Misjump

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DanDare2050
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Misjump

Postby DanDare2050 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:03 pm

From the Jump Travel rules
If the Engineer (jump drive) check made to initiate a jump is failed by an Effect of -2, the ship will arrive in the target system but find itself a number of hundred diameters away from the intended world multiplied by 1D.

If a worse Effect is rolled, a merciful referee may wish to subject the Travellers to the most survivable form of misjump, where the ship ends up 1D x 1D parsecs in a random direction, potentially in deep (and empty) space.
Good grief. This is a role playing game. If you are a GM never kill or strand the players in a boring space because of a bad dice roll. Yes they must have taken a risk but the outcome of a bad roll should be a bad and dangerous situation, not insta death. Maybe if they take an extreme risk its justified (-4 effect on jump?). A better -3 result is to arrive in the wrong star system after two weeks in jump space and maybe take damage to the jump drive.
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Re: Misjump

Postby Jeraa » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:29 pm

DanDare2050 wrote:From the Jump Travel rules
If the Engineer (jump drive) check made to initiate a jump is failed by an Effect of -2, the ship will arrive in the target system but find itself a number of hundred diameters away from the intended world multiplied by 1D.

If a worse Effect is rolled, a merciful referee may wish to subject the Travellers to the most survivable form of misjump, where the ship ends up 1D x 1D parsecs in a random direction, potentially in deep (and empty) space.
Good grief. This is a role playing game. If you are a GM never kill or strand the players in a boring space because of a bad dice roll. Yes they must have taken a risk but the outcome of a bad roll should be a bad and dangerous situation, not insta death. Maybe if they take an extreme risk its justified (-4 effect on jump?). A better -3 result is to arrive in the wrong star system after two weeks in jump space and maybe take damage to the jump drive.
The only way to do that badly is if you are doing something wrong: using unrefined fuel, not maintaining your drive, jumping within the 100 diameter limit, or trying to operate the drive without training (no Engineer skill). In addition to usually needing to roll low on the check (unless you were really stupid and did several of the things above). Using a jump drive has a very clear, well know procedure. Violate that procedure you deserve whatever it is that comes your way, even if that is death.

Jumpspace is not a safe place if you don't follow the rules. Complaining that using it improperly can kill you is as bad as complaining you got bit by a shark when wearing your new bloody meat bathing suit when swimming.

And just be glad this isn't the first printing of Classic Traveller, where it was possible to die before you even finished character creation.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Misjump

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:45 pm

If you never suffer a risk, where's the excitement?

Of course player characters can get themselves killed.
-Daniel-
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Re: Misjump

Postby -Daniel- » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:04 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:If you never suffer a risk, where's the excitement?
For me, this is the line I always try to walk as the GM. Give them the feeling of risk regardless of whether it is an illusion or real. The players will be more engaged if they feel they have something to lose. I would also add that if I am going to say a jump is a success 100% of the time because I don't want anything to happen to the characters, then I have to admit it and just stop rolling and stop playing out the jump process. No point in rolling the dice if I am not willing to accept the outcome. :D
golem64
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Re: Misjump

Postby golem64 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:26 am

Exactly. Especially when the Travellers use Jump to escape an enemy quickly. If they don't take the required time (-2 or more to reduce the time frame) or jump within the 100 diameter limit, they should have a chance to misjump. Without the risk, there's no drama.
phavoc
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Re: Misjump

Postby phavoc » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:55 am

As a referee I wouldn't kill the PC's as a result of a misjump (probably...).

But they DO make for good ways to introduce interesting plotlines.
haveahappy
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Re: Misjump

Postby haveahappy » Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:27 am

Wherever they end up, something should happen.

Even if you narrate that it's been MONTHS or even longer and then.... SOMETHING. they pick something up on the sensors, they find an ice comet they can fuel up from, an asteroid belt, a derelict to siphon -- SOMETHING.

Unless it seems a fitting or convenient end to the campaign, then just have them never come out of jumpspace. Or say they come out in the deep, endless rift between galaxies, or come out of jumpspace deep in the gravity well of a black hole - and are priveliged enough to witness the sight of the event horizon before their consiousness is assimilated into the darkness for all time.
DanDare2050
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Re: Misjump

Postby DanDare2050 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:17 am

Player characters should never die with no warning, absolute rule for me.
If they take a risk that could lead to death they will only take that risk if its their last resort. However a) if the worse comes up there should at least be a chance to do something to mitigate b) its better if death only comes as a result of repeated failures narrowing options and c) misjump is TPK.
The reason I have come against this is I'm looking at creating a variant mechanic about tracking jump vectors and trying to stealth them, increasing misjump chances.
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Re: Misjump

Postby Hopeless » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:44 am

To me a misjump doesn't mean certain death unless all of the players prefer to kill off their characters I recall a tv series where it had a sequel where only one of the previous cast returned and they never explained what happened to them other than what was likely a misjump!

To me this is an ideal method to move your campaign, I already have a character who survived a misjump spending six months somewhere else before managing to return to normal space to discover she had been thought killed over 60 years previously!

Yes there is even a book series like the Lost Fleet that may not be about a misjump but does deal with the consequences of such a lengthy time jump!

So how do you handle this?
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Re: Misjump

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:09 pm

Without consequences, players tend to do dumb things.

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golem64
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Re: Misjump

Postby golem64 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:54 pm

If they did misjump into deep space, I would allow them to go into cold sleep for the long voyage to the closest system, then have them encounter something on the way. One possibility is a famous and badly damaged Navy derelict, perhaps lost for decades or even centuries. Depending on how much you wanted to put into it, a new, perhaps Reaver-like, culture could have developed. The Travellers have to make their way deep into the ship to retrieve the parts and/or fuel they need to get their Jump drive working again.
Otherwise, there are always pirates, aliens or strange anomalies.
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Re: Misjump

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:48 pm

DanDare2050 wrote:From the Jump Travel rules
If the Engineer (jump drive) check made to initiate a jump is failed by an Effect of -2, the ship will arrive in the target system but find itself a number of hundred diameters away from the intended world multiplied by 1D.

If a worse Effect is rolled, a merciful referee may wish to subject the Travellers to the most survivable form of misjump, where the ship ends up 1D x 1D parsecs in a random direction, potentially in deep (and empty) space.
Good grief. This is a role playing game. If you are a GM never kill or strand the players in a boring space because of a bad dice roll. Yes they must have taken a risk but the outcome of a bad roll should be a bad and dangerous situation, not insta death. Maybe if they take an extreme risk its justified (-4 effect on jump?). A better -3 result is to arrive in the wrong star system after two weeks in jump space and maybe take damage to the jump drive.
If the ship has low berths and enough power plant fuel, it can simply set a course for the nearest star system if it doesn't have enough fuel to make another jump, and then go into their low berths and wait it out! How does that sound?

To give a concrete example, lets say its a scout ship, they are 2 parsecs away from the nearest star system, that is 6.52 light years away. Lets say they can maneuver for a total of 4 weeks with the extra fuel they have onboard for just such an emergency. The scout ship can accelerate at 2-g for 2 weeks at maximum acceleration, the crew is living on board the ship during this time, at the end of 2 weeks, they are traveling at a cruse velocity of 12,096 km/sec, which is 0.04032 times he speed of light, that means it would take 161.7 years to travel the distance of 6.52 light years. The crew go into their low berths and set the timer to wake them up in 161.7 years, they then climb out of those low berths once defrosted, dust off the chairs in the Bridge and begin decelerating for another 2 weeks to arrive at the nearest star system. An Ambitious GM can figure out what happened during those 161.7 years and how the setting changed in that time. That could be the premise of an interesting adventure in itself!

This must be a common occurance resulting from a misjump. Do you think the bank, they got their starship loan from woul still be after them to make payments after all that time?

How about this as an excuse to drop the players into the New Era setting. Lets say they are being chased by pirates, and to get away they make a hasty jump, they find themselves in the middle of interstellar space, they set a course for the nearest star system, go into their low berths, and when they come out, they find that civilization has collapsed due to the virus. The virus missed their ship because it didn't know about it!

And now the good news! Because of the Virus, and the collapse of civilization, the PCs now own their starship free and clear. The GM could then arrange to have a planet nearby with a regressed civilization, lets say its tech level 7 with a breathable atmosphere, the PCs could land on that planet' surface and sell their services to the highest bidder, people who otherwise couldn't travel in space! If you were the PCs in that situation, what would you do?
Condottiere
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Re: Misjump

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:45 pm

A misjump should never be fatal, and there should be one or two possibilities to get out of their predicament, if the players can follow the breadcrumbs.

Though the Dungeon Master should never state this baldly, but look grave and start hinting about the next game system the players might be interested in trying out.
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Re: Misjump

Postby Reynard » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:47 pm

"If the ship has low berths and enough power plant fuel, it can simply set a course for the nearest star system if it doesn't have enough fuel to make another jump, and then go into their low berths and wait it out! How does that sound?".

A lot of ships have a mere 4 weeks operational fuel supply. Some have more maybe 8 to 12 weeks. Even in low berth with the power turned down to minimal, you are a boat load of corpses long before your ship drifts by luck into a populated system that might by accident find a tiny vessel in all that space.

A referee can use the misjump as a TPK or fudge an exciting misadventure.
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Re: Misjump

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:50 pm

Reynard wrote:"If the ship has low berths and enough power plant fuel, it can simply set a course for the nearest star system if it doesn't have enough fuel to make another jump, and then go into their low berths and wait it out! How does that sound?".

A lot of ships have a mere 4 weeks operational fuel supply. Some have more maybe 8 to 12 weeks. Even in low berth with the power turned down to minimal, you are a boat load of corpses long before your ship drifts by luck into a populated system that might by accident find a tiny vessel in all that space.

A referee can use the misjump as a TPK or fudge an exciting misadventure.
The ability to go 0.04 of the speed of light is not nothing, but it is what you get if you accelerate at 1-g for 2 weeks. A Low Berth requires minimal power in interstellar space where the temperature is just a few degrees kelvin. The temperature of liquid nitrogen is above the temperature of interstellar space, in fact nitrogen is a solid at that temperature, just as is the surface of Pluto. So what is it that you need to power the low berths to do? Do they have to keep their contents cold? I think you can power them down and whatever is inside will stay frozen quite easily enough. All you need to power is the clock which tells when its time to wake up, and that is like a watch battery. Now if a watch battery can power you watch for years, you think it would be easy enough for the ship's power supply to power the timer for well over a century, while consuming an insignificant amount of the ship's power reserves.
DanDare2050
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Re: Misjump

Postby DanDare2050 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:14 am

Condottiere wrote:Without consequences, players tend to do dumb things.

Image
I'm not discussing consequence free anything. I'm trying to make risking a misjump a reasonable player choice in a tight spot. That means the consequences need to be bad but not instant TPK.

The long term stranding is ok if its interesting and if your campaign can adapt to a fest forward by a century or two. For something that can occur more than once in a campaign I prefer things like the ship misjumps to only a million km away and takes drive damage. Maybe if its really rough players also take hits they have to deal with while handling the immediate emergency. That gives a strong consequence but leaves the party in an adventure with meaningful choices to make.
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Re: Misjump

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:52 am

One way time travel is very disorientating, and basically resets the board; I would say, proceed with caution.
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Misjump

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:32 pm

I'd say it would be an interesting way to start a New Era campaign. Traveller has all the tools for one-way time travel, and who better to rebuild civilization than someone who came from the past?
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Re: Misjump

Postby -Daniel- » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:30 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:I'd say it would be an interesting way to start a New Era campaign. Traveller has all the tools for one-way time travel, and who better to rebuild civilization than someone who came from the past?
The idea of a miss-jump being the way to introduce the characters to a setting that is not 3i is not a bad idea at all.
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Re: Misjump

Postby msprange » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:04 am

-Daniel- wrote:The idea of a miss-jump being the way to introduce the characters to a setting that is not 3i is not a bad idea at all.
I did this once - effectively sent the players to Athas (actually a non-charted system that was still close to the 3I, so they had a chance to make it back to civilisation...
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