Keeping track of Life Support and Fuel

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
November 1, 2009 - 12:37pm
  • How important (in your campaigns) is it to keep track of Life Support and Fuel consumption?
  • Do you require Player's to track their ships maint costs and fuel costs?
  • Do you simply abstract these? The information on the Ship Record Sheet is for fun/reference only.
  • Anything else you want to tell us?

I like the idea of keeping track of these items. It feels gritty and gives the Frontier a "real" feel in my mind. I also understand it could become cumbersome to Player's and Ref's. I guess in a campaign you could simply state, "The ship fuel indicator blinks yellow. You have 5 days of fuel left and since you skipped out during your last visit to Gollywog space station your ship is under-repaired."

Comments:

Georgie's picture
Georgie
November 1, 2009 - 7:02pm
Oh, HELL yeah. Fuel, ammo, vitasalt tablets, I make them track it all. It's all part of playing the role. Without it, IMHO, you're just playing a PnP FPS. YAWN!
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.    * Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
November 1, 2009 - 7:16pm
I have been lucky and the groups I have GM'ed for enjoy keeping track of those things in the Sci-Fi games.  

They wont keep track of food/water in fantasy games, but they enjoy the extra bookwork when it comes to a starship of their own.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 2, 2009 - 5:45pm

Fuel is easy to keep track of, atomic pellets get used once per jump, I figure Ion drives at 500 units per jump, and chemical fuel is something I just addressed recently and will reformat for SFMan. Granted extra fuel gets used in any random combat encounters, and as such gets deducted accordingly.

LS isn't vital to track as long as the group doesn't tax the system. Meaning if your freighter has LS equipment to sustain 8 people, it's not an issue until a 9th person boards. Just tally up a refill twice per gametime year (every 200 days GST) and it's good to go (pending breakdowns etc). Now if they are removing food/water for a land based adventure, then yes...it gets deducted from the LS equipment. Re: if they take a week's worth of food/water then that becomes one less week of LS (not to mention a lot of that food may spoil once removed...).


I like to have players keep a log on the back of their ship sheet though, and I'll glance at it from time to time to see what is coming up (maintenance, overhauls, etc).

No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Sam's picture
Sam
November 5, 2009 - 2:57pm
I also like having the PC's track fuel, food, and other consumables. Many adventures force the heroes' hand simply due to low resouces. Making it too easy or simple hurts the game, I think. That's parly why I'm not too keen on the 6 month supply of food. Shadow, you have a good idea with it, simply break it into mandays worth of supplies and work it that way. I'd also like to add some more elements to ship design so power plant and engines/fuel are separate features. Probably should keep better track of repair supplies, too. How many hull points worth of damage do you carry as repair parts/materials. Repair supplies for systems, as well. And carrying too many of these will fill up cargo space or crew areas, etc... .

Georgie's picture
Georgie
November 5, 2009 - 4:52pm
@Sam: Ooo! I love the "hull points worth of damage ... repair parts/materials" angle. I never thought of it that way.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.    * Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 5, 2009 - 5:03pm
I've always handled hull damage repair as a temporary fix. The crew uses scrap metal and plasti-steel patches to mend any holes in the hull, but once docked the physical work will need to be performed, and I set the price for raw materials (bulkheads, beams, hullplating, etc) at 10% of what a new hull would cost (re: {50,000Cr x HS} x 10% ), as well as mandating one hour of labor per hull point repaired.

Same thing with system repairs...everything is somewhat jerry-rigged in space using scrap parts or rerouted parts...but once berthed the actual repairs take place, again costing 10% of the component price in materials (10% of an Atomic A drive for an ADF or MR repair, 10% of the cost of a LB for a LB repair, etc)
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
November 5, 2009 - 7:27pm
If you don't have them keep track of it, when the time comes they want to create a special strike force out of their own pocket. They get driven mad by the sheer amount of numbers they have to crunch to supply that force. If they want to own a ship it's the same way. Crunch the numbers for not just the fuel, but the food supply as well. Most just go get generic amount of food stuffs, basically SF TV dinners.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
November 5, 2009 - 9:04pm
@ Sargonarhes

HAHA! I love it. Laughing
What would an SF TV Dinner look like for each race?


Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
November 13, 2009 - 8:42pm
It is a good question isn't it w00t?
Are you going to have to buy dinner packets for each race? Well the humans and yazarians are going to eat more or less the same stuff, unless the yazarian has some pecular tastes that doesn't sit well with humans. The vrusk and dralasite who knows what they'd want, for the vrusk maybe so pollen ala'mode maybe?

So just assume a typical food packet for any race is X Cr. So then they eat 2 or 3 of these per day, multiply by how many days rations you need and how many mouths you have to feed. Players start not wanting to own so much at that point, they definitly don't want to run a 100 man army that's for sure.

Let's leave out the Ifshnits, they have a habit of getting the munchies all the time. +20% to their food budget.

Now if they own a ship, yes. They will have to pay for the up keep of it as well as the crew's needs. I suppose they could man it with robots instead, but those robots will still need maintainance as well. You could turn this into a nightmare for players if you really wanted to. Just think of the licensing fees they'll have to pay for owning the ship, after they have nuclear engines and all nuclear fuel must be accounted for. Docking fees, registration fees. Basically think of it like owning your car on a larger scale.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

Georgie's picture
Georgie
November 14, 2009 - 7:20pm
I imagine that the food packets look like the MREs of 20 years ago. Most consisted of a dehydrated meat patty (the consistency of Styrofoam), a dehydrated fruit packet (see 'meat patty'), a packet of hard, stale saltine crackers, a packet of spread (peanut butter or jelly or cheese), some sort of cookie or brownie like brick, juice flavor mix or cocoa mix, and instant coffee. Occasionally you'll have a single tiny block of caramel too.

At first, due to the novelty, you eat everything. Soon, though, you learn to keep only the cracker, spread, cookie, juice/cocoa, coffee and caramel. The juice mix is NEVER added to your canteen, it is eaten Pixie Stixs style. The cocoa, coffee, and caramel are combined to make a mocha drink that is only edible after three or more days in the field. The cracker, spread, and cookie are only consumed to keep your tummy from rumbling. During my 5 weeks at JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center - which was in Arkansas at the time), I ate this crap for all but one - count them, ONE - meal.

Funny / boring story. I was once tasked as a 'medic' (I was a trained Combat Lifesaver, but not a true medic) to a bunch of ROTC cadets doing training at my post. I was sitting at their CP (waiting for someone to get hurt) as these cherries had their first MRE lunch. I showed them how to make Pork Patty pizza, Beef Patty chili, and mocha. I believe that they were duly impressed. They asked if I would like some. "Nope," I said reaching into my Gore-Tex jacket's pocket and withdrawing a PB&J sandwich, Fritos, and a Twinkie. "I have food."
Laughing
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.    * Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 14, 2009 - 10:06pm
Georgie wrote:

Joint Readiness Training Center - which was in Arkansas at the time


My brother was stationed there after his little tour in Korea- most times he played a wood cutter with a pick up truck and a flask (full of coffee) If he like a squad of guys he'd occassionally give them a lift with the pick up but if they were full of it he'd  ham up his part and not help them.

One time his squad cached their food and extras by burrying it and the opposing force came in and set up on camp on their cache. They had to sneak in and "kill" the guys sleeping in the tent over the cache get their stuff and sneak out.

Sounded like he had a lot of fun running around the woods there.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Georgie's picture
Georgie
November 15, 2009 - 8:21pm
:D @ jedion357. Dude, it was a blast.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.    * Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi