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Bulwarks (aka Handheld Shields)
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MrNexx
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Joined: 25 Mar 2016
Posts: 1178
Location: Houston

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Bulwarks (aka Handheld Shields) Reply with quote

Some preliminary work, where I didn't go crazy with materials science and how the different rare metals might affect specific instances.
***

Hand-held, physical shields have seen cycles of popularity in the galaxy; they will be in fashion for a time, out of fashion for longer, then "rediscovered" by those seeking a stylish mode of self-defense. Most often, these devices are collectively known as "bulwarks", so as to not confuse them with the far more common particle and ray shields.

Bulwarks come in three common sizes, and vary a bit depending on the species of the intended user. For human-scale defenders, a small bulwark has a diameter of about .6m (about .25m^2), while a medium bulwark will be about 1m in diameter (about .75m^2), and a larger bulwark will be about 1.5m in diameter (about 1.75m^2). Not all bulwarks are perfect circles, of course; smaller bulwarks frequently are, but larger ones tend more towards rectangular or teardrop shapes. There exist larger bulwarks, but they are often supported by stands, allowing them to function as moveable barricades, but negating their ability to parry attacks.

In combat, bulwarks have three effects. In melee combat, they add to the Melee Parry skill, according to the chart below. Characters may specialize their Melee Parry skill to different sizes of Bulwarks; a small bulwark is a different specialization than a large or medium bulwark. Successful Parries with a bulwark do damage to the bulwark, and may carry over to the defender, but they greatly reduce said damage.

Even on a failed parry roll, however, bulwarks add armor to resist damage, cumulative with worn armor. Energy resistance is relatively higher on bulwarks than might be found on body armor because the bulwark is bulkier and not in direct contact with most of the character's body; a blaster bolt or lightsaber hitting the bulwark does far less than the same attack hitting an armored torso, as the attack is partially deflected and may well hit a part of the bulwark not directly in front of part of the character.

Lastly, bulwarks provide cover against blaster fire, adding their cover value to the difficulty to hit the target with blasters or other ranged weapons. Bulwarks used for cover still take damage, unless the attack misses by 5 or more points (for small and medium bulwarks) or 10 or more points (for large bulwarks); an attack that misses by that large of a margin was wide, regardless of whether there was a bulwark or not. Bulwarks do not have to be actively employed to provide this cover benefit; simply having a square meter of interposing material makes a target harder to hit. Someone with a bulwark may choose to "take cover" as a no-roll action; this increases the cover value of the bulwark by +1D, but precludes using the bulwark to parry melee attacks.

The parry and cover values of a bulwark depend on their size; the damage resistance and armor values of them depend upon the materials of their construction.

Size/Parry Value/Cover Value
Small/+1D/+1D
Medium/+1D+1/+2D
Large/+1D+1/+4D

Material
Wood (oak, linden wood, other hardwoods)
Armor: +2 physical, +1 Energy
Damage Resistance: 2D
Cost multiplier: 0.5

Wood and Leather (medium to hard woods covered with a leather or other durable woven cover):
Armor: +2 physical, +1 Energy
Damage Resistance: 2D+1
Cost multiplier: 0.6

Metal-reinforced Wood (hard woods with metal bracings)
Armor: +1D, +2 energy
Damage Resistance: 2D+2
Cost multiplier: 0.75

Light Metals (Durable but relatively malleable or brittle metals)
Armor: +1D, +2 energy
Damage Resistance: 3D
Cost multiplier: 1

Reinforced metals (durable metals that maintain shape memory)
Armor: +1D+2, 1D enery
Damage Resistance: 4D
Cost multiplier: 1.2

Expensive Metals (including beskar, phrik, cortosis, PTU-alloys, and other science fiction metals)
Armor: +2D, +1D energy
Damage Resistance: 6D
Cost multiplier: 2.0 or higher


Cost of a bulwark is a function of its Base cost multiplied by its material.

Small: 100cr
Medium: 150cr
Large: 200cr
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CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
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Joined: 05 Apr 2010
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a high tech environment, you’re also going to have energy-boosted shields like the Gungan shields, where a relatively flimsy panel serves as a wave-guide for an energy field that provides the primary form of protection.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
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MrNexx
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Joined: 25 Mar 2016
Posts: 1178
Location: Houston

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
In a high tech environment, you’re also going to have energy-boosted shields like the Gungan shields, where a relatively flimsy panel serves as a wave-guide for an energy field that provides the primary form of protection.


Yeah, I just didn't want to put the work in to figure those up, right away. Very Happy
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*It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude... seeming to be true within the context of [Star Wars].
http://rpgcrank.blogspot.com/
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CRMcNeill
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Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 10566
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is that high-tech shields are the only kind actually seen on-screen. Apart from the Gungan shields, there is a Clone Wars episode where Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka and a team of clone troopers face off against commando droids equipped with energy-reinforced shields that were highly resistant to lightsabers.

Speaking for myself, if I were going to trouble with a shield in the SWU, it certainly wouldn't be a mundane shield made of primitive materials. It'd need some sort of neat gimmick to make it worth my interest. Maybe a high-tech fan-metal shield that folds up into a bracer on one forearm or something...
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Jar-Jar Deb Kaadeb
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cheshire
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Joined: 04 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I played with some houseruled handheld shields in a D6 Fantasy environment. I found that having them add to a Melee Parry skill (or in this case a Fighting skill) was game-breaking. Granted, that was a game that was highly melee focused, and it became difficult to challenge the player with a shield, without making it impossible for the other players to avoid getting hit.

That will probably play differently in Star Wars, since energy weapons are much more the thing. But in the context of fantasy melee weapons -- even if I thought adding to the melee parry skill was more realistic -- it didn't create for very good game balance.
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