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Old 03-18-2009, 10:01 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

Greetings, all!

Out of pure curiosity, what choices would a GM need to make in Spaceships to achieve a situation as seen in Star Wars. I'm not talking about converting SW spaceships from other systems. I'm talking about creating such a situation that players/PCs designing their own spaceships would build them roughly as seen in SW.

That is, what design switches should be set, what techy options be available etc. to create the SW situation 'naturally'?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

Atleast there is a need for SM +4 and maybe even down to SM +3 in ship size as the canonocal SW material has most fighters in the 7meters to 13 meters range (SM +3 to +5).

As for design switches:
You need to limit the ability of larger ships to target smaller with their capital weapons and limit the hit probabilities with their antifighter weapons to fairly low.

You need to allow forcefields, with the large ships have very high DR ones.

Also acceleration rates for smaller ships need to be signifcantly higher than those of large ships.

To get the dogfighting feel they have you likely need something like pseudovelocity drives that allow changing the vector of the pseudovelocity, as no normal reactionless drive(or even less the purpoted "Ion" drives of SW) will "realistically" allow changing of vector in such a dogfighting way.

Even most of the smaller fighters have shields and hyperspace generators in addition to 2 weapons and the highe power engines.

So you need to find the space in a SM+3 ship(3 tons , where the control room will likely take 1 ton) for at minumum: Control room, a place for the droid, 2 engines, hyperspace drive, shield generator..
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby
Atleast there is a need for SM +4 and maybe even down to SM +3 in ship size
The general consensus the last time this came up was that the TIE fighter was more of a streamlined SM +4, rather than SM+3. I'm not enough of a Star Wars geek to know if there are significantly smaller ships than a TIE Fighter in the Expanded Universe, but I don't remember any from the movies, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby
You need to limit the ability of larger ships to target smaller with their capital weapons and limit the hit probabilities with their antifighter weapons to fairly low.
Particle beams tend to have negative sAcc, and I think particle beams are the most appropriate for Star Wars - engagements tend to happen at short range in that universe, which the low ranges of particle beams will support. Combine the low sAcc and the small size of fighters (remember, you get a bonus equal to SM to hit a ship), and have high pilot skill to dodge attacks, and you should be pretty good. Although I've thought for a while that a "maneuvering thrusters" system that added to a ship's Hnd stat would be a good idea as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby
You need to allow forcefields, with the large ships have very high DR ones.
I'd say the "partial" option for Force Screens is the default, if not automatic, given the way different sections of shields always seem to go down at different times. Also, a level or two of Hardening as a default seems appropriate.
Force screens in SW seem to be a "bubble" configuration, which seems to allow smaller ships to slip in underneath them. Possibly any ship more than 5 SM increments smaller than another ship can get underneath its shields if it closes to rendezvous range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby
Also acceleration rates for smaller ships need to be signifcantly higher than those of large ships.
Offhand, I'd say that dividing the thrust provided by the reactionless drives by 5 every 5 SM increments, starting at SM +10, sounds about right. That means that a SM +5 starfighter with a Super reactionless drive can pull 50 Gs, while a SM +10 cruiser can do 10 Gs, and a SM +15 Star Destroyer does 2 Gs. Vader's Executor Super Star Destroyer, at a whopping SM +22, would be pulling .4 Gs. On the other hand, its armor and force screen are probably so individually strong that it can afford to devote less systems to them, and throw in more engines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby
Even most of the smaller fighters have shields and hyperspace generators in addition to 2 weapons and the highe power engines.
Well, some of the smaller fighters have shields and hyperdrives. The TIE series is infamous for not having them, after all. I don't think any of the really small ships have a hyperdrive or shields at all, actually. The only TIE that does, as far as I know, was the Tie Defender, which is notably bigger than the other TIEs - it probably deserves SM +5.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

The Jedi starfighter series is the only real small fighter problem, most every other fighter is bigger....and has shields and hyperdrive.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

TL11^, antigravity, pseudo-velocity reactionless drives and forcefields.

Forcefield options: angled, velocity, nuclear damper and radiation (but there should also be force-walls - no velocity option).

Weapons: Blasters! (Particle Beams in Spaceships).

Droids as crew.

HND differences make small craft dodge better than large craft; large craft need the room for other systems that small craft tend to allot to drive; small agile fighters v's large bumbling battleships.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen
The general consensus the last time this came up was that the TIE fighter was more of a streamlined SM +4, rather than SM+3. I'm not enough of a Star Wars geek to know if there are significantly smaller ships than a TIE Fighter in the Expanded Universe, but I don't remember any from the movies, anyway.

Both the Yes a Tie fighter at 6 meters and the sith interceptor of the old republic era that is 7 meters long with the wings extended seem closer to SM +3 than +4, but they could fairly easily be handwaved as +4 and in the case of the tiefighter, the large wings add credibility to that.

Quote:
Although I've thought for a while that a "maneuvering thrusters" system that added to a ship's Hnd stat would be a good idea as well.
In the current Starwars game that I run I have such a module. Each such module adds +1 to HND, but gives -1 to SR when in use.


Quote:
Offhand, I'd say that dividing the thrust provided by the reactionless drives by 5 every 5 SM increments, starting at SM +10, sounds about right. That means that a SM +5 starfighter with a Super reactionless drive can pull 50 Gs, while a SM +10 cruiser can do 10 Gs, and a SM +15 Star Destroyer does 2 Gs. Vader's Executor Super Star Destroyer, at a whopping SM +22, would be pulling .4 Gs. On the other hand, its armor and force screen are probably so individually strong that it can afford to devote less systems to them, and throw in more engines.
I have just made 2 types of thrusters, with a maximum size for the high preformance ones.

Quote:
Well, some of the smaller fighters have shields and hyperdrives. The TIE series is infamous for not having them, after all. I don't think any of the really small ships have a hyperdrive or shields at all, actually. The only TIE that does, as far as I know, was the Tie Defender, which is notably bigger than the other TIEs - it probably deserves SM +5.
Also the advanced tie fighter(the one Darth Vader had at death star and later was seen in larger numbers) at 9 meters had both hyperdrive(though slow) and shielding.

The Tie defender is also 9 meters, but has more massive remaining structure with the 4 weapons instead 2, faster hyperdrive and so on..
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby
In the current Starwars game that I run I have such a module. Each such module adds +1 to HND, but gives -1 to SR when in use.
I'll be yoinking that, thanks!
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

hi,
one thing of relevance for all spaceships in a Star Wars Campaign is the piloting skill... Do you think that it's appropriate for Star Wars that the one skill "piloting (High-Performance Spacecraft)" covers all available ships in space?

IMO it's actually a too broad field for only one average-skill so I was thinking of good differentiations without going into much detail - a different skill for each fighters, shuttles, corvettes etc. would certainly be unhandy and too hard.

Maybe a suitable solution would be based on the Size-Modifier, something like small, medium and large ships, what do you think?

Basing on the table from Spaceships Vol. 1 with a look on the Handling etc. my suggestion would be "Small (Up to SM+6)", "Medium (SM+7 to +9)" and "Large (SM+10 and above)" [100yards+ and 10.000+ tons].

Would this be a good approach? Other solutions? Or do you think that the one skill with some familiarities is sufficient?

Last edited by OldSam; 11-05-2009 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Particle beams tend to have negative sAcc, and I think particle beams are the most appropriate for Star Wars - engagements tend to happen at short range in that universe, which the low ranges of particle beams will support. Combine the low sAcc and the small size of fighters (remember, you get a bonus equal to SM to hit a ship), and have high pilot skill to dodge attacks, and you should be pretty good. Although I've thought for a while that a "maneuvering thrusters" system that added to a ship's Hnd stat would be a good idea as well.
When you factor in the extremely short ranges at which fighters engage, I think the accuracy is quite a bit better than you're giving it credit for.

Spaceships 4 rules that you probably want to use:
-All cinematic piloting options. (Hugging the Enemy is the basis of Trench Run Disease, a codified anti-capital tactic in the EU.)
-Accidental Collisions While Dodging.
-Airplane-style dogfights (if not using a grid).
-Cockpit Multitasking.
-Exploding Spaceships and Fireballs.
-(maybe) Relative Target Size.

Also, plasma beams might be a closer fit than particle beams.

I don't know how you're going to convince designers that all spacecraft need to be streamlined, though. For just one of the many issues...

EDIT: Added notes:
-No guns.
-Missiles cannot be set for fragmentation. X-ray heads are right out.
-Nobody uses VRF weapons. The only exception I can think of is the turrets on the Millennium Falcon. Most weapons are RF, though.
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Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 11-05-2009 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Design switches, system availability etc. for Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSam View Post
hi,
one thing of relevance for all spaceships in a Star Wars Campaign is the piloting skill... Do you think that it's appropriate for Star Wars that the one skill "piloting (High-Performance Spacecraft)" covers all available ships in space?

IMO it's actually a too broad field for only one average-skill so I was thinking of good differentiations without going into much detail - a different skill for each fighters, shuttles, corvettes etc. would certainly be unhandy and too hard.

Maybe a suitable solution would be based on the Size-Modifier, something like small, medium and large ships, what do you think?

Basing on the table from Spaceships Vol. 1 with a look on the Handling etc. my suggestion would be "Small (Up to SM+6)", "Medium (SM+7 to +9)" and "Large (SM+10 and above)" [100yards+ and 10.000+ tons].

Would this be a good approach? Other solutions? Or do you think that the one skill with some familiarities is sufficient?
I remember the Star Wars Revised Core Rulebook (d20) had three classes of ship - starfighters, space transports, and capital ships. Piloting each one was a seperate feat. Starfighters were anything up to 20 meters long and 49 metric tons (SM+6), space transports were up to 100 meters and 499 metric tons (SM+10 for length, but only SM+7 for weight), and capital ships were anything beyond that. So, your numbers look pretty good. I'd personally change the naming scheme to "small=fighter," "medium=transport," and "large=capital."
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