Complex skill checks for difficult navigation
in Rules & Errata
Jun 28 2018, 18:59 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation
Just had a lightbulb- are complex skill checks a good way to model difficult maneuvering for vessels of all sorts? Like the end scene in Titan AE where the heroes were avoiding both giant crystals and an enemy craft. Or several of the scenes in The Hunt for Red October where the sub is traversing hazardous terrain early on and avoiding enemies later.
Jun 28 2018, 22:48 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin
Navigation, or manoeuvring? Solo involved both. I think the skill check for Navigation needs revision, as a general comment, and making it by default a complex check sounds as if it would work well (there still would be some occasions for instant orientation).
Jul 2 2018, 12:05 Group: A.Net Staff, Admin of Doom
If you want to give them a best out of 3 kind of chance yeah. The complex checks can also encourage assisting by other PCs creative use of skills, leadership etc. But you might end up describing each skill roll result and that is almost the same as multiple single checks with some leeway thrown in.
Jul 2 2018, 20:37 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin
Actually, as well as possibly taking time in a tense situation, a Navigation check needs a chance to fail. The players know when they haven't made the required successes or have three failures, so can just refuse to jump and keep rolling, which isn't interesting.
Perhaps for each failure the party rolls before completing the check, the player (might as well be him, he'll find out soon enough) must make a Personality check not to go off course, further failures adding die penalties on the table as for a Critical Failure result as written.
In addition, one to two failures might reduce complete success to Good or Ordinary success.
Maybe they could keep rolling to recheck their calculations and cancel out failures, to a minimum of one.
This supersedes the current bonus for taking extra time, though a hero still might want to take less time (per check) at a penalty.
This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Jul 2 2018, 20:45
I would never recommend letting players know they screwed up a Navigation check unless they are given new information prior to the issue.
For example, if you were planning a route across the US East coast, would you know that on particular portion of a road is almost undrivable? Of course not. You have no knowledge of the area, so you can't tell if you just screwed up or not until you get there. Now, if a friend of yours points out the problem before you get to it, you can allow for another check.
Which reminds me, I would say that complex Nav checks would make sense. Basically, you could consider them to be focused on a specific portion of the route, based by distance or complexity (eg one check for every 250 kilometers or per every city).
You can also apply that standard to FTL navigation. One check for entry into drivespace/hyperspace, one check for the exit (for position and facing), and the rest to take FTL phenomenon into account (gravity wells, dark matter clouds, stellar drift, etc).
Maneuvering, however, I think can be left as just a single check per action. It happens faster, and the effects are almost instantly knowable.
Jul 2 2018, 21:09 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin
|Author (cobalt_phoenix @ Jul 3 2018, 07:54)|
| I would never recommend letting players know they screwed up a Navigation check unless they are given new information prior to the issue. |
Sure, that's important. The PER check I was suggesting would happen when they make the starfall.
edit: On further thought, while rolling this check when they emerge from the starfall sounds technically more correct, it creates awkward pacing, restricts the GM's time to prepare a suitable location, and there's not a great deal players can do to exploit their foreknowledge. We might just as easily say that their instruments immediately show them they'll emerge off target.
This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Jul 3 2018, 19:08
Jul 3 2018, 17:20 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation
|Author (cobalt_phoenix @ Jul 2 2018, 16:54)|
| For example, if you were planning a route across the US East coast, would you know that on particular portion of a road is almost undrivable? Of course not. You have no knowledge of the area, so you can't tell if you just screwed up or not until you get there. Now, if a friend of yours points out the problem before you get to it, you can allow for another check. |
If I was planning a route, I would check for that sort of thing first- road construction and the like isn't that hard to find online. If I were just cruising along, then it would be an issue.
But I do get everyone's points. Maneuvering no, navigation yes (but hidden from players).