What's the point of a Recreation Suite?


General Discussion


My crew and I are about to start our first adventure, and the DM asked me to put together our ship. It's pretty fun, but one thing has me stumped.

I really want to add a recreation bay, for flavor purposes, but I'm lost at what mechanical advantage it would give. I don't want to "waste" a build point that I could put into something else that'd be useful.

I really want to justify putting one into our ship. Has anyone seen any advantage to having one? Or is it only for flavor purposes and making the ship more comfortable for transporting passengers?


Zinerith wrote:

My crew and I are about to start our first adventure, and the DM asked me to put together our ship. It's pretty fun, but one thing has me stumped.

I really want to add a recreation bay, for flavor purposes, but I'm lost at what mechanical advantage it would give. I don't want to "waste" a build point that I could put into something else that'd be useful.

I really want to justify putting one into our ship. Has anyone seen any advantage to having one? Or is it only for flavor purposes and making the ship more comfortable for transporting passengers?

A lot of this comes down to what your GM interprets the Recreation Suite to be capable of, and how you as players choose to utilise that. For example, the HAC Suite provides a holographic chamber that could be used to simulate an environment or (if you have the relevant data) a specific location that could allow you to safely do dry-runs of infiltrations, simulating your plans before putting them into action, but it would be down to the players to scout it out, figure out details etc. It's not so much about getting straight-up mechanical bonuses (we get +X to Y for having this), but gives you grounds to justify potential bonuses elsewhere (You want a climbing roll DM? My Athletics isn't great, but we have a gym onboard our ship, and I was sure to say I was using the climbing wall for the several days of space travel time it took to get here, so could I get maybe a +1 circumstance bonus?).

My suggestion would be to try and get a sense of how your DM would view using it so you can get a sense for how far you could push it, and then put that to the rest of the party and see if it might be worth taking based on that. Worse case scenario, it prevents you all succumbing completely to cabin fever during long Drift journeys.


I'd say a recreation bay has commercial value for passenger transport. Depending on how much the GM wants to simulate supply and demand, it allows you to charge higher fares or you're just getting higher paying passengers. I don't recall any actual rules for this. I'd say just increase fares by 50%. A recreation bay strikes me as more than low-end market but still short of mid market prices.


Mechanically: no advantage (in rules as written)

There's also no advantage for better crew quarters. But I bought them anyway. I agree that I would prefer BPs had a mechanical benefit generally, but sometimes a little RP is fun too.


It is a roleplaying item with roleplaying usages. You have it because you want the roleplaying benefits. Haven't you ever seen a holodeck episode of Star Trek? The Cosmic Crit podcast did an entire special episode about their recreation suite.

If all you care about is mechanical benefits, they put it in basic ships like the Sunrise Maiden so that you can replace it with something else built to order, like a medical bay.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The mechanical advantage is that your entire party arrives alive at the end of a 30 day trip, instead of killing the most annoying member en route. An extra character is a big advantage.


Mechanically there isn't one. Your entire party can sleep in a filing cabinet bathe in the water fountain (or not at all) and stare at the computer screen for 16 hours a day.

But unless your DM is running some killer starship combats you have build points to spare. Against the published ships we made our own ships and.. didn't take hull damage after that from level 5 to 12.


For my two cents I propose two scenarios.

In a non-society game: I'd screw with players who neglected self for combat advantage. Forgetting to take care of your sanity on a long space ride can and should leave the characters at a mechanical disadvantage. A Rec Suite is a perfect way to organize the starfarers without wasting table time to negotiate how they avoid going mad.

In society play? Wasted points if you get to design. Serious though, will we ever get to design our own ships?


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Very unlikely. Player designed ships roflcopter the encounters.


If I were feeling like being especially mean, I'd treat prolonged life onboard a spaceship without proper recreational opportunities as a Mental Disease. Call it "Space Sickness" or "Stir Crazy". I'd probably replace the comatose and dead states with states of periodic and constant confusion, which on a spaceship would be even worse.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don’t think you need a trivid den or a HAC to avoid going crazy. Heck, I can watch movies on my phone in bed or read books, and I’m sane enough for most things. The real benefit is the “holodeck episode” potential and as activities the whole crew can do together, for roleplaying. I dont think you need to give your crew space madness because they don’t pretend to be Sherlock Holmes together


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The Diehard Bard wrote:
I don’t think you need a trivid den or a HAC to avoid going crazy. Heck, I can watch movies on my phone in bed or read books, and I’m sane enough for most things. The real benefit is the “holodeck episode” potential and as activities the whole crew can do together, for roleplaying. I dont think you need to give your crew space madness because they don’t pretend to be Sherlock Holmes together

Well, much as someone from the 1800s coukd entertain themselves for 3 weeks with a block of wood and a knife but you d probably go crazy, someone from after gap has gotten used to full body videogames and such simple entertainment gets boring.

Or at least thats what i m writing on the receipt for mine as a preventative mental ilness expense

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

if you are so committed to adding mechanics to it, give them a -1 to say... charisma/wisdom/int checks for the day after they leave the ship if they don't have a recreation suite.

they are bored and angry and can't think straight. isolation is a terrible thing.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do you not know the potential of an HAC? Fly your level 1 butts to the BBEG's base, spend time battling/investigating/adventuring in the HAC along the way, arrive as level 20s and kick his butt! :D


You could imstead make it a bonus, so you re not punishing the players

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
You could imstead make it a bonus, so you re not punishing the players

good alternative. maybe something in the first 'encounter' they have. +1 to their diplomacy check, +1 to initiative, something like that.


There's more to using it for training than just a positive or negative. It can be programmed with a large array of combat encounters that can be used to practice with.

Say you're going to a water planet. You could program it to be filled with water and practice combat while under water. Different tactics. Just combat scenario after combat scenario until not only the characters are trained, but the players themselves.

Acquisitives

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Azalah wrote:

There's more to using it for training than just a positive or negative. It can be programmed with a large array of combat encounters that can be used to practice with.

Say you're going to a water planet. You could program it to be filled with water and practice combat while under water. Different tactics. Just combat scenario after combat scenario until not only the characters are trained, but the players themselves.

or, as the Rogue Exposure podcast is exploring, have your Starfinder characters playtest Pathfinder 2nd edition.


Metaphysician wrote:
If I were feeling like being especially mean, I'd treat prolonged life onboard a spaceship without proper recreational opportunities as a Mental Disease. Call it "Space Sickness" or "Stir Crazy". I'd probably replace the comatose and dead states with states of periodic and constant confusion, which on a spaceship would be even worse.

Captain's log. Commander Hoek here, on a thirty-six year mission to the Crab Nebula. We've made this trip dozens of times. You know, they say sometimes people go crazy on these long trips. They get the... SPACE MADNESS. Heh. Space madness.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Tbh, it’s basically a roleplay thing. Because while a spaceship does have mechanics attached and could be optimized *more*, having a recreation suite makes the ship that your PCs spend 80% of their lives on feel like a home, rather than just another weapon that they happen to sleep in. Besides, as mentioned above, it can serve as oneshot fodder, justification for retraining or training sinulations for practice, and, heck, *not* having one on a long-term bessel probably violates some workers rights bylaw in Pact World space :)


This debate sounds a lot like corporate America cutting benefits at the expense of its employees.

CEO, "Our employees don't need a break room for lunch. That break room isn't earning our shareholders any money. Let's just make our employees eat at their desks. Better yet, let's just eliminate lunch all together. We can increase productivity by having them work the extra hour."

It might not have a numerical value, but if I was on a ship, I'd definitely prefer to have it.


Its not safe for work, but if you google the life and times of a holodeck janitor you ll get a good laugh


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Every time your party TPKs in a real game, the GM can simply say "Simulation terminated. Better luck next time." in a computerized voice before putting all the characters in the HAC room, still in route to their destination. :D

A narrative reset or save point in other words.

For those looking for bonuses, I would treat any groups training together in the gym or HAD as though they had played that chess game knockoff from the Armory.


I have a couple of diseases which come into play during long journeys which can be avoided with buying Good/Luxury quarters & recreational suites.

Cabin Fever & Space Scurvy.

I also developed rules for food/water supplies as being able to skip the vital function of eating reduces some risk.


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I would largely only enforce any kind of "Space Sickness" disease on players who tried to insist they needed nothing in the way of creature comforts or relaxation ever. Particularly if this insistence happened to coincide with them spending every last credit and BP on the most munchkined of purchases.

If they otherwise have their ship geared out spartan, but still admit that they have a TV and some board games in the mess hall, and a basketball hoop they can set up in one of the cargo bays when its empty? Its fine.


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well i am Gm my sunday group right now they think they are playing Harnmaster roleplaying system. but at the end of dead suns part 1,(I got they felt they didn't like starfinder. but found out they just didn't care for ship combat) so when we switch systems i just secertly had their characters hit with sleeping gas while they sleep and put them into a matrix like state. an one of the character finally woke up. thats where i left it last sunday


if theres 2 plus ysoki on board theres always another way to pass the time...


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
if theres 2 plus ysoki on board theres always another way to pass the time...

I am not sure what you're suggesting, but I'm not sure I like the implication. Chess is very boring!

Grand Lodge

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
if theres 2 plus ysoki on board theres always another way to pass the time...

I don’t know what you’re implying, but I think you need a HAC to optimize it


Cheek. Pouches.


I doubt that not having a recreation bay is anything like not having any entertainment. Even the crappiest ship based computer probably has many times the processing power of any thing currently in existence, throw in a cheap (by starfinder standards) VR rig and you are looking a "Ready Player One" levels of VR. Or you could just watch movies or play traditional 2d video games. The way I see it a recreation bay would only be needed for group activities like sports.


mwjen wrote:
I doubt that not having a recreation bay is anything like not having any entertainment. Even the crappiest ship based computer probably has many times the processing power of any thing currently in existence, throw in a cheap (by starfinder standards) VR rig and you are looking a "Ready Player One" levels of VR. Or you could just watch movies or play traditional 2d video games. The way I see it a recreation bay would only be needed for group activities like sports.

Right but that would be like you trying to pass 3 weeks playing pong.


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"Has anyone seen any advantage to having one?"

The same advantage the money spent of computer/console games has provided in the lives of the people on this forum, mostly...


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
mwjen wrote:
I doubt that not having a recreation bay is anything like not having any entertainment. Even the crappiest ship based computer probably has many times the processing power of any thing currently in existence, throw in a cheap (by starfinder standards) VR rig and you are looking a "Ready Player One" levels of VR. Or you could just watch movies or play traditional 2d video games. The way I see it a recreation bay would only be needed for group activities like sports.
Right but that would be like you trying to pass 3 weeks playing pong.

Or, you know, like reading a book, which people still do, and have a fine time doing today, despite their being movies, VR, and the like. :P


Metaphysician wrote:
If I were feeling like being especially mean, I'd treat prolonged life onboard a spaceship without proper recreational opportunities as a Mental Disease. Call it "Space Sickness" or "Stir Crazy". I'd probably replace the comatose and dead states with states of periodic and constant confusion, which on a spaceship would be even worse.

This is a great idea, I think.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You could imstead make it a bonus, so you re not punishing the players

and this improves it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I do want to point out that while the sentiment that “access to new technologies doesn’t devalue the old” is technically true, the issue is that each new iteration is broader in its ability to entertain. I.e. a book has less ability to entertain than a tablet with a whole library of books. Likewise, while your character’s laptop (which, btw, has no internet connection in the Drift other than what your characters thought to download in advance) is a good tool to pass the time, a room that you can program with millions of different experience simulations is infinitely more entertaining/useful.

Then consider that being aboard a relatively small space for days at a time may (scratch that, emporically does) have mentally compromising effects, the idea of having a room on your ship that can provide the illusion of open spaces, atmosphere-filtered sunlight, or hell, even experiential variety if scenary is quite handy. And unlike a VR headset, which there are at present no rules for and may have limitations (like needing to be connected to an infosphere or something eith a lot of processing power), a HAC is better suited for resolving the aforementioned issues. Plus, it means no one has to buy a VR rig with their own money. It’s still a good tool to have, even if there is no explicitly stated benefit. If nothing else, a gym would be a good idea. But removing a public space for entertainment or other interation aboard your ship for yet another storage bay is a very munchkin-y perspective. Yes, no mechanical benefits, but it is also a really troubling state of mind were you designing a starship IRL. Come on, even Weyland-Yutani had a communal kitchen at the bare minimum


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I'm thinking of a simple house rule wherein if you have a recreational suite on your starship, then after any trip lasting at least a day, you gain a +1 morale bonus you may choose to apply to any one Will save you roll within 24 hours of disembarking, due to generally keeping your mind fresh and rested.

(Alternatively, for a touch more complexity, the +1 morale bonus could be applied to a saving throw determined by the kind of suite being used: Fortitude for a gym or similar exercise area, Will for a trivid den or similar passive entertainment area, or Reflex for a vidgame arcade or similar interactive entertainment area.)

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