Delta Dust Mechanics

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Gameplay Rules

Using Skills

  • The fundamental roll done for most actions is a Skill Check which is Attribute + Skill + Situational Bonus + 2D10. If the character does not have the skill in question, they take an untrained penalty which halves the 2D10 roll.
  • Some checks are Attribute Checks; these are instead Attribute + Situational Bonus + 2D10. Some skills may be added as a modifier on a situational basis.
  • Checks are one of four types; Strong, Balanced, Limited and Severe.
Strong checks multiply the core stat being called (Skill for skill check, Attribute for attribute checks) by x3. Most attribute checks are Strong checks.
Balanced checks multiply the core stat being called by x2. Most skill checks for tasks done outside of combat are Balanced checks.
Limited checks do not apply any multiplier. Most skill checks done in combat are Limited checks.
Severe checks multiply the core stat being called by x2 but then halve the final value including the 2D10 dice roll. Particularly outrageous stunts or last ditch hail maries might drop the check from Limited to Severe, to represent situational difficulty.
In addition to the difficulty modifier, tasks have Targets; these can be defined values (such as passive defenses) or arbitrary values for a specific and situational task (beat 25 to climb that cliff).
Most defined tasks also include success thresholds (often +4 per); achieving progressive success thresholds lead to better results.

Combat Rules

Combat steps

Step 1: Roll for Strategic Initiative. Tally up all relevant Command and bonuses then roll off. For every 3 points of success, the winner gets an additional +1 on subsequent Tactical Initiative(s). Step 1 is generally only done in situations where there is a substantial pre-battle maneuvering, plotting and setup, often over multiple preceeding days. In situations where this is not the case, skip step 1.
Step 2: Roll for Tactical Initiative. Leader of each side does a Command roll off; for every 3 points of success the winner get a +1 to all positionining rolls. For the tactical initiative bonus to apply, there must be some sort of command structure and communication - scrambling out of the hangar to engage the first thing you see is insufficient.
Step 3: Roll for Positioning; all units roll Local Speed + Electronics + Clarity + 2D10. Positioning is a combination of physical and mental preparedness to take action - your mobile suit is coming out of the sun, you're looking in the right direction as the enemy pops out of their foxhole, etc. See the Positioning Table below for the bonuses given by Positioning.
  • Tip: A 'Unit' in this context does not necessarily have to be a single vehicle; it can be an element, squad or even full platoon, based on the organization or scale in question.
  • Tip: Local Speed is determined by your motive type and the environment. Fighting on the ground uses Speed, fighting in atmosphere flight conditions uses Air Thrust and fighting in space/vaccum uses Thrust.
Step 4: Declare actions from lowest Positioning to highest. Depending on the encounter, step 4 can be skipped in the interest of faster resolution.
Step 5: Activate and execute any/all actions from highest Positioning to lowest.
Step 6: Activated units take their action(s); units may move however many range brackets they are entitled to, fire weapons, use equipment or anything else in whatever order desired. When engaging a unit of different Positioning, compare the relative values as per the Positioning Table. Units with superior Positioning take it as a positive bonus to rolls, units with inferior Positioning take it as a penalty.
Step 7: Record usage of ammunition, damage taken/inflicted, etc
Step 8: Repeat steps 6-7 until all units are are activated.
Step 9: All units taking Extra actions (see Advanced Rules) perform them now, cycling through steps 4-8 as normal.
Step 10: Return to Step 3 and start a new turn.

Taking Actions

Using an active system (most notably firing weapons) is a 2D10 roll plus whatever applicable modifiers are present, such as Attributes, Skills and weapon/vehicle accuracy bonuses. The final, modified roll must match or exceed the target's Defense/Target Number to succeed.
Most weapons have multiple damage values; the first is Glancing, the second at a higher treshold is Solid, some weapons may also have a yet higher threshold to achieve Smashing. Each will do consecutively more damage; this damage is not additive.
Subtract Armor (+ Shield, if relevant) from the damage inflicted to determine how much the target's Durability is reduced by. An attack will always to 1 damage unless the Armor is more than twice the damage value.
Shields reduce damage before comparing damage to Armor is compared, eg, an attack that has a base of 3 damage strikes a target with 2 shields and 3 armor. The damage would be reduced to 1 by shields and then, because the target's armor is more than twice the remaining damage, is reduced to 0. If the same 3-damage attack were to strike a target with 5 armor, it would be reduced to 1 damage taken.
If the target's Shield value is equal or higher than the damage inflicted by a weapon strike, the damage is reduced to 0 and no critical hits (see below) are rolled for - the weapon's energy is sufficiently dissipated by the shield that it inflicts nothing more than some scratches on the paint when it actually reaches the vehicle protected behind the shield.
If a weapon's Armor Piercing value reduces a target's armor to less than 0 (ie, AP > Armor), the attack Overpenetrates. In such a situation, the damage inflicted is reduced by the excess AP value - the attack is so powerful than it blows right through and is wasted in part, or potentially, in whole. (A canvas cover will not trigger the fuze on an explosive warhead, for example). Note however that a weapon that overpenetrates will still have the chance to inflict a critical hit; even if your jet fighter's wing is penetrated by a sabot round that just leaves a small hole there's still the chance that it'll get hit in something vital.

Advanced Rules

Taking Multiple Actions ('Extra Actions')

You may take multiple actions in a turn at a penalty; the base penalty is twice the number of actions taken, with every subsequent action having another -2 cumulative penalty. Additional actions are taken after normal positioning sequence; if more than one actors are taking multiple actions, these are also resolved in positioning order. Extra actions happen progressively 'later'; 3rd actions take place after all 2nd actions are resolved, etc.

Crowding Out

Some angles are more favorable than others - closing and opening shots are more likely to hit than crossing ones - and consequently pilots will instinctively move to get the best angles. Unfortunately this means that there is the possibility of accidentally getting in the way of friendly gunfire. Thus every Energy or Kinetic attack made on a mecha after the first suffers a cumulative -2 to hit. Electronic attacks only suffer a cumulative -1. Melee attacks are dealt with separately - see the full Melee rules for more detail.

Air Battles

In-atmosphere combat between aircraft comes with a number of constraints not found elsewhere; most specifically aerodynamic drag and local gravity. As such there are a number of special rules for air battles - see the Air Battle section below for full details.

Full Dodge

Your action can be sacrificed to do a Full Dodge which increases your Kinetic, Energy and Electronic defenses. Roll Strong Perception + Mecha Piloting, for every 5 full points you get +1 to your non-Melee Defenses.

Full Parry

You may sacrifice your action to do a full-round defensive parry against enemies attacking you in melee. Roll Strong Wits + Mecha Fighting, for every 5 full points you get +1 to your Melee Defense.

Sacrificial Parry

In an emergency you may throw a weapon or some other large object in the way of an incoming weapon strike (normally melee). Roll Strong Wits vs 15; if successful the object being used in the sacrificial parry takes damage first, with armor of 0. Note that as normal, any component that takes more than 50% of its durability is disabled and more than 100% is destroyed. If it is destroyed, all further damage is applied to the owning unit as normal.

Overthrusting

Roll Strong Physique (x 3), for every 5 full points you get +1 to your Flight or Thrust rating. This bonus may not exceed a unit's baseline Flight/Thrust rating.

Stealth Positioning

TBD

Component Damage

All weapons or other systems have a durability equal to their space.
Components carried externally are protected by Shields but are not protected by Armor.
Components mounted internally are protected by both Shields and Armor. Note that in many cases an internal component simply cannot be targeted.
  • If a component takes at least 50% damage it is disabled, but can be repaired at base.
  • If a component takes 100% or more damage it is destroyed and fit only for scrap and salvage.
  • If a component takes more than 150% damage it is utterly trashed and is essentially confetti.

Positioning Table

The following bonuses are granted by the relative positioning difference. 1-2 - +1
3-5 - +2
6-9 - +3
10-14 - +4
15-20 - +5
21-27 - +6
28-35 - +7
36-44 - +8
45-54 - +9
55+ - +10

Defensive Arcs

Not all angles are created the same. Almost invariably military vehicles are designed with their greated protection on the sides most likely to face the enemy, exemplified most prominently in the battle tank's massive frontal armor, commonly taking up a substantial chunk of the vehicle's entire weight. Defensive arcs are rules to represent this. There are two components to these; rules for when the effects apply and construction rules to enable them.

Arcs

Fore: This is often seen the 'business end', especially for smaller combatants. The fore arc comes into play during a closing engagement.
Flank: The flanks are often the most well-armored sections on larger warships who will orient themselves to bring multiple gun turrets to bear without being forced to continually close range. Most small craft or vehicles will not concern themselves with the flank arc per se.
Rear: The rear arc is almost inevitably the most vulnerable, as it is often where rocket exhaust, cooling vents and other vital, indefensible paraphernalia is located. As a general rule, any attack that specifically targets the rear arc recieves an automatic -2 modifier to any increasing damage thresholds (ie, reducing Solid hit from +4 to +2), representing the likelyhood of attacks striking weak points.
Under: Unique to aircraft (where it is used for defense against ground fire) and vehicles (representing protection against mines), the under arc is fairly self-explanatory; an armored belly.

Using Arcs

Using defensive arcs can be somewhat subjective; the situations below should provide guidance when an attacker can (or is forced to) attack against a specific defensive arc. All of these assume relative positions and movement between the attacker and defender; other movements or positions are not taken into account.
  • When the defender is closing generally means that they will be presenting their Fore arc.
  • When the defender is fleeing generally means they will be presenting their Rear arc (but with caveats).
  • Warships engaging other warships without changing range brackets will generally present their Flanks.
  • In a dogfight/furball, attackers with higher positioning can generally avoid the target's Fore arc, at least enough to get off attacks.
  • Generally the longer the range, the easier it is for a defender to present whatever arc they desire during combat, if it comes down to a rolloff.

Construction Rules

Note that in some cases, buying individual arcs may add to more than 100% relative to just buying standard armor; this is deliberate as a relatively even all-round allotment of defenses allows the best leveraging of other arcs and angles. Arc-specific defenses are meant to be locational improvements, not components of an all axis defense.
  • Mecha may buy reinforced armor for the Fore arc at a cost of 50% of normal.
  • Ground vehicles may buy reinforced armor for the Fore arc at a cost of 33% of normal.
  • Ground vehicles may buy reinforced armor for the Under arc at a cost of 50% of normal.
  • Aircraft may buy reinforced armor for the Under arc at a cost of 50% of normal.
  • Warships may buy reinforced armor for the Fore arc at a cost of 25% of normal.
  • Warships may buy reinforced armor for the Flank arcs (both) at a cost of 75% of normal, or in the case of assymetric designs, 40% for one Flank.

Dynamic Defenses

Some defenses - most notably forcefields - can be dynamic, meaning they can adjust on the fly to strengthen their defenses and focus them on specific arcs (strengthen forward shields!) or even against specific enemies.


Fire Control

Electronic targeting has long been a staple for everything larger than - and in many cases including - manpack longarms. As such they can be assumed to be present on a basic level in essentially any weapon used. However, many weapon systems (or more accurately, weapon platforms) are fitted with particularly sophisticated targeting gear to allow them to strike accurately at long ranges and against fast targets. When such equipment is present, a vehicle is said to have a Fire Control system.

Fire Control (FC) systems come in several broad types as follows, each with their own specific rules:

  • Tracking System: Tracking systems are a combination of sensors, predictive algorithms and off-axis gun control linkages. They reduce the to-hit penalties imposed by firing at a target higher up the Positioning order; however, they also apply the same penalty to success/damage thresholds. In all cases the modifier from a tracking system may not exceed the Positioning penalty - if the firer has a higher Positioning, they provide no bonus and inflict no penalty.
Example: A warship has a +4 Tracking system and is firing on a mecha with a base defense of 10 and a positioning bonus of +5. Its tracking system would reduce the effective positioning bonus to +1, meaning that it would hit on an 11+. However, if the weapon has the normal +4 damage improvement threshold it would be increased by a further +4, meaning that the weapon would do a Solid hit on 19+ as opposed to 15+.
  • Long Range Targeting System: A staple for warships, long range targeting makes firing at distances measured in hundreds of kilometers reliable. LRTs reduce the to-hit penalty from range in the exact same way tracking systems reduce it for inferior positioning.
  • Sniper System: Sniper systems are specific modifications of conventional long range targeting systems that offer unparalled accuracy and precision. They are often coupled with 'accurized' weapons which are built or modified to have tighter tolerances and other upgrades. Sniper systems reduce the to-hit penalty from range on a 1-to-1 basis up to nulifying it completely but unlike standard LRTs, they do not also increase damage thresholds.


Other Rules

Critical Hits

Critical Hits are weapon strikes that happen to hit something more important than armor plating - cameras, verniers, gun pods, etc. Consequently, Critical Hits reduce the ability of the unit in question to fight effectively, and any strike can potentially be a Critical Hit - a vehicle without vulnerable points would be a featureless geometric shape with no gunports, sensory abilities or capacity to move (except a constant 9.8 m/s^2 acceleration downwards in a standard 1 Gravity field). Indeed, many systems cannot be armored - radars and other sensors, for example, or thrusters.
If a weapon is reduced to 0 damage by Armor, it may still inflict Critical Hits, so long as the target's Armor is no more than three times the damage inflicted - a viewport can be smashed by a shell that would bounce off the armor plate it's set into. Deliberately using underpowered weapons to try and inflict Critical Hits is still mostly a tactic of desperation, however.
Critical Hits do not (normally) cause additional damage - they are disabling or destroying components, not damaging the unit's overall structure beyond what is already being done.
All weapons have a Critical Hit value; this is the target that must be matched or exceeded on a 2D10 roll. A successful roll inflicts a Critical Hit. If the weapon strike is a Glance, it does a Surface Hit. If it is a Solid strike, it does a Vital Hit. If it is a Smash, it does a Vital Hit, plus one automatic Vital Hit.
Explosive or spread-type weapons will generally have low Critical Hit thresholds, conversely, they will generally suffer greatly from armor.
  • Critical Hit effect list goes here.

Unit Stats

All units have several defenses; these are holistic values representing said unit's ability to avoid being struck/damaged. The cardinal attribute listed for each is the most important stat for the pilot to increase them. They are as follows:

  • Kinetic: Defense against conventional bullet-guns, flak and similar. Because evading with continuous Gs as opposed to instantaneous moves is the best way to avoid a volley of kinetic fire, the cardinal attribute is Physique.
  • Energy: Defense against directed-energy weapons ranging from lasers to mega particle beams to Higgs sprays. As evading DEWs requires the ability to react instantly to a warning sign, the cardinal attribute is Wits.
  • Electronic: Defense against self-correcting weapons (ie, guided missiles), which in general tend to carry very powerful warheads. As the primary defense against guided weapons is jamming, chaff and the like, the cardinal attribute is Intellect.
  • Melee: Defense against close-in fighting weapons, such as beam swords, shining fingers and radiation waves. As the best way to avoid being struck by such weapons is to read the enemy's moves and counter them; consequently, the cardinal attribute is Perception.

All weapons will be specifically listed as one or more of these types, which determines the target number for the attack roll. If they are of more than one type, they are considered hybrids, meaning they combine multiple defenses together - for example, an anti-tank missile might be a Kinetic/(1/2)Electronic. In this case, the attacker's target number would be the full value for Kinetic Defense plus one-half of Electronic Defense.


  • Speed: The bonus the unit gets to Phase Rolls on the ground (ie, wheels or legged mobility). A second value in brackets gives the maximum number of range brackets a unit may move by if this is not 1 (normally 1 for every 10 Speed or part thereof). Note that any unit that does not have a Speed entry is functionally immobile on the ground.
  • Thrust: The bonus the unit gets to Phase Rolls on in the air or space (jet or rocket propulsion). A second value in brackets gives the maximum number of range brackets a unit may move by if this is not 1 (normally 1 for every 10 Thrust or part thereof). Note that any unit that does not have a Thrust entry is functionally immobile in the air or space.
  • Output: How much Power the mecha's onboard power system generates per turn. This may be 0 for vehicles or mecha with fixed-output power systems or battery-powered units.
  • Battery: The maximum amount of Power a mecha's onboard power system can store. The amount of Power in a battery may temporarily exceed its maximum value - the hyper mega beam cannon is being powered directly by the reactor while also drawing down the battery. Any excess at the end of the turn is removed.
  • Stealth: This is a measure of how difficult a vehicle is to detect with sensors. See Advanced Actions for more detail.
  • Armor: Armor is 'soak' and reduces the damage taken by all attacks. Armor may not reduce an attack to 0 damage unless Armor is more than twice the damage inflicted by the attack.
  • Barrier: Like armor, Barriers are damage soak. The damage reduction from Barriers always occurs before that from Armor.
  • Durability: Durability is how difficult it is to render a machine unable to operate by simple mechanical destruction. More durable mecha can fight longer. As a general rule, the first 50% of Durability lost is relatively cosmetic and easy to repair, with a vehicle having suffered more than 50% durability loss likely has multiple armor breaches and an increased vulnerability to critical damage.
  • Targeting: Targeting is the effectiveness of a unit's targeting system and provides a bonus to all non-melee attacks performed by the unit.
  • Carrying: This is a value for how much 'stuff' a mecha can carry externally, such as mecha-scale assault rifles, missile packs, sensor pods, etc etc. Most giant robots and aircraft have high carrying values as they use externally-fitted weapons. Carried weapons and systems provide flexibility, but the downside is that they are much easier to lose.
  • Tags: This is a list of the special rules that apply to the unit. See below for what each does.

Unit Tags

  • Spaced Barriers: Ubiquitous on large ships, spaced barriers set one or more layers of defensive energy shielding away from the physical hull. This stand-off distance allows for projectiles to tumble and energy blasts to diffuse. As a consequence Spaced Barriers can reduce a weapon's damage to 0 simply by matching or exceeding the weapon's Damage + BP value.


Weapon Stats

All weapons have a short statline. Most important is their weapon type and their attack bonus.

Next are their Damage Thresholds, which are where increased damage is inflicted - the beam dwells longer or the shell strikes at a favorable angle and penetrates deeper. Thresholds are rated related to the base defense target; thus a threshold of of (+4) means that the attacker needs to beat the target's defense by 4 or more.

Following is Range, which is the maximum distance at which the weapon may effectively engage. Many weapons also suffer losses to accuracy (Attack penalty), impact energy (Damage penalty), or both. Any penalties listed for these (such as -1 Attack) are per range bracket, starting at Very Close.

Many weapons also have Tags, which are a standard set of special rules which may modify how weapons work in specific situations. Some particularly unique weapons may have custom special rules.

Weapon Tags

  • Armor Piercing (AP) #: Armor Piercing weapons reduce the target's Armor on a 1:1 basis. For situations where the target's armor is reduced to less than 0, see the Overpenetration rules.
  • Barrier Piercing (BP) #: Barrier Piercing weapons reduce the target's Barriers on a 1:1 basis. If the target's Barriers are reduced to 0 (or if there were none in the first place), there is no further effect.
  • Barrier Ignore #: Weapons with Barrier Ignore can do just that - ignore all damage reduction due to Barriers. In effect, this is an infinite level of Barrier Piercing.
  • Pierce #: Weapons that have the Pierce trait divide both Armor and Barriers by the Pierce value, rounding up.
  • After-Armor Effect (AAE) #: Weapons with AAE are large and powerful examples that can inflict heavy damage after punching through armor - generally anti-ship weapons. AAE is a multiplier to the damage inflicted after all other modifiers are taken into account.
  • Example: A heavy beam cannon with AAE of x4 punches through the target ship's hull and does 3 damage after Barrier and armor reduction. The AAE multiplier is then applied, meaning it inflicts 3 x 4 = 12 damage.
  • Assault: Assault weapons are those that fire so many shots that they can inflict multiple seperate hits with a single attack action. All Assault weapons have two associated stats; their hit threshold (ie, +2) and their maximum hit counter (ie, 10). For every consecutive time the to-hit roll exceeds the target's defense by the threshold, the hit count goes up by one until the maximum hit counter is reached. Damage is resolved seperately for each hit as normal.
Example: A gatling cannon with that inflicts 4 damage with a +2 threshold and 10 max counter exceeds the target's defense by 7. This is a total of 4 hits (0, +2, +4, +6), each of which inflicts 4 damage. If the target has armor of 2, the gatling cannon would then inflict a total of (4-2) x 4 = 8 damage and have 4 chances to inflict critical effects.
  • Concentrate: Weapons that Concentrate have properties that tend to make them particularly sensitive to dwell times or surface exposure; in practice this means that the better the attack roll, the more damage inflicted. Concentrate weapons have three associated stats; their threshold to 'tick' (ie +1), damage increased per tick (ie, +1) and their maximum damage (ie, 10).
Example: A beam sweeper with a base 2 damage, a threshold of +1 for +1 damage and a maximum damage of 10 exceeds the target's defense by 5. The total damage inflicted is 2 + (5 x 1) = 7. If if exceeded the target's defense by 10, it would still only do 10 damage, as it cannot exceed this.
  • Parry: Weapons with Parry can be used defensively against other melee weapons. The increase the mecha's Melee defense by the rated amount if ready and used - a holstered beam saber won't do you any good!
  • Sniper:
  • Entangle:
  • Barrier Weakness #: Barrier Weakness is a punitive multiplier to the effects of the target's Barriers, multiplying the Barrier damage reduction by the Barrier Weakness value. This obviously has no effect if the target has no defensive Barriers.
  • Charge Time #: Some weapons are particularly slow to prepare to fire due to various technical limitations - long loading procedures, extensive charging processes that cannot be hurried, etc. A unit with a weapon that has a charge time must spend one action a turn for however many turns of the charge time in order to prepare the weapon to fire. A unit may take multiple actions in order to perform other tasks while the charging is happening, but the action spent charging is always the first action taken. A variation (Continuous Charge Time) must have all actions spent happen in sequential turns, with the firing action happening the immediately following turn - once started the charge must either be taken to completion or cancelled and restarted from scratch.
  • Cooldown #: A weapon with Cooldown cannot be used for a number of turns equal to the cooldown rating after being fired. No other penalties apply or actions need to be taken - the cooldown process is automatic. A weapon with a Cooldown of 0 can only ever be fired once a turn, but will always be ready to be used in the subsequent turn after firing.

Electronic Warfare

Terminology:

  • Stealth is a measure of how difficult it is to detect a unit. Being stealthy means the opportunity to dictate enagement geometry or get outright surprise attacks. It is a holistic value - in practice there are many different radiation bands that need to be stealthed against (optical, infrared, microwave and about a dozen different radio bands) - and represents an 'in practice' value.
  • Obfuscation is


Two (?) types

  • Radar - better range/search
Passive search detects long-band emissions and reflections
Active search can efficiently search large volumes
  • Optical - better discrimination
Passive search detects visual (occlusion) and IR; easy to defeat at range with paint, masking and decoys
Active uses LIDAR; difficult to jam

Volume search vs tracking and classification

Steps:

  • 1: Roll to defeat enemy jamming/discriminate target. Failure is no shot taken - unable to get lock.
  • 2: Decoy(s) roll to seduce weapons.
  • 3A: Seduction successful; roll attack on decoy.
  • 3B: Seduction unsuccessful; roll attack on defender.
  • 4: Decoys depracated.

Deception

  • Making your ship look like a different ship
  • Making your ship look like a decoy


failing rolls result in mis-ID? <|Minow|> "we totally saw a battleship! A BATTLESHIP I SWEAR!" <|Minow|> *meanwhile, some dudes in a destroyer are frantically running away* as a general rule, mis-ID exaggerates

Easier to spot/classify when radiating or thrusting.

Automated Search

'Automated' search is a simplified way of dealing with detection (or the failure of) without requiring an excessive amount of continual rolling.

  • If the target has a modified Stealth of of 15 or greater, it will not be detected. Likewise, if the target has a modified Obfuscation of 15 or greater, it will not be classified.
  • It a target has a modified Stealth of 6 or less, it will be automatically detected. Likewise, if the target has a modified Obfuscation of 6 or less, it will automatically be classified.
  • If a target has a Stealth or Obfuscation between 7 and and 14 a standard 2D10 roll must be made as normal to detect or classify, respectively.


Ranges

From nearest to most distant

Brawl
Point Blank
Very Close (1)
Close (2)
Not So Close (3)
Moderately Near (4)
Moderate (5)
Moderately Far (6)
Distant (7)
Very Distant (8)
Extremely Distant (9)
Extreme (10)
Extreme x2 (x3, x4 etc for exceptionally long range weapons)

Air Battles

Atmospheric combat comes with a number of constraints not found elsewhere; ranges are (or at least can be) quite long but there is a substantial local gravitational pull and aerodynamic limits are a constant concern. As a consequence, all Kinetic and Energy attacks against maneuvering air targets double their range penalties due to bullet drop, atmospheric turbulence and thermal bloom.

One of the most important factors controlling atmospheric engagements is altitude. To put it crudely, the more you have, the better. Higher altitude means a greater ability to dive (gaining energy) as well as forcing an enemy to expend his own energy to attack you.

Positive altitude means the active unit is above the target. Negative altitude means it is below.

Altitude can be traded for bonuses to attacks, defenses and (air) speed checks made in a turn. If used on an attack, the total bonus may not be more than twice the positive altitude. An aircraft starting at negative relative altitude may not add an altitude loss bonus to attack rolls - in this situation it is actually dropping away from the target and making it more difficult for its weapons to engage. This does, however, still provide a defensive bonus and 'hitting the deck' is a common way of evading a pursuer.


Warship-specific Rules

There are a number of specific additional rules for warships. This lays them out.

A core elements of warships (as compared to mecha) is the concept of Vital Protection and After Armor damage. The represents the fact that warships are large masses of armor, systems, decks and voids that can take a tremendous amount of damage to their outsides without ever being truly threatened with destruction and that many high-caliber weapons do not poke small, 5 or 10cm holes but can make man-sized or bigger holes in armor.

After Armor Effect (AAE) is a weapon multiplier that is normally found on antiship weapons. The multiplier is applied to all damage inflicted after shield/armor reduction. Thus a 10-damage beam cannon with an AAE multiplier of x5 strikes a ship with a combined shield + armor rating of 5; the damage inflicted is reduced to 5 then multiplied by x5, for a final 25 damage inflicted. Note that this does apply when weapons with AAE are fired on mecha. The Pain Train does not stop for mechajocks.

Vital Protection is the damage value above which a weapon inflicts Vital damage. In addition to having elevated critical chance, Vital strikes multiply the damage taken.

Hangar Space is a measure of a ship's ability to carry combat-ready small craft.

Light Mecha require 1 hangar space
Medium Mecha require 2 hangar space
Heavy Mecha require 3 hangar space


Fighting on Foot

Fighting on foot (as opposed to at the controls of a 15 meter mecha or a 300 meter battleship) uses the same general flow as mechanized combat. There are two main differences:

  • The attributes and skills used are different, representing the different skillset used for piloting and infanteering.
  • The concept of Adrenaline, which represents the physiological effects of combat on the (trans)human body.

Defenses on Foot

  • Defense against gunfire while fighting on foot is Wits + Physique
  • Defense against melee/brawl while fighting on foot is Wits + Clarity

Getting Hurt and Adrenaline

All characters have a base Toughness equal to their Physique

Cover and Concealment

Cover and Concealment are two very different - if related - things. Cover is a physical object strong enough to slow or stop projectiles - the stronger and thicker, the better the cover. Concealment is something that obscures line of sight, making it difficult or impossible to determine exactly where someone is - the more opaque and covering, the better. Something that is cover but not concealment would be a pane of bulletproof glass; something that is concealment but not cover would be a large sheet of opaque black paper.

Importantly, while cover generally provides some level of concealment, many (if not most) things that provide concealment are in fact not cover. The walls of a house, the doors of a car or the leaves of a bush may make it difficult for someone to draw line of sight, but if by unfortunate happenstance a bullet still finds its target through them it will be as if almost nothing was in the way.

Hit Location

2D10 (not adjusted for locational modifiers)

2-4: Legs
5-6: Arms
7-9: Legs
10: Arms
11: Legs
12-16: Torso
17: Torso (Vitals) - increased Shock
18: Head
19-20: Head (Vitals) - increased Shock

Better hit thresholds provide (small?) bonus on hit location roll - ie, more towards chest and head. Wear a helmet!

Wounding

The human body is a surprisingly resilient thing, capable of taking a surprising amount of physical damage - sometimes. Evolution (with a big helping hand from modern medicine) has gifted the human organism with the ability to fight through physical trauma. Much of the ability to survive severe wounds is thanks to physiological reactions mediated by body hormones, most notably adrenaline.

To represent the irregularity of the organic body to physical damage, humans and other living things do not have durability points like machines (which tend to function until they stop functioning completely), but three values that work together to determine survivability:

  • Shock Threshold (or simply Shock) is how resistant the physiology is to simply giving up. A failed Shock roll means a character goes into physiological shock and essentially shuts down - they are incapable of taking any action and without care of some form they will pass out and quite possibly succumb to their injuries. In extreme cases the character or creature will simply fall over dead.
  • Wounds broadly represents how much battering something living has taken. Every Wound incremented reduces the Shock Threshold, steadily wearing down a body's survivability. Suffering Wounds also causes a character to increment Adrenaline (see below).
  • Adrenaline is the term for a body's autonomous reaction to being hurt and represents not just the hormone in question, but other reactions and effects. Adrenaline constricts blood vessels to reduce blood loss, stimulates the muscles and nervous system and, broadly speaking, enhances the fight-or-flight response. In short, Adrenaline makes the body better able to fight. Most notably, incrementing Adrenaline provides a bonus to Shock rolls. Additionally, Adrenaline provides a bonus to athletic performance and senory perception. The downside is that fine motor skills degrade and concentration on more intellectual tasks becomes difficult - the mind and body becomes 'twitchy'.

Practical effects:

For every three (3) points of Adrenaline a character has, they have the following modifiers:
  • +1 Shock Resistance
  • +1 situational bonus to Physique, Perception and Wits
  • -1 situational penalty to Clarity, Intellect and Charisma

These modifiers are not meant to be cast in stone; for example someone hopped up on huge amounts of stimulants is probably going to be lousy company (thus the Charisma hit) at a party (or great company for all the wrong reasons), but if the same person is roaring at their troops to take that hill with a heroic trail of blood down the side of their face, it may be ignored or even flipped to be positive.

Related traits:

  • Flighty: Your modifiers (positive and negative) from Adrenaline increment every 2 points.
  • Level-Headed: Your modifiers (positive and negative) from Adrenaline increment every 4 points.

Threat

Quick Reference

  • Step 3: Roll for Positioning; all units roll Speed/Thrust + Electronics + Clarity + 2D10.
  • Gunnery: 2d10 + Positioning + weapon + perception + skill
  • Melee: 2d10 + Positioning + weapon + Wits + skill
  • Electronics: 2d10 + Positioning + weapon + Intellect + skill
  • Electronic Defense: Positioning + Clarity + skill + suit
  • Kinetic Defense: positioning + Physique + skill + suit
  • Energy Defense: positioning + Wits + skill + suit

Positioning Table
The following bonuses are granted by the relative positioning difference. 1-2 - +1
3-5 - +2
6-9 - +3
10-14 - +4
15-20 - +5
21-27 - +6
28-35 - +7
36-44 - +8
45-54 - +9
55+ - +10

Ranges
From nearest to most distant

Brawl
Point Blank
Very Close (1)
Close (2)
Not So Close (3)
Moderately Near (4)
Moderate (5)
Moderately Far (6)
Distant (7)
Very Distant (8)
Extremely Distant (9)
Extreme (10)
Extreme x2 (x3, x4 etc for exceptionally long range weapons)