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  #1  
Old Oct 30th, 2020, 04:09 AM
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New Starfinder DM here. Lots of questions...

So... I bought the starfinder beginner box so I can get my family hooked and started on Starfinder. I was the one assigned to be the DM. Everyone in my family wants to be the player and no one wants to be the DM... But we need a DM so I stepped forward. I ran that then grabbed another adventure called Into the Unknown and we got to see more mechanics that were not included in the beginner box.

So as the DM and seeing a handful of the mechanics to include the starships and starship battles amongst other things... I have a ton of questions so that maybe I can just make up my own thing and run that instead. I have not been impressed yet by the beginner box and that adventure its left me scratching my head a few times. Now I don't to overwhelm you all with questions (or myself with all the answers) so I'll ask a few at a time and I'll try to keep this updated with questions and what post number I ask them in so if you don't feel as though you can give 2 cents on one set of questions maybe you can lurk around and give me advice on other questions I may have and ask later.

So I have to start with... Starships:

Post #1
Obtaining a Starship: Is it just me who doesn't like that credits and build points are their own separate and not interchangeable currencies?
Now the Core rulebook talks about a starship can be "purchased with an exorbitant loan" but how would you role play that if you can't convert Build Points to credits or vise versa? Do you just have the players forever pay a monthly payment to some bank loan company? (side note and question I just thought up typing that up last question... It could be fun to see a bank attempt to reposes a starship. But after how many failed/lost starship battles would the bank give up trying to reposes that particular starship and just let them keep it anyways? lol)
I don't know I guess my problem is that it feels like I am having is trying to find a reason or excuse in game and role play out why a PC can't buy their own starship with a ridiculous amount of credits they may have saved up.


Post #4
Starship battles: You can have a ship with a minimum of 1 crew needed (and some that can't hold but one crew) but... You need a Captain, pilot, science officer, engineer, and gunner for a starship battle... Am I okay to say that all of those positions can be done from one position? Well I mean for a Captain I can understand not needing one if its just one crew member. But am I expected to DM a starship battle and tell the player they can only pilot their ship or fire their guns this turn and not both?

Post #8
Piloting: If a player wants to fly forward one round and fly forward at the same speed next turn is there something that allows that in an auto pilot form so that the pilot can then change rules to engineer fix something? If there isn't anything official that permits that what do you think about that? Would it be a bad idea to allow this and why if so?

Post #12
Selling Starships: Should I even bother letting this be a thing? Because firstly I can't let them sell it for credits... and secondly if I let then sell a starship for build points I can see that also going badly because then it could send them up to a higher tier ship that they may not be ready to handle. I know that some DCs are dependent on the tier so that can make using their starship harder to do if they are too low level for their higher tier ship. If selling starships shouldn't be a thing how would you work that out in roleplaying that out that they can't do anything with a left over starship from a starship battle?
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Last edited by GodRosen; Oct 31st, 2020 at 01:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old Oct 30th, 2020, 05:18 AM
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You're the GM. You get to determine what goes into acquiring a starship for your particular players. If you want to do it with a large expenditure of credits, that works just fine. You can set an arbitrary price. Players could also salvage a damaged ship they find, or an organization they work for might supply them with a ship for use in their duties. I've seen stories where the party finds an abandoned ship while they are out with a loaner, as well. There are plenty of ways to give the players a ship, and what truly matters is that the mechanism you choose serves the story or scenario you're presenting. You're an experienced role-player. I trust that you can make a flavorful decision in this. The key is making sure the caliber of ship fits the place the party is at in their journey.

You've got this!
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 01:51 PM
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First game I ever joined on site kinda started with a would be crew trying to get a ship...and deciding to steal one. Forget build points and make session zero a grab and go. The ship taken can belong to known bad guys, thus your players can still be big dang heroes.
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 01:55 PM
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Yeah I know there are a lot of ways to obtain a starship I guess I just prefer that everything can be interchanged with a single currency.

my next questions is about
Starship battles: You can have a ship with a minimum of 1 crew needed (and some that can't hold but one crew) but... You need a Captain, pilot, science officer, engineer, and gunner for a starship battle... Am I okay to say that all of those positions can be done from one position like the pilots seat? Well I mean for a Captain I can understand not needing one if its just one crew member. But am I expected to DM a starship battle and tell the player they can only pilot their ship or fire their guns this turn and not both?
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 02:41 PM
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When your ship has less crew than the number of available roles, they need to be assigned to particular roles, with the remaining ones left uncrewed. In the case of a single-crew vehicle, that usually means putting the one crew member on piloting, but they can move off that role and onto another as needed.

In addition:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AoNSRD
Some vehicles have weapons bound to their steering devices or weapons that are operated from the same control panel. These can be fired when you are piloting, though you normally can’t fire the vehicle’s weapons on the same turn that you race (or on the same turn that you take another full action) because you don’t have enough available actions. Weapons mounted in other manners typically need to be fired by creatures on the vehicle that are dedicated gunners.

Last edited by Ziether; Oct 30th, 2020 at 03:43 PM.
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 03:38 PM
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I've been running SF games since its debut at GenCon 50.

You aren't meant to acquire starships with regular credits or purchase build points AFAIK, but they are treated more like plot devices/rewards to be provided by employers/commandeered/stolen etc. My kids just hijacked the Klokworx whatever-it-is from one of the Dead Suns books and it was totally epic! Way better than accumulating credits, IMO. Building your own ship is extremely complicated, but you can find some nice online tools for doing so. Playing the adventure paths provides nice regular upgrades to keep pace with the baddies.

As far as an undermanned crew goes, switching roles is a thing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjammer SRD
You can switch between roles (or assume a role if you don’t already have one), but this change must occur at the start of a round before the Engineering phase. You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).
This is fine if you don't need every role filled in a given round, but that's almost never the case. It's been impossible for me to assemble the six players required to fully man a starship (Captain, Pilot, Science Officer, Engineer, and two gunners), so I allow players to fill two roles best befitting their skill sets and it's worked out pretty well.

I love Starfinder, but find that there's a practical minimum party size requirement that really hinders the game a lot, primarily in starship combat.

Last edited by Baxder; Oct 30th, 2020 at 03:48 PM.
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zevonian View Post
First game I ever joined on site kinda started with a would be crew trying to get a ship...and deciding to steal one. Forget build points and make session zero a grab and go. The ship taken can belong to known bad guys, thus your players can still be big dang heroes.
Stealing is such an ugly term. Maybe we should call it what it is....redistribution of wealth.
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 05:41 PM
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Okay I just wanted to make sure I understood that right. I was kind of confused to have all the positions you can fill in a starship battle... but be in a ship that can only fit a single person. So at most a person can fill pilot and gunner at once and its up to the DM to scale the encounter accordingly when running a ship battle against a ship that is under staffed.

A couple questions in response to that and about piloting.

I haven't seen anything about auto piloting. If a player wants to fly forward one round and fly forward at the same speed next turn is there something that allows that in an auto pilot form so that the pilot can then change rules to engineer fix something? If there isn't anything official that permits that what do you think about that? Would it be a bad idea to allow this and why if so?
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 05:44 PM
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You're looking for Core Rulebook page 280 (or here in the SRD). Ships can be equipped with autopilot, in which case they have options.
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 05:51 PM
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Oh! Autopilot... I haven't read this part of the book. Let me do that that now. Thanks. (There is so many pages to the starships chapter I haven't had the chance to read it all.)

Edit: Double oh... This isn't even in the starship chapter. Would explain why I haven't seen it yet.
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Last edited by GodRosen; Oct 30th, 2020 at 05:55 PM.
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Old Oct 30th, 2020, 05:54 PM
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I don't blame you at all. The book is enormous. Thankfully, if you're looking for something specific, the (Archive of Nethys) SRD's Rules heading puts page numbers on its listings. You can always look it up there and then use it to guide your exploration of the physical book.

You care to ask the questions. That bodes well.
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Old Oct 31st, 2020, 01:36 AM
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Selling Starships: Should I even bother letting this be a thing? Because firstly I can't let them sell it for credits... and secondly if I let then sell a starship for build points I can see that also going badly because then it could send them up to a higher tier ship that they may not be ready to handle. I know that some DCs are dependent on the tier so that can make using their starship harder to do if they are too low level for their higher tier ship. If selling starships shouldn't be a thing how would you work that out in roleplaying that out that they can't do anything with a left over starship from a starship battle?
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Old Oct 31st, 2020, 01:45 AM
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Some thoughts I just had:

If you want them to be able to buy a ship, and you want it to have a financial impact on them, go ahead and let them buy a ship, but they were only able to do it because someone was desperate for the credits or something similar. In the future, they can't purchase certain classifications of ships because they lack the requisite authorizations for such a transaction. The Pact Worlds government (or applicable homebrew entity) won't allow it. Selling their current ship also requires finding a buyer. Perhaps that isn't feasible, or the ship they have isn't desired. The used starship dealership might buy it, but they don't pay enough to cover transportation back to the hotel.

There are always ways to work around making sure you get your players into an enjoyable place.
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Old Nov 1st, 2020, 01:27 AM
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okay I think I only have one more set of questions this time asking about selling stuff but vacation is over and I want to look a couple of things up before I ask them so it may take me a couple of days to get up the next set of questions.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2020, 02:31 PM
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Buying/Selling

I would look at it like buying/selling a submarine (in modern times).
Even a one user local-only sub is hundreds of thousands.
A small submarine that has range with usable features can be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

-me
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