GENERAL TALENT – THIS IS MY SHIP, THERE ARE MANY LIKE IT BUT THIS ONE IS MINE
I’ve been enjoying the development of my character in Matthew’s campaign, and being part of the evolution of Yaphet Otho over a few game sessions, emails and chats on our programmes has been a real pleasure. He started out as a Parker lookalike, from the film Alien, and has grown into a shipwright and engineer who loves tinkering with ships and equipment, a Zalosian slave who’s spent most of his life learning his trade in the dockyards of Karrmerruk.
It was during the bottle scenario that Matthew ran, the one we recorded and are now putting out as Actual Play programmes, that the idea behind this talent came to mind. More than once I’ve heard myself speaking in Yaphet’s voice, saying “I designed this ship” and “I know this ship better than anyone.” Yaphet has literally put his blood, sweat, love and soul into Mukafa’a, and it’s fair to say the two of them – in their own ways – have grown up together. And then, when Yaphet tried to find a way through the maintenance tubes and ventilation ducts of Mukafa’a, back to the stasis hold avoiding the beasts on the ship, and Matt gave me a +1 dice bonus for Yaphet’s deep knowledge of the ship, the idea really took hold.
Most engineers and captains, as well as other crew members, would have an affinity or love for their ship: after all she is home; she is their work; they all rely on her to keep them safe from the vacuum of space and the dark between the stars. But for some it’s different: the bond is even deeper.
So I thought, how can I reflect this in a talent?
I had a look in the book, but there was no help inside its glossy pages: there are no talents in the book that reflect this kind of thing.
I thought about the possibility of a character choosing their ship as an alternative “PC Buddy”, but the PC buddy dynamic doesn’t offer any mechanical game advantage so wouldn’t fit the bill I was looking for. And besides, as far as I’m concerned my players are entirely free to treat their ship with more love and consideration than their fellow characters, should they want to. I can see the ship as a “PC Buddy” working especially well if the ship has an A.I., that the GM can play, or – as in the Spectral Corsair campaign – if the ship is haunted by a poltergeist type spirit that might interact in some way with the crew.
But I digress.
With these avenues shut off, I took to thinking about the way the character and the ship could interact, or whether the PC gains some extra impetus from their love of the ship. I mean, people do manage epic things in defence or support of the ones they love.
And I came up with this, our Talent of Episode 8:
This Is My Ship, There Are Many Like It But This One Is Mine
My ship is my best friend, it is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My ship, without me, is useless. Without my ship I am useless.
You are one with your ship. For one chosen ship – and only one, ever – you get a bonus of +1 to your dice when on board and rolling any skill that directly involves the ship or for which the ship is the direct beneficiary. This bonus does not apply to actions on board that are not directly related to the ship. The GM decides what can and cannot be included under this talent. So, for example:
- You will get +1 for a TECHNOLOGY or DATA DJINN roll when attempting a task that is relevant to the ship (like a repair, Sensor Ops or Servicing roll, or operating airlocks or other on board systems);
- You will get +1 for a PILOT roll when piloting the ship, including portal jumps and +1 for RANGED COMBAT when using the ship’s weapon systems;
- You will get +1 for COMMAND rolls that relate to space combat but not when otherwise using COMMAND on board the ship;
- You will get +1 on FORCE rolls when resisting explosive decompression;
- But you will not get the bonus when using TECHNOLOGY on board ship for something that does not relate to the ship (such as repairing someone’s rifle, say), you will not get the bonus for hitting or shooting an enemy on board (unless the GM agrees that enemy is directly threatening the ship herself), you will not get the bonus on DATA DJINN if you’re remotely hacking something but you are on the ship, and you will not get the +1 bonus when using MEDICURGY, even when using the ship’s medbay (as the ship is not the direct beneficiary of the roll).
This Talent will not be avaliable to all player characters. In taking this talent the player must explain in narrative game terms why the character has developed such a close relationship with this particular vessel. The GM has the final say on whether the player may take this talent for their character.
Cost: 5 Experience Points