Author Topic: How much damage does a proton beam do?  (Read 6595 times)

Spwack

  • User
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
How much damage does a proton beam do?
« on: October 11, 2015, 11:36:09 PM »
...among other questions. Basically, the savvyhead met with a whole lot of other NPC savvyheads, and I have a sneaking suspicion they want to build a spaceship. For reasons unknown. It's a nice long term goal, so I need to start thinking about it. Here's what I've got so far:

A small ship (scout, personal etc.) won't give a flying f*** about small arms fire, so it would have to have at least 3-armor, maybe more. It's armaments would probably be slightly stronger than it's armor, so either 4- or 5-harm. However, I feel that against ground forces (especially dumb ground forces) a ship would have a distinct advantage. To represent this, I'd say a small ship (1 or 2 seater) would count as a small gang for the purpose of fighting against other groups, or ships, but take harm the same as other vehicles.

However (and this is the part I'm not sure about) highly mobile ships in movies nearly always rely on the pilots fast reflexes and dodging shots rather than shields and armor. For this reason, I've put together this:

When controlled by a highly skilled pilot and accelerating faster than it's opponent, this ship counts as one size larger than normal.

It's actually quite efficient, deal +1 harm, recieve -1 harm, and the damage reduction from dodging and weaving is ignored by area weapons. I have some ideas for larger ships as well, I may add those later. What do people think?

EDIT: Forgot to mention, any unusual flight maneuvers requires Acting Under Fire, the fire being you crash and burn. Pilots are cool. Your co-pilot might be using the onboard sensors to Read a Sitch, or Going Aggro with those proton torpedoes, but pilots are always cool.

So, with medium to large ships (think Millennium Falcon), once again, they count as a gang for combat once again, and probably have large amounts of armor and firepower. AP is probably the only type that will go through their shields. For these massive ships, the vehicle rules probably won't cut it, and they can take 8 or more harm before exploding. Would they need anything more? Perhaps room for more equipment and firepower, but that should do it.

With truly massive ships, the normal rules break down, they are moving terrain types. Each turret is a vehicle in its own right. You either drop one tiny explosive into the air vent that obliterates it entirely, or you leave it alone. I vaguely recall rules for damage to buildings, where nothing less than 9-harm would have any structural effect. Perhaps that might work?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 03:20:56 AM by Spwack »

Wambly

  • User
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 05:38:53 AM »
A small ship (scout, personal etc.) won't give a flying f*** about small arms fire ...

Maybe in the movies. In real life, I think it would. Spaceships are hardened for the rigors of space travel, not combat. It is conceivable that a spaceship could be better protected but, like turning a limousine into a bulletproof car, it would be an extremely expensive project to do so. The attacks of space travel (requiring heat shields and such) are just too different than direct weapon attacks.

Spwack

  • User
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 07:40:51 AM »
Ok, maybe not a small ship coming under concentrated, direct fire from multiple sources. When I say small arms fire, I mean one guy, one handgun. Not sure if that was the correct terminology, but hey.

One thing regarding real life vs. movies, Battlebabes can get Impossible Reflexes. They get the same amount of protection from a bikini as a flak jacket. So... yeah. I do see your point though.

Wambly

  • User
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 07:52:37 AM »
I meant small arms actually, but I did presume one big thing -- either luck or having enough knowledge to realize where to shoot to cause major harm.

From real life: crack a heat-resistant tile on a space shuttle and it can -- theoretically -- cause a domino effect that will eventually destroy it if one is so unlucky.

"If one piece of tile falls off in a vulnerable spot during reentry, heat melts the underlying aluminum skin like a blowtorch and then adjacent pieces of tile fall off as heat penetrates from inside the structure." (Mark Drela, an aerodynamics researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

The loss of more than a dozen such tiles are argued by some to be a reason the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded, and that could have resulted from damage to just one tile, allegedly when a piece of insulating foam fell and hit the tile. If foam can do that, imagine what a single bullet could do.

Firing a firearm at or inside of a non-fortified vehicle that will be exposed to intense heat or pressure is potentially enough to cause complete disaster if you're unlucky.

Having said all of that, Apocalypse World takes a very cinematic approach to its world -- not realism -- and so your game certainly can do the same. Don't let my comments dishearten you. You're making a game, not a physics simulator. :)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 08:01:35 AM by Wambly »

Spwack

  • User
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 10:25:14 AM »
Ok, straight up, I had no idea about all that. The blowtorch imagery really sticks with me. But while this:


Firing a firearm at or inside of a non-fortified vehicle that will be exposed to intense heat or pressure is potentially enough to cause complete disaster if you're unlucky.


Is totally true, even in AW, one would hope that a savvyhead smart enough to build this stuff would be smart enough to attach some chassis armor. When I say spacecraft (especially small spacecraft), I think more of a space-worthy jet. With, like, magic doohickey engines that work equally well in a vacuum as in an atmosphere, and (much slower) thrusters that allow them to hover.

One interesting consideration is the whole "intense heat and pressure" thing. Is that just reentry, or take-off as well. Either way, compared to movie-type spacecraft, our reentries are crash landings. Straight up. The whole idea of a slow take-off and reentry is to avoid the whole "smacking directly into the atmosphere and almost burning up". A single shot (while in the atmosphere) wouldn't do much if you didn't have to deal with reentry. Right? Now, in a vacuum... but yeah, I agree, 3-armor is probably the max, maybe even 2. What do you think about having them count as gangs depending on size?

ColdLogic

  • User
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 07:14:27 PM »
Don't forget:

1. Make them buy. Fuel is a huge cost to getting a ship off the ground. Plus specialized salvage and specialized tools.

2. Activate their stuff's downside. Stuff breaks -- that's the one thing the savvyhead can count on, right?

Taken together, if I were MC and were privately committed to seeing the savvyhead's spaceship get realized, I'd be making custom moves that imply the savvy is a) barely able to keep things running and b) barely able to find even approximately suitable materials.

Spwack

  • User
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 02:56:24 AM »
Of course. The ship would be a highly strung piece of equipment, never to be relied upon and extremely dangerous (both for the pilot and whoever it is being pointed at). I'm planning on having them be forced to rely on a hardholders goodwill for fuel, manpower and equipment. Any other limitations that I could use?

Wambly

  • User
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2015, 06:47:59 AM »
One interesting consideration is the whole "intense heat and pressure" thing. Is that just reentry, or take-off as well.

Both re-entry and launching into orbit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd7dxmBLg48

If the ship is just going to fly through the air (like an airplane) without reaching escape velocity then take-off wouldn't be as dangerous.

A single shot (while in the atmosphere) wouldn't do much if you didn't have to deal with reentry. Right?

Right ... so long as you're not at high altitude. Loss of the cabin's pressurization at high altitude can suck out the contents of the ship including occupants, which would be bad without a parachute.

An airplane, of course, doesn't need to be pressurized at all for flight (doing so is a luxury). Military aircraft aren't, and everything and everyone tends to be strapped down as a precaution. But a spaceship would need to be pressurized.

If a spaceship is shot, the best strategy would be to fly at low altitude to safety and then land so you can inspect the ship for damage and repair it (if necessary) before re-launching.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 07:01:28 AM by Wambly »

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 1270
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2015, 05:55:50 PM »
Spwack, if you haven't, check out the Space Marine Mammal's walkingsuit and the corresponding large-scale harm supplement. There might be some stuff there that you can work with.

-Vincent

Spwack

  • User
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2015, 02:28:09 AM »
Space Marine... Mammal?

o.O

All right, this I have to see.

Munin

  • User
  • Posts: 392
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 02:16:07 PM »
Space Marine + Marine Mammal = Space Marine Mammal. It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 1270
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2015, 04:03:05 PM »
Oh, you haven't seen it? It's hilarious. Um... here:
http://apocalypse-world.com/spacemarinemammal.zip

The letter-format file has the supplemental rules in it.

-Vincent

Spwack

  • User
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2015, 08:07:07 AM »
Ok, it looks like I can just use the walking suit for small spacecraf, the larger weapons for midsize and the building harm rules for the larger ones. Thanks vincent!

While I've got you, what's your opinion on spacecraft (or other really large and high-spec vehicles) counting as gangs?

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 1270
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2015, 12:32:58 PM »
I don't know what you mean exactly, but even so, I bet that yes, it'll make sense to treat spacecraft as gangs in that way.

-Vincent

Spwack

  • User
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: How much damage does a proton beam do?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2015, 04:34:30 PM »
A small craft (scout, anti-personal etc.) counts as a small gang, a medium sized ship (say, larger than an X-wing, but smaller than the millennium falcon) counts as a medium gang, and a large ship (millennium falcon or larger) probably doesn't even have to roll against most targets. They just die. But against multiple other ships, it counts as a large gang.