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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berenger View Post
    That's actually not the case in Stars Without Number. The space combat system is specifically designed to have a slot and meaningful options for: one pilot, one captain, one comms officer, one engineer and one or more gunners. All of them require different skills to operate. Enemy hits regularly result in wounded crew or some variety of crisis on board that can be usually be dealt with in several ways. I have not yet encountered a character without at least a secondary or tertiary skill applicable in spaceship combat.
    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    While I haven't played that system, the same could be said about Starfinder or Star Wars RPGs (on paper, at least). But what of people who don't fit into those roles? And do the captain and engineer really get equal play time to the pilot and gunners in that system?

    If that's all true, it's a welcome exception and I may have to look into it further the next time we play a sci-fi game.
    In case it helps, Starfinder has the following starship combat roles:

    Captain - Leader and can act in any phase of starship combat. Also gets access to some unique actions like taunting foes into mistakes and exhorting allies to exceed their limits.

    Chief Mate - Can either manually push a system or assist another role each round (must be chosen at the start of the round). Can assume Captain role in an emergency. (Any role can assume Captain but the Chief Mate doing it likely means not leaving another role unoccupied.)

    Engineer - can push systems, reallocate power, and make repairs.

    Pilot - move the ship, bend or exceed maneuverability and speed limitations

    Gunner(s) - operate weapons systems.

    Science Officer(s) - analyze threats, identify hazards, aid with targeting and communications. Can also serve as medic if needed

    Magic Officer(s) (optional) - identify and exploit supernatural phenomena, briefly augment systems/defenses/weapons/crew, utilize minor divinations/precognitions. Can also serve as medic if needed

    There are also rules for special combat phases like evasive maneuvers or hostile boarding.
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    The main problem with Stationery is that it's 3.P in storage, with all the character building pieces and gear progression that implies. It's my favourite iteration of 3.P, but I'd still rather pay Frontier Space, Stellar Adventures, or Traveller isf I was giving the PCs a starship (if not any of the 40k games get added to the list).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    I personally wouldn't take points from Starfinder. There were... issues... with all the space stuff at release and to took... some years before they even had things for casters and melee warriors to do. Unfortunately a great many of the actions in Starfinder space combat boil down to "make a medium/hard skill check to get +2, apply -2, or reroll 1s on somebody else's pilot or gunnery roll that matters"

    Of course I haven't touched the system in like a year and a half or two years, so it could all be fixed with another two or three splats & ditching a lot of the original stuff.

    That does bring up something. Try to make sure that all the archetypes your system pushes the characters into will have something to do. Don't rely on players taking & maxxing out the correct skills & attributes for space stuff if it might not align with their archetype.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Honestly, I suspect Starfinder works better if you leave the ship out of it

    The standard roles for spaceship combat which tend to matter are the pilot, the gunner(s), and the engineer. The former makes sure the ship's movements are predictable, the gunners decide which enemies need to be taken out, and the engineer messes around with power allocation and fixing vital systems. Anything else, even the captain, tends to boil down to giving the pilot or gunners a bonus (except for the sensor operator, who occasionally gets to detect stealthed ships). This is why I suspect most RPGs which focus on space combat give every PC a fighter/mech.

    Honestly, the stuff on the ground is generally more interesting in my experience. Even if it boils down to bring the guy with the multilaser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Oh I'm not saying to lift all the exact mechanics from SF, I'm sure these other systems have their own rules for such. Rather, I was just sparking ideas as far as "I'm on the bridge and we're shooting at something, what do?" beyond "go play Xbox until these 3 players are done with the encounter or you blow up and die."
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    While I haven't played that system, the same could be said about Starfinder or Star Wars RPGs (on paper, at least). But what of people who don't fit into those roles? And do the captain and engineer really get equal play time to the pilot and gunners in that system?

    If that's all true, it's a welcome exception and I may have to look into it further the next time we play a sci-fi game.
    Who gets to shine the most depends on what exactly the crew hopes to accomplish (e.g. taking down enemy engines - job for gunner and possibly comms officer, outrunning a hostile fleet - job for pilot and engineer). But the whole system hinges on the crew cooperating to generate Command Points to enable each other to do stuff.

    In my experience, it's more easy to participate in starship combat compared to other systems I played (say, Star Wars Saga Edition or d20 Future). This is because every single skill encompasses a wide range of expertise and many tasks are not restricted to characters possessing some very specific talent. For example, a neo-barbarian horse archer nomad from some backwater world can use his Shoot skill to operate starship guns or his Pilot skill (hitherto only used to ride horses) to fly a shuttle as soon as he gets a training montage and a couple of weeks to acquaint himself with the new technology - he does not have to wait for three levels to obtain ranks in some obscure and possibly "cross-class" skill or get a feat called "Starship Operation (Space Transport)" or whatever.

    If you are interested, take a look yourself - it's free. The rules on space combat are on pages 114-119: DriveThruRPG.com
    Last edited by Berenger; 2021-09-14 at 04:54 PM.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    I think with space combat it depends a lot in the size of the party. Once you get to 4+ players it can be difficult to give them enough things to do in a combat.

    My solution is to increase the number of ships the players have. My most successful campaign in this was based on the 1930s trope of ships carrying one or two single engined fighters as air pirate defense. The core players had a main ship with a crew of 3 (pilot/navigator, gunner, e-warfare/comms)and 2 players had single seat fighters. Over the course of the campaign we had a few other players join/drop out and they took extra roles on the ship or provided an extra fighter.
    I have run campaigns where the players had 2 ships, which worked well in combat but it also lead to splitting the party issues.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Yeah, Starfinder was the system I've played recently that has the exact problems I mentioned.

    Sure, it has a bunch of roles for various crew members, but in practice it breaks down to Pilot doing the most important rolls and positioning the ship (which is of paramount importance considering weapon range and ship firing arcs), Gunners doing the actual attack and damage rolls (and getting all the glory), and everyone else makes one skill check a round for some minor bonus.

    In short, the roles are not of equal importance and don't get equal play time by a long shot.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    In short, the roles are not of equal importance and don't get equal play time by a long shot.
    That seems like a GM issue to me. Yeah if all your fights take place in a featureless vacuum, the Science Officer won't have a lot to do. And if your ship only needs the guns to have power, your Engineer won't have a lot to do. And so on.

    If you're GMing for a group of three that's completely fine, but if your party is 5+, it might be worth considering whether your encounter design can be adjusted to add fun for the others - unless you're okay with the rest of them checking TikTok and zoning out until the fight ends, anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    I do think there's something about being able to independently position one-self and take responsibility/ownership of that which is appealing about the character-level stuff, and which the ship-level stuff can struggle with if you have players be crew of a single ship participating in a zoomed-out fight. For example, if you're the gunner you can say 'I need you to give me a good approach for a shot' but in the end you don't really have the ability to choose to prioritize maneuvering for that shot over other things. So even if you have stuff to do, it can feel more obligate (being the gunner means its your gunnery stat, but little else). So I'd lean in favor of every PC having a mech/dogfighter/etc which leaves the mothership and acts quasi-independently during such encounters, with the mothership acting more like an NPC.

    Or if you are going to do crew-of-a-ship, I'd actually have the focus be on stuff happening inside the ship during the fight rather than the relationship between the ship and external things. So something like the gameplay of FTL or Shortest Trip to Earth where a lot of it is moving people around inside the ship to deal with emergencies rather than positioning relative to the enemy vessels and chasing them around a battlemap and so on. Possibly maybe even make it so that predicting who would win a ship-to-ship fight 'if nothing about the situation changes' is very easy, so that you can run things like 'we will definitely lose unless we manage to get 4 victory points in crew-scale objectives against the enemy (via boarding, etc)' or 'we will definitely win if we can prevent the enemy from scoring 3 or more victory points against us', with some weapons/etc introducing Complications which have to be dealt with at crew-scale (fires, invaders, knocking out crew and forcing people to switch stations, interrupting power, etc).

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    What on earth is the science officer doing in the middle of combat? It's a very important position sure, but like the medical officer the role's duties probably begin after combat.

    But honestly, look at Star Trek. Space combat is rare, the interesting stuff tends to happen on the planet (and if not it's on the ship). Even in Khan's first appearance he's on the ship and trying to take it over, not commanding his own. If space combat is important it's generally much better to make the players a fighter/mech squadron, and larger battles are generally the backdrop to a more intimate confrontation with Char or something else important to the PCs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I am thinking of taking a break from fantast and take a shot at Stars Without Number, giving the game a more pulpy and retro-futurisric angle. As someone who's pretty much entirely run elfgames set in Fantasyland, what changes in how GMs have to approach and think of things?
    When we first started playing Traveller with a group who'd been playing D&D for a while (when Traveller first came out) we were fortunate in having among us a lot of guys who had read a lot of science fiction and space opera and pulps - and yet we wanted to and could not wield a light saber in that game. The key to our success, albeit modest - we had trouble keeping games together - was in focusing on "that's our space ship, and on it we will ___ {fill in the blank}" This made it, in a lot of ways, a pirate game with high tech: we went from place to place seeking our fortune with about three ideas foremost;
    (1) upgrades to the ship, or a bigger ship,
    (2) loot/riches of some kind (we tended to trade as we went from spaceport to spaceport with the added complication of 'if your ship is wrecked you are in a vacuum and you all die unless your escape pod works and maybe then you all die")
    (3) avoiding combat unless we set the conditions of the battle and avoiding "the authorities" as much as possible. {Needless to say, when I first saw Firefly, my reaction was "Traveller Adventure Module!"}

    Not sure how Stars Without Number facilitates that kind of play.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-09-16 at 09:25 PM.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    I currently have the idea to begin the campaign with "You just had to leave the last planet in a great hurry for reasons that were really not your fault, but some people might not see it that way. You were not able to deliver your cargo and get paid the money you need to refuel your hyperdrive. You only made it to the next system that has a small colony and have to find fuel with barely any money."
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Example of space combat or its lack:
    • Star Trek and Star Wars have very little space combat.
    • Dune was carefully designed to dial down technology (knife fighting, no computers) and didn't have space combat. It also ruled out nukes via extremely harsh taboo.
    • Babylon 5 had more space combat, and it had some great emotional moments in space battles, but I don't see how that could translate well to an RPG.
    • The Miles Vorkosigan books had some boarding battles and a hair-raising unarmed-shuttle-under-fire scene, but they basically stipulated that actual space battles were computer-controlled boredom.


    Some things I think space settings suggest:
    • Everybody is at least somewhat smart and careful, due to all the fragile life-essential stuff around. GruckSmashStuff barbarians or MeDoMischief kender aren't great fits.
    • Social scenes can be very different from populated planet to planet.
    • Exploration is almost entirely intellectual. The old D&D model of dextrous thieves who climb walls and pick locks doesn't fit well.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey View Post
    • Star Trek and Star Wars have very little space combat.
    Unless you count the Star Wars movies, I guess.

    Something curious I noticed yesterday thinking about how my campaign could have planets with multiple states, is that about every sci-fi setting seems to have one big human empire or federation or something. Star Trek, Dune, and Star Wars had it, and since then it appears to have just become a default standard that I never see really questioned or anything interesting done with.
    There's also so much war that the distinction of Military Sci-Fi seems almost redundant. I was thinking that with how I want to set things up at the basic level, space armies don't make much sense in the big picture, and there should be more focus on paramilitary police forces that maintain order and security inside systems rather than wage massive battles in the far corners of the galaxy.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Unless you count the Star Wars movies, I guess.

    Something curious I noticed yesterday thinking about how my campaign could have planets with multiple states, is that about every sci-fi setting seems to have one big human empire or federation or something. Star Trek, Dune, and Star Wars had it, and since then it appears to have just become a default standard that I never see really questioned or anything interesting done with.
    There's also so much war that the distinction of Military Sci-Fi seems almost redundant. I was thinking that with how I want to set things up at the basic level, space armies don't make much sense in the big picture, and there should be more focus on paramilitary police forces that maintain order and security inside systems rather than wage massive battles in the far corners of the galaxy.
    I've only seen Episodes 1-7 of Star Wars. I struggle to recall any case where two spaceships were shooting at each other. Even the long climax to Episode 4 didn't really fit that model.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Unless you count the Star Wars movies, I guess.
    Kind of depends on the era. The Original Trilogy is actually fairly light (it began right at the tail end of one, has one at the end of ANH, none in ESB, and one the main characters aren't participating in in RotJ), although ESB does have a space chase. Both the Prequel and Sequel Trilogies are heavier on them.

    Something curious I noticed yesterday thinking about how my campaign could have planets with multiple states, is that about every sci-fi setting seems to have one big human empire or federation or something. Star Trek, Dune, and Star Wars had it, and since then it appears to have just become a default standard that I never see really questioned or anything interesting done with.
    There's also so much war that the distinction of Military Sci-Fi seems almost redundant. I was thinking that with how I want to set things up at the basic level, space armies don't make much sense in the big picture, and there should be more focus on paramilitary police forces that maintain order and security inside systems rather than wage massive battles in the far corners of the galaxy.
    From stuff I've read, both more modern examples.

    Revelation Space doesn't have interstellar empires in the classical sense, and there's no certainty that the human groups within one system are part of the same state (as meaningless as that is for some groups). The important cultural groups are more along ideological lines, and there's a sense that the hard speed of light limit means that this can be somewhat arbitrary. There's also no interstellar wars, although there were many millennia ago, because there's just no real reason to fight over anything and starships are very expensive.

    In Night's Dawn both interstellar empires and space navies are a thing, although there's no single human empire. Sadly there's issues with how planets get colonised, but most early colonies have their own empires and the interstellar UN equivalent acts as a de facto Great and Bountiful Human Empire. There's also relatively little war, but enough that a recent one is plot important.
    Last edited by Anonymouswizard; 2021-09-15 at 09:22 AM.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey View Post
    I've only seen Episodes 1-7 of Star Wars. I struggle to recall any case where two spaceships were shooting at each other. Even the long climax to Episode 4 didn't really fit that model.
    Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi also had space combat, but I guess you missed that part of the original movies. The focus of the movies isn't SFX, like so many modern movies do; the focus was on the narrative arc with a bunch of SFX/Action interspersed to keep it exciting.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi also had space combat, but I guess you missed that part of the original movies. The focus of the movies isn't SFX, like so many modern movies do; the focus was on the narrative arc with a bunch of SFX/Action interspersed to keep it exciting.
    There certainly were hair-raising space ESCAPES at various points in the movies. I'm just not recalling the combat.

    In particular, the original trilogy stipulated that the Empire's power seemed overwhelming, which is why the Rebellion was disinclined to face them in open battle except for Luke's desperate raid.

    That said, I confess to forgetting that the second Death Star was destroyed in a second raid in the form of a more conventional battle.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey
    The Miles Vorkosigan books had some boarding battles and a hair-raising unarmed-shuttle-under-fire scene, but they basically stipulated that actual space battles were computer-controlled boredom.
    Which is probably closer to reality if we ever get to space battles, a la Enders Game (The book). The space battles in Star Wars (eps 4-6) owed an artistic debt to George Lucas watching WWII movies involving naval combat that included aircraft carriers ... and old news reel footage ...
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-09-15 at 09:50 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    That seems like a GM issue to me. Yeah if all your fights take place in a featureless vacuum, the Science Officer won't have a lot to do. And if your ship only needs the guns to have power, your Engineer won't have a lot to do. And so on.
    In Starfinder its pretty much baked into the rules and adventures. I don't think it helps that the DCs for that system are pretty much based on the PC in a role being assumed to have a max stat + skill. Strength based warrior types and wisdom based casters were pretty screwed for a long time, and even the recent splats didn't do much for the strength characters (the "make an athletics check to open a valve or throw a lever that gives the pilot a +1" type stuff).

    I have heard good sounds on the way the StarTrek rpg handles it. Although I don't have that system in my library (do have some adventures tho) so I can't give anything more than "haven't heard complaints every time it comes up".
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    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Which is probably closer to reality if we ever get to space battles, a la Enders Game (The book). The space battles in Star Wars (eps 4-6) owed an artistic debt to George Lucas watching WWII movies involving naval combat that included aircraft carriers ... and old news reel footage ...
    And the Star Trek:TOS manuevers vs. a cloaked Romulan ship were probably inspired by WW2 submarine movies.

    The exceptions to my "little space combat in Star Trek and Star Wars" claim keep adding up ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    What on earth is the science officer doing in the middle of combat? It's a very important position sure, but like the medical officer the role's duties probably begin after combat.
    Several things, it's a matter of imaginative encounter design. Some Star Trek examples:

    - Defeating an enemy ship's defenses (e.g. a cloak) by triangulating scans.
    - Inserting/extracting a boarding party safely. (This is another good use for the remaining PCs if not every bridge role is needed, fyi.)
    - Spotting a trap or feint by the enemy by correlating their actual damage taken to anomalous behavior.
    - Using space phenomena for cover, hiding, ambush, tactical repositioning, or escape
    - Using space phenomena to weaken or overcome a superior foe's defenses or offenses
    - Meat-and-potatoes buffs to targeting, maneuverability, or protection during a firefight.
    - Working with Engineering to rig up a dramatic eleventh-hour upgrade or new capability to turn the tide of a fight that is otherwise going south

    You don't have to look far to find examples of all of these that can be drawn from. But if your encounters are just having two ships circle each other in empty space trading shots, yeah you're unlikely to have interesting moments like these. The goal is to not do that, unless simplicity is your aim anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Something I noticed in a range of space games that are based on a D&D chasis is that they keep the damage for close range wepons the same. Daggers and swords still deal 1d4 to 1d8 damage. But all the cool guns found in these game deal way more damage than bow, often jumping from a measly 1d6 (with no Strength bonus) to 2d8 or even higher. While hit points for PCs and NPCs are not changed.
    In most cases, you expect space games to have much more normal people like basic guards, soldiers, and criminals as adversaries, with monster with multiple Hit Dice being a rare exception. That of course means lots of opportunities for one hit kills, but PCs remain highly vulnerable into higher levels.
    i think this also changes the dynamics of ambushs and arests. Being caught in the open and surrounded by enemies can leace little choice but surrendering. And even pretty small fish NPCs can get a drop on the players and seriously threaten them with a gun. Of course a group of 3rd level PCs will beat a single normal human in a gunfighr, but there is a real chance that one of them could get killed before the other PCs mow down the enemy. Hands up and nobody move becomes something PCs must take much more serious, and it can come from very unassuming NPCs if they just have a gun.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Something I noticed in a range of space games that are based on a D&D chasis is that they keep the damage for close range wepons the same. Daggers and swords still deal 1d4 to 1d8 damage. But all the cool guns found in these game deal way more damage than bow, often jumping from a measly 1d6 (with no Strength bonus) to 2d8 or even higher. While hit points for PCs and NPCs are not changed.
    In most cases, you expect space games to have much more normal people like basic guards, soldiers, and criminals as adversaries, with monster with multiple Hit Dice being a rare exception. That of course means lots of opportunities for one hit kills, but PCs remain highly vulnerable into higher levels.
    i think this also changes the dynamics of ambushs and arests. Being caught in the open and surrounded by enemies can leace little choice but surrendering. And even pretty small fish NPCs can get a drop on the players and seriously threaten them with a gun. Of course a group of 3rd level PCs will beat a single normal human in a gunfighr, but there is a real chance that one of them could get killed before the other PCs mow down the enemy. Hands up and nobody move becomes something PCs must take much more serious, and it can come from very unassuming NPCs if they just have a gun.
    It depends very much on the setting. Star Wars and Dune for example make hand to hand combat more lethal than shooting.
    However generally speaking in a non propriety setting shooting is more lethal and more common than melee.

    Also in ship/mech combat the setting usually gives players an incentive to not fight to the last.

    So surrendur/running away is more feasible,

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    I had not thought of that. Wounds heal by themselves for free. A destroyed vehicle is likely gone forever.
    Players don't generally expect PCs to get killed just like that, but with vehicle there is much less readon for GMs to hold back.

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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Something I noticed in a range of space games that are based on a D&D chasis is that they keep the damage for close range wepons the same. Daggers and swords still deal 1d4 to 1d8 damage. But all the cool guns found in these game deal way more damage than bow, often jumping from a measly 1d6 (with no Strength bonus) to 2d8 or even higher. While hit points for PCs and NPCs are not changed.
    In most cases, you expect space games to have much more normal people like basic guards, soldiers, and criminals as adversaries, with monster with multiple Hit Dice being a rare exception. That of course means lots of opportunities for one hit kills, but PCs remain highly vulnerable into higher levels.
    i think this also changes the dynamics of ambushs and arests. Being caught in the open and surrounded by enemies can leace little choice but surrendering. And even pretty small fish NPCs can get a drop on the players and seriously threaten them with a gun. Of course a group of 3rd level PCs will beat a single normal human in a gunfighr, but there is a real chance that one of them could get killed before the other PCs mow down the enemy. Hands up and nobody move becomes something PCs must take much more serious, and it can come from very unassuming NPCs if they just have a gun.

    I ran a space game like this, and it really depends how you run things.

    I just had Laser Blasters as D10 ranged weapons with no reloading property. Laser pistols were d8s. Which, yeah, makes things a bit more dangerous, but not notably so. I wouldn't say 2d8 ray guns are an inherent requirement or anything.

    That said, it DOES make it a lot easier to justify enemies with unique weapons that the PC's can't really use, especially if you're like me and you are just refluffing monster stat blocks for the most part, although it kind of requires some buy-in from the players to not strip every enemy for parts and insist on reverse engineering their mechanics.


    For example, I said "The Space Pirates have somebody in Power Armor", this particular Power Armored Pirate has identical stats to an Ogre, in melee they punch you for 2d8+4, at range they shoot you for 2d6+4.
    Unlike Generic Fantasy setting, I don't have to explain why these particular enemies have befriended an Ogre, the "Ogre" is an ordinary space pirate, just one in some stolen power armor, so it's easier to have a mixed group of enemies with wildly different capabilities, even if it's theoretically all one species or whatever.


    The Buy-in from the PC's is that, because the Power Armor statblock is now equipment, if one of them is like "Sweet! I want Power Armor!", you either need to indulge them, or go down a rabbit hole of why they can't fix up this power armor.

    In general, the big shift is that abilities that were Inherent often get refluffed as being Equipment based. Without player buy-in that "We've stretched Flash Gordon over the bones of D&D", you can get into a lot of frustration. "If the Wizard's fireballs are actually Grenades, why can't he give one to each of us so we can open a fight with 4 Fireballs?"


    Edit: I'll admit I mostly got around this by formatting the thing I ran as a series of one-shots with a recurring cast, in Adventure Serial format. Characters never leveled up, and didn't really change between sessions, so there wasn't really much motivation to scrap for treasure.



    Edit II: In a more general sense, once you move to Space a bunch of stuff becomes Assumed for most character to have access to.

    For example, communication, both short and long range can be casually assumed, as can access to information if your version of space has some internet equivalent.

    Any Space Adventurer probably has access to some form of Spacesuit, which means that they have a decent degree of environmental protection, the type of thing that most Fantasy characters would need a reasonably powerful magic item to get.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    PCs probably have access to space suits. But they might not always be wearing them when they would come in handy.

    Players could take the cool power armor from a group of bounty hunters they defeated, but their bodies might not physically fit inside them. (Except that one guy who insisted on playing that weird alien species and is having the time of his life with his new toy. )

    For the campaign that I am working on, I've decided that there is direct beam radio communication, which has a limited range of a few kilometers that might be able to reach a ship in low orbit if it is going right over head.
    The alternative option is to link into the local public communication network, but that only works in the vicinity of signal towers. (I assume that most space ports automatically give out temporary network access key as part of the landing fee or when going through customs.)
    The third method is to connect to the local network, which is connected to the orbital satellite network, so you can make calls to colonies in other parts of the planet or to ships in orbit. While inside fully developed cities where you properly went through customs you can use your phone any way you like, being outside cities means your comms are back to being walkie-talkies. (Except of course on homeworlds, which have fully global infrastructure with worldwide network coverage.)

    Modern gadgets can be nice tools in many situations, but it's also quite easy to create plenty of situations where the players have to make do without them from time to time. Which I think might be a cool way to mix things up and make different planets feel and play different. Hiding on a planet with green skinned humanoids is easy with some kind of extravagant headgear. Hiding on a planet of 1 meter tall grasshoppers is a completely different story.
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    PCs probably have access to space suits. But they might not always be wearing them when they would come in handy.
    What you'd probably want in this case is some sort of "Are you wearing a space suit" rule

    Like, If you're wearing a space suit, you have access to it's onboard tools, plus a sealed environment, and resistance to cold damage
    HOWEVER, if you become bloodied while wearing the suit, the suit has been breached, and no longer functions until it's fixed, which can be Expensive. This gives a reason to not just be wearing space suits all the time.

    Players could take the cool power armor from a group of bounty hunters they defeated, but their bodies might not physically fit inside them. (Except that one guy who insisted on playing that weird alien species and is having the time of his life with his new toy. )
    That's fine if they're only encountering Weird Aliens, but you might want a general system for not needing to convert every monster statblock into a set of PC usable equipment. Depends on how many fiddly new rules you want to make vs refluffing existing mechanics. Especially if you want to use robots with mounted weapons or what have you.

    There's a certain type of player that will expect everything used against them to be something they can pry off and reconfigure into a usable weapon for themselves. It's probably a good thing to get a sense of whether your players have such inclinations.


    Edit: You'll also want to get a sense of how much your Players are going to be Gun Nuts.

    In my game, I had Laser Pistols at d8, Laser Rifles at d10, Heavy Blasters at d12 (Basically just moved Crossbows up one die type and took off reloading), but if somebody really wants to use, say, a Shotgun or Sniper Rifle or Laser Machine Gun or what have you, you might need to get a bit more granular with rules.

    Like, an easy way to do it to say "Laser Rifle deals d10. Shotgun deals d12 but has a shorter range. Sniper Rifle deals d12 with longer range, but you have disadvantage if you move on the same round you shoot it".
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    Default Re: What changes in Space Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Eh, I've read several science fiction series with long histories.

    [snip]

    It is less common to have it have any impact on the story though, and you'll rarely get anything but broad outlines in the text itself. Science fiction is much more likely to have the threat be 'the new superweapon' than 'the ancient demon lord'.
    Of course, for a notable exception, there is Stargate SG-1.

    Of course, this show did a lot of things that were not typical. The main characters were modern day Earth people who didn't start off with any of the cool technology that all the space-faring races had. All they had was one Stargate. Then, they explored the galaxy through the Stargate, learned about what was out there, and slowly gained new technology from their travels in a way that doesn't usually happen in most science fiction TV shows. And a big part of their exploration was learning about the history of the galaxy and the various races. They even had an equivalent of an "ancient demon lord" in the form of Anubis, as well as several ancient (and Ancient) pieces of technology to be recovered.

    And you've got to love a show that actually has a satisfying ending with all the main bad guys having been defeated.

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