Pilot Skill conversion


Advice


So I’ve been running a game for awhile now and I backed myself into a corner early on. At level 5 my party stumbled upon a crashed spaceship. I only put it in the game to help our gunslinger with his build. He was building a very technology based character, he even invested into the technologist feat. Well I wasn’t planning on them wanting to repair the ship. I lay down early on that the DC’s would be high, any failed checks would increase the DC and a nat 1 would just destroy everything. Well they are rounding on level 15 now and they are almost done fixing the ship (my game changed to fit them questing for this goal). I want to reward them for their time and some of the best role playing I’ve been in for awhile. But with the pilot skill from Starfinder they can’t really fly it. Do I introduce that skill as an option with rank restriction or do I use a different skill? If I use a different skill, what skill should I use?


Um, why can't they use Piloting to fly the ship?
The description of the skill allows you to use it to, you know, pilot it. And navigate.
And shoot the pew-pews.

Or did you mean to say "But without the pilot skill from Starfinder"?

Personally, I'd introduce Piloting but not allow them put ranks into it without some actual practice. They don't have teachers, training sims, training vehicles, and they have no cultural background to indicate how this might work, so anything they do to learn the skill is with the ship itself, and probably going to end horribly.


Honestly, I'd just tell the party that the technology is beyond their understanding or ability to repair. Even with magic.

But it seems your past that point.

I don't know that I'd specifically introduce the piloting skill, but yeah you do basically need a skill that's specifically about this alien ship.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My thought would be that for maneuvering in the air the fly skill, with perhaps a modifier would work out. The basics of aerodynamics and stuff like that are the same.

I would probably have the astrogation portion of the fly skill be either unavailable or automatic (built into the ship) depending on where I wanted the campaign to go.

Alternately of course you could have repairing the ship include repairing an autopilot function, perhaps even a full AI NPC.


Dave Justus wrote:

My thought would be that for maneuvering in the air the fly skill, with perhaps a modifier would work out. The basics of aerodynamics and stuff like that are the same.

By this logic knowing how to swim should be the same as piloting a boat or submarine.

I hope we can agree that is not the case.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:

My thought would be that for maneuvering in the air the fly skill, with perhaps a modifier would work out. The basics of aerodynamics and stuff like that are the same.

By this logic knowing how to swim should be the same as piloting a boat or submarine.

I hope we can agree that is not the case.

Pathfinder skills are pretty broad. Fly covers flying via magic as well as flying with wings. Entirely different physically, but the same environment and some things are the same so the same skill applies.

I would personally be happy to stretch it to flying via mechanical device and would prefer that to inventing a skill for just one item in my world. You could of course make a different choice.

If I was going to somehow transition the game into a more general space setting, then I might well agree with you, but for one ship in a fantasy world I would use a skill that was close enough, rather that add one.

Also, piloting itself from starfinder contains both astrogation and maneuvering a space vehicle, two things that don't really have anything to do with each other.

I would also add that the difficulty in piloting a boat, in particular, isn't usually mastering the controls. A few minutes of trial and error can sort that out. The difficulty (or where people screw up) is understanding currents, weather and stuff like that, and while not perfect, generally understanding of the environment, from something like swimming, is indeed useful. Would I consider a swimmer in the real world to be a competent boat pilot just because of that? Of course not. But would I rather they pilot the boat then someone who has never seen water, but understood the theory of the controls? Probably.


The physics of the medium are one thing, but the main point of the skill in both Fly and Swim are how to move your body effectively in that medium, which has zero applicability to knowing which controls to use on a craft. The fact that piloting small boats isn't hard has nothing to do with swimming. That just means the DC to do it isn't high.
Any sort of flying has a much higher base DC than floating around on water.

Let's put it another way: do you really feel that someone should be able to swim because they can pilot a ship?
Or that a drag racer can do well in a 100 m sprint because both are about going very fast in a straight line over flat ground?


These are some great ideas. So far my big idea is that until they level again they can make wisdom or intelligence checks. Then at level let them maybe put ranks in profession pilot. I like the fly idea for maneuvering.

Liberty's Edge

Really shouldn't use profession pilot - you're not trying to make money being a pilot and I don't know if you want it wisdom based. Just create the new skill: pilot.

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