Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ships in the Oort Cloud, part 3

Previously (add link later!) I've been musing on the idea of generating ships for my Oort Cloud hard-ish sci-fi hack of MotSP, and I had got as far as assigning dice to ship "stats" although really we might think of them as characteristics I guess. Wait, is there a distinction? One for the philisophers.

I have been musing over the last few days about whether or not seven tightly defined stats for ships might be an interesting thing: particularly because MotSP uses seven stats (adding Comeliness to the expected standard six). I like the idea of that, of a ship's basic capabilities mirroring something of the PC's stats. When I thought about it more though, I realised that while I could add a ship stat that would perhaps be about the "look" of a ship, it would feel a bit fake. I also started thinking that the stats/characteristics that I had didn't map to the other six stats neatly.

So I think that seven mirroring stats (treating the ship more explicitly as an NPC or party-PC) is out. For now I'll stick with the six I had previously. I've made a choice for now that the Range stat (which will be the d20 roll) will be multiplied by 10 to give the number of light seconds range that the ship has (assuming normal power usage and travel).

So I now have six stats/characterisitics/qualities(?) that are attached to the six dice, roll them, read them off and you have the basic capabilities of a little NPC-ship.

This has been helpful to me, having this idea and noodling on it, as I now have an idea for PCs and their ship(s) - they can either roll and get a ship's stats which they then spin some idea of what it looks like from, or I could give them an average ship, giving expected values or close to for the six ship stats, and then giving a couple of points for them to invest.

Thinking about being smugglers or traders? Spend a point in Capacity to get more space for hiding stuff!
Want to go really fast but probably get organ damage for constantly being under two gs? Spend a few points on Acceleration!
Expecting to come under heavy fire? Armour up and spend points on Hull Strength!
Want to, shave hours off destination orienting and combat evasion? Improve your gas jets by boosting your Manouverability score!
Expecting to put others under heavy fire? Add more Gauss guns by spending a couple of points on Weapons!
Want to travel further before having to pay for a new fuel rod crystal-mo-tron? Increase your Range!

Did I really just do those six questions and exclamations? Obviously not had enough caffeine this morning...

Onwards and upwards: next steps with MotSP hacking include
1. Typing up the skills/traits lists - particularly helpful as I'm tweaking the former and excluding about 20% of the latter.
2. Habitat generation tables - I have a basic space-grid and know where things are, but need something to fill in the blanks.
3. Character sheets - it makes sense to me to have separate, slightly tweaked sheets for the three classes I'll be using (mostly because the skill lists are different depending on classes)
4. Hangout or offline play - need players!

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