Background Endeavours

Summary

The Hos Dynasty now has a number of vessels under its command, and the Koronus Expanse beckons with profit and opportunities unending. There is a problem of course with there being too many opportunities, and not enough time for one man to personally oversee all operations. Thus the Background Endeavour exists. Using the endless number of NPCs I keep coming up with, you can assign vessels and personnel to attempt to accomplish a smaller Endeavour, and then take command of the situation to try and improve their chances of success! This page is meant to outline the “general” flow of a background Endeavour, and is a hybridization of existing rules and house rules, like most things I do.

General Flow

Any Endeavour that has been created is suitable for assigning as a Background Endeavour – even one that has been partially completed to date. The idea is that all major Objectives yet to be completed are identified, and will be challenges for the crew to overcome. I will now provide a rough guide to how the Endeavour should work. Note that all Endeavours will require at least one Void Ship available for deployment, and it will be “locked in” to this Endeavour until completion.

Calculating the Odds

  • Step One: Chance of Success
    • The basic “chance of success” is the Crew Rating of the vessel in question.
      • If a Ship has a Crew Rating of 45, it has a 45% chance of completing each objective.
      • If you assign more than one Void Ship to a background Endeavour, the second highest value provides a bonus of one-half (e.g. 30 becomes +15), the next highest value provides one-quarter (30 becomes 8) and so on.
  • Step Two: Component Bonuses
    • Some Objectives will have a “theme” that may match Achievement Point bonuses that exist as Component Bonuses on a ship. These Achievement Bonuses provide 1/10th of their value in percentage chance of success
      • If a Ship has a Main Cargo Hold, normally providing 125 Achievement Points to Trade Endeavours, then it would provide a 12.5% bonus chance of success on all Trade Endeavours.
      • If you are assigning multiple void ships, or multiple components then all Component bonuses stack for determining Component Bonuses
  • Step Three: Buying Your Way To Victory
    • Personally expending Profit Factor will increase the odds of success for a mission.
      • Every point of liquid capital that you invest in this Endeavour gives a corresponding increase in success for all Objectives.
      • Every point of Profit Factor that you burn will provide a + 15 bonus to success for all Objectives due to the wild expenditures you’re making to ensure victory.
  • Step Four: GM Difficulty
    • Just because something seems straightforward doesn’t mean it is. Some Endeavours may have hidden complications that you were not aware of, and attempting to have a background crew run them may result in drastically decreased odds of success from what you were expecting.
      • This will be done in secret, but if you’re facing terrible odds of success some foreshadowing will be provided.

Influencing the Outcome

Even with the right ship with the right crew, you may still be facing daunting odds of success. That’s why each Explorer may also make one single skill roll to attempt to improve the results of one single Objective in the Endeavour. Note that you must inspire the crew in person, or else all bonuses will be halved. Penalties will not be halved if you attempt to communicate with the crew remotely. As always, your bonuses or penalties from these modifications cannot exceed +/- 60.

  • Step One: Picking your skill
    • Making an assist roll is a normal roll, but with the limitation that you must pick an appropriate skill, for an appropriate Endeavour.
      • Good Match: Picking Commerce for an Objective that will require Negotiations for a Trade Agreement. Useful skill, suited to the task.
      • Okay Match: Using Intimidate to impress upon a crew the importance of this mission. Reasonable, but does not necessarily match the point of the endeavour.
      • Bad Match: C. Lore Imperial Cult during a smuggling run so that your crew knows the prayers to invoke while in Silent Running
      • No Match: Acrobatics to impress people with your flexibility before sending them off on an Exploration mission.
  • Step Two: Rolling your skill
    • You make a Skill Roll as per normal, and tally up your degrees of success/failure, which will influence the mission. The better you matched your skill, the better a bonus you might provide, but also the higher odds that you might provide terrible advice.
    • If multiple characters attempt the same skill roll for the same objective, then the “match” is cumulatively decreased one step (e.g. Good to Okay).
      • Good Match Skill: Provides + 10 bonus and an additional + 10 per Degree of Success. Equivalent penalty if you fail (- 10 with additional – 10 per Degree of Failure)
      • Okay Match Skill: Provides + 10 bonus and an additional + 10 per two Degrees of Success. Equivalent penalty if you fail (- 10 with additional – 10 per two Degrees of Failure)
      • Bad Match Skill: Provides + 5 bonus and an additional + 5 per two Degrees of Success. Equivalent penalty if you fail (- 5 with additional – 5 per two Degrees of Failure)
      • No Match Skill: No bonus!
  • Step Three: Assign Personnel
    • Some NPCs loyal to the Hos Dynasty are statted out, or more suitable for a task than others. If you pick a named NPC with Stats and assign them to a mission, you may also make one skill roll with that character to influence the mission as listed above. If that NPC has Fate Points, you may make two skill rolls.
      • Assigning Leopold Phipps to a mission would result in two skill rolls using any of his skills at their full value.
      • Assigning Lindsay Garret to a mission would result in one skill roll. If she is not statted out yet, GM will give full disclosure on her abilities before the roll.
  • Step Four: Investing Fate
    • At this point perhaps you are going over the numbers and do not believe that success is likely, you may invest Fate Points in this endeavour. Invested Fate Points will only be returned when an Endeavour is completed (regardless of success).
      • You may assign a Fate Point to an Objective, resulting in a + 10 percent chance of that Objective succeeding.
      • You may assign a Fate Point to an Endeavour, resulting in one re-roll per Fate Point should a roll fail.

The final roll

By now all your values have been calculated, and all that’s left to do is for the GM to roll and tell you whether or not you succeeded. This is the process of how that will work

  • Each Objective will be rolled in Order.
    • If Warp Travel is involved, the ship will transit through the Warp to its destination, regardless of success or failure.
    • If an Objective succeeds, the next Objective will be rolled (unless success is reached).
  • If an Objective fails, and no Fate Points have been invested for re-roll then the Background Endeavour fails. An Astropathic message will be sent out, and the vessel will await orders or return home.
    • If an objective fails by 3 or more Degrees of Failure, then the Complications table will be rolled.
  • If all Objectives succeed, then the Background Endeavour has resulted in success, and the full reward will be gifted to the Dynasty.

Example

The Hos Dynasty has been hired to bring the Imperial Truth to a faraway Heathen System. They select for this mission the Under Wry Beginnings, to be crewed by Leopold Phipps. There are three main Objectives that must be completed.

  1. An Exploration objective to successfully chart a Warp Route to the far-off system.
  2. A Creed objective to convert the natives to the Imperial Truth
  3. A Trade objective to negotiate a fair trade route out of the Ecclesiarchy in exchange for the Dynasty’s.

The base Crew Rating of the Gyre is 30, but it provides a 27.5% bonus to Trade endeavours and a 10% bonus to Creed endeavours. The players agree to spend 5 Liquid Capital into this endeavour, thus raising the odds of success to 35%, 45% and 62.5% respectively. The players now each get to make a single Skill Check to try and improve the success of the mission.

  • Navigator Maturinus rolls his Navigation Warp to improve the odds of the Exploration Endeavour. This is a Good Match, and he gets 3 Degrees of Success, resulting in a + 40 to the Exploration Objective.
  • Arch-Militant Caine confronts the Navigators and Intimidates them into not screwing this up. This is an Okay Match, and he also scores 3 Degrees of Success, resulting only in a + 20 to the Exploration Objective.
  • Captain Hos uses S. Lore Koronus Expanse to learn helpful pieces of information about the planet for the Missionaries. This is ruled a Good Match, but he gets one Degree of Failure, resulting in a - 20 to the Creed Objective.
  • Explorator Felicis uses his knowledge of Diplomacy to prep the Missionaries in how to smooth things over. He’s not participating directly, so this is an Okay Match. He gets two Degrees of Success, resulting in a + 20 to the Creed Objective.
  • Astropath Eckhart decides to use S. Lore High Gothic to ensure that negotiators are capable of confusing locals with fancy legal terms. This is a Poor Match, and he succeeds without Degrees, providing a + 5 to the Trade Objective.
  • Leopold Phipps uses his first bonus roll to focus his knowledge of the Imperial Creed and makes a C. Lore Imperial Creed test. This is a Good Match, and he gets two Degrees of Success, resulting in a + 30 to the Creed Objective
  • For his second roll, he decides to crank up the Trade agreement by rolling Commerce, scoring 5 Degrees of Success, resulting in a + 60 to the Trade Objective.

Worried about the chances of the Creed Objective, Captain Hos decides to invest one Fate Point in the mission, allowing a re-roll should an Objective fail.

The Background endeavour is now ready to go! Assuming there are no complications, the odds of success are as follows.

  • Objective 1: Explore a Route to the system – Odds of Success: 95%
  • Objective 2: Successfully convert the populace – Odds of Success: 75%
  • Objective 3: Negotiate a trade agreement – Odds of Success: 122.5%

The GM would then roll each Objective, and calculate the time taken for a successful endeavour.

Background Endeavours

Rogue Trader - The Hos Dynasty Erathia Erathia