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Author Topic: Starships: Crew accomodation, Manoeuvre in extended environments rules questions  (Read 123 times)
Colgrevance
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« on: November 16, 2016, 01:56:01 am »

Hi, I'm reading through the core rules at the moment and finding it difficult to understand the logic behind some of the starship statistics:

1. On p. 207, the "Passenger Accomodation" Stunt states that by default, Huge (+2) starships have accomodations for 1 passenger per point of the Systems skill - additionally stating that "passengers" includes crew, troops etc. But most of the ships in chapter 13 do not have this stunt, although the initial description states crew numbers far exceeding the default limit (e.g. the Botany Bay-class explorer on p. 231). Even the iconic example ship, Skin-of-Out-Teeth, is lacking this stunt, although the flavor texts in the MJ rulebook clearly indicate that she routinely carries at least four other characters around, which would not be possible with a Systems skill of Fair (+2). What am I missing here?

2. I assume the default environment for a starship's Manoeuvre skill is "Space" (cf. table 12-2 on p. 204). There are several examples of ships having the "Extended Manoeuvrability (Atmospheric)" stunt, enabling them to enter planetary atmospheres (as is clearly stated on p. 223). But what about the "Orbital" zone? According to common sense and the environment descriptions on p. 370, you have to pass through orbit to enter a planet's atmosphere from space. So I am wondering why starships aren't required to take the "Extended Manoeuvrability (Orbital)" stunt, too, if they want to be adapted for planetary landings. And what kind of vehicle would be built only for orbital environments? I guess I just do not see why this zone warrants its own entry in the Manoeuvre Environment table, as its game use looks rather limited to me.

3. The description of the "Avatar" stunt (p. 140) states that one should use "your Drive or Pilot" skill instead of Athletics; what exactly is meant by that, and what about the "Manoeuvre" skill?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I have just started running my first Mindjammer game and one of the pcs is playing a sentient starship, so I'd like to get the rules straight!
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Marmaduke
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 02:38:19 pm »

Hi!

I only have an opinion about point 3.

First of all, it makes sense. An avatar is to a ship what a ship is to a pilot. An extension that they pilot. Ships are constructs and they do not know Athletics, which refer to humanoid-type mobility. Instead of needing to learn Athletics ("Manoeuvre" for people) in order to use an avatar, they use their Pilot skill, because that is what they do, they pilot it like they would pilot a vehicle.

Plus, the skill system seems devised to prevent even powerful characters to know many different skills. Instead, stunts allow specialised characters to use skills that they know in order to perform actions that are, for a number of reasons, beyond their usual domain.

Hope that helps.
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Colgrevance
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2016, 11:56:10 pm »

Hi Marmaduke,

thanks for chiming in! Looks like there is not a lot of traffic on these forums nowadays...

I only have an opinion about point 3.

First of all, it makes sense. An avatar is to a ship what a ship is to a pilot. An extension that they pilot. Ships are constructs and they do not know Athletics, which refer to humanoid-type mobility. Instead of needing to learn Athletics ("Manoeuvre" for people) in order to use an avatar, they use their Pilot skill, because that is what they do, they pilot it like they would pilot a vehicle.

I can see your point, but constructs usually do not have the Drive of Pilot skill, instead using their Manoeuvre skill to move (Drive and Pilot are character scale). So I could see the logic behind using Manoeuvre to "steer" an avatar as an extension, but this is not the way it is written in the rules.

I have absolutely no problem when an rpg system leaves some matters for the individual gm/group to decide, but IF you provide a rule for something, THEN this rule should better be plausible and consistent with other such rules. Sadly, there are several examples in the Mindjammer book where - to me at least - this design principle seems to be violated, which makes the game very hard to sell to my group. This is why I thought I'd ask here for an official clarification, as I might well be mistaken in my interpretations.
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