The Hidden Truth

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Chief Mate

Despite the advanced technology that is ubiquitous on most starships, there’s always a use on board for someone who knows the ship’s various systems well enough to manually push them to achieve levels of performance their manufacturers never intended. A starship’s chief mate knows every circuit and conduit within their starship’s mechanical and electronic systems, and is bold enough to take risks with these levers, valves, and other intricacies that can help their crew escape from or win dire combat scenarios.
Being a chief mate is hardly easy, however, and the role is not for the faint of heart. Accomplishing the off-the-books feats that are so valuable in starship combat often requires a strong and hardy individual to physically haul around equipment, force levers past their built-in safety points, or reconnect systems in ways they weren’t designed for—or else requires someone nimble enough to accomplish the same tasks via finesse without resorting to brute force, as the chief mate slides finicky controls into nonstandard positions or temporarily bypasses a system’s physical safety valves.
The chief mate assists characters in all other roles on the ship, making the other characters’ jobs easier and allowing them to accomplish more in their primary duties since they no longer need to focus on physically manipulating machinery or equipment. A chief mate acts during the same phase as the crew member she wishes to assist that round. Despite the role’s name, a ship can have any number of chief mates (though on a military ship, only one is generally referred to as the chief mate, and all others are considered deck officers).

Chief Mate Actions

As a chief mate, you can take any of the following actions, some depending on your number of ranks in the Acrobatics or Athletics skill, whichever you favor. (Note that the Targeting Aid and Maximize Speed actions both require a minimum number of ranks in Acrobatics or Athletics to perform.) Each of these actions can be taken only during a particular phase, as noted in parentheses next to the action’s name. You must decide at the start of each round which phase you will act in, usually by deciding which other role you’re supporting that round. Unless otherwise noted, each action can be performed only once per round, no matter how many chief mates are on a starship.

Hard Turn (Helm Phase, Push)

You manually adjust additional thrusters and bypass safety systems, shouting for your fellow crew members to brace themselves for a stomach-turning tactical maneuver. This bit of risky co-piloting might overtax the starship’s turn radius, but it can also help the pilot get significantly more maneuverability out of the vessel when the crew finds itself in a lurch. Attempt an Acrobatics or Athletics check (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier). If you succeed, the pilot can make one turn during the round as though the maneuverability of the starship were improved by one step. This has no effect on a ship with perfect maneuverability. If you fail your check by 10 or more, you overheat and temporarily degrade the effectiveness of the starship’s maneuvering thrusters, causing the ship’s maneuverability to worsen by one step for the rest of this round.
Critical: You’re able to keep up with the pilot’s needs, applying changes with perfect precision. You improve the maneuverability of the ship by one step until the start of the next round.

Maintenance Panel Access (Engineering Phase)

You start ripping open access panels, turning secured valves, and manually bypassing safety systems to help the engineer get more out of their systems when they take the divert or overpower action. Attempt an Acrobatics or Athletics check (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier). If you succeed and the engineer also succeeds at their check to divert, they can provide the normal benefit from divert to two different systems instead of only one. If the engineer instead succeeds at their check for the overpower action, they can choose four different systems to divert power to instead of three. In either case, no system can benefit twice from the same action. For more about the divert and overpower actions, see page 323 of the Core Rulebook.
If you fail your check by 10 or more, you overtax the ship’s systems without adding any useful capacity, and all engineer actions performed this turn take a –2 penalty.
Critical: Your assistance gives the engineer more time to perform their action. The next time an engineer attempts an Engineering check to divert power, they can roll twice and take the better result.

Manual Realignment (Helm Phase)

Manual realignment of the ship’s sensors to better focus on an opposing starship can help the science officer get better results when using the ship’s sensors to glean information about the other vessel. Attempt an Acrobatics or Athletics check (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier). If you succeed and the science officer also succeeds at their check to perform the scan action, they receive one additional piece of information, as though their result were 5 higher. If you fail the check by 10 or more, you knock the sensors out of alignment altogether, and no check to scan can be attempted this round as the system recalibrate.
Critical: Your assistance makes the science officer’s scan easier to perform. The next time a science officer attempts a Computers check to scan, they can roll twice and take the better result.

Targeting Aid (Engineering Phase, Push)

If you have at least 6 ranks in Acrobatics or Athletics, you can assist one specific gunner making an attack by inputting secondary sensor information, bypassing safety protocols, and even monitoring and adjusting power fluctuations in a ship’s weapon system to make the ship’s physical weapons more accurate. You must spend 1 Resolve Point and attempt either an Acrobatics or Athletics check (DC = 20 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier). One gunner can then take the fire at will or broadside action without the associated penalty to gunnery checks (normally –4 for fire at will and –2 for broadside; see page 324 of the Core Rulebook for more information). If you fail the check by 10 or more, that gunner instead takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls they make this round. This action can be taken more than once per round, but only once per gunner acting in that round.
Critical: You’re able to provide targeting information to all gunners about one specific ship. Choose an enemy starship; all gunners on your starship gain the benefits of the targeting aid crew action for attacks targeting that starship.

Maximize Speed (Helm Phase, Push)

If you have at least 12 ranks in Acrobatics or Athletics, you can help the pilot get the most speed possible out of your ship, pushing the engines to their limit. This requires spending 1 Resolve Point and succeeding at an Acrobatics or Athletics check (DC = 25 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier), at which point the speed of your starship increases by 2 for this round. This increase is cumulative with other increases to speed, such as from the engineer diverting power to the engines.
Critical: You’re able to maintain the engines for longer. The speed of your starship increases by 2 until the end of the next round.

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