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Size Clarification with Vehicles

 
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Phantomdoodler

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Size Clarification with Vehicles Reply with quote

Now I understand the logic of a lumbering creature trying to hit and avoid a smaller, nimbler foe, hence its decrease in Attack and Defence.
And I understand a large vehicle is just easier to hit, hence its lower Defence rating. However, suppose a Vehicle (Size 16) has an enormous cannon (16L), and the Gunner (Size 0) has Gunnery 8.

1. Would their attack rating be 24L, or 8L? (do you use the gunners or ships Size rating?).
2. If it was a fixed weapon would you have to use the ships Size?
3. If a gunman is on board and fires his rifle from out of the window, would he use his Size, or that of the Zeppalin?

So, if assuming weapons use the ships Size:

The Zeppalin attempts to blow a smaller airship out if the sky. The Pilot is operating the huge cannon. She has Piloting 9, so rolls 9, -2 (Handling), +16L (Weapon rating),-16 (Size),+8 (for attacking a Size 8 vehicle) for a final dice pool of 15L. The Defence rating of the smaller craft is 4 (its base), plus 8 for its Size, for a total value of 12.

Now the smaller ship gets to retaliate. The pilot uses the twin fixed machine guns on board. He has Pilot 8, so rolls 8,-2 (Handling) +5 (the Weapon rating) +3 Autofire, -8 for Size,+8 for Size, for a dice pool of 14L. The Defence Rating of the Zeppalin is 2 (its basic rating) +8 (the smaller crafts Size), or 10.

So a simpler way is to apply an attack penalty to the larger vessel equal to the difference in sizes, and both ships get a Defence rating bonus equal to the smaller ships Size.

This does seem to make attacking and destroying ships very hard, which is probably realistic (in this example the machine guns just would barely dent the Defence of the Zeppalin).

If weapons are based on the human operating them:

The Zeppalin attempts to blow a smaller airship out if the sky. The Pilot is operating the huge cannon. She has Piloting 9, so rolls 9, -2 (Handling), +16L (Weapon rating), for a final dice pool of 23L. The Defence rating of the smaller craft is 4.

Now the smaller ship gets to retaliate. The pilot uses the fixed machine guns on board. He has Pilot 8, so rolls 8 -1 Handling, +5 (the Weapon rating) +3 Autofire, for a dice pool of 14L. The Defence Rating of the Zeppalin is 2.

If this is the case, it actually much easier to destroy vehicles. I must confess thats how I ran my first battle and it all ended very quickly.
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TAG Wiggy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Size Clarification with Vehicles Reply with quote

Phantomdoodler wrote:
So a simpler way is to apply an attack penalty to the larger vessel equal to the difference in sizes, and both ships get a Defence rating bonus equal to the smaller ships Size.


It follows the standard rule for "large creatures" fighting each other.

Quote:
3. If a gunman is on board and fires his rifle from out of the window, would he use his Size, or that of the Zeppalin?


SotSW, the only supplement I know of with vehicle combat spelled out, says to use the vehicle's Sizes. That makes sense, since you're aiming at the vehicle. The Size of the gunners is irrelevant.
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Phantomdoodler

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Size Clarification with Vehicles Reply with quote

TAG Wiggy wrote:

Quote:
3. If a gunman is on board and fires his rifle from out of the window, would he use his Size, or that of the Zeppalin?


SotSW, the only supplement I know of with vehicle combat spelled out, says to use the vehicle's Sizes. That makes sense, since you're aiming at the vehicle. The Size of the gunners is irrelevant.


Okay, so lets say a gunman was shooting at a zeppelin from the ground. No modifiers would be applied since the objects Size would have already been factored into their Def of the Zeppelin. If he is hanging out of a plane, or riding a pterodactyl, surely the Size of his "Mount" would be largely irrelevant - anything he shoots at (as a Size 0 character) will be scaled to fit his size already?

There is also another anomaly regarding vehicle sizes. For organic beings, the bigger the Size, the smaller their Defence rating- Clumsy large creatures are easier to hit. So if two large creatures attack each other, they get Defence bonuses to effectively negate the original Size Penalty - its easier for them to hit each other, than smaller creatures.

With objects, however, a Vehicles Defence rating is not modified by its Size - Defence just reflects the material it is made from. For example, a Size 8 Land Dreadought has Defence 8, while a Size 1 Automobile has Defence 4.

This means that if you modify Defence for an objects Size when attacking, the object just gets a Defence bonus they didnt lose in the first place. And since objects are not sentient, they would not attack each other anyway, unless it was a construct, and not an object at all.

So may take is to assume Defence from vehicles already factors in its relative scale to humans. A Zeppalin and a smaller airship are just objects. A Gunman from each ship trying to shoot the other would be treated in the same way- Roll your attack and subtract the other ships Defence to detemine how much Structure is damaged.

But I would suggest the following.

When shooting from a vehicle, include the vehicles Handling rating (and only if its a penalty) - more agile ships will have a smoother ride and make shooting easier.

if a creature or character of Size 1 or more attacks a vehicle, they gain a number of bonus dice to attack it equal to the smaller of the vehicle or creature's Size, but the Vehicles Defence remains unmodified. So if a Dragon (Size 4) attacked a Zeppelin (Size 16), it would add +4 bonus dice to attack (negating its usual -4 Attack penalty for hitting human-sized targets). The Zeppelin would still have Defence 2 (unless it has special anti-dragon armour!). If the same dragon were to attack an automobile, (Size 1) it would add +1 bonus attack dice - hitting a vehicle is slightly easier than trying to hit one of its occupants.

When trying to outmanoeuvre or dodge fixed weapon attacks from another vehicle, subtract your vehicle's Size, but add the Size of the smaller target. So a Size 16 Zeppelin pilot trying to dodge attacks from the fixed guns of a Size 8 airship would suffer -8 to their Piloting rolls (-16 dice) if trying to dodge a human firing from a window. In other words, its only effective to dodge enemy fire from fixed weapons from ships your own size - anything smaller and its very hard to evade.


Last edited by Phantomdoodler on Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TAG Wiggy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no problem with your suggestions, matey. Smile

I've never been totally happy with the Ubiquity vehicle combat rules.
By the rules, a character could punch a tank to death or shoot down a zeppelin with a light pistol. Might take a while, but it can be done. Now logically that's impossible -- a fist to a tank won't do anything but break your bones -- and no GM worth his dice should ever allow it, but by the rules armor has no real effect beyond adding to Passive Defense.

One reason why TAG focuses more on the characters' actions. Sure, zeppelins are blasting each other to pieces and there's flame and death galore, but that's the scene's background. What are you doing that's interesting?
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Phantomdoodler

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what would be better would be the way the original star wars rpg rules worked, regarding scale. You would find it very difficult to destroy objects much larger than you. So here is a Size rule variant:

When attacking an object larger than you, subtract -1 attack dice per difference in Size ratings. Hand held weapons use your normal Size, but Vehicle mounted weapons use the Size of the vehicle or animal it is mounted to.

For example, a gunner on a Size 8 airship is shooting at a Size 16 Zeppelin with a Heavy Cannon, but must subtract -8 dice to hit it. When the Zeppalin returns fire with its own cannon, the smaller airship gains no such bonus! Ouch!

Alternatively, just modify a Vehicles Defence rating by its Size. Larger weapons need more powerful weapons to destroy.
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Phantomdoodler

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or perhaps just increase modify a vehicle/s Defence rating by its Size. Larger vehicles just need larger weapons in order to destroy them.
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Runeslinger

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good discussion~
I have nothing to add to it, I am afraid other than the observation that it is a good discussion. Wink

Like Wiggy said, the rules are open to abuse but no sane GM will let them be abused and so far in my games it hasn't come up as a problem (by luck and hopefully a bit of good management).

I do want to get into air battles in my next run, though and my way of dealing with Ubiquity in resolution situations that are new to me with it are exactly what you are doing in this thread, walk through all the permutations/interpretations of the Rules As Written, experiment with them, see what I think of the results, and then to make my decision go back to the guiding principles of Ubiquity (as I see them, anyway): fast, clear, consistent.

In a case like you describe I would lean toward focusing on what is doing the fighting. If it will be an uncommon thing I would likely just follow the rules in SotSW, but if it was a feature I might go for a bit more refinement: Fixed weapons on aircraft? Use their Sizes as if they were creatures in combat. Gunners in turrets? Use the Sizes from the human perspective but remember to modify heavily for environment and the class of weapon being used (within the level of realism your group likes).
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