Recharging Batteries should not be so expensive


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I don't think it should cost so much to charge batteries. Sure it should cost something if hiring that service from an NPC, but I don't think it should cost anything if you have a source of power.

Power plants of larger ships (may) be able to have stations to charge batteries. That limit seems absurd to me. Crafting a small charger unit should be easier imho, or diverting power from even the smallest power plant during periods of low demand should be easier for someone with the Engineer skill.

The Recharge spell having a 20% chance to destroy a battery also sounds silly to me. Who is going to risk throwing away the money spent on batteries?

Liberty's Edge

A Mystic can recharge for free with a 2nd level spell (so at 4th level).

There should be a cost to do it as it is a consumable and they had to settle on a price.


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It looks as though spaceships are the only free source for battery recharging -- note that there also seems to be no mention of them using up fuel. That raises the question of what other sources of free power might be available.

Public recharging stations cost credits to use -- but is there a minimum size or price of a private home that could be equipped with a recharging station comparable to that on a starship? I could easily see a wealthy patron including as a perk of working for him free access to his private recharging station, if he is sending a group with no spaceship on a mission on the same planet.

The Exchange

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Just get the piece of equipment that charges off your kinetic energy as you walk.

Liberty's Edge

Did you see that you can recharge on a starship? I saw that it said it was up to the GM if people could on Medium or larger ships.


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Gary Bush wrote:
Did you see that you can recharge on a starship? I saw that it said it was up to the GM if people could on Medium or larger ships.

You're right -- so that means that there is definitely an issue of scale involved here. So it appears that the intention is to make PCs pay for their battery power one way or another.

Liberty's Edge

David knott 242 wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Did you see that you can recharge on a starship? I saw that it said it was up to the GM if people could on Medium or larger ships.

You're right -- so that means that there is definitely an issue of scale involved here. So it appears that the intention is to make PCs pay for their battery power one way or another.

Just like PCs need to pay for other consumables, like grenades, arrows, darts, and bullets (slugs).

I looked in the starship design area and I didn't see that a generator could be added to a ship for recharging purposes.

Liberty's Edge

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Ok I did find something. On page 206.

Starfinder Core Rulebook page 206 wrote:
"BACKUP GENERATOR: You can connect charged electric items such as batteries to this miniature generator to recharge them. The electricity comes from the kinetic energy of your movement, which generates 1 charge every 10 minutes of movement. No more than one item can be plugged in at a time, and the generator doesn’t produce charges when you’re resting or otherwise stationary."

Grand Lodge

so Shaudius for the win?

Liberty's Edge

Natsu Rage wrote:
so Shaudius for the win?

Yep.


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Gary Bush wrote:

Ok I did find something. On page 206.

Starfinder Core Rulebook page 206 wrote:
"BACKUP GENERATOR: You can connect charged electric items such as batteries to this miniature generator to recharge them. The electricity comes from the kinetic energy of your movement, which generates 1 charge every 10 minutes of movement. No more than one item can be plugged in at a time, and the generator doesn’t produce charges when you’re resting or otherwise stationary."

Someone do the math and figure out how laughably little power this is and how expensive this makes the average US electric bill in Starfinder credits.


I dunno, it depends on how the backup generator itself is made - if, for example, it has a mechanism that can use relatively little kinetic energy to 'release' energy stored in some other way, it might be a lot more power than most people give it credit for.

Oooooooooooor we can say "it's just a game" and not worry too much. XD


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Non-adventurers could make a nice living by just walking around with a backup generator and a battery provided by somebody looking for a recharge attached to them.


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...or skeleton/zombie on a treadmill. seriously though, the size of the armor mod should be an indication of how small a charging unit could be. The Backup Generator armor upgrade only costs 2,100 to craft/buy (page 205).

The recharge spell is for Technomancers, not Mystics, and it destroys your battery 20% of the time.

Again, I'm ok with paying for NPC services... but if you have a Technomancer in the party, you're not paying.

It would be reasonable for power plants to have 20 year's worth of fuel like a submarine or aircraft carrier. Or they could use a ram-scoop and grab hydrogen from gas giants. Or have a magical fuel source that takes spell slots from downtime.

(page 234) Recharging Stations: At the GM’s discretion, some larger starships might have onboard recharging stations. These might offer recharging at low or no cost, but they typically take 1 minute per charge to recharge a battery or power cell.

(page 299) Power Core Housing: An expansion bay can be set aside for an additional power core (which must be purchased separately) and the associated wiring and safety apparatuses. A power core housing can be installed on only a Medium or larger starship.


David knott 242 wrote:

Non-adventurers could make a nice living by just walking around with a backup generator and a battery provided by somebody looking for a recharge attached to them.

Alternately, a simple robot. It does little more than walk and perform inspections, but the torso is basically made of back of back up generators.


LOL, I just had a mental image of an Android with the Backup Generator mod applied, charging weapon clips in a marsupial-like pouch.

I'm totally going to do that.... until I can afford the Force Field armor upgrade that is...

(EDIT: ah crud, all force fields take 2 upgrade slots, and androids only have 1)


David knott 242 wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Did you see that you can recharge on a starship? I saw that it said it was up to the GM if people could on Medium or larger ships.

You're right -- so that means that there is definitely an issue of scale involved here. So it appears that the intention is to make PCs pay for their battery power one way or another.

I agree, and this intention strikes me as bizarre. Why not just hand wave these costs and slightly reduce the WBL guidelines?


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I'd imagine it's so that energy weapons don't have a cost advantage over weapons that consume ammo, but I haven't seen the rules yet so that's barely even a hypothesis, much less a theory.


David knott 242 wrote:

It looks as though spaceships are the only free source for battery recharging -- note that there also seems to be no mention of them using up fuel. That raises the question of what other sources of free power might be available.

Public recharging stations cost credits to use -- but is there a minimum size or price of a private home that could be equipped with a recharging station comparable to that on a starship? I could easily see a wealthy patron including as a perk of working for him free access to his private recharging station, if he is sending a group with no spaceship on a mission on the same planet.

I think ship upkeep is figured in as part of what you are doing while adventuring and between adventures. So it is not necessarily free but basically negligible in the face of everything else you need to do to keep a ship running.


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So the best way to recharge batteries is be a mechanic, put a recharge cloak on their drone, and assign it to recharge stuff between adventures?

Seems really silly, especially since today there are free recharge stations.


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The costs of everything is out of whack.
Survival knife 1d4 95 credits
Tactical knife 2d4 (the next upgrade) 6000 credits.

Battle Staff 1d4 80 credits
Carbon Staff 1d8 6150 credits.

Grand Lodge

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I am not certain why they added this resource-counting mechanic. It won't make the game more fun. I hate bookkeeping.

Oh well. One nit in an otherwise great system.

Hmm

Scarab Sages

It's really annoying on powered melee weapons. It's so frustrating that the lightsaber plasma sword flickers off after 10 attacks, when in Star Wars they last for decades.

The first thing I'm houseruling is a self powered weapon fusion that will allow any powered weapon to operate indefinitely without needing to swap batteries.


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Imbicatus wrote:

It's really annoying on powered melee weapons. It's so frustrating that the lightsaber plasma sword flickers off after 10 attacks, when in Star Wars they last for decades.

The first thing I'm houseruling is a self powered weapon fusion that will allow any powered weapon to operate indefinitely without needing to swap batteries.

Powered wrote:

Unlike with a ranged weapon, the usage is

for 1 minute of operation rather than per attack,


I kind of want to steal the Android that charges batteries.

Scarab Sages

Serisan wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

It's really annoying on powered melee weapons. It's so frustrating that the lightsaber plasma sword flickers off after 10 attacks, when in Star Wars they last for decades.

The first thing I'm houseruling is a self powered weapon fusion that will allow any powered weapon to operate indefinitely without needing to swap batteries.

Powered wrote:

Unlike with a ranged weapon, the usage is

for 1 minute of operation rather than per attack,

I missed that, but still, it's only got 10 minutes of usage then. if you look at lightsaber battles in Star Wars, they're much longer than that.

Liberty's Edge

Imbicatus wrote:
I missed that, but still, it's only got 10 minutes of usage then. if you look at lightsaber battles in Star Wars, they're much longer than that.

This is the Starfinder universe, not a galaxy far, far, far, far, far away.

We should not try to compare Starfinder to other systems or movie-verses.


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Imbicatus wrote:
Serisan wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

It's really annoying on powered melee weapons. It's so frustrating that the lightsaber plasma sword flickers off after 10 attacks, when in Star Wars they last for decades.

The first thing I'm houseruling is a self powered weapon fusion that will allow any powered weapon to operate indefinitely without needing to swap batteries.

Powered wrote:

Unlike with a ranged weapon, the usage is

for 1 minute of operation rather than per attack,
I missed that, but still, it's only got 10 minutes of usage then. if you look at lightsaber battles in Star Wars, they're much longer than that.

I would more compare the lightsaber to the Solarion's solar weapon.

Liberty's Edge

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Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Someone do the math and figure out how laughably little power this is and how expensive this makes the average US electric bill in Starfinder credits.

A charge in Starfinder is apparently about 0.27kw/hr, or ~2.46cents, if you're buying power in the Seattle metro area. My car's battery apparently has ~222 charges, and a supercharger recharges at ~300 charges/hour.

A charge is also equivalent to 72 AA batteries.

(All calculations based on a human expending 40kcal per 10 minutes of walking, which equates to one charge. Math may be suspect. The charge system is obviously a game system abstraction and nobody on the design team actually intends for physics to be seriously considered.)


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I haven't seen the rules yet but I was always planning to just ignore ammunition (still have to use reload action if that exists and have physical ammunition in your inventory but won't be counting each bullet) except for in specific circumstances e.g. being on a world with no civilisation and not having access to supplies or in dramatic moments etc.

If the rules don't allow that then so be it but tracking ammo isn't something I'm interested in, doesn't feel very Guardians of the Galaxy which is the kinds of games I intend to run.


Luke Spencer wrote:

I haven't seen the rules yet but I was always planning to just ignore ammunition (still have to use reload action if that exists and have physical ammunition in your inventory but won't be counting each bullet) except for in specific circumstances e.g. being on a world with no civilisation and not having access to supplies or in dramatic moments etc.

If the rules don't allow that then so be it but tracking ammo isn't something I'm interested in, doesn't feel very Guardians of the Galaxy which is the kinds of games I intend to run.

That is a solid boost to mechanics and technomancer, who can spend charges for things.


I would expect once the tech guide comes out there probably will be battery recharger options for ground vehicles as well as your ship so you can do wilderness type recharging over night. So how many clips you have still matters during fights and being able to recharge in an emergency for technomancers is still useful but not super painful for long term exploration.


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QuidEst wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:

I haven't seen the rules yet but I was always planning to just ignore ammunition (still have to use reload action if that exists and have physical ammunition in your inventory but won't be counting each bullet) except for in specific circumstances e.g. being on a world with no civilisation and not having access to supplies or in dramatic moments etc.

If the rules don't allow that then so be it but tracking ammo isn't something I'm interested in, doesn't feel very Guardians of the Galaxy which is the kinds of games I intend to run.

That is a solid boost to mechanics and technomancer, who can spend charges for things.

Hmm... in that case I might try and come up with a daily limit kind of thing, like extra spell slots? Either that or track however much they use the ability and make them spend credits equal to the cost of those charges(or some multiple of that number depending on how much charges cost).


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My initial read of the charge system doesn't bother me greatly and it's significantly less onerous than one might expect. If you're used to tracking arrows or wand charges, there's really no change. Typically (from what I'm seeing, at least), there's a balance reason for items to have charges - they are better than the Analog quality weapons, either by targeting EAC instead of KAC (which tends to be lower), having energy damage types, or interesting on-crit effects.

Advanced melee weapon example:

A sintered starknife is a level 8 weapon that does 4d4 piercing damage and has a thrown range. It has no on-crit effects - you just do double damage. It targets KAC.

A static shock truncheon is also a level 8 weapon, which does 1d12 electicity damage, can deal non-lethal damage to enemies (stun property), and arcs to a nearby enemy on a crit for an additional 1d4 damage, in addition to the double damage to your primary target. It requires 2 charges per minute of activation and has a capacity of 20. It targets EAC.

I think it's fairly reasonable to say that the charges here make sense for the melee weapon. When it comes to ranged weapons, I don't find the shot tracking to be that onerous as I'm used to PFS consumable tracking sheets. This is made even easier if you use plastic page protectors and dry erase markers to handle ammo tracking, as you can then just erase the tick marks as you recharge batteries and weapons later.


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David knott 242 wrote:

Non-adventurers could make a nice living by just walking around with a backup generator and a battery provided by somebody looking for a recharge attached to them.

Profession(Power walker).


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I'm already writing a plot about Androids forced (like sweatshops) to use Backup Generators to charge batteries in the slums of Absalom Station.


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I feel like a sufficiently advanced station has better ways to generate power than slave labor...


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Hmm wrote:

I am not certain why they added this resource-counting mechanic. It won't make the game more fun. I hate bookkeeping.

Oh well. One nit in an otherwise great system.

Hmm

I believe it is to act as a credt sink. Controlling the amount of credits available is very important for class balance in this game.

And I agree, I don't like it. It pretty much forces adventures to revolve around "paying" work. I know some groups feel they need the lure of gold to motivate thier characters, but my group are quite happy to trot off on adventures through pure altruism.


Somewhere else, I forget where but I think it was on Reddit or something, suggested to use dice instead of precise numbers for arrows, bolts, and other ammunition in games like Pathfinder. The concept was you started with a d12 "Quiver", and then every time you make an attack, you roll. If it's 2-12, you're good. Nothing happens. If it's a 1, you lower the die size to a d10, then a d8, then a d6, then a d4. If you roll a 1 on a d4, your quiver is out. The concept is that this is to represent you going and recollecting arrows, representing how many arrows were broken or how much you over-used in an attack, and abstracts the concept to make bookkeeping a bit easier.

In real life, many batteries still possess charge after being "dead", and simply can't fully deliver it for a host of reasons I'm not smart enough to understand. Sometimes flipping batteries can work, turning things back off and on, etc. Point being, a similar concept can be applied here for the sake of homebrewing. Perhaps not in the exact same way - charge also seems to be important for the sake of reloading a ranged weapon - but for similar methods of keeping bookkeeping lighter as a home ruling for those daunted by the concept of tracking total charges/batteries.

Ultimately, if you're also fighting other creatures/people who use powered weapons and armor (as I imagine is going to be the case for a lot of players given the genre, and especially so since we're not seeing the Alien Archive for another couple months) keeping track of your batteries and charge won't even be an issue except for reloading, unless you're in a situation where you're stranded without consistent charge. Like if your ship broke down on a primitive planet, for instance. In such a case, your Technomancer's ability to recharge tech devices will suddenly feel like a godsend, and will be a needle in the side of your GM who wanted to do a leg of the campaign where everyone uses archaic weapons and armor out of necessity before finding a way to recharge and fix the ship.

Scarab Sages

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The problem is that some of the most damaging melee weapons in the game are unpowered. Powered weapons tend to do less damage. They do either target EAC or have better critical effects, but they're not so much better than the unpowered option that they justify the battery charge management.


Battery Charge managment is a non issue. Many enemies are going to be carrying spare battery packs (as well as the battery packs in any energy rifle or weapons as they come with one), theres an armor mod that restores charges to batteries by walking, and casters can recharge batteries for spells.


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lakobie wrote:

Battery Charge managment is a non issue. Many enemies are going to be carrying spare battery packs (as well as the battery packs in any energy rifle or weapons as they come with one), theres an armor mod that restores charges to batteries by walking, and casters can recharge batteries for spells.

You are assuming the players are going to be fighting intelligent foes using compatible technology. They may be fighting beasts and monsters, greys who attack with their mental powers, or aliens from another part of the galaxy who use an incompatible battery format.


Fardragon wrote:
lakobie wrote:

Battery Charge managment is a non issue. Many enemies are going to be carrying spare battery packs (as well as the battery packs in any energy rifle or weapons as they come with one), theres an armor mod that restores charges to batteries by walking, and casters can recharge batteries for spells.

You are assuming the players are going to be fighting intelligent foes using compatible technology. They may be fighting beasts and monsters, greys who attack with their mental powers, or aliens from another part of the galaxy who use an incompatible battery format.

Granted if you're fighting nothing but enemies that don't use equipment then the GM should keep an eye on loot so that it stays around recommended WBL.


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Evidently even though the Starstone provides limitless power, it still can't be used to recharge batteries.

Pg. 42 of the gazetteer in the Dead Suns AP. Batteries lose their charge as you leave the area.


The "area" being Absalom Station. As long as you're there your batteries can be charged by it just fine. They just drain the farther away you get from the station.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
lakobie wrote:

Battery Charge managment is a non issue. Many enemies are going to be carrying spare battery packs (as well as the battery packs in any energy rifle or weapons as they come with one), theres an armor mod that restores charges to batteries by walking, and casters can recharge batteries for spells.

You are assuming the players are going to be fighting intelligent foes using compatible technology. They may be fighting beasts and monsters, greys who attack with their mental powers, or aliens from another part of the galaxy who use an incompatible battery format.
Granted if you're fighting nothing but enemies that don't use equipment then the GM should keep an eye on loot so that it stays around recommended WBL.

This, combined with the need for credits, rather limits the freedom of the GM in the kinds of story they can tell.


Fardragon wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
lakobie wrote:

Battery Charge managment is a non issue. Many enemies are going to be carrying spare battery packs (as well as the battery packs in any energy rifle or weapons as they come with one), theres an armor mod that restores charges to batteries by walking, and casters can recharge batteries for spells.

You are assuming the players are going to be fighting intelligent foes using compatible technology. They may be fighting beasts and monsters, greys who attack with their mental powers, or aliens from another part of the galaxy who use an incompatible battery format.
Granted if you're fighting nothing but enemies that don't use equipment then the GM should keep an eye on loot so that it stays around recommended WBL.
This, combined with the need for credits, rather limits the freedom of the GM in the kinds of story they can tell.

Does it, though? There are weapons that don't require charges or ammunition. There are some limited ways to recharge batteries that can be included. It's easy to introduce ways to recharge the batteries, and trade goods can replace credits.


QuidEst wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
lakobie wrote:

Battery Charge managment is a non issue. Many enemies are going to be carrying spare battery packs (as well as the battery packs in any energy rifle or weapons as they come with one), theres an armor mod that restores charges to batteries by walking, and casters can recharge batteries for spells.

You are assuming the players are going to be fighting intelligent foes using compatible technology. They may be fighting beasts and monsters, greys who attack with their mental powers, or aliens from another part of the galaxy who use an incompatible battery format.
Granted if you're fighting nothing but enemies that don't use equipment then the GM should keep an eye on loot so that it stays around recommended WBL.
This, combined with the need for credits, rather limits the freedom of the GM in the kinds of story they can tell.
Does it, though? There are weapons that don't require charges or ammunition. There are some limited ways to recharge batteries that can be included. It's easy to introduce ways to recharge the batteries, and trade goods can replace credits.

There are ways around it, true. But their does seem to be a lot of assumptions that the players aren't (for example) going to be stranded on an uninhabited planet where they have to survive against deadly native wildlife (not an uncommon space opera scenario). At least you would have to give players some hints, as some builds could be completely screwed over in those circumstances.

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
The "area" being Absalom Station. As long as you're there your batteries can be charged by it just fine. They just drain the farther away you get from the station.

That's a really neat detail, and handy for low-level adventures starting on the station.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
The "area" being Absalom Station. As long as you're there your batteries can be charged by it just fine. They just drain the farther away you get from the station.
That's a really neat detail, and handy for low-level adventures starting on the station.

*nods*

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