Walls and barriers in SPACE!


I've made some rules for making turns near walls and crashing:
Crashing and Ramming: If a ship moves into a hex or hex edge that is made of a barrier that the ship cannot move through, the ship takes Hull Point damage equal to 10X the number of hexes the ship moved before it crashed. In addition, pilots gain a new stunt: Ram.

Ram: The starship moves into the space of another starship, dealing 5X the number of the number of hexes the starship moved before hitting the other ship to itself, and dealing 10X the number of the number of hexes the starship moved before hitting the other ship to the targeted ship and pushing the targeted ship 1 hex directly away from the ramming ship. To succeed on this stunt, the ship must beat the target’s TL by 5.

Making Tight Corners: If a starship makes a turn and the side of the hex it was facing before a turn was a barrier and would have caused the ship to crash, to not crash the pilot must succeed on a Piloting check (DC 15 + 2 x your ship’s mass number). If you fail, you crash into the barrier as normal and cannot move again until the next round.

Mass Numbers:
Tiny: 1
Small: 3
Medium: 5
Large: 7
Huge: 10
Gargantuan: 14
Colossal: 18

Eh... while I do agree we need some rules for ramming into other ships, we probably don't have to worry about running/crashing into other objects in space. Space is surprisingly empty, and the hexes don't actually represent specific sizes of anything.

If I wanted the ships to have to avoid running into asteroids I would make it a specific action the pilot needs to take to avoid a certain amount of damage each round. Meaning they would have to choose between avoiding asteroid damage or taking other pilot actions.

As for ramming...your ramming rules probably deal way too much damage. Especially since in between starship combats your ship is kind of magically repaired, you would definitely be encouraging my group to just ram every single ship that wasn't bigger than us at max speed to destroy it in a single turn.

Tight corners seems weird. Remember each hex in space is massive, so a turn isn't as tight as it looks. The same kind of applies to ramming, there's a lot of 3D space to move in to get out of the way (which is where AoOs in space come from).

That said, ramming should be more connected to size than speed. A tiny fighter ramming into a super colossal ship shouldn't even phase it, but the damage numbers being 10× is on the scale of capital weapons. And if a large ship is just plowing through a small ship why would it be hurt at all? The damage would be absorbed by shields at best, and the smaller ship should be absolutely devastated.

Additionally, remember in Starship combat there aren't really turns like ground combat. All movements and attacks happen simultaneously. How do you explain being rammed by the person who lost the piloting check (since they have to reposition first during the helm phase) having first opportunity to Ram?

Methinks more thought would need to be put in in order to meld nicely with the existing Starship rules.

Maybe Ramming deals Xd6 based on size? Where the Huge and larger ships that can mount capital weapons deal the ×10 like capital weapons do? Then give a bonus on the attack roll (it should be an attack roll, not a stunt check, subbing your BAB for your Piloting ranks) based on the number of hexes you moved in a straight line beforehand? (Though this doesn't address the problem of Helm phase coming before the Gunnery phase.)

Crashing into proverbial walls could be equivalent to taking damage as if you were rammed by a Colossal-sized ship (assuming the space wall is a large immovable object)?

As said, much more thought and fine tuning with the existing Starship rules is needed.

Yeah, I see the damage problem now. I was more thinking a trench run kind of thing, but I would probably just run that as a separate thing instead. Sorry for wasting your time on this.

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TronTheAllmighty wrote:
Yeah, I see the damage problem now. I was more thinking a trench run kind of thing, but I would probably just run that as a separate thing instead. Sorry for wasting your time on this.

Don't be sorry, my time's never wasted. And don't be ashamed from a fresh idea. Making mistakes is how we learn and improve as humans. It encourages communication and learning from others too, and helps them develop ideas of their own.

Basically, you did nothing you need to be sorry for. ^_^

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It's not wasted time.

You bring up issues that are important to us, but your ideas need additional work to make them viable for use in the game.

But that doesn't mean it's wasted time. Keep working and thinking and come up with better more refined ideas. You may surprise yourself.

I got to thinking more about the idea of Ramming and how to make it work. What if it was a starship weapon?

It has the limitation it can only be put in the front arc, it can have 3 size variants for different ships (light, heavy, capital). Give it a special range of 1 hex only, and a special quality where if you use it you move forward 2 hexes after the attack, provoking a free AoO from your target if you miss. Maybe a second quality that increases/decreases damaged based on the size difference between your ship and the target.

It doesn't have the speed connection you wanted, but it addresses the other issues presented by Starship combat and the overall rules.

It could also open the idea for like a "boarding spike" weapon in the future when we get boarding rules. Like if it beats the target's AC by 10 or if it manages to do hull damage and get through shields then you can use it to board the enemy vessel and have some fun boarding combat that way. Though that would still need how you deal with boarding and multiple enemy/ally starships. Does Starship combat stop due to the more vague concept of time? Or do you have to run both combats, the on ship and space combat, simultaneously?

So much fun possibility!

I believe the SFS scenario Siege of Enlightenment has an enemy ship with a ram (and a space combat with damage zones). May be something to check out.

That would require boarding rules for space combat, though, which would be non-trivial.

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Metaphysician wrote:
That would require boarding rules for space combat, though, which would be non-trivial.

Just shout "FOR THE EMPEROR!" as you emerge from the breaching pod. It'll be fine.

In my opinion, a ship crashing on another one is a double death sentence unless one ship is ridiculously small compared to the other one. Remember that the USS St. Lo was weighing 8 000 tons compared to the 2 tons of the Mitsubishi A6M which destroyed it.
I would really not bring Kamikazes into Starfinder as it would just be overwhelmingly powerfull.

But boarding, that's a very cool idea!
After all, pirates have to do it if they want to get your ship.
I would consider boarding pods to be a thing. If you manage to get very close to an enemy ship, you can launch one, targetting an air lock, and if you succeed, then, the fight is no more in space (as you won't shoot a boarded ship... unless you're evil :D).

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