Is there anyway to build "cruise ship" starship?


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Dark Archive

Like, you know, one of those things for hundreds of passengers?

It kinda seems silly that in colossal ship frame with max crew of 500 you only have space for luxury quest quarters for 40 people.

And building ultranought for that purpose seems like over kill


Expansion bays can be converted into passenger seatings that hold 16 people, and the colossal frame holds 20 of them. If this still isn't enough, for some reason, just handwave it.

Dark Archive

Passenger seating is more of airplane thing than "cruise ship with cabins for passengers" though.

Acquisitives

I would simply handwave it.
For me it seems that the ship building rules are build around medium/large player ships. Everything above (or below) it didn't really fit into the ship building rules (you can't even rebuild modern frigates as spaceships using the rules [150 Meters (~500 feet), crew: 110, med bay, tech shop, 2x helicopters).


Sure, but you weren't very specific how you wanted them to travel in it. You can downgrade your quarters from luxurious to common for 120 instead.

But yes, as the poster above says, you should probably handwave it.


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I would say the rules are more based around a specific kind of small to medium player ship, rather than large. If you don't optimize a deck plan too much for carrying capacity and are a bit generous with how much room people and systems get, you can easily fit genre-reasonable layouts into the limits of those size categories when dealing with player-centric designs.

The system breaks if you move away from those constraints. This isn't anything new, unfortunately. For a topical example, we only have to look at the Opulos Drift Cruiser from Pact Worlds, which by a strict mechanical reading is a huge (800'-2000' long) ship with a total combined passenger and crew capacity of somewhere in the lower double digits.

This is incredibly silly.

The easiest solution is to simply handwave it as stated; a ship carries however many people would be reasonable for that role, and if you really need to stat it out explicitly, don't bother worrying about whether it can fit enough guest quarters in. In fact, don't bother giving it more than one of those bays, because bay capacities in general are a bit silly.

I imagine you could fit an appreciable cruise ship number of people into the deck plan for a large ship. Maybe even the upper end of medium, if you're willing to play with less conventional ship shapes.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Isn't every boat the love boat once there's nothing else to do in the drift?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Super Colossal Starship,
Add lots of nice stuff, no weapons, lots of handwaving. I mean honestly, Archive of Nethys has the most up to date online listing of starship stuff and it's not that hard.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Like everyone said, you handwave it. The ship rules are intended to handle the kind of ships PCs are likely to use, either in their own right or as part of the crew of. They don't cover, and aren't intended to cover, every possible ship variation that a PC would never plausible own or even serve upon.


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Is there any reason that significantly upping the expansion bays for huge and larger ships would break the game balance? Even spamming hangars, I don't see how players could break things, given the limitations on multiple player ships. It's not like they'd have more BP to spend.


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Probably not... unless your players are the type to try to use questionable math and the upb cost of hull repairs to argue for a way to cheaply fill their dozens of 0bp cargo bays with tungsten rods...


HammerJack wrote:
Probably not... unless your players are the type to try to use questionable math and the upb cost of hull repairs to argue for a way to cheaply fill their dozens of 0bp cargo bays with tungsten rods...

- and then realize that basically any tactical use of them gets them branded as terrorists by every government in near space. <.<


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If you want to tweak the rules to more mechanically accommodate this, substantially increasing the number of expansion bays on larger ships - which players typically won't even have access to, if that's the particular concern - is unlikely to break the balance of the game. I believe it would be more preferable to increase the capacity of the relevant expansion bays with ship size, though, either instead of or in addition to increasing their number. Apply further ad hoc modifiers as desired to increase the carrying capacity of truly dedicated transport craft.

Increasing the capacity of a bay rather than only increasing their number will allow (relatively) low tier cruise liners and other transports with the hundreds of passengers that such a ship would be expected to carry, without also demanding high tens to hundreds of BP and PCU invested in guest quarters. Naturally, the precise balance between increased capacity per bay and increased number of bays is a matter of taste.

Dark Archive

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Handwaving is good tool to use always, but its always cooler when you can do a concept through rules themselves.

Though yeah, seems like no solution to this besides handwaving or houseruling it. Bay's capacity scaling with ship size idea sounds pretty good way of solving it mechanics wise.

Acquisitives

Samantha DeWinter wrote:
Is there any reason that significantly upping the expansion bays for huge and larger ships would break the game balance?

I did something like this for my group, basically let the expansion bay size scale with the ship size.

Size Cargo "Quaterpoints"
small 25t 2
medium 250t 5
large 2000t 50
Huge 10000t 150
Garg. 50000t 500
Colos. 100000t 1000

I then changed the Guest Quater Module so that a common quality quater use 1 Quaterpoint, a good one 1,5 and a Luxus 3.

I think this way the sizes fit better.
Additional I would also increase the size of other modules with ship size (e.g. a large sience bay can be used by 3 character at once).


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Samantha DeWinter wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Probably not... unless your players are the type to try to use questionable math and the upb cost of hull repairs to argue for a way to cheaply fill their dozens of 0bp cargo bays with tungsten rods...
- and then realize that basically any tactical use of them gets them branded as terrorists by every government in near space. <.<

Don't forget that this is space opera/fantasy, too. If all they are doing is filling cargo bays with tungsten rods and dropping them out of the ship? Most likely outcome is "They get shot down/bounce off of force fields". At least against any target with any defense. . . and an undefended target? You can just, you know. . . shoot it. With your ship's weapons, which are already perfectly suitable for committing space based crimes against humanity versus primitive worlds and underdeveloped colonies and suchlike.


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As for expansion bays, the house rule I generally consider is "Bigger ships don't have more expansion bays, but their expansion bays are *bigger*". So, each individual upgrade has more capacity and can support more people and contents. Tech Workshops can support more people working on more simultaneous projects ( or physically *bigger* ones ), passenger compartments carry more people, hangars support more ships, etc. Basically, the default description is what a given upgrade does on the smallest ship class that can mount it. Each class above that doubles the capacity.


Metaphysician wrote:
Samantha DeWinter wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Probably not... unless your players are the type to try to use questionable math and the upb cost of hull repairs to argue for a way to cheaply fill their dozens of 0bp cargo bays with tungsten rods...
- and then realize that basically any tactical use of them gets them branded as terrorists by every government in near space. <.<
Don't forget that this is space opera/fantasy, too. If all they are doing is filling cargo bays with tungsten rods and dropping them out of the ship? Most likely outcome is "They get shot down/bounce off of force fields". At least against any target with any defense. . . and an undefended target? You can just, you know. . . shoot it. With your ship's weapons, which are already perfectly suitable for committing space based crimes against humanity versus primitive worlds and underdeveloped colonies and suchlike.

. Tungsten rod, solar sail, laser to push the sail with. Hang out a few light hours out system, boosting the rod with said laser, by the time it arrives in system it is doing a few percent C and screaming across the EM spectrum as the solar wind is blasted back to plasma by impacting it (think reentry burn).. What ever that hits is screwed. Sir Isaac Newton is still the dealiest dude in space. That is the entry level abusing laser propulsion for fun and profit WMD. When you get to stellar lasers, Nicoll-Dyson beams, Fusion Candles etc the real party starts (who wants to turn the entire system into a ship? Shkadov Thrusters do that. Mobile gas giant? Fusion Candles say hi.Steralise every planet in the galaxy? Nicoll-Dyson beams are your tool of choice, either directly or as laser pushers for RK missiles.

No RPG survives contact with possible weapons on that scale, though having the setting encounter a Dyson civilisation with a population of quadrillions in one solar system could be interesting, especially given that even at that scale each person has a vast amount of space and energy available, even of the best habitat they can make is O'Neill cylinders, and if the civilisation is hostile.. Good night Vienna.


Unless your rod is getting g acceleration somewhere in the double digits, it's going to take multiple days to actually get the thing anywhere from a few light hours out. Since the acceleration of the system is purely a matter of GM fiat, this is plenty of time for more GM fiat to come in with the rod being detected, deflected or destroyed, and even traced back as desired. The rest of the toys are all quite fun and lethal if introduced, but largely well beyond the reach of a group of PCs.

It is even less likely that a cruise ship will deal with any of these.


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Really not going to work in the starfinder universe

Clerical advisor to the high ruling council wakes up, casts augury looking for planetary threats, learns about your tungsten rocket from 45 parsecs away (because gods don't give a ysoki's hindquarters about lightwells) , orders a rocket with a dinner plate launched at your rocket and it vaporizes before clearing 100 AUs.

Scarab Sages

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To answer the OPs question (How did we get on Tungsten death rods?) Cruise ships in Starfinder are just smaller than what we are used to. There is a scenario with a cruise ship in it that just has room for a dozen passengers or so. (For those interested, it is skittershot, free RPG day game from 2018)

Very minor spoilers for skittershot:
Skittershot’s cruise ship features normal guest quarters, VIP quarters, a rec room, a massage room, an observation room, and a resteraunt/bar. No giant swimming pool, but there are VR helmets.


Hithesius wrote:

Unless your rod is getting g acceleration somewhere in the double digits, it's going to take multiple days to actually get the thing anywhere from a few light hours out. Since the acceleration of the system is purely a matter of GM fiat, this is plenty of time for more GM fiat to come in with the rod being detected, deflected or destroyed, and even traced back as desired. The rest of the toys are all quite fun and lethal if introduced, but largely well beyond the reach of a group of PCs.

It is even less likely that a cruise ship will deal with any of these.

The Acceleration is in the field of physics, pretty basic physics in fact. (You can some some relativistic time distortion weirdness, and resistance from the stellar medium isn't 0, but not that hard to find a website to work it out for you), but yes not that hard to detect. The Stella Laser is the only one of the others a PC group maybe able to make, but since they are carting about energy weapons that almost have to be powered by anti-matter or micro black holes at higher levels, shouldn't be that hard. But then the MSK mantra kicks in, again...But abusing the Kardashev scale for fun and profit is so cool...


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Really not going to work in the starfinder universe

Clerical advisor to the high ruling council wakes up, casts augury looking for planetary threats, learns about your tungsten rocket from 45 parsecs away (because gods don't give a ysoki's hindquarters about lightwells) , orders a rocket with a dinner plate launched at your rocket and it vaporizes before clearing 100 AUs.

your right..have to place a non-detection effect on it.


VampByDay wrote:
(How did we get on Tungsten death rods?)

I asked if players could break balance if given a lot more expansion bays to work with on larger ships. The answer was basically "no", so far. Trying to use Atomic Rockets logic in Magic/High-Sci-Fi doesn't count.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

Like, you know, one of those things for hundreds of passengers?

It kinda seems silly that in colossal ship frame with max crew of 500 you only have space for luxury quest quarters for 40 people.

And building ultranought for that purpose seems like over kill

So, it's all a little hand waved from what I've been able to tell. The rules assume that ships can automatically house the crew without any required addition. But any passengers would need to all be expansion bays and systems, and the systems don't really support much in way of accommodations for something like a giant space cruise ship.

That said, you can always just get the size you feel is appropriate and say that it does have them and move on too lol


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Samantha DeWinter wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
(How did we get on Tungsten death rods?)
I asked if players could break balance if given a lot more expansion bays to work with on larger ships. The answer was basically "no", so far. Trying to use Atomic Rockets logic in Magic/High-Sci-Fi doesn't count.

putting the Sci into Sci-fi is fun, plus makes settings more interesting, at least to me, otherwise its reskinned fantasy, and I prefer that without the veneer. But then I prefer Mass Effect to Star Wars, and Altered Carbon is pretty much my favourite universe, so each to their own.


While there's nothing in the player facing rules, there's nothing stopping a GM from making a passenger liner base frame that supports passengers even without expansion bays.


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CorvusMask wrote:

Like, you know, one of those things for hundreds of passengers?

It kinda seems silly that in colossal ship frame with max crew of 500 you only have space for luxury quest quarters for 40 people.

And building ultranought for that purpose seems like over kill

How many of these 500 crewmen are gunners?

A cruise ship would presumably dispense with all or most the gunners to make room for passengers.

Also -- the starship frames in the core rulebook have fixed numbers of weapon mounts and expansion bays. We would be in homebrew territory trying to figure out how many expansion bays a ship of a given size category can have if it has no weapon mounts. Or we just need to wait for an AP set on a cruise ship so that we have an example frame to work with?


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I'm now picturing a cruiseship under attack that just flips all the video games to be the ships guns (but still charges you quarters to "play")


On topic: scale something you feel is appropriate, it's about the best work around.

Acquisitives

I like the approach of Garretmander.
For my homebrew games I gave every frame a "role bonus" to push them toward their role (e.g. the explorer frame get a bonus when scanning objects and a larger sensor range or the destroyer get a bonus to hit small (or smaller) spaceships).
I think Paizo should really make a "spaceship book" soon, to push the spaceship/combat rules in the right direction.


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Dead Suns #6 introduced the concept of "Supercolossal" ships. They can have any number of expansion bays as long as you can pay the BP cost for them.


David knott 242 wrote:

Dead Suns #6 introduced the concept of "Supercolossal" ships. They can have any number of expansion bays as long as you can pay the BP cost for them.

Yes this is kinda what I have used for mega cargo haulers/large cruise vessels. Clearly for bulk good carrying the normal listed transports are not useful so there has to be something totally massive to do bulk transportation to help setup colonies or planets that are good manufacturer but don't have local ability to grow enough food.

The supercolossal option is a sensible way to do it. You pay for the expansions but it can hold as many as is required.

I see the difference between something like the one from skittershot as like one of the river cruise boats which generally are smaller more nimble ships compared to the giant floating palaces that are actual cruise liners.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A large part of the way starship mechanics are designed in Starfinder is to make it easier for small ships (with correspondingly small crews) to remain relevant. The entire reason behind that paradigm is because most groups usually consist of about 2-8 players.

Is it "realistic" that a Tier 8 Small shuttle can probably defeat a Tier 7 Large destroyer (i.e., a Corpse Fleet Barrow Spectre) in a straight-up fight, without too much trouble? Or a Tier 16 Medium transport can easily defeat a Tier 14 Gargantuan battleship (i.e., a Thaumtech Omenbringer)? Not really. But not many groups want to play as a handful of crew members out of dozens to hundreds, compete for promotions while following orders of their superiors, and manage teams of NPCs to perform various tasks "in game."

Acquisitives

Big ships doesn't really need big crews, take a look at Gene Roddenberrys Andromeda. 1.3 km long Mega-Battleship with a minimum crew of 6.
I know that the pathfinder rules didn't support this, but I think if you want you can do such things in your Homebrew setting (heavy automation, Semi-AIs etc. to support the core crew).


Peg'giz wrote:

Big ships doesn't really need big crews, take a look at Gene Roddenberrys Andromeda. 1.3 km long Mega-Battleship with a minimum crew of 6.

I know that the pathfinder rules didn't support this, but I think if you want you can do such things in your Homebrew setting (heavy automation, Semi-AIs etc. to support the core crew).

. Always wondered what they did with all the volume on the bigger megaships (40k is among the worst for this, you end up with super dreadnoughts the density of smoke, happened in the Honorverse as well), but that's an aside.


Peg'giz wrote:

Big ships doesn't really need big crews, take a look at Gene Roddenberrys Andromeda. 1.3 km long Mega-Battleship with a minimum crew of 6.

I know that the pathfinder rules didn't support this, but I think if you want you can do such things in your Homebrew setting (heavy automation, Semi-AIs etc. to support the core crew).

Actually Starfinder has done this, to an extent. Dead Suns, Empire of Bones,

Spoiler:
the PCs can commandeer the Corpsefleet Capital Ship 'Empire of Bones' with a minimum of 4 PCs just by manipulating the command codes for the ship's platoons of mindless jacked-in ship operators.

So there is a precedent of a ridiculously large ship being controlled by a small crew. Simply change the flavor of it to suit your style. Automation is wonderful.


Dragonchess Player wrote:


Is it "realistic" that a Tier 8 Small shuttle can probably defeat a Tier 7 Large destroyer (i.e., a Corpse Fleet Barrow Spectre) in a straight-up fight, without too much trouble? Or a Tier 16 Medium transport can easily defeat a Tier 14 Gargantuan battleship (i.e., a Thaumtech Omenbringer)? Not really.

I mean, as a game that's heavily rooted into fantasy, sure it can. Think of it as a small "suped up" ship, like something you see in games like Ikaruga, Gradius, Radiant Silvergun etc..


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Tremaine wrote:
Peg'giz wrote:

Big ships doesn't really need big crews, take a look at Gene Roddenberrys Andromeda. 1.3 km long Mega-Battleship with a minimum crew of 6.

I know that the pathfinder rules didn't support this, but I think if you want you can do such things in your Homebrew setting (heavy automation, Semi-AIs etc. to support the core crew).
. Always wondered what they did with all the volume on the bigger megaships (40k is among the worst for this, you end up with super dreadnoughts the density of smoke, happened in the Honorverse as well), but that's an aside.

I mean, the density issues are probably just writers not checking their math. Beyond that, uses for all that size? There are plenty.

-Power supplies and engines, even in a space opera setting, may simply be *big*. Ditto for weapons. A 1.5km battlecruiser might be that big because a military grade fusion torch is a 500m spherical structure, and a heavy railgun has a 1000m long "barrel".

-If the propulsion is non-Newtonian, there might be incentives to go big, if motive force scales faster than inertia ( ie, a big ship moving a ton of stuff is faster or more efficient than a smaller ship ).

-A bigger ship is more rugged, able to mount more armor, or to possess more empty space; in harder sci-fi settings especially, the second best defense against kinetic damage may be "be so big that a hit probably will just do cosmetic damage".

-A bigger ship can carry more supplies, and again, if you don't care about mass but do care about mission duration, a giant ship with stockpiles for 10 years of operations is good.

-If space flight is dependent on some exotic resource ( singularities, element zero, psychic links to a god, whatever ), it may be impractical to build many small ships, because you only have one Phlebotinum available. So you figure out how many drive cores you can make ( "three, because we can only manufacture three black holes in a year" ), and that is how many ships you make, which get all your shipbuilding output.


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Sauce987654321 wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:


Is it "realistic" that a Tier 8 Small shuttle can probably defeat a Tier 7 Large destroyer (i.e., a Corpse Fleet Barrow Spectre) in a straight-up fight, without too much trouble? Or a Tier 16 Medium transport can easily defeat a Tier 14 Gargantuan battleship (i.e., a Thaumtech Omenbringer)? Not really.
I mean, as a game that's heavily rooted into fantasy, sure it can. Think of it as a small "suped up" ship, like something you see in games like Ikaruga, Gradius, Radiant Silvergun etc..

Yeah, its worth remembering that a higher tier ship, no matter how small, is increasingly sophisticated and powerful. Sure, it might be "just" a Medium ship, but at Tier 16, it probably has twin-linked Masers as its bow gun, a pair of Antimatter Missile Launchers in a turret, and something approaching 600 points of shields.


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Sauce987654321 wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:


Is it "realistic" that a Tier 8 Small shuttle can probably defeat a Tier 7 Large destroyer (i.e., a Corpse Fleet Barrow Spectre) in a straight-up fight, without too much trouble? Or a Tier 16 Medium transport can easily defeat a Tier 14 Gargantuan battleship (i.e., a Thaumtech Omenbringer)? Not really.
I mean, as a game that's heavily rooted into fantasy, sure it can. Think of it as a small "suped up" ship, like something you see in games like Ikaruga, Gradius, Radiant Silvergun etc..

(emphasis mine)

Games, as mentioned, emphasize (really, over-emphasize) the importance of the "individual/small group" over the real world importance of mass (the military term for more/heavier firepower at the point of attack) and reserves/resilience (the side that can take more damage or replace/repair it faster is much more likely to win, even if they are less "powerful"; see Pyrrhic victory). Again, this is because "not many groups want to play as a handful of crew members out of dozens to hundreds, compete for promotions while following orders of their superiors, and manage teams of NPCs to perform various tasks;" which is how a more "realistic" portrayal of conflict would probably be handled.

Metaphysician wrote:
Yeah, its worth remembering that a higher tier ship, no matter how small, is increasingly sophisticated and powerful. Sure, it might be "just" a Medium ship, but at Tier 16, it probably has twin-linked Masers as its bow gun, a pair of Antimatter Missile Launchers in a turret, and something approaching 600 points of shields.

Because of the way the game abstracts the cost of starships, that "higher tier ship" that is "increasingly sophisticated and powerful" probably costs a lot more to build. If a Tier 16 transport costs many times more to build (say, each tier increase multiplies the overall cost of the ship by a factor of 2 or more) and maintain (which is hand-waved in game) than a Tier 14 battleship, a planet military will probably choose to build four Tier 14 battleships in place of one Tier 16 transport; they can afford to send groups of three battleships (a Tier 17 force) against each enemy Tier 16 transport and still maintain a 25% reserve of ships for other duties.


Metaphysician wrote:
Tremaine wrote:
Peg'giz wrote:

Big ships doesn't really need big crews, take a look at Gene Roddenberrys Andromeda. 1.3 km long Mega-Battleship with a minimum crew of 6.

I know that the pathfinder rules didn't support this, but I think if you want you can do such things in your Homebrew setting (heavy automation, Semi-AIs etc. to support the core crew).
. Always wondered what they did with all the volume on the bigger megaships (40k is among the worst for this, you end up with super dreadnoughts the density of smoke, happened in the Honorverse as well), but that's an aside.

I mean, the density issues are probably just writers not checking their math. Beyond that, uses for all that size? There are plenty.

-Power supplies and engines, even in a space opera setting, may simply be *big*. Ditto for weapons. A 1.5km battlecruiser might be that big because a military grade fusion torch is a 500m spherical structure, and a heavy railgun has a 1000m long "barrel".

-If the propulsion is non-Newtonian, there might be incentives to go big, if motive force scales faster than inertia ( ie, a big ship moving a ton of stuff is faster or more efficient than a smaller ship ).

-A bigger ship is more rugged, able to mount more armor, or to possess more empty space; in harder sci-fi settings especially, the second best defense against kinetic damage may be "be so big that a hit probably will just do cosmetic damage".

-A bigger ship can carry more supplies, and again, if you don't care about mass but do care about mission duration, a giant ship with stockpiles for 10 years of operations is good.

-If space flight is dependent on some exotic resource ( singularities, element zero, psychic links to a god, whatever ), it may be impractical to build many small ships, because you only have one Phlebotinum available. So you figure out how many drive cores you can make ( "three, because we can only manufacture three black holes in a year" ), and that is how many ships you make, which...

. There can certainly be reasons, it pops up specifically when those things are stated to be not the case (the Sci Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale problem, put in a city sized ship, with lots of description of the systems, then realise it is still full of voids) also Black Hole starships are awesome and it's terrifying that people worked out how they would work irl, (SFIA has a video or 2 on them, they are one of the very high sublight speed ship candidates if we are right about physics)


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I would be very surprised if this book doesn't give us any help here.


Ah they finally announced that. I think we all knew that book had to be in the works and it is very very needed.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yippee!

I do hope it has some rules to help facilitate NPC ship operation in battle. Having run a couple ship fights, one of the biggest issues is that the NPC ship still has all the same action phases, and action decisions, as a PC ship. . . only instead of 3-6 players splitting the mental effort, its all on one GM.

Wayfinders

YAY! I do love starships!


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I wonder how far Paizo will go with the book. Imo starships are in need of a complete do over and not just some added stuff.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh, one other thing I really hope for: floor plans! Both generic examples and rules/guidelines for making your own. I've had to basically invent things from scratch for the couple ships my players boarded, and while I *can* do that, it'd be nice to have some help.

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