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The soldier's ability enhanced tank states

You gain the Powered Armored Proficiency feat and access to improved armor. This might be the result of your own engineering abilities, having earned the trust of contacts that can get you experimental equipment, or a powerful patron giving you gear not available to the general public to help you achieve mutual goals. You can add one more upgrade to your armor than its normal maximum number of upgrade slots. If you add this bonus upgrade to heavy armor, you can select an upgrade normally limited to powered armor. An upgrade placed in this bonus slot costs half the normal credit amount.

Does this mean that starting at level 5 every party member now has 1/2 off when purchasing upgrades? Nowhere does it say you can't remove it can give it to another player. ie "oh you need an upgrade solarian? OK let me just install it into my armor for 1/2 off aaannddd there you go"

Valuetown anyone?

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You can only move the upgrade if you pay the price difference

As pointed out in the Starfinder FAQ:

[Soldier] If I buy an upgrade using the additional upgrade slot from the enhanced tank ability of armor storm (page 113), can I sell that upgrade? Can I move it to another upgrade slot?

An upgrade from this bonus slot sells at 10% of the reduced cost. If you move an upgrade from this bonus slot to another slot, you must pay the difference between the upgrade's reduced cost and its normal cost.

As you can see, you can sell this armor upgrade, meaning you could also hand it away to a friendly character. But if they try to move this upgrade to another piece of armor, or even another slot they must pay the difference.

But you can only have one upgrade at half-price

As indicated by the FAQ, moving this bonus upgrade to another slot will cost you an extra 50% of it's price, so there is really no way to get two bonus upgrades at reduced price on the same piece of armor.

While not explicitly mentioned in the rules, we can assume that this additional cost is due to the individual differences between your alphaware upgrade and the standard upgrades. You got a piece of armor that was specifically built for that upgrade in that bonus slot, and you are tinkering to make this upgrade work elsewhere.

What the rules do mention is that installing an upgrade takes 10 minutes, while you adjust and connect all cables to that armor slot. So, here we have a justification for this extra cost, the upgrade wasn't meant for market standards, it was made for high-tech standards, and as such, it requires modifications to work properly. This extra cost would be new cables and connectors, and whatever pieces and tools are necessary to get the job done.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ RE: "If you move an upgrade from this bonus slot to another slot, you must pay the difference between the upgrade's reduced cost and its normal cost." Out of curiosity, does the game justify this narratively or is that entirely the GM's issue? Like, do folks come by and beat you up if you don't cough up the extra credits or something? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 14 '18 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan narrativelly, you are using prototypes, and adjusting the factory upgrade to your own design supposedly is harder than just getting a finished product. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 14 '18 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ So when, how, and to whom is that difference paid? (I don't think that's separate question territory, but excuse me if it is and I'm overstepping.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 14 '18 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is paid on materials and tools to remove the upgrade from one slot and inserting it to another. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 14 '18 at 14:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Cool. Got it. Could the answer mention that? I mean, in Pathfinder, one must already possess the raw materials to create a magic item or craft a mundane item, but at first glance here it sounds like moving the upgrade deducts the credits spontaneously! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 14 '18 at 14:51
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It reads like

An upgrade placed in this bonus slot costs half the normal credit amount.

means that the moment the upgrade leaves the slot - it starts costing its normal price. I would say, to plug it out of this bonus slot, you'd have to pay the rest of the cost. Or start owing that amount to your powerful patron, at least, so they won't give you a new discount until you repay your debt.

I can see people being uneasy with the narrative behind it. I mean, you can plug it out any time you have 10 minutes to spare, while the party you need to pay is not always present when you're out adventuring. But Starfinder is Sci-Fi enough for us to assume that contracts giving you experimental equipment are able to rig it in a way that they'll be notified of you tampering with it, would be able to remotely syphon credits from your account ( and even demand your approval to do so beforehand ), and so on.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, the nanofactories inside the starship should allow you to craft anything you need and is capable of crafting. They are like portable 3D printers. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 16 '18 at 14:37

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