A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Dec 2014

    Default Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Hello Playgrounders!

    I'm looking for a good roleplaying system that can handle modeling large vehicles. I'm planning to run a game loosely based on Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, which has ocean-going ship sized land vehicles. Things I'm looking for in the system:
    1. PC skill relevance in vehicle action scenes
    2. Ability to damage specific modules of the vehicle (kinda FTL style)
    3. Substantial differences between armored vehicles and unarmored vehicles
    4. Relatively fast and easy to use for inexperienced gamers
    5. Based on a d20 system is a plus (but not that important)

    Any suggestions? Once again, thanks for any and all help!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Nary a whisper of an idea or direction?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lord Torath's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    I've never really played too much with this sort of role-playing game, and although I loved Homeworld and Homeworld: Cataclysm, I never played Deserts of Kharak (also, aren't the few remnants of Kiith Gaalsiem supposed to be rabidly anti-tech? What are they doing with all these high-tech vehicles? As I recall, their influence ended when they demolished their capitol city several hundred years ago), but just looking at what you're after, many of the giant-fighting-robot type games might work.

    Here's my mostly uninformed list:

    Mechwarrior - big vehicles with hit locations
    Mutants and Masterminds... 2? With the Mecha supplement? I've heard good things about this, but have not even the experience to know which edition of M&M has the Mecha supplement
    Paladium: Robotech/Macross? - Has hit locations and a wide variety of vehicle types
    I presume GURPS has a vehicle/mecha supplement.
    Starwars has been done in many systems, and involves people and many types of vehicles.
    Shadowrun: Has rules for vehicles and people, although the interaction between the two seems to usually leave a lot to be desired. I'm not familiar with anything newer than 2E

    Disclaimers: I have watched my son play Deserts of Kharak for approximately 5 minutes. I cannot be considered any kind of an expert on this game. It seems like you've got your large mobile factory and then a bunch of mostly ground vehicles of varying weight classes, with some hover vehicles and a small number of actual aircraft.

    Many many people on this site have played more RPGs and genres of RPGs than I have. Following my advice is just as likely (if not more so) to strand with you a system ill-suited for your desired game as it is to give you a good fit. But you did ask...
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2021-12-08 at 04:39 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    I think GURPS has something along those lines, such as Car Wars, but you wanted fast and easy to use for newbies.

    You might have luck looking at one of the naval or airship supplements for 3.x. I used Aerial Adventures along with a few others to design airships for a D&D setting a few years back. But I am afraid this current plan of your's might make you do a lot of the lifting yourself. Dragonmech might also help, as it deals with mobile cities, although as walkers.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Gurps does indeed have a vehicle based sup.
    It's ... it's GURPS. It's moderately complex, detailed and flexible
    And you'll probably want to test it and then cull some
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Mekton, Heavy Gear or Jovian Chronicles BUT they are not based on d20.

    I have also heard good things about Lancer, but again it is not D20.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    You absolutely can run this in GURPS, but I strongly advise against attempting that with your first foray into GURPS. GURPS Vehicles is the exact opposite of "relatively fast and easy to use for inexperienced gamers". In fact, I required assistance from my roommate, who was an aeronautical engineer.

    Mongoose Traveler has some supplements out there for fairly in-depth vehicle customization and operation rules, and honestly if you want to get REALLY big then I'm sure the very robust starship rules could start to apply to the largest of the vehicles. It's also pretty easy to get a hang of. Plus it is, of course, already a sci fi game so you're not having to hammer it into one.
    Last edited by Milodiah; 2021-12-08 at 05:30 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
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    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy e View Post
    Mekton, Heavy Gear or Jovian Chronicles BUT they are not based on d20.

    I have also heard good things about Lancer, but again it is not D20.
    Lancer is D20, but not D&D compatible. It's got a bounded accuracy deal going in where with very few exceptions, rolls can range from d20 + (1/2 level, max +6 due to level cap) +/- "xd6 keep highest roll" (situational bonuses/penalties, like aiming, having a relevant backround, task being easier or harder) against a DC of 10 for "yes but" or 20 for "yes." (or in combat, against defensive stats that usually start around 8)

    Noncombat is pretty freeform, with some mechanics added that borrow from BitD, apparently. Combat doesnt really have called shots to specific systems, though systems can be damaged after certian damage thresholds.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    My experience with vehicle based games has been you can have a good TT battle system or a good TTRPG. If you want a good TTRPG experience you generally should simplify the combat, otherwise one skirmish will chew up your entire gaming session.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mordar's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Well, I would immediately suggest...Car Wars.

    Yes, there was a GURPS book for Autoduel...but I believe the Car Wars boxes included some RPG rules, skill advancement and even scenarios.

    But most importantly...they were all about cars (with rockets), car(s with machine guns) culture, and car tricks (like smoke clouds, oil slicks, runflat tires and autocannons).

    Yup, it'll take work to convert to a fuller RPG, but not much...and you get to print out and play with lots of little CARdboard Cars. With rockets or pop-up turrets and flamethrowers.

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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Gurps does indeed have a vehicle based sup.
    It's ... it's GURPS. It's moderately complex, detailed and flexible
    And you'll probably want to test it and then cull some
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    You absolutely can run this in GURPS, but I strongly advise against attempting that with your first foray into GURPS. GURPS Vehicles is the exact opposite of "relatively fast and easy to use for inexperienced gamers". In fact, I required assistance from my roommate, who was an aeronautical engineer.

    Mongoose Traveler has some supplements out there for fairly in-depth vehicle customization and operation rules, and honestly if you want to get REALLY big then I'm sure the very robust starship rules could start to apply to the largest of the vehicles. It's also pretty easy to get a hang of. Plus it is, of course, already a sci fi game so you're not having to hammer it into one.
    GURPS Vehicles was 3E, and was thrown out entirely for 4E. In the current version, vehicles are built much more simply (basically using the same rules as characters), and using them in combat is pretty seamless.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
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    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Hello Playgrounders!

    I'm looking for a good roleplaying system that can handle modeling large vehicles. I'm planning to run a game loosely based on Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, which has ocean-going ship sized land vehicles. Things I'm looking for in the system:
    1. PC skill relevance in vehicle action scenes
    2. Ability to damage specific modules of the vehicle (kinda FTL style)
    3. Substantial differences between armored vehicles and unarmored vehicles
    4. Relatively fast and easy to use for inexperienced gamers
    5. Based on a d20 system is a plus (but not that important)

    Any suggestions? Once again, thanks for any and all help!
    I think Star Wars SAGA Edition is actually a decent match. It hits one Point 1 in having a number of PC roles when aboard large vehicles. Point 2 through the Hardpoint system for different weapons/shields/modules. Point 3 by the different between armored vehicles (tracked/walkers) and the much lighter repulsorcraft. Point 4 is pretty good, since SAGA is a slimmed down crossbreed between D&D 3.5 and D&D 4th, and accordingly hits Point 5 in being d20 based. It also has stat blocks for a number of ground vehicles all ready to go (especially in the Rebellion Era Campaign guide supplement) that would only need mild refluffing.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Gurps does indeed have a vehicle based sup.
    It's ... it's GURPS. It's moderately complex, detailed and flexible
    And you'll probably want to test it and then cull some
    WW2 and Traveller have build systems which are derived from Vehicles, but they have pre-calculated everything into building blocks like engines, weapons, etc.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Shadowrun has indeed vehicle build and modification rules in as far as I know all edition 4th and above. Of course the biggest there are trucks, but you can probably scale things up.

    If you can adapt Starship rules (which are often quite large) then just about any SF roleplay should have some rules and often a starship building supplement (I've played both Star Trek and Alternity and they both have one).
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Spamalot in the Playground
     
    Psyren's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Starfinder has both starship and vehicle rules that check all the boxes in the OP. (d20 system, armor matters, PC skills matter, location/module-based damage, newcomer-friendly with lots of resources if you need help.)
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    I've got some homebrew stuff that might do what you need it to? I've tried a couple times to come up with spaceship-naval-combat-rules that feel a bit like the combat in the early Honor Harrington books, if you're familiar with those-- the captain standing grimly in place, issuing calm orders as damage reports come pouring in. My first version was for Fate. It was based on the Dresden Files RPG version of the game, but the spaceship stuff should work fine with any derivative. More recently I updated the rules for STaRS.

    Either way, the basic idea is that you sketch out your ship on a grid and fill in what components are located in each square-- "the engines are here, here, and here; power plants are there; living quarters and medback tucked away over here, near the bridge..." The ship's stats are based on the sum of its components. Each point of damage hits a (semi) random square, wrecking whatever component was there and rendering it unusable. Meanwhile, you've got one PC flying the ship, one or more gunners making separate attacks with some or all of the ship's weapons, and (ideally) one or more engineers running around the ship and trying to patch up vital components as soon as they're broken.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Looking for a good vehicle-based TTRPG

    Traveller sounds like a good fit for this. PC skills matter in ship combat, and ship-related skills are varied.

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