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What do you do when the navigator messes up?


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#1 jabberwoky

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:45 PM

Okay, here was the situation:

With four starting characters, a Rogue Trader, a Seneschal, an Arch-Militant and a Navigator, the game began set in the Calixis Sector (Drusus Marches to be exact).  The group received word of a smuggling ring that was ripe for the picking.  They could take it down, or take it over.  All they needed to do was get from Askephelion Secundus to the planet Fervious.

The journey started well; the ship entered the warp, the navigator found the Astronomicon's beam, the course was charted, and the ship sailed beautifully through the warp towards its target.  Then came the time to exit the warp.  Up till now the navigator had rolled very well, getting at least one degree of success on each of his rolls.  But when he tried to exit, the poor guy rolled a 94.  Being a beginner with Rogue Trader, I decided the ship had exited the warp, but was not near Fervious, but the next system in line, Monrass.

I ruled that the reason they had gone too far were two fold: a powerful warp engine (a Markov 1; capable of cutting down a journey through the warp by 1d5 weeks), and a warp storm that had appeared and dumped them farther than they expected.  After a ill-recieved welcome from the governor of Monrass who wanted to be left alone, the group tried to go back the way they came, despite the warp storm warning.  To keep it short, the group entered the warp, found a ghost ship as old as the Avengin Crusade, brought it out into real space, and ran away from the demonic entity that inhabited it.

My question to you: did I do anything wrong?  If the Navigator fails one of his rolls, does it means he brings the ship off course, or do they spend a longer time in the warp than they intended?  Should I make the dice rolls more lenient, since the Calixis sector is a well-traveled sector? What can be done to prevent Navigator mistakes in the future?

Also, is it possible to teleport onto another ship, even if both ships are traveling through the warp?  And is it possible to have spaceship battles in the warp?



#2 Larkin

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:47 PM

jabberwoky said:

Okay, here was the situation:

With four starting characters, a Rogue Trader, a Seneschal, an Arch-Militant and a Navigator, the game began set in the Calixis Sector (Drusus Marches to be exact).  The group received word of a smuggling ring that was ripe for the picking.  They could take it down, or take it over.  All they needed to do was get from Askephelion Secundus to the planet Fervious.

The journey started well; the ship entered the warp, the navigator found the Astronomicon's beam, the course was charted, and the ship sailed beautifully through the warp towards its target.  Then came the time to exit the warp.  Up till now the navigator had rolled very well, getting at least one degree of success on each of his rolls.  But when he tried to exit, the poor guy rolled a 94.  Being a beginner with Rogue Trader, I decided the ship had exited the warp, but was not near Fervious, but the next system in line, Monrass.

I ruled that the reason they had gone too far were two fold: a powerful warp engine (a Markov 1; capable of cutting down a journey through the warp by 1d5 weeks), and a warp storm that had appeared and dumped them farther than they expected.  After a ill-recieved welcome from the governor of Monrass who wanted to be left alone, the group tried to go back the way they came, despite the warp storm warning.  To keep it short, the group entered the warp, found a ghost ship as old as the Avengin Crusade, brought it out into real space, and ran away from the demonic entity that inhabited it.

My question to you: did I do anything wrong?  If the Navigator fails one of his rolls, does it means he brings the ship off course, or do they spend a longer time in the warp than they intended?  Should I make the dice rolls more lenient, since the Calixis sector is a well-traveled sector? What can be done to prevent Navigator mistakes in the future?

Also, is it possible to teleport onto another ship, even if both ships are traveling through the warp?  And is it possible to have spaceship battles in the warp?

Sounds like unexpected adventure! If your group is enjoying themselves you're doing well, though the leaving the warp roll is more for placement within the system they expected. With a high roll like that exiting near a planet would probably be better, or even well outside the system, necessitating a longer travel period. Only if he fudged one of the middle rolls should they be off course. But, like I said, as long as your group is fine with it, go with it.

As for fighting in the warp, that's basically suicide. You can have either your void shields or your gellar field up, not both. And if your gellar field is damaged while you're in the warp, well, that's probably it for the ship. Not to mention that any fight would draw the denizens of the warp to the fight, and that could turn ugly for both sides.



#3 Trader Austin

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:30 PM

 true fighting in the warp is dangerous, but isn't that exactly what a RT might do. a "lets see who has the bigger pair"? it's also perfect if you are willing to risk it. the other guy is most likely not going to fire the first shot, and without shields the first shot is going to decide the battle most times. anyway thats just my 2 cents.



#4 Alasseo

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:44 PM

 Fighting in the warp happens. It's very dangerous, as has been pointed out, but it's also very hard- just finding the other guy is close to impossible at the ranges most void battles take place at. You have to get stupidly close (and that ain't easy) to have a chance of aiming right, and even then, there's a chance that whatever you shoot is going to be harmless by the time it reaches the other ship thanks to random warp thingies (mostly just energy currents, but occasionally creatures). And even if you hit, they still have armour- admittedly, that's not as reliable as a void field, but it's a start.

The real danger (apart from the Geller Field failing) is macrocannon shells/torpedoes from the other guy picking up daemonic hitch-hikers before they hit you and carrying those through the Geller Field (there's an example of what it could be like in the DH supplement Creatures Anathema, p116).

I guess this is the ideal for the Warp Field Integrant from Hostile Acquisitions…

Teleportarii won't work, though. A teleportarium projects the teleportee through the warp to it's destination. If you're already in the warp, it can't send you out of reality through the warp. For that matter, you can't teleport onto another ship unless it's shields are down, and that's a rule I'd apply even more strongly for Geller Fields and psychically warded shielding and areas. ESPECIALLY if you're having to beam through two different sets of shields (teleporting through your own Voids in real space is possible because you can put in a little flicker- too small to take advantage of from another ship, but enough of a window to beam in/out in, because your guys are working both shield and teleportarium. You don't dare do that with a Geller Field).

 

And like Larkin said, the last roll is determining where in the system you come out (tbh, if my group's Navigator's exit roll had gone like that I'd have had them drop out on the edge of the system. The far edge of the system, heading out, and probably carrying a stupid amount of velocity that'd take them a while to bleed off before they could turn round and fly to their destination). That said, having them "bounce" off the warp/reality interface and have to either try and wait and keep station to try again or head elsewhere to enter works as well, provided your group's cool with it (personally, I'd limit it to a 96+, but that's just me).


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#5 eBarbarossa

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:20 PM

Actually I'd say fighting in the warp is nearly impossible. Most sensors only return gibberish when pointed at that nightmare realm and the only crewman NOT going insane when peering out the window is the Navigator. Also, any shots you take might travel in loops and curves instead of a straight line.

In my group I ruled that all windows slam shut before warp entry and sensor feed to the bridge's screen is separated. The only one knowing what's going on outside is the Navigator and maybe his blind servants.



#6 Alasseo

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:09 PM

Fair enough.

However, we have actually seen a battle that takes place in the warp: the beginning of Execution Hour (Rennie, Gordon) deals with an extended duel between HDMS Lord Solar Macharius and the Contagion that takes place in (and notably concludes in) and out of the warp with Macharius feigning a failing Geller Field (dropping it to 30%) to lure Contagion in for the kill before making a hard turn and a point-blank torpedo strike. It specifically mentions that auspex goes haywire, and the ships are limited to a half-blind opticon.

Of course, there's also a passage in the same source which describes the bridge shutters dropping when in the warp (and nominally during battles, but Captain Semper ordered them to remain open on the grounds that a direct hit on the bridge isn't going to be stopped by the armoured shutters, so why not enjoy the view?), so YMMV. Other sources do have various open portals in the ship where non-Navigators can peek out at the naked Warp. It's considered risky, and yes, people do sometimes go mad, but in short doses it seems to be workable. Hell, there's even a source for an EVA in the warp, including a transfer in open warp between Geller Fields (either Draco or Harlequin; in either case it's from the Inquisition War).


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#7 jabberwoky

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 07:12 AM

I'd like to thank the people who responded to my questions.  However, one question seems to be overlooked: is there any equipment that can give the navigator bonuses to his Navigation (Warp) rolls so he doesn't fail the test?



#8 Ritesign

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:53 AM

 In my campaign, I am ruling that the Navis Prima item provides benefits to warp nav instead if stellar, as i believe that is what was intended. Similarly, the Warp Guide ship role boosts warp nav. The Carto ship role helps navigation with rules as written as well. Warpsbane ship component also gives a boost, I believe.



#9 Vandegraffe

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:51 PM

jabberwoky said:

I'd like to thank the people who responded to my questions.  However, one question seems to be overlooked: is there any equipment that can give the navigator bonuses to his Navigation (Warp) rolls so he doesn't fail the test?

There are a few items…  Warp Antenna (BFK, p. 42), Warp Sextant (BFK, p. 42), Warp Gate Map (HA, p. 75), Starchart Collection (ITS, p. 164).  Those sourcebooks also contain variant Warp Drives and Gellar Fields;  I only listed things that specifically gave the navigator a bonus.  Oh, and there is the ever popular Warpsbane hull from the core rules.  Seriously, is there a PC ship out there that doesn't have a warpsbane hull?

Cheers,

- V.



#10 Nameless2all

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

Vandegraffe said:

Seriously, is there a PC ship out there that doesn't have a warpsbane hull?

Cheers,

- V.

Yep.  I had a crew not have one.  Guess they overlooked it, because I never brought it up.  Evil, ain't I? 


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#11 Alasseo

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:03 AM

 I've had players who prefer the Belecane. And my current guys are increasingly paranoid about being ambushed entering/leaving a system* while switching between void and Geller fields, so they're looking at refitting with the Mezoa void integrant.

 

*They've had some bad experiences with eldar corsairs, and are worried that Karrad Vall is sufficiently pissed at them to have his guys set up similar attacks as well.


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#12 jabberwoky

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:29 AM

Vandegraffe said:

Seriously, is there a PC ship out there that doesn't have a warpsbane hull?

Funny you should bring that up- my players simply went with a vanilla-flavored Gellar Field.

I think they'll change their minds if they meet up with that demon again, though.



#13 Cornwallis

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:19 AM

i like to set my players up with default essentials and let them upgrade as they see fit






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