Upgrading Equipment

Rules Questions

I don't see this specifically covered anywhere, but I'm guessing the answer is: you can't. Figured I would ask anyway, just in case.

I was wondering if there is any way to "upgrade" equipment by paying the difference in cost between a lower level version and a higher level version. This would be true for weapons and armor mainly.

What about for computers? If I want to upgrade the tier of my computer, can I pay the difference? Of course, you'd have to take into account any upgrades or modules you currently had whose cost was also dependent on tier or base cost, and make sure to pay the difference there as well. I'm not trying to circumvent the costs of those things. I'm only trying to circumvent the cost of losing 90% of the cost invested in a previous item in order to get the next better item. If I'm not a Mechanic (whose Custom Rig is an autoleveling computer) but I still want to have a sweet Computer rig to hack with, do I constantly have to sell off my previous model at only 10% recovery and re-buy a brand new computer, buying essentially all the same components at an increased price due to the increased tier?

It's in the rules to build new equipment you need tools, time, and UPBs. If you scrap a similar item (AKA the old gun) you can use 10% towards the cost as UPBs.

Yep. I was aware of the 10% recovery. You get 10% by either selling it (if you need the money for buying the next/new item) or scrapping it (if planning to craft the next/new item).

The crafting rules seem to be specifically geared towards making a new item. Yes, it mentions that you can scrap an old item and scavenge the parts for 10% the cost of the old item. But that's not quite the same as upgrading; it's basically the same as selling the old one and buying the new one.

If I have a computer and I want a new motherboard/CPU/power supply/GPU/etc., that doesn't mean I have to get rid of ALL of my old components. I can, generally speaking, get a new component for the one I want to upgrade and integrate it with all of the existing components I already have, at only the cost of the new component (i.e.: the difference between the cost of my old rig and the new upgraded one).

Granted, it's not always that easy. Sometimes when you upgrade one components, you have to upgrade another one along with it. Either for compatibility reasons, or in order to get the most out of the main component you wanted to upgrade. This might incur some additional costs, but it's still not usually the same as buying a whole new computer.

Starfinder is not that detailed when it comes to equipment, so a normal scrap/sell & replace is the way to go.

Also Keep in mind that you can move weapon mods (Fusion mods) for free from your old to your new weapon.

Tryn wrote:
Also Keep in mind that you can move weapon mods (Fusion mods) for free from your old to your new weapon.

Actually transferring infusions needs a "character trained in Mysticism can transfer a fusion; this costs half as much as it would to initially

purchase the fusion, using the level of the new weapon to determine the price." (p. 191)

Hm. So far, Starfinder does not seem forgiving when it comes to upgrading equipment. I'd be curious to find out if the WBL and the CR rewards take into account how expensive it is for Characters to get better gear.

So.. Take one rank in Mysticism and buy all fusions as level 1 for 120. Then transfer them to your level X item by paying half the cost of Level X, giving anywhere from 83% the listed cost (level 2) to 50.08% (level 20). Obviously higher level fusions have higher minimums, though I am not sure that's explicitly stated. Most fusions are level 5 or less; that's 50.5% the listed cost for a level 20 transfer. The most expensive is level 10, for 52.6% the listed cost for a level 20 transfer vs straight purchase. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

To put this in perspective, I did some calculations of how expensive a Mechanics rig would be if you specced it out using the Computer building rules. For my purposes I wanted/preferred the brain augmentation version of the Custom Rig (which the Mechanic can choose for no additional cost or loss of any other resources; seems like the best choice to me; you always have it with you, can't lose it, can't be stolen, etc.). This would require miniaturizing the computer down to an effective Tier of -1 for bulk purposes, in order for it to comfortably integrate with a Datajack cybernetic augmentation in order to best replicate this. I also chose the Security 1 upgrade as opposed to the AI or Hardened options the Mechanic gets at level 7. The Mechanic also gets some other handy uses of their computer that were hard/impossible to replicate.

Based on trying to replicate the above by selling your current computer for 10% of it's cost approximately every 2 levels and buying a new computer with the new features (including the next tier), over the course of the characters life, they will have spent approximately 52% of their level 20 expected wealth on keeping their rig up to date.

The WBL guidelines say a character shouldn't spend more than 50% of their wealth on a single item, so this computer would be pushing that limit already.

Removing the miniaturization cost brings it down to about 40%, but the size of the computer would become prohibitive, so adding enough of it back in to keep it around Bulk 4, still puts it at around 46%.

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