So the beta book does not address the issue, and neither did I when I went ahead and produced the high-powered and super-powered jet packs (see previous post).
Now, how – if at all necessary and desirable – would one, or should one, go about making rules for fuel for these contraptions?
Fuel cell capacity and consumption
For the stock jet packs – found in the beta book – I’d go with something like 15 to 20 fuel cells (looking at wookiepedia it seems it varies slightly). 1 round of flight equal 1 fuel cell (whatever speed). I’d go with simplicity over details. Although executing manoeuvres and/or actions that would demand more of the jet pack that its designed for (like using a talent or manoeuvre to boost the speed beyond its stats; or going from stand still to maximum speed in one round) I’d check off another fuel cell (perhaps more with sufficient threats rolled). I think there’s a reason the jet pack doesn’t have hull integrity or strain integrity – its too small and is not a vehicle in the same manner as a speeder. So I don’t want to add that into it.
For the suicidal alternatives I presented in my previous post I’d go with 15 fuel cells for both. Each round used in space (vacuum) requires 2 fuel cells – in addition to the extras from going above and beyond the designed parameters.
For the new Silent Jet pack I’m about to present I’d go with 10 cells, perhaps 15 if being nice, due its limitations and specific use.
Although having these limitations put on the jet pack might discourage use and make jet packs boring. Which shouldn’t be the case, therefore I’d say to only use this if you feel your players are way too dependant upon the jet packs and use them to solve any and all situations… as a general rule I’d say a Despair on any roll – but particularly a Pilot roll causes the Jet Pack to run out of fuel. Depending upon success/failure and advantage/threat the repercussions of this could be immediate falling damage – or perhaps 1 or 2 rounds to attempt to land.
For fuel cells I’d take about 75 to 100 credits per 5 cells, depending upon type of jet pack. Stock being cheaper, Super-powered and Silent being the most expensive at 100 credits per 5 cells.
Jet packs and Stealth
I’d rule that a normal Jet pack adds 2 Setback dice to Stealth checks for sound only, which would be modified for the High-powered, which should receive 3 Setback dice in total, and the Super-powered which should receive 4 in total. This is of course in atmosphere where sound can travel.
In darkness I’d add another 1 or 2 Setback dice for all Jet packs, except if using the Jet Pack presented below.
Z3a Silent Jet Pack
Skill: Pilot (planet)
Notes: This jet pack functions in almost all respects as the stock version jet pack prented in the core rules, with one exception; its silent and produces no illumination from the boosters/jets. How to translate this into the game mechanics is a bit up to GM, player and circumstances. It depends on your perspective and approach to the use of Stealth in this manner. If going for the suggestions I presented above, I’d let it ignore all (or most) Setback dice from sound and illumination and that’d be it. I haven’t tested this, but I think it more balanced than a boost die.
Image from wookiepedia.org