Sunday, July 23, 2017

Skyship Combat Mechanics VI

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
  3.3. Turning
    3.3.1. Basic Turning Capability

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

  3.4. Climbing & Diving
    3.4.1. Ascending
    3.4.2. Descending
    3.4.3. Effects of Altitude
    3.4.4. Gales & Storms
  3.5. Collisions & Boarding Maneuvers

Kragdûras Fetzgrim-Powered Ironclad.  To the elves in a rocky voice: "You're going down!" 
4. Combat

There are two sorts of fighting: individual hero actions from heroes and ship combat.  This reflects how time is measured, as explained in the introduction:
  • Battle Rounds (rounds) involving skyship maneuvers and attacks, approximately 40 seconds
  • Combat Actions (actions) involving heroes’ individual actions, approximately 10 seconds (thus 4 actions per round.)  The fourth action takes place simultaneously with a Battle Round.

Much of the information provided in this chapter connects with generic statistics described in CC1 “Beyond the Skies,” pg. 8-11.  Combat actions are primarily resolved according to the players’ chosen game mechanics.  This section provides the detail needed to help understand how effective skyship combat is intended to be in the World of Calidar.

4.1. Deck Weaponry

4.1.1. Weapon Types:  Skyships use deck weapons and any other magical attacks available to them.  Monsters use whatever natural attacks and fantastic abilities described in their original role-playing game.  Since it is assumed that combat mechanics will be those from the players’ chosen role-playing game, all statistics provided here will need to be adapted (the generic system in CC1 should help with conversion.)  Hex scale is approximately 100 feet.  Altitude levels also come in 100’ increments.  Table 8 lists common deck weapons used in the World of Calidar.

Scorpions & Ballistae:  Line-of-sight trajectory at short range, otherwise parabolic; no minimum range; half-damage rounded up at medium and greater ranges.

Catapults & Trebuchets:  Parabolic trajectories only.  Munaani and Calidaran projectiles are occasionally fitted with incendiaries or alchemical explosives.

Culverins & Firemouths:  As scorpion; dwarven darkpowder cannon.  Smoke may obscure line-of-sight.

Thornbush:  As scorpion; organically grown elven weapon; ensnares target area in razor-sharp thorns 15’ radius until burned or hacked away.

Podkin:  Parabolic trajectory; organically grown elven weapon; inflicts acid damage 15’ radius; unless doused, breaches a hull when the next Battle Phase starts (see 4.4.)

Hwacha Battery:  Parabolic trajectory only; Lao-Kweian arrow launcher; inflicts fire damage (M+4) and individual VL+1 damage to any exposed crew within a 15’ radius.

Chu-Lung Rocket:  Line-of-sight trajectory at all ranges; Lao-Kweian dragon rockets inflict blast damage 10’ radius.

Laser Blaster & Rail Gun:  Salvaged starfolk weapon; line-of-sight targeting; improper handling results in erratic targeting and odds of catastrophic malfunction or explosion.

Battle Rods:  Line-of-sight trajectory; twin-mounted synchronized gnomish weapon shooting bullets fitted with smuggled dwarven darkpowder cartridges; keep rolling attacks until one misses or battle-rods jam on a critical fail.

Ship Rams:  Same hex only if attacking vessel rams another; without a purpose-built ram, damage is M+8 to both vessels. Dwarven steam-powered ram open a breach through which marines can board the enemy vessel’s lower deck.

Diagram 8. Limited Field of Fire
4.1.2. Armor Rating (AR):  A ship’s or a monster’s AR indicates how tough it is to actually hit on a scale of 1-100 (1 being easiest and 100 being toughest.)  AR can exceed 100 as the result of modifiers for creatures well beyond this scale.  The AR percentile scale is intended to help plug ship and monster statistics into a role-playing game’s combat mechanics.

Lightweight or fragile vessels, such as rafts, river boats, canoes, or longships have an AR10 or less.  A typical wooden, multi-decked skyship, such as the Star Phoenix, possesses an AR25.  A dwarven ironclad could reach AR40.  Magic can easily modify these ratings.  As a comparison, the AR of dragons could range from AR35 to AR65 depending on breed and maturity.  Individual ship cards given for the mechanics devised here offer more varied statistics.

©2017 Bruce A. Heard. All Rights Reserved.

  4.2 Hitting a Target
    4.2.1. Skyships
    4.2.2. Monsters
    4.2.3. Combat Modifiers
    4.2.4. Fighting in the Great Vault 

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