7
\$\begingroup\$

In Starfinder, using a homebrew setting, I had my group encounter a ship that was above their level in order to urge them to run. However, the group decided to go for the route of "If we are going to die we are going to take them with us," and rammed the enemy ship before escaping to the pods. The pods landed on a planet with primitive people, and the group is planning to salvage the remains of their ship and settle down on the planet turning it into a base of operations.

Are there any mechanics built in to Starfinder for those who wish to build a colony on a planet?

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

No, there isn't

As for this date, there are no published rules, or 3rd party that I have heard of, that introduces any rules for building bases. However, I had this discussion with a community member of the Starfinder RPG discord server, where the group was a rebel group using stealth tactics to undermine a stronger enemy with starfighters and a base of operations to return and rest, which is a cool idea for a star wars rebellion-type game.

The idea we came up with was to split the party's BP with a few smaller ships, which would require the GM to also balance combats accordingly or they would get stomped by enemies using bigger ships, and use part of that BP to build the non-combat ship accessories for their base of operations, like med bay, engineering, and science lab.

Of course, since they won't have ships, the BP could be spent entirely on their base/colony.

Downtime rules

I also suggested that he would look at the downtime rules for Pathfinder to gather ideas from, but considering the theme and a complete difference in currency, we can't just use that system without heavy modifications. The main differences here would be on the currency and flavor of buildings and teams.

A proper scale, at least for the early levels would be to consider every gp as 100 credits. So, a day working to get labor or goods would cost about 100 credits, and produce enough capital that is worth about 200 credits.

This would allow them to build several structures, hire teams to do particular jobs and they would be able to handle the currency generated so they could invest on new structures or building new gear, probably building the necessary so they can fly out of the planet.

Kingdom Building rules

A lot of things in the Kingdom Building system have to be discarded, and the remaining will have to be modified. In concept it may sound easy, the general idea is easy, but the execution would take you a lot of time and they will be playing a different game, much better suited in the rules for a Pathfinder game using the Technology Guide and Starfinder as inspiration and conversion ideas.

The kingdom roles will have to be changed, as they are written with a monarchy in mind, which isn't well suited for a sci-fi setting, as even modern monarchies are different. Hexes become irrelevant with highspeed travels, as bikes and cars are nearly as fast as airships. Loyalty become irrelevant, people really have no loyalty to their leaders, but that stat could be renamed to Satisfaction or Happiness without a lot of issues. With no hexes, you need a new form of controlling the DC. The DCs and skill scaling are different in Starfinder and you will have to create a scaling DC table similar to the one found in Pathfinder 2e. "Science" or "Technology", to me, are just as important as Economy in a sci-fi setting, so you would have to come up with a new kingdom stat, which would require adjustments on the kingdom stats too.

The kingdom building rules are intended to work with multiple hexes and settlements, and while they work for a single settlement (a colony), they will be limiting themselves to a fraction of that system's potential.

I didn't even get into the buildings and I see myself writing a civilization/endless space adaptation to Starfinder before this is done. But don't take this as un-motivation, because if that was what my players wanted, that would be exactly what I would do, even if it took me a few days of tinkering and tweaking of those rules.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like the party won't have a spaceship at all at this point. Perhaps instead they could just use their BP to build the base, and not split it with anything? I'd put an answer to that effect myself, except that I have literally zero experience with Starfinder. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Oct 22 '18 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's easy to convert rules for kingdom to starfinder city or base building. d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/other-rules/kingdom-building \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Oct 22 '18 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden that was exactly my point. They can use their BP on a base of operations. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Oct 22 '18 at 14:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mouza "Easy" is subjective here. I consider myself an expert on the kingdom building rules. And if a modification/adaptation takes me more than 10 minutes to fix, Im pretty much writing something new. A lot of things in that system have to be discarded, and the remaining will have to be modified. In concept it may sound easy, the general idea is easy, but the execution would take you a lot of time and they will be playing a different game. "Easy" would be if all you had to do was replace the currency or the skills used. But sure, you can go that route. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Oct 22 '18 at 14:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The kingdom roles will have to be changed, as they are written with a monarchy in mind. Hexes becomes irrelevant with highspeed travels. Loyalty become irrelevant. With no hexes, you need a new form of controlling the DC. The DC and skill scaling is different in starfinder. "Science" or "Technology" seems just as important as Economy in a sci-fi setting, so you would have to come up with a new kingdom stat. I didnt even get into the buildings and I see myself writing a civilization/endless space adaptation to starfinder before this is done. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Oct 22 '18 at 14:21
1
\$\begingroup\$

Use @ShadowKras's suggestion plus the Kingdom Building rules.

I know that ShadowKras doesn't like the idea of using Kingdom Builder but here are the reasons why it would work (and counterpoints to his points in the comments):

This only works if the players want to get their hands dirty building the base or if the GM wants to do a lot of work.

The team is on a primitive world. A primitive people may take time to under stand forms of government above tribal or monarchy.

Hexes are still important because most of the people will not have access to the high speed transport. The farms will need to be close unless the players will spend all of their time transporting goods to and from distant points (and protecting those distant points).

Having contiguous hexes is also realistic since, even with "tech as magic" the PCs can only be in so many places at once. So it is good to have all of the controlled areas nearby.

Most of the base tech will have little broad effect on the masses of primitive people in the short run. So, the base tech should be counted separately from the city of the primitives.

What you get from having a primitive city:

  1. Role playing opportunities
  2. Sort term: A pool of unskilled (in the tech sense) labor
  3. Long term: education can result in a growing pool of skilled labor (just like a Magical Academy for mages).

I see no reason not to use Kingdom Builder if the players want to play that kind of game.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Kingdom builder is the sort of thing I'd look at if you actually wanted to try to acquire the service of and leverage a significant number of locals. It doesn't make sense as a ruleset for just building a base for the existing crew to operate out of, and nothing in the original question suggests that "build a small kingdom on this backwater planet" is the sort of gameplay the party is looking for. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Oct 23 '18 at 19:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will update my answer with my comments general idea so this answer doesnt rely on temporary information. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Oct 24 '18 at 11:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.