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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clone Project: Aerial Maneuvers

The most daunting part of the aerial combat rules in Vol. III is the hit location and critical hit section, which I'll deal with in a later post. The rest of the rules are pretty simple, although disorganized. They mostly deal with aerial maneuvers.

Flying creatures in the LBBs are divided into two rough groups:
  • Standard: bipedal, nearly man-sized creatures
  • Clumsy: quadrupedal or giant-sized creatures
Each group has two aerial characteristics: how many times it can change direction in one round (maneuvers,) and how far it must travel between direction changes (response time.) Strangely enough, these two characteristics must add up to a 6 for standard fliers or an 8 for clumsy fliers; trade one maneuver for one unit of response time, either way, to create different "maneuverability classes".

Set both an MU using a Fly spell (standard flier) and a manticore (clumsy flier) to 4 maneuvers per round. Manticores form the base maneuverability for the large fliers: larger creatures subtract from maneuvers per round and add to minimum travel distance between maneuvers. Flying magic-users are the average size for standard fliers: add one extra maneuver for smaller creatures, subtract one for larger creatures, adjusting response time in a complimentary fashion.

Air Elementals and equine fliers (pegasus, hippogriff) are treated as extra-maneuverable large standard fliers, with a bonus of 3 direction changes per round. There are no floaters 0r hovering creatures in the LBBs, so these are the most maneuverable fliers, easily flying circles around the others. In fact, the +3 maneuvers, for a minimum of 6 in one round, seems to be based on a crude circle around a point on a hex map; six 30-degree turns in the same direction means that the flier returns to where it started.

All fliers in the LBBs must maintain at least half their air speed and can't move either straight up or straight down. There are three altitude maneuvers:
  • Descend: maximum downward movement = half flying speed; other maneuvers allowed
  • Sharp Dive: maximum move downward = based flying speed + 50%; forward movement is 1/10 downward movement; no other maneuvers possible while diving
  • Climb: maximum move = (base flying speed - response time)/2

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