Monday, July 17, 2017

Skyship Combat Mechanics III

Previously Posted Sections

1. Introduction
2. Wind Direction & Strength
3. Maneuvering
  3.1. Movement Rates
    3.1.1. Sailing Skyships
    3.1.2. Other Skyships
    3.1.3. Ramming Speed!

    3.1.4. Monsters
    3.1.5. Powering Through

3.2. Maneuverability

Flight performance often depends on the nature of a flying monster or the general design of a skyship (Munaani, Kragdûras, Alorean, Lao-Kweian, etc.)  Class rating directly affects the ability to turn, which is explained in the following section.

Class A:  Galleys and longship move at a fixed oar speed, typically up to 3 hexes per Battle Round.  They are the nimblest of vessels because of their oars and relatively simple sail configuration. Twin-masted sailing skyships (one vertical mast above deck and one more below deck, or two-outrigger masts) belong in this category as well.  Small airships (30’ or less) powered solely with magic should also be included here, along with creatures relying on magic alone to fly and monsters smaller than mankind.

Class B:  These are Calidar’s jacks-of-all-trades, possibly the most common skycraft.  Reasonably fast and maneuverable, these vessels include tri-masted configurations (typically, one mast upright, plus two outboard masts extending below deck.)  Medium-sized airship (90’ or less) relying solely on magic to fly, as well as winged monsters the size of a horse or smaller also belong in this category.

Class C:  Draconic warships and Alorean clippers fit in this category.  This includes quad-masted vessels (two masts above deck in a V-configuration, plus two others below deck), which are typically faster than Class B skyships, but less maneuverable.  Large airships (more than 90’ long) relying solely on magic to fly, fixed-wing aircraft, as well as a large winged monsters (chimeras, wyverns, dragons, etc.) are also part of this category.

Class D:  Designs that are hardest to steer belong here, typically huge lumbering skycraft, dwarven ironclads, flying rafts, magically-powered monoliths, etc.  Most of these are magically powered, such as Kragdûras vessels relying on blackstone-powered Fetzgrim engines, which generate both lift and propulsion.  Any huge, gargantuan, colossal, or titan-sized winged creature (as defined in their respective role-playing games) belongs here.

3.3. Turning

3.3.1 Basic Turning Capability:  The ability of skyships and monsters to turn depends on their class ratings and initial speeds (their MV at the beginning of their movement phase.)  Table 5 shows how many hexsides a vessel or a monster can change per hex of forward motion.  Each turn costs 1 MV to perform.  A skyship or monster starting a Battle Round with a modified MV of 0 (or in the negatives) can always perform a 1 hexside turn.  Forward movement performed at the end of a Battle Round can count toward the following round’s turn requirements.

In Table 5, Class A skyships or monsters flying at a slow speed (shaded in green) can face in any direction after a hex of forward movement.  Changing multiple hexsides as a single maneuver costing only 1 MV is limited to Class A and B vessels, where turning capability is printed in blue.  Compare with Class D at fast speeds (shaded in blue), which allows one adjoining hexside change for every 5 hexes of forward movement.

Sailing skyships’ and winged monsters’ MV rates must be updated after each turn maneuver resulting in different wind modifiers.  For example, turning from a beam reaching to a close hauled heading results in a less favorable wind modifier.  A turning modifier listed in Table 6 reflects a fast-moving skyship’s initial momentum, or the inertia of a slow one catching a more favorable wind.  When updating MVs, apply to the new heading’s MV the turning modifier and subtract any MV already spent during this Battle Round.  If an updated MV is zero or less, or all current MV are actually spent, movement ends for this Battle Round.  Normal flight speed resumes at the beginning of the next round.  Table 6 should be kept handy while running a battle.

Diagram 6. The Wind Thorn
Example 1:  The Wind Thorn, a Class C Alorean clipper, beam reaching (5) under high winds (4), starts its round with an MV of 9.  It can turn once for every 4 hexes of forward motion.  It flies 4 hexes straight and makes a windward turn.  The Wind Thorn is now close hauled (1); its new MV should be 3.  The actual remaining MV is therefore 1 (MV 3 PLUS turn modifier +3 MINUS 5 MV already spent = 1 hex.)

Example 2: The reverse case works this way:  the Wind Thorn is close hauled (1), with an initial MV of 3.  The clipper moves forward 3 hexes and, at the beginning of the following Battle Round, immediately performs a leeward turn.  It is now beam reaching again.  Its remaining MV should therefore be 5 (MV 9 PLUS turn modifier –3 MINUS 1 MV already spent = 5 hexes)

©2017 Bruce A. Heard. All Rights Reserved.

    3.3.2. Tight Turns
    3.3.3. Caught In Irons
    3.3.4. Slowing Down
    3.3.5. Emergency Maneuver