Towards some Vehicle Rules

Just some ideas of modelling a vehicle or some other large important machine or object like it was a Feature.

First question: why? Surely it should be a Resource or a power with the Gear limit. Yes, it could be. But if it is a Feature, it can have some personality (in every sense) of its own, and it can Assist you, meaning more dice. Or you (the captain, or the engineer, or the pilot, or all three, unless they’re arguing over what to do) can assist it in doing things. Either way, it allows for some extra dice rolling fun.

How many steps? Let everyone buy the vehicle during chargen as an Asset. Add up all the steps they spend. That’s how many steps you get on the ship!


Love may keep a ship flying, but they don’t really love back. Most objects only have three Values:

Duty: How much they keep going when the going gets tough

Power: How much they have to give to make the going of others tougher

Truth: How well they move around and respond to commands, both in and out of combat.

For an average vehicle, they all start at d6.

Vehicles can have Relationships, but they can also have Designs. As in what they were designed to do. Usually, this can be phrased as being like a relationship, eg

I was built to destroy THE FRENCH d10

I can easily avoid THE POLICE d8

I never let BAD GUYS get away d12

I smuggle things without THE EMPIRE noticing them d6

Some can be more personal:

I travel through time and space with THE DOCTOR d8

I am the last hope of MAL REYNOLDS d10

SHERIFF ROSCO never gonna catch the Duke Boys d12

You get one Design at d4 for free, with either your main purpose or your main operator. The rest cost levels.

Lastly, add Assets. These include armor, guns, and any scanning tech or the like. Don’t include Flight if you’re a plane – that’s just standard operation, but if your car turns into a boat, then you totally have the Swimming Ability. Likewise you don’t get Superspeed unless your car is ridiculously faster than other cars. And if everyone is trying to be the fastest and the most furious, then this will just be a Distinction – there’s nothing “super” about it. Whereas, for example, no other car (except KARR and Goliath) in Knight Rider can Turbo Boost or Communicate.

Example: Mal is being chased by Reavers in the Mule and has just burnt all his Plot Points saving Jayne, so Wash decides to do a Barnswallow. He rolls Glory (Watch How I Soar) d8 + I must keep ZOE safe d8 and Ace Pilot d12 and spends a Plot Point for “We’ve Done This Before” d6 and gets 5, 6, 10, and 4. He hands the 10 to “Serenity” who rolls Duty (Keep Flying) d10 and MAL’s Last Hope d10 and Trickier Than She Looks d8 and gets 10, 1 and 5, or 15, plus Wash’s 10, which is 25. The Reavers have no way to beat that so decide to Give In and explode.

Final Note: If your vehicles are alive, like say you’re flying around on dragons or something, they can be statted like people, or you could use a different set of Values to vaguely equate with handling, speed and durability. Horses probably have Glory, Duty and Power, for example, with power being stamina, duty control and glory speed. Or you could just use Handling, Speed and Durability as your values, because hey, that’s what people value in a vehicle!

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6 Responses to Towards some Vehicle Rules

  1. So if you guys want to build the Colossus, go ahead!

  2. JoelJoel says:

    Dude, you have just blown my mind. I’ve been playing around with a Mecha hack for sMallville, and this is totally the missing piece.

  3. Sweet! Send me your finished stuff, hey?

  4. Lord Lance says:

    Ehi, nice. Too many detail for my new upcoming campaign, so I think it’s unnecessary. However useful in games where a single vehicle have big focus (like Firefly’s spaceship, or the main ship of a band’o’pirates…)

  5. Getting ready to start my Gundamish Smallville series tomorrow night, and I’ve printed out these rules. I’ll let you know how they work out!

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