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Power Routing (for freighters)
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:19 pm    Post subject: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

I want to develop a system for routing power in freighters (or in general, but at least for freighters). Below is a little RAW, and then a little CRMcNeill.

From The Far Orbit Project p.25:



By RAW this applies to one specific capital ship but it still raises some issues.

It doesn't state what skill is used. It states "the shield operator" is the one who rolls, so is capital ship shields the skill used to route power from any system to any other? Does that make sense?

The difficulty charts leaves out the scenario of "single system to multiple recipients" but I would probably just throw that in with "multiple systems to a single recipient" with an "or".

The correlation between the two charts establishes that the most difficult condition always takes only 1 second, and that doesn't make sense. And the two rows in the Time Taken chart are pretty pointless if the minimum difficulty on the first chart is Moderate.

And what is the action/map status of power routers while completing the routing? The 1 second could be thought of as taking the space of one action in a round, meaning you could do other stuff before or after and be MAPped accordingly. But for the 1 or 2 round tasks, is that the only action that can be done? Or is that just one action in the round (or two rounds), the character is MAPped for trying to do anything else during it, and the routing is not complete until the end of the time period?

I like the concept, but this optional rule seems pretty worthless as is.

~~~

CRMcNeill wrote:
AUXILIARY POWER:
The X-Wing video game allows pilots to control power distribution for their craft, putting discretionary power to the system that needs it most at the moment. Existing power transfer rules are rather clunky, and are designed primarily for capital ships. For the purposes of this system, use the following rule:
Auxiliary Power: All ships have 1D (or +2 Space) of Auxiliary Power which may be used to augment their on board systems. The pilot must declare which system he is augmenting with auxiliary power. Some larger ships have additional Auxiliary Power available, but no system may utilize more than 1D of auxiliary power at a time.

This is from the Advanced Starfighter Combat thread. Of course this isn't exactly the same concept as Power Control above, but still involves routing power. The Far Orbit's Power Control routes power from systems to other systems, and Auxiliary Power is a reserve 1D available to route to the various systems.

How much time does routing Aux Power take? Does this just count as one action in a round? Does it go into effect immediately or the beginning of the next round? Is there no skill roll involved? I feel like there should be a skill roll, like Space Transport Repair.

I take it this means all ships (including starfighters) have at least 1D in Auxiliary Power, meaning some ships larger than starfighters may have more than 1D. Where do you imagine the cut-off is? Would freighters be large enough to possibly have more than 1D in Aux Power?

Should some or all freighters be able to transfer power from one system to another as on the Far Orbit, or should power routing be limited to only Aux Power?

If both are options, then what should be the upper limit for dice that can be added to another system? 2D as on the Far Orbit, or only 1D because these aren't capital ships? Meaning if both system-to-system and aux-to-system are options, you still can't add more than 1D to any one system? (Example: You shift 1D aux power to maneuverability and 1D in weapon damage to shields.)

Anything else I am not considering?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thinking was that, as seen in the films, transfering power from one system to another was relatively simple, either something a character could easily do on their own while piloting a fighter down a trench, or something a crewmember could do on command from the ship's captain. I found the official version to be overly complicated and not clearly explained (as you noted, there isn't even mention of what skill to use to transfer power). Ultimately, in the interests of simplifying combat, it seemed easier to just give every ship 1D, which was transferred from one system to another as a Free Action declared at the beginning of a combat round, ala the power transfer mechanic in the X-Wing computer game.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think there needs to be a cap on how much power can be pushed into any one system - anything more than +1D is a bit too much, IMO - but larger should could conceivably have 2D or 3D of power available to shunt into multiple systems.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're transferring power, I'd have two levels... "safe" and "maximum". So, you might drop your weapons to boost your shields or your Space speed or your maneuverability... You can improve them safely by 1D or 1, but doing it by up to 3 is possible, though you risk damage.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
If you're transferring power, I'd have two levels... "safe" and "maximum". So, you might drop your weapons to boost your shields or your Space speed or your maneuverability... You can improve them safely by 1D or 1, but doing it by up to 3 is possible, though you risk damage.


I agree. The first thought that popped into my head was 'how much power can we safely re-route' and then 'how much can we transfer if we're desperate?'

What about making a skill called Starship Operations? It could cover shields and power transfers. I'd leave sensors, gunnery, and piloting alone since those are specialized enough to require their own skills.

Thoughts?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

could this apply to how to use shields.

First Sentence is "more power to shields"

and these rules work, swap power routing with shield direction or something and viola
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:18 am    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

It doesn't state what skill is used. It states "the shield operator" is the one who rolls, so is capital ship shields the skill used to route power from any system to any other? Does that make sense?


I'd think cap repair would be more appropriate, or for freighters, Space transport repair myself..

Whill wrote:

The correlation between the two charts establishes that the most difficult condition always takes only 1 second, and that doesn't make sense. And the two rows in the Time Taken chart are pretty pointless if the minimum difficulty on the first chart is Moderate.


I think that chart is for what you get OVER the required Difficulty. So if you have a base diff of 15 (for a single system to another single system), and roll a 33 for your repair skill (Difference of 18 ), it takes only 1 round to get the power shifted over. BUT had you rolled only a 23 for the repair roll (difference of 8 ), it takes 1d6 rounds.....

Whill wrote:
And what is the action/map status of power routers while completing the routing? The 1 second could be thought of as taking the space of one action in a round, meaning you could do other stuff before or after and be MAPped accordingly. But for the 1 or 2 round tasks, is that the only action that can be done? Or is that just one action in the round (or two rounds), the character is MAPped for trying to do anything else during it, and the routing is not complete until the end of the time period?


I'd say for multiple round re-routes, your concentration is only doing that. So you can't do other things... BUT that's me.

MrNexx wrote:
If you're transferring power, I'd have two levels... "safe" and "maximum". So, you might drop your weapons to boost your shields or your Space speed or your maneuverability... You can improve them safely by 1D or 1, but doing it by up to 3 is possible, though you risk damage.


That would be a good idea. So you could say re-route 1d of shields to weapon damage, (or visa versa), but risk a complication (like with jury rigs) if you went 2 or more die of shifting..
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:38 am    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
could this apply to how to use shields.

First Sentence is "more power to shields"

and these rules work, swap power routing with shield direction or something and viola

It seems like the shield angling rules were actually the inspiration for the power routing rule, but angling the deflector shields to be more effective at blocking attacks may not be the same thing as routing more power to the shields (although they may have a similar outcome).

garhkal wrote:
I think that chart is for what you get OVER the required Difficulty. So if you have a base diff of 15 (for a single system to another single system), and roll a 33 for your repair skill (Difference of 18 ), it takes only 1 round to get the power shifted over. BUT had you rolled only a 23 for the repair roll (difference of 8 ), it takes 1d6 rounds.....

The chart doesn't state that, but that certainly makes more sense. Thanks.

garhkal wrote:
I'd say for multiple round re-routes, your concentration is only doing that. So you can't do other things... BUT that's me.

OK, thanks.

CRMcNeill wrote:
I found the official version to be overly complicated and not clearly explained (as you noted, there isn't even mention of what skill to use to transfer power). Ultimately, in the interests of simplifying combat, it seemed easier to just give every ship 1D

Yes, your Aux Power rule is much simpler. I want to use the idea.

CRMcNeill wrote:
I do think there needs to be a cap on how much power can be pushed into any one system - anything more than +1D is a bit too much, IMO - but larger should could conceivably have 2D or 3D of power available to shunt into multiple systems.

Larger what? What are you thinking the cut-off should be between 1D and 2D? Larger than light freighters?

CRMcNeill wrote:
My thinking was that, as seen in the films, transfering power from one system to another was relatively simple, either something a character could easily do on their own while piloting a fighter down a trench, or something a crewmember could do on command from the ship's captain.

But in the ANH trench scenes, transferring power seemed like something the astromech droid did, perhaps on their own initiative or by command of the pilot...

CRMcNeill wrote:
...which was transferred from one system to another as a Free Action declared at the beginning of a combat round, ala the power transfer mechanic in the X-Wing computer game.

Video games may serve as inspiration but they do not serve as a good model for the reality of the RPG. And I don't get from the films that power routing is something so extremely easy that it can be done as a free action with no roll or MAP. I can see maybe single-pilot starfighters that don't have an astromech droid like A-wings or B-wings having a special feature built into the ship that makes routing aux power easier, but in general I'm thinking that routing power is something that needs to be a normal action (MAP-applicable with a roll), even if it is not a very high difficulty.

MrNexx wrote:
If you're transferring power, I'd have two levels... "safe" and "maximum". So, you might drop your weapons to boost your shields or your Space speed or your maneuverability... You can improve them safely by 1D or 1, but doing it by up to 3 is possible, though you risk damage.
Pel wrote:
I agree. The first thought that popped into my head was 'how much power can we safely re-route' and then 'how much can we transfer if we're desperate?'
garhkal wrote:
That would be a good idea. So you could say re-route 1d of shields to weapon damage, (or visa versa), but risk a complication (like with jury rigs) if you went 2 or more die of shifting..

What if the Auxiliary Power routing was the safe option, and then routing power from one system to another is the more difficult, possibly more time consuming, and definitely more dangerous option?

garhkal wrote:
I'd think cap repair would be more appropriate, or for freighters, Space transport repair myself..

That's what I was thinking.

Pel wrote:
What about making a skill called Starship Operations? It could cover shields and power transfers. I'd leave sensors, gunnery, and piloting alone since those are specialized enough to require their own skills.

Thoughts?

I like the general sentiment of a broad combo-skill, but there already is a Space Transports Operation skill which is actually piloting, so Starship Operations could be confusing. And Starship Operations seems so broad that it invites players to think it covers more than it does and argue about what it should cover (Space Transport Operation should probably be called Space Transport Piloting for the same reason).

I see power routing, at least Aux Power routing, as a more technical-oriented action primarily done by co-pilots and chief engineers at the command of the pilot/captain, but simple enough that it doesn't take an advanced engineering skill to perform. So I think it should be the Space Transport Repair skill or whatever is the equivalent in your game.

I'm thinking of changing the name of my repair skills to replace the word "repair" with the word "tech" to more accurately reflect that they do more than just repair, and the word "tech" still differentiates those skills from the Mechanical and other attribute skills like piloting skills and the non-repair skills of using the technology for its intended purpose.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do never hear anyone sat aim or angel shileds, we only ever hear them referr to adding power to shileds, which to me means that shileds may not be that controllable, it may you have to place power to the one arch, but I can not see any detail micro controlling, it makes zero sense.

I see power routing as the shiled skill. there is no power routing skill, so the skill starship shields is then it.

Only diverting power between shiled arches makes sense and thatr is power redistributen issue not a "piloting the shiles", but giving them power
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
We do never hear anyone sat aim or angel shileds, we only ever hear them referr to adding power to shileds, which to me means that shileds may not be that controllable, it may you have to place power to the one arch, but I can not see any detail micro controlling, it makes zero sense.

Never? Han says "angle the deflector shields" twice in ANH. You should probably take a break from the Shields thread and this one until you watch Star Wars again.

Quote:
HAN: Angle the deflector shields while I make the calculations for the jump to light speed.

HAN: Angle the deflector shields while I charge up the main guns!

RED LEADER: Switch your deflectors on double front!

GOLD FIVE: Stabilize your rear deflectors.

Everyone else, please see my last post above this one. What do you think?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Mamatried wrote:
We do never hear anyone sat aim or angel shileds, we only ever hear them referr to adding power to shileds, which to me means that shileds may not be that controllable, it may you have to place power to the one arch, but I can not see any detail micro controlling, it makes zero sense.

Never? Han says "angle the deflector shields" twice in ANH. You should probably take a break from the Shields thread and this one until you watch Star Wars again.

Quote:
HAN: Angle the deflector shields while I make the calculations for the jump to light speed.

HAN: Angle the deflector shields while I charge up the main guns!

RED LEADER: Switch your deflectors on double front!

GOLD FIVE: Stabilize your rear deflectors.



All of those statement is about "angeling" or diverting power to the needed shiled arch.

Gold Leader: Stabilize the deflectors that iare not there? Or stabilize the deflectors to a spesific arch aka rerouting power from other archs.

Red leader: Double the defelctors from front, in a one man craft without rerouting power?
Red Leader: let go of your flight controls and begin aiming your shileds?

Or press a button, turn a switch and rerout power to the forward shiled arch?

I still say this is "angeling" shileds, and rerouting power is the exact same thing
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. Under no definition in the English language does "Angling" mean to transfer power to or from.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Larger what? What are you thinking the cut-off should be between 1D and 2D? Larger than light freighters?

Mainly capital ships, but some freighters with after-market systems might be capable of generating more power.

To be clear, I'm thinking that the cut-off should stay at 1D (due to the system itself only being able to take so much power going to it), but that some ships would have more than 1D of auxiliary power available, and could conceivably put auxiliary power into two or more systems at once.

Quote:
But in the ANH trench scenes, transferring power seemed like something the astromech droid did, perhaps on their own initiative or by command of the pilot...
Quote:
Video games may serve as inspiration but they do not serve as a good model for the reality of the RPG. And I don't get from the films that power routing is something so extremely easy that it can be done as a free action with no roll or MAP. I can see maybe single-pilot starfighters that don't have an astromech droid like A-wings or B-wings having a special feature built into the ship that makes routing aux power easier, but in general I'm thinking that routing power is something that needs to be a normal action (MAP-applicable with a roll), even if it is not a very high difficulty.

But how much in-game time do you want to spend on this? If anything in the films, it seemed more like a dialogue point than anything else. If the goal of the story is the chase or the dogfight, then extraneous skill rolls should be kept to a minimum. Simply allowing the character to declare in advance helps streamline that process.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of using Starship Repair/Tech better. Maybe call it Space Transport Systems? No, then some enterprising player might want to use it for sensors or kitbash the shields into an improvised repulsorlift. Stick with Tech.

I'm of differing opinions about the transfer limits and sources.
  • Auxiliary Power: great idea. Let's keep this and limit it to 1D unless they have a bigger generator installed (we can upgrade everything else so why not this?)
  • Aux Power Transfer: should be as easy as flipping a switch, so I'd make it a Very Easy roll or let the droid/copilot do it.


Absolute Power Transfer Limit (or scaled limits) and Transferring Between Systems:

The example Whill provided (from Far Orbit?) is a good one and has built-in limitations. If we transfer all power from weapons to shields, we're defended, but can't shoot back. You can do something really well for a short term, but at the expense of one or more other systems, so I think that's a good balance.

For absolute power limits, let's say you can boost a system by 25% without trouble and a scale of increasing difficulty and decreased duration above that. Let's use a ship that has 2D Shields and a single laser cannon that does 4D damage.

For numbers not evenly divisible by 4 (hence 25%) we'll split the dice into pips and use the nearest even integer.

To transfer 1D from Shields to the Laser, (that's 25% of total Laser power), it's a Moderate roll and a straight transfer.

To transfer 1D from the Laser to Shields, same roll, but we only get +2 pips to Shields (because 2D = 6 pips and 2 pips = 33% of 6, which is close to 25%). If we round down and only give them 1 pip, that's not much bang for the buck, so I like rounding up just a bit.

Transferring all 2D from Shields to the Laser is a 50% boost and needs a Difficult roll for up to 2 rounds. If you leave it on after that, the system takes Moderate damage. Likewise if you transfer 2D from Laser to Shields, you get 1D (3 pips) of extra Shields.

A 75% transfer requires a Very Difficult roll and lasts a single round without damage. After that, the system receiving extra power takes Severe damage.

A 100% power transfer from one system to another requires a Heroic roll, lasts a single round, and will Destroy the system receiving power at the end of that one round. You can do it, but it's going to cost you.

If transferring power from multiple systems to a single system, just increase the difficulty one level for the given transfer level.


I left Speed out of this because it's a number rather than a dice code and does not lend itself handily to power transfers without reverting to the old Speed Codes from 1E. We could do this strictly for the purpose of power transfer and make it another column on our chart.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
It seems like the shield angling rules were actually the inspiration for the power routing rule, but angling the deflector shields to be more effective at blocking attacks may not be the same thing as routing more power to the shields (although they may have a similar outcome).


True, often what they portray in the films, they try to mimic in the game, but poorly.

Whill wrote:
The chart doesn't state that, but that certainly makes more sense. Thanks.


The Designer(s) probably thought people would realize that themselves, without them having to spell it out.

Whill wrote:
What if the Auxiliary Power routing was the safe option, and then routing power from one system to another is the more difficult, possibly more time consuming, and definitely more dangerous option?


Possibly. But then you'd have to figure out how much 'aux power' each ship has, especially after all the upgrades to shields/weapons etc, it has been given.
Heck perhaps we could develop a system of 'max power' each ship gets based on type and such. Then powre ratings could be given for each installed item, from life support, to engines, weapons maneuvering thrusters etc.. What's left after the BASE model is made is the "aux power rating". Once that's known you have a baseline for how many modifications you can make, without having to actually ADD more power generators???
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