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(TFT) Space Conquest (I must be bored today...)

Many years ago, I had a friend move away. He wanted to keep gaming, so I wrote a space conquest game in Access 2.0 (which tells you how long ago that was...), which worked out really well. It was a play-by-email game. It had a very nice system for doing spaceship combat, building up planets, terraforming, etc. 

So what has this got to do with TFT? Because I was recently thinking that I really like the general TFT system -- 3 stats, 2 classes, roll dice vs. stat for everything, and wondered how one might do a future/space opera/science fiction version of TFT. And here's what I came up with (sketchy notes)

Stats We keep ST, DX, and IQ. But IQ get more importance. High-tech weapons tend to have an IQ minimum instead of an ST minimum. Still use DX to hit, though, and St as hit points. 

Classes This one was hard. What I came up with was Normals and Augmented. Normals, like Heroes, get their skills at base price, and pay 3 for Augmentations. Augmented get Augmentations at base price and pay double for most skills. The idea is that Augmented have had their bodies tinkered with, and their tech bits are powered with their own body's energy. Also, like spells, Augmentations require blueprints(books). But unlike spells, must be installed. 

This also leads to the idea that some Tech items work nearly exactly like magic items. You need a lab(factory), blueprint(book), and the appropriate skill(spell). You can have single-use items(scrolls), and even self-powered items. I haven't quite figured out how to differentiate well between items owned by characters and those installed on ships yet. Otherwise, a character improves whatever ship he's on. Maybe there's some sort of slight bonus, and it requires a skill to remove an item from a ship. 

And other races/monsters/aliens could have things that act like Augmentations. But if they're inherent abilities, intead of things installed onto their bodies, it's just organic. 

Skill-wise, I'd trash most of the existing Talents. Combine swords, spears, etc. into something like Archaic Weapons that pretty much let you pick up an ST based weapon and use it. Add skills for modern hand weapons, slug throwers, blaster-type weapons, some Peculiar Weapons. I'd probably also add skills for Heavy Weapons (that need setup before they're used). And add skills that act like Missle Weapons/Fencing. 

I'd also add computer skills, from noob to 'I can make an AI'. And skills for being able to make Augmentations and related devices. 

There would also be skills for operating starships. 

The ship stuff I ripped off wholesale from my previous game. The quick explanation is that there's Power Plants, Engines, Shields, Beam Weapons, Missle Weapons, Fighter Bays, and Damage Control. Each Power PLant powers one unit of something else. An Engine can move 10 units worth of ship at speed 1. Each Beam Weapon does one point of damage, which renders a unit on the target inoperative. A Shield protects against a single unit of Beam Weapon Damage. A Missle ignores Shields, but can be shot down by a Beam Weapon (yes, very rock paper scissors). But when a shipo is built, you can gang units together. So you could gang 3 Beam Weapons and punch through a single Shield. But 3 Shields ganged would stop it. A ganged Beam can only be protected from by a single Sheld gang, and a big Beam gang still only shoots down a single Missle. 

Fighter Bays hold a single fighter, which has a single Beam Weapon, and flys at a speed of 1. But it's also another target. So if your opponent has 1 capital ship and launched 11 fighters, your weapons target 11 targets randomly. 

Damage Control brings back inpoperative units. 

But there's also Tech levels. At level 5, it's just like I outline. But at Tech 6, a single Beam Weapon does
2 points of damage, and at level 4, .5 (and units of effort less than 1 are ignored). 

It worked well for an automated game, but how to get it to work in a TFT variant?

Well, one thing I wanted was to have to crew a larger vessel. So there's skills for operating the various units on a ship. But I also wanted to be able to have larger ships. So there's the Officer skills. Those are also specific to units, but allow someone with that skill to direct others to run those units. Those subordinates have either the Crew or Elite Crew skills. The Officer can only control so many crew depending on their IQ. Crew take 2 IQ, and Elite Crew only take 1. You can also have Officers directing other Officers. There's also a Captain skill. 

Pilots and Navigation are also skills. Pilots get you around, and Navigators tell you where to go. But you don't need Nav for intra-system travel, and you need less people on a 'small' (less than 20? unit ship). 

To go to another system, you'll need to Jump. That means getting to a Jump Point, and being able to have the ship move at least at speed 1 (no difference between impuse and warp here). How long it takes you to get to the other side depends on your speed and the length of the Jump, which has nothing to do with how far it is in this space. The Jump points are at various distances from the 'inner system', and you do have to travel out to them. 

So you can have spaceship-oriented Augmentations that let the character do things like not have to roll targets randomly, etc. My thought on the Augmentations is that one of the things they do is that they make it so there's no die rolling, for some things. For example, the skill Detection of Lies requires a roll, but the Augmentation Polygraph does not -- it just works. 

Coming up with the skill and Augmentation lists would be fun (as well as a new Job Table), but I ahve no idea what a campaign would be like.
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