Clarification on Power Armor Upgrades.


Rules Questions


15 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Starfinder Superscriber

When I got my hands on the armory a bit ago, one of the main things a lot of people were interested in spoilers on was the Power Armor upgrades. This led to a huge discussion on the starfinder discord about the cost of doing this. Because, frankly it's pretty insane.

Upgrading power armor is expensive. Buying a suit of, say, level 5 power armor and then upgrading it to level 6, then 7, and so on would cost something like 150% of buying the most expensive new heavy armor every level and selling your old stuff. What's worse, after a couple levels, you actually end up worse off on AC if you do it that way. If you were to upgrade Heavy Armor every 2-3 levels (which I suspect is more likely), the cost of upgrading Power Armor is well over double the cost of heavy armor.

I didn't think this could be correct, so after thinking about it some, I brought myself to a question, according to the Crafting Rules (CRB page 235), all you need to craft gear is:

Quote:

He must have a number of ranks

in the appropriate skill equal to the item level of the item to
be created. For weapons, armor, vehicles, and technological
equipment, the appropriate skill is Engineering.

And...

Quote:

Crafting items requires you to have access to tools and a

workshop or similar space.

And...

Quote:

To create an item, you must have UPBs with a total value

equal to the price of the item to be created. At the GM’s
discretion, you can scavenge similar items for parts, allowing
10% of the scavenged item’s value to count toward the UPBs
needed

So basically, if you have tools, time, UPBs, Skill ranks == item level, and an item with a level and a price, you should (I think), be able to craft it.

So, all that brings me to what my sort of question is, in that, I think we aren't intended as players (or GM's) to be buying a level 5 Power Armor, then upgrading it to 6, then 7 and so on. I think the intent may be for us to buy (or craft) new power armor at the appropriate upgraded level when we're ready to upgrade, and selling the old one same as we would for heavy armor. That would mean buying level 5 power armor (or making it), then around level 8 crafting a new 'upgraded' level 8 version of the same armor and selling the level 5 stuff, then repeating it at 10, and so on, replacing the old armor with a completely different level appropriate chassis when that makes sense to do so.

I know this isn't RAW, because the CRB also limits the crafting rules (explicitly) to the items in the CRB. But I also think that any GM that allows crafting and also allows other books is likely to ignore that, and probably most developers assume that people ignore that line as well. Crafting in SF is a lot less broken than it is in PF, so I suspect this may a fair assumption.

If you do the math on crafting new power armor this way (and selling the old stuff), it's still more expensive than doing the same thing with Heavy Armor, and upgraded power armor (at least for the ones I did the math on) were more expensive than even other power armors of the same level. So, I don't think you're giving away the goose by allowing this.

I'm mostly curious if other GM's are reading it this way, or ideally, if this was the intent of the upgrade rules by the developers? I haven't seen any of them speak to that in the twitch streams, but I'm nowhere near omnipresent or anything, so I may have missed it if they did.

Thoughts? Concerns? Insults to my general intelligence?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

So forgive me as I haven't had a chance to read through the power armor upgrade rules in depth yet. For the sake of discussion, what is the advantage of crafting the upgraded suite vs just upgrading the existing suit? Is it cheaper?


Starfinder Superscriber

It's more expensive to do the upgraded suit.

To upgrade power armor by 1 level, you calculate the new level's price (150% of the old level's price), and then pay that to upgrade. The upgrade gets you +1 to both ACs. If the new level is evenly divisible by 5, it's +2 to both AC's instead. If you upgrade by a total of five levels, Strength on the suit goes up by 2, Max Dex goes up by 1, and it gains an armor upgrade slot.

Nothing else changes.

So, if you look at the Battle Harness, for example, a level 6 version would have a price of 5175cr and have an EAC/KAC of 10/13. A level 10 version of it would have a price of 26,199cr and have an EAC/KAC of 15/18 and a Strength of 20 and Max Dex of 3 and 2 upgrade slots.

Compare that to the extant level 10 power armor, the Spider Harness and you can see it's both significantly more expensive, but also better. Compare it to the most expensive heavy armor, AG Battledress and it's still far more expensive, but not much better.

However, to upgrade it from level 5 to level 10 would cost you...71,696cr total. That's insanely more expensive. Whereas, if you bought the most expensive heavy armor at every level from 5-10 and sold the old one, it would only cost you...54,948cr, or 1.3 times as much to upgrade Power Armor every level versus heavy. If you only upgraded at 5, 8, and 10 (which is more likely) it would only cost you 30,945cr, or 2.32 times as much.

What I'm suggesting/questioning is, is you do the same thing you'd do for heavy, there, and instead of upgrading and paying 150%, you make new armor at 150% and sell the old armor at 90%, which means you're only paying 60% of the previous price at every level instead of 150%.


I have a similar take/question. Its obviously GM dependent, but given they give it an actual, explicit cost, and that you can sell it based on that cost (at 10% like any other item), you should presumably be able to buy said upgraded power armor at that same cost as well. If you can't buy it at its cost, then its not its cost.

Also, if an enemy is wearing upgraded power armor and a party loots it, does the GM value it at the its current cost, or the expenditure it would have taken to upgrade it to that point? From a mechanical stand point, you never got the benefits of the intermediate steps, and its nominal balanced worth is its current level cost. So I'd be hard pressed to value a level 10 Battle Harness at 71,696, when its combat effectiveness is probably only around 26,198 (and can only be sold for 10% of that 26,198 credits). Same question applies when a new player joins at high level (or a character dies and is replaced).

I feel like game balance can get thrown out of whack if the cost to buy an item isn't its cost in the game balance sense (i.e. you should have 65,000 credits worth of equipment at level 10).

So if I were GMing, I'd let people buy upgraded power armor at a new level (with the usual item level restrictions of level+1 or level+2 in big cities/stations).

Edit: It'll be interesting to see with Society play does with the rules.

Dark Archive

I've been pondering this as well. Can you buy a level 7 battle harness on the open market, or are the level 5s the only ones for sale and you have to spend a fortune upgrading them


Name Violation wrote:
I've been pondering this as well. Can you buy a level 7 battle harness on the open market, or are the level 5s the only ones for sale and you have to spend a fortune upgrading them

Given you can sell an upgraded battle harness, clearly there's a market for them.

From an in universe logic point of view, of course you'd be able to buy and sell them. Its an item that can be made and at least some people in hazardous occupations will want to buy it.

Player 1: I go and sell my level 10 upgraded Battle Harness to the dealer.
GM: Okay, but the dealer only gives you 10% of its current cost, so 2,619 credits.
Player 1: I spent over 70k upgrading it though. Oh well, I'll take it.
Player 2: I walk up to the dealer and ask to buy an upgrade Battle Harness.
GM: You are not allowed to buy them.
Player 2: But we just sold one to this very dealer. What does the merchant do with the upgraded power armor he buys?

From a game balance perspective, there's no reason not to. Given their credit cost, they seem roughly balanced against other powered armors.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

One could argue, for devils advocacy sake, that the armor is scrapped for parts. Given that each suit would have to be highly tailored to the individual and all that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Ok reading through the rules, which there seem to be very little of, I am confused on a few things.

1. we increase the cost of the previous item by 150% per lvl.
2. this becomes the armors new base cost.
3. it can be sold at that new cost for 10% value just like any other piece of equipment.

However there is no used equipment shop in game by raw. We can't go out and just buy used weapons or armor at a discount so that would include Powerarmor. Assuming we could buy used that is completely a house rule and the GM would have to decide on a value. Once that can of worms is opened then you have to figure out how to control the price of all items being sold used and what draw backs using used equipment would bring with it.

So given all this I guess I dont follow what your proposing and I guess I dont understand were heavy armor figures into all of this.


Vexies wrote:
One could argue, for devils advocacy sake, that the armor is scrapped for parts. Given that each suit would have to be highly tailored to the individual and all that.

I suppose that is true. I probably shouldn't have brought up used equipment at all, as its a side tangent to the question of whether you can buy stuff in general. I was working under the assumption player 2 would be paying full price anyways.

Although, just because characters don't get a discount doesn't mean its not pre-used.

I mean, do you really trust that the run down Ysoki owned weapon shop on Akiton has all new merchandise? :)

But thats all fluff and doesn't really matter.

Vexies wrote:

Ok reading through the rules, which there seem to be very little of, I am confused on a few things.

1. we increase the cost of the previous item by 150% per lvl.
2. this becomes the armors new base cost.
3. it can be sold at that new cost for 10% value just like any other piece of equipment.

However there is no used equipment shop in game by raw. We can't go out and just buy used weapons or armor at a discount so that would include Powerarmor. Assuming we could buy used that is completely a house rule and the GM would have to decide on a value. Once that can of worms is opened then you have to figure out how to control the price of all items being sold used and what draw backs using used equipment would bring with it.

So given all this I guess I dont follow what your proposing and I guess I dont understand were heavy armor figures into all of this.

We're proposing buying upgraded power armor off the shelf. Either made to order or sitting there and then refit to you (like any armor has to be).

The Core Rulebook explicitly states that "In General, you can sell equipment of any type anywhere you could buy the same equipment". Page 166.

On page 167, it also states "the game assumes that in typical settlements you can find and purchase anything with an item level no greater than your level +1, and at major settlements items up to your character level +2."

Given you can buy customized computers with various % cost changes which aren't explicitly written out in a table, I don't see why upgraded power armor should be any different.

Upgraded power armor has well defined cost and item level, and can be sold, and thus seems to meet all the criteria necessary to be bought as well. It doesn't explicitly say it can't be purchased. The book describes the upgrading process, notes what the new item is at the end, and provides its new cost.

As far as heavy armor, its just comparing the typical costs of keeping up to date with heavy armor to upgrading power armor. If you're forced to go through every upgrade level, you're going to be behind on the wealth by level chart for simply for wanting to use the same style power as opposed to buying higher level base types every 3-4 levels.


Starfinder Superscriber
Hiruma Kai wrote:
As far as heavy armor, its just comparing the typical costs of keeping up to date with heavy armor to upgrading power armor. If you're forced to go through every upgrade level, you're going to be behind on the wealth by level chart for simply for wanting to use the same style power as opposed to buying higher level base types every 3-4 levels.

Yeah, this is why I mentioned heavy armor. It's purely a cost/benefit comparison. I'm saying that if I buy heavy armor, I get a set of benefits called A and it costs X, but if I buy a base power armor and using the upgrade rules upgrade it every level, I get a set of benfits very similar to A (call it A+1), but it costs 2.3X which doesn't seem correct. If I'm allowed to just buy higher level pre-upgraded power armor, or make it myself, I'm still getting only A+1 but it now costs 1.2X instead (ish), and that seems more in line with what the +1 was worth.


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

So it's going to cost me 4,524,839 credits to get a level 20 battle harness. Nice. Unfortunately, level 20 characters don't have that much.

.
.
.
Level 20 Battle Harness
Total Cost 4,524,839 Cr
EAC/KAC 27/30
Max Dex +5
Strength 24
U. Slots 4


Starfinder Superscriber

There are better power armors in Armory to use for higher levels than an upgraded Battle Harness. You can effectively switch chassis every 5 levels or so. But yeah, if you wanted to use the upgrades without buying new and selling old, that's about what it'd cost you (and the final armor would suck compared to the other PA/Heavy available to choose from at 20).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Ok so If I understand the proposal then the return from selling the previous model's armor is whats making it a bit more cost effective to just straight up buy a upgraded model than it would be to keep it and upgrade it continually.

yeah I see your point I don't see anything in the rules that say you couldn't and honestly I was hoping to see some system like this in place for weapons as well. There is KINDA a upgrade system for upgrading weapons but it doesn't allow for incremental upgrades. Its really just word fluff for how to pretend your not just totally selling your old gun to upgrade to whatever the next jump in item lvl is. That is however outside the scope of the topic.

back to the selling upgraded armor if there was an official rule for it I guarantee t hey would add a 10% customization fee on top of it to wipe out the gain from selling the old armor. If you look at weapons and attachments as well as that aforementioned upgrade system I believe there is a 10% surcharge for the professional.


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

Unless it says otherwise, you always round down when doing the math in this game, right?

I've adjusted my numbers above to account for that.

Since nobody could possibly afford the level 20 battle harness, here's the level 19 one, which a level 20 character CAN afford.

Level 19 Battle Harness:

Level 19 Battle Harness
Total Cost 3,014,261 Cr
EAC/KAC 25/28
Max Dex +4
Strength 22
U. Slots 3

And just because I happened to do the math for it, here's the most powerful brawler frame anyone can possibly afford as well:

Level 17 Brawler Frame:

Level 17 Brawler Frame
Total Cost 3,733,554 Cr
EAC/KAC 25/31
Max Dex +5
Strength 24
U. Slots 4


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Vexies wrote:
back to the selling upgraded armor if there was an official rule for it I guarantee t hey would add a 10% customization fee on top of it to wipe out the gain from selling the old armor. If you look at weapons and attachments as well as that aforementioned upgrade system I believe there is a 10% surcharge for the professional.

Actually we're discussing the ability to buy level 5 armor, wear it for 3 levels, then buy a new one at level 8 that saves you the majority of credits.

Compare the following:
Buy battle harness for 3450 credits at 5th. Wait 3 levels. Buy 11643 credit level 8 Battle harness.

Even without selling the old one back, total cost is 15093.

Now buy a Battle harness for 3450 credits. Upgrade to level 6 for 5175 credits. Upgrade to level 7 for 7762 credits. Upgrade to final level 8 for 11,643 credits.

Total comes to 3450 + 5175 + 7762 + 11643 = 28030 credits.

Thats a nearly 13,000 credit difference, which is a bit more than the 345 credits you save by selling the 5th level battle harness.

Its the fact that you are willing to forgo the benefits of having slightly better armor at levels 6 and 7 that we want to be able to do, and buy it only once every 3 or 4 levels.

Note, that you there is no question you can do this with power armor in the general sense, just buy a different, higher level type (ie. Battle Harness -> flight frame for example).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hiruma Kai wrote:
Vexies wrote:
back to the selling upgraded armor if there was an official rule for it I guarantee t hey would add a 10% customization fee on top of it to wipe out the gain from selling the old armor. If you look at weapons and attachments as well as that aforementioned upgrade system I believe there is a 10% surcharge for the professional.

Actually we're discussing the ability to buy level 5 armor, wear it for 3 levels, then buy a new one at level 8 that saves you the majority of credits.

Compare the following:
Buy battle harness for 3450 credits at 5th. Wait 3 levels. Buy 11643 credit level 8 Battle harness.

Even without selling the old one back, total cost is 15093.

Now buy a Battle harness for 3450 credits. Upgrade to level 6 for 5175 credits. Upgrade to level 7 for 7762 credits. Upgrade to final level 8 for 11,643 credits.

Total comes to 3450 + 5175 + 7762 + 11643 = 28030 credits.

Thats a nearly 13,000 credit difference, which is a bit more than the 345 credits you save by selling the 5th level battle harness.

Its the fact that you are willing to forgo the benefits of having slightly better armor at levels 6 and 7 that we want to be able to do, and buy it only once every 3 or 4 levels.

Note, that you there is no question you can do this with power armor in the general sense, just buy a different, higher level type (ie. Battle Harness -> flight frame for example).

I think this pretty much answers the question. The core problem was the assumption of level-by-level upgrades. Which aren't true for anything else, why should they be true for powered armor?


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As I understand it, that's the question : can you make a lv8 harness to begin with, or do you have to build a basic lv 5 one and upgrade it ?

Ease of use and sanity lead to believing creating an lv8 is doable, but it's exactly clear in the rules.
There's a twisted logic to the other approach, reinforced by how not explicit the rules are (once more ?).

Then again, that would lead to the upgrade system being basically worthless, so ... I'm okay with ignoring that idea.


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

A level 8 battle harness costs 28,030 credits to buy (if you can buy one pre-upgraded at all), not 11,643.

11,643 is what it costs to upgrade it from level 7 to level 8.

Here's a breakdown of the battle harness from level 5 to 20, as well as a total cost by level (and also a brawler frame from 6-20).


Starfinder Superscriber

No. If you can build/buy the level 8 directly, the cost is 11,643.

Here is the rules quoted from the book, so we're all clear on what, exactly it says...

Armory Page 74 wrote:

It is possible (though expensive) to improve powered armor to

make it a more effective, higher-level piece of equipment. It costs
a number of credits equal to 150% of the armor’s current price to
improve the armor’s item level by 1 and takes at least 24 hours
for each level gained. Thus improving an ironclad bulwark to
11th level would cost 28,875 credits. The price paid to improve
powered armor by 1 level becomes its new current price, so selling
an ironclad bulwark improved to 11th level would bring in 2,887
credits,
while improving it to 12th level would cost 43,312 credits.

Emphasis Added.

So, the price for the 8th level version is the cost to raise it from 7 to 8. It is not the cost to raise it from 5 to 6 then 6 to 7 then 7 to 8 all rolled up together. It also only sells for 10% of the price to raise it from 7 to 8, as the example in the book shows.

That's the crux of this contention/question. If it has a price and a level, and I know the stats, for a level 8 Battle Harness, I think I should be able to just buy/craft the level 8 version. But that isn't the way anyone's been interpreting it thus far that I've talked to. They've all been making the same assumption that you are, that you have to pay for the level 5+6+7+8 versions, which is, like your math shows, well over double the price. At those prices, this option is essentially worthless, as noone in a normal campaign can afford that.

I'm hoping for a FAQ on this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

i agree with Ravingdork. I immediately assumed, and will be very surprised to see it ruled any other way, that you upgrade lvl by lvl and that price is assumed that you do so. There is no skipping lvls. That example you bold is just to set a base price for upgrading so you can math it out. If what your proposing was the design intent then the entire system of rules, limited as it is, is rather pointless as no one would ever upgrade a single level as the benefits vs cost are simply not worth it. This is further illustrated by this entire proposal. If the system was meant to work as your proposing the entire idea of upgrading a single lvl would be a complete waste of money in the vast majority of cases.

There are many examples of how Starfinder economy works throughout the game and none of them offer a cheaper way out to do something. In all cases its a wash or more expensive to craft. It was their solution to supposedly balance crafting. Not saying I entirely agree but its pretty obvious that is their design intent. So to look at this new system and assume anything but lvl by lvl price increases is a bit of a head scratcher if you step back and take a look at all the other examples of their economy / crafting at work.

Look at the gun "upgrading" rules.. its completely fluff with no need for mechanics at all.. but they printed it so that people can feel justified in imagining their upgrading their guns when in fact, mechanically, there just selling the old one and buying a new one with absolutely no price difference.

I can see the reason why you would want it to work the way your proposing but I just don't believe that was the design intent.


Starfinder Superscriber

It is not cheaper to upgrade this way, even if only paying the one X-level price.

I showed above that even if you only pay the level 10 price for a level 10 battle harness is 26,199cr. That makes it more expensive than the extant Spider Harness at 19,500cr and it's also more expensive (and in some ways worse) than the new level 10 Ironclad Bulwark in the Armory which is only 19,250cr. It's almost as expensive at that price as the new level 11 Stag-Step suit which is 26,400cr.

The way you're proposing it's 'supposed' to work, would mean, that, instead of spending 26,199cr for a level 10 Battle Harness (a price already demonstrably higher than any other level 10 armor), I'd instead have to spend 71,696cr which is 5,000cr over WBL for a 10th level character.

The way you're doing it can't work, but it's the way everyone seems to be assuming it's somehow supposed to work.


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

Well, I'm assuming it's a big fat error in the example provided that needs to be erratad,

You've convinced me enough to hit the faq button.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:

It is not cheaper to upgrade this way, even if only paying the one X-level price.

I showed above that even if you only pay the level 10 price for a level 10 battle harness is 26,199cr. That makes it more expensive than the extant Spider Harness at 19,500cr and it's also more expensive (and in some ways worse) than the new level 10 Ironclad Bulwark in the Armory which is only 19,250cr. It's almost as expensive at that price as the new level 11 Stag-Step suit which is 26,400cr.

The way you're proposing it's 'supposed' to work, would mean, that, instead of spending 26,199cr for a level 10 Battle Harness (a price already demonstrably higher than any other level 10 armor), I'd instead have to spend 71,696cr which is 5,000cr over WBL for a 10th level character.

The way you're doing it can't work, but it's the way everyone seems to be assuming it's somehow supposed to work.

I see your math and I wont be sorry if the devs agree with you, assuming we get some new FAQ responses anytime soon. It clearly needs some clarification and I hit the big ole FAQ button as well. Hopefully eventually someone weighs in on it. What your suggesting clearly falls much more closely inline with the expected price range of things.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Starfinder Superscriber

Thank you both.


Ravingdork wrote:

So it's going to cost me 4,524,839 credits to get a level 20 battle harness. Nice. Unfortunately, level 20 characters don't have that much.

.
.
.
Level 20 Battle Harness
Total Cost 4,524,839 Cr
EAC/KAC 27/30
Max Dex +5
Strength 24
U. Slots 4

Just a side note - 20th level characters (if you are using the Wealth Table) HAVE 3.775 million worth of gear. Many millions more could have slipped through their fingers. 3.775 million is enough to buy the 1.5 million purchase price of Level 20 Battle Harness, though I personally wouldn't find it worth it, being more than 1/3 your wealth.


I am curious as to whether a dev ever saw this. Power Armor really needs all the help it can get, especially with a certain class option coming in COM and being focused on Power Armor.

So can I purchase, for instance, a level 7 Battle Harness or not? If so, at what price do I buy it?


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Starfinder Superscriber

If it needs to be wrapped in a simplified math formula, is the price

1.5^n*Original Price where n = the number of levels upgraded?

Or Summation (1.5^x*Original Price) where x goes from 0 to n and n is the number of levels upgraded?

My contention is that it's meant to be the former.


I think the main intention of having the option of upgrading power armor was to allow the player to keep the base capabilities of the armor chassis (unique movement/speed/str) intact while still not falling too far behind in AC/slots. Sure you can go to the next chassis, but most of them have completely different advantages.

On another note: heavy armor differences lie almost completely in slots and AC.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:

If it needs to be wrapped in a simplified math formula, is the price

1.5^n*Original Price where n = the number of levels upgraded?

Or Summation (1.5^x*Original Price) where x goes from 0 to n and n is the number of levels upgraded?

My contention is that it's meant to be the former.

It'd be the former: you're increasing the cost by a factor of 1.5 each iteration (i.e. level increased), and not as a sum of the current cost and the current cost multiplied by 1.5.


Pithica42 wrote:
1.5^n*Original Price where n = the number of levels upgraded?

This method produces a reasonable price in line with other power armor of the target level.

I suspect the other method is RAW and, unfortunately is a completely unreasonable price - but the same unreasonable price as buying a brand new suit of other armor and throwing the old one out every level.

At my table I would always allow the first option, and such suits would be available from merchants as well.


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Garretmander wrote:
Pithica42 wrote:
1.5^n*Original Price where n = the number of levels upgraded?

This method produces a reasonable price in line with other power armor of the target level.

I suspect the other method is RAW and, unfortunately is a completely unreasonable price - but the same unreasonable price as buying a brand new suit of other armor and throwing the old one out every level.

At my table I would always allow the first option, and such suits would be available from merchants as well.

Yeah, absolutely nobody upgrades armor every level. The WBL does not allow it, but that appears to be how the power armor upgrades: you have to do it incrementally, level-by-level, paying the cost at each level as you go.

Logically, corporations would sell upgraded power armor, because the existing suits do not cover all commercial niches at all levels. Like, my Subaru Impreza also comes in Subaru Premium, Subaru Sport, and Subaru Limited; If I want a Subaru Limited with the leather seats, I don't need to pay $22,595 for a Premium, then $22,895 for a Sport, and finally $26,295 for the Limited... I'd just pay the $26,295 for the Limited.

Which is why I posted the other thread about the Experimental Armor Prototype Mechanic; at 5th level they can convert any suit of armor that they designate as their prototype into an equal or lower level suit of power armor. If they can convert their prototype into an upgraded suit, they can effectively bypass the level-by-level upgrades just by getting a new cheap suit of a level 2 or more above their current armor's level, upgraded using the difference between the stock power armor level, and the level of the armor used in the prototype.

That alone makes the Improving Power Armor rules in line with the normal expected costs to WBL.


Starfinder Superscriber
Garretmander wrote:
I suspect the other method is RAW and, unfortunately is a completely unreasonable price - but the same unreasonable price as buying a brand new suit of other armor and throwing the old one out every level.

To be clear, it is not the same price as upgrading armor every level. It's about 150% or more of that (depending on level range).

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