Friday, June 15, 2018

Starpunk Update

For those that have been following my blog, I have been working on a sci-fi setting called Starpunk. It's kind of like Daring Tales of the Space Lanes but with an actual setting (and I'm leaning more toward a comedic bent). One of the biggest hurdles has been generating starships because the Sci-Fi Companion generator never sat right with me, and I have worked on a lot of Starship generator ideas. Here's what I have discovered:

a) I shouldn't need a starship generator ruleset. The point of the game is to play, not munchkin the ruleset to see what cool combo can be built.
b) The more complicated the starship builds get, the easier it is to introduce overpowered ships and weapons.
c) The more complicated the system, the less F!F!F! it got.

Well I finally have something worked out, at least for capital scale ships. It borrows concepts from a variety of sources but also required me to change my thinking process.

In every rpg that involves large starships, they have always treated them the same way as they treated smaller vessels: listing each individual weapon and its damage. If you ended up with two capital ships fighting each other, then you were expected to roll for each gun to hit, roll damage for each hit, etc. This takes too long, but thankfully it is rarely ever used since the players don't command these type of vessels in an rpg. What GMs should be concerned about is what affect all of those guns have on our hero's stock light freighter.

Here's my solution:
Don't sweat the details. Worry about the overall effect.

Capital ships have three weapon entries: Port Batteries, Starboard Batteries, and CIDS (Close In Defense Systems).

CIDS are what capital ships would use against small craft. It's treated as a single weapon, but with a RoF. The bigger the ship, the bigger its RoF (rated 2-4). A capital ship can make a single CIDS attack against each enemy fighter or missile per round.

If I do want to run two capital ships duking it out, the the Capital ships fire their batteries at each other. Each battery is considered a single attack roll. A starship can only attack with one side Battery per target unless they draw a face Card, and Ace, or a Joker for their action card. If they do, then the ship has maneuvered in a way to bring both side Batteries to fire on a single target.

Of course, if I'm going to involve more capital ships and fighters, then I would just bring out the Mass combat rules.


  1. I like it for the simplicity. But it doesn't seem to give the PCs anyway to affect the outcome (except to just stay out of range). Maybe treat CIDS attacks as an Opposed Roll versus Piloting and/or Knowledge/Shields? And what about damage when the CIDS achieves a hit on that stock light freighter? I'm imagining a stream of ultradense penetrators travelling at a significant fraction of the speed of light . . .

    1. PCs shouldn’t be going head to head against capital ships unless they are making missile runs. Otherwise they should be steering clear and running. A CIDS system is currently 3d10 damage HW but that might shift after some more play testing. Lastly, this is more Star Wars-y style than Hard Sci-Fi. Everything except missiles are beam weapons.


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