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Power Routing (for freighters)
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2023 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Though with face/doc characters what do THEY do??


Well, if a TIE fighter gets close enough to a viewport, they could make obscene gestures at the enemy pilot like Maverick did in Top Gun! That'll show those Imps! Shocked Razz Laughing
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2023 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Though with face/doc characters what do THEY do??

They do something. Com-scan. Shields. A secondary weapon. Whatever. In my Session Zeros where the group talks about the campaign and makes PCs, we also design the PC ship and decide who is going to do what on the ship. So even non-pilot type of PCs will have some sort of minor space focus, even if it is one single skill. (And since all skill dice allocations have to be explainable by the PC's background, they have to work in part of the character's life history that explains it if it not obvious by the character template type.) I don't like anyone sitting around and doing nothing.

Now I have had some players who said their PC having a space skill doesn't work well with their character concept, so we've just worked into the first adventure situations like "Someone man the shields station! Angle the shields to starboard! Yes, to the right!" and so they do at base attribute and start putting skill points into it as they gain experience. But very quickly in the campaign, everyone has some role on the ship, no matter what your primary function in the party is.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2023 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
garhkal wrote:
Though with face/doc characters what do THEY do??

They do something. Com-scan. Shields. A secondary weapon. Whatever. In my Session Zeros where the group talks about the campaign and makes PCs, we also design the PC ship and decide who is going to do what on the ship. So even non-pilot type of PCs will have some sort of minor space focus, even if it is one single skill. (And since all skill dice allocations have to be explainable by the PC's background, they have to work in part of the character's life history that explains it if it not obvious by the character template type.) I don't like anyone sitting around and doing nothing.

Now I have had some players who said their PC having a space skill doesn't work well with their character concept, so we've just worked into the first adventure situations like "Someone man the shields station! Angle the shields to starboard! Yes, to the right!" and so they do at base attribute and start putting skill points into it as they gain experience. But very quickly in the campaign, everyone has some role on the ship, no matter what your primary function in the party is.


This is such a good house rule that I wish it was included in the "official" rules somewhere, maybe as an optional sidebar.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2023 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
garhkal wrote:
Though with face/doc characters what do THEY do??

They do something. Com-scan. Shields. A secondary weapon. Whatever. In my Session Zeros where the group talks about the campaign and makes PCs, we also design the PC ship and decide who is going to do what on the ship. So even non-pilot type of PCs will have some sort of minor space focus, even if it is one single skill. (And since all skill dice allocations have to be explainable by the PC's background, they have to work in part of the character's life history that explains it if it not obvious by the character template type.) I don't like anyone sitting around and doing nothing.
.


What about situations where the 'face characters' are at the forte, what are the gun bunnies/techies doing?
Or in ground combat, what are the techies/ship folks doing?

There's going to be instances in game, where someone has nothing to do..
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2023 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
This is such a good house rule that I wish it was included in the "official" rules somewhere, maybe as an optional sidebar.

Thanks. Not really a rule. More 'How to GM' guidance but yeah, I agree it should be there. I feel bad for groups where no one (not even the GM) expects certain characters to not sit around helpless in space combat so that is the norm. It was quite obvious to me as a noob teenaged GM. As GM I try to work at least one space combat scene into every adventure, but maybe I am the outlier there.

And my PC groups never have stock ships. They are always modified, and modifications can include having multiple stations available to do different functions. Most stock slight freighters have stations for a pilot, copilot, and gunners for some weapons. That may be enough for smaller groups. For middle to large sized groups, you may need more stations.

garhkal wrote:
What about situations where the 'face characters' are at the forte, what are the gun bunnies/techies doing?
Or in ground combat, what are the techies/ship folks doing?

There's going to be instances in game, where someone has nothing to do..

The devil's advocate is here. Full disclosure: The one time I was player at garhkal's table, my PC had nothing to do during space combat. But in his defense, it was a convention adventure that had a severe mix of extremely experienced and starting level PCs. (I was a starting level PC with no space focus, so it wouldn't make sense to put me a pilot or gunner station when there were plenty of PCs to go around.)

My campaigns still have gunner and pilot-focused characters who carry the most of the weight in space combat scenes, and any player who chooses to not play a space character understands this going into the campaign. I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I have been commended by players who have come to my game from other groups that don't care if everyone has something to do in space. In my experience, players of non-space characters like being some part of the action in space.

The scenes most important for everyone to have something to do are combat scenes. Regarding personal combat, most of the time anyone can pick up a blaster and start shooting. Some are going to be better at it than others. Any player who doesn't choose to be a gun bunny understands they aren't going to carry as much weight in personal combat.

Sometimes creative techy characters attempt technological solutions to action scenes, like overriding a security station to close an emergency blast door, blocking off the attackers so the PCs can escape without having to kill the enemy. Or reprogram a droid to be a distraction. Sometimes face characters take the lead for part of the story. Sometimes other characters even need to hide to not blow a con. Sometimes there are even repulsorlift chase scenes where not everyone has something to do, but those pointedly do not appear in almost every adventure I run, like space combat does.

Yes garhkal, I agree, there are always going to be situations that come up in the game where one player or another doesn't have much to do. Let's not be so black and white about this. The goal was always to minimize these situations, never to fully eliminate.
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pakman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2023 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This feels like we are getting a bit away from power routing (which is an amazing topic....still absorbing things here for my rules).

But as far as other stuff to do - as part of me adding house rules, I have added a few rules for players helping others - in everything from combat to social encounters to chases and starship battles.

TEAMWORK

Aid Another Action - this is when both characters have the same skill - no roll required - this is an action, and the helping character grants a +1 per D of their Skill Bonus. The player still usually describes how they help.

Assist Action- helping another but with a different skill. here the players have to get creative and say HOW they are doing it. Distracting a guard, using persuasion to support another player's bribe attempt, using sensors to help the gunner, or even giving ideas using tactics over the coms. This has led to a lot of fun an creative moments in the game, as my group is fairly creative and I really encourage role playing and fun ideas.

Supporting character rolls, and for each difficulty level* they would meet, gives a +1 bonus.

Both aid another and Assist are considered a "support bonus" and max out for a given recipient at +2D.

(this is a shortened version, but enough to give an idea).

Yes, i know - a lot of GM's may already do this - either once in a while, or regularly - which is great. Some may have even written it down - in my game, it is in a dedicated section of my house rules document.

Also, this is different from more organized actions - where there is a leader, and group performing - I have those as well, but they are slightly different, but also simplified.


* one of my house rules that has really helped a lot is to standardize my difficulty levels. basically, by 5's. For example;

Difficulty level 1: Very Easy - needs a 5
Difficulty level 2 : Easy - needs a 10.
Difficulty level 3 : Moderate, needs at 15.
etc.

(yes, these are slightly higher than the base game, that is ok. When something is slightly easier I give the players a bonus - but keep the structure intact).

This allows me to codify many checks, rules and actions into difficulty levels - which allows for very quick comparisons and references. I also allows for a measure of success and failure, for results that scale.

So, in the Assist - a player would roll their dice - if they get a 12 - that means they would have hit an Easy task - or - a Difficulty level 2.
Which in my world, translates into 2 levels of success, or a +2 bonus to another player.



EXAMPLE
in the space combat example, here might be an example of an assist.

Sid, the mercenary is in the port side gun, shooting at the tie fighters outside.
James the pilot is flying, navigating the asteroids outside.
Derek - the diplomat, is in the cockpit, with really only perception based skills.

If derek had pilot - he could act as a co-pilot to help James - the player would have to explain how - "I keep an eye on power readouts, maneuver jet readouts". If the gm feels that sounds like something a pilot would do, the grants an aid another - Derek has pilot of 4D, so that grants James at 4 pips, or 1D+1. Same skill, did not even have to roll.

If derek did not have pilot, he could use perception to Assist James, the player would have to explain how "I am helping look for asteroids that are big enough to damage the ship" - the gm may grant this as a direct roll for a bonus.

Or he could help Sid the gunner, the gm asks how, the player says "I will watch the fighters and let him know when they are about to pass in front of his firing arc!". The gm thinks this is good, so lets it work.

In either case, the result of Derek's roll - gives a bonus to the other character. He rolls a 15, that would hit difficulty 3, thus +3 (or 1D) bonus.

if the task is not very simple - or the skill might be a stretch - the gm can give a difficulty for the aid another roll. "ok, but from the cockpit, you can't see them that great, so your difficulty is DL2: Easy.

Then, the bonus is only made for the levels of easy and higher.
So, if Derek rolls at 15 this time, in stead of 3 levels of success - he only gets two - hitting the required 10, and another at 15, for a two levels of success and a +2 bonus


.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2023 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pakman wrote:
This feels like we are getting a bit away from power routing (which is an amazing topic....still absorbing things here for my rules).

Well, one of the main perks of a GM adding the power routing house rule to their game is that it gives another character something to do in space, as long a there is a station of the ship where that can be done (most ships could easily have a station in the engineering section of the ship, so it doesn't necessarily have to be on the bridge/cockpit). So while it is not strictly on topic of the power routing system house rules, it is more on related to it than a lot of the topic drift that goes on here. But maybe you were commenting specifically on garhkal's reaction to my sentiment that everyone should have something do on spaceships, and my response to that.

Quote:
But as far as other stuff to do - as part of me adding house rules, I have added a few rules for players helping others - in everything from combat to social encounters to chases and starship battles.

I really like your idea that the level of assistance depends on a skill roll. That does at least give the supporting characters' players dice rolls. Thanks for sharing it.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2023 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
pakman wrote:
This feels like we are getting a bit away from power routing (which is an amazing topic....still absorbing things here for my rules).

Well, one of the main perks of a GM adding the power routing house rule to their game is that it gives another character something to do in space, as long a there is a station of the ship where that can be done (most ships could easily have a station in the engineering section of the ship, so it doesn't necessarily have to be on the bridge/cockpit). So while it is not strictly on topic of the power routing system house rules, it is more on related to it than a lot of the topic drift that goes on here. But maybe you were commenting specifically on garhkal's reaction to my sentiment that everyone should have something do on spaceships, and my response to that.


One of the groups i gamed with in the UK, modified their ship, to have the 3 standard 'seats' in the cockpit (pilot, co-pilot and navigtor), but added 2 more (shields and comms), and 3 seats in engineering, EACH With their own console...
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2023 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
One of the groups i gamed with in the UK, modified their ship, to have the 3 standard 'seats' in the cockpit (pilot, co-pilot and navigtor), but added 2 more (shields and comms), and 3 seats in engineering, EACH With their own console...

Awesome!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2023 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When i came into that group (who played at a pub, saturdays, from 3pm to around 9pm), the gang had on average, 120cp worth of stat boosts over base, so the DM let me start my pc, with 11d (3d max in any one skill) to assign.. As the party lacked a Straight up Vehicle guy, i went with a high mech (good tech and per, low Dex/str and know) dude.. 7d repulsors, 6d hover and walker, 5d repair..
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