SF Starship Operations Manual Announced

In July 2020, Paizo will be releasing the Starship Operations Manual hardcover for Starfinder. It includes new starship weapons and systems, new starship combat rules, and a whole bunch of new starships.

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Blast off into space with the Starship Operations Manual, Starfinder's latest rules expansion hardcover! Outfit your beloved starship with more than 100 new starship weapons, expansion bays, alternate armors, and systems like drop pods, ramming prows, mines, ablative armor, virtual intelligences, and more. If you're looking for a new ride, you'll find profiles of leading starship manufacturers as well as statistics for more than 40 new starships found throughout the galaxy.

The Starship Operations Manual puts you at the controls, offering bold new ways to present starship combat, from dogfights in planetary atmospheres to daring chases through asteroid fields to pitched battles between huge fleets. New rules allow crewmembers to get even more out of their skills and feats, unlocking thrilling critical success results that add excitement to starship combat. Take your adventures into the great unknown and beyond with the Starfinder Starship Operations Manual!
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Ed_Laprade

Adventurer
But does it have what I really want? Namely, an exploration ship with 6 or 7 expansion bays and a min/max crew size of 3 - 12. As it is, if you've only got 4 or 5 players, your stuck with a medium size ship with, at most, 5 bays. Kinda ok, if you want to skimp on everything that isn't strictly geared towards the exploration. (Things like decent quarters, life pods, etc.)
 

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
I love starfinder to bits, but two things put me off committing to it,
1) the level requirements on items, how do I, in a realistic way, stop a low level character buying a high level item and unbalancing the game, it's not like a fantasy setting where shops have very limited stock.
2) starship combat isn't much fun and I tend to hand wave it, which is a shame as it should be a big part of a sci-fi aetting.

I doubt this book will fix issue 1, but if they fix the second part, I'm sure that will be enough to drag me back into the game
 

Derren

Adventurer
I love starfinder to bits, but two things put me off committing to it,
1) the level requirements on items, how do I, in a realistic way, stop a low level character buying a high level item and unbalancing the game, it's not like a fantasy setting where shops have very limited stock.
2) starship combat isn't much fun and I tend to hand wave it, which is a shame as it should be a big part of a sci-fi aetting.

I doubt this book will fix issue 1, but if they fix the second part, I'm sure that will be enough to drag me back into the game
Yeah, Starfinder sadly really dropped thr ball on the scifi part by trying to paint the usual fantasy setting conventions over modern societies.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
Ship combat, in either a sci fi setting or a fantasy/pirate setting, always suffer from subpar ship combat rules. I have yet to see one that really works. Even in 3.5's Stormwrack they basically advice the DM to move towards a boarding action as soon as possible.

The biggest issue is that a solid combat system needs to not only work for 1 ship against 1 other ship, but also for multiple ships at once. And that is where most of these systems fall apart. If you have to micro manage the damage to various ship sections, then it becomes far too much busy work once more ships enter the fray.

I came up with a variant based on Pathfinder's Mass Combat rules, which simplifies each fire exchange to just a single dice roll, while also taking into account any upgrades the ship has. This allows the players to focus on ship positioning, ship movement and battle tactics. For large battles you can even give control of allied ships to your various players. But then you have to deal with the problem that basically any individual powers that the players may have, are pushed aside till the battle is over.

I have yet to see a satisfying solution to this problem.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
But then you have to deal with the problem that basically any individual powers that the players may have, are pushed aside till the battle is over.
I can't remember which game it was (or even if it was just a suggestion by somebody here on the forum) but I liked the idea of each character having half character powers and half ship powers. I guess, almost like two characters, but not quite. The core assumption that everybody is as familiar with being on a ship as they are being on the ground.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
I rather wonder how Starfinder ship combat would seem if you actually had a computer program to track it, its own mini video game. It might not be so hard with something to do all the grunt calculation involved.

I hope they can get it to work out, because for a while I really enjoyed the ship design in Pathfinder, and I might yet enjoy it again in the future.
 

Ed_Laprade

Adventurer
I rather wonder how Starfinder ship combat would seem if you actually had a computer program to track it, its own mini video game. It might not be so hard with something to do all the grunt calculation involved.

I hope they can get it to work out, because for a while I really enjoyed the ship design in Pathfinder, and I might yet enjoy it again in the future.
Speaking of computers, why aren't they doing all of the ship-to-ship fighting? They're faster and better than us at that sort of thing. Or they darn well should be in a universe with starships! (Ok, that would be boring as all get out for the players, but still...)
 

Derren

Adventurer
I rather wonder how Starfinder ship combat would seem if you actually had a computer program to track it, its own mini video game. It might not be so hard with something to do all the grunt calculation involved.

I hope they can get it to work out, because for a while I really enjoyed the ship design in Pathfinder, and I might yet enjoy it again in the future.
SFs ship combat is lacking not because of tracking all informations is hard or something like that. But because:
1. There is a clear winning strategy superior to everything else (Turret weapon + Shields) which is so strong that you can throw all encounter guidelines out of the window.
2. The ship combat is very rigid in how you are supposed to use it and falls apart quickly when you deviate from it (one PC ship vs. one enemy ship, no ship to ground combat at all. When you have a 200 ft. Kaju monster you, according to the rules, have to engage it on foot and not with your ship unless it has ship stats, then it can only be fought by starships).
3. Most roles on a starship roll the same check round after round as either this action is by far the best or because most of the time its the only action you can take.
 
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