Car accidents can be a dangerous thing, and this is still true in Shadowrun. However, the way the actual crash rules are written out, you are in for more danger if you are in a big rig that slams into a Smart Car, while the passengers in the Smart Car are likely to walk away uninjured. Makes total sense, right? Nah.
So, I am going to try to come up with something might make sense here, toss the idea around, see if I can get others to comment, contribute ideas, and maybe we can refine it to something that is acceptable to many GMs and Players.
First, Crashes usually involve the impact of a vehicle with another vehicle, or physical object. For the sake of Crash damage rules, we are going to address a vehicle hitting a solid object, or Barrier. And a vehicle hitting another Vehicle.
Next, lets address the different attributes of a Vehicle. Body represents the structure of the vehicle, and Armor represents the ability of your vehicle to shrug off damage.
So, in the instance of hitting a barrier, lets start with the assumption that a vehicle that hits a fragile object is not going to cause much damage. It really doesn’t matter how fast a vehicle is going, running into a pane of glass is just going to break the glass. So if the Body of the vehicle is higher than either the Armor or Structure of the barrier, assume it passes right through undamaged. If either value is higher, then it might pass through with little to no damage.
So for instances like this, I propose that one consults the speed chart for the vehicle, and if the resulting “damage” is higher than the Armor of the barrier being struck, then the GM may rule that the vehicle destroys the barrier with little to no damage to the car. Examples, if a Honda Spirit (Body 8, Armor 6) travelling at 51-200 m/turn (Body x2, or 16DV) hits an Armored glass pane, or other “Reinforced Material” (Armor 12, Structure 8), then the vehicle is going to bust right through. However, in this case, since the structure is higher than the armor, I might call for the car to resist a DV equal to the difference in DV of the Vehicle and the Armor of the target. In this case, 4DV to the vehicle and Passengers, but since the DV is not higher than the Armor of the vehicle, the damage is STUN, and the passengers get to utilize the Armor of their vehicle as well. Note, the -6AP mentioned in crash damage resistances applies to personal armor worn, if any, not the added armor of the vehicle passengers are in.
In the next instance, one of the vehicle hitting tougher objects, in which both the Armor and Structure of the target are higher than the Body of the Car. I might recommend figuring the DV that ramming vehicle will inflict, and having the vehicle resist half that amount. As for Passengers, it makes little sense for the size of the vehicle they are in increase the damage they are taking. So for instances like this, I recommend a flat rate of 10S, modified by the speed of the vehicle. Normal Crash rules for damage resistance apply (resisting with Body + Armor -6AP) I also propose adding in the Armor of the vehicle (or perhaps it structure) as sort of the “crumple zone” impact safety feature of the vehicle.
So for example. If that same Honda Spirit runs into a brick wall or other “Structural Material” (Armor 16, Structure 10), at the same speed of 51-200m/turn. The vehicle would be inflicting 16P against the wall, and would be resisting 8P DV. If this damage is lower than the armor of the vehicle, the vehicle shrugs off all damage. The Passengers all have to resist 10S normally, but they get to add the vehicle’s 6 Armor to their roll.
In the case of vehicles hitting other vehicles, I would propose similar numbers as those with vehicles vs structures. First, consider the speeds of the vehicles If a faster vehicle is hitting a slower vehicle int he same direction, just take the relative speed. If the relative speed is 1-10m, then the Damage being inflicted by the ramming car is Body/2, which is not likely to much more than force a Crash roll, but still compare DV of the ramming vehicle with the Armor of the rammed vehicle to see if any damage is caused (less DV than Armor means no damage).
But lets assume a large or fast vehicle hits one that is not so large, or it’s a head-on collision with a high relative speed. Two Hyundai Shin-Hyungs travelling 110m/t head on collide, The DVs based on these speeds are Body x2. You could take the Relative Speed, and have it Body x3, but since both vehicles are travelling the same speed, it’s easier I think to just have them each inflict the same damage to each other. In the case of the Passengers through, I would modify the flat 10S by the Relative Speed, so all passengers are resisting 30S, and might possibly die in this impact once you consider the extra stun rolling over into Physical at a 2:1 rate.
So, Two Hyundais are impacting head on. They are both Body 10, Armor 6. Each is inflicting 16DV to the other vehicle, which is higher than the armor, so each will have to resist the damage. The Passengers have to resist 30S with Body+Personal Armor (-6AP) + Vehicle Armor. So if they had Body 5, Armor 12, they’d be resisting with 17 dice (5+6+6). Assuming average results, each is likely to be taking 20+ Stun damage, resulting in unconsciousness, and possibly death.
If Anyone has any comments, suggestions, etc, I would greatly appreciate hearing them. This hasn’t been play tested. I basically came up with this as I was sitting here typing it, so it may not fairly address vehicle or passenger damage in crashes.. but it seems like it would be better than the crash rules as presented in the Core Book.