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Chapter 2: Starship Combat / Additional Starship Options / Starship Damage and Repair / Power Core Breaches

Aborting the Sequence

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 51
Fixing a power core breach in progress and interrupting cascading failures is never an easy task, and it’s not a situation that can be fixed with a single skill check. But once the power breach is detected, the bridge crew can work together to prevent a complete meltdown of their core.
Minor Meltdowns: For a minor meltdown, where the core breach is a side note to a larger story, the efforts to contain the breach should take 3 rounds, starting when the breach is first detected by the crew. Emphasize that the clock is ticking and that PCs can each attempt only three skill checks to save the system. If they are successful, the crew prevents the core breach from going critical and has time to fully repair it. If they fail, the crew has just enough time to eject the power core and save the ship. The crew is then stuck in that location on minimal life support until rescued.
The DC of each skill check is equal to 15 + 1-1/12 × the ship’s tier. Set the number of successes that the party needs to stop the meltdown at 2 × the number of party members. Relevant skills can include any or all of the following, as well as related Profession skills.
  • A character using Computers or Mysticism can scan for failing systems.
  • A character using Engineering can fix failing systems or prevent a system failure in one location from cascading into the next.
  • A character using Athletics or Acrobatics can reach systems by exceptional means, such as those outlined in the chief mate role (Character Operations Manual 146).
Crew members can aid each other or roll their own checks, and the Captain can encourage as normal with Diplomacy or Intimidate. Class abilities like quick patch can allow a character to achieve two successes with a single check. In addition, any character who casts a spell of 1st level or higher that repairs tech, such as make whole, automatically earns one success.
Major Meltdowns: In cases where the core breach is the main plot point, you might require a more involved team effort to save the ship. One way to do this is to add enemies (such as enemy boarders) who are trying to prevent the party from succeeding in saving their ship. For a group that loves combat, you can have the party fight off waves of enemies between each successive skill check, building the tension as the clock ticks down. You might instead require one or two additional successful skill checks to represent the increased danger.