You know your prayers better than anyone dispensing advice, so take it all with a grain of salt.
Character Generation is always a fun exercise, and helps prayers get engaged in both the background and rules - so yes to that.
Likewise, letting them sort out their own equipment can be a good exploration - so no there.
How deep do you want to drive on your first game? Pick an adventure of appropriate length whose theme you feel would resonate with your players.
Jason Keeley wrote:
But I'm interested in seeing what everyone thinks once Against the Aeon Throne is out and whether or not it makes sense to do more 3-parters in the future!
The proof - as they say - will be in the pudding.
I'm looking forward to seeing the first 3-part AP, and we'll see how it works out.
There's a wealth of MDF terrain manufacturers that do science fiction terrain.
Do a search for "Designed for Infinity MDF" for more modern looking stuff, or "40K terrain MDF" if you prefer your seeing more grim dark.
You tend to get more bang for your buck for MDF vs plastic.
If you provide your preference as to look, I can also recommend more specific manufacturers.
I think the BP system itself could be used to give you what you want. The ship just automatically upgrades itself as the characters gain levels. Instead of them taking it into port and upgrading it, the BP gain by APL is just them discovering new/better systems as they learn how to operate the ship. Maybe the ship comes with a learning AI and is made of nannites that actually upgrade the ship over time.
I'm a big fan of this concept, and it gives your PCs an interesting base of operations/home base that won't become outdated as the game progresses.
The same concept can also be applied to a PC's trademark piece of equipment/weapon/armor.
From a practical standpoint, I doubt many 1st level characters would possess anything that would raise any eyebrows.
However, given the mishmash of cultures at the station, it could be fun to have "hayseed" new arrivals looking backwards or out of place dye to their clothing or equipment, making them as new or out-of-synch.
At higher levels, I'm sure there are areas where full battle rattle would be fine, and others where it would cause them to be reused entry.