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Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - Vehicle and Starship Combat - Part III

Artwork by Lucas Bigorenski
Let's continue, shall we? Before they blast us away from the vacuum of space.


Hull


As characters have Vitality points, vehicles and starships possess Hull points. This measures how much damage they can suffer before falling apart. Bigger ships have more Hull points than smaller ones, but they tend to have a lower Maneuverability.

As long as a vehicle or starship still has Hull points, they work just as fine, unless they are hit by a Critical Hit. When a Critical Hit is suffered, the attacker rolls 1d6 on the table below and the vehicle or starship acquires a Destruction score of 1 (and it increases by one by each additional Critical Hit suffered).

1d6
Critical Effect
1
The communication systems are damaged, and cannot be used until it’s fixed. To fix it, a technician need to succeed at an Intellect score with a Difficulty equal to to total Destruction score.
2
The electric systems are damaged and are discharging, possibly harming the crew and their equipment. Every round, crewmembers need to make a Luck Roll to avoid suffering a number of points of damage equal to the Destruction score. To repair the systems, a technician need to succeed at an Intellect score with a Difficulty equal to to total Destruction score.
3
Fire breaks out, heating the systems and possibly damaging the crewmembers. Every round, crewmembers need to make a Luck Roll to avoid suffering a number of points of damage equal to the Destruction score. Additionally, every test made to operate any of the vehicle’s systems have their Difficulty increased by the Destruction score.
4
Radiation leaks from the engines, depleting the energy reserves of the vehicle, and possibly damaging the crew. Every turn, equipment will need to make a Durability Roll, including the vehicle itself. Additionally, characters are subjected to Radiation as explained in the Hazards and Other Dangers in Chapter 5: Combat, beginnings with the light category, and going up a category each time this result is rolled again. To repair the leak, a technician need to succeed at an Intellect score with a Difficulty equal to to total Destruction score.
5
The vehicle’s hull is breached, exposing the contents and the crew to the vacuum of space or a dangerous atmosphere. Every round exposed to the breach, characters need to make a test to hold themselves down with a Difficulty equal to the Destruction score. The Overlord will have to determine the consequences of each specific atmosphere.
6
Life support fails immediately, the crew has 1d3 turns to turn it back on or will suffocate. The Difficulty for the Intellect test to repair it is equal to the Destruction score.


Additionally, when a vehicle or ship suffers damage after reaching zero Hull points, it is considered to have suffered another Critical Hit, having to roll on the above table and adding 1 more point to the Destruction score.

The Crimson Nebula was trying to evade a pirate blockade in the Outer Regions but one of them manage to fire a precise shot against Kaylia’s ship, scoring a Critical Hit. This not only caused a good amount of damage, but gave the ship a Destruction score and forced a roll on the Critical Effect table. Rolling a 1, now they lost their comm systems!

Vehicle and Starship Destruction


One of the iconic scenes of the greatest science fiction movies that inspired Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells are the ones in which starships explode in a big ball of fire and metal. This can also happen in this game, if their crewmembers are unlucky or the ship suffers enough punishment.

Whenever a vehicle or starship acquires a Destruction score or have it raised by one, they need to make a Destruction Roll. This functions very similar to a Luck Roll and Durability Roll. The player rolls a d6 and if the result is equal to or below than the Destruction score, the ship explodes, possibly killing anyone inside it (an Overlord may allow a Luck Roll to see if someone survives the explosion). Rolling above the score means the vehicle is safe for now.

Having acquired a Destruction score, the crew of the Crimson Nebula needs to make a Destruction Roll to determine if their ship is still intact after such a devastating attack. All they need to do is roll a number above 1 on the d6 to avoid their doom. Which they did, to the relief of everyone at the table.

Repairs


As vehicles and starships suffer damage, they can also be repaired, since they do not regain Hull points back by resting, like characters regain Vitality points. To do so, a mechanic needs to spend some time in a proper workshop, with the appropriate tools and a few hours of hard work.

In game terms, to restore 1d6 Hull points, restore 1 point of Durability, or reduce the Destruction score by 1, the character needs to spend a full hour and 5 Credits for a Vehicle, 10 Credits for a Starship, and 50 Credits for a Space Station (see Scales below). He also needs to pass an Intellect test with a Difficulty equal to the Destruction score of the vehicle (plus any other situational factors adjudicated by the Overlord). Failure means that the repairs didn’t restore any Hull points or reduce the Destruction score.

Back in a safe starport, Kaylia has the chance to stop and make some repairs on their ship. The Crimson Nebula has lost 8 Hull points and has a Destruction score of 1. Kaylia and her crew manages to pool 25 Credits, which will only allow two repairs attempts. She decides to try to restore 1d6 Hull points and reduce the Destruction score back to zero.

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