Vehicle Combat

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Vehicle combat rules are optional, since some campaign settings will have no use for them. Furthermore, some GM's may disagree with the approach outlined below, as it is quite different from the traditional ship vs. ship combat of other game systems.

Specifically, in order to ensure that every player is engaged in all aspects of the combat, these rules assume that each player will be piloting their own vehicle, and that they will typically be fighting multiple enemy vehicles. This mimics the way traditional melee combat works in as many ways as is practical, and follows the encounter design assumption of one enemy vehicle per PC vehicle. In fact, rules are included to mix vehicle combat directly with traditional melee combat encounters (e.g. PC ships versus monsters, or PC's versus NPC's in ships).

In a highly magical world, even in a pirates/high seas setting, or ancient Roman-style chariot combat, it's hard to imagine that any hero would put himself in the position of being a helpless passenger, hoping that the one PC who took ranks in a driving skill doesn't get the whole party killed. Even worse, such combats can sometimes stretch on for an hour or longer of real time, while the majority of the players can only sit around waiting for it to finish, with little input over the outcome, except that their characters might die if things go pear-shaped.

Instead, heroes being the resourceful folk that they are, we assume they'd want their own vehicle to join in with, supplying death and mayhem with their own flavor of subtlety (or lack thereof) and flair.

While it breaks the traditional motif of one pirate ship facing off against that imperial ship-of-the-line, the first rule of gaming is it should be fun. Giving each player a way to participate directly in the combat is more important, in our opinion, that keeping with traditions that have, historically, always failed to be fun.

Siege Damage

Vehicles attack with siege weapons, which utilize the Sunder combat maneuver rules rather than traditional to-hit and damage. Siege weapons deal siege damage, which is subtracted from the durability score of enemy vehicles or structures. While it is easy to draw parallels between a ship's Maneuver Offense roll being equivalent to a to-hit roll, a ship's Maneuver Defense score being equivalent to its armor class, and a ship's durability score being equivalent to hit points, it is important to remember that they are not the same things.

Mother Ship

We encourage the need for a central mother ship, piloted by one of the PC's, and larger than the other ships in the party, which acts as a central base and refueling/repair area for the smaller fighters that the rest of the party uses during combat encounters. It's not too huge a stretch to think that pirates in a magic-laden world might employ smaller, faster craft to gain advantages against their prey, or that the blue-sailed Ship-of-the-Line of Her Majesty's Navy might do the same. The mother ship is meant to be the only vehicle that is capable of longer, independent voyages between settlements.

The mother ship is a participant in the combat, but is less offensive and more defensive. For more details on why this is still fun, see Ship Classes, below.

However, this mother ship notion is entirely optional, purely for color, and to add a point of interest in combat (you have to defend your party's mother ship, and it's fruitful to single out the NPC mother ship over the less-important fighters). If it doesn't fit your campaign's theme, you could just as easily make all ships relatively equal to each other. There are no game mechanics that work better or worse without a mother ship in these rules. Nonetheless, we recommend them.

Size and Space

Measuring distance along diagonal squares is always treated as being 1:1, just as with traditional melee combat, even though, proportionally, this is inaccurate. It makes counting and visualizing MUCH easier, and since everyone follows the same rules, the weird mathematical exploits can be used by everyone equally. (Thanks, Pythagoras. Jerk.)

All vehicle combat uses 2-D space, rather than 3-D space, even in cases where all the vehicles are capable of flight. This is to keep things simpler, especially in terms of miniatures on a map. Frankly, until your X-axis exceeds your Y-axis by a fair margin, there is no difference between 2-D and 3-D anyway, since diagonals are measured 1:1.

Each square in vehicular combat is equal to 50 feet, instead of 5 feet.

Most PC's will start off in smaller fighter craft, which will typically be sized-small or sized-medium, each of which occupies a single 50-foot square. The ship itself is assumed to occupy the whole space, even if its actual dimensions are less than that. There is no stacking or squeezing. Such events are resolved as collisions (see below).

All turns are always in increments of 45-degrees, either in the cardinal or ordinal directions of the square, meaning that there are only 8 facings available. That is, a ship's facing must either be towards one of the four sides of its space or one of the four corners of its space.

Overview

The combat round is similar to traditional melee combat, beginning with an initiative roll to determine turn order.

On each combatant's turn, they receive the normal move, standard and swift actions, all of which are resolved on their initiative tick. However, unlike traditional melee combat, all combatants in vehicles must make their move actions as the first part of their turns, after which they may perform their standard and swift actions in whichever order they desire.

Another major break from traditional melee combat is that vehicle combat requires the use of facing, and firing arcs. Lining up an enemy in your front firing arc, while not mandatory, is advantageous, since it requires no focus. Coupled with the fact that vehicles cannot easily stop or move in reverse, this means that maneuvering and lining up optimal positions for attacks are paramount.

Several combat rules do not apply to vehicles:

  • Vehicles do not make attacks of opportunity
  • Vehicles cannot take immediate actions
  • Vehicles do not threaten squares, and cannot flank
  • Vehicles cannot critically hit targets
  • Vehicles are immune to critical hits
  • Vehicles are immune to most status conditions
  • Vehicles always succeed on any saving throw, including saving throws against harmless or beneficial effects

Note, however, that vehicles can be subjected to forced movement.

Action points are available in vehicle combat, just as with normal combat, and provide the same benefits. Some ships may have upgrades which allow an action point to be spent in additional ways.

Piloting Skills

A character will find that having ranks in an appropriate Piloting skill will greatly aid his ability to control his vehicle, as well as perform special maneuvers and in-combat repairs. Note, however, that a vehicle's Maneuver Offense and Maneuver Defense are mostly independent of a character's piloting skill, meaning that nearly any player-character can pilot a vehicle in combat if they need to (because they're heroes!). They will simply be better at actions like Build Focus or Damage Control if they've put some effort in Piloting.

It is generally recommended that GM's make players aware of a need (or lack of need) for piloting skills early in a campaign, to avoid the need for retraining downtime. Of course, the mere fact that retraining exists means that GM's can take liberties with this, if the campaign calls for it.

Propulsion

Many vehicles have their own means of propulsion: sailing ships use the wind, war wagons are pulled by horses, and barges move with the current or are poled upstream by workers. Typically, these forces fall under the category of either wind, muscle or gravity. Other non-magical means of propulsion may exist, and GM's are encouraged to be as creative as they like.

Other vehicles are magically or alchemically powered. Such vehicles often have complex magical/alchemical devices and inscriptions, and tend to be centrally powered by one or more turning stones. Turning stones are the same power sources which are used to provide charges for wands, rods and staves, but vehicles require larger charges than such trinkets. Even the smallest vehicle requires a large charge as its power source, using 1 charge per day, and 1 charge per encounter in combat. Any vehicle larger than size large (size huge or larger) requires huge charges to power it, expending the huge charges at the same rate (1 per day and 1 per encounter in combat).

Note that vehicles which are docked with a mothership do not expend turning charges while docked. They are simply being towed by the mothership, and only the mothership needs to expend charges. This is one of the several reasons a mothership is useful to have around. Of course, once those smaller vehicles are launched out of the ship, typically to engage in a combat encounter, they must spend charges to perform independently.

An uncharged large turning stone costs 10 gp, and each charge costs 20 gp. The large turning stone can hold up to 50 large charges and weighs 10 lbs. A fully charged large turning stone, therefore, costs 1010 gp (frequently discounted to 1000 gp, if purchased as a fully charged stone).

An uncharged huge turning stone costs 20 gp, and each charge costs 100 gp. The huge turning stone can hold up to 100 huge charges and weighs 100 lbs. A fully-charged huge turning stone, therefore, costs 10,020 gp (usually discounted to 10,000 gp, if purchased as a fully charged stone).

Turning houses frequently offer partially discharged stones, though the exact number of charges is sometimes unknown, as it can be difficult to test. It is not uncommon to get overcharged for such purchases, and the turning houses offer no refunds for "mistakes" in their pricing.

Large and huge charges cannot be split down to lesser charges, though it is possible to use 10 regular charges to create a single large charge, or 10 large charges to create a single huge charge, though such attempts require a challenging Use Magic Device check, and pose a significant degree of risk to anyone nearby, if they fail.

Focus and Stress

Focus is a measure of how much control you are maintaining over your ship. Each round, during the recovery phase, pilots gain 1 point of focus automatically. Pilots can have a maximum of 2 points of focus, +1 per 5 ranks in the appropriate Piloting skill for the vehicle being piloted (Aviator, Delver, Drover, or Sailor), round down, dropping fractions. Thus, a pilot in a sailing ship, with 5 ranks in Piloting (Sailor) can have a maximum of 3 points of focus at any given time.

In addition to gaining focus during the recovery phase, pilots may use the standard action "Build Focus" to attempt to gain additional focus. "Build Focus" requires a skill check, using the appropriate piloting skill for the vehicle being piloted (Aviator, Delver, Drover, or Sailor). The Target DC for Build Focus is based on the CR of the encounter. If the skill check equals or exceeds an Easy DC, the pilot regains 1 focus. If the skill check equals or exceeds a Challenging DC, the pilot regains 2 focus. If the skill check equals or exceeds an Impossible DC, the pilot regains 3 focus.

A pilot can spend as much focus as he wishes, even if he has none available. Negative focus is called "Stress". Each point of Stress that a pilot has results in a -2 penalty to all d20 rolls made, cumulatively. This penalty occurs after you complete the action which caused you to gain the stress in the first place (that action only takes stress penalties for stress you had before the action was taken). Thus, if a pilot has 2 points of stress, and takes an action which costs 1 focus, he will be at -4 for the current action, but -6 (3 points of stress total) for all future d20 checks. The exception to this is the "Build Focus" standard action, which never takes stress penalties. Pilots should be wary of building up stress, as, in addition to the penalty that stress inflicts, some enemy NPC vehicles gain bonuses if the pilot has any stress.

Any time you accumulate focus and have stress, you must expend the focus immediately to get rid of the stress. (I.e. you can never have focus if you also have stress, since you must spend the focus to get rid of the stress.) One point of focus removes one point of stress.

Pilots begin each combat with 1 point of focus, even if their maximum focus is greater than this. Additional focus must be gained through the "Build Focus" action or other special abilities.

The Combat Round

Vehicle combat generally follows the same flow as traditional melee combat, with only a few exceptions. The largest of these is that vehicles must move every round, and must do so before any other action. This section describes how combat rounds function for vehicles.

Roll Initiative

Prior to the first turn of combat, each combatant makes an initiative roll. Once sorted into order, each combatant takes their turn on their initiative tick.

Initiative:   d20 + Ship's Ability Score + Ship Class Modifier (if any) + Other (if any)
  • Ship's Ability Score: The ship's ability score is based on the ship's class. In cases where the ship's class offers more than one ability score (i.e. the Host-class, Stout-class and Verity-class), the pilot may choose which stat to use among those listed, when piloting a ship of that class.
  • Ship's Class Modifier: Some vehicle classes grant a bonus to initiative, either as part of the ship's class features or via upgrades.
  • Other: Some feats (such as the Improved Initiative feat), pilot skill rank bonuses and temporary modifiers may also influence a vehicle's initiative roll. GM's are the final arbiter of which character abilities can be applied to a vehicle's initiative roll. In general, initiative bonuses are so rare that they should typically be allowed to apply to vehicle initiative as well.

Recovery Phase

Pilots take their recovery phase at the beginning of each of their turns. During a recovery phase, pilots gain 1 point of focus, up to their maximum amount (1 plus 1 per 5 ranks in the appropriate piloting skill).

Recovery Phase:   Gain 1 Focus

Note that any pilot which has stress must spend this gained focus to cancel out stress. One point of focus cancels one point of stress.

Move Action

Each ship must make a move action as the first thing they do on their turn each round. Once the ship has moved, it can perform its standard and swift actions in whichever order it prefers. Ships must always take a move action; it cannot be skipped.

Facing

All ships have facing. Facing is always either towards one of the sides of your current space, or one of the corners, and is measured in 45-degree increments. This means there are eight (8) possible directions that a vehicle can face. A vehicle can never face in any direction that is not either a cardinal or ordinal direction (i.e. a non-45-degree increment) of the space they are in.

At the start of the combat, each combatant chooses their space and facing within the starting area dictated by the GM's description of the encounter. In most cases, the PC's will be clustered together on one side of the map, while the enemy vehicles are clustered together on the other side of the map. However, every encounter is different, and this setup is entirely decided by the GM's vision of how the encounter starts.

Each combatant can choose what facing they want their ship to start the encounter with. Once set, facing can only be changed via turning (see below).

A ship's facing dictates the direction of its maneuverability arc, and also its forward firing arc.

Starting Facing When Still In Mothership

When vehicles begin a combat before they've had a chance to launch from the mothership, they may choose any facing they wish prior to their first move.

Poor Maneuverability

A ship with a Maneuverability Profile of "Poor Maneuverability" has a maneuverability arc which is exactly the same as its forward firing arc. A ship with this maneuverability profile is very limited in how far left or right it can move in a single move action.

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Average Maneuverability

A ship with a Maneuverability Profile of "Average Maneuverability" has a maneuverability arc which is 180-degrees in front of it, but one square forward. A vehicle with this maneuverability profile has considerably less trouble moving left or right. Note however that all ships follow the same rules for changing facing, which means that turning around to face in the opposite direction is just as hard for a ship with average maneuverability as it is for a ship with poor maneuverability.

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Good Maneuverability

A ship with a Maneuverability Profile of "Good Maneuverability" has a 270-degree movement arc, missing the 90-degree arc directly behind it. Note that it is extremely rare for ground, naval or delving vehicles to ever have this maneuverability profile, and even among aerial vehicles, it is uncommon.

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A Note On Perfect Maneuverability

Perfect maneuverability is the ability to move wherever you want within the range of your speed and ignore facing altogether. This is the type of movement that creatures possess, and is never available to vehicles.

Ship Speed

Ships move using a combination of maneuverability and speed. A ship can move anywhere inside its maneuverability arc, that is also within the range of its speed score.

Most ships have a speed between 2 and 4 squares, though the very fastest ships can have a move as high as 9.

A ship's speed is the maximum number of squares it can displace within its maneuverability arc during each move action. A ship can move up to its speed, or any number of squares less than its speed, to a minimum of 1 squares (moving zero squares can only be done using the "Sudden Halt" maneuver).

A ship cannot skip its move action. Ships cannot move speed 0 without using a special maneuver ("Sudden Halt") which costs focus (see Focus, below).

A ship must displace, rather than move, some value of its speed. That is, it cannot ever double-back on a square it has moved out of in the same move action.

You must be able to trace the path of your movement through unblocked spaces, but you can pass through allied vehicles (as long as you do not stop in their space). You cannot pass through enemy spaces.

Sudden Halt

Normally, all ships must move during the movement phase of their turns. If they want to stay in place, they must use the special move action "sudden halt", which costs 1 focus each time it is used. Doing so allows the ship to remain in its current space during its move action.

Note that you cannot change your facing during a sudden halt maneuver, even by spending focus.

Turning

Even though your ship has moved, its facing remains the same as when it began, unless you elect to turn.

At the end of any Move action or Second Move action, you may make a single 45-degree facing change for free. This can only be performed once per move action.

If a ship's pilot wishes to change the facing to a greater degree, he can spend 1 focus to turn an additional 45-degrees, or 2 focus to make as many 45-degree facing changes as he wishes.

Because facing changes are only made at the end of a move action, and never at the beginning or middle of a move action, your maneuverability arc for your next move action is decided by the facing you set at the end of your current move.

Collisions

There is no stacking or squeezing in vehicle combat. If you attempt to end your movement in an occupied or blocked square, it is resolved as a collision. If a vehicle moves along a path during its movement that includes a blocked space, or a space occupied by an enemy creature, its movement immediately ends, and it is resolved as a collision. (This is especially relevant if any of the vehicles are invisible or stealthed).

Collisions are easy to resolve, but have two parts: determining how much damage the colliding objects do to each other, and deciding which of the two objects that collided gets to remain in the contested space.

The damage from a collision is a number of siege damage points equal to the number of squares the colliding vehicle has displaced to get to the square in which it is colliding. You do not count your starting square, but you do count the square in which the collision occurred. If the ship moved 3 squares, it deals 3 points of siege damage to both itself and to the object it is colliding with. The further a ship has moved to cause the collision, the more damage it deals. Note that, if a move is interrupted by a surprise collision (like running into an invisible vehicle), the collision damage is equal to the number of squares moved up to the point of the collision.

Collision damage does not require a Maneuver Offense roll to determine whether or not it hits. It hits both ships automatically.

Damage from a collision is applied like any other damage, reduced by any vehicle DR before it is applied to the vehicle's durability. Once this is resolved, the collision damage is also applied to the vehicle's crew. Of the damage remaining after vehicle DR was applied, reduce it by the Crew DR of the vehicle. The pilot and crew have their health reduced by 10% per point of siege damage which remained after the vehicle and crew DR were applied. If the pilot and crew health is now reduced by 100% or more, they are unconscious and dying, and the vehicle crashes (see Crashing below).

Once damage is dealt to both participants of a collision, the next step is to decide which of the two objects gets to remain in the contested space of the collision, and which object gets shoved aside. This is resolved as a series of tie-breakers, in the following order:

1. If a ship is reduced to 0 or fewer durability due to the collision damage, or its pilot and crew have their health reduced by 100% or more, the vehicle crashes, and the surviving ship gets control of the contested space.
  • If both ships are reduced to 0 or fewer durability due to the collision damage, they both crash, and both ships are pushed out of the contested space, per the rules below, as if both lost this contest.
2. If both ships survive the crash, the largest ship gets control of the surviving space.
3. If both ships are the same size, the ship with the lowest Ship Speed score gets control of the contested space.
4. If both ships have the same maximum speeds, the ship with the highest initiative rolled for this encounter gets control of the contested space.
5. If both initiatives are the same, roll randomly until a winner is decided.

If the winner of the contested space is the vehicle which caused the collision, the losing vehicle or object is pushed one square directly away from where the colliding vehicle started its move from. If that space is also occupied, even by an allied vehicle, another collision occurs, and is resolved as though the speed is 1. Repeat this process as needed until all objects and vehicles are in their own unoccupied, unblocked spaces.

If the winner of the contested space is the vehicle or object which originally occupied the space (the one that was collided with), it remains in its space, and the ship which caused the collision is rebounded into the space just prior to the collision (in relation to where it started its movement from). If that space is also occupied, even by an allied vehicle, another collision occurs, and is resolved as though the speed is 1. Repeat this process as needed until all objects and vehicles are in their own unoccupied, unblocked spaces.

Vehicle facings are not changed as a result of a collision.

Moving Off The Map

When played with miniatures, it is possible for a vehicle, especially one with poor maneuverability, to careen off the edge of the map. While technically there should probably be more map there, we are often limited by table size. Furthermore, shifting the whole fight over to readjust the combat location is usually very disruptive (and prone to mistakes). Therefore, we recommend the following rule any time someone's vehicle would move off the edge of the map:

Assuming the vehicle is not deliberately fleeing the encounter, they stop their vehicle in the last space at the edge of the map, spend 2 focus, and change their facing to any direction they wish. This immediately ends any move action they were performing.

Action Phase

After a ship has resolved its move action, it enters its action phase, which consists of its swift and standard actions. Unlike the move action, which is always the first action of each turn, the combatant can resolve its standard action and swift action in whatever order it wishes.

Swift Actions

By default, the only swift action that all vehicles begin with is a "Quick Attack". Your ship's class, upgrades and some feats may grant additional swift actions you can perform during vehicle combat.

Just as with traditional melee combat, creatures only get a single swift action per round, though they can convert their standard action down to a swift, if they wish.

Quick Attacks

A quick attack is resolved like any other attack in vehicle combat, using the following steps:

1. Select a target that is within the range of your weapons.
2. Determine whether the target is inside your forward firing arc.
  • If the target is outside your forward firing arc, you must spend 1 focus to make your attack.
3. Determine whether the target is in Close, Medium or Long range.
  • Determine Maneuver Offense penalty if in medium or long range.
  • Determine Siege Damage penalty if in medium or long range.
4. Roll your Maneuver Offense versus the target's Maneuver Defense. If the result is greater than or equal to the target's Maneuver Defense, your attack hits.
  • Remember to include any Maneuver Offense penalty if you are at medium or long range.
5. If you hit, roll your siege damage
  • Remember to reduce the siege damage you deal if you are in medium or long range.
6. Your target subtracts this damage from the ship's remaining durability.
7. If your target's hull is reduced to 0 or fewer durability, the ship crashes, and cannot re-enter the combat until it is repaired to at least 1 durability.

Forward Firing Arc

A ship's forward firing arc is the 90-degree cone directly in front of it, in a square the size of the firing range. Vehicles firing within their close range (up to 2 squares away, in the diagram below) suffer no penalties to their Maneuver Offense rolls. Firing out to medium range (up to 4 squares in the diagram) incurs a -2 penalty to the ship's Maneuver Offense, while firing out to long range (up to 6 squares in the diagram) incurs a penalty of -4 to the ship's Maneuver Offense.

Note that ships can fire upon targets outside of their forward firing arc, but must spend 1 focus to do so. In such a case, the attack is still subject to the ship's listed weapon ranges, with the same penalties to Maneuver Offenses.

The forward firing arc is very easy to visualize on a square grid:

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This diagram shows the standard forward firing arcs for a sized-medium or sized-small vehicle, with the most common weapon ranges of Close 1-2, Medium 3-4, and Long 5-6. Some ship upgrades can alter these weapon ranges, though the penalties at each range are the same.

Size large and larger ships have very similar forward firing arcs, but the angles are drawn from the corners of their space. This means their forward firing arcs are wider than those of sized-medium ships, but they are otherwise the same.

Standard Actions

All ships can perform the following standard actions:

  • Second Move
  • Standard Attack
  • Take Aim
  • Evasive Maneuvers
  • Build Focus
  • Damage Control

Many vehicle upgrades grant access to additional standard actions and swift actions. See the specific ship class or ship upgrade for details.

Second Move

As a standard action, a vehicle can make a second move action. The maneuverability arc of this move action is determined by the facing you selected at the end of your previous move action. As with all move actions, once you have finished moving, you may make a single 45-degree facing change for free. You can pay 1 focus to make a second 45-degree facing change, or 2 focus to set your facing to any direction you want.

Standard Attack

As a standard action, you can make an attack against an enemy vehicle, structure or creature. This attack can be in addition to the Quick Attack you make with a swift action. It is not uncommon for a ship class or ship upgrade to modify your Standard Attack in some way, often making it significantly better than the Quick Attack.

Unless your vehicle's class or upgrades dictate otherwise, a Standard Attack is resolved the same as a Quick Attack, except that it costs a standard action.

1. Select a target that is within the range of your weapons.
2. Determine whether the target is inside your forward firing arc.
  • If the target is outside your forward firing arc, you must spend 1 focus to make your attack.
3. Determine whether the target is in Close, Medium or Long range.
  • Determine Maneuver Offense penalty if in medium or long range.
  • Determine Siege Damage penalty if in medium or long range.
4. Roll your Maneuver Offense versus the target's Maneuver Defense. If the result is greater than or equal to the target's Maneuver Defense, your attack hits.
  • Remember to include any Maneuver Offense penalty if you are at medium or long range.
5. If you hit, roll your siege damage
  • Remember to reduce the siege damage you deal if you are in medium or long range.
6. Your target subtracts this damage from the ship's remaining durability.
7. If your target's hull is reduced to 0 or fewer durability, the ship crashes, and cannot re-enter the combat until it is repaired to at least 1 durability.

Note that any focus you may have spent to augment your Quick Attack does not apply to your Standard Attack. Firing on a target outside of your forward firing arc requires another point of Focus, even if you spent a point of focus to fire outside your arc during your Quick Attack.

Take Aim

As a standard action, you can make an attack against an enemy vehicle, structure or creature, but instead of dealing damage if you hit, you instead gain a +2 bonus to all future Maneuver Offense rolls you make against that target until either the end of the encounter, or until that target is destroyed (whichever comes first). You can only "Take Aim" against one target at a time, and the bonus cannot stack with itself. If you "Take Aim" a second time while another "Take Aim" bonus is already ongoing, the new "Take Aim" bonus replaces the old one.

Evasive Maneuvers

As a standard action, you can declare that you are taking Evasive Maneuvers. Until the start of your next turn, you gain a +2 bonus to your vehicle's Maneuver Defense score to resist enemy attacks.

Build Focus

As a standard action, make a skill check appropriate to your vehicle type (Piloting (Aviator) for aerial/aethereal vehicles, Piloting (Delver) for tunneling/submerged vehicles, Piloting (Drover) for ground-based vehicles, or Piloting (Sailor) for naval vehicles), versus the CR of the encounter.

  • If you achieve an Easy success, you generate 1 point of focus.
  • If you achieve a Challenging success, you generate 2 points of focus.
  • If you achieve an Impossible success, you generate 3 points of focus.

If you have any Stress when you generate Focus, you must immediately expend the Focus to get rid of the Stress, on a one-for-one basis.

Damage Control

As a standard action, make a skill check appropriate to your vehicle type (Piloting (Aviator) for aerial/aethereal vehicles, Piloting (Delver) for tunneling/submerged vehicles, Piloting (Drover) for ground-based vehicles, or Piloting (Sailor) for naval vehicles), versus the CR of the encounter.

  • If you achieve an Easy success, you restore 1 point of durability.
  • If you achieve a Challenging success, you restore 2 points of durability.
  • If you achieve an Impossible success, you restore 3 points of durability.

In no cases can Damage Control be used to repair hull damage above your maximum durability.

Action Points

You can spend your action point at any time during your turn. Action points behave identically to traditional melee combat. See Action Points for details.

Disabled Vehicles and Crashing

  • If a ship is reduced to 0 durability or less, it is considered disabled, and crashes.
  • A disabled ship's pilot may only take standard actions, including the "Damage Control" action, if they remain alive and conscious after the crash. Move actions occur, depending on the type of vehicle, as described below.
  • Until a disabled vehicle is repaired back up to positive durability, it cannot take any move actions other than those described in the specific entry for crashing.
  • Pilots still receive 1 point of focus during the recovery phase of each round, up to their maximum allowed by their piloting skill ranks.

Ground Vehicles

  • During its movement phase, a crashing ground vehicle (Piloting (Drover)) immediately moves directly forward at its max speed - 2, as it rolls powerlessly away from the battle. It cannot change its facing, even with the expenditure of focus.
    • On each subsequent round, the vehicle continues to repeat this move action on the pilot's turn, each time reducing speed by 2 until speed is 0.
    • Once speed is 0, the crashed ship has ground to a halt, unable to take any move actions until repaired.
    • Any collisions that occur during these final moves are resolved normally, recording any additional damage to the ship (and its pilot, see below) as a result.
  • The pilot takes 10 points of damage for every hit point below 0 that the ship has been reduced. A ship's "Crew DR" cannot be used to mitigate this damage.

Naval Vehicles

  • A crashing naval vehicle begins to sink, filling up with the liquid it was previously skimming across.
    • During its movement phase, a crashing naval vehicle (Piloting (Sailor)) immediately moves directly forward at its max speed - 2, as it is pulled to a stop by the viscosity of the liquid. It cannot change its facing, even with the expenditure of focus.
    • On each subsequent round, the vehicle continues to repeat this move action on the pilot's turn, each time reducing speed by 2 until speed is 0.
    • Any collisions that occur during this final move are resolved normally, recording any additional damage to the ship (and its pilot, see below) as a result.
    • Once speed is 0, the crashed ship moves directly downwards, into the liquid, sinking 1 square per turn until it settles on the bottom of the body of liquid (assuming there is one). It remains immobile until repaired.
  • The pilot takes 10 points of damage for every hit point below 0 that the ship has been reduced.
    • In addition, the pilot immediately begins suffocating due to the cabin filling with the surrounding liquid, unless he has some means of providing his own breathable air, as the ship's cabin is presumed to be breached.
      • The pilot gains the Gagging condition immediately upon the crashed vehicle reaching speed 0. This condition automatically escalates to Choking on the following round, regardless of whether or not the pilot fights defensively, or succeeds on his Fort save while Gagging.
    • Dangerous liquids may also introduce secondary harmful effects (e.g. lava will cause burning, etc.)
    • As soon as the ship is repaired back above 0 hit points, the breach is considered patched.
    • One additional repair action, dedicated only to flushing the liquid from the cabin, must be performed before the suffocation effect can be ended. This repair action does not restore any durability points to the ship, and can only be made after the ship's durability is repaired back above 0 hit points. Once the cabin has been flushed of liquid, any Gagging, Choking or Asphyxiating status condition is resolved as though you moved out of the area causing the condition (refer to the status conditions for details).
    • Naval vehicles can be returned to the surface with a move action once they have been flushed of liquid. This move action is resolved in every way like a normal move action, except that the maneuverability arc is considered "Poor" during this move action, even if the ship's normal maneuverability class is better.

Submersed Vehicles

  • A crashing submersed vehicle halts its movement, and can take no further movement actions until repaired above 0 durability. It cannot change its facing, even with the expenditure of focus.
  • The pilot takes 10 points of damage for every hit point below 0 that the ship has been reduced.
    • In addition, the pilot immediately begins suffocating due to the cabin filling with the surrounding liquid, unless he has some means of providing his own breathable air, as the ship's cabin is presumed to be breached.
      • The pilot gains the Gagging condition immediately. This condition automatically escalates to Choking on the following round, regardless of whether or not the pilot fights defensively, or succeeds on his Fort save while Gagging.
    • Dangerous liquids may also introduce secondary harmful effects (e.g. lava will cause burning, etc.)
    • As soon as the ship is repaired back above 0 hit points, the breach is considered patched.
    • One additional repair action, dedicated only to flushing the liquid from the cabin, must be performed before the suffocation effect can be ended. This repair action does not restore any durability points to the ship, and can only be made after the ship's durability is repaired back above 0 hit points. Once the cabin has been flushed of liquid, any Gagging, Choking or Asphyxiating status condition is resolved as though you moved out of the area causing the condition (refer to the status conditions for details).

Burrowing Vehicles

  • A disabled burrowing vehicle halts its movement, and can take no further movement actions until repaired above 0 durability. It cannot change its facing, even with the expenditure of focus.
  • The pilot takes 10 points of damage for every hit point below 0 that the ship has been reduced.
    • In addition, the pilot immediately begins suffocating due to the cabin filling with the surrounding earth and detritus, unless he has some means of providing his own breathable air, as the ship's cabin is presumed to be breached.
      • The pilot gains the Gagging condition immediately. This condition automatically escalates to Choking on the following round, regardless of whether or not the pilot fights defensively, or succeeds on his Fort save while Gagging.
    • As soon as the ship is repaired back above 0 hit points, the breach is considered patched. Any Gagging, Choking or Asphyxiating status condition is resolved as though you moved out of the area causing the condition (refer to the status conditions for details).
    • The vehicle's maximum speed is reduced by 1 until it can dock in a mother ship or other repair facility and be completely cleared of dirt, rocks and debris.

Air Vehicles

  • During its movement phase, a crashing flying ship (Piloting (Aviator)) immediately moves directly forward at its maximum speed, plummeting to the ground as it does so. It cannot change its facing during this movement, even with the expenditure of focus.
    • At the end of this move, the vehicle is assumed to be on the ground, and becomes unable to take any move actions until repaired.
    • Any collisions that occur during this final move are resolved normally, recording any additional damage to the ship (and its pilot, see below) as a result.
  • Falling damage (i.e. height of the vehicle at the time it was reduced to 0 or fewer hit points) is ignored, as the vehicles are designed to protect the pilot against this.
  • The pilot takes 10 points of damage for every hit point below 0 that the ship has been reduced.
    • In addition, the pilot take 10 points of damage per square of the vehicle's maximum speed, upon impact with the ground.

Aether Vehicles

  • A crashing Aether ship moves directly forward at its maximum speed - 1 on its pilot's next turn, as it drifts powerlessly away from the battle. It cannot change its facing during this movement, even with the expenditure of focus.
    • On each of the pilot's subsequent turns, the vehicle continues to repeat this move action, each time reducing speed by 1 until speed is 0.
    • Once speed is 0, the crashed ship is simply adrift, unable to take any move actions until repaired.
    • Any collisions that occur during these final moves are resolved normally, recording any additional damage to the ship (and its pilot, see below) as a result.
  • The pilot takes 10 points of damage for every hit point below 0 that the ship has been reduced.
    • In addition, the pilot immediately begins suffocating in the Aether unless he has some means of providing his own breathable air, as the ship's cabin is presumed to be breached.
      • The pilot gains the Gagging condition immediately upon the crashed vehicle reaching speed 0. This condition automatically escalates to Choking on the following round, regardless of whether or not the pilot fights defensively, or succeeds on his Fort save while Gagging.
    • As soon as the ship is repaired back above 0 hit points, the breach is considered patched.
    • One additional repair action, dedicated only to refilling the cabin with breathable air, must be performed before the suffocation effect can be ended. This repair action does not restore any durability points to the ship, and can only be made after the ship's durability is repaired back above 0 hit points. Once the cabin has been refilled with air, any Gagging, Choking or Asphyxiating status condition is resolved as though you moved out of the area causing the condition (refer to the status conditions for details).


Note that any ship which is forced to move off the edge of the map as a result of crashing is instead halted at the edge of the map, its speed reduced to 0, and its facing unchanged.

Boarding

If, during your move action, you are able to move adjacent to either side of an enemy vehicle (not the front or back), and match the facing of the enemy vehicle, you can attempt a "Boarding Action" as a standard action.

To successfully initiate a boarding action, you must first grapple the adjacent enemy ship, making a Maneuver Offense roll (using your ship's Maneuver Offense rating) vs. the enemy ship's Maneuver Defense. This is usually done by throwing boarding hooks with ropes, and securing the two ships together, but other methods exist for creating this grapple. If successful, both your ship and the enemy ship are considered grappled. On your next turn, assuming the grapple is still intact, you can cross to the enemy ship and begin boarding combat.

On its turn, a successfully grappled ship may choose one of three courses of action: "Attempt to Break the Grapple," "Prepare for Boarders," or "Quickly Board the Enemy Ship".

Attempting to Break the Grapple

A ship which doesn't want to be boarded can take a full-round action to try to break the grapple. This is in lieu of its normal move action. To do so, it makes a Maneuver Offense roll against the boarding ship's Maneuver Defense, and if successful, throws off the boarding hooks, cuts the mooring ropes, etc., and can make a single move action to move away from the boarding vessel, and may make a Quick Attack (as a swift action) if they wish to do so.

Note that a ship which escapes this way can still be approached and grappled again, if the aggressor ship can once again move alongside and match your ship's facing.

Prepare for Boarders

A ship which prepares for boarders moves directly forward 1 square during its move action (and the grappling ship moves along with it). This move action will repeat each round that the boarding combat continues. Neither ship can change facing or move more than 1 square per move action without first breaking the boarding grapple. Each time either ship moves, the other ship moves as well.

While engaging in boarding combat, both ships are considered 'distracted' (see Distracted Pilots, below).

A ship which takes a standard action to Prepare for Boarders gains a +2 bonus to all d20 rolls made during the first round of the boarding combat.

Quickly Board the Enemy Ship

A third option for a ship which has been grappled is to quickly make their way onto the enemy boarding ship, to engage in boarding combat over there, instead of in your own ship. In this case, neither side gains the "Prepare for Boarders" bonus, and boarding combat begins immediately.

Boarding Combat

Once either party sets foot on the other ship, boarding combat begins. Boarding combat is resolved as traditional melee combat, using the existing initiatives of the vehicle combat, and is fought at the same speed as vehicle combat (one round of vehicle combat is equal to one round of melee combat).

Boarding combat can be 1-on-1 duels between two pilots (if both vehicles are small), or massive brawls between crews (in larger ships). A small ship boarding a larger ship should be aware that larger ships have larger crews, and the boarding action may have unfavorable odds. Similarly, a small ship being boarded by a larger ship should prepare for a nasty fight.

Distracted Pilots

As a general rule, piloting a vehicle requires your full attention. You cannot, for example, cast a spell while your ship is flying through a sea of enemy vehicles and expect anything good to come of it. Note that, since vehicles are objects, akin to fortifications, spells and other traditional combat actions made against them must have the Sunder quality, or they are unable to affect other vehicles. In addition, a pilot's cockpit typically breaks line of effect (depending on the vehicle), but not line of sight.

In the event that a pilot elects to do anything during his turn that is a non-ship action, he is considered "Distracted", and takes the following penalties:

  • His ship moves forward only a single square during his move action. He cannot change his vehicle facing during his move action, even by expending focus.
  • His ship suffers a -4 penalty to its Maneuver Defense.
  • He cannot make a "Quick Attack" (swift action) this round.
  • If any collisions occur while the ship's pilot is distracted, the collision damage ignores his ship's DR, if any.

The moral of this story is 'don't text while driving'.

Building Your Ship

Each ship has its own set of statistics which detail all of its advantages and disadvantages in combat. This is similar to a character sheet, or a bestiary entry, though somewhat less complicated.

In order to fully describe your vehicle, you must either determine or record the following values:

  • Vehicle's Name
  • Pilot's Name
  • Vehicle Type
  • Vehicle Class
  • Vehicle Attribute
  • Vehicle Size
  • Vehicle Level
  • Maneuverability Profile
  • Speed
  • Maneuver Offense
  • Siege Dmg
  • Hit Point Dmg
  • Firing Range
  • Maneuver Defense
  • Durability
  • Ship DR
  • Crew DR
  • Available Swift Actions
  • Available Standard Actions
  • Other Special Abilities

Vehicle Type

The vehicle's type determines what medium it is able to travel across or fight within, as well as which Piloting skill is needed to pilot it with any amount of skill.

Vehicle Type(s) Piloting Skill Description
Aerial / Aether Piloting (Aviator) Flying vehicles that can move through the air of the Prime Material plane, or the Aether between the planes.
Subaquatic / Subterranean Piloting (Delver) Subterranean or submersed vehicles burrow through the earth or slide beneath the waters of the seas.
Ground Piloting (Drover) Land-based vehicles, such as chariots, stagecoaches, and Crassus engines, which require solid, relatively level land.
Naval Piloting (Sailor) Naval vehicles, such as sailing ships, skim over the seas and tame the winds.

Note that riding on the back of a creature, such as a dragon, or colossal tortoise, utilizes the Ride skill, and operates under the mounted combat rules (see Ride skill), rather than vehicular combat rules.

Vehicle Class

Each vehicle has a class, which is very much akin to a character class. Each vehicle class is different, in that each class has favored upgrade types and special abilities which are unique to that class. While a ship's class dictates which ability score the pilot uses for all checks (see Vehicle Attribute below), players are encouraged to pilot whichever class of vehicle interests them. While stepping outside your normal role may mean you use a less optimal ability score for piloting, it could be more fun to have a completely different play experience during vehicle combat than the experience you get from your character class.

The vehicle class names provided here are only suggestions. GM's are encouraged to come up with their own names that are more appropriate for the setting and theme of their campaign, if they prefer.

A vehicle's class cannot be changed, nor can a vehicle have more than once class. If a player wishes to pilot a different class of vehicle, he would need to purchase a new vehicle of the appropriate class.

Vehicle Class Vehicle Attribute General Theme of Class
Host Any The most generic vehicle class, and also the class offering the least customization.
Stout STR, DEX or CON This class is more defensive in nature than the Host-class, with somewhat more customization options.
Verity INT, WIS or CHA This class is more offensive in nature than the Host-class, with somewhat more customization options.
Ardent STR Best at close range, decent damage, decent durability
Picket DEX Fast, tricky, good damage when not head-on with enemy
Vanguard CON Very durable, can block/interdict attacks, slowest, lowest damage
Foment INT Highest damage, lowest durability
Witness WIS Provides buffs and debuffs, battlefield control
Spree CHA Illusions, weird attacks, debuffs, tricky movement

Vehicle Attribute

Ships use a different ability score (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS or CHA) depending on their class. By tying ships to an ability score, players get more flexibility in what kind of ship they choose. They are not required to choose a ship class which plays similarly to their character class, though doing so is likely advantageous, since such a ship will likely use the same primary ability score as their character class.

Vehicle Size

Vehicles come in all sizes, but even the smallest vehicle is large compared to a creature. The size of a vehicle directly impacts its cost, and larger vehicles typically have penalties to their Maneuver Defense, maneuverability and speed. However, larger vehicles have more room for upgrades. Upgrades are available to reduce or eliminate the size penalties, and in most cases, with room to spare. This means that, if you have enough money to afford one, a larger ship is nearly always an improvement over a smaller ship.

Vehicle Size Size in Feet Size in 50' Squares Size in 5' Squares Max Crew Size Minimum Crew (Size Medium) Upgrade Modules Size Modifiers
Fine 5' x 5' up to 4 per sq 1 x 1 Diminutive - 0 -
Diminutive 10' x 10' up to 2 per sq 2 x 2 Tiny - 0 -
Tiny 15' x 15' 1 x 1 3 x 3 Small - 0 -
Small 25' x 25' 1 x 1 5 x 5 Medium 1 0 -
Medium 50' x 50' 1 x 1 10 x 10 Large 3 1 -
Large 100' x 100' 2 x 2 20 x 20 Huge 10 3 -1 Maneuver Defense, -1 Speed
Huge 200' x 200' 3 x 3 40 x 40 Gargantuan 35 6 -1 Maneuver Defense, maneuver reduced 1 class
Gargantuan 400' x 400' 4 x 4 80 x 80 Colossal 125 10 -1 Maneuver Defense, -1 Speed
Colossal 800' x 800' 5 x 5 160 x 160 Titanic 500 15 -1 Maneuver Defense, -1 Speed
Titanic 1,600' x 1,600' 6 x 6 320 x 320 Titanic + 1,600 21 -2 Maneuver Defense, maneuver reduced 1 class
Titanic + 3.200' x 3,200' 12 x 12 640 x 640 Titanic ++ 6,000 28 -2 Maneuver Defense, -1 Speed
Titanic ++ 6,400' x 6,400' 24 x 24 1,280 x 1,280 Titanic 3+ 20,000 36 -2 Maneuver Defense, -1 Speed
Titanic 3+ 12,800' x 12,800' 48 x 48 2,560 x 2,560 Titanic 4+ 70,000 45 -2 Maneuver Defense, -1 Speed
4+ and beyond: x2 x2 x2 +1 size x3.5 (rnd down) +10 -2 Maneuver Defense, -1 Speed


  • Size in Feet: This is the size of the vehicle, measured in feet. Note that Epic Path assumes everything is a cube, because that makes the math simpler, but in reality, vehicles can be nearly any shape within the square footage listed for their size. Regardless of their actual shape, they behave like cubes for game purposes.
  • Size in 50' Squares: This is the size of the vehicle when it is represented on a vehicle combat map, using 50-foot squares. Vehicles, as a general rule of thumb, are 10 times bigger than the creature of the same size category. Note that more than one size 'diminutive' or size 'fine' vehicles can share the same space as other identically-sized vehicles without squeezing or any danger of collision.
  • Size in 5' Squares: This is the size of the vehicle when it is represented on a traditional melee map, using 5-foot squares. These sizes can be used in combats in which vehicles and creatures are both present. Note, however, if the creatures in the combat are at least sized-huge, GM's may wish to run the encounter at the vehicle scale (50' per square) instead, simply to allow more room for the encounter. This is especially important if any gargantuan or larger-sized vehicles are present, as they will probably occupy the entire map at this scale.
  • Max Crew Size: Vehicles are always built to accommodate crew of a specific size. While most vehicles will be sized to accommodate crew of size medium or size small (the sizes of the playable races), this needn't always be the case. A creature's size category can be no more than 1 category higher than the vehicle size category, or that vehicle simply can't be built to accommodate a creature of that size (or larger). For example, a size-small vehicle is the smallest that can be sized to accommodate a crew of creatures which are size medium. There is no minimum size for a crew, as long as the vehicle is designed to be crewed by creatures of that size. Instead, such vehicles often require more crew (see "minimum crew").
  • Minimum Crew: This is the minimum number of creatures required to crew a vehicle of the listed size, if the vehicle is designed to accommodate sized-small and sized-medium creatures as crew. If a vehicle is designed for smaller or larger creatures, adjust the values in this column up or down the appropriate number of rows to determine the minimum crew. For example, a size Gargantuan vehicle, designed to accommodate a size Fine crew, would require a minimum of 20,000 size-fine creatures as crew (since Fine is 4 size categories smaller than medium).
  • Upgrade Modules: This is the number of upgrade module slots a vehicle of the listed size has available to it. Note that, depending on the vehicle class, some upgrade modules may require more than one slot to install.
  • Size Modifiers: This is the penalty that a vehicle of the listed size takes to its base statistics, due to its size. Note that upgrade modules can be installed to reduce the size penalties of a vehicle, if desired. These penalties are cumulative, so a size gargantuan vehicle has a total of -3 Maneuver Defense, -2 speed and its maneuverability class is reduced by 1. Note that Maneuver Defense can never be reduced below 10, Speed can never be reduced below 1, and Maneuverability Class can never be reduced below "Poor".

Inappropriately Sized Crew

As noted above, when a vehicle is first built, it is designed to accommodate creatures of a particular size as its crew. Sometimes creatures of a different size will wish to pilot or be members of the crew of a vehicle that was designed for a different-sized creature than themselves. In such cases, the following rules apply:

  • If the vehicle is designed to accommodate creatures 1 size category different than the creature in question, the creature suffers a -4 penalty to all d20 checks related to piloting or controlling that vehicle.
  • If the vehicle is designed to accommodate creatures 2 size categories (or more) different than the creature in question, the creature is either too small to reach the controls without climbing, or is too large to move around inside the confines of the vehicle. Such creatures cannot pilot or crew that vehicle at all.

Vehicle Level

A vehicle's level is determined either when the vehicle is purchased, or as it is leveled up. Vehicle levels, like character levels, range from 1 to 35 (and beyond, if the apotheosis rules are used). NPC ships can go higher than this, as determined by the CR of the encounter. The Vehicle bestiary lists attributes for vehicles up to CR 40, which is the equivalent of ship level 40.

A vehicle can be leveled up by spending the requisite amount of gold, and eight hours of work. A creature skilled in Profession (Engineer) can reduce this time with a skill check. The DC of this check is equal to the level that the ship will be after the upgrade. If the engineer achieves at least an Easy DC result, the time is reduced by 1 hour (to 7 hours total). An average DC result reduces the time 2 hours (to 6 hours total). A challenging DC result reduces the time by 3 hours (to 5 hours total). A hard DC result reduces the time by 4 hours (to 4 hours total), an an impossible result reduces the time by 7 hours (to 1 hour total).

A ship can never be upgraded more than one level at a time. A separate 8 hour process is required for each level the ship is improved.

Important: While a ship's level can exceed the character level of it's pilot, any time this happens, the lowest of the two values is used to determine all ship attributes. That is, if the pilot's character level is lower than the ship's level, the ship's effective level is reduced to the level of the pilot.

A vehicle's level affects its durability, Maneuver Offenses, Maneuver Defense, and many other attributes. Refer to the page for your chosen ship's class for details on how level affects the ship's base statistics.

Maneuverability Profile

Ships have a maneuverability profile which dictates the area they can move into during a move action. This area is sometimes called a maneuverability arc. More maneuverable ships have a wider arc of potential spaces into which they can move, while less nimble ships are more limited.

Note that maneuverability profile and maneuverability arcs are separate from a ship's speed. The speed dictates the number of spaces a ship can move within the confines of the ship's maneuverability arc.

Nearly all vehicles begin with a default maneuverability profile of "Poor". Certain ship classes graduate to an Average maneuverability class much sooner than others, and all of them can be upgraded to an Average maneuverability, if you have sufficient funds, and the vehicle has adequate space for the upgrade. The top maneuverability class, "Good" maneuverability, is reserved for only the most maneuverable aerial vehicles. Ground, naval and delving vehicles are typically incapable of a good maneuverability class.

Starting Speed

At low levels, a nimble ship might have a starting speed of 4, while a less nimble vehicle would have a starting speed of 3. Larger ships often suffer a speed penalty to their starting speeds, so even a nimble ship that is size huge (~150 ft.) might only have a starting speed of 2 (though they can be upgraded fairly easily).

Vehicle Maneuver Offense rating

The Maneuver Offense of a ship is used when determining whether or not the ship's attacks hit or miss an enemy. It is important to note that the vehicle's Maneuver Offense is NOT the same value as the pilot's Maneuver Offense.

A vehicle's Maneuver Offense roll is calculated as follows:

Vehicle Maneuver Offense:   d20 + Ship's Level + Ship's Ability Score + Ship Class Bonus (if any) + Ship Upgrades (if any) + Other (if any)
  • Ship's Level: A ship's level is determined either at the time of the vehicle's purchase, or as it is leveled up by an engineer. If a vehicle's level ever exceeds the character level of its pilot, the pilot's level is used instead.
  • Ship's Ability Score: The ship's ability score is based on the ship's class. In cases where the ship's class offers more than one ability score (i.e. the Host-class, Stout-class and Verity-class), the pilot may choose which stat to use among those listed, when piloting a ship of that class.
  • Ship's Class Bonus: Some ship classes offer direct bonuses to Maneuver Offense rolls, as described on their ship class page.
  • Ship Upgrades: It is possible to add upgrade modules to a vehicle to improve its Maneuver Offenses. If any of these are installed on the vehicle, their bonus is included in the Maneuver Offense calculation.
  • Other: It is possible to have additional bonuses applied to your vehicle's Maneuver Offenses, based on feats, a pilot's ranks in the appropriate Piloting skill, or temporary bonuses from spells, special abilities or ship class features.

Siege Damage

The damage that a vehicle's siege weapons inflict on other vehicles, or upon fortifications and unattended objects.

  • Against vehicles, fortifications and unattended objects, each point of siege damage is subtracted from the target object's durability score. Once an object reaches a durability of 0, it gains the Broken condition. Vehicles which are reduced to durability 0 will crash, and are inoperable until repaired to at least durability 1.
  • Against non-fortified creatures, vehicles use their "Hit Point Damage" stat to determine how much damage they deal, rather than their "Siege Damage" stat.

Hit Point Damage

The damage that a vehicle's siege weapons inflict on creatures which are not inside of vehicles, or behind a fortification.

Firing Range

The distance a vehicle's siege weapons can fire before suffering medium or long range penalties. Typically these are listed as ranges for each range band, measured in squares. For example, here is the most common firing range for vehicle siege weapons:

  • Close Range: 1-2
  • Medium Range: 3-4
  • Long Range: 5-6

This means that any squares within 1 or 2 squares of the vehicle's space are considered close range. Any squares between 3 and 4 squares out from the vehicle's space are considered medium range. Any squares between 5 and 6 squares out from the vehicle's space are considered long range.

Refer to the Forward Firing Arc section for details on the penalties associated with medium and long ranges.

Vehicle Maneuver Defense

A vehicle's Maneuver Defense is the measure of how difficult that ship is to hit in combat, akin to its armor class. Note that a vehicle's Maneuver Defense is NOT the same as the pilot's Maneuver Defense.

A vehicle's Maneuver Defense is calculated as follows:

Vehicle Maneuver Defense:   Ship's Base Maneuver Defense + Ship's Ability Score + Ship Upgrades (if any) + Other (if any)
  • Ship's Base Maneuver Defense: A ship's base Maneuver Defense is determined by the ship's class, and the ship's level. Each vehicle class has a different base Maneuver Defense, and this base value increases each time the vehicle's level increases. Refer to the ship's class page for details.
  • Ship's Ability Score: The ship's ability score is based on the ship's class. In cases where the ship's class offers more than one ability score (i.e. the Host-class, Stout-class and Verity-class), the pilot may choose which stat to use among those listed, when piloting a ship of that class.
  • Ship Upgrades: It is possible to add upgrade modules to a vehicle to improve its Maneuver Defense. If any of these are installed on the vehicle, their bonus is included in the Maneuver Defense calculation.
  • Other: It is possible to have additional bonuses applied to your vehicle's Maneuver Defense, based on feats, a pilot's ranks in the appropriate Piloting skill, or temporary bonuses from spells, special abilities or ship class features.

Durability

A vehicle's durability is a measure of how much damage it can suffer before it is disabled and crashes.

Each vehicle class has a different durability value, and this durability increases each time the vehicle's level increases. Refer to the ship's class page for details.

It is possible for a pilot's own skill to modify the durability of any vehicle he pilots (as long as it is of a type which corresponds to the Piloting skill in question). There are also upgrade modules and temporary bonuses which can alter a vehicle's durability.

Vehicle DR

Some vehicles have damage reduction (DR), which reduces the amount of siege damage they take, each time they take damage. Vehicle DR works the same way that traditional DR works, except that it reduces siege damage, instead of hit point damage.

DR is comparatively rare on vehicles, and is typically limited to the ship classes which prefer durability over offense, such as the Vanguard-class vehicles.

Crew DR

Crew damage reduction (DR) is a measure of how much siege damage is reduced from each damage source before the damage is applied to the crew. Only certain attacks are capable of targeting crew, and crew DR is only applied against attacks which target crew. Most vehicles are designed to provide at least some protection to their pilot and crew, though some vehicle classes are more protective than others.

Crew DR is in addition to vehicle DR (which is to say, it stacks with vehicle DR). Thus, if a vehicle is struck by a special attack which specifically deals damage to crew, the damage of that attack is reduced by both the vehicle's DR and the crew DR. If any damage is remaining thereafter, the effects of the weapon are applied to the crew. Often, this is a penalty to one or more of the pilot's available actions (akin to a status condition). Other times, any damage which gets through reduces the crew's hit points by a percentage amount determined by the weapon. Note that crew damage is inflicted if ANY points of damage make it through to the crew. The actual amount of damage which gets through is irrelevant, other than to apply the weapon's anti-personnel effect to the crew.

Any time a vehicle crashes, or is rammed, the damage is applied to both the vehicle's durability and to the crew. In most other cases, siege weapons are designed to target the vehicle, not the crew, unless the weapon specifically states otherwise.

Example: A vehicle fires a special anti-personnel attack called "chain shot", which fires lengths of iron chain specifically at the crew. The attack hits an enemy vehicle, and the damage of the attack is rolled, dealing 4 points of siege damage. The enemy vehicle has 1 point of vehicle DR, and 2 points of crew DR, reducing the damage of the attack down to 1 point. Because any damage at all went through, the effect of the chain shot is applied to the crew. In this case, chain shot reduces crew health by 20%. Note that even if the enemy vehicle had no vehicle DR or crew DR, and all 4 points of siege damage went through, the crew would still only take the effect of the chain shot once, losing 20% of their health.

Note that, while in a vehicle, the pilot and crew hit points are abstracted, and hit point damage dealt to them is always represented by a percentage. If the pilot and any crew of a vehicle take 100% health damage or more, they become unable to pilot the vehicle (obviously), and the vehicle crashes (even if it has durability remaining).

Available Swift Actions

It is helpful to list every available swift action your vehicle has, for reference.

All vehicles have access to the Quick Attack swift action, but most vehicles will acquire one or more alternative swift actions, either from their ship class, upgrade modules, or other sources.

Available Standard Actions

It is helpful to list every available standard action your vehicle has, for reference.

All vehicles begin with the following available standard actions:

  • Second Move
  • Standard Attack
  • Take Aim
  • Evasive Maneuvers
  • Build Focus
  • Damage Control

Other standard actions may become available either from their ship class, upgrade modules, or other sources.