Old ships and their quirks

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hiro

Old ships and their quirks

Postby hiro » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:50 pm

I've just rolled a far traders quirks for a PCs mustering out benefit.

2 of the rolls were -1DMs to sensors.

I can see no specific reference to repairing the sensors.

A DM of -2 is equivalent to a level 1 critical hit so I've allowed a PC to roll mechanic and fix the critical. The time to complete the task was maxed out at 1d6 days and the effect was 6, no cost in spares.

I'm thinking this was not in the spirit of the old ship's quirks as I think they're there to give the characters something to be overcome in game, would anyone handle this differently?
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby Belisknar » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:22 pm

Letting your players fix that kind of problem is fine.

The real thing about it thogh, is since it's a quirk of the ship it's something that you can have crop up from time to time as is naratively significant, as a random roll might dictate or just for fun.

It's something that doesn't need to go away until the players completely replace the effected system.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:12 am

Might be some blindspot either due to a design flaw or subsequent hull repairs.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:43 am

Condottiere wrote:Might be some blindspot either due to a design flaw or subsequent hull repairs.
Indeed - if it was easily repairable, the previous owners would have done something about it. Quirks are something fundamental about the ship.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:05 pm

Areas like this are where you need to be creative with things. You have to ask yourself how important do you want to make this quirk part of your gaming session(s)? If it's a nuisance for you and the players, it's easy enough to assign a CR value to fixing the quirk and moving on.

However if you like to keep your PC's guessing and get some roll-play out of things, you can be murky about things:

Ref "Your ship has some issues with it's sensor systems"

PC "What kind of issues"

Ref "Well, the previous owner's logs indicate that sometimes they just fail. Other times they give ghost images. To figure it out you'd probably need to trace the entire wiring system from the external sensors to the bridge and see what is going on. Sounds like it might take some time and a lot of credits..."

PC "!@#$!!!"

Quirks can be fun to run with because they provide the ref with ample ways to interject changes to the campaign. And you get to decide if they are humorous, or deadly, or just annoying. Having the waste system accidentally reverse itself while the players are in combat is an annoying, but humorous(?) reminder that they really should have taken the time to repair it the last time they were in port. Now they are going to regret eating so many Flaming Hot Space Burrito's. :P
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby wbnc » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:05 pm

I have to agree. Quirks are the fun part of old ships. If you go beyond the simple mechanics based descriptions.


I remember in another game where limitations and drawbacks were applied to reduce the cos of abilities...A general rule was if its easy to overcome, and doesn't cause a problem...it's not a limitation.

if it's severe enough to affect the price of a vessel then it's not easy to fix. Say a warped structural member. or a reactor that has shielding is full of micro fissures.. it isn't life threatening, or even harmful to the crew.... but it lets out stay EM signals/causes vibrations, that clutter up the sensors, or prevents the ship from using it's full thrust/power output.

To repair it you need to pull the entire core, or replace major structural items...sure you can let the players jury rig a quick fixes to temporarily negate the issue..but it will keep reoccurring until the major problem is fixed.
hiro

Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby hiro » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:41 pm

OK, this is going where I thought it would and hadn't taken it myself. Fair enough, we'll go with a deeper fault that's not so easy to fix.

This brings up the haggler in me, OK, the ship is old and the price reduced, I'd want it further reduced to compensate for the sensors but that's something we can work out in game, I don't think we need rules for that :wink:
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby DickTurpin » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:12 pm

There should be a way to repair the damage, even if it requires more than a simple Mechanic check to do so. What would you say to a Task Chain requiring a total effect of 10 to complete? Make it based on Mechanic, Engineer, or Science, (or a combinations of all three) as a difficult task (-2 DM) taking 1d6 days and requiring spare parts for each roll?

That would make it more challenging and expensive to fix the problem which could be why the prior crew was either unable or unwilling to fix it themselves.

You could also make a trade off between time and money by having the problems fixed by a starport repair facility requiring 1d6 days and 1d6* Cr. 25,000 for each quirk you wanted fixed.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby -Daniel- » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:53 pm

Just to add another angle, not all of the quirks are bad. I don't mind that you have that ship that requires a little more tender loving care to keep her going. It gives an opportunity for the ship to go from being a 2D flying hotel and moves it to a 3D quasi-character.

I am going to show my age here, but I think of the sub from the movie "The Pink Submarine". How all through the movie it just can't quite get rid of the back fire it has. Even at the end of the movie it gave off one last belch of smoke and a crack of backfire. :lol:
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby AndrewW » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:22 am

-Daniel- wrote:I am going to show my age here, but I think of the sub from the movie "The Pink Submarine". How all through the movie it just can't quite get rid of the back fire it has. Even at the end of the movie it gave off one last belch of smoke and a crack of backfire. :lol:
They painted one pink in Operation Petticoat.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby -Daniel- » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:16 am

AndrewW wrote:
-Daniel- wrote:I am going to show my age here, but I think of the sub from the movie "The Pink Submarine". How all through the movie it just can't quite get rid of the back fire it has. Even at the end of the movie it gave off one last belch of smoke and a crack of backfire. :lol:
They painted one pink in Operation Petticoat.
Oops, you are right, the name of the movie was "Operation Petticoat". So my age shows itself in another way. :lol:
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:45 am

Plumbing can be annoying.

Erratic life support and gravitational fluctuations more so.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby Captain Jonah » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:11 pm

If it can be fixed, no matter how many skill checks are required then it's a lot less than a 10% reduction in the cost of a ship.

OK this fault, it's bad, they knocked 10% off the price of this here subby so that 8 megacreds, so to fix it we need six engineers, make a chain of skill checks and pay for parts costing 1-6 x 10,000 credits for every skill check.

Right, grab the player engineer, hire five more, take time on EVERY check to make it automatic, buy the maximum in spares just in case. Call it half a million in total.

WIN.

Also why didn't the seller just fix it and make the extra eight million on the sale?

Anything that reduces the price of the ship should be something so significant that it takes a mini campaign level of involvement to fix. Also the old ships table has benefits on it. Hello, what sort of crazy fool sells a ship at a discount just because it's old while ignoring the fact that it has upgraded sensors or luxury staterooms or a turret with a few megacredits worth of weapons.

You charge extra for those sort of things, any merchant who gives someone a discount of 10% because the ship has better than normal sensors or computer or drops the price because it's better quality. Where is this fool I wish to buy him out of business.
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby -Daniel- » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:15 pm

Captain Jonah wrote: Also why didn't the seller just fix it and make the extra eight million on the sale?
Maybe they didn't have the time, or the money, or care, or .... I sold an old car once, needed about $2k in repairs. I had a new car and was busy with a new baby. So I sold it to my mechanic. He fixed it up and has used it as a delivery and parts pick up car for several years. He had the time (manpower) and his parts would be bought at wholesale not retail like they would have been for me. In the end, it was a win for both of us.
Captain Jonah wrote: Also the old ships table has benefits on it. Hello, what sort of crazy fool sells a ship at a discount just because it's old while ignoring the fact that it has upgraded sensors or luxury staterooms or a turret with a few megacredits worth of weapons.
I will use myself again as an example. When I got married I sold off my 1972 Chevy Chevelle. I had put in a 402, upgraded the motor mounts, put in racing shocks, upgraded the transmission, and it was known by many in my city because I could beat almost everyone. But I was going to move to a new location and wanted to use the money to pay for a new apartment. I can tell you for sure I sold it for less than a new 2000 car would have cost at that time. Old cars do sometimes sell for more, but not most. And often that great stereo or real leather seats just don't pull in the money like some would think.

But I do agree, I would not allow the characters to just roll a few dice and eliminate the negative quirks.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:26 pm

You can buy off the quirk, but it will cost more time and money than the discount.
hiro

Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby hiro » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:32 pm

As a vehicle ages, it's value drops. There are exceptions but they are few and far between, from bicycles to airliners, the price drops. If a vehicle has significant damage, broken stuff or quirks, the value will drop.

I'm guessing there's something like a road worthy test a ship in the Third Imperium has to pass but we don't usually go into that kind of detail. Where the balance between "space worthy" and quirks lies I think Mongoose will leave to GMs. Personally, I don't think anything can't be fixed, the question is, is the cost worth it or does the quirk add the kind of spice you like adding into your games?

Does the quirks table needs a quirks fix table? I'd like to see one but if it doesn't appear I can add it in easily enough.

ETA, my initial response to the quirk was to find any way to fix it, the ship in question had 6 of them making it as old as a ship can be acquired thru the MO benefits, (amusingly enough 11 was rolled three times, this ship has a reputation that extends across sectors!) and the last was doubling maintenance costs. I get what most are saying, roll the quirks into the game to make life more interesting for the PCs, I still want an option to fix the broken stuff tho, would you leave your car's headlights broken?
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby wbnc » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:31 pm

DickTurpin wrote:There should be a way to repair the damage, even if it requires more than a simple Mechanic check to do so. What would you say to a Task Chain requiring a total effect of 10 to complete? Make it based on Mechanic, Engineer, or Science, (or a combinations of all three) as a difficult task (-2 DM) taking 1d6 days and requiring spare parts for each roll?

That would make it more challenging and expensive to fix the problem which could be why the prior crew was either unable or unwilling to fix it themselves.

You could also make a trade off between time and money by having the problems fixed by a starport repair facility requiring 1d6 days and 1d6* Cr. 25,000 for each quirk you wanted fixed.

I'd make it a bit more taxing...if it was a major fault...but yeah I'd let them fix it..of course it's more in my style to keep it around so I have it as a hook for a story, or a complication when I think they need something to rattle the awake.

I'd go with letting the players temporarily patch the problems, no real expense, or time out of service for a quick fix, just every so often it crops back up..You know the primary buffer panel keeps falling off in flight causing a bit of turbulence..".explain turbulence..Oh my god were gonna die...dude were on the landing pad."...at which point the ship engineer grumbles and heads out to patch the system back together..

which only delays take off or landing a couple of hours max.... or the engineer has to run a quick fix on the sensors etc before the ship can make a clear read when they pick up something they aren't quite sure is a real signal or a sensor ghost caused by the quirk.
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby phavoc » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:13 pm

wbnc wrote:
DickTurpin wrote:There should be a way to repair the damage, even if it requires more than a simple Mechanic check to do so. What would you say to a Task Chain requiring a total effect of 10 to complete? Make it based on Mechanic, Engineer, or Science, (or a combinations of all three) as a difficult task (-2 DM) taking 1d6 days and requiring spare parts for each roll?

That would make it more challenging and expensive to fix the problem which could be why the prior crew was either unable or unwilling to fix it themselves.

You could also make a trade off between time and money by having the problems fixed by a starport repair facility requiring 1d6 days and 1d6* Cr. 25,000 for each quirk you wanted fixed.

I'd make it a bit more taxing...if it was a major fault...but yeah I'd let them fix it..of course it's more in my style to keep it around so I have it as a hook for a story, or a complication when I think they need something to rattle the awake.

I'd go with letting the players temporarily patch the problems, no real expense, or time out of service for a quick fix, just every so often it crops back up..You know the primary buffer panel keeps falling off in flight causing a bit of turbulence..".explain turbulence..Oh my god were gonna die...dude were on the landing pad."...at which point the ship engineer grumbles and heads out to patch the system back together..

which only delays take off or landing a couple of hours max.... or the engineer has to run a quick fix on the sensors etc before the ship can make a clear read when they pick up something they aren't quite sure is a real signal or a sensor ghost caused by the quirk.
Players time is "free", but a ship owner/broker would need to pay someone for the labor. Even parts can be scavenged for much reduced costs (I'm sure there are starship pick-and-pull junkyards in the future). So if the players have the skills and time then they can pick up ships cheap and fix them themselves. Within reason, of course. I'm not sure any PC should be allowed to pull and overhaul their fusion plant like it's a 57 Chevy big-block. Not unless they are willing to roll on the odd radiation exposure when after rebuilding the carburetor, err, 52nd century equivalent, you come with extra parts - but it still seems to run fine, so eh, I guess they were excess to begin with! :)
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby wbnc » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:10 pm

phavoc wrote: Players time is "free", but a ship owner/broker would need to pay someone for the labor. Even parts can be scavenged for much reduced costs (I'm sure there are starship pick-and-pull junkyards in the future). So if the players have the skills and time then they can pick up ships cheap and fix them themselves. Within reason, of course. I'm not sure any PC should be allowed to pull and overhaul their fusion plant like it's a 57 Chevy big-block. Not unless they are willing to roll on the odd radiation exposure when after rebuilding the carburetor, err, 52nd century equivalent, you come with extra parts - but it still seems to run fine, so eh, I guess they were excess to begin with! :)

Ah yes, Crazy Eds, pre-loved parts yard.... Of course ya may end up with more quirks than you had before if you aren't careful..or the guy doing the work has a case of the snakeyes. Yes, I did have a guy do just that.....


and as a general rule....discounted fusion reactors should be avoided...
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Re: Old ships and their quirks

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:17 pm

They are either a drain on resources, or a limitation on capabilities.

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