Disclosing Extended Task Length to Players?

Hi there, just wondering do GMs disclose the stats for extended tasks (magnitude, work requirements and resistance) openly to the players along with the difficulty, or do you provide other indications of how well they are doing?

I’m not sure which way method the rules are aiming for, since extended tasks are basically science combat. But in RPGs you usually don’t disclose how many wounds the enemy has.

First, welcome to our community. Second, I provide the difficulties and work track numbers to the players. Their characters are experts at what they’re doing, and they should be able to see their progress versus where the ticking clock stands. Also, I describe the setting, like assistants clapping the scientist on the back or mumbling to one another out of ear-shot, nervous looks on their face. If it’s a medical deal, the patient might be slipping and have to be drugged so he can endure further treatment.

I don’t always give them the length, but I round to the nearest 5% and tell them how far they think they’ve gotten.

But the remainder often becomes moot - the breakthrough for 5 progress marked is often how it’s done, not the cumulative.

I believe that you should always provide the players with details on tasks. It has been stated before that the ROI is that as the characters are Starfleet Officers, they are adept at judging their own abilities as well as how long and difficult a given task is. Unforeseen problems come in the form of Complications rolled by the players, or Threat spends.

I provide them the basic information: magnitude, work, and resistance. I even provide them with information regarding to Effects when applicable. As barefoottourguide stated: their characters are expects at what they’re doing, and they should be able to see their progress…. Each attempt has some role-play to illustrate the results. When their are set-backs from complications, that is when they discover what happens when they get tripped up during an extended Task. Sometimes it’s as simple as a set-back, other times it’s making no progress…add in some role-play and it adds some incredible tension.

Starfleet’s Finest? Ya, right!
Ya bunch a’ maggots! You’ll not get any mollycoddling from ME!
After a year or two under yer belts, I might letcha know if yer even workin’ on the right job…

This is pretty much where I stand too, with the additional note that the way Extended Tasks work is designed to add uncertainty to the whole process - when a character sets out to complete an Extended Task, they know what they need to do, but they can’t conclusively say how long it’ll take because uncertainty is an inherent part of Extended Tasks. Given that, I see nothing wrong with them knowing how long the progress track is, how much resistance there is (if any), and what the magnitude is.

In general, I don’t keep things secret from the players unless there’s a point to the secrecy. When it comes to the mechanics, I play things fairly open and transparent.


Add another voice to “tell them.” Not only is it good GM-player relations, it’s more consistent with Star Trek, where we routinely see skilled professionals who can make accurate estimates of the time they need to finish a task.

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And some of those estimates are routinely multiplied by 4…
“How else am I supposed to maintain my reputation as a miracle worker?”

I sense a social conflict coming.