For rules on vehicle chases and conflicts, see the Action and Opposition page.
Common vehicles include ground transportation (ground cars, antigrav speeders), atmospheric flyers (cargo planes, swoop bikes, transporters), and spacecraft (freighters, starfighters, cruisers). You might get temporary access to a standard vehicle, or tickets for transport from one place to another, using skills such as Resources or Contacts. Vehicles have a function aspect (like a character’s high concept) that describes what it does, such as Heavy Automated Cargo Crawler or Standard Short Range Escape Pod.
We’ll use an adjective progression to describe vehicle size:
- Tiny/+0: Reconnaissance probe, character in a vacuum suit
- Small/+1: Starfighter, speeder, grav bike, very large creature
- Medium/+2: Small freighter, mining crawler, exploration ship
- Large/+3: Blockade runner, bulk freighter, frigate
- Great/+4: Cruiser, outpost, colony ship
- Huge/+5: Star destroyer, space station
- Fantastic/+6: Battleship, space habitat
- Epic/+7: Orbital city
- Legendary/+8: Artificial planetoid
If you want a vehicle to be part of the story of your character, you can invest aspects or stunts (or both). A vehicle might also become part of the group story; in that case, two or more PCs could have overlapping aspects (Captain Of The Fire Dream, Pilot Of The Fire Dream) to reflect a mutual interest in a vehicle that becomes essentially a character in the shared story. Generally, a PC who invests an aspect into their own personal vehicle can have a Small size craft such as a starfighter or grav bike. Two or more PCs could have a larger Medium sized craft such as a small freighter, exploration vessel, or mining crawler.
Special vehicles have a function aspect as noted above. A special vehicle vehicle belonging to a single character has one additional aspect. If a vehicle has multiple PCs investing in it, it has one additional aspect per character. Example aspects:
- Fastest Ship In The Sector
- Space Superiority Fighter
- Advanced Targeting System
- Sturdier Than She Looks
- Hidden Storage Compartments
- Advanced Sensors
Special vehicles will also have a trouble aspect, such as:
- Doesn’t Technically Belong To Us
- Poor Visibility On Rear Quadrant
- Hard To Find The Parts
- Infamous Pirate Vessel
- Flies Like A Brick
- Seen Better Days
Vehicle Equipment and Characteristics
Fate can treat anything, including a vehicle, as a kind of character with its own aspects, stress boxes, and consequence slots. Vehicles don’t normally have skills, but the equipment they have installed can allow characters to use their skills. Thus, a spaceship with turbo lasers allows a character on the ship to use his Shoot skill to attack another ship.
Depending on the specific vehicle, here are common kinds of equipment:
- Planetary Vehicles
- Engines, antigrav system, wheels/treads/legs, windscreen, temperature control, navigation system, cargo capacity, communications equipment, armor, deflector shields, blaster cannon.
- Life support, sublight engines, sensors, hyperdrive engines, navicomputer, deflector shields, armor, targeting system, turbo lasers, torpedo launchers, tractor beams, cargo hold, hangar bay, passenger compartment.
Vehicles can have stunts. Anyone on the vehicle can use its stunts if at the proper controls. Examples:
- All Terrain
- Ground vehicles only. Ignore up to 3 levels of passive difficulty due to challenging terrain.
- Attack Craft
- Size 1 and 2 vehicles only. Gain +2 to attacks on ships and bases of size 4 or larger.
- Core Weapon
- Size 3 vehicles or larger. The vehicle is built around an especially powerful weapon designed to affect larger targets. When the vehicle attacks targets larger than itself with this weapon, any defense bonus the target receives is reduced by 3 (to no lower than zero). The core weapon can be used only every other exchange. The vehicle has other normal weapons, but they can’t combine attacks with the core weapon for teamwork bonuses.
- The vehicle has a variety of special modifications. Any time you spend a fate point to declare a story detail related to extra vehicle equipment or capability, you also gain a boost. Once per session, you can make such a declaration into a full situation aspect with a free invocation.
- Deflector Shields
- Spacecraft carry light deflector shields to prevent damage from small debris, but stronger shields are used for battle defenses on ships, tanks, bases, or even buildings or cities. A vehicle with deflector shields gets +1 to defense rolls against physical attacks (beams, blasters, missiles, lasers, slugthrowers, etc.). If the vehicle with deflector shields takes a consequence, the attacker can choose to spend his free invocation to declare that it affects shields (taking them down).
- A vehicle can take this stunt multiple times. Each difference in speed gives a +2 bonus when attempting to outrun another vehicle or move quickly. Fast is relative to the type of vehicle—taking this stunt for a mining crawler means you have a fast mining crawler; it doesn’t mean you can outrun a speeder bike. For starships with this stunt, choose whether it applies to sublight or hyperspace travel.
- Fighter Bay
- The vehicle is equipped for transporting, repairing, supplying, launching, and recovering atmospheric or space fighters. The maximum number of fighters is equal to (Size -1)2. For example, a fighter bay on a Size 4 vehicle can carry nine fighters. This stunt may be taken multiple times if that makes sense, especially on large specialized warships, but that will limit what other functions the vehicle can perform. A vehicle without this stunt may, if it has the appropriate function aspect, have cargo or launching bays that can manage fighters, shuttles, or other smaller vehicles, but there will be constraints on the speed, flexibility, and sustainability of fighter operations.
- Missile Launcher
- The vehicle is equipped to fire salvos of guided missiles at aircraft and spacecraft. One salvo can be fired for free; after that the launcher acquires a Limited Reloads aspect that can be compelled to make it run out of missiles. A missile salvo acts like a tiny (Size 0) spacecraft with an integrated droid controller which has a skill of 4 for anything missiles do. The salvo moves each turn until it is in the same zone as the target, at which point it attacks. The target gets a defense bonus equal to its Size, plus its usual maneuverability bonus. If the salvo hits it does damage and is removed from the scene. If it misses it continues to move and (if possible) attack each turn. The salvo can be attacked and is destroyed upon taking any stress. If the target is of Size 1 or 2, its pilot may also try to destroy a salvo in the same zone by spoofing it; this counts as an attack using Pilot skill vs. the missile’s skill.
- Nimble Fighter
- Size 1 vehicles only. Gain +2 on attempts to create a position advantage when dogfighting with another fighter. Incompatible with the Attack Craft stunt.
- Point Defense
- Great/+4 and larger vehicles only. One or more of the vehicle’s weapons stations is designed for attacking smaller vehicles. When using these weapons, attack, defense, and range are calculated as if they were equipping a Size Large/+3 vehicle. Up to half the total weapon stations carried by the vehicle (round up) may be designated as point defense stations.
- Programmable ID Transponder
- All spacecraft registered for travel within the Republic have a transponder that broadcasts an identifying code. This highly illegal modification allows the transponder to be programmed so that the ship identifies itself as some other vessel.
- Sick Bay
- Gives +2 to Medic rolls for recovery from physical consequences.
- Tractor Beam
- Great size or larger vehicles only. Make an Engineer roll opposed by the Pilot skill of the person operating the target ship. The operator of the larger ship gets a bonus equal to the difference in size ratings of the two vehicles. If the attacker succeeds, he can choose to hold the target in place (removing any maneuverability bonus for ships of Size 1 and 2) or pull it one zone closer. If it is in the same zone, the attacker can in one exchange pull it into the vicinity of his ship and in the next into a docking bay or against an airlock for boarding.
- Size 1 spacecraft and aircraft only. Normally, in fighter combat, when your opponent places an On Your Six aspect on you, you can’t attack that pursuing craft until the aspect is removed. With this stunt, you can fire back at the pursuer, so long as you have someone other than the pilot to operate the turret cannons.
- Sublight Travel
- Spacecraft with modern engines and artificial gravity/inertial compensators can make their way among the inner planets of most star systems in hours or days. Longer trips are typically made in hyperspace.
- Jumping to Lightspeed
- Ships equipped with hyperspace engines can jump into hyperspace to travel faster than light between or across star systems. Initiating a hyperspace jump can be done safely only in space, outside of the gravity well of any planet or other large mass. When jumping onto a known hyperspace route with a few minutes to make preparatory calculations, there is no need for a Pilot roll. If the jump is not along a known route or is made in haste, a Pilot roll is made against passive resistance, with failure resulting in a mis-jump. A mis-jump can produce such mishaps as going nowhere, placing the ship in the wrong location, drastically increasing travel time, or damaging the hyperspace engines.
- Interstellar Travel
- Hyperspace journeys can take hours, days, or weeks, depending on the length of the jump, the specific route being traveled, and the engine rating of the ship. Travel along uncharted routes is dangerous, difficult, and slow. Hyperspace engines are rated numerically. The lower the rating, the faster the speed—a vessel with a class 2 hyperdrive takes twice as long to get somewhere as a vessel with a class 1 hyperdrive, and so on. Common engine ratings run in the range of 1–5, with very fast ships having fractional engine ratings. The default for PC ships is speed 2. The Fast stunt improves that to 1. Taking the stunt again decreases it to 0.75, then 0.5 past lightspeed.