Scene/Test Economics (split from "Which Skill To Roll")

Interesting take – so rather than allocating rolls per player, you allocate rolls per scene?

Conflict scenes not being FF or DoW: I forgot, the Tech Burner is called out (on p. 287) as one of the resolution mechanics used during a Conflict scene. I don’t recall the Tech Burner requiring a lot of rolling, though. I thought it was just a Resources test to get your goodie? Other than that, I believe those construction montages are actually intended to be several people using their Building scenes at the same time.



Is this thing on?


I posted a reply on the other thread; in summary, I think the “montage construction sequence" is a holdover line from an idea that was either pulled or reworked into the “shared building scene” concept.

One thing I’d like cleared up once and for all is whether a player can link a test to someone else’s roll. The concept is given a couple of offhand mentions in the book, but there’s nothing explicit in the text on building scenes. Also, why not just give helping dice? There’s no potential downside, nobody makes a test to give them and if your skill is high enough, you can hand more dice over anyway. The only benefit I can see is if a given player has already given helping dice and help is still needed.

Assuming linking to someone else’s test is kosher, though, I’m still unsure about the circumstances Mike describes in his first paragraph.

A) I like the idea of the helper having to share some of the load; if PC1 has to use one of his building tests, PC2 will effectively get a free advancement point, and if PC2’s roll fails PC1 will be stuck with one less build test and +1 Ob.
B) “If they need my linked die, they can pay a building test for it” seems a cop-out from some important currency strategy that gets to the heart of Burning Empires’ situation: Do you use all your building tests on your own priorities or do you forego improving your lot when it looks as though another player needs help?

Damn it - I’d re-edited my reply to make more sense, then a login timeout swallowed the changes. I’ll try again later tonight.

(Edit: ) Right - all fixed up

My take is that a linked roll actually accomplishes something on its own (and happens to have a beneficial effect on someone else’s roll) while helping dice are just a bonus. If you’re out of rolls I think you can still give someone helping dice, but if you’re doing your own building scene – or still have an active roll of your own – and your test happens to benefit someone else, it’s a free +1D.

All that said, I feel like there’s a disconnect between the way the linked test rules are written (p. 299-300) and the one intent-one task-one roll foundation of the system. Given my understanding that a flight to another planet shouldn’t take more than one roll, the example on p. 300 seems redundant if all you’re doing is passing tests to get a tiny bonus. The only way I can square it in my head is that there were other in-story reasons to make the Space Lane-wise, Navigation, Physics and Helm rolls…and those rolls happened to help each other.

Finally, given you can only link one test to one roll, you’re never getting more than +1D, so even mechanically I see no point in, say, the Space Lane-wise, Navigation, Physics, Helm series of rolls on p. 300.

I agree re. the mystery language on p. 287: I’m still thinking of Conflict scenes as explicitly where DoW and FF scenes take place.


The lesson is, read the text properly next time - right there on page 299 the text reads, “They can be performed by a single character, but more often they are undertaken by multiple characters complementing each other.”

Question answered!

I dunno. Consider a building task as a significant investment of time and effort. You get three of them per manoeuvre. If you’re trying to correlate a building task to in-story causality, think of it as separating the jobs you really, really put lots of effort into - because they’re very important to you - and the ones that you do, and do well, but don’t bother with putting the effort in so you can do spectacularly.

Tying that back to shared linking tests, as building tasks are a limited resource, I see it as a reflection of the big theme of the game: Do you give up improving your chances of getting what you want in order to help somebody else?

Lesson about acutally reading text obviously yet to be learned. Nestled on Page 396 is this:

Fabrication counts as a building scene. A character may make up to an Ob 4 Fabrication test per building scene. Alternately, the group may use one of their conflict scenes as an extended conflict for Fabrication. Fabricator hits his workshop full time and may make up to an Ob 6 skill test.


(ADDED IN EDIT: ) Still, I’m curious as to whether a Fabrication test - which must include a Resources test - counts as two of the three available building tests or just one. I think it has to count as two; Explosives also requires a Resources test (to get the explosive’s components) and Luke okayed my example where I stated the Explosives test used up one of the three Building tests.

That is an absurdly obscure “rule”.