The Skies of Velaris
This is a page for the discussion of game mechanics for running airship sequences. Whether it be for maneuvering a ship, living on a ship, or ship-to-ship combat, this is where we can put our ideas for how to make it more interesting, as well as serving as a reference guide for rules that we have approved as a group. If you have an idea for anything regarding running airships in-game, even if it is something as general as a concept that you feel needs to be addressed, please either put it here along with your name, or send a message to the Facebook thread.
Movement: I think that we really need to play up the differences in speed and maneuverability between the different models of airship in the game. For example, the Mogabex was an extremely quick, agile ship, whereas the Cloudskimmer is more middle-of-the-road when it comes to speed vs. armor, etc. I think a few things can influence these stats, namely the airship design/materials and the engine type. In my mind, the easiest thing to do would be to make stats for each of the upgrades so that, for example, the Mogabex’s engine had a max speed of, say, 20 and you had a max speed of 15.
Where this will get a bit trickier is in working in maneuverability. One idea that I had was to note a maximum horizontal movement relative to the ship’s forward movement to try to convey the fact that it can only turn so fast. For example, the Cloudskimmer’s configuration may mean that it’s maximum speed is 15, 8 of which can be horizontal movement (about a half/half turn ratio, fairly standard in my mind). We might be able to then work backwards from that for when you want to do a hard bank, slowing down from your max speed but getting more rotation out of it. In this example, the Cloudskimmer might have a max speed/turn of 15/8, but a minimum of 5/8, 5/6, or something of that nature. I figure this can probably also apply to vertical movement, as well.
Piloting: This is one thing that I’m not too sure on. I’m vaguely considering adding a new skill along the lines of “piloting” to give more of a range of abilities when it comes to actually flying the ship, but with the way skills work in 4ed, I’m not sure yet if I will. Talk to me if you think it’s a good/bad idea. I may just link it to Arcana or some other skill, if I make it something that requires skills at all. Perhaps we could try just making it a skill check to pull off maneuvering stunts like getting a faster turn than most would be able to do, or flying through particularly hazardous terrain, etc. What I don’t want is one person just sitting there saying “I turn the ship again.” Perhaps this will be a place for Baelnog to come in, but I think we need to think about it some more.
Boarding: This is another thing that I think we need to discuss further, since my thoughts on it are pretty vague. Obviously, ship-to-ship combat and boarding are both things that can make for an exciting game, so I’d like to work them in, but I’m not sure exactly how to implement it. I’m thinking it may be easier than I think, and that we might be able to treat it on the same scale as other combats, but with the added twist of requiring the pilot to keep the ships close enough for the time required to get across. In addition, there can be actions to detach boarding equipment as a standard action, or something like that, with modifiers depending on how nice the equipment is. Again, I want to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this, so please contribute!