Armor as Space Suit


Advice


Hi! It's me again! Missed me? Uhm... I am bad at starting topics... Onward to science!

So we are gearing up for a Starfinder test on this Saturday. Your humble friend here will be a Solar Weapon Human Solarian. Yadda yadda... Which arnors can serve as Space Suits? I noticed there is an item that's named Soace Suit for 25 Creds but it offers 0 protection. Then there is this Second Skin Armoe that's described as a super thin Soace Suit offering some protection against hazards of space.

So you know, what gives? Can all armors be used as Space Suits or only a few? Is there some special tinkering needed with them to make them space viable? A friend spoke something about a seal for some full body armors, but which are those? Do we have to check each description to check if they are viable for it? Or is there some magical shield item or something that would work like the shield suits from second Guardians?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

All armours give environmental protections (including vacuum) for 24hrs x Item level.


Malk_Content wrote:
All armours give environmental protections (including vacuum) for 24hrs x Item level.

Are you sure? Some armor descriptions don't hint on them being capable of such. Like Freebooter Armor is just a jacket and some sturdy boots and gloves woth some straps and stuff.


This was a brief topic at the table I played with.. My character is a Star Shaman (I think) Mystic, which gains immunity to the effects of space vacuum at first level and it seems pretty pointless when the DM declares that any piece of armor (not common clothing) can provide the exact same protection.. I'd say it should be a DMs decision how to proceed with it, based on how much interaction characters will have with space and the possible risks involved..


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nope, Just a Nibble. Any armor at all provides protection from the effects of space, it's written in the rules. The GM could change it, but the Star Shamans ability is a first level ability. It's not supposed to be super powerful, just a neat ability.

Shadow Lodge

NaeNae, if you have access, read page 196 onwards in the core rule book under environmental protections.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
NaeNae wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
All armours give environmental protections (including vacuum) for 24hrs x Item level.
Are you sure? Some armor descriptions don't hint on them being capable of such. Like Freebooter Armor is just a jacket and some sturdy boots and gloves woth some straps and stuff.

Yes I'm sure. Page 196 under Environmental Protections through to the end of that section on page 199. Specifically the very first line under Activation and Duration and the first subsection of Breathing and Pressure.


Minor forcefields are supposed to be involved where there's no visible material I think.


avr wrote:
Minor forcefields are supposed to be involved where there's no visible material I think.

That's one way to explain, though the items don't really go into detail how they accomplish it. The result is that within the game space isn't really supposed to be a serious hazard to endanger any prepared player character. If however you're caught unprepared without your armor then it can be a problem.

The "space suit" item is basically an item for non-combat NPCs that enables them to take space walks without having to spend the higher costs for even light armor.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Though given that superior armor-based solutions are only marginally more expensive, I tend to think that the Space Suit is only ever going to be found amongst the absolute cheapest, poor or penny pinching operations. If you see people wearing space suits rather than even basic space gear? Your either on a colony just this side of total failure, or in a neo-victorian people eating factory.


Thanks for all the replies, helped a lot. Sadly due to differences between me and DM I left the group. But if I ever find another one for Starfinder, I will surely use the info from here.


i just assumed that the space suit was for low tech worlds or settings. maybe have them in an equipment locker of a derelict just to showcase how old the ship is.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
Though given that superior armor-based solutions are only marginally more expensive, I tend to think that the Space Suit is only ever going to be found amongst the absolute cheapest, poor or penny pinching operations. If you see people wearing space suits rather than even basic space gear? Your either on a colony just this side of total failure, or in a neo-victorian people eating factory.

I dunno if you are an system scale mining company those credits add up. Can't imagine the space accountant authorizing 70 extra credits per employee on the off chance some will get into combat in which that 70c of protection likely won't even save them.


Malk_Content wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Though given that superior armor-based solutions are only marginally more expensive, I tend to think that the Space Suit is only ever going to be found amongst the absolute cheapest, poor or penny pinching operations. If you see people wearing space suits rather than even basic space gear? Your either on a colony just this side of total failure, or in a neo-victorian people eating factory.
I dunno if you are an system scale mining company those credits add up. Can't imagine the space accountant authorizing 70 extra credits per employee on the off chance some will get into combat in which that 70c of protection likely won't even save them.

I would think the otherway, better invest 70 bucks into protective gear than deal with down time due to injury, potential lawsuits over unsafe working conditions, lower medical bills, better company optics... i would think a lot of space mining rigs would be very specialized gear actually.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Torbyne wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Though given that superior armor-based solutions are only marginally more expensive, I tend to think that the Space Suit is only ever going to be found amongst the absolute cheapest, poor or penny pinching operations. If you see people wearing space suits rather than even basic space gear? Your either on a colony just this side of total failure, or in a neo-victorian people eating factory.
I dunno if you are an system scale mining company those credits add up. Can't imagine the space accountant authorizing 70 extra credits per employee on the off chance some will get into combat in which that 70c of protection likely won't even save them.
I would think the otherway, better invest 70 bucks into protective gear than deal with down time due to injury, potential lawsuits over unsafe working conditions, lower medical bills, better company optics... i would think a lot of space mining rigs would be very specialized gear actually.

Well, the reputable ones would be anyways. ;)


Malk_Content wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Though given that superior armor-based solutions are only marginally more expensive, I tend to think that the Space Suit is only ever going to be found amongst the absolute cheapest, poor or penny pinching operations. If you see people wearing space suits rather than even basic space gear? Your either on a colony just this side of total failure, or in a neo-victorian people eating factory.
I dunno if you are an system scale mining company those credits add up. Can't imagine the space accountant authorizing 70 extra credits per employee on the off chance some will get into combat in which that 70c of protection likely won't even save them.

Armor also protects against radiation. This may help to explain why space stations are just fine with folks walking around in full armor.


Nicola The Necromancer wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Though given that superior armor-based solutions are only marginally more expensive, I tend to think that the Space Suit is only ever going to be found amongst the absolute cheapest, poor or penny pinching operations. If you see people wearing space suits rather than even basic space gear? Your either on a colony just this side of total failure, or in a neo-victorian people eating factory.
I dunno if you are an system scale mining company those credits add up. Can't imagine the space accountant authorizing 70 extra credits per employee on the off chance some will get into combat in which that 70c of protection likely won't even save them.
Armor also protects against radiation. This may help to explain why space stations are just fine with folks walking around in full armor.

Plus armor seems more comfortable than most space suits and it provides emergency protection against decompression or harmful chem leaks. i think the core book actually states that as for why a party can walk around in full assault gear and not raise too many eyebrows.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also also, armor is much more resilient. Its not about combat, its about "if an accident happens your worker doesn't immediately suffocate and die". You can get injured in armor and the environmental protection holds; not so for the space suit. It also, implicitly, means the suit itself is more resilient, so if something *does* happen? You may lose the worker, but you can at least salvage the suit for the next one.

Its basically an all around pragmatic good deal, you spend a little more up front and save a lot on replacing workers or equipment. Its only worth using the space suits if, say, you can get them at super low prices and the cost of new workers is "basically zero". Or, alternately, if you need X space workers, and you literally don't have the money to afford X suits of spacer wear.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The asteroid mining slaves have space suits, but their guards and task masters have armored suits. Everyone is protected from the elements, but only the slavers are protected from a sudden slave revolt.

Liberty's Edge

NaeNae wrote:
Thanks for all the replies, helped a lot. Sadly due to differences between me and DM I left the group. But if I ever find another one for Starfinder, I will surely use the info from here.

Not sure if it helps at all but there may be an active Starfinder Society presence in your area. Not sure where you hail from but it is an option.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
The asteroid mining slaves have space suits, but their guards and task masters have armored suits. Everyone is protected from the elements, but only the slavers are protected from a sudden slave revolt.

And in a situation like this, the fragility of the space suits may actually be an *advantage*. When you realize you are one good whack away from sucking vacuum, it kills morale. Whatever you lose in accidents, you gain in fewer revolts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In the game I am running I have ruled that unless stated that it is capable of being a space suit it is not.
I do plan on making it an option though. I am going to make a pressure suit or force field 0 space upgrades for suits. Beyond basic tier upgrades will take up slots though.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kochean wrote:

In the game I am running I have ruled that unless stated that it is capable of being a space suit it is not.

I do plan on making it an option though. I am going to make a pressure suit or force field 0 space upgrades for suits. Beyond basic tier upgrades will take up slots though.

So your plan is to upset the ruleset and basically force characters to wear either armor, or a Spacesuit, for much of their career?

Liberty's Edge

Wouldn't be too bad if they ruled that PCs can purchase space suits designed to go on over armour. (Might get a bit silly with heavy armour, though.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Kochean wrote:

In the game I am running I have ruled that unless stated that it is capable of being a space suit it is not.

I do plan on making it an option though. I am going to make a pressure suit or force field 0 space upgrades for suits. Beyond basic tier upgrades will take up slots though.
So your plan is to upset the ruleset and basically force characters to wear either armor, or a Spacesuit, for much of their career?

I would not say upset. More like add a bit more customization to the system. I did not take away the ability to wear armor as a space suit just made it into an upgrade to a armor instead of built in.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
LordRiffington wrote:
Wouldn't be too bad if they ruled that PCs can purchase space suits designed to go on over armour. (Might get a bit silly with heavy armour, though.)

Why would you want the space suit on the outside?

Ostensibly you would want the protective bits on the outermost layer.

To also protect the space suit itself. I understand mechanically for the game system it doesn't make a difference, unless they're sundering the suit/armor it doesn't take damage. But if you include a realistic mental image, it only makes sense for the armor to be on the outside.

Ultimately what would happen is everybody wears something like second skin designed to protect you from space, and just wear actual armor over it.

Or you can just do like the game intended and allow any armor to basically function as a space suit.

Or you can do what Kochean is doing and basically just apply a -1 upgrade slot penalty to all armor. It's not the end of the world, but as a player I'd be annoyed if I was in his game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Claxon wrote:
Or you can do what Kochean is doing and basically just apply a -1 upgrade slot penalty to all armor. It's not the end of the world, but as a player I'd be annoyed if I was in his game.

I planned to have the tier 1 suit or force field not costing any upgrade slots. boosting the items to higher tiers would start taking upgrade slots. But I will limit the max tier to 4 or something on normal armors, higher on power armor most probably.

Personally I cant see having a suit lasting longer than a standard escape pod.


But why? Will you be dropping the price of the armors to reflect the loss of functionality? Is it just to make the game better fit your view of realistic magic and super science?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was not planning on reducing the prices of the suits at this time. Mostly because of things like flight suits and Estex suits per their description should have the space suit ability already. Skinsuits and freebooter armor per their description would not have a built in suit.

And yes this is my attempt to reel in a bit due to personal preference. So far I have not gotten any complaints.
Granted we have not gotten off Absalon Station yet so we shall see how it goes at that point.


i suspect that removing the environmental protections from random armors will not become a thing until environmental protections are needed and then you'll get all the concerns at once.


Claxon wrote:
avr wrote:
Minor forcefields are supposed to be involved where there's no visible material I think.

That's one way to explain, though the items don't really go into detail how they accomplish it. The result is that within the game space isn't really supposed to be a serious hazard to endanger any prepared player character. If however you're caught unprepared without your armor then it can be a problem.

The "space suit" item is basically an item for non-combat NPCs that enables them to take space walks without having to spend the higher costs for even light armor.

Think guardians of the galaxy type space suites. Like starlords outfit does not look like a space suit but it functions as such.

Wayfinders

Kochean wrote:

In the game I am running I have ruled that unless stated that it is capable of being a space suit it is not.

I do plan on making it an option though. I am going to make a pressure suit or force field 0 space upgrades for suits. Beyond basic tier upgrades will take up slots though.

The problem with your ruling is that it is the exact opposite of the actual written core book.

CRB P. 196
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS
Space can be an inhospitable place, with countless dangerous
worlds within it. Unless otherwise specified, all armors protect
you from a range of hazards to ensure that you can survive for
at least a few days if you must make emergency repairs to the
hull of a starship, explore an alien world, or endure exposure
to an environmental breach in a space station. Some armors do
this through an environmental field (a minor force field specially
attuned to pressure and temperature that does not reduce
damage from attacks), while others can be closed with helmets
and airtight seals. The most common environmental dangers are
detailed in Environment beginning on page 394.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Also, it kind of mucks up archaic armor, which differs from standard armor in only three respects:
- how it interacts with archaic weapons
- does not possess comm unit
- does not possess environmental protections

Saying no armor comes with environmental protections makes you wonder why we ever left archaic armor in the first place.


Starfinder Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
The asteroid mining slaves have space suits, but their guards and task masters have armored suits. Everyone is protected from the elements, but only the slavers are protected from a sudden slave revolt.

I think this idea 100% is why there would still be space suits. And the companies that make them just kind of turn a blind eye to abuse of them.


NaeNae wrote:
Thanks for all the replies, helped a lot. Sadly due to differences between me and DM I left the group. But if I ever find another one for Starfinder, I will surely use the info from here.

If you are located in the Baltimore, MD area shoot me an email we are always on the look out for more talent.


Even light armor takes 4 rounds to put on properly. It doesn't say how long it takes to put on a space suit but if it's less, then the convenience value might explain why the space suit exists.


The fact that every armor count as space suite for item level x24h is something which really bothers me.
I think this really take something from the game.
I would love to see this more like an module for an armor with a less timeframe. This way you can't really make the usual "my air only holds or 30 min, we have to get inside" and also negates any problem hostile atmospheres. So a lot of scifi tropes get negated by this "feature". :(


Yeah, that's been a problem for a lot of us, Tryn. The way I dealt with it in my home game was saying that without special modifications (armor upgrades), light armor "normalizes" environments by one step and heavy armor does so by two steps, while also providing atmosphere if you are also wearing a helmet. This protection is powered by standard weapon batteries. One battery lasts for half a day, while two batteries last for a full day. Each suit of armor comes with two battery slots, one under each armpit to keep them protected and out of the way, so that someone wearing armor with protections up can hotswap out one of the batteries once it's depleted while the other battery maintains the protections.

This way, the characters can still maintain protections almost indefinitely... as long as they have enough batteries or the capacity to recharge. When low on batteries or away from their ship, however, it becomes something they have to manage if they want to survive. This way, there's still some of the adventuring convenience, while also preserving the sense of environmental threat we like in scifi. The players have been happy with the system.


I would go a similar approach. Using batteries as resources, but I would go with something like this:
- all armor comes with a general "clima protection" so you can survive in harsh conditions -40°C to +80°C
- you can buy a "environment seal" armor module, which need one slot and count as "Life Bubble" for 1hour per 2 energy points, you can install up to 2 normal batteries in your armor."


-40C to +80C is a *lot*, and completely covers the ranges in the CRB - Extreme Cold is warmer than -40C and Extreme Heat is cooler than +80C. Just an FYI, in terms of in what environments you were expecting your players to need to worry about powering up their armor heaters. And don't forget, space is an excellent insulator - you don't freeze to death in space very quickly, and realistic/immersive thermal rules in general mean you should worry about the thermal conductivity of the medium (space should kill you slower than cold air should kill you slower than cold water, assuming no wind or active currents).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you want to nerf armor in your campaign, that's certainly your prerogative. I would carefully consider the practicalities, though, before you find that none of your players actually enjoy dying every time they take a hit in space, or having every adventure in a hostile environment turn into a desperate struggle to acquire ten more minutes of air. Not every player wants to play The Martian straight.

( Also, seriously, its a supertech setting with actual magic, the general quality of space protection gear really *should* be vastly higher than anything present in the real world. Like, say, protective gear as comfortable as clothing that provides extensive self-sealing life support. . . )


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think a lot of you guys are overthinking it a bit. Are your house rules really going to be conducive to more fun for your table? I for one am already pretty tired of having to track battery this, battery that. If I had to do it for environmental protections too, I just might scream and throw a book.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

On a related note:

My players recently fought an Ellicoth. Big nasty bug elephant thing with a radiation aura. It was a fight 3 CR above their level, so meant to be an epic battle.

Except almost all my players had level 7 armor, which meant that they were immune to medium radiation, and so one of the monsters nastiest abilities (radiation aura) did squat to them.

It felt like a waste of a monster ability. I guess in some circumstances, it might force the PCs to burn a standard action activating their environmental protections mid-fight, but my players were already in a toxic environment so they were already running with protections up.


@Ravingdork: After thinking over it again, I agree that this would be to much micro managment. But the RAW also take away one very common scifi trope...

After rethinking it, I will leave it as it is for my group and see how I can add some pressure from the adventure side (if needed) - maybe with acid atmosphere or similar. ;)


Tryn wrote:

The fact that every armor count as space suite for item level x24h is something which really bothers me.

I think this really take something from the game.
I would love to see this more like an module for an armor with a less timeframe. This way you can't really make the usual "my air only holds or 30 min, we have to get inside" and also negates any problem hostile atmospheres. So a lot of scifi tropes get negated by this "feature". :(

On the other hand, armor letting you to breath in hostile enviroments also open a lot of scifi tropes. Mass Effect, The Expanse, etc have this kind of thing. And that's why those fictions show the protagonists in dangerous places with no breathable atmosphere. If the armor does not give you enviromental protection, then 90% the planets become "breathable atmosphere" which is what you see in many other shows, like Stargate or Startrek or Starwars. Everywhere they go, has an atmosphere based on Oxygen and Nitrogen, so humans can breath.

I suppose it depends on which kind of story you want to tell. Both are nice. I love Commander Sheppard, tho, so I'm going with armor giving you the ability to go to non-earth-like places.


One option for enviroments is to do what is hinted in Dead Suns 2. There is a couple of things there (Attacks from monsters and stuff) that reduce the number of hours left in the enviromental protection suit.
Planets with specially dangerous atmosphere (such as acid) can count as 2x or 3x the time you spend there. Attacks with things like radiation or poison breath might also reduce the number of hours left. Etc.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:


/snip
Except almost all my players had level 7 armor, which meant that they were immune to medium radiation, and so one of the monsters nastiest abilities (radiation aura) did squat to them.

Yeah this is a potential issue I'm seeing with armor as is. Like there are starship weapons that have the special quality of irradiate. But you require capital grade to get heavy, which means the crew can take nukes and grasers to the hull all day (well...at least until the ship is destroyed) and basically shake off all types of radiation as long as they are tier 7 or higher. And the +6 save they get to greater than medium radiation makes the High radiation DC pretty reasonable to make.

Which then turns into, "Why would you ever have a radiation weapon intentionally on your ship?" unless you're fighting scrubs well below the challenge rating of 7.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Advice / Armor as Space Suit All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.