Running urban adventures


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There will certainly be distinctions within a city. Shadowrun for example uses a rating system for neighbourhoods going from AAA+ to Z.
Although that doesn't mean that the police in one area is both much less experienced and uses worse equipment. Within reasons it is true, but mostly this influences how the response time and how frequent checkpoints or scans are (Although Z means completely lawless).

I wonder if there is enough interest to have a small "How to run urban adventure" section in an AP, the same way we had a "How to horror" in Signal of Screams to at least get Paizos take on this.


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Xenocrat wrote:
How do you control magicians in this poorly thought out world of yours where no one carries weapons?

There's a huge gulf between police state with no armor and weapons and futuristic Wild West where no pretense of law enforcement exists.

The beauty of Starfinder is that it's far more conceivable for PCs to move to different settings. Verces isn't Akiton. The scope available for author's in Starfinder is far, far greater than in Pathfinder and should be used accordingly.

To use an example, in Firefly, the frontier worlds are pretty lawless. When they do the run on the hospital on one of the core worlds, they have to operate very differently. That is a setting and storytelling feature and opportunity, not a "that's not fun" restriction.

And the example issue of the trapped front door in a metropolitan area is spot on for showcasing things that need better design. I'm all for a certain amount of suspension of disbelief because you're playing a game or adhering to genre conventions. But that falls into the "too stupid to be remotely plausible" category.

It's Starfinder. I can buy into the melting pot of unusual races, tiered weapons and armor, and social norms that allow for weapon carry permits and armor in certain/most situations. But don't put me in a cosmopolitan city that is an example of the top-tier of Pact Worlds society and treat it like Tombstone, Az before Earp comes to town.

And, if you're hell-bent on doing just that, you probably shouldn't include a gazetteer of the city in question where a significant portion of the write-up talks about how relatively nonviolent the city is, focus a good portion on the police force, and where the NPC art for the article is the chief of police!

I, for one, want an adventure in a city on Verces to feel different and present different challenges than a dead/dying boomtown on Akiton. If I'm going to stamp setting sameness on everything, what's the point of having so many diverse settings?

Starfinder is great. That doesn't mean that adventure and encounter design can't improve and shouldn't embrace it's Science Fantasy environment - including the new challenges that introduces.

Starfinder can be so much more than "Pathfinder in space".


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BPorter wrote:


And the example issue of the trapped front door in a metropolitan area is spot on for showcasing things that need better design. I'm all for a certain amount of suspension of disbelief because you're playing a game or adhering to genre conventions. But that falls into the "too stupid to be remotely plausible" category.

To me this is an opportunity for the GM to step in and modify the front door scenario.

Could it be trapped from 10PM to 4AM - sure I can accept that.

Could it be trapped 8PM to 10PM and 4AM to 6AM - maybe

Could it be trapped from 6AM to 8PM - no way as this is a metropolitan building with people coming and going.

During this time the trap is not active and replace it with an appropriate CR security robot or guards. Still gives the players a way to enter via sneak, bluff, diplomacy, etc..

And if the building in question is open 24/7 then remove the trapped front door entirely and devise a different challenge.

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