Carrying weapons on Absalom Station


General Discussion


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Do we have any indication how Absalom law and station security views open carrying of weapons by adventurers? What is tolerated? Small arms? Longarms? Heavy Weapons? How would private organisations such as the Starfinder Society, or Astral Extractions, or even the Eoxian embassy view this when visited by adventurers?

How did you handle it?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm starting to see Starfinder more and more as basically a wild-west in space. So guns are probably just natural.


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

It depends entirely on what part of the station you're in. An embassy you hadn't been invited to might have very different rules and expectations than a gun club.

I don't believe there are global restrictions for the whole station.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I put together this document about "dress code" and weapons etiquette informed by what I learned from running my first (still-ongoing) campaign.

(What I learned being basically to adopt some clear guidelines upfront that seem consistent with the setting as presented. I like being able to challenge my players with situations where they won't always be bristling with weapons and armour but didn't think to make this part of our pre-game campaign discussions, something I would do if running a fresh campaign.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have played it that it is open carry in the Spike, but whenever they go to the Eye they have to use those slight of hand checks, and those hide and glamor weapon fusions.


This does however lead to an interesting dilemma when it comes to Solarians and spellcasters who are, for all practical purposes, always armed.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Part of the attraction of being a Solarian or a spellcaster.


That's why they'd let everyone carry (although maybe not heavy weapons and grenades), so that solarion and spellcaster terrorists can't run rampant.


Oh, I think someone who was concerned could have security systems and countermeasures in place. Relying on having everyone carry to counter-balance "terrorists" wouldn't be an attractive security solution. There's no guarantee those other people wouldn't turn on you, too.


CeeJay wrote:
Oh, I think someone who was concerned could have security systems and countermeasures in place.

Yes, those are called police states.


Who's to say they don't also have security systems and countermeasures. At least in the higher rank/wealth/influence areas. Drones wizzing around, security bots, etc.

But yeah, I figure people are cool with open carry, but a higher tier place will tell you to check them or at very least no wandering around with 2 handed stuff and rifles and such.


Xenocrat wrote:
CeeJay wrote:
Oh, I think someone who was concerned could have security systems and countermeasures in place.
Yes, those are called police states.

"Police states" actually tend to rely on pairing ubiquitous surveillance with hyper-militarizing the police and buttressing them with armed militias that can shoot people with impunity. Those probably exist and they're probably really unpleasant, but preferring more subtle methods like security systems, magical wards and so on to just blindly hoping that letting people walk around armed will solve potential problems would not be indicative.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CeeJay wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
CeeJay wrote:
Oh, I think someone who was concerned could have security systems and countermeasures in place.
Yes, those are called police states.
"Police states" actually tend to rely on pairing ubiquitous surveillance with hyper-militarizing the police and buttressing them with armed militias that can shoot people with impunity. Those probably exist and they're probably really unpleasant, but preferring more subtle methods like security systems, magical wards and so on to just blindly hoping that letting people walk around armed will solve potential problems would not be indicative.

People walking around armed don't solve potential problems, they disincentivize them. Magic Missiling a dude and then demanding his friends give you all their cred sticks is a more viable strategy when they can't draw and fire back.

Security systems that can somehow overcome Disguise Self, Invisibility, and Nondetection combined with offensive spells and the half a dozen ways Technomancers have to overcome doors and barriers as they engage in "you don't know who I am" hit and run tactics don't seem very cost effective to put everywhere rather than just letting everyone worry about being shot if they start something.

This is a world where low level merchants can mount tactical nukes on their basic ships and purchasing Raise Dead insurance from Abadarcorp probably has pretty reasonable rates. Carrying weapons on a space station just isn't a big deal.


Culture skill check (Absalom Station) from The Commencement (SFS 1-01) wrote:
ships ... are increasingly at risk of bringing back undetected alien life, simply because the policing Stewards lack the numbers to search every orbiting ship.

So there's real danger from alien vermin. Spawn-creating undead are also still a thing.

EDIT: There have also been recent alien wars with the Vesk, the Swarm, and maybe more.


Xenocrat wrote:
People walking around armed don't solve potential problems, they disincentivize them.

Assuming they don't then have incentives to solve their own credit shortages with violence, which of course they would. Guns are handy for that. If this kind of reasoning really worked, the safest form of government would be warlordism, but it's not so.

Of course there are places in Starfinder with lawless or warlord societies. Presumably being an adventurer involves going to lots of them. There are even spots on Absalom Station that are explicitly beyond any kind of legal authority, like the "lost levels." But again, I doubt this would recommend itself as an approach in any place where legal authority and security exist and are being maintained.

Quote:
Security systems that can [cope with Technomancers] don't seem very cost effective to put everywhere rather than just letting everyone worry about being shot if they start something.

Why would you put them "everywhere"? Just put them in strategically valuable locations or in high-traffic places where you most need deterrence. IRL societies don't put security systems "everywhere," that's not how security works.

It would be interesting to really think through what security systems might evolve to deal with Technomancer abilities or Mystic powers, though.

Quote:
This is a world where low level merchants can mount tactical nukes on their basic ships and purchasing Raise Dead insurance from Abadarcorp probably has pretty reasonable rates.

Carrying weapons might be a big deal in certain places for precisely this reason (although I'd question the value of something like "Raise Dead insurance").


Then we factor in the, "ok, so its not visible, but I've got a heavy plasma cannon and a rocket launcher in my Null space chamber I'm wearing"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The fact that there are so many ways to be dangerous if you want to be, without obviously carrying weapons? Is why most places shouldn't really care overly about typical carry. Its not that everyone being armed helps, specifically, its that attempting to spot all armament is impossible and ineffective. Instead, you just make sure your public spaces have good security able to respond quickly and effectively. Which, given the standard security bot is CR 4. . . well, a couple of those defuse your average stupid-people-with-guns situation pretty nicely.

A good comparison would be Xandar, from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Note that nobody seems to pay much attention to the various people wandering around with guns and swords strapped to them. . . until a fight breaks out. Then, within about a minute, absolutely everybody is subdued via an overwhelming security response.

That said, another factor people really need to remember about Absalom Station: culturally, it is *not* one singular unified government. It is, effectively, a federal state composed of hundreds of neighborhoods, businesses, religions, criminal gangs, and other organizations of heft, all with their representation in the government.


Xenocrat wrote:
CeeJay wrote:
Oh, I think someone who was concerned could have security systems and countermeasures in place.
Yes, those are called police states.

Given how many horrifying sneaky monsters their are, most heavily populated Starfinder societies should be borderline police states. Absalom has to worry about stuff like Shadows sneaking into their city and creating a few hundred copies of itself within an hour. They are going to need to be a lot more militarized than a real world city.

But I doubt they would restrict civilian weapons much either. Everyone would carry weapons. Particularly energy weapons so they can deal with incorporeal too.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

magic missile mugging people in an area good enough to have a no weapons policy will probably get you investigated (via speak with dead if need be), found, and thrown out of an airlock.

Nice areas aren't nice because everyone is armed. They're nice because people know that if you do something there will be consequences.


Disguise Self.


I doggie that add long as you are consistent within your own campaign, you can pretty much set this bar wherever you want it.

Personally, I prefer variety. Keeps players on their toes when looking for solutions.


Xenocrat wrote:
Disguise Self.

That raises a different question. If Raise Dead identifies a known spellcaster as the murderer but it was actually another spellcaster using Disguise Self, how much effort will the police put into investigation? Don't bother and just chuck the suspect out the airlock? Check CCTV footage around the crime scene? Send in a forensic team? Ask witnesses to check the alibi?


Mind Probe. Discern Truth. Zone of Truth. Detect Thoughts.


Begin spacing magic users until the culprit steps forward.


Pantshandshake wrote:
Begin spacing magic users until the culprit steps forward.

Watches the star shamans form a giant conga line


3 people marked this as a favorite.

"On second thought, let's not go to Absalom. 'Tis a silly place."


But at some point, do the resources invested outweigh the crime committed? Just like modern police don’t bring in FBI, and every specialist for every mugging and robbery. Aren’t some of these spells, abilities, and drones excessive?


LankyOgre wrote:
But at some point, do the resources invested outweigh the crime committed? Just like modern police don’t bring in FBI, and every specialist for every mugging and robbery. Aren’t some of these spells, abilities, and drones excessive?

The entire point of a functional government is to make the cost/risk/benefit analysis of hurting its citizens tilt heavily in the "it's not worth it" camp. Hurt the important citizens that decide where the entire governments resources go and its going to seem excessive.

And remember that techniques trickle down over time. Handheld computer in the field used to be james bond stuff, now its in every cops pocket.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Carrying weapons on Absalom Station All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.