Keeping track of fuel.

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argamemnon
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Keeping track of fuel.

#1 Postby argamemnon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:17 am

Honest, I searched for this topic both in the SWEX and here, but I cant find anything on this.

I am running a post-apoc setting game, and I would like to introduce fuel consumption to the rules. I have seen other settings using a "fuel level" that makes you keep track of your fuel manually. But that doesnt seem FFF! to me.

Does anyone know of any tidy little dice-only methods of keeping track of fuel? Like rolling 2d6 and on a 2 you are empty? I know that might be a headache for players, but I dont want to introduce pencils to such a nice pencil-free game.

Perhaps they can roll upon getting the vehicle (assuming they steal it or take it otherwise) to check the initial fuel level, then that sets the starting point. Then they take counters for each of the 4 fuel levels (1/4-Full).

So how do they check after that? And how often? Ideally, the whole mechanic should be die rolls and counters.

Suggestions?
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#2 Postby XcomSquaddie » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:27 am

The zombie run pdf has a quick (even FFF... :mrgreen: ) system for tracking fuel.

It's a lot like you describe.

The pdf is well done, it's got handy looting rules that would also work well in a PA game.
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#3 Postby Seeker Jon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:33 am

Random thought. Give each vehicle a Fuel rating, from 1-6. Whenever they make a Driving roll for long distance travel, roll an extra d6, the Fuel Die (this cannot Ace). if the Fuel Die is less than or equal to the vehicle's fuel rating, they're out. Particularly long trips require either multiple rolls or increease the Fuel rating.

Ex: Chuck the road warrior is tearing down what's left of Route 66 in his war car. It's a gas guzzler, so it only has a Fuel rating of 4. He's making a run to a trading post, not too far away. He rolls his Driving, and rolls a 4 on the Fuel Die. He's still ok on gas. When he finishes his business there and heads off to hunt down some mutants in the distant Nuke Hills, the GM increases the Fuel rating by 1 (new Fuel rating of 5) for the long trip. This time the Fuel Die comes up a 3, so Chuck runs out of gas somewhere between the town and the hills.

I know its not much, but this seems like it could work.

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#4 Postby argamemnon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:40 am

Hm... I kind of like that. It keeps it simple.

Do you think that not knowing where the fuel gage is will make players crazy?
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#5 Postby ogbendog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:46 am

Or maybe you roll before the trip. If you roll low, then you know you'll run out. If you roll high, you won't. If you roll exactly, then you might have enought to make it, roll again towards the end of the trip, or try to salvage some on the way.
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#6 Postby Seeker Jon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:47 am

Depends on the players. I know some who are VERY much into tracking everything. This will get to those, but you can also just make those guys keep track of it themselves, and ask for updates here and there. My players are more about the story, less about the book-keeping, so this would probably work fine.

You can also make Edges to give a bonus to Fuel Die rolls, special fuels that affect the rolls, etc. So its very easy to integrate other things into this.

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#7 Postby Rohan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:27 pm

What about just keeping track of "hours of fuel" instead? Drive the car for an hour, lose an hour of fuel. Drive it like you stole it for an hour, lose two hours of fuel. Figure out what you want to use for average numbers...five hours of fuel, six hours of fuel, and just let them keep tick marks of how much fuel is used.

It may not be the FFF of Zombie Run (which I have never read or played in), but it's pretty quick and painless.
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#8 Postby Clint » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:29 pm

Could just use a variant of the Ammo rules for Allies, but apply it to fuel.
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#9 Postby phloog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:35 pm

Not to be a complete sycophant, but I agree with Clint here. It seems like the only reason you would want to know about ammo or fuel is when it's dramatically relevant. Unless you're going to introduce a great deal of tracking, I would be tempted to just steal the ammo rules and adjust.

Drop the level after a chase, or an event within the chase, etc.

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#10 Postby The Vulture » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:37 pm

Rohan's "hours of fuel" idea sounds the simplest to me. Lets players keep track of the fuel so they can plan accordingly, and is simple enough for everyone to keep track of.

That said, no reason to introduce the idea unless it has some relevance to the plot or will hinder them to be out of fuel.
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#11 Postby argamemnon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:57 pm

In a world without gas stations, running out of fuel can be a bit of a problem.

I like Clint's suggestion as well. Perhaps blend it with the earlier suggestion so that whenever you need to make a driving test you roll an additional d6 and compare that to the vehicle's Fuel Efficiency. A failure lowers the fuel rating another step.

Dunno, is that un-FFF?
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#12 Postby Lord Lance » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:59 pm

Clint wrote:Could just use a variant of the Ammo rules for Allies, but apply it to fuel.

Nice one.

PS: there was a very nice Survival Post Apocaliptic free setting, with ammo / fuel / food gathering and so on, in the Shark Bytes PDF fanzine. Download them and throw an eye.

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#13 Postby Rohan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:02 pm

argamemnon wrote:In a world without gas stations, running out of fuel can be a bit of a problem.

I like Clint's suggestion as well. Perhaps blend it with the earlier suggestion so that whenever you need to make a driving test you roll an additional d6 and compare that to the vehicle's Fuel Efficiency. A failure lowers the fuel rating another step.

Dunno, is that un-FFF?


What I don't like about that is it means fuel efficiency is all part of the driver, not so much the car. I consider myself an above average driver; I've only been in one accident and that was because I was driving on an icy road that I shouldn't have been on. In 14 years of driving, I've logged something like 300,000 miles or so.

That doesn't mean I get more mileage out of my '99 Buick than my wife does (who, by comparison, is not such a good driver).

I say either track it like ammo or rate it in hours. Either way, a few tick marks here and there and you know how much fuel you have left...quick, easy, and dirty.
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#14 Postby phloog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:52 pm

I don't think he's linking it to skill...it's just d6 vs. rating. So no matter how good or bad you are the result is the same. Unless there's something about skill that alters how often you make driving tests.

The other option instead of adding another die is to give each vehicle a rating that incorporates efficiency and capacity in one FFF number. Then any time a certain number (1, perhaps) appears on the drive check you drop that number by one. Because a very inefficient semi can drive a lot farther than a very efficient car with a two gallon tank. You might also make it drop each time you roll a 1 on the driving check, and then snake eyes drops it two or more...or is one of the possible mishaps ("I thought I had gas!!")

EDIT: Just realized my own rule made driving skill impact efficiency!!! Make that a 1 on the Wild Die and skill no longer applies to efficiency..sorry.

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#15 Postby ogbendog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:57 pm

actually, in a post apoc setting, a good driver might have learned how to use less fuel. to coast or switch off down hill, etc.
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#16 Postby argamemnon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:59 pm

Phloog is correct, I wasnt linking Fuel Eff. with Driving. I was thinking that any time a driving check is necessary, you would roll a fuel check (d6 vs vehicles Fuel Eff) and that could add a little drama to it.
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#17 Postby phloog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:01 pm

ogbendog wrote:actually, in a post apoc setting, a good driver might have learned how to use less fuel. to coast or switch off down hill, etc.


Actually, if you prefer movie-like action to realism, it seems rare in films that the super driver guy ever runs out of gas, but out-of-place yahoos caught in situations over their heads seem to all the time...so maybe you could base it on driving skill for dramatic purposes, full realism be danged.

EDIT: But I do resist a separate 'Efficiency Die'...I think you can manage the same thing using the value that appears on an existing die, and each time it is X reduce the fuel number. So the Geo Metro has a 26, but each time the Wild Die is a 1, I subtract a fuel point...though big numbers seem anti-FFF.

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#18 Postby 77IM » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:22 pm

Here's another "random dice cause stress for players, in a good way" method.

Vehicles have fuel levels (let's say, Full, High Low, and Empty, but it can be whatever you want). At the start of each scene involving a vehicle, the GM secretly rolls 1d12. If the scene lasts that many rounds, the vehicle fuel level drops at the end of that round. Rounds in which the vehicle isn't driven don't count (and in encounters that don't even feature the vehicle you don't bother rolling).

So if your car is High and the GM rolls a 7, then at the end of round 7, it drops to Low. If the encounter only lasts 5 rounds, then the vehicle remains Full, because you never got to round 7. Thus longer scenes are more likely to cause a fuel problem.

Because there is only ever one roll per combat, you avoid the strange scenario where the vehicle drops 2 levels in a single fight due to poor rolls. Because it's secret, the players get to enjoy the stress of not knowing quite when they will drop a fuel level -- but they know that if the battle lasts 12 rounds, that it is guaranteed. Because it's a separate die, not tied to Driving checks, you avoid the weirdness of failing a check, spinning out of control, and instantly running out of gas at the exact same time.

As a variant, fuel-efficient vehicles roll a higher die (maybe 2d6 or 2d8 or 1d20) and inefficient ones roll a lower die (1d10 or 1d8 or whatever). Another idea, is that for every scene you in which you don't lower a fuel level, the die shrinks a size (d12 -> d10 -> d8, etc.) and then when you finally drop to the lower fuel tier the die pops back up to its normal value (d12). That way a series of lucky rolls won't keep you in fuel forever.

-- 77IM


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