Failed divert power roll

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Kingside_Bishop
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Failed divert power roll

Postby Kingside_Bishop » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:10 pm

Hello,

I have a question for the experienced players here. What happens when a character fails the divert energy roll when jumping? The way I see it two things could happen:

A) The jump drive does not function and the engineer can try the divert energy roll again, or
B) The jump drive functions, and the effect of the failure subtracts from the jump roll.

The book says that if there isn't sufficient power, the j-drive won't function (which could be interpreted as answer A). But, a failed divert power roll isn't necessarily indicative of there not being enough power (it seems to me), but a failure on the part of the engineer to divert that power correctly. Perhaps poorly routed power would allow the j-drive to function, albeit at a reduced efficacy (which would be situation B).

So it seems like a case could be made for either. How do you all play it?

If the answer is A, as my gut says it is, it seems that the divert energy roll is simply a triviality that will be rerolled until passed, provided there is time to do so. Are there any other consequences of a failed divert power roll that I might not be thinking of? Perhaps the vented hydrogen escapes, and the players then have to refuel again...?

Thanks for your input, everyone!
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Reynard
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Reynard » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:34 pm

This is your engineer speaking.

As much as I don't like rolling less than 8+ on my Divert Power roll, even with modifiers it's going to happen. The rule under Divert Power says effect is added to the Jump! roll. If you still roll 8+ then there was no real harm done, If it results in 0- then something wild and scary will happen on the Misjump table. Anything in between is we don't hit the mark like that other jump.

Could be we're chasing the giant again or else we're high tailing out of Imperial space!

Trai out and crossing her digits.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby CosmicGamer » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:12 pm

Similiar could be said for the Astrogation Jump plot. Unfortunately. I guess one always knows when they make an error and they just replot the jump until they get it right?
What happens when a character fails the divert energy roll when jumping

A) The jump drive does not function and the engineer can try the divert energy roll again, or
B) The jump drive functions, and the effect of the failure subtracts from the jump roll.
Add
C) The jump drive does not function. Exceptional failure. Core Rules Quote: "Anything that can go wrong goes wrong." with off the top of my head possibilities like the jump drive being damaged or power circuits blown and needing repair before trying again to the power plant is down and you've lost all power.
Core Rules page 48 wrote:The Referee should only call for checks:
• When the characters are in danger.
• When the task is especially difficult or hazardous.
• When the characters are under the pressure of time.
• When success or failure is especially important or interesting.
For me, under favorable circumstances a roll would not be required. Save the rolls and drama for when your being chased or your not using refined fuel or equipment is damaged or the steward is doing the job for the injured engineer or whatever.

That said, when a roll is needed, the bottom line to me is you are trying to divert power and an average failure = option A) a failure to divert power and thus "If insufficient power is available the Jump drive cannot be activated." In most cases it would simply be role playing out the consequences of a failure which could be anything from playing out the captain having to come down and scold the incompetent party or being shot at by someone chasing you while you give it another try or whatever the circumstances dictate.

Option B) could be for when you have a -1 marginal failure.

I covered Exceptional Failure above.
-------

At this point the Jump roll has not been attempted yet. A jump roll need not necessarily fail with the -DM one might impose if they allow a jump with a failed divert power roll. The question I have is it being suggested that nobody know about the failed divert power roll and a jump roll should always be made no matter the success or failure? or would this be for those that say "I don't care, take the risk we need to jump NOW!"
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby ieqo » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:10 pm

I commend to your attention pg 141 under "Divert Power" which reads in part:
If insufficient power is available the drive does not function.
I interpret that as no jump, but unless it was a horrible roll (snake eyes) you can try again. Under routine conditions, it is no big deal. When someone's chasing you, however, the time increment for the rerolls may make life interesting...
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby sideranautae » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Kingside_Bishop wrote:Hello,

I have a question for the experienced players here. What happens when a character fails the divert energy roll when jumping? The way I see it two things could happen:
Per RAW only one thing happens if power to the JD doesn't get diverted from the PP.

Nothing. (as power never gets to the JD.)

Successfully diverting power to the JD allows any POSITIVE Effect value to be added to the subsequent Jump roll.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby dragoner » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:52 pm

ieqo wrote:I commend to your attention pg 141 under "Divert Power" which reads in part:
If insufficient power is available the drive does not function.
I interpret that as no jump, but unless it was a horrible roll (snake eyes) you can try again. Under routine conditions, it is no big deal. When someone's chasing you, however, the time increment for the rerolls may make life interesting...
That is what I would say as well, it would be a delay.
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Reynard
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Reynard » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:29 pm

I'm not sure how prevalent the notion is but people seem to believe that '8+' is either absolute success or absolute failure. It is not unless the Referee deems a task reflects it.

There are two rules in the Skill section that show the Traveller task system is flexible, the Effects rule and Aid Another which also uses Effect. Read the Effect Table and see it actually expands the results of a task, good or bad. Chaining tasks also reflect this.

Failure is an option and can still make a game livelier. We should not be fearing the 8+ or the 2d6 random factor and trying to desperately bend or break the rules to avoid any failure.

I think it is bad wording about insufficient power and is actually part of the preceding background information concerning older inefficient jump drives from earlier eras literally needing every joule for a jump. Other editions support this. A jump engine always succeeds to activate. How well it fires up is what the Divert power roll represents and why it is Aiding the Jump! roll. No where in the Divert Power section does it definitely say you must reroll until you succeed as in the Astrogation section.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby sideranautae » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:50 pm

Reynard wrote: A jump engine always succeeds to activate.
Not per Mgt rules as written. Please quote the rule that states that a JD activates if power isn't diverted to the drive (divert power from PP to JD roll).
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Reynard » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:28 pm

In the wording of the Divert Power roll.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby sideranautae » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:30 pm

Reynard wrote:In the wording of the Divert Power roll.
Nope. Not there. That's why you didn't quote it.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Reynard » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:21 pm

First of all it does not say you keep rerolling until you succeed which astrogation does very clearly. Astrogation does not use Effect at all so absolute success/failure works. Divert power uses Effect which is used in the Jump! roll. Are we saying only positive Effect is available since the roll must eventually succeed? Or does Divert Power represent how well we performed the task and affected the actual jump. Does that 2d6 represent a slight miscalculation or the system glitches this time and a minor power flow problem ensues but the Jump still proceeds?
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby sideranautae » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:57 pm

Reynard wrote:First of all it...
Like I CORRECTLY stated in the 1st place; The rules do NOT state that if power is NOT diverted from the PP to the JD that the jump drive activates.

That is axiomatic.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:14 pm

Kingside_Bishop wrote: So it seems like a case could be made for either. How do you all play it?
Depending on the context of what else is going on, pretty much anything disaster-wise is possible.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Kingside_Bishop » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:42 am

Reynard wrote:Are we saying only positive Effect is available since the roll must eventually succeed? Or does Divert Power represent how well we performed the task and affected the actual jump.
Lol, that is the question I'm asking very succinctly put! Funny that you, the ship's engineer and the man rolling the dice, are the only that seems to be arguing for what is obviously the most dangerous way to interpret the rule!

Anyway... I think I agree with CosmicGamer's interpretation:
CosmicGamer wrote:
Core Rules page 48 wrote:The Referee should only call for checks:
• When the characters are in danger.
• When the task is especially difficult or hazardous.
• When the characters are under the pressure of time.
• When success or failure is especially important or interesting.
For me, under favorable circumstances a roll would not be required. Save the rolls and drama for when your being chased or your not using refined fuel or equipment is damaged or the steward is doing the job for the injured engineer or whatever.

That said, when a roll is needed, the bottom line to me is you are trying to divert power and an average failure = option A) a failure to divert power and thus "If insufficient power is available the Jump drive cannot be activated." In most cases it would simply be role playing out the consequences of a failure which could be anything from playing out the captain having to come down and scold the incompetent party or being shot at by someone chasing you while you give it another try or whatever the circumstances dictate.
When a situation isn't stressful, there really isn't much reason to roll -- just let the characters get on with their life. I think this is the most important point distilled from the above post.

But to do the math for a moment, from a gameplay perspective I think it makes sense not to automatically add the negative effect of the divert power roll, simply because that would greatly increase the proportion of misjumps -- or DOES IT!?! (I say after actually looking at the numbers). If, for example, an average engineer rolled snake eyes on divert power, that would mean a normal jump would take about a -3 on its jump roll, which makes a misjump occurs on a subsequent roll of snake eyes for the jump roll.

So, maybe I'm making too much out of this. You would essentially need to roll snake eyes twice in a row, on the divert power and jump rolls, for it to trigger a misjump. This would happen what, in 1/1296 jumps? That's not very frequent, but on the whole, does mean that misjumps would occur on a regular basis... which I'm taken to understand, should not be the case. 1/1296 is still a lot, when you consider how many jumps must take place in the universe each day.

So maybe the whole argument is moot. But anyway, I think it makes sense to only call for rolls in stressful situations, in which case an outright failure to divert power requiring another attempt (ie interpretation A) is certainly more dramatic than accepting a penalty that probably won't matter.

Therefore interpretation A wins the day! :D
CosmicGamer wrote:The question I have is it being suggested that nobody know about the failed divert power roll and a jump roll should always be made no matter the success or failure? or would this be for those that say "I don't care, take the risk we need to jump NOW!"
I had imagined the first scenario, it just affecting the roll and not giving the players the option of rerolling.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:14 am

Page 50 does not exclude the power diversion roll from using the time DMs, so just make sure your Engineer is being Aided and spends an hour setting up the process. That way, you don't have to be a PhD Engineer to succeed more than only two-thirds of the time. The standard unadorned roll should only be taken if you've made the mistake of taking the Engineer by surprise with a request to jump RIGHT. NOW.

Two Engineering-1, EDU-9 Fusion Monkeys with an hour to prepare should only be failing the diversion roll on snake eyes.

That said, having the roll be solely for Effect makes the Jump Init roll far more exciting. RAW can take a hike.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Jacqual » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:01 am

This may not be a very popular answer but I see the Divert Power Roll as a roll so the Engineer feels he has something to do during the start of the jump. It is in my humble opinion a die roll just for the heck of it, not necessary at all. I would rather have the players roleplay what they are doing and not roll play what they are doing. If the engineer has to fix the power diverting coupler then let him roll to see if he fixed it.

Now rolling the Dice for combat and opposed tasks sure, have to see who wins and how well. But making a roll for the heck of it, not in the game I run.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby dragoner » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:36 pm

GypsyComet wrote:That said, having the roll be solely for Effect makes the Jump Init roll far more exciting. RAW can take a hike.
I use effect for a lot of things, it sort of provides for an advantage/disadvantage roll situation, it is one of the better things about the task resolution system.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:41 pm

Jacqual wrote: But making a roll for the heck of it, not in the game I run.
You can think of it as a check on how well the Engineers have been doing their jobs over the last week, if you like. Even brand new machinery has a possible failure mode or two, and many of the parts in a starship's engine room will eventually see the back side of 40, or even older.

I have to ask: is your Engineer player having to make his own fun? Does the ship have to be in a firefight before he has *anything* to do that matters? Is his ability to be useful dependent on your Captain and Gunners making bad decisions and rolls?
If any of those questions can be answered "yes", then you've hit on why that roll is there. Why should the Navigator get all the fun, and all the blame? Why are we even making the Navigator roll? Don't we have a computer for that?

I expect the gunnery crew to sit around drinking my expensive Terran coffee and playing video games ("Training sims, Cap'n.") all the time, but if the Engineer's skills are only useful in a pinch, I may as well keep him in a Cold Berth.
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Reynard » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:24 pm

Trai attempts tasks she is untrained or lightly trained in. She has lousy SOC and not great with social interaction modifiers but I will try anyhow. That's a good time to use the Effect chart to determine what interesting thing happens when she succeeds or fails rather than just "You failed.". I have no problem with failure in a roleplay game.

Make my own fun? Heck yeah! I look at the situations even outside engineering events and seriously decide what would Trai, with her personality, do then describe doing it whether it's a good idea or not. Very two dimensional cardboard to sit around waiting to fiddle to the engines.

We're about to land on a planet with an odd aslan-human social structure. Trai is aslan on an otherwise human crew. What could happen?
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Re: Failed divert power roll

Postby Mytholder » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:58 pm

The line "if insufficient power is available, the jump drive cannot be activated" shouldn't be there - it refers to the situation where a ship's Power Plant is offline.

If the engineering check fails, then the engineer has a choice.
1) Abort the jump, which also scrubs the Astrogation calculations.
2) Keep going, in which case the negative Effect of the check is still applied to the Jump! roll.

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