Pilot Ejection Table - For those who want some risk in their game!

You've no doubt heard of IronMan play (dead is dead), but perhaps you find the idea of restarting with such unforgiving absoluteness to be a bit unfair. At the same time, maybe the thought of always surviving an ejection no matter what (as the game currently stands) takes some of the thrill away from your gameplay.

Maybe you want the thrill of the possibility of death, but recognize that the ejection system is usually going to work as advertised. You're far more likely to survive a crash inside a station than out in uncharted space, after all.

For you we have the Pilot Ejection Table. Roll the die and take your chances! If you don't have dice, scroll to the bottom for a link to a dice roller as well as a couple of online Pilot Ejection Table Programs options for Windows or for your browser.

Note: The intention behind this is to keep things relatively simple while covering all the most likely scenarios. For most this will be done on the fly after death, without necessarily having access to all the information needed regarding location, other pilots in the area, etc. It's up to you to make your best guess and be honest with yourself. For those who are sticklers for accuracy and want as little guesswork as possible, enabling a video capture feature like ShadowPlay will let you look over the last 15 minutes before the incident so you can retrieve any pertinent information.

Pilot Ejection Table (roll 1d20)

Natural 1 - DISASTER! (Nat 1 always results in death, regardless of modifiers. Invent an incredible reason for it.)
1-9 - Dead! (Wipe save. Restart. New Character. Anything modified under 1 still counts as 1)
10-11 - Loophole. Alive, BUT due to insurance loophole, they won't cover your ship (Take the Sidewinder, but keep your character ranks and any other ships you have in storage)
12-20 - Alive! (Pay Insurance as normal. Anything modified over 20 still counts as 20)
Natural 20 - MIRACLE! (Nat 20 always results in rescue, regardless of modifiers. Invent an incredible coincidence to explain it.)


On Station/Starport (Inside or Outside) +9 (only other modifier here should be Life Support)
Outside Station/Starport (but in visual range) +5
Near/On populated planet (in visual range) +2
Near/On base with no docking facility +2
Resource Extraction Site (if other miners present) +2
Within populated system but between planets +1
Unpopulated but trafficked system +0 (if you saw at least one other ship on radar while in Supercruise)
Unpopulated and untrafficked system -1 (nobody else was in the system when the incident happened)

Within 20LY of Capital System (Sol, Alioth, Achenar) or your home system (if applicable) +1
Within Other Federation, Alliance, Empire Worlds +0
Other Centrally Located Worlds (Independent or Uninhabited) -1
25+ LY outside of populated systems -2
100+ LY outside of populated systems -5
1000+ LY outside of populated systems -10

Destroyed by Black Hole/Neutron Star - INSTANT DEATH (not even a Nat 20 can save you from that)
Destroyed by Star -10
Crash Into A Non-Hostile Ship +5 (assume they'd contact Search and Rescue for insurance purposes)
Crash Into A Non-Hostile Ship (but other ship also explodes) +1 (for the additional distress signal)
Crash Into Planet/Asteroid/Debris +0
Stranded in Space/Planet +2 (no fuel, or hull integrity so low can't possibly reach home - this assumes the best possible distress signal scenario)
Stranded in Space/Planet with Other Ships in System +6

Each Enemy Pilot In Battle -1 (max -5)
Each Thargoid in Battle -2 (max -8)
Each Friendly/Neutral Pilot In Battle +1 (max +5)
(Note: in Conflict Zones these can be assumed to cancel out)
Low Intensity Conflict Zone (both sides) +2 (assumes non-combat rescue ships present on both sides to pick up pilots)
High Intensity Conflict Zone (underdogs) +1 (marginal failure can be assume captured as POW instead of death)
High Intensity Conflict Zone (favored forces) +3 (marginal failure can be assume captured as POW instead of death)

Note: It's fair to assume that the quality of your life support system goes beyond just how much oxygen you have left. More expensive ones would have more powerful distress beacons, longer lasting thrusters that will help clear you from debris, and more energy to go into the RemLok stasis field until you're picked up. Size doesn't matter, only grade. Given how incredibly cheap LS is (even on an Anaconda, at least compared to the initial ship cost), this is more a matter of the absolute best giving a slight advantage. If you don't remember what your Life Support system was, it should appear on your insurance screen as a component to replace or remove.
A +1
B +0
C -1
D -2
E -3

DISCOVERY SCANNER (Unpopulated Systems Only)
Exploring and surveying can be a dangerous thing, and no amount of life support or the RemLok stasis fields will help if you're never found. That's why Discovery Scanners are designed to emit a basic but powerful SOS "pulse" during an ejection sequence, alerting Search and Rescue as to the system the accident happened (but no specific coordinates). This pulse effectively fries the scanner (not that you needed it anymore anyway). Obviously the further out you are, the less likely the pulse will be picked up, let alone a rescue happening, but explorers all alone in the deep dark no doubt appreciate the extra bit of hope. Note: Due to the non-specific nature of the pulse, this device provides no additional benefit within populated systems (which already have numerous distress signals taking place at any given time).
Basic Discovery Scanner +1
Intermediate Discovery Scanner +2
Advanced Discovery Scanner +3
(Don't forget the modifiers for unpopulated systems under Location Inside of System)

Being in a wing should improve your chances of rescue since you are in constant communication. Being on your own provides a slight disadvantage (which can still be made up for in a variety of ways on other tables). Note: these bonuses apply even if your wingmates are not in the same system ("I've lost Bob's signal. He was over in Achenar, call Search and Rescue!"). Likewise, having a crew means more distress beacons to be picked up, as do the escape pods present in the passenger cabins. However, since you're all ejecting into roughly in the same area, there are diminishing returns on the bonuses provided. Multiple crew and multiple passengers provide no additional bonuses.
Flying Solo -1
Wing of Two +0
Wing of Three +0
Wing of Four + 1
Additional Crew +1 (Human or NPC - stacks with wing)
Passenger Cabins +1 (stacks with others, only if occupied)

A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR ME? (Increased Loophole Option)
Insurance companies love loopholes, and the biggest one involves crime. If you are a known criminal with a bounty on your head, you can bet that will be held against you when it comes to collect on your insurance policy. This will NOT affect your odds of rescue, but will increase the window in which the "loophole" outcome will occur.

Bounty of +10,000 - Loophole window becomes 10-12
Bounty of +50,000 - Loophole window becomes 10-13
Bounty of +100,000 - Loophole window becomes 10-14
Bounty of +500,000 - Loophole window becomes 10-15
Bounty of +1,000,000 - Loophole window becomes 10-16

Horizons SRV Pilot Retrieval Table (roll 1d20)

The lore here will be in flux for a while as things develop, but here's how I see it right now: Your SRV's pilot seat can, if necessary, shoot clear of the rubble to somewhere safe until retrieved by your ship, which is automatically notified and summoned upon SRV destruction. Just how likely that is depends on how you lost your SRV in the first place.

Under nominal circumstances you are very likely to be retrieved by your ship. Those flying without a co-pilot can still have their ship home in on your signal and land nearby, close enough to escape the seat and reach your ship via your Remlok's limited life support.

Natural 1 - DISASTER! (Nat 1 always results in death, regardless of modifiers. Invent an incredible reason for it.)
1-3 - Dead! (Wipe save. Restart. New Character. Anything modified under 1 still counts as 1)
4-20 - Alive! (On board your ship alive and well. Anything modified over 20 still counts as 20)
Natural 20 - MIRACLE! (Nat 20 always results in rescue, regardless of modifiers. Invent an incredible coincidence to explain it.)


Whether or not you can be retrieved depends on whether your ship can reach you, so where your SRV was destroyed matters.
Reasonably flat surface +2
Very rough terrain +0
Canyon or otherwise inaccessible terrain -2

Out of Fuel/Self Destruct +2
Crash -2
Combat -3


Having a Starport on the planet or moon or a station in orbit is much like having air traffic control assisting you. They may have some information on your last known location, or any distress signals that might come through, and that can aid your ship in retrieval operations.
Within No Fire Zone of Starport +2
Visual distance of Starport +1
Starport or other listed base on planet +0
Space station in orbit +0
No starport or station -1

Wingmen and Crew can help coordinate your rescue and feed information to your ship to help retrieve you.
Flying Solo -1 (relying on ship computer only for retrieval)
Wing of Two +0
Wing of Three + 1
Wing of Four + 2
Ship Crew/Co-Pilot +2 (Human or NPC - does NOT stack with wing)

A Note on Crew Ejection

Frontier has said that your NPC crew dies when your ship explodes, but my take is that this is shorthand to simply explain the fact that they will no longer be on your next ship. I feel they have the same odds of surviving as you do, and simply choose to quit working for you once (if) you're rescued. While this has no in-game effect, feel free to use the table to see if your crew survives as well. Then, if you happen to see their name pop up again on another station while hiring, you can assume it's the same person and re-hire them. This is strictly a personal role-playing issue, however.

Difficulty Options
For those that feel that even this is too "soft", use the Pilot's Ejection Table only to determine if you live or not. If you do, your insurance ONLY covers the free Sidewinder, never the entire ship. Experienced pilots will no doubt still have other ships in storage, but the loss will be far more significant this way.

One upside about taking this route is that these don't count on your permanent record as an insurance claim, making it easier to prove your "hardcore" status.

Some might be looking at the long term with future updates and features that will require Elite rank, Faction rank or other requirements to unlock, and thinking "damn, that's just too long a slog." In this case, treat death as you would an Insurance Loophole. But first, sell all your ships and put the credits into the most expensive ship you can afford, upgrade till you have as close to zero credits as you can, then press self destruct and watch the pretty light show. Do it multiple times if you have to. Then start from your free Sidewinder.

You start at Zero, but your ranks are left intact, and money will be easier to come by as a result. You'll be back on your feet in no time.

Some Examples of How This Plays Out

Crashing inside a space station (+9) with an B Class Life Support (+0) means you are in the best possible circumstance to survive (final modifier +9, nothing else need apply), but still have a 5% chance of death on a Natural 1 (come up with a creative bizarre way your ejection seat went splat). You also have a 5% chance of not having insurance cover your ship due to a loophole in your policy (on a 2, modified by 9 = 11). Anything else results in a safe ejection and normal insurance screen. Upgrading to A Class Life Support here would remove that insurance loophole risk. Having a D or E class system would result in a slightly increased chance of catastrophic failure and death (should have got those airbags, not just seatbelts ;) )

Crashing into a star (-10) a thousand light years from home (-10), in an unpopulated and untrafficked system (-1), even with Class A Life Support (+1) and an Advanced Discovery Scanner (+3) while flying solo (-1) means you can't possibly live (final modifier -18), BUT a Nat 20 will still result in a miracle, so be sure to come up with a creative story as to how your escape pod DIDN'T burn up and who actually found you a thousand light years from home and picked you up. Otherwise, wipe that save.

However, crashing into a star (-10) in a populated area (+1) but in an Independent system with less Search And Rescue at its disposal (+0), with Class A Life Support (+1) and a single wingman (-0) means you're still probably (literally) toast (final modifier -8). You'll survive on an 18 or 19, but insurance won't cover you (modifies to 10 or 11). On a Nat 20, of course, something amazing still happens and you get to use the regular insurance screen.

Getting into a dogfight in a Low Intensity Conflict Zone (+2) that's around the low orbit of a populated planet (+2) in an Alliance system (+1), with E Grade Life Support (-3) with a full wing (+1) gives you okay odds of surviving (final modifier +3). Aside from the Nat 1 insta-death, you could still die on a 2 to 6 (modifies to 5 to 9). However, this pilot was also a wanted criminal with a 100,000 credit bounty on his head, so the insurance company is going to look for reasons to deny him (loophole snag is now reached on a roll of 7 to 11 (modifies to 10 to 14). Time to upgrade that Life Support system, and maybe pay off that bounty!

In your SRV all on your lonesome (-1), you decide to hot dog a bit and boost across a canyon...only it turns out to be much further away than you thought and you plummet to the bottom. Your SRV explodes on impact (-2) but your seat shoots clear. Unfortunately you're still in that canyon (-2), but fortunately there is a space station in orbit that hopefully picked up your signal, or at least your explosion, so at least that doesn't make things worse (+0). The situation is bad, but not insurmountable (final modifier -5). Your ship will be able to retrieve you on a 9 or better. That'll teach you to be a showoff.

No d20? No Problem!

There are plenty of apps and sites out there for random dice rolling. Here's a simple one that will allow you to add in the end modifier as well before you roll: Dice Roll Generator

The Elite: Dangerous IronMan Ejection Table for Windows (Version 2.0)
And for those running Windows, KellyR came up with this small program which takes the whole table into account. Just click on everything that applies, and find out if you lived or died! Elite: Dangerous IronMan Ejection Table (Windows)

The Elite: Dangerous IronMan Ejection Table Online
For those not running Window, or who prefer to use a browser, No3kins is working on a web-based version. The mechanics are all there, he's just in the process of prettying it up with graphics. Elite Dangerous IronMan Ejection Table (Online)

Thanks to Captain Kirk for the Life Support idea and dice roller link. Thanks to SteveKing for the Discovery Scanner idea. Thanks to Leoben Capa for the pirate insurance loophole idea.

This chart is a work in progress, so by all means, throw in suggestions on how (and why) certain modification should be changed, removed, or added.


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I would assume that with a disaster (rolled a 1 on the d20) no modifier will save you even if you're inside a station (which, with a 2-9, would give a +10). So basically, with a 1 crashing into the station's hull will vaporize the pilot in the hydrogen 'sploison while a 2 would mean you get out.

Anyway, cool idea, although not my cup of tea :)
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What's the difference between Disaster and Dead. Do you have to uninstall the game on a 1? :)
I think he means that throwing a natural 1 always means death, and a natural 20 (obviously using a 20-sided dice) means always rescue. The other factors being modifiers to that dice roll.

I willl tip my hat to anyone following this, but I think I'm too carebeary to do it myself.
Yeah, sorry. I should clarify some things. I meant a Nat 1 is always dead regardless of modifiers, and a Nat 20 is always survival regardless of modifiers)
There's an app for that. :D
I was going to add a 2d6 table for those without d20 dice but do have a board game, but the probability curve makes that difficult to work with modifiers. A natural 2 or 12, for example, only have a 2.77% chance of happening, while the middle, 7, has 16.66%. The effects only gets worse when modifiers are taken into account. Bit of a mess.

So, yeah, if you don't have a d20, it's easy enough to get an iPhone or Android or PC app to simulate it.

But, come on, deep down we all know we should have a d20 somewhere in the house ;)

Updated the chart. Made the differences between a natural and modified 1 and 20 more clear. Added some basic examples of how this plays out in practice to (hopefully) help make things clear.
That is an amazing chart, very well thought out.

Personally, I'm not sure I could ever run in an ironman style but I still appreciate that work!

One of the '84s
As a casual player or weekend warrior, I'll not be using it any time soon. However, would ED at acertain point in the future allow a second character/2nd save record, I would run it IronMan style according to this table. It would give some purpose to my D20 dice collection that have been collecting dust for the last couple of years now...
Well be sure to reference this page if you can should the Ironman subject come up. Pages disappear quickly on this forum ;)

(Note, more tweaks made - the stacking made the possibility of death too slim in combat cases)
I can't say I see it that way. "Death" is something that a game like this was always going to avoid, and if IronMan mode is introduced as a game feature it's going to be rather unforgiving (IIRC you have to manually eject yourself before hitting 0%. Once the ship says "Eject" in your death spiral, it's too late). I doubt they'd ever introduce an idea where whether or not you survive ejection depends on where and how your ship blew up.

For those of us who self-impose Ironman, but want to see wiggle room beyond "dead is dead", or those who like the ejection system as is but want an added sense or risk to go along with it, this might be appealing.

This certainly isn't "Resorting To". This is "House Rules", something that's been going on ever since Free Parking in Monopoly became some kind of jackpot in 9 out of 10 families.
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This is exactly how I play but I just used a normal dice, and if I rolled an even number I would restart. But I will be using this as it looks more fun. Rep to you, sir!
That's a good table - I'm really considering buying a second copy of the game and get going using this table and an additional solo/group not allowed rule.
That idea also crept in to my head, I'm going to sit this one out a bit longer before I throw money at Frontier for an option that simply should have been added to the game early.
That's a good table - I'm really considering buying a second copy of the game and get going using this table and an additional solo/group not allowed rule.

I might add a modifier taking the life supports grade into account.

Thanks! That's exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for! Great idea! I'll add that in and modify all the other tables to take it into account. Let me know what you think.

And I'll add the dice generator page to the original
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