Interfacing with Alien Tech

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Mechphisto Mechphisto's picture
Interfacing with Alien Tech

What's the best way to resolve this?
My players have encountered a derelict alien ship while Gatecrashing. It is literally and figuratively alien to them. How can they 1. interface with the airlock controls to get in, and 2. Interface with the main console to read ship status?

1. Would simply an Interface skill check at -30 work? Or, since it's alien tech, and they don't have any "xeno-" anything, would it default to a straight COG or INT test?

2. Again, having no "xeno-" skills, CAN they even Interface with the console? If so, same thing? Interface -30? Or COG or INT? (Also -30??)
And let's say they do suss out the controls enough to get some readings, it's in an alien language. (Is there even a xeno-linguistics skill?) Would figuring out status info even be at all possible? Or again, can they try INT? (-30?)

Any advice on how to deal with first contact with alien tech would be appreciated!
TIA!

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
What kind of interfaces does

What kind of interfaces does the ship have?

A touch panel screen might be usable. Such a system would be handy in emergency situations when the wifi is being jammed. The exsurgent virus is a very good reason to have controls that don't rely on radio. I might allow interface with -30 penalty for such actions. For example, the airlock might have open and close door buttons, one for cycling the air, and maybe one for emergency override to force the airlock open and vent the atmosphere (it might ask "are you sure" so you don't accidentally vent the ship).

If they are trying to use their mesh inserts to connect to the ship's wifi, I don't think it'll work. Any command they try to send will probably be read as gibberish. They would need to know something about the alien communication systems before they could even attempt mesh commands.

An adaptive interface (p. 340) will probably be their best bet. If they don't have one, then maybe the team should head back and get some help.