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Planetside and Starship scale

Discussions on the M-Space setting and other publications by FrostByte Books.

Planetside and Starship scale

Postby Starken » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:58 am

Greetings,

First of all I have to say that I like M-Space very much, especially the nice toolkit approach. The only one thing I tend to leave out in my games is the large (x10) difference between Planetside and Starship scale. Is it possible to drop those scales completely, working with fixed weapon stats and not to break or interfere with other parts of the game system? I know there might be a good reason behind this rule, and I don't want to mess things up later in play. ;)
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Re: Planetside and Starship scale

Postby Clarence Redd » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:21 am

I haven't tried it myself, but it's probably going to work. You will need to multiply damage, armor, shields, size and hit points by ten. And to keep the correlation between size and the number of modules (only important if you design your own ships), you'll need to multiply individual modules/sections by ten as well.

It's certainly doable, but I'm not sure what you gain. What is it you don't like about the idea of a starship scale?
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Re: Planetside and Starship scale

Postby Starken » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:20 am

Maybe I got something wrong with how those scaling rules work or why they are included, but one reason I moved from HeroQuest 2.0 to Mythras was the use and tradition of fixed numbers, subsystems and stats (HeroQuest was sometimes too vague about the stats in general, gaining and subtracting numbers on a dramaturgical basis). I would just love not to multiply anything and stay with the Planetary scale weapon stats. I am just learning the game system right now, and my views on this might change over the next weeks, but this is just a matter of personal taste.

Edit: Please don't get me wrong, I love M-Space very much. ;)

Perhaps you could help me with this example:
A mechanic in a vacc suit is walking outside on the starship hull to do some important repairs. Surprisingly he and the hull gets hit by a Laser (1D6 Starship scale) of an incoming enemy ship. Does the Laser cut him to pieces by 10D6 while the hull is damaged slightly by an amount of 1D6? Is that correct?
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Re: Planetside and Starship scale

Postby soltakss » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:15 am

The problem with using ships of any size is that a weapon designed to damage a ship is going to obliterate a PC.

Look at modern warships, the closest things we have to SciFi spaceships. Shooting at them with a pistol isn't going to do anything except damage the paintwork. You use rockets or great big guns firing shells that weight the same as a person. Such a shell hitting a PC or exploding near a PC would be very bad for the PC.

How do you model this?

One way is to have fixed APs. So a battleship has 50APs, for example. This means the weapons need to overcome 50APs, on average, so would do 14D6 damage. This leads to an ever-increasing spiral of weapons and armour, resulting in the GM or Players having to roll huge numbers of dice in order to emulate a big hit.

Another way of doing it is to say that a gun is a gun is a gun. Give each type of weapon a base damage and make that damage relative to the size of the ship. So, a big gun on a small cruiser would be very different to a big gun on a large battleship, but they both do 2D6 damage. Depending on your scale, a cruiser might have a rating of 2 and a large battleship have a rating of 10, so a cruiser hitting a cruiser does 2D6 against its AP 8 shell, getting through a fair amount of the time, the battleship does 10 vs 2, or x5 damage to the cruiser, so its 2D6 pretty much always does damage, a cruiser against a battleship does 2 vs 10, so 1/5th damage, so its 2D6 normally bounces off. Obviously, special effects hits can affect the ship where the shot would normally bounce off, using the normal Mythras combat rules.

If you prefer fixed values, just multiple the dice rolled by the factor, so a 1D6 using a factor of 10 does 10D6 damage. It's very easy but requires the rolling of lots of dice and this tends to flatten the damage anyway.

But, in answer to your last question, yes, the laser would do 10D6 to the mechanic and 1D6 to the spaceship. You don't want to be hit by a ship to ship weapon as an individual. Imagine trying to parry an exocet or a cruise missile.
Last edited by soltakss on Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planetside and Starship scale

Postby Clarence Redd » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:21 am

I see it as a way to simplify the math by removing a zero to some common calculations. A starship laser *is* doing 1d6x10 in damage. It's just that most of the time starships only fire on other starships, so you can ignore the 10.

But I suggest you try without Starship Scale, and report back here how it worked. It won't break the system and it's always good to know how players respond to tweaks. Perhaps you can keep Module size and Starship size as is, and go for Hit Points = Size x10? That will keep the multiplying by 10 mostly to starship combats.
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Re: Planetside and Starship scale

Postby Pentallion » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:04 pm

A laser harming the space shuttle would probably harm the astronaut by a like amount. But scale is something you need to take into account.

Could an engineer on the side of the ship survive this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBgjS_xQWXM
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Re: Planetside and Starship scale

Postby Starken » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:23 am

I think the problem was my first intention to combine the vehicle weapons in Luther Arkwright with those in M-Space. I was not really aware of how different the damage models are, regarding ship modules and weapons scaling. I should probably stay with either LA or M-Space. Because of the modular approach, M-Space provides to me a more sculpual view on spaceships in general, and also the avanced starship combat options are great. It's hard for me to differenciate (at this point) what aspects of the two rulesets are compatible to each other.


soltakss wrote:[...]
One way is to have fixed APs. So a battleship has 50APs, for example. This means the weapons need to overcome 50APs, on average, so would do 14D6 damage. This leads to an ever-increasing spiral of weapons and armour, resulting in the GM or Players having to roll huge numbers of dice in order to emulate a big hit.
[...]
If you prefer fixed values, just multiple the dice rolled by the factor, so a 1D6 using a factor of 10 does 10D6 damage. It's very easy but requires the rolig of lots of dice and this tends to flatten the damage anyway.


I see, if the scales were completely dropped, things would become quite overcomplicated - especially regarding dice rolls. ;)

Thank you all for your helpful advice. I appreciate it very much!
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