Gamma Ray Running
Riggers have two primary roles: vehicle pilots and drone wranglers. While anyone can control a modern vehicle via AR or VR interface, even remotely if they have the access, a rigger uses cyberware called a Control Rig (10,000ny, availability 8, 0.5 Essence) that allows them to ‘jump in’ to a drone or vehicle modified for rigger control (1 slot, 2,500ny, Logic + Hardware (6, 6 hours) test to install, availability 4).
- Riggers have 3 options for controlling their vehicles and drones:
- Issuing Commands: A Simple Action can be used to give a drone a short list of commands. The same action can be used to send the exact same commands to multiple drones. Drones perform most skill tests using Pilot + any applicable autosoft. Drones can handle most commands relating to their core functions (piloting, using stock systems for that model) without trouble. More exotic commands may confuse the drone, requiring a “common sense” test of the drone’s Pilot + Response vs. a threshold set by the GM.
- Remote Control: A Complex Action can be used to take direct control of a drone via AR or VR. The rigger uses their Control program and their own skills for most tasks when remote controlling a drone (ex. Control + Gunnery to fire the drone’s weapons). Note that this takes a Complex Action even if the task the drone is being made to perform requires only a Simple Action, such as firing a semi-auto weapon or using the Take Aim action.
- Jumped In: The rigger can use a Simple Action to take full control of a drone via VR, controlling it as if it were their own body. Riggers with a control rig get +2 dice on all vehicle skill tests with the jumped in drone. The rigger uses the drone’s attributes and their own skills to perform actions.
Drones and Vehicles in Combat:
Vehicle Attributes: All vehicles share a set of attributes that determine their performance. Matrix attributes like Response and Signal are also important for riggers.
- Handling represents how easy to maneuver a vehicle is, ranging from +3 for high end sports cars or jet fighters to -3 for big rigs or airliners. Handling is applied to any tests that involve maneuvering the vehicle itself or attached systems like mechanical arms.
- Accel is given as two numbers, the Walking and Running rate, in meters per combat turn. Moving at Walking speed requires no action. Moving at Running speed requires a Free Action and imposes a -2 penalty to ranged attacks and a +2 bonus to defense against ranged attacks. Moving faster requires a Vehicle Test, with each hit increasing speed for 5 meters. Note these are very slow speeds, representing maneuvering in tight quarters and generally staying in range of fighters on foot. High speed chase combat uses a more abstract system.
- Speed is the vehicle’s maximum safe speed in meters per combat turn. Multiply this by 1.2 to get kph, or 0.744 for mph. Pilots can push the vehicle faster, but will suffer severe penalties on any Vehicle Tests.
- Pilot is the rating of the drone’s built in Pilot program.
- Body is used for damage resistance just like a character’s, as well as determining damage from ram attempts and crashes.
- Armor is used for damage resistance. Because vehicles aren’t affected by Stun damage, hits whose DV does not exceed a vehicle’s Armor have no effect.
- Sensor is the overall rating of the vehicle’s sensors, used for Perception tests and for sensor-assisted gunnery. Most vehicles can be assumed to have cameras, laser range finders and motion sensors facing front and back, radar and atmospheric sensors.
- Matrix Attributes: Vehicles computers have Matrix attributes (Response, Signal, and Firewall, Pilot acts as a vehicle’s System) equal to their Device Rating. These can be very important for drones because they determine how difficult it is to hack them or jam their signals and what rating programs they can run. Civilian vehicles have Device Rating 3, security vehicles have DR 4 and military hardware is DV 5. Matrix attributes can be upgraded as normal.
- Any hazardous action a vehicle takes requires a Vehicle Test using the Reaction + Vehicle Skill +/- Handling with a threshold depends on the situation (1 for simple maneuvers like a panic stop, 5 or higher for extreme maneuvers like bootlegger reverses or jumping obstacles).
- Failure to meet the threshold may or may not result in an immediate crash, depending on the situation.
- Augmented Reality controls grant a +1 to tests while physically driving the vehicle, but not when remotely controlling.
- VR control (including control by drone Pilot) grants a -1 modifier to all Vehicle Test thresholds.
- Adverse terrain adds a modifier to thresholds dependent on severity, from +1 for main thoroughfares or intra-city air traffic to +4 for heavy traffic, dense woods, or flying at street level.
- Glitches cause the usual inconveniences, up to causing the vehicle to go out of control (see below).
- Critical Glitches always cause a crash.
Actions in Combat:
- Pilots must spend at least one Complex Action each combat turn driving their vehicle or it goes out of control at the end of the Combat Turn.
- All tests made by characters in an out of control vehicle suffer a -2 penalty (in addition to penalties for shooting from a moving vehicle).
- If the pilot does not make a Vehicle Test to regain control within one Combat Turn, the vehicle crashes.
- Free Actions:
- Change Linked Device Mode: Someone with DNI access to a vehicle can activate or deactivate systems such as sensors, ECM, weapons, etc or call up status reports including position, heading, speed, damage reports and current orders. Sensors, ECM and ECCM come online at the start of the next Combat Turn.
- Simple Actions:
- Use Sensors: A pilot or passenger can use sensors to detect or lock on to targets.
- Use Simple Object: A pilot or passenger can manually activate or deactivate systems such as sensors, ECM, ECCM, etc via manaul control.
- Complex Actions:
- Fire a Vehicle Weapon
- Make a Vehicle Test: Any action that requires a Vehicle Test is a Complex Action, except avoiding a crash due to damage.
Ramming: To ram a target, it must be within Walking or Running (with a -3 penalty) range of the vehicle. The pilot makes an opposed Vehicle Test vs. another vehicle, or a test vs. Dodge + Reaction for a pedestrian. If the pilot gets more hits, he does damage based on the speed of the vehicle: 1-20, Body/2; 21-60, Body; 61-200, Body x 2; 201+, Body x 3. The vehicle must resist half that damage rounded down. Ram damage against pedestrians is resisted with half Impact armor. If the ram succeeds, each vehicle involved must make an additional Vehicle Test to avoid crashing, threshold 2 for the ramming pilot, 3 for the rammed pilot.
Chase Combat: Chase combat is a simplified combat system used when the fight only involves vehicles, usually with only two sides involved, with one trying to outrun or destroy the other. Each Chase combat turn is 1 minute long.
- Opposed Vehicle Test – Each turn, total the number of vehicles on each side and their combined Speed. At the start of the turn each driver makes a Vehicle test with a +/- 2 modifier per net vehicle on their side. The faster side gets a +1 modifier per 10 points of net Speed. The winning driver can increase or decrease the Engagement Range of the combat by one step.
- Engagement Range – Vehicles spend each combat turn at a particular range depending on the results of the Opposed Vehicle Test at the start of each turn. Engagement Range uses the same range brackets as ranged weapon fire, and ranged attacks use that range for their dice pool modifiers.
- Turn Seqence – Roll Initiative and declare actions as per normal combat. Pilots can perform special actions called Stunts as part of the required Complex Action to control their vehicles.
- Break Off (Long or Extreme Range only) – Requires a Vehicle Test with a threshold modifier of +1 for each pursuing vehicle after the first. The driver must succeed 3 turns in a row, without moving closer than Long Range. If the test succeeds, the pilot breaks away from the pursuit and flees.
- Cut Off (Short Range Only) – Requires an Opposed Vehicle Test between the pilot and an opposing vehicle. The loser must make a Vehicle Test to avoid crashing with a penalty equal to the net hits on the opposed test.
- Maneuver (Any Range) – Make a Vehicle Test, with each net hit over the threshold adding +1 die to the Opposed Vehicle Test at the start of the next turn.
- Ram (Short Range Only) – Make a standard Ram attempt.
- Combat is over once all vehicles on a particular side have crashed or broken off.
- If more than two factions are involved, all participants suffer a -2 penalty to their dice pools. If one side has a significant speed advantage, all other factions suffer a -1 penalty per 20 points of speed advantage the fastest faction has.
- Defense: Vehicles roll Reaction +/- Handling for defense against ranged attacks. As a Complex Action, pilots can use Evasive Driving, adding their Vehicle Skill to defense. Drones add the rating of their Defense autosofts instead. Vehicles resist damage with Armor + Body as usual, but do not suffer Stun damage and so take no damage from attacks whose DV does not exceed their armor.
- Crashing: Whenever a vehicle suffers more damage from a single attack than it’s Body, the pilot must make an immediate Vehicle Test (3) to avoid crashing. A crash can also result from a failed Vehicle Test for other maneuvers. A crashed vehicle takes damage as if it had rammed itself.
- Called Shots: Called shots to bypass armor or increase damage work as normal against vehicles, though the armor on most vehicles makes the penalty for bypassing it prohibitive. Called shots can also be made against specific vehicle systems in an effort to disable them. Exact effects are determined by the GM, but in most cases the system is simply disabled. Shooting out tires imposes a -2 penalty to Vehicle Tests per flat tire.
- Damage and Passengers: Normal attacks target either passengers or the vehicle, leaving the other unaffected. Ramming, full auto bursts and AOE weapons affect both passengers and vehicles equally. Attacks against passengers usually suffer Good Cover or Blind Fire modifiers, and passengers add the vehicle’s armor to their own for defense. Called shots can be used to bypass personal armor or vehicle armor, not both. Passengers suffer a -2 penalty to Dodge defense from restricted movement.
Attacking With Vehicles: Any weapon mounted on a vehicle requires Gunnery skill rather than it’s normal weapon skill. Non-mounted weapons fired by characters in a moving vehicle suffer a -3 penalty. Drones use Pilot + Targeting (Weapon) autosoft for weapon attacks, and must have the appropriate autosoft for their armament to use it.
- Detection: Detecting a target with sensors requires a Sensor Test (Sensor + Perception for a pilot, Sensor + Clearsight for drones).
- Signature: Sensor Tests are modified by the target’s Signature:
- -6 for micro drones
- -3 for drones, metahumans, critters and regular electric vehicles
- 0 for standard sized or combustion powered vehicles
- +3 for oversized vehicles (big rigs, trains, airliners, etc).
- Stealth: If the target is trying to avoid detection, this is an opposed test vs the target’s Infiltration + Agility (live targets), Infiltration + Reaction +/- Handling (vehicles) or Pilot + Covert Ops +/- Handling (drones). For vehicle stealth, Infiltration dice cannot be more than the pilot’s Vehicle skill.
- Passive Targeting: When passive targeting, the character makes a normal Gunnery test for the attack but substitutes the vehicle’s Sensors for Agility or Pilot. Signature modifiers apply to the test.
- Active Targeting: Before attacking the character uses a Simple Action to make a Sensor Test to lock on to the target. Net hits on the lock-on test are added to any subsequent Gunnery Tests made by that vehicle against that target until the target breaks sensor contact.
See GrokSheet: Advanced Rigging for more info on the Matrix side of rigging, including drone hacking and defense.
See GrokSheet: Security Rigging for more info on security rigging.