Sunday, July 23, 2017

Skyship Combat Mechanics V

Previously Posted Sections

1. Introduction
2. Wind Direction & Strength
3. Maneuvering
  3.1. Movement Rates
    3.1.1. Sailing Skyships
    3.1.2. Other Skyships
    3.1.3. Ramming Speed!

    3.1.4. Monsters
    3.1.5. Powering Through

  3.2. Maneuverability
  3.3. Turning
    3.3.1. Basic Turning Capability

    3.3.2. Tight Turns
    3.3.3. Caught In Irons
    3.3.4. Slowing Down
    3.3.5. Emergency Maneuver

Quad-Masted Draconic Warship
3.4. Climbing & Diving

Altitude levels are optional, though they do add realism to what a fantasy 3D aerial battle should be.  Due to the change in scale from CAL1 “In Stranger Skies,” altitude levels represent approximately 100’.  Because of its enchantment providing basic lift, a skyship remains level when changing altitude, unlike a fixed wing aircraft that would point up or down.  Winged monsters, however, have different options, as they rely on the use of wings combined with physical strength.

3.4.1. Ascending:  Class A, B, and C skyships and wingless monsters, as well as Class A winged monsters can, at no MV cost, ascend up to 2 altitude levels per Battle Round.  Class D vessels and wingless monsters can only climb 1 altitude level per Battle Round.  Unless stated otherwise in their individual descriptions, Class B, C, and D winged monsters and fixed-wing aircraft can climb 1 altitude level for each hex of horizontal motion.

Example:  A large dragon starts its Battle Round with a strong breeze tailwind, with an MV of 7.  It trades 3 hexes forward motion to climb 3 altitude levels, moving 4 hexes forward.

3.4.2. Descending:  Skyships and wingless monsters, as well as Class A winged monsters can, at no MV cost, safely descend up to 2 altitude levels per Battle Round.  In a shallow dive, all winged monsters and fixed-wing aircraft can, at no MV cost, drop up to 1 altitude level per hex of horizontal movement.  In a power-dive, winged monsters and fixed-wing aircraft stay in the same hex, but drop a number of altitude levels equal to quadruple their innate MV rate.  Recovering from a power dive requires winged monsters Class B or higher and fixed-wing aircraft pilots to roll an ability check.  The check is rolled whenever the attempt to pull up is made.  A Class B ability checks should incur a –1 penalty for every 5 altitude levels dropped, 4 levels for Class C, and 3 levels for Class D.

Example: A large dragon starts its Battle Round with a strong breeze tailwind and an MV of 7.  In a shallow dive, it can spend 7 MV and drop as many as 7 altitude levels (this can be combined with altitude loss due to performing tight turns—see 3.3.2.)  In a power dive, it could instead drop as many as 16 altitude levels (innate MV 4 x 4 = 16) per Battle Round, demanding an ability check with a –4 penalty to resume level flight.  A common altitude for skyship encounters could be 3,300’, allowing for two attempts to pull out of a power dive before crashing into the ground.

3.4.3. Effects of Altitude:  Most skyships have some measure of life support enchantments allowing navigation at high altitude or in the Great Vault.  Here are some things to keep in mind.  Clouds likely to affect line-of-sight begin to form at about 6,500ft., up to 20,000ft.  Depending on latitude, rain typically forms at about 8,000ft., 30,000ft. for snow.  Above 8,000ft. clouds are made of ice crystals rather than water droplets, which could cause icing on skyships and creatures flying there.  Calidar being a fantasy world, it should not be altogether surprising to encounter solid or semi-solid clouds with creatures dwelling on or inside them.  Reportedly, flying beasties, miscellaneous giants, flying gelatinous spheres, and other giant tunnel-digging worms have been sighted in such places.  If there is solid cloud material, its density increases gradually from the outside in, which may cause flying vessels to run “aground” and become stuck.  Force fields preserving both heat and air pressure aboard skyships are recommended above 12,000ft.  Critical hypoxia occurs at 18,000ft.  Death from lack of breathable air follows at 26,000ft.—air-breathing monsters do not typically fly higher than this.

3.4.4. Gales and Storm Clouds:  Navigating in dangerous conditions is likely to result in damage to the monster or the vessel brave enough to take such risk.  Roll 1d6 during Phase A3 (see 4.4. Combat Sequence).  For gales and storm clouds, on a roll of 1, damage takes place possibly in the form of high winds, turbulence, and/or lightning strikes.  For a strong gale, damage occurs with a roll of 1-2.  Allocate damage as described in Table 9 (see 4.3.2. Damage Location.)

3.5. Collisions & Boarding Maneuvers

Ships and monsters can occupy the same hex.  If their headings intersect, vessels collide either accidentally or because one is using a ship’s ram against another.  One of the two could be initiating a boarding attack (see 4.3.4. Boarding Attacks.)  In all three cases, sailing skyships’ riggings are considered fouled (tangled); resuming normal movement will require a full Battle Round to cut loose.  While involved in a boarding maneuver, all involved skyships come to a full stop unless one is large enough to carry the other (as may be the case with a dwarven dreadnought.)  Monsters do have to enter a skyship’s hex in order to perform melee attacks.  Monsters are never considered “fouled” when on a sailing skyship.

©2017 Bruce A. Heard. All Rights Reserved.

4. Combat
  4.1. Deck Weaponry
    4.1.1. Weapon Types
    4.1.2. Armor Rating

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