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janus methedor

Orbital Bombardments and Characters

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I've recently had an bombardment of an area with characters in it. What I did is call for a dodge roll against a static number (25 I think), though Force Using PC use a lightsaber to Reflect the blast back to the orbiting ship. Luckly no one got hit or else they would have been hit with 18D (due to scale) damage.

 

Now I pulled these rules from thin air and am wondering whether anyone else has done orbital bombardments and if they have what the rules that they used are.

Also what is your opinion of the lightsaber reflect I've been caught off-guard most of the time due to the rules not mentioning scale while I've posted a LS question regarding scale before This is a Capital beam and I'm just wanting thoughts on it (the reflection) and the idea of bombardment that's not just eye candy.

 

As a side question the dodge rules as written have you be able to dodge a grenade blast with no cover, any additional thought on this.

 

Thanks For Reading

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I've done it before. Like you, I picked a fairly high static number that they had to get to "dodge" avoid the rather large explosive areas that were being hit. The main point I tried to get across to the players is "get out of there!"

 

As far as deflecting a turbolaser shot with a lightsaber....whoa....no way would I have allowed that. That's 4 scales higher than a character. That turbolaser bolt is probably on order of twice the size of a person. The sheer heat associated with such a shot probably would have burnt the Jedi to a crisp, even if he managed to get his lightsaber in between the bolt and himself. I've seen representation of Starfighter scale weaponry going NEAR a person and basically burning said person from the heat. Capital scale weaponry is even bigger than that.

 

Likewise, I would have put the difficulty to reflect (even if the Jedi survived the reflection of the shot) the shot back UP to the ship that fired it. Orbital bombardment indicates the capital ship is firing from orbit. That means the Jedi can't even see the ship that's bombarding. How's he going to direct the shot back up at the ship? So on the extremely rare chance that the shot gets deflected, I would certainly never think that the Jedi could hit the ship that fired it. Difficulty for something like that would be ...oh....75 or so!

 

The bad news, depending on how you run your games, is that you've set a precedent with that ruling. Now the Jedi will think he can do it with any orbital bombardment. Orbital bombardments should be something that the PCs should be getting out of the way of...running away from...vacating the planet from. They shouldn't think they can stand down there and just let the Jedi deflect the shots back up at the bombarding ship. Now it's much less of a threat.

 

Those blasts coming down can destroy buildings! A Star Destroyer can "turn a planet into slag" from orbital bombardment. One turbolaser shot should churn up the ground, create a massive (compared to a person) explosion and throw rocks and debris all over. If the blast and heat from the turbolaser doesn't kill a person, the detritus should tear them up, knock them down and generally make being in a bombarded area very uncomfortable.

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I use the Trample rules (I believe from Adventure or Fantasy critters), so, the Star Destroyer attacks the area they are in (and gets its scale dice added to damage), but the PCs dont get to add scale dice to dodge

 

I dont pick a static number, I just let the Star Destroyer roll attack against them

 

As for the Jedi, I would probably add the scale dice to the attack roll as well, to represent it might be trickier to parry turbolaser blasts. But Jedi parrying capital scale attacks is seriously cool, so, Id make it trickier, not impossible

 

I would allow the Jedi to deflect the shot back, but would probably call it long range or something

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The bad news, depending on how you run your games, is that you've set a precedent with that ruling. Now the Jedi will think he can do it with any orbital bombardment. Orbital bombardments should be something that the PCs should be getting out of the way of...running away from...vacating the planet from. They shouldn't think they can stand down there and just let the Jedi deflect the shots back up at the bombarding ship. Now it's much less of a threat.

Yeah, I wouldn't have allowed it either. That puts way too much power in the hands of the character, IMO, and decreases the shock value of a capital ship.

 

I'm having nightmarish visions of a Jedi in a space suit standing on the back of a stock light freighter doing a full defense w/lightsaber combat "up" to parry everything the pursuing Star Destroyer throws at it.

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I, also, wouldn't have allowed anything like that from the Jedi. He isn't deflecting a small beam, but an area attack (of about 2km diameter) which has plenty of energy going past any lightsaber to hit the Jedi and points behind...

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thanks for the responses, I appreciate the different input.

 

And from what people are saying the...

 

&>=_- \sw\ (Anti-Captial Jedi) *Capital Dust* \sw\

 

...was too much. Does anyone have any thoughts beyond those mentioned for dealing with this "force unleashed" type thing?

 

Thanks for Reading

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As far as "How to handle it" you might take a page from Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination" (although dealing with psi teleport and not Force energy absorption) and rule that the event you described was a desperate grab for the power to absorb/dissipate that level of energy, and what was not dissipated was deflected by the lightsaber. In the future, though, the players overconfidence will be his undoing, as he likely believes that the entire deflection was done with a lightsaber, and will not unconsciously call upon the Force to dissipate the power of the blast.

 

That'd be how I'd back off the ruling as a GM... Cruel, but you can't have Jedi parrying capital ship batteries back at their source...

 

If it's a Prequel Era campaign, I'd have the Jedi Council take an interest in this Jedi, before testing him and determining that it indicates that he will someday be a powerful Jedi, but for the moment was a brief convergence of the Force upon the individual, unlikely to soon be repeated. Put the fear in the player that the next time it may mean the entire party is atomized by the bombardment, and he may be wary of attempting an encore when running makes more sense and is much much more survivable.

Edited by Lee Torres

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...was too much. Does anyone have any thoughts beyond those mentioned for dealing with this "force unleashed" type thing?

 

If it comes from any of the video games, I just flat don't allow it. The games aren't a good representation of the rest of the genre as they are trying to draw on a different crowd.

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It isnt Star Wars, but, I just finished watching Samurai 7, and in it the 'capital ship shot deflected back into the ship by a guy with a katana' took place

 

Notably however the guy knew it was coming and psyched up ahead of time

 

So, that reaffirms my opinion that I think it is cool and Id allow it

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I'm not saying never allow a situation like this, I'm just saying how it was handled shouldn't have allowed it. I could see if the Jedi used Absorb/Dissipate, Lightsaber Combat, Enhance Senses and probably a couple other Force powers he might be able to do something cool like that. But not with just a simple Lightsaber Combat and "I rolled high enough to deflect it back".

 

Such a thing might be cool in an Anime show, and might even be cool in Star Wars, but it definitely shouldn't be as common as deflecting a blaster bolt back at a trooper. It should be more of a "Wow!! How did you do that?!! That's impossible!" Followed by a snappy comeback from the Jedi like "Not impossible. It's the Force." Because the Jedi should have had to use a whole lot of the Force to get such a thing done.

 

But if you have the player of the Jedi decide he's gonna start doing that stuff all the time, you can give him forewarning that the instance of him deflecting the turbolaser shot and hitting the ship in orbit with the shot was, as you said, a "Force unleashed" thing. So if he was to try it again, it would be a lot harder as those instances of "Force unleashed" are just so random as to never be predictable.

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A Jedi really should be looking for the same bunker/rock/hole in the ground that the rest of the characters are, unless he or she has something like 12D in Absorb/Dissipate Energy.

 

But....as Star Wars is the setting for bravado above all, I would say Force Powers, Force Points (or Dark Side Points) and an appropriate amount of Character Points really should be required to do something like that.

 

Of course after that I'd probably be just so darn impressed I'd have the deflected shot disable a system on the Star Destroyer. But really, we're looking at some seriously powerful characters here anyway.

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In my games, I've always treated most vehicle-mounted weapons as almost 'area effect' things, with bolts that are wider than—and too powerful for—lightsabers to possibly block. In the case of orbital bombardment, I'd treat it as a grenade/explosive, with full damage at the center, and rings of lessening damage radiating outward from that. PCs would use their dodge skills to try and avoid the main blast at least. But in the case of a full orbital bombardment, by multiple turbolasers? Well, if the PCs didn't find cover or get out of the area very quickly...they'd be toast.

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That seems to somewhat defeat the purpose in the scaling system; after all, if it works there, why not with big enough guns used at starfighters and the like?

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In reagards to the Magnify Senses for Orbital Reflection, My player is thinking along the lines of "the Jedi don't need to see the target to reflect" due to the fact that in the early trillogy (I-III) I belive it was Qui-gon who reflected a Back-attack blaster shot whithout even looking.

 

I think that the Magnify Sense would make sense.

 

Any rebuttle?

 

@Rolo: I like the Grenade area idea (If you don't mind I think I'll take it)

Though with the way the Dodge rule is written if you beat the to hit then your outta danger (which never really made sense to me) Any thought on the rules. I would say realism, but I run on the Cenimatic Side enough that I don't think that card will work too well.

 

Thanks For Reading

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@Janus: Yeah, never really liked the updated grenade rules, so I defaulted to my homebrew rules without specifying that ;).

 

In any case, I am all about the cinematic stuff. And if you REALLY wanted to allow a PC to reflect orbital strikes (but didn't want him to do it every week) then I'd make sure he had to roll out his...posterior to succeed. And even if he does, I'd do something like the feedback of that shot shorted out his lightsaber. Or even blew it up in his hands.

 

The really sad thing is, even if you DID bounce a turbolaser back up at a Star Destroyer, odds are it would just bounce off it (and its shields). And you'd also have to contend with the dozens of other turbolaser strikes landing year you.

 

But then, I've given my players a lot of leeway on occasion. Once they used Telekinesis (and a force point) to ramp a landspeeder up and crash it into the head of an AT-AT. And another time, they escaped from an imperial superweapon space station by shooting themselves out the barrel of a 'Galaxy Gun' style weapon. But that's.. beside the point. Sorry.

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What do you mean "dealing with"? How to handle it? How to back-pedal on it?

 

Other than tell the players that you, the GM, got caught up in the moment and made a ruling that you shouldn't have and you won't do it again? ;)

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idle thought here, but i suppose it could be possible for a force-user to actually absorb an orbital blast. there have been at least a few occurrences of jedi absorbing or dissipating energy, although nothing on that scale...

 

still, could be possible.

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idle thought here, but i suppose it could be possible for a force-user to actually absorb an orbital blast. there have been at least a few occurrences of jedi absorbing or dissipating energy, although nothing on that scale...

 

still, could be possible.

 

Sure, at least where the blast energy passes through or near his body. Else the rest of it (out to the 2km radius) just strikes what it was going to hit anyways.

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Force Unleased is utterly rediculous. Besides, if you're gonna go all "Forced Unleased" you could just telekentically crash the capital ship so the deflection question becomes moot. :cool:

 

OK, smart-alecly answers aside... Sometimes you just have to put game mechanics aside and make a judgement based on whatever level of realism is in your game. I currently choose to mostly base my game on my strict interpretation of the films' reality. I don't think that Darth Sidious, Darth Vader (before he became all mamed, melty and machinery), Yoda, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker combined would be able to deflect an orbial bombardment in the first place. To me, the mere thought is just plain silly.

 

Would they likely be able to find a way to survive an orbital bombardment? Yes, I'd give them that. The PCs? Maybe.

 

But if you want PCs to have the power to deflect orbial bombardments, it's your game. To each his own. I hope you all had fun with it.

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