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If I understand correctly, the repair downtime action on page 188 lets you spend an action and 1 cred to clear 1 damage.

However, in the “Downtime Activities in Play” section on page 194, Hayley uses her Bailing Wite ability to get a free action to repair the engines and then spends 3 credits to continue repairing other damage.

1) Does she not need to take multiple repair actions to clear multiple damages?

2) If the Bailing Wire ability allows her to clear damage with no cred cost, why does she remove the 3 cred? Does Bailing Wire make the first repair free but no others? The passage goes on to say if she did not have this ability the repairs would be much more expensive and the ship would need to do multiple on world jobs to repair the ship over time. Wouldn’t it just cost 1 credit more to repair?

I feel like I’m missing something obvious, any thoughts?

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The example is a bit confusing because of the sequencing. What actually happens, however, matches up with your understanding of the rules:

Hayley's ability reduces the cost of all her Repair actions to zero. In the example, she still spends some cred to take extra actions beyond her normal limit.

The text

Let's read the whole paragraph:

Alice spends the free repair downtime activity she gets from Hayley’s Bailing Wire and Twine ability to repair the engines, and takes 3 CRED from the ship to fix the remaining damage. The ability also makes the repair action not cost CRED, or this would be a lot more expensive, and the crew would need to do jobs on-world if they wanted to keep repairing the ship over time. She uses a free downtime action to indulge in her pleasure vice, buying a giant feast in the most expensive restaurant on Nightfall to celebrate a repair job well done. She rolls her lowest attribute—PROWESS—at 1 die, and clears the result—4 stress. She has one free downtime activity left to do. It may be time to start on a new schematic!

Now let's look up the relevant rules:

Bailing Wire and Twine lets you repair for free (quoting the player sheet):

Bailing Wire and Mech-Tape: You get an extra downtime activity to repair, and the repair activity costs you 0 cred.

You get two downtime activities for free (quoting the GM sheet):

Between jobs, you may pursue two downtime activities, attending to personal needs and side projects. (If you’re at War with a faction, you only get one activity.) You may take additional actions by spending 1 cred for each extra action.

That same section mentions the Repair action:

REPAIR: Spend 1 cred to repair one level of damage to a ship system.

Note that this means doing deep repairs requires taking multiple repair actions.

Putting it together

Okay, now map it out action by action…

  1. Hayley gets a free action from her ability, which she uses to do a repair. (Effect: repaired 1 damage. Cost: Her extra downtime action from Bailing Wire ability.)
  2. Hayley spends 1 cred to take an action, which she uses to do a repair for free. (Effect: repaired 1 damage. Cost: 1 cred.)
  3. Again. (Effect: repaired 1 damage. Cost: 1 cred.)
  4. Again. (Effect: repaired 1 damage. Cost: 1 cred.)
  5. Hayley still has her two normal downtime actions. She spends the first to Indulge Vice. (Effect: stress reduced. Cost: her first free actions.)
  6. Hayley uses her second free action to work on a schematic, which is most likely a Long-Term Project action. (Effect: project clock advances. Cost: her second free action.)

So, in total, Hayley has:

  • repaired 4 points of damage (that's a lot — as the example notes, the ship was "in tatters" when she started)
  • relieved stress to prepare for her next job
  • advanced a project clock
  • spent 3 cred to buy extra actions in order to cover all of the above (meaning she took a total of six downtime actions this time)

If she wanted to do all that but didn't have Bailing Wire and Twine, she would've spent 8 cred (4 to buy extra actions, 4 for the repairs themselves) instead of 3.

In actual play, most players would likely start by burning their free downtime actions first, then pay cred for extra actions as they see fit. The example just inverts that order — she buys actions first, and then spends her freebies.

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