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Repair and Science Conundrum


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First question: Can you use repair multiple time to get an item back to full functionality?

 

Then,

For my Scifi (Master of Orion) setting I am working on my tech tree. And I plan on using INT to learn discovery, much like INT is used to learn spell in fantasy game. A repair without the appropriate Tech known will be hard (skill%/2), if lower level than known or impossible.

Now I wonder how science and learned tech could work together?! (particularly when one does NOT know the relevant discovery) Is science even useful for the average adventurer?!  😮

I am thinking science could be used for:
- one off repair (no retry)
- identify the principle (i.e. needed tech to be known)

A bit mild... any other idea to make the skill more interesting?
I was thinking  to use it to build prototype, somehow... but It should clearly work less well than repair to make a fully functioning item. Not quite sure how to go about it...

Also what skill should I sue if one want to build a new something... It's not repair but it's close.. it's also close to science...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Sarah Newton's adventure "Escape from the Slavelands" in BRP Adventures has a system to figuring out unidentified tech. This is a BRP adaptation of a Gamma World thing iirc, but might work well for what you are doing.

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3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

First question: Can you use repair multiple time to get an item back to full functionality?

I'd say possibly. Think of a car. If a mechanic messes something up, he can try again. It will probably require some new parts and cost a bit more but eventually, it can be repaired, if he is competent. Now there might be a point of diminishing returns - for example no one is going to go into a machine shop to fabricate new parts for a broken down truck, when they can buy a newer (and probably better) truck for a tenth of the price. 

In game terms I suggest:

  • Give each repair task a difficulty (any modifiers tot he repair roll) AND a complexity (number of successes required to complete).
  • Let character make repair rolls and accumulate successes (specials count as two success, crticals could count as 1d6+2 success or some such). Fumbles result in setback and either undo all the successes accumulated so far, or increase the complexity by 3d6 or some such, and/or up the difficulty level. 

Note that this approach would allow for multiple characters to combine their success on a project and for one character to botch up a project for everyone else ("Hey Phil, where did you put those screws for the intake manifold?").

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

 

Then,

For my Scifi (Master of Orion) setting I am working on my tech tree. And I plan on using INT to learn discovery, much like INT is used to learn spell in fantasy game. A repair without the appropriate Tech known will be hard (skill%/2), if lower level than known or impossible.

Now I wonder how science and learned tech could work together?! (particularly when one does NOT know the relevant discovery) Is science even useful for the average adventurer?!  😮

I am thinking science could be used for:
- one off repair (no retry)
- identify the principle (i.e. needed tech to be known)

A bit mild... any other idea to make the skill more interesting?

What if a special success on the Science roll gave a skill check to the Tech/Repair skill as well? 

Fopr example, a PC discovers some sort of hovercar on a planet, and looks it over. She rolls a special success on her Science roll to figure it out, and gets a check in her tech skill as she now understands something about hover tech.

 

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:


I was thinking  to use it to build prototype, somehow... but It should clearly work less well than repair to make a fully functioning item. Not quite sure how to go about it...

Well, if you use the difficulty/complexity model I posted above, then the science roll could set the difficulty for the tech rolls and/or adjust the complexity. For instance a failed roll might make the tech roll hard, a success might make it normal, a special might make it easy and so on.  That would make Science very important.

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Also what skill should I sue if one want to build a new something... It's not repair but it's close.. it's also close to science...

You could just use a Fabricate, skill and make repair, design, prototype, etc.specialties of it. Realistically someone how knows how to design an airplane knows enough to build or repair one.

 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I'd say possibly. Think of a car. If a mechanic messes something up, he can try again. It will probably require some new parts and cost a bit more but eventually, it can be repaired, if he is competent. Now there might be a point of diminishing returns - for example no one is going to go into a machine shop to fabricate new parts for a broken down truck, when they can buy a newer (and probably better) truck for a tenth of the price. 

In game terms I suggest:

  • Give each repair task a difficulty (any modifiers tot he repair roll) AND a complexity (number of successes required to complete).
  • Let character make repair rolls and accumulate successes (specials count as two success, crticals could count as 1d6+2 success or some such). Fumbles result in setback and either undo all the successes accumulated so far, or increase the complexity by 3d6 or some such, and/or up the difficulty level. 

Note that this approach would allow for multiple characters to combine their success on a project and for one character to botch up a project for everyone else ("Hey Phil, where did you put those screws for the intake manifold?").

What if a special success on the Science roll gave a skill check to the Tech/Repair skill as well? 

Fopr example, a PC discovers some sort of hovercar on a planet, and looks it over. She rolls a special success on her Science roll to figure it out, and gets a check in her tech skill as she now understands something about hover tech.

 

Well, if you use the difficulty/complexity model I posted above, then the science roll could set the difficulty for the tech rolls and/or adjust the complexity. For instance a failed roll might make the tech roll hard, a success might make it normal, a special might make it easy and so on.  That would make Science very important.

You could just use a Fabricate, skill and make repair, design, prototype, etc.specialties of it. Realistically someone how knows how to design an airplane knows enough to build or repair one.

 

I would add one thing to this system.  Repair parts.  You can have a given repair or build need a number of repair parts based on the amount or percentage of damage the item has sustained.  Repair parts are specific so you might have:

Automotive repair parts

Small Arms repair parts 

Electronics repair parts 

These parts can be purchased, made (IF you have the machines to fabricate parts), or scavenged from damaged or old objects or vehicles.  The scavenged parts must come from the particular item in question (ie Electronics repair parts must come from computers, TVs, or other electronic equipment and Vehicle repair parts must come from a vehicle).   A fumble would consume the parts BUT NOT FIX the item.

We also used Building Units in my TRAVELLER campaign.  There were Light and Heavy Residential Building Units, Light and Heavy Industrial Building Units, and General Purpose Building Units (used for repairs to structures).  The players would make an Engineering skill roll to determine how many building units that they needed to build or fix something something.  A good Engineering roll could save you a lot of money [in the cost of building units] and time on construction.  

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21 minutes ago, olskool said:

I would add one thing to this system.  Repair parts.  You can have a given repair or build need a number of repair parts based on the amount or percentage of damage the item has sustained.  ding units] and time on construction.  

Yeah that makes sense. If damage is tracked in some way, the % of damage could be the % that you need spares, and the amount of spare parts on hand (times something) could be the % chance that you have what you need.

 

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Well I have to check the suggested book tonight when I get home... (at work now, oopsie)

But I got an idea...
I might go with Fabricate (xxx) and Science (xxx)

Fabricate will build & repair know and unknown tech (harder when unknown, i.e. not in tech using INT slots).
Fabricate would use repair part that have to be tailored for the device. Or scavenge other similar device (2 broken = 1 working)

Science could identify a device or phenomenon, and gather data. All not that much needed in play. It could also could help make part for any devices (again, harder if the tech is not now) (from part of same tech branch, i.e. biology, physics, power..) or from raw material in a lab / factory (conversion rate to the GM appreciation).

On one hand this feel a bit contrived... On the other had I think in game it would be fine... The ship will have part for its component, so o biggie... But sometimes they might run out (or be destroyed) or be in a primitive place, and they would have to work the science skill to make the part to build / repair the device they need, adding to the gravity of the situation...

How about that?!

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Thought it further....

Parts + Fabricate skill to repair or build when the tech is known (using INT slot)
Parts + MIN (Fabricate, Science) / 2 to build or repair when the tech is unknow but below highest known

(note: MIN(skill1, skill2) is how skill are usually combined, like horseriding and fighting)

Parts + MIN (Fabricate, Science) / 2^N, to build or repair when the tech is unknow higher than highest know. where N is the tech level different between known and needed tech.

And science will be kept to not much use in game otherwise, except asking diagnostic question and answer and the occasional odd requirements...

Seems right...

As for making parts from raw material... MIN (Fabricate, Science), normal roll...

 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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