Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

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Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby IVhorseman » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:31 pm

After getting a Mandalorian battle pack and all those cool jet-packs, I've decided to post the way we've been handling them.

Effectively, a jet-pack is just a size 0 vehicle, attached to a minifig's back. It grants 5" of movement and, like other vehicles, requires an action to do so. Naturally, pilots are more effective at using jet-packs than other minifigs, but a jetpack is still a statistically more efficient sprint when used on flat ground.

We've also decided that the best way to treat grappling hooks are as a small melee weapon, using standard throwing rules. The minifig may withdraw the rope with their movement speed. So, a minifig firing 5" of line at the beginning of their turn may pull themselves 5" along that line, but will not have any movement points left upon reaching the end.

Alternatively, the grappling hook could also be stuffed inside any launcher, and would use that launcher's stats. One could also throw the grappling hook at a minifig using standard throwing weapon rules and damage. If the damage is not enough to kill the minifig they are still considered to be "hooked," and can be withdrawn using the attacker's move inches.

Grappling hooks may be represented by various claws or hook-like materials that a minifig might hold, but one could also be creative with a fishing-rod, or with a rope treated as a minifig tool.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby Keldoclock » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:36 pm

When I played I bumped the jetpacks up to 7" and handled them pretty much the same way. With grappling hooks i fudged it with them having to shoot at UR 2 and hit something (or miss horribly, placing the hook in the worst possible space), and on the next turn be hurled forward regardless of distance, Just Cause 2 style.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby Whiteagle » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:40 pm

Hmmm... the +5" for Jetpacks counts for vertical as well as horizontal movement, right?
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby IVhorseman » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:58 pm

Yup! vertical, horizontal, zig-zag, whatever. it's 5" flying movement, which means it can go anywhere.

I went with five because older iterations of the Jetpack simply said "double movement." applied to Heros and regular minifigs, the two standard means of infantry propulsion, it adds up to 10" and 12" move, with -1 and -2 to be hit, respectively. Bumping up a jetpack to 7" grants both of them a -2 to being hit, and there's certainly nothing wrong with jet-packs that go faster.

A missed grappling hook shot would follow standard missed-shot rules, so the opponent would likely pick a pretty hilarious spot to latch that hook, like the inside of a wood-chipper. I suppose the shooter would have the option of cutting the line so as not to be sucked in when they retract it, although dangerous enough landings might not allow that luxury! I guess crit-failing would also result in the line being withdrawn involuntarily.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby Whiteagle » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:03 pm

Your own grappling hook to the face, priceless!
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby Keldoclock » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:04 pm

Or the underpants of the nearest friendly officer.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby aoffan23 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:17 am

I've been thinking about the grappling hook idea recently. I actually made up a "bolt" weapon type that encompassed harpoon guns, bows, crossbows, etc. for this purpose. The plan was to have grapple hooks available as an upgrade for them, because the wielder could just attach a rope to their bolt/arrow/harpoon or have a special one for grappling. The problem with this was that I couldn't figure out any way to differentiate them from regular weapons in terms of stats.

I also think that a minifig should have the ability to swing the hook around a few times to increase the momentum and thus the range of the throw. I figure this could just use up their next movement or action, although it would take a bit of playtesting to see which is more appropriate.

Lastly, the outcome of reeling in should be affected by the target's size level. If the grappled item is smaller than the minifig using the hook, then it will be pulled toward said minifig, while the minifig will be pulled toward the object if it is bigger than he is. However, it would be possible for multiple minifigs to pull at once, which would increase the pulling force. In the case of combined pulling, you would just add their size levels together. How far something is pulled could be determined by the difference in size level, maybe 2" per size level. This would make for some great tug-of-war situations.

The on thing I'm still trying to decide is how to resolve a case of equal size levels. Should both ends be pulled together 1"? Shpuld they not move at all? Should only one end be pulled 1"?
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby Robot Monkey » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:16 pm

Well, I have experimental rules for Jump-Packs if anyone's interested:

Assault Jetpack (jump pack)-- ?cp

The assault pack has incredibly powerful engines, however, they're not good enough to maintain sustained flight. Instead, it flings the wearer an additional 10". This, like a vehicle, requires an action to use, unless the wearer is a pilot. If an inexperienced (non-pilot) minifig is using the assault pack, he must also make a UR:3 skill roll. If he fails it, the assault pack explodes 1D6 inches out, with 1D10 explosion damage. Also, since the assault pack is not a full-fledged jetpack and cannot have sustained flight, the minifig needs to land somewhere where he logically could. (I.E. flat surfaces, on top of buildings and creations, etc). If he hits something that he could not logically stick the landing on, (I.E. moving vehicles, fire, the enemy commander's sword) the wearer takes 1D8+1 damage, and whatever he hits takes the same, if it is a unit of some sort. If it is an object, he just takes the damage.

Also, if the wearer is a pilot and does not need to use his action to launch himself, if he has a CC weapon, he can attack when he lands, so long as he lands on an enemy unit. When he lands and does the CC attack, it does the weapon's damage + 1D8 damage.

So, what do you guys think? (Note they're experimental rules)
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby IVhorseman » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:40 pm

It adds a lot of rules where I don't think they're necessary. Why not just treat all the melee attacks from crashing into enemy's swords and so forth as a regular charge attack? If you land in fire, you'd take fire damage + crash damage.

The way I've treated jump-jets is that they give 1d6" flight in one direction, and the wearer must land at the end of the turn, or suffer falling (charging) damage. So effectively, a flying uncontrolled sprint. I suppose if you rolled a 1 it would explode as well, but I'd just treat it as a regular 2" radius 1d10 explosion.

Also I don't see why landing on moving vehicles is a problem. Maybe make a WISG roll if it seems unlikely that they'd land atop it safely.


As for "bolt weapons," why would you need to treat them different than other ranged weapons? You could have them spend an action to reload I suppose, and there's absolutely no reason a grappling hook couldn't be slapped on as an upgrade like you're saying. Stationary minifigs can be considered "aiming" which gives them a +1 for ranged attacks, which technically throwing a grappling hook is. So, if they're stationary, you can say they're spending that movement swinging the cable around before tossing it for an extra +1 to skill.

I'd also say that if there's a tug-of-war situation going on where minifigs or other creations are struggling against a hook, why not use MoM and PoP? PoP would be equal to the size of the end who's turn it is not, while MoM would be the size + (speed/2) of the current unit's turn. Usually, speed will be zero, but in the cases where you've hooked onto the back of a truck that may not be the case. Roll MoM and PoP against eachother, and the winner gets to pull the losing side that many inches, in either direction. Repeat as necessary.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby aoffan23 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:14 pm

Wow, I completely forgot about Mom and PoP. I really need to reread the rules. :(
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby aoffan23 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:34 pm

So I did a bit of reading, and I came to the conclusion that I still think it's better to use size levels for pulling. I figure that moving targets/firers can be worked in quite easily. Whichever side of the rope is smaller gets pulled along for the ride, but instead of using the standard 2" per size level difference, it just gets pulled as far as the bigger end moves.

example wrote:A cowboy is trying to rustle up his escaped bull with a lasso. He finds it sleeping in a field, and stops. He begins swinging the lasso around, thus granting him the +1 skill bonus for aiming. The next turn, he successfully lands the lasso around the bull's neck. The cowboy (size 1) begins pulling on the rope, which is attached at the other end to a size 2 bull. Since both of them are stationary, the smaller cowboy is pulled toward the bull a total of 2", due to the size level difference of 1.

However, this wakes up the bull, who doesn't really like being pulled on by a rope. It gets up, and runs 5" away from the cowboy, dragging him along due to his smaller size. Since the cowboy is no longer pulling on the rope, the length of rope between him and the bull remains the same, meaning he gets pulled the full 5".

The bull continues pulling the cowboy until it passes by a wandering civilian, at which point said civilian jumps in to help the poor cowboy and grabs the rope. Since both sides of the rope are now even in size, neither end can muster up enough force to move away from the other, thus the bull and the two minifigs stop moving.

Unfortunately, the managed to stop right over a railroad, and the train is on its way. The train has 10" of movement, but starts the turn 3" away from the rope. Once it catches the rope, the train (size 9) pulls the bull and minifigs (size 4 total) along for the remaining 7" of its movement.


The only thing that still needs to be worked out is what happens when both ends are equal and stationary.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby IVhorseman » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:22 pm

Uh... nothing happens, right? Nobody's moving if they're sationary.

If I read this right, does your rope only allow for two inches of movement per turn? What happens if a minifig hooks his grappler to a size 14 castle? is he rocketed 26" upwards?

Here's another try at it:
The larger side, whichever it may be and by however small a margin, pulls towards itself when the rope is retracted. So, a minifig hooking onto a castle, bull, or steamship can only pull himself towards the larger object, and never pull the larger object his way. Similarly if they hook onto a rat or a spider, they can only pull it towards themselves. Objects that are 'nailed down' to larger ones are considered part of that object unless they are detached, meaning that a superspy ascending to the top of team bad guy castle would find himself thwarted if the spike he attached himself is damaged and pulled towards him.

At equal size levels, creations can choose EITHER to pull themselves or the object closer, but they may not do both in the same turn.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby aoffan23 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:57 pm

Alright, I did some thinking and decided that the 2" per SLD was dumb. How about instead of that, the minifig may reel in up to its maximum movement for the turn, but he cannot make an action if he hasn't yet reached the other side by the end of the turn. The minifig who fired the hook may choose to drop it at any time. If this is the case, the end of the line that was held stays in place, and whoever is hooked may reel in or move to the weapon in order to pick it up, if he so desires.

Note: Due to their heroic strength, heroes are considered to be 2 size levels higher than their actual size level when dealing with grappling hooks.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby IVhorseman » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:10 pm

I like climbing with movement inches, but why get rid of the action? Minifigs trying to reach the top faster could sprint, or they could use weapons to attempt to ward off anyone who tries getting in their way.

Making heroes stand apart for such a minor rule seems like a bit much. If a hero wants to be awesome with their grappling hook, that's what a heroic feat is for.
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Re: Simple Grappling hooks/jetpacks

Postby aoffan23 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:16 pm

I know they can use the heroic feat, but it just seems a lot simpler to resolve, and this way having heroes involved in a tug-of-war will be less of a fudge-fest and instead have some actual rules associated with it. And if the tug-of-war lasts more than one turn, it seems silly to have to keep using heroic feats just to pull on a rope.

The problem with leaving in the action is that it will make sense for some grapple hooks, but not for others. If it were a launcher that could reel in, then minifigs could obviously hold a weapon in their other hand. On the other hand, it might not make as much sense for hooks that actually have to pulled on, such as climbing a castle wall. It just seems like pulling on the rope would take too much effort to be able to attack on top of that. I guess we could give the minifig the action anyway; mainly for the greater potential awesomeness, but also because it's not very likely a minifig will have anything else to do in the distance from him to the hook.
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