Ad Astra: Starships using PDQ rules

When you have a look at the PDQ core rules you’ll notice that there is no section about how vehicles, space ships, etc. could be added to the system. In my opinion the easiest way is to handle vehicles just like characters. They get a name, a description, a few qualities and perhaps even a weakness.

ExcerptTake a space ship for example. In one of my early posts about the Ad Astra setting I posted the D6 Space stats for the Theseus Starfighter. Let’s now have a look at how we could rebuild this starfighter using PDQ rules:

Let’s first start with the vehicle type. Every vehicle should have at least one quality that designates the basic type of the ship. This quality should start at Average [0]. The GM can of course choose to improve this quality if the vehicle is exceptional for its class. So we write down Average Starfighter [+0]. I imagine the Theseus fighter as an old workhorse model that has been in use for quite some time now. So I assign Good Workhorse [+2]. The fighter should neither be very fast or have superior armor, but I think Average Armor [+0] is in order. We shouldn’t forget that we need some qualities written down, so that the fighter can take a beating. Finally I add the weapons as Average Medium Lasers [+0] and Good “Artemis” Missile Launcher [+2]. Finally lets add a weakness to make the design a bit more interesting. Since it’s an outdated model it’s not up to par with some of the more fancy designs. So, we add Poor Outdated Model [-2] as last quality. Ok, let’s review our design:

Theseus Starfighter
Average Starfighter [+0]
Good Workhorse [+2]
Average Armor [+0]
Average Medium Lasers [+0]
Good “Artemis” Missile Launcher [+2]
Poor Outdated Model [-2]

In order to totally disable the ship you’ll need 16 hits, which is pretty decent for a starfighter. The pilot can also decide to reduce the Armor or Workhorse qualities by one level in order to “take it on the chin” and ignore all damage from a single attack.

So, how does starship combat work? It works just like normal combat. But pilots may use both their own and their ship’s qualities. For example a pilot with the Good Starfighter Pilot [+2] quality wants to fire a volley of missiles at an enemy craft. He can add not only the bonus from his piloting quality but also the bonus from the weapon he used. In this particular case he rolls 2d6+4. In most cases player and GM should be able to decide which qualities and weaknesses are relevant for any given action.