Salvaging ships?


General Discussion


You and your buddies fly your ship into a swarm of enemy craft and come out victorious. You clear the drifting ships of any remaining defenders.

So time comes to salvage.

Can you strip down captured ships for their BP?

Liberty's Edge

You can't sell BP, and can't raise your own ship's above the appropriate amount for your Tier, so not meaningfully on a mechanical level.

That said, this is an excellent justification for your ship improving as it rises in Tier, and one of the suggested explanations for that process in the book.


Yeah, it's a great explanation for how you're improving your ship. By salvaging pieces of other ships to do so (although where you're storing it is kind of questionable).


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I would also put it more into the "off-game" and as explanation for your Level based ship upgrade ("You salvaged the ships and brought the spare parts to your ship dealer. He gave you some nice new upgrades in exchange and installed it for free. He also asked you to.. [insert next adventure]").


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Claxon wrote:
Yeah, it's a great explanation for how you're improving your ship. By salvaging pieces of other ships to do so (although where you're storing it is kind of questionable).

You report the location and description of the hulk to your favorite salvage dealer. Later he pays you in some upgrades for your ship. You never touch the salvage yourself.


Xenocrat wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Yeah, it's a great explanation for how you're improving your ship. By salvaging pieces of other ships to do so (although where you're storing it is kind of questionable).
You report the location and description of the hulk to your favorite salvage dealer. Later he pays you in some upgrades for your ship. You never touch the salvage yourself.

So more of a "finders" fee than an actual salvage operation your behalf. That's one way to do it I guess.


Thats what cargo bays are for, gathering up tasty salvage then repairing it and plugging it into your ship. Or selling it. But personaly i want to be able to salvage parts so my character can make his own fighter/transporter/spaceship.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

the question here is would the pc have the tools and the cargo for all that salvage and more important the time to do it


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The bottom line is that because of the artificial distinction between character wealth and the starship tier system, there's no real mechanical advantage to things like salvage, piracy, ship theft, etc. I don't like it, but I think that's just how it is in Starfinder.


There has always been artificial restrictions to any wealth system. It's required to keep things appropriately challenging.

And, in the case of character wealth and starship "wealth" its necessary to keep them separate systems so that players don't try to shove all of one into the other becoming disproportionately powerful in one category.

Yes, the has some meta consequences. Like mechanically piracy isn't particularly profitable, nor salvage. If players want to do that it isn't a problem, they just need to be aware they only get 10% of the value of the item. And you can probably arrange it so that the characters grow in level at the appropriate rate for wealth gained.


As I run my game, I plan on running it like this...

They attempt to salvage, making appropriate skill checks to see if they're able to salvage any meaningful components. If they succeed, the exact nature and worth is total fluff..

ie. They attempt to salvage, run a series of checks, perception, engineering, computer, etc.. Whether they succeed or fail, it being completely fluff, is up to the GM. The PCs dont know the DCs, how well they do in regards to how they beat or miss, etc... so you handwave it.

"After spending time pulling what pieces of wreckage you considered to be worth a look into the cargo bay, you spend hours sifting through it and picking out the worthwhile components."

Then just assign that bunch a number to denote tonnage and worth.
"This haul will take up a 1ton cargo crate" and when you 'sell it' (since the equipment isnt compatible with their ship), it nets them .XX BP in component trades, which then takes up space in their hold, or you could treat it as a 'debit stick' that theyre slowly building up to afford an upgrade of their choice.

Liberty's Edge

If you're gonna have people make skill checks on something like that, they should matter. And have actual DCs. They're a waste of time and effort otherwise, and will cause the PCs to feel cheated.

Doing some skill checks and letting them salvage some stuff they can sell for money is perfectly reasonable, though., if you want to give your PCs some additional money.


You can do that, sure. But if they destroy a tier 1/2 ship with a missile and roll a nat 20 on a roll to check salvage doesnt necessarily mean there's going to be anything left of that slagged heap of metal.. which is what I meant as far as handwaving the DC. Step 1 would either be not to tell the players that theres no real DC and give them the illusion of effort = payoff, or.. decide beforehand if there's anything worth salvaging, make a DC for them to roll against, and modify the BP worth based on how well/poor they did on the roll.

Succeed? gather components worth .XX BP, +.XX/5 over. Fail? gather components worth half as much, -.XX/5 under?

Or, 'roll your check'... 'that's pretty good, you're able to pry out and gather .xx BP worth of salvageable components' if you feel they've earned it... or 'despite your best efforts, the equipment you pulled in is utterly slagged and worthless'.

I use that method a lot in my games as story rewards, and no one has ever felt cheated. They've always felt things were pretty well balanced.. doing it that way keeps people from trying to finagle the system, and gives an air of 'not every ship survives being blown the **** up the same way'.


I wana know what the conversion rate for 1 BP is in creds and vice versa. Besides scrap steelis still worth something to someone one computer skill roll later and that ton of steel is on starfinder's ebay. Its like buying those grabbags but your the seller and someone will probably buy it most likely goblins. Who then can go through it and make their own money back(plus some depending on what they find) by selling the viable ship "loot".


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The conversion rate between BPs and credits is "zero". The rules make this quite explicit.

Bluntly, your choices are "two different purchase charts" or "no ships". Those are the only options that don't lead to insanity.


Yeah, they pretty explicitly don't want you converting Starship wealth into PC wealth or vice versa.


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Then by that rule. Spaceships are free. And every adventurer should have a capital ship with all the trimmings and most powerful weapons ever for free. They just hand out ships to any person willing to ask? Putting a price on BPs lets the GM know how good or bad something is. It also lets players know how much value a ship has. As it is now a PC with 60T creds can't even afford the cheapest barily space worthy of ships because Cr=/=Bp.


PCs have bp values in their ships reflective of their group's average level... it is assumed that all PCs in starfinder are using scrap and other things that they would normally sell to upgrade their ships as they level... either directly or through direct conversions from parts to BP.

While it might make logical sense to have a conversion rate, mixing the systems would actually make the game more complicated or open it up to exploits

*shrug*


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ghostunderasheet wrote:
Then by that rule. Spaceships are free. And every adventurer should have a capital ship with all the trimmings and most powerful weapons ever for free. They just hand out ships to any person willing to ask? Putting a price on BPs lets the GM know how good or bad something is. It also lets players know how much value a ship has. As it is now a PC with 60T creds can't even afford the cheapest barily space worthy of ships because Cr=/=Bp.

Your mistake is the first statement, "ships are free". Ships aren't free. Their cost is just *not* in credits. Their cost is in build points, which the rules are quite clear on how you get them.

Also, a PC with 60T credits can totally afford a ship. . . because the only plausible way you'd earn 60T credits involves also achieving considerable level. . . thus having a good stockpile of BP for your party to use building a ship. They just can't spend *cash* to get it.

( Also, bluntly, a PC should never *have* 60T credits. The system does not account for PCs being that wealthy, anymore than it accounts for them owning a giant fully equipped factory complex, or being the direct descendent of a god worshipped by millions. )

Liberty's Edge

Maybe I missed it in the book, but what is the cost to the players to change out expansion bays?


Claxon wrote:
And, in the case of character wealth and starship "wealth" its necessary to keep them separate systems so that players don't try to shove all of one into the other becoming disproportionately powerful in one category.

Never understood that logic. If your PCs NEED that ship to pursue the campaign, why would they f$@~ themselves over by selling it ? And if they DON'T need a ship, then why would you give them a ship in the first place ?

Honestly, while it sure does streamline the system a lot, the BP shtick reads like a lazy way of getting the issue out of the picture. Not to mention the unfortunate implications of such a system - PCs can't be anything else than murder hobos because actually trying to build a stellar business or empire is going to throw major wrenches in the whole credits/BP balance.

Grand Lodge

Gryffe wrote:
Claxon wrote:
And, in the case of character wealth and starship "wealth" its necessary to keep them separate systems so that players don't try to shove all of one into the other becoming disproportionately powerful in one category.

Never understood that logic. If your PCs NEED that ship to pursue the campaign, why would they f~!$ themselves over by selling it ? And if they DON'T need a ship, then why would you give them a ship in the first place ?

Honestly, while it sure does streamline the system a lot, the BP shtick reads like a lazy way of getting the issue out of the picture. Not to mention the unfortunate implications of such a system - PCs can't be anything else than murder hobos because actually trying to build a stellar business or empire is going to throw major wrenches in the whole credits/BP balance.

Because it's not an all or nothing. If everything was credits, say your PCs decide they really want to upgrade their handheld weapons at Level 5. Now they are level 5 characters with level 8 weapons and a level 2 starship. How does the GM give them level-appropriate threats?

Either the GM must try to figure out relatively speaking what their effective APL is for each type of encounter (which is a headache, and not an option for Organized Play/published modules that Paizo is big into) or you put them up against level 5 threats that either are trivial or wipe the floor with them, which isn't much fun for most groups.

Maybe your table is the exception ("We couldn't get away with a 80/20% split on our PCs vs Starship spending and TPK'ed. Let's make new level 1 characters and try a 70/30% split!) in which case make a credit value for a BP and go nuts.

It also gets around any conflict amongst players as how to spend wealth. You don't have the Ace Pilot Operative player who built around starships fighting with the Soldier player who wants to spend all their credits on Heavy Weapons whether to spend money on PC gear or starship Mods.


Metaphysician wrote:
ghostunderasheet wrote:
Then by that rule. Spaceships are free. And every adventurer should have a capital ship with all the trimmings and most powerful weapons ever for free. They just hand out ships to any person willing to ask? Putting a price on BPs lets the GM know how good or bad something is. It also lets players know how much value a ship has. As it is now a PC with 60T creds can't even afford the cheapest barily space worthy of ships because Cr=/=Bp.

Your mistake is the first statement, "ships are free". Ships aren't free. Their cost is just *not* in credits. Their cost is in build points, which the rules are quite clear on how you get them.

Also, a PC with 60T credits can totally afford a ship. . . because the only plausible way you'd earn 60T credits involves also achieving considerable level. . . thus having a good stockpile of BP for your party to use building a ship. They just can't spend *cash* to get it.

( Also, bluntly, a PC should never *have* 60T credits. The system does not account for PCs being that wealthy, anymore than it accounts for them owning a giant fully equipped factory complex, or being the direct descendent of a god worshipped by millions. )

Yes focus on something that does not really matter. I could have chosen some other random huge ass number like a 10 googolplex worth of credits. thats 10 followed by 100 zeros times 10.

but he can't Cr does not equal Bp. And as such Bp has no value. None what so ever. Its a consept used but gms to build starships for their game and there for can not be conceptualized into the game world. There for ships just appear fof PCs to claim. But if it had a ingame value it would be the a fraction of the cost of a starship. Lets say one BP is worth..... nope not going there. but a BP is 1/10th the cost of the ship (i dont know choosing numbers at random). Where as the rest of the price comes from putting all the parts together then getting the ship innards connected and running properly. Then adding the creature comforts. Lets not forget the bells and whistles. And the paint job. Then you would have to pay all the workers for thier......work.

And anyone who runs a successful business Corporation that spans several systems would have that kind of money (the 60T) but not the levels of an adventurer. And isn't the icon all about making it big? Fame power and money. An icon should try for thier first big deal right off the bat. An icon of big business. A Starship Brand owner. The owner of splatbook starfinder's version of facebook. All these people would be icons with money that exceeds thier pc/npc lvls. Why would you put every thing in danger once you had made it big. Only icons that would have to continue would be icons of Adventure and they would have to do it until they died and they probably wouldn't be as rich. But business mogul icons would be that kind rich.

(A mogul is a person who dominates an enterprise or industry. Mark Zuckerberg became a mogul when his social media creation, Facebook, became the dominant global online social network. Jack Welch is considered a mogul for his success as former chairman and CEO of General Electric Company, one of the world's largest conglomerates. Mogul Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry with his assembly-line production method and the Model-T car.)

I would rather be paid in BP for my iconic work and paid in credits for my murderhoboing. Let's keep business and pleasure separated.

Because Gryffe after a while as a technomancer you get intergalactic teleportation as a spell at which point you sell your spaceship to a museum to be preserved for historical purposes. Because you wont need the starship and teleportation is safer than the Slip/Warp/whatever.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You continue to utterly miss the point. BP =! Credits does *not* mean they are valueless. It just means they are different currencies spent on different things. And since several people have already explained *why* this is the case ( to allow PCs to have starships without allowing them to sell starship systems for game-breaking amounts of money ), I'm not sure what exactly your trying to achieve.

Or, to repeat what should be obvious: ships aren't free, and have never been. They just aren't for sale for credits. Credits are not the lone currency of PCs.


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BP is just another power track.

Just like Credits is a power track for PCs, along with other power track for PCs, experience.

You can't convert credits to experience, you can't convert experience to BP, and you can't convert BP to credits.

While I understand that you don't like the liack of "realism" in that PCs can't just buy ships (even if they're very expensive) it's necessary. Otherwise you will have groups who will sell their ship to get way over-leveled gear, which would be a big deal since weapons are the majority source of damage in Starfinder.

Yes, it kills realism. But it's 100% necessary.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Starfinder is not the first ever science-fiction game, so this idea that the sources of wealth have to be kept completely separate is an illusory one. State that the wealth-by-level chart assumes (for example) that everyone spends 25% on upgrading/buying starships. SFS assumes that (and lowers rewards accordingly), and home groups, who are adults, are left to work out whether they want to spend more or less. Everyone spends all their money on awesome personal gear? Then you're screwed on your first space battle. Spend all your money on the best starship ever? You better not leave it (ever), because then you're dead. Groups would figure out a reasonable balance, and if they didn't, they'd TPK and get a chance to try again.

[Edited to make my point clearer and remove oddly-antagonistic first line. Woke up from nap grumpy!]


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Claxon wrote:

Otherwise you will have groups who will sell their ship to get way over-leveled gear, which would be a big deal since weapons are the majority source of damage in Starfinder.

Yes, it kills realism. But it's 100% necessary.

I would think that the restrictions on purchasing items above your level would rather mitigate that. The GM can allow you to buy items well above your level, beyond even the written default maximum of level+2, but the GM can also deny you a buyer for your ship. And if players would want to downgrade their ship for better gear anyway and the GM couldn't accommodate that, then perhaps that group as a whole needs a discussion about what they want out of the game more than they need the rules of the game to stop them.


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Claxon wrote:

BP is just another power track.

Just like Credits is a power track for PCs, along with other power track for PCs, experience.

You can't convert credits to experience, you can't convert experience to BP, and you can't convert BP to credits.

While I understand that you don't like the liack of "realism" in that PCs can't just buy ships (even if they're very expensive) it's necessary. Otherwise you will have groups who will sell their ship to get way over-leveled gear, which would be a big deal since weapons are the majority source of damage in Starfinder.

Yes, it kills realism. But it's 100% necessary.

I font remember where it says it but you cant buy op gear you are capped to your lvl +2 and thats only in well populated places like absolom station or some other equivalent place its your lvl +1 everywhere else amd since you cant christmas tree with magic gear any more you cant over clock magic gear either


Hithesius wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Otherwise you will have groups who will sell their ship to get way over-leveled gear, which would be a big deal since weapons are the majority source of damage in Starfinder.

Yes, it kills realism. But it's 100% necessary.

I would think that the restrictions on purchasing items above your level would rather mitigate that. The GM can allow you to buy items well above your level, beyond even the written default maximum of level+2, but the GM can also deny you a buyer for your ship. And if players would want to downgrade their ship for better gear anyway and the GM couldn't accommodate that, then perhaps that group as a whole needs a discussion about what they want out of the game more than they need the rules of the game to stop them.

Completely disagree.

The rules have built in expectations for party power. Allowing the players excessive wealth beyond expectation will completely ruining encounter math. Much like it did in Pathfinder, which was already way off.

Sure, the GM could in theory compensate by just jacking up the CR. But that's a lot of extra work for a GM, when a large portion of games are being run from modules or adventure paths (at least in Pathfinder, Starfinder hasn't been out long enough to know how this will go).

The restrictions do help, but they are a secondary layer of rules.

But if the players says "I have a trillion credits and want to go through the black market to get this item that's way above my character level", how do you respond? Where do you go from there.

The whole idea is to avoid any of this in the first place.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jhaeman wrote:

Starfinder is not the first ever science-fiction game, so this idea that the sources of wealth have to be kept completely separate is an illusory one. State that the wealth-by-level chart assumes (for example) that everyone spends 25% on upgrading/buying starships. SFS assumes that (and lowers rewards accordingly), and home groups, who are adults, are left to work out whether they want to spend more or less. Everyone spends all their money on awesome personal gear? Then you're screwed on your first space battle. Spend all your money on the best starship ever? You better not leave it (ever), because then you're dead. Groups would figure out a reasonable balance, and if they didn't, they'd TPK and get a chance to try again.

[Edited to make my point clearer and remove oddly-antagonistic first line. Woke up from nap grumpy!]

Big catastrophic problem: it requires that ships be priced such that you can actually buy one for 25% of the party cash reserves. Unless you think a starfighter engine should cost the same as a level 1 laser pistol, this is a non starter. If your going to try to keep to realism buy making ships purchasable for cash, you are also obligated to make the price chart for such vaguely realistic, and not radically undervalued.

Scarab Sages

Personally I liked Rogue Trader's wealth stat/checks system where the whole party had a single 'Profit' stat rather than book keeping everyone's personal gold etc. Ship's point values could more or less be converted to points of wealth and vice versa.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The other issue that will come up with the 'financial impact' of space vessels is a thing that I saw in a different campaign, years ago.

"Don't fire the missiles unless you have a good shot, they're expensive and I'm on a budget!"

followed by the worst person with a gunnery skill deliberately sitting at the missile controller AND

"I shoot at everything in sight! Multiple missiles, each time!"


Baron Iveagh wrote:
Personally I liked Rogue Trader's wealth stat/checks system where the whole party had a single 'Profit' stat rather than book keeping everyone's personal gold etc. Ship's point values could more or less be converted to points of wealth and vice versa.

Problem is Rogue Trader operates on a very different paradigm than Starfinder. In RT generally speaking combatants can make contact with the other no matter who (your lowly mutant dreg stands a decent chance at shooting a fellow dreg as well as a Bloodthirster) and while gear dictates how effective that'll be (better a power sword and bolter than a janky knife and autopistol), everyone is on fairly similar footing from character creation to endgame.

Starfinder is different, a CR1 enemy has no chance at even touching a L20 character. Because of that sticking to the established math is critical to maintaining challenging encounters. You can break SF encounters by handing a L5 party a bunch of Vesk Monolith IIIs and Dimensional Slice Curveblades while handing a Rank 3 RT party a box of heavy bolters and power armor has far less impact.

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