Idea for opposed Extended Task

Need the wisdom of the hive mind on this. I have the PCs searching though an alien jungle for a Klingon strike team. I’m going to make it an opposed extended task. 8 stress, 4 magnitude, difficulty increases with the amount of magnitude checked off ( as you get closer to finding the other team it gets easier for them to find you.) Resistance depending on the density of the patch of jungle being searched. The group that gets the 4 breakthroughs first has found the other group and has the advantage of surprise. Thoughts anyone?

Extended tasks are fighting for science/engineering/medical characters. There’s no talents for extended tasks for fighting party
As gm I find the mechanism too complicated, and a simple opposed test will work as well. Maybe a gated challenge but even that seems too much.

This is all before the combat. Its supposed to be a cloak and dagger sort of hide and seek.

at least each breakthrough should represent something, a step in the progression.
The difficulty of an extended task decreases after each breakthrough
If they fail Klingon wins, no. needs for opposition
Most important: timed challenge.

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Sounds good.

Personally, I like the idea of having two opposing teams attempting an Extended Task to see who can beat it first. It’s sort of like having a time limit, but instead of racing against the clock, you’re racing against the other team. If you can work the story narrative around what each breakthrough means in terms of the dangerous game of hide-and-seek, all the better for the tension building.

By the way, you noted 8 stress vice a Work Track of 8. Is that actually a thing? If so, where do I read about this type of extended task?

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A example from the show might be the Voyager episode “Extreme Risk”: both the Voyager crew and the Malon are trying to build a custom shuttle (in Voyager’s case, the Delta Flyer) capable of retrieving a probe from a gas giant. Whichever team succeeds first is likely to claim salvage rights on the probe, even though it was originally Voyager’s probe.

That example isn’t combat-related, but is a nice race-against-time. That seems nicely extended-task-y.

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I think the problem is that extended tasks are described poorly in the book. It’s the exact same mechanics as ground or ship combat, with different names.

I don’t think I ever played a game where there was explicitly a “fighting party”. Most away teams and shipboard action has a mix of people. And any character can grab the talents that contribute to extended tasks (as I recall).

Look at extended task specific talents, most are limited to either Engineering, Science or Medical. It will be hard to do a Security or Conn extended task. Of course me as a player will try to convince GM to change some rolls to Reason+Science(sensors focus) to locate Klingon life signs with my tricorder and be able to use “In the Nick of Time” (Science or Engineering) and “Rapid Analysis” (Science) but most rolls will be Security of Conn that have no Talents for extended tasks.
It’s very complicated, very expensive in momentum but also in threat.
I like the simple opposed test because it’s a sure way to diminish the player pool if they roll first (they have bought dices and since they don’t know the number of success needed they can’t refill the pool). With some threat points you can match their rolls based on their known successes (of course if you know that they have made 12 successes (real case with 1 determination, 4 dices for 5 momentum and 1 assistance dice. that all roll critical), you know that you will certainly lose the test, but they have spent resources.
But its only my opinion as a GM

You can also throw in complications as part of the momentum spends, or from players not involved in the task. Either increasing the difficulty, or adding some resistance.

Using your example, didnt the Malon vent gas or fire on Voyager or something to hide the launch of their shuttle?

Using Extended Tasks actually seems like a perfectly good method for resolving any race or chase.

The designer has commented before that the idea behind and ET is to simulate a race against time (there’s explicitly no point if you can take as long as you want), so having that race be against another team trying to achieve the same ends is a perfect way to handle it - it’s just that the goalposts keep moving.

You could even have some characters trying to make things more difficult for the others by creating hindrances and so on. Throw in some combat and you get the classic cinematic chase.

I have still yet to play (or run) a session of STA (much to my frustration), but this sounds exactly like how I would run my Extended Tasks. Saying that, however, as I’ve read the rules I felt that there was never much point in doing anything besides attempting to fill the work track as fast as possible. The benefit would have to be worth the insane amount of progress a skilled character can make in one roll.

For example, it’s been a while since I’ve looked at the rules, but (iirc) the optional action to add time doesn’t seem like it would ever recoup more time than you spent performing that action.

In your experience, is it generally worth it to pursue “side objectives” in extended tasks?

The best momentum spending is always to spend 1 to do the task in one less time interval.
Side goals are a good way to refill the pool, reduce resistance by solving setting problems, but you need time for that.
It’s not in the rules but I consider Time intervals as screen time.
My rules:I will allow players not rolling for the task to solve side objective for 1 interval (0 if a momentum is spent), I call it “the defuse the bomb time paradox”, for 1 interval it’s camera change between bomb squad defusing the bomb and swat action team killing the terrorists, they act in parallel not wasting too much screen time/Time intervals. For 1 momentum, it’s De Palma screen splitting technique, you see all at the same time.

Extended Tasks are problems that behave like NPCs – except that they normally don’t move and do not fight back that often.

Essentially, in combat, there is seldom much point in doing anything besides attempting to fill the stress track as fast as possible.