Repair costs and crafting costs using UPB seems way off balance. Fix?


Rules Questions


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Hello, per the rules, it states that it takes an amount of UPB's to craft an item as it normally costs. Example, a pistol would cost 350 credits to buy, or 350 UPB's to craft. HOWEVER, when it comes to repairing starships, it says it only costs 10 UPB to repair 1 Hull Point. This makes no sense. The cost to create an item from UPB's is hundreds of times more expensive to make something than it is to repair the ship's hull? Has this been addressed? If not, I was going to houserule that it takes 1000 UPB to repair 1 Hull Point. Thoughts?


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Do you expect your players to ever fight in ship combat if it costs 1,000 UPBs to repair after every flight? It throws wealth expectations out of the door. Maybe the UPBs used for hull points just bulk up and are otherwise inert metal instead of complex capacitors and zero point singularity modules such as what are used in hand held plasma weapons? You can fluff it to make sense without nearly as much impact on the game as one bad roll bankrupting the party.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hull repairs only even cost that much when they are patched up by the PCs manually. Shipyards charge. . . basically, GM's discretion, but generally little/nothing ( because its looped into the 'starship build point' abstraction ).


10 UPB per hull point is absurd, but good point about 1000 breaking the group. I may bump it to 100 if they have to repair themselves.


Kinjo wrote:
10 UPB per hull point is absurd, but good point about 1000 breaking the group. I may bump it to 100 if they have to repair themselves.

I mean, I still have the same question, how much ship combat are you expecting the party to engage in? How will you adjust wealth by level to compensate, do you think the players will be interested in doing ship stuff if they are still spending huge chunks of their wealth without any loot in return from space battles? You might want to work in a full homebrew system for scavenging parts and rewarding extra gear or money for best in my enemy ships without taking damage. Otherwise you are seriously pushing your players towards taking huge power cores and shields or building massive glass cannons in an effort to never take hull damage. Will this make the game more fun for them somehow?


Get a living Xenowarden ship and let it repair itself.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think it’s a fair question. One of my criticisms of Starfinder (as much as I like it) is that ships and ship combat are like a whole separate mini-game and don’t fit organically with the rest of the RPG.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was working on something for this for my group since i would like to have a bit more than what the hand waving starship rules have produced.

Field Patch: 10 UPB’s and 5 hours per point
A basic temporary hull repair in which the armor plates and frame are reformed to repair the damage and the UPB’s are used to seal and bond the armor plates together.

Field Repair: 35 UPB’s and 4 hours per point
Similar to the Field Patch but the reforming of armor plates is lessened and use of UPB’s are increased to “Bondo” the armor plates together. This repair is sturdier than the patch but less than the Dock/Facility Repair.

Dock Repair: 75 Credits and 3 hours per point
The repairs are from removing and replacing the armor plating in a place with new or repaired plating. Typically this is done at locations with facilities for ship repair.

Facility Repair: 100 Credits and 2 hours per point
Same as dock repair but done by npc crew of about 5 on average. So a number of armor can be repaired at one time equal to the size of repair crew.


How would spells like mending or make whole affect these massive repair costs? Will you bring in some new system for ship parts to off set the cut in funds for other party gear?


Although, i do like that the exhirbant costs and time to repair a ship can make for plot hooks, party cant afford a reputable yard so they agree to run smuggling routes in exchange for time in an black market facility or the party going into debt to the mob to keep flying. But I am not sure I'd want a whole campaign around that... at 100 credits per hill point, you are easily looking at losing more credits per encounter than you are earning, never getting to catch up on gear because of your yard debts is only fun for so long.


Since gear is level capped you can pretty safely drop enough money to cover any costs without worrying the party will buy better weapons or armor. Unless of course you like keeping the party poor and making them use under level stuff all the time.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
How would spells like mending or make whole affect these massive repair costs? Will you bring in some new system for ship parts to off set the cut in funds for other party gear?

Mending would not be any help. Make whole might get 1 hull point per casting but I would have to think about it a bit.

For the party gear portion yes. I have been working on tweaking the rules for buying and selling to get more cash into the players hands. Still working on it but plan is to change all non-magical gear costs down by dividing the cost by its level. In addition I plan on making selling off gear nicer by upping it to at least 40% maybe even 50%. Crafting gear yourself I am knocking down to 75% as well to make it even worth doing.
Item levels are staying in for purchasing to keep the power level balance as much as possible. Player level +2 gear will always be easy to find. Anything above that they will have to work to find someone to sell it to them.

This is all in flux as I'm tweeking some things.


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The balance is fine, it just doesn't make sense when you look at the two system together.

In fact, balance is the reason why the costs are set as they are.


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I think this should maybe be moved to the homebrew section, it was never really a rules question, more of a game design philosophy question.

Otherwise, yes, if you completely rework the wealth by level and item cost you can make ships far more difficult, expensive and time consuming to maintain. It just seems to be a lot to do to add a grittier feel to an abstract system.


Now tell us how you'll make them pay for the upgrades they get when their ship goes up a tier.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Ragi wrote:
Now tell us how you'll make them pay for the upgrades they get when their ship goes up a tier.

By allowing them to do incremental upgrades with credits when they can do it. Using the BP amount as "Guidelines".

I do not think it makes sense that if they choose to upgrade shields to the better grade they can't because of they hit BP limit.

Again trying it with my group see how things shake out so all is subject to change.


So what is your rate of BP to Credit? How will you check that the build of the ship matches the tier you expect for the party? I would worry that even if you limit the party to item levels close to their APL you will need to keep solid track of consumables and nice to haves, grenades, missiles, healing items, cybernetics etc. It might be tempting or they may not realize how under gunned their ship is compared to how they are rolling on a personal level.


Well, the cheapest longarms laser weapon, the azimuth laser rifle costs 425 credits and does 1d8 damage.

The cheapest (in BP) starship light weapon is the Light Laser Cannon, costs 2 BP and does 2d4 (x10) damage.

It does roughly 10 times the damage, will it also cost 10 times the price? 4,250 credits for a light laser cannon? That's 2,125 credits per BP. A flak thrower would cost 10,625 credits, a light particle beam 21,250.

Are you going to accordingly modify the WBL, maybe create a "starship budget" they can't use for regular gear, or something? Otherwise they'll have to decide between a naked ship or fighting their enemies with clubs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What a headache all that would be!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And.. once again we find ourselves staring at the reason the Starship and Game economies are separate. No matter how this gets rehashed it never works without a huge headache and a lot of micromanaging.. which is why it works the way it works.


Vexies wrote:

And.. once again we find ourselves staring at the reason the Starship and Game economies are separate. No matter how this gets rehashed it never works without a huge headache and a lot of micromanaging.. which is why it works the way it works.

I don't see why this has to be an issue. Traveller dealt with it in 1980, Spelljammer in the mid '80s, and every version of the Star Wars games has found solutions. It really is a solved problem if you do a little research.


Telok wrote:
Vexies wrote:

And.. once again we find ourselves staring at the reason the Starship and Game economies are separate. No matter how this gets rehashed it never works without a huge headache and a lot of micromanaging.. which is why it works the way it works.

I don't see why this has to be an issue. Traveller dealt with it in 1980, Spelljammer in the mid '80s, and every version of the Star Wars games has found solutions. It really is a solved problem if you do a little research.

I can only speak to Traveller but, it wasn't solved so much as the game said, "Sure, let one player start with a man portable fusion cannon and battle dress, you'll figure out how to handle that when the rest of the group is composed of knife fighters and paraplegics. Also, you are several million in debt from character creation." Balance was a very different idea in that system.


Torbyne wrote:
"Sure, let one player start with a man portable fusion cannon and battle dress, you'll figure out how to handle that when the rest of the group is composed of knife fighters and paraplegics. Also, you are several million in debt from character creation."

While it did leave inter-character ideas of balance to the GM it did also successfully integrate the starship economy into the core game. Individual GMs deciding to allow some PCs to access high end military equipment while denying it to others was not part of the rules.


Telok wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
"Sure, let one player start with a man portable fusion cannon and battle dress, you'll figure out how to handle that when the rest of the group is composed of knife fighters and paraplegics. Also, you are several million in debt from character creation."
While it did leave inter-character ideas of balance to the GM it did also successfully integrate the starship economy into the core game. Individual GMs deciding to allow some PCs to access high end military equipment while denying it to others was not part of the rules.

I disagree, in most editions of the game players would start out at vastly different power ranges depending on their luck with rolls in character gen. You could be down a few limbs and in severe medical debt while player two is a former space pirate with a fully paid off ship to do what ever they want with and then player three has a gun from their time in the space marines that will kill just about anyone with a good roll. It actually takes house ruling to redo or undo bad rolls to keep everyone more or less on the same playing field. But it is a different game and some of the most fun in it is trying to make a valiant space soldier only to get dishonorably discharged for a crime that your CO set you up for and then spend the next 12 years as a prisoner and start the game with only your beloved prison shiv to your name.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Telok wrote:
Vexies wrote:

And.. once again we find ourselves staring at the reason the Starship and Game economies are separate. No matter how this gets rehashed it never works without a huge headache and a lot of micromanaging.. which is why it works the way it works.

I don't see why this has to be an issue. Traveller dealt with it in 1980, Spelljammer in the mid '80s, and every version of the Star Wars games has found solutions. It really is a solved problem if you do a little research.

Then solve it. If its so easy, do it yourself and present your results.

. . . and then we find out one of three probably answers:

1. No results at all, because it turns out Things Are Hard, and designing properly balanced games is not, in fact, trivial.

2. You come back with your results, and then we all poke it full of holes, proving that your "solution" was nothing of the sort, and just swapped out different flaws.

3. Your solution actually does work. . . by fundamentally changing the underlying assumptions of the game, to the point that its not recognizable. Turning Starfinder into Traveler does not produce a win, because Starfinder wasn't ever meant to be Traveler.


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What you're missing is that UPBs aren't just printable everything, they're also one time use gray goop. If your hull is missing a section you don't fill it in with UPBs, you pour UPBs on the scrap metal you have lying around to expand its mass and then THAT becomes your hull patch. You only need to make something completely out of UPBs if it has complext circuitry.

UPBs can even be spun out into fabric, broken down into component chemicals, reconstituted into new chemicals, or supplemented with base materials (such as dirt or sand) to form massive braces or walls.

So you only need to replace the mass that was blown so far away from your ship you can't recover it, and you can throw the enemy missile into the mix to boot.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The fact that the ship economy is detached from the player economy is very strange, but in this case I say you have to let go of the desire for a realistic simulation and leverage fluff to explain it rather than try and homebrew something. I like BigNorseWolf's idea that the UPBs are just used along with spare parts and scrap to make repairs, hence the low cost.

You can't really screw with the balance in the way many people are talking about by charging hundreds of credits for repairs unless you are also giving them similar amounts of extra credits for salvaging wrecked enemy vessels when they win encounters. And ultimately it's easier to explain it this way: "Okay you salvage the enemy ships, use a few bits of scrap and UPB and make repairs" rather than building up complex systems where they just pay more UPB and you throw off the whole economy balance of the game.


VoodooSpecter wrote:
I like BigNorseWolf's idea that the UPBs are just used along with spare parts and scrap to make repairs, hence the low cost.

Right, I think BigNorseWolf has the right interpretation of RAW. The hull isn't comprised of 100% nano-bots. To repair it requires a handful of nano-bots and a bunch of inert metal. Where that metal comes from could be an issue, but I doubt the cost is high, which is why the rules more or less ignore it and only note the cost of the UPBs.


VoodooSpecter wrote:
The fact that the ship economy is detached from the player economy is very strange, but in this case I say you have to let go of the desire for a realistic simulation and leverage fluff to explain it rather than try and homebrew something.

A plausible explanation is that characters only "own" the ship the same way most people own their house, that is that the bank technically owns most of it and they can't sell it off without the banks permission.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


A plausible explanation is that characters only "own" the ship the same way most people own their house, that is that the bank technically owns most of it and they can't sell it off without the banks permission.

Plausible based on the campaign storyline, I suppose. In my game, the player's first ship sort of fell into their lap because they were all either passengers or prisoners and it was attacked by zombies infected by a mind-eating space fungus and the players were the only survivors. Their second ship was inverse-pirated (the pirates boarded, but the party killed them and took their ship, leaving the old one adrift around Absalom for use as a storage depot). Their third one is (to be earned in the next session, actually) will be a salvage job.

Back to topic: My take on the cost is that 10 UPBs per hull point is completely resonable. What's entirely unreasonable is making the cost of ship combat hit 100,000 credits just for repairs (1000 per hull point after a particularly hard fight where they make it out with, say 40 of 150 hull points... 110 hull points x 1000 == 110000 credits to repair). Even 11,000 credits would be a lot (100 per point). My players tend to spend most of what they earn, and I don't believe in Monty Haul type games. One way I keep balance is I give credit awards out in trickles with larger amounts given before downtime activities. This way, they can't always afford every top-of-the-line item in the book, and instead have weigh this armor upgrade against that weapon, and remember hit the magipharmacy for some healing serums on the way home.

So --- 10 UPBs (along with handwaving scrap metal) is entirely reasonable given the players also would like an opportunity to upgrade from that stupid azimuth pistol they started with 7 levels ago rather than blow their entire paycheck on hull plates.

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