Should gravity affect the distance of a thrown weapon?

JCab747's picture
February 24, 2017 - 9:25pm
In the Alpha Dawn rules, the effects of gravity are an optional rule, but it only seems to impact a few things such as the Yazarian's gliding distance, the amount of weight a character can carry, safe leaping distance and falling damage.

Movement rates are not affected for characters or robots or vehicles. Projectile weapons have the same range.

So, should there be any impact of gravity on the distance that a person can toss a grenade? Hurl a spear? Throw a knife?

Or should we just say that things even out? Sure a Dralasite might be able to move faster in a lower gravity environment, but the bullets fly faster and longer anyway so what's the difference?

Yeah, a bomb or grenade falling from an aircar might fall a bit faster in a heavy gravity environment, but Star Frontiers isn't a science class.

Anyone have any thoughts on this topic?
Joe Cabadas

ExileInParadise's picture
February 24, 2017 - 10:10pm
This question seems like a discussion of "abstraction" versus "simulation" in the games designs.

Star Frontiers lives more on the abstract end of things, simplified and streamlined.

Other games, like Living Steel, and parts of GURPS, fall heavily in the "simulation" end where the mechanics are complex and modeled heavily on many realistic factors.

What I could say about this topic is that the mathematics are reasonably straightforward to work out player strength as a factor, player height, mass of thrown object to generate new PB/S/M/L/E bands.

As long as you break down the math into easy to use tables during character creation, and run through the existing weapons to make examples, an idea like this can really work out.

This was the problem Living Steel had - fantastic system, but it took a lot of research and assembly for a GM to streamline it on the players' behalf - and most of that was changes to the character creation to "pre-calculate" all of the various bits and get them in up front.

Set up your system as a set of character creation add-ons, and equipment table add-ons and it could work and bring in some extra realism without being that cumbersome at the table.

And, the result needs to be something the players themselves have handy, rather than having the GM or the players page-flipping for this one piece of simulation mechanics.

jedion357's picture
February 25, 2017 - 11:11am
do we need this added level of simulation?

I suppose I could see a player trying to justify that hey the gravity is lighter so I should be able to throw the knife farther.

would prefer something simple and optional
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
February 25, 2017 - 11:35am
jedion357 wrote:
do we need this added level of simulation?

I would prefer something simple and optional

We probably don't. TSR never bothered to include it. I was just wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on it and adding an additional gravity mechanic -- above what's already there -- would probably bog things down.
Joe Cabadas