Dive into the Sky

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Introduction

Strike Witches 2010: The RPG

The Principality of Belka has stood unbowed and unconquered for all of its five centuries of existence. In the last few decades it has withstood the impact of the Ulysses asteroid and the Hofstadter uprising, only to rise even stronger than before. Through these turbulent times and all of those that preceded them, Belka’s Knights have risen to the challenge of defending it from opportunistic foreigners and from those who would try to break it from within. Today they stand ever ready to destroy Belka’s enemies be they foreign or domestic; they stand as a flaming sword in the righteous cause of national survival.

You are an Ordinary Belkan High School Student. Or perhaps not so ordinary. You have scored well in aptitude tests and show promise in your rudimentary pilot training. One day, a representative of Gründer Industries, Belka's largest defence conglomerate with close ties to the Knights approaches you with an unprecedented offer: Join a top secret program for the duration of your service and you stand a good chance of joining the Knights themselves...

Concept

Ace Combat meets Strike Witches/Sky Girls/Infinite Stratos

Rules

Source: http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Dive_into_the_Sky) Published here with minor edits and with Wings United integrated.

Still needed: Rules for character advancement. The framework is there in terms of gaining affinities, but not the rate of gain. I was thinking one/sortie, or would that be too much?

Character Creation, RFs and related reference info

Game Mechanics

Trial DitS Game Mechanics

Dice and Rolling

The basic system in DitS is as follows: to preform an action, roll a number of 6-sided dice (d6) equal to your character's relevant stat plus one (minimum dice pool is 2d6, maximum 6d6). The total of all dice values is your check result. If it's over an opposed check result or a certain threshold for success, you succeed.

Static Values/Thresholds (for d6s):
● 3-6: Really easy. Why even roll? Or, just good enough to squeak by.
● 7-11: Average difficulty, or average success.
● 11-16: Challenging, and impressive success.
● 17-24: Requires an expert.
● Continue extrapolating as necessary.

Ace Points and Friendship Points

Characters can earn Ace Points and Friendship Points by playing to their archetype. Ace Points are earned by behaving in manners consistent with a character's Ace Style or by doing something particularly impressive, without the use of Ace Points to aid the action. Characters also earn one ace point for each enemy aircraft downed. Friendship Points may be earned when behaving in accordance with a player's general Character archetype, or by roleplaying out bonding with their friends and allies. Generally, it's the GM's call to reward points for either case. Players also gain one Ace and Friendship point at the beginning of a session.

Only one Ace Point my be spent by a character in a given turn, although they may spend more than one Friendship Point, but only to assist different allies.

Spend Ace Points to:
● Roll an extra die on one action, or reroll the dice for an action.
● Muck with the narrative. This might require GM approval, but a player may spend an ace point to declare an interesting moment of coincidence to make things more interesting or beneficial to their character.
Whenever Ace Points are spent on a roll, things become instantly awesome. Whether the result is a success or failure, it must be described in a more dramatic or impressive way.

Spend Friendship Points to:
● Give an ally an extra die on one of their rolls, or gain an extra die on a roll to assist an ally.
● Rush to a wingman's defense, taking a defensive action for them (however, you'll take any stress damage).
● Restore a wounded ally's concentration, reducing the difficulty for Wits checks to stay in the air after taking too many hits.
● Make a Mobility check to rush in and rescue a severely damage ally, catching them in midair. You then have to carry them to safety.

Combat

Combat is executed in a series of rounds. At the start of every round, everyone involved in the combat makes a Wits roll. This determines turn order. If characters team up with their wingmates, use the lowest initiative. Then, in order of initiative, declare and resolve actions and roll for results. Examples would be jockying for position to get a firing solution (Mobility vs Mobility), firing a missile (Mobility vs Attack) etc.

The loser takes Stress damage equal the weapon damage. If they lose all Stress points, you lose a hit and restores Stress to maximum value. At this point, the character must make a Wits check to keep airborne or potentially suffer additional effects. Once a character has lost all hits, they're either shot down, disabled, or in some other way forced out of the battle.

Wingmen and Combat

Experience has shown that the combat capability of a pilot is dramatically improved when paired up with another. The two pilots (also known as an Element) split the work of maintaining situational awareness and can back each other up in a pinch. This is represented by the Wingman Support and Wingman Active Bonus abilities of each RF type. These bonuses cannot be used if the element has broken up (IE each character is rolling for their own initiative and attacking enemies of different flights). To form a new element, all members of the element must spend a turn organizing. Three ship elements are possible, but each character must choose which character they are supporting (giving their bonus to).

Background

Factions and Organizations

The Principality of Belka

Belka boasts the second largest economy, size and population on the Osean Continent after the Osean Federation, as such, it is a key player in the continent's politics. Throughout the 20th Century, it has been in a number of wars with its neighbours which are a cause of numerous border disputes that continue to this day. The wars, along with close ties to Osea due to its support during the long Cold War with Yuktobania, have led to an economic boom in Belka in the late 20th Century, though this has begun to slow down as well, and this has only been exacerbated by the impact of the Ulysses asteroid. These economic problems, along with lingering effects of the war, were a major impetus for the defeated fascist uprising in 1997.

Belka maintains its strong military tradition through universal conscription for all able bodied males and females at the age of 18, who are required to serve for 12 months in the military followed by ten years in the Reserve. The service term was originally 24 months, but this was reduced on the condition of a greater degree of military-related training and aptitude screening during formal education instead. Civilian service exists as an alternative for conscientious objectors, but the longer 36 month service term means that it comparatively uncommon.

At present, Belka is a constitutional monarchy in which de-jure power is concentrated in the democratically elected Reichstag. However, the current monarch - Princess Maria Theresa - is very popular with the populace, and wields significant influence on it through "her" party, the Crown Loyalists.

The Belkan Chivalric Order of the Rose

More commonly known as "The Belkan Knights", the Order dates back to the original founding of what is now known as North Belka. The knights swore an oath to protect and defend the people of the Belkan Confederation against all enemies, an oath that is still sworn at induction, and repeated annually. Today, it is essentially an independent arm of the Belkan military, with its own command structure, logistics and so on, all of which answers to the Supreme Grand Master of the Order, who is responsible only to the Council of Grand Masters. Numerous monarchs and governments have attempted to assert control over the Order, but none have succeeded due to their large base of popular support, and their independence is now constitutionally enshrined. This support comes primarily from the Order's central role in Belka's national myth, one of the toppling of tyrants and of struggle against external invaders.

The Order poaches the best and brightest from the regular military, and its equipment and funding are provided by the business conglomerates of North Belka which have strong historical ties with the Order.

Gründer Industries AG

The shining success story of post-war Belka, Gründer Industries is the largest industrial conglomerate in the country. Based mainly in North Belka, G.I. produces everything from computers to cars, washing machines to state of the art combat aircraft. The majority of G.I.'s production facilities came through the Ulysses impact unscathed, and are now operating at full capacity supplying those countries that were harder hit with heavy machinery and other essentials for rebuilding.

G.I. is the main equipment supplier of the Belkan Knights, providing them with state of the art hardware developed in tandem with input from the Knights. They also have close ties with a number of Osean defence contractors and produce several aircraft and ground vehicles under license. However, the Osean government's refusal to allow a partnership with Douglas-Martin Aerospace or the export of the F-22 has resulted in G.I. starting its own 5th generation fighter program, details of which remain highly confidential.

The Osean Federation

The Osean Federation is the largest state on the continent of Osea, and is the second largest in the world. More commonly known as Osea, it boasts the world's largest economy and the most powerful military. Throughout its history it has often swung between periods of pacifism and interventionism, much to the chagrin of its neighbours. In recent years, the majority of its attention had been taken up by its rivalry with Yuktobania, but with this threat reduced, it has begun to turn its attention to matters closer to home.

Other Osean Factions

The Allied Powers

The Allied Powers is the name of the alliance between the The Kingdom of Sapin and the Republics of Ratio, Gebet and Recta. All these countries had been defeated by Belka during the First Belkan War and consequently lost portions of territory in the peace settlements. When Belka invaded Sapin in the late 1970s, the other three countries, fearing a repeat of the first war, immediately declared war on Belka. The haste at which the alliance was formed is evident in its rather unimaginative name, but its effects were clear. Belka was not in a position to fight, and they soon pushed onto Belkan soil, where they hit the brick wall of the Belkan Knights. This time, it was Belka that threw in the towel, ceding a number of provinces from East and South Belka in an Osean brokered peace deal.

Today, the alliance has expanded into a framework that includes a number of economic agreements. The impact of the Ulysses asteroid led to widespread destruction in Sapin and Recta, and there has been talk of the creation of a free trade zone to aid the rebuilding of their economies. All of the countries are also involved in a border dispute with Belka over the peace treaty, and Osea is attempting to arbitrate a peaceful settlement.

The Belkan Liberation Front

The front organization of a number of Southern and Eastern Belkan insurrectionist groups fighting for reunification with Belka, they formed after the impact of the Ulysses asteroid led to an increase in the government burden placed on them. They are covertly supported by Belkan intelligence agencies.

The Republic of Ustio

A small country located to the southwest of Belka. Known in some circles as the "boot of Belka", Ustio shares a common language and culture with its larger brother, but has so far avoided annexation due to an ancient pact with the Knights.

Other Powers

The Osean Federation is the unrivaled world power in the post Cold-War era, the hyper-militarized nature of the period has left pretty much every large nation with a powerful military at its beck and call. Continued strife throughout the world remains a strong disincentive to disarm. Racial tensions in Anea keeps the nominally peaceful Estovakia and Emmeria at loggerheads with each other. Verusia, once united under the red Yuktobanian banner, has crumbled into a mess of squabbling republics. The eastern half of Usea watches their large ex-Communist neighbour with great distrust, and the Ulysses asteroid has only served to heighten the distrust between them. Just off to the south of Osea, Leasath is actively engaged in a massive arms buildup that points to an invasion of Aurelia, which Osea is rapidly arming to match them.

Recent Events

The Ulysses Impact

In 1991, ground based radio telescopes detected a cluster of objects on a collision course with Earth, the largest being close to one kilometer across. The main response to this was an international effort, using Osea's mass driver facility it was hoped to divert the largest objects away from Earth. At the same time, nearly every region prepared for the worst. Usea poured money into upgrading Erusea's Megalith ABM facility as well as completing and expanding the Stonehenge railgun research facility. Both Osea and Yuktobania raced to convert ICBM launch vehicles into exo-atmospheric kill vehicles to shield their respective continents.

The Hofstadter Uprising

Fascist uprising in the guise of an anti-monarchist one. Only enjoyed minority support, mainly in the south. A number of southern militia units attempted to launch a sneak attack on the Princess in her Winter Palace, but were defeated by her Royal Guard and a quick reaction force of Knights.

The Belkan Insurrections

A long lasting Belkan insurgency in the Bayer region of South Belka, part of the territory ceded to the Allied Powers. Though it had begun to die down in the early 90s, the economic fallout of the asteroid impact led to the states in question refocusing their efforts on their core voter base, along with the majority of the funds earmarked for rebuilding. The delayed approval of Belkan aid along with Belka's rapid recover has led to a resurgence of these movements, calling for Belkan reunification. The Allied Powers had attempted to suppress these with standard police actions, but in recent years, most of them, particularly Sapin, have begun using the military to impose martial law in the region.

Belka has not officially recognized this movement, but clandestinely supports the rebels.