Fading suns like energy shields

I’m thinking about running a Burning wheel game in the fading suns setting. For most things I can just use the rules as written or maybe steal from burning empires.

When it comes to shields I’m at loss. The shields in jihad does not really fit the way I interpret the fading sun setting. So I wonder how can I implement shields in burning wheel that represents/abstracts the following charateristics.

  • does not activate for a low speed hit
  • if it activates it removes a constant amount of force from the blow (you can blow through a shield with a warhammer or heavy round making much reduced damage)
  • stacks with armour (if you get through the shield you still have to get through armour)

I have not found a nice solution, so I ask here, if requested I will post my thought but I’m witholding them to not stear the discussion initially

I’m not sure how to make something that doesn’t activate for a low speed hit without just explicitly laying out all of the things that go through the shield. But I think the best way to meet the other two goals is to have shields give an obstacle increase to attackers. This will have the effect of generally steeping attacks down from Superb to Mark, and Mark to Incidental (and making Incidental hits miss entirely). This also means that mechanically, shields affects attacks before armor does, as intended.

We took a crack at something like this in Burning Sands: Jihad.

This should teach me to not post in a hurry. There was one mote feature of the shields wich I would like to preserve.

  • has a battery and can only take X number of hits, this gives rise to tactics against them

The last point is why I do not like the system in jihad, I would lile to count the number of hits taken by the shielf, either abstractly or explicitly to figure out when it fails

regardong general ob inctease, that might work, but I would be more hapy with an occasional bad weak hit getting through

If I do general ob increace I could declare that anything that would have met ob without the shiled activatrs it, this is not perfect thou.

I have been playing around with the idea of a second armour roll just for the shield, but where to insert it?

Maybe the shield device could automatically attempt a block action against high speed attacks with the shield device having its own blocking dice.

Alternatively, you could base it on the principals of the Eldrich Shield spell with the limitations you desire.

How would the block action idea work here? I don’t understand.

Doing like the eldrich shield and subtracting successes is an idea I’m considering.

How would the following system work?

The shield have a die rating, when a character is hit roll and remove that many successes then if the attack goes through roll a DoF low numbers (have to decide on a range, probably 1s and possibly 2s) would mean a slow hit, remove VA from weapons that rely on momentum to penetrate (but not on weapons designed for cracks in armour), high numbers mean a strong hit that overwhelms the shield and VA is used as normal. This would allow me to count the number of activations (number of hits except when a low DoF is rolled) to determine when the shield battery burns out (or is it better to abstract this somehow?).

Does the above system have any weird side effects on the system? Does anyone have other ideas of how to solve it?

If I go with the above system I can see several possible addons to it like

  • anti-shield-training, elect to take +1ob and remove N dice from shield rating and also make the slow hit more likely on the DOF (need to figure out numbers to balance this)
  • shield-bleed weapon property, this weapon is more likely to go through shields, remove N dice from shield
  • of scale hit, if shield is hit with a Grey/Vehicular scale hit, shield activates and reduces hit by one shade but is not rolled to see if any more damage is stopped (same for Grey shield hit by white weapon)

Does any of the addons cause any problems with other rules?
Does the system I propose look clunky in play? Can it be streamlined without loosing any fun properties?

The shield could produce its own block action in fight whenever it was attacked regardless of the reflex of its wearer, the better the shield, the higher it’s own block rating would be (I’m assuming the “shield” is similar to the shield belts from Dune) a success would work the same way as a successful block action does.

Shield Belt Training would be a requirement to use on effectively when it was turned on.

Alternatively, using the Eldrich Shield idea, I would make work like an Enchanted Item with multiple uses and rechargeable option (treat it like “tools” in that it burns out on a DoF result of “1” and must be repaired/recharged/replaced)

Or give it a dice rating and test/tax those dice with every hit similar to the way spell tax functions.

You could have something like the “Ammo Check” mechanic in Burning Empires. First, make Shield Training a skill with an exponent (to represent your ability to use it efficiently). At the end of an exchange in which the shield’s taken hits, make a Shield Training test to see if the battery has failed. Start the Ob at 1, and increase it by one for each exchange that it’s on, modified by how many hits it’s blocked.

Larkin Starr: Would that block action be in addition to the players own action? So that the player could strike unopossed?

Shaun: Thanks for refreshing my memory of the Ammo check rules, the way I remembered them was closer to the multiple use magic item burnes out on DOF of 1. Having the shield training as a skill and testing modified by number of hits taken sounds about right :slight_smile:

Thanks all for all the help :slight_smile:


Has the Jihad pdf been available previously, or did Luke just hook us up?

It’s been available for years.

Wow, I somehow never realized that. Cool beans.