Science fiction!

torus
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Science fiction!

Postby torus » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:21 am

I'm thinking about a minimal set of rules extending AFF to futuristic and science fiction settings. It seems to me that the following would cover the basics:

New Special Skills:
    Combat: Guns, Heavy weapons, Starship combat, Vehicle combat
    Movement: Drive, Pilot, Zero-G
    Knowledge: Starship operation, Communications, Computers, Explosives, Engineering, Science
    Psionics Special Skill

Equipment:
armour (kevlar, battle-suit etc), guns (pistols, rifles, blasters etc, all just like missile weapons in AFF), meds, heavy weapons, vehicles, spacecraft.
Possibly also robots and bioware.
Specs for lots of other high-tech equipment like sensors, comms etc can just be taken from any sci-fi rpg, e.g. Traveller.

Rules for vehicle and spaceship combat:
Really simple, just like gun/missile combat but with modifiers for range and maybe spaceship maneuverability.

Psionics:
Just use Sorcery rules for this, with a list of psionic 'abilities' (i.e. spells). And rename MAGIC as MIND.

Does this seem reasonable? I'll flesh out some details in subsequent posts.
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Skywalker
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Postby Skywalker » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:40 pm

Looks good.

As a matter of interest, have you thought about looking at sci fi FF books and adopting rules from them? I am sure we have seen psionics and vehicles rules?
torus
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Postby torus » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:10 pm

Quiet here today but I'll press on.

I suggest the following rules for both vehicle and spacecraft combat. Each spacecraft has a MANEUVER score and a HULL score (equivalent to an individual's SKILL and STAMINA in normal combat). Shields or other hull protection are represented by an armour roll, and mounted weapons (e.g. phasers, torpedoes, pulse lasers) have assciated damage rolls.

In combat, both combatants roll 2 dice and add MANEUVER + the pilots Space Combat special skill. Higher total hits: winner rolls for damage and loser rolls for shields (armour). Resulting damage is subtracted from the losing ship's HULL.

Same rules for vehicle combat; but drivers use Vehicle combat Special Skill.

Just need to come up with Critical and Fumble tables. But here's an example round:

Example:
Federal agent Brin Daar (Space combat skill 2) emerges from hyperspace in the notorious Lethe system, under cover as a merchant. He's piloting a Small Trader, with shields fore and aft only:
MANEUVER: 6
HULL: 16
Shields: 0 0 0 2 2 2 3
Weapon: Beam laser 2 3 3 3 4 4 5

Halfway to the system's main planet he is attacked by two small pirate vessels:
PIRATE SHIP:
MANEUVER 8
HULL 8
No shields
Pulse laser 1 2 2 3 3 4 5

PIRATE SHIP:
MANEUVER 6
HULL 9
No shields
Pulse laser 1 2 2 3 3 4 5

Brin targets PIRATE 1. In the first round he rolls 7, giving an attack total (7 + 6 + 2) = 15
PIRATE 1 rolls 4, giving a total (4 + 8) = 12
PIRATE 2 rolls 10, giving a total (10 + 6) = 16

So Brin hits PIRATE 1. His damage roll is 3, so he does 3 points, reducing PIRATE 1's HULL to 5. But PIRATE 2 has maneuvered well and hits him, with damage roll 6, and then Brin's Shields roll is just 1, so his ship takes the full 4 damage to HULL.
He needs to knock out one of these pirates quickly or his mission will be over!
torus
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Postby torus » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:17 am

Skywalker wrote:Looks good.

As a matter of interest, have you thought about looking at sci fi FF books and adopting rules from them? I am sure we have seen psionics and vehicles rules?


Yes good point I should look through then again. My memory is that they tended to just use the hero's SKIlLL, which is ok for FF, but leaves little scope for any differences between ships and vehicles. I thought in AFF since we have Special skills, it might be good to go one step further and distinguish between them with MANEUVER.

Rings of Kether had a vehicle chase which amounted to repeated SKILL tests.. I think an opposed roll between the two drivers would be better.

[EDIT: Just looked again at Starship Traveller and there the ship had WEAPONS STRENGTH and SHIELDS stats, equivalent to SKILL and STAMINA. I think it's a better fit to AFF to have weapons and shields represented by damage and armour rolls, as I have done here.]

I can't remember any psionics rules in thd FF books but perhaps I've forgotten one?
aduial
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Postby aduial » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:42 pm

Took a quick look through those SciFi FF books I have in my posession to see how starship/vehicle combat works.

(Note: Some of these books also differentiate Blaster Combat and Hand2Hand combat, to simulate that firing weapons is much more deadly... I think, in AFF2 terms, that you would be better off just using the normal combat rules for this purpose, and giving blasters and other "modern" weapons a very potent damage range.)

Starship Traveller
Ship combat is performed with alternate attack rolls, equal to or lower than the ship's Weapons Strength. On a hit, roll 2d6 and compare to enemy shields. If lower, damage is 2, if higher damage is 4 (on a double 6, damage is automatically 6). Damage is subtracted from enemy shield score. Any damage to a ship with zero shields causes the ship to explode.

This system seems incongrous with AFF2 to me, although it could be adapted. The WS of a shield should probably be changed to a modifier which will be added to the pilot's SKILL and Spaceship Combat special skill.

Robot Commando
When fighting from within a robot, SKILL is used as normal. The robot's ARMOUR is used instead of STAMINA. A robot with a higher SPEED than it's oppnents get +1 combat total. Robots may also have a COMBAT BONUS which is added to your SKILL when fighting from inside them. Finally, some robots have special abilities.

This system seems to lend itself very well to AFF2. SKILL would be replaced by SKILL+Special Skill, and you would have to deal with how bonuses from speed are applied in combat against multiple enemies, but apart from that this system seems to be usable much as-is.

Star Strider
If I read the rules correctly, you use copies of your own SKILL and STAMINA when fighting from crafts. After the combat, you continue with SKILL and STAMINA as they were before you entered combat...

Weird system, and I'm not sure I understood it correctly. Too long since I actually played this book.

This book also has a FEAR statistic, which works much the same as LUCK but is used to see if you manage to avoid penalties for fear. This system could be adapted if you wish to include some morale or sanity-system in AFF2.

Sky Lord
You have a RATING. Vehicles also have LASERS and SHIELDS. Otherwise it works much as with Starship Traveller. RATING determines who fires first (and increases when you defeat enemies with a higher rating). To-hit-tests are made against LASERS (although in this case with a single die only).

I feel the same about this as I do about the Starship Traveller system.

The Rings of Kether
Again, more or less the same system as Sky Lord and Starship Traveller. (We're again rolling 2 dice for the to-hit checks, and this time comparing to WEAPONS STRENGTH. Ship armour is again called SHIELDS.) The system is somewhat complicated by the use of Smart Missiles that automatically destroy opponents.[/b]
aduial
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Postby aduial » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:43 pm

torus wrote:I think it's a better fit to AFF to have weapons and shields represented by damage and armour rolls, as I have done here.]


I agree with you very much on this!
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Postby aduial » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:54 pm

torus wrote:I can't remember any psionics rules in thd FF books but perhaps I've forgotten one?


According to the Titannica wiki, it seems the following books may be interresting for psionics...
http://fightingfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Psi-Powers

Appointment with F.E.A.R.
Has Psi-Powers as an available superpower for the hero. The items available for an ETS hero could also be relevant for a SciFi game.

Siege of Sardath
According to the wiki, some rules for magic vs psionics might be found here.

Rebel Planet
Has some mind-affecting technology, such as mindprobes.
torus
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Postby torus » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:56 pm

Thanks aduial that is very useful.

aduial wrote:(Note: Some of these books also differentiate Blaster Combat and Hand2Hand combat, to simulate that firing weapons is much more deadly... I think, in AFF2 terms, that you would be better off just using the normal combat rules for this purpose, and giving blasters and other "modern" weapons a very potent damage range.)


Exactly, that was my thinking too. No need for extra rules, just some new stats. Might want to have powered armour give a bonus.

For spaceship combat, I also think it's better to stick with opposed rolls than to use skill tests; hence the rules I suggested (only I forgot that the Hero's base SKILL should also add)

How about this then: Each ship has a MANEUVER (or SPEED if you prefer) and a HULL score. Defensive shields are represented by a shields roll (just like an armour roll), and weapons have associated damage rolls. Then either:

a) Each combatant rolls 2 dice and adds their SKILL + Space Combat special skill + their ship’s MANEUVER.

or

b) Each combatant rolls 2 dice and adds their SKILL + Space Combat special skill. Attacking a ship with lower MANEUVER gives a +1 bonus; attacking a ship with higher MANEUVER gives a -1 penalty.

In each case the higher total hits; the winner rolls for damage and the loser rolls for shields, if any. Resulting damage is subtracted from the losing ship's HULL.

Personally I think a is simpler because you can precalculate a COMBAT RATING = pilot's SKILL + Space Combat skill + ship's MANEUVER, and add that to all combat rolls. Enemy ships need only have a COMBAT RATING, whereas with option b you have to specify each ship's MANEUVER and pilot SKILL.
aduial
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Postby aduial » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:58 pm

I agree that option A in your case is the best, but not mainly for the reasons you stated (although they are good reasons).

I'm even more concerned about a situation like this with option B:

The spaceship "Our Hero" goes up against ships "Pirate 1" and "Pirate 2". Our Hero has a MANEUVER score of 5. Pirate 1 has MANEUVER 4 and pirate 2 has MANEUVER 6.

Both pirates attack Our Hero, who in turn attack Pirate 1.

With your option B, Our Hero gets a +1 to his combat total since he is attacking a ship which is slower than himself. This bonus ALSO counts versus Pirate 2, even though that ship is faster than Our Hero. So Pirate 2's advantage is cancelled out by having an ally which is slower than his intended target.

Of course, you could probably give some reason behind this - having a slower ally means the enemy can hind behind that ally or use it as a backdrop for your shots, meaning you will have to be careful... But in the end, it seems more fair to add in the MANEUVER for each ship. Any superior flying should already be encompassed by SKILL and Special Skills.
torus
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Postby torus » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:24 pm

Here are some ideas for a space combat Fumble table (based on the one in the AFF rules):

2 Hull breach causes rapid depressurization. Attack at -1 for 1D6 rounds, after which occupants not wearing vacuum suits take 4 damage per round.
3 Weapon malfunctions, damages ship (as normal damage) and is inoperable until repaired.
4 Vulnerable location exposed to enemy, who inflicts double damage with this attack.
5 Shield generator overload: -2 to shields roll until repaired. If no shields: enemy gets +2 to damage roll this round.
6 Weapon overheats/misfires; takes 2 rounds to reset, during which it cannot be fired.
7 Partial loss of control causes -2 to attack next round.
8 Failure to maintain bearing on enemy; weapons cannot hit next round.
9 Impulse drive component burns out; attack at -1 until repaired.
10 Pilot exposes gap in shields to enemy; no shields roll this round. If no shields, enemy gets +2 to damage roll this round.
11 Attack causes internal explosion: each occupant takes 1D6 – 1 damage (roll separately)
12 Ship goes into a spin. Attack at -3, and Pilot must successfully test against SKILL + Pilot special skill - 2 to recover.
aduial
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Postby aduial » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:48 pm

That table looks great!

One thought, however:

Hull breach - why does the -1 attack stop when the air has run out? Not sure I see the logic behind that particular part of the effect. Also, I would say they take depressurization damage and suffer from suffocation, and then detail that kind of damage elsewhere (suffucation suffered from vacuum should probably work more or less the same as suffocation in water). It's likely the depressurization that will kill you however, and 4 damage might be good - though I haven't thought too long about that.
torus
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Postby torus » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:52 pm

aduial wrote:That table looks great!

One thought, however:

Hull breach - why does the -1 attack stop when the air has run out? Not sure I see the logic behind that particular part of the effect.


I was thinking of instability caused by air/gas was escaping from the ship. But perhaps simpler just to make that penalty permanent. I figure the 4 damage per round represents the period when it's really getting hard to breathe, but isn't yet a vacuum. Maybe require a successful test against Vacc suit skill to put the suit on in 2 rounds; otherwise it takes 5.
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Re: Science fiction!

Postby Nuvole! » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:00 am

torus wrote:I'm thinking about a minimal set of rules extending AFF to futuristic and science fiction settings.

Eventually fate came your way!!! :P
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

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