If you’re like me, you like to imagine where the hits land on the hulls of your starship, and perhaps specify damaged decks, nacelles, and other problems that the crew will have to fix. I thought about the equivalent of a hit locations table, but that will vary for every single starship. I began brainstorming how to determine random hit locations on different starships, without detailing every single variant in a table.
Here’s what I hit upon: 2d20 Hit Grids!
Hit Grids are 5×5 grids where you insert a top (dorsal) view and a side (lateral) view of a starship. An example with the Galaxy-class is above; the Intrepid-class below. I included the Systems Hit table on these for ease of reference.
Basic Method of Use
The numbers 1-20 go along the perimeter as a kind of coordinate system. Think of these as angles of attack (vectors).
The simplest way to use the Hit Grid is to roll 2d20, designating one as result for the top (dorsal) grid, and the other as the side (lateral) grid result. Let’s call symbolize the coordinates as (dorsal, lateral), e.g., (4.13)
Then, think of them as possible vectors, and estimate where the attack hits and at what angle. This isn’t an exact science but is meant to inspire. I’ll use the Intrepid class as an example.
Let’s say we have (4,13). The dorsal vector comes in from 4, indicating an attack from the left side of the ship, and mid-saucer.
The lateral vector comes in from 13, bottom side of the ship. That suggests the hit is somewhere on the bottom-left side of the saucer. In this case, drawing lines from 4 to 13 on both tables may help estimate the location. Depending on the weapon, it could also be damage from a phaser that runs along the bottom of the saucer.
Also temember that sometimes shields are up, so this could just be a way to describe where the shield suffered damage.
In this example, 14 Dorsal indicates a zone that intersects with the front part of the nacelles and the mid neck/drive section. 7 Lateral indicates upper decks. The GM decides it hits the back of the ship’s neck.
Dorsal 17 and Lateral 19 suggests an attack from the rear, the attack vector running along the row for 17 (starboard), but upper decks. Point of impact is shown.
In this example, 2 Dorsal doesn’t intersect well with 1 Lateral. But since they both come from the port (left) side of the ship, the GM decides on the port nacelle as the target.
Use these grids however you like. I considered some advanced rule variants (e.g., using only dice results from the Task roll; targeted attacks, etc.), but went for simplicity here. The GM or the players roll 2d20, and allow inspiration to hit them.
I give the Starfleet (Core Rulebook) spaceframes in the PDF below. They include:
- Constitution-class refit
I also include blank hit grids that you can modify yourselves. (PDF here, but I’ll try some spreadsheet formats for a future article.)
Blank Hit Grids, 3 versions (PDF)
Future releases will include enemy starships (Core) and Command Division spaceframes, saucer separation, etc.
Try these at your game and let me know how they play out!
What a fun tool!