Spacecraft Combat Damage

Here are the details for how space vessels break down in combat. Damage Report!

Spacecraft Damage

When an attack is successful, the ship suffers damage. There are many roads to a successful attack. The player can win an attack roll by beating the target’s Defence Rating. The player can win a percentage roll by beating the target roll.

Spacecraft do not have hit points. Whenever a ship is damaged, the successful attacker rolls both a hit location and extent of damage. However, the HPS damage rolled for an attack is important.

Breaking Down Space Ship Breaking
  1. A successful attack

  2. Damage Location

  3. Damage Severity

  4. Damage Effect

Damage to the interior of the ship does not necessarily indicate hull damage. Power surges, from one point to another, can also account for random damage locations. Keep in mind the Life Support Protective Onion when inflicting damage on spacecraft.

Life Support Onion
  1. Shields <10% (if present)

  2. Armour AR < 420

  3. Hull <10%

  4. Gravity <1%

  5. Life Support Vulnerable

Damage Location

Damage location indicates which of the spacecraft’s systems is targeted by an attack. Damage location in spacecraft combat is entirely random. The damage location is random because of spacecraft diversity, the chaos of combat maneuvers, and mystery juice. Space vehicle damage is similar to damage location for robots and vehicles. Every successful attack generates a random damage location.

The damage location is not the same as a hit location. Power surges, electric disruptions, shields, and ship structure send damage anywhere in the vehicle. Even a spacecraft that is immobilized cannot have damage locations chosen. Automatic hitting does not affect damage location.

Spacecraft Damage Location Table
Damage report!

Die Roll (1d100)

Primary

Secondary

01-11

Hull

12-15

Drives

Inatmo

16-19

Exatmo

20-23

Special

24-28

Fuel

Inatmo

29-33

Exatmo

34-38

Special

39-43

Amount

44-48

Consumption

49

Computer

Level

50-51

Robot Control

52-53

Software

54-60

Cargo

61-62

Crew

63

Defences

Gravity

64-67

Hull DEF

68-71

ECM

72-75

Shields

76-79

Guns

80-81

Actives

82-83

Attacks

ECM

84-86

Ramming

87-89

Artillery

90-92

Boarding

93-95

Grenades

96-98

Bombs

99

Naval Artillery

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Primary

Secondary

Location Not Found

A spacecraft may not have the damage location rolled. The damage location may have never existed on the spacecraft. For example, a spacecraft may not have a special drive damage location.

There are several approaches to missing damage locations. The player can simply roll again to find a different damage location. The referee can move the damage location within the general damage location. For example, a hit on the special drives becomes a hit on the exatmo drives.

In the case of a previously destroyed location, the attack falls on useless space junk. A system is destroyed when its function is <1%.

Damage Extent

The Extent of Damage Table determines how badly the system is damaged. Space vehicle weapons inflict damage in HPS, but spacecraft do not have hit points. Damage inflicts a decrease in function to the location. The extent of damage roll reduces the performance of onboard equipment. If an exatmo drive is reduced by 50% functionality, the spacecraft loses half its speed and range. If the exatmo drive is damaged by 50% again, the new functionality would be 25% fully operational. For example, an exatmo drive level of 8 would be reduced to 4 by 50% damage and then to 2 by another 50% damage.

Extent of Damage Table
How severe a blow did the system receive?

Die Roll (1d100)

Descriptor

Drop

Multiplier

01-10

Trivial

0%

1

11-60

Minor

10%

0.9

61-90

Major

40%

0.6

91-99

Critical

70%

0.3

00

Cataclysmic

99%

0.01

Die Roll

Descriptor

Drop

Multiplier

Force bonus rules make cataclysmic system damage rolls more common.

Force Bonus

Force Bonus is an optional rule that increases the severity of damage by hit points of damage. Each hit point of damage increases the extent of damage by one percent. An attack inflicting 30 HPS of damage adds 30 to the extent of damage roll. If a player rolls 55 on the extent of damage table and inflicts 30 hit points of damage, the final roll is 85. The 30 hit points increased the extent of damage from minor to major. When using this damage adjuster, space weapons become way more destructive. The players may prefer to adjust the Force Bonus to one percent per 5 hit points of damage. Your space milage may vary.

Rules maintain game balance and assist creativity.
Do not let rules get in the way of the story or the fun.

Cumulative Destruction

The damaging effects of successful attacks are cumulative. A spacecraft system can become disabled over several attacks. A system taking two major damage (40% performance drop) is now functioning at 36%. This means a level 6 exatmo drive becomes a level 2 exatmo drive. This means all functions that involve the exatmo drive are severely impaired. In combat this can mean the difference between being boarded or not.

Consider another hit to the exatmo drives dealing a Critical blow (70% performance drop) They are now functioning at 11% and the exatmo drive level is reduced to 1

A system is disabled when it is reduced to less than 10% function.

Damage Descriptors

Each time a system is damaged, its performance decreases. The damage descriptors offer another way to describe net damage. A system with minor damage is functioning at 90% capacity. A system with less than 10% of capacity if disable.

Descriptor of Component Damage
How badly is the part broke?

Percent Function

Function Descriptor

100

Fully Operational

91-99

Minor Damage

31-90

Major Damage

11-30

Critical Damage

1-10

Disabled

<1

Destroyed

Percent Function

Function Descriptor

Hull DEF is destroyed when AR < 420.

Instantaneous Destruction

Instantaneous destruction occurs when an attack destroys a system in a single blow. Naval artillery, mine or missile may have hit the location. The attack must drop the system from 100% to <1% function in a single attack.

The effects of instantaneous destruction are cataclysmic. A destroyed hull would explosively decompress, a destroyed drive will melt down, fuel could explode, etc. There is no chance for repair, and a replacement system will be required.

Hull Damage

The hull is an integral component of the life support and gravity systems. The hull helps contain the atmosphere generated by the life support system. The hull also acts as the substrate for the gravity system. Hull, life support and gravity are intimately integrated.

Hull as Armour

The hull cannot take damage until the ship’s Armour (Hull DEF) has been disabled. The armour ratings of hulls are very high. The average Defence Rating of a spacecraft’s hull is 1100.

The Defence Rating of the hull decreases as it takes damage. If a mini-mine explodes against the hull and delivers 75 HPS of damage, the hull Defence Rating decreases by 75. The hull Defence Rating can absorb massive amounts of damage, protecting the systems below.

Reducing the Defence Rating to 420 disables the Defence Rating of the hull. Disabling the Defence Rating allows damage to pass directly to the hull or the contents below it. The Hull DEF cannot drop below 420.

Life Support Onion
  1. Shields <10% (if present)

  2. Armour AR < 420

  3. Hull <10%

  4. Gravity <1%

  5. Life Support Vulnerable

Hull Compromise

Hull only becomes a damage location once the Hull Defence Rating is exhausted. The hull begins to fail like any other system on the spacecraft. The hull is disabled once the level of function drops below 10%. The hull is destroyed once the level of function drops below 1%.

When the hull has been disabled or destroyed, further hull damage applies to another ship system. If a player rolls a disabled hull as her damage location, she must roll again to determine which system is affected. For example, she could hit the exatmo drives through the compromised hull.

A disabled hull (<10%) represents a manageable escape of its inatmo contents. A destroyed hull (<1%) represents an unmanageable escape of its inatmo contents. Both of these hull compromises allow for usual evacuation procedures for the area. Instantaneous destruction (<1% in one attack) represents explosive decompression. Explosive decompression is lethal to personas and equipment in the damaged location.

The ship can partition off a damaged location using its automated bulkheads. Naval architecture does not recommend open-concept spacecraft. The personas can repair a disabled hull during combat. Life support and gravity systems will replenish repaired hull locations. Repairing a hull section does not restore its Defence Rating. The personas cannot repair a destroyed hull during combat.

Drives Damage

Drives are the whole point of the spacecraft. The higher the drive level, the better the spacecraft. The extent of damage inflicted reduces drive levels. If a level 10 exatmo takes major damage (40% reduction), it becomes a level 6 drive. Drive damage is cumulative.

Inatmo Drive Damage

Reduce the drive level of the in atmosphere drive by the percentage indicated. This system is disabled when its level of function is less than 10%. A ship with a disabled inatmo drive cannot maneuver in the atmosphere of a planet. The pilot may beach the ship planetside or remain in orbit until repaired.

Exatmo Drive Damage

A damaged exatmo drive will have its drive level reduced by the percentage indicated. Exatmo drives are disabled when their function is <10%. The exatmo drives are the ship’s combat drives. Without exatmo drives, it cannot maintain combat spin. When disabled, the ship drops out of combat and starts floating towards the nearest star. Disabling the exatmo drives is a victory condition.

Exatmo drives power defence shields, active defences, and boarding evasion. Damage to the exatmo drives also impairs these ancillary functions. Exatmo drives are not affected by exposure exatmo. However, personas running the drives can be.

Special Drive Damage

Reduce the drive level of the special drive by the percentage indicated. A disabled special drive keeps the spacecraft from making any long voyages. Special drives are so delicate they resemble a life form. Exatmo is very unhealthy for a special drive.

Fuel Damage

Damage to the fuel system represents the drive’s inability to access the necessary fuel to function. Disabling fuel systems can disable a particular drive or all drives. Sometimes the fuel itself is destroyed or lost in space. Other times the fuel is still present but cannot be accessed. During combat, there is no difference.

When a specific fuel system is disabled or destroyed, then that specific drive is disabled. A fuel system will continue to deliver adequate fuel for the drive to function until it is disabled. The drive is not damaged, but it cannot work without fuel. In the case of exatmo drives, this is a victory condition.

Fuel Storage

The spacecraft’s total fuel storage is damaged. Fuel storage damage indicates a loss of actual fuel The global fuel loss is non-denominational as all drives access the same fuel type. If the Fuel Amount is damaged, reduced by 40%, all drives have less fuel to burn. Inatmo, exatmo and special drives become choked for fuel. Decreasing fuel amount indicates fuel is lost to space or destroyed. Personas cannot repair fuel amounts lost.

A ship with ten months of fuel takes major damage (40%), reducing the fuel amount to six months. The special drive can now only make six jumps. Most importantly, the amount of fuel available for combat maneuvers decreases. Combat maneuvers burn fuel at the rate of one week per turn of spacecraft combat. So the spacecraft can now only fuel 24 turns of space combat before dropping out. Running out of fuel for combat is a victory condition.

Fuel Consumption

Consumption damage impairs the system that divides fuel between the drives. The fuel is intact, the drives are intact, and the fuel system is intact. All fuel systems drop by the extent of damage, but no fuel is lost. Unless destroyed in combat, the consumption system is repairable.

Computer Damage

The computer is the spacecraft, and the spacecraft is the computer. The ship’s computer is the most important and most delicate system on the spacecraft. Computer damage impairs nearly every function of the spacecraft. If a level 6 computer suffers 40% damage, it becomes a level 2 computer. ECM, boarding, defences, ramming, targeting are all impaired by this decrease in function.

A disabled ship’s computer puts everything into a non-functional hibernation state. Personas may try to operate a ship with a disabled computer manually. Usually, a destroyed ship’s computer leads to an immobilized hulk drifting towards the nearest star.

The ship’s computer is not part of the life support onion. Gravity and life support remain operational in the face of a disabled or destroyed ship’s computer.

Robot Control

The ship’s robots cease to function or follow the computer’s commands. The computer loses control of robots by the percentage indicated. The ship’s control over the robot is damaged. The robot is not damaged at all. Robots will perform gunnery skills, or veterinary care, at a reduced skill level. Mechanics can try and get the robots functioning through priority commands or robot overrides.

If robot control is disabled or destroyed, the robots stop functioning altogether. It would be more fun the robots acquired free will with their newfound freedom. Robot self-awareness could range from irritating behaviours to a well-deserved robot mutiny.

Software

While the computer level remains intact, its software loses function. Ship software has both hardware and software components representing a tight integration with the ship.

The decrease in function is not only programming data but essential peripherals and sensors as well. Software damage does not affect the computer level or ECM. Only the extra software packages are damaged. For example, crew replacement software damage may remove the ship’s galley and cook. The software packages can be reduced in effectiveness or simply disabled. Players should be able to choose which software packages are lost. They may wish to preserve astrogation or gunnery over the entertainment system.

Cargo Damage

The cargo hold and any elements related to cargo are damaged. Cargo elements include storage capacity, contents, airlocks, cargo locks and more. Contents include any cargo or personas in the cargo bay.

Major (decrease by 40%) damage from an attack delivering 42 HPS in damage hits the cargo bay. The cargo airlock can only open to 60% of the previous opening. All personas in the cargo area would take 42 HPS in damage. The damage would reduce the value of the Profulcinating Hygromodulators ™ to 60% of previous.

Crew Damage

Crew quarters damage is the most dangerous of all the damage locations. Crew damage includes the crew’s quarters and all crew presently within it. Crew damage is the expedition killer of spacecraft combat.

Apart from the hapless crew in their quarters, the decrease in function reduces berths, food production, hygiene facilities, and entertainment. For example, the number of televid channels may decrease from 100 to a mere 60.

Defences Damage

Damage to defences reduces the effectiveness of the defensive system by the percentage indicated. The defences decrease in effectiveness the same as any other damaged system.

Life Support Onion

Before damaging life support, the outer layers of the onion must be disabled or destroyed. The outermost layer of the onion is the ship’s shields. If the ship does not have shields, the outermost layer of the onion is the hull Defence Rating. The hull Defence Rating must fail before the hull can be damaged. The hull must fail before gravity control can be damaged. Gravity control must fail before life support can be damaged.

Life Support Onion
  1. Shields <10% (if present)

  2. Armour AR < 420

  3. Hull <10%

  4. Gravity <1%

  5. Life Support Vulnerable

Life Support

Life support keeps the personas comfy and alive within the spaceship. Life support does not appear on the damage location table. Life support is the most critical defence on a spacecraft. Attacks cannot damage life support without first peeling back the life support onion. A spacecraft must lose its shields, hull armour, hull and gravity before attacks can damage life support. Attacks must destroy gravity control before life support is vulnerable. Life support suffers damage the same as any other system once the onion is disabled.

Gravity Control

Gravity control maintains life-saving, plot convenient gravity throughout the spacecraft. Gravity cannot be damaged before the ship’s hull is disabled. Until the hull is disabled, the damage location of gravity control moves to the highest level of the life support onion.

The effectiveness of gravity control drops by the percentage indicated by the extent of damage roll. Ineffective gravity control can lead to inconvenient ZOG, space sickness, and difficulty performing tasks. If gravity control drops to less than 30%, the ship cannot safely make combat maneuvers. Losing gravity is a victory condition.

Hull Defence Rating

The hull Defence Rating represents the hardening of the space ship’s hull to prevent combat damage. Hull Defence Rating is part of the life support onion, and unless the spacecraft has shields, hull armour is the outermost layer. Until the shields are disabled, the damage location of hull armour moves to the ship’s shields.

Hull DEF, Armour, and Defence Rating are interchangeable and separate from Hull.

Defence Rating is an amalgam of many factors. Structurally it includes hull strength, combat hardening, and combat alterations. Tactically is includes the ship’s computer, ECM and drives.

Calculating Armour Damage

Sadly there are two ways to calculate the extent of damage to the Defence Rating. The first simply uses the standard extent of damage drop in effectiveness. An 800 Defence Rating that takes major damage (40% damage) drops to 480. The lowest a spacecraft’s Defence Rating can get is 420. Once the Defence Rating is 420, the hull is vulnerable to attack.

The second is more complicated but allows Defence Rating to last a bit longer. The drop in efficiency only affects the portion of the Defence Rating that is above 400. An 800 Defence Rating would only drop the efficiency of the top 400 points of Defence Rating. So a vessel with an Defence Rating of 800 taking major damage would have a new AR of 640. Once the Defence Rating is 420, the hull is vulnerable to attack.

Defencive ECM

Defensive ECM becomes reduced by the percentage indicated by the extent of damage. ECM is a bit more resilient than other spacecraft systems. Damaged defensive ECM can still function fully as attack ECM. If the space vessel has two ECM systems, the attack ECM can replace the damaged defensive ECM, and the defence ECM can replace the damaged attack ECM.

Shields

Shields are the technomagical standard that indicates the health of a spacecraft. The shields' effectiveness drops by the percentage indicated on the extent of damage roll. Shields are immune to damage bonuses on the Extent of Damage Table. If a shield could absorb 400 HPS damage and has sustained major damage (60%), it would only be able to absorb 240 HPS per attack until repaired. The shield is disabled at <10% of capacity, and attacks on the shield move to the Hull DEF.

Guns

Gun damage represents damage to the airlock defence guns. The gun’s range and damage drop by the extent of damage indicated. So an airlock gun that sustained major damage (40% damage) would have its range reduced by 60%, and each damage roll reduced by 60%. A gun with a range of 100 hexes would now have a range of 60 hexes. Every damage roll would be multiplied by 0.6. A disabled gun stops working.

Actives

Active defences can look after themselves. The active defence will get one chance to stop an attack from damaging the active defence system. This active self-defence is an automatic counterattack regardless of recent activity. Depleted active defences cannot defend themselves. The active defence has its effectiveness reduced by the percentage indicated by the extent of damage.

Attack Damage

This indicates some part of the vessel’s attack system has received damage

Attack ECM

Attack ECM effectiveness drops by the percentage indicated by the extent of damage. Attack ECM and Defence ECM are calculated separately. So a destroyed Attack ECM may still have decent Defencive ECM capacity.

Ramming System

Ramming success drops by the percentage indicated by the extent of damage. The physical plant, sensors, and machinery of ramming become damaged.

Calculating this reduction in ramming effectiveness is a pain in the butt. The player must make a successful pilot roll for a successful ramming attack. Does one reduce the player’s die roll by the extent of damage? Does one increase the value that the player needs to beat? Since ramming is such a blunt instrument, this referee prefers to ignore the graduated drop. Ramming is either working or disabled.

If the Ramming system is disabled, this spacecraft may no longer ram. A spacecraft with disabled ramming capacity may still use the Boarding attack.

Artillery

The artillery drops its range, and HPS damage by the extent of damage indicated. Major damage drops the artillery to 60% of its previous effectiveness. The artillery’s range decreases from 500 to 300 hexes. The artillery’s area of effect decreases from 20 to 12 hexes. Every damage roll would be multiplied by 0.6. Disabled artillery stops working.

Instantaneously destroyed (reduced to <1% in one attack), artillery may explode inside the spacecraft. Whether the artillery battery explodes in the ship or not should be decided by plot and a sphincter roll. An artillery explosion inside the ship delivers one location damage roll to the ship.

Boarding System

Boarding success drops by the percentage indicated by the extent of damage. The physical plant, sensors, and machinery of ramming become damaged.

Calculating the reduction in boarding effectiveness is a pain in the butt. The player must make a successful pilot roll for a successful boarding attack. Does one reduce the player’s die roll by the extent of damage? Does one increase the target roll that the player needs to beat? Often it is easier just to accept boarding is either operational or disabled.

If the Boarding system is disabled, this spacecraft may no longer board. A spacecraft with a disabled boarding capacity may still use the Ramming attack.

Grenades

The number of grenade attacks drops by the amount indicated by the extent of damage. This reduction in function impacts both mini-missiles and mini-mines. The damage impairs the guidance systems and connectivity to the ship’s computer.

The extent of damage decreases the number of mini-missiles and mini-mines deployable per turn. For example, a grenade system reduced to 60% could only drop six mini-mines instead of 10.

Instantaneously destroyed (reduced to <1% in one attack), grenades may explode inside the spacecraft. Whether the grenade system explodes in the ship or not should be decided by plot and a sphincter roll. A grenade detonation inside the ship delivers one location damage roll to the ship.

Bombs

The number of bomb attacks drops by the amount indicated by the extent of damage. This reduction in function impacts both naval missiles and naval mines. The damage impairs the guidance systems and connectivity to the ship’s computer.

The extent of damage decreases the number of missiles and mines deployable per turn. For example, a bomb system reduced to 60% could only drop six mines instead of 10.

Instantaneously destroyed (reduced to <1% in one attack), bomb systems may explode inside the spacecraft. Whether the bomb system explodes in the ship or not should be decided by plot and a sphincter roll. A bomb detonation inside the ship delivers two location damage rolls to the vessel.

The bomb delivery system is hardened for combat and is difficult to destroy. There are no damage bonuses awarded on the Extent of Damage Table for the bomb delivery system.

Naval Artillery

The naval artillery drops its range, and HPS damage by the extent of damage indicated. Major damage drops naval artillery to 60% of its previous effectiveness. The artillery’s range decreases from 15000 to 9000 hexes. The artillery’s area of effect decreases from 200 to 120 hexes. Every damage roll would be multiplied by 0.6. Disabled artillery stops working.

Instantaneously destroyed naval artillery may explode inside the spacecraft. Accidental detonation depends on the plot and Sphincter Roll. Detonated naval artillery will inflict three damage rolls on itself.

The naval artillery system is hardened for combat and is difficult to destroy. There are no damage bonuses awarded on the Extent of Damage Table for naval artillery.

Personas and Damage

Exatmo spacecraft combat is lethal. Personas are fleas perched on battling elephants, squashable at any moment. Players must be aware that spacecraft combat can kill personas in an instant. Personas caught in damaged locations will undoubtedly feel the ship’s pain as well. Minor damage to a spacecraft may be lethal to the anthros, aliens and robots housed in the damaged location. Nothing personas showering in the crew quarters are at risk of damage. Mechanics working on the drives are at risk of damage.

Hull penetration is not the cause of persona damage. Destructive forces are communicated into the damage location by shock waves, debris, and energy leaks. Most persona damage is delivered when they throw themselves around as the camera shakes.

Damage from a bomb or naval artillery will certainly annihilate any persona caught in the hit location. A direct hit from naval artillery to the crew’s quarters would end up in every persona dead. As the hull armour deteriorates, the risk to crew members increases.

Persona Damage Mitigation by Hull Armour

HPS Damage = Attack HPS - (Hull DEF / 10)

110 HPS of damage against a Hull DEF of 800 would deliver 30 HPS of damage to personas.

Damage Reports

The ship’s computer generates damage reports about the spacecraft’s system. For an accurate damage report, the ship must have intact defensive ECM or a specialized program. ECM attacks can deceive a ship’s computer to give false damage reports. Without automated damage reports, personas need to run around the ship, figuring ship damage themselves. They may notice that the exatmo drives suck or that the computer is now dumber.

To gather any damage report info from an opponent requires a successful attack ECM probe. Some referees will keep all spacecraft damage behind the screen and only letting players know a bit. Other groups will have the players keeping track of their own vessel’s demise.

Damage and Story

Space vessel damage is an opportunity to infuse drama and excitement into the campaign. It is generally considered bad form to annihilate an expedition using the ref’s own table. Subjecting the personas to comedic or dramatic challenges that lead to their demise is fair game.

A spaceship with police written in reverse on bow.

Please have your driver’s license ready.

Table Co-Location

For your surfing convenience.

Spacecraft Damage Location Table
Damage report!

Die Roll (1d100)

Primary

Secondary

01-11

Hull

12-15

Drives

Inatmo

16-19

Exatmo

20-23

Special

24-28

Fuel

Inatmo

29-33

Exatmo

34-38

Special

39-43

Amount

44-48

Consumption

49

Computer

Level

50-51

Robot Control

52-53

Software

54-60

Cargo

61-62

Crew

63

Defences

Gravity

64-67

Hull DEF

68-71

ECM

72-75

Shields

76-79

Guns

80-81

Actives

82-83

Attacks

ECM

84-86

Ramming

87-89

Artillery

90-92

Boarding

93-95

Grenades

96-98

Bombs

99

Naval Artillery

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Primary

Secondary

Extent of Damage Table
How severe a blow did the system receive?

Die Roll (1d100)

Descriptor

Drop

Multiplier

01-10

Trivial

0%

1

11-60

Minor

10%

0.9

61-90

Major

40%

0.6

91-99

Critical

70%

0.3

00

Cataclysmic

99%

0.01

Die Roll

Descriptor

Drop

Multiplier

Force bonus rules make cataclysmic system damage rolls more common.

Descriptor of Component Damage
How badly is the part broke?

Percent Function

Function Descriptor

100

Fully Operational

91-99

Minor Damage

31-90

Major Damage

11-30

Critical Damage

1-10

Disabled

<1

Destroyed

Percent Function

Function Descriptor

Hull DEF is destroyed when AR < 420.