I'm thinking of two approaches for the starship campaign I'd like to run: The first is a traditional multi-sided affair in which each player allocates a certain amount of ships to attack and/or defend multiple objectives; I envision this type of game will eventually end with one side victorious over the others. Call this choice the Admiral's Game (an extension of this is a system for shipbuilding, industrial development, and technology research: the Accountant's Game--fun, but too much work for me to actually run).
The second idea is closer to a traditional role-playing game--each player starts as the commander of a small starship and--with time, effort and a bit of luck--can get promoted to, buy or capture larger and larger ships, and eventually lead a squadron or even a fleet. Such a campaign has no specified endgame, and could run indefinitely. This would be the Captain's Game.
As I'm not sure which game I want to use for starship combat, I need to make the campaign system rules-independent. But it should easily translate across rulebooks. Here's what I have so far: Each player starts with one captain. Each captain has four attributes: spacefaring, crew, leadership, and luck.
- Spacefaring refers to all skills: piloting, navagating, electronics, shooting, and so on. This might affect initial setup, initiative, or other scenario-specific factors, depending on the referee.
- Crew represents the total capacity of the ship's personnel. This number will start out at 100% and can change during a battle and afterward, depending on a captain's performance. Note this is an abstract number, as a destroyer at 100% crew has less personnel in absolute numbers than a dreadnought. Crew percentages below 100 are usually handled by the combat rules; a cew percentage of more than 100 percent will not affect a ship's efficiency, but will help in replacing casualties after a battle or assigning prize crews to captured ships.
- Leadership is what it says on the tin: it affects how a captain recruits and maintains a crew. It also affects how well subordinate captains in other ships follow orders, as well as influencing negotiations with nonplayer entities.
- Luck stands for karma, fate, or script immunity. Mechanically, this attribute allows a player to reroll a single die roll, once per game, with a modifier equal to the captain's luck. Alternatively, once per game a player may reroll the opponent's die roll, modifying it by their luck.
What do you think? Does the Captain's Game sound like something you'd be interested in?