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Should Starfighter Piloting be an Advanced skill?
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Should Starfighter Piloting be an Advanced skill? Reply with quote

There's the (edited out) scene in ANH where Red Leader asks Luke if he can handle the T-65 X-Wing.

There's the scene in TFA where Finn meets Poe, and helps the Resistance member to escape because Finn is not a pilot.

There's the other scene in TFA where Finn tells Rey that they need a pilot, and Rey says, "You've got one!"

That all suggests that piloting, whether it be for Starfighters or Space Transports, should be an Advanced skill.



Then again, the tone of the Star Wars films seems to say that anyone can fly almost anything--like driving a car--and Finn must be an anomaly where his character, trained from birth to be a stormtrooper, just has never had to pilot before--like most people. In this case, piloting shouldn't be an Advanced skill.



And, while we're talking about it, shouldn't Starfighter Piloting and Space Transports have a relationship? Maybe one can be used for the other at -1D?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think some skills being related to each other in the manner you suggested is not unreasonable.

I have combined Space Transports and Starfighter Piloting into Spaceship Operation. I don't feel that Starfighter needs to be an advanced skill or a different skill - Operating starfighters just needs more skill to do well and have a better chance of not getting yourself killed. I have however made Capital Ship piloting an advanced skill.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it needs to be an advanced skill, but I could certainly see there BEING an advanced skill for Combat Piloting, opening some maneuvers that might otherwise not be available.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reference to being a pilot is something a bit special.

In ANH, when Kenobi and Luke contract with Han and Chewie to charter the Falcon. They balk at the price, and Luke says that they can almost buy their own ship for 10,000. Han replies, "Yeah, but who's going to fly it? You?"

This implies that not everyone is a pilot.




I'm not so sure that the piloting skills should be separate, either. Barring specializations, the skills are pretty broad. One skill to pilot every fighter. One skill to pilot every transport. One skill to fire every blaster, whether it's a pistol, rifle, carbine, or repeater.

One piloting skill, or at least a relationship between piloting skills, may be in order.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm more of the opinion that starship piloting is a trained skill, but not necessarily an Advanced skill. That is to say, you must have some training in piloting a starship (of whatever type) in order for you to attempt it -- piloting a ship can't be done with just dumb luck (ie. just the base Mechanical stat), you need to have a few pips in the skill to not immediately crash or burn out the power plant.

I know that is officially against RAW, but I really see it as a specialized "Skill" that not every knob around the corner can manage.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which would make it an advanced skill, really.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Should Starfighter Piloting be an Advanced skill? Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
There's the (edited out) scene in ANH where Red Leader asks Luke if he can handle the T-65 X-Wing.

There's the scene in TFA where Finn meets Poe, and helps the Resistance member to escape because Finn is not a pilot.

There's the other scene in TFA where Finn tells Rey that they need a pilot, and Rey says, "You've got one!"

That all suggests that piloting, whether it be for Starfighters or Space Transports, should be an Advanced skill.



Then again, the tone of the Star Wars films seems to say that anyone can fly almost anything--like driving a car--and Finn must be an anomaly where his character, trained from birth to be a stormtrooper, just has never had to pilot before--like most people. In this case, piloting shouldn't be an Advanced skill.



And, while we're talking about it, shouldn't Starfighter Piloting and Space Transports have a relationship? Maybe one can be used for the other at -1D?


There's a scene in TFA, if I remember correctly, where Han asks Rey, "do you know how to use that?" in reference to a blaster. Similar logic would dictate that blaster should also be considered for advanced skill status.

I would liken flying a ship to driving a car. Anyone can do it, provided they have some kind of training. Heck, like riding a bike, even. You have to "learn" how, but then it's easy.

Remember: 99.99999999% of "pilots" in the galaxy never have to make a piloting roll (because they spend the most of their time just "flying straight" at cruising speed). Its when you attempt to oppose someone else or do something tricky or dangerous that you have to roll, and that is where the skill comes in.

I mean... if it's going to be advanced, than Padme (a career politician who gets chauffeured around at her pleasure) would have BOTH Starfighter piloting and Space Transports, per the combination of the films and this proposed change to the skills.

That said, I say just do what you want: if it makes the game more interesting or fun, go for it. I'd recommend making the skill immediately accessible to starting PCs, though (which could mean allowing them to break the +2D rule for skill allocation during character creation in order to qualify for the advanced skill, depending on how you handle it).
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Should Starfighter Piloting be an Advanced skill? Reply with quote

I agree with Naaman.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
There's the (edited out) scene in ANH where Red Leader asks Luke if he can handle the T-65 X-Wing.

Most of this scene has been back in the film for over 20 years now. (Only Red Leader's reference to Anakin is still left out.) Let's look at the scene:

Quote:
RED LEADER: Skywalker, are you sure you can handle this ship?
BIGGS: Sir, Luke is the best bush pilot in the Outer Rim Territories.

Most (if not all) of Luke's piloting experience comes from landspeeders and airspeeders, which in game terms would not directly help his ability to pilot starships, even as non-advanced skills like in RAW. So this dialogue supports the game's base attribute mechanic with Luke having a high Mechanical (and a decent pool of character points) helping him fly starfighters. Luke most certainly could handle an X-wing, but where would he have learned an advanced starship piloting skill? Let's look at another Luke scene:

Quote:
HAN: But who's gonna fly it, kid? You?
LUKE: You bet I could! I'm not such a bad pilot myself.

Luke was understating his own ability. He grew up on Tatooine and yet he was far from a bad pilot.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
There's the scene in TFA where Finn meets Poe, and helps the Resistance member to escape because Finn is not a pilot.

Based on the context of the whole escape, it doesn't suggest a pilot: yes-or-no thing to me. The escape was so dangerous that it required a good pilot. Also, although Finn never gets too good at it, Starship Gunnery in the game is a Mechanical skill. I would interpret the scene in game terms to mean that Finn may have even had a decent enough Mechanical to fire the TIE's weapons with base attribute, but no skill dice in the piloting skill which needed a high piloting ability. And even Poe, the Resistance's best pilot, got shot down in the escape, so it is safe to say that Finn on his own would have been toast.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
There's the other scene in TFA where Finn tells Rey that they need a pilot, and Rey says, "You've got one!"

This also supports the attribute default game mechanic. How would Rey have learned an advanced starship skill growing up on Jakku? Finn and Han are both surprised to hear Rey say she is a pilot, and yet she is a good pilot. See Luke above. The novelization explains her familiarity with the Falcon by saying she had snuck on board the Falcon before out of fascination with starships. Rey having a high Mechanical attribute (and character points) makes her piloting abilities make sense in game terms.

Whill wrote:
I have combined Space Transports and Starfighter Piloting into Spaceship Operation. I don't feel that Starfighter needs to be an advanced skill or a different skill - Operating starfighters just needs more skill to do well and have a better chance of not getting yourself killed. I have however made Capital Ship piloting an advanced skill.

I feel the film evidence fairly well supports the game mechanic interpretation of piloting space transports and starfighters both not being advanced skills and thus both defaulting to the base attribute. And furthermore, I've recombined them into a single skill in the spirit of 1e and the IAG. I feel starfighters in general just need more skill because the primary purpose of them is specifically combat, not transportation. But a very high Mechanical and a pool of CPs can allow PCs to "handle" starfighters, not unlike the film characters.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reference: Han confirms that Lando is a "fair" pilot when the Alliance considers Lando to be a General at the Battle of Endor.

Why would he confirm that particular ability unless not all people are "fair" pilots?
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Another reference: Han confirms that Lando is a "fair" pilot when the Alliance considers Lando to be a General at the Battle of Endor.

Why would he confirm that particular ability unless not all people are "fair" pilots?


Wouldn't some of this come back to skill levels, though? A fair pilot might only have 2D Mechanical, but have worked his skills up to 3D or 4D... good enough to do the job, just not on par with real professionals like Han or Chewie.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Combat Maneuvers as an Advanced Skill adding to Starship Weaponry, Piloting, and Shields skills, possibly with some special abilities unlockable via skill in Combat Maneuvers.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's one of those preference things, I think. Here are some parallels:
Brawling ---> (A) Martial Arts
Blaster (such as for hunting) -----> (A) Combat Marksmanship
Repulsorlift Operation ------> (A) Persuit and Evasion (such as in Fast and Furiousor Gone in 60 seco.ds, etc).

Is the the difference between a racecar driver and a taxi driver the number of dice in a base skill or is it the acquisition of "advanced" knowledge/training?

Can the difference be compared (as opposed to contrasted) with First Aid ----> (A) Medicine?

I think it comes down to whether the campaign itself and the group's play style would benefit from the change.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Another reference: Han confirms that Lando is a "fair" pilot when the Alliance considers Lando to be a General at the Battle of Endor.

Why would he confirm that particular ability unless not all people are "fair" pilots?

Oh, come on. Remember Han trying to impress Obi-Wan in the cantina? Remember Han and Lando's interactions in TESB? Did you watch RotJ beyond the Alliance assembly? The truth is that Lando is a fantastic pilot but Han's bravado is not going to let anyone seem comparable to him. And this is yet another case that actually supports levels of piloting ability anyway, not piloting yes or no. If it were that way, Han would say Lando is a pilot with no adjective.

Wajeb, so instead of replying with your thoughts on my very specific responses to each of your prior examples, you ignore them and bring this up. OK. This isn't really a discussion. You do whatever you want in your game. Whatever works for you.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Wajeb, so instead of replying with your thoughts on my very specific responses to each of your prior examples, you ignore them and bring this up. OK. This isn't really a discussion. You do whatever you want in your game. Whatever works for you.


I'm not supporting either side. I'm throwing up Devil's Advocate points for discussion.

I don't have a position yet. Well, right now, I'd keep RAW. But, it's a good topic to explore.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I think some skills being related to each other in the manner you suggested is not unreasonable.

I have combined Space Transports and Starfighter Piloting into Spaceship Operation. I don't feel that Starfighter needs to be an advanced skill or a different skill - Operating starfighters just needs more skill to do well and have a better chance of not getting yourself killed. I have however made Capital Ship piloting an advanced skill.


I had a different solution.. In my as yet untested houserule, I make them extremely difficult, using a difficulty modifier similar to a creature's orneriness code. Small capital ships (typically corvettes) that might be suitable for a normal campaign have 1D, where the super star destroyers have about 8D. This is, of course, in addition to all other required rolls, and (presuming I have done my math correctly) makes operation in combat essentially impossible without using coordinated actions via command skill. It does, however, allow a small skeleton crew to be capable of operating (if less efficiently), and it allows a very small crew of highly capable individuals to reasonably limp a ship to port. It also conveniently makes the coordination force power ridiculously effective in capital ship combat.. which I am honestly fine with given how it was portrayed in the Zahn novels.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argentsaber wrote:
Whill wrote:
I think some skills being related to each other in the manner you suggested is not unreasonable.

I have combined Space Transports and Starfighter Piloting into Spaceship Operation. I don't feel that Starfighter needs to be an advanced skill or a different skill - Operating starfighters just needs more skill to do well and have a better chance of not getting yourself killed. I have however made Capital Ship piloting an advanced skill.


I had a different solution.. In my as yet untested houserule, I make them extremely difficult, using a difficulty modifier similar to a creature's orneriness code. Small capital ships (typically corvettes) that might be suitable for a normal campaign have 1D, where the super star destroyers have about 8D. This is, of course, in addition to all other required rolls, and (presuming I have done my math correctly) makes operation in combat essentially impossible without using coordinated actions via command skill. It does, however, allow a small skeleton crew to be capable of operating (if less efficiently), and it allows a very small crew of highly capable individuals to reasonably limp a ship to port. It also conveniently makes the coordination force power ridiculously effective in capital ship combat.. which I am honestly fine with given how it was portrayed in the Zahn novels.

Argentsaber, Welcome to the Pit!
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