I've been trying to put together an expanded list of starship frames to increase potential options for customization. I think I've got a decent start here, but I'd appreciate some input on balance.
1. The mouseover rule change on the "turret" column header has an outsized importance to balance. It's my answer to the discussion here but should probably be addressed separately from the rest of the frames' stat balance.
2. Not all frames are optimized for combat. The fact that the by-the-numbers "best" starting ship is a Light Freighter, and not the Explorer always bothered me. Thus the expansion bay rules on freighters and dedicated passenger craft.
3. I did not list, or touch on at all, supercolossal ship frames. My outlook is that these are going to be plot devices anyway, not something players are likely to touch.
4. The Tramp Freighter is probably unbalanced. It was a plot ship that I included in the list for my players' reference. Feel free to comment on it anyway though.
Credit where it's due:
1. Below the main table, I have the unmodified stats for RAW frames (in green), followed by a list of homebrew frames (in red) by Alex Olson that I borrowed from shamelessly.
2. All example ship images, along with several custom ship concepts are taken from Endless Sky, which I cannot recommend highly enough.
And with linguistic differences on top of that, I suspect that you'd have a popularization of neutral pronoun usage as the widespread default with specific forms of address used on request.
Easy. It's "Puppy".
The problem is, it's stated in multiple places that cover is an example of something that can break observation. It's actually the go-to example almost every time it comes up in the rules. Which means the argument here is really that the game designers badly overlooked the consequences of what they were writing. I come down solidly on the "require some kind of active breaking of observation" for actual playablility reasons, but I think the reason I don't get any pushback on that from players is that they're all so used to Pathfinder working that way that it's never questioned (and I am blessed with a lack of rules lawyers in the group).
Next time it's the hose!
Could combine A and C, meaning you only get the snapshot, but each subsequent scan reveals everything again. So (assuming each turn you just meet the DC, or exceed by less than 5), turn 1 you get info "a", turn 2 you get info "a+b" turn 3, you get "a+b+c" etc. I think defenses ("b") are the only ones that are likely to change from turn to turn, but this covers if there's some weird re-configuring ship options in later supplements.
Rules for scanning only say you get "current" value,
Fusions being "worth it" is something I've had trouble with. Some do add useful bonuses, but the majority of them seem to just add critical effects. Considering that we're now hard-locked at nat 20 for criticals, the fact that so many rules are piled onto that 5% chance is just... baffling to me. The rules treat it like this thing that won't even happen in half your fights is some big tactical option.
I have to imagine that Magyar's game sessions tend to look more like WH40k tabletop than D&D, with more time spent arguing over rules and details and edge cases than actually progressing the game.
Don't get me wrong, I spent many hours in high school enjoying that style of play, but now... I have trouble seeing the point.
I thought we were specifically discussing magic missile with it's optional full action casting time. Which is distinct from a 1 round casting time.
Technically the thread is on interruptions with readied actions, so this entire tangent is technically off-topic. Though probably more productive.
This seems like a decent jumping-off point for a set of survival rules, since the numbers for drain rates can be tweaked as desired. I think I'll play with this a bit and see if I can put together. I'd been putting off going through all the armor tables to define different built-in survival components, but I should probably at least make the attempt.
Oh, I know. I'm not in any way saying that the current rules should be universally changed. What I really want is for my game to have "hull breach" to be an actual threat players have to care about. Maybe have a damaged life-support system be something more worrying than a minor penalty on captain actions.
Also, from a player perspective in pathfinder, and from my players in starfinder. A story based on survival against the elements tends to be two things, a) boring, and b) deadly. The worst combination.
Definitely something I want to watch out for. I want the threat of vacuum to be a background concern, not a constant focus. I.e. Star Trek, not 21st century spacecraft. It doesn't need to come in most sessions, but a hull breach can be an occasional tool for dramatic set-piece.
If you want to force players to buy special vacuum protection for your sci-fi game you can, but you had better be prepared to re-write pre-written modules and keep in mind the added deadliness when making your own stories because it's not the default setting.
Thankfully not an issue. I'm not running in the Pact World setting right now as it is, so I don't need to worry about modules.
Edit: To clarify, it's less about forcing them to purchase more gear (not interesting), and more about making it an actual choice of whether or not to use that gear. Picard does not sit on the bridge of the Enterprise in a vac suit. Also, if a race can survive naturally in space (I have a Sarcesian player), it should at least have some small meaning.
The armor rules clearly state that ALL armor can provide protection from vacuum and other environmental hazards for a day per item level. This seems rather excessive to me, rapidly nullifying the danger of operating in the void, and ironically making spaceship battles in Starfinder environmentally safer than ship battles in Pathfinder (at least you can drown in rough water). Heck, as a recent discussion here brought up, it's potentially safer to vent your ship and fight in vacuum if boarded than it is to fight in atmosphere, as a number of threats are nullified without air.
It seems like this was a design decision change at some point in the writing process, which left some oddities behind. Like why would anyone ever have a space suit, when you can get stationwear armor for not much more cost, and not have your survivability threatened by every nearby pointy object? Why are Oxygen Candles a thing when every suit can let you breathe for days? Why do high-tech tents burn battery charges (that you have to pay for) to provide the same protection as armor provides for days (that recharge for free)?
Why is it a racial feature that Sarcesians can go 1 hour without breathing when the lowest level armor provides 24 times that?
Why does the Skitter Shot game module specify the presence of vacuum suits being available for players in the airlock when they all have armor already?
-(considered posting this in homebrew, but I'm hoping for discussion of the oddities in RAW too. If mods think it needs to be moved, feel free)
Original design intents aside, I'd like to restore the threat of operating in the void. The easiest method that I see here is to just flat-out remove vacuum protection from the list of environmental hazards that armor can protect you from. Then provide secondary equipment to make up the difference (with varying degrees of inconvenience to avoid people just running around with vac helmets on constantly). Operating freely in the void with fancy personal atmospheric force fields should be something restricted to higher levels, if it's available at all; not something existing as a throwaway descriptor for all armor from lowest to highest.
I'm looking here to hash out some specific rules to achieve the above goals. In addition, I'm hoping discussion here can help me:
Has anybody else messed with these rules in play? Any thoughts on a good direction to go with this, before I dive into potential specifics?