A STAR WARS ADVENTURE 02
After successfully completing their first bounty mission, although not discreetly, our heroes managed to ditch the stolen freighter and spice. You can see my notes on that below. What I had to figure out as a result was how to price ships. Drawing on X-wing's squad points and recalling that Luke Skywalker believed he could "almost buy" a ship for 17,000 credits in A New Hope, I determined that simply converting X-wing's squad point cost into thousands of Republic/Imperial credits was the way to go. For reference this would place a Z-95 Headhunter, an older and probably cheap fighter, at 12,00 credits, and an unmodified YT-1300 similar to the Millennium Falcon at 39,000 credits. Since the boys were counting on collecting 3,000 total for their bounty I figured I'd have NPCs low ball them when offloading their hot items to keep them from getting too many goodies. In the long run they ended up with just enough to get something that worked for them and didn't leave them without options. Again, that below.
Happy with the ship pricing I also looked at how to handle upgrades. One of the fun parts of X-wing is customizing a ship and I wanted to be prepared for that eventual request of my players. It didn't take long to realize that continuing to simply convert X-wing ship upgrade's squad point cost into thousands of credits was the best way to keep things balanced. If it was good enough for FFG it was good enough for me. There were some more details to sort out though.
For one, buying a weapon, ordinance or modification to add to a ship for a few thousand credits makes sense but purchasing a crew member in the same manner seemed illogical to me. So I took all of the elite and crew upgrades off the menu so to speak. I will use those as skills to award to the players, or us as NPC abilities as things develop. The X-wing squad point cost will still be useful for me though. I can use it and other assets such as the ship and other upgrades to have a close idea of how powerful the players are and what to pit against them in a space fight. For example if their ship and upgrades (or relevant skills) add up to 50k credits worth then I know that a squadron of 4 Z-95s or a pair of Kirhaxz fighters is an even enough match and I can adjust from their based of my narrative needs.
Since I have already departed from "rules" I decided to simplify a bit more. I'm not too worried about breaking balance since their's not competition and when I do come across an item or ability that would be a problem it can either be unavailable, incompatible, or just down right too expensive. With that in mind I took away the faction specific upgrade restrictions and combined the two types of Astromech droids into one category. I am counting them as a purchasable item and assigned one they picked up a special ability off of one of the X-wing upgrade cards. Astromechs can now "ride" in a crew, passenger, or astromech slot and add their ability to the ship. In order to upgrade a droid, I'll just use the squad point cost of another one converted to thousands of credits to have the ability added. Droids will be useful on the ground as well, but for in flight purposes borrowing from X-wing to build out droids over time will be a good start. For ground tactical purposes astromechs will initially be 3 times as capable at breaking into or locking doors, accessing data, or fixing, starting, or shutting down devices as an average human character. That is just a start point though, I still have to commit it to numbers.
Other ship upgrade adjustments included combining the system, tech, and modification cards to all be used in the same capacity. I know that if this was going to be used in some X-wing tournament play it wouldn't work out well but for role playing it opens up a lot of possibilities. I'm also not setting any hard limits on how many of these general upgrades a ship can have. I'll keep my eye on the ships intended number as per the X-wing system and likely throw engineering complications at a player when and if they exceed that quantity, but adding more of them will give a ship character. Maybe that extra heavy cannon can only be powered up when the shields are switched off, for example. How many times did Han and Chewie have to make something work that shouldn't have?
Speaking of shields I am also going to add some new actions associated with my own invented upgrades. After I review enough of the initial ones (there are plenty) I'll determine a cost and restrictions for new ones. I loved the X-wing, and Tie Fighter games when I was a kid and the ability to shift power between, weapons, shields, and engines was a lot off fun and made for some exciting adventures. It's definitely an Action: that I will be adding either on 1 or maybe 3 of my own upgrades.
I also think that droids, particularly astromechs, will be a good bridge for the game's economy to move into non-ship items. I've improvised a small variety of weapons and gadgets in the few hundred credits price range so far with no issue, but have yet to expand items much, that aren't related to ships. And speaking of planet side issues, combat is still a question. I initially assigned weapons an attack value just like in X wing and modified it based on the same range. The rolls felt unnatural for what was taking place. Maybe it was just the flamethrower "someone" insisted on using, but I think I can come up with something that emulates marksmanship better. I wanted to avoid numbered dice but may go to them yet. I am thinking the X-wing attack and evade dice will still be right for weapon damage (after a successful shot) and armor. Also, someone suggested looking at Legion rules for dealing with "stress" and I like the idea of accumulating it in a gunfight. I'll check that out and see where it leads me.
In the meantime here is a brief summary of the wrap up after our adventure detailed in my first post...
After meeting up again the brothers agreed to head to the broken planet of Kes, also in the Inzert system. The planet was long ago decimated by asteroids and exists in a mostly stable cloud of debris. Great for mining, and also for hiding. They met up with a series of questionable characters and entrepreneurs on Tarrok Station. A small orbital city and trading post built into one of Kes' many asteroid moons. They sold the illicit spice and their hot ship at "know questions asked" prices and were a bit disappointed when they didnt have enough to buy a ship themselves. They knew they had come out on top though, and were glad to have the extra credits without (as far as they could tell) leaving a trail back to themselves for either the Hutt, or their Guild masters to sniff out. Sorlon's aggression toward droids seems to have reversed as he paid to have the astromech droid he'd shot through the dome refurbished and reset. Back on Genedar they collected their bounty and found a decent price for a U-wing through legitimate markets and quietly purchased the relatively lower cost ship. Time will tell if getting a bit greedy will catch up with them or not. Meanwhile, they seemed to overlook one of the more unusual ships, a small gray fighter, they observed docked among the pirates and smugglers at Tarrok Station. Is it a portent of trouble coming to Inzert or just a passing detail?