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Captain's Log, Stardate Something-Something...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Looking at this picture, you might ask yourself "Why is Jason Keeley giving me a saucy look?" The answer is that that's his best captain's expression, thank you very much! As the developer in charge of polishing and expanding the starship rules (originally written by Jason Bulmahn), Jason K. currently spends a lot of time alone in the conference room, battling himself in epic starship battles, depicted here by shark and goblin pawns. It's lonely out there, constantly dying in space, but his suffering is necessary to make sure the starship construction rules are balanced.

Oh, did I forget to mention that in Starfinder, you'll be able to build and customize your own starship? It's true. In addition to a robust starship combat system including different roles for each player (you can see some examples of the special maneuvers called pilot stunts illustrated there in the foreground), there's also a thorough system by which both players and GMs can upgrade their starships with new weapons, power cores, and other advanced systems. We've said since the beginning that we think the best starships are practically characters in their own right—the Millennium Falcon, the Serenity, etc.—so we wanted to make sure that players could customize their ships and make them unique, while also allowing GM to craft tons of unique foes.

Did we succeed? You'll have to tell us, but I have great confidence that the Jasons can... ahem... make it so.*

James L. Sutter
Creative Director

*Yeah, I know I made a Picard joke when Jason's clearly doing a Captain Kirk impression. Deal with it.

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Interesting that you can build your own. Any thoughts on having character classes with powers able to interact with certain kinds of sub-systems on the ship?


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Is there a plan for a line of ship models/miniatures to support the system?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Arley wrote:

Is there a plan for a line of ship models/miniatures to support the system? [/QUOT

I asked the same thing a bit ago and the answer was that they werent prepared to say anything just yet. Which i took to mean that they were looking into it but yet to finalize anything. With all the focus ships have been getting id guess sooner or later we will get minis or at the very least tokens. I could see token packs like the ones for pathfinder being very doable.


It's such a nice day outside. Why are you inside working?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'd agree, a lot of the best Sci-Fi type shows (and even fantasy sometimes) have the starship almost as one of the characters (Millennium Falcon, Serenity, Enterprise, BattleStar Galactica, etc).

They have it far enough out just enough that all I can seem to make out on any of it are hexes on one of those sheets!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

Hmmmm... will self-aware living ships like Farscape's Moya be a possibility here?


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Something something something DARRRRRKKK SSSSSIIIIIDDEEE...

Something something something COMPLETEEEE...


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i love hearing about the ship rules :) now to obsessively analyze that photo for unintended spoilers...

Liberty's Edge

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Can ships in Starfinder be sentient with artificial intelligence. Having a ship as an NPC might be fun.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I am glad to see there is interest in this kind of game. It seems that the space-fantasy meme meets with equal parts enthusiasm and deep seeded resentment. I'm in the first camp. But maybe I'm just misreading the issue. What are your thoughts, do some fantasy players really hate the idea of D&D in space? I kind of get the sense that they do, but I'm quite looking forward to this game and while I expect great things, I can't imagine that Paizo's commitment to it will be a 10th of the fantasy game. But maybe I am being pessimistic. Paizo is A+++ gaming, so I imagine they'll do everything in their powers to make it he best space fantasy game on the market. I just hope there is a strong following from fans to support the company's bottom line.


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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While not interested in Starfinder at all, I had to comment on the blog: It's okay that you quoted Picard instead of Kirk. Picard is the best Star Trek Captain of all! :P"
In descending order after Picard (IMNSHO) it goes Cisco, Archer, Kirk, Janeway.


Oh hey look, more stuff about testing the rules for starships. While I can appreciate the testing of rules, what about the use of them in context? Roleplaying games never have both sides just set up a map and throw down, so what about space combat and the use of narrative? What about keeping it interesting for ALL players involved? You mention Serenity in the article, how boring would it be to play a character like Inara, Simon, or Shepherd Book during space combat? This is what I want addressed in the next Starfinder article: how we're designing this game's space battles to keep everyone at the table entertained without things getting repetitive.

And yes, I realize a lot of that is on the DM, but if players have set roles (or none at all) for ship combat, there's not much there to work with and keep them interested without some of it feeling really shoehorned.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FlavorableDeez wrote:

Oh hey look, more stuff about testing the rules for starships. While I can appreciate the testing of rules, what about the use of them in context? Roleplaying games never have both sides just set up a map and throw down, so what about space combat and the use of narrative? What about keeping it interesting for ALL players involved? You mention Serenity in the article, how boring would it be to play a character like Inara, Simon, or Shepherd Book during space combat? This is what I want addressed in the next Starfinder article: how we're designing this game's space battles to keep everyone at the table entertained without things getting repetitive.

And yes, I realize a lot of that is on the DM, but if players have set roles (or none at all) for ship combat, there's not much there to work with and keep them interested without some of it feeling really shoehorned.

There was a mention of it in the last blog:

Quote:
Additionally, everyone involved in starship combat has a crew role—a specific suite of actions that only they can take to use their ship's abilities or affect its performance.

From the playtest, those characters might take on the role of science officers, providing information about enemy strengths, weaknesses, and actions. Really any character can perform any role on the ship if they want to.


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FlavorableDeez wrote:
You mention Serenity in the article, how boring would it be to play a character like Inara, Simon, or Shepherd Book during space combat?

There should be a Morale Officer position. If you can't fight or drive or fix things or keep stuff from exploding, you should at least be able to play cheerleader.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Shelton wrote:
FlavorableDeez wrote:
You mention Serenity in the article, how boring would it be to play a character like Inara, Simon, or Shepherd Book during space combat?
There should be a Morale Officer position. If you can't fight or drive or fix things or keep stuff from exploding, you should at least be able to play cheerleader.

I think they call that the Captain :P


This sounds like a great thing!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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We were all out of the office on Friday, so I just now saw that this went live. :P

Glad people are excited about the starships! I look forward to doing blog posts about the rest of the game soon, but since the starship combat is the part of the game *most* different from Pathfinder (notice the hex grid!) I wanted to show that off early.

Plus Jason's just super photogenic.


What do you think of doing starship combat/dogfighting as a card-based minigame?

For example each player has a set of cards in their hand detailing what they could have their character (or the ship itself) do, from personal actions to ship maneuvers or specific ship-weapon attacks, etc.

Each round the crew choose their cards, and the GM works out their enemys' moves, then play out the results.

A certain maneuver could give a one-round bonus or advantage in exchange for a penalty or vulnerability in some other way. If the PC ship/crew can predict the enemys' actions then they might be able to outmaneuver them and win quickly, exploiting the openings that the enemy leaves open.


I just want to say upfront that I'm going to purchase Starfinder (might even take my trip to GenCon to do it!), so please don't mistake my comments for negativity. It's just been in my experience that when you place a roleplaying group into a vessel and constrain them to a narrow focus like ship on ship combat, the fun of a new ingame challenge wears off quickly. This leads to DMs trying to "up their game" via encounters, but eventually it wears thin and starts to feel forced, giving a stale state to ship combat. After awhile, players might even want to drop it altogether.

After all, when you look at ship combat in a roleplaying game it's like asking the players to all play a single character and decide who gets to move, attack with, or heal said character. Of course this inevitably leads to the "mixed encounters" that combine players controlling the ship while other PCs are on foot trying to accomplish something, but there's only so many times you can use that until it starts looking shoehorned.

I wish Paizo luck with this design. It's not easy to do by any means. I also hope they make me eat this words with said design.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
FlavorableDeez wrote:
What about keeping it interesting for ALL players involved? You mention Serenity in the article, how boring would it be to play a character like Inara, Simon, or Shepherd Book during space combat?

About as boring as it is to play Kaylee or Wash in ground combat, or Jayne in a social scenario, I reckon...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

With every Starfinder post my desire to get my hands on it grows and grows. I would give all my GM stars to manage to make it into the beta.


Y'know, this brings up a weird philosophical problem for me: if every character can get a starship and it's upgrade-able...who gets to own it? Who has it on their sheet? I can even imagine how this might be a strange question if Starfinder gets it's own organized play campaign.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

GIMME GIMME GIMME

*I am super exited for Starfinder*

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
thecursor wrote:

Y'know, this brings up a weird philosophical problem for me: if every character can get a starship and it's upgrade-able...who gets to own it? Who has it on their sheet? I can even imagine how this might be a strange question if Starfinder gets it's own organized play campaign.

The Society rents them to ya.


William Ronald wrote:

Can ships in Starfinder be sentient with artificial intelligence. Having a ship as an NPC might be fun.

And with that, I went straight to Starchaser: The Legend of Orin

"Who's Arthur?"

"Just the ships computer."

"I beg your pardon, I resent that. After all your body's just a machine too. How would you like if went around calling you Meat Brain?"


thecursor wrote:

Y'know, this brings up a weird philosophical problem for me: if every character can get a starship and it's upgrade-able...who gets to own it? Who has it on their sheet? I can even imagine how this might be a strange question if Starfinder gets it's own organized play campaign.

I kind of see it like any of the pet classes, the druid get a companion and decides how that companion develops. Likewise for summoners and their eidolons. If someone has a class without a companion there are still options out there to pick them up through archetypes and feats.

For APs i would think its rather easy for the society to provide basic ships fit for the mission or the story to provide access to a ship as an option for groups that dont innately provide their own. If the ship captain decides to go off the rails and chart a new course than it is about the same as when the party decides to go a few towns over and check out what is going on instead of investigating whatever plothook the AP expected. "screw Torch, lets go test these lasers on vampires in the name of Science!"


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I am very Excited for Starfinder!


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Do parties in Starfinder necessarily need only one ship?

Suppose Starfinder allowed for 'party squadrons' of single- or two-person ships. Not every ship has to be able to fight. Some might rely on defense, speed, or stealth. You could have technology that would interface with the pilot's magic talent and let him cast spells out of the ship. Imagine a magus imbuing his starfighter's plasma cannons with Corrosive Consumption, or a cleric in a torpedo bomber launching rockets with Inflict Critical Wounds at an enemy great wyrm...

But maybe everyone is on one ship 90% of the time, because ships with FTL are too expensive. The mothership is the only vessel with FTL so it has to be protected and you can't stray too far from it. This seems to be the default assumption for Starfinder, but there are sci-fi franchises that assume single-man ships are the norm and they make it work. (For example, Freelancer, No Man's Sky, Star Citizen, X-Wing, Wing Commander) Maybe everyone is piloting their own ship 90% of the time, because FTL is cheap(ish) so the party can fly in formation everywhere together.

Or it can be a mix of the two: everyone has a personal craft that can dock with a mothership that serves as a base of operations. The mothership has amenities and storage space but is not strictly needed for adventuring in-system.

Or Starfinder can do all of these, and it just depends on the campaign level.

Lowest levels: no ship and we're dead broke.

Low levels: we got one little ship

Lower-middle levels: little ship is upgraded to a larger 'carrier type' craft

Upper-middle levels: we got shuttles and a couple fighters too

High levels: we each have an FTL personal craft that we use most of the time, but we keep our mothership around in case we need it


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthew Shelton wrote:
FlavorableDeez wrote:
You mention Serenity in the article, how boring would it be to play a character like Inara, Simon, or Shepherd Book during space combat?
There should be a Morale Officer position. If you can't fight or drive or fix things or keep stuff from exploding, you should at least be able to play cheerleader.

Bards...in...SPAAAACE!


cynarion wrote:
Matthew Shelton wrote:
FlavorableDeez wrote:
You mention Serenity in the article, how boring would it be to play a character like Inara, Simon, or Shepherd Book during space combat?
There should be a Morale Officer position. If you can't fight or drive or fix things or keep stuff from exploding, you should at least be able to play cheerleader.
Bards...in...SPAAAACE!

To be fair...in Serenity, the Morale Officer seems to just have a bunch of sex with people, which is way cooler than what Bards do in combat.


Rysky wrote:
thecursor wrote:

Y'know, this brings up a weird philosophical problem for me: if every character can get a starship and it's upgrade-able...who gets to own it? Who has it on their sheet? I can even imagine how this might be a strange question if Starfinder gets it's own organized play campaign.

The Society rents them to ya.

Yes but then every mission would begin with "Now pay attention 007..."


Please be sure to keep small parties, even single player games in mind. Also split parties. Being required to split duties to play will seriously bog down those games if the GM has to create and play several NPCs to address each turn. It will, of course, be something house rules will grow to patch, if necessary, but it is always better to address these concerns without the players and GM needing to waste precious play time hashing out resolutions to game mechanics.
Thanks for a new game system that can't help but be a blast!

Sovereign Court

Don't make this like other space games where you need 5+ PC's to run a ship properly and there are tons of useless huge ships needing hundreds/thousands of people taking up valuable page space.

Space ships are cool and they're always handled very poorly in RPG's from the experience I've had with them. They're very often some combination of priced obscenely out of any reach, require the PC party to not only somehow work together as adventuring people but also work part time as communication officers and mechanics, or are just massive star ships that seem cool but are virtually useless during actual game play.

Spaceship battles can be a lot of fun but you can’t have them be like
almost every other space RPG out there where they’re some subsystem that’s completely separate from the rest of the game. You end up with rules like Decking in older editions of Shadowrun, completely separate games that sit outside of the usual play time.

Think Firefly, think smaller ships in Star Wars. 1 pilot in a proper ship, not a tiny fighter ship, but a whole adventuring RV ship! Engineers and people to work guns optional. We need Wash or Han. Everyone else can just buckle in. Something like that. Adventurer RV in Space. Spaceballs - exactly what ships are in a large portion of games.

So seriously think about that as a real problem. Cool customization of ship designs looks great on the back of the cover but the ship needs to be very involved with the regular game play and mechanics if you want to have them as any kind of real game focus. Otherwise your being dull or frustrating to the players.

Also don't let it devolve into that tired old trope of "cool, we have a spaceship... let's spend the rest of the game focusing on how we are going to pay for maintaining it." Way too many games devolve into that and it is not fun. These are real issues and failings in space RPG's up to this point.


If you're bothered by Decking in Shadowrun as a 'completely separate game(s) that sit outside the usual play time', then I don't quite see how you would want a ship-system where it's 'one pilot in a proper ship' where 'everyone else can just buckle in'. Doesn't that lead to exactly the same problem, where one section of the game is for one person and everyone else must sit back and wait while they and the GM resolve it?

Anyway, special manoeuvre cards looks a bit like Star Trek Online crossed with FFGs X-Wing, and DiY ships always seems a bit Traveller-y to me. That could get complex in a hurry.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Atrum Vita wrote:

Please be sure to keep small parties, even single player games in mind. Also split parties. Being required to split duties to play will seriously bog down those games if the GM has to create and play several NPCs to address each turn. It will, of course, be something house rules will grow to patch, if necessary, but it is always better to address these concerns without the players and GM needing to waste precious play time hashing out resolutions to game mechanics.

Thanks for a new game system that can't help but be a blast!

You don't need NPCs to fill in missing roles. Ship AI can cover rolls as long as you aren't trying to be too fancy.


A dogfighting scenario with the spotlight on one character isn't anything we haven't seen before or something we should automatically be afraid of.

Mobs of mundane monsters/enemy NPC martials: let the tank handle it.

Room of traps and locks: let the trapfinder handle it.

Hordes of undead/we're bleeding from every old and new orifice: let the medic handle it.

Big beefy monster or creepy thing no one's ever seen before: let the blaster handle it.

We need to talk our way out of/into this RIGHT NOW: let the faceman handle it.

We need to hack this computer system to get past the door/steal the data/erase our arrest warrants/find someone: let the computer guy handle it.

Our ship's under attack and we need to fight our way out or dodge our way out: let the pilot handle it.

Not everyone can do everything, and not everyone needs to...it's still the GM's job to make sure every PC gets to shine sometime, without letting anyone always outshine the rest. The rules or game design don't need to subsidize this or get in the way. Just let the GM do his job.


Well, there goes the, "RPGs are a team game!" meme.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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To be clear, the starship rules are NOT just "let the pilot handle it." You're going to want every player (of whatever sized group) to be involved, and so far in my experience all the different roles have been pretty fun and engaging. It's admittedly a tough nut to crack, but I think the Jasons (Bulmahn and Keeley) have done a great job!


James Sutter wrote:
To be clear, the starship rules are NOT just "let the pilot handle it." You're going to want every player (of whatever sized group) to be involved, and so far in my experience all the different roles have been pretty fun and engaging. It's admittedly a tough nut to crack, but I think the Jasons (Bulmahn and Keeley) have done a great job!

so i hear this and i believe this but i am still confused over if the extra ship roles are mandatory or nice-to-haves.

Sovereign Court

Bluenose wrote:
Doesn't that lead to exactly the same problem, where one section of the game is for one person and everyone else must sit back and wait while they and the GM resolve it?

Not really. It's more that it pushes the group away from having space battles which is the far more normal situation in a space RPG. Someone's driving this thing so now we don't need to worry about it unless the story decides it's important. It's to keep the game from turning into stopping and just becoming like that Star Wars miniatures space game that Fantasy Flight does.

Spaceships are Adventuring RV's that carry people from adventure point A to adventure point B. It's like the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Sure some times they get to put up the shields and shoot the lasers but a vast majority of the time it's just there to get them to the next M class planet so the adventure can continue. That function of them works.

Huge space fleet battles are super fun, in games about space battles. In an RPG that will take a huge amount of thought and effort to make something most of the player base would actually use. The up until now RPG model of huge GM responsibility and then blundering about is horrible. I warn against it. BEWAAAAAREEEE!


Morgen wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Doesn't that lead to exactly the same problem, where one section of the game is for one person and everyone else must sit back and wait while they and the GM resolve it?
Not really. It's more that it pushes the group away from having space battles which is the far more normal situation in a space RPG. Someone's driving this thing so now we don't need to worry about it unless the story decides it's important. It's to keep the game from turning into stopping and just becoming like that Star Wars miniatures space game that Fantasy Flight does.

X-Wing and Armada.

You could say the same for fights on the ground, or medical projects, or repairs, or anything else in the game. That's the stuff that only needs a superficial treatment unless the story decides it's important, to stop the game turning into the Star Wars miniatures ground game or Pandemic or Forbidden Desert.

I rather hope that it's a game where there's a bit more of a balance between different parts of it, cutting back the amount of detail on combat and increasing it in other parts of the game. Aiming to resolve simple ground/space encounters in five minutes and complex ones in fifteen should also mean not aiming at resolving simple engineering problems in one roll and complex ones in three.


I'm sure it's been said somewhere already, but will these rules allow us to minmax the firepower of a fully customizable battle station?

Silver Crusade

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quillblade wrote:
I'm sure it's been said somewhere already, but will these rules allow us to minmax the firepower of a fully customizable battle station?

You can, but you will also find out why a Drawback, is a Drawback.

"Are you sure you want to put that exhaust port on there?"

"Yeah, yeah, I get an extra trait if I do."


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Look, lay off about the exhaust ports, all right? Dak Exhaustport knew what he was doing.


Bluenose wrote:
Look, lay off about the exhaust ports, all right? Dak Exhaustport knew what he was doing.

I couldn't help myself but I had to read it all in Wheatley's/Stephen Merchant's voice.

Sovereign Court

Bluenose wrote:
X-Wing and Armada.

Thank you! I couldn't think of the name and I was in a rush.

I agree with your points too. I'm totally up for the 5-15 minute resolution style. The roll to succeed at life isn't terribly gripping either, especially when it comes to space ships. Make a roll to take off, make a roll to leave the atmosphere. :/

Also important is the how of obtaining a spaceship too. Just a story reward? How does a party of 3 people get one, how about a party of 7? People who play the game as a miniatures battle game on a grid, people who play it with a focus on story and don't use miniatures at all, groups who do huge intricate 3D terrain and tape measures, etc.


No excuses, he knew full well that the universe was populated with magic sword space wizards and building something called a "Death Star" as if that wouldnt be a galaxy wide beacon for space wizard adventurers.


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Obtaining the space ship is as easy or as hard as you make it really. Many people put the spaceship on quite the pedestal for sci fi games, but really, having a space ship isn't unbalanced at level 1.

While I do love me some D&D fantasy, my first love has always been sci fi. And I've run plenty of Mongoose Traveller, White Star, and lately, a lot of Stars Without Number. And in many of the games, the players have started owning, or at least using, starships. That's because startships in a sci fi game aren't really all that unbalancing. In many ways, it's like giving your players a boat at level 1. With a starship, you can get from Point A to Point B faster. More often than not, it's really just your method of traveling. You can't really take a space ship into a 'dungeon' (using the term more for 'area of adventure') because it's way too big. And the weapons really would only be all that useful in ship to ship combat or taking on sieges (strafing runs). But, you still have to have players going inside the complex to take on the adventure. And strafing runs may not be possible depending on the laws of the worlds. On frontier worlds, you have more openness to do that. But in a civilized core world? Probably not as much.

So starting with a spaceship isn't unbalanced. Rather, it requires the GM to realize that the campaign will take place on a wider scale. Nothing wrong with that, but it is a change of mentality. In addition, there are a variety of ways to give the players a starting ship. I typed this up in another post, but I'll repost it here.

1: Ships are expensive, but that's because they are the current model. It's like buying a 2017 car vs one from the 90's. My gf's Audi is more expensive than my 93' Geo Prizm. So have used spaceships available to the players at a fraction of the cost. Sure, they aren't as fast and reliable as the latest stuff, but at level one, just having a spaceship is awesome enough. And being a used ship means it'll have personality flaws. Just like the Serenity or Millennium Falcon have mechanical issues, these can cause some interesting complications to travel and such and can lead to their own adventures.

2: They take out a loan and get the good ship, but now they have to pay the loan every month or two months. For a sandbox game, this is actually pretty good, as the players have a goal and an adventure hook they can fall back on when they are unsure what they want to do next. Need 2,000 credits this month? There's a bounty for the Space Pirate Captain Harlock for 5,000 credits! Or, there's a convoy guard job for a shady hypercorp dealing with enslaved uplifts. Or, a shift senator needs passage to his secret home-away-from home. All of these are pretty ripe for adventuring.

3. They stole it! Or won it via shady bets and lots of luck. But now, there's a soft bounty on their heads so they must be careful out there in space. Like the one before, this adds a good metaplot that's ripe for adventure. Though for this, I would bring it up sparingly. Having bounty hunters every session would get old hand pretty quickly. But this can add some great complications to the mission, or it's own great adventure.

Most of the ships that you've mentioned fit in these categories. Serenity, Millennium Falcon, Bebop... their stories are filled with getting to the next adventure so you can pay off your ship, or your ship being ill gotten or even stolen, or your ship having 'character flaws' due to age. Hell, the Millennium Falcon fits all of these depending on the movie it's in.

As for starting craft, I think for ships smaller than capital class, having a pilot and engineer should be mandatory, and everything else is just icing on the cake. That way you can have your Serenity style ships where you don't really NEED a medic or a comm officer or a science officer, which would make a lot more sense on the Enterprise or the Normandy. But even with that, you can have multiple gunneries a la Millennium Falcon so that your players aren't bored watching the pilot do cool things. And while you don't need the science officer, having one is still beneficial. So this I feel is a good method to have a more simplistic and engaging way to do space battles for a group while still allowing more of the nuance of something like Mass Effect or Artemis Space Bridge or Star Trek.

And if your players all want space ships, or you have 6+ players... give them all space ships. Seriously, it's really not game breaking. I've run a BSG/Robotech themed game where the players all had fighter ships aboard a larger capital ship. And it worked out fine. All it meant was that everyone had a more combat focused part in the game, but everyone had fun and it wasn't overpowered or unbalanced. Or, as someone mentioned awhile back, have the players control drones that protect the ship.

There are a variety of ways to make space combat engaging for everyone involved and I hope to see them explored in this. Same with level 1.


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Odraude wrote:

1: Ships are expensive, but that's because they are the current model.

2: They take out a loan and get the good ship

3. They stole it! Or won it via shady bets and lots of luck.

4. Someone in the group inherited it, and now creditors who their deceased benefactor owed money are looking to repossess the ship to make up costs. Or enemies think the old owner is still flying the ship and refuse to believe otherwise. Or someone biologically closer to the original owner wants to contest the will, violently. (Or they just inherit it with no complications if you have enough going on already.)

5. The "getting the band together" story is all about snagging/earning the ship.

6. Someone's mentor built it and gave it to them to use to further their own goals which they're now too old and/or settled to make use of.

7. The rickety pile of junk they start with was actually BUILT by one or more of the PCs prior to the start of the campaign. It's a piece of junk, but it flies.

And ever-onward!


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8. Charity. One of my Traveller games involved a PC medical team that was the far-future equivalent to MsF, travelling to places where they were needed in their ship and with the costs paid by the charity they'd set up to make it possible.

9. A bit like Cole's '7' above, but the ship was recovered and repaired from a junk-yard (see also Force Awakens). A favourite of Traveller's Vargr race, this one.

10. You get one as part of your job. Whether that's as an Imperial Navy corvette, Repo-Men for an insurance company tracking skippers and jackers, orr something else - the people you work for have spaceships and they want you to have one.

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