Yes. As promised by Grimlock and Mr. Sailor Duckie early this morning.
(THURSDAY EDIT: Made Gunnery advances faster early on.)
While the main games I am intending this little lock in option to be for are the "Machine Sheet" games of Silent Death, Federation Commander, and Battletech, I see no reason why they couldn't be used for Starfleet Battles, Renegade Legion, and Car Wars, among other games in the "Machine Sheet" genre. *
First off for games that take place in the Vehicle scale (Battletech, Renegade Legion Centurion, Car Wars) you might ask how we deal with the scale changes ala my normal house rules.
This is RULES LIGHT COUNTRY kiddo! We just consider each MS game turn to be 2 rounds of X-Plorers' Personal combat rounds. Yeah I know the scales are different and all. FUGGEDABOUDIT. Just keep an idea of the size of the maps used in the MS game when doing stuff in Personal scale.
(Example: A hex in Battletech is considered to be about 30 meters. In 2 X-P rounds you aren't gonna be able to even move a single hex. Its gonna take like 2-3 Battletech turns to move your poor schlub to the next hex. Just eyeball it.)
How do we consider how many Hit Points and the Armor Class these MS units have in X-Plorers?
Well we could come up with some fancy pants chart but that's not OLD SCHOOL. Consider this a quickie rule of thumb: For every 1 point of MS Armor/Shielding, it is considered to have 6 HPs. So a Car Wars 5th edition Stinger car with 25 points of Front Armor has 150 HP in X-P. A Battletech mech with 9 points of Head armor has 54 HPs.
(For locations just let X-P units shoot at whatever the heck they want if they can see it reasonably and are within range.)
For Armor Class here is a rule of thumb: In most "Machine Sheet" games you can normally divvy up the vehicles into 5 categories. Light, Medium, Heavy, Super Heavy, and OH SNAP THAT'S BIG.
Their X-P ACs become 12 for Lights, 14 for Mediums, 16 for Heavies, 18 for Super Heavies, and 20 for OSNTB. Given our scale rules that means an X-P character in Personal scale shooting at say a Medium Griffin Mech from Battletech means it effectively has an 18 AC. (14, +4 for being a larger scale than the firer.)
Now howabout them MS duders shooting back down? Again, EASY. For every 2 points or D6 damage rolled in the MS game, it is considered to be a D6 in X-P damage. Since we are following my scale rules that means that 2 damage point Battletech SRM is a d6 hit, which becomes d6x3 against an X-P character in Personal scale. For odd amounts the extra point becomes a D3 damage roll.
To do the above for Space scale just follow all the rules above, except X-P's Personal scale combat rounds are 4 to every 1 MS scale. So a band of X-Plorers who take a transporter over to a Federation Commander Romulan ship have 3 combat rounds to fight off those pointy eared jerks in between the one where they act simultaneously with the Federation Commander gameplay. No sir, I do not think you can get to the bridge in this timeframe. Note the conversions for Space to Vehicle scale apply too so if you REALLY want to be ridiculous you could have a Silent Death starfighter shoot a Renegade Legion Centurion hovertank while other players are trying to set up an ambush in X-P scale.
If you have a gamegroup full of wargamers and a well organized GM capable of winging it this COULD BE TOTALLY RAD. For say the arty farty rules light types this is a nightmare. Keep this in mind folks!
Now the last bit. How to use your X-P characters as the hotshot pilots of your hovertanks, giant stompy robots, and faster than light starships whose captains. LIKE! To. TALK.... like THIS!
In many MS games you have a Piloting and Gunnery rating. These ratings equal X-P's Piloting and Base to Hit skills. For PCs who do not have these skills they are considered to have the lowest legally allowed skill for the game in question. In Battletech's case this means Gunnery and Piloting of 8. In Silent Death, it means a 1.
But here is a handy chart for those 2 games in order to figure out your skill levels in the MS game.
X-P Skill (Attribute Bonus figured into skill) Silent Death Battletech
15-14 / 1 2 7
13-12 / 2 3 6
11-10 / 3 4 5
9 / 4-5 5 4
8 / 6-7 6 3
7 / 8-9 7 2
6 / 10-11 8 1
5 / 12- 13 9 1
4-1 / 14+ 10 0
Example: Dirty Bob is a 3rd Level Soldier with the Piloting Skill at 2nd Level Scout. (BHB 2, Pilot 13+) His Agility is a 15, for a +1, meaning his BHB is effectively 3, and his Piloting is a 12+. This means in Battletech his Gunnery is a mediocre 5, and his Piloting is also a disappointing 6. If as a Soldier he chooses to take Autocannon as his Weapon Specialist choice, he will be Gunnery 4 but only with Autocannons. At 5th level with Attribute bonuses would bring his BHB to 4 (5 with Autocannons), and Piloting to a 10+, meaning his Gunnery is now 4, (4 with Autocannons) and his Piloting is also 5.
(Because of my edit, now PCs get to an average proficiency rate a bit faster, then slow down as opposed to my pre edit version where you would practically have to be a 10th level Soldier before you would be the equivalent of a regular gunner in Battletech. Now this means a 6th level Soldier is equivalent to a regular quality Mechwarrior by and large. Or 5th level as a PC with a decent Agility score, 4th if you rolled serious heat or use a less OSR character generation scheme.)
Obviously given X-P's level advancements only up to 10, the highest non Attribute modified score is +6 BHB, and 5+ for Skill rolls. This means not counting any modifiers the best Piloting is gonna be the near maximum of 9 in Silent Death, 1 in Battletech, but Gunnery is a more modest 6 Silent Death/3 Battletech. This leaves room for Attribute bonuses, Class bonuses, and any possible level advances beyond 10.
Please note that any damage bonuses in X-P scale ONLY are added in while fighting in X-P Personal scale and do NOT get added into the MS game's own damage.
I will leave it up to GMs as to how any pilot damage is assigned into X-P HP for things like Battletech head hits and the like, but recommend a D6 HP hit.
Now this covers the smaller scale MS games pretty well, but what about big CAPITAL SHIP games like Federation Commander?
For TO HIT/Gunner Phase rolls in such games for every 2 points of To Hit in X-P either give the PC gunner 1 reroll per combat, or allow the PC gunner to modify the die roll to hit by +/- 1 per combat.
(We consider a combat to be the entire encounter with the enemy units. This could be a 10 turn game where your PC's ship engages and bugs out of a duel with an Orion Frigate, up to a 100+ turn massive fragfest of attacking Moonbase 2 with a giant fleet.)
For a Navigation Phase check, if passed the PC's ship gains 1 extra hex of movement this MS sheet game turn/round.
For an Engineering Phase check, if passed the PC's ship gains D3 damage/shield boxes back at the start of the MS sheet game turn/round.
For a Piloting Phase check, give the PC's ship a +/- 1 die roll modifier to one enemy unit shooting at it in the MS rules.
I think this covers almost any major rules you would use in these games. As a friendly bonus here are free PDF rules/demo rules covering some of the Machine Sheet games so you can see if they are for you:
(I would highly recommend people go to visit the main websites for the games in question and not just go directly to the PDF but they are listed for your convenience!)
Silent Death: http://www.wizards.com/starwars/downloads/SW_Silent_Death.pdf
Federation Commander: http://www.federationcommander.com/FCFirstMissions.pdf
Renegade Legion Interceptor: http://www.madcoyote.com/renleg/frame-test.html
(Sadly Leviathan and Centurion are out of Print. Try Ebay or your favorite OOP game seller.)
The actual "No Frills" X-Plorers ruleset: http://greyarea.webs.com/downloads/X-Free.pdf
And some paid ones:
Car Wars: http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG30-7142
Silent Death: http://shop.ironcrown.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1
A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!
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