Monday, June 01, 2009

Fighting on a Starship

One of my favourite novels is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman because it takes a hard science look at interstellar conflict. For example, no ships ever exceed the speed of light. They come very close to it, but they never exceed it. The implications of this are many and I would strongly suggest the book to all sci-fi fans. One interesting aspect of the story is shipboard combat. Preservation of one's environment in space is paramount. It doesn't do you much good to board an enemy vessel and then proceed to blast the hell out of it, such that you all die in the process. Both sides in the conflict quickly learn that melee weapons offer the best level of lethality without the threat of multiple hull breeches. In my Fading Suns campaign, I will operate under the assumption that weapon fire, be it lasers, projectiles or plasma has a percentage chance of causing damage to the ship. The one exception to this rule is frangible bullets, which are made of compressed metal powder and are designed to disintegrate on contact with hard surfaces. The following rules apply to frangible bullets; they do one less die of damage than normal rounds from the same type of gun, they are one difficulty modifier higher to purchase than the weapon they are designed for and they do no damage to anyone wearing hephaestium or ceramsteel armour.


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