Archives of Nethys

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Vehicles / Vehicle Encounters / Vehicles In Tactical Combat

Choosing the Right Vehicle

Source Tech Revolution pg. 88
The vehicles you choose strongly determine an encounter’s feel. An skirmish with goblins in dune buggies is very different than those same goblins driving through the desert on a huge, heavily armored transport scavenging scrap metal.
Is the tactical combat likely to evolve into a chase, or is it the conclusion of a chase? If either is true, choose vehicles with capabilities similar to your PCs’ vehicles. Evenly matched vehicles keep the tension high, as both parties stand a fair chance of victory. Using a vehicle with a slightly different movement form (wheeled travel compared to hover-based movement, for example) can help you create specific zones to give your PCs the advantage or disadvantage, depending on your needs.
How much cover does the vehicle provide? When a vehicle provides improved cover or total cover, its passengers usually become so difficult to harm that the vehicle itself becomes the only viable target. However, if your NPCs are of lower CR, the massive cover benefits might increase their defenses to competitive levels that keep them in the fight for a few additional rounds. Compare this to a vehicle that provides cover, partial cover, or no cover, which leaves the passengers exposed and invites gunfire between rival crews.
If you don’t see the perfect vehicle in an official resource, try using the vehicle creation rules in this book (page 76) to make your own vehicle for the encounter.