Map, Crackle and Pop

I wrote about the maps in Spaceship 47 in There’s a Map For That. I had a lot of useful feedback about it and I think  I have come up with a system that I like, but I doubt anyone else will.

It was important to set myself some parameters in working out the map system. These were:

  1. I didn’t want Line-of-Sight to involve people using rulers to trace lines from one space to another avoiding walls etc. Ideally, I want a player to look at the space their Hero is in and the space the target is in and KNOW that they can target them.
  2. Whatever system I come up with should be able to handle Heroes throwing grenades.
  3. Beam and Cone weapons should be able to be handled with the system
  4. The system should be able to handle Melee weapon attacks otherwise how else can I have my lightsaber duels?

I have managed to come up with a system that almost achieves everything in the four points listed above. However, I have had to drop Cone weapons. Here is the map I came up with:

Mission 1 Level 1

 

Explanation

Each map has a number of sections on it. These will vary in number, size and position depending on the exact map. Each section is given a single letter. Each section has a number of spaces (green circles) in it. The sections are joined together by lines.

Rules

Moving

On the Movement Phase, any player may move their Hero from its current section to another section as long as there is a single line joining the two sections and as long as one of the spaces in the destination section is empty.

There may be moves that a Hero can make that requires a Physique roll. In the above example to jump over the crates between sections F and O requires a Physique check. The difficulty (i.e. the number of red defence dice the player rolls) is included in brackets. To jump over the crates between F and O in the above example, a player rolls a number of black dice equal to their character’s Physique score and two red dice. If the highest number out of this pool of dice is black, the player has succeeded and can move from one Section to the other. If the highest number out of the pool of dice is on a red dice, then the player has failed and the Hero stays where they are. I did think of making them fall prone as well which would give an associated penalty, but at the movement that feels too harsh – I want to encourage action hero style moves including jumping over  things, jumping off things and swinging from one thing to another thing, 🙂

Attacking

For a ranged attack, a player may target any creature as long as any one of the following is true:

  • The creature is in the same Section as the Hero
  • The creature is in a Section joined to the Section that the Hero is in
  • The creature is in a Section listed in the additional targetable sections in the Hero’s section (next to the crosshair icon).

For a grenade attack, the Sections that a player may target follow the same rules as for a ranged attack. Any creature in a Section connected to the targeted Section suffers the effects of the grenade.

Beam weapons can hit all of the creatures in any single Section that is connected to the section the hero is in. There is also an additional box with the sinusoidal-beam icon under each section that shows the multiple sections that can be hit by a beam weapon. Some sections can hit different groups of multiple sections depending on the direction the Hero wants to face when they are using their Beam weapon. These different groups of sections are separated by a “/”. The player chooses which group they are targeting. The player makes an attack against each creature in each of the targeted sections and if they hit, the creature suffers the effects of the weapon.

A player can make a melee attack against any creature in the same section. Section R in the above example only has one space in it, which means any creature in Section R cannot be hit by a melee attack – this is to represent the fact that the space is too cramped to get more than one creature in.

Enemy Stats

In the bottom third of the pages, the enemies are listed. The information needed to run the enemies is included. The tactics section tells the players how the creature will act during the mission. This example is very simplistic as the creatures are all snipers whose goal is to pick off the Heroes, so they don’t move from their safe positions. This level is supposed to help teach the rules to the players so it doesn’t have overly complex creatures. They will come later – I may have to come up with a more complex AI system for more complex creatures. The final piece of information is the objective of the mission with the specific things the players need to do to proceed to the next level. The one thing I haven’t included is something to keep the pressure on the players. As it is they can take their sweet time in completing this example level, but what I want to do is have some kind of tension to make sure the players are aware that they need to complete the mission before something terrible happens.

Changes To Existing Rules

Having each Hero move one section each turn removes the Speed stat from the game. I like fewer stats!

Changes To Professions and Species

However, both the Scout and Chimpanzees received a bonus to their speed. I have solved this with the following modifications :

  • Chimpanzee – If a move you make requires a Physique roll, you automatically succeed.
  • Scout – As a Move Action, you may move to any section that you are able to target as long as there is a free space there.

The Chimpanzee becomes an expert in jumping over things, squeezing through tight spaces etc. which I think is very thematic.

The Scout is able to speed off into the distance leaving the rest of the party behind, which also feels thematic. As each level has to be cleared before entering the next one, I don’t feel this is too powerful.

Changes to Equipment

The changes to the map system and the dice system mean that all of the equipment that I have outlined in old blog posts will now need to change. These changes will be outlined in the next few blog posts that will be published (this coming Friday, next Monday and next Wednesday). I am dropping the utility equipment as it will be hard for the players to know which piece of equipment will be useful for which mission and if they guess wrong the equipment will just take up room that could be for cool and useful stuff.

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