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Computers vs. other skill checks


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#21 NicoDavout

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:05 PM

In my game I use the Astrogation skill to operate the starship sensors. It is not about operating sensors, but the ability to read the results correctly. It also makes the skill more useful and Computers less do-it-all skill.


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#22 knasserII

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:19 AM

This issue has come up a few times in my campaigns.  I'll call for a Computers check to "scan a planet" or "scan a ship" for more information, and I've had a few players say it should be a Perception check, rather than a Computers check.  Another example would be using Perception to search for information within a computer database, rather than specifically use Computers.
 
My reasoning is that the character isn't exactly looking/listening/tasting/etc. but rather having a computer program do the leg work of physically "scanning" something for more details.  Now if the party was physically looking out their viewport windows at something, that'd be a Perception check.
 
One of the players said that it makes Computers much more powerful if can be used for several types of checks.  Their reasoning was that everyone in the Star Wars universe knows how to use a computer, and most skill uses might involve the use of a computer, but actually scanning/searching for something important required the Perception skill.  Computers was regulated to slicing mostly.
 
How are people handling this in their games?  My main reasoning for using Computers was that Computers skill checks were listed in the modules for those examples I gave.


Hand the player who's complaining a pair of binoculars and tell them binoculars increase perception checks. Ask them to search Google with the binoculars. Ask them if the binoculars have helped.

Now throw more stormtroopers at their characters just because.
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#23 MKX

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:15 AM

I like Computers being used for various things on a spaceship, its not a 1970's car...

Its more a mix of nuclear submarine and modern aircraft really when you think about it, there's barely any portholes to look out of and designed to function in environments, conditions and visibility which a human being, their eyesight and reflexes simply arent enough.

 

Hence they're mechanically augmented to deal with little to no visibility, extremely fast speeds and ranges well beyond the Mk1 eyeball. The fact you can tootle from a planet to the edge of system in a couple of days is really damn quick, in perspective the Voyager probes in the 1970's took 35 years to reach what's technically intersteller space at 17,370metres a second.

 

Perception's well and good inside the atmosphere and things within about 20km of the ship in space provided there is some illumination,(either from a nearby sun or the object itself) but beyond that you need sensor systems.

If you're looking to sort through a mass of data from sensors that is hiding some kind of clue- that would probably be the Discipline skill to find the little nugget from all the chaff. But you still need to fire up the computer, tune it for what you're looking for and then hope it finds it.


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#24 Jamwes

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:59 AM

 

This issue has come up a few times in my campaigns.  I'll call for a Computers check to "scan a planet" or "scan a ship" for more information, and I've had a few players say it should be a Perception check, rather than a Computers check.  Another example would be using Perception to search for information within a computer database, rather than specifically use Computers.
 
My reasoning is that the character isn't exactly looking/listening/tasting/etc. but rather having a computer program do the leg work of physically "scanning" something for more details.  Now if the party was physically looking out their viewport windows at something, that'd be a Perception check.
 
One of the players said that it makes Computers much more powerful if can be used for several types of checks.  Their reasoning was that everyone in the Star Wars universe knows how to use a computer, and most skill uses might involve the use of a computer, but actually scanning/searching for something important required the Perception skill.  Computers was regulated to slicing mostly.
 
How are people handling this in their games?  My main reasoning for using Computers was that Computers skill checks were listed in the modules for those examples I gave.


Hand the player who's complaining a pair of binoculars and tell them binoculars increase perception checks. Ask them to search Google with the binoculars. Ask them if the binoculars have helped.

Now throw more stormtroopers at their characters just because.

 

 

Hand the player a crossword puzzle on a computer and tell him to write code to find the answers while throwing stormtroopers at him. I'm no computer programer, but I'd think in the middle of a firefight it'd be easier to visually sift through some data than to write a program. ;)  (Just being a Devil's Advocate here.)

 

There are times where perception will be useful while using computers. I'm thinking of times where the results are a bunch of gibberish/garbage and the player needs to find a specific piece of data. Such as looking for a specific ship in the middle of a dogfight. Perhaps the computers are good enough to come up with percise details. Perhaps they are good enough to display fighter sized blobs and freighter sized blobs. It's up to the GM to decide if perception would be useful in the context.

 

As for the OP's situation, I'd say it depends on the context. Perhaps alow perception as like a hail Mary pass, something to give results in an instant instead of the time it takes to use a computer. Give it a harder difficulty and/or only allow Triumphs to give meaningful information. When scanning a planet, the GM must decide what kind of information comes back. Is it page after page of garbage data that the players must sift through? If that case, then perception would be useful. Or, is it a narrow search that only gives the useful data that the players are looking for? In that case, computers would be used. Especially since computers skill would be used to set up the narrow focus search in the first place.

 

If I was the GM, I'd listen to what the players ask for. If they give a good justification, then I'd allow them to use the skill that is the most approperate. (Heck, they could argue to change the attribute as well.) The justification needs to be damn good. I wouldn't want to start going down a slipperly slope of always allowing a different skill than the RAW descriptions. I also wouldn't want to lesson the effect of Talents that allow a different skill or attribute to be used.


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#25 Dbuntu

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:53 AM

This issue has come up a few times in my campaigns.  I'll call for a Computers check to "scan a planet" or "scan a ship" for more information, and I've had a few players say it should be a Perception check, rather than a Computers check.  Another example would be using Perception to search for information within a computer database, rather than specifically use Computers.

Those are Computer checks. I'd be willing to bet any player groaning about it has a better dice pool in Perception.

Just my opinion though.



#26 OgreBane99

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:24 PM

 

This issue has come up a few times in my campaigns.  I'll call for a Computers check to "scan a planet" or "scan a ship" for more information, and I've had a few players say it should be a Perception check, rather than a Computers check.  Another example would be using Perception to search for information within a computer database, rather than specifically use Computers.

Those are Computer checks. I'd be willing to bet any player groaning about it has a better dice pool in Perception.

Just my opinion though.

 

Exactly that.


Ryan (Ogre_Bane)

"Peace is a lie, there is only passion."





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