"Adventuring Party" Starships


General Discussion

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Fardragon wrote:

I'm assuming that cargo space costs "ship points" as well as guns. So if the players want to start with good weapons on their ship they will have less cargo capacity (or less manoeuvrability or less speed).

A "default" starter ship would probably be light freighter with a single beam turret and no missiles, but there are a wide range of possibilities depending on what story the GM is planning on telling.

This is very much what I think will make a good "default Tier 1" starting ship for an adventuring party. An armed light freighter, with enough "ship points/hard points" or its equivalents to be upgraded as needed.

Basic ship module layout?
Bridge + Life Support + Crew Quarters + Cargo Bay + Engineering (STL/FTL Drives) + Weapons (MK1 Lasers & MK1 Missles) + Defenses (MK1 ECM & MK1 Shields & MK1 Armor)

Starting Enhancements/Upgrades*:
Armory, Machine Shop/Fabrication Shop, Laboratory, Research Lab, Meditation Chamber (for spell casters), Holding Cells, Cloaking Field/Device, Medical Bay, Additional Crew Quarters, Extra Fuel Capacity, Speed/Maneuverability Boosters, Smuggling Compartments, Training Room, Entertainment Room, Breeding Room...

*Not including obvious upgrades of electronics, offensive and defensive starship systems.


I think you would be lucky to get laser and missiles and significant cargo capacity on a starter ship.


might want to consider 2 beam turrets. even the falcon had 2. 1 on top and the bottom.... 360 fire....

you also forgot landing gear


1-2 crew: 1 weapon
3 crew: 2 weapons
4 crew: 2-3 weapons
5-6 crew: 3-4 weapons

edit: 3 crew doesn't need 3 weapons


Steelfiredragon wrote:
you also forgot landing gear

Indeed I did forget the landing gear, not all starships are designed for planetary landings​. I will include this in any future updates.


Giorgo wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
you also forgot landing gear
Indeed I did forget the landing gear, not all starships are designed for planetary landings​. I will include this in any future updates.

true.

they would have docking mechanisms.....


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.


no not really.

2nd turret could be short ranged and either manned at the navigator's seat or automatic.


I think wanting a second turret is equivelent of wanting to cast fireball at first level.

Unless you have 6 or more players, and so you actually need something for player 6 to do in space combat.


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!


The Millenium Falcon is "the fastest ship in the galaxy" and can outfight fighters and warships, and can crash into a planet without taking significant damage. That seems quite enough for high level characters to me.

A level 20 adventurer is just a better adenturer. The ruler of a planet is probably some 1st level bureaucrat.


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?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The Millennium Falcon also has plot armor (just like the Defiant), an important aspect to keep in mind when using those ships as examples.

I personally don't see any issues with players starting out with a small(ish) ship that they crew among them, and later upgrading to bigger ships. It works for sailing vessels, so why wouldn't it work for big spaceships?


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.


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.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the party's spaceship can probably be customized for the needs of the campaign. If you are not planning to get the party into space combat at 1st level or at all, then weapons might not be needed. If you are not planning for the party to leave their original solar system, then the Drift Drive can be dispensed with. If you need the party to have a unique Infinite Improbability Drive, you can reserve space for it and tell the players that some amount of space is unavailable to them because of it.


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
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.

It's the same exact problem as in Pathfinder. Nothing new here.

Rulers do tend to be moderately high level, but not high enough they can buy the kingdom's armies and defenses with personal WBL, leadership, etc.

Even a high level character won't normally be equipped with fleets of capital ships with crews of thousands. They may have an old smaller ship that's been hacked until it's far above its weight class. Or a shiny new experimental craft that's still small, but powerful.

In my experience, in D&D or PF, while the high level characters may occasionally join or raise an army, as you suggest, they're still spending most of their time working more like a small commando team. Not leading an army against an undead tyrant, but bypassing their forces, breaking into their lair and fighting them on their own.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
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!

Why would the Wizard work for the wet behind the ears noble?

because being on the throne makes you a target. Being a whisper in the King's ear, and a trusted advisor he listens to, means you have a layer on anonymity against those who would attack the ruler.


Tim Statler wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
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!

Why would the Wizard work for the wet behind the ears noble?

because being on the throne makes you a target. Being a whisper in the King's ear, and a trusted advisor he listens to, means you have a layer on anonymity against those who would attack the ruler.

Maybe a non mythic wizard, but a mythic wizard is approaching demigod status. By that point you can make your own plane of existence just to hang out. It'd take quite a few nobles to convince a level 25 wizard to help, let alone to serve. A king might be another story, but that would really only be because of what they represent as a symbol of the people under them, not as a noble in of themselves.


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


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!


Where they 12?


the only character that is a wizard of mine that would be that powerful, owns her own deminplane attached to a tower in the middle of some backwater hamlet.

why you ask?
same as you not wanting to rule a planet.
neither would I.

I still mind you would not want a adventurer party ship that had armaments on say the top portion of the hull and not the bottom too.

covered bases. still going to require some @#@%# good piloting skills though, but at least I'd have the advantage of being able to fire both ways during evasive maneuvers.

something else to consider though. when you start out, adventurer party might not own the ship they are using if they are under employment of the owner. owner gets killed and leaves ship to party..or awards the ship to party. which still could make it a lvl 5 to 10 ship


Since space combat is 2d, one turret is enough to give all round coverage.

Fixed-mount weapons are probably coniderably cheeper than turrets in terms of ship points, so you could probably get a tail gun to go with your turret.

So far as I gather, a character is only allowed one action on a space combat turn, so if the engineer fired the tail gun they wouldn't be able to angle the shields or repair the engine.


a tail gun is better off as a mini-autofire turret...

doest require a crew member to man it, just a flip of switch in the bridge and the gun auto-fires on hostile targets


Don't think they have autofire weapons, or if they do the computer is very inferior to a human gunner. The space combat system is designed to put the focus on the player character's and thier abilities.

Maybe the mechanic's robot pet coukd fill in? Or, if you have 6 players you don't have a problrm.


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.


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
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?

Because when I was a teenager back in the 80s I had players behave that way. Once, playing Traveller, the players nuked and entire planet, killing most of the population.

But since I have been playing in adult groups no one has acted that way, or wanted to. They have pretty much all played characters motivated by altruism.


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.


was wondering.. when it came to the engineer aka the mechanic and engine room.

I disagree with that being his quarters and the fact that would be where is is at all the time as someo f the posts got me wondering if we were looking at them from a real world ship and or star trek ships.

look at the falcon. it had an engine area yes, but Han and cheiwie took care of the repairs themselves when they could. the engine area looked like nothing more that an.....how to describe it, want to say a chamber with .. no matter, I doubt they repaired the engines themselves anyway.

look at the ebon hawk from kotor 1 and 2. the engine was at he back of the ship and all and the tech in the 2nd one didnt stay in that area keeping watch.

and real word and star trek ships. the cheif engineer would not need to be on duty all the time, that iswhat the night shift is for. work in shifts( ok this is more geared toward capital ships, bigger than heavy freighers ie corvettes and bigger)
wonders if they will have auto pilot.....


The mechanic and engineer aren't the same.. Mechanic is an adventuring class, engineer is a starship combat role.

It doesn't matter, in terms of gameplay, where the engineer is stationed. What matters is that they can only do one thing on a turn, which means they are probably too busy to fire the guns.


you know the ship pcs uses technically depends on pcs since many of us will like to fly as wraith squadron instead of stuck to same small ship. I am gonna get my self vesk single ship as soon as either my wbl or boon tics the right amount and more ships to space fight looks more good then whole lets command enterprise gimmick of group ship plus gives lone wolfs a chance to hog some light


The ship the players use depends on the GM, not the players.

It looks like single person ships will seriously underperform, since they can't perform pilot manoeuvres and shoot at the same time (unless you have an AI, which is much less skilled).


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?


all X wings , y-wing etc had hyperdrive where as the tie fighters did not with the exception of the tie advanced.

to answer your question.

the idaran fighter does NOT have a drift device.

that said. anyothers I dont know.

HOWEVER nothing so far that I've noticed doesnt say you cant add one to it if it doesnt have one.


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
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 think the answer is "it depends". It has been stated that drift drive is relatively cheep to buy, but there has been no mention of how physically large it is.

I would guess that for the benefit of small parties the ruling would be that small ships can be quite easily upgraded with drift drives.


I would have to wonder though if it would be worth putting a device on a fighter....


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


More likely to be individual player deaths if they are in frail fighters than TPKs on a single ship. Especially when the space combat system is rigged against ships with crews less than 5.


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!


Fardragon wrote:
More likely to be individual player deaths if they are in frail fighters than TPKs on a single ship. Especially when the space combat system is rigged against ships with crews less than 5.

Would be nice if there was a way to make the one man fighter thing work. It's a classic bit of the genre.


be that as it may. are you talking about heavy fighters or light fighters like that idara whatever one( this one iirc was light)?

2ndly, my other reason for asking was, didnt they say that the inner area that drifting was only a little bit shorter than doing it under normal thrust? so I ask depending on how far you plan on going out? would it even be worth putting one on? now if you plan on having encounters and kidnapping( for body probing); that is a different story.


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!

Depends on your approach to GMing. I prefer not to kill PCs unless the are very stupid, very unlucky or decide to make a heroic self-sacrifice.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
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.


thejeff wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
More likely to be individual player deaths if they are in frail fighters than TPKs on a single ship. Especially when the space combat system is rigged against ships with crews less than 5.
Would be nice if there was a way to make the one man fighter thing work. It's a classic bit of the genre.

You could always house-rule it if your story requires the party to be a fighter squadron rather than a ship crew, just as you could houserule the players as the bridge crew of a capital ship in someone's navy.

There are NPC fighters, but thier main role is cannon fodder (necrogliders).

It's only Star Wars and it's imitators that made much use of fighters, and even then the Millennium Falcon was the main party ship.


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.


You only need the PCs to believe they are in danger of dying...

As for rasing the dead, that is very hard to come by in my campaigns.


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!


None of the above.

It's not that hard to balance an encounter so that the players are hard pressed but don't die if they act sensibly. When they end a fight with one hp remaining they don't know that you have carefully balanced it that way.


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.

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