Vehicles are described by a number of statistics, as shown on Table: Vehicles.
Crew: The standard number of crew. In most cases, only one person is needed to drive the vehicle; other crew members serve as gunners or copilots.
Passengers: The number of passengers (in addition to the crew) the vehicle is designed to carry. Vehicles that carry passengers can use that space to carry additional cargo when passengers aren’t present. Each unused passenger slot allows the vehicle to carry an additional 100 pounds of cargo.
Cargo Capacity: The amount of cargo the vehicle is designed to carry. Many vehicles can carry extra passengers instead of cargo, but doing so is usually a cramped, uncomfortable, and often unsafe experience for those passengers. As a rule of thumb, one additional passenger can be carried for each 250 pounds of unused cargo capacity.
Initiative: The modifier added to the driver’s or pilot’s initiative check when operating the vehicle.
Maneuver: The modifier added to any Drive or Pilot checks attempted with the vehicle.
Top Speed: The maximum number of squares the vehicle can cover in 1 round at character scale (with the number of squares at chase scale in parentheses). This is the fastest the vehicle can move.
Defense: The vehicle’s Defense.
Hardness: The vehicle’s hardness. Subtract this number from any damage dealt to the vehicle.
Hit Points: The vehicle’s full normal hit points.
Size: Vehicle size categories are defined differently from the size categories for weapons and other objects.
Purchase DC: This is the purchase DC for a Wealth check to acquire the vehicle. This number reflects the base price and doesn’t include any modifier for purchasing the vehicle on the black market.
Restriction: The restriction rating for the vehicle, if any, and the appropriate black market purchase DC modifier. Remember to apply this modifier to the purchase DC when making a Wealth check to acquire the vehicle on the black market.
All aircraft, from one-seaters to jumbo jets, are controlled by the use of the Pilot skill. A few examples are provided here from the variety of air-going vehicles that might be available to characters.
This is perhaps the most common civilian helicopter worldwide; it has also been adopted by many military forces as a light utility helicopter. The Jet Ranger is two squares wide and seven squares long. It provides three-quarters cover for crew and passengers.
This is the twin-engine, civilian version of the ubiquitous Huey helicopter. As a civilian aircraft, it is a sturdy, reliable helicopter used for passenger and cargo work all over the world. Military versions are still in use in many countries. The Bell 212 is three squares wide and seven squares long. It provides three-quarters cover for crew and passengers (one-quarter cover for passengers if the cargo doors are open).
This common single-engine propeller plane is relatively inexpensive. A Cessna 172 is seven squares wide (including wings; fuselage is one square wide) and six squares long. It provides three-quarters cover for crew and passengers.
This is a sleek business jet introduced in the late 90s. Two turbofans, set on the fuselage above and behind the wings, provide the power. The interior includes luxury accommodations and a lavatory. A Learjet is ten squares wide (including wings; fuselage is two squares wide) and twelve squares long. It provides three-quarters cover for crew and nineteenths cover for passengers.
Most new civilian cars include such standard features as air conditioning, air bags, antilock brakes, cruise control, keyless entry, and an AM/FM radio with CD player. Luxury vehicles often also include extras such as heated side mirrors, power seats, leather upholstery, and sunroofs. In general, these luxury amenities can be added to a non-luxury car with an increase of 1 to the vehicle’s purchase DC. Unless otherwise noted, civilian cars provide three-quarters cover for their occupants (although passengers who lean out of windows or sunroofs, perhaps to fire weapons, may be reduced to one-half or even one-quarter cover).
The 3.2 TL is a four-door luxury sedan. It is two squares wide and four squares long.
The Vanquish is a two-door luxury sports car powered by a 5.9- liter, 460-horsepower V12 engine. A six-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard. The Vanquish is two squares wide and four squares long.
The M3 is a two-door luxury sports car equipped with a standard 3.2-liter, 333-horsepower engine. The M3 is two squares wide and three squares long.
A two-door family coupe, the Cavalier is two squares wide and four squares long.
The Corvette is a two-door sports car equipped with a 5.7-liter, 350-horsepower V8 engine. The Corvette is two squares wide and three squares long.
The Neon is an inexpensive four-door family sedan. It is two squares wide and three squares long.
The Crown Victoria is a large four-door family sedan equipped with a 4.6-liter, 220-horsepower V8 engine. Large and durable, it is a favorite of police forces (police cruisers are commonly Crown Victorias). The Crown Victoria is two squares wide and four squares long.
The XJ is a four-door luxury sedan. It is two squares wide and four squares long.
The Diablo is a top-of-the-line exotic sports car—a two-door coupe equipped with a standard 6.0-liter, 550-horsepower V12 engine. The Diablo is two squares wide and three squares long.
The E-Class is a four-door luxury sedan equipped with a powerful 5.5-liter, 349-horsepower V8 engine. It is two squares wide and four squares long.
The Jetta is a four-door station wagon. It is two squares wide and three squares long.
Unlike getting into a car, mounting a motorcycle is a free action. Motorcycles tend to perform better than automobiles, but they provide no cover to their occupants.
This is a top-of-the-line street bike with a strong heritage of winning races. The 998R is one square wide and two squares long.
This huge motorcycle sports a 1,450cc engine. It’s designed to look cool and compete for space on the roads with automobiles. It is one square wide and two squares long.
A classic dirt bike, this is very similar to the motorcycle used by United States Army cavalry scouts. The YZ250F is one square wide and two squares long.
Trucks include pickups, sport utility vehicles, vans, and minivans. They generally have the same features as civilian cars.
Like cars, trucks generally provide three-quarters cover to their occupants. The rear bed of a pickup truck, however, provides only one-half cover.
The four-door Hummer is a civilian version of the military’s all-terrain “hum-vee” utility vehicle. It comes equipped with a powerful 6.5-liter, 195-horsepower V8 turbo diesel engine. The hummer is decked out like a luxury vehicle inside, but this vehicle is every bit as rugged as the military version. The military version can be configured in a variety of ways, including a two-door pickup, a four-door pickup with a short bed, and a completely enclosed, SUV-like body with a hatchback and four doors. It lacks the luxury accessories of the civilian version, but it is equipped with puncture-resistant tires. A Hummer is two squares wide and four squares long.
One of the largest sport utility vans on the market, the Suburban is a four-door truck equipped with a standard 6.0-liter, 320- horsepower V8 engine. It is two squares wide and four squares long.
The Caravan is a minivan with two conventional doors up front, sliding doors on the side, and a rear hatch-style door. It is two squares wide and four squares long.
The Escape is a four-door SUV with a 3.0-liter, 201-horsepower V6 engine. It is two squares wide and three squares long.
This two-door pickup truck has a 4.2-liter, 202-horsepower V6 engine. The F-150 is two squares wide and four squares long.
The Tacoma is a two-door pickup with a back seat in its extended cab. It is two squares wide and four squares long.
Piloting a water vehicle is covered by the Drive skill.
This is a large runabout—a powerboat with an outboard engine and an open cockpit with a tiny cabin (about the size of the interior of an economy car) forward. It comes with a trailer; loading or unloading it requires a paved boat ramp and 10 minutes of work. The Capri provides one-half cover to occupants in the cockpit or stern, full cover to occupants in the cabin, and no cover to those forward of the cockpit. The Capri is two squares wide and four squares long.
This cabin cruiser is a motor yacht with two internal diesel engines. It comes equipped with four berths and a fully equipped galley. It provides one-half cover to occupants in the cockpit or stern, full cover to occupants below deck, and no cover to those forward of the cockpit. The Targa is three squares wide and six squares long.
This is a two-seat jet ski that propels itself with a powerful jet of water. The Sea-Doo XP is one square wide and two squares long, and provides no cover for its riders.
A few types of vehicles don’t fit neatly into the categories covered above. Many of these (such as the armored truck and the limousine) are usually custom built, so the model name isn’t specified as it is with most other vehicles in this section. The description and stats reflect a typical model.
Used to transport money between businesses and financial institutions, armored trucks are designed to deter would-be thieves. The truck has three doors and firing ports that allow the crew to use their firearms without leaving the vehicle. The armored truck is two squares wide and four squares long. It provides nine-tenths cover for its occupants. It is equipped with puncture-resistant tires.
This all-terrain vehicle is something like a four-wheeled motorcycle. It is one square wide and two squares long. It provides no cover for its riders.
A limousine is a big, comfortable car. The statistics given are for a moderate-sized vehicle, rather than a stretch limo or a conventional car with a professional driver. Limousines feature virtually every available luxury feature, often including televisions and small refrigerators. A partition divides the front seat from the rest of the vehicle. A limousine is two squares wide and five squares long. It provides three-quarters cover for its occupants.
This is a large cargo truck used to move furniture or deliver freight. Trucks of this sort are often available as rentals. A moving truck is two squares wide and five squares long. It provides three-quarters cover for occupants in the cab and full cover for any in the back.
This is a typical city bus. It has a door at the front and a second door about halfway down the right-hand side. This vehicle is two squares wide and eight squares long. It provides three-quarters cover for crew and passengers.
Several military vehicles are covered here. In addition, a number of the civilian vehicles covered above, such as the AM General Hummer and the Bell Model 212 helicopter, are commonly seen in military service.
A Soviet-era armored personnel carrier, the BMP is used by the Russian army and more than twenty ex-Soviet states or clients. It is crewed by a driver, a gunner, and a commander. It has three top hatches, one above each crew position, and a large door in back for infantry soldiers to load or disembark. It takes a full-round action to enter the vehicle through a top hatch and another full-round action to start it moving. The BMP-2 is three squares wide and four squares long. It provides full cover to its occupants.
This vehicle comes equipped with a 30mm cannon (see Table: Vehicle Weapons) mounted in a full turret.
This is the U.S. Army’s main battle tank, probably the most advanced and powerful tank in the world. It is crewed by a driver, a gunner, a gun loader, and a commander. It has three top hatches, one for the driver and two on the turret. (The driver’s position cannot be reached from the other positions, which are all in the turret.) It takes a full-round action to enter a tank and another full-round action to start it moving. The Abrams is three squares wide and six squares long. It provides full cover to its occupants.
This vehicle comes equipped with a tank cannon (see Table: Vehicle Weapons) and an M2HB heavy machine gun (see Table: Ranged Weapons), both mounted in full turrets.
This is the U.S. Army’s principal armored personnel carrier. It is crewed by a driver, a gunner, and a commander. It has three top hatches, one above each crew position, and a large door in back for infantry soldiers to load or disembark. It takes a full-round action to enter the vehicle through a top hatch, and another full-round action to start it moving. In addition to its own armament, the Bradley’s passenger compartment has ports that allow passengers to fire their personal weapons from within the vehicle. The Bradley is three squares wide and four squares long. It provides full cover to its occupants. This vehicle comes equipped with a 25mm cannon (see Table: Vehicle Weapons) mounted in a full turret.
Introduced in 1960s and for many years a mainstay of the U.S. Army, this tracked armored personnel carrier is now in use by more than fifty countries. It is crewed by a driver and a commander, and features a top hatch above each position as well as a rear door. It takes a full-round action to enter the vehicle through a top hatch and another full-round action to start it moving. The Gavin is three squares wide and four squares long. It provides full cover to its occupants.
Introduced in the 1980s to replace the aging UH-1, the Black Hawk is the U.S. Army’s primary utility helicopter. The UH-60 is three squares wide and twelve squares long. It provides three-quarters cover to crew and passengers (one-quarter cover to passengers if the cargo doors are open).
Table: Vehicle Weapons
|Weapon||Damage||Critical||Damage Type||Range Increment||Rate of Fire||Magazine||Size|
|Cannons (require the Exotic Firearms Proficiency [cannons] feat)|
|BMP-2 30mm cannon||4d12||20||Ballistic||150 ft.||A||Linked||Huge|
|M1A2 Abrams tank cannon||10d12||20||Ballistic||150 ft.||Single||1||Huge|
|M2A2 Bradley 25mm cannon||4d12||20||Ballistic||150 ft.||A||Linked||Huge|
|Name||Type||Crew||Pass||Cargo||Init||Maneuver||Top Speed||Defense||Hardness||Hit Points||Size||Purchase DC|
|Bell Jet Ranger||helicopter||1||4||250 lb.||–4||–4||245 (25)||6||5||28||G||39|
|Bell Model 212||helicopter
|2||13||5,000 lb.||–4||–4||200 (20)||6||5||36||G||45|
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk||prop plane||1||3||120 lb.||–4||–4||210 (21)||6||5||30||G||36|
|Learjet Model 45||corporate jet||2||10||500 lb.||–4||–4||1,100 (110)||6||5||44||G||40|
|Civilian Water Vehicles|
|Bayliner 1802 Capri||runabout||1||5||2,100 lb.||–2||–2||55 (5)||8||5||28||H||28|
|Fairline Targa 30||cabin cruiser||1||3||2,100 lb.||–4||–4||80 (8)||6||5||40||G||32|
|Sea-Doo XP||personal watercraft||1||1||60 lb.||–1||+1||105 (10)||9||5||22||L||24|
|Ducati 998R||racing bike||1||0||0 lb.||+0||+3||370 (37)||10||5||18||M||27|
|Harley Davidson FLSTF||street bike||1||1||0 lb.||–1||+1||275 (27)||9||5||22||L||26|
|Yamaha YZ250F||dirt bike||1||1||0 lb.||+0||+2||165 (16)||10||5||18||M||23|
|AM General Hummer||SUV||1||3||1,000 lb.||–2||–2||140 (14)||8||5||38||H||34|
|Chevrolet Suburban||SUV||1||8||500 lb.||–2||–2||175 (17)||8||5||38||H||30|
|Dodge Caravan||minivan||1||4||325 lb.||–2||–2||195 (19)||8||5||34||H||28|
|Ford Escape XLT||SUV||1||4||300 lb.||–2||–2||200 (20)||8||5||32||H||29|
|Ford F-150 XL||pickup||1||2||1,700 lb.||–2||–2||175 (17)||8||5||36||H||28|
|Toyota Tacoma Xtracab||pickup||1||3||1,600 lb.||–2||–2||185 (18)||8||5||34||H||27|
|Acura 3.2 TL||mid-size sedan||1||4||300 lb.||–2||–1||265 (26)||8||5||34||H||29|
|Name||Type||Crew||Pass||Cargo||Init||Maneuver||Top Speed||Defense||Hardness||Hit Points||Size||Purchase DC|
|Aston-Martin Vanquish||sports coupe||1||1||175 lb.||–2||+0||335 (33)||8||5||34||H||36|
|BMW M3||sports coupe||1||4||200 lb.||–2||+1||275 (27)||8||5||32||H||30|
|Chevrolet Cavalier||economy coupe||1||4||275 lb.||–1||–1||185 (18)||9||5||30||L||26|
|Chevrolet Corvette||sports coupe||1||1||250 lb.||–2||+0||310 (31)||8||5||32||H||30|
|Dodge Neon||economy sedan||1||4||275 lb.||–1||–1||220 (22)||9||5||30||L||26|
|Ford Crown Victoria||mid-size sedan||1||5||425 lb.||–2||–1||185 (18)||8||5||34||H||28|
|Jaguar XJS||luxury sedan||1||4||275 lb.||–2||–1||230 (23)||8||5||34||H||32|
|Lamborghini Diablo||sports coupe||1||1||100 lb.||–2||+1||360 (36)||8||5||34||H||37|
|Mercedes E55 AMG||luxury sedan||1||4||325 lb.||–2||+0||280 (28)||8||5||34||H||32|
|Volkswagen Jetta||mid-size wagon||1||4||275 lb.||–2||+0||230 (23)||8||5||32||H||28|
|Other Civilian Vehicles|
|2||0||3,600 lb.||–2||–2||175 (17)||8||10||36||H||34|
|Honda TRX400FW||4-wheel ATV||1||0||675 lb.||–1||+1||95 (9)||9||5||22||L||23|
|Limousine||1||7||425 lb.||–4||–4||195 (19)||6||5||38||G||36|
|Moving truck||1||2||33,000 lb.||–4||–4||165 (16)||6||5||44||G||34|
|NABI Model 40LFW||city bus||1||39||0 lb.||–4||–4||120 (12)||6||5||48||G||38|
(All have the military restriction)
|BMP-2||tracked APC||3||7||250 lb.||–2||–2||70 (7)||8||10||52||H||40|
|M1A2 Abrams||tracked tank||4||0||425 lb.||–4||–4||80 (8)||6||20||64||G||47|
|M2A2 Bradley||tracked APC||3||7||425 lb.||–4||–4||70 (7)||6||15||58||G||45|
|M113A1 Gavin||tracked APC||2||11||200 lb.||–2||–2||62 (6)||8||10||48||H||39|
|UH-60 Black Hawk||helicopter||2||14||9,000 lb.||–4||–4||325 (32)||6||5||46||G||47|
For simply traveling from point to point, the vehicle used is largely a matter of personal style and finances. Skill checks are only required in extraordinary circumstances. These rules are primarily focused on ground vehicles—cars, trucks, and light military vehicles. The rules can be modified for boats, heavier armored vehicles, and aircraft.
A character in a vehicle fills one of several possible roles, which determines what the character can do.
Driver: The driver of the vehicle controls its movement. Most vehicles have only one position from where the vehicle can be driven, so the person seated there is the driver. Driving a vehicle is, at a minimum, a move action, which means that the driver may be able to do something else with his or her attack action. There can be only one driver in a vehicle at one time.
Copilot: A copilot can help the driver by taking an aid another action. The copilot must be seated in a location where he or she can see the road and advise the driver (in a car, this generally means the front passenger seat). Aiding the driver is a move action, leaving the copilot with an attack action each round to do something else. A vehicle can have only one copilot at a time.
Gunner: Some vehicles have built-in weapons. If such a weapon is controlled from a location other than the driver’s position, a character can man that position and become the gunner. A vehicle can have as many gunners as it has gunner positions.
Passenger: All other personnel aboard the vehicle are considered passengers. Passengers have no specific role in the vehicle’s operation, but may be able to fire weapons from the vehicle or take other actions.
These rules use two scales. If the encounter involves both vehicles and characters on foot, use character scale. If the scene involves only vehicles, and they’re likely to move at much higher speeds than characters or creatures on foot, use chase scale.
Character Scale: Character scale is identical to the standard movement scale: It’s carried out on a grid in which each square equals 5 feet. In character scale, most vehicles are large enough to occupy multiple squares on the map grid. How many squares a vehicle occupies is specified in the vehicle’s description. When moving a vehicle, count the squares from the vehicle’s rear. When turning, pivot the vehicle on the rear square toward which it is turning. When firing weapons, count squares from the location of the weapon.
In character scale, more than one ground vehicle cannot occupy the same square.
Chase Scale: In chase scale, each square of the grid represents 50 feet.
In chase scale, most commonly encountered vehicles occupy only one square. (Some especially large vehicles, such as ships or jumbo jets, might occupy more than one square.) More than one vehicle can occupy the same square. Vehicles in the same square are considered to be 20 feet apart for the purposes of determining range for attacks.
Vehicle Sizes: Vehicles use the same size categories as characters and creatures, as shown on Table: Vehicle Sizes. The vehicle’s size modifier applies to its initiative modifier, maneuver modifier, and Defense. (The size modifier is already included in the vehicle statistics on Table: Vehicles)
Table: Vehicle Sizes
|Vehicle Size||Size Modifier||Examples|
|Colossal||–8||Yacht, semi with trailer|
|Huge||–2||Luxury car, SUV, armored car|
|Large||–1||Economy car, Harley|
|Medium-size||+0||Racing bike, dirt bike|
Unlike with characters, when dealing with vehicles, the vehicle’s facing (the direction it’s pointing) is important. Facing indicates the direction in which the vehicle is traveling
(assuming it’s not moving in reverse). It can also determine which weapons aboard the vehicle can be brought to bear on a target.
A weapon built into a vehicle can by mounted to fire in one of four directions—forward, aft (rear), right, or left—or be built into a partial or full turret. A partial turret lets a weapon fire into three adjacent fire arcs (such as forward, left, and right), while a full turret lets it fire in any direction. For vehicles with weapons, a weapon’s arc of fire is given in the vehicle’s description.
Most vehicles can be entered with a move action and started with a second move action. An exception is noted in a vehicle’s description when it applies.
There are two options for determining initiative in vehicle combat. First, is individual initiative just as in normal combat, where each character rolls separately. This is probably the best method if most or all characters are aboard the same vehicle, but it can result in a lot of delayed or readied actions as passengers wait for drivers to perform maneuvers. An alternative is to roll initiative for each vehicle, using the vehicle’s initiative
modifier. This is particularly appropriate when characters are in separate vehicles, since it allows everyone aboard the same vehicle to act more or less simultaneously.
Vehicle speed is expressed in five categories: stationary, alley speed, street speed, highway speed, and all-out. Each of these speed categories represents a range of possible movement (see Table: Vehicle Speeds and Modifiers). Each round, a vehicle moves according to its current speed category.
Table: Vehicle Speeds and Modifiers
|Speed Category||Character Scale Movement1||Chase Scale Movement1||Turn Number2||Turn Number2||Defense Modifier||Check/Roll Modifier|
1 The number of squares a vehicle can move at this speed.
2 The number of squares a vehicle must move at this speed before making a turn.
3 A stationary vehicle cannot move or maneuver.
At the beginning of his or her action, a driver must declare his or her speed category for the round. The driver can choose to go one category faster or slower than the vehicle’s speed in the previous round. A stationary vehicle can change to alley speed in either forward or reverse. Most vehicles cannot go faster than alley speed in reverse.
Stationary: The vehicle is motionless.
Alley Speed: This speed is used for safely maneuvering a vehicle in tight spaces, such as alleys and parking garages. It tops out at about the speed a typical person can run.
Street Speed: The vehicle is traveling at a moderate speed, up to about 35 miles per hour.
Highway Speed: The vehicle is moving at a typical highway speed, from about 35 to 80 miles per hour.
All-Out: The vehicle is traveling extremely fast, more than 80 miles per hour.
On his or her action, the driver moves the vehicle a number of squares that falls within the vehicle’s speed category.
Unlike characters, a vehicle cannot double move, run, or otherwise extend its movement (except by changing to a higher speed category).
Every vehicle has a top speed, included in its statistics on Table: Vehicles. A vehicle cannot move more squares than its top speed. This means that some vehicles cannot move at all-out speed, or even highway speed. Count squares for vehicles just as for characters. Vehicles can move diagonally; remember that when moving diagonally, every second square costs two squares’ worth of movement. Unlike with moving characters, a vehicle’s facing is important; unless it changes direction, a vehicle always moves in the direction of its facing (or in the opposite direction, if it’s moving in reverse).
A fast-moving vehicle is harder to hit than a stationary one—but it’s also harder to control, and to attack from.
As shown on Table: Vehicle Speeds and Modifiers, when a vehicle travels at street speed or faster, it gains a bonus to Defense. However, that speed brings along with it a penalty on all skill checks and attack rolls made by characters aboard the vehicle—including Drive checks to control the vehicle and attacks made from it.
Driving a vehicle is a move action, taken by the vehicle’s driver. During his or her move action, the driver moves the vehicle a number of squares that falls within its speed category. The driver can attempt maneuvers to change the vehicle’s course or speed. These maneuvers can be attempted at any point along the vehicle’s route. The driver can choose to use his or her attack action to attempt additional maneuvers.
The two kinds of vehicle movement are simple maneuvers and stunts.
Simple Maneuvers: A simple maneuver, such as a 45-degree turn, is easy to perform. Each is a free action and can be taken as many times as the driver likes while he or she moves the vehicle. However, simple maneuvers do cost movement—so a vehicle that makes a lot of simple maneuvers will not get as far as one going in a straight line. Simple maneuvers do not require the driver to make skill checks.
Stunts: Stunts are difficult and sometimes daring maneuvers that enable a driver to change his or her vehicle’s speed or heading more radically than a simple maneuver allows. A stunt is a move action. It can be taken as part of a move action to control the vehicle, and a second stunt can be attempted in lieu of the driver’s attack action. Stunts always require Drive checks.
During a vehicle’s movement, the driver can perform any one of the following maneuvers.
45-Degree Turn: Any vehicle can make a simple 45-degree turn as part of its movement. The vehicle must move forward at least a number of squares equal to its turn number (shown on Table: Vehicle Speeds and Modifiers) before it can turn. Making a 45- degree turn costs 1 square of movement.
Ram: At character scale, a driver does not have to perform a maneuver to ram another vehicle—he or she only needs to drive his or her vehicle into the other vehicle’s square, and a collision occurs (see Collisions and Ramming). At chase scale, however, more than one vehicle can occupy the same square and not collide—so ramming another vehicle requires a simple maneuver. The driver moves his or her vehicle into the other vehicle’s square and states that he or she is attempting to ram. Resolve the ram as a collision, except that the driver of the target vehicle can make a Reflex save (DC 15) to reduce the damage to both vehicles by half.
Sideslip: A driver might wish to move to the side without changing the vehicle’s facing, for instance to change lanes. This simple maneuver, called a sideslip, allows a vehicle to avoid obstacles or weave in and out of traffic without changing facing.
A sideslip moves a vehicle 1 square forward and 1 square to the right or left, and costs 3 squares of movement.
Stunts are maneuvers that require a Drive check to perform successfully. Unsuccessful stunts often result in the vehicle ending up someplace other than where the driver intended. When this happens, the vehicle collides with any objects in its path. Remember that the check/roll modifier from Table: Vehicle Speeds and Modifiers affects all Drive checks made by the driver and attack rolls made by all occupants of the vehicle.
Avoid Hazard: Vehicle combat rarely occurs on a perfectly flat, featureless plain. When a vehicle tries to move through a square occupied by a hazard, the driver must succeed on a Drive check to avoid the hazard and continue moving.
Structures simply cannot be avoided. Also, if a driver cannot make a check (if he or she has used all his or her actions for the round in performing other stunts), he or she automatically fails to avoid the hazard. In such cases, a collision occurs. The DC to avoid a hazard varies with the nature of the hazard. On a failed check, the vehicle hits the obstacle. For caltrops, this means the caltrops make an attack against the vehicle (see Caltrops). An oil slick forces the drive to make a Drive check (DC 15) to retain control of the vehicle (see Losing Control). Failing to avoid an object results in a collision with the object (see Collisions and Ramming).
|Small (tire, light debris)||5|
|Large (pile of wreckage)||15|
Bootleg Turn: By making a bootleg turn, a driver can radically change direction without turning in a loop. However, in so doing, the vehicle comes to a stop.
Before a vehicle can make a bootleg turn, it must move in a straight line at least a number of squares equal to its turn number. To make a bootleg turn, simply change the vehicle’s facing to the desired direction. The vehicle ends its movement in that location, at stationary speed.
The DC for a bootleg turn depends on the change in facing. On a failed check, instead of facing the desired direction, the vehicle only changes facing by 45 degrees. Make a Drive check to retain control against a DC equal to the DC for the bootleg turn attempted (see Losing Control).
Dash: With a dash stunt, a driver can increase the vehicle’s speed by one category. (This increase is in addition to any speed change made at the beginning of the driver’s action; if the driver increased speed at that time, he or she can accelerate a total of two categories in the same round.) The vehicle’s total movement for the round cannot exceed the maximum number of squares for its new speed category. (The squares it has already moved before attempting the dash count against this total.) The DC for a dash is 15. On a failed check, the vehicle does not change speed categories.
Hard Brake: With a hard brake stunt, a driver can reduce the vehicle’s speed by up to two categories. (This is in addition to any speed change made at the beginning of his action; if the driver reduced speed at that time, he or she can drop a total of three categories in the same round.) The vehicle’s movement for the round ends as soon as it has moved the minimum number of squares for its new speed category. (If it has already moved that far before attempting the hard brake, it ends its movement immediately.) The DC for a hard brake is 15. On a failed check, the vehicle does not change speed categories. Make a Drive check (DC 15) to retain control (see Losing Control).
Hard Turn: A hard turn allows a vehicle to make a turn in a short distance without losing speed.
A hard turn functions like a 45-degree turn simple maneuver, except that the vehicle only needs to move forward a number of squares equal to half its turn number (rounded down). The DC for a hard turn is 15. On a failed check, the vehicle continues to move forward a number of squares equal to its turn number before turning, just as with a simple 45-degree turn. Make a Drive check (DC 15) to retain control (see Losing Control).
Jump: A driver can attempt to jump his or her vehicle across a gap in his or her path. To make a jump, the vehicle must move in a straight line a number of squares equal to its turn number. If the vehicle doesn’t have enough movement left to clear the gap, it must complete the jump at the start of its next turn. The DC for a jump depends on the width of the gap, modified by the vehicle’s speed category. On a failed check, the vehicle fails to clear the gap, and instead falls into it (or collides with the far side). Determine damage as for a collision (see Collisions and Ramming).
|1–3 ft. (ditch)||15|
|4–8 ft. (culvert)||20|
|8–15 ft. (creek, small ravine)||25|
|16–25 ft. (narrow road, small pond)||35|
|26–40 ft. (wide road, small river)||45|
|Vehicle Speed Category||DC Modifier|
A shallow gap (1 to 3 feet deep) is equivalent to a Medium-size object; the vehicle may be able to avoid taking collision damage from the failed jump by treating the far side as a hazard and then continue moving (see Avoid Hazard, above).
A moderately deep gap (4 to 10 feet deep) is equivalent to a Huge object. The vehicle can only drive out of the gap if the walls are not too steep.
A deeper gap (11 feet or deeper) is equivalent to a Colossal object. The vehicle can only drive out of the gap if the walls are not too steep.
If the gap is filled with water, the vehicle takes only half damage from the collision with the ground. However, if the water is too deep or the bottom is too soft (GM’s discretion), the vehicle might not be able to move.
Sideswipe: During a vehicle’s movement, a driver can attempt to sideswipe a vehicle or other target, either to deal damage without fully ramming it or to cause another driver to lose control of his or her vehicle.
At character scale, a vehicle must be side by side with its target (that is, occupying the square or squares directly to its side) and moving in the same direction. Attempting a sideswipe costs 1 square of movement.
At chase scale, the vehicle must be in the same square as its target and moving in the same direction. There is no movement cost.
If the stunt is successful, both vehicles take damage as if they had collided (see Collisions and Ramming), except that the collision multiplier is 1/4, and the driver of the target vehicle can make a Reflex save (DC 15) to reduce the damage to both vehicles by half of that result. The driver of the sideswiped vehicle must succeed at a Drive check (DC 15) at the beginning of his or her next action or lose control of the vehicle.
The DC for a sideswipe is 15. It’s modified by the relative size and speed of the target.
|Target Condition||DC Modifier|
|Each size category larger||–5|
|Each size category smaller||+5|
|Each speed category of difference||–2|
On a failed check, both vehicles take damage as though the sideswipe attempt was a success. However, the other driver does not need to make a check to retain control.
Here is what a vehicle driver can do in a single round:
Choose the Vehicle’s Speed: The driver may increase or decrease his or her vehicle’s speed category by one (or keep it the same).
Optional Attack Action: If the driver wants, he or she can use his or her attack action before moving the vehicle. If the driver does so, however, he or she will be limited to a single stunt during movement.
Movement: Move the vehicle any number of squares within the vehicle’s speed category. Along the way, perform any number of simple maneuvers (limited only by their movement cost). The driver may also attempt a single stunt as part of the movement (or two, if the driver didn’t take his or her attack action before moving).
Optional Attack Action: If the driver did not take an attack action before moving, and performed one or fewer stunts, the driver has an attack action left.
A collision occurs when a vehicle strikes another vehicle or a solid object. Generally, when a vehicle collides with a creature
or other moving vehicle, the target can attempt a Reflex save (DC 15) to reduce the damage by half.
The base damage dealt by a vehicle collision depends on the speed and size of the objects involved. Use the highest speed and the smallest size of the two colliding objects and refer to Table: Collision Damage.
Table: Collision Damage
|Smallest Object or Creature Size||Number of Dice|
|Smaller than Tiny||0|
|Highest Speed||Damage Die Type|
After finding the base damage, determine the collision’s damage multiplier based on how the colliding vehicle struck the other vehicle or object. (For vehicles moving in reverse, consider the back end to be the vehicle’s “front” for determining the collision multiplier.) Consult Table: Collision Direction for a multiplier. Once the damage has been determined, apply it to both vehicles (or objects or creatures) involved in the collision. Both vehicles reduce their speed by two speed categories. If the colliding vehicle moved the minimum number of squares for its new speed category before the collision, it ends its movement immediately. If not, it pushes the other vehicle or object aside, if possible, and continues until it has moved the minimum number of squares for its new speed category.
Table: Collision Direction
|Colliding Vehicle’s Target||Multiplier|
|A stationary object||x 1|
|A moving vehicle, striking head-on or 45 degrees from head-on||x 2|
|A moving vehicle, striking perpendicular||x 1|
|A moving vehicle, striking from the rear or 45 degrees from the rear||x 1/2|
|A vehicle being sideswiped (see Sideswipe)||x 1/4|
The driver of the vehicle that caused the collision must immediately make a Drive check (DC 15) or lose control of the vehicle (see Losing Control, below). The driver of the other vehicle must succeed on a Drive check (DC 15) at the beginning of his or her next action or lose control of his or her vehicle.
When a vehicle takes damage from a collision, its occupants may take damage as well. The base amount of damage depends on the cover offered by the vehicle.
|None||Same as damage taken by vehicle|
|One-quarter||One-half damage taken by vehicle|
|One-half||One-quarter damage taken by vehicle|
|Three-quarters or more||None|
Each of the occupants may make a Reflex save (DC 15) to take half damage.
A collision or a failed stunt can cause a driver to lose control of his vehicle. In these cases, the driver must make a Drive check to retain control of the vehicle. If this check is successful, the driver maintains control of the vehicle. If it fails, the vehicle goes into a spin. If it fails by 10 or more, the vehicle rolls. Remember that the check/roll modifier from Table: Vehicle Speeds and Modifiers applies to all Drive checks.
An out-of-control vehicle may strike an object or other vehicle.
When that happens, a collision occurs (see Collisions and Ramming, above).
The vehicle skids, spinning wildly. At character scale, the vehicle moves in its current direction a number of squares equal to the turn number for its speed, then ends its movement. Once it stops, roll 1d8 to determine its new facing: 1, no change; 2, right 45 degrees; 3, right 90 degrees; 4, right 135 degrees; 5, 180 degrees; 6, left 135 degrees; 7, left 90 degrees; 8, left 45 degrees. Reorient the vehicle accordingly.
At chase scale, the vehicle moves 1 square and ends its movement. Roll to determine its new facing as indicated above. Roll: The vehicle tumbles, taking damage.
At character scale, the vehicle rolls in a straight line in its current direction for a number of squares equal to the turn number for its speed, then ends its movement. At the end of the vehicle’s roll, reorient the vehicle perpendicular to its original direction of travel (determine left or right randomly).
At chase scale, the vehicle rolls one square before stopping and reorienting.
At either scale, a vehicle takes damage equal to 2d6 x the turn number for its speed. The vehicle’s occupants take damage equal to 2d4 x the turn number for its speed (Reflex save, DC 15, for half damage).
When being pursued, a driver can attempt a Hide check to lose the pursuer in heavy traffic, or a Bluff check to misdirect the pursuer before turning onto an off-ramp or a side street. To make a Hide check, use the normal rules for hiding (see the Hide skill description). The normal size modifiers apply, but because the driver is hiding among other vehicles, most of which are size Large or Huge, he or she gains a +8 bonus on the check. This use of the Hide skill can only be attempted in fairly heavy traffic; in lighter traffic, the GM might not allow it or might apply a penalty to the check. A driver can use Bluff to make a pursuer think he or she is going a different direction from what the driver intends. Just before making a turn onto an off-ramp or side street, make a Bluff check opposed by the pursuer’s Sense Motive check. If the driver is successful, the pursuer takes a –5 penalty on any Drive check needed to make the turn to follow the driver. If the other driver can make the turn using only simple maneuvers and does not have to make a Drive check, the Bluff attempt has no effect.
The following rules provide a further framework for combat involving vehicles.
Actions during vehicle combat are handled the same way as actions during personal combat. In general, a character can take two move actions, one move action and one attack action, or one full-round action in a round. Free actions can be performed normally, in conjunction with another action.
Free Actions: Communicating orders and ducking down behind a door are examples of free actions. Characters can perform as many free actions as the GM permits in a single round.
Move Actions: Changing position within a vehicle is usually a move action, especially if the character has to trade places with another character. If the character’s movement is short and unobstructed, the character can do it as the equivalent of a 5- foot step. Otherwise, it requires a move action. Attack Actions: Anyone aboard a vehicle can make an attack with a personal weapon, and drivers and gunners can make attacks with any vehicle-mounted weapons controlled from their positions.
Full-Round Actions: Since the driver must use a move action to control the vehicle, he or she can’t take a full-round action unless he or she starts it in one round and completes it on his or her next turn (see Start/Complete Full-Round Action).
Rather than force the GM to create, or remember, statistics for everyone aboard a vehicle, vehicle statistics include a general “crew quality” descriptor. This indicates a typical crew’s aptitude with the vehicle’s systems.
Table: Vehicle Crew Quality shows the five levels of crew quality for GM-controlled vehicle crews, along with the appropriate check modifier. Use the check modifier for all skill checks related to the operation of the vehicle (including Drive and Repair checks). Use the attack bonus for all attack rolls performed by the crew. For quick reference, Table: Crewed Vehicles shows the typical crew quality, and the crew’s total initiative and maneuver modifiers, for the vehicles covered in this book.
This by no means restricts the GM from creating unique vehicles where the crew’s statistics are included, or from using GM characters’ abilities when they drive or attack from vehicles. It’s merely a shortcut to save time if the GM doesn’t have particular characters behind the wheel.
Table: Crewed Vehicles
Acura 3.2 TL
|1 (Normal +2)||+0||+1||AM General Hummer||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+0|
|Aston-Martin Vanquish||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+2||Chevrolet Suburban||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+0|
|Chevrolet Cavalier||1 (Normal +2)||+1||+1||Dodge Caravan||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+0|
|Chevrolet Corvette||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+2||Ford Escape XLT||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+0|
|Dodge Neon||1 (Normal +2)||+1||+1||Ford F-150 XL||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+0|
|Ford Crown Victoria||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+1||Toyota Tacoma Xtracab||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+0|
|Jaguar XJS||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+1||
|Lamborghini Diablo||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+3||BMP-2||3 (Skilled +4)||+2||+2|
|Mercedes E55 AMG||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+2||M1A2 Abrams||4 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0|
|Volkswagen Jetta||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+2||M2A2 Bradley||3 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0|
|M113A1 Gavin||2 (Skilled +4)||+2||+2|
|Ducati 998R||1 (Normal +2)||+2||+5||UH-60 Black Hawk||2 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0|
|Harley Davidson FLSTF||1 (Normal +2)||+1||+3||
Civilian Water Vehicles
|Yamaha YZ250F||1 (Normal +2)||+2||+4||Bayliner 1802 Capri||1 (Normal +2)||+0||+0|
|Fairline Targa 30||1 (Normal +2)||–2||–2|
|Armored truck||2 (Skilled +4)||+2||+2||Sea-Doo XP||1 (Normal +2)||+1||+3|
|Honda TRX400FW||1 (Normal +2)||+1||+3||
|Limousine||1 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0||Bell Jet Ranger||2 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0|
|Moving truck||1 (Normal +2)||–2||–2||Bell Model 212||2 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0|
|NABI Model 40LFW||1 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0||Cessna 172 Skyhawk||1 (Normal +2)||–2||–2|
|Learjet Model 45||2 (Skilled +4)||+0||+0|
Table: Vehicle Crew Quality
|Crew Quality||Check Modifier||Attack Bonus|
Firing a vehicle’s weapon requires an attack action and uses the driver’s or gunner’s ranged attack modifier.
A driver with 5 or more ranks in the Drive skill gains a +2 synergy bonus when firing vehicle-mounted weapons while driving.
Some military vehicles are equipped with fire-control computers. These systems grant equipment bonuses on attack rolls with the vehicle-mounted weapons to which they apply.
Driving Defensively: Just as in melee combat, one can fight defensively while driving a vehicle, which grants a +2 dodge bonus to the vehicle’s Defense and applies a –4 penalty on attack rolls made by occupants of the vehicle.
Total Defense: A driver can choose the total defense, action which grants a +4 dodge bonus to Defense but does not allow the driver to attack (gunners or passengers take a –8 penalty on attack rolls). These modifiers last until the driver’s next round of actions.
Full Attack Action: A driver cannot normally make a full attack, since controlling the vehicle requires a move action.
Gunners or passengers, however, can take full attack actions, since they don’t have to use a move action (except, perhaps, to change positions in the vehicle). In general, taking a full attack action is useful only if a character has a base attack bonus high enough to get multiple attacks. A passenger can make multiple attacks with his or her own weapon. A gunner can make multiple attacks with one or more weapons controlled from his or her position.
An attack made against a vehicle uses the vehicle’s Defense, modified by its speed category. Attackers can choose instead to target specific vehicle occupants.
An attack against a vehicle occupant is made like any other attack. Remember, however, that a character in a vehicle gains bonuses to Defense from both the vehicle’s speed and any cover it provides.
When a character fires from a vehicle, objects or other vehicles in the way can provide cover for the target (see Cover).
All vehicles have hit points, which are roughly equivalent to a character’s hit points. Like most inanimate objects, vehicles also have hardness. Whenever a vehicle takes damage, subtract the vehicle’s hardness from the damage dealt.
When a vehicle is reduced to 0 hit points, it is disabled.
Although it might be repairable, it ceases functioning. A vehicle that is disabled while moving drops one speed category each round until it comes to a stop. The driver cannot attempt any maneuvers except a 45-degree turn.
Unlike characters, vehicles don’t “die” when they reach –10 hit points. Instead, a vehicle is destroyed when it loses hit points equal to twice its full normal total. A destroyed vehicle cannot be repaired.
Energy Attacks: Vehicles are treated as objects when subjected to energy attacks.
Exploding Vehicles: If the attack that disables a vehicle deals damage equal to half its full normal hit points or more, the vehicle explodes after 1d6 rounds. This explosion deals 10d6 points of damage to everyone within the vehicle (Reflex save, DC 20, for half damage), and half that much to everyone and everything within 30 feet of the explosion (Reflex save, DC 15, for half damage).
Repairing damage to a vehicle takes a full hour of work, a mechanical tool kit, and a garage or some other suitable facility. (Without the tool kit, a character takes a –4 penalty on his or her Repair check.) At the end of the hour, make a Repair check (DC 20). Success restores 2d6 hit points. If damage remains, the character may continue to make repairs for as many hours as it takes to restore all of the vehicle’s hit points.