Quick & Dirty – Vehicles & Starships

Art by Alex Amezcua

Art used with permission from Alex Amezcua
http://alexamezcua.deviantart.com/

So your players have had their YT-1300 impounded for back taxes by the Imperial Revenue Service and they are looking to steal borrow a replacement.  Or perhaps they are looking to buy a new-to-them landspeeder on Tatooine from some blonde kid who looks like a nerf-herder.  Or just maybe you want to know the condition of the ragged bucket of bolts they have just paid to take them halfway across the known galaxy.  Sure, it could be kept running in excellent condition…but where is the fun in that?  Time for a bit of Quick & Dirty creativity!

A simple roll of the FFG Edge of the Empire dice will soon solve many of our questions, and lead to additional possible narrative possibilities.  All with just a hint of collaborative creativity between you and your players.  This article assumes that you have a basic understanding of the Edge of the Empire game system.

Assembling the Dice Pool

The type of vehicle doesn’t matter, and this system can be used for anything from swoop bikes all the way up to capitol ships.  Simply decide what the vehicle is before you start assembling the dice pool.

The base Skill dice pool are added to the dice pool to reflect the maintenance and upkeep the vehicle or starship has enjoyed during its operation.  Better, regular, and more skilled maintenance will increase the number of Skill dice that should be applied.  This has everything to do with the actual mechanics and computers on board the vehicle, not the appearance of the vehicle.  It may look like a flying bucket of bolts, but if it is internally sound it deserves a decent rating.

◊                Poor Maintenance.  Most of the systems are kept repaired and up to date.
◊◊              Average Maintenance.  Systems are kept in good working order.
◊◊◊            Exceptional Maintenance.  All systems are kept in excellent repair.
◊◊◊◊         Fantastic Maintenance.  All systems are kept in near-perfect repair.
◊◊◊◊◊       Superlative Maintenance.  All systems are kept in laboratory conditions.
 

Difficulty dice should be built based upon the age and mileage of the vehicle.   The longer the vehicle has been used, abused, and operated the more likely it will have suffered system failures and quirks.  Use the more appropriate of the descriptors when determining the number of difficulty dice.  Perhaps that little old Twi’lek from Corellia has owned the landspeeder for a decade, but has only driven it around the block every week or so.

◊                 Minimal Use / A Few Years Old
◊◊               Average Use / More than a Few Years Old
◊◊◊            Significant Use / A Decade or More Old
◊◊◊◊         Excessive Use / Several Decades Old
◊◊◊◊◊       Constant Use / Older than a Half Century
 

Boost dice should be added for beneficial environments, short term possibilities, and positive modifiers that are less influential.  Perhaps the players are acquiring their new ride from a wealthy section of the colony, or perhaps they are located on a Core World, or perhaps they even took the time to research the possibilities.  Each of these reasons should add one Boost die up to a suggested maximum of three.

Setback Dice are added to the dice pool with a poor environment to find a vehicle or starship.  Perhaps the planet is a desert planet with the local sand getting into everything, including the high tech mechanics of the ship.  Perhaps the system has massive electro-magnetic fields that wash the planet and spacelanes with deteriorating energy.  Perhaps the players are on the run and have to grab a new ride quickly, and don’t have the time to look at all of the available options.  Crime ridden areas can also be used to justify an additional setback die.  Each reason should add one Setback die up to a suggested maximum of three.

A Proficiency Dice should be used when there is a very increased liklihood of the vehicle being in better condition and repair.  Perhaps the owner is a legendary, and very wealthy or talented, persona.  Perhaps the starship was just refitted and extensively repaired, or maybe the vehicle is a prototype or test vehicle.  Each idea should upgrade one Skill die to a Proficency die.

Challenge Dice represent an significantly increased chance of poor repair, or other hazards.  Perhaps the current owner is an infamous bounty hunter leaving tricks and booby traps in the mechanical sub systems.  Perhaps the crew found the ship abandoned in deep space or on an uncharted planet.  Perhaps the vessel is ancient, and more than a century old.  Each of these possibly lethal possibilities should upgrade one Difficulty die to a Challenge die.

Adjudicating the Dice Roll

Vehicles should have a base number of Hull damage equal to 1/2 their Hull Threshold when found.

Successes and failures will increase or decrease the amount of damage currently unrepaired on the vehicle.  For most vehicles, one net Success should decrease the Hull damage by one and increase the Hull damage by one for every net failure.  Smaller vehicles such as land speeders, with far less Hull Threshold, should modify the amount of damage by one for every two successes or failures.

No amount of Successes can be used to decrease the Hull past zero damage.  Failures can be used to effectively scrap the vehicle and require time and repairs to make it usable.  No amount of Failures can increase the Hull damage to or beyond twice the Hull Threshold.

Advantages can be used by the players to select accessories and modifications to add to the vehicle, up to the number of hard points available.  Other advantage can be used to add desirable cargo, plot points, important astrogation information, or anything that the group decides is appropriate for the amount of advantages spent.  Consider the type of vehicle being determined and use common sense when spending these point, it is highly unlikely that an Imperial Speeder Bike will be carrying illegal contraband.  Unless of course, it either fits the storyline or the group wants to switch gears and explore why that may be the case.

Threats are spent by the Game Master to determine what may be wrong with the vehicle.  Some of these threats may be obvious simply by looking at the vehicle, others may become aware to the group until much later.  Threats should be spent to remove standard weaponry systems, starship subsystems, grant previously accrued critical damage, and plot points that will return to hinder the players.

Triumphs can be used to purchase anything that Advantages can also justify.  Triumphs can also decrease any remaining Hull damage to zero.  Triumphs can be used to justify very helpful plot devices.  Perhaps the vehicle in the Imperial Impound Lot was scheduled to be destroyed, and the paperwork was already filled out as complete.  Perhaps the previous owner lost the ship in a cut throat card game the previous night, and the winner cheated one person too many later that evening.

Despair should be used to cripple or seriously impair the value of the vehicle.  Anything that Threat can purchase, so can Despair.  Despair should often be used to justify horrible and crippling plot points around the vehicle.  Perhaps the hyperspace generator has a critical fault deep within the mechanism that is about to break on the next hyperspace jaunt, leaving the ship stranded in deep space.  Perhaps the owner is a vicious and infamous bounty hunter who never allows a slight, such as having his starship stolen, to pass unavenged.  Perhaps the astronavigational charts are horribly outdated, leaving the party lost and confused as they arrive on the wrong planet time after time.

Now that you know all about the player’s new ride, let them have fun and get back to the game.  They don’t need to know what dangers may soon befall them.  And remember, if you need something on the fly to help the session run smooth and clean… make it Quick & Dirty!

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One Response to Quick & Dirty – Vehicles & Starships

  1. Pingback: Quick & Dirty – Introduction | Consummate Gamer

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