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Batteries


Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know this is a bit detailed focus, but how are batteries handled in SFS?

The guide doesn't seem to mention them at all, or any services beyond spellcasting. So to split the above questioning a few more detailed questions:
In SFS, are batteries considered or effectively single use items like ammunition?
Outside of the armor upgrade specifically designed for it, can we recharge them and how?
If we can recharge them at communal recharge stations such as the ones on pg. 234 of the Core Rulebook, how do we calculate the value of batteries that came with the weapon?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The obvious houserule would be that any item with a batter has a price of (item price minus battery price) for the item without a battery. If that value is zero or less, that item's batter cannot be removed without destroying both the item and the battery.

Any bets as to whether SFS goes with something like that?

Liberty's Edge *

I believe there is a FAQ that address a little bit of this.

I would think that the battery that comes with a weapon (or armor) when it is purchased is the same level as the weapon (or armor). I would also assume that the battery is completely charged when it is purchased.

I would assume the same thing for weapons found in the "wild" unless the GM told me other wise.

It is cheaper to recharge than to buy new so, no batteries are not single use items.


Pathfinder Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Based on batteries from the tech guide I suspect that batteries are used to refill a devices internal charges and are not slotted into the device when used.

Liberty's Edge *

How batteries are handled in the tech guide is different than how they are handled in Starfinder.

The batteries are slotted into the device and when exhausted, new batteries can be slotted.

Grand Lodge

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This should be in the Guide, as it seems the Core Rulebook lets the GM decide this, but it's not in the SFS FAQ yet. :(

**

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The Core rule book has rules for rechargeing them with genrator on page 168 and a recharging station on page 234. I plan on asking the GM to make down when I recharge them.

* Starfinder Society Developer

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Just a note, I am following this thread. Before I can answer officially, I need to check on some things (specifically some battery-related shenanigans) with SF design team. Just want you to know that these questions aren't going into the aether.

Dataphiles *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Just a note, I am following this thread. Before I can answer officially, I need to check on some things (specifically some battery-related shenanigans) with SF design team. Just want you to know that these questions aren't going into the aether.

I was curious about this, because I dont think we used much on the early sessions, if we would just have a starfinder tracking sheet and after a scenario just recharge the battery and pay a associated cost. Have the GM sign off on our chronicals that its charged.

Speaking of Starfinder tracking sheet. Will we get a Society Character and Tracking Sheet for Starfinder. Much like what we have for PFS.

Liberty's Edge *

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
Just a note, I am following this thread. Before I can answer officially, I need to check on some things (specifically some battery-related shenanigans) with SF design team. Just want you to know that these questions aren't going into the aether.

I suggest for SFS not to make batteries auto recharge at the start of an adventure. There has to be a cost to using batteries or that is all anyone would use because it is free ammo.

Dark Archive *****

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I see no reason why the Lorespire Complex wouldn't have a charging station, and it seems silly that an organization that big would deny their employees access to something like that. (During an adventure you would of course need to find other ways to charge it.) Also, it's called out in the core that you can use some ships to charge batteries - do the two owned by the society have this capability?

As to free ammo, most of the guns targeting KAC require actual rounds, while only those targeting EAC use batteries. Not everything is going to be hurt by the different kinds of energies out there, so a prepared starfinder should still have a weapon on hand to target KAC. Either that or carry guns of all the energy types, which gets expensive, and heavy! Keep in mind that if we want to stay within expected power levels, we'll need to keep buying better guns, and the resale value on the older ones is not great. I think that more than offsets the cost of charging batteries for free between scenarios.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

At least, I use 3 charges during one scenario, and, my ysoki did enjoy doing Energy Ray cantrip.

****

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I look at a battery's charges as I would arrows. They're ammunition and should be tracked as such. I don't believe energy is free, so there should be a cost to recharge them... even in the Lorespire Complex. After all, archers aren't given free arrows at the Grand Lodge between adventures. If Campaign Leadership does NOT go with some sort of "free recharge" between scenarios, whether or not ships to which the PCs have access during a scenario have onboard charging stations should be clarified and codified (the CRB leaves that up to GM discretion, but this is probably something for which we don't want table variation).

Also, the environmental protections of armor can be recharged at the same locations batteries can, but for free (per page 198 of the CRB). Could one use Sleight of Hand to "sneak" a free battery recharge from such a station while recharging one's armor for free?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, if folks have problems with batteries they could go make lots of children with lots of alien races until they find 'the right one' and then they could use that child as...

coughs Sorry.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

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Alanya wrote:
I see no reason why the Lorespire Complex wouldn't have a charging station, and it seems silly that an organization that big would deny their employees access to something like that.

Presumably it costs them something to run the recharged, if only out of their power bill. If charging becomes free, it sets up a disparity between ammo and batteries.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Questions that have come up in game:

If I play a technomancer, with the Transfer charge cantrip. Can I loot enemies to charge up my friends batteries? And does that persist past the end of the scenario?

A number of spells call for using expended batteries. Is it just assumed that casters carry around a stock of "broken" batteries that can't be recharged?

Dark Archive *****

Jared Thaler wrote:
Alanya wrote:
I see no reason why the Lorespire Complex wouldn't have a charging station, and it seems silly that an organization that big would deny their employees access to something like that.
Presumably it costs them something to run the recharged, if only out of their power bill. If charging becomes free, it sets up a disparity between ammo and batteries.

So what about comms, and suits, and flashlights, and all the other things in Starfinder that have batteries with increments that need to be recharged? Environmental suits are called out as free to recharge, but what about the others? As a GM, do you really want to have to enforce every last item? What about when time is fluid between encounters? Personal comm batteries last for 80 hours, do you want to have to decide if the PCs need to recharge (and pay) halfway through the scenario? I don't see most GMs wanting to make that call, but there are some out there that will, and players will complain that GM X decided they needed to pay to recharge their comm while GM Y didn't. Batteries are not just for guns. And if we allow free recharging of non guns, players will want to know how their gun batteries, which use the same recharging source, are any different.

I realize that the game and reality are going to differ, but the majority (all?) of employers in real life let you use their power outlets to recharge electronics without charging you, even though they have electric bills to pay.

Just to be clear, I'm okay with whichever way the organized play team decides, but it has to be consistent across all batteries, or be specifically spelled out if there are exceptions.

****

Alanya wrote:
Batteries are not just for guns. And if we allow free recharging of non guns, players will want to know how their gun batteries, which use the same recharging source, are any different

The batteries listed in the chart on page 179 of the CRB are just for guns and powered armor (at least, I believe that's the case). They're ammunition (or consumables, I guess, in the case of powered armor). I believe the cost to recharge them needs to remain in place. An ultra-capacity battery costs 445 credits (or a little over 220 credits to recharge). Spread across multiple batteries, that could be quite the cost. I don't think we want to give that to players for free. I'm fine with incidental items (personal comm units, e.g.) being free to recharge. But I do agree that we need a ruling/clarification from Campaign Leadership; table variation may cause a disparity between PCs' wealth and could lead to some unexpected "gotcha" moments in game.

It's also possible that items like the personal comm unit are meant to be disposable and designed to be replaced when their charges are spent (like the healing kits in Pathfinder; consumables with a limited number of uses).

****

Additional research/reading has shown my understanding of batteries was flawed, at best. It's obvious now I misread some information and just plain missed other information. I will, however, stand by my belief that batteries used to power weapons and/or armor should not, in most situations, be rechargeable for free in organized play.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Virginia—Richmond East

Ships generally have chargers too...


If you plug into a power plug who is to stop you? You may have to hack security to do it and also kill some guards but once thats done, the bad guys foot the ammo bill. And about time too. On the other hand some power stations might have cred chit scanners that auto deduct whst you owe.


ghostunderasheet wrote:
If you plug into a power plug who is to stop you? You may have to hack security to do it and also kill some guards but once thats done, the bad guys foot the ammo bill. And about time too. On the other hand some power stations might have cred chit scanners that auto deduct whst you owe.

and time. Mayhaps hours. Are you guna stand in the middle of an active battlefield charging batteries for hours?


Solar powered ammo packs. >.>

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Michael Meunier wrote:
Ships generally have chargers too...

At the GM’s discretion, some larger starships might have onboard recharging stations. These might offer recharging at low or no cost, but they typically take 1 minute per charge to recharge a battery or power cell

That does not sound like "generally" to me.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

ghostunderasheet wrote:
ghostunderasheet wrote:
If you plug into a power plug who is to stop you? You may have to hack security to do it and also kill some guards but once thats done, the bad guys foot the ammo bill. And about time too. On the other hand some power stations might have cred chit scanners that auto deduct whst you owe.
and time. Mayhaps hours. Are you guna stand in the middle of an active battlefield charging batteries for hours?

minutes. Not Hours. Recharging batteries at most chargers is 1 rnd per charge.

But Infamy? that will stop you real fast.

Liberty's Edge *

Michael Meunier wrote:
Ships generally have chargers too...

One would think but I didn't find any references about recharging stations on a ship.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Additional questions:

What ways exist to tell how many charges are left on a battery? Currently, the only way to tell seems to be:

A.) Plug it into a power armor.
B.) Pay to get it fully charged.
C.) Cast transfer charge a single charge at a time into a battery whose charges you have been keeping track of.

Dark Archive *****

Gary Bush wrote:
Michael Meunier wrote:
Ships generally have chargers too...
One would think but I didn't find any references about recharging stations on a ship.

It's the last two sentences under recharging on page 234, but nothing is mentioned about it in the starship chapter as far as I can find.

Also, if personal comm units, flashlights, and the like are supposed to be disposable (vs rechargeable), then that really needs to be clarified. I know IRL burner phones exist, but I can't imagine that in Starfinder that's all people have...

For home games, of course, batteries and recharging are no big deal - the GM decides how they want to run it, and that's that. For Organized Play though, we really need some clarification, because there are way too many variables. Help us OP team, you're our only hope!

The Exchange

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Even if it's decided that battery charging costs money generally, batteries are still going to have an advantage over ammo in that they can recharged with an armor mod through kinetic energy. Whatever clarification on batteries ends up happening there seems to need to be some information about between game charging will work for someone with a backup generator.

Grand Lodge

Jared Thaler wrote:

Additional questions:

What ways exist to tell how many charges are left on a battery? Currently, the only way to tell seems to be:

A.) Plug it into a power armor.
B.) Pay to get it fully charged.
C.) Cast transfer charge a single charge at a time into a battery whose charges you have been keeping track of.

Actually, some spells suggest that there is no way to tell how many charges are left. But that's not spelled out in the battery rules as far as I can tell.

For example, the Recharge spell (p372) says "This spell provides no knowledge of how many charges an item can safely hold, but you can choose to bestow fewer charges than the maximum allowed to reduce the risk; you must declare how many charges you are restoring before casting this spell."

Dataphiles

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"My, ah, backup generator, ah, um, brings all the um, soldiers to my rear um property?"

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

'Flush' Gurdon wrote:


"My, ah, backup generator, ah, um, brings all the um, soldiers to my rear um property?"

But only if you shake your electric generator.

***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm kind of hoping SFS hand waves ammo/battery replacement. Buy enough that you think will last through a mission and between scenarios it's replaced. With the exception of missiles, grenade arrows and a few other oddities, I don't recall there being a significant cost to ammo and batteries.

Any paperwork reduction is good.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Personally I'd support the idea that non-weapon batteries should be recharged for free during downtime, much like environmental protections on armor and stationwear. It's a public service in that case, since accidents can happen on a space station, it's important that the public has access to the safety features of their gear.

Weapon class batteries however...to keep in line with the costs of projectile weapons, I'd argue that this should stay RAW, even if the society does have a starship or two floating outside in the armada. You know how ridiculous this can get, I can see it now...

Comencement plot spoilers:

Hangar of the Master of Stars

Fitch: I've already seen all of you new graduates, what do you want? Did guidance not receive my message about your completed tasks?

Society members: No, it did, thanks for that. We're just here to borrow your recharging station. The ones on Absalom charge you out the nose.

Fitch: Our....(looks over shoulder at line of shuttles waiting at docking bay) Oh you have got to be kidding me!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Also...it strikes me as odd that a commlink, with a charge of 80, costs only 7, but to charge the battery would be 195 credits (High capacity batteries are 390!). Cheaper just to toss it and buy a new one!

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I see this as closer to "you don't have to pay for or track room and board" in PFS.

If we do have to keep track of these, we really need more details on how they're treated with respect to "no trading" rules and items found in adventures. Others have brought up some of this:
- Can we use found batteries?
- Is Transfer Charge legal between PCs?
- Can it re-charge from found batteries?
- Can we use found credits to pay to recharge batteries?
- Can I use my Backup Generator to recharge other PCs stuff?
- Can I loan another PC my Backup Generator to let them recharge their stuff?
- Do level 1 characters need to pay to recharge their stuff before the level 2 rebuild?
- (I assume pregens don't need to track recharging, btu jsut to be thorough.)
- Can pregens transfer charges or loan batteries to other PCs?

**

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Adder007USA wrote:
Also...it strikes me as odd that a commlink, with a charge of 80, costs only 7, but to charge the battery would be 195 credits (High capacity batteries are 390!). Cheaper just to toss it and buy a new one!

Haha thats crazy. It would be cheaper to do so.

I could see this going either way. This would make projectiles that much more useless, if you didn't have to charge. But they didn't provide a tracking sheet to ultimately keep track of items. But at the same time I could see them saying don't worry about it as it would be a lot of book keeping.

Depending on how they rule the Transfer Charges spell, I may need to change a few spells around. I plan on my soldiers for sure taking technomantic dabbler just for that spell. I took a battery from the enemy and transfer it to my battery.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Micheal Smith wrote:
Adder007USA wrote:
Also...it strikes me as odd that a commlink, with a charge of 80, costs only 7, but to charge the battery would be 195 credits (High capacity batteries are 390!). Cheaper just to toss it and buy a new one!

Haha thats crazy. It would be cheaper to do so.

I could see this going either way. This would make projectiles that much more useless, if you didn't have to charge. But they didn't provide a tracking sheet to ultimately keep track of items. But at the same time I could see them saying don't worry about it as it would be a lot of book keeping.

Depending on how they rule the Transfer Charges spell, I may need to change a few spells around. I plan on my soldiers for sure taking technomantic dabbler just for that spell. I took a battery from the enemy and transfer it to my battery.

Right? Or buying commlinks to pull the battery out and use in your high capacity weapons.

Again, I feel like there should be a differentiation between "weapons grade" batteries, and "Equipment grade" batteries.

Either that, or standardize the cost of "Charges". Currently there's nothing to stop someone from using a 20 charge battery in a high level weapon, it explicitly says you can do so on pg 168. You'll have to reload more often certainly, but 4 shots between reloads on a zenith artilery laser, for example...as heavy as that thing hits, it's not a bad tradeoff since reloading is just a move action. And batteries are - bulk, so it's easy to have enough ready for a whole combat.

Again, there's a HUGE price discrepancy between the different capacity batteries, and from what I can tell, the ONLY benefit to a higher capacity battery is not having to reload as often.

**

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Adder007USA wrote:
Micheal Smith wrote:
Adder007USA wrote:
Also...it strikes me as odd that a commlink, with a charge of 80, costs only 7, but to charge the battery would be 195 credits (High capacity batteries are 390!). Cheaper just to toss it and buy a new one!

Haha thats crazy. It would be cheaper to do so.

I could see this going either way. This would make projectiles that much more useless, if you didn't have to charge. But they didn't provide a tracking sheet to ultimately keep track of items. But at the same time I could see them saying don't worry about it as it would be a lot of book keeping.

Depending on how they rule the Transfer Charges spell, I may need to change a few spells around. I plan on my soldiers for sure taking technomantic dabbler just for that spell. I took a battery from the enemy and transfer it to my battery.

Right? Or buying commlinks to pull the battery out and use in your high capacity weapons.

Again, I feel like there should be a differentiation between "weapons grade" batteries, and "Equipment grade" batteries.

Either that, or standardize the cost of "Charges". Currently there's nothing to stop someone from using a 20 charge battery in a high level weapon, it explicitly says you can do so on pg 168. You'll have to reload more often certainly, but 4 shots between reloads on a zenith artilery laser, for example...as heavy as that thing hits, it's not a bad tradeoff since reloading is just a move action. And batteries are L bulk, so it's easy to have enough ready for a whole combat.

Again, there's a HUGE price discrepancy between the different capacity batteries, and from what I can tell, the ONLY benefit to a higher capacity battery is not having to reload as often.

\

I didn't look at the batteries that close. But yea I agree, there should be a difference or some way of regulating that. No reason not to buy a bunch of personal comm units when you need a high battery charge.

The easiest way to fix this is, items don't come with a battery. Most things you buy now don't come with batteries or ammo. So it my home campaign this will be a default rule.


I'm really sure that weapon batteries and gear batteries already have an implicit difference. The capacities don't match up, the prices are different, and the sizes aren't the same.

It should really be made explicit in an FAQ, and it's disappointing that this, the fusions, and space DCs made it to print like this.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Micheal Smith wrote:


I didn't look at the batteries that close. But yea I agree, there should be a difference or some way of regulating that. No reason not to buy a bunch of personal comm units when you need a high battery charge.

The easiest way to fix this is,...

Since characters have a built in comm in their armor, this isn't really that big of a deal...but how do you deal with the batteries of non standard size? (12 in signal jammer, 10 in flashlight, etc.).

My current house rule is that "civilian" batteries don't work in weapons. Means you don't have to do away with the part that says equipment comes with a battery fully charged (Pg. 218), and prevents the price of a personal comm ballooning to 397!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

It makes sense the society would have a generator on their ship so you can recharge your gear. For now, that's what I'm assuming. It doesn't make any sense that the society would pay for your food and travel expenses, but be too cheap to put a generator on the ship so you can recharge your gear.

Liberty's Edge *

The problem with that assumption is the cost economy. If a character does not have to pay for a consumable that why would they ever use a pistol or rockets? There has to be some cost to recharge.
And I agree that it does not make sense if we compare it to our real world.

But for the sake of the game, a cost has to be there.

In pathfinder my character always has rations and feed as needed.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gary, do you really think the balance between a rocket/pistol and a laser is that tight that pistols would just not be used if laser ammo is free?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

300 for a clip of rockets vs theoretically free recharge on batteries....yeah, there's a difference

**

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
d'Eon wrote:

I'm really sure that weapon batteries and gear batteries already have an implicit difference. The capacities don't match up, the prices are different, and the sizes aren't the same.

It should really be made explicit in an FAQ, and it's disappointing that this, the fusions, and space DCs made it to print like this.

Adder007USA wrote:

Since characters have a built in comm in their armor, this isn't really that big of a deal...but how do you deal with the batteries of non standard size? (12 in signal jammer, 10 in flashlight, etc.).

My current house rule is that "civilian" batteries don't work in weapons. Means you don't have to do away with the part that says equipment comes with a battery fully charged (Pg. 218), and prevents the price of a personal comm ballooning to 397!

In the Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 168:

In addition to weapons, batteries can be used to power a wide array of items, including powered armor and technological items.

Meaning they are interchangeable. Who cares in your Armor has com units. That’s irrelevant in this matter. The fact that I can pay 7 credits get a personal comm unit with a battery that holds 80 charges. Normally that battery costs 390 credits. To charge that battery it costs 195 credits. Any weapon that have 80+ charges can use this battery no problem. So I just bought a 390 credit battery for 7 credits with the personal comm unit,

Liberty's Edge *

Then expect table variance because when I GM I will expect players to track all consumables. And no you can't buy a comm unit for 7 credits to get a battery to charge a weapon or armor. To me that comes dangerously close to being a jerk.

We are making this too hard. Stop looking for ways to get around things and spend that time enjoying the game.

Gear is different than weapons and armor. It is obvious.


I doubt that a comm unit uses 390 credit battery. Charged battery price is taken into account when buying weapons and equipment that uses them. Maybe it just uses 80 charges of it's tiny battery which you can't put into your blue star plasma cannon (assuming 80 charges is not an error for a comm unit).


Gary Bush wrote:
The problem with that assumption is the cost economy. If a character does not have to pay for a consumable that why would they ever use a pistol or rockets? There has to be some cost to recharge.

Would you say that batteries are consumables? But they don't get consumed, charges do, and you can have battery with 0 charges.

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