Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Bristling Guns! Or Maybe Not.

Still hammering on my vehicle system, but I had a brain burst regarding weaponry (especially for larger ships). Many starships like those found in the Sci-Fi Companion are designed around a naval or air force analog. Battleships are bristling with guns. Even Starfighters are armed with multiple, forward-facing cannons. Star Wars did it too and there's nothing wrong with that, as it is. After all, I am going for space pulp so realism is optional.

But Star Trek started floating through my mind. The Enterprise wasn't bristling with guns. In fact, in  each series you never saw more than two phaser arrays firing at once. It's not something you get much in RPGs anymore, so it appeals to me.

It also has the added bonus of cutting down the number of rolls you have to make when large ships get into combat. And lastly, big ships firing on smaller ships already have a big advantage of higher damage. Adding multiple guns increases the amounting of pounding they can dish out.

Again, nothing wrong with that. But I would like starship combat with a different feel.

Old Battleships of WWI and WWII needed a lot of guns because of how often they might miss their target. The best option was to saturate an area with shells and pray. Also, since they were firing shells there wasn't any drawback to adding more and bigger guns except the danger of the power of volleys to capsize the boat (and weight cutting down on ship speed).

But in spacecraft that use beam weapons, the only real limiting factor to the cannon's damage is the amount of power you pump through it. There really is no point in having smaller cannons mounted on a larger ship if you can just attenuate the amount of power put through the weapon. At least that's the concept I am going with in this weapon design.

So here is what I've got.

Ships can have as many "Emitters" as they want. However, they can only fire one emitter per round at full power. If they want to attack multiple targets by firing multiple emitters, there is a -2 penalty to damage for every extra emitter fired. So if the HMS Guardsman wants to fire three different emitters in one round, each weapon will deal -4 damage. Of course, it has to have at least three emitters installed.

I like it. It's different and makes you think about how many vessels you are willing to target per round.

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