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Structures

The following rules cover the basic features that can be found in structures.

Doors

Doors in structures are much more than mere entrances and exits. They can even be encounters all by themselves. Doors come in several types. Consult Table 11–10: Doors for information on common types of doors.

Breaking Doors: Structure doors might be locked, trapped, reinforced, barred, Artificially sealed, or sometimes just stuck. All but the weakest characters can eventually break through a door with a large weapon such as an assault hammer or other heavy tool.

Attempts to chop down a door with a slashing or bludgeoning weapon use the hardness and Hit Points given in Table 11–10: Doors. When assigning a DC to an attempt to knock a door down, use the following as guidelines.

DC 10 or Lower: A door just about anyone can break open.

DC 11–15: A door that a strong person could break with one try and that would take an average person one or two tries.

DC 16–20: A door that almost anyone could break, given enough time. DC 21–25: A door that only a very strong person has any hope of breaking, and probably not on the first try.

DC 26 or Higher: A door that only an exceptionally strong person has any hope of breaking.

Locks: Structure doors are often locked and thus require the Engineering skill (or other means) to bypass. Locks are usually built into the door, either on the edge opposite the hinges or right in the middle. Built-in locks (which are usually electronic) either control an iron bar that juts out of the door and into the wall of its frame or else a sliding iron or heavy wooden bar that rests behind the entire door. By contrast, padlocks are not built in but usually run through two rings: one on the door and the other on the wall. More complex locks, such as combination locks and puzzle locks, are usually built into the door itself. A special door might have a lock needing a biometric signature or requiring that the right symbols be pressed on a keypad in the correct sequence to open the door. Because such keyless locks are larger and more complex, they are typically found only in sturdy doors (strong wooden, stone, or steel doors).

The DC of the Computers check to hack an electronic system that controls a door or the Engineering check to pick a lock (whether it is mechanical or electronic) often ranges from 20 to 40, although locks with lower or higher DCs can exist. A door can have more than one lock, each of which must be unlocked separately.

Breaking a lock is sometimes quicker than breaking the whole door. If a PC wants to strike a lock with a weapon, treat the typical lock as having a hardness of 20 and 30 Hit Points. A lock can be broken only if it can be attacked separately from the door, which means that a built-in lock is immune to this sort of treatment. In an occupied structure, every locked door should have a key somewhere.

Lighting

Most fabricated structures have some form of lighting built into the ceilings or walls. This lighting provides enough illumination for the inhabitants to see and is often controlled via a simple switch, touch pad, or vocal device. Lighting can usually be turned on and off on a room-to-room basis, though sometimes a structure’s lighting can be deactivated via a central breaker switch (usually located in some kind of control room or service area). A typical manufactured lighting fixture has a break DC of 18, a hardness of 3, and 10 Hit Points.

Natural caverns and structures built by and for creatures with darkvision often lack manufactured lighting. Characters without darkvision must provide their own source of lighting to be able to navigate these locations.

Walls

Structure walls vary drastically in makeup, ranging from natural, unworked solid stone to reinforced Starship bulkheads (though stranger walls exist). While they are typically incredibly difficult to break down or through, they’re generally easy to climb. Table 11–9: Walls contains information on the most common types of walls found in structures.

Concrete Walls: These walls are usually at least 1 foot thick. Concrete walls stop all but the loudest noises. Starship Walls: Whether the interior walls or the bulkheads that form the outside of the ship, these walls are among the strongest. While they are most commonly used in Starship construction, they’re also commonplace in high-end planetary structures, such as research stations and military installations.

Steel Walls: These walls are commonly used within structures of import, such as vaults or older military headquarters.

Unworked Stone Walls: Hewn walls usually result when a chamber or passage is tunneled out of solid rock. Unworked stone is uneven and rarely flat. The rough surface of stone walls frequently provides minuscule ledges where fungus grows and fissures where bats, subterranean snakes, and vermin live.

Wooden Walls: Wooden walls often exist as recent additions to preexisting structures, used to create animal pens, storage bins, and temporary structures, or just to make a number of smaller rooms out of a larger one.

Materials

While materials such as glass and wood are commonly found in terrestrial settlements, some substances are bit more unusual. A list of the hardness and Hit Points of often-used substances can be found in Table 11–11: Material Hardness and Hit Points.

Adamantine Alloy and Pure Adamantine: Adamantine is a valuable metal mined from asteroids and planets throughout the galaxy. It is sometimes combined with other metals (such as iron or steel) to form alloys that are very durable; one such alloy is known as glaucite. Objects made of pure adamantine are incredibly valuable, as they are difficult to destroy.

Nanocarbon: Consisting of carbon atoms bonded together to form microscopic cylindrical nanostructures, nanocarbon has properties that make it beneficial in numerous fields. Nanocarbon can be found in everything from electronics to textiles.

Table 11–9: Walls
Wall Type Typical Thickness Break DC Hardness Hit Points* Athletics DC (To Climb)
Concrete 3 ft. 45 15 540 25
Plastic 5 in. 25 8 75 28
Starship bulkhead 5 ft. 55 35 2,400 25
Starship interior 3 ft. 45 30 1,440 20
Steel 3 in. 30 20 90 25
Unworked stone 5 ft. 65 15 900 15
Wooden 6 in. 20 5 60 21

* Per 10-foot-by-10-foot section.

Table 11–10: Doors
Door Type Typical Thickness Hardness Hit Points Break DC
Stuck Locked
Wooden 1-1/2 in. 5 15 16 18
Plastic 2 in. 8 30 22 24
Stone 4 in. 15 60 28 28
Steel 2 in. 20 60 28 28
Airlock door 4 in. 35 160 40 40
Lock 20 30
Table 11–11: Material Hardness and Hit Points
Material Hardness Hit Points (Per Inch of Thickness)
Glass 1 1
Cloth, paper, or rope 0 2
Ice 0 3
Leather or hide 3 5
Wood 5 10
Plastic 8 15
Ceramic 10 10
Transparent aluminum 10 15
Stone or concrete 15 15
Iron or steel 20 30
Adamantine alloy 30 40
Nanocarbon 35 60
Polycarbon plate 45 60
Pure adamantine 50 80

Polycarbon Plate: Easy to mold but extremely tough, polycarbon plate is constructed from a polymer that is shaped at extremely high temperatures. A stronger form of plastic, polycarbon plate can also be transparent, making it a good choice for the viewports of military Starships.

Transparent Aluminum This compound is composed of aluminum, oxygen, and nitrogen. Sturdier than glass but still transparent, this material is commonly used in Starship and space station windows.

Breaking Objects

When attempting to break an object, you have two choices: smashing it with a weapon or destroying it with sheer strength.

Smashing an Object

Using a weapon to smash a foe’s weapon or an object accessible on the foe’s body is accomplished with the sunder combat maneuver. Smashing an unattended object is similar, except this attack roll is opposed by the object’s Armor Class. Armor Class: Unattended objects are easier to hit than creatures because they don’t usually move, but many are tough enough to shrug off some damage from each blow. An object’s Armor Class is equal to 10 + a modifier due to its size (see Table 11–12:; Size and Armor Class of Objects) + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (–5 modifier) but also an additional –2 penalty to its AC. Furthermore, if a creature takes a full action to line up a shot, it automatically hits with a melee weapon and gains a +5 bonus to an attack roll with a ranged weapon.

Hardness: Each object has hardness—a number that represents how well it resists damage. Each time an object is damaged, its hardness is subtracted from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is deducted from the object’s Hit Points. On average, a sturdy piece of equipment (such as a weapon or a suit of armor) has a hardness equal to 5 + 2 × its item level. Any other piece of equipment has a hardness equal to 5 + its item level.

Hit Points: An object’s Hit Point total depends on its item level and is modified by additional criteria. On average, a sturdy piece of equipment (such as a weapon or a suit of armor) has a number of Hit Points equal to 15 + 3 × its item level. Any other piece of equipment has a number of Hit Points equal to 5 + its item level. Any item of level 15th or higher receives an extra 30 Hit Points. Very large objects may have separate Hit Point totals for different sections. Objects do not have Stamina Points.

Damaged Objects: A damaged object remains functional (though it has the broken condition) until the item’s Hit Points are reduced to 0, at which point it is destroyed. Damaged (but not destroyed) objects can be repaired with the Engineering skill or a number of Spells.

Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons can’t effectively deal damage to certain objects. Most low-level melee weapons have little effect on metal walls and doors. Certain pieces of equipment are designed to cut through metal, however.

Immunities: Objects are immune to nonlethal damage and to critical hits.

Vulnerability to Certain Attacks: Certain attacks are especially strong against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and might ignore the object’s hardness.

Saving Throws: Effects that deal damage generally damage unattended objects normally but don’t damage held or attended objects unless the effect specifically says otherwise. Effects that do something other than deal damage affect only objects if their descriptions specifically say so (only common with Spells) or note “(object)” in the description of the effect’s saving throw. An object’s total saving throw bonus for Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves is equal to the object’s caster level or item level. An object that is held or worn uses the saving throw bonus of the creature carrying it if that bonus is better than its own saving throw bonus. Items with a caster level or item level of 0 don’t receive saving throws when unattended.

Destroying Objects Using Strength

When a character tries to destroy a certain object by using sudden force rather than by dealing damage, he attempts a Strength check (rather than making attack and damage rolls, as with the sunder combat maneuver) to determine whether he succeeds. Since hardness does not affect an object’s break DC, this value depends more on the construction of the item in question than on the material the object is made of. Consult Table 11–13: DCs to Break Objects for a list of common break DCs.

If an object has lost half or more of its Hit Points, the object gains the broken condition and the DC to break it is reduced by 2.

Larger and smaller creatures get bonuses and penalties to Strength checks to break objects as follows: Fine –16, Diminutive –12, Tiny –8, Small –4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16.

Table 11–12: Size and Armor Class of Objects
Size AC Modifier
Colossal –8
Gargantuan –4
Huge –2
Large –1
Medium +0
Small +1
Tiny +2
Diminutive +4
Fine +8
Table 11–13: DCs to Break Objects
Task Strength DC
Break down wooden door 16
Burst rope bonds 20
Burst steel restraints 25
Break down steel door 28
Bend nanocarbon bars 35