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Eric
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PostSubject: Ship combat discussion   Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:49 pm

After wracking my brain for weeks and weeks on the issue of shipboard movement and combat I am very close to scrapping the whole system in Skull and Bones. It is a fairly accurate but complicated system. Although Kurt and myself may enjoy 3 hours of trying to maneuver using the physics of a period-accurate sailing model, I doubt the rest of you would.

In fact I am considering going in the complete opposite direction and modifying (pretty extensively and yet to be done) abstract ruleset called Hot Pursuit. I am pretty impressed with this book for several reasons. One, it answers with detail the age old d20 (or heck any RPG) question of who wins a race, chase etc. The second is it does it with flair. I think chases with this system will be exciting as they don't rely on just making opposed Dex checks and then, if you're really creative, changing those to Con checks after a while. Instead it offers an abstract distance model (Extreme, Long, Medium, Short, Point Blank) and various 'Maneuver' actions (Break Away, Evasion, Ram, Pace and a whole lot more) which instead of just moving you X feet give you bonuses or penalties to various actions.

Aside from shipboard stuff, I think this system is very swashbuckly. I can't wait to put you guys in a scenario where you are racing through a town in a carriage. Or better yet on horses trying to jump on the carriage! This system is really set up to do that.

Hot Pursuit is available for the low, low price of 1 buck on Drive-through RPG. Feel free to pick it up and give me any ideas you have, as I will be re-writing most of it to make it more nautical. There is also a supplement called On Foot that adds more options to foot chases, but I haven't read that one yet.

So, discuss your thoughts here!
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kurt



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PostSubject: Re: Ship combat discussion   Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:17 pm

Anything that will work smoothly and keep everyone interested is fine with me. I will try to download the books this weekend and take a look.
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PostSubject: Re: Ship combat discussion   Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:24 pm

Thanks for responding Kurt. I have decided to go ahead and change the rules that are in Skull and Bones and have modified (to the best of my ability) the Hot Pursuit rules for Nautical chases. They are below and also Stickied in the Campaign Overview Forum. Please review and ask any questions.

Nautical Pursuit Rules

The following are the adjustments to the Hot Pursuit rules for nautical
chases.

There is an additional range category beyond Extreme called ‘Sighted’
for nautical chases. At this range all actions that could be performed at Extreme
range are possible except the Cannon Attack maneuver. The time for all maneuvers is
longer than a standard Hot Pursuit round as adjudicated by the GM. Movement from Sighted
to Extreme is an even longer time period, also adjudicated by the GM.

Chase Maneuvers

Chase maneuvers are the “bread-and-butter” of chases. Ships
select these maneuvers in order to gain ground on their opponents,
or try to force opponents out of the chase. Consult Table 5-1: Chase
Maneuvers to determine which Chase maneuvers require the
ship to apply maneuver modifiers or Speed Factor modifiers.
The Skill for all Chase Maneuvers is the Ship’s Crew Seamanship,
modified by the action penalty on p. 103 of Skull and Bones for
skeleton crews.

Table 5-1: Chase Maneuvers
Chase Modifiers Applied:
Maneuvers Maneuver Speed Factor Reaction Range
Breakaway N Y Y Any
Close/Lengthen N Y Y Any
Crowd Y N Y P-B
Escape N Y Y Extreme
Evasion Y N N Any
Sea Anchor Y N Y Any
Join Y Y N --
Lose Em Y N Y Any
Pace Y Y Y Any
Ram Y Y Y P-B
Broadside! Y Y Y Any




Breakaway

Alter current chase conditions.
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: Yes
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Any
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to change the chase conditions to
something more favorable for your vehicle.
DC: 20
Special: This maneuver may not be possible at all times. The
GM determines if this maneuver is possible, and the sorts of
conditions that it may be possible to change to (both Surface and
Terrain).
Result: If successful, the chase veers into new terrain (crossing shoals,
heading into rougher seasor some such sudden
transformation of conditions).
If the acting Ship fails the Seamanship check for this
maneuver, he must immediately make a Crash check (see the
Obstacles and Collisions chapter) or suffer damage appropriate
to the terrain or condition).
Other vehicles must attempt a Seamanship check in order to
stay in the chase with the acting ship. The DC for this
Reaction Roll varies according the other ship’s current Range
from the acting ship, as follows:
Point-Blank 20 Short 18
Medium 16 Long 12
Extreme 8
Ships who fail this check are no longer in the chase with
the acting vehicle.

Close/Lengthen

Pull away from or catch up with other Ships
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: Yes
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: any
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver anytime you want to gain ground on your
opponents, whether you wish to pull away from or catch up with
them.
DC: Opposed Seamanship checks between the acting ship
and all other ships to which the acting ship wishes to change his
range.
Result: If successful, the Close/Lengthen maneuver allows the
acting ship to change the Range between his ship and all
other ships that failed the opposed check by one Range increment,
either closer or further (the same direction of change must be
applied to all vehicles). If unsuccessful, there is no change in the
Range between the vehicles.

Grapple/Ungrapple

Lock your ship to another ship or break free from a grapple.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Point-Blank
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to try and get close enough to an
enemy ship so that you can board her, or to break free from a ship that
has grappled yours.
DC: Opposed Seamanship checks (see Special)
Special: The targeted ship can forego the opposed check,
in which case the maneuver is successful and the ships are grappled.
Result: If successful, the targeted ship is locked or your ship breaks free.

Escape

Flee the scene, get away.
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: Yes
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Extreme
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to pour on the speed and leave your
pursuers in your wake.
DC: Opposed checks between the acting Crew’s Seamanship
skill and the opposing Crew’s Spot skill.
Result: If all opposing crews fail to beat the acting crew’s
Seamanship check with their Spot check, the chase is over and
the acting ship has escaped. The chase is over.

Evasion

Sail defensively, making your ship more difficult to target.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: any
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to make your ship more difficult to hit,
or to make life difficult for your passengers.
DC: 15
Result: If successful, the acting ship may take a penalty on
their Seamanship skill and then must make a Crash check using
that skill, with the penalty applied. If the Crash check succeeds,
the vehicle then receives a dodge bonus to Defense or Armor
Class equal to the penalty taken on Seamanship skill until the acting
Ship’s next turn.
All passengers also must make Balance checks at a DC equal
to 5 plus the dodge bonus gained from the Evasion maneuver
or fall prone.
If unsuccessful, the acting ship does not make a Crash check.
His Ship’s Defense or Armor Class does not change.
Regardless of the outcome, the acting ship may not make any
Reaction Rolls until his next action.


Sea Anchor

Perform a sudden deceleration to throw off nearby pursuers.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Any
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to force pursuers who are at Point-Blank
range to overshoot your ship.
DC: Opposed Seamanship check between the acting ship and
any other ships whose vehicles are at Point-Blank range to the
acting ship.
Result: If successful, the acting ship suddenly
decelerates, sending nearby vehicles shooting past. All vehicles
at Point-Blank range whose ships fail the opposed Seamanship
checks go to Short Range. All vehicles at other ranges have their
range to the acting ship reduced by one increment.


Join

Enter a chase.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: Yes
Reaction Roll: No
Range: --
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to join a chase already in progress, either
because you werenʼt aware of it, because you were foiled by
a Breakaway or a Lose Em maneuver.
DC: The DC for the Join maneuver depends on the current Speed
Category of the chase.
Walk 10 Cautious 15
Cruising 20 All-Out 25
Special: Every round that passes while a ship remains out of
the chase, their Join checks suffer a -2 penalty.
Result: If successful, the acting ship joins the chase. By
default, new chase participants join a chase at Extreme range. For
every 5 points by which their Seamanship check exceeded the
DC for the current Speed Category, the initial Range is reduced
by one increment.


Lose Em

Shake your pursuers by hiding in a fog bank, a storm or behind an Island.
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Any
Skill: Seamanship (but see below)
Choose this maneuver to lose your pursuers by ducking behind
obstacles.
DC: The acting ship’s Seamanship check is opposed by
opposing ship’s Spot checks. The current Terrain provides a
bonus to the acting ship’s check as follows:
Open: -10
Close: +0
Tight: +10
Special: The acting ship gains a +2 synergy bonus for every
5 ranks the Crew has in Bluff or Hide. The opposing ships gain a
+2 synergy bonus for every 5 ranks the Crew has in Sense Motive.
Use the Range modifiers for ranged attacks as penalties on the
opposing ship’s Spot check.
Result: Each opposing ship who fails to beat the acting
Ship’s check is out of the chase. They may attempt a Join
maneuver on their next round, if they become
aware of their quarry (either through a successful Spot check or
by having an ally direct them).


Pace

Maintain identical speed and direction to another ship.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: Yes
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Any
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to allow your passengers an easier time
making attacks against an opposing vehicle.
DC: Opposed checks. If the opposing ship chooses not to react
or is unable to react, the maneuver automatically succeeds.
Result: If successful, Defense/AC and Check/Roll modifiers
due to Speed Category all become zero for passengers in both
ships attempting actions that involve only the two ships
currently Pacing. The modifiers remain at zero until either ship
resolves any maneuver other than Pace.


Ram

Deal damage to opposing vehicle.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: Yes
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Point Blank only
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to use your ship as a weapon and slamit into your opponent’s ship.
DC: Target’s Armor Class
Special: A ship who attempts the Ram maneuver is easier to target because its movement is predictable.
For 1 full round the Armor Class of a ship that attempts a Ram suffers a -2 penalty.
Result: If successful, the Ram maneuver causes damage to both
ships as specified on page 116 of the Skull and Bones sourcebook. The attacking ship takes 1/3 of list damage. In addition the two ships are considered locked together and either can perform a boarding action without a Grapple maneuver.


Broadside!

Turn your broadside cannon towards an enemy
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: Yes
Reaction Roll: Yes
Range: Any
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to turn your ship, temporarily, to fire a broadside.
DC: Opposed Seamanship Checks
Result: If successful, the acting ship can turn and passengers will be able to fire either port or starboard cannon at the enemy, without losing or gaining any sea room. If unsuccessful, the acting ship can still fire the broadside but the enemy ship will gain/lose a range category, depending if the enemy ship is trying to close or flee respectively.





Table 5-2: Passenger Maneuvers

Passenger Maneuver Skill Used Range
Cannon Attack BAB Extreme or less
Jump Clear Jump --
Half a Full-Round Action -- --
Ranged Attack Ranged Attack P-B
Leap Aboard Jump P-B


Cannon Attack

Fire Ship’s Cannon at an opponent
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: Extreme or less
Skill: Ranged attack
Choose this maneuver to fire a cannon at an
Opponent’s ship.
DC: Opponent’s Armor Class or Defense.
Result: A successful Cannon Attack will deal damage to the appropriate
Statistic of the target vessel, per the rules for Cannon on page 118 of the
Skull and Bones sourcebook, modified by house rules and range as below:

Range Modifiers for Cannon
Point Blank: 0
Short: -2
Medium: -4
Long: -8
Extreme: -16


Jump Clear

Leap from a moving ship.
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: --
Skill: Jump
Choose this maneuver to get clear of a ship heading inexorably
towards its doom.
DC: Based on the amount of cover provided by the vehicle:
None: 5 (Open Deck or Boat)
One-Quarter: 10 (Deck with Railings)
Half: 15 (Deck with Castled Railings)
Three-Quarters: 20 (Below Decks out a Gun Port)
Full: 25 (Below Decks out a Window)
Result: If successful the character has safely jumped into the water.
If the check is failed by less than 5 the character is still in the water but
suffers 1d6 damage for every 10 feet they fell. If the check is failed by
more than 5 the character is still aboard the vessel.


Half A Full-Round Action

Start or finish a full-round action other than a full attack.
Maneuver Modifier: Probably not
Speed Factor: Probably not
Reaction Roll: Probably not
Range: Impossible to tell
Skill: Up to you
Choose this maneuver twice in a row whenever you want to
perform a full-round action other than a full attack. You canʼt
perform full-round actions in a single round, so if you want to
cast a spell that takes a full round, or some other action that
likewise takes a full round, you can do it in two rounds using this
maneuver twice. This maneuver does not allow you to make a
full attack.
DC: Up to you
Result: Depends entirely on the action chosen


Ranged Attack

Crew use firearms against the opposing crew.
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: P-B
Skill: Ranged attack
Choose this maneuver to fire a ranged weapon at an opponent’s crew.
DC: Opponent’s Armor Class or Defense.
Result: Successful attack results in appropriate weapon damage to opposing crew. Musket attacks suffer an inherent -2 and Pistol shots are ineffective unless the two ships are Locked. If the two ships are locked Pistol attacks suffer a -2 penalty but Musket attacks are not penalized.


Leap Aboard

Try to jump aboard a moving ship.
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: Point-Blank
Skill: Jump
Choose this maneuver if you want to get on board a ship
involved in a chase. You may select this maneuver in order to
go from being a “pedestrian” to being a passenger, or if you are
already a passenger on one ship and wish to switch to another
ship.
DC: 20 + Speed Factor modifier (unless nullified through use of
the Pace maneuver)
Special: Apply a +10 circumstance bonus if the ships are locked.
Result: If successful, the acting character is now aboard the
target ship.
If the check is unsuccessful the character remains on his ship.
If the check is missed by 5 or more the character falls into the sea
suffering 1d6 damage for every 10 feet they fell.


Table 5-3: Obstacle Maneuvers

Obstacle Maneuver Skill Used Obstacle Type
Hard Brake Seamanship Barrier, Moat
Swerve Seamanship All
White Knuckle Seamanship Barrier, Traffic, Creature


Hard Brake

Screech to a halt just in time.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: --
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to reduce the impact of a collision.
DC: 15
Result: If successful, the acting vehicle suddenly decelerates,
treating any damage sustained as a result of a collision as though
the current Speed Category were one category lower than actual.
In addition, all vehicles at Point-Blank range increase their range
to the acting vehicle to Short (although remember they must
make Obstacle maneuvers immediately or else collide with the
obstacle), and all vehicles at Short range or greater close their
range by one range category.



Swerve

Veer out of the way.
Maneuver Modifier: Yes
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: --
Skill: Seamanship
Choose this maneuver to avoid a collision.
DC: 20 + Special Size Modifier (as for Grappling) for obstacle
size
Result: If successful, no collision occurs.


White Knuckle

Hang on tight and plow straight through.
Maneuver Modifier: No
Speed Factor: No
Reaction Roll: No
Range: --
Skill: None
Choose this maneuver to just plow right through an obstacle,
bracing yourself for the impact.
DC: None
Result: Selecting this Obstacle maneuver adds a +2
circumstance bonus to the Crash check made as a result of
colliding with the obstacle.


At Sea
For the most part, Hot Pursuit works on water just as well as it
works on land.
In water-based chases, Terrains refer to the frequency of other
ships, shallows, reefs or islets -- any features that a water-based
vehicle might collide with. A crowded harbor would be Tight, a
treacherous reef might be Close, and the open ocean would be
Open.

Surfaces refer to the condition of the water -- where Swampy is
Tempest-Tossed, Rough is, er, Rough, Unsteady is Choppy and
Clear is just Clear.

Because wind direction is so important for sailing ships, you
might rule that a successful Close/Lengthen maneuver can,
instead of shortening the range, can position the acting shipʼs
vessel more advantageously with respect to the wind. This
simulates the use of wind direction to maintain a superior
position relative to one's opponent.

The advantage provides a +2 bonus to the successful ship,
which they apply to all Reaction Rolls and ranged attack
rolls against the ship or ships they succeeded at the Close/
Lengthen maneuver against. Their range to the opposing
ship's vessel does not change, but the bonus stays in
effect until negated by a similar successful Close/Lengthen
maneuver on the part of the opposing ship. Subsequent
successful Close/Lengthen maneuvers on the part of the ship
currently enjoying the bonus should increase the bonus. If at
any time the ship with the bonus changes his range to the
opposing vessel, the bonus evaporates.
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Pete



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PostSubject: pursuit vs. battle   Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:28 am

I enjoyed the pursuit of the other ship, but that is probably because I was getting to take actions. Perhaps we could co-opt some of the "PCs as Crew" from the 3.5 SW rules. This would allow the rest of the PCs to be active as well.

I thought the combat against the other ship was lacking the excitement and flair that our previous ship battle had. I was looking forward to swinging across to the other ship on a rope and dueling the other captain. Having at least a few non-mook opponents that the PCs can engage would add a good bit of fun.
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Eric
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PostSubject: Re: Ship combat discussion   Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:50 am

I think once everyone reads the pursuit rules there will be more stuff for people to do. Ideally, each player should take command of a cannon so they would be able to make those attack rolls if necessary. I don't think the rules from Star Wars would adapt very well but we could have other players make some of the rolls, depending on the maneuver. In fact maybe the Captain just makes the decisions and depending on the action a different player rolls the dice.

Last nights pursuit was pretty boring, but it would have been so in real life as well. Maybe it will get spicier when you guys have to run away or face a ship with some more teeth. All that really happened last night was close, close, close, close, grapple. There are alot more options available in different situations.

I have consistently struggled with how to integrate the players into a boaring action and still have the struggle of the rest of the crew mean something. Granted that last night was clearly not the answer. Suggestions are wecome...
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