SHIP Captain - A Space Combat RP Framework

SHIP Captain Space Combat System

This (experimental) system is meant to be a simple-ish framework for RPing space battles – particularly when PvP is involved. In the simplest possible terms, each player chooses the template that best matches their ship and then everybody takes turns fighting until only one team remains.

This is not a substitute for RP or creativity and is designed to help streamline situations where multiple players are each controlling their own ships. The actions are broad strokes and, time permitting, I recommend everyone fill in the blanks with emotes and flavor text.

The focus of this system is on strategy and RP decision making, rather than RNG or stat-building. In general, ships are assumed to be built to high standards with crews that are capable and competent. Though there are a couple dice rolls scattered about, failed rolls should always be considered outstanding successes by the defender, rather than failures of the player.

Please note that the ship templates are not balanced around “fair” fights 1-on-1. The composition of your team’s fleet will have an effect on the outcome. Certain situations may be more favorable than others, and it’s definitely possible to create unwinnable scenarios. Don’t cry about balance if you Kobayashi Maru yourself!

That said, this is very much a work in progress and I welcome any and all feedback.

SHIP Captain Attributes

  • Shields absorb hits to protect your ship from damage. They can be recharged on your turn. Note that shields do not bleed excess damage. If you have 2 shield HP remaining, and you receive 3 damage, your shields will be fully depleted but the excess 1 damage is ignored.

  • Hull is your ship’s fixed HP or health. It typically cannot be repaired during battle. If it reaches 0, your ship is destroyed.

  • Impulse represents your ship’s combat speed and maneuverability, and is used to help avoid attacks.

  • Power is what lets your ship function. It regenerates to a set max capacity at the start of your turn, and is the currency used for basically everything. Each point of power spent on something translates on a 1:1 basis. If you spend power to attack, you deal 1 damage per power spent. If you spend power to recharge shields, you gain 1 shield point per power spent.

  • Captain’s Orders are consumable special actions that can be activated on your turn. Each ship role defines how many times captain’s orders can be used per event, and which category of orders you have to choose from.

Captain’s Orders

Most Captain’s Orders are selected during the event at time of use. In other words, when you want to use a Captain’s Order on your turn, you may select one from the appropriate list at that time. Universal orders can be substituted for any other category.

A few orders are marked as passive effects, which must be selected in advance – at minimum prior to the first turn, but probably during event sign-up.


Tactical Orders

  • Fire At Will
    Gain 1 additional power to use on attacks this turn. You may split your power to attack multiple targets in the same turn.

  • Integrated Power Cells Passive
    Permanently reduce your available power capacity by 1. Your attacks and return fire cost 1 less power for the rest of the event. (0 power = 1 damage; 1 power = 2 damage; etc.)

  • Fire to Disable
    Your next attack deals 1 additional damage. If your attack impacts shields, permanently reduce your target’s shield capacity by 2. If your attack impacts the Hull, permanently reduce your target’s power generation by 2.

  • Weapon Overcharge
    Your next attack deals 1 additional damage, and excess damage penetrates shields.

Crew Orders

  • Boarding Party
    Choose a target whose shields are down. Permanently reduce their power generation by 2.

  • Coordinate Fleet
    Designate a focus target for your team. That target’s impulse rating is reduced by 20 until your next turn.

  • Deploy Repair Teams
    Restore 1 Hull HP to your own ship or a ship of your choice. Also repairs/removes negative effects from hostile captain’s orders (ie. the power reduction from Boarding Party or Fire to Disable).

  • Extend Shields
    Choose another ship to protect, and absorb any damage they would otherwise receive. Lasts until your shields are depleted or you manually end the effect.

Tech Orders

  • Auxiliary Power
    Gain 1 additional power to use this turn.

  • Reverse Shield Polarity
    Your shields take no damage this turn, but begin your next turn at half capacity.

  • Tachyon Pulse
    Select a cloaked target and reveal their location to your entire team. They remain cloaked, but can now be targeted and attacked by your team as usual. This action ends your turn and lasts until the target decloaks or until you perform another action, including evasive maneuvers or returning fire.

  • Tractor Beam
    A ship of your choice takes 1 shield damage and may not conduct evasive maneuvers until your next turn.

  • Viral Matrix
    Choose a target and roll 1d4 for one of the following effects:
    1 - Target’s shields are disabled until your next turn.
    2 - Target takes 1 damage directly to their Hull.
    3 - Target is unable to evade until your next turn.
    4 - Target is unable to attack/return fire until your next turn.
    (Alternatively roll 1d100 and select 1/2/3/4 for 1-25 / 26-50 / 51-75 / 76-100)

Universal Orders

  • Cloaking Device Passive
    You may cloak your ship instead of attacking to end your turn. You remain cloaked until you choose to decloak on a subsequent turn. While cloaked, your shields are offline and you may not attack/return fire. When you decloak, your shields return to full strength. If you attack on the same turn that you decloak, your attack deals 1 additional damage and cannot be evaded.

  • Fighter Hangar Passive
    Permanently reduce your available power capacity by 1. Whenever your attacks are evaded, deal 1 damage to your target regardless.

  • Ramming Speed
    Choose a target to ram. Target must make an evasive maneuvers attempt using all available power against your 1d100 roll. If they succeed, they suffer no damage, but start the next turn with 0 power available. You suffer return fire damage equal to their power capacity. If they fail to evade, both ships are immediately destroyed.

Ship Role Templates

Because the vast majority of ships in the Star Trek universe are standardized and mass-produced, it’s assumed that ships of any class in each general role will have relatively similar combat performance. Each ship template therefore has a set number of each of the five SHIP Captain attributes.

Note that these are intentionally very broad categories and not every ship class will have an obvious counterpart. Everyone should use their own judgment to place their ship in the role that seems most appropriate.

Shields: 4 HP
Hull: 4 HP
Impulse: 20
Power: 3 capacity
Captain: 1 Order (Any Type)

Shields: 3 HP
Hull: 3 HP
Impulse: 20
Power: 4 capacity
Captain: 2 Orders (Tech/Crew)

Science Vessel
Shields: 2 HP
Hull: 2 HP
Impulse: 30
Power: 1 capacity
Captain: 3 Tech Orders

Shields: 1 HP
Hull: 2 HP
Impulse: 40
Power: 2 capacity
Captain: 2 Tactical Orders

How to Play

Turn Order is decided with a simple dice roll by each participating player. Everybody rolls 1d100 and the turn order is set from highest-to-lowest. If there are any ties, those players should reroll until they land on a unique number. Turn order is purely random and not influenced by team or ship class.

On your turn your available power refills to capacity. You may then take one or more actions:

  1. Use captain’s orders.
  2. Recharge - Spend power to recover shields. (1 power = 1 shield HP)
  3. Retreat - Leave the combat area for the remainder of the event.
  4. Attack - Spend power to fire your weapons and end your turn. (1 power = 1 damage)
  5. End Turn - If you choose not to attack, you can simply end your turn.

Any leftover power not used during your turn is retained and available to be used if you are attacked.

When you are targeted you have an important decision to make which will determine how the attacker proceeds:

  1. Evasive Maneuvers
    Spend power to try to evade the attack. Multiply your impulse rating by the power spent. Your attacker must beat that rating with a 1d100 roll to deal damage.

  2. Return Fire
    Spend power to deal damage to your attacker in return. The attacker takes damage even if you are destroyed.

  3. Brace For Impact
    Do nothing and take the hit. If you have no available power this is your only option!

What It Looks Like

In an ideal world, each player should write a descriptive emote on their turn to include with their gamified action. The results can be included as part of each player’s next action, in order to keep things moving.

A simple turn might look something like this:

Nathaa Thraz: Saratoga banks hard to port and accelerates, bringing its forward torpedo launchers to bear on Atlantis and launching a volley of simulated munitions. (attack atlantis, 3 power)

Kermit: “Evasive maneuvers!” the Commander calls to his crew as the century-old cruiser struggles to get out of the way of the incoming torpedoes. (2 power)

Nathaa Thraz: rolls 61 (1-100)

GM: Atlantis takes 3 damage

      (other players take their turns in sequence)

Kermit: As engineering struggles to restore power to shields, Atlantis turns its attention on the unsuspecting science ship! (recharge 2 shields, attack Asimov 2 power)

Disclaimer: I have no idea if this is going to work or be any fun at all for anybody. Apologies in advance if it’s garbage! :joy: