View Full Version : Space combat system, half compete, in need of balance help

Evil DM Mark3
2008-09-20, 02:40 PM
Please note: These are a bit of a mess and incomplete. Any and all comments welcome. Unless otherwise noted the standard d20 system is used.

Designing your fleet. Every class of vessel has the following stats:

Cruising speed:
Emergency stop:

Size: Size is one of the following categories: Ultralight, Light, Medium, Heavy and Superheavy. It has no cost but does give other values certain minimums.

Defence: The ships' base defense is 10 plus the following modifier: Ultralight +3 Light +1 Medium -1 Heavy -3 Superheavy -5 It has no cost.

Structure: How much damage the ship can take before it becomes inoperable. At a cost of 1 for every 5 of it's score, ie Structure 15 is worth 3 points. The range is 20-300 for Ultralight, 250-1000 for Light, 800-4000 for Medium, 3200-8000 for Heavy and 6000+ for Superheavy.

Thresholds: The points at which enough damage has been done to inconvenience the vessel. They default to the first three quarter points of the structure score, rounded up. For example a ship with a a structure score of 30 has thresholds of 23, 25 and 8. Re-enforcement reduces these values, making the ship harder to cripple.

Armour: This costs 1 point per point and has a maximum value of one point per 15 points of Structure.

Speed: This is determined by the engine purchased.

Cruising Speed: This is determined by the engine purchased.

Weapons: Purchased later.

Defences: Purchased later.

Systems: Purchased later.

Manoeuvrability: Determined by ship size.

Emergency stop: Determined by size.

Officer: Optional.

Cost: Total cost.

Engines: All ships have basic thrusters. A ship that lacks these is a space station and has a 20% reduction on its final cost. It can only be redeployed by specialist vessels. Tactical speed is the max speed they can travel on the battle grid, Cruising speed is the max they can travel per turn on the champaign map.
Ships of Light size or smaller can have up to one other engine system from the following list, making thrusters their backup system. Medium ships and larger may have two other engine systems. Thrusters, free, 6 square tactical speed, no cruising speed.
Ion engine, 5 points, 8 square tactical speed, no cruising speed.
Induction engines, 15 points, 10 square tactical speed, 2 square cruising speed.
Gravitic engines, 25 points, 12 square tactical speed, 3 square cruising speed.
Plasma drive, 15 points, 12 square tactical speed, no cruising speed.
Spatial compression drive, 30 points, no tactical speed, 6 square cruising speed.
Overcharger, 10 points, doubles current tactical speed, no cruising speed. They are activated as a Systems action and take 1 round to take effect, meaning that this turn you travel at your current speed but may not accelerate or decelerate. This can cause the vessel to be traveling faster than maximum speed. If it is it cannot turn until it is once again traveling at no more than its standard maximum speed. An emergency stop deals an extra d10 per square above maximum speed the ship is currently traveling. Requires servicing after 3 uses.

All ships have the following basic systems. Class A sensor, Life support and either a Radio Beacon or Laser Transceiver.

Comms systems (Each ship has either a Radio Beacon or Laser transceiver for free, taking another that replaces this:
Radio Beacon. Free or 5 points. Can be jammed. Has no resistance to interference.
Laser Transceiver. Free or 5 points. Cannot be jammed, may only communicate with one other vessel per turn. Has no interference resistance.
Hazlard Beacon. 15 points. Medium ships or larger only. Can be jammed. Half interference chance.
Matter Tranciver. 15 points. Medium ships or larger only. Cannot be jammed, may only communicate with one other vessel per turn. Half interference chance.
Martlax array. 25 points. Heavy ships or larger only. Cannot be jammed. No interference chance.

Sensor systems (The purchase of a sensor system assumes the replacing of the original, if you want a backup you have to buy it separately):
Type A: Free or 5 points. On broad scan this detects the location and velocity of all objects. On an active scan it can determine the size of an object and type (ship, asteroid etc).
Type B: 15 points. On broad scan this detects the location, size, type and velocity of all objects. On active scan it can analyse the composition of a planetoid's atmosphere. It can also tell you all of the following about a ship, the presence of weapon systems, grapplers, energy fields and point defence systems and the armour value (if any) of the ship.
Type C: 25 points. Functions as a Type B system but also grants a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Type D: 35 points. On broad scan this detects the location, size, type, classification and velocity of all objects. On active scan it can analyze the composition of a planetoid's atmosphere and any major installations and cities on its surface as well as provide a full geographical survey of the planet. It can also tell you all of the following about a ship, the presence of weapon systems, grapplers, energy fields, and point defense systems, type of engines, number of life signs on the ship and the armor value (if any) of the ship.
Type E: 45 points. Functions as a Type D system but also grants a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Targeting system. 15 points. Gives +2 bonus to one weapon system (chosen each round). Does not replace free sensors. May be purchased multiple times.

Misc systems
Life support. Free. Extra systems cost 15 points as backups. The loss of this system causes the ship to go onto emergency backup systems, the crew will die in ship size hours unless the system is repaired.
Autopilot. 5 points. Allows a ship with disabled crew to act, it will avoid collisions as best it can and, if a destination has been programmed in, will head to its destination but cannot take attack or systems actions.
-Superior Autopilot. 15 points + autopilot. The ship can now also activate scanners (at a +0 bonus) and damage control systems and will fire all weapons at the closest known enemy each turn.
Damage control. 5 pointsXship size. Restores 5Xship size structure points but cannot restore a system beyond its last threshold.
-Superior Damage control. 10 points + Damage control. It also has a 50% chance of bringing one crippled system back online each turn.
--Nanite array. 30 points + Superior Damage Control. Doubles the rate at which Damage control or repair drones (if present) opperate and allows them to repair past thresholds.
Sensor jamer. 15 points. Type A or B sensors cannot do more than determine the presence of an object. Tracking missiles cannot adjust course to track this ship. All missiles and mines have a 20% chance of passing through the ship's squares without detonating.
-Stealth screen. 35 points + Sensor jamer, Type A or B sensors cannot locate the ship, firing into the square incurs a 50% miss chance. Type C or D sensors cannot do more than determine the presence of an object. Missiles and mines have a 50% chance of passing the ship by. All other attacks made by a ship without Type E sensors have a 20% miss chance even if they locate the ship.
--Cloaking device. 50+ Stealth screen. Whilst active Type A, B, C and D sensors cannot locate the ship, firing into the square incurs a 50% miss chance. Type E sensors cannot do more than determine the presence of an object. Missiles have a 80% chance of passing the ship by, mines will not detonate.
Chaff launcher. 10 points + weapon slot. Fills one square with chaff. This imposes a -10 penalty to scan a square, -5 to scan a square beyond that square. Any missile passing through the square have a 30% chance of detonating. A chaff launcher can be activated 3 times before needing servicing. If a Light or Ultralight vessel is entirely within a chaff cloud an active scan with difficulty 0 (with the -10 penalty) to locate. You can fire any number of chaff launchers as a single systems action.
Decoy drone. 15 points. Stays with the ship. Eliminates the bonus granted by a targeting system of a ship more than 5 squares away. Missiles entering this ships area have a 50% chance of detonating on it, not the ship, doing no damage but requiring the drone to need servicing (check after all other defenses).
Energy field. 10 pointsXship size. Improves the vessel's defense score by 4.
Point defense system. 5 pointsXship size. Has a 20% chance of destroying any incoming missile. Once per turn you may fire at a single target in a square adjacent to you, dealing d12 damage per ship size, no attack roll. No action is required to do this.
Radiation shielding. 5+ points. Reduces the effects of radiation exposure by one category per 5 points.
Blink Displacer, 25 points + Spatial compression drive. All incoming attacks have a 30% miss chance but all attacks made by the ship are at a -2 penalty.
Fortification, 3Xship size points, reduce the thresholds to half, four sixths and five sixths.
-Superior Fortification, 5Xship size points + fortification, remove the first threshold.
--Heavy Fortification, 7Xship size points + superior fortification, remove the second threshold.
Repair Drones, 20 points + Damage Control, whilst active these drones repair 3Xship size structure each turn, does not stack with Damage Control but, unlike Damage Control, does not need activating each turn.
Comm jammer, 15xship size points. Blocks all communications (including your own) within 20xship size squares.

Weapons. Ultralight vessels have one weapons slot per 15 structure. Light, medium and heavy vessels have one weapons slot per 50 structure. Superheavy vessels have one slot per 100 structure. All weapons take up 1 slot unless noted otherwise. Weapons are divided into three categories, the first are for any vessel, the second for Medium vessels or larger and the third for Heavy vessels or larger. Despite this these values are for Ultralight classification weapon.

To determine the actual cost of the weapon multiply the number of weapon slots by the points cost of the weapon.
Laser, 5 points, Damage 6d8, range increment 6 squares Micron missiles, 5 points, Damage 6d8 Fusion shells, 5 points, Damage 8d8, range increment 4 squares

Heavy Laser, 10 points, Damage 8d8, range increment 8 squares Fusion mines, 10 points, Damage 5d100 Neutron cannon, 15 points, Damage 6d8, range increment 12 squares Fusion missiles, 15 points, Damage 10d8

Fusion cannon, 20 points, Damage 10d8, range increment 6 squares Annihilation mines, 15 points, 10d100 Plasma cannon, 30 points, Damage 14d8, range increment 8 squares Annihilation missiles, 20 points, Damage 12d8

Weapon slots may also be used for the following:
Transport: Each slot given over can carry 1/10 of an army.
Cargo: Each slot given over can transport 1/2 of a unit of suplies.
Launch bays: Every 4 slots given over can be used to hold a single vessel of Ultralight size, 16 for a Light vessel.
Weapons must take into consideration how they are mounted. There are three options:

Hull mounted:This incurs no extra cost. Rams, Ship breakers, Ordinance and Star killers can only by mounted this way. It can target targets in one 90 degree fire arc, front, port, starboard or (rarely) rear.

Shift mounted:This incurs a +5% on the final cost and can only be used on weapons that have the same size category or lower as the ship. They can fire in an 180 degree arc, again front, port, starboard or rear.

Turret mounted:This incurs a +15%and can only be used on weapons one size smaller than the vessel or smaller. They have a 360 degree fire arc.

Point defense systems are always considered turret mounted for free.

Second all weapons can be modified by the modifications below. Point defense systems are totally unaffected by these rule changes and function as normal.

Increased size. All weapons are scaled for Ultralight category. Weapons can be increased in size, up to Super-Heavy for a doubling of the number of weapon slots used (doubling this doubling = tripling). There is no maximum size a ship can carry but every size the weapon is above the size of the vessel all attacks with that weapon take a -4 penalty. For every size category the target of the weapon is below the size of the weapon a -4 penalty to hit is also incurred due to the design being focused around targeting ships of the appropriate size. Increasing the size adds two dice to the damage, 1 square to the range increment and is necessary for certain other mods. It should be noted that an Ultralight weapon is nowhere near the size of an Ultralight vessel, neither is a Medium weapon. On the other hand a Ship Breaker, Ordinance, Star Killer Super-heavy weapon is quite close... larger if you count extra large ominous barrel.

Ship breaker. Medium sized weapons and larger only. The weapon takes up an extra slot (before multiplying). Such weapons are designed to tear ships apart and as such ignore half of the hardness of any target. They are not intended for use on small targets however and take a -10 penalty when targeting a ship of light or ultralight size and non-ship space objects because these things lack the surface area/volume ratio that is specifically targeted by these systems.

Ordinance. Heavy sized weapons and larger only. The weapon takes up an extra slot (before multiplying) and costs an extra 2 points on the base cost. Such weapons are designed to do maximum damage by focusing the majority of the force of the attack inside the target, rather than on the exterior. This doubles threat range (before other bonuses and mods). Small targets are not easily affected by the modified payload or beam however and attacks on Medium, Light and Ultralight vessels take a -10 penalty as well as non-ship space objects because they do not have the wide areas of thinner plating that these ships take advantage of.

Star killer. Super-heavy weapons only. These weapons are the ultimate in warfare and are to their lesser versions what an artillery piece is to a pistol. Used to destroy star bases and even small moons in a single blow they take up double the normal amount of slots and cost an extra 5 points on the basic cost. The number of damage dice is multiplied by five. Such is the power needed to fire these weapons they can never make more than one attack a round, require all other weapons on the ship to not fire in the same round and for two rounds before firing (including point defense, this prevents batteries or linked fire) as well as the deactivation of sensors and damage control during the round the weapon fires and no change in vessel speed during the two charging rounds and the firing round. They can fire only once a minute. They are not really anti-vessel weapons (with the exception of capital ships) and as such take a -10 penalty when attacking any vessel other than Super-heavys.

Missiles are treated as very small ships. They take up the same size battle space as an Ultralight (but are in fact much smaller) and have the following stats.

Speed: 6 squares, Defense 10, hardness 10 and 20hp. They always fly in a straight line and at full speed. They have fuel for 10 rounds, after this time they detonate to ensure they do not become a long term hazard.

They detonate when they strike any object (striking an object defined as entering their square). They do not have a blast radius as even quite a large missile is tiny compared to the size of most vessels. Some super-bomber ultralights can even carry Super-heavy missiles. They ignore concealment but detonate against cover by the % roll, ie they go around or blow up. They can now therefore be shot down mid flight so they are usually deployed at close range and escorted to their targets by fighters. As they do not require to hit rolls small vessels often carry very over-sized missiles (and are called bombers...).

When a missile system is bought it is installed on a 90 degree fire arc. Missiles can be upgraded just like weapons (and have their own special upgrades too) but cannot have shift or turret mounts. Special missile upgrades are as follows.

Bomb: By sacrificing the engines and guidance systems this missile can carry extra payload. Propelled by a burst of pressurized gas and attracted by the micro gravity of their target they deal and extra 2 dice of damage for no extra cost and, due to the fact they have no heat or energy signatures until moments before impact, are immune to point defense systems. They have a maximum range of 2 squares however, requiring them to be fired from up close. They do not get a range bonus from increased size.

Seeker: Costing an extra 5 points on the base cost these missiles are locked onto a specific target on launch. They turn up to 45 degrees at the start of each movement towards that target. They have type A sensors and continue in a straight line if the target is lost. They can also detonated prematurely as a Systems action (you can detonate one or all, not only some). If scanned by the opposing vessel their internal guidance frequency can be determined (comms check DC 10) allowing them to have their target reassigned, Comms DC 15 and their guidance frequency randomized Computer use DC 10. Both of those are made at the same time if they are both desired, which can lead to a few annoyances, such as randomizing the frequency but not altering the target. All three of these checks are the same systems action. A ship that randomizes the frequency knows the new one and any ship that knows the frequency can detonate the missile. Missiles launched in the same round share a frequency.

Lightning: By increasing the fuel burn rate these missiles can travel much faster. The trade off is flight time. The base cost is 2 points higher and the speed goes up to 9 but they fly for only 3 rounds.

Plotter: These missiles are pre programed to follow a set course. This is declared by the firer at launch. This allows missiles to travel around obstructions without the hassle of RC missiles. The extra equipment takes up a weapons slot (regardless of size and only one such slot is needed regardless of how many Plotter missile launchers you have). They can be instructed to turn up to 45 degrees per turn (after movement) and to fly less than their maximum speed (but flight time is never affected). The base cost is 4 points higher. They can be remotely detonated, hijacked and reprogrammed just like seeker missiles, but giving a new flight plan (the equivalent of hijacking) is +5 harder.

RC: These missiles are remote controlled from their ship. The extra equipment takes up a weapons slot (regardless of size and only one such slot is needed regardless of how many Plotter missile launchers you have). They can be instructed to turn up to 45 degrees per turn (after movement) and to fly less than their maximum speed (but flight time is never affects). The cost is 4 higher. Giving orders is a DC 10 computer use check and an systems action and either all or just one missile can be guided at once. They can be remotely detonated, hijacked and reprogrammed just like seeker missiles, but hijacking is +5 harder or an opposed computer use check if the missile was given instructions in the previous round (use either the default value or the opposed computer use value, whichever is higher).

Armored: The cost is 2 higher but many say it is worth it. They gain +6 Defense and +20 hardness. The extra shielding also increased the DC of identifying their guidance frequency by +5. This is also a problem for PC missiles though and applies to issuing orders to an RC missile.

Two points, first missiles cannot attack like this and second, Star killer weapons only have one quarter concealment, mostly because they are crazy huge. However they must be damaged three times to become inoperative. This tends to make the vulnerable to surgical strikes, the reason why they travel protected, typically, by at least one other capital ship and appropriate amounts of smaller vessels.

Ships can make one of each of the following each round (and in the case of a move action MUST sometimes do so).


Move must be the middle action, but no action is sometimes a valid action, for example a ships orders might be:

Systems (no order)
Move (turn 45 degrees and 5 squares movement)
Attack (Full attack)

A systems action allows you to activate or deactivate a system, scanners and so on come under this category. Once activated Scanners maintain their chosen scan type as a free action each round. Damage control is an exception and must be activated each round. Probes, drones, chaff and similar all come under this category.

There is one special systems action however, the Emergency stop. The vessel comes to a total stop (ie Decreases speed to 0%) and takes, 2d12 dam per ship category. Only medium and larger ships need use this order however.

Finally it should be noted that launching fighters (for ship carriers) is a systems action.

See weapons for alterations to weapon stats but otherwise the attack action is simple. A single weapon may be fired with the crew's full attention gaining a +2 bonus (only if three or more such weapon systems are present) and possibly multiple attacks, multiple weapons may be fired at the same target or multiple weapons may be fired at separate targets. Whether this last one incurs a penalty or not is determined by the table below. If more than that number are fired then there is a flat -5 penalty involved.

Class Max number of weapons without penalty
UL 1
L 1
M 2
H 4
SH 8

Not all ships can turn on a dime, in fact only really small ones can. A ship has to move at its current rate in the movement phase. The rate is determined by last turns rate modified by any orders it is undergoing this round. When turning the alteration in direction is calculated from the center of the vessels squares, half way (round down) through its movement. Clipping and object whilst doing this is considered ramming for half damage. When accelerating and decelerating always round down the number of squares but keep the running total as the exact figure rounded to the nearest whole foot.

Ultra light orders:
Change speed:Alters speed to any valid one
Change direction:Alters direction 360 by 360

Light orders:
Change speed:Alters speed to any valid one
Turn:Up to 90 degrees for free, up to 180 for half current speed

Medium orders:
Accelerate:Increased speed by up to 20% of max
Decelerate:Decreases speed by up to 50% of max
Turn:Up to 45 degrees for free, up to 180 for half current speed

Heavy orders:
Accelerate:Increased speed by up to 15% of max
Decelerate:Decreases speed by up to 40% of max
Turn:Up to 45 degrees for free, up to 90 for half current speed

SuperHeavy orders:
Accelerate:Increased speed by up to 10% of max
Decelerate:Decreases speed by up to 30% of max
Turn:Up to 45 degrees for half current speed

Ships that are moving may make a 500ft shift as a free action, so long as they are not altering their speed that round and the shift is perpendicular to the travel distance. A ship that is stationary cannot make a 500ft shift.

Jumping to cruising speed: This is a full round action. In addition a ship must be at full tactical speed and have moved that in the previous round (ie not turned in the case of most vessels) to jump to cruising speed.

Ramming: In order to ram a ship must be moving in a strait line, ships that turn during the same round are considered to only be clipping. To determine the damage compare the speed of the two vessels. If they are moving directly towards each other (up to 45 degrees of each way) then add them together. If they are moving in the same direction (again up to 45 degrees each way) then subtract the targets speed from the rammer's speed. Otherwise just take the larger of the two speeds. For ships that are clipping take only the distance traveled after the turn (or before the turn if the clipping takes place due to a badly chosen turn). For every full 500ft of ship speed the ship deals 2d12 damage. There is also a chance of a critical hit determined by rolling a d20. This a crit confirming roll, all ramms are critical threats. The chance is 1 point per full 4 dice rolled. For every size category the ship is over Ultralight roll an extra d12. The ramming ship takes the same damage -2d12 modified by the size of the ship it is ramming. Clipping vessels deal half damage. Ships may fit rams as a weapons system. They take up one weapons slot and are always hull mounted in the front arc. Each weapon slot given over to rams causes the ship to deal (but not take) an extra d10 damage but cannot be used whilst clipping. Hardness applies to all ramming attacks, in addition magnetic fields reduce the threat range by 4. It is possible for a ship to cause a critical hit on itself whilst ramming. Ships equipped with a lot of rams are often referred to as Slicers or Cutters.

Crews: In order to command your forces you need officers. All heavy and superheavy officers MUST have an officer. An officer costs 15 points. He has the following stats:


The first 3 add to the appropriate scores/rolls (defence score, attack rolls, and scanning/missile related rolls)
The last is special. Each round you have this x 3 percentage chance of bringing a disabled system back online.

A starting officer has 3 points to spend. A value of 1 is worth 1, a value of 2 is worth 3.

If a ship is out of communications with an officer it will continue to execute its last orders.

Still needed:
Rules for grapples, targeting specific systems and the damage to systems caused by passing thresholds.
Rules for experience with officers.
Hazards etc.
More weapons.

2008-09-20, 03:29 PM
Seems a bit excessively complex.

Mando Knight
2008-09-20, 03:44 PM
Seems a bit excessively complex.

That's what I thought... wouldn't SAGA's Starships of the Galaxy or the Starship Battles minis be a just-as-useful ruleset for space combat?

Also, you've got a doubling of a doubling equaling a tripling, which doesn't make much sense... last I checked, 2x2=4... if it's +100% each time, then (100%+100%)+100%=300% makes sense...

2008-09-20, 06:32 PM
Thats how D&D handles it. Honestly, it would probably be easiest just to grab the D&D manueverability levels, kill the whole up down thing, etc. Or there is the opposed skill check simultaneous turn sequence thing from Fudge Dogfighting(to see who can shoot who).

Lert, A.
2008-09-20, 09:32 PM
I have to admit, my group goes heavily into houserules to make a system that (finally) works in any setting we can imagine, but this is - in my opinion - way too complicated.

We will usually just use Saga rules - like has been already been mentioned - but using a hex map. We generally use hex maps anyways and find it speeds a game up quite a bit. That's just our way, but it works.

2008-09-21, 03:59 PM
Why don't you try something like a conversion of eve online. I always thought eve made space combat as realistic as possible (with transverse velocity adding dodge bonuses; usually a higher speed ratio proportionate to a slower ship would mean a simpler equation to get a rough estimate of how hard it is for the slower ship to track the faster one; invent an equation for GMs to use that still allows for good variety rather then applying actual geometry (which would be ridiculous for every round)). There's also sig radius, which reflects how easy it is for the tracker to pick up a signal. It's fairly generic since all ships usually give off signals and use communication hardware; a high speed module within a ship could jack up its signal by a lot, making it easy to hit even at very high sub-space speeds, in which case the purpose of such a module is to get from point A to B without warping.

As for complexity, technology is quite simply, complex in itself. Otherwise, space becomes a bland ruling of GM discretion. And what fun is it to find PCs in a situation where they can't do anything but watch colorful lights outside a window in a black vacuum, unable to support the situation with their own spells or feats associated with 'more exciting' close combat. It's ridiculous that most RPs end up focusing on close combat because of this (even d20 future).

As such, piloting and that sort of thing should depend mostly on skill points and lots of technology (expensive 'modules' which are equipment for the ship; it's a spaceship, so it damn well better be complex enough to run properly), rather then feats (which is stupid, because it can confine a single PC to driving rather then participating with other PCs... the other system could optimize space flight and fleet battles in which every PC has a starship, ie.). And it's also at GM discretion whether or not they wanna force the players to understand it all, which they don't have to. Players can easily say, "I wanna fly while doing a barrel roll." And the GM would let them, but might also declare that the other ship that's shooting at them, seems to be coming to closer to actually hitting or whatever, or that they must maneuver around asteroids that are blocking the way or a sparse cloud of toxic micro-nebula.

As a whole, d20 future is very inflexible. I don't think they should implement mechanics here and there, disparately, making it seem all sporadic. Instead, really, it should really be built from the ground up, which is how I saw it in d20 3.5 (ie. a fighter has 18 strength, put him in a mech, his strength multiplies by 30!). That way you can place all sorts of things in one room and see who's the winner rather then attempting to combine systems.

As a result of inflexibility, you'd have ridiculous RP situations. Only 'officers' can be spaceship captains for example. Computer systems disable suddenly (in the future, it'd make more sense if they're rigidly protected, rather weighting for an opponent to use equipment that can temporarily jam it rather then having technology that has been implemented extensively for perhaps a thousand years, fail yet again... by then mankind, would probably come up with multiple fail safes to see that it actually works and is as reliable as the armor and shields of the starship itself). Unless you want to get into progress level, which in itself is also very stupid. Who's to say at which point certain things will be invented and how they'll change the social make up of society? Limiting sci-fi in this way is just pathetic example of inflexibility. I'd like to see more sci-fi RPers out there, when people come up with a more 'ground up' system that can actually tie into 3.5.

The reliability of a computer system should be for RP purposes only. Perhaps the PC's sought a company that they had little idea of having a terrible reputation for products that didn't work. Or perhaps they dealt with a race that was shotgunned into the computer age by another race that visited their world? If you see what I mean.

Moddability of technology: Technology should be moddable only with skill checks. Incorporate new skills, sure, but skill checks and time should be all that's needed to make technology perform differently. It's also at GM discretion. So really, technology that performs differently (ie. a missile that flies faster but is less fuel efficient) needn't require a feat or special ability to make it so, considering all that's needed by the PC to make the missile fly is the push of a button or a click of a mouse on an interface (or perhaps a mental command, depending on the science-fictioney element ;)). It's up to the computer, not the PC. Perhaps the computer should require feats? :smallbiggrin:

Outfitting a spaceship with modules: Depending on GM discretion, I should say that it should mostly be ruled out as being bought along with the capabilities of the ship (obviously at GM discretion... a sci-fi RPer might always wanna look at things in a logical context, so that should help). Depending on what the PC can afford, that's the spaceship they can get. It also depends on where they must travel to acquire it. Even more so, a GM could rule 'credit points' to determine what the PC begins with in a space combat centered campaign and disallowing money to begin with. Though really, it matters not.