Sunday, September 8, 2019

Faith Corps Adaptation to Star Wars and How I Will Adapt It Back


Back in 2016, Mike Olson (yes THAT Mike Olson) wrote up an adaptation of our system in Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Terrors, the system we have been calling Faith Corps, for the world of Star Wars Rebels.
I'm excited beyond giddy that he enjoyed the system enough to do something on his own with it. Not to mention he runs his own Faith Corps ones-hots at cons! If you're interested in running Star Wars with Faith Corps, this is a fantastic method to adapt the system.
In my first Demon Hunters adventure that I'm writing for this Patreon, I'm going to be borrowing Mike's dogfighting rules for ship-to-sea monster combat. These could of course be used for actual dogfighting in other settings, and you can look forward to some encounters like that in future adventures and in the other settings I'm developing.
As I have said in the description of my Patreon, I am not a game designer. I leave that up to... the game designers. But I will sure as heck use anything awesome that they come up with (that I have permission to use)! :)
Below I'm going to quote and paraphrase Mike's system and provide adaptation language when I feel like the setting needs it.
See this PDF for Ship Stats by Olson. Mike writes:
If you take a look at the linked character sheets for the Ghost and Phantom, above, you'll see they're mostly built like PCs, but not quite. 
For one, they don't have approaches or disciplines -- instead, they have three plain ol' stats. These are Maneuver (how maneuverable the ship is), Speed (how fast its sublight engines are), and Systems (everything from the navicomp to the comms to the targeting computer).   
For our purposes I will be replacing Systems with Enhancements. Unless you really want to trick out the Demon Hunters boat to actually have Systems, I am just making the assumption there's some enhancements to a normal speedboat. Maybe a portal pocket. Extended sensors. Weapons locker. Maybe even a torpedo or two. Nah, I'll get to weapons later.
When a character does something on a ship, if one of these stats  applies, add its die (or dice) to the character's chosen approach and  discipline. For example, if you're the pilot and defending against a TIE  fighter, you'll roll an approach (probably Quick) plus Action plus  Maneuver. If you're trying to chase that TIE fighter through an asteroid  field before they can clear it and report your presence, you'll roll an  approach (maybe Quick, but Careful wouldn't be bad either in a Star  Wars-brand Asteroid Field™ where  all the asteroids are way bigger than your ship but still float around  mere yards apart from one another) plus Action plus Speed. If that  doesn't work and you're trying to jam the TIE's comms, you'll roll an  approach (Clever, perhaps?) plus Tech plus Systems. You get the idea. 
Olson is referencing a different Discipline he's created for Star Wars-themed characters. In this case "Action" or "Tech". This is a huge note in how to adapt the system to other settings. I recommend keeping the Approaches as they are, but create your own Disciplines that fit your setting. We talk about this already in the corebook of A Comedy of Terrors when creating antagonists for the players to interact with. 
These two ships have die ratings in all three stats, but that's not  always the case. The Gozanti-class cruiser, for example, doesn't have a  Maneuver die or a Speed die. They're fairly big and bulky, and, more  importantly, they're likely the biggest ship that could appear in this  game, so I don't need to account for, say, the maneuverability and speed  of Star Destroyers.
The dogfighting bit is pretty simple. If your Maneuver die is lower than your target's Maneuver die, you need to use a free invocation on an aspect to be able to attack them. The "free" bit is important. Maybe you spend a round getting In Position, or maybe an allied pilot is your Wingman, or maybe the co-pilot uses the ship's targeting computer to get Locked On. (The Ghost and the Phantom can break this rule: Each has a dorsal turret that, if manned, lets the gunner attack any target regardless of its Maneuver die.)
(Compared to the dogfighting rules I used for Crimson Skies,  these are barely there, but Star Wars dogfighting really doesn't care  about, like, actual dogfighting maneuvers. It's all "Damn it, Wedge,  where are you?" and "I can't shake him!" and "Thanks Wedge!" Wedge is  heavily involved.)   [Emphasis changed to underline since I'm using italics to quote]. 
I really like the types of aspects he names here. This is what you can do with the Create an Advantage action.
I'd previously used defined game terms for ship-mounted weapons -- Accuracy, which adds to the attack roll, and Power,  which adds extra damage on a hit -- but here I've dropped those terms  in favor of framing that stuff as stunts. It's just one fewer thing to  explain at the table. This way, the stunt spells out what to do. So I'd  explain what Accuracy and Power are, but hey, look at the ships'  weapons-oriented stunts instead.
As for defense, ships typically have shields, which here are basically free invocations on an aspect called Shields,  but that seemed a little fiddly, plus treating it as an aspect implies  that anyone can put more free invocations on it at any time. Instead,  each ship has a number of check boxes, something like a stress track.  Check a box and add d6 to your defense roll. When you're out of boxes to  check, you're out of shields. Someone on board can use Tech to try to  get more shields happening, and thus clear boxes, but they can't ever add more boxes. 
Sorry Demon Hunters, this boat has no shields. However for future use you could consider using check boxes if your vehicle is Armored in any way. 
Ships also have conditions, pre-defined just like PCs. Actually, this is  where the pre-defined conditions-thing started -- with ships. However,  anyone on board a ship can voluntarily take a condition to reduce a hit  to that ship. This can result in cool things like Hera failing a defense  roll while piloting the Ghost and ending up Irritated or Under Pressure. Because hey, just like in the show! 
Olson in a previous post brought up the idea of creating predefined conditions that are unique and specific to that character. Most characters get 3 Mild conditions to mark off, but they create 5 predefined conditions to choose from. I really like this idea. He uses this for Moderate and Severe conditions on a different post and explains how he connects these to Stunts. You should check it out. I'm totally stealing it.
For NPCs, I build pilots and ships separately, even though those pilots  are likely only ever going to act while piloting a ship. This way, I can  keep the same three-dice thing the PCs use instead of trying to figure  out some other way to achieve dogfighting parity. Big ships have gun  emplacements operated by gunners, which gives them multiple attacks a  turn and makes them as scary as they ought to be. For the She-Devils  game, I attempted to scale things up by letting big ships step down the  Power dice of starfighter-scale weapons -- sometimes two steps -- or  even just say they're immune to weapons with a Power die of X or less.  So they're easy to hit, with their lack of a Maneuver die, but harder to  harm. Unless you have an advanced proton torpedo with 2d8 Power or  something. I didn't really get to play out a lot of that, so I can't  tell you how well it works. 
Great advice! Big thanks to Mike Olson for some awesome mechanics additions to use in the Faith Corps System! You can follow him on Twitter @devlin1 
If you'd like to be involved with playtesting, development, or even just getting stuff before anyone else does, please consider joining my Patreon
We ride!


Faith Corps Adaptation to Star Wars and How I Will Adapt It Back

Back in 2016, Mike Olson (yes THAT Mike Olson) wrote up an adaptation of our system in Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Terrors , the system...