Saturday, March 28, 2009

Strange Eons: Vehicles

These are my home-brew vehicle rules. Though there are several different types of vehicle rules out there for D20 games, I’ve never been completely happy with them. D20 Modern and the Star Wars system both have nice vehicle systems, but they are a bit complicated for what I prefer; simplicity.
I want a vehicle system that functions almost exactly like a creature, after all creature/vehicle battles are a certainty, especially on Tethys. Though they cannot be as versatile and powerful as constructs. Machines such as starships and massive warbots will always be constructs (albeit ones that carry passengers), as such marvels of ancient "magics" will know their business far better than their standard "masters".
Additional: Animal drawn vehicles move at the speed of the beast pulling/carrying the vehicle.

Animation (Magical Component)
Not all vehicles are magical, though all involve considerable skill to create. Such vehicles are powered through clever mechanisms and the efforts of a dedicated crew. Magical vehicles are considered Wondrous Items, requiring that feat, and the spells animate objects and permanence to create. Appropriate craft and Knowledge skills are likely to be called for, costing the listed amount for a vehicle of its size and type.

Vehicle Rules
A vehicle is characterized and defined as an object that is controlled by one or more living creatures either from on top or within it and generally has no intelligence or wisdom of its own. Vehicles derive their power and effectual use from the people that drive them, pull them or carry them. There are different types of vehicles, ranging from walkers to wheeled and tracked vehicles, to airships and hover vehicles.
Vehicles are controlled by characters with either the Handle Animal or appropriate Profession (Pilot) skill. Vehicle stats are very similar to those of creatures, as follows:
Size: Judged as per creature sizes.
Speed: The vehicles speed. Most vehicles only move in forward and backward directions.
AC: This depends upon the vehicles size (as a monster) and its natural armor.
Hardness: The amount of damage from attacks that is automatically ignored.
Hit Points: Vehicles have hit points like creatures, though not Hid Dice.
Cover: The amount of cover supplied to the driver and crew.
Weapons: Mounted and built in weapons.
Cost: In gold pieces.

Damaging Vehicles
In the course of the game, combat with, on, and in vehicles is likely to occur, so take the following guidelines into account when using vehicles.
Immunities: Vehicles are immune to subdual damage, but being mechanical in nature are vulnerable to critical hits (like robots).
Ranged Weapon Damage: Vehicles take half damage from ranged weapons (except for damage from large mounted weapons and the like). Divide the damage by 2 before applying the vehicle’s hardness.
Energy Attacks: Vehicles take half damage from acid, fire, and lightning attacks. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the hardness. Cold attacks deal one- quarter damage to objects. Sonic attacks deal full damage to objects.

Sample Vehicles

Flying Ships (Vimana)
Flying Ships are machines originally created by ancient magics to fly through the sky using the mysterious force of "Gravitas" for propulsion and lift. These vessels are all wonders of engineering. Regardless of their original design, vimanas are almost always refitted and redesigned to reflect the taste of the new engineer. And so these vessels tend to look more like flying fortresses, strange beasts or sailing vessels.
These vessels, which come in all sizes, are capable of high speeds. Despite their resemblance to boats, ships, or stranger things, the Profession (Airshipman) skill is used. Also, while the gravitas manipulators are working, all flyers float in the air, requiring no minimum speed to remain airborne, despite their maneuvering class.
Cl; 5+, Craft Wondrous Item; fly, permanency. Xp cost is 1/25 cost of vehicle.

Skimmers are a favorite of aristocrats, sportsmen and wealthy adventurers who want a means to move quickly and without much baggage. As there are no weapons on this craft, attack and defense options are up to the pilot and/or passenger, though a few have been retrofitted with light weapons. These vehicles can accomodate a pilot and up to one medium-sized occupant and cargo up to 200 pounds.
Size: Large
Speed: Fly 80ft (average)
AC: 14 (-1 Size, +5 natural)
Hardness: 5
Hit Points: 30
Cover: 1/4 (+2 AC, +1 Reflex save)
Weapons: None
Cost: 6,000gp .

Small Flyer
A small flying boat, suitable for a group of PC’s in pursuit of a foe. Vehicles of this size are very common among advanced Tethyrian cities. These vessels are often used as scout and exploration vessels, being heavily modified by their owners.
Size: Huge
Speed: Fly 120ft (average)
AC: 13 (-2 Size, +5 natural)
Hardness: 5
Hit Points: 50
Cover: ½ (+4 AC, +2 Reflex)
Weapons: Light Ballistae* (2d6)
Cost: 11,400gp
*The light ballista is medium in size and has the following characteristics: Hardness 5; 20 hit points; AC 10 (Dex —), Space 5 feet.

Large Flyer
This represents workhorse light craft of the sky fleets of Tethys. Ships of this kind are often used for patrolling civilized lands and shipping lanes, as well as by pirates in remote areas. All of these vessels are different, as customization is common.
Size: Gargantuan (long)
Speed: 240ft
AC: 16 (-4 size, +10 natural)
Hardness: 10
Hit Points: 110
Cover: Full
Weapons: 2 Medium Ballistae* (3d6), 1 Light Cannon** (4d10).
Cost: 36,200gp
*The medium ballista is large in size and has the following characteristics: Hardness 5; 30 hit points; AC 9 (Dex —, –1 size), Space 10 feet.
**The light cannon (also known as 15 lb. cannon) is large in size and has the following characteristics: Hardness 10; 30 hit points; AC 9 (Dex —, –1 size), Space 10 feet.

Golden Tower
These immense vehicles are few in number, but very potent. All resemble flying temples or towers, capable of carrying up to forty passengers in comfort, as well as up to twenty tons of cargo. All known towers are in the posession of powerful beings such as Archmages and other entities.
Golden Towers have numerous windows that can be opened to act as arrow slits, and large spaced rooms. Propellors are mounted around the base and top to control the vehicles movements.
Size: Colossal
Speed: Fly 200 ft. (clumsy)
AC: 22 (-8 size, +20)
Hardness: 20
Hit Points: 220
Cover: Full
Weapons: 4 Light Cannon (4d10)*, 4 Medium Ballistae**
Cost: 108,240gp
*The light cannon (also known as 15 lb. cannon) is large in size and has the following characteristics: Hardness 10; 30 hit points; AC 9 (Dex —, –1 size), Space 10 feet.
**The medium ballista is large in size and has the following characteristics: Hardness 5; 30 hit points; AC 9 (Dex —, –1 size), Space 10 feet.

For a cheaper, non-magical form of travel.

Scout BalloonA scout balloon consists of a wood or wicker gondola suspended under large cloth balloon. The balloon is reinforced by a wooden frame, and capped by a lid that can be opened or closed from the gondola to control the altitude of the balloon. A large boiler in the gondola provides hot air to the balloon as well as powering the propellers that allow the war balloon to control its motion. Unlike other vehicles with average mobility, a scout balloon has the ability to hover and move straight up and down. A scout balloon has the ability to cargo weighing up to 1000 pounds (including the weight of any passengers but excluding the weight of the boiler and other equipment used to operate the war balloon). Cargo is usually slung underneath the gondola using nets or large canvas bags.
Size: Huge
Speed: Fly 20ft (average)
AC: 18 (balloon 16)
Hardness: 5 (balloon 2)
Hit Points: 50 (balloon 10)
Cover: ½ (+4 AC, +2 Reflex)
Weapons: Carried weapons and bombs.
Cost: 20,000 gp.

More Vehicles will be presented soon!
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan