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Starship Tier with variable number of players week to week.


Starfinder General Discussion

Grand Lodge

If I'm reading this right, the Tier of the PC starship is equal to the APL of the party.
The thing is I have a variable number of PCs in my present campaign. Week to week
I can have between 3-9 characters on the board (PCs and their followers or companions or w/e).

I guess the sensible thing to do is have an average-average party level and some weeks the ship
will be stronger or weaker than it ought to be.

I like that idea more than having different versions of the same explorer-class ship week to week
and explanations for same. I suppose another idea is to have the players based on a massive carrier
that assigns them a ship week to week based on their BP.
That might be more fun to try out different ships or ship concepts.

Anyone come up with any ideas about this? Is it a going concern?


APL is Average Party Level, right? If the players are all the same level, wouldn't the APL (and therefore ship tier) be the same regardless of whether there's 3 of them or 9 of them?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well, you don't need to worry about followers/companions, just the PCs themselves. Unless you have a great disparity in their levels (which creates its own problems for adventuring), just go with the overall average of regular and semi-regular PCs and gradually move up the ship tier as the overall group slowly levels up.

Shadow Lodge

If your PCs are different levels, then just average all the PCs in the whole group, whether the players show up or not.

That way, it can simulator the camera just focusing on a few PCs at a time, while all the other PCs are just in the background doing something else.

Grand Lodge

Johnico wrote:
APL is Average Party Level, right? If the players are all the same level, wouldn't the APL (and therefore ship tier) be the same regardless of whether there's 3 of them or 9 of them?

The level gap has crept in as some of my players are more consistent than others with respect to attendance.

So average-average party level is the way to go it seems.


Also, just to note, since I've seen a couple people make what I am 99% sure is the same mistake:

BP don't go up with Tier. Tier goes up with BP. Or to be more specific, your ship Tier doesn't go up *until you actually spend the BP to improve it*. Your ship doesn't magically get harder to pilot, and start facing tougher foes, until after you *actually get the improvements for improving your APL installed*.

Shadow Lodge

Metaphysician wrote:

Also, just to note, since I've seen a couple people make what I am 99% sure is the same mistake:

BP don't go up with Tier. Tier goes up with BP. Or to be more specific, your ship Tier doesn't go up *until you actually spend the BP to improve it*. Your ship doesn't magically get harder to pilot, and start facing tougher foes, until after you *actually get the improvements for improving your APL installed*.

This is the common sense way to do it, but unless they've made an Errata, it is not what the rules state. The rules state that your Tier is equal to the APL, regardless of how many build points you've used.

The rules are funky in this regard.


bookrat wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:

Also, just to note, since I've seen a couple people make what I am 99% sure is the same mistake:

BP don't go up with Tier. Tier goes up with BP. Or to be more specific, your ship Tier doesn't go up *until you actually spend the BP to improve it*. Your ship doesn't magically get harder to pilot, and start facing tougher foes, until after you *actually get the improvements for improving your APL installed*.

This is the common sense way to do it, but unless they've made an Errata, it is not what the rules state. The rules state that your Tier is equal to the APL, regardless of how many build points you've used.

The rules are funky in this regard.

If we're really going by RAW, then tier equals APL when APL increases. There are no rules for decreasing a ship's tier. It never actually says your tier is always equal to your APL. If APL goes down for some reason (characters die or leave), the tier doesn't change.

CRB, Page 305 wrote:

As the PCs go on adventures and gain experience, they need

an increasingly powerful starship to face tougher challenges.
When the characters’ Average Party Level increases, so does
the tier of their starship (see Table 9–1: Starship Base Statistics
on page 294).
The PCs receive a number of Build Points equal
to the Build Points listed for their starship’s new tier – those
listed for its previous tier, which they can use to upgrade their
starship.

I'll note their is a "can use to upgrade" as opposed to must upgrade.

Also, if all ships are automatically the tier of the party, the multiple ship rules on page 326 don't make any sense.

CRB, Page 326 wrote:

Multiple Ships

If the PCs have more than one starship, use the highest-tier ship’s
tier as a base and add 1 to this value for each additional starship
within at least 2 tiers of that starship. If none are within 2 tiers,
add up the tiers of all the additional starships and add 1 to the base
value if the total is equals or exceeds the base starship’s tier. Use
this modified value when determining the encounter’s difficulty.

Why have rules for PC ships which have different tiers, if the intention was for every PC ship to have tier = APL. While RAW may be unfortunately worded, RAI it is clear that PCs could step onto a ship and not change its tier instantly. And in fact, can choose to have ships at tiers less than their APL, per the quoted multi-ship rules above.


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

The party ship is the same level as the party average -- but it is certainly possible to have NPC allied ships or extra ships borrowed by the PCs.


So it is only Build Point that are magical.

Just kidding,
I understand the reason behind the rule. I just think it s very heavy handed and something that fits a video game more then a pen and paper RPG.

But your mileage may vary.

MDC


1 person marked this as a favorite.

*cough* They really should have a rule sidebar in the book: "If an ambiguously phrased rule leads to two possible interpretations, and one of them is ludicrous, the answer is not 'Parse the sentence like a lawyer for exact grammatical detail'. The Answer is 'The not-ludicrous one'." And yes, I know this would result in countless munchkins arguing why their particular munchkinism is not-ludicrous, or people confusing 'unrealistic' for 'ludicrous'.

I really do feel like a sizable percentage of the "rules problems" currently talked about in Starfinder are the result of precisely that- treating a text that was not written to be a legal document, as a legal document, with all the fine parsing of one seeking advantage to screw another party out of money or freedom. Between that and "If its not explicitly stated in the CRB, it doesn't exist". . .

More on point, they pretty much say exactly in the book why BP are different: because starships are cool, and the party should be able to have a starship, but using the standard item economy with starships just doesn't work. Its either having two separate economics, or else a completely nonfunctional Equipment economy where PCs have functionally infinite money. Whether you like this or not, or even think its necessary or not, there isn't any ambiguity over *why* its the case. They say why outright.

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