For corporations and companies, I’ve been trawling through all the companies registered in late Victorian UK. The result is a less jazzy, but more austere set of names. You’re welcome to any and all of them.
Universal Salvage Company.
Robert G. McCreary wrote:
I understand where you're coming from. But some guidance on frequency of encounters & severity would have been useful. A few pre made Drift hazards, challenges and the like could make Drift travel more of an adventure, as opposed to an afterthought.
For the record, I and my group love starfinder so this is not a critique of the whole game, just a request for more clarity on certain areas.
David knott 242 wrote:
Exactly. I can understand waiting for that but still nothing? It's not a great move. Considering all the pre release talk about Encounters in the Drift and how unique and dangerous it was.
So, my party have a tendency to go off the rails and explore the universe. Who can blame them? But it is a bit taxing to plan for every eventuality.
Has anyone designed or found any encounter tables? I know the core rule book states there are encounter chances for Drift travel, yet fails to state their nature. Has anyone had any thoughts about this?
I am considering converting the excellent Warp Encounter tables from Rogue Trader. While some things are foolish, there are some things that work very well.
I have house ruled that fighter squadrons can elect Leaders. They can make captain actions if the squad is together.
Also, computer programs can be given the ability to make skills checks. Nothing to say you can't have a dedicated system that can shoot/autopilot for you.
So, from a hard sci fi viewpoint (correct me if I'm wrong) hiding in space is difficult if you are being looked for. Even running silent, your ship is magnitude warmer than the space around it.
However, space is big. Far enough away from your enemy and it should be a reasonable for them to miss you with a targetting laser. If they knew your last course, a few blasts of RCS would send you elsewhere.
However, this is less fun.
My current house rules involve engineering, piloting and science officers making checks, opposed by a rival ships pilot (navigation) and science officer (scanning). The PC's switch everything off, cut transponder and use RCS & controlled emissions to scramble their path. The enemy ship tries to chart their movements while analysing detailed scans of the area.
This potentially could take days, maybe weeks. In that time, the PC's are on high alert, living in cold, zero gravity environments with limited light and cold food. It would be a test of endurance for anyone!
In an asteroid or comet field, this changes. Ships could hide on, or in, small bodies. Piloting and science checks would be good here.
I am using a super quick house rule for Fuel. I just use the total PCUs as days worth of fuel. As the players have a small light freighter I've not written anything for increasing size of ship though.
You can extend the fuel storage with Expantion bays dedicated to said purpose too.
As for food and water on board, I use the quality of the crew quarters as a base. Lower quality quarters = less food and water. Once again, Expantion bays increase this.
I had an interesting experience with grapple in one of my test games. I had converted a fire crab (a little partial CR beast) who was eating the electricity out of a console. Now as per PF rules if it hit with an attack, it got the chance to grapple. The PC being grabbed had a manuvere defence of 21 or so.
The crab rolled a nat 20.
So of course they want this thing off. It's dealing automatic damage every round. Except now it's KAC + 8. The number the to counter grapple was 22. This would require a 19+. Suddenly a little crab with 5 HP was an immortal leech of stamina and hit points with a vice like grip.
So, KAC + 8 is probably not balanced for grab attacks. Perhaps a house rule is needed.
To take your question on a tangent - could starships be Player Characters?
While not mentioned in the book, one would assume A.I's could control starships. It would be a cool concept for a campeign to set in a post Rise of the Robots scenario, where machine empires wage war and individual A.I's can swap "bodies".
There is a very fine line between Space/Hostile Environments being a challenge for the PC's to overcome and a barrier to fun and exciting play.
I used to GM a lot of Rogue Trader back in the day and one of the more enjoyable "dungeons" I ran was a huge complex on an ice moon that was airless and freezing cold. However, in that game there were few baseline armors that included space suit type systems, meaning any fights I planned in this complex would need to take into account my group had significantly fewer defensive resources. Also, the complex was so large that basic space suits didn't have enough air to make it through the whole thing.
The lack of armor was super annoying. I like my players to actually play with the shiny new toys I graciously provide for them. But the environmental challenges made them think about establishing base camps for oxygen canister dumps. Fun play was had, but from then I developed house rules that allowed the party to modify certain armors with pressure seals & life support. However they took time to activate so they didn't just wander around with it on all the time, essentially negating all environmental factors all of the time.
Starfinder has gone the complete other direction and I can see why & the good intentions behind it. I will be house ruling a few things to bring it back in line with my "Space is dangerous." mantra. I have also made Space Suits viable again.
Please, feedback on this would be totally awesome.
Environmental Protections: Light Armour contains a flexible pressure bodyglove under layers of padding, as well as emergency oxygen supplies and a space-rated breathing mask. It provides protection from vacuum for item level x 1/hour. It does not protect the wearer from temperature, but does include protection from solar rays and other radiation sources in a vacuum. Heavy Armour provides the same protection but for double the time.
New Armour Modification: Heat Resistant Mk 1: The Armour now provides resistant to temperatures up to 212f. This modification is powered by a battery that uses 1/charge per hour. (Different versions will of course exist for different environments)
New Equipment: Space Suit (possibly going up in increments/levels). Space Suit follows RAW, but can resist higher/lower temps & hazardous conditions.
Any thoughts appreciated!
Strong Orb! Wise Orb! I call upon you for your knowledge.
Question One: What are, if any, the rules for generating star systems to explore?
Question Two: During Drift travel, what chances are there of catastrophic danger?
Question Three: How are Resolve Points regained? Also, is there a critical wound table that involves limb loss? Gotta get my players to invest in cybernetics somehow!
David knott 242 wrote:
Thanks bud, hopefully not too much longer to wait
I've got a little started adventure planned to introduce everyone (including me to the rules & setting).
The group are contracted by a space station trying to get its hydroponics started. They are to fly out to an ice field and tow a comet back. On arrival to the ice field they meet other contractors doing much the same, except a few of them would rather others do the hard work and scoop up the profits themselves. Starship combat, boarding actions and diplomatic resolutions are all possible. But wait, there's more!
The group needs to "land" on the comet and attach the huge towing chains. Except the comet is invested with ice elementals, none too happy about their home being turned into a giant slushee back at the station. If the PC's survive and begin towing the comet away, all may seem well... except the little elementals they defeated may only be miniature versions of a much bigger and angrier opponent. Cue space chase!
First World Bard wrote:
The memory of them trying to shoot a lock with it amuses me. However they did a right number on the guards. Reminded me in turn about the stun blasters from Minority Report.
I like to think that either they would be kept within that same time frame (fixed events in time, like Doctor Who) or they would lose their memories like everyone else.
As for the portals, the ones from/to Golarion will be non functioning. More interesting are the portals between worlds like Eox and Verces. Instantaneous army transfer means they'll probably be treated like Stargates.
Interesting. I wonder, based on this, whether there will be weapons that are considered non-lethal. The idea of pulling a blow when firing a awesome plasma cannon of fire seems a little far fetched.
The issue would be making varied "non lethal" weapons. 3.5/Pathfinder was a little limited in this regard. Another solution could be giving some weapons a "Set to Stun" mode.
I'd love to see magnetic fire guns, or electronically fired ceaseless rounds. I used to play a lot of Shadowrun and the wide variety of guns, ammo and mods was staggering. Half our playtime was dedicated to arms smuggling and crafting.
There has been a little bit here and there mentioned about the crafting system with the universal polymers. But have they mentioned craft skills yet?
Magazine-shaped and -sized batteries seems like a simple solution for energy weapons. Easy quick change in combat, then you can plug them into a charger later. For weapons with a bigger power draw, maybe a backpack-mounted generator.
I'm hoping for this but also a scaling of ammo costs as guns get better. But reloading should be simple unless it's some hand cranked lasmusket.
I'm hoping so, for energy weapons al least. But solid projectile weapons will be another matter. Will the game favour energy weapons for ease of use (a low hassle choice) but make solid projectile weapons more powerful as a result of having to buy and haul ammo... not to mention that they won't work in a vacuum.
Same trouble as me then! But this simply incurs DM wrath through hidden dice rolls.
My current questions stand more around the concept of ammunition. After all, will energy weapons need a simple recharge? Could this be done at a civilian terminal or will there need to be adaptors?
What about solid projectile weapons in that instance? Will they be similar to the guns from Mass Effect which just need solid matter?
In my current games of Pathfinder I tend only to track my players when they use special ammunition. However I have also used that to create dramatic tension, having it run out mid-battle.
Will anyone else be tracking ammo for their players?