Batteries


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Devasura wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
You don't get to keep ammo you find, you can use it during the scenarios and then it goes away. And I highly doubt that we'll regularly be finding enough ammo to not have to buy large swaths of it.

Are you sure about this? General consensus seems to be that you get to keep consumables and minor items. And enemies that use ranged weapons also have ammunition for that weapon in their loot so you will be finding ammo certainly (maybe not regularly).

You don't keep ANYTHING in Society play except for boons or rewards granted in the end of a scenario listed by the chronicle sheet.

You find credit sticks? That credit amount gets added and summed up to the stated subtier/out-of-tier payout on the chronicle sheet.

You find ammo/consumables, they get turned in to the Society at the end of the scenario, the meta-explanation is that the loot is part of pay-out.
You're encouraged to simply use them up in game, cuz you don't get to take it with you when you're done. If they're special, might end up listed on the chronicle sheet to be purchased later.


Protoman wrote:

You don't keep ANYTHING in Society play except for boons or rewards granted in the end of a scenario listed by the chronicle sheet.

You find credit sticks? That credit amount gets added and summed up to the stated subtier/out-of-tier payout on the chronicle sheet.

You find ammo/consumables, they get turned in to the Society at the end of the scenario, the meta-explanation is that the loot is part of pay-out.
You're encouraged to simply use them up in game, cuz you don't get to take it with you when you're done. If they're special, might end up listed on the chronicle sheet to be purchased later.

None of the Chronicle sheets lists any ammo ever specifically but they do list practically all other items under treasure that can be found in the adventures.

As guns and shooting are so common in Starfinder, I would say that players in that case are more then just encouraged to use looted ammo instead of their own if they don't get to keep it after the adventure.


That's right. They should be using whatever battery or ammo they find instead of using up their own that they purchased on their own.

Just like in PFS with arrows/bolts found in scenario.

The Exchange

An important difference here being that in PFS you had two or three types of ammo, and mostly both PCs and NPCs used arrows. But in SFS while all batteries are the same, each class of projectile weapon uses a different bullet. So you really can't presume ever finding the right ammo for your gun.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

Darkling36 wrote:
An important difference here being that in PFS you had two or three types of ammo, and mostly both PCs and NPCs used arrows. But in SFS while all batteries are the same, each class of projectile weapon uses a different bullet. So you really can't presume ever finding the right ammo for your gun.

I'm not sure about Sniper or Heavy weapons but all Small Arms share the same bullets and all Longarms also.

The Exchange

Graham Wilson wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
An important difference here being that in PFS you had two or three types of ammo, and mostly both PCs and NPCs used arrows. But in SFS while all batteries are the same, each class of projectile weapon uses a different bullet. So you really can't presume ever finding the right ammo for your gun.
I'm not sure about Sniper or Heavy weapons but all Small Arms share the same bullets and all Longarms also.

Excluding batteries and weapon that are too high level to deal with in normal society play. There are 3 types of small arm ammunition, 4 types of longarm ammunition, 1 sniper rifle ammunition, & 3 types of Heavy weapon ammunition. Some of those are used less than others, but as you can see there's a lot of variety, planning to only use what you find in mission is going to be a bad plan. Might it offer some relief? Yes, but it's not likely to be the norm by any means.


But if you exclude specialty ammo like flares, darts, gyrojet rounds and missiles. You have 3 types of ammo: small arms, longarms/sniper and Heavy. Maybe 2 more if flamers and scatterguns are common. (I haven't seen either yet.)

In SFS play I don't think I've seen any NPC weapons that weren't a basic battery.

Darkling36 wrote:
Graham Wilson wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
An important difference here being that in PFS you had two or three types of ammo, and mostly both PCs and NPCs used arrows. But in SFS while all batteries are the same, each class of projectile weapon uses a different bullet. So you really can't presume ever finding the right ammo for your gun.
I'm not sure about Sniper or Heavy weapons but all Small Arms share the same bullets and all Longarms also.
Excluding batteries and weapon that are too high level to deal with in normal society play. There are 3 types of small arm ammunition, 4 types of longarm ammunition, 1 sniper rifle ammunition, & 3 types of Heavy weapon ammunition. Some of those are used less than others, but as you can see there's a lot of variety, planning to only use what you find in mission is going to be a bad plan. Might it offer some relief? Yes, but it's not likely to be the norm by any means.

The Exchange

EC Gamer Guy wrote:

But if you exclude specialty ammo like flares, darts, gyrojet rounds and missiles. You have 3 types of ammo: small arms, longarms/sniper and Heavy. Maybe 2 more if flamers and scatterguns are common. (I haven't seen either yet.)

In SFS play I don't think I've seen any NPC weapons that weren't a basic battery.

I wasn't counting gyrojets or missiles, but yes if you only count rounds instead of the other types of ammunition there are three types of rounds.

And that would mean that there's no one with any ammunition other than batteries. Thus showing that expecting people to be able to "forage" ammo instead of paying constantly for it is a bad plan. Unless of course they use batteries, which circles back to the issue that that class of weaponry would end up with too much of a definitive advantage.


Darkling36 wrote:
Unless of course they use batteries, which circles back to the issue that that class of weaponry would end up with too much of a definitive advantage.

But I still don't see that as an issue. I think energy weapons should for general purpose have the advantage, but situationally it might be better to have a normal gun, but in most circumstances, why is it an issue if they are unbalanced? (With the exception of course that we need far more choices in guns).

The Exchange

vlaovich88 wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
Unless of course they use batteries, which circles back to the issue that that class of weaponry would end up with too much of a definitive advantage.
But I still don't see that as an issue. I think energy weapons should for general purpose have the advantage, but situationally it might be better to have a normal gun, but in most circumstances, why is it an issue if they are unbalanced? (With the exception of course that we need far more choices in guns).

Because they're in the system as a non minor option. There are plenty of people who love the idea of slug throwers in their adventure, just because you or others may prefer energy weapons doesn't mean those people should be heavily disadvantaged for wanting to play a completely reasonable sci-fi trope. It's reasonable to say that advancements in tech have lead to more powerful propellants that put them on par with energy weapons, instead of relegating them to backup options.

Some people think melee in a high tech game with guns is silly, yet we have Plasma swords and fangblades. Personal preference alone does not make design philosophy.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

And yet in PFS you don't frequently see enemies carrying crossbow bolts let alone firearm ammunition, nothing stops players from using those options. Yes longbows tend to be the better option but that's due to build not whether or not you are finding ammunition.


Darkling36 wrote:
vlaovich88 wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
Unless of course they use batteries, which circles back to the issue that that class of weaponry would end up with too much of a definitive advantage.
But I still don't see that as an issue. I think energy weapons should for general purpose have the advantage, but situationally it might be better to have a normal gun, but in most circumstances, why is it an issue if they are unbalanced? (With the exception of course that we need far more choices in guns).

Because they're in the system as a non minor option. There are plenty of people who love the idea of slug throwers in their adventure, just because you or others may prefer energy weapons doesn't mean those people should be heavily disadvantaged for wanting to play a completely reasonable sci-fi trope. It's reasonable to say that advancements in tech have lead to more powerful propellants that put them on par with energy weapons, instead of relegating them to backup options.

Some people think melee in a high tech game with guns is silly, yet we have Plasma swords and fangblades. Personal preference alone does not make design philosophy.

I get that some people may like to use them and there is nothing wrong with using them. As I said in a previous post, all my characters will carry a projectile gun with them. But I don't see the need to keep them balanced. As you said, preference doesn't make for design philosophy. You preferring to use physical ammo over a renewable resource doesn't mean they should be balanced. Universal batteries is a distinct and logical advantage to energy weapons. Even if they are consistent in power (I haven't read into damage and stuff of the guns) it makes sense to have energy weapons as a common and easy resource. If that's not how the game designers make it, than that's so be it, but I don't agree with this philosophy that projectile weapons and energy weapons should be arbitrarily balanced.

Dark Archive

I really miss the guns in Mass Effect 1 that essentially had unlimited ammo, but needed to cool down if shot too often in rapid succession. I used those old fashioned guns in ME3 when the DLC made them available again. I haven't play ME: Andromeda yet, but was very pleased to hear they are an option again there.

I wonder if the expensive cost of ammo is part of what keeps melee viable in the game? I have a hard time believing such since some of those melee weapons also need batteries. Sometimes 4 charges per hit no less.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Raymond Lambert wrote:
I wonder if the expensive cost of ammo is part of what keeps melee viable in the game? I have a hard time believing such since some of those melee weapons also need batteries. Sometimes 4 charges per hit no less.

Melee weapons use charges / minute, not per hit.

Page 181-182, the Powered weapon property.

Dark Archive

Thanks for the reminder. That actually helps the theory I wondered about. Getting at least a minute per use out of a melee weapon is still going to be cheaper than a use per shot. Even when a melee weapon uses 4 charges a minute, I think combats will last longer and eat up battery charges faster at a shot per round, or worse if doing full attacks, auto fire and similar options.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Is the cost of ammo/batteries really a significant enough amount to do game balance, or is it just bookkeeping for the sake of "realism" and differences for the sake of detail?

Grand Lodge 4/5

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Is the cost of ammo/batteries really a significant enough amount to do game balance, or is it just bookkeeping for the sake of "realism" and differences for the sake of detail?

More so than in Pathfinder, as it's a significant proportion of the cost of 1st-level guns.

It looks as if battery cost was designed to keep this going for higher-level energy weapons (but not most projectile weapons) but it was never likely to work cleanly.


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Starfinder Superscriber

At the end of the day, this boils down to logic and realism, vs. artificial balance.

A modern day laptop battery holds 15 (around 230000 joules) times the energy of a .50 caliber bullet. What limits most energy weapons today is the ability to discharge the energy quickly, not the actual amount. Even if we take the total amount of energy in a weapon battery with 20 charges to be 100 times that of a modern laptop battery (which would put it on par with the energy of 50 grenades.... which is a lot) the total cost to charge such a battery today would be about 8 bucks.

For reference, the energy discharged by a modern stun gun is less than 1 joule, and even a defibrillator is only around 10-20 joules. Most weapons would not require much actual energy to be used. Again, it is the discharge rate that matters.

Adding in oddly limiting factors to promote the use of projectile weapons just doesn't make sense. The reasons for them will be story based (EMP, immunities, Reactor nearby that you can't breach, etc) and will arise within the scenarios. Or perhaps people just like the flavor of the projectile weapons. Who knows. But in a world where energy weapons exist, and there is a magical fusion reactor gem thing that provides unlimited energy on the station, making one specific type of energy usage special doesn't make sense.

Like others have mentioned, sticking to the charging speeds prescribed (1 minute for a wall plug, 1 round for a fast charger) within a scenario makes perfect sense. You may only have access to a shop where the owner makes you buy something before you plug in for 20 minutes so you aren't loitering. But once that scenario is done, you go back to your room, and you plug in your battery into the wall outlet. Anything else would really really be bizarre.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

KapaaIan wrote:
Like others have mentioned, sticking to the charging speeds prescribed (1 minute for a wall plug, 1 round for a fast charger) within a scenario makes perfect sense. You may only have access to a shop where the owner makes you buy something before you plug in for 20 minutes so you aren't loitering. But once that scenario is done, you go back to your room, and you plug in your battery into the wall outlet. Anything else would really really be bizarre.

This is why we need to give Campaign Leadership time to find the best course of action for our campaign. I am certain they have been reading all the threads (I know of at least 2 on this very topic) to listen to the pro and cons. I don't expect a change to be made to the rules. Instead, I expect a campaign clarification much like wizards in PFS don't get Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.


And in the end, it's just @#^@ing game. Not everything needs to be dissected and optimized for that extra 1/5cr advantage.

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