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KommissarK

Alternate starting profit factor/ship idea, Rogue Trader floatilla

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This is just an idea I got given my parties apparent dislike of ship combat (they felt that too many of them were doing nothing, and the more skilled void master and arch militant were taking the spotlight, effectively they chose to not really work together on the combat, instead leaving the specific actions up to those party members).

What if, each character, instead of the party, had their own individual profit factor, and ship (effectively each player rolls on the starting table, and builds their own ship and has their own PF). As PF increases, all party members receive the same increase, and misfortunes cause the same decrease to all of them. I would allow some form of assist acquisition test, where one member could help improve anothers (up to whatever the highest PF is across the party).

The idea is that its not so much that they are that many times richer, but each member effectively has an "allowance" of PF from the overall dynasty.

The increase in ships would allow each party member to be far more involved in ship combat (I would possibly alter the system to allow the same character to pilot, shoot, and one ship action each turn). The key would be the scale of combat would increase dramatically, even at the early ranks.

One thing that would need to be considered how to handle multiple chars on one ship, and ships that may find themselves without a player commanding it.

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 There is almost always something that any of your players can be doing to assist in space combat. Be it hit and run attacks, bolstering the morale of the crew, ,assisting the gunner by locking on or haranguing the crew to work harder. Giving them their own ships isn't going to help with that, for any number of reasons. For one, if they don't have the relevant skill in the first place, they'd have to be falling back on their probably-somewhat crap crew rating. Really, you'd be better off coming up with additional ways for the players that are bored to contribute to the gameplay. If you have two archimilitants for example, let them work together on the gunnery checks, splitting fire amongst two ships or something. Typically the only classes that wil commonly have nothing of real importance to do would be the Astropath and Navigator, and both are getting new powers in Into The Storm to compensate for that.

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Speaking personally, I love being the Navigator with nothing to do! I just sort of sit there and occasionally offer some thoughts on the battle. lol!

I think that an Elite advance to "plug a hole" in the bridge crew's and give a character something to do which is their "area of expertise" is an easy way around that problem.  Actually, in order to be more useful (and yet just as lazy), my GM allowed me to purchase Scrutiny as an Elite advance and I just constantly monitor the augur array with my massive Navigator Perception score. Everybody wins.

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The thing is, they are all doing those extra actions. Its just that it comes across to the players that only one among them is actually making any tactical decisions during space encounters, and the others resent that its entirely possible for the group as a whole to suffer as a result of a bad decision by one player.

Effectively, my players want to be able to consider their own actions in a more tactical sense on the map, not simply do number crunching that may or may not actually assist the operation of the ship.

Whats even worse, is that the void master had a higher BS than the arch militant (at the time), and most were perfectly fine with letting the crew perform helm operations, and have the void master fire all guns.

 

Also, being that this would be a house rule, I would just allow players to make a navigation, a shooting, and a one extra action each round in space combat, or some variation of that.

 

And just as a note, the campaign was called off with this partly being the reason (nobody was enjoying the game, I felt that since I was running a more open setting, it was less detailed, the players were fairly aimless in what they were doing, etc.)

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KommissarK said:

And just as a note, the campaign was called off with this partly being the reason (nobody was enjoying the game, I felt that since I was running a more open setting, it was less detailed, the players were fairly aimless in what they were doing, etc.)

Thats too bad. If you don't mind a little advice:

Open ended games can be very fun, but they shouldn't be aimless. No man is an island. Just because there is no 'save the world' plot hook doesn't mean there aren't any plot hooks. In fact, there should be more. Some of it is proactive, information the players recieve (rumors, spy reports, etc.) But there is also reactive plot hooks: plots against the characters, requests from important individuals, stumbling upon dangerous situations, and handling problems that threaten their dynasty, etc.

Sandbox games can have just as much detail as well. A good trick is to find ways to force players to decide what they are going to do next at the END of a game session, thus allowing you to prepare the their encounters with the same level of detail as if you had provided them with a task intially. Get some flavor text prepared in advance to give the game that nice, well thought out feel. When they enter a new area it can be nice to have a paragraph prepped describing how it looks, feels, smells and tastes (most people can't pull this off on the fly). Practice reading them in advance so that you don't come across like you are...reading a paragraph of fluff from a piece of paper. :)

Sorry about your game ending.  Learning to run new types of games take practice, I'm sure your next one will be awesome due to your experiences with this one.

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