Spaceship Combat

I’m trying to work out how to do combat in space, with a space ship. Since you’re all on the same large ship, I figured there would be stations that they sit at with weapons and stuff for them to work. But I can’t figure out a way that would be fun. How do I do this? I came up with an idea, but it doesn’t seem like it would be a lot of fun and it should be fun or why bother with space combat. Ideas? Suggestions? Resources?

A few thoughts:

Cut between the crew members reacting to things (base it on initiative or whatever fits the narrative). They only have a short time to take an action, so keep the combat moving.

Example: The shields are down! Can the engineer get them operational? If not, does the pilot maneuver the ship to take less damage? How does that throw off the gunners (maybe disadvantage on their attack).

As things happen to the ship, think about how the crew can react to various situations, or create advantages for themselves.

Use stats for the various activities that make sense: Agility, Movement, Logic (character has studied combat maneuvers and can figure out the best place to position the ship) for piloting. When people are operating the weapons, possible agility. Engineering - Logic or Learning. Could use Prescience or Perception to reflect training that gives an understanding of enemy tactics .

Lots of options.

There are ideas for Vehicle movement at the end of Chapter 9:


#Ship/Player Concept
Imagine that your players don’t work together on the same ship. They are literally individual ships and crews that work together.
##Game Mechanics
As far as stats and other game mechanics are concerned, I would treat the ships exactly as players.
I would take out or rework certain feats, banes, and boons that are specific to gravity (Climbing, Knockdown, Flight), unless combat is near a planet.
I would also take out or rework melee weapons, with the idea that your ships don’t have hands in the traditional sense, and keep in mind what feats, banes, and boons coincide with that as well.
The Resolve defense will be treated as the crews’ general mental capacity within the ships.
Instead of using a grid of 5’ squares, you’d be using 5,000’ squares.
When a ship levels up, it would represent upgrades to the ship.
###Role-Playing, Perks & Flaws
Players can give their ships certain “personality” that is portrayed through communications between captains, representative liaisons, etc.
####From there, everything else is imagination.

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The rules in Chapter 9 actually cover exactly what to do with multiple “seats”.

Multi-Pilot - The vehicle can be piloted by a number of people equal to the value indicated. Each pilot can make use of the vehicle to make actions, but no more than 2 move actions can be taken by the vehicle in each round.

This is, like all things, a suggestion, of course.

Maybe wait until Paizos drops Starfinder and poach any of their good ideas hahaha :grin:

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I’ve recently tried out an space combat scenenario with my weekly group in which we were all (3) inside the same ship, and let me tell you, it was incredibly entretaining. Even though it was just a 1-on-1 encounter versus another ship (with the same amount of crew as us), just the sheer resource managent and quick decision making you had to do (Do we take a defend action against this massive hit? Do we move to take cover behind this asteroid? Do we perform repairs or attack?) was enthralling enough that it didn’t feel like nothing was missing. You should try it first hand and then see what you like and what you don’t.

That being said, i did come up with some features/properties that can help you pinpoint how does a certain type of ship behave. Some of these may come as intuitive with other vehicles, but sometimes spacecraft have weird shapes and structures that dont make it obvious as how they how work.

  • Frontal Weapons
    This vehicle can only perform attacks in the direction it is facing.

  • Lateral Weapons
    This vehicle can only perform attacks from its sides.

  • Peripheral Weapons
    This vehicle can perform attacks regardless of the direction it is facing.

  • Universal Movement
    This vehicle can move in any direction regardless of the direction it is currently facing. (For the purposes of the setting i’m aiming this property towards, spacecraft can only move towards the direction they face by default.)

  • Turning Delay
    Indicates how much movement this vehicle requires to turn 180º around itself. A Turning Delay of “<1” indicates that the vehicle still requires a move action to turn, but does not take any movement in doing so.

  • Vulnerable
    Each Damage level taken by this vehicle also reduce it’s speed by 5’

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This vehicle doesn’t work, at least with the “can only”, what if they have frontal and lateral.

This weapon makes sense more. What is the purpose of it though, do you have more range, more power b/c of stationary guns?

If they have Frontal and Lateral they have Peripheral. I guess i could have written something about Rear Weapons but i was too lazy for that one.

The purpose of those properties is to make positioning matter, add a tactical element to vehicle combat that makes it notably(?) different from a normal encounter. Also to note an element that you might’ve thought made sense or was intuitive (it would make sense for a pirate ship to only be able to attack from the its sides) and transfer it into less intuitive vehicles/scenarios.

Yes and no, and no.

So, pirate ships did have forward and rear canons. HOWEVER, those canons were usually different, namely in weight, and therefore how far they could shoot, as well as having far fewer, so less damage in those cases.

Hence my suggestion that a particular weapon having it and no the ship.

In Space I imagine turrets that can turn, but usually are shorter range, compared to a mounted canon that shoots farther.

I think that depends on the setting. Looking at the Halo franchise, for example, there are certainly turret weapons. However, humans still use kinetic weaponry, and most battle ships have a MAC (Magnetic Accelerator Cannon) gun for big damage. Because the final velocity of the projectile is dependent on both rate of acceleration and on distance over which acceleration occurs, this gun is generally the entire length of the ship. This necessarily means that it can only shoot forward (or possibly backwards; I’m not sure if there are examples in Halo lore of that occurring).

This basically agrees with exactly what I am saying, making it dependent on the weapon, not the ship.

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Perhaps I misunderstood the point you were communicating. Yes, I agree that it makes sense to assign properties to individual weapons instead of entire ships. It’s not really that different from how we already specify different properties for a character’s weapons instead of (or in addition to, I suppose) assigning properties to the character as a whole.

The problem with that is that would only work with Agility and (somehow) Might, while ships with an Energy score or any extraordinary attribute that they may use to deal damage are “left out” so to speak.

I guess you could make extraordinary weapons for a vehicle in order to portray such scenenarios, but i’d rather avoid doing that for every ship that has an Energy score or any other extraordinary attribute.

PS: [quote=“Carl, post:10, topic:586”]
most battle ships have a MAC (Magnetic Accelerator Cannon) gun for big damage.

This would be a perfect example of an extraordinary weapon for a vehicle.

naw, you thinking too complicated. Note a Hex can be any amount, but is the “basic” unit (perhaps 100 feet).

###MAC (Magnetic Accelerator Cannon)
Uses Energy Attribute of Vehicle but modifies it as follows:
Range: 20 Hexes
Delayed Ready
Attack Specialization III (Energy)
Forward Facing

###Defensive Turret
Uses Energy Attribute of Vehicle, but modifies it as follows:
Range: 6 Hexes

etc etc etc.

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