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How do you know about R2? He just whistles and beeps. The reason I use the pronoun "He" is not because he's male but because He is a character, and the male pronouns are the default pronouns in the English language. Seems to me that a woman could play R2D2 and whistle and beep just as easily as a man could, though C3P0 is played by Anthony Daniels, so you could say that character is male. A silver protocol Droid appeared in Episode I: The Phantom Menace and she was female, if only because of the voice, that one was in the Employ of the Trade Federation.

how do you explain the elemental plane of air? How does gravity work there? One possibility is you could use the Elemental Plane of Air as the Drift, or say that the Drift is like the Elemental Plane of Air.

I think making a nongendered android makes it less of an android and more of a robot. after all R2D2 didn't have a gender, it looked like a dome-topped garbage can with a movie projector sticking out of its rotating dome, it was also a bit of a "Swiss Army Knife" as it had a plethora of tools hidden in secret compartments.

thejeff wrote:
Fardragon wrote:

Players can double up on roles, but they can still only take one action and one minor action per round, so if they do a pilot manoeuvre they can't restore the shields or use the sensors and so on.

Extra PCs are useful as additional gunners or engineers, but NPCs don't count. So if you have 60 players they can all be useful, but 54 NPCs are just a liability.

In Star Trek RPG the NPC crew are tracked, and if too many die the efficiency of ship functions is impaired. There is also a role for a Medical Officer who can mitigate crew damage. But the Starfinder starship sheets have no box to track crew damage, and there is no medical officer role.

Seriously? NPCs don't count?

If you've got a small group of players, you can't fill roles with NPCs? This is an official rule?

Just make a character sheet for each of them! What's so hard about that?

Sounds like an oxymoron to me. First you want to make android, to distinguish it from a robot, say like C3P0, and then you want to make it look nonhuman? I thought the purpose of having an android was to fool people into thinking it was human.

if its hugging the terrain, it will more easily lose its target as the terrain blocks it, it might not be able to reacquire its target after its misses, if it hugs the terrain. Terrain hugging is good for fixed objects such as cities, no good for moving targets like spaceships I think. Missiles are best used in space when used to attack other starships. If a starship is flying low within an atmosphere, it is best to get closer to it and use shorter ranged, line of site, weapons to shoot it down.

From Hoboken, New Jersey! I don't know why the town is called Hoboken, didn't see a lot of hobos there, Newark has more!

Do the Xenowardens want to help out these "oppressed natives"? You see these "oppressed natives" ruled a sizable portion of their "primitive planet" and would just love to get their hands on some energy weapons to overthrow their "colonial oppressors", they especially resent the fact that those same "colonial oppressors" outlawed slavery! They would just love to conquer a few planets of their own as well, thus they want to increase their tech level. Were these the "Oppressed Natives" they had in mind?

Here are some more "oppressed natives" that could really use those energy weapons.

How about energy weapons for these guys? In an interstellar campaign, they could be seen as oppressed natives too and could really use those energy weapons.

Fardragon wrote:
CKent83 wrote:

Also, if everyone is supposed to be piloting their own ship, you're losing out on party diversity. If you've got 4 small ships going up against an encounter designed for a normal party, they're probably going to take many more casualties because they are squishier, can't shoot, fly, repair, scan, and whatever else all at the same time. 1 big ship automatically has much more defense just from sheer bulk, and can have someone dedicated to repairs, can have much larger/more guns with a dedicated gunner, and can be better at avoiding attacks because you can have some specialized in piloting. This diverse group will have those same strengths when they are on the ground adventuring, whereas a group of 4 pilots would be too similar, and, again, will take more casualties from being unable to deal with specialized threats.

TL;DR: a big ship with a diverse crew is better than a greater number of ships piloted by characters that can't do everything at the same time.

EDIT: grammar.

Yes, and there are several other reasons for prefering a single ship to fighters as well.

* it provides a variety of gameplay options, rather than every player doing the same thing;

* It encorages communication and teamwork. In a fighter each player can ignore everyone else and do thier own thing;

* It serves as a home and base of operations. You wouldn't want to live in a fighter for any length of time. Fighters generally need a home base or carrier, which, in turn, tends to tie the party to an organisation, with people who can give them orders. Capital ships have the same drawback for freewheeling adventuring parties.

Why would they all be doing the same thing? One fighter pilot could be a spell caster while the other is not? Also interdependency creates vulnerabilities. What if the pilot dies, who's going to take over? Most repairs on fighters are done in the hangar, as are most repairs on spaceships.

"Ah Captain, this is Scotty, I know your engaged with the Romulans, but I'm going to have to shut down one of the main warp nacelles while I repair and replace some critical parts, otherwise the engine is going to blow!" There is also some major hull damage on Deck five, I have repair crews working on that right now. The aft phaser bank is offline as we are replacing some power modules there."

How much fuel does the missile have? When does it run out of it? A missile should have a range just like any other ranged weapon, the only difference with a guided missile, is that its range is not necessarily a straight line or even a curved on. If a missile misses its target, you have to check to see how much range it has left to determine if it can make another pass.

In Starfinder you can fire a missile, and it will not necessariy hit or miss on the same round that you fire it. The ranges are much longer than in Pathfinder. In Pathfinder all missiles usually reach their targets within 6 seconds. In Pathfinder it can take minutes for missiles t reach their targets, that is why you may need to achieve a target lock for the missile to home in on, Afterwards, I suppose the target gets a chance to break the target lock the missile has on it or destroy the missile that is homing in on them, either one will do.

If you score a hit on a spaceship that is preparing to enter the Drift, that ship does not remain "stationary" an explosion on one part of the ship tends to send the ship moving in the opposite direction so its clock gets set back to 1 minute of stationary time after every hit that is scored on the ship.

A 5th level spell isn't it? The question is, what would you rather do?

1) resort to GM fiat and make the PCs feel invulnerable so they take all sort of chances knowing that the GM will always pull their bacon out of the fire no matter what?

2) Would you rather have the party roll up new characters if the entire party dies?

3) would you rather have each player roll up a new character, if his individual character dies?

The thing is, option 2 ends the whole adventure, there is no continuity of plot if the entire party dies. If only some of the party dies, the adventure continues with the surviving characters, they know what's going on and they can bring the new characters up to speed on what's going on. The players of those newly rolled up characters know what's going on, but for plot continuity, the newly rolled up replacement characters need to be "informed", otherwise they have no access to that information the party has learned thus far. If everybody in the party dies because they were all in one spaceship when it got blown up, you can't do that, you can only roll up new characters and start a brand new different adventure as you will be playing a different party starting at ground zero. They don't have the information the dead characters gained while proceeding on their previous adventure up until their deaths.

4) The players can resurrect their dead characters, I didn't say it would be easy, and their is always a price to pay, but if you get those dead characters back, you don't have to roll up new ones, and it is easier to resurrect dead characters if there are surviving members of the party to undertake this quest. I don't think an NPC should ever be used to resurrect dead PCs, because that ends up being the same thing as GM fiat. Someone needs to pay the price for resurrection an that someone needs to be a PC, not an NPC! If a PC pays a NPC to resurrect somebody that is fine, but the PC needs to pay the price!

How come T20 Traveller didn't do this?

Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
If the whole party dies, that's the end of the game. If one party member dies, you can always roll up a new character. Having them all in one starship when it blows up ends the adventure right there!

My understanding of the rules so far is that 0hp just means your ship is derelict. You have to go to -total hp to blow it up. If I've got that right, then it's much easier for PCs to accidentally die while in fighters, while it would almost require an intentional TPK with larger ships.

That being said, I'd like to see it be possible to have a crew of fighters instead. Time will tell.

You need the dramatic tension, so you need the danger of dying, and if there is a danger of dying, someone will die, but if Starfinder is anything like Pathfinder, then if some of the party members survive the encounter, they can resurrect the members who didn't survive and the adventure continues. If everyone dies, then there is no one to do it, and having important NPCs do it is unconvincing.

How about using the Elemental Plane of Time?

If the whole party dies, that's the end of the game. If one party member dies, you can always roll up a new character. Having them all in one starship when it blows up ends the adventure right there!

Each player gets his own starship, all the party's "eggs" aren't in one "basket" if the ship gets blown up.

Well maybe Spelljammer can be considered a "plane of existence", and maybe the part of it that gets ripped off into the Drift is an entire Crystal Sphere. How does that sound? Maybe that is what happen to Golarion. This is my Crystal Sphere that I will contribute to the Drift. ;) I'll have to determine howmuch space this will cover. How about if you travel 30,000,000 miles within the Crystal Sphere you cover 1 parsec in real space If you exit one of the portals in the Crystal Sphere you enter normal drift space.

I wonder what if its like Wildspace with a Crystal Sphere and spelljammer rules for gravity and atmospheric envelopes. That would be an interesting twist.

Undead don't need oxygen, but I don't remember reading anywhere about demons not needing oxygen. So they float up to your ship's airlock and knock, hoping that you'll let them in. Actually you could train your ship's weapons on them as they approach.

Well if they are made entirely of pieces of other planes, and most other planes have breathable atmospheres, except for the plane of fire, Earth, and water. Also not much potential for encounters, if you draw a piece of the Abyss and all the demons explosively decompress and suffocate to death!

Do Fighters have Drift Drives? Luke's X-wing had a hyperdrive, while Traveller limits its jump drives to ships of 100 displacement tons or greater. So which is it for Starfinder?

I have a question:
What happens if somebody steps through the ship's airlock and goes outside when in the Drift? Do you need a spacesuit to survive in the Drift? If the drift pulls in pieces of various planes, many of those planes have breathable atmospheres, does the Drift itself have a breathable atmosphere, thus making spacesuits unnecessary while in the Drift?

Its a game world, they can do whatever they want, its not like actual people died when they nuked that planet. One of my players was a bit of a crook in the game, well that's not surprising since he was playing a thief, he was just role playing true to his character, his character was a gnome illusionist-thief, his character was married to an elf, he had some children, that character's associates were a magic user who was also an elf, a human fighter, and a human druid. Their adventuring world was reached through a well of many worlds in an apartment in the city of Greyhawk, that world was full of dinosaurs, dragons, humans, an your usual set of monsters. The land feature was an Isthmus similar o Panama but without the Canal. There was quite a varied bit of terrain between the two oceans, there was bits of desert, a prairie, some forest, and a mountain range. the hexes were each 1 mile across, and each time one entered a new hex, that triggered a role for random encounters. I made up various things to keep them busy, one reoccurring theme was flying Viking ships with cannons, there were giants living in the mountains, along the western coast was a civilization of advanced pyramid building Indians. There were also some displaced Confederate Soldiers building paddlewheel steamboats and taking them up and down the river, challenging the player's rule over the area, they had muskets an cannons and everything. There was a swamp ruled by "civilized" lizardmen that wore frock coats and 18th century style powdered wigs on their scaly heads. One of the players had a hard time believing that lizardmen would want to wear wigs, I replied "because they were bald and had no hair!" We had a fun ole time going from one ridiculous situation to the next.

Fardragon wrote:
Where they 12?

Basically my two brothers and a couple of friends making a party of four, I was the DM sometimes, at other times someone else was. I was still living with my parents at that time, I was a teenager, the youngest player was 12. Why does that matter? The game played back then was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, one of the features of the game was that every gold piece of treasure your characters collect was worth an experience point, and most of the experience points earned back then was in the treasure collected, not in defeating the opponent. Treasure types were proscribed with both treasure, gems jewelry, and magic items, and a monster defeated without treasure was worth less experience than one defeated with treasure. As one increased in level, one also became very rich, and what were we going to do, just let our treasure sit their in our bags of holding? Nope, we invested it, we build castles, bought ships, built towns, and that led to other adventures, we weren't just wandering around looking for trouble, i.e. monsters to kill and treasure to collect. We actually changed the political setting of our campaign world. I am guessing that is not how you play mid to high level characters.

Fardragon wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
So you like stuff that can never happen. Seems like science fiction is going more than halfway to meet fantasy, if you ask me. Why not have some contrast, have a realistic science fiction setting meet up with some unrealistic fantasy, otherwise why not play Spelljammer? Spelljammer is 100% fantasy set in a type of fantasy space called wildspace. Nothing in Spelljammer is scientific except perhaps the scale of the planets and the Solar Systems you explore. So you find it cool when the GM makes "screaming sound effect" out of his mouth when he holds the models of spaceships up in the air while he rolls he dice with his other hand to see what damage the weapon causes? ;)

Sure, you could do that. Go and write it, someone might even like it. It's not what Starfinder is doing though. Starfinder is Guardians of the Galaxy unrealistic science fantasy meeting equally unrealistic heroic fantasy.

And I think you are being highly insulting to film-makers if you believe they truly don't know what it's actually like in space. There are even films like Gravity and The Martian that try to depict space travel realistically (although The Martian does get highly implausable at the end, and not just because Sean Bean doesn't die). They just don't make blockbuster action movies that way, because it's not very actiony. The space travel in Avatar is fairly realistic. There just isn't very much of it.

And yes, I know that everything moves in space with a massive orbital velocity. The slowness come from trying to match one unimaginably massive orbital velocity with a different unimaginably massive orbital velocity. Again, you seem to start from the assumption that everyone is an idiot but you.

I don't make those movies, they do, I do not know what they know or do not know, but they seem to be making those movies down to a lower level of audience expected knowledge. The next to latest Star Wars Movie "The Force Awakens" was very insulting to the audience if they expect an artificial planet to absorb the substance of a sun, fire a killer laser at faster than light speed and blowup a number of planets at once, and have it all visible to the main characters standing on the surface of another planet that was no selected for Destruction by the First Order. Now I don't know what the writers level of knowledge of physics is, but what they are giving us the audience is very insulting in the assumed level of knowledge they suppose we have. The only think I have to go on is the sort of movies they make, maybe they make those movies because they don't know any better or maybe they make those movies because they assume we don't know any better, either way its not a good assumption to make.

As for an action packed table top roll playing game, I have to admit, there is a difference between "game time" and "playing time", there is the elapsed time in the game world we are playing in and their is the actual amount of time we sit down at the table and actually play the game. For example, a combat round is 6 seconds, I challenge any GM to resolve a round of combat with 4 players in 6 seconds of actual playing time, that means all players and all GM controlled character most roll to hit or miss and determine damage within 6 seconds of playing time, and in most cases that can't be done! Not in a realistic space combat situation, a round could be 20 minutes long in Elapsed time in the game world. Now just because it takes 20 minutes of game time for each round doesn't mean it takes an actual 20 minutes of playing to resolve each round of combat at the table. You roll the dice for each player and opponent and when you done, you advance the game time by another 20 minutes, it doesn't take 20 minutes of sitting at the table to do that. A fast-paced role playing action game is lost on a group of players that take minutes to result each 6-second combat round. that is how I would make my case for realistic space combat. Action movies are good for a passive audience watching the movie, not for participants in a table top role playing game.

Why? You are only accelerating when your engine is on. When your engine is on, you are using up fuel. You fire up your engine when you want to move from one place on the velocity vector map to another, when you turn your engine off, you stay put on the velocity vector map. (Gravity effects are insignificant compared to these speeds) so long as your ship remains on one spot on the velocity vector map, your ship will keep on moving in a straight line as the vector map instructs (In th direction from the origin point at the center of the vector map, to wherever you have left your counter on that vector map.) The vector counter does not move unless you fire your engine to move to another hex on that vector map, according to the ship's movement rate.

Fardragon wrote:
Why would an adventurer even want to run a planet?! I know I sure as hell wouldn't.

That is you, not everyone is you. Elminster the Sage from the Forgotten Realms is that type of wizard you are talking about, but not every wizard is of that type. Many players would like to put all the treasure they accumulate to good use, they like to build things, I DMed a fer players that did exactly that. Maybe the characters you play are humble and modest, but they were not, they built kingdoms, and had a good time fighting wars with everyone that wanted to attack them!

It the Tome of Horrors is listed the Time Elemental Among the abilities of the Time Elemental is the ability to cast Time Jaunt, "This ability transports the time elemental and up to four other creatures within a 30-foot radius. Unwilling creatures can attempt a Will save (DC 19 for common, DC 24 for noble, or DC 26 for royal) to avoid being carried away. This ability is otherwise similar to a spell of the same name." Besides being able to transport creatures in time, they can also teleport without error through the Elemental Plane of Time, and there is a spell of the same name available to Chronomancers. Chronomancers could be around in the Starfinder setting as could Time Elementals.

In the core rulebook for Pathfinder is a magic item, the Elemental gem, there are four varieties, one for each elemental plane, but what if there was a fifth variety, this one summons a Time Elemental as per spell Summon nature's ally Caster level is 11, so the Time Elemental is summoned for 11 rounds, and is under the command of the one who crushed the Gem for that amount of time. It could be commanded to cast Time Jaunt on something of 30-foot radius to take it anywhere in the Galaxy or beyond at any time, barring the Gap of course.

There is the Elemental Plane of Time, which few know about.

It is just a simple chart, not a PHD in Astrophysics!

So you like stuff that can never happen. Seems like science fiction is going more than halfway to meet fantasy, if you ask me. Why not have some contrast, have a realistic science fiction setting meet up with some unrealistic fantasy, otherwise why not play Spelljammer? Spelljammer is 100% fantasy set in a type of fantasy space called wildspace. Nothing in Spelljammer is scientific except perhaps the scale of the planets and the Solar Systems you explore. So you find it cool when the GM makes "screaming sound effect" out of his mouth when he holds the models of spaceships up in the air while he rolls he dice with his other hand to see what damage the weapon causes? ;)

Orbital velocity is not slow! If it were slow, space travel would be easy to achieve and a lot of us would be living out in space. Perhaps you are familiar with O'Neill space colonies There was a time in the 1970s and early 80s that people thought that those things would be common place in the time were living in today. What would a science fiction movie be to one or the residents of those colonies? Would they watch an "Airplanes in Space" movie, if they actually went to work in space? I guess part of it is that this time I live in is a rather big disappointment, when I was 2-years old, men were walking on the Moon, and now they're not, and I have to put up with "airplanes in space" movies and people's misconceptions about space travel.

I think when Star Frontiers came out, the Apollo Space Program was much more recent, the people designing the game had actually seen the Apollo missions on television, and they had some idea how space travel would work. Now those astronauts are old men and we had this long period of launching shuttles orbiting satellites and launching space probes to distant planets, but everyday experience with space travel is nonexistent, so the millenials get "airplanes in space" because the don't know any different, it does seem like we are moving backwards sometimes.

Fardragon wrote:

I don't know why you think rulers would be particularly high level, or belong to an adventuring class. If someone wanted to be a ruler they would go into politics (or reality TV), not become an adventurer.

Traditionally, 1st level characters start with fairly naff equipment. I would expect that to extend to spaceships.

Your assuming its a civilized galaxy where everybody who want power runs for office and follows the rules of Democracy, I'm not!

Or how about this classic example, A 25th level arch-Wizard bows to some 1st level aristocrat ruler, and says, "Anything you wish sire?" Now how many monsters has this arch-wizard slain, how much treasure has he collected in the course of all his adventures? He could buy the kingdom many times over! Yet first level "wet behind the ears" aristocrat has done none of that, why should the Arch-Wizard be working for this ruler, when he can carve out his own kingdom? Maybe he can form an alliance for with the King, but I don't think he's going to be working for him!

In the real world you have scrumpy little ruler that everyone has to listen to, because one human basically is the same as any other, it is organization that puts people in charge, but when you have a super powerful arch mage that can defeat dragons and whole armies with his spells, you would think he would get in charge of his own kingdom rather quick, now wouldn't you. Somehow I just don't see a 20th level character traveling around in some old "tin can" in space, maybe you can perhaps. in a certain era of D&D playing a 20th level character was assumed ready for retirement, he would make a great commander of an army, lending his fireballs and spells to defeat the army of an evil undead tyrant on occasion, he wouldn't be riding around on an old horse, helping old ladies to cross the street and rescuing lost sheep. Maybe that's what you think a 20th level character does, but not me.

Even Star Wars has to recognize scale. In Star Wars the big space ships are analogous to ships, while the small ones are analogous to planes. As far as Star Wars is concerned this is World War II in space. And World War II ships and planes have to obey certain laws of physics dealing with size. An Aircraft carrier or a battleship doesn't turn on a dime, for instance and neither does a Star Destroyer.

Most Naval vessels in World War II don't eve try to evade a dive bomber, instead they try to shoot it down, the same applies towards Star Destroyers and X-wings. Am I explaining the obvious to you? Of course the same mechanics that operates on an ocean surface or in an atmosphere doesn't apply in space. Star Wars assumes most of the audience has experience with planes and ships, so they can't get away with a Star Destroyer acting light a fighter, but they can get away with an "airplanes in space" movie, because unfortunately, most people even in the Early 21st century have no experience with true spaceships. Most except for a few astronauts have never been in space. I am hoping that will change soon, and when it does, all those "airplanes in space" movies will seem extremely dated, So I want to try and get some aspects of space travel right at least for posterity, rather than wait for a time when people go on trips to the Moon for a vacation.

I was born and I grew up in the 20th century, I was 10 years old when Star Wars came out, and even older movie was 2001 A Space Odyssey. I remember playing Star Frontiers with similar rules to space movement that I outlined here, and that was in the 1980s, so how come now in the 2010s are we getting space travel even more wrong than we did then in the popular imagination? I was wondering when some of reality will catch up with science fiction. I would like for Science Fiction to be other than just another type of fantasy that can never happen. that is why I like fictional spaceships to be portrayed as moving somewhat realistically, that is my approach People in the 21st century are supposed to be laughing at those dated Star Wars movies that got just about everything wrong. How come that's not happened?

So that means the ruler of a planet is likely to be a 100th level something or another. Maybe the Emperor of the Galaxy is at 1000th level, what do you say about that? Might as well be a god if he's at 1000t level, don't you think?

Lets look it at another level, think about the F35 or the F22, do you know of any cargo planes or business jets that can outmaneuver those The Millenium Falcon is supposed to the the STar Wars equivalent of a cargo plane, now imagine a military contractor outfitting a cargo plane with guns and missiles and then having the pilot of that cargo plane get into a dogfight with an F35 or an F22, that is the equivalent of the Millenium Falcon out fighting a bunch of Tie Fighters, don't you think?

Capital Starships aren't very maneuverable anyway, the are not expected to outmaneuver a fighter, they are usually heavily armored and armed, thus they don't need to do violent maneuvers, they move slow and steady, more concerned with getting somewhere, and instead of evading enemy fighters, they shoot them down with their big guns our launch a squadron of fighters themselves. "Star Destroyers" don't do loop de loops or barrel rolls.

Why not? A month is the lunar cycle of a moon, I am sure there are plenty of moons.

All ships in Starfinder that can enter Drift Space have FTL sensors, since there is fighting in Drift space and pieces of planes of existence are in Drift Space. There is no going faster than the speed of light outside of Drift Space, FTL sensors are the same as STL sensors that are used in Drift Space. This leads to another interesting question. What about FTL communications?

Fardragon wrote:

Given that there are 5 crew positions, you only need (and indeed can only man) a second turret if the party size is 6 or more.

Given the need for progression, the first level ship would be a stock freighter. It won't become the Millennium Falcon until level 20.

As for landing gear and docking mechanisms, i'm pretty sure they will come as standard, and won't need to be specified or paid for in ship points.

At level 20, the player should be ruling a planet or doing something of similar significance, rather than just being captain of a stock freighter, otherwise the local ruler of a planet, if the PC is a humble 20th level freighter captain, should be a 100th level character!

Bluenose wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
In space, moving sideways is accomplished by reaction control thrusters, of the kind that are used to orient the ship. You rotate the ship 90 degrees and yo fire up the main engines to accelerate in a direction perpendicular to your current direction of travel, if you do this at a constant rate of acceleration, the ship will follow a parabolic trajectory.
I suspect Harrier-style vectored thrust are the most likely engines on spaceships that are expected to do a lot of manoeuvring. A bulk freighter might get by with main engines and some manoeuvre thrusters to save money, but a ship that needs to turn fast and often should go for something that permits acceleration in multiple directions from each engine.

Why? Is rotating a spaceship that hard? If you want a main engine along all 6 axis's, then you are going to require 6 times the weight, and six time the plumbing to deliver fuel to all 6 engines, that would be less payload for cargo and passengers. I don't think rotating a ship requires as much thrust as accelerating it at multiple-gees, I think you have only one main engine to do that, and you have smaller thrusters to point the ship in the desired direction you want to accelerate in.

Fardragon wrote:

1) I don't recall Traveller being all that deadly, but I did play the original rather than d20. Modern/advanced weaponry should be pretty lethal though, if you like realism.

2) range bands are quite sufficent to describe two objects (including two fleets) moving in space.
3) Starfinder seems to use a lot more "abstraction" than Traveller, from what I have seen so far.
4) Starfinder's space combat rules are designed to be similar to ground combat, and henced easily learned. However, if you want a different system you need to do more than mess about with vector grids. You need to rework the manoeuvre system, and probably weapons and sensors too take much greater ranges into account - you might have missiles taking hours to reach thier target for example. weapon arcs become irrelevent as ships should be able to rotate with complete independence from the direction of movement. And time scales, you will need to ajust those.
5) Hard to quantify, but there is the matter of tone. Starfinder has a very high level of fantasy, it's even more fantastical than Star Wars. To me complex vector calculations don't seem to belong alongside magic missile spells, gods, and human-sized insects who don't collapse and die under the weight of thier own exoskeletons.

My system doesn't require any vector calculations at all.

Lets start with an example:
Here is my Vector Chart, I've widened it to include another velocity magnitude. Lets say you have a starship with a movement rate of 4. At the beginning of battle that starship counter starts out on the green hex in the center of this map, this hex is labled 00000, the first two hexes indicate how many hexes the counter is from the center, and the last 3 digits indicate an angle on degrees from 000 to 359. The hex in the center has the default angle of 000 degrees. Your movement phase begins, so you move your ship from the green hex in the center four hexes, which are labeled "01000", "02000", and then you go to "03020", and then "04030" Your counter remains at hex 04030 as you have used up your movement points for this round.

Now lets go to my Battle Map, I've widened it to cover two planets. Go to the hex with the circle labeled "Caprica" in it, now repeat the movement I just showed you with the velocity chart, move your counter 2 hexes to the right and then two hexes in the 60 degree direction toward the top of the map, that is your ships new location, and for as long as you ships counter remains on Hex 04030 in the velocity chart, your ship on the battle map will continue to move two hexes to the right and two hexes upwards at 60 degrees every single round.

If you choose to move your ship on the velocity chart to a new position, for instance from hex 04030 to hex 06080, then your ship on the battle map will now move in a new direction. You count the hexes from the green center hex to the new postion you counter is in, the hexes would be 01060, 02060, 03060, 04060, and from there you go to hex 05072 an then to hex 06080, and you duplicate that pattern of movement from the center hex to hex 06080 onto the battle map from your position last round to your new position this round, and you repeat that movement to a new hex for as long as the velocity counter hex remains in that position. Your velocity chart tells you how to move your counter on the battle map.

I don't see any calculation here, the charts use precalculated values, and you are just using those, all the work has been done for you, you don't need to pull out your calculator or do any vector additions. this is done graphically on the battle map.

Not quite, I have problems with Traveller as well, namely that it is too deadly and not as much fun to play. Characters have to avoid combat in order to survive, the weapons don't get used as much. There are different levels of abstraction for Traveller combat, some of the sets of rules for Traveller are like what I just described, others simply abstract it out, don't use a map at all and rely on range bands instead, that is most unsatisfactory. Now it seems to me that if Traveller can have multiple sets of rules for space combat, why couldn't Starfinder? Now what happens on a planet's surface and what happens in the corridors of spaceships is the same, my rules don't change those situations, they only apply to space combat. I am providing it as an option, and besides to give us something to talk about while we wait for the Core Rules to come out.

Star Trek has FTL sensors and has used them many times. Usually they can see an incoming photon torpedo and have time to do something about it, namely fire phasers, or attempt to outrun or evade it.

One thing Starfinder should have which Pathfinder doesn't is missiles that don't "instantaneously" travel to their targets. So I figure if you have a starship with missiles and you want to fire a missile at an enemy ship, you roll for target lock. Once target lock is achieved, the missile starts homing in on the enemy ship. The Enemy ship meanwhile sees the missile coming, they have time to do something about it, so one thing they can attempt to do is shoot it and destroy it before it gets to them, the second thing they can do is by maneuvering attempt to break the missile's target lock. Now in Pathfinder, this doesn't happen, if someone fires an arrow at you, it either hits or missiles, the target doesn't get a chance to react to the incoming arrow, he can react to the man pulling back on the bow string and getting ready to fire, but once the arrow is let loose, there is no time to react to it or evade it. With missiles in space, you can!

Visuals don't matter when you are role playing, we go by word descriptions and moving pieces on a board. I don't see the need to do things the same way they are done in Star Wars, as we are not watching a film, we don't need to hear sounds in space, we don't need spaceships acting like airplanes, because we can't do a good job of simulating that on a role playing table top either. There are people who watch nothing but Star Wars type movies, and when they imagine screaming space ships banking and rolling, strafing each other and so forth, but that is not what I imagine space travel to be, that is fake space travel. We're not making a film out of this we are not trying o sell movie tickets. So I figure if we don't have to do too much calculating, we might as well get momentum and inertia right, the velocity board saves a lot of calculating. I figure this is a magical universe we're talking about, so save the impossible stuff for magic to do, and not have "phony rubber physics" if we can help it. With a calculator and a piece of paper, we can also do combat in 3-dimensional space, but for some people, that would be asking too much, so two battle boards and two pieces for each spaceship should do nicely.

Fardragon wrote:

I'm fairly gob-smacked that you are re-writing the space combat rules without actually reading the starship combat blog.

It's all in the "collected information on Starfinder" document anyway.

The "Slide" and "Audacious Gambit" manoeuvres look particularly problematic for conserving momentum.

I saw the slide, didn't see the Audacious Gambit. In space, moving sideways is accomplished by reaction control thrusters, of the kind that are used to orient the ship. You rotate the ship 90 degrees and yo fire up the main engines to accelerate in a direction perpendicular to your current direction of travel, if you do this at a constant rate of acceleration, the ship will follow a parabolic trajectory.

The gods have been very busy making humans in different places, on some planets, they made it seem as if they evolved naturally from animals such as Apes!

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Apparently not, as humans are one of the major races in the Galaxy. And of course people have children.

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