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I'm currently working on some homebrew for a Starfinder game. I've read the pages 388 to 393 of the core rule book several times, but might just be missing something.

It gives details on how to craft an encounter that's suitable for the character levels. Great stuff, new characters, five of them at level 1. So they're good for 0-3 CR per encounter.

However I want to craft my opening section into a single game day, no 8 hour breaks for recoving Resolve or HP. However I don't know how many encounters I can throw at them to stretch them without killing them. Is there a rough calculation for this?

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I think this is a great question, but a difficult one to answer with finality as there are a lot of variables at play. Including dice rolls!

My general rule of thumb--and this is just based on experience--is that a full party of adventurers can go through approximately 3 or 4 level-appropriate encounters in a day without dying, with each encounter using up around 20-30% of the party's daily resources (spells, abilities, HP, Stamina Points and Resolve Points [Starfinder] items and finally, one-use items). Some parties really like to push their abilities, some like to stop and rest every time the Arcing Surges have been expended.

However...

If you are going to be keeping the PCs on the run under some sort of pressure or time constraint, then I'd suggest prepping scale-able encounters so that you can play it by ear. So things like:

Reinforcements arrive to help the gaggle of 1/2 CR critters and keep the PCs engaged in battle for longer. It needn't be reinforcements, it could just be a larger creature that finally arrives, or a weapon that's now ready to fire on the PCs. It's handy to have this kind of thing ready in the event that your PCs are running through encounters too quickly or easily. It also means you don't have to use these extras if the PCs are struggling--just save these prepped additions for next time.

Terrain can be used for advantage, to increase the difficulty but not the CR of an encounter. It can also be used to the baddies' disadvantage, depending on how the PCs are doing, i.e. security guards charging one at a time through a door as opposed to forcing the PCs to do so.

Role playing encounters also count as encounters and keep the game momentum moving. An encounter need not be hack-and-slash, but it can still use abilities, spells, and items to overcome. The security guards can be tricked, charmed, or circumvented entirely.


Add a Chase. This can be quite fun, fast paced, and generally relies more heavily on the PCs skills, with minimal use of limited resources. If you are looking to get PCs from point A to point B without killing them or having to roll too many random encounters, this could be a viable and engaging way to do so.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For Starfinder, another important variable is whether or not the characters have time for rests to regain Stamina Points between encounters. This would be particularly important at low level. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Mar 5 '19 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point, I’ve added that in. \$\endgroup\$ – TigerDM Mar 5 '19 at 21:56
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Depends on your group's composition and availability of mundane healing

Aim at 4 to 6 combat encounters and 2 to 4 non-combat encounters if you want to spend most of the group's resources. This is assuming level-appropriate encounters and not exceeding the average plus two recommended by the core rulebook.

In my personal experience (GM'ed two adventures of 6 to 8 hours each and played from levels 1 to 5 as a vesk mechanic), groups last at least twice as longer than in D&D or Pathfinder, due to how easily we can recover hit points without magical aid, using potions and skill checks, and the occassional resolve spent to heal ourselves. When I played, my character never needed magical healing at all, he bought lots of medicine (about 20 medpatches per trip to any commercial hub) and those were enough so the GM declared my character the tank of the group, despite also having a heavily-armoured soldier among us.

The only characters that actually had a problem with resources per day were casters (we had a mystic in one table, and a technomancer in another), and even those soon realized that they could do more if they relied on mundane tools if it wasn't an emergency, such as firing a laser rifle at single enemies and keeping their spells slots to bring down multiple foes in one action.

Keep in mind that Serums of Healing are as cheap as Pathfinder's potions of cure light wounds, but can be crafted by mundane characters with ranks in Mysticism. Your ship simply needs a medlab (which is in the group's best interest) and some time crafting between travels. We usually carried 10-15 of those per mission, each costing us about 50 credits.

On Resolve alone, each character can heal themselves about 50% of their maximum health with 10-minute breaks between encounters. Which is also the time required for Treat Deadly Wounds on every member of the group if you have the proper tools.

The developers have also stated that Starfinder groups will last longer than Pathfinder groups at lower levels. But since each table is different, your mileage may vary.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I played a technomancer, haha, which is why I think I put the survivability a little bit lower. This is also why I totally agree with your stating that it all depends on the composition of the party. If there is no healer, no AoE, no tank, then you'll have to adjust as you go depending on party strengths and weaknesses. \$\endgroup\$ – TigerDM Mar 6 '19 at 13:35

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