View Full Version : Abstract system for dogfighting based on SotC/Fudge, Need help and Ideas

2011-04-28, 01:08 AM
Okay, so I've been wanting to start a space opera game based on Top Gun/Macross/Robotech for a while, and I want to do it in PbP. The problem is, I don't know any system that fits what I had in mind. The game that I have in mind has these criterias:

-Rewarding cool stunts.
-Not needing grids except maybe the most abstract map.
-Doesn't need too much customization ability (like MnM for example) but people can still customize their characters/rigs.

So I've been thinking to homebrewing something for it. From all the systems I'm familiar with, I decided to start from Fudge/SotC. It'd help if you're somewhat familiar with the system for this, but even if you're not, you still could help me with ideas.

What I have in mind is this. Rather than using Positioning/Grids for giving tactical feel to the battle, I'm thinking on giving formal maneuvers instead, something like maneuvers from Mecha and Manga splatbook of Mutants and Mastermind. Something that players can choose to do before attacking/defending at each round. Basically something like

-High Speed: Roll piloting dice, if successful, you got bonus to defense but penalty to attack until your next turn.

-Outmaneuver: Roll piloting dice, if successful, you got bonus for your next attack.

And.... those are basically the only maneuvers that I can think of...

And on the customization, beside the I think I'll give everyone a plane with basic description/armament that players can customize using their own custom stunts.

But first, mind you, this is not something realistic. This would be something pulpy and cool, if you ever watched Macross/Robotech you'd know what I mean. So we don't really need to be held by realism. Just... stylish and cool would work.

So, what do you think about the premise, do you think it could work? What I mainly need now is, more formal maneuver choices and their effects.

2011-04-28, 01:35 AM
If you have access to Fudge 10th Anniversary edition, take a look at Fudge Dog fighting. It works beautifully.

If you don't have it, the extremely basic version of the concept is.
1) Everyone declares intended abstract distance.
2) Speed rolls for actual distance if there is a difference in 1.
3) Maneuver rolls determines who gets to fire. If close, there is tailing.
4) Shooting happens.
5) Stuff may or may not blow up.

The specifics are all intellectual property, so I won't go into them. However, the general structure behind it is worth using as inspiration even without the details, which includes a variety of technologies that lead to tactics, as well as a bunch of maneuvers. The framework works well for them.

2011-04-28, 03:26 AM
Ho, I didn't know about Fudge Dogfight, maybe I'll check it to find some inspiration. Thanks knaight. I'm still open for ideas from you guys obviously.

edit: huh. How strange. It's actually pretty similar with what I had in mind. Is this what's it called 'getting idea from the same cosmic source'? Except for the actual shooting. I'm still thinking to make it round based. I mean, player round, then enemy round.

2011-04-29, 06:41 AM
Okay, this is the alpha version of Fri’s PbP dogfighting rules based on SotC. Or maybe still a tech demo? It’s mainly inspired by MnM’s mecha combat, and Fudge’s dogfighting rule, but honestly, most of it are simply convergent evolution of rules. I mainly took the idea of the combat phases from Fudge and maneuvers from MnM Mecha.

Once again, this is still a rough Idea of what I'm planning. It's not checked for spelling or grammar yet, moreover for balance. I'm posting it here mostly so I can show it to my friends without needing to send it one by one for them. But your help/idea would be really really appreciated.

There are a couple of important parts for Fri’s Dogfighting Game. The summary of them are below.

1. Your ship.

Ships have 5 stats. Speed, Maneuver, Armor, Computer, and Weapons. Each are quite what they say on the tin.

Speed is your ship’s relative max speed and acceleration capability.

Maneuver is your ship’s relative maneuver capability. The ‘practical maneuver rating,’ that is the maneuver rating used in a dogfight or acrobats is the average of (ship’s maneuver rating+pilot’s piloting skill)

Armor is the relative endurance of the ship.

Computer is the relative sophistication of your ship’s technical system/ai. It’s used for initiative and various sensoring. As with maneuver, the ‘practical computer rating’ is the average of (ship’s computer rating+pilot’s computer rating).

Weapons are… relative sophistication of the ship’s targeting system? The number of the ship’s weapon hardpoints?

Or it’s divided into two part: targeting system sophistication and number of ship’s hardpoint.

We don’t use specific numbers for any of them, like whether your max speed is 1000 kph or your armor is 12 mm thick. We just use relative numbers, as usual in fudge or SotC. That is, your ship’s speed might be average (+1) or fantastic (+6) and such.

We’ll get more into the ship later.

2. The pilot.

The pilot is an important part of the ship (of course). This is your character. Your characters have skills, aspects, and stunts as usual. What skills you mainly use for piloting a ship are: piloting (for defense and various kind of maneuvers), computer (for initiative and to use all kind of sensors and your ship’s high tech equipments) and attack skills. That is, gunnery, melee, or weapon.You use your character’s attack skill to attack with your ship. But you can’t simply use your on-foot stunts in mech. You need specific piloting stunts for that.

We’ll get more into them later.

3. The dogfight.

This is the meat of the game. The basic summary of the dogfight is below.

When someone decides to have combat encounter, everyone roll initiatives based on the average of (ship’s computer rating+pilot’s computer rating). This reflects the pilot’s capability to digest the various signals they got from their radars. After initiatives are rolled and each ships or group of ships got their position on the initiative line, the dogfight can begin. There are a few phases in a turn of a dogfight. They’re not ‘formal’ phase, aka, phases you must ‘declare’ at your every turn, the division into phases is just for convenience.

1.Confirming range.

You simply confirm the relative ranges between you and your target. There are 5 relative ranges in a dogfight. Point blank(0), short(1),medium(2),long(3), beyond visual range(4)and beyond combat range(5)

The difference between initiative on the initiative phase show how far you could close in at the first round. For example, if you roll 4 and enemy roll 2, you could close in up to 'long' range.


If both you and your opponent feel that you’re in the intended range with each others, you can skip this. But if one of you want to move closer or farther to your opponent, roll opposing speed roll using your ships’ speed stat. The winner got what he want. For example, if one participant want to get closer and the other participant want to move farther, they both roll speed dice. If the first participant won, the ships are getting closer to each other, and vice versa. This is basically the ‘movement phase’ in the combat round.

(author note: do we really need this? How to simplify this?)

3.Maneuver choice.

Then, the attacker got to choose what maneuver that he want to do. This is optional, the attacker can simply choose not to use any maneuver in this turn.

The most basic maneuver is called outmaneuver. Both participant roll opposing maneuver check, which is the average of (ship’s maneuver rating+pilot’s piloting skill). If the attacker won, he can add either +1 to his very next attack or +1 defense against the outmaneuver target until the end of his next turn. If the defender won, the attacker lose his chance to attack that round.

Some weapons, like homing missile, need a succesfull outmaneuver check before you can use them.

The second most basic maneuver is transforming your ship into humanoid mecha or the other way around.

We’ll get more into maneuver choices later.

(author note: how to decrease the use of opposing checks? Not really good in a pbp game)

4. The actual attack. Attacker roll attack dice, defender roll defense dice. Stuffs might or might not blow up. You also might do other kinds of action in this phase, like hiding, ramming your ship, landing your ship, do crazy defensive stunts, or what else.

5. Move to the next participant in the initiative line.


example of Maneuver choices:



Defensive flying: +1 to defense and -2 to attack until your next turn.

Offensive flying: +1 to attack and -2 to defense until your next turn.

sweeping fire:-1 to attack to... attack more than one target at once?

covering fire: shooting to prevent enemy to shoot rather than to damage enemy.

Eject seat. Eject yourself from the plane with ejection seat. You can choose to reflexively eject from your plane at the exact time when it get destroyed, but you need to roll reflex for it.

New stunts :

Ranged mecha fighter: can use your gunnery stunts in mech. (not a

Melee mecha fighter: can use your melee stunts in mech.

High Tech Ace: Can use computer skill to lock missiles instead of piloting.

Tactician: Can transfer piloting maneuver results to allies.

Veteran Flight Leader (should this be aspect?)

Veteran Wingman (should this be aspect?)

Surprise Transformation?: Can use transformation to give bonus to attack/defense.? Should this be maneuver instead?

Defensive driving as in the drive stunt?

Turn on a dime as in the drive stunt?

Unsafe at any speed as in the drive stunt?

(author note: what should we put into stunts and what into maneuvers? And even aspects?
Hint: maybe simple bonus or penalty should be maneuvers.

The main thing here is, vanilla fudge doesn't have these 'stunts,' but I based the game on SotC)

Weapon choices.

Vulcan: fighter sized gatling gun.can be used to attack more than one enemy In a round at -1 attack.
Or Bonus against groups of minion? Penalty against single target? Short distance?

Kinetic cannon/beam cannon: Fighter sized heavy gun. Can’t be used to attack more than one enemy in a round. Bonus against single target? Penalty against group of minion? Medium distance?

Homing missiles. Pods of lock-and-forget missiles. Must successfully use outmaneuver before it can be used. If missed, will attack the opponent once more in the next round. Can only bring 5 pods/sortie. Medium distance?

Micro missiles. Pods of very small homing missiles that holds much less warhead and fuel than normal homing missiles which will swarm your opponents with their high number. Must successfully use outmaneuver before it can be used. +2 to attack, but no retry chance like homing missile? Medium Distance? Can only bring 5 pods/sortie.

Vibrating Knife.

Shield Generator.

Torpedo. Must use ‘aiming’ maneuver for 2 rounds. Bonus against capital ship.

Countermeasure: Roll computer? If successful, completely blocks any missiles until your next turn? Can only bring 5/sortie. Should it be automatic success. Or simply bonus defense against missile?

Active point defense. This might be the one who uses computer. When you activate it you can’t attack, but you can roll computer against any missiles in short or medium range, even ones that aren’t directed to you. If successful, you blow up those missiles.

Stealth system

Ship customization.

All of your ship’s system starts at average (+1) and you got x points to customize them. (how many?)
Maybe… starting ship would have 10 points players can put into their ship. Max rating for beginner ship should be 5?

When players got the right for a new stunt, they can turn it into some customization point.

Some more main part that's still not set.

-various technical system of a ship (ones that use computer skill to use).

-damage to specific part of a ship