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ColonelCrow

Improving a ship's handling

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Forgive me if this has been asked before--I tried various searches but seem to have flummoxed the board's search engine (it either times out or gives me thousands of inappropriate results).

My question is implied by my subject line. I know there are ways to reduce the setback dice applied to Piloting checks for ships with a negative value in Handling via talents (or at least one talent, Skilled Jockey), but I'm wondering if there any attachments or modifications that can actually move that characteristic upward mechanically. I'm thinking of something that improves steerage or otherwise makes a ship more nimble and agile than it was when it floated out of the shipyards with its factory standard Handling score.

(We're getting ready to start a new campaign, and we really like the Loronar E-9 at pp. 61-62 of Enter the Unknown, but our pilot is worrying, perhaps overmuch, about that –1 Handling characteristic.)

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Eh, never mind. I used an outside search engine that turned up a few topics on this issue here that answered my question (the answer seems to be "no such mod exists, apparently by design"). Sorry for the needless post.

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45 minutes ago, ColonelCrow said:

Eh, never mind. I used an outside search engine that turned up a few topics on this issue here that answered my question (the answer seems to be "no such mod exists, apparently by design"). Sorry for the needless post.

Technically a mod does exist. It is in Mask of the pirate queen.  It just isnt priced

 

The other option is the rigger specialization in Stay on Target. 

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4 hours ago, Daeglan said:

Technically a mod does exist. It is in Mask of the pirate queen.  It just isnt priced

 

The other option is the rigger specialization in Stay on Target. 

There is also a 'Fine-tuned Microthrusters' Custom Attachment in Special Modifications, but it is part of the entry for the Koensayr AD-1S Modular Multi-role Starfighter so it's a GM's call as to whether it can be used on another ship:  It improves your handling, but it is kinda expensive in terms of HPs.

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On 9/25/2018 at 3:43 PM, ColonelCrow said:

...

(We're getting ready to start a new campaign, and we really like the Loronar E-9 at pp. 61-62 of Enter the Unknown, but our pilot is worrying, perhaps overmuch, about that –1 Handling characteristic.)

The Loronar E-9 Explorer-Class Armed Long-Range Scout Vessel is a pretty good vessel.

  • System Strain threshold is little low for my tastes, but not bad.
  • Encumbrance is a little low, but it's not a freighter so that's to be expected (just don't expect to make credits running cargo).
  • Handling is fine.

Just to put this into perspective, here are the starships sorted by handling (this site apparently hasn't been updated lately, but it's still pretty good):

http://swrpg.viluppo.net/transportation/starships/?order_by=-handling&flattened=true

  • +3 handling ships are all extremely nimble starfighters.
  • +2 handling ships are nimble starfighters
  • +1 handling ships are average starfighters and a few executive freighters and yachts (and one presumably seriously upgraded Nebulon-B): 
    • On a practical level, this is about as good a handling you should get and still carry more than a tiny crew, but you are going to end up short on something of possible significance (passenger/cargo space, armament, and/or HT/SST tends to be lacking).
  • +0 handling ships are a mix of starfighters, yachts, and lighter freighters.
  • -1 handling ships are little heavier but still 'above average'.
  • -2 handling ships are pretty much the 'standard' for freighter types
  • -3 or worse handling ships are the really clumsy vessels

As mentioned by other posters, you can negate a -1 maneuver with

  • 'Skilled Jockey' talent
    • Available cheap from nearly any 'piloting' spec.
    • Sullustans get one rank as a racial bonus.
  • 'Tuned Maneuvering Thrusters' talent
    • Unique to the Ace 'Rigger' spec
    • This is a 'signature vehicle' talent, so it only applies to one vehicle, but it will apply to any pilot.
      • This spec seems to aimed at a ship's engineer rather than the pilot, but it offers a lot of bonuses to your ship.
    • Compared to 'skilled Jockey', this fairly difficult to get.

 

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On 9/25/2018 at 3:03 PM, ColonelCrow said:

Eh, never mind. I used an outside search engine that turned up a few topics on this issue here that answered my question (the answer seems to be "no such mod exists, apparently by design"). Sorry for the needless post.

Buy fully operational, strip off the hull, replace the hull and use the maneuvering fins crafting mod, replacing a ship's hull is the most awesome way to mod a ship.  Take a look at the lancer class pursuit ship (ordinarily not that impressive) with a high capacity hull and it becomes awesome.

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8 hours ago, Ominovin said:

As mentioned by other posters, you can negate a -1 maneuver with

  • 'Skilled Jockey' talent
    • Available cheap from nearly any 'piloting' spec.
    • Sullustans get one rank as a racial bonus.
  • 'Tuned Maneuvering Thrusters' talent
    • Unique to the Ace 'Rigger' spec
    • This is a 'signature vehicle' talent, so it only applies to one vehicle, but it will apply to any pilot.
      • This spec seems to aimed at a ship's engineer rather than the pilot, but it offers a lot of bonuses to your ship.
    • Compared to 'skilled Jockey', this fairly difficult to get.

 

And Shipwright has Smart Handling talent, which can increase Handling for a few rounds once a session on a Sil 4+ ship.

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We use the E9 in our campaign as our party's ship, and it is my favourite ship of any of the ships in the "starter ship" category (I'm also the owner/pilot, so a bit biased). As others mentioned, Skilled Jockey immediately eliminates the handling penalty, and an extra rank or two of Skilled Jockey will account for nearly any Setback experienced by a pilot. I plan to eventually invest in Rigger for the unique ship-enhancing talents available in that tree.

One of the very best things about the E9 is that it comes stock with a Class One hyperdrive, which saves you a hard point right there, and makes it one of the fastest possible ships you can own. We've added the improved ion turbine (+1 speed), the reinforced shield array (+1 shields front and back after mods), and the advanced targeting array (+2 upgrades after mods). The added boost die to on-board Mechanics checks is also great.

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Hey, if Han Solo can make some special modifications then I see no reason why a PC with the right skills couldn't craft up something custom.  It is a huge galaxy, after all, and this might be the MacGuffin at the end of a long, fun story.  Of course, there's likely to be dire consequences if this isn't handled just so - but I can't imagine this is worse than your PCs coming up with a crate full of disruptors. 

 

The pirate's right, though - skills are the easy answer to this problem. 

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18 hours ago, Direach said:

We use the E9 in our campaign as our party's ship, and it is my favourite ship of any of the ships in the "starter ship" category (I'm also the owner/pilot, so a bit biased). As others mentioned, Skilled Jockey immediately eliminates the handling penalty, and an extra rank or two of Skilled Jockey will account for nearly any Setback experienced by a pilot. I plan to eventually invest in Rigger for the unique ship-enhancing talents available in that tree.

One of the very best things about the E9 is that it comes stock with a Class One hyperdrive, which saves you a hard point right there, and makes it one of the fastest possible ships you can own. We've added the improved ion turbine (+1 speed), the reinforced shield array (+1 shields front and back after mods), and the advanced targeting array (+2 upgrades after mods). The added boost die to on-board Mechanics checks is also great.

 

 

I gotta go with the kst-100 from dawn of rebellion as hands down my favorite stock starter ship ($120K or less)  but I'd really probably go with a lancer class pursuit ship and replace the hull with the high capacity one using the fully operational rules if my intent was to stick with RAW.  Speed 5 before an ion turbine engine is pretty darn tempting... but fully operational opens up a whole lot of other possibilities for ships... definitely not in the starter ship category but you could get an ir-3f class light frigate (system patrol ship) from FaD core, strip of the hull, replace it with a sleek carapace, fully upgraded, add a hyperdrive, retrofitted hanger bay (for a salon pod docking clamp)

 

Heck... I'm not typing it over you can read about how to make my RAW dream ship here

 

 

 

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On 9/29/2018 at 10:46 PM, Direach said:

We use the E9 in our campaign as our party's ship, and it is my favourite ship of any of the ships in the "starter ship" category (I'm also the owner/pilot, so a bit biased). As others mentioned, Skilled Jockey immediately eliminates the handling penalty, and an extra rank or two of Skilled Jockey will account for nearly any Setback experienced by a pilot. I plan to eventually invest in Rigger for the unique ship-enhancing talents available in that tree.

One of the very best things about the E9 is that it comes stock with a Class One hyperdrive, which saves you a hard point right there, and makes it one of the fastest possible ships you can own. We've added the improved ion turbine (+1 speed), the reinforced shield array (+1 shields front and back after mods), and the advanced targeting array (+2 upgrades after mods). The added boost die to on-board Mechanics checks is also great.

Note that the Handling bonus from the 'Rigger' talents won't stack with Skilled Jockey:  Your first rank of ' Tuned Maneuvering Thrusters' will bring your handling up to 0, which you effectively already had with a rank in 'Skilled Jockey'.  Of course, it's still a good deal once you get the second rank, or let an 'Unskilled Jockey' pilot for a while, or just somehow pile up enough setback dice that you need all your 'Skilled Jockey' ranks anyway...

The 'Class One Hyperdrive' is a bit of a mixed bag:

  • It's great if that is as fast as you want to go (it's fast, but there is faster...)
  • It's actually not a great deal if you want to go faster due to the way the 'Hyperdrive Generator' attachment is worded:
    • Base Modifiers: Reduces Hyperdrive class by 1, to a minimum of 1.
    • Modification Options: 2 "Reduce hyperspace class by 1 (to a minimum of .5)" Mods.

I'm assuming Hyperdrive classes increase by .1 once you hit '1' so fully modded up, Class 1 and 2 hyperdrives both end up as Class 0.8 (though I could very easily be mis-interpreting something).

 

On 9/30/2018 at 5:11 PM, EliasWindrider said:

I gotta go with the kst-100 from dawn of rebellion as hands down my favorite stock starter ship ($120K or less)  but I'd really probably go with a lancer class pursuit ship and replace the hull with the high capacity one using the fully operational rules if my intent was to stick with RAW.  Speed 5 before an ion turbine engine is pretty darn tempting... but fully operational opens up a whole lot of other possibilities for ships... definitely not in the starter ship category but you could get an ir-3f class light frigate (system patrol ship) from FaD core, strip of the hull, replace it with a sleek carapace, fully upgraded, add a hyperdrive, retrofitted hanger bay (for a salon pod docking clamp)

 

Heck... I'm not typing it over you can read about how to make my RAW dream ship here

 

 

 

Personally, I think the KST-100 (from what I've seen posted on these forums at least) is just too good:  It's definitely undersized (2 crew + 4 passengers in a silhouette 3?) and the thresholds are really high for an exec freighter (even at Silhouette 4).  The baseline model makes me ask "why is the rebellion using X Wings instead of these?"

  • It's basically the same price, and probably easier to buy (it's a freighter, not a fighter).
  • It's a little slower, but easily boosted up.
  • Same handling
  • Less armor, but much better Hull and Strain thresholds, so it can take much more of a pounding on average.
  • Not as heavily armed, but its cannon is turreted (which makes everything easier), you have HPs for torpedo tubes if you desire, and most importantly, your co-pilot can shoot while the pilot actually pilots the ship.

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1 hour ago, Ominovin said:
  • It's great if that is as fast as you want to go (it's fast, but there is faster...)
  • It's actually not a great deal if you want to go faster due to the way the 'Hyperdrive Generator' attachment is worded:
    • Base Modifiers: Reduces Hyperdrive class by 1, to a minimum of 1.
    • Modification Options: 2 "Reduce hyperspace class by 1 (to a minimum of .5)" Mods.

I'm assuming Hyperdrive classes increase by .1 once you hit '1' so fully modded up, Class 1 and 2 hyperdrives both end up as Class 0.8 (though I could very easily be mis-interpreting something).

Personally, I think the KST-100 (from what I've seen posted on these forums at least) is just too good:  It's definitely undersized (2 crew + 4 passengers in a silhouette 3?) and the thresholds are really high for an exec freighter (even at Silhouette 4).  The baseline model makes me ask "why is the rebellion using X Wings instead of these?"

I actually read the Modification Options as continuing to reduce by 1. So if base of 3, the attachment reduces it to 2, the first mod would reduce it to 1, and the second would reduce it to 0.5. If the base is 1, the attachment does nothing, but the first mod would reduce it to 0.5. So you're always reducing by one, but the attachment has a floor of 1 (no lower than 1) and the mod is a floor of 0.5. I think this is all based off of Han's comment of "she'll do point five past lightspeed" and the 'requirement' that that essentially represents the pinnacle of speed.

As for the KST-100, I can think of a myriad of reasons why they may take the X-wings, availability and mass-produce-ibility being the first (producibility? producability? Probably shouldn't be trying to make my own word). Then you've got the tying up of two personnel in one craft. The fact that it's a military craft rather than a freighter may not be a factor (I honestly don't know the logistics of how the Alliance obtained their craft). Finally, you have to remember that silhouette is a stretchy representation of size, and two craft with the same silhouette can be different size, shape, bulk, etc. Maybe 6 X-wing vs 4 KST-100s makes a very big difference. But, all of that is not to say you don't have a point. I would imagine there would be a lot of opinions in the Alliance and you'd probably have pragmatic advisors screaming about the benefits of different logistical options, such as the one you're suggesting. Could make for an interesting adventure somehow too.

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5 hours ago, Ominovin said:

Note that the Handling bonus from the 'Rigger' talents won't stack with Skilled Jockey:  Your first rank of ' Tuned Maneuvering Thrusters' will bring your handling up to 0, which you effectively already had with a rank in 'Skilled Jockey'.  Of course, it's still a good deal once you get the second rank, or let an 'Unskilled Jockey' pilot for a while, or just somehow pile up enough setback dice that you need all your 'Skilled Jockey' ranks anyway...

The 'Class One Hyperdrive' is a bit of a mixed bag:

  • It's great if that is as fast as you want to go (it's fast, but there is faster...)
  • It's actually not a great deal if you want to go faster due to the way the 'Hyperdrive Generator' attachment is worded:
    • Base Modifiers: Reduces Hyperdrive class by 1, to a minimum of 1.
    • Modification Options: 2 "Reduce hyperspace class by 1 (to a minimum of .5)" Mods.

I'm assuming Hyperdrive classes increase by .1 once you hit '1' so fully modded up, Class 1 and 2 hyperdrives both end up as Class 0.8 (though I could very easily be mis-interpreting something).

 

Personally, I think the KST-100 (from what I've seen posted on these forums at least) is just too good:  It's definitely undersized (2 crew + 4 passengers in a silhouette 3?) and the thresholds are really high for an exec freighter (even at Silhouette 4).  The baseline model makes me ask "why is the rebellion using X Wings instead of these?"

  • It's basically the same price, and probably easier to buy (it's a freighter, not a fighter).
  • It's a little slower, but easily boosted up.
  • Same handling
  • Less armor, but much better Hull and Strain thresholds, so it can take much more of a pounding on average.
  • Not as heavily armed, but its cannon is turreted (which makes everything easier), you have HPs for torpedo tubes if you desire, and most importantly, your co-pilot can shoot while the pilot actually pilots the ship.

I lost a longish post just as I was about to press submit, and I'm only going to summarize 

Yes the kst-100 is awesome (it's the only stock ship that checks off every box on my minimum requirements list which includes a base speed of 4 or greater so high output ion turbines can be added to get it to 5, so that it's as fast as a tie fighter)

But 1 its cannon isn't on a turret, 2 the alliance is well funded but short on supplies and man power, so building an crewing a fleet of kst-100s is out of the question if they even had the plans and the kst-100 has been out of production and is a relatively rare ship so there isn't enough on the market to buy, and even if they could that would neutralize one of the primary benefits a transport that blends it but can fight and run like a fighter if it needs too.  If the rebels had a fleet of these every single one would get stopped and inspected at every port with an imperial presence.

 

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15 minutes ago, EliasWindrider said:

I lost a longish post just as I was about to press submit, and I'm only going to summarize 

Yes the kst-100 is awesome (it's the only stock ship that checks off every box on my minimum requirements list which includes a base speed of 4 or greater so high output ion turbines can be added to get it to 5, so that it's as fast as a tie fighter)

But 1 its cannon isn't on a turret, 2 the alliance is well funded but short on supplies and man power, so building an crewing a fleet of kst-100s is out of the question if they even had the plans and the kst-100 has been out of production and is a relatively rare ship so there isn't enough on the market to buy, and even if they could that would neutralize one of the primary benefits a transport that blends it but can fight and run like a fighter if it needs too.  If the rebels had a fleet of these every single one would get stopped and inspected at every port with an imperial presence.

 

If they could crew U-wings, they can crew Kestrels. As for the rarity, there's fluff and then there's the Rarity. Rarity 7 isn't exactly easy to find, but it's not exactly super rare either.

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On 10/1/2018 at 11:45 PM, HappyDaze said:

If they could crew U-wings, they can crew Kestrels. As for the rarity, there's fluff and then there's the Rarity. Rarity 7 isn't exactly easy to find, but it's not exactly super rare either.

  The conversation was about replacing xwings with kestrels.

The rebellion SUPPLEMENTED xwings with uwings, they did not REPLACE xwings with uwings, so the onscreen evidence is either that the rebellion did not have the manpower to REPLACE xwings with kestrels, OR that xwings fit certain mission parameters better than uwings/kestrels.  BUT given that in ANH they had a spare xwing sitting around for Luke to pilot against ds1... strongly suggests that they had a serious shortage of manpower capable of crewing attack craft.

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2 minutes ago, EliasWindrider said:

 

given that in ANH they had a spare xwing sitting around for Luke to pilot against ds1...

"What do you mean I'm benched? For some kid from a backwater farm? I've got 700 hours flying starfighters! What do you mean cinematic requirements? I'm in a movie? What have you been smoking?"

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3 minutes ago, Roderz said:

"What do you mean I'm benched? For some kid from a backwater farm? I've got 700 hours flying starfighters! What do you mean cinematic requirements? I'm in a movie? What have you been smoking?"

It's generally presumed that there is a good in universe rationale for everything that we see on screen except when characters say "that doesn't make any sense" on screen.  And given the number of rebels that died at the end of rogue 1... it makes more sense that they were short on manpower capable of crewing attack craft.

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So back on topic, I seem to recall there being an attachment in Jewel of Yavin that could improve a vehicle's handling, though it was restricted to ships of Silhouette 2 or less.

Given Mask of the Pirate Queen has a similar option (simply lacking a price tag), you could probably extrapolate the cost of JoY's attachment to get a reasonable price for the MotPQ attachment, likely using the ship's silhouette as a price multiplier.  Or just simply ignore the vehicle silhouette restriction of the JoY attachment and let it be applied to starships, though even then I'd probably cap it at Silhouette 5.

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