Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, Let's Dogfight

Okay, I've really let this go until the last minute here. I can't believe I haven't posted anything in four months! That's ridiculous. A lot's happened in that time. Like just two days ago, I went to Legoland.

Unfortunately, that's another story for another time, because I have to leave for a NYE thing in like 20 minutes -- well, more like 30 minutes, but I still have to get dressed and dig Banzai! out from our boxes of board games -- so I'm going to get right to this thing I've been meaning to post about nearly all year: my Fate dogfighting rules.

The thing I realized about dogfighting is that while I love the idea and the imagery of it, I don't actually know anything about it. I just want it to sound cool, and for everyone at the table to feel like something dramatic and awesome has happened. So instead of choosing maneuvers and spending time hemming and hawing over strategic decisions, I've opted for a system that determines that stuff randomly, then delivers a dramatic finale.


  • A Deck of Fate, minus the approach and arcana cards
  • Dice
  • Uh... this whole list-format may have been unnecessary.
Anyway, this subsystem breaks the dogfight up into two parts: a contest to see who gets into position first, and an attack, made by the winner of that contest.

Airplanes have four skills: ControlGuns, Speed, and Profile. You use some combination of the first three in the contest, Guns to attack, and Profile to defend. You'll use them in conjunction with the pilot's skills -- in my Crimson Skies ARRPG games, those skills were Fly and Gunnery, both under the Pilot mode. Each of the first three plane skills is associated with a suit in the Deck of Fate (Control is blue, Guns black, and Speed red).

Then follow these instructions. I'm not going to type them out again. Time, man, time!

You'll also need this dogfight matrix, which uses a table that's similar to the Fate Triangle, but not quite. Don't worry, the instructions explain the whole thing.

(No, I don't know what eclipses do. I'm not fussed about it.)

(Yes, I'll post some airplane write-ups in a day or two.)

Happy New Year! I look forward to reading some comments in 2015.
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