Phasers and shields at Starship level

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Phasers and shields at Starship level

Post by jayphailey » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:54 am

Phasers and shields at Starship level

In Starfleet Battles and most other Starship Combat games - Starships have "Shield Points" which are reduced by damage.

To Simulate this in Hero System sounds difficult because HSR really doesn't offer a shield points type of rule. unless you get creative. What I would do would be to purchase a small force field - and then buy a Body points Linked to the force field, with the "Does not add to figured Characteristics." Modifier.

Basically we borrow a bunch of body points, relabel them "Shield Points" and glue them to a small force field erected in the right place.

No problem.


Scaling the damage done by Starship phasers, disruptors and torpeoes up to starship scale - that is, taking a damag system meant for personal level combat where hand guns do 1d6 or 2d6 RKA and scaling up to ships that can level cities and chew up contininents from up to 300,000 kilometers away -

- so you know rougly how many shied points you need -

- is a major pain in the butt. I know because I have tried this.

Hero System scales pretty well, but evn it starts to get a little flaky at those power levels


IMHO both GURPS and Hero System Suffer when you try to scale them up to Starship scale.

For cars, boats and fighter planes, in that range, those two systems work well, but on the scale of Capital Ships these two don't scale all that well.

D20 is almost as bad.

Palladium system trid to address this by adding Mega Damage - I am not sure I like the results. No, I am sure. I dislike Mega damage.

West End Games introduced scales - which is part of the metaphor I am using to describe this - so i guess that works pretty well.


GURPS (back in the day) used "Mass combat rules" for armies (Conan and Fantasy games), ships (Swashbucklers) and starships (GURPS Space).

What this was, in effect, a system within a system, a different set of words and concepts used to describe Units, ships and spacecraft.

GURPS very cogently pointed out that the question in warfare that involves the PCs in combat operations boils down to two questions - A) Who won? And B) What happened to the PCs?


Trek Starship combat needs to add one more element - all the PCs need to be able to play a role on the starship to effect the out come and that's hard.


One option would be to use a different, already existing system at Starship level - Full Thrust or Starfleet Battles.

The problem with that is that it's difficult to engage all the PCs in a starship combat using these systems unless the PCs fly fighters or fast attack ships that the Players could control on the board.


Another Option would be to declare Starship scale a whole different scale - and then us Hero Systm normally - where the Average Starship has a Starship scale Strength of 10 , a Con of 10 a Dex of 10 and so on

That could be doable but again - how do we give all the players some thing to do?


The systemry of describing starship at starship scales is one problem

Making sure all the Players get stuff to do is another problem, a seperate one.

Jay ~Meow!~

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