Thursday, July 11, 2019

Military Armor and Absorbing Damage

I am going to use the simple damage mechanic I used in StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World, a Sword & Planet/Planetary Romance game I released a couple years ago. Unlike standard StarCluster 4 damage, you don't add a damage modifier which varies by weapon to the successes you roll. Also in standard SC 4 there are a varying number of from 1 to 8 damage boxes on each Attribute - the higher the attribute, the more boxes are open - with a final Condition box which affects that Attribute when all boxes are full, and which will not heal normally over time, but needs medical treatment. Here is a SC4 standard character sheet:

The In Harm's Way - StarCluster 4 character sheet will have only the condition box after each Attribute, meaning characters cannot soak the damage they receive in combat under their Attributes. Here is a In Harm's Way - StarCluster 4 character sheet for reference:

Why did I do this this way? Because military weapons are MORE damaging! A hit from a Ma Deuce will sever - or rather explode - a limb, a head, or blow your viscera out, and the Ma Deuce is 100 years old. And I doubled down for realism. Heavy Weapons like the Ma Deuce inflict TWO boxes of damage per success, which means four successes on a single round form a M2 will inflict 8 boxes of damage on an unprotected body, filling every damage box in one hit. The future military we are addressing will have to absorb - soak - that damage elsewhere. The body can't take it. The result is the vastly upgraded military armor system. Here is a sample Military Armor from IHW - SC4:

Note that this is fairly light armor for a scout, geared especially for sensory input and communication. Firstly, any weapon has to penetrate the armor in order to do any damage. It then has five boxes available that can be absorbed without compromising the armor in any way. Note there are a maximum of 16 of these hit soaks for any armor. After those five boxes, the character can assign damage to internal systems as they choose, as well as their own body boxes. There are 9 boxes available after the first five on this armor, one to a system. Programs, Sensors, Comms, Power, Power Assisted Endurance, Power Assisted Agility, Seals, Mobility Extras, and the Autodoc. Each hit on these nine boxes degrades the suit, destroying one feature with each hit. The suits auto doc has automatic tourniquets on limbs, automatic drug injections, and other abilities to increase survivability. If the suit has an AI, it could decide to knock out the character and bring the character back alive to increase survival rates. At any rate the autodoc monitors the character's vitals and deploys automatically if needed! Here is a heavy armor for shock troops:

Note the very different emphasis. Each armor suit is designed to a particular set of needs to the limit of available technology. Also armor can link to various robots to multiply firepower or mobility or carrying capacity as needed.

Military armor is keyed to an individual, and can only work for that individual unless reset. Communication is of course heavily coded! Note power taps for energy based weapons so you need not carry power sources other than the suit's power pak.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Example Militaries

Here are a couple example militaries from the various StarCluster Settings. First The SaVaHuTa Navy from the Classic Setting - SaVaHuTa is a huge military-Economic alliance with many worlds in many star systems

Second, the Rasi SWAT Police from The Necklace Setting - The Necklace is a gigantic breathable gas torus in space around a neutron star with a billion mile long gravitic ring-river looping through its immense volume. I have a bunch more here.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Military Dicta

Working on Military Dicta for In Harm's Way: StarCluster 4 today! A Dictum is a saying which encapsulates an important principle. For designing a military in IHW:SC4 you would choose which Template Trees work in your setting, then choose a number of Dicta to define the reasons a military does what it does. Some example Dicta:

Sapient Slavery

Sapient Slavery is forbidden within the state. Any attempt to subvert this concept by importation of slaves or institution of slavery in any way must be prevented and punished by the military.

Unlicensed Environmental Manipulation

Terraforming must be licensed and controlled, with proper safeguards applied.

One State, One People

There is only one state. The existence of any polity considering itself outside the state is strictly forbidden, and any attempt to establish such will be rigorously opposed.

Primitive Worlds Must Be Allowed To Develop

Technologically retarded worlds must not be interfered with if they are to develop properly.

Each Dictum you select defines not only your military, but your society, so you can choose Dicta for your military which reflect your military's culture, or define your culture as you define your military.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The New Military

For In Harm's Way - StarCluster 4, we have re-imagined the military from the ground up. AS Klaxon said, "with space travel, the Space Navy will eventually encompass everything else. The Navy == the military." So we divided that giganto-navy up by function into six internal services:

Deep Space Service - (Offense) These are the people and ships that go to other stars to project force as required

There are 5 branches of DSS: Fighters,Cruisers, Fleet, Scout, and Specwar
Fighters are the small, highly armed but replaceable ships dispatched in swarms to destroy opposition

Cruisers are those ships typically dispatched in small squadrons

Fleet are the big ships, held for a smashing blow

Scouts are small ships sent out to explore and reconnoiter

Specwar are the Special Warfare ships, sent out to do irregular missions

Expeditionary Force - (Offense) These are the people and craft used to take and hold the world surface in other systems

There are five branches of EF: Drop Troop, Vehicles, Infantry, Recon, and Intruder
Drop Troops are the highly armored shock troops dropped from orbit

Vehicles are grav vehicles of various sorts, including drones, suitable for any environment

Infantry are those who take and hold ground

Recon are the ones how find out what is where

Intruders are those who go beyond enemy lines and disrupt, destroy, and blow shit up

System Defense Service - (Defense) These are the people and ships that protect the home systems

There are five branches of SDS: Defense Pilot, Line, Stationer, Military Police, and Sapper
Defense Pilots are the small, highly armed but replaceable ships dispatched in swarms to destroy fighters

Line are the big defensive ships built to protect against system invasion and intrusion

Stationers are the stationary defenses built to protect resources and worlds

Military Police keep everyone in line

Sappers lay out minefields and other passive defenses

Ground Defense Service - Defense) These are the people who protect each world in the home systems

There are five branches of GDS: Aerospace, Surface Craft, Militia, Artillery, and Enviro Troops
Aerospace are the swift and agile aircraft that protect the skies

Surface Craft are the ground and/or water based craft that fight invaders and intruders

Militia are defensive troops for holding ground

Artillery are large rail guns and missiles used in point defense

Enviro Troops are those trained to work under the specific environmental conditions of the world

Logistics & Repair - These are the people and ships who support all the others with supplies and fixing things

There are five branches of L&R: Engineering, Repair, Allocation, Transport, and Medical
Engineering builds facilities and counter environmental problems

Repair fixes broken things

Allocation distributes items and vehicles where needed

Transport brings things and people from one place to another

Medical fixes broken people

Intelligence Service - These are the people who figure out what is going on in other places and disseminate propaganda

There are five branches of IS: Humint, Sigint, Analysis, Osint, and R&D
Humint are the field agents, working under cover

Sigint are those who intercept communications and encrypt and decrypt as needed

Analysis are those who collect, collate, and route information where needed

Osint are those who use available public resources to inform on culture and disseminate propaganda

R&D researches and develops weapons, vehicles, armor, ships, and anything used by the other services

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

It's Decided!

It's decided. I am doing In Harm's Way: StarCluster 4.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Music and Roleplaying Blend

Weirdest thing yet. I ended up writing a song in character about another character, both NPCs. It's like my two worlds have overlapped! :D Song

Saturday, May 25, 2019

General News

I released my third album, Kaiju Love, this month. Here's a link to the youtube playlist if you are at all interested. I assume not! :D

I have 10 songs recorded intended for a fourth album, Plush Universe, but two of them are cover songs, and that's a hassle to get rights, so figure 8 songs finished out of about 12.

StarCluster 4 - In The Beginning is in beta, waiting for feedback from the beta testers. I examining my options for what I do next gaming wise. There is nothing burning a hole through my skull trying to get out, so I have several major possibilities:

1: I could do a new version of In Harm's Way: StarCluster using the StarCluster 4 mechanic.

2: I could work on converting the Blood Games trio of games (Blood Games II, OHMAS, and Outremer) using the new Psionics toolkit to create a magic system.

I have been running on Discord a mash-up of Volant and Sabre & World which has been going great. I may make that a published thing!

I also need to begin changing all my In Harm's Way games over to StarCluster 4. Most of them are SC 2E, with a couple being SC 1E! Yikes! That will be a huge task!

Anyways, for anyone still listening after my forgetting about this blog once again, thank you! You rock! :D