How does one capsize a spaceship? (That is, a ship in space)


Rules Questions


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I came across a spacefaring monster known as the Oma (Bestiary 4, pg. 209) who possesses the special ability capsize. It's wording was fairly standard, but it's very vague.

Bestiary 4 wrote:
Capsize (Ex) An oma can attempt to capsize a ship or other vehicle by ramming it as a charge attack and attempting a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the oma, the oma takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this combat maneuver check.

I'm genuinely curious how this ability is supposed to function in space, a place where up and down have little meaning. Are there rules governing what it means for a ship to be capsized? If so I'd love to know if they still mechanically work in space, where death is down, up, and all around you?

Consumed with Curiosity,
Ten'shun the Tengu


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Now I'm not sure what the capsize ability actually does.


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Technically it would mean you flip over the other ship (we don't have nearly enough rules covering making or fixing vehicles in the first place to really work with this though).

This is... not very useful off-world, but at least it's probably handling the ship extremely roughly.


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
Now I'm not sure what the capsize ability actually does.

I agree, it's very confusing.

The ability tells you how to perform a "capsize" but is completely moot on what happens to the ship if it actually gets capsized. Could the rules governing this be in a splat book I'm missing?


Would a ship take damage from this maneuver? Or does the 'capsized' condition inflict the damage? Is it damage or some other negative effect?

And speaking of the 'space' ship, what if the interior is completely enclosed, that is vacuum sealed? I don't know how you can capsize such a vessel and have it mean anything.


Jamie Charlan wrote:

Technically it would mean you flip over the other ship (we don't have nearly enough rules covering making or fixing vehicles in the first place to really work with this though).

This is... not very useful off-world, but at least it's probably handling the ship extremely roughly.

I figured that a capsized vessel would flip over, but the crux of the issue is, what happens at that point mechanically? And how would those rules work in space?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The bit in space is a problem, but this looks like it's an exact copy of the sea borne version of the ability, where the effects, although not specifically spelt out should be pretty obvious - you won't be able to move, as your motive force won't be available (your sails would be under water, your oars wouldn't. Everyone & everything below deck would be on the ceiling, and everything and everyone on deck would be underwater. If you had an open hatches, being underwater is a state that will reach the other decks pretty quickly...


Enlight_Bystand wrote:
The bit in space is a problem, but this looks like it's an exact copy of the sea borne version of the ability, where the effects, although not specifically spelt out should be pretty obvious - you won't be able to move, as your motive force won't be available (your sails would be under water, your oars wouldn't. Everyone & everything below deck would be on the ceiling, and everything and everyone on deck would be underwater. If you had an open hatches, being underwater is a state that will reach the other decks pretty quickly...

I've always been one to say "we need to go deeper!" *inception noises*

It's a matter of game world physics, and thus, should be uniform in application across different situations (leaving aside the spacebourne dilemma for now).

So, in Golarion, how fast does a seagoing vessel sink if capsized? Right away we've got a laundry list of things of things to consider.

1. How many holes are there in the ship?
2. What kind of cargo is the ship carrying (and how heavy)?
3. *inception noises*

Yeah, I suppose Paizo leaves the ability vague so that GM's can determine all these answers for themselves, but all the same... I'm just so lazy!


10 rounds
I'm pretty sure an upside down ship is not seaworthy and effectively plunged into water.

How that applies to ships in space...
*shrug*


what would be a compatible effect in space? Hmmm, let's see, gravity fails on ship, leaving crew at a disadvantage until restored, ship could be tumbling as well, creating a hazard of randomly flying objects that can hit random crew each round. This is one way I could view being capsized in space.


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I'd say ask James Sutter because he wrote it up, but since the oma's now in Bestiary 4 it might be necessary to just FAQ the thing.

I'd suggest:

1) Ends the space ship's forward momentum and may change its direction when it starts moving again.

2) If the space ship has some sort of artificial gravity, then everyone inside should be fine and no other ill effect - space ships move in 3D, after all.

3) If the space ship does NOT have artificial gravity, then everyone inside who isn't strapped down is getting horrifically bashed up, because they are in a space ship that just got flipped.

And an oma's check is pretty crazy.

Your space ship just go whacked by a CR 16 space whale with enough force to flip an aircraft carrier.

I'd have no qualms about dealing 20d6 damage to the ship's entire unsecured crew as they get billiard balled.


Ten'shun the Tengu wrote:

I came across a spacefaring monster known as the Oma (Bestiary 4, pg. 209) who possesses the special ability capsize. It's wording was fairly standard, but it's very vague.

Bestiary 4 wrote:
Capsize (Ex) An oma can attempt to capsize a ship or other vehicle by ramming it as a charge attack and attempting a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the oma, the oma takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this combat maneuver check.

I'm genuinely curious how this ability is supposed to function in space, a place where up and down have little meaning. Are there rules governing what it means for a ship to be capsized? If so I'd love to know if they still mechanically work in space, where death is down, up, and all around you?

Consumed with Curiosity,
Ten'shun the Tengu

It uses the ability when attacking ships on water.


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Obviously when an Oma uses this ability, the entire crew of the target vessel bounces around like in the original Star Trek series. Dramatic music blares, anyone wearing red is going to be in a world of hurt, and some unfortunate NPC will be crushed by a falling girder.

Alternatively, the ship might be pushed off-course and fall into the gas giant or (more adventurously) crashland on a barren moon filled with hostile bug people.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


It uses the ability when attacking ships on water.

Pish! you're no fun...


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Ten'shun the Tengu wrote:

I came across a spacefaring monster known as the Oma (Bestiary 4, pg. 209) who possesses the special ability capsize. It's wording was fairly standard, but it's very vague.

Bestiary 4 wrote:
Capsize (Ex) An oma can attempt to capsize a ship or other vehicle by ramming it as a charge attack and attempting a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the oma, the oma takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this combat maneuver check.

I'm genuinely curious how this ability is supposed to function in space, a place where up and down have little meaning. Are there rules governing what it means for a ship to be capsized? If so I'd love to know if they still mechanically work in space, where death is down, up, and all around you?

Consumed with Curiosity,
Ten'shun the Tengu

It uses the ability when attacking ships on water.

Omas are purely aerial/space-faring creatures.

They don't even have a swim speed. =P


Ten'shun the Tengu wrote:
I'm genuinely curious how this ability is supposed to function in space, a place where up and down have little meaning. Are there rules governing what it means for a ship to be capsized? If so I'd love to know if they still mechanically work in space, where death is down, up, and all around you?

I think it is a mistake. The Oma is a space whale. Capsize was probably adapted from a common whale's description without considering what it means in space.

Instead, we get to invent what a space-capsize does. It would be the result of an oma ramming a spaceship, and should have similar plot-relevant effects, such as abandoning ship.

How about space-capsize is a bull rush to the nearest planet via the oma's starflight ability? The ship ends up in the upper fringe's of the planet's atmosphere on a collision course or a decaying orbit. That is the closest to a sinking spaceship that I can imagine.


Obviously it transports the ship to the elemental plane of water.


Read Stormwrack. Just default to those rules for naval affairs for the time being


Zhangar wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Ten'shun the Tengu wrote:

I came across a spacefaring monster known as the Oma (Bestiary 4, pg. 209) who possesses the special ability capsize. It's wording was fairly standard, but it's very vague.

Bestiary 4 wrote:
Capsize (Ex) An oma can attempt to capsize a ship or other vehicle by ramming it as a charge attack and attempting a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the oma, the oma takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this combat maneuver check.

I'm genuinely curious how this ability is supposed to function in space, a place where up and down have little meaning. Are there rules governing what it means for a ship to be capsized? If so I'd love to know if they still mechanically work in space, where death is down, up, and all around you?

Consumed with Curiosity,
Ten'shun the Tengu

It uses the ability when attacking ships on water.

Omas are purely aerial/space-faring creatures.

They don't even have a swim speed. =P

Personally, I wouldn't like to be on the board of a flying ship while it flips over...


Oxylepy wrote:
Read Stormwrack. Just default to those rules for naval affairs for the time being

Any way I can access this via internet, without paying anything? Is this a splat book?

I congratulate you on being the perfect mix of helpful but lazy. Well Played Sir.

I'll play your game and google it of course, but Well Played Sir.


Zhangar wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Ten'shun the Tengu wrote:

I came across a spacefaring monster known as the Oma (Bestiary 4, pg. 209) who possesses the special ability capsize. It's wording was fairly standard, but it's very vague.

Bestiary 4 wrote:
Capsize (Ex) An oma can attempt to capsize a ship or other vehicle by ramming it as a charge attack and attempting a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the oma, the oma takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this combat maneuver check.

I'm genuinely curious how this ability is supposed to function in space, a place where up and down have little meaning. Are there rules governing what it means for a ship to be capsized? If so I'd love to know if they still mechanically work in space, where death is down, up, and all around you?

Consumed with Curiosity,
Ten'shun the Tengu

It uses the ability when attacking ships on water.

Omas are purely aerial/space-faring creatures.

They don't even have a swim speed. =P

Wouldn't need one, simply attacks from above and tips the boat over.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Does anybody actually have a good source work for handling Pathfinder or 3.5 "ships in space" action? I'm actually running a homebrew setting right now where flying ships don't operate under gravity/atmosphere. If I can work out all the bugs, I'm going to sell it. Was Spelljammer (hereafter referred to as It-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named or IWMNBN) a 3.5 setting or just for AD&D or 2.0?
-

To stay on topic, you could treat the Capsize effect as if the Oma had rammed the ship instead of capsizing it. Given that space ships require a hole-less hull a little more than the merchant marines do it wouldn't be out of consideration that a massive object running into you would deal significant damage even on a glancing blow. And as the ship spins, spirals, or yaws end-over-end (or a combination of all three!) the motive thrust for the ship is going to start cancelling itself out or propel you in an entirely new direction. Throw some redshirts, lensflares, sparking wooden instruments and falling mainbraces, and you might have a short sub-encounter where the PCs need to run around the ship to shut down the core or repair an engine line before the reactor goes critical. The sub-encounter would replace the danger of a capsized ship sinking, and if the ramming maneuver tore open the hull you could also have some "men overboard."

So, ramming:
d20pfsrd Vehicles and d20pfsrd Advanced Naval Combat

Ramming rules (summarized):
-The rammed ship takes damage. If the ramming ship travels through or into more than a single square of the rammed ship on your tactical map, or does not have a ram attachment, both ships take damage instead. Not an issue for the Oma since he's not actually moving into or through the rammed ship.
(Vehicles): Ramming damage without a specially designed ram deals (1d8)^(each size category greater than large.) Large =1d8, Huge 2d8, Huge+1=4d8, etc.
(Advanced Naval Combat): Beating the targets CMD by greater than 5 or greater than 10 doubles or quadruples the damage dealt and received.

-Both ships reduce their speeds to 0. Depending on how you'd normally deal with the Capsize special attack you can say the Oma stops dead or keeps going. Regardless of if you have the PCs ship stop dead or skew off randomly, they're no longer under their own control.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a post. Don't link to illegal downloads on our site.

I am extremely sorry, it won't happen again.


Might the oma hearken back to spelljammer days? And weren't spelljammers somewhat like magic bowls full of breathable air in space, rather than science fiction type space shops? Could not a spelljammer be topped over in space?

I am admittedly ignorant on all counts.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Spelljammer rules for fantasy space, objects in space attract air to them like bubbles.

Objects massing over ten tons have gravity fields about their center of mass, and huge gravity fields. Larger objects have larger objects and gravity fields.

The presence of gravity fields breaks objects out of spelljamming speed at variable distances relative to mass (usually a minimum of 10-20 Hexes). Spelljamming speed is a constant of 100 million miles day (roughly distance from earth to sun). Tactical speed is in 500 meter hexes/turn, based on the power of your engine and ship modifications. The average for most ships is 3-5 hexes. Ships are rated by tonnage, which actually means atmosphere carried over weight (tons of air, not cargo). Larger ships require larger minimum size engines, and so larger ships actually tend to move faster then smaller ships.

Engines are called 'helms' and usually operate by channeling magical power into the device, usually through a spellcaster sitting in it. Some are based on feeding on magical scrolls, others use ki power, some use psionics. THe level of the powering character is generally the metric for speed. Minor helms (good up to 50 tons) use CL/3. Major Helms (good up to 100 tons), use CL/2. Anything larger, such as Dwarven Citadels, requires unique helms.

Helms are considered minor artifacts on worlds, but about in space due to the Arcane, who actually sell them for gold in order to get more people into arcane space and open up more markets (this is the historical origin of the Arcane, NOT Planescape!)

Solar systems are surrounded by Crystal Shells, at exactly twice the distance out of the furthermost planet. Breaching the Shell requires specific spells, and gets you into the Phologiston, the unimaginably vast ocean of proto-energy between crystal spheres. Phlogiston is very flammable, and if not kept away from the suns, would explode in nova class eruptions that could crack a crystal sphere and obliterate a system.

Coming out into the phlogiston is like coming out into a white sky, with the black stars of distant crystal spheres twinkly everywhere, and rivers and bands of pale light, the phlogiston rivers that extend between the spheres, extending across transfinities. Voyages between crystal spheres tend to take at least a month or more, and can take years. The orbit of Pluto, which maxes out at 49 AU from the sun, means it would take 98 days to sail from the sun to the crystal shell.

Among other things, a Cthulesque game of 'monsters in the dark spaces beyond the stars' becomes more 'monsters beyond the planets', as the phlogiston is pretty brightly lit...but not necessarily at all friendly.

==Aelryinth


well it would probably send the ship off course, how bad is hard to figure out.

If the ship is under thrust, and is designed to continually operate under thrust. I would think it should be easy for a navigator, human or computer to compensate.

If the ship is on a ballistic trajectory, then that could be really bad. Does the ship carry enough fuel to correct the course and still make the proper destination maneuvers? Can the ship refuel in space? Does the ship carry enough provisions to complete a course correction or refuel?

As for Gravity, if the ship has spin to facilitate gravity, then capsize maneuver would stop the spin, or at least disrupt it. I would think that would manifest as a complete/ partial loss of gravity.

If the ship uses continual thrust to facilitate gravity, then an inversion would be minimal. It would be as if the room you are sitting in just rotated 180 deg. Perhaps some non secured objects would briefly fly around. It would depend of ship size, and how fast the capsize happens.

If the ship has some sort of artificial gravity, like the Milinum Falcon, I do not think a capsize would be of much effect, if any.


There are three ways to look at this issue.

1) One definition of "Capsize" is "to knock over; to upset". If you focus on the "to upset" portion of the definition, it means that you upset the vessel and the effect of this upset is determined by the context. In water, a vessel that has been capsized (upset) will turn over and sink. In space, a vessel upset would be knocked around and suffer some kinds of penalties; if close to a strong gravity source, it could get pulled in. Otherwise, you might treat the ship as if it were staggered.

2) The process of capsizing a boat turns its deck (the top) towards the medium on which it travels (the water). If you translate this process to the context of a spaceship, it is turning the deck (the inside) towards the medium of travel (space). So capsizing involves opening the inside of the ship to the vacuum of space.

3) Just as you can't trip a creature with no legs, you can't meaningfully capsize a spaceship anymore than you could do so to a submarine.


Lakesidefantasy wrote:

Might the oma hearken back to spelljammer days? And weren't spelljammers somewhat like magic bowls full of breathable air in space, rather than science fiction type space shops? Could not a spelljammer be topped over in space?

I am admittedly ignorant on all counts.

You'll generally see that the Paizo devs have a rather severe dislike for the whimsical fantasy space of Spelljammer as they prefer a more sciencey universe where all planets are round objects that revolve around suns and none of that disk mounted on four elephants standing on a turtle nonsense.


Kazaan wrote:

There are three ways to look at this issue.

1) One definition of "Capsize" is "to knock over; to upset". If you focus on the "to upset" portion of the definition, it means that you upset the vessel and the effect of this upset is determined by the context. In water, a vessel that has been capsized (upset) will turn over and sink. In space, a vessel upset would be knocked around and suffer some kinds of penalties; if close to a strong gravity source, it could get pulled in. Otherwise, you might treat the ship as if it were staggered.

2) The process of capsizing a boat turns its deck (the top) towards the medium on which it travels (the water). If you translate this process to the context of a spaceship, it is turning the deck (the inside) towards the medium of travel (space). So capsizing involves opening the inside of the ship to the vacuum of space.

3) Just as you can't trip a creature with no legs, you can't meaningfully capsize a spaceship anymore than you could do so to a submarine.

Actually if you manage to top over a submarine, it's engines would likely break loose from their moorings and destroy the ship. When Titanic pitched over, it's boilers actually spilled out from the stern section into the sea, ripping through bulkheads to do so.

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