Author Topic: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)  (Read 8627 times)

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Offline DavidKlecker

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The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« on: August 08, 2010, 04:02:38 PM »
Here's the scoop. We were playing a Star Wars campaign and my character, during a firefight on our ship where we got boarded and the boarding ship detached, went into the cockpit, turned on the Hyperdrives and turned them off again in order to simply escape.

A player made a HUGE stink over this complaining without a single rank I should not be able to know how to do this. I cannot disagree more. What I did, in my mind is nothing more than putting back a DVD and hitting "resume". However I made a few assumptions about the technology of Star Wars. That is, in turning on the hyperdrives the "last" coordinates would be entered. I was not arguing that I would fly us into a moon or a star. My argument was, do I need a rank to turn the device "on" and hit "resume" for 3 seconds. I never argued the risk, I argued the ability and the basics.

His arguments continued to which I reply, "why is it impossible to believe that over two years I have been on that ship I wouldn't have at least learned where the hyperdrive system was, where the on switch was and how to maybe "read" the thing. Calculating coordinates is a whole other thing to which I never argued that. My finishing reply was, "then I will force anyone in my next campaign to roll to start a fire, because without a rank using your argument, starting a fire is impossible".

Offline bottg

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 04:11:34 PM »
I suppose there are two sides to this.  One is that Hyperdrives require a fairly long and very specific sequence of initialisation, with the details depending on the circumstances.  Therefore only a highly trained pilot has any hope of it working.  As an analogy, i have worked for may years in labs, and quite often used fluorescent microscopes in association with someone else.  I wouldn't have a chance of acquiring an image from one now, even a model i am familiar with.

On the other hand, it is possible that the technology is so refined that to turn on a hyperdrive does require a single switch and a "go" button.  In this case, anyone spending a few days in or around the cockpit will be able to turn it on at least.  This is the case with much consumer technology today.

Importantly, what did the GM say?   :)

Offline yammahoper

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2010, 04:14:26 PM »
Hmm.  Considering how dangerous hyperdrive can be, I think it would be fair for a GM to inform you without skill you lack the ability to overcome the built in safety features of the hyperdrive. 

That said, a descent hacking skill could bypass the safety features and allow the hyper drive to be engaged with normal risk for not plotting a course.  OTOH I am sure such a device could be designed as to be impossible to engage without entering proper data.  In fact, while last cordinates may indeed be saved in the directory, if the ship has changed position one iota the hyperdrive computer might be designed to demand new coordinates entered, i.e. you're stuck.

Your GM had a valid point.  Perhaps he fumbled his gaming skill check, lol.
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Offline Rasyr-Mjolnir

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2010, 04:20:56 PM »
Personally, I think that it would depend upon what is actually involved in the operation.

The more involved the process, the less likely that I think your character would be able to accomplish it. The more steps or calculations required to enter hyperspace the less likely your character (unless he spent a LOT of time in the cockpit) would know what needs to be done.

I have read some stories where all that is involved is pulling up a menu on a screen and choosing the destination, while in others it involved lots of complex computations.

Also, being a passenger or crew member on a ship for 2 years has nothing to do with your ability to pilot the craft. You could equate it to working on a cruise ship or an airliner. Just because you are on the vessel, that does not mean you spend a lot of time in the cockpit, especially during the relatively few times that hyperspace would be entered.

Now, with that out of the way, let talk specifically about Star Wars....

From my understanding of the Star Wars universe, entering hyperspace isn't all that hard. For example, in the first movie, Luke has no starship experience at all. In fact, his only experience is with land vehicles (a land speeder). Yet, he is able to pilot an x-wing fighter without problem.

And in the second movie, he uses that x-wing to fly in hyperspace to visit yoda...

That kinda says to me that such systems would be heavily automated, so that a person without a lot of experience could activate them.

Offline Marc R

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2010, 07:03:51 PM »
Engaging the hyperdrive in SW seems to consist of pushing forward or pulling back on a throttle like lever or hitting a big button, depending on ship, assuming all the pre-calculations and such have already been done and set and it's ready to go.

Luke was an experienced T-16 pilot. . .he'd burned his engines out in a stunt in Beggar's Canyon just before the start of A New Hope. . .the T-16 tri-wing aerospace fighter has the same cockpit layout as a T-65 X-wing space fighter, manufactured by the same company, and it is relatively easy for a T-16 trained pilot to fly a T-65 as a result. He'd even bragged about using it to shoot womp rats back home, about the same size as the critical hole on the death star. (Though why the more experienced pilots don't shower him with coffee cups for his casual attitude and pushing himself forward in the briefing never made sense to me.). From his conversations with Uncle Owen (and the deleted scenes on the DVD with his buddies from Tattooine) he desperately wanted to go to the academy, and had been both honing his piloting skills and studying (presumably academic stuff including hyperpace piloting) for years in a desperate push to get off the moisture farm.

Between the end of "A New Hope" and the start of "Empire Strikes Back" is a three year gap, during which the fighter pilots who survived the Death Star battle were organized into Rogue Squadron, under Luke and Wedge Antillies. . .so he had plenty of time to train on stuff like hyperspace jumps.

OTOH, if you recall from that scene in "Empire", Luke just has R2D2 plot the jumps in hyperspace, so likely it does involve some complex calculations, but that's why each of those one man fighters came with an astromech droid socketed into it to do the mathematical donkey work (among other things). The more robust computers on freighters and capitol ships could do the calculations without the need for a droid.

Assuming the controls were unlocked and a jump were already set, just triggering hyper shouldn't be too hard, but that assumes they were both unlocked and pre-set. . .sounds like a GM call to me. . .
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Offline markc

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2010, 11:51:02 PM »
 I am of two minds like most people above. IMO if it is as easy as pushing a button then it should be fine but if it takes time to calculate the jump or recalculate the jump after you were boarded then IMO it would require some knowledge. No matter what I would give you a roll but then I have not looked at Star Wars since its first edition came out o'so long ago.


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Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 06:54:46 AM »
1. It depends if the computer is running Windows.  ;)
2. It depends on how many "other" buttons there are in the cockpit that you could acciedently press.

Seriously, though since it is the computer use skill that is used (not pilot) and that skill can be attempted untrained (in Saga starwars at least, and I think it's also the case in d6 Star Wars) then simply "turning it on" isn't a biggie..... however, managing to go anywhere useful should require a check of some kind, the assistance of an Astro-mech droid or a good nav-computer program. Being untrained doesn't make it impossible just a lot harder. Being trained allows a character to some do things without a check and more complex things easier.

For example the techno-phobe that I am I still don't own a mobile phone, I've seen my wife use hers and even on occasion actually been forced to use it. However, I still have to ask how to turn it on and unlock the keypad to make a call quickly. Without her assistance, I would either take a long time or fail completely. However, put me in a aircraft cockpit, which has a LOT more buttons to press to get it to work then chances are I would fail more often.
 

Offline DavidKlecker

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 09:13:30 AM »
I actually agree with everything stated here and re-iterate, I was not arguing on complexity. I agree, the reason the skills have ranks is to overcome the complexity. My guy only knows what he has seen, so for me it would have been the equivalent of some person getting a chance to see the pilot work the hyperdrives a couple of times and basically trying as hard as he could to simply try and do it all over again. My character was not calculating anything. All I said I was doing was turning it on and throwing the switch forward. I agree if the technology is fail-safe and forces coordinates then either my character could hit "last entered coordinates" or get stuck. I made a lot of assumptions but I kinda based it on the argument that a SW ship isn't as complex as we would think it to be. Again, a big big assumption. So the only thing I argued was, is it possible for a character with no experience who has most definitely seen at least once or twice the hyperdrives engaged be able to at least turn them on and turn them off.

Also the GM wasn't the one who made the stink it was the player who was the pilot. ;)

Offline markc

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 09:35:30 AM »
A player made the stink? Boy that is bad news IMO. I guess you stepped into his territory and he did not like it.


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Offline DavidKlecker

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 09:53:17 AM »
Well, the end game result of this was that I was able to turn them on and off, but a roll was to be made, random roll to determine if I crashed the ship into anything. Pretty much what I would have done as GM. "Sure go ahead and turn them on, I will roll a 1d20 to determine if this is the end of the campaign." ;)

Well, this player makes a stink about many things and yes I knew immediately I was stepping into some kind of "territory" here to which I got a little annoyed with and rolled my eyes. I cannot stand it when a player gets emotionally attached to their characters or to some object they have. This player was the captain of this ship and the player seemed to have made it a personal attachment to which in my mind is automatic failure of a player to keep things "fun". But that's a whole another discussion right there entitled "Players who attach themselves emotionally to their character".

Offline markc

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 11:18:38 AM »
Monk; Time to start another thread. But this might also have been discussed in power gaming thread.


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Offline providence13

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2010, 12:33:51 PM »
IMHO, I think it's fantastic that another player pointed out a rules call. I think it's awesome when players get emotionally attached to characters. Only then do they treat them as flesh and blood (imaginary) people.
It means they're taking the game seriously; "In the established campaign, this is how we've expected the universe to unfold. If everything is equal, then I assume the same standards are applied to everyone."

Also, I wouldn't want to be in a vessel where leaning against a console would engage one of the higher functions of the ship. "Let me set my coffee down here and ... oh no! I've set the plasma weapons to open fire on that school! ;)

I can't fly a huge passenger plane. I might be able to reduce speed and put down the landing gear (probably not..) but I'm sure to forget something incredibly important like some flap mechanism to help lower the plane and slow it down even more.

It's only a game and hopefully for fun. If your character has a skill that the Captain might not possess (parrying blaster fire with a lightsaber..), just because he has seen you do it, doesn't mean he can too.

If his constant harping gets annoying, let him know that it's not fun for you when he does it. Allow the GM to make the call. If he keeps it up, just look to the GM and ask "Does what he says go or is this your campaign to run?" ;D
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Offline markc

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2010, 12:47:25 PM »
providence13;
 Remember when you are on the passenger plane trying to land it that there is a check list book, with what you need to know. I do not know where it is or what it looks like but I have been told it was there. Somewhere? So there is a little help and a good reason to not panic.......That is until you actually have to try and land the plane full of people.


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Offline Rasyr-Mjolnir

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 02:03:38 PM »
Well, the end game result of this was that I was able to turn them on and off, but a roll was to be made, random roll to determine if I crashed the ship into anything. Pretty much what I would have done as GM. "Sure go ahead and turn them on, I will roll a 1d20 to determine if this is the end of the campaign." ;)

Couple of points...  ;D

1) I like the way it handled in the end (i.e." and the monkey flips the switch" - yeah, I switched movies :P) and then roll to see if you blew everybody up...

2) This other player - it seems that he was more upset over what he saw as you usurping his ROLE in the group. Now, his character getting upset over what you did -- that would be PERFECTLY understandable, and correct, IMO.

3) I think that the best way to approach it, instead of declaring "I wanna do this", would have been to say "I have an idea, but am not sure my character can do it, so can I ask a few questions to make sure that understand how things work before I actually lay out my suggestion" or words to that effect. This way, you might possibly avoid the argument by getting the others to layout out the information you need for you.


Offline DavidKlecker

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 01:27:00 PM »
He was upset as a player. I have no idea why. He can present a hint of arrogance to which makes a person feel as if they have done something incredibly stupid and then drive that point home. My biggest problem was that he kept yelling the "do you have a rank in that skill?" To which my reply is, "that doesn't stop a person from trying the skill". Unfortunately he just got overly frustrated over it and I couldn't figure out why. When I basically stated that next time I GM I will never allow a player to do anything they don't have a rank in he seemed to shut up after that. [;)]

The third point is certainly something worth laying out to the group the next time. We have a tendency to just do things rather than actually find out if it's possible or if it's something we understand. [;)]

Offline Right Wing Wacko

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2010, 04:32:47 PM »
Why do fighters, like the X-wing, have hyperdrives in the first place?
TIE fighters don't, according to Obi-Wan. Remember the scene in A New Hope aboard the Millennium Falcon when they arrive out of hyperspace around Alderaan? And the lone TIE fighter was fleeing from them?
Obi Wan (or was it Solo?) said something about how ships that size can't be that far into space without a "mother" ship?(or something along those lines).

*shrug*
I don't think tactical ships of that size should/would have hyperdrives...

But wadda I know?
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Offline providence13

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2010, 05:07:48 PM »
Monk
When I basically stated that next time I GM I will never allow a player to do anything they don't have a rank in he seemed to shut up after that. [;)]

I'm glad the loudmouth finally shut up. One of my players used to be the running GM of the group. He wouldn't even let you roll without at least one Rank.. Ridiculous, I say (as GM). Anyone can try nearly anything. That just makes fumbles even more entertaining!


RWW
I don't think tactical ships of that size should/would have hyperdrives.

I completely agree. What is their argument? The Empire had sooo many ships that they defeated opposition with numbers while the Rebels only had a few surgical strike go anywhere/do anything fighters that were of superior tech and design..? Maybe Luke did it all. :)
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Offline yammahoper

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2010, 05:49:47 PM »
Why do fighters, like the X-wing, have hyperdrives in the first place?
TIE fighters don't, according to Obi-Wan. Remember the scene in A New Hope aboard the Millennium Falcon when they arrive out of hyperspace around Alderaan? And the lone TIE fighter was fleeing from them?
Obi Wan (or was it Solo?) said something about how ships that size can't be that far into space without a "mother" ship?(or something along those lines).

*shrug*
I don't think tactical ships of that size should/would have hyperdrives...

But wadda I know?

Always felt the same way.  Warp drive on a fighter?  Sorta defeats the "fighter" and makes it more of a cruiser...which could carry a rack or two of fighters.
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Offline rdanhenry

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2010, 06:38:03 PM »
1. I would have made the OP roll to see if he even could actually activate the hyperdrive, then to see if he didn't get them all killed. Just because you've seen it done, doesn't mean you'll duplicate it properly.

2. The actual identification in Star Wars of the fighter was as "a short-range fighter" which implies that there are long-ranged fighters that could be found far from any base.
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Offline Marc R

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Re: The Basics All Characters Know (in-game argument)
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2010, 07:19:14 PM »
If the GM was fine with "What are the odds, and let me find the collision table before I roll." I'm not sure where the issue would lie.

And the X-wing has a crew of 2. . .don't forget the astromech droid is a full sentient, even if they're considered property.
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