Starfinder Pact Worlds Review – Let’s Meet The Neighbors!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Does Paizo’s new Starfinder Pact Worlds live up to the hype? Check out our extensive review of Paizo’s latest hardcover!

Extensive review of Pact Worlds

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

nice review


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I still feel things like population and then crew for starships are a bit off.

I feel populations for the listed areas (including Absolom station) needs to be increased by a factor of 10.

Similarly I felt a disconnect with the ships as pictures and the ships as rules. A gargantuan cathedral ship with 145 complement. A drift cruiser with all those windows but only 14 passengers combined in good and luxurious quarters? And 26 crew? That's more appropriate for a modern day big yacht, not the space liner pictured for the Opulus.

or the 'huge' garden ship with its 27 complement.

a minor tweak I'd do would say the 'complement' represents only the crew associated with the skill checks, but total crew is actually 5-10 times that number.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Losobal wrote:

I still feel things like population and then crew for starships are a bit off.

I feel populations for the listed areas (including Absolom station) needs to be increased by a factor of 10.

Similarly I felt a disconnect with the ships as pictures and the ships as rules. A gargantuan cathedral ship with 145 complement. A drift cruiser with all those windows but only 14 passengers combined in good and luxurious quarters? And 26 crew? That's more appropriate for a modern day big yacht, not the space liner pictured for the Opulus.

or the 'huge' garden ship with its 27 complement.

a minor tweak I'd do would say the 'complement' represents only the crew associated with the skill checks, but total crew is actually 5-10 times that number.

yeah

my online group i am running have a couple of goblin crew and amodren crew member that i just have as npc, role play characters and just add the space for them as fluff, also love your avatar


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Starfinder Superscriber

I think that some of the population numbers make sense. I'm fine with Arl having 18m people (that one seems right for the description). And I think the Idari and Archipelago should both be sparsely populated. And I think that the one on Aballon is a bit too huge to try to multiply it by 10.

I don't think the Qabarat number is right (yeah, I'd definitely multiply that one by at least 10). I think Absalom Station's number only makes sense if you treat that as permanent residents that are only on the station (none of the 'visitors', tourists, or armada count).

I think the 'compliment' number is meant to be the minimum number of people to fly the ship. Not the number it holds, though, right?


pithica42 wrote:

I think that some of the population numbers make sense. I'm fine with Arl having 18m people (that one seems right for the description). And I think the Idari and Archipelago should both be sparsely populated. And I think that the one on Aballon is a bit too huge to try to multiply it by 10.

I don't think the Qabarat number is right (yeah, I'd definitely multiply that one by at least 10). I think Absalom Station's number only makes sense if you treat that as permanent residents that are only on the station (none of the 'visitors', tourists, or armada count).

I think the 'compliment' number is meant to be the minimum number of people to fly the ship. Not the number it holds, though, right?

Maximum crew covers the max number of creatures that can live on a ship without putting in (tiny) guest quarters. It's absurdly small for Huge and up ships.


Complement does not describe the minimum number of people required to run a ship; that is provided by the frame, not the individual ship. Complement describes the number of people that can be expected to be running the ship, which will be anywhere between the minimum and maximum crew sizes listed by the frame. As noted, this maximum number becomes rather questionable as a ship gets larger.

But Pact Worlds was never going to be the book to fix the absurd ship scaling problems, if they're ever fixed at all, so I'm not surprised it has some very questionable examples like the 14 passenger space cruise liner.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I suspect that, eventually, the carry capacity of passenger quarters and such will be made into a scaling value based on the size of the ship.

Anyway, aside from some scale issues, I'm loving it so far. So, so many plot seeds, and societies that hold together conceptually.


Hithesius wrote:

Complement does not describe the minimum number of people required to run a ship; that is provided by the frame, not the individual ship. Complement describes the number of people that can be expected to be running the ship, which will be anywhere between the minimum and maximum crew sizes listed by the frame. As noted, this maximum number becomes rather questionable as a ship gets larger.

But Pact Worlds was never going to be the book to fix the absurd ship scaling problems, if they're ever fixed at all, so I'm not surprised it has some very questionable examples like the 14 passenger space cruise liner.

Also a lot of ships have upgrade bays where if you really want to haul people you can up the amount ships can carry pretty well. Swap out a cargo hold for a passenger compartment or one of those environmental compartments if you are carrying more exotic guests. The default numbers do seem a bit small for the sizes of ship but if you had the tech to manage that it may be a societal design choice. People like having a lot of room on their ship and not being over crowded possibly. There are some advantages if you are spending weeks/months traveling back and forth to have enough space that nobody is up in eachothers grill all day long.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Maximum crew covers the max number of creatures that can live on a ship without putting in (tiny) guest quarters. It's absurdly small for Huge and up ships.

Are you sure?

“Page 293” wrote:
In a base frame stat block, these entries note the minimum and maximum number of characters who can take actions on that vessel during starship combat. Larger starships use teams that report to a higher officer who performs an assigned role in starship combat (see Large and Small Crews on page 316 for more about large crews). A starship without its minimum crew can’t be operated.
“Page 316” wrote:
However, when a large NPC starship with its full complement enters starship combat, each individual crew member doesn’t take a regular action—it would take hours to resolve a single round! In such cases, usually on Large or larger starships, most roles simulate entire teams of personnel. The number of crew members required to assist a single officer who wants to attempt a check in that role is listed after the role’s name in a starship stat block.

Based on this, it appears that the “complement” is how many are involved with in Starship Combat. The true population could be much, much larger. There are probably multiple shifts, MPs, logistics personnel, etc.


LankyOgre wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Maximum crew covers the max number of creatures that can live on a ship without putting in (tiny) guest quarters. It's absurdly small for Huge and up ships.

Are you sure?

“Page 293” wrote:
In a base frame stat block, these entries note the minimum and maximum number of characters who can take actions on that vessel during starship combat. Larger starships use teams that report to a higher officer who performs an assigned role in starship combat (see Large and Small Crews on page 316 for more about large crews). A starship without its minimum crew can’t be operated.
“Page 316” wrote:
However, when a large NPC starship with its full complement enters starship combat, each individual crew member doesn’t take a regular action—it would take hours to resolve a single round! In such cases, usually on Large or larger starships, most roles simulate entire teams of personnel. The number of crew members required to assist a single officer who wants to attempt a check in that role is listed after the role’s name in a starship stat block.
Based on this, it appears that the “complement” is how many are involved with in Starship Combat. The true population could be much, much larger. There are probably multiple shifts, MPs, logistics personnel, etc.

You might be right, but that makes the Guest Quarters upgrade even more nonsensical than it currently is on large ships with laughably small number of bays. If a big ship can carry its max crew x3 or x4 in living quarters, but only needs a fraction of that to actually function, you'd be insane to ever use bay space for passengers rather than just handwave a much larger number of empty crew berths.


Xenocrat wrote:
You might be right, but that makes the Guest Quarters upgrade even more nonsensical than it currently is on large ships with laughably small number of bays. If a big ship can carry its max crew x3 or x4 in living quarters, but only needs a fraction of that to actually function, you'd be insane to ever use bay space for passengers rather than just handwave a much larger number of empty crew berths.

I do agree that the number of expansion bays is extremely problematic. Huge+ ships are orders of magnitude larger than a “Large” ship, and yet most of them have at most double the number of expansion bays. I think there is some problem trying to create a PC ship system that can’t be exploited that still is useable for civilian and pleasure NPC ships.

It’s difficult to directly compare starships to anything modern, the amount of room required to maintain atmosphere and gravity, the thickness required of the hull, the armor and weapons systems, all add to the volume in ways that we don’t really account for.

To me, one of the funniest aspects of this is that upgrading the crew quarters. The table makes it appear as an all or nothing decision, which makes no sense. It appears to be a static cost, not scaling with ship size (unless the cost is per good/luxurious room) but there is not mention of how much room they require. Maybe that it, everybody has their own size queen bed with a desk and private bath, that’s why there isn’t room for anything else.


Handwavium wise, I've done things like chuck the need to buy lifeboats and escape pods and just went with a built in assumption that bare minimum safety requirements would have enough pods and boats for however many people are onboard. I removed them from having a cost and an entry, they're just there in the background and story wise if you want to run a scenario with limited escape pods you can just say some weren't maintained/got busted in conflict or something,.

Similarly I threw in a 'when you buy a class of quarters that actually means the majority of the quarters are that state but there also remain several of the other 2. So even if you buy common quarters, you'll have 1 or 2 luxury or good quarters (on a big ship), or if you buy good, that means the rest are a smaller percentage of luxury and common, etc.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Something I assume in my game: the available quarters on a ship are *not* an impenetrable ceiling in how many people can be aboard the ship. You don't need to purchase guest quarters in order to carry a bunch of refugees or freed prisoners, you just need to throw a bunch of blankets and sleeping bags and such in available space ( like cargo bays or wider corridors ). Eventually, you'd reach a limit where operating the ship becomes impractical ( or the "passengers" would be so miserable that they riot ), but you'd hit that before you hit life support limits.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Stonesnake wrote:

Does Paizo’s new Starfinder Pact Worlds live up to the hype? Check out our extensive review of Paizo’s latest hardcover!

Extensive review of Pact Worlds

I enjoy the book, but it is primarily a resource for home campaigns.

I was disappointed that it didn't include info on running some kind of Eoxian PC, yet included 6 other new races. I'm anxious to see an option to run a ghoul or a zombie (if done well).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It does provide for running Eoxian PCs. Most Borai come from Eox. :p


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
It does provide for running Eoxian PCs. Most Borai come from Eox. :p

You are quite correct. I didn't pay that much attention to those. I was still hoping for ghoul or zombie PCs ...


Starfinder Superscriber

Eoxians:
Elebrians (the non-undead Eoxians) are in DS3. Ghouls are also in that book, but not playable, and Bone Troopers (intelligent skeletons) are in DS1 but not playable. Corpsefolk, which are intelligent zombies, are apparently coming in DS6 in June. I haven't heard whether or not they're playable, but I'm hoping.

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