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Old 07-19-2019, 05:01 AM   #1
Eukie
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

Spaceship has numerous rules for exactly how many crewmembers are necessary for any given component of a given size, how technology affects this requirement, etc.

However, I've so far been unable to determine what happens if someone tries to crew a spaceship with less than the required amount of crew. (I imagine it's primarily Maintenance-related and should probably result in something akin to losing HT - but I haven't found anything concrete on this.)
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:09 AM   #2
Aldric
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

Haven't found anything myself, but I'm still searching

The easy answer is that, w/o the required crew, the system doesn't work, much like high power systems when they're not allocated power.

It's also possible for a GM to apply penalties to checks for reduced crew, instead of shutting down the system immediately.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

I can't find anything either, but considering that a small ship without an engine room has no maintenance staff and has -1 to base HT, I'd say running a ship with less maintenance crew than required would result in -1 HT to start with. I'd rule that if the shortfall was minor, the captain (or chief engineer, or even the crew as a whole) could choose between having the ship slowly get worse, or have the crew work extra time, and slowly run down. If the shortfall in crew is major, say under 50% of the expected levels (working 16 hour days), or maybe under 70% (working 12 hours days), both things would start happening.

How to represent this? HT rolls for the ship, probably with an increasing penalties as time goes on, (a failed roll means an under-maintained system is disabled) and increasing levels of FP loss for the crew (that won't go away without days off, doing nothing). How often the rolls should be made and/or FP lost depends on how robust you think a ship in this condition should be. Losing 7FP means the crew will be, overall, moving and working half as fast. Losing 10FP and they aren't working at all.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

Presumably there will be some minimum limit below which the ship cannot operate although the GM might want to allow cinematic dashing between workstations to make do in an emergency, subject to skill rolls. Presumably this will apply in spades to specialist roles - a lack of deck hands might just make for a dirty ship, but putting off without a navigator or reactor tech is probably asking for trouble...
Undercrewed ships might also be subject to various other penalties - for example a lack of control over the propulsion system might make flying the ship a lot harder. Lack of stewards might impose small penalties to virtually everyone's skills as dirt, fatigue and poor food catch up with them...
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

I'd penalize under-staffed ships through monthly job rolls. If you're trying to do more than one job, that's a multitasking penalty.

The habitat crew positions are an interesting case, because they cover both life support and basic hygiene. I'd emphasize the life support aspect of them.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:11 AM   #6
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eukie View Post
Spaceship has numerous rules for exactly how many crewmembers are necessary for any given component of a given size, how technology affects this requirement, etc.

However, I've so far been unable to determine what happens if someone tries to crew a spaceship with less than the required amount of crew.
You do mean that you haven't found anything _beyond_ having to conduct battle and other defined operations with Multitasking penalties or simply leaving some tasks undone don't you?
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You do mean that you haven't found anything _beyond_ having to conduct battle and other defined operations with Multitasking penalties or simply leaving some tasks undone don't you?
The consequences of not having crew that can perform certain tasks is pretty clear (you can't do those tasks, or you have to multitask, as you note). The issue really is that no consequences of having insufficient workspace techs are mentioned (aside from small vehicles being able to ignore the need in exchange for a -1 to HT).

One idea might be to require a monthly roll against the average skill of the technicians working in a given system. Having half the workspaces filled means rolling at +0. Otherwise, every full +1 SSR (that is, +1 step on the Size and Speed/Range Table) is +2 to the roll, to a maximum of +4 at 100%. Every -1 SSR, or fraction thereof, is -2 to the roll. Optionally, allow for half SSR steps. Have a table:
Code:
%	Mod
100	+4
85	+3
70	+2
60	+1
50	+0
40	-1
30	-2
25	-3
20	-4
17.5	-5
15	-6
12.5	-7
10	-8
On a success, everything works normally. On a failure, the system suffers from lack of proper maintenance. This results in a -5% to effectiveness - acceleration and delta-V for engines, damage for weapons, number safely supported for systems with life support, etc. A critical failure results in -15%. Failures can accumulate, to a maximum of -50%. Alternatively (or additionally), failures can introduce or worsen the chance of a system outright failing (treat as disabled) when used. You can avoid these penalties with more expensive maintenance - every -1% to effectiveness that is negated calls for a monthly maintenance cost equal to 0.1% of the cost of the system. Following this, success on the roll when doing the more expensive maintenance or critical success gives a +5% to effectiveness. Critical success while doing the more expensive maintenance gives +15% to effectiveness. In any case, effectiveness cannot go above 100%.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

I made a system where I multiplied half of the crew by 8 to get the crew hours per day. This is all of the Engineering, diagnostic, maintenance and record keeping. If you don't have enough crew you either have to work longer hours to keep up or you have to hire techs on the ground to catch-up on maintenance when you're not in flight. If you miss SM X 100 Crew hours you have a point of malfunction. lights in corridors fail. Temperature goes a bit wacky. Air smells bad in some rooms. The higher your malfunction goes the more problems you have. At about 10+ things get seriously bad. There are malfunctions that become dangerous, fires, leaks, dangerous power shifts. Also it's harder to fly a ship with things going wrong, Each level of malfunction after 3 is a penalty to any roll that uses ships systems.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:45 PM   #9
Rupert
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Presumably there will be some minimum limit below which the ship cannot operate although the GM might want to allow cinematic dashing between workstations to make do in an emergency, subject to skill rolls. Presumably this will apply in spades to specialist roles - a lack of deck hands might just make for a dirty ship, but putting off without a navigator or reactor tech is probably asking for trouble...
Undercrewed ships might also be subject to various other penalties - for example a lack of control over the propulsion system might make flying the ship a lot harder. Lack of stewards might impose small penalties to virtually everyone's skills as dirt, fatigue and poor food catch up with them...
SS, p.10 says that the crews in the workstations for ship's systems are there to do routine maintenance, and possibly monitoring stuff. In the short term they aren't essential. Heck, on a SM+9 or smaller ship they are completely optional (you have to have an engine room or the 'lacks automation' switch to have any).

This is why I suggest long-term penalties, rather than short-term ones. Now, being short of control room crew is likely to be far more serious in the short term, as people have to multi-task, find that they can't effective manage the engines and calculate flight paths at the same time because the controls just aren't set up for that, and so on.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:09 PM   #10
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] What are the mechanical consequences of not meeting crew quotas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
This is why I suggest long-term penalties, rather than short-term ones. Now, being short of control room crew is likely to be far more serious in the short term, as people have to multi-task, find that they can't effective manage the engines and calculate flight paths at the same time because the controls just aren't set up for that, and so on.
Depending on the setting and/or specific craft:

Navigation could be mapped out in advance and then rechecked at intervals. If you're off course, you could spend time plotting a corrected course, which would take time but not be fatal unless supplies run low due to navigation errors. Navigation would also be of less importance during combat in most cases.

Piloting may not be actively required while enroute in open space unless combat happens. When near objects like an asteroid swarm, space station, planet, other spacecraft or space creature, it does become a lot more important to focus on.

Sensors could also be put at a lower priority if you're in open space. This can obviously lead to being surprised by another spacecraft, an asteroid or a giant space goat. But most of the time if you're not near known objects a quick glance once in a while should be good enough if you lack staff.

Communications would likely be a low priority if you aren't near civilized space and haven't noticed any other spacecaft nearby.

Any gunner position would only need to be manned in a scenario where combat is expected or asteroids need to be shot down.

You could likely get away with 1 or 2 people just checking that nothing is happening for large stretches of flight, as long as it isn't a "gate/warp to system/planet in 10 ingame seconds, then action" type of setting.
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