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Rolling cargo/pax below zero from a Class E


SOC-14 1K
Disclaimer: this question is obscure and pedantic and does not pretend to be otherwise.

I've been working on some merchant analysis for T20/Gateway, and as part of it I was bulding a lookup table of average freight and passengers available between various starport types.

I hit upon a rules question. When you are departing from a Class E starport, you subtract 2 from each dice. So instead of rolling 6/5/4/3/2/1 you can roll 4/3/2/1/0/-1.

Now you're going to change negative numbers to zero at some point, BUT if you are rolling more than one die and summing them then you must choose whether to round each negative die up to zero then sum, or sum then round up a total if negative. You get a different average result for the two methods.

Example: your natural 3d6 roll is 5/1/1. Applying the -2 to each die, that's 3/-1/-1. If you put a floor on each die individually, that's 3/0/0 giving a total of 3. If you sum the adjusted dice then apply the floor, the total is 1.

Is there a ruling on which method should be used?
Disclaimer: the first portion of this answer is smart-ass and idiotic, and does not pretend to be otherwise.

If your roll results in negative numbers, you have to leave some of your cargo and passengers at the E starport. If you don't have any cargo or passengers, you have to leave behind part of your ship and crew. :D

<serious mode: ENGAGED> I don't know of any "official" ruling on this, but if faced with that problem, I would sum the adjusted die, then apply the floor. I think this better reflects the number of available cargoes and passengers you would find at a class E starport. Just my personal interpretation.