Engineering kits - rules clarification required


Rules Questions

Lantern Lodge

The Starfinder Core Rulebook lists the following items:
Tool kit, level 1, 20 credits
Tool kit - engineering speciality, level 2, 445 credits

Under the entry for Tool Kit it says "a set of specialized tools and devices... Engineering checks without one take a –2 penalty".

Under the entry for Tool Kit - engineering speciality - it says "These kits each provide a +2 circumstance bonus to a specific use of the Engineering skill".

So is the entry for Tool kit (that provides "specialized tools") for the 20 c. item or the 445 c. item?

What bonus to Engineering (Computers, hacking) or Engineering (Trapsmith) do I get if I spend 445 c. on a Tool Kit (Engineering Speciality)?

I seems that as written I could buy a Tool kit (hacking) or Toolkit (trapsmith) for 20 c. and get a +4 bonus, or buy a Tool kit (engineering speciality - hacking) or Tool kit (engineering speciality - trapsmith) for 445 c. and get a +2 bonus. This seems back to front.

Confused???


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Engineering checks with no kit: -2 penalty

Engineering checks with Tool kit: +0

Engineering checks with Tool Kit (Engineering Speciality): +2 bonus


Also there's no tool kit (engineering speciality - hacking) if only because hacking depends of the computer skill.

Lantern Lodge

Oykiv wrote:
Also there's no tool kit (engineering speciality - hacking) if only because hacking depends of the computer skill.

The book says I can buy a Hacking kit but doesn't indicate what bonus it provides or how much it costs. Does that mean I can't hack unless I have a kit but I spend 25 credits and get the ability to make hacking checks? That makes no sense.

Jhaeman's answer above is logical and similar to Pathfinder rules (-2 with no kit, +0 with a standard kit and +2 with a speciality kit) but the whole section is unclear. As written it seems some kits provide a +4 on some skill checks (e.g. rider's kit) while others have no designated bonus (hacking kit).


The bonus from a hacker's kit is hacking without direct access to a UI on the computer you want. It lets you hack from the infosphere, or a data line, or where ever.


d'Eon wrote:
The bonus from a hacker's kit is hacking without direct access to a UI on the computer you want. It lets you hack from the infosphere, or a data line, or where ever.

For the infosphere, that's true if and only if the owner of the computer chose to link it to the infosphere. And in that case I'm not sure you need a hacking kit, presumably there's a software interface that links up to any outside computer seeking to use whatever functionality they put on the infosphere. GM call, though.


I imagine a future book will have more expanded rules for hacking, especially hacking via the infosphere. After all, the downside to infosphere hacking would be leaving traces on your "route". . . but the upside being, you could delay and divert attempts to trace you.


shade2077 wrote:
Oykiv wrote:
Also there's no tool kit (engineering speciality - hacking) if only because hacking depends of the computer skill.
The book says I can buy a Hacking kit but doesn't indicate what bonus it provides or how much it costs. Does that mean I can't hack unless I have a kit but I spend 25 credits and get the ability to make hacking checks? That makes no sense.

The book says it's necesary to make the check and doesn't metion bonus, so there's no bonus. Also it says it costs 20 credits, see table 7-26 in page 219.

What I understand is that the kits are similar to the devices shown un the film hackers or similar. Here's an image of a "real" one

I understand you can hack a computer in which you can program some code. But what about automatic teller machines, museum touch screens or similar? You're interaction with those machines are very limited, unless you have a tool kit that allows you to modify it's code; a tool kit (hacker).

That's my interpretation.


A hacking toolkit is not required to hack a computer, you only need access to the computer or one connected to it.

If you have access to a terminal on the computer or the target computer is on a network (like infosphere) you just have to be at the terminal. This may require hacking the terminal first.

If the target computer is not on a network or does not have an interface, a door lock for example, then you need a hacking toolkit.

I proposed on another thread that the hacking toolkit is essentially an interface (screen and keyboard), various connectors, maybe a short range wireless, and storage for your custom set of hacking programs. Note that the toolkit does not say it can store data. If you want to save a copy of something you hack, or upload false data, you need a computer or way of storing them.

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