Money in the Adventure Path


Dead Suns


So. According to the rules there is supposed to be a certain amount of money dropped from every encounter. Problem is: i played the first two adventures of the campaign now, and the money outcome is nowhere near what is suggested in the rules. In fact, the money my players get is barely enough to buy basic commodities. Looking at the basic prices of equipment there is no chance for y whole team of players to keep up with equipment and buy updates. Heck, our Soldier still uses her first weapon cause there simply is not enough loot in the whole two adventures to afford better. The 10% rule when it comes to selling loot also doesnt help.
How did you solve this? Did you just drop more money? Or do you keep your players hopelessly underequipped?


By default, there is no where near enough money to match WBL or income for the AP.

That said, until level 7 or so, there's not much to buy with money anyway.

I tended to make sure bosses and mini-bosses had armor of item level = APL +1-2. That kept their armor mostly relevant. Then I also made sure to seed useful weapons of weapon types the players actually used, as well as the occasional useful armor upgrade. All that ensured that their baseline 'necessary' equipment was always near their level, and sometimes above it. All the rest of the income and sold loot could then be spent on augmentations and consumables once basic needs were met. It seems to have worked out.

In book 4, there's an old armory that I filled with enough loot for my PCs to get level 11 WBL overall after a trip to absalom station. I knew there wasn't going to be a chance after that to gear up, so I made sure they had more than enough going into the endgame.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NoobLord wrote:

So. According to the rules there is supposed to be a certain amount of money dropped from every encounter. Problem is: i played the first two adventures of the campaign now, and the money outcome is nowhere near what is suggested in the rules. In fact, the money my players get is barely enough to buy basic commodities. Looking at the basic prices of equipment there is no chance for y whole team of players to keep up with equipment and buy updates. Heck, our Soldier still uses her first weapon cause there simply is not enough loot in the whole two adventures to afford better. The 10% rule when it comes to selling loot also doesnt help.

How did you solve this? Did you just drop more money? Or do you keep your players hopelessly underequipped?

How many players are there? There is a decent amount of loot, especially if your party is diverse in equipment needs.

Sovereign Court

NoobLord wrote:

So. According to the rules there is supposed to be a certain amount of money dropped from every encounter. Problem is: i played the first two adventures of the campaign now, and the money outcome is nowhere near what is suggested in the rules. In fact, the money my players get is barely enough to buy basic commodities. Looking at the basic prices of equipment there is no chance for y whole team of players to keep up with equipment and buy updates. Heck, our Soldier still uses her first weapon cause there simply is not enough loot in the whole two adventures to afford better. The 10% rule when it comes to selling loot also doesnt help.

How did you solve this? Did you just drop more money? Or do you keep your players hopelessly underequipped?

I did accounting for loot for the first two books and with a four-player party, I think we earned about the WBL in money, not counting odds and ends sold for 10%. It was really starting to look like all the trashy L1 weapons and armor were meant to be just ignored.

However, if you look at the back of the CRB and do the math, roughly the following picture emerges:

* It takes about 13 CR=APL encounters for a four-player party to level up.

* 13 CR=APL encounters for a four-player party with the recommended value of loot gets you about the same amount of loot as you'd get in SFS in the three scenarios you need to level up. (Big surprise: SFS actually implements the CRB's wealth plan pretty close to spec!)

* If you earn the amount of money the book tells you to earn, you end up above WBL, somewhere around 20-50% higher. You're expected to "waste" money buying equipment that you later sell for 10% and to buy healing serums, spell gems and grenades.

* Every two levels you can replace about half the stuff you got during the previous two levels and stay on WBL. So don't count on having on-level armor and weapons all the time, but you don't have to be completely L1-geared either.

---

The design intent as I infer it was:

* Finding on/above-level items as loot should be cool.
* In the short time, losing money should be bad and making money should be good. In the long term, how much money you made a couple of levels ago (quite a few game sessions ago) shouldn't matter that much.
* If you get some above level item, it shouldn't put you ahead of WBL forever. After a while when you level up it becomes less amazing. So if the GM is too generous, it's a problem that goes away by itself.

These are all great goals to strive for. Unfortunately, AP writers seem to struggle with them.

* A lot depends on putting in relevant loot. A sniper rifle is only worth its full value as loot if any PC wants to use sniper rifles. Fighting a dozen Azlanti stormtroopers in heavy armor with longarms is no good for an operative. AP writers need to balance "what makes sense in my story to find" with "what do the PCs need".

* Good equipment buying strategies for players are hard to figure out. Knowing how often you should replace armor is hard in this game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

we've decided that after playing dead suns and against the aeon throne that the 10 % cap is too low. our DM suggested 50 %; but I think that's a bit high.

parties should be able to buy weapons and augments - in these first 2 APs, they are just scrounging through the scraps of the enemies, and the paucity of given treasure makes them far more murderhobo than they should be.

you end up without all the fun stuff - augments, fusions, upgrades - and you end up carrying a bunch of weapons which don't fit your characters. that's not fun for the party.

i'm working on a homebrew campaign, and i think i'm going to ditch scrounging entirely. if you want a fun enemy weapon or a potion fine, but i'm just going to give the PCs credits when they level up so they get to make their character how they want it.


Yakman wrote:

we've decided that after playing dead suns and against the aeon throne that the 10 % cap is too low. our DM suggested 50 %; but I think that's a bit high.

parties should be able to buy weapons and augments - in these first 2 APs, they are just scrounging through the scraps of the enemies, and the paucity of given treasure makes them far more murderhobo than they should be.

you end up without all the fun stuff - augments, fusions, upgrades - and you end up carrying a bunch of weapons which don't fit your characters. that's not fun for the party.

i'm working on a homebrew campaign, and i think i'm going to ditch scrounging entirely. if you want a fun enemy weapon or a potion fine, but i'm just going to give the PCs credits when they level up so they get to make their character how they want it.

I'd actually recommend the last option. Have your players get paid by a sponsor in increasing amounts.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Garretmander wrote:
Yakman wrote:

we've decided that after playing dead suns and against the aeon throne that the 10 % cap is too low. our DM suggested 50 %; but I think that's a bit high.

parties should be able to buy weapons and augments - in these first 2 APs, they are just scrounging through the scraps of the enemies, and the paucity of given treasure makes them far more murderhobo than they should be.

you end up without all the fun stuff - augments, fusions, upgrades - and you end up carrying a bunch of weapons which don't fit your characters. that's not fun for the party.

i'm working on a homebrew campaign, and i think i'm going to ditch scrounging entirely. if you want a fun enemy weapon or a potion fine, but i'm just going to give the PCs credits when they level up so they get to make their character how they want it.

I'd actually recommend the last option. Have your players get paid by a sponsor in increasing amounts.

yeah, it's not quite a 'sponsor' (at least not after the beginning) but I just hate being a player and having to strip arms and armor off of every foe.

like... Luke Skywalker isn't taking every random storm trooper blast rifle. Flash Gordon isn't yanking the gear off of all of Ming's minions. It sucks, and I think it should just be done away with.

What I'm going to do is just make sure that players are being honest with what's on their sheets, and when they level up, they get to have as much equipment value as the XP value in the Core Rules.

Haven't quite worked out how that would apply for augments. Just swap and switch like guns and gear?


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My GM handles this (well, I should add, we play a homebrew campaign that takes a little from AP's but is mostly 'Galactic Sandbox) by giving us around 30-40% more credits than WBL would demand after a session, or by having a corporate sponsor 'gift' a player with a weapon or armor once in a while.

To balance that, we're restricted to buying level +1 gear at most, unless we can really come up with a really good in-story reason why our character should get a level +2 item.

What ends up happening is weapon and armor levels amongst the party are pretty consistently at-level, but we end up having spare cash for toys, augments, etc.

Basically, there's way too many non-weapon/armor items that are really cool, but the expense in a regular by-the-book game means they'll rarely actually be purchased. So we found a way that seems to work pretty well to let the characters actually do cool stuff.

I mean, really, if you goof and the party gets too strong, it's pretty simple to readjust the threats until everything balances again.

Sovereign Court

Our GM got sick of the bookkeeping to tell us what loot there was somewhere halfway through book 3 of the first AP, and switched to letting us reset our stuff to WBL each time we level up. When using milestones for leveling up, each book seems to have a nice miniboss about halfway through that creates a logical moment for it. So we become level X, next session start with gear according to level X WBL. We assume it's just the Starfinder Society taking old crap off our hands and giving us appropriate stuff given our seniority level.

It's not perfectly realistic, but it's really easy and it balances well.


In my ongoing Dead Suns game I've implemented that the SFS will pay/trade loot to 20% of the value rather than the open market 10%. Its termed Earned Seizure and allows them to swap kit for the requisite value (whilst encouraging them to run with the SFS).

Seems to be working and they're pretty well equipped thus far (we're approaching the end of Book 1).


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

Perhaps to help deal with having the specific items 'dropped' of higher level not matching what characters need-desire, one could while leaving the 'basic' rule being, converting items to cash is normally a 10% rule. Perhaps trading in one or two items for an equal level item can give you 50% value towards said item if they are same tier. Perhaps trading in items of one level lower than the target item, perhaps they can earn 25% towards the desired item. (any extra trade in value, wouldn't turn into cash) Players don't have to turn in trade in value up to 100% to complete these trades, they can get, for instance 50% paid off by trading in an equal value item, and pay the rest in cash (or cash equivalent).

This might even make some sort of sense, that people used to one certain 'quality' or level of items, may not be interested in dealing much with Lesser quality items, so will low-ball any potential payment they would be willing to pay for anything beneath themselves, if they offer anything at all for it. But obviously, the reason for the rule being 10% in how so much of a sci-fi opponents often is tied to equipment, and they don't want all that jumping the hero's WBL spiraling up into higher WBL impacting the effectiveness of challenges in adventures.

But as mentioned, if the party needs the exact gear the AP drops, they in theory would get up to 10x the wealth that a party who has specific needs that the AP authors don't cater to. Providing a means to swap some of that at a more favorable ratio, might reduce the hurt suffered by those potentially less mainstream characters. It does, of course, also introduce a risk of them having a higher than expected WBL. (but not broken any worse than a party who specifically needed 50% of the items the AP chose to drop)

There is a certain sense to having the SFS having a system by which they acquire everything from missions and sort through it and redistribute it in manners beneficial to the participating factions and agents. Having a term for it makes it sound official too, and has a good ring to it.

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