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The scenario in play is as such: the PC's are crashing their car into an NPC's car in an attempt to stop the NPCs from attacking another group of NPCs. the NPC car has a mounted machine gun with gunner.

How should damage to the cars in question be handled?

How should combat in this situation be handled?

edit: the car crashing is not a major theme of the campaign but it is their car. so taking damage is not a small thing.

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3 Answers

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I would go with the method that a vehicle is essentially another character and that the damage track it has uniquely would create aspects and complications ("Spinning Out", "Flat Tire", "Red-Line Speed", etc.) Either that or you could treat your environment as having a speed-related aspect that players (NPCs included) "bid" their actions to change the rate of speed as an environmental aspect. The vehicles then become akin to their abilities to control the environment (even adding fun things like "Driving Through Open Air Market").

Edit (Sponsored Power): This may be edited later, but how my mind is breaking it down is as a 3pt Specific Place power since you have to be inside the vehicle to use it, even though you can move the vehicle. The power gives you access to Supernatural speed/strength/toughness as appropriate, and the Debt you accrue goes to things such as car maintenance and repairs.

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Would you give the cars attack/defense skills to complement their stress tracks? If not, how would you determine success and shifts on an attack? Would cars have a Toughness-like stunt? –  BESW Sep 29 '13 at 2:12
    
The only traits the car would really need to have would be around durability and maneuverability since the rest is up to the driver. If you really want to have fun with it, you could call a vehicle a form of "Borrowed Power". –  CatLord Sep 29 '13 at 13:17
    
That sounds great! Could you edit in an example of a car as a borrowed power? –  BESW Sep 29 '13 at 13:29
    
Brainstorm edited in, needs refinement. –  CatLord Sep 29 '13 at 17:29
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Unless ramming each other in autos all the time is a very important part of your game, I would refrain from using special rules. I would not even treat the car as a seperate character - just attack using the driving skill, and defend with driving, too. Stress is applied to all people in the vehicle - so if you attack with a +3 and the defender rolls a +2, you produce 1 Stress to everybody in the vehicle.

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Nice and simple! I like it, especially if cars aren't a major theme of the story. –  BESW Sep 30 '13 at 5:54
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Whenever my group comes across a situation that the rules don't explicitly lay out we ultimately always resort to 'real world' physics. What I mean is I would try and play out the situation to the best of your abilities to try and anticipate what would actually occur. What are the weights of the two vehicles? What are the speeds? Where do the vehicles collide into each other? Ball park how much damage would occur? Would the direction of the npc vehicle go off course? Et cetera, et cetera.

If the situation isn't completely linear, you can roll some dice to determine magnitude. You can use the groups effort (& creativity) towards an objective and roll against that. If the groups concept is solid, maybe it might take only a few turns or a few good rolls.

At the end of the day, its okay to wing it provided you're following the mood and general thinking of the table.

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I'm not sure DFRPG is especially interested in physics; Fate's generally more interested in narrative authenticity than physical realism. I think the question is asking about how much of the Fate Fractal should be applied, like whether the cars should have stress tracks and attack/defense skills of their own. –  BESW Sep 29 '13 at 2:10
    
@BESW I think this is more "do what makes sense in the interaction of the physical parts" than "model it using Newtonian free body diagrams". Moving through the fiction as makes sense to figure out what happens is very Fate, and can be done by thinking of the vehicle's physics or the narrative tropes of vehicular combat or whatever. This would be a better answer focusing more generally on "do what makes sense then roll for it" and with less focus specifically on car weights and speeds, yeah. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 30 '13 at 5:58
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