Saturday, January 12, 2019

OSR Star Wars Revision: Starship Rules Part One

I had to break this one up. This first post addresses key systems such as movement, sensors, and comms (communications.)

Please forgive any mis-spellngs etc. My hands and attention span have gotten worse since my stroke an neuropathy diagnosis. Typing can be a bitch. A frustrating bitch. As long as you can get the gist of I'm trying to get across I'm satisfied. 

First up let's look at the most used checks, the Pilot/Nav checks.

Pilots add their bonus to Dex checks while driving a vehicle or flying a ship. This ability also negates the -4 penalties non-pilots receive. A Pilot also adds his bonus to his  vehicle or ship's AC.

It is mostly used to avoid obstacles and in combat maneuvering. 

The Nav check is an Intelligence check with a Pilot bonus (or penalty without the Pilot skill) with modifiers. The skill is used with astrogation, communications, sensors, as well as intercepting and jamming signals etc.

It also allows for the calculation of Hyperdrive jumps. Bonuses may be given for good charts, maps, etc as well as Astromech droid assistance.

This is obviously a very important skill. Co-pilots/Navigators are important on transports and other ships. The Pilot may have the high Dex and do the fancy flying but a good Navigator with a high Int will get them where they need to go safely, detect ships and other threats more readily, etc. Nav is key to survival in the Star Wars space setting.

Nav: Astrogation 
This is the art of navigation in space involving the knowledge of present location and figuring out safe routes to where you are going, most often with a Hyperspace jump.

Sublight Astrogation
Sublight astrogation is relatively simple and only requires a Nav if the GM feels that something extraordinary might happen. If the check is failed by 5 or more roll on the Sublight Mishap Table below. Otherwise the trip goes smoothly using the following travel times:

Normal travel times in Sublight is as follows:
Surface of Planet to Orbit: 1-5 Minutes
Orbit to safe Hyperspace Jump Distance: 1 Minute
Planetary Orbit to Planet's Moon: 10-30 Minutes
Planetary Orbit to another Planet in the same System: 2-6 Hours
Planetary Orbit to outer edge of System: 12-24 Hours

Sublight Mishap 1d8
1. Off course. Due to bad maps, a Nav glitch, or some other problem the trip takes twice as long.
2. Through an unknown dust cloud. Sensors and Comm systems are clogged with filth. Until thoroughly cleaned in a starport or other maintenance station all Nav skills with with Sensors and Comms are at a -4 penalty.
3. Fight! The ship encounters pirates, imperials, or some other faction that wants to take the PC's ship.
4. Cargo! The ship flies into another ships dumped cargo setting off the collision alert. A Pilot check must be made to avoid a collision doing 3d6 to the ship's hit points. The cargo may be salvageable at the GM's option.  Possibly 10d10 tons of cargo worth 10d10x10 in credits.
5. Space debris! Collision alarms rock the ship as micro-meteors hit the ship immediately followed by a huge piece of jagged blaster scarred metal  in the ship's path. Pilot check or the ship collides for 1d10x10 to the ship's hit points.
6. Cosmic radiation storm! The a ships systems is overloaded and is damaged. Roll 1d6 and consult the chart below. *
7. Asteroids! An uncharted field sets off collision alarms as they rocket towards the ship The pilot must make a Pilot check with a -4 penalty to avoid the smaller stuff (6d6 hit point damage to ship hit points) and a check with a -8 penalty to avoid the mountains of space rock amidst the smaller pieces (1d10x20 dmg.)
8. Coronal mass ejection! The ship skims the edge of a massive solar ejection event which causes the hull plating to corrode and devastates the electrical systems. The ship takes 25% of its hit points in damage and it's physical armor (hit points listed damage reduction) is dropped by 10. All computer systems (com, controls, nav, sensors, weapons) are damaged and function with a -4 penalty until repaired. The sublight engines are damaged and at half speed until repaired. The Hyperdrive is considered damaged for a calculation penalty.

*1-2 Weapons system (targeting computer non-functional)
3-4 Sublight engine (move at half sublight speed)
5 Hyperspace engine (immediately drop from Hyperspace, cannot re-enter until fixed)
6 Nav computer (blown out and useless)

Hyperspace Astrogation
Astrogation in Hyperspace travel relies heavily on updated data as the universe and its bodies are in constant motion: stars, planets, debris, gravity wells, asteroid fields, gas clouds and other hazards are in constant motion thanks to orbit and natural movement of galaxies.

Updated data for a particular route through Hyperspace is available to anyone with access to the HoloNet- although that data might be outdated if the route in question is not frequently traveled by other ships. Popular routes through trade lanes (Tatooine)  and from prominent planets (Coruscant) will be well mapped and updated. Other worlds off the beaten track (Dagobah) will likely have old out-dated data. The time to calculate the Hyperspace Nav check takes 1 minute (10 rouds) unless there is no data, then the calculations take 1 hour (60 rounds.)

Data Nav Check Modifiers
One day old or less: no bonus or penalty to Nav check
More than a day, up to a week: -4 penalty to check
More than a week, up to a month: -8 penalty to check
More than a month old: -12 penalty to check
No new data available : -16 penalty to check

Other Nav Check Modifiers
No Nav Computer or Astromech: extra -4 penalty
Nav Computer used: +4 bonus
Astromech used: +2 to bonus do not use if Nav Computer also used)
Hyperdrive damaged: -4 penalty
Reduce time needed: -2 for every round cut
No Holonet access (such as Rebellion era): extra -4 penalty
Each extra hour taken on journey: +1
Each hour shaved off of journey: -1

Nav check Astrogate Result:
Fail by 5 or more: Roll on the Hyperspace Mishap table below. The GM will apply the result sometime during the journey when appropriate.
Fail by 1 - 4: add 1d12 hours to travel time
Success by 0 - 4: normal jump
Success by 5 - 9: subtract 1d12 hours from base travel time
Success by 10+: subtract 2d12 hours from base travel time (minimum 1 hour)

Travel Time Modifiers
Hyperdrive engine multiplier: travel time base x the multiplier for true time
Journey within same quadrant: half travel time
Route is well-traveled: reduce the time by half
Route is known to have many random hazards: Add 1d12 hours to base travel time.

Hyperdrive Mishap 1d10
1. No jump. The engine misfires and does not jump. The attempt can be made again in 2d6 rounds as it resets.
2. Hyper-drive cuts out.  A large mass shadow causes the Nav computer to bring the ship out of lightspeed. New calculations must be made to find where they are (Nav check) and a new Hyperspace jump must be plotted.
3. Gravity field! The ship bounces off of a gravity field and takes structural damage of 3d6 to the ship's hit points and rips 5 points of armor off of the front of the ship.
4. Rad Zone! The ship enters a vast zone of high radioactive particles which mess with the sensors causing false contact alarms which drop the ship out of lightspeed.
5. Hyperdrive engine explosion! The Hyperdrive cuts out after a near collision with a stellar gravity shadow. The close call overstressed the engine and it blows out in a shower of sparks. A Repair check with a -4 penalty and a half hour are necessary to get it up and running again. Otherwise a backup drive must be used.
6. Radiation fluctuations! A surge in radiation in this zone of Hyperspace affects the Hyperdrive engine causing it to sputter and require repair. The Repair roll is at a -8 penalty. If successful the jump's time is reduced by 1d6 hours. If failed it is extended 1d6 hours.
7. Completely off course. The ship emerges from Hyperspace in the wrong system chosen randomly by the GM. Plot a new course and start again!
8. Black hole shadow! The ship skips the edge of a massive gravity well caused by a black hole. It's not enough to drop the ship from lightspeed but it does knock the ship about causing 3d6 damage to its hit points.
9. Star cluster! A mega-dense cluster of stars wreaks havoc on the Hyperdrive engine causing it to burn up and drop the ship from lightspeed. It must be replaced.
10. Mystery collision! Something in Hyperspace physically collides with the ship causing 1d12x 15 damage to the ship, 2d6 to the crew, and wrecking the Hyperdrive and shield generators and damaging ships steering (-4 to Pilot checks.) The ship drops to realspace. The Hyperdrive and shields must be replaced and the steering must be fixed at 10% of the ship's original value.

Used to detect other ships, planets, hazards, etc. This allows the ship to scan the universe around them for information. It is the crew's electronic eyes and ears in space.

Using the Sensors requires a Nav check modified by distance, size of the object being scanned, and anything else that affect a reading. . For example, it’s much easier to detect a ship in open space than to find a ship hiding in an asteroid belt.

There are four modes of scanning: passive, scan, search, and focus.
The default mode is Scan mode. Any ship or object approaching the ship will set off proximity alarms unless the approaching ship has special hardware or is taking precautions to be unseen. A ship that approaches undetected has automatic surprise in combat.

Passive Mode: 
Receive info out to short range.  Grant no bonus on Computer check to detect objects. Help hide from others that might detect active sensors. it is a free action to read passive data.

Scan Mode:
Sends active pulses out to long range in all ranges. Grants a +2 bonus to Nav check to detect objects. Requires a move action.

Search Mode:
Sweeps specific arc (front, left, right, rear) out to extreme range. +4 bonus to Nav check to detect objects. The three remaining arcs are blind spots. Requires a move action.

Focus Mode: 
Directs search to a specific area or target up to extreme range. +6 bonus to Nav check to detect objects. Full-round action.

Range, Distance (Squares, 1 equals 500m), Nav Check Mod
Point Blank: 0-1, +4 bonus
Short: 2-5, 0
Medium: 6-10, -2 penalty
Long: 11-20, -4
Extreme: 21-40, -8
Out of Range: 41+, n/a

Target Size, Nav Check Mod
Colossal, +8 bonus, Star destroyer, Mon Cal star cruiser
Gargantuan, +6, Assault frigate
Huge, +4, Nebulon-B escort frigate
Large, +2, Corellian corvette, Bulk freighter
Medium, 0, Medium transport
Small, -1 penalty, Light freighter, Imp customs light cruiser
Tiny, -2, X-wing starfighter, Sith war droid
Diminutive, -4, TIE fighter, Rancor
Fine, -8 Missile, escape pod, airspeeder, wampa

Ships can make themselves harder to detect in a variety of ways.
Each of the following countermeasures gives a penalty to an enemy ship's sensors Nav check.

Hiding behind larger objects.
Sensors do not bend around objects; they are essential line of sight. A ship can hide behind a planet or other large body. However a sufficiently large ship may throw off enough energy emissions to be detected. Concealed by object 3x larger, -10 penalty to sensor detection.

Passive mode.
By setting sensors to passive mode a ship reduces its chances of being detected. Using any of the other three gives a signal that is easiere to detect. If using scan/search/focus modes, +4 bonus to detection.

Power down.
A ship can run silent by powering down all systems except life support which is run on power generators as a backup. The generators can normally support life for five minutes. Powered down, -4 penalty to detection.

Sensor masks.
A sensor mask conceals energy emissions. Some are more powerful than others. The penalty to the enemy's Computer check is noted in the sensor mask descriptions.

Sensor decoys
Small pods that sends out electromagnetic and holo signals duplicating the sensor image of the ship. This gives the enemy sensor operator two identical signals to choose from. This is easy to visually see through at  point blank range.

Comm signals are difficult to find without knowing the proper frequency. There are billions of freqs for comms and  subspace communication. Military have established government bands as well as secret frequencies for secured comms, often scrambled. 

Local governments regulate the use of frequencies for civil­ian, business, emergency services and military communications. Other groups may also use unauthorized frequencies for covert communications.

All ships are equipped with at least one of the following, if not more. Note that systems that transmit through hyperspace only operate in realspace.

Holonet Tranceiver:
Top of the line, generally only on military capital ships as they are huge and require massive amounts of power. Real-time holo network transmission through hyperspace.

Provides real-time audio and visual through hyperspace. Military and large private and corporate starships are usually equipped. Also power hogs.

Subspace Transceiver:
Allows audio, visual, and holo at a range of a few dozen lightyears. With a sufficient power boost it may send out to 100 light years. Most ships have this for emergency.

Lightspeed comms for  ship to ship and ship to planet. Interact directly with ship intercoms and personal comlinks. Starports use pre-set channels to broadcast a METOSP (“Message to Spacers”) providing landing protocols, traffic patterns, conditions at the starport and any other information incoming pilots need to know.

On-board systems used for communication within starship sections.

Intercepting Signals
It is possible to intercept and listen in on signals with a Nav comms check. Detecting transceivers is more difficult than subspace comms. Transceivers have a -4 penalty to the attempt. Subspace comms have a -2 penalty. If attempting to intercept a signal are attempted in a high signal area such as in a major battle or on a bustling planet. The extra penaty for this can be from -2 to -8 at the GM's discretion. If the interceptor succeeded on his roll by 5+  he is undetected if there is an officer or program monitoring a signal for anomalies.

Once a signal is located it can be listened to until it ends, passes out of range, or some other event or interference causes a new intercept roll. Also be aware that listening is not always understanding: messages can be encrypted, scrambled, etc.

The targeted comm signal may be sent by a station or network that is monitored by a counter-intelligence agent, an officer or program on guard for signal tampering.  If the interceptor did not roll well enough to conceal his presence the counter-intel agent will be alerted and can make an opposed Nav comm check to block the interception attempt. If the agent wins not only does the agent stop the attempt but if it wins by 5+ on the opposed check the agent learns the location of the would be spy.

Scrambling Signals
Com scramblers can be attached to a comms station to automatically scramble any signal sent. A receiving comms station with a linked com scrambler can receive the message normally. The sender of the message must make a Nav comm check with a bonus based on the quality of the com scrambler used: +0, +4, or +8.

Messages captured can be unscrambled if run through a non-linked com scrambler and a Nav comm roll is made with a penalty based on the quality of the com scrambler that sent the message with an additonal -4 for using a non-lnked scrambler. Each attempt takes ten minutes (1 turn.)

Any comm device with a Com Jammer attached may be used to cause interference with enemy comm and sensor systems. Comlinks can only jam comlinks and transceivers must be used for transceivers. The transmitted signal causes static on all frequencies which interferes with any communications within range. This works on both friends and foes and it alerts everyone in range that another ship is out there. The ship broadcasting the jamming signal cannot use his own comms while doing so.

A Nav comms roll is made from the jamming ship with a +8 bonus. Affected ships can attempt to overcome the jamming with a normal Nav sensors opposed roll. The bonus to jam is reduced with range measured in 500m squares:
Point Blank: 0-1, +8 bonus
Short: 2-5, +6 bonus
Medium: 6-10, +4 bonus
Long: 11-20,  +2 bonus
Extreme: 21-40, No bonus
Out of Range: 41+, n/a

Combat Rules and clarifications and Ship stats.

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