Sword & Spoken Word
Ship Combat Actions, Collected
The following is a list of all actions which can be taken during starship combat, organized by the following action types: Manoeuvre, Support, Astropath, Navigator.
This is used to decrease the distance a starship must move before it can turn. First, the ship decides if it is moving half its Speed value or its full Speed value. Then, the helmsman makes a Challenging (+0) Pilot (Space Craft) + Manoeuvrability Test. On a success, the starship may turn after moving one VU less than its Speed value. For every degree of success, it may turn after moving one less VU. A starship must move at least one VU before turning. Once the starship has turned, it must move the remaining distance so its complete movement is equal to its half or full Speed value.
This is used to adjust the distance a starship is required to move. First, the ship decides if it is moving half its Speed value or its full Speed value. Then, the helmsman makes a Challenging (+0) Pilot (Space Craft) + Manoeuvrability Test. On a success, he may increase or decrease the number of VUs his ship moves by one. For every degree of success, he may increase or decrease that number by an additional one. The starship may not move less than 0 VUs forward (the starship may come to a stop using its retro-thrusters, but cannot move in reverse). The starship may not move double or more its Speed value using this Manoeuvre (only Flank Speed allows that).
Adjust Speed & Bearing
This is used when a starship wants to turn earlier while moving more slowly or quickly. First, the ship decides if it is moving half its Speed value or its full Speed value. Then, the helmsman makes a Hard (–20) Pilot (Space Craft) + Manoeuvrability Test. On a success, he may increase or decrease the number of VUs his ship moves by 1, and may turn after moving one VU less than its Speed Value (as above). Likewise, every degree of success awards the benefits of Adjust Speed and Adjust Bearing. However, the limitations of both Manoeuvre Actions apply.
Come To New Heading
This is used to make radical course changes. The helmsman makes a Difficult (–10) Pilot (Space Craft) + Manoeuvrability Test. Success means the starship may turn when it has moved half its Speed value, then turn again when it has moved its full Speed value. The ship suffers –20 to any Ballistic Skill Tests to fire its weapons during this turn.
This gives the starship a chance to flee the battle by making a radical course change and shutting off its systems, attempting to hide amongst the vastness of the void. This Manoeuvre may not be performed if the starship is within 8 VUs of any enemy.
The helmsman makes a Challenging (+0) Pilot (Space Craft) + Manoeuvrability Test against an opposed Challenging (+0) Detection + Scrutiny Test from opponents within 20 VUs. Provided their number of successes is greater than the successes of each enemy ship, the ship leaves combat, and may not renter it. Whether it succeeds or fails, the ship may not fire any weapons this turn.
Once a starship has successfully disengaged from combat, it may not reengage its opponents unless the GM specifically allows otherwise. Additionally, the Disengage Manoeuvre cannot be used to initiate a Stern Chase. This is because the disengaging ship is shutting down all non-essential systems, including its engines, scanners, and weapons, and doing its best to pretend it isn’t there. It will remain that way for several hours or even days, before restarting its systems (hoping that everyone else has already left the area).
This is used to help avoid enemy fire. The helmsman makes a Difficult (–10) Pilot (Space Craft) + Manoeuvrability Test. Success (and every subsequent degree of success) imposes a –10 penalty to all shooting directed against the starship until the beginning of its next Turn. The starship suffers the same penalty to its own shooting during this time.
The character makes a Challenging (+0) Scrutiny + Detection Test to scan the area surrounding the ship. If the scan is successful, the GM should reveal basic (and important) information about celestial bodies, phenomena, and ships within 20 VUs of the vessel. If there is a vessel on Silent Running within scan range, it is immediately detected. For every degree of success, the character can extend the range of his scan by five VUs.
Aid the Machine Spirit
The character must make a Challenging (+0) Tech-Use Test to commune with the craft’s machine spirit and aid it in its calculations. On a success, the character may add +5 to the ship’s Manoeuvrability or Detection for the remainder of the turn. For every two additional degrees of success, the character may add an additional +5 to the same system.
The character makes a Difficult (–10) Deceive or Blather Test. If he succeeds, he can increase the crew’s Morale by 1d5 for every degree of success for the duration of the combat.
The character makes a Difficult (–10) Tech-Use Test to direct and aid repair crews. If he succeeds, he repairs one unpowered, damaged, or depressurized Component. Repairs normally take 1d5 turns, however, this can be reduced by one turn per degree of success, to a minimum of one turn. Emergency Repairs cannot fix destroyed Components.
The character must make a Challenging (+0) Tech-Use Test to nurse the ship’s engines and push them to their limits. Success means the ship may move an additional VU this turn. Every degree of success allows an additional VU of movement. Failure by 2 or more degrees means the ship immediately suffers an Engines Crippled critical hit as the engines are strained too hard.
The character makes a Challenging (+0) Scrutiny + Detection Test to scan a particular ship within extreme range of his vessel. A successful scan reveals a number of Components aboard the enemy ship.
- Basic Success: All Essential Components except Auger Arrays and Void Shields
- One Degree of Success: All Weapon Components
- Two Degrees of Success: Auger Arrays, Void Shields, and any combat related Components
- Three Degrees of Success: All Components aboard the target ship
Hail the Enemy
This action is unique as it can be performed by characters who have participated in Manoeuvre Actions or Shooting Actions during the turn. The character contacts one enemy ship using his ship’s vox systems. He may use Interaction Skills to accomplish certain goals, such as the Intimidation Skill to convince an opponent to surrender. The exact details of how this works is left up to the GM.
The character must have Air of Authority (or a similar Talent at the GM’s discretion) and make a Challenging (+0) Willpower Test. If he succeeds, he inspires the crew and reduces any damage to Morale by 1, plus 1 for every degree of success to a minimum of 1. Hold Fast! may only cancel out Morale damage suffered during the previous turn.
The character makes a Difficult (–10) Tech-Use Test, targeting a ship within long range of his vessel. If he succeeds, that ship is unable to use vox-transmitters or other technologies to communicate with other ships for its next Turn. Psychic communicators—such as an astropath—are unaffected.
Lock On Target
The character makes a Challenging (+0) Scrutiny + Detection Test to use the ship’s augers and calculate exact firing solutions on an enemy vessel. If successful, he adds a +5 bonus to the Ballistic Skill Test to fire one Weapon Component during this turn. Every two additional degrees of success adds an additional +5 to the same Test.
Prepare to Repel Boarders!
This character must make a Challenging (+0) Command Test in order to organise and arm a portion of the crew. If he succeeds, he may add +10 to any opposed Command Test he performs against enemy borders during subsequent turns of combat, plus an additional +5 for every degree of success. Although the character is not required to make additional
tests on subsequent turns, he will be occupied rallying the defenders for as long as he wants to maintain the bonus.
Put Your Backs Into It!
The character makes a Challenging (+0) Intimidate or Charm Test. If he succeeds, he can choose to add +5 to a Ballistic Skill Test to fire a Weapon Component, an Emergency Repairs Action, or an attempt to put out a fire made during this turn. He may aid an additional Ballistic Skill Test, Emergency Repairs Action, or firefighting attempt for every three degrees of success.
The Ties That Bind
By using his telepathic powers, the Astropath is able to link together the minds of the bridge crew or nearby ship-mates. This is a rudimentary link that enhances the actions of those under its influence. To make use of this action, the Astropath must have the Mind Link power. The Astropath makes a Challenging (+0) Willpower Focus Power Test and needs at least two degrees of success. Should this occur, then all Explorers (player characters) aboard the ship gain a +5 bonus to any one action while in Starship Combat for the next Strategic Round.
Divining the Way
Astropaths who are schooled in the Divination Discipline have a number of powers at their disposal. An Astropath who has the Divination Discipline can tap into that power to study the portents and skeins of future events. By making a Hard (-20) Psyniscience Focus Power Test, the Astropath can add 1d5 degrees of success to the next Manoeuvre Action the ship makes. The character making the Manoeuvre Action must be within sight of the Astropath—and in the same area or room—in order to take advantage of the bonus. This action can only be made once per combat.
Taking the Shot
By utilising their powers of foresight, an Astropath can see into the near future. He can check the positioning of enemy ships and use that information to his advantage. Once per combat, an Astropath with the Divination Discipline can use this glimpse to his advantage by making a Very Hard (-30) Psyniscience Focus Power Test. For every degree of success he gets on this Test, he may grant a +10 bonus to any Shooting Action during Starship combat. The character making the Test must be in contact (verbal or vox) of the Astropath in order to take advantage of the bonus.
Astropaths who possess the power Inspire can use this power and their natural abilities to assist with boarding actions. To do this, the Astropath must be with the boarding characters prior to their Hit and Run action. He does not need to accompany the raid, just be present prior to its initiation. The Astropath makes a Challenging (+0) Psyniscience Focus Power Test. If he succeeds, then he may impart a +10 Bonus per degree of success for either the Pilot (Space Craft) Test or the Command Test portion of the Hit and Run Extended Action.
Navigators are intimately familiar with their starship’s capabilities in terms of manoeuvrability and speed. Many also pick up some of the intricacies regarding naval combat—a skill many pick up from their ship’s captains. A Navigator can assist the helmsman with positioning the ship for optimum fire or to help manoeuvre it out of harm’s way.
By making a Difficult (–10) Psyniscience Test, the Navigator can assist with the positioning of the vessel so as to add one degree of success to any one successful Ballistic Skill Test made to fire the ship’s weapons during the same Strategic Turn. Alternatively, the Navigator may add one degree of success to a successful Evasive Manoeuvres Test made during the same Strategic Turn. The Navigator must be able to communicate with the ship’s helm in order to make use of this action.
There are times when it’s better to fall back and fight another day. Whenever the Navigator’s ship is engaged in a Stern Chase and is trying to escape, the Navigator can make a Difficult (–10) Navigation (Stellar) Test. For every two degrees of success on this Test, the Navigator can reduce the Degrees of Success needed to escape by one.
By using intuitive leaps of logic, the ship’s Navigator can determine an escaping ship’s course. This can aid the pursuing vessel in trying to prevent their enemy from escaping. To accomplish this, the Navigator makes a Difficult (–10) Navigation (Stellar) Test. Each degree of success on the Test reduces to the total number of Successes needed to catch the fleeing ship by one