Saturday, March 21, 2020

Emergency Power Allocation

While working on Trader Tech for my Patrons, I began to ponder the nature of "Cobbletech" and what possible bonuses I could use to represent it.  While researching and poking around, I came across the old idea of "Energy Reserve for Vehicles to allow Extra Effort."  It's an intriguing idea, but how do you handle extra-effort for a vehicle?

Then it hit me: we already had such a system in place in GURPS Spaceships.  I always liked the Engineering actions that GURPS Spaceships allows, especially since it gave Psi-Wars tech-bots a reason to hang out in your Starhawk.  With the shift to Vehicles though, and discarding of Power Points, this no longer served a purpose.  But what if we could bring it back in the form of Extra Effort?  Not all vehicles would have spare energy reserves, so for most vehicles it would be moot, but for some, it might be an option.  I propose the following rules:

Emergency Power Allocation

Some vehicles have Emergency Power Reserves, which can act as Energy Reserves for the purposes of "Vehicular Extra Effort." These represent more robust power-transfer systems, distributed energy capacitors and spare energy banks. Vehicles without Emergency Power Reserves can still "redline" and reduce their HT by one to gain the benefits of "Vehicular Extra Effort" (see "Machines and Fatigue," page B16); this represents overcharging certain systems, blowing out energy transfer systems, etc.  Allocating Emergency Power Reserves requires a Passenger Action, a roll against an appropriate skill and a single point of the  vehicle's Emergency Power Reserve (or one level of HT).
  • All Power to the Engines:  Skills:  Electrician or Mechanic (Appropriate vehicular specialization). For a single Action Vehicular Combat turn, double the Move of the vehicle; as a simplified calculation, apply a +2 to its chase rolls.  This doubles fuel consumption for the turn (if that matters), and apply a cumulative -4 to the skill roll for this form of vehicular extra effort for each additional attempt to double your Move.  Critical failure on this roll disables your engines.
  •  Emergency Evasive Maneuvers: Skills: Electrician or Mechanic (Appropriate vehicular specialization). Success grants a the vehicle a +2 to a single vehicular dodge; this //always// counts as a High-G dodge.
  • Emergency FirepowerSkills: Electrician or Armoury (Vehicular Weapons). Success grants a single weapon +1 damage per die or +2 damage per die by the weapons Malf is reduced to 14.  A critical failure on your skill roll for this form of vehicular extra effort disables your weapons.
  • Emergency Screen Recharge: Skills: Electrician or Armoury (Force Screen). Rather than wait until your next turn to restore your force screen to full DR, do so immediately.  This usually works best when a force screen is under a particularly intense barrage of lighter attacks.
  •  Emergency System Purge: Skills: Electrician or Mechanic (Appropriate vehicular specialization). This allows a vehicle to ignore the effects of a failed HT roll due to a Surge attack, a roll to see if the vehicle remains operational, or a roll to see if a system was disabled, for the duration of one turn.  The GM may choose to limit the effects of this an emergency systems purge to temporarily restore the functions of the energy system or systems that draw power, such as weapons, force screens and some engines. This has no effect on Destroyed systems, nor can it prevent a ship's destruction.
  •  Emergency Weapon RechargeSkills: Electrician or Armoury (Vehicular Weapons). Success restores half of all shots to a single weapon.

Vehicular Updates

Redjack Fighters would gain the option of an emergency power reserve as an option slot
Valiants would simply gain 3 energy reserve points.
Valkyries would gain a psychotronic power module which allows the user to supply the energy directly from his own fatigue (likely with an exchange rate, probably 5 fatigue for 1 vehicular energy reserve), and replaces the roll with a Will roll.

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