downtime on a ship

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bestial warlust
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downtime on a ship

Postby bestial warlust » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:38 am

With the jump times and other travel considerations do you just gloss over trip time? or do you try and do something interesting while there is long travel times.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Condottiere » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:38 am

Catch up on the latest batch of Aslanian anime.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby GypsyComet » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:01 am

Different from jump to jump. Sometimes we just gloss it, other times we have things to do "on camera".
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Infojunky » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:13 am

GypsyComet wrote:Different from jump to jump. Sometimes we just gloss it, other times we have things to do "on camera".
In part of those "On Camera" times a epic practical joke war broke out.....

But traditionally in a lot of the games I have run "in Jump" has been a bookkeeping exercise where the characters maintain the ship and ancillary adventuring gear, train, heal, invent, build et al.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Jak Nazryth » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:20 pm

One of my players had a Library installed in their custom ship. Can't remember now which book its in, but it doubles the amount of hours for training. My jumps in "real" sitting around the table time take around 60 seconds at most, just enough time for them to copy down training hours on their character sheets, up their skills, etc... but I do have several In-Jump adventures that will take a full night of roll play. Just waiting for the right moment. ;)
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:42 pm

Usually, we gloss over, but we use it for bookkeeping time for skill advancement or practice. When I Referee, I try to do a mini-adventure every 3-4 jumps just to keep everyone on their toes.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Burocrate » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:12 pm

A lot depends on your game style and previous experiences. I have been in a few PBP on-line games and time ‘In Jump’ was either a game of "What's wrong with the fill-in-the-blank* now?" :shock: or "Lets mess with each other’s PC." :roll:

You can’t go too far wrong by checking the logs of various on-line games like the ones on this board.

viewforum.php?f=105

There is no wrong answer as long as you and your players are enjoying the game. The only caveat I provide is that sometimes role playing can slow down the pace of the game; some people enjoy it and others go crazy at not skipping over the time In Jump.

*I seen escaped live cargo, dangerous (for various reasons) cargo, troublesome passengers, armed crazy passengers, leaking hulls, contaminated life support and sudden PC on PC abuse. In other words: life go on even in a Jump bubble.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Bardicheart » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:48 am

bestial warlust wrote:With the jump times and other travel considerations do you just gloss over trip time? or do you try and do something interesting while there is long travel times.
In the past I've mostly glossed over it, used it for training time. More recently I've been giving thought to fleshing jump travel, misjumps, inaccurate jumps, possible events in jump space. Don't have anything written down yet though.
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bestial warlust
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby bestial warlust » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:21 am

Burocrate wrote:A lot depends on your game style and previous experiences. I have been in a few PBP on-line games and time ‘In Jump’ was either a game of "What's wrong with the fill-in-the-blank* now?" :shock: or "Lets mess with each other’s PC." :roll:

You can’t go too far wrong by checking the logs of various on-line games like the ones on this board.

viewforum.php?f=105

There is no wrong answer as long as you and your players are enjoying the game. The only caveat I provide is that sometimes role playing can slow down the pace of the game; some people enjoy it and others go crazy at not skipping over the time In Jump.

*I seen escaped live cargo, dangerous (for various reasons) cargo, troublesome passengers, armed crazy passengers, leaking hulls, contaminated life support and sudden PC on PC abuse. In other words: life go on even in a Jump bubble.
Thanks I'll look over the link. I wouldn't want to constantly do something and slow down the game but it seems like a prime opportunity to insert situations/adventures to keep a group on their toes.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby fthlagen » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:20 pm

My crew operate on a Type R so there are usually passengers to manage. I use randomness to determine whether the jump is a formality, an opportunity for a vignette or (as universally hated by players anxious to get to destination X) a mini-adventure.

If you imagine twenty or thirty people cooped up in a small submarine-style space with nothing to do for 7 days, you'll realise that in the absence of military discipline, there's a problem to manage : "The devil makes work for idle hands."

Vignettes include:

- a personality clash: maybe a passenger tells the engineer that the ship is shabby or two passengers sharing a room demand separate rooms in the otherwise fully-booked ship. An old military commander tells the engineer to get a haircut and shape up;

- a medical emergency: nothing serious, maybe a toothache, perhaps appendicitis. Or going for the real deal, norovirus with a juicy quarantine as soon as the port authorities realise what the ship's brought in;

- a software glitch: nothing serious but takes Computer-2 to know that for sure. I make these technical so that the players can stretch their jargon glands. As it is dismounted, Manoeuvre-1 errors with a stack overflow at line 37 so the navigator has to describe the implications to the players while the players keep straight faces and nod sagely - Mornington Crescent in space;

- warp party: going supersonic was a thing on Concorde, why not in traveller? Anything to keep passengers busy and entertained. The routine of a passenger would revolve around meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner and the steward would try to theme each dinner and lay on something special for the light speed club and the night before disembarkation. I'd get the steward to describe the dish to the passengers just for lulz;

- Kids. In between meals the steward still has to keep passengers entertained. If there are children on board, it's doubly important. I ask the steward what events he has lined up for the kids and if he draws a blank, they become a nuisance for the passengers;

- common training opportunity : seriously, real people wouldn't train like machines - they'd be bored and jaded particularly in the knowledge that every other week is wasted in hyperspace. Maybe a passenger has a real insight into a skill that another player finds genuinely useful.

- Lurve. It doesn't have to be requited but some of the best fun I've had with players stems from unrequited love. It's hard to describe an NPC to a character in a way to make them fall in love but it's the easiest thing in the world to have a love-pest on board who has a same-sex crush on a particular crew member;

- Escaped wildlife. My crew sometimes carry livestock in the cargo bay. It needs to be fed and watered and kept secure. If wildlife escapes and starts running around, I usually keep it benign - lots of fouling and mess everywhere but never a Zarg - that's too cliched.

- Dangerous goods. Some cargoes are hazardous and if planes can be brought down by oxygen generators so spaceships can have problems too. A fire in the cargo bay gives players three choices : go into denial, fight the fire (hazardous) or depressurise the bay by opening the doors to space;

- Training Exchanges. Many educational establishments pay crews to place undergraduates on board for training. So a trainee navigator is overseen by the real navigator and is brought up to scratch. I would put some young buck/old buck clashes into the mix to test the navigator's patience;

- False hijack. So one passenger seems to have a secret friendhip with two others and they're acting suspiciously. The security officer is on edge and has his body pistol ready for action. When it kicks off, it turns out to be nothing more than some cruddy love triangle that's been perpetuated on board. This really works well if you can get the security officer to shoot a passenger and then realise in hindsight how dumb a decision that was;

- The guided tour. The player who takes the part of the engineer really rose to this when it was presented. A party of school children from a public school were being ferried to a field trip on a garden planet. The teacher suggested a tour of the ship with follow up homework. The engineer waxed for twenty minutes while the rest of the players dozed off. He kept the drawings of the ship he got from the pupils in a book and was very put out when they went missing;

- Power failure. So the power goes out and the passengers start feeling their way to the lounge looking for answers. Panic hovers just below the surface and some clown thinks it is clever to suggest it might be connected with the dangerous alien lifeform he knows about in the cargo bay. It's only ever a war of words between crew and clown as role-playing in the dark is a frustrating experience for players, but it's fun when the lights come on again ten minutes later.

- EVA. There should never be a reason to spacewalk when in hyperspace. Is it even possible? When it becomes a dire choice between risking death by not going outside or risking death by going outside, one player must make the ultimate choice for the good of the ship. Just even sorting out who that is can be fun. For the sap who volunteers, I usually take them out of the room and tell them this : "You are instantly out of communication with the ship. Hyperspace is the most beautiful thing you've ever witnessed. Discretely choose a psionic skill at medium rank and tell me what it is. But it's your secret and it will fade if you share it with other people."
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:19 pm

Some really good ideas here!

Usually we treat time in jump as "off screen", especially if there are few passengers aboard. Assume the players spend the time running the ship, administering themselves and their gear, maintaining their current skills (rather than developing new ones) and resting.

However, there was the time two criminally insane passengers tried to seize the ship ...

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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby fthlagen » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:55 pm

Thanks Egil.

My players include a forensic accountant and a teacher (the pilot).

before departure, they take a blank cart to the starport and upload open source databases. They then return to the ship and run their passenger list and the databases against anti-hijack to profile the known passengers. Anti-hijack builds a risk profile from the passenger details and also combs through national sanctions lists and criminal bureau data (most wanted, etc.)

Once the due diligence is finished, the navigator (who doubles as security officer) makes recommendations on which passengers are denied passage (if any). The pilot has the final say and usually just asks the crew to keep an eye on suspect individuals (money's too tight to reject passage let alone get a bad name.)

The efforts have paid off twice. Once these caught a money-launderer on Nasu and handed him over to the magistrate's court; They also helped customs officials apprehend a suspected terrorist - a false alarm as it happened but the authorities gave them a citation.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:16 pm

It's more fun if your ship is alien, or has some sort of quirky history behind it - perhaps it used to belong to a notorious psion, now sadly deceased, but it was resprayed, renamed and sold at auction - and nobody realised that there was a cryo tube in a secret compartment containing an exact clone of that dead notorious psion, with all his powers and memories intact to the point of his last recording and psychic "download;" which is basically up to half an hour before his death. Exploration of the characters' new acquisition inevitably leads the characters to conclude the existence of the psion's hidden compartment, n#and inadvertently they end up releasing him in mid-Jump, tired and cranky but with all his powers intact and ready to take back what is his.

If your characters find themselves manning an alien ship, their explorations should provide them with as much adventure as any land-based adventure. Their engine compartment needs looking at, to determine how its Jump and Manoeuvre drives work; their control interfaces need to be translated; there are different rooms to be explored - who'd devote space for a shrine in their ship?

And there are plenty of hazardous areas, including environmental hazards - the aliens' atmosphere might be unbreathable by humans, and the modified environmental systems have this nasty habit if resetting to the default stinking, tainted, unbreathable exotic atmosphere every time unless the Computer expert can rig up an interface that allows it to be controlled remotely from the bridge, otherwise some poor schmo's got the thankless job of standing in front of the atmo console on Deck 5 and press that big green button at random intervals, all day and all night.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby AndrewW » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:17 am

alex_greene wrote:who'd devote space for a shrine in their ship?
Aslan.
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Burocrate » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:12 pm

AndrewW wrote:
alex_greene wrote:who'd devote space for a shrine in their ship?
Aslan.


Hmm, I remember our referee letting us find and re-start a derelict starship that had a shrine. The statue was not Aslan as we all thought when the ref said one room was obviously an alien shrine. We had a good time jumping around the Marches looking for evidence of the whichever minor race built that weird ship. We mostly searched water worlds because of the statue in the shrine. It was really an odd ball race; biped with wings and long talons and a kind of octopus head. We even tried to identify the kind of stone it was made out of. I think the ref said it was green, waxy, very dense and cold.

Funny how that ship always had so many system failures…
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:09 am

Burocrate wrote:
AndrewW wrote:
alex_greene wrote:who'd devote space for a shrine in their ship?
Aslan.


Hmm, I remember our referee letting us find and re-start a derelict starship that had a shrine. The statue was not Aslan as we all thought when the ref said one room was obviously an alien shrine. We had a good time jumping around the Marches looking for evidence of the whichever minor race built that weird ship. We mostly searched water worlds because of the statue in the shrine. It was really an odd ball race; biped with wings and long talons and a kind of octopus head. We even tried to identify the kind of stone it was made out of. I think the ref said it was green, waxy, very dense and cold.

Funny how that ship always had so many system failures…
:D

And so much time could have been saved if only one character had bothered to acquire the "Cthulu Mythos" specialisation in Social Sciences (yes, the one which carries a compulsory reduction in Int and Soc). :twisted:

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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:35 pm

As I said, exploring a ship you just acquired can be an enjoyable adventure in itself. What if, for instance, the characters discover anomalous devices on board their surplus 400-ton patrol cruiser which really do not belong at that technological level - such as a transporter?
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby dragoner » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Don't forget ghosts! :twisted:

However, often enough, the crew use jump time for studying to further their careers. Lately, I have run across this odd thing as to where the characters have problems doing things normal people do?
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:07 pm

It's letter-writing time!

There's nothing to do, your duty shift isn't for three hours and you've got all these letters from home to catch up with, including a really neat home-knitted cap from your Mum:-

Image

What would your characters write for the folks back home?

"Dear Mum, I know it's been a long time since I last wrote to you but I've been very very busy on board the [name of ship]. I got promoted to Chief Engineer when the old Chief Engineer got caught in a plasma flareup and vaporised. The Captain says I'm wearing a dead man's shoes, but I'm pretty sure they were evaporated along with the Chief Engineer.

"I am having a great time here on the [ship], because they don't have me crawling through the vents any more, which is great cause you remember a few years back when my lungs got infected by alien spores and I hallucinated for a week. Now I get my subordinates to do all the crawling around, and my friend the Chief Medic's got shots to protect the crew.

"Oh, tell Uncle Matty that I was on [Uncle Matty's home planet] last month. The [ship] was laid over for a few weeks. Customs boarded the ship, and the Purser had been a silly billy and left a wall panel open, and one of the sniffer plondaks spotted the contraband he'd been smuggling. I wasn't in jail long, though, cause there was no trace of the illegal psi-drug in me or most of the crew, so they let us go after paying a fine, which reminds me - here is some money I've been saving to send back to you.

"I am having a lot of fun with my shipmates. The other week, the Captain asked me to help him open a door. It was a really big door, and I had to be quiet because it might have tripped the alarms, but you remember how Uncle Matty used to play that game with me when he used to lock the chocolate in his safe and to get it I had to open it in less than a minute without triggering the alarms? Tell him he owes me a really big bar of chocolate, because I did it in forty seconds. There's a little extra in the cheque, so you can give your new plondak larva its shots. I hope it's doing well, and try not to let this one wander into the back field during sporing season ..."
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Re: downtime on a ship

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:51 pm

1. Ghosts? Philadelphia Experiment.

2. Face-hugger.

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