Fighter Ace

The Empire and the Alliance fight their Psi-Wars mostly in space, and the most effective weapon in space, currently, is the starfighter. The fighter ace serves as the elite of the elite on the fronts of the Psi-Wars.

Fighter Aces master the arts of space combat and the star fighter. While he's quite competent at all forms of space travel, including hyperspace navigation or gunnery tasks, he's at his best when he's behind the stick of a starfighter, defeating enemy starfighters or making a torpedo run on a capital ship. Some specialize their space combat skills, mastering a few techniques unique to their style of flying. They often have unique relationships with the robot or mechanic that tends to their craft, their squadron or wingman, or the military force that sponsors them: many an admiral has their "pocket ace" that they deploy when they absolutely want to win, and this makes that ace a "darling" of their particular navy.

Outside of their starfighter, they tend to be charming, roguish, cocky and trained in evasion tactics, in case they end up behind enemy lines. While not great soldiers or spies, they make passable adventurers.

Most Fighter Aces serve on one side or the other of the war between the Alliance and the Empire. However, farther from the galactic center, one can find pirate fleets employing their own predatory aces, and mercenaries hired by colonies (or one side or the other of the galactic civil war) to fight for their side.

The Fighter Ace Lenses

Mercenary Ace

Point Cost: 0 points

Not every fighter ace serves in a navy. Some once served in a navy and left it (often retaining contacts from their navy days); others learn to fly just to survive or to defend their home. The Mercenary Ace will fly for anyone willing to pay his fee; they also often struggle for the cash necessary to keep their starfighter in good repair, and ramshackle fighters with drunken "aces" fill hangar bays of stations far out on the rim.

This is the default "lens" for the Fighter Ace. It can apply to any Fighter Ace that doesn't directly answer to an authority.

Advantages: Choose an additional 15 points in advantages; Add the following to the advantage options list: Contact (Fixer, Former Naval Officer, or fellow Mercenary; 9 or less; somewhat reliable; skill 12, skill 15, or skill 18) [1, 2 or 3], Contact Group (Former Navy or Mercenary fleet; 9 or less; somewhat reliable; skill 12, 15 or 18) [5, 10 or 15], Favor (Former commanding officer, 6 or less or 9 or less) [2 or 4 per favor].

Disadvantages: Choose an additional -15 points in disadvantages; add the following the optional disadvantage list: Code of Honor (Mercenary’s) [-10], Debt [varies], Greed [-15*], Intolerance (Pirates or any faction the mercenary refuses to work with) [-5].

Fighter Ace

Point Cost: 250 points

Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 13 [60]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 11 [10].

Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 12 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 6.00 [0]; Basic Move 6 [0]

Advantages:Ace Pilot [25]; Combat Reflexes [15], Hotshot Pilot +4 [20], Luck [15];

  • Choose one 0-point Fighter Ace Lens;
  • Spend 25 points on Increased DX +1 to +2 [20/level], Increased IQ +1 to +2 [20/level], increased Will [5/level], Increased Basic Speed [5/level], 3D Spatial Sense [10], Ally (Robot, 50%, almost all the time) [6] or Ally (Wingman; 100% points, 12 or less) [10], Appearance (Attractive) [4], Charisma +1 to +2 [5/level], Daredevil [15], Danger Sense [15], Enhanced Dodge (Vehicular) +1 to +3 [5/level], Enhanced Dodge +1 [15], Fearlessness [2/level], Fit [5], Hard to Kill [2/level], Higher Purpose (Dogfighter or Wingman) [5], Perfect Balance [15], Rapier Wit [5], Reputation (War Hero) +1 to +4 [varies], Serendipity 1-2 [15/level], Signature Gear [Varies], Signature Fighter [Varies], Technique Mastery (Aggressive Maneuvering or Evasive Maneuvering) [1], Wild Talent 1 [20], Upgrade Luck [15] to Extraordinary Luck [30] for 15 points, or on any of the optional techniques.

Disadvantages: Take any disadvantages required by your Lens and choose an additional -35 points (up to -50 total) from optional Lens disadvantages or from the following:

  • Bad Temper [-10*], Bloodlust [-10*], Bully [-10*], Chummy [-5], Code of Honor (“Fight Fair” or Soldiers) [-5 or -10], Compulsive Carousing [-5*], Compulsive Thrill-Seeking [-5*], Delusion (Invincible in my fighter) [-5], Impulsiveness [-10], Jealousy [-10], Lecherousness [-15], Obsession (Defeat rival ace) [-5], Overconfidence [-5*], Sense of Duty (Wingman, Team, Squadron) [-2 or -5], Trickster [-15*], Intolerance (Rival Faction) [-5], On the Edge [-15*], Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10].

Primary Skills: Piloting (Starfighter) (A) DX+5‡ [4]-18, Artillery (Guided missiles) (A) IQ+6‡ [8]-18, Gunner (Beams) (E) DX+5‡ [2]-18, Navigation (Hyperspace) (A) IQ [2]-12, Beam Weapons (Pistol) (E) DX+1 [2]-14;

  • Divide 8 points among Gunner (Torpedo) (E) DX+5‡ [2]-18. Beam Weapons (Rifle) (E) DX+1 [2]-15, Leadership (A) IQ [2]-12, Tactics (H) IQ-1 [2]-11, improve any of the previous skills, increase Gunner (Beams) or Beam Weapons (Pistol) +1 level for +2 points, or increase Pilot or Artillery (Guided Missile) +1 level for +4 points.

Secondary Skills: Stealth (A) DX [2]-13; Parachuting (E) DX [1]-13; Savoir-Faire (Military) (E) IQ [1]-12; Spacer (IQ/E) IQ+2 [4]-14; Vacc Suit (A) DX+1 [4]-14;

  • Either Brawling (E) DX+2 [4]-15 or Karate (H) DX [4]-13;
  • Either Judo (H) DX [4]-13 or Wrestling (A) DX+1 [4]-14; [1]-14;
  • Choose four of Fast-Draw (Pistol) (E) DX+2† [2]-15, Free-Fall (A) DX [2]-13; Escape (H) DX-1 [2]-12, Area Knowledge (Region of Space), Camouflage or First Aid both (E) IQ+1 [2]-13, Armoury (Force Shields, Heavy Weapons, Vehicular Armor), Connoisseur (Starships), Electronics Operation (Comms, EW, Security or Sensors), Electronics Repair (Comms, EW, Sensors), Fast-Talking, Leadership, Lockpicking, Mechanic, Navigation (Land) all (A) IQ [2]-12, Engineering (Starship) (H) IQ-1 [2]-11, Carousing or Swimming both (E) HT+1 [2]-12, Hiking, Running or Sex-Appeal all (A) HT [2]-12, Scrounging (E) Per+1 [2]-13, Survival (Any) or Urban Survival, both (A) Per [2]-12 or Intimidation (A) Will [2]-12.

Background Skills: Computer Operation (E) IQ [1]-12, Pilot (Contragravity) (A) DX+23 [0]-16;

  • 20 points chosen from a background lens.

Optional Techniques: After-Burner Slide [1-3], Canyon Dive [1-3], Fast-Locking [1-2], Hugging [1-3], Quick Salvo [1-2], Reacquire Target [1-4], Reckless Assault [1-5], Reverse [1-3], Risky Pass [1], Shake [1-3], Skipjacking [1-3], Targeted Attack (Armor Gaps, Sensor Systems, Turrets) [1-2], Weave [1-2]

*Modified by Self-Control Rating
† +1 from Combat Reflexes
‡ +4 from Hotshot Pilot
1: From Pilot (Starfighter) default

Customizing the Fighter Ace

When building your fighter ace, consider the context in which he serves, the sort of fighter he flies, and what the fighter ace does when he isn't flying.

Pilots who serve with a fleet need to consider the organization structure in which they serve: what is their squadron like, who is their wingman and what sort of relationship do they have? What sort of reputation does the Ace have within their organization. Mercenaries and loners need to consider how they get jobs and what sorts of jobs they will or won't accept. All pilots, loners or those who serve a fleet, often have a close relationship with their mechanic and whatever robot assists them in flying.

When it comes to the craft the pilot flies, we can broadly break these down into three categories: civilian aces, fighter aces and bomber aces.

Civilian aces tend to fly craft like the Drifter. They're specialists at flying first and fighting second. They'll tend to focus on techniques that improve their general piloting skills and help them win races or evade authorities.

Fighter aces, by far the most common and stereotypical, will focus both piloting and space combat skills like Gunnery and Artillery. They seek to outmaneuver another fighter and then destroy them. They tend to fly interceptors, like the Tempest or the Valkyrie, or Orbital Dominance fighters like the Javelin, the Wildcat or the Valiant.

Bomber aces will focus primarily on their weaponry skills, especially Gunnery (Torpedo). They seek to destroy enemy capital ships, which tend to not be especially maneuverable and thus don't need extreme stunts to outmaneuver. They do often want to hit hard targets, such as armor gaps or engines, and they might also specialize in close air support, and focus on gunnery (Beams). They tend to fly "strike craft" like the Peltast or the Raptor.

The Fighter Ace risks being a "one-trick pony" with a deep focus on space combat. Naturally, games that feature a Fighter Ace should also include plenty of space combat for him to participate in, but what does he do the rest of the time? For this, pay very close attention to your secondary skills and what power-ups you select. Fighter Aces tend to be stereotypically charming, which serves them well when schmoozing with a mechanic or begging forgiveness from a commanding officer, but has obvious utility outside of space combat, when the fighter ace turns on the charm to seduce a mark or to talk a security agent down. Fighter Aces also tend to worry about being shot down behind enemy lines, and thus become "evasion" experts, and learn skills like Survival, Stealth, Escape and Lockpicking, as well as combat skills like Fast-Draw or Beam Weapons (Rifle); taken together, this makes them decent operatives when not in their fighter. Finally, Fighter Aces often worry about the care and maintenance of their fighters; the skills they learn in repairing and maintaining their starfighter can translate into the sorts of skills that make a Scavenger useful or can assist in sabotage, such as Electronic Repair, Mechanic and Scrounging. Whatever route you choose, try to avoid over-specializing in space combat: you're already vastly better than the average opponent you'll meet in space combat!

Fighter Aces can come from any background, but they typically come from fairly "mundane" backgrounds. Alliance Fighter Aces are often aristocrats, as they can afford the starfighter and see excellence in space combat as a natural extension of their martial traditions. Imperial Fighter Aces often come from the Imperial Academy, as it's one sure-fire route to getting into a fighter cockpit. Pirate Aces often come from an Outcast background, though Alliance or Imperial Fighter Aces might seek redemption for their crimes by using their skills, though you'll need to justify why a big organization is going to trust a million-credit fighter in the hands of a known criminal or a despised minority. Any fighter ace can come from a Humble Background: the "farm boy who learns to fly" is practically a cliche; the Wanderer background is similarly easy to justify, as the character would have grown up piloting craft. Fighter Aces will struggle to justify a tribal background, though a Survivor background might represent years stranded on a planet after a crash. Masters rarely trust a Slave with a military-grade combat machine like a starfighter. Finally, no traditions of martial excellence exist in the setting to justify a Sequestered Fighter Ace, but a player who wishes to explore one could justify spending some of his background points on optional techniques.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License