d20 Modern System Reference Document



Vehicle Combat Actions
Crew Quality
Table: Vehicle Crew Quality
Table: Crewed Vehicles
Attack Options
Targeting Occupants
Damaging Vehicles
Repairing Damage

The following rules provide a further framework for combat involving vehicles.

Vehicle Combat Actions

Actions during vehicle combat are handled the same way as actions during personal combat. In general, a character can take two move actions, one move action and one attack action, or one full-round action in a round. Free actions can be performed normally, in conjunction with another action.

Free Actions: Communicating orders is a free action. Characters can perform as many free actions as the GM permits in a single round.

Move Actions: Changing position within a vehicle is usually a move action, especially if the character has to trade places with another character. If the character’s movement is short and unobstructed, the character can do it as the equivalent of a 5-foot step. Otherwise, it requires a move action.

Attack Actions: Anyone aboard a vehicle can make an attack with a personal weapon, and drivers and gunners can make attacks with any vehicle-mounted weapons controlled from their positions.

Full-Round Actions: Since the driver must use a move action to control the vehicle, he or she can’t take a full-round action unless he or she starts it in one round and completes it on his or her next turn (see Start/Complete Full-Round Action).

Crew Quality

Rather than force the GM to create, or remember, statistics for everyone aboard a vehicle, vehicle statistics include a general “crew quality” descriptor. This indicates a typical crew’s aptitude with the vehicle’s systems.

Table: Vehicle Crew Quality shows the five levels of crew quality for GM-controlled vehicle crews, along with the appropriate check modifier. Use the check modifier for all skill checks related to the operation of the vehicle (including Drive and Repair checks). Use the attack bonus for all attack rolls performed by the crew. For quick reference, Table: Crewed Vehicles shows the typical crew quality, and the crew’s total initiative and maneuver modifiers, for the vehicles covered in this book.

This by no means restricts the GM from creating unique vehicles where the crew’s statistics are included, or from using GM characters’ abilities when they drive or attack from vehicles. It’s merely a shortcut to save time if the GM doesn’t have particular characters behind the wheel.

Table: Vehicle Crew Quality

Crew Quality Check Modifier Attack Bonus
Untrained -4 -2
Normal +2 +0
Skilled +4 +2
Expert +8 +4
Ace +12 +8/+3

Table: Crewed Vehicles

Name Crew Initiative Maneuver
Civilian Aircraft
Bell Jet Ranger 2 (Skilled +4) +0 +0
Bell Model 212 2 (Skilled +4) +0 +0
Cessna 172 Skyhawk 1 (Normal +2) -2 -2
Learjet Model 45 2 (Skilled +4) +0 +0

Civilian Cars
Acura 3.2 TL 1 (Normal +2) +0 +1
Aston-Martin Vanquish 1 (Normal +2) +0 +2
BMW M3 1 (Normal +2) +0 +3
Chevrolet Cavalier 1 (Normal +2) +1 +1
Chevrolet Corvette 1 (Normal +2) +0 +2
Dodge Neon 1 (Normal +2) +1 +1
Ford Crown Victoria 1 (Normal +2) +0 +1
Jaguar XJS 1 (Normal +2) +0 +1
Lamborghini Diablo 1 (Normal +2) +0 +3
Mercedes E55 AMG 1 (Normal +2) +0 +2
Volkswagen Jetta 1 (Normal +2) +0 +2

Civilian Motorcycles
Ducati 998R 1 (Normal +2) +2 +5
Harley Davidson FLSTF 1 (Normal +2) +1 +3
Yamaha YZ250F 1 (Normal +2) +2 +4

Civilian Trucks
AM General Hummer 1 (Normal +2) +0 +0
Chevrolet Suburban 1 (Normal +2) +0 +0
Dodge Caravan 1 (Normal +2) +0 +0
Ford Escape XLT 1 (Normal +2) +0 +0
Ford F-150 XL 1 (Normal +2) +0 +0
Toyota Tacoma Xtracab 1 (Normal +2) +0 +0

Civilian Water Vehicles
Bayliner 1802 Capri 1 (Normal +2) +0 +0
Fairline Targa 30 1 (Normal +2) -2 -2
Sea-Doo XP 1 (Normal +2) +1 +3

Other Vehicles
Armored truck 2 (Skilled +4) +2 +2
Honda TRX400FW 1 (Normal +2) +1 +3
Limousine 1 (Skilled +4) +0 +0
Moving truck 1 (Normal +2) -2 -2
NABI Model 40LFW 1 (Skilled +4) +0 +0

Military Vehicles
BMP-2 3 (Skilled +4) +2 +2
M1A2 Abrams 4 (Skilled +4) +0 +0
M2A2 Bradley 3 (Skilled +4) +0 +0
M113A1 Gavin 2 (Skilled +4) +2 +2
UH-60 Black Hawk 2 (Skilled +4) +0 +0

Attack Options

Firing a vehicle’s weapon requires an attack action and uses the driver’s or gunner’s ranged attack modifier.

A driver with 5 or more ranks in the Drive skill gains a +2 synergy bonus when firing vehicle-mounted weapons while driving.

Some military vehicles are equipped with fire-control computers. These systems grant equipment bonuses on attack rolls with the vehicle-mounted weapons to which they apply.

Driving Defensively: Just as in melee combat, one can fight defensively while driving a vehicle, which grants a +2 dodge bonus to the vehicle’s Defense and applies a –4 penalty on attack rolls made by occupants of the vehicle.

Total Defense: A driver can choose the total defense, action which grants a +4 dodge bonus to Defense but does not allow the driver to attack (gunners or passengers take a –8 penalty on attack rolls). These modifiers last until the driver’s next round of actions.

Full Attack Action: A driver cannot normally make a full attack, since controlling the vehicle requires a move action.

Gunners or passengers, however, can take full attack actions, since they don’t have to use a move action (except, perhaps, to change positions in the vehicle). In general, taking a full attack action is useful only if a character has a base attack bonus high enough to get multiple attacks. A passenger can make multiple attacks with his or her own weapon. A gunner can make multiple attacks with one or more weapons controlled from his or her position.

Targeting Occupants

An attack made against a vehicle uses the vehicle’s Defense, modified by its speed category. Attackers can choose instead to target specific vehicle occupants.

An attack against a vehicle occupant is made like any other attack. Remember, however, that a character in a vehicle gains bonuses to Defense from both the vehicle’s speed and any cover it provides.


When a character fires from a vehicle, objects or other vehicles in the way can provide cover for the target.

Damaging Vehicles

All vehicles have hit points, which are roughly equivalent to a character’s hit points. Like most inanimate objects, vehicles also have hardness. Whenever a vehicle takes damage, subtract the vehicle’s hardness from the damage dealt.

When a vehicle is reduced to 0 hit points, it is disabled. Although it might be repairable, it ceases functioning. A vehicle that is disabled while moving drops one speed category each round until it comes to a stop. The driver cannot attempt any maneuvers except a 45-degree turn.

Unlike characters, vehicles don’t “die” when they reach –10 hit points. Instead, a vehicle is destroyed when it loses hit points equal to twice its full normal total. A destroyed vehicle cannot be repaired.

Energy Attacks: Vehicles are treated as objects when subjected to energy attacks.

Exploding Vehicles: If the attack that disables a vehicle deals damage equal to half its full normal hit points or more, the vehicle explodes after 1d6 rounds. This explosion deals 10d6 points of fire damage to everyone within the vehicle (Reflex save, DC 20, for half damage), and half that much to everyone and everything within 30 feet of the explosion (Reflex save, DC 15, for half damage).

Repairing Damage

Repairing damage to a vehicle takes a full hour of work, a mechanical tool kit, and a garage or some other suitable facility. (Without the tool kit, a character takes a –4 penalty on his or her Repair check.) At the end of the hour, make a Repair check (DC 20). Success restores 2d6 hit points. If damage remains, the character may continue to make repairs for as many hours as it takes to restore all of the vehicle’s hit points.