Pathfinder 2e Adoptee Considering Starfinder - Information Requested


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FormerFiend wrote:
Well you're technically never moving FTL unless you're using a Constellation Orrery, as all the other Interstellar drives operate on the principle of planeshifting; move to another plane where locations correlate to locations in the prime material but the distances are compressed/foreshortened, travel through that plane at sub-light speeds, reach a location in that plane that correlates to your destination in the Prime Material, shift back. A lot of sci fi settings use this idea to get around the speed of light.

In Starfinder the locations of the drift does not correlate with the normal universe which is the twist that breakes some science fiction tropes and confuses some people.

In Starfinder distance does not matter at all. Its entirely possible to reach a well traveled planet on the other side of the galaxy faster than a star 5 ly away.
It also means that star empires, when viewed on the map, would not be one consecutive realm with defined borders, but individual planets spread out all over the galaxy. And for travel purposes all those planets are the same distance for each other as it requires roughly the same time to reach any of them no matter where you start from.

I also think it is interesting, but my observation is that many people are so used to the standard scifi tropes and the general idea how borders work that they have trouble understanding this concept.
People expect this but Starfinder looks and works like this
That means @OP when you are homebrewing you should decide early to either keep the standard travel from Starfinder or invent some other way of travel which conforms closer to what people expect.


Basically, splash different colors all over the map

It doesn't matter where the star is on the map, only what color paint it's been covered in. Thats your empire opportunity.


I forgot to mention that when you stick close to SF rules and lore it is also impossible to intercept or follow a ship inside the drift, but that is easily houseruled if you want. Just stick to whatever you decide is valid in your game.


Ixal wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
Well you're technically never moving FTL unless you're using a Constellation Orrery, as all the other Interstellar drives operate on the principle of planeshifting; move to another plane where locations correlate to locations in the prime material but the distances are compressed/foreshortened, travel through that plane at sub-light speeds, reach a location in that plane that correlates to your destination in the Prime Material, shift back. A lot of sci fi settings use this idea to get around the speed of light.

In Starfinder the locations of the drift does not correlate with the normal universe which is the twist that breakes some science fiction tropes and confuses some people.

In Starfinder distance does not matter at all. Its entirely possible to reach a well traveled planet on the other side of the galaxy faster than a star 5 ly away.
It also means that star empires, when viewed on the map, would not be one consecutive realm with defined borders, but individual planets spread out all over the galaxy. And for travel purposes all those planets are the same distance for each other as it requires roughly the same time to reach any of them no matter where you start from.

I also think it is interesting, but my observation is that many people are so used to the standard scifi tropes and the general idea how borders work that they have trouble understanding this concept.
People expect this but Starfinder looks and works like this
That means @OP when you are homebrewing you should decide early to either keep the standard travel from Starfinder or invent some other way of travel which conforms closer to what people expect.

Right, was gonna go into a spiel explaining that but it felt sidetracked from the point. I can ramble a bit.

Funnily enough, Halo of all settings, I'm given to understand, has a somewhat similar mechanic to warp/hyperspace travel where distance in the material space & distance in the hyper space - I believe they call it "slip space" but I'm not 100% on that - aren't correlated, either, so humanity's "most distant colony" is actually physically closer than a lot of it's more easily accessible ones. Though I'm also given to understand this is a retroactive explanation for some of the distances given in the novels not being consistent or making sense or some such.


However, unlike halo, drifting from planet to planet in a system still takes 1d6 days baseline, while radio (light) takes something like 12 hours to cross from one side of pluto's orbit to the other.

So depending on destination and material plane distance, using the drift might actually be slower than sending a message on the interplanetary comms. Just something interesting to keep in mind.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


The very short note before heading to work:

If you're comparing to Traveller or MegaTraveller, you don't have to worry about dying during character creation.

:>

Will try to come up with more when I get home from work.

Honestly, I'd say more broadly that, if you are actually looking for something like Traveller? Don't bother stopping, Starfinder is not for you. Starfinder is, quite intentionally, aiming for something much more like Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy. Even Star Trek is kind of an edge case for Starfinder, if only moderately so. Anything that intentionally aims for hard sci-fi, even a little, is just going to miss.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


The very short note before heading to work:

If you're comparing to Traveller or MegaTraveller, you don't have to worry about dying during character creation.

:>

Will try to come up with more when I get home from work.

Honestly, I'd say more broadly that, if you are actually looking for something like Traveller? Don't bother stopping, Starfinder is not for you. Starfinder is, quite intentionally, aiming for something much more like Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy. Even Star Trek is kind of an edge case for Starfinder, if only moderately so. Anything that intentionally aims for hard sci-fi, even a little, is just going to miss.

I'm personally super big on Star Wars and Gundam, with a little Star Trek, we have someone who likes hard sci-fi but we discussed it and they have no problem with 'crossing the streams.' Genre is sort of interesting because different facets are important to different people-- like some people are very rigid about horror being primarily about disempowerment, whereas I'm a lot more flexible. Hard Sci-fi is often defined by it's 'purity' of science basis, but I think for others like my friend it has more to do with tone and themes.

So even though I love Star Trek, I don't think what I like about it would be much of an edge case in Starfinder.

Speaking of which, I do think the drift is really cool, but I'll decide how FTL-travel works based off the flavor needs of the setting. Like, we might want more of a Mass Effect flavor, which would likely warrant stationary gates? I looked over the alternative forms of FTL in the Starship Operations manual, they all seem really cool.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Drift beacons are sort of like stationary gates!


Alternatively, Fold Gates work on a similar principle to Primary Relays as being a point to point system.

I've been toying with the idea of incorporating a modified version of ME's galactic civilization - somewhat scaled down - into Starfinder & having their systems be connected via the Fold Gate network as a stand in for the relays & as an explanation for why they're separate from the other galactic super powers as they aren't using drift tech yet.

Still hammering out some kinks.


In my games the main FTL is warp drive. Gates, wormholes and Mass Effect accelerators also exist.

Drift drive is a ancient and legendary form of FTL travel with few working examples in the galaxies.

My game setting is a hybrid mix of Mass Effect Milky Way, Mass Effect Andromeda, the Reef from Destiny, The Pact Worlds & The Star Wars galaxy to represent the Azlanti Star empire.


^ The Galactic Empire from Star Wars = the Azlanti Star Empire --> I totally see it!

:D


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:
Drift beacons are sort of like stationary gates!

I mean, not *really*, in that you don't need a drift beacon nearby to use a Drift Drive. Drift beacons effect your ability to reach a destination only. However, it would require very few changes to the setting as its described to say "the arrival destination of every Drift journey is at/near/within a fixed radius of a Drift Beacon". Functionaly, it'd be like a one-end gate FTL, where you just need a gate at your destination.

Changes this would induce:

1. Drift drives can only be used to systems with a beacon. This means pure blue sky exploration is out, at least with drift drives. However, its canon that while some drift beacons are manufactured, others appear spontaneously via the will of Triune, so its not that much of a restriction. Plus, other forms of FTL exist, you could always say that either the first-in exploration ships, or possibly the bulk scale drift beacon distribution vessels, used such.

2. If arrival must be near a drift beacon, then this means its much easier to maintain a defensive line posture within a star system. Each beacon is effectively a choke point, allowing for monitoring against invasion, or possibly even fortification. Honestly, though, the existing canonical variance in arrival point and time already make interstellar invasion really really hard, you could probably just dial that variance down and end up with the same net military situation.

3. Drift beacons are now a much more valuable target in war, since destroying beacons could greatly limit the ability of people to reach a given system. OTOH, limiting arrival to a system is probably less valuable than limiting departure, so it probably wouldn't be a big deal except for systems with only a single drift beacon. If your system has ten drift beacons, maybe someone might want to blow one up as a form of economic terrorism, and maybe the locals might consider blowing one up if they were desperate for resources and can't defend all ten, but its pretty marginal.

4. The system currently defines Near Space vs Far Space based on beacon density. This doesn't really make sense if beacons are arrival gates, but you can just say its a measure of navigational charting, and all practical rules remain unchanged. Coincidentally, the places charted well enough to be Near, are also the places with the most traffic and the most beacons.

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