Thursday, May 25, 2017

White Star: Aquanauts and Other Strangeness

Precis: This one is all about underwater material for White Star.

Conspectus: Whether it's the Regime or the Rebellion, Ocean Worlds are a vital asset to either side. It isn't just about contacting another friendly Xeno race to add to galaxy. Ocean planets offer another food source, rarer minerals, and powerful artifacts that Star Knights might have hidden within the deep, hidden places of the planet.

Swimming & Breathing

Swimming is accomplished via an Athletic's or Strength check. The White Star Companion offers a nifty system for how to do skill checks or, if the roll-under Attribute check is your thin, a character typically uses Strength to keep themselves steady in blue world. Alien brutes or races that are aquatic in nature should either have a bonus or be able to stabilize for free.

Hold Breath: A character can hold their breath in two ways. If they were able to take a breath before plunging into the water they can hold breath for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution score. If they plunged suddenly under the waves without taking a breath they get only half of their Constitution score in rounds (rounded-up if you're nice, round down if you're a bit more stringent).

At the point where you have reached the max rounds without finding an air pocket, breathing apparatus, friendly Xeno to take you to a cave, you can suffer the following:

Instant Damage: You take 1d6 every round until you reach 0 HP. At 0 you have drowned.

Save or Die!: You must make a Saving Throw every round until you find air or until you fail. Every round the Saving Throw increases by 1 or 2 points in difficulty. On a failure, the character is slain due to drowning.

Note: If using the Alien Brute class, a Player might be able to petition that their character is a native and is either semi-aquatic or aquatic. Semi-aquatic doubles the Constitution score for the purposes of holding breath while Aquatic characters have gills that allow them to breath underwater. The trade-off might be that you suffer a -1 to your d20 rolls on the surface unless you spend an hour in water once per day (desert planet visitation is ill-advised).

Standard Aqua-Enviro Suit

Light Armor (-2 / +2) - This version of Light Armor consists of a breathing mask and synthetic skin weave. Characters can attempt to do a roll-off grapple check (Melee attacks vs. Melee attack) to rip the mask away form a character's face. This suit has a limited range cannot go far down without suffering crush depth.

Medium Armor (-4 / +4) - This is a Standard Aqua-Enviro Suit which includes duel tanks, breathing helmet, and heads up display to operate in shallow to mid-depth range. AE Suits include a radio comm built into the helmet for limited communication with divers or support craft.

Heavy Armor (-6 / +6) - Also known as a Deepwater Suit. This suit uses a fluorocarbon compound to allow the players to operate at Abyssal Depths without compression. This suit is cumbersome and inflicts a -1 penalty on all actions outside of the water. While the lungs are immersed in compound, the character cannot speak. Instead, a keyboard and heads-up display are used to convey information.

Speargun: Dmg: 1d6+1; Range: Near; RoF: 1 - Notes: Standard air-compressed spear launcher. Used for spear fishing and self-defense against fauna. Fires once per round.

Laser Rifle (Blue-Green Spectrum): Dmg: 2d6; Range: Far; RoF: 1 - Notes: This modified laser rifle is designed to operate in oceanic conditions. The blue-green spectrum does not operate well in air conditions (-1 to attack unless the laser has a spectrum tuner for an extra 100 credits). Blue-Green is a low frequency beam to keep bubbles from being heavily stirred. RoF is reduced to 1.

Laser Pistol (Blue-Green Spectrum): Dmg: 1d6+2; Range: Far; RoF: 1 - Notes: Like it's counterpart, this laser pistol fires a low intensity laser in the blue-green spectrum (50 extra credits includes a spectrum tuner to allow the laser to operate effectively out of water). The low intensity reduces laser's RoF to 1 per round - but it does cut down on the bubbles.

The following weapons do not suffer -2 penalty for being used underwater: Mono-dagger, Knife, Spear.

Mono-Spear: Dmg: 1d6+1; S: Reach - Can strike targets further than melee. Character's can set their spear to attack an advancing opponent, stopping their advance from getting close. - This is a new piece of equipment that combines monomolecular technology with a spear.

Aquatnauts and Vehicles


-This is a sub-class of the Pilot and uses the same XP, Hit Bonus, and Hit Die matrix as a Pilot. A couple of changes are as follows.

Skill (Swimmer): All Aquanauts begin play with a proficiency in Swimming. This is either using the Skill system from White Star Companion or as a +2 to Strength Score if using a roll-under attribute check.

Rudder Jock: An Aquanaut gains +2 Initiative in aquatic combat.

Run Silently, Deadly Boat: Every round an Aquanaut can apply a +1 to one of the statistics of their submarine. This includes: +1 AC, +1 Attack, +1 Movement. This bonus can be moved around each round, but remains in place until the next round and changes must be declared by the player at the start of the new run.

Jury-Rig - Same as Pilot's Jury Rig, just in this case applied to a Submarine. Aquanaut is advised to have a rebreather or light armor on standby if their submarine is about to explode.

Manta Ray Class Submarine
Scout Class Submarine

AC: 3 [16]
HP: 19
Movement: Fast
Targeting: +2

Weapon: Beam Shot: Dmg: 2d6 (Vehicle) & 4d6 (Organism); R: Far; S: Can be used to cut through inorganic material, such as rocks. Can be modified and focused for drilling purposes.

Notes: The Remora is a scout and drilling unit that sits 1 to 2 aquanauts. This submarine can also be fitted with two torpedoes to deliver a deadly payload to larger vessels.

Mana Ray
Attack & Transport Vessel

AC: 5 [14]
HP: 75
Movement: Medium
Targeting: +0

Weapons: Beam Shot (Heavy): Dmg: 4d6; R: Far / Torpedoes (x6 - x12): Dmg: 8d6; R: Far; S: Deals 8d6 to main target and 4d6 to targets in the nearby area. Divers are warned not to be near the explosion site.

Notes: The Manta Ray is generally the standard in military, research, and transportation submarines. Research & Heavy Transport with eschew torpedo complement to include scientific equipment, storage, or extra space for divers. Meanwhile, military craft might gain an extra beam shot (increasing RoF for 1 to 2) or a full 12 stock in torpedoes to use in combat.


  1. This is very cool! Love some deep sea stuff!

    1. Thanks! It was a combination of creative surge and insomnia that made this one possible.