Manipulating Objects and Surroundings

Tanks need to interact with their environment in many ways. For this purpose, they have various means of manipulating objects and vehicles, as well as perceiving their surroundings. This part explains the standard devices and methods for interaction with anything that isn’t a vehicle.  


A tank has the following senses: Sight, Hearing, Touch, and Smell. Tanks cannot taste (despite what some of them claim). Every tank can use these senses anytime – in fact, they are using them most of the time, unless one of their senses is damaged or otherwise interfered with.   Using these senses passively never requires an interaction check, but using them purposefully takes a certain amount of time, and thus checks using senses are treated as an interaction in combat situations anyway. This doesn’t apply to just using them passively.


A tank can see what happens around it without any particular check, but if it wants to take a closer look at something, a Perception check may be required. The former does not require an “interaction”, the latter does.   Often, Perception checks are paired with Insight checks to represent that just noticing something doesn’t mean knowing if it’s worth noticing.   Examples for sense-based Perception checks are:
    • Finding a landmark (sight)
    • Spotting a camouflaged vehicle (sight)
    • Understanding someone shouting from far away (hearing)
    • Catching someone sneaking up on you (hearing)
    • Noticing a fire that you can’t see (smell)
Since using your senses actively is a conscious decision, you have to tell your MM when you want to use them purposefully. They will decide whether a check is required and what the difficulty for the check for the kind of action you want to take is.


In normal conditions, tanks can see as far as a normal human, and even farther when using their gun sights. For the purpose of simplicity, HUMMEL QUEST assumes that the maximum visual range of all tanks is 3000 metres.   Hearing range is unlimited in normal conditions – it depends on how loud a noise is whether it can be heard or not.   A tank’s sense of smell is not incredibly defined. They can smell strong odours like diesel or burning rubber, but wouldn’t be able to differentiate more subtle smell differences.   The average tank has a very rudimentary sense of touch – they can feel impacts on their armour (although the thicker the armour, the less they feel) as well as pain from injury, and can recognize prominent shapes when touching them with their claws.  


Sometimes, some of your senses will be impaired by certain surroundings.   Darkness and Bright Lights
During the night or in unlit rooms, it gets harder to see. Tanks tend to be very night-blind.   In moderate darkness, for example a cloudy night, they can barely see. The TN for all sight-based checks in moderate darkness is increased by 2, and another +1 per 100 metres of distance between you and the thing you are trying to see.   In complete darkness, sight-based checks fail automatically.   Every tank is by default equipped with headlights. It can use them in darkness to see as it would be able to in normal conditions, specifically in a range of up to 100 metres. Headlights and similar light sources emit bright light.   For tanks looking into bright light, the TN for sight-based checks is increased by 2.   Noisy Environments
Another source of disruption are environments with a lot of loud noise – battlefields or storms, for example. In a noisy environment, the TN for hearing-based checks and Unwinding checks – see Repairing and Resting – is increased by 2. Tanks may attempt to focus in such an environment – on a successful Buf check (TN 6), they can ignore the TN penalty for one turn in combat, or 10 minutes outside of combat.   Other Difficulties
There are other situations when a tank’s senses may be impaired. For example, your MM could rule that during heavy rain or fog, sight is impaired.


Generally, tanks are so used to their own and everyone else’s engine noise that they simply don’t notice it. There are however some who have a talent for picking up other’s engine noises beyond their own. The only way to combat this ability is to turn off one’s engine.   Turning an engine off for an extended time is dangerous, so it should not be done for long periods of time. A tank whose engine is turned off cannot move, unwind, or sleep, and can’t be rallied, though it can use its arms, rotate its turret, and shoot its cannon(s).   Turning the engine on or off does not require an interaction, but a tank can’t turn its engine on in the same turn it turned it off and vice versa.   When a tank’s engine is turned off for more than three hours without interruption, the tank starts suffering 1 point of OST damage for every 10 minutes it remains turned off. If its OST is reduced to 1 this way, its engine is turned on again automatically, and the tank cannot act for 2d10 minutes while its core reboots.


A vehicle can have different states, which determine its readiness to act or fight, as well as restrictions or bonuses on its (inter-)actions. It is assumed that a tank is always in a normal state, unless something explicitly revokes this state. The normal state has no effects. A tank can be affected by multiple states at once.   Fallen Over State
When a vehicle falls over, its Speed score is temporarily decreased to 0. It remains fallen over until it is righted somehow. Pushing or pulling can be used to right a vehicle. In this case, if the pushing/pulling vehicle successfully moves the fallen over vehicle, the latter is righted. See PART 3 (Manipulating Vehicles) for the rules on pushing/pulling.


Using your limbs and frame, you can interact with objects by grabbing, lifting, pushing, pulling, or even throwing them.   Every tank has four arms by default. Each arm is a flexible limb similar to a tow rope, but instead of a shackle, the end has four claws (one of them opposable like a thumb). The arms are arranged in pairs on each side of the tank’s frame, usually retracted inside it. They can be extended through either particular gaps in the armour or moveable panels.   The average tank arm extends up to 4 metres and can lift up to 170kg.   Every arm can be moved independently. It however takes special attention and care to do something different with every arm at the same time. Every interaction check made for manipulating something with a tank’s arms assumes that all involved arms are doing the same task. If you want an arm to do something else at the same time, you need to make an additional interaction check. For every additional action at the same time, the number of successes needed to pass each respective check is increased by 1.  


Example: You want to catch a thrown object using three of your arms. Your MM will ask for an interaction check (TN 6/1). At the same time, you want to use your fourth arm to catch a different object. The TN would be 6/1 normally, but because you are already focusing on moving your other arms, more successes are needed. Therefore, the TN for all simultaneous checks is 6/2.   If you had five arms and would attempt to catch yet something else with that fifth arm, all TNs would be 6/3, and so on.
  Simultaneous interaction checks done with different arms are counted as one check for the purpose of determining the time that passes in and out of battle. This only applies to interaction checks done using your arms – interaction checks for ramming and shooting are unaffected. This means that you can’t do something with your arms and shoot at the same time, or ram and shoot at the same time, etc.


A tank can only carry a certain amount of weight before its engine becomes unable to move its frame due to being too heavy. This weight threshold is indicated by the tank’s load limit. This dictates how much weight the tank can carry on and inside of its frame while still being mobile.   Your load limit is determined by adding your Strength score to your Size score and multiplying the result by 100. The resulting number in kilograms is how much you can carry.   Example: A tank with a Strength score of 4 Size score of 3 would have a load limit of (4 + 3) *100 = 700kg.   A tank can never carry more than its load limit. It can pick up the objects, but it can’t move on its own until its load has been decreased below its limit again. If its Str or Size score get decreased/increased temporarily, its load limit decreases/increases as well.   Every object that is carried either inside the frame, on it, or in a container on it counts towards the load limit. Starting items do not. Pulled items like carts or other vehicles attached by tow ropes do not count towards the load limit.


Your MM can decide how strict they are about load limits. Some MMs may not enforce them as much, while others might want you to keep exact track of how much weight you carry.   A MM may rule that as you approach your load limit, your mobility decreases. Generally, this means that upon reaching 80% of your load limit, your Speed score decreases to 60% (round down). Upon reaching 90%, the Speed decreases to 40% (round down). Upon reaching 100%, the Speed decreases to 0%.   Not every MM is obligated to use this rule. Ask yours how they handle load limits.


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