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Recently a question came up in my game as to how many people certain vehicles can hold, as well as how many access points there are. Sometimes trying to apply common sense to the problem doesn't always work well and ends up with arguments.

So I brought in a copy of the old SR1 Rigger Black Book which included such info and used that to establish some base rulings which have generated some complaints since its from and older and non-compatible system.

Was wondering how do others deal with the same questions as well as looking for ideas as how to determine cruising & maximum altitude/depth for Aircraft, LAV, LTA, , Rotorcraft, and Submersibles. (which is another questions thats come up)

Group fiat, with final say for the GM. The number of seats/access points can vary with the exact model choosen (based on the theory that alternative products have a different chassis). The primary variant is evaluated based on the image from arsenal or older sources.
When they did include stats they never actually worked. I don't think they ever made ANY of the DocWagon aircraft large enough to handle the size team and patients that were supposed to be aboard.
Ground vehicles

Unless specifically stated otherwise I would rule all cars are either: 4-Door Sedans, 2-Door Coupes, Station Wagons, Convertibles, Sports Cars, Mini Vans, SUVs, Pickup Trucks, or Vans.

The default being the 4-door sedan. For any further information I recommend picking up a magazine on buyers guide to cars.


Most helicopters have a service ceiling of about 18,000 feet or so. There are reports of a successful helicopter landing at 29,000 feet, but that's disputed.

Typical maximum helicopter speeds are around 80 miles per hour for utility helicopters and around 130-160 miles per hour for high performance helicopters.

The limiting factor is the problem of a retreating blade stall and the need to keep the rotor tips below the speed of sound. On the rotor, there will be one side that's moving forward with the helicopter and one side that's moving backwards relative to the helicopter. Both sides have problems as forward speed increases.

On the forward side, its speed relative to the air goes up as the helicopter speeds up. The sum of its forward and rotational speeds cannot exceed the speed of sound or the drag and aerodynamic forces would be catastrophic.

On the retreating side, its speed relative to the air goes down as the helicopter speeds up. If it gets too slow, it won't produce enough lift. To compensate, the helicopter's mechanism will increase the blade pitch to keep the helicopter from tipping over. Eventually, the blade will pitch so much that it will stall, causing the helicopter again to tip over.


50,000 to 60,000 feet is pretty much the limit for most practical purposes. There are several limiting factors, but the main ones are as follows:

1) Engine power. Each design is different, but all engines have a maximum altitude above which they cannot produce enough power to allow the airplane to climb higher. The majority of private and commercial aircraft cannot fly above 40,000 to 45,000 feet.

2) Pressurization. Unless you wear a pressurized suit (basically a space suit), at very high altitudes your blood cannot absorb enough oxygen for you to remain conscious, even if you are breathing 100% oxygen. This means the cabin must be pressurized, or you must wear a pressure suit (not practical for passenger aircraft). Due to structural limitations, each aircraft has a maximum differential between outside air pressure and the pressure inside the cabin, limiting the altitude at which it can fly. Again, the majority of private and commercial aircraft cannot fly above 40,000 to 45,000 feet.

3) Controllability. The thin air at very high altitude makes an aircraft difficult to control, and in order to overcome this, it must fly at very high speed. Rule #1 above is again a main limiting factor in achieving that speed. High-speed aerodynamics at high altitude poses manifold difficulties that make it impractical for most applications.

4) While it is possible to design airplanes to fly higher than they do, it becomes cost-prohibitive. There are lots of other reasons that I haven't mentioned, but I think I've covered the main ones.


A submarine's depth ratings are a primary design parameter and measure of its ability. The depths to which submarines can dive are limited by the strengths of their hulls. As a first order approximation, each ten metres (thirty-three feet) of depth puts another atmosphere (15 psi, 100 kPa) of pressure on the hull, so at 300 metres (1000 feet), the hull is supporting thirty atmospheres (450 psi, 3000 kPa).

Design depth is the arbitrary depth listed in the submarine's specifications. From it the designers calculate the thickness of the hull metal, the boat's displacement, and many other related factors. Since the designers incorporate margins of error in their calculations, crush depth of an actual vessel should be slightly deeper than its design depth.

Test depth is the maximum depth that a submarine is permitted to operate at under normal (e.g. peacetime) circumstances, and is in fact tested at during sea trials. In the United States Navy, it is set at two-thirds of design depth. The Royal Navy sets test depth at a little deeper than half (4/7) of the design depth, and the Deutsche Marine sets it at exactly one-half of design depth.

The maximum operating depth (popularly called the never-exceed depth) is the maximum depth that a submarine is allowed to operate at under any (e.g. battle) conditions.

Collapse depth, popularly called crush depth, is the submerged depth at which a submarine's hull will collapse due to the surrounding water pressure. This is normally calculated through mathematical means; however, it is not always accurate. Planesman error sometimes causes submarines to exceed test depth by a few feet or meters during trials; note that a one-degree up-bubble on an Ohio-class boat indicates that the stern is some ten feet or three meters deeper than the bow.

Modern nuclear attack submarines like the American Seawolf class are estimated to have a test depth of 1600 feet (about 500 m), which would imply (see above) a collapse depth of 2400 feet (730 m).
We just use modern examples, like Chrysalis listed, when it comes up.
Thanks for that info Chrysalis, that should come in handy.

My players are usually open minded and willing to apply common sense to problems, but every once in a while they get stuck in Rules Lawyer mode. Time to get them to take their medicine like a grown up and if not there's always my sledgehammer.

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