House rule for crew compliment.


Homebrew

Scarab Sages

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I've been looking at the crew compliment on the ships and I think I'd like to go with this house rule, any feedback appreciated.

Minimum Crew
This is the minimum number of crew to operate the ship properly NOT the minimum number to operate it. For each crew member missing from the number the ship takes a cumulative -2 penalty to all roles by other crew members. For example if you have a minimum crew of 6 and an actual crew of 5 you can still fly/operate the ship but all roles made by the other roles are at -2. If you have only 4 all roles are at -4 and so on.

Maximum Crew
This is the number of people the ship is set up to handle and you can have more than this. You can even have more operating ships systems if the GM approves your ship being set up to operate an extra station but it places strain on the ships systems. A maximum crew of 6 means there are only 6 beds, shower facilities for 6, etc. There's no provisioning/fuel rules in starfinder I've seen so its up to the GM to indicate this. Such things can be purely roleplay e.g. "You start noticing a foul smell in parts of the ship as the scrubbers can't keep up with the number of people on board." Penalties to the player "You are fatigued because sleeping on the cold hard deck is not restful. Or even minor faults with the ship itself if you are houseruling in food, fuel, etc with shorter periods between restocking.


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Senko wrote:

I've been looking at the crew compliment on the ships and I think I'd like to go with this house rule, any feedback appreciated.

Minimum Crew
This is the minimum number of crew to operate the ship properly NOT the minimum number to operate it. For each crew member missing from the number the ship takes a cumulative -2 penalty to all roles by other crew members. For example if you have a minimum crew of 6 and an actual crew of 5 you can still fly/operate the ship but all roles made by the other roles are at -2. If you have only 4 all roles are at -4 and so on.

Maximum Crew
This is the number of people the ship is set up to handle and you can have more than this. You can even have more operating ships systems if the GM approves your ship being set up to operate an extra station but it places strain on the ships systems. A maximum crew of 6 means there are only 6 beds, shower facilities for 6, etc. There's no provisioning/fuel rules in starfinder I've seen so its up to the GM to indicate this. Such things can be purely roleplay e.g. "You start noticing a foul smell in parts of the ship as the scrubbers can't keep up with the number of people on board." Penalties to the player "You are fatigued because sleeping on the cold hard deck is not restful. Or even minor faults with the ship itself if you are houseruling in food, fuel, etc with shorter periods between restocking.

Maximum crew rule is probably fine, assuming your group is okay with that sort of thing happening/you tell them ahead of time. It adds reasons to get some passenger seating if the group fills out their ship and needs to pick someone up.

Minimum crew though... Yes it lets PCs use bigger ships, and even operate them, or a single PC being able to fly a larger ship in an emergency, but that sounds like something better handled by narrative than by mechanics. Otherwise the PCs will likely figure out how many penalties they can get away with and just get a bigger ship.

If a PC wanted to fly, say a destroyer, by themselves so they can pick up the rest of the party, a penalty is appropriate. Probably no minor crew actions while doing so, even a penalty to maneuverability or some such thing. I just don't think it's a good idea to codify this in the rules. Players might attempt to exploit it, but in doing so, they might also shoot themselves in the foot.

If you want PCs to use a bigger ship, consider allowing friendly NPCs to volunteer to accompany them, or allow them to hire lower level NPCs to fill out the 'redshirt' positions on the crew. The price of a (much) lower level professional freelancer might add up quickly if you keep having to pay them hazard pay, but maybe you can decide on an alternate rate of pay, or method of payment.

Scarab Sages

I thought hiring NPC's was already in the rules?

This is more intended for short term situations e.g. you get into a fight with creatures that leaves several of the party in such poor state all they can do is burble unintelligably.

Perhaps some extra penalties for flying with less than minimum crew? Such as requiring checks for normal operations outside combat or adding a risk of damaging the ship if you critically fail a roll e.g. while attempting to fly the destroyer to pick up the crew you overstressed the engines and they are now operating less efffectively (drop one thruster category) till repaired?

I basically just want to allow them to be able to do this in an emergency but not encourage it, could always just add a "These rules apply only in situations the GM determines appropriate and not always" but that seems risky.


Senko wrote:

I thought hiring NPC's was already in the rules?

This is more intended for short term situations e.g. you get into a fight with creatures that leaves several of the party in such poor state all they can do is burble unintelligably.

Perhaps some extra penalties for flying with less than minimum crew? Such as requiring checks for normal operations outside combat or adding a risk of damaging the ship if you critically fail a roll e.g. while attempting to fly the destroyer to pick up the crew you overstressed the engines and they are now operating less efffectively (drop one thruster category) till repaired?

I basically just want to allow them to be able to do this in an emergency but not encourage it, could always just add a "These rules apply only in situations the GM determines appropriate and not always" but that seems risky.

That's why I'm suggesting to do it with narrative. Let them operate the ship, give some off the cuff penalties if they get into starship combat, and gloss over it. Don't even let your players know it's an option until the situation arises. Telling your players that you would allow them to do such a thing invites them to try such a thing, whether they're in a situation where they need to or not.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm in with Garretmander's advice. If the PCs want to have a larger ship, why not let them? Let them gain followers narratively that can help them operate it. Keep PCs and their skill rolls the stars of the show, with NPCs in background roles. No need to charge them any credits for the privilege. Or hit them with any penalties.

You can rebalance encounters around PCs having a larger ship, after all.


Cellion wrote:

I'm in with Garretmander's advice. If the PCs want to have a larger ship, why not let them? Let them gain followers narratively that can help them operate it. Keep PCs and their skill rolls the stars of the show, with NPCs in background roles. No need to charge them any credits for the privilege. Or hit them with any penalties.

You can rebalance encounters around PCs having a larger ship, after all.

There's also the situation where a six man party is using a destroyer, but get caught in some situation where they need to do something with the starship.

Rather than just saying, 'no, you can't', you can let them do the thing with some penalties, as long as you make it clear this will not be a thing the PCs can just do whenever.

In that situation you made it work through luck and adrenaline. If you try on purpose the penalties will be prohibitively high kinda thing.

Now, I do like the max crew rule.

Scarab Sages

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I can work with this.

Max crew rule added to house rules.

Min crew rules added to secret gm options in case party is dropped below minimum crew at a time/place the missing member can't be replaced by new chracter/NPC's.


Actually, there are rules for installing guest cabins in expansion bays on p299 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook.

Or as a makeshift you could resort to tents in the cargo bay. assuming especially the mobile hotelier includes a high-tech improvement on today's inflatable mattresses/foam rolls, self-inflating aerogel-filled mattresses or somesuch. If not, foam futons ought to be pretty silly cheap, and there's a lot of room in a cargo bay.

And just space anyone who didn't bother buying hygiene kits when they were told to.

*Ponders a "Pajama" entry for clothing type, with bonus to resist exhaustion from poor sleep conditions.*

Scarab Sages

Oh sure you can always put in guest quarters as I said these are more for short term use e.g. you get an extra player putting you over max crew (with npc's) but haven't had time to rebuild the ship. If you're permanently over the max crew rating I'd expect you to put in guest quarters which would come with the life support upgrades to cater to them.


Garretmander wrote:

Minimum crew though... Yes it lets PCs use bigger ships, and even operate them, or a single PC being able to fly a larger ship in an emergency, but that sounds like something better handled by narrative than by mechanics. Otherwise the PCs will likely figure out how many penalties they can get away with and just get a bigger ship.

Bigger ships are worse than smaller ships generally, so that would be a bad strategy.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
Garretmander wrote:

Minimum crew though... Yes it lets PCs use bigger ships, and even operate them, or a single PC being able to fly a larger ship in an emergency, but that sounds like something better handled by narrative than by mechanics. Otherwise the PCs will likely figure out how many penalties they can get away with and just get a bigger ship.

Bigger ships are worse than smaller ships generally, so that would be a bad strategy.

Pre-built bigger ships are worse than smaller ships.

I'm only theorycrafting here, but having 6x the hit points, being able to dedicate a gunner per gun instead of making a broadside at a penalty, and an additional gun per arc (including turrets) should compensate a little for their decreased defenses. Such a ship would basically be a flak dreadnought, but I think it would hold up well.

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