Oh, there’s limitless options (for the GM) for this.
How about a subdermal electrode implant to shock them into not casting?
How about keeping them in a room that is routinely gassed with some sort concentration breaking agent?
Or straight up mental-ward injections of something that keeps you calm, quiet, and controlled?
Or a holding cell that that’s a cylinder laying on its side that never stops spinning?
Maybe spellcaster jails are just rows of suspended animation capsules?
The Pact Worlds have an entire planet for dangerous criminals such as these. Daegox IV, appearing onpage 464 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook, surely counts numerous spellcasters among those incarcerated there.
Among other things, the planet’s atmosphere carries a high concentration of a spore that produces a calming effect, making non-Daegox creatures docile and agreeable.
Even when not on Daegox, I imagine law enforcement could easily get their hands on enough of those spores to keep their more dangerous prisoners docile during transit, or while they await their trial.
Some of these sound good after getting arrested, but what about at the time they are getting arrested?
Would like to know, myself.
To answer my own question, it probably wouldn't be different from another encounter, at that point. As in, if the party is high enough level and wants to use magic, they will regardless.
During the actual arrest? The same thing you would do to anybody to keep them from doing anything.
Face full of mace.
Chest full of tasers.
Better have some good spray and tasers if the party happens to be level 5+. If they are 10+, better start busting out the fighter jets and tanks :P
The difficulty of keeping high level PCs from using spells ( or any other ability ) is a feature, not a bug. The way you keep a spellcaster prisoner is "you know your prisoner, you keep watch over your prisoner, and if they try something, you shoot them some". Which is to say, its the same way you keep anyone else prisoner.
Remember, one of the major points of Starfinder is to keep spellcasters from being radically unbalanced. Thus, no special need to "stop magic", because the spells of your party Technomancer or Mystic are no more radically able to facilitate an escape than the combat ability of the Soldier or the skills ( and possibly hidden equipment ) of the Operative, etc.
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I'm imagining a large vesk marauder held in a maximum security prison for years, only to one day walk out, obliterating every obstacle in his path, simply because he "didn't feel like living there anymore."
The illusion the prison staff long held that their prison was totally secure would be completely shattered in mere minutes.
Sounds like the start of a great adventure hook to me. :D
Three square meals a day and peace & quiet might sound like a nice time for a vesk marauder, for awhile.
A while is relative. One vesk marauder is different from another. That's why they have Daegox IV in the Pact Worlds system. Imagine being forced to live by yourself. You have to make your own way, your own food, and work to eke out a living. Although some sections of the planet is reserved for anarchists and so forth to vent their anger and their need to destroy on each other. Mob rule in some sections, in others complete isolation.
I don't think Daegox IV is in the Pact Worlds. I think the Pact Worlds have just made a business arrangement with them.
Kind of shady to say the least. Who knows what goes on under that orbital dome.
Put differently, the typical low level PC is not *capable* of committing the kind of crime that would land one in supermax, under most circumstances. Stupid impulsiveness only carries you so far, and it takes more than beating up the first half dozen cops to show up at a bar fight. Plus, not every idiot low level hacker who gets caught trying to hack the Space CIA, gets treated as a planetary security threat rather than just an idiot.