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The High Space Sphere

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Starship Construction #4 (Hindrances)

Aero (Major)

The starship uses a jet-based propulsion system and requires a gaseous atmosphere to function. It cannot travel into vacuum, and cannot attain FTL flight. Additionally, all of its weapons, sensors, and communications systems are also limited to normal-space range increments. This Hindrance is usually applied to vessels used as atmospheric transports and ‘air forces’. This Hindrance is incompatible with the Non-atmospheric Hindrance, and vessels cannot have both.

Cost reduction: 0.4

Bad Air (Minor)

The recycling or biosphere modules on the starship do not function according to specification, and prolonged travel without replenishing the circulating air can affect the crew’s health. For every full week that a crew member spends on the starship without the air being replaced, they must make a Vigor roll. If they fail the roll they suffer 1 point of Fatigue, that can be restored with 8 hours of breathing fresh air again. Also, the air ‘smells odd’.

Cost reduction: 0.1

Bad Reputation (Major)

Nasty rumors exist about the starship, and this applies to new starships as much as those with a history, and the crews of other starships avoid the tainted starship with superstitious dread. All Charisma-based rolls made by known crew members (including the starship computer) incur a -2 penalty. This applies to bridge-to-bridge and starship-to-station communications, and also arises during personal interaction when that person is strongly associated with the starship.

Cost reduction: 0.2

Bucket of Bolts (Major)

This starship is a mess! Systems are always breaking down and it is in constant need of repair just to keep it running. The starship is either run-down, or very badly designed. Any time an systems is used (whether via the Automatics, or via an Override) if the Skill/Computer die rolls comes up a 1 the system breaks down and must be repaired. This includes the Damage Control system.

Cost reduction: 0.3

Leaky (Minor)

A design flaw in the starship means that it does not cope well with high external pressures and in effect it ‘leaks’. In game-terms the starship suffers a Breach for each round spent in a high-pressure environment - whether deep underwater, or in the lower depths of a gas giant. The starship cannot also have the Non-atmospheric Hindrance.

Cost reduction: 0.1

Limited-Arc (Automatic/Weapon category: direction) (Minor)

Automatics and Weapons normally have a 360-degree arc of operation in all directions, but one Automatic or entire category of Weapon possessed by the starship with this Hindrance has an arc equivalent to a 90-degree cone. The arc is not fixed in space, because the starship can maneuver to change it almost at will, but the system can only target objects within one designated arc during any round. The arc must be described at the start of the first action that system, whether it be an Automatic or an Override.

For example, if a starship has Limited Arc (X-Ray lasers: rear) and the first X-Ray laser fired in that round targets a specific starship, no other X-ray lasers can attack any other target not in the same limited arc as the first target. This includes using weapons for defensive fire against indirect weapons that approach from outside the limited arc.

Cost reduction: 0.1

Mass-effected FTL (Minor)

The FTL Core is misaligned with the superstructure of the starship, and when the vessel maneuvers during FTL flight there is an inertial effect on the crew (which does not normally happen.) At the extremes, this can harm, or even kill the crew. The starship crew suffer damage when the starship takes a maneuver action during FTL flight, the same as how damage is incurred when traveling at Pace. Shockpods and Gill-fluid will increase the Vigor die-type of the crew with regards to helping withstand these extreme g-forces.

Cost reduction: 0.15

Mechanical Noises (Minor)

There is something or some system on the starship that that makes an indeterminable noise that is too elusive to track down. Whether it is pipes rattling, condensation dripping, or an infrequent metallic ‘grinding’ noise, it lends the starship an eerie quality during the night-cycle! To acquire this Hindrance, a starship must have a Displacement of d8 or greater.

Cost reduction: 0.1

No FTL (Major)

The starship has an FTL Core but no means of using it to achieve FTL flight. The only way the starship can travel at FTL speeds is in the landing bay of a larger starship, or attached to the Docking point of an FTL capable vessel. However, because it has an FTL Core, all weapons, sensors, and communications systems are FTL capable and use FTL range increments. This Hindrance is usually applied to planetary-defence craft that have limited flight needs.

Cost reduction: 0.2

Non-atmospheric (Major)

The starship is incapable of atmospheric or submarine travel and does not even have landing gear - it falls like a stone and sinks like a rock! This Hindrance also prevents the starship from travelling through the lower ‘liquid’ layer of gas giants although it may still travel through the upper gaseous layers of such planets. This Hindrance is incompatible with the Aero Hindrance, and vessels cannot have both.

Cost reduction: 0.2

Overloads (Major)

The starship is reliable, except when system tolerances are exceeded! Any time a system use results in a Raise, the system works but it also overloads/exceeds its safety limits and becomes damaged and must be repaired. This Hindrance also affects the Damage Control system.

Cost reduction: 0.3

Poor signage (Minor)

No spacer can be expected to know where every single systems inspection hatch is on the starship, or the source and destination of every single cooling pipe. Subsequently, signage on a starship is very important. Starships with poor signage (whether infrequently used, or incorrect) impose a -1 penalty on the Spacewise rolls of the crew to do anything on the starship. This can also lead to arguments over ‘who routed the sewage through the drinking water???’ To acquire this Hindrance, a starship must have a Displacement of d6 or greater.

Cost reduction: 0.1

Probability Drain (Major)

The containment field around the FTL Core fluctuates, or leaks, and the space-time fabric

around the starship can be disturbed at an unnoticeable, quantum level. At the start of each game, one crew member chosen at random will lose 1 Bennie for that game only. The starship cannot also have No FTL Hindrance.

Cost reduction: 0.2

Pulls To The Left (Major)

When the piloting controls are left unattended for an extended period (such as overnight) they have a tendency to drift in an annoying, but known direction, even if they are under control of the starship computer. The GM can use this as a story device in certain situations. Also, all Tactical Maneuvers suffer a -1 penalty for starships with this Hindrance.

Cost reduction: 0.2

Residual Personality (Minor)

The starship exhibits a personality trait of an A.I. that used to live in it’s Positronic core (even if the starship currently has no Positronic core and the effects are ‘burnt into’ the way the Automatics operate.) The residual personality trait can be friendly, antagonistic, even schizophrenic, and it functions the same as one of the Minor psychological Hindrances from the Savage Worlds core rules (E.g. Habit, Loud Mouth, etc.)

Cost reduction: 0.1

Twitchy (Minor)

The sensor Automatics on the starship are badly tuned, or have simply never worked properly. They occasionally leave ‘ghost trails’ on the readouts, or miss objects in plain sight! Every time they are used to perform an Active or Passive scan the GM should secretly roll 2d6, on a roll of snake-eyes the starship will fail to detect any signal, or will detect double the correct number of signals (GMs option).

Cost reduction: 0.1

Weak-point (Minor)

Any time a starship suffers a damage, the damage is increased by +1 when determining whether the starship is Compromised or Breached. The nature of the Weak-point needs to be described during construction, and this Hindrance can be taken multiple times and the damage is cumulative for each instance (and yes, this is how they blew up the first Death Star!)

Cost reduction: 0.2


Other posts by JiaoshouX

3 comments on article "Starship Construction #4 (Hindrances)"


Gon (Commander of the Old Reach)

5/5/2016 5:31 AM

Great!!! The new additions are very cool! Probability drain... Whoaaaaaa!!!


Michael Hauber

5/6/2016 4:48 AM

Like the Bucket of Bolts hindrance. Perhaps you could incorporate the rule from the chase rules concerning the drawing of a club on the initiative round to simulate a "malfunction". Adds some potential randomness perhaps. Well done on everything so far!


Gon (Commander of the Old Reach)

5/6/2016 6:33 AM

Pretty cool idea, Michael!!!

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