I'm running this for my family, but I am trying to make sure I'm not missing anything.
They had fun in the first part, but the starship combat has been much rougher.
Some notes being, it seems like only one of the characters had piloting... sort of trapping one player into having to be the pilot. The engineer has done really well, but the gunner is having horrible luck with almost always missing. None of them have great Dex, so the gunner only has a +3 to hit... vs an AC14, so is needing an 11 or higher to hit, which he consistently is failing to get. (he's hit twice in 10 to 12 attacks)
The Nova Witch's gunnery officer having +8 doesn't help a whole lot to the feeling of the situation.
Am I wrong in calculating the players Gunnery modifier. (BAB or Piloting ranks + DEX) Correct?
I've encouraged them to try shifting things around a bit. I let one of the non-pilot Skittermanders turn over the flying to another one and let them make a Dex check as long as they are just doing the Fly maneuver. That let them try being captain and doing an Aide to help the Gunner, but it still wasn't producing hits.
I can tell the PCs ship has more HP, so it is probably expected to get hit more often. I guess looking closer, the Goblins hit I believe on an 8 and the PCs would hit generally on an 11. really that isn't a 'giant' difference. But it has in practice be a drastic difference.
Yes, they have gotten hit a couple times and they have had trouble doing too much damage, so I could have the goblins make a run for it and end the encounter. However, I want to make sure I'm doing things right, and want to figure out what the players are expected to be doing.
I also leaned it was no fun realizing the only character with piloting, was being played by the player that gets choice paralysis. I'd say that is worth noting as a very real factor in who should play the pilot in starship combat.
[And yes I know Starship Combat is often considered a weaker part of the game, fun-wise. But I want to understand how it should/could work.]
Ok, somehow I have identified myself as being confused. Somehow I had gotten noted the gunner as +8 instead of +6 that would have helped a little save that I think most of the die rolls were falling on the extremes. Again that will sometimes just happen. But at least when it looked like it was so much easier for them to succeed at the roll it made the string of bad rolls feel like a compounded issue.
We finished the encounter tonight and I got to see some of my own mistakes when we restarted. They managed to take the goblins out after they turned tail and ran due in part to one player remembering the option to do an eldrich shot option to extend their weapons range far enough to get an extra shot off after the goblins thought they would be out of range.