Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Little Diversion

So you know how there's only 21 double 6 dominoes in a complete set? They get rid of all the repeated pairs so that leaves you with every valid combination.

We all know 2d10 can be used to generate numbers from 00 to 99, 3d10 could do 000 to 999, and so on. More than a few game systems use 2d6 to generate similar results, pairing from 1,1 to 6,6 for a grand total of 36 combination.

If you add the result of 2d6 you get a combination and a bell curve of results. 2, 3, 11 and 12 show up 1 time each. 4, 5, 9 and 10 show up 2 times each and 6, 7 and 8 show up 3 times each.

In case you forgot mathematics, and statistics in particular, makes a distinction between permutations and combinations:

A permutation is when order doesn't matter: like rolling 4 and 6 adding them and getting 10 or rolling  6 and 4 then adding to get 10. Either way there's a 6 and a 4 and the sum is 10.
A combination is when order DOES matter like when you roll 4 and 6 on a matrix and there's 2 completely different results at cells 4,6 and 6,4.

So if we add 2d6 you get a bell curve of results, if you do pairs you can get 36 possible permutations and even better if you do pairs that discard repetitions you can have 21 results.

What the hell are you going to do with 21 results? Well, if you've forgotten your d20 you can use 2d6 instead. Assuming you have 2d6 to begin with...

So take a look at this little chart and follow along:

 

6
5
4
3
2
1
6
20





5
19
14




4
18
13
9



3
17
12
8
5


2
16
11
7
4
2

1
15
10
6
3
1
!

Roll 2d6 and pair them up, but always put the higher die first. Say you roll a 5 and a 4. Find the 5 column along the top row and then look across in the 4 row. There's a 13 in the box where they meet. I stuck an exclamation point in the 1,1 box to represent, I dunno, a seriously awesome critical hit or really awful critical failure. Or you could have 1 - 21 in the chart. Or you could put 21 treasures, or 21 weapons, or 21 whatevers in the chart.It's fun, easy and kinda neat. Just roll 2d6 and always put the high die first.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

You can never have too many guns.


The combat system I've promised you works simply, abstractly and in a few steps. It works by comparing the combined PW of weapons being used against the ST rating of the target. Divide PW by ST to get a decimal value, rounded to the nearest tenth. Anything over 1.0 or less than 0.2 is given its own column on the CRT.

Once you have calculated the ratio, find that column on the CRT and roll 1d6. Cross reference both results and get the result from the table. Each result gives the damage sustained by the target ship.

  • - = No damage taken
  • S = Structural damage taken. Multiply the total PW of the attack by the ratio calculated for the attack. Subtract this result from the target's ST rating.
  • C, 2C, 3C = Target takes a critical hit. A major system on the ship has taken damage and the ship's combat effectiveness is lessened. If a number is given before the C the target takes that many critical hits. More on critical damage later.
  • X = Target destroyed catastrophically. Nothing but debris left.

An Example of Combat: Two warships from clashing factions meet in the dark alley of space. The Federated Federation of Federations Federation ship the FFFF-Stiletto (a Destroyer rated at ST 56 with 2x 20PW laser particle cannons and 5x 1PW K-cannons for a total PW of 45) slides into position for a broadside against the Commoner's Commonwealth of UnCommon Gentlemen, Birds and Beasts cruiser the NSS-Tribbleation (a cruiser rated at ST75 with 4x 10PW Blasers and 60x 20PW Bloton Torpedoes for a total of 60PW)

The Stiletto comes fast out of the shadow of an asteroid catching the Tribillation by surprise. The Trib's crew barely has time to get its combat shields up before Captain Dirk the Daring gives the order to fire full broadsides on his prey. All 45PW worth of weapons is brought to bear against the FCC-Tribillation's ST of 75. 45/75 = .6 (quite neatly I might add, no need for rounding) and the die is cast. The result is a 3 and the result is found in the .6 column of the CRT, an S. The Tribillation suffers structural damage. Since the Stiletto used 45 points of PW with a .6 ratio the Tribillation takes 45x0.6= 27 points of structural damage.
With only 48 points of ST remaining, Lord Admiral Nutrake of the Tribillation has a serious decision to make in the next pass...fight or flight?

Tune in next week for the next exciting episode in this cliffhanger space battle! Will I turn the tables or will the Tribillation be no more trouble for the Federated Federation of Federations Federation?

Here's that CRT you'll be needing.


PW/ST
Die
roll
< .2
.2
.3
.4
.5
.6
.7
.8
.9
1
>.1
1
-
-
-
S
S
S
S
S
S
C
C
2
-
-
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
C
2C
3
-
S
S
S
S
S
C
C
S
2C
2C
4
S
S
S
S
C
C
C
C
2C
2C
3C
5
S
S
C
C
C
C
C
2C
2C
3C
X
6
S
S
C
C
C
2C
2C
2C
3C
X
X
  
S = structural damage only C = one critical hit 2C = 2 critical hits 3C = 3 critical hits
- = no damage X = destroyed

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Missiles and mines

So I think I got this figgered out.

Mines and missiles have the potential to be really powerful but have a limited quantity you can shoot. So you can carry 80% of your point total in ammo, but each individual missile does as much as you choose to spend on it.

So we have the Phoenix from G-Force. Or Gatchaman, or Battle Of The Planets. Whatever you remember watching as a kid. I watched Battle Of The Planets on CFCF12 out of Montreal.

Let's say the Phoenix is a 12 Point military grade Gunboat, so it can carry 10 points of weapons. The solar powered energy blaster rates in at PW1 (face it, the damn thing rarely worked) and the missiles get PW9. Since the Phoenix is capable of carrying 10 points total of weapons, it gets 10 PW9 missiles to launch in rapid succession at the climax of the battle near the end of the episode. I think it was Jason that had the itchy trigger finger, why didn't he just fire the friggin' things at the beginning?

Major edit here: The Fiery Phoenix, it has occurred to me, is actually a shield working in reverse. Brilliant, right? So an attack like the Fiery Phoenix is treated like a shield but instead of having a negative PW, it has a positive PW. Work it all out the same as any other weapon or shield, it costs points to put on your ship and only so many points ma be spent buying it. I'll let you work out the particulars, but in general using the attack takes all the available resources of a ship to use it. It may be the only attack made in a round if it is used.
But what if the attack isn't enough to destroy the target? Say the Fiery Phoenix weighs in at PW10 and it rams a ship that has 20 points of structure? Looks like a last ditch suicide maneuver to me... More about ramming and collisions later.

Same thing goes for mines. You figure out how many points you want to spend on them and then get 80% of your structure points in ammo.

Just remember that every time you fire a missile you have to keep track of it. Mines too.

So this is pretty sweet, a badass 50 point destroyer could carry 40 points worth of weapons. The illustrious captain, Captain Badass of the PSS DD Badass, has 40 PW40 missiles loaded on board. Imagine raining that shit down on that petulant rebel moon colony. CLEANSE AND BURN!

Or Captain Badass on the PSS DD-Badass (still a 50 point ship) might have a battery of 4 beamers rated at PW9 each for 36 points and then 40 missiles of PW4 each.

OK, I'm going to quit now and play some video games. Later.

Wepons: what you're really here for

So we all love big lists of detailed, statted out weapons. Lots of flavorful descriptions, techno-jargo, Treknobabble, Star Warsisms...um. Yeah

I'm not going to bother with that shit. Did you just read my last post about the different classes of space ships?

Holy fuck it would take forever to write that, and since my system doesn't really rely on a weapon's description to do its job I'm just not going to bother.

All weapons have a Power Rating (PW) and this is a measure of how "Powerful" a weapon is. A weapon with a PW of 1 is weak. A weapon with a PW of 1,000 should be able to obliterate a planet whether it be an energy beam, missile, bomb, or warp speed cannonball.

Cannonballs? Fuck yeah, cannonballs.

But...?

Cannon. Fucking. Balls.

It's up to you to set the weapon's PW in your setting. This allows me to be lazy and not waste my time pissing off fans of some cancelled TV show. Figure out what the weakest weapon is and then rate everything from that point on.

To help you along, each ship of a given group and class can only carry a certain total percentage of it's structure rating on weapons. A military fighter can have an armament with a total PW of 80% of its structure.

Soooo, say you think an X-wing fighter has a structure rating of 4. 80% of 4 is 3.2 (round up!) so it can carry weapons totaling PW4.  So the blasters may be rated at PW2 and the torpedoes are rated at PW2.

A Tie fighter is a confetti-bomb, so it may only have 2 structure points and PW1 worth of weapons. but the Empire has shitloads of Tie fighters and they like to gang up on the enemy.

So, ok. Here's the meat of what I have written regarding weapons over the past couple days:

Weapons: Since this system strives to model cinematic combat and not hard reality, weapon systems are some of the most difficult to define. Weapons fall into a few broad categories and given a simple rating scale. It is a system's unique abilities that set them apart from others.

Beams: Phasers, lasers. turbo-lasers, blasters, particle beams, disruptors, neutron beams, etc. etc. etc. They travel in a straight line, stop when they hit a solid object and each one destroys its target in one way or another. For the most part they destroy by blowing the thing they hit to pieces at the molecular level. As long as there's a power supply they have unlimited ammunition. They also have the advantage of being adjustable, firing at anywhere from less than 1% to up to 100% power. A few engineers have even modified their beamers to fire at more (but not much) than 100% .They also tend to break or blow up when used too much when modified in this way. Beamers can be fired at full power or less if the player chooses to. Each beam may be fired once per combat round.

Missiles/Torpedoes: Missiles and torpedoes are rocket powered, either guided or unguided and usually carry some kind of warhead. Those not armed with a warhead may damage by kinetic energy alone or may employ some other payload like flechettes, ball bearings or toxic gasses.. Alternate payloads may be sensors, signal boosters, illumination, smoke, chaff, or whatever a creative engineer can come up with. They have a limited range in which they can maneuver and make course changes. Combat missiles tend to have shorter effective ranges than probes and such because any target they seek will undoubtedly try to evade. Missiles and torpedoes tend to be very powerful, but usually in short supply. They are reserved for big targets you need to destroy fast. A player may fire one, all, some or none of his missiles in a combat round, provided he has the ammo to do so.

Mines: Mines are like missiles and torpedoes, but remain where they are laid and usually do not move aggressively toward their target. Mines are often used defensively, as ambushes or to channel an enemy through a desired approach. Their warheads may be destructive but need not always be. Some mines will raise an alarm, spy on intruders, relay information or may trigger some other response. Warheads may be of any type. They may explode, release deadly radiation, and some even fire destructive energy beams or kinetic projectiles. Mines are cost effective, can be made difficult to detect and make for tireless sentries. While limited quantities can be carried, they can remain on site until they are called upon or recovered. They can also turn the tide of a battle, allowing a smaller force to surprise and overcome a stronger one. A player may launch one, all, some or none of his mines in a combat round, provided he has the ammo to do so.

Kinetic Cannons: Projectile weapons that use the mass and kinetic energy of its projectile to damage the target. Often considered low tech by many kinetic cannons are still deadly, especially to unarmored and unshielded targets. The projectile need not always be large as any object moving at high velocity can obliterate whatever it strikes. Some weapons are designed to only disable targets and so BBs are employed. Yes, BBs moving at high speed can be dangerous. Micrometeorites are a real danger that 
NASA has to account for. Cannonballs have made a comeback too and any captain of a ship struck by a 2lb ball moving at 1000mph can tell you why. Rail guns, centrifugal guns, compressed air guns, spring guns, and even old fashioned cannons using exploding chemicals fit in this category. As long as you have a projectile, a means of accelerating it, and a way to aim it you can put together a K-Cannon.
K-cannons may fire once per combat round, provided there is ammo to do so, but will fire at full power always.

Strange Hybrids: Many a situation requiring a creative solution has come about in space. Many an engineer has cobbled some system together to meet that need. Beam weapons are most often modified to operate in some other spectrum or phase. Atmospheres or gas clouds require some kind of polarizing negation for the beam weapons to work. Beams have been set to add mass to the target like a long distance 3D printer. Mines and missiles are often rebuilt for purposes other than their original manufacture. One particularly crafty captain ordered a torpedo to be outfitted with high powered sensors, stealth technology and predictive software to work as a pursuit/spy ship on a shadow course to monitor escaping pirates. When their base was located it sent out a single high powered “ping” that the mother ship was able to home in on and move in for the kill. Another captain, facing an enemy with a shield bubble that his lasers could not penetrate, had a missile armed with a heavy laser cannon and launched at its target. At point blank range the heavy laser opened fire, boring through the enemy ship and causing catastrophic damage. Pirates are famous for their improvisation and their skill for making do with what's available. A favorite tactic is to lay mines in a debris field with the mines being made from debris. Containers are packed with explosives, primed proximity fuses and magnetic grappling systems. When a ship comes in range, the grappling system pulls the mine in and it detonates when in range. Mines of this type aren't usually powerful enough to destroy the target but usually cause enough damage to make repairs necessary. 
The long and short of it is that the only real limits on a weapon's capabilities should be the player's ingenuity.

A couple other things: Tractor beams and shields fall under this category. 

Shields: shields are weapons, just defensive. Most ships will carry navigational shields able to deflect small bits of space debris and low intensity radiation. This is convenient as now you don't have to fret over the reality that hitting a marble sized chunk of hematite whilst moving at light speed would destroy the shit out of you real quick. Navigational shields are integrated into the list of assumed design choices, just like air bags and a good stereo system are in modern cars. 
Combat shields are different, but kinda the same as weapons. Let's just call them shields. Shields have negative PW, so any attack on them subtracts the shield's PW from the attack's PW. So let's say the 
Voyager has shields rated at PW-20. They come upon a hostile ship that opens up on them with some mystery beam rated at PW25. The attack is reduced to PW5. If the beam were rated at PW16 then the shields would completely stop the attack and still have 4 points to absorb for the rest of the combat round.
Shields count against the total point allowance that a ship may carry but don't cost negative points thus giving you bonus points. No. An example is in order here: So the Voyager is, let's say, a 100 point ship after a few years of mods and clever writing. She can carry 80 points of weapons (80%) and the ship is deemed to be the proud bearer of 2 phaser banks of PW20 (totaling PW40), a PW-15 shield, 20 PW15  torpedoes (this part is tricky and I'll explain it later) and some odd PW10 alien beam weapon that makes your hair change color for a total of 80 points. See?

Tractor Beams: A subset of beams, these are pretty much grappling hooks and chains on space ships, but work on some bullshit that the writer's made up. Maybe they'll be real some day. Whatever. They too have a PW rating that counts against a ship's weapon allowance. Tractor beams allow the user to latch on to another ship. This may let you slow an escaping vessel down, stop it completely or even draw it in to you. I'm still working on the details of this one, so bear with me. This is just a placeholder to let you know I've thought of it.

Combat Power: Each weapon, regardless of its type, has a power rating ranging from 1 to no upper limit. It is assumed that a ship mounting a beam weapon with a power of 100 will have the on board resources it needs to fire that weapon. Same goes for a ship that mounts 100 beams each rated at a power of 1. 

OK, that's all I have time for right now. 

Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Something to start you off

So now you're interested in my grand plans to bring the role in roleplaying back to cinematic space combat storytelling or some shit like that. Well, I hope you're interested. Raise your hands, who came here because my last post had the label "paperwork reduction act of 1972"?

That many?

Boy, are you going to be disappointed.

Anyway, so your curiosity has been piqued and I'm gonna scratch it for you. Let's start of with how I'm classifying ships.

Ships will be rated on a point scale, with weak ships with little combat ability rated at 1 while the Death Star, DS9, Space Battleship Yamamoto, Mega Maid or Unicron is rated at over 150 points. It's possible you could have a tiny space ship rated at 100 points and some glass jawed giant rated at only 15. The point scale only gives you an idea of the ship's toughness and durability in combat. Combat power, weapons and such, are limited to a certain fraction of the ship's point rating based on what group the ship belongs to.

So you have this point scale and you'd like an idea of how I think one kind of ship rates against another. Well here's a chart and descriptions of the ships. I hope you're happy:
  
Ships have been broken down into groups which note their normal affiliation. Private ships are owned by private citizens or small local companies. Merchant ships are owned by big companies providing their services in moving cargo. Military ships are owned by governments and are mostly build for fighting. Groups are not hard and fast, the military certainly has it's own shuttles and many a decommissioned frigate has been turned into a cruise liner or freighter. When pirates and rebels get their hands on a ship there's no telling what they will do with them.

The chart below gives a general point range for each type of ship and allows for some overlap. Ships are built not by hard and fast rules but more by their purpose and availability of materials and means of construction. Each row notes ships of the same general size in each group. Just because a ship is in the same point range does not mean it is equivalent in speed, cargo capacity, combat power or maneuverability.

Don't let the point scale lead you to think that one type of ship need be bigger or smaller than another, points are only meant to give an estimation of durability and combat power.
Major edit here:
The percentages given on the chart note the maximum proportion of weapon power a ship may carry. Always round UP to the nearest whole point. We can't have fighters going around with only 1.6 points worth of weaponry. Life boats are ALWAYS unarmed. Unless...

Point
Range
Ship Group
Military
80%
Merchant
15%
Private
20%
1-4
Life Boat
2-4
Fighter
Van
Sky Hopper
3-8
Gunboat
Ferry/Tug
Shuttle
10-15
Corvette
Cargo Vessel
Space Bus/Yacht
12-30
Transport
Freighter
Transport Liner
20-30
Frigate

Cruise Liner
30-50
Destroyer
Super Freighter

45-80
Cruiser


70-120
Battleship


90-150
Carrier


1-150+
Unique Super-Class Ships

Life Boat: Any small emergency no frills escape craft with SOS beacon, life support, food, water and toilet facilities to keep the occupants alive until they are rescued. Built in many sizes, from as small as 1 man pods to mini-shuttles capable of getting 20 people safely aboard. Generally not capable of controlled flight or combat at all. Some have been designed to make planet-fall.

Private Ships: Small ships that make short trips to move people from planet to planet. They may be privately owned or as part of transport fleets run by mega-corporations.

Sky Hopper: A little bigger than a life boat, capable of controlled flight. Often used as a 1 or 2 man ship to fly short distances like from the earth to the moon. Usually owned by teens, private couriers, pirates, bounty hunters, etc. Some may be lightly armed, almost never with military grade weapons. Some work as “moonshiners”, smuggling goods and relying on their small size to escape detection.

Shuttle: Capable of moving 20 passengers or a few tons of cargo from planet side to high orbit space stations. May ferry people between ships in a convoy. Military shuttles may be defensively armed.

Space Bus/Yacht: Space buses move 30 people with little baggage, maybe even a ton of cargo in cramped conditions between planets, Earth to Mars or Earth to Venus. Not the most comfortable way to go, but it's affordable. Yachts are the Luxury RVs and Leer Jets of space, moving wealthy people in high comfort over single planet hops.

Transport Liner: Like 747s in space, moving 100-200 people from planet to planet in various classes of comfort. Coach being the cheapest and least comfortable (6 person sleeper car on a train) to luxury suites for those able to pay (2 people in a Holiday Inn sized suite). Almost never armed, only travels safe routes.

Cruise Liner: A Carnival Cruise ship, only in space. High luxury quotient. Up to 1000 passengers. Even the cheapest state room is better than 1st class on a transport liner. Capable of very long flights spanning the solar system but usually only does pleasure cruises, orbiting moons, planets, asteroids or anomalies for tourist sight seeing. Some retired liners have been converted to science research vessels while others have been pressed into military service. May or may not be armed depending on its purpose, destination, who's on board or the paranoia of the captain. Speaking of captains, some have installed CryoSleep(TM) tubes as a crude form of steerage class to squeeze every last penny out of each voyage.


Merchant Ships: Merchant ships can be found everywhere, moving non-human cargo through space. Manned by the outcasts of society these aluminum ships and titanium men keep commerce alive in the vast Federation Empire..

Vans: The smallest ship that can turn a profit, vans make the short hops to the moon with 2-4 tons of cargo. Might be armed in rough solar systems.

Ferry/Tug: A Ferry will move 20 to 100 tons of cargo from planet to planet while Tugs forgo the cargo in favor of raw engine power to push larger ships into dry-docks or maneuver disabled ships in orbit. Tugs get very little use outside of orbit however, as they rarely have the accommodations for more than a couple days of work.

Cargo Vessel: not really a ship; these are simply huge containers packed with hundreds to thousands of tons of cargo. Often strung together to form enormous trains to be pulled by specially outfitted tugs to the moon. Some are even parked in space as orbital storage units. Every now and then, one is converted into a base by someone for some reason.

Freighter: Like a transport liner but for 2000-3000 tons of cargo only, freighters move cargo quickly between planets. Small crews with minimal accommodations make them unpleasant to ride.

Super Freighters: A Freighter, only bigger and capable of longer trips.

Military Class: ships of war and police work, not very comfortable, built for killing people, blowing stuff up and squashing rebellions.

Fighter: Small, agile and deadly in swarms, fighters make up the squadrons of patrol, interception, attack and defense of the space fleets. Often carrying a crew of only 1, sometimes 2, they are made for high intensity but short ranged combat.

Gunboat: Call these ships the bombers of the fleets, Gunboats are more heavily armed than fighters, some even carrying a single weapon of immense power. They can be deadly to an unescorted corvette and some have even seriously damaged frigates. Can keep a crew of 4 alive for a few days and operate outside of a convoy. Some gunboats have been converted to do drop-ship duty, ferrying a platoon of marines from orbit to the planet's surface and back.

Corvette: Fast, roomy but lightly armed, corvettes are blockade runners, spies, science ships and light cargo runners. Corvettes have even been used as boarding vessels, disgorging their troops into enemy vessels they have rammed or docked with. A typical crew is 20 men, with room for up to 30 troops. Generally made for orbital or to the moon operations.

Transport: The military version of a cruise ship, transports are crowded, uncomfortable and generally smell really bad. Hundreds of troops being moved from one front to another, bringing back the wounded on modified versions made up to look like hospitals. Some do shipping duty when needed, but private ships are usually contracted for movement of cargo. Transports are almost always unarmed, but are rarely ever seen without escorts. Skeleton crew of 30 to 50 men.

Frigate: Bigger than corvettes but still lightly armed as far as the Navy is concerned. Focuses more on combat than the smaller corvette, carries more light weaponry or maybe missile batteries. Used for screening actions, mine sweeping, and picket duty. Usually has a crew of 150 to 250 men. Only capable of interplanetary operations.

Destroyer: Now you're talking! Destroyers are in many cases, bigger frigates. More powerful guns, missiles and sensors make destroyers very popular as cost effective war ships. Crew is about the same as a frigate, 150-300 men. Capable of making long trips within the solar system.

Cruiser: Cruisers focus their abilities on long range patrols rather than combat, but are still quite capable of looking out for themselves. Weaponry is mid-grade, some cargo capacity, able to move troops, launch drop-ships for a planetary invasion, perform diplomatic missions, etc. A jack of all trades in the military world. Can make interstellar trips with ease. Crewed by 400-700 people in a wide variety of skills aside from warship duties.

Battleship: Serious business, serious weapons, serious trouble. Going toe-to-toe with a battleship is either suicide or a very well thought out operation. Armed with weapons able to rapidly reduce other ships to scrap metal and planet-side cities to smoldering rubble. Like cruisers only more so, but diplomatic tact is generally of the “do what we say or die” kind. Many were built generations ago and have undergone many re-fits to keep them running thus lending to their Frankenstein monster appearance. Crewed by 4000 or more people, they are often cities in space.

Carrier: Like battleships, only filled with fighters, gunboats and even corvettes. A few are capable of moving frigates or destroyers between star systems. Armament is still heavy but focused more on defensive fire than offense, letting the fighters and gunboats do the grunt work. Crewed by 5000 or more people, squadrons of fighters and gunboats. Carriers are heavily defended and escorted by destroyers and frigates.

Unique Super-Class Ships: Just like the class name suggests, these ships are one-of-a-kind monsters. Not always built for combat, Super-Class may simply be (relatively) enormous versions of smaller ships or possessing capabilities far beyond their more mundane counterparts. Some are an experimental re-definition of a lower class ship. Then again some are massive planet, or even star, killing murder machines of terror. 

A Note on Distances: Since space is really big so let's define some common travel distances. The list below gives you an idea of how far you can travel without having to stop for fuel and supplies.

Low Orbit: escape the planet you're on and go into orbit 200-500 miles (322-805Km)
High Orbit get 500- 2000 miles (805-3220Km)
To the moon: Travel from a planet to its moon
To the next planet: Travel from the planet you're on to the next planet in the same solar system.
To any planet: Go anywhere in the solar system from anywhere in the same solar system
To the next star: Travel from the solar system you're in to the next star.

"WAITAMINUTE!", I can hear you say, "The next planet in orbit just happens to be on the other side of the sun right now and so the closest planet is actually not the next but the next afte the next! HA! I've found a hole in your system and it sucks!"

To which I reply, "It's only a show, just relax."
 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Posts to Come!

Just a quick post to let anyone who's interested know that I've been working on a new project. It's a simplified and cinematic approach to space combat. It's simple in that it reduces ships to a couple of numerical stats: there's the total structural integrity and then there's the power and number of weapons available on a ship.
I plan on using two charts for combat and damage. The combat resolution chart is a simple old fashioned strength differential CRT and the other is for critical hits that damage a ship's systems. I don't plan on making it vital to track the minute details of a ship's condition. It's either combat ready or it isn't.
I've been watching a lot of Star Trek TOS lately with my boys and it's pretty obvious that the battles were played out for dramatic reasons rather than genuine tactical study. Systems broke down, the shields failed, or the enemy ship blew up whenever the story required it. Players should be sufficiently motivated to flee or surrender when they lose their shields as destruction is usually imminent with my system. It is also possible (but unlikely) that a single starfighter armed with proton torpedoes could destroy a heavily armed and armored planet killing space station with a well placed (and lucky) critical hit on an exhaust port.
I'm writing up some general descriptions of types of ships and weapons while leaving plenty of room for improvisation and customization. So if you're a Star Trek fanboy and you think phasers are the most powerful and advanced weapons, fine. If you're more impressed by an Imperial star Destroyer's awesome might then you can make them as deadly as you like. it should even work if you're a fan of Babylon 5, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica (new and old) or even Battle Beyond the Stars. If you can rate your favorite ships and their weapons proportionately against each other you should have no problems with my system.

So there you go, I'll start posting everything soon.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A quick math lesson

You know what I forgot in the last post? A quick math lesson (maybe refresher) to help you figure out how far two stars are from each other.

It's really easy:

Find the difference between X1 and X2 then square it.

Find the difference between Y1 and Y2 then square it.

Find the difference between Z1 and Z2 then square it.

Add all of them up.

Take the square root of the total. The final answer is the straight line distance between those two stars.

EXAMPLE:
Star 1 is at 12,4,17
Star 2 is at 1,19,5

12-1 = 11
19-4 = 15
17-5 = 12

11^2 = 121
15^2 = 225
12^2 =144

121+225+144 = 490

the square root of 490 = 22.136

your stars are 22.136 units away from each other.

Pretty easy really.