if you hit the armor plating which will absorb a degree of damage based on the classification of ship and type of armor. Once the armor is gone, targeting the core is the same as targeting the side the armor was on. Damage can blow through the armor and into the core if the hit is strong enough to do more damage than the armor has health.

Systems follow a different set of health, each system is in one of five states, finely tuned, normal, damaged, disabled, destroyed. Finely tuned when damaged goes straight to damaged however, and does not grant in effect extra HP, it instead grants protection against malfunction and bonuses to managing its features, such as alternate ammo, granting extra power and whatnot.

The core is the squishy bit. Once you start taking damage there, you better hope you are wearing an environment suit. Each time the core takes damage it causes one of three effects, fire, vacuum and system damage.

Fire results in a chance of more damage, crew damage and general inability to repair in that area till fire is out. Putting out fire requires a repair roll, there are also automated systems which if powered will put out fire automatically.

Vacuum sucks people out into space. If you aren't in a vacuum suit, then you're dead, or a robot, but most likely dead. Repairs here require getting out of the ship and patching the hole. Nothing can be repaired in that section till the vacuum is sealed. On the bright side however, there is no ongoing damage. There are automated systems just like for fire, which if powered will automatically seal such breached parts of the ship.

System Damage means stuff starts breaking. If you're lucky it's only things like engines, guns or special computers. If you're unlucky that includes life support, power grid and generators. If life support or generators go out, you may as well have had a full ship breach into the vacuum, cause it's going to be a long suffocating death.

I've also established baselines for average ship capabilities. This means that if I want to have five destroyers come in and do something, I can either slightly modify the destroyer's capabilities or just leave them stock as I wish, and still be within a consistent ballpark.

Finally, I feel like I've come up with the ability to make all the necessary skills per role narrow down to two skills. This I feel is important because I don't want to force the players to invest extremely heavily into large amounts of skills, then find themselves screwed for the ability to do things on the ground, or during events inside the ship. Even better, most of the skills could be used on the ground as well.

Pilots have pilot and knowledge (Navigation). Pilot is used for chasing, and performing attack and evasive maneuvers. It helps the pilot set course and facing in combat. Knowledge navigation is used for managing extra power granted by the engineer and setting long courses, such as plotting jumps, getting used to new navigation systems, analyzing problems with navigation systems or knowing destinations.

Engineers use repair and knowledge (Engineering). Repair is used for repairing, enhancing systems and bolstering systems. Knowledge engineering is for diagnosing problems, identifying parts, systems or ships and for managing power.

Gunners use shooting and knowledge (weapon systems). Shooting lets you shoot accurately. Knowledge weapon systems lets you use special targeting, manage power and manage ammo types.

Science uses Notice and Knowledge (Astrophysics). Notice is used for scanning and identifying basic information using scanners, they are the eyes for this ship as space is big and ships are small. Knowledge astrophysics is just a name, it mainly applies to performing electronic warfare, allocating sensor power and marking targets.

There is no captain role. This means that any one of the four roles can act as captain. Really it might as well be just taking some social skills to be captain. When there are four people in a ship, you can't really waste hands on sitting there looking pretty.

Since there are four different roles, this means a few things. Firstly, odds are only gunners will be attacking, I tried to offset this disadvantage by allowing the science, engineering and pilot abilites that can either boost or penalize the shooting ability and defenses of the ship, and perhaps even boost or penalize the enemy ship. I'm very interested in how this plays out, and whether or not this will keep the players interested. One positive benefit I see is that if each player does only one thing, rounds may go faster as each player does not need to worry about positioning, attack and other abilities and modifiers, just one particular role.

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