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Subject: Help: Players Ship Explodes - New Ship Rules? rss

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Robert Bailey
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Just got Battlestations, really excited to start writing a campaign. I'm coming at the game from a D&D mindset. But there is one critical set of rules/advice that seems to be missing from the rule book that I was hoping the community could help me with. What happens after the players' ship explodes? How do they get a new ship without simply being gifted a ship? If everyone died on the ship, do they all just have clones spawn at a nearby space station? Related, what about players working towards getting bigger ships?

I want losing the ship to be a setback, but not so terrible that my players give up on the campaign. I also want any explanation to make thematic sense. As a DM, I know that this can happen unexpectedly off a few bad dice rolls, so want to be prepared for if it happens. I also want them to be able to work towards getting a larger ship, but am not sure how to go about effectively doing that. Here are some ideas I have had, but am not sure how much I like any of them. Would love to hear if anyone has better ideas!

1)Give players large sums of money towards bigger ships or to replace their lost ship, but I am worried about that distorting the value of regular items.

2) Give players less money but the option to buy "shipowners insurance" that will replace their ship if they lose it. But there are problems if they choose not to buy it, or if I force them to buy it when they don't want to.

3) "Privateer missions" where players temporarily join another ships crew to capture a new ship, but I am not sure how fun it is to suspend the story and spend a session to get the players a new ship. Once might be cool, but more than that and I can see the idea getting really stale. Additionally, I don't want the players to then begin attempting to capture every single ship they encounter to earn a large payoff.

4) Of course players could steal a docked ship from the starbase their clones start at. But I don't want to force them to be evil if they don't want to, aside from this having major possible implications on the story.

5) If they have a base, start the game where they have a size 2 skiff that is their backup ship. But then I will need a way for them to be able to earn larger ships (aside from boarding and stealing them). Also run into issue of them blowing up the back up ship.

If they are in the military, it is easy to just give them a new ship. But I am writing a campaign where they are independent mercenaries, so they wouldn't have the support of a government to dump money into their laps.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Marc Bennett
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as a veteran battlestations ref let me tell you what I would do.

first off a bigger ship. there are rules for requisitioning or buying a module. these are just extras to swap out but if you get 3 extra you can upgrade to a larger ship. hulls are free normally but I like to suck out another requisition by making it not free. if you really want to slow down growth make the hull requisition at a penalty to size of the hull. you can do this for switching ship registries too.

as for penalties for ship explosion. normally you just get a new ship maybe a base size ship. thematically you are funded by a military (UREF or rebels) if youd like you can have the players be "in debt" and force them to requisition and/or buy the modules they were given.

I also like the insurance idea.

hope this helps! its great fun enjoy the ride!
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Rob Koch
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The insurance idea is reminiscent of Galaxy Trucker in that you have to pay for any modules you lose during the trip. It encourages you to not lose things. But if you can't pay for any lost modules you aren't punished further (they can't take what you don't have).

You could even have them pay for slagged modules as well so even minor damage can slow the growth.

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Adrian George
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Sounds like you want the Battlestations: Pirates of Trundlia from first edition if you can find it. It has the rules for this type of campaign.

EDIT: Put in geek link
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Matthew Cary
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RobertBailey49 wrote:
Just got Battlestations, really excited to start writing a campaign. I'm coming at the game from a D&D mindset. But there is one critical set of rules/advice that seems to be missing from the rule book that I was hoping the community could help me with. What happens after the players' ship explodes? How do they get a new ship without simply being gifted a ship? If everyone died on the ship, do they all just have clones spawn at a nearby space station?


By default all the characters are assumed to be members of the UREF, which is where they get their starting equipment and who they are requisitioning for better stuff at the end of a mission. The UREF is also the origin of all those bots that fill out your crew if you have enough life support. This explains where all the missions come from and why you have to do them in the first place. Why do your characters care about investigating some weird spacial tear anyway? Because it's their job thats why.
Your characters work for them and technically all the stuff on your sheet is theirs too. Kind of like how Air Force Pilots don't own their airplanes, they just get to use them as long as they are on an official mission. In the standard rules if you lose a ship you get a new one from the shipyard (much like a real pilot who gets shot down may get to still fly other planes). The new one doesn't have any upgrades.

The UREF pays for all your clones (sort of like employer/government sponsored health care I suppose) and if you die your clone is activated but you just get the standard staring gear. Most of the fancy stuff that was on your old body when it dies is lost.

1st Edition had two supplements for people who didn't want to work for the UREF. Someone else mentioned the merchants book, where you get a ship and a massive debt to Jabba the Hut you have to pay off, while you are buying all the spare parts and fuel to keep your ship going.

There was also a pirates game that made you pay for everything as well, but there was a lot more looting peaceful ships in that one....
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Peter Cobcroft
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georgeofjungle3 wrote:
Sounds like you want the Battlestations: Pirates of Trundlia from first edition if you can find it. It has the rules for this type of campaign.

EDIT: Put in geek link


Also Battlestations: How Much For Your Planet?
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Adrian George
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Curufea wrote:
georgeofjungle3 wrote:
Sounds like you want the Battlestations: Pirates of Trundlia from first edition if you can find it. It has the rules for this type of campaign.

EDIT: Put in geek link


Also Battlestations: How Much For Your Planet?

I totally forgot those were two separate books. Good call.
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Robert Bailey
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

After reading your advice, I went back to the advanced rulebook, and did find that a lot of what you all mentioned is in the rules, just spread out throughout the book in snipets instead of consolidated in one place. For posterity, here is what I found:

- pg 81 Modules: Modules cost 3000cr
- pg 94 Module Upgrade Barrel: 1500 cr
- pg 100 Hulls: Hulls cost 1000cr
- pg 148 Mission Rewards: there are standard credit awards per mission, plus additional credits if the mission calls for it. Additionally, players can choose ship modules as spoils
- forgot the page, but everything can be sold for 1/4 value

So here is my plan based on what is implied in the rules (shoutout to Klaxas for the inspiration). They can then use their ship+additional modules to upgrade to a bigger ship. They will also need a new hull. With these rules and a playgroup of 4, they could theoretically choose to upgrade their ship after every successful mission (if they all choose module as a spoil, and sell 1 module to pay for the hull).

Using these rules, and no other safety net, conservative players will keep modules in storage to build a new ship should theirs blow up. I think I will also let players salvage 1/3 of their modules from their blown up ship. Thus if they have 3 modules in storage (at a base somewhere) and are in a size 3 ship that blows up, they will end up with 6 to make a skiff. They can then succeed on any mission and get back to a scout.

Some other house rules that I think I will experiment with are as follows. I think they gives players meaningful choices with clear risks and rewards without imbalancing any of the costs of items in the base rules. Would appreciate any feedback or additional ideas!:
- If players choose to not work for UREF, they get an additional 0-200cr credits per player per mission (0 for fail, 100 for success, 200 for overwhelming success), but have additional expenses. Alternatively, they can forgo the bonus to get insurance that will pay for these expenses.
-- To repair hull damage/slagged modules, cost 10cr per damage/slag
-- Clone costs 30cr each
-- Must replace ship if blown up
-- Destroyed bots cost 20cr each
-- Insurance will replace ship with size 3 ship of players chosen registry. Insurance also pays for all clones, ship damage, and bots.
- If player ship blows up, can salvage 1/3 of modules. Players skip this if they have insurance (insurance company wants salvage).
- Instead of 1000cr per hull, hulls cost 250cr per size (based on size 4 frigate costing 1000. (Makes more thematic sense, skiff hulls should cost less than dreadnoughts).
-- Players can trade their hull in for 1/2 value if staying in same registry. Otherwise is only worth 1/4 value as normal. (Incentivizes staying in a ship registry and incrementally upgrading ship over time).

Let me know what you guys think!
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Adrian George
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From what i recall learning in 1st ed, a bigger ship is not always a good thing. The piloting rolls become significantly more challenging pretty quick. My players found that for some missions it was advantageous to take a small boat out, the pilot could make it do anything.
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Jon Ryan
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I haven't gotten too far into the game that I'm thinking about these kinds of things, but it all sounds super interesting.

I'm glad you looked up all those spots on modules, hulls, and upgrades cuz I had trouble finding that info in the book.

Story-wise, at least for the intro mission, Rebellion, when we rebel and take back our ship, are we rebelling against the UREF or joining it? I wasn't sure...
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David Martin
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jonjbeats wrote:

Story-wise, at least for the intro mission, Rebellion, when we rebel and take back our ship, are we rebelling against the UREF or joining it? I wasn't sure...


In the 8 mission campaign in the quick start rules, the Heroes are in direct opposition to the UREF (Universal Republic Expeditionary Forces). They were part of it before they decide to rebel against it in the first mission.
 
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Chris Krigbaum
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georgeofjungle3 wrote:
Sounds like you want the Battlestations: Pirates of Trundlia from first edition if you can find it. It has the rules for this type of campaign.

EDIT: Put in geek link


PDFs of the 1st edition books are available for purchase on the Gorilla Games website. I got the ones I didn't have physical copies of during the 2nd edition Kickstarter.
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Jeff Siadek
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Cloning makes TPK a viable option. In a D&D game the dungeon master might be tempted to have the dragon let the characters live if they pinky swear to bring back more treasure.

In Battlestations, it can and does happen that the whole crew dies. It sucks. It doesn't end the campaign. You get a replacement ship and starting equipment and your clone activates with more prestige (yay?!) but doesn't gain experience from the last mission.

If you are not willing to risk your fake life, it is not worth living it.

(Drops the mic)
(But dropping the mic in space means it just floats there undermining the gravity of the gesture)
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A C
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ourhero wrote:
Cloning makes TPK a viable option. In a D&D game the dungeon master might be tempted to have the dragon let the characters live if they pinky swear to bring back more treasure.

In Battlestations, it can and does happen that the whole crew dies. It sucks. It doesn't end the campaign. You get a replacement ship and starting equipment and your clone activates with more prestige (yay?!) but doesn't gain experience from the last mission.

If you are not willing to risk your fake life, it is not worth living it.

(Drops the mic)
(But dropping the mic in space means it just floats there undermining the gravity of the gesture)


Well played, sir. Well played.
 
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