Running urban adventures


Advice

1 to 50 of 53 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So for the most part adventures in Starfinder are similar to what you encounter in Pathfinder, at least when you follow the APs. Players explore ancient ruins, fight wildlife or assault enemy "dungeons".

But there is one kind of adventure you can run in Starfinder you can't run in Pathfinder, or at least would look very differently when you do. Namely, urban adventures.

The difference to pure fantasy settings is that in Starfinder you are often moving in a highly organized society with an equally organized law enforcement which has access to high tech equipment.
This is a unusual setting for PCs compared to most other D20 fantasy settings where they can get away with a lot, either because laws are loose and enforcing them is so problematic that the PCs can often break them without anyone noticing.

The Penumbra Protocol is one adventure with takes place in such a high tech, highly organized city and is in my opinion a prime example of how not to do it, treating buildings in the middle of the city like a dungeon you can crawl through without anything happening.

So what are the differences and problems PC can encounter? Keep in mind though that those are not universal and GMs might decide to ignore many or all of them to keep the game rolling, especially when the urban adventure is an one time exception and the PCs are not prepared to bypass them. Also, not all of those things apply everywhere. Some cultures for example would value privacy so much to not use cameras and so on.

- Laws regarding weapon and equipment
Nearly every society will have laws regarding weapons. Some might allow sidearms, some might be completely free of weapons. Either way, heavy weapons, power armor and maybe even long arms are probably not allowed.

- Social norms
Even when weapons are technically allowed, social norms will still prevent them to be carried around into many areas.

- Surveillance
Here the problems really start. Unlike in fantasy environments PCs can never be sure that they are unseen. In a scifi setting you are most likely to have cameras everywhere, often running facial recognition or even AI supported crime detection in real time.
And it is not just visual surveillance. As soon as gunfire is heard you can bet that someone calls emergency services and it is only a matter of time till law enforcement arrives.

- Networking
Unlike in fantasy setting the PCs are not anonymous. Their birth and citizenship has been registered and they most likely have a passport, there are records of their education, spending habits, licenses for weapons and other restricted equipment, etc.
Coupled with camera surveilance that means that they will be easily identified when they come to the attention of law enforcement who can then easily check where their starship is docked and impound it etc.

- A living environment.
Modern cities are highly dynamic. People commute to work, go shopping, get entertained, etc. Not so much a problem for PCs but it influences the adventure design.
I mainly only mention this because of the Penumbra Protocol

Spoiler:

Which has a deadly trap at the entrance on an office building in the middle of a huge city which is just a recipe for disaster

It also means that things can't be looked at in isolation. As soon as the PCs are in the centre of bad events several times authorities will notice and take action, up to bringing them in for questioning or even protective custody until they figure out what is going on.

- A law enforcement that has teeth.
The biggest change to a fantasy setting, law enforcement in a scifi city has access to a lot of high tech equipment, infrastructure and also numbers which means the PCs will be outgunned, outnumbered and even if they fight off one police squad they are not in the clear. Instead that raises just the response level.
The police is also networked and quite fast in their response to bigger events like firefights.
That means that as soon as something like that is reported the PCs are on a clock and would do best to not be there when the police arrives.

So what does that mean for urban adventures? Mainly that the PCs have to be subtle and that there is a time limit as soon as fights and other big crimes happens.
This not only requires a different way of playing from the players, but also a different adventure design from the GM.

The main thing is that you can't have a traditional dungeons in a city (unless you are in a very remote part) where the PCs enter and explore it as they go. Instead the exploring part has to be done before actually entering the building by getting access to schematics, bribing informants etc.
That way the PCs should find out where their objective is and depending on how good they are were other goodies are. Goodies can either be treasure or a way to delay a law enforcement response by allowing the PCs to penetrate deeper before they have to fight.
And most importantly, not only should the PCs get XP for discovering things before they go in, they should also get the vast majority of XP and other rewards for going in, fulfil their objective and get out as fast as possible instead of getting penalized for not searching every locker and air duct for treasure.

As I said above, the players have to try to be more subtle, but also need to have the possibility to be subtle.
That includes having a safe haven where they can be safe unless they screw up and can store their heavy equipment.
They also need a way to move unseen in the city of they want to or erase their tracks. Using Computer/Hacking is obvious, but that should not be a mandatory skill. Other options include using disguises, bribing officials or having a powerful backer who takes care of this problem within reason if the GM wants to avoid the hassle.

Also, PCs can and should be able to expoit the society to help them. A forged document should get you far and why carry problematic items with you when you can make or steal a delivery drone to deposit it somewhere you can easily get it once you are past security?

One important thing is that also the enemies are limited by the same rules. Companies have layered defences, starting with being nonlethal and only switching to lethal once you penetrated into the facility. And anyone attacking the PCs also won't have all the heavy equipment they want (or there is the chance for the PC to notice that something is wrong and someone brings heavy equipment with them). And the police will also represent a time limit for the NPCs, so either they will get reckless or flee if the PCs can hold out long enough.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I will certainly repeat what everyone already tried to tell you: What you describe is not a common setting for adventuring. PCs are, in general, supposed to be the good guys. In your type of adventure, they are the evil/chaotic/rogue ones.

PCs are supposed to have all the permits to carry heavy weapons. If they have to deal with the authorities, they deal with them on the good side. They rarely attack people when the authorities are neither aware nor ok with it.

So, you can create an adventure where the PCs are supposed to infiltrate some kind of hyper restrictive city and deal their business here. But it's not standard city adventure, it's a specific high security city. And chances are that, in such city, the good guys will just end up playing Bureaucratic Nightmare 2.0 (as I don't see any lawful PC having a good view on such an adventuring way).

Then, for evil/chaotic campaigns where PCs are not the good guy and where the authorities are enemies, you can run your game like you say. It can be interesting to see what ideas you could come up with, but I would expect a complete handbook on how to deal with high security societies when you are on the bad side of the law.

I'm not sure that my message will help you... :)


If you want to run a modern metropolis like a lawless area where something like the Mumbai attacks 2008 are normal and do not even provoke a response thats fine.

This advice and discussion is for players and GMs who would raise an eyebrow if you could simply kick in the door of EvilCorp, kill the guards and employees, loot the building and sell the personal belongings of the guys you just killed at the next shop and all without there being any response you would expect in modern cities.

And if I am the only person who gas different expectations for a medieval-ish city and a modern metropolis, its fine. I just wasted my time and a few kilobytes of storage.

As I said, I consider this to be one of the main differences between pure fantasy and science fiction. In my opinion to have a modern/futuristic spacefaring society with cities with several million inhabitants you also need modern/futuristic laws. And that means the PCs can't simply do what they want.
They certainly might have good reasons for it, but so has the Punisher. At best that makes them vigilantes, at worst terrorists, depending on if the authorities know of the reasons or not.
And even if the PCs belong or have been contracted by the authorities, there will still be limitations on what they are allowed to do unless in extreme emergencies. And don't forget, the bad guys will be limited too.

I have no idea where you live (and don't want to know), but what I have described here is far from a a bureaucratic nightmare or even police state but just the normal workings of modern cities with some futuristic technologies.
When someone reports a firefight the police investigates. And just because someone is a bad person you cant simoly gun them down, even when they are evil undead from Eox.

Cameras are already a normal part of modern cities. Some have more like London or less like Berlin, but you wont find completely camera free cities. The first experiments with facial recognition are also already running while licence plate scanning is already common.
X-rays or baggage checks to find weapons are also not that uncommon in areas with a lot of weapons like the US and after the increase in terrorism.

And while the US is a bit of an exception in many, I would even say most other countries it is normal that every citizen has an ID card and it is registered where he lives. And it is also possible to cross reference, with various degrees of efficiency, if he has a driving license and which car he owns, if any, and if course any weapon ownership if private ownership of weapons is even allowed. And even where it is there are restrictions on what weapons may be owned and where you can take them.

So what I am describing here is not a restrictive police state, but simply the modern world translated ti Starfinder.


Ixal wrote:
So what I am describing here is not a restrictive police state, but simply the modern world translated ti Starfinder.

And what are the characters supposed to do in there?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
Ixal wrote:
So what I am describing here is not a restrictive police state, but simply the modern world translated ti Starfinder.
And what are the characters supposed to do in there?

The same things they do elsewhere, they just have to do it differently.

That means a combination of working within the system, working around it and exploiting it to work for them.

I have written some suggestions in the OP. Feel free to add your own.

Speaking of suggestions, I think the prison alert track in Aeon Throne 2 makes for a good template to decide how the police responds. At first they just send a squad car to check what is going on. Only when they find something or, at worst, come under fire does more and stronger police arrive. Of course if the PCs raise too many alerts, for example by shelling a building in broad daylight with heavy explosive weapons mounted on power armor the police will skip a few levels and immediately jump to SWAT teams, combat bots and helicopters.

One critical point in this is when the police cordons off the area. Before that the PCs can more or less walk out and disappear. After that they have to sneak or fight the way out (and fighting the police probably has reprecussions later) or otherwise bypass the police.

You might also want to have a simple response time track for the police, for example measured in major actions (a fight, a hack, searching a room, etc.) so the PCs have a bit more time to finish their business before the police arrives in force. That way they are both rewarded for being stealthy to delay the police starting to investigate and to be quick to avoid dealing with them.


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


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

How do you control martial artists in this, according to you, impossible to exist real world?

You don't. Or if it is theoretically needed by registration.

Just out of interest, the last time you went shopping, how many people in the store carried a weapon? And how many of those who did not would have been allowed to do so (in the store. Not theoretically being allowed to have one at home)?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:
Just out of interest, the last time you went shopping, how many people in the store carried a weapon? And how many of those who did not would have been allowed to do so (in the store. Not theoretically being allowed to have one at home)?

Last time I went shopping? I'd guess maybe a half dozen had a concealed carry. Open carry of pistols is also legal here, and I've seen it quite often.

Remember, most starfinder societies became advanced civilized societies from their origins at the time of pathfinder. Monster attacks are a thing that happens in cities, zombie outbreaks are something the average citizen hears about in the news - probably as much as we hear about major natural disasters - why would laws have developed preventing people from protecting themselves with extreme prejudice?

Certainly many cities will be safe enough the laws prevent openly carrying missile launchers and miniguns, but restricting people to only small arms, or nothing at all, is something that probably only happens in truly safe places - a rarity in setting.

It's probable that some places require a permit, but unlikely that places have an actual ban.

Restricting armor is silly. Do you really think societies will require a khalo to leave it's encounter suit on entry to a city? No, they won't.

Heavy armor and power armor is likely a social faux pas, not illegal. Depending on race (vesk) it would be more like 'business formal'.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

like comic stories break down when trying to inject them into the real world, so does scifi/fantasy. Mainly we can't imagine life where at any time the fabric of reality is torn asunder and murder-demons hop and and get to earning their namesake and the only people who can possibly stop them are the dirty murder-hobos with a National Guard's armory worth of weapons on them.

You can either start there as a premise and work out the minutia about law and order around that, or handwave it unless it's impactful to the story.

Personally, I come up with a reason to ignore a lot of what we modern people would consider to be commonplace, like fast police response times and constant surveillance, and that is societal decay and widespread apathy. There is just too much information, too many people for anyone, even some computer systems to keep track of, especially when 99.9% of it is mundane crap, thus only the highest order of wreck-tatitude gets noted and reported. Otherwise, logically, adventuring becomes impossible in the face of such ever-present and near foolproof technology.


yukongil wrote:
Otherwise, logically, adventuring becomes impossible in the face of such ever-present and near foolproof technology.

Technology is never foolproof and the entire point of the discussion I hoped to start is to find ways to fool it and to advice GMs how to add those cracks to their games so that it becomes just another obstacle the players have to overcome and feel accomplished when doing so while not being so overpowering to make playing impossible while as a side effect make the societies in Starfinder also look a bit more sensible.

Instead of just giving up on looking like real societies right from the start I would much rather have a balance, prefferably one that I can adjust on the fly based on player interest, between sensible future society and gun ho urban hack&slash.

Sadly so far Starfinder has no balance and does not even try to look sensible. Some things you are expected to do in Penumbra Protocol are imo the 0.01% that gets reported.
Some might think of this as a feature but for me it is a bug.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
How do you control magicians in this poorly thought out world of yours where no one carries weapons?

How do you control martial artists in this, according to you, impossible to exist real world?

You don't. Or if it is theoretically needed by registration.

Martial artists can't kill people with impunity. Spellcasters, much more so than armed people you think are too dangerous to allow, definitely can. If people can't be trusted to carry around a longarm, they certainly can't be trusted to be able to toss of an Explosive Blast while disguised by illusion magic and then Dimension Door away. If registration covers the magicians, it certainly should cover much less dangerous physical weapons.

And amazingly enough, the core Starfinder rules note that part of the restriction of item levels to character levels reflect in part licensing. Nonexistent problem unnecessarily already solved!

Once again, you demonstrate you don't know what you're talking about in terms of the existing rules or the rational implications of your own bad ideas.

Ixal wrote:


Just out of interest, the last time you went shopping, how many people in the store carried a weapon? And how many of those who did not would have been allowed to do so (in the store. Not theoretically being allowed to have one at home)?

I'd guess at least 10% were carrying? I always carry a weapon when shopping, at work, and when attending leisure activities. If my wife is with me and being a killjoy I return it to my car on the rare occasion I encounter a venue with restrictions rather than just smuggling it inside.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:


Sadly so far Starfinder has no balance and does not even try to look sensible. Some things you are expected to do in Penumbra Protocol are imo the 0.01% that gets reported.

I'm going to blow your mind with two concepts that exist in the game that you've clearly never heard of: the Disguise Self spell and the Holoskin tech item.

It is trivially easy to defeat cameras when conducting illegal operations. Not that defending yourself from zombie crazies in an abandoned HQ of a corporation conducting deeply immoral research is likely to be illegal. If you get your jollies from having your PCs go to court for trespassing, followed by award ceremonies for saving civilization, go ahead.


Ixal wrote:
Technology is never foolproof and the entire point of the discussion I hoped to start is to find ways to fool it and to advice GMs how to add those cracks to their games so that it becomes just another obstacle the players have to overcome and feel accomplished when doing so while not being so overpowering to make playing impossible while as a side effect make the societies in Starfinder also look a bit more sensible.

I would not use such background as a basic one. The issue being that, if you player don't have fun trying to smuggle weapons and defeat the police forces they're supposed to be allied with, then you can't just remove it.

If you want to give it a try, either send your players in enemy territory, and then, they are in a situation where it's logical for them to stay hidden, or tell them right away they are on the bad side of the law so they know they'll have to avoid being catch during the whole campaign (and create characters accordingly).


I imagine in a setting with monsters, most places allow carrying weapons. I'm not from a place where that's common, so it's a little unusual to me, but it's easy enough to see why people would want to carry their pistols, or even rifles around.

As someone mentioned above, item levels are a good answer to "You got a license for that blaster?" coming up. Beyond that, I could see certain specific areas having restrictions (police states that want to keep their citizens in line are just one example, another might be a high-security area where they demand you hand over your weapons at the door).

In places where it's controlled, the PCs have to get creative. Disguise yourself as a guard, charm the guard padding you down, bribe someone, sneak in the back way, use sleight of hand to hide a pistol on your person, grab a glamer for your weapon, create a distraction and slip in during it, etc. Basically, there's lots of options the PCs could potentially go for.

Likewise, for other issues, cameras can be disabled, or made useless by showing up in disguise. Social norms can be gotten around by being outside of them, or above them, or even just pretending you are. IDs can be falsified, law enforcement can take too long to show up, and even when they do show up, they can be diplomacized, bluffed, killed, etc., or you might secure permissions from them in advance.

Just gotta be creative.

Sovereign Court

@Ixal: I really don't agree with your premise that "this is the way the future will necessarily be". If you take a look at most historical predictions of what the future would be like, almost all of them turned out wrong. So we can't even get it right for our own world. Saying a fictional world with magic must absolutely end up a particular way, is just wrong.

What you seem to be running up against is what in Shadowrun tends to be called the difference between Pink Mohawk and Black Mirrorshades/Stone Cold Professionals. They're different game styles, plain and simple. You seem to be thinking along black mirrorshades kind of lines. Starfinder seems to be written a bit more towards pink mohawk, but doesn't come down super hard on either side.

I would say that the sort of hypercontrolled environment you describe could be interesting for some planets or states, as a challenging place that the PCs have to operate in. But I wouldn't use it as the default.

Compare to Firefly. The inner planets are a lot like you describe, but the outer planets are the wild west.


Look at Star Wars. Everyone carries weapons, and no one seems to bat an eye at it.

Yes, there are probably places where an open display of firepower is discouraged if not outlawed, but in Starfinder that is the exception. Many of the places in the Pact Worlds are the Wild West.


Ixal wrote:
yukongil wrote:
Otherwise, logically, adventuring becomes impossible in the face of such ever-present and near foolproof technology.
Technology is never foolproof and the entire point of the discussion I hoped to start is to find ways to fool it and to advice GMs how to add those cracks to their games so that it becomes just another obstacle the players have to overcome and feel accomplished when doing so while not being so overpowering to make playing impossible while as a side effect make the societies in Starfinder also look a bit more sensible.

sounds like a lot of scut work just to go kick a space goblin in the teeth. Which is why I think you have to make allowances since it is a science fantasy setting, meaning we have to take tropes from both genres to work within the framework of the game. It isn't Shadowrun.


Ascalaphus wrote:

@Ixal: I really don't agree with your premise that "this is the way the future will necessarily be". If you take a look at most historical predictions of what the future would be like, almost all of them turned out wrong. So we can't even get it right for our own world. Saying a fictional world with magic must absolutely end up a particular way, is just wrong.

What you seem to be running up against is what in Shadowrun tends to be called the difference between Pink Mohawk and Black Mirrorshades/Stone Cold Professionals. They're different game styles, plain and simple. You seem to be thinking along black mirrorshades kind of lines. Starfinder seems to be written a bit more towards pink mohawk, but doesn't come down super hard on either side.

I would say that the sort of hypercontrolled environment you describe could be interesting for some planets or states, as a challenging place that the PCs have to operate in. But I wouldn't use it as the default.

Compare to Firefly. The inner planets are a lot like you describe, but the outer planets are the wild west.

Of course not everything should apply everyhwere. What I post here are components for a "less wild west" setting which should be mixed and matched according to where you are.

You won't have round the clock surveillance on Akiton. But would it really surprise you that on Aballon you would get a message like "Hello citizen 48315295867. You are not following the function assigned to you by the Insight Array, please reconsider your course of action" when you do a few suspicious things while not trying to hide them?

The weapon laws on the Idari where you are only one hull breach away from a catastrophe and there is a lot of sensitive and crucial equipment which can be damaged by weapons fire, would also be very different than on Apostae where the laws that apply to you would mostly depend on how much influence the drow house that is backing you has.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:


The weapon laws on the Idari where you are only one hull breach away from a catastrophe

Yep, you don't know the rules or understand the setting.

Look up the hardness and HP of a starship hull in the core rulebook.

Terrorist: "Don't come any closer, or I'll blast a hole in the hull and kill us all!"

Rookie Cop: "What should we do?!"

Senior Cop: "Ignore him."

Rookie Cop: "What???"

Terrorist: "What?!?!"

Senior Cop: "He probably can't even scratch it, he'll certainly run out of ammo before he penetrates it."

Terrorist: "I have five reloads!"

Senior Cop: "Well, then we've only got a couple of minutes to decide. I'll call my boss while you run through a couple of batteries, see what kind of progress you make before either of us do anything rash."

Terrorist: "Rash?! I'm going to shoot a hole in your ship!"

Rookie Cop: [looking at technical specs of starship hulls] "Huh. No, you're really not. Ok, I'll call the boss, I've got him on speed dial."


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

And the necessary safety measures on the Idari are more than adequately covered by the item level rules. The level 1-3 weapons that any Tom Dick and Harry are able to purchase, are coincidentally the ones which pose essentially zero threat of infrastructure damage. A level 15 laser rifle, able to actually do potential meaningful damage to important stuff? Well, getting one means your at least level 13, ergo you have the suitable licenses/reputation/responsible demeanor/etc.

Also, this is not GURPS Space, it takes more than a pea shooter to punch a hole in the typical space ship hull.


Xenocrat wrote:
Ixal wrote:


The weapon laws on the Idari where you are only one hull breach away from a catastrophe

Yep, you don't know the rules or understand the setting.

Next to you having no idea how modern societies in 2/3 of the world work you also have a complete lack of understanding about technology it seems.

A starship does not consist only out of hull. You have fuel and power lines which can cause explosions when damaged or, if you are lucky, just spills and blackouts which only disable the ship.
Then there are other, non explosive but still important systems like environmental control, etc.
Fact is, as a small ship in the void of space the Idari is a lot more vulnerable to accidents than a planet. And despite there probably be tons of redundancies they probably still not very thrilled about having to repair systems because someone starts shooting vermin with a reaction cannon while screaming "I am a player character, nothing I do has consequences".

When you want to play an extra dumbed down game where the PCs can be as irresponsibly as they want with no sorts of immersion as it is obvious to anyone that the world is just a flimsily put together stage for the PCs to murder stuff, its fine. This advice is obviously not for you then.
But I do wonder why you are so afraid that other people run games where the world feels more alive than the ones you are able to run.

Metaphysician wrote:
A level 15 laser rifle, able to actually do potential meaningful damage to important stuff? Well, getting one means your at least level 13, ergo you have the suitable licenses/reputation/responsible demeanor/etc.

You can acquire items in other ways than officially buying them and also are able to bring them from outside the Idari. Although as a sealed spaceship smuggling stuff into the Idari will be a tad harder than on planets, but not impossible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Ixal wrote:


The weapon laws on the Idari where you are only one hull breach away from a catastrophe

Yep, you don't know the rules or understand the setting.

Next to you having no idea how modern societies in 2/3 of the world work you also have a complete lack of understanding about technology it seems.

A starship does not consist only out of hull. You have fuel and power lines which can cause explosions when damaged or, if you are lucky, just spills and blackouts which only disable the ship.
Then there are other, non explosive but still important systems like environmental control, etc.
Fact is, as a small ship in the void of space the Idari is a lot more vulnerable to accidents than a planet. And despite there probably be tons of redundancies they probably still not very thrilled about having to repair systems because someone starts shooting vermin with a reaction cannon while screaming "I am a player character, nothing I do has consequences".

When you want to play an extra dumbed down game where the PCs can be as irresponsibly as they want with no sorts of immersion as it is obvious to anyone that the world is just a flimsily put together stage for the PCs to shine, its fine. This advice is obviously not for you then.
But I do wonder why you are so afraid that other people run games where the world feels more alive than the ones you are able to run.

Metaphysician wrote:
A level 15 laser rifle, able to actually do potential meaningful damage to important stuff? Well, getting one means your at least level 13, ergo you have the suitable licenses/reputation/responsible demeanor/etc.
You can acquire items in other ways than officially buying them and also are able to bring them from outside the Idari. Although as a sealed spaceship smuggling stuff into the Idari will be a tad harder than on planets, but not impossible.

I will admit, I kind of admire your willingness to keep going in the face of all this embarrassment and failure. These arguments are even worse than those that came before, so much that I don't even feel the need to refute them for the sake of potentially confusable lurkers, but the fact that you tried is cool, I guess.

I'm glad you find your fever dream version of Starfinder a worthwile place, against all the weight of logic, reason, and public opinion, and I sincerely hope there's a chance you might find four other people in the world who want to play there with you. Good luck!


Xenocrat wrote:

I will admit, I kind of admire your willingness to keep going in the face of all this embarrassment and failure. These arguments are even worse than those that came before, so much that I don't even feel the need to refute them for the sake of potentially confusable lurkers, but the fact that you tried is cool, I guess.

I'm glad you find your fever dream version of Starfinder a worthwile place, against all the weight of logic, reason, and public opinion, and I sincerely hope there's a chance you might find four other people in the world who want to play there with you. Good luck!

Oh don't worry, out there in the civilized world are enough people who appreciate that in a SciFi game the worlds feel like SciFi and not Somalia with a different sky.

Have fun polishing your gun collection so you are properly armed the next time you buy groceries.


What do you actually hope to accomplish in-game with a setting where the PCs are constantly monitored by not just video camera, but a host of nearly unthinkable surveillance devices? Or where every single shot must be weighed against the possibility of venting everyone into space?

realism has it's place, but in a game, I find that it can get too weighty to worry about and becomes a slog and a chore. I just assume that my PC are good at what they do and take the necessary precautions so as I don't have to ask about the bevy of ECCCCCCCCM they employ every time they want to run out for noodles.

If I were going to introduce this level of security and response however, I'd break it down into fairly simple skill checks (maybe Professions or Computer) for them to "off-camera" utilize whatever handwavium the players want to come up with to get around such and get on with the actual game.


yukongil wrote:

What do you actually hope to accomplish in-game with a setting where the PCs are constantly monitored by not just video camera, but a host of nearly unthinkable surveillance devices? Or where every single shot must be weighed against the possibility of venting everyone into space?

realism has it's place, but in a game, I find that it can get too weighty to worry about and becomes a slog and a chore. I just assume that my PC are good at what they do and take the necessary precautions so as I don't have to ask about the bevy of ECCCCCCCCM they employ every time they want to run out for noodles.

If I were going to introduce this level of security and response however, I'd break it down into fairly simple skill checks (maybe Professions or Computer) for them to "off-camera" utilize whatever handwavium the players want to come up with to get around such and get on with the actual game.

1st. Provide a more believable world than a wild west shooting gallery

2nd. Provide the players with something to do outside of "go dungeon, kill stuff", preferably something that can be tackled with a bit more roleplaying than "Roll vs. KAC"
3rd. Provide different scenarios for gameplay which shakes up the old "Bring biggest gun, go through the dungeon, profit" gameplay, the same way the prison in Aeon Throne shakes it up (its probably the closest thing to having an living world so far in Starfinder, although I have not seen the newer APs. Its also surprisingly strict about what raises suspicion when you consider how little Penumbra Protocol seems to care for proper behaviour)

As I said before, something that Xenocrat seems to have trouble to understand, I am aware that not everyone wants this kind of limits to their game and that is fine. But for those people who do want their civilized high tech societies to look and feel more like civilized high tech societies instead of a lawless collection of buildings I am putting my thoughts out to encourage an exchange of thoughts which hopefully leads to better options for everyone who is interested.

But it seems like there is not much interested in this or they are shouted down by people like Xenocrat who is either fully convinced that any civilized society would be a deeply martial one where everyone is armed and violence is common or is somehow convinced that because the current Starfinder rules do not support such a system no one should ever try to implement one in their games.

I would also appreciate it if you do not put things into my mouth and twist my words. I have said several times that you should not assume all methods of surveillance and other restrictions should be in place all the time and instead they have to be balanced with the players enjoyment and how sensible they are wherever the PCs currently are. Also, a single shot should not vent a ship. But the lore and with it the restrictions that make sense for that place should account for this possibility (and for the possibility that important equipment gets wrecked by missfire).

You/your players might find the most enjoyment in effectively dispatching an enemy and finding loot. Again, thats fine.
But some players also find enjoyment in smuggling their heavy equipment past the Idari customs by whatever way the chose and feel accomplishment in their success as there was an actual chance of failure instead of it being automatic or irrelevant. And yes, that can come down to simple Profession or Computer checks. Or Diplomacy, Intimidate, Mechanic and whatever else is appropriate, depending on how the PCs want to tackle that problem. Thats the nice thing about urban adventures (in my eyes, anyway) while there are additional problems for the PCs to deal with, they also have tons of freedom for dealing with the problems and even when in the end its a simply skill check it can result in a lot of RP and character development.
Once you are in a dungeon things get a lot more linear. Go there, fight this, use allowed skill here and sometime get a little extra with a successful perception check.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Y'all might come to some more productive conclusions if you cool off on taking digs at each other and actually converse politely.

(Like half this thread is an example of stuff that tends to get deleted when someone from Paizo steps in.)

I don't have much to add. Already said my piece.


Ixal wrote:
yukongil wrote:

What do you actually hope to accomplish in-game with a setting where the PCs are constantly monitored by not just video camera, but a host of nearly unthinkable surveillance devices? Or where every single shot must be weighed against the possibility of venting everyone into space?

realism has it's place, but in a game, I find that it can get too weighty to worry about and becomes a slog and a chore. I just assume that my PC are good at what they do and take the necessary precautions so as I don't have to ask about the bevy of ECCCCCCCCM they employ every time they want to run out for noodles.

If I were going to introduce this level of security and response however, I'd break it down into fairly simple skill checks (maybe Professions or Computer) for them to "off-camera" utilize whatever handwavium the players want to come up with to get around such and get on with the actual game.

1st. Provide a more believable world than a wild west shooting gallery

2nd. Provide the players with something to do outside of "go dungeon, kill stuff", preferably something that can be tackled with a bit more roleplaying than "Roll vs. KAC"
3rd. Provide different scenarios for gameplay which shakes up the old "Bring biggest gun, go through the dungeon, profit" gameplay, the same way the prison in Aeon Throne shakes it up (its probably the closest thing to having an living world so far in Starfinder, although I have not seen the newer APs. Its also surprisingly strict about what raises suspicion when you consider how little Penumbra Protocol seems to care for proper behaviour)

As I said before, something that Xenocrat seems to have trouble to understand, I am aware that not everyone wants this kind of limits to their game and that is fine. But for those people who do want their civilized high tech societies to look and feel more like civilized high tech societies instead of a lawless collection of buildings I am putting my thoughts out to encourage an exchange of thoughts which hopefully...

so then what are you looking for exactly? You've acknowledged that the challenges you crave are overcome with skill checks, so do you just want the relevant DCs to various places of possible interest? That doesn't seem like it needs to be written down, past extrapolating DCs from the setting descriptions (like the Bluerise tower is akin to an archology from Shadowrun, while Botscrap is just a junkyard, skullduggery difficulties are far different between the two)


yukongil wrote:
so then what are you looking for exactly? You've acknowledged that the challenges you crave are overcome with skill checks, so do you just want the relevant DCs to various places of possible interest? That doesn't seem like it needs to be written down, past extrapolating DCs from the setting descriptions (like the Bluerise tower is akin to an archology from Shadowrun, while Botscrap is just a junkyard, skullduggery difficulties are far different between the two)

Ideally I was looking for finding a few other people who don't feel immersed by futuristic cities being run no way different as ancient ruins on an uninhabited moon or a lawless warzone and to brainstorm scenarios and maybe even sub modules, like what I attempted above with the police system , which add a city feel but wont gimp the players so much as to become unfun.

There is also the problem with Starfinder seemingly not having been designed with non dungeon gameplay in mind, causing some classes to retain most if not all their power in citied while others are very restricted and making sure that all players have fun is tricky.

In hindsight I should have posted this under houserules anyway.

And I agree that if it comes down to the GM just telling the players what to roll and then continue like normal it is better to do anything at all. Instead players should RP getting around the restrictions with checks depending on what they do. That makes the city feel alive and, in my opinion, gives the players more a sense of accomplishment than just following a linear path battling monsters on the way.

But as no one really seems interested in this there is no point in discussing this any further. I certainly did not expect to run into so vocal posters who fit the prejudiced image people in Europe have of gun obsessed Americans nearly exactly.


*SMH* (ignores thread)

It's clear to me that how many people have guns, carry guns, and how publicly violence is wielded in Starfinder is a function of what subgenre of science fantasy you are trying to make. Is your campaign a segment of Heavy Metal or a subplot in the God Emperor of Dune? The flexibility of the setting to accomplish both is a feature not a flaw.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This thread could have been very interesting but devolved very quickly. There are a lot of different stories that can be told in a variety of settings (each with their own default assumptions about how things "work"), and I think it's good to brainstorm the possibilities and ramifications. It doesn't mean anyone's flavour is right or wrong.


Jhaeman wrote:
This thread could have been very interesting but devolved very quickly. There are a lot of different stories that can be told in a variety of settings (each with their own default assumptions about how things "work"), and I think it's good to brainstorm the possibilities and ramifications. It doesn't mean anyone's flavour is right or wrong.

If there is any interest in this we can simply ignore the "From my cold dead hands" posts.


So how can the players benefit from being in a city? After all the point is not to hinder the players, but to make the city believable and different.

One main thing is scouting or surveillance. While PCs often stumble blindly into dungeons of various forms, mapping them as they go, most cities will have some kind of documentation like blueprints of the building. And even if not, or if the PCs can't get to them, they can still check the outside of the building, look through windows if possible and so on.
This is another difference. People are everywhere and the bad guys can't shoot at everything that comes close (at least not openly). Instead they have to tolerate some traffic around their base, giving the players a chance to scout a place without opposition. The PCs might even enter the building and advance through a few rooms before the enemies realize their intent and become hostile.

Depending on what form the bad guys have you also have to think about innocent civilians. They can be a source of additional information but also pose a problem.
For example not all employees of an evil corporation will be evil themselves or at least privy to whatever plans demands the PCs to oppose them. They can be questioned by the PCs for additional information, but also mean that when the PCs decide to attack they either have to do so when there are no civilians in the building or be a lot more careful with what weapons they use. Innocent dead will complicate the lives of the PCs, no matter how urgend their intervention was.
Not to mention that panicked civilians are much more likely to call the police than the bad guys henchman who knows what skeletons are buried there.

So in many cases the players should see the complete map of the building (except the hidden parts) once they enter it or even before that in case they want to plan their adventure more.
And unless the building are self contained or has hidden entrances they likely also can roughly guess how many living people are in it by just watching who goes in and out.

As I mentioned the classes are in my opinion are not balanced around urban adventures, although it is only the soldier that suffers the most (solarians and mechanics too depending on the build, but they also have abilities which are very good in an urban setting like remote hacking).
So it would be appropriate to give the soldier some bonus when running urban adventures a lot (but not so often that the soldier should specialize in urban appropriate gear).
But I do not know if this should take the form of additional abilities like having an easier time in figuring out guard rotations, find out which equipment they likely use and police procedure or if they should cover his weakness like abilities that boosts his damage with small arms and basic weapons. What are your thoughts about that?


On many points I agree with the OP.
The players do not operate in a vacuum (even when in a vacuum)and there are consequences to their actions.

Also I have no issues with adding a little common sense, realism and logic to the world. We like immersion at my table.

My campaign world is based off of Mass Effect. Depending on where you are in the Milky Way the laws and enforcement of them are much different.

On the Citadel: Weapons and armor are prohibited and highly regulated. Also you are on camera most of the time you are there.

My players used the tactics of stealth, diplomacy, bluff, etc to get what they needed done....violence did break out with fists, knives, bottles, chairs etc... My players had a blast! And yes C-Sec eventually arrived to sort it all out (Players had to go to the C-Sec office and give statements and the like).

On Omega: you best be heavily armed and armored in this near lawless space station. My players used brute force here to get the job done, with full weapons, explosive and the like....My players had a blast! And yes eventually Omega's Overlord's thugs should up to sort things out (the players gave the thugs a healthy share of the spoils and moved on).

In the New York District of the Northeastern Megatropolis it is some what in between the two, leaning more toward the Citadel level of law, but not as much. You can wear light armor without creating too much suspicion and even carry a pistol, but you wander around Times Square in Power Armor carrying a minigun and a squad car is going to show up looking for some answers.

That is the beauty of this game. The tools are there to run thins as you see fit. There is really no right or wrong answers.

Also I do not give my players any help or leeway if the rural based character winds up in an urban setting no more than I help the urban character on a remote wilderness. That what equipment purchases and clever play are for.

Sovereign Court

I can see some cities being more strict on gun/armor control than others, but I'd consider the following points before saying that "naturally the law must be like this in any civilized place".

1) Heavy and light armor are not that different. Heavy armor may look a bit more imposing but the sort of people who wear light armor often have more dexterity. The typical AC of a PC in light armor isn't that far off from one in heavy armor. So both are really equally threatening. And someone in level 10 light armor is considerably more threatening than someone in level 1 heavy armor.

2) Low level armor is really just a very robust environmental suit. In areas where you might be worried about loss of atmosphere, pollution, damage by external meteorite etcetera, wearing armor is not strange.

3) Weapons control needs to be seen in the context of natural weapons. A level 1 vesk and a level 10 vesk look more or less the same, but the level 10 vesk has a natural weapon that deals 1d3+15 damage without adding any strength modifiers. That's more than the maximum damage on a lot of low level weapons. If you want to put in weapon control laws but all members of several races are de facto exempt, that's going to look rather hypocritical. An often-heard argument against gun control is "but criminals will still have guns and then we can't protect ourselves". You'd get the same discussion in Starfinder as long as you don't snip every vesk's claws, teeth and tail.

4) Since there are all these scary people with natural weapons around, why can't people who might be a target (bussinesspeople afraid of kidnappings etc.) wear armor? Basically everyone who in modern society might travel with a bodyguard, chauffeur with serious security training, or armored car - all those people have a good reason to be wearing fashionable armor like Abadarcorp Travel Suits.

5) Spellcasting doesn't rely very much on material components or foci anymore. It's pretty hard to disarm a spellcaster without blindfolding them. So that's even more armed people on the streets.

---

All these things considered, a significant chunk of the population is always armed. Asking everyone else to give up their weapons is a so-so proposition. I think maintaining the public peace in Starfinder's societies would be less about trying to prevent people from having the potential to start trouble, and more about punishing people who actually do start trouble.

I also think that might make for a bit more enjoyable game. Players still need to play smart in the city. They can't solve every dispute with violence, they first need to think "will we be caught if we do that here?", but you don't spend half the game session worrying about whether your equipment is even allowed.

It also creates an incentive for a lot of those sneaky weapons. It's one thing to sort of openly carry weapons, so you can defend yourself if you get into a fight with some vesk who are high on combat moonshine. You probably won't be punished for defending yourself, so no need to hide those weapons. But if you have to fight some people that you don't want to get caught for, some discreet weapons that aren't easily traced back to you are useful. Basically, the trick of "the state knows I have this one gun, but I do my crimes with the unregistered other one".

---

I do agree that not all of the classes are equally suited for such an urban campaign. Soldiers aren't really great at being sneaky, they rely on bigger and bigger weapons as they level up. And they have only like a third of the skills of an operative.

If I wanted to run an urban campaign I'd probably introduce some house rules like:
- Reduce a bit just how good operatives are in skills, and improve soldiers and solarians in skills. Operatives will still be good in skills, but not so good that they leave another class in the dust entirely. Because skills are a more important part of this game.
- Introduce some fighting styles for soldiers that are more discreet, like one focused around operative weapons or small arms or martial arts.
- Take some time to write down the main rules of civil society in my setting, like what armor/weapons are allowed where, how police respond to brawls, whether people in brawls typically start out with nonlethal attacks, whether there's a code of honor on the streets to fight nonlethally unless it's like a major vendetta. Shop it around some other people for alternate ideas and talk it over with your players. You have to balance how realistic it is and how much fun it is to play it. If it's really realistic but you can't really play it anymore because it's too stifling, you may want to dial back the realism a bit. But having these expectations into the open with your players should make for a more fun campaign.


The biggest problem with a (grey) city based campaign in starfinder is that due to the level & flawed economy you will get in logic issue sooner or later (the same problem exists in Pathfinder & DnD).

Let's assume you start at level 1, then your city guards have to be around CR 1 (or even lower) otherwise the players have no chance.

So now it's 5 Levels later, the players confront an evil organization (e.g. a corp or gang), their guard are now ~ CR 5 (while the city guards should still be CR 1) so why didn't the corp/gang didn't took over the city before?

Or how is like this: The player are level 2 and should steal some high-tech goodie from let's say Abadar Corp, why does the guards in the R&D lab are only equipped with Item-Level 2 weapons/armor if the con they are working for could easily equip them with higher level equipment for less then a promile of it's monthly revenue?

The D&D rule-set isn't really made up for a such campaign (at least if you want to keep it believable). For this level-less systems (e.g. shadowrun or cyberpunk) are more suited.

Don't get me wrong I love Starfinder, but I also think that the move to stick to the Pathfinder base system for it wasn't a good move by Paizo. Cybepunk/SciFi Systems and Level-Based Progress and Economy don't work good with each other.


What I really dislike in your setting, Ixal, is that you limit it to Chaotic characters. If I play a Lawful Soldier, I don't bring weapons if they are illegal, I don't attack the Evil Corp headquarters if it's illegal, and very quickly I contact the Starfinder Society and tell them I'm not the guy for the job. I can even decide to resign because the Starfinder's way of dealing with problems goes against my views.

If I had to play in an urban setting, I would consider that the police knows about me, my weapons, and my intention. Then, of course, I have limitations: No civilian casualties, I can't attack anyone without a previous approval from the police, I don't show heavy weaponry in the street (even if I have it in my Null Chamber), these sort of things. But if I have to smuggle equipment, then, I'm no more playing by the law, and it's a different kind of campaign where you are part of the Evil Corp (it's interesting, too, but it's not the basic focus of the game).


Tryn wrote:

The biggest problem with a (grey) city based campaign in starfinder is that due to the level & flawed economy you will get in logic issue sooner or later (the same problem exists in Pathfinder & DnD).

I fully agree that a class system is less than ideal, to be diplomatic, for a modern setting, especially when you also tie the economy to it.

What exactly would prevent a PC to simply walk into a store and buy a freely available item with a level+3 or more if he has the money?
But a restrictive level system is what Starfinder has, so we need to make the best out of it. The alternatives would be to play Starfinder like a dungeon crawler and to avoid any form of civilization or to take the Starfinder lore and apply it to a different system that makes more sense.

Not all cops would be equal. A street cop might be CR2, a veteran or detective CR5 and a Swat guy CR8 or above.
But to keep it believable you can't just throw CR appropriate cops at the PCs. Who appears depends on what happens depends on the events and not on what level the PCs are. And while the carnage the PCs can inflict goes up with the level when they can start to walk around with portable tank guns even a 1st level party can for some reason start a shootout in the middle of a lively street which would cause police with a CR far above what the PCs can handle to appear.

But would that actually be bad? It would mean that for the first few levels the PCs have to avoid the police at all cost and only later can think about engaging them. And that is only if the PCs actually plan to fight with police. Most of the time they will likely avoid that because of alignment reasons or at least to avoid the following manhunt when they start to fight the police.

The bigger problem with the level system is in my opinion the equipment. While there would be differences between patrol cops and swat, there is no real explanation why cops of the same "type" would carry around different equipment, even when the stats are very different.

SuperBidi wrote:
What I really dislike in your setting, Ixal, is that you limit it to Chaotic characters.

It is not my setting, those are brainstorming ideas how to have believable cities in Starfinder.

And to be honest, if that is your interpretation of alignment the only viable way to play a lawful character would be as hellknight and you will have a though time playing Signal of Screams or even Against the Aeon Throne.


Ixal wrote:
And to be honest, if that is your interpretation of alignment the only viable way to play a lawful character would be as hellknight and you will have a though time playing Signal of Screams or even Against the Aeon Throne.

Honestly, when you speak about the CR of different type of cops, I really have issues. Cops are civilians. When you start giving CRs to civilians, I don't feel I'm one of the good guys.

And why would hellknights be the only lawful? A lawful character tend to follow the law. Especially if the law is fair (and I assume a good or neutral character considers that punishing someone who shoots in the street is fair).

Also, I haven't played Signal of Screams or Against the Aeon Throne, but I have hard time believing you can't play them with Lawful characters. But I'm ok to have a discussion about it, as long as you avoid big spoilers.


SuperBidi wrote:
Ixal wrote:
And to be honest, if that is your interpretation of alignment the only viable way to play a lawful character would be as hellknight and you will have a though time playing Signal of Screams or even Against the Aeon Throne.

Honestly, when you speak about the CR of different type of cops, I really have issues. Cops are civilians. When you start giving CRs to civilians, I don't feel I'm one of the good guys.

And why would hellknights be the only lawful? A lawful character tend to follow the law. Especially if the law is fair (and I assume a good or neutral character considers that punishing someone who shoots in the street is fair).

Also, I haven't played Signal of Screams or Against the Aeon Throne, but I have hard time believing you can't play them with Lawful characters. But I'm ok to have a discussion about it, as long as you avoid big spoilers.

Cops are as much civilians as soldiers are.

CR is simply a shorthand guide for estimating the power of combatants which police officers certainly are (they are armed and supposed to engage criminal elements when neccessary). So I do not see what the problem is with assigning them a CR. You don't have to fight them, but the option should be there.

And I think that your definition of what lawful means is much too narrow and only fitting for characters like hellknights.
It reminds me if the old D&D discussions if a Paladin can oppose an evil overlord as doing so would mean breaking the law. And fighting against the technically legitimate authority or engage in acts of violence without being sanctioned to do so is something that happens in many APs which would mean by your definition lawful characters couldn't do it.
Not every group is lawful or shares your strict definition of what lawful means and rather interpret it as valueing order which means a criminal who meticulously plans every robbery would be lawful too.

But enough alignment discussion, if you want to continue that open another thread.
Just remember that only because cops have a CR doesn't mean you have to fight them. But they exist in nearly every civilized place and would respond to many things PCs tend to do when adventuring in a city for it to be believable.
How the PCs deal with the police is for them to decide, including fighting them if they so desire, the situation is so chaotic that it simply happens or so serious that the PCs feel justified to do so. Or the police might even fight together with the PCs.


For alignments, I tend to ask this question: If there is a big battle between Good and Evil, Chaos and Law, which side will you take? And clearly, your robber won't take the side of Law. In my opinion, he's Neutral on the Law-Chaos axis, as he dislikes Chaos but can't live in a strictly Lawful environment without having to find a new job.

Anyway, we won't agree. So, I won't disrupt more your discussion.


SuperBidi wrote:


Anyway, we won't agree. So, I won't disrupt more your discussion.

As long as you don't come in with a "this has no place in Starfinder and no one should play that way" attitude all is well.

Pointing out potential flaws is as important as making new suggestions.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Azelator Ereus wrote:

*SMH* (ignores thread)

It's clear to me that how many people have guns, carry guns, and how publicly violence is wielded in Starfinder is a function of what subgenre of science fantasy you are trying to make. Is your campaign a segment of Heavy Metal or a subplot in the God Emperor of Dune? The flexibility of the setting to accomplish both is a feature not a flaw.

I feel like that is a somewhat weird example to pick, because pretty much everybody important in Dune tends to be running around with either weapons or the kind of skills that make weapons irrelevant. . .


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tryn wrote:

The biggest problem with a (grey) city based campaign in starfinder is that due to the level & flawed economy you will get in logic issue sooner or later (the same problem exists in Pathfinder & DnD).

Let's assume you start at level 1, then your city guards have to be around CR 1 (or even lower) otherwise the players have no chance.

So now it's 5 Levels later, the players confront an evil organization (e.g. a corp or gang), their guard are now ~ CR 5 (while the city guards should still be CR 1) so why didn't the corp/gang didn't took over the city before?

Or how is like this: The player are level 2 and should steal some high-tech goodie from let's say Abadar Corp, why does the guards in the R&D lab are only equipped with Item-Level 2 weapons/armor if the con they are working for could easily equip them with higher level equipment for less then a promile of it's monthly revenue?

The D&D rule-set isn't really made up for a such campaign (at least if you want to keep it believable). For this level-less systems (e.g. shadowrun or cyberpunk) are more suited.

Don't get me wrong I love Starfinder, but I also think that the move to stick to the Pathfinder base system for it wasn't a good move by Paizo. Cybepunk/SciFi Systems and Level-Based Progress and Economy don't work good with each other.

I feel like this is at least partially solvable by going "No, not everything is level appropriate". Just because the PCs are level 1, does not mean the local city guards are CR 1. Set their CR based on how capable they are meant to be, and then make clear to the players that this means "Yes, you don't want to get into a fight with them".

Are the corporate guards in whatever business you are meant to heist lower level ( ie, level appropriate )? Sure. . . because if they weren't, you, the GM, would not pick them as a valid target for an adventure. So if the local AbadarCorp HQ should logically have crazy potent guards and defenses, you. . . pick something else for the Level 1 adventure.


Metaphysician valid Point. It seems I'm simply not used to a "tiered" system in a city ;)

Sovereign Court

You could have a tiered system in a city by classifying neighborhoods. The area surrounding the presidential palace, heavily patrolled by police and the personal bodyguards (armies in all but name) of senators? High CR. Suburban sprawl with adequate cops? mid-low CR. The slums that aren't really valuable to the movers and shakers? Fairly low CR on the whole. People with more skills can make a career in other districts, losers stay behind.


It makes a lot more sense in the post video game age, where the idea of new areas opening up as the game progresses provides the ongoing narrative thrust. But while there is the implied emphasis there that you are in a game, I think the way level and wealth scales in SF preserves both the 'game' and the ability to lose oneself in the narrative. For me at least.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Its not like wealth and challenge shouldn't scale with level. Its just, these need not scale in random and arbitrary manners. The way the adventure scales for a higher level party, is they go to specific different places that were higher all along. At any time the PCs *can* poke their nose into a place well beyond their capacity, or slum along in a place that they can stomp on. Its just, both of those decisions have consequences.

Sovereign Court

Metaphysician wrote:
Its not like wealth and challenge shouldn't scale with level. Its just, these need not scale in random and arbitrary manners. The way the adventure scales for a higher level party, is they go to specific different places that were higher all along. At any time the PCs *can* poke their nose into a place well beyond their capacity, or slum along in a place that they can stomp on. Its just, both of those decisions have consequences.

Yeah we don't need hard walls between different CR areas, but you could argue they exist in our world too. A low level pickpocket can stand in front of the White House and look at it, but he probably knows better than to try to practice his trade there.

1 to 50 of 53 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Starfinder / Advice / Running urban adventures All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.