So, work continues on the Far Away Land expansion book Adventures in the Materiosphere. I’ve been doing a bunch of half page artwork and fleshing out the setting. I’ve also been playtesting the starship combat rules and messing with the custom starship builder. Here are a couple of my design goals…
Custom Starship Builder
These rules are based on the same rules that were used to create custom creatures. Basically, ships have archetypes which kind of define what they are used for. A series of sections allow you to build a starship from scratch. You can determine its size, archetype, crew, engines, weapons, shields, armor, special abilities and more. Also included is a custom crew builder which lets you piece together an NPC crew in no time.
At first, starship combat was going to be almost identical to normal, person to person combat. But scaling became an issue and in testing, keeping track of assloads of HP and damage (especially for huge ships) wasn’t my cup of tea. I wanted something simple and cinematic and quick… and deadly. So, the latest (and I think final iteration) of starship combat is based on shields, armor, and weapon types. Basically, small arms against thicker armor are less effective. Damage isn’t handled in HP but rather in hit locations based on the level of damage done (minor or major). Also, scaling isn’t an issue and there is no real bookkeeping except to keep track of damaged areas. Two charts (one for minor and one for major damage) allow for hit locations. It’s fast, cinematic, descriptive, and pretty fun. One more thing. Maneuvers play a large role in starship combat. So, small vessels can evade attacks but have lighter armor while larger vessels are slower and less maneuverable but have heavier armor.
The setting is gonzo keeping in line with the rest of FAL. Here are a couple of examples…
The remains of dead cosmic wanderers float in space (these are called Husks), giant weathered bodies around which nebulae, stars, and worlds exist. These are the same types of creatures which created the Materiosphere. However, their long dead bodies have floated into Materiosphere space over the eons from realms beyond. Also, giant space tortoises feed on starlight and produce a fungus which is mined and used to enhance psionic abilities.
Anyway. Here’s a giant space tortoise feeding off starlight.
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