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Power Routing (for freighters)
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
I still say this is "angeling" shileds, and rerouting power is the exact same thing

Yes, you've stated this in multiple posts in two threads now. Except before you made a bold erroneous statement that the films never said "angle the shields", and now you are changing your argument to, 'OK they said that but they meant rerouting power.' Have it however you want in your game, but do you need to keep asserting this over and over again here? Especially in this thread which isn't even about angling defector shields. It's about transferring power from system to system at a risk, not just moving shield dice from arc to arc as the shield system was designed to do.

garhkal wrote:
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.

So what are you trying to say here, garhkal? At least you're here to spell it out for me. Wink

Pel wrote:
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.

I would suggest not bothering with quarter percentages and rounding since they don't always correlate to our die code increments, and instead just base your system directly on the die code increases. And you don't really don't need to revert to 1e speed codes to increase speed because it is a very simple formula: each 1D equals Space 2 according to Blue Vader. CRM's Aux Power system in the OP uses that equivalence in his Aux Power rule above (the 1D Aux Power can be routed to sublight engines with an increase of +2 to Space). If you work in die codes, 1D can easily becomes +2 to the ship's Space.

garhkal wrote:
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???

Pel and garhkal, you should do whatever works for you, but I was thinking of something hopefully a little less crunchy. The RAW Far Orbit rule in the OP isn't that crunchy but just needs some clarifications to be adapted to light freighters and workable. CRM's Aux Power rule is simple - Plug in and go. More dangerously transferring power would understandably have a little more to it.

CRMcNeill wrote:
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.

1D is a reasonable limit for boosting power in light freighter systems. Sure, if any ship had more than 1D in Aux Power, it should still not be able to add more than 1D to any single system. It would have to benefit multiple systems at a max of +1D each.

CRMcNeill wrote:
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.

Yes, in the films it is just a dialogue point for Luke ("Artoo, try and increase the power!"). Per RAW, Luke telling Artoo to do that should be a free action for Luke, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be a normal action for Artoo - If he's not doing anything else then there is no MAP, and it should be a cake roll for his Technical skills. It's still doing something so it is still an action, in my view. (Star Wars isn't Star Trek where people just tell their computers to do things for them. And even on Star Trek this particular type of thing is still portrayed by characters visibly doing something at a console to transfer the power.)

I'm looking to take what you made with starfighter combat in mind and apply to light freighters. In this game, light freighters almost always have multiple characters on board and in my game they normally have an astromech on board too. I'm thinking of power routing being something that is done by someone serving as an engineer or co-pilot, and it would still be a free action for the captain/pilot to tell someone else to do it. In my experience it is not always a given that every PC will always have something to do on a starship, and rolling one action taking place in one action segment of a round doesn't really add much time to the game. The game has worked fine without transferring power all this time, but I feel adding this bonus die to something shouldn't only come from a hand wave of a player just declaring it. YMMV.

I am less concerned about the dangerous transferring of power from a system to another system, but I will probably still have it there just in case (to a different system than where the Aux Power 1D is going). I'm thinking of using garhkal's earlier suggestion of equating non-aux power routing to jury-rigging as far as the dangerous outcomes of failure.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I like the Far Orbit optional rule you posted, but think it's subject to abuse. Of course a crafty GM will limit that sort of thing in fun and creative ways.

The math is crunchy, but I was just spitballing an idea for a table-based mechanic that packs more punch than the stock +1D. To me, that removes a lot of dramatic flavor potential in overloading your [insert ship system here] to attempt an epic task. To each his own. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Yes, in the films it is just a dialogue point for Luke ("Artoo, try and increase the power!"). Per RAW, Luke telling Artoo to do that should be a free action for Luke, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be a normal action for Artoo - If he's not doing anything else then there is no MAP, and it should be a cake roll for his Technical skills. It's still doing something so it is still an action, in my view. (Star Wars isn't Star Trek where people just tell their computers to do things for them. And even on Star Trek this particular type of thing is still portrayed by characters visibly doing something at a console to transfer the power.)

It's noteworthy that that line from Luke came after the ship's engine had been damaged. An alternate interpretation of that line would be that Luke was telling Artoo to try and get more power from the damaged engine by tweaking whatever patch he had done to keep it running in the first place.

My memories of the X-Wing game are a little fuzzy, but IIRC, switching power from one system to another was as simple as hitting a button on your keyboard, switching priority from one system to another. Seeing as how it was a system designed to be used by a pilot in combat, I doubt the "real" version of it would be much more complex than that.

If you're adamant that it should be more than a Free Action, I'd suggest a No-Roll Action instead. That way, simply switching Aux Power from one system to another would still count for MAP purposes, but not require an additional skill roll.

I'd say that the original power re-routing rules quoted from Far Orbit might function well as a framework for a Starship Repair Roll manually switching power from one system to another, above and beyond simply switching Aux Power.

Something I thought of last night is that any given system may safely take up to 1D of Aux or re-routed power, but may have additional power routed to it. However, each D of additional power above the 1D counts as a Wild Die, and on a 1, the system overloads and shorts out. The more power you shunt to a system, the greater the chances of rolling a 1.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

My memories of the X-Wing game are a little fuzzy, but IIRC, switching power from one system to another was as simple as hitting a button on your keyboard, switching priority from one system to another.


Yes, it was exactly that. You could transfer power between weapons, shields, and engines at various rates, but if you boosted one to recharge faster, it caused a power drain on another system.

Quote:

Something I thought of last night is that any given system may safely take up to 1D of Aux or re-routed power, but may have additional power routed to it. However, each D of additional power above the 1D counts as a Wild Die, and on a 1, the system overloads and shorts out. The more power you shunt to a system, the greater the chances of rolling a 1.


I like this idea. It's simple and easy to implement. My only suggestion is a cap on how much power you can transfer into a system, say 175 - 200% of normal levels.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
I like this idea. It's simple and easy to implement. My only suggestion is a cap on how much power you can transfer into a system, say 175 - 200% of normal levels.

Depends on what you think 175-200% of 4D (or whatever #D) is, and what an individual D represents in absolute terms.

An additional thought would be to use the number of additional Dice shunted to a given system as the threshold for a burnout. 2D = any dice result of 2 or less and the system burns out. 3D = any dice result of 3 or less and so on...
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
My memories of the X-Wing game are a little fuzzy, but IIRC, switching power from one system to another was as simple as hitting a button on your keyboard, switching priority from one system to another. Seeing as how it was a system designed to be used by a pilot in combat, I doubt the "real" version of it would be much more complex than that.

If you're adamant that it should be more than a Free Action, I'd suggest a No-Roll Action instead. That way, simply switching Aux Power from one system to another would still count for MAP purposes, but not require an additional skill roll.

No-Roll action is a lot better than a Free Action. But even if it is a simple as pressing a button, in the heat of starfighter combat you still have to reach and press the correct button, if you don't have an astromech droid to order to do it for you. And if you want the power to transfer with the simple press of a single button, there would have to be multiple buttons to press, one for each system where the Aux Power is supposed to go next. In combat you could reach out and press the wrong button, accidentally transferring Aux Power to weapon damage instead of speed. To not press the wrong button, a roll seems appropriate. There is no way I can see this feature as reasonably being a free action during combat, so we may just have to agree to disagree here. But thanks for the suggestion of another possibility.

The truth of the matter is, unless the astromech droid is a Shard, it will be an NPC in my game and I would likely not bother rolling or worry about MAPs for the droid transferring power in a starfighter. But I'm not expecting to even have PCs in starfighters much in my coming tramp campaign, so my focus right now is for freighters with PCs. If I am going to have a non-roll action that still takes a little bit of time and concentration that it is subject to MAPs, I might as well have a roll and just make it an easy roll so there is a small chance of failure. Gives another character something to do, and it can add a little bit more excitement to the battle. It is not at all unreasonable to me that characters might (rarely) fail to correctly route Aux Power during space combat in a freighter. If they had declared multiple actions and failed to do it on the first one with a horrible roll, they can just try it again on their second action. If not then they can try again next round.

CRMcNeill wrote:
I'd say that the original power re-routing rules quoted from Far Orbit might function well as a framework for a Starship Repair Roll manually switching power from one system to another, above and beyond simply switching Aux Power.

That was my idea. Base the system-to-system transfer on that but make it dangerous with the possibility of damaging the systems like maybe a jury rig gone bad.

CRMcNeill wrote:
Something I thought of last night is that any given system may safely take up to 1D of Aux or re-routed power, but may have additional power routed to it. However, each D of additional power above the 1D counts as a Wild Die, and on a 1, the system overloads and shorts out. The more power you shunt to a system, the greater the chances of rolling a 1...

An additional thought would be to use the number of additional Dice shunted to a given system as the threshold for a burnout. 2D = any dice result of 2 or less and the system burns out. 3D = any dice result of 3 or less and so on...

Those are good suggestions.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really see a whole lot of heroic action being dependent on a shift of 1D in power, though. I can see where the power re-routing could come into play at critical moments for a ship's engineer (who doesn't have a whole lot of exciting things to do during combat), but I think you're imparting a bit too much dramatic weight to the auxiliary power concept.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not. I just don't see why it should be an automatic thing. It's going to be a minor thing most of the time, but should not be a free thing, in my opinion. That's all.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Diverting your attention from piloting should incur a MAP during combat or other stressful situations. That's why droids and co-pilots are recommended.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
Agreed. Diverting your attention from piloting should incur a MAP during combat or other stressful situations. That's why droids and co-pilots are recommended.

But something this simple? It's arguable that hitting a button on the console to reallocate power would be part of the Piloting roll.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Pel wrote:
Agreed. Diverting your attention from piloting should incur a MAP during combat or other stressful situations. That's why droids and co-pilots are recommended.

But something this simple? It's arguable that...

You suggested the option of making it a non-rolled action which is subject to MAPs. It was a good suggestion. I was just saying, a minor tweak to the suggestion is making it a low difficulty roll and that appeals to me for some reason.

CRM, there is nothing wrong with your view of it if that works for you. In my SWU, I don't imagine freighter power routing to be as simple as only pressing a single button (and I am under no influence by the ease of pressing button on my keyboard in a video game because I've never played the game). In my SWU there might be a button to choose the route-to system and then a dial or something else to transfer the power at the right rate to not overload the systems. Perhaps the proper path the power travels is needed to do it correctly or the system rejects your action. Perhaps the proper path can change based on how much power each system is using at the moment, so there is a more variable factor to it.

CRM, I thank you for the concept of adding Aux Power into the game, and also your suggestions for dealing with transferring power from one system to another. Don't feel bad if some GMs take what you made and put their own spin on it. I take a lot of what you come up with as-is. We are all here in this community to share and inspire each other. I am inspired. You have explained why you feel it should work the way you originally came up with, and others have stated a bit about why we think it should work differently. All the lurkers reading this have read it all and they'll decide how they want to do it.

CRMcNeill wrote:
...hitting a button on the console to reallocate power would be part of the Piloting roll.

I can see that a lot more for one-man starfighters that don't have astromechs (like most TIEs, A-wings, etc.), but a lot less for ships where the pilot has someone else to do it for them.

Again, thank you.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Routing (for freighters) Opening Commentary Reply with quote

OK, in the next post below you will find the comprehensive house rule I wrote for Power Routing. I can honestly say that every single person in this thread contributed in some way to the concepts of the rule, so I thank you all for your input. (But of course it may not be how you would have implemented it.) The rule has two parts: First, my version of CRM's Auxiliary Power. Second, the aux power generator replacement cost for garhkal. Third, Power Control which is rerouting power from system to system.

You can use aux power routing alone (top section) without system power rerouting if you don't want to get that down and dirty with it (but Power Control can include aux power as another source system). The difficulty I choose for routing aux power alone (Easy) fits logically into the Power Control difficulty chart, and it also matches the RAW difficulty on the similar action of bringing up a back-up shield die for ships that have back-up shields like the Mon Cal ships do. (After writing this rule, I would allow a character to i]also[/i]use space transports repair to bring up a back-up shield.)

Power Control turned out a bit more crunchy than I originally imagined. The Far Orbit capital ship rule it is loosely based on was garbage because there was actually hardly any 'rule' written - It was mostly all example. I can see why the author did that because I found it was hard to find the right wording to make this a sensible rule, and it took a lot more work than I thought it was going to. I just kept thinking of if-then scenarios to address in the rules. So it could probably benefit from examples, but I figured there would be questions and discussion here that will generate examples.

So take it, leave it, tweak it to your liking, whatever. If you are tweaking it or replacing it with your own rule, please feel free to share your tweaks/rules. Thoughts?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:05 pm    Post subject: Power Routing (for freighters) Reply with quote

Power Routing for Space Transports


Auxiliary Power

All space transports have 1D of Auxiliary Power which may be used to augment onboard systems. The power routing character could be a pilot, co-pilot, or someone serving in an engineer's capacity. The auxiliary power generator may be activated or deactivated as a free action, effective at the start of the following round. The power router must declare which system he is augmenting with Auxiliary Power before he attempts an Easy space transports repair roll. Success means the power leaves any system it may have been routed to previously and becomes in effect for the declared recipient system immediately. This extra power can apply a +1D bonus to Maneuverability, Shields, or an energy weapon's Damage, and it can also apply to sublight engines in the form of +2 bonus to Space. Auxiliary power bonus dice cannot be broken up into pips (and there is no +1 to Space option). At GM discretion, auxiliary power may also be routed to boost communications and sensor ranges, or extend the life of emergency battery power for life support, etc. Failure of the skill check means the power doesn't shift to the new system, but a power router can keep trying in subsequent actions and rounds until successful.


Auxiliary Power Generators (for light freighters)

Auxiliary power is normally safe but not meant to be used continually, so it is usually only used for combat, to escape combat, or for other emergency situations. At GM discretion, if the auxiliary power generator is used continuously for too long it may become damaged and need repaired or replaced. A new Auxiliary Power Generator for a light freighter-sized ship has a base cost of 15,000 credits (and a weight of 17 tons). Some ships larger than light freighters may have larger and multiple auxiliary power generators, but no single system may utilize more than 1D of Auxiliary Power at a time.


Power Control

In addition to routing auxiliary power, there is the more difficult and more dangerous option of rerouting power from system to system. The power router may route up to 2D in power to Maneuverability, Shields, or energy weapons Damage, or up to a +4 bonus to Space. Multiple systems may be boosted simultaneously. Auxiliary power usually provides the first 1D increase, and the rest of the total increase comes from reducing power to any of the same systems. Unlike auxiliary power, rerouted system power die codes may be broken up into pips at the rate of 3 pips per 1D (2 Space equals 1D, so 1 Space provides 1 pip, and 2 pips provide 1 Space). If a system has been modified, then the die code amount of the modification is subtracted from the maximum power that system can be boosted by. Damage to systems causing penalties likewise reduces the power available to transfer accordingly. Damaged systems are limited to receiving a maximum of 1D (or +2 Space) in transferred power until repaired.

The power router must describe exactly how the power is being rerouted before making a space transports repair roll. The difficulty depends on how many systems are involved on each end of the power reroute attempt, as shown on the chart below. Auxiliary power may be routed in a separate action from the system power rerouting or combined into a single roll, but when combined, auxiliary power counts as another power source system, making the difficulty level at least Difficult. When attempting to route auxiliary power on the same round as a separate system power reroute attempt, the system transfer must be attempted last, but the attempt can still be made if the auxiliary power routing attempt fails. System power transfer attempts involving multiple source and/or recipient systems can also be broken up into sequential multiple actions/rounds to lower the number of systems for each roll and thus difficulties, but only one system power rerouting attempt can be made on a ship per round (whether it includes auxiliary power or not). Failure on a system power reroute roll means the power remains routed as it is.
    Power Routing Condition / Base Difficulty
    Simple power routing (Auxiliary Power only) / Easy
    Rerouting from a single source system to a single recipient system / Moderate
    Rerouting from multiple source systems to a single recipient or from a single source system to multiple recipients / Difficult
    Rerouting from multiple source systems to multiple recipients / Very Difficult
While a successful power routing roll transfers auxiliary power instantaneously (whether rolled separately or combined with a system power reroute attempt), system power reroutes may take more time. On the chart below, use the points the roll beats the difficulty by to determine how long the power system reroute takes. "1 round" means it goes into effect at the beginning of the next round. "2 rounds" means it goes into effect at the beginning of the round following the next round.
    Points Over Difficulty / Time Taken
    0-3 / 2 Rounds
    4-7 / 1 Round
    8+ / Instantaneous (one action)
To complete a successful multi-round power transfer (anything more than instantaneous), the character can do nothing else except perhaps limited free actions at GM discretion such as speak, resist the Force, or resist damage. If the power router receives a stun or wound result during this time then the system power transfer fails. The power router can choose to stop the reroute at any time during its progress as a free action, and if it is done the character's turn in the first action of a round, the player may declare new actions for that round, which may include new system power reroutes. If a source or recipient ship system is damaged while a system power reroute is in progress, any power transfer involving that system fails, which means a multi-system transfer could still be partially successful for unaffected systems.

Any time one or more single systems are being boosted by more than 1D, a 1 result on the wild die means that a Power Surge occurs and one of those recipient systems (as determined by the GM) immediately loses any previously transferred power (which returns back to its origin) and suffers a temporary -1D (or -2 Space) penalty that lasts the rest of the current round and all of the next round, whether the current power transfer attempt failed or succeeded. Power Surged weapons suffer the -1D penalty to both damage and fire control. If the power control roll succeeded with a Time Taken of Instantaneous or 1 round, the Power Surge also delays the power transfer going into effect until the penalty ends (the power stabilizes). The Power Surge penalty stays in effect for its full time period even if the power transfer is cancelled. A new power transfer cannot be initiated involving a Power Surged system until the penalty expires. If a system suffers a second Power Surge in the same scene, the system is immediately Overloaded (Lightly Damaged) which cancels a successful transfer to that system. Overloaded systems are subsequently limited to receiving a maximum of 1D (or +2 Space) in transferred power until repaired, and they suffer an additional effect from the chart below based on which system was overloaded.
    Overload Damage Effects For Each System
    Shields -1D (If the ship's shield code has already been reduced to 0D, the ship suffers a controls ionized result - See R&E p.128)
    Weapon emplacement rendered inoperative
    Sublight engines suffer a Lost Move speed level (See R&E p.129)
    Maneuverability -1D (If the ship has no dice remaining in maneuverability, it suffers a Lost Move speed level - See R&E p.129)
At GM discretion, a system receiving over 1D in transferred power for too long may suffer an Overload.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it. Two things occur to me: what about lowering power transfer difficulties 1 level for (A) Space Transports Engineering or other relevant engineering skill? Also, what about warships? Would they follow the same rules or have more aux power?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
I like it. Two things occur to me: what about lowering power transfer difficulties 1 level for (A) Space Transports Engineering or other relevant engineering skill?

Engineering would stack on the base skill like Medicine does for First aid. So you would roll more dice, but have the same difficulties. I could add that to the rule.

Pel wrote:
Also, what about warships? Would they follow the same rules or have more aux power?

You mean like capital ships? Power Control is an adaptation of a capital ship rule, but mine is for space transports. I think capital ships would have something like this, but maybe closer to the RAW rule for Far Orbit? I don't know. I'm not developing that. I never have PCs piloting capital ships so that isn't important to me, but if you want to expand these rules and develop it, go for it.

As far as capital ship-scale Space Transports, yes, they could follow these rules but it would take a bit more development to flesh that out. Their 1D aux power generators would likely be larger, more expensive, and heavier. Yes they could have more generators but no one system could get more than +1D in Aux Power. So multiple systems could possibly be boosted simultaneously. But I'm not going to develop those specifics.

Most PC groups have PCs that fly starfighter-scale space transports, so this was meant to be a complete rule which most groups could use for that if they wish.
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