[GAME] Starfinder (tabletop RPG)

Surprisingly, the upcoming Pathfinder fantasy RPG spinoff Starfinder is basing its space combat on bridge-sim mechanics. A playtest report from Gen Con 2016 has more details.

Of note:

  • Each ship has five roles: Engineer, Pilot, Scientist, Gunner, Captain.

    • Engineers manage reactor power distribution and can repair critical systems that take damage. Systems have three damage levels--Glitch, Malfunction, and Wrecked--presumably with increasingly disruptive effects.
    • Pilots can take special maneuver actions.
    • Scientists can scan ships for information about their status, or can increase the accuracy of weapons, or can target specific systems. Rumors of giving science hacking and jamming actions as well.
    • Unlike most computer game bridge sims, each separate weapon has its own gunner who can act independently of the others. So for instance, one person would handle missile weapons and could target a different ship than the person handling beam weapons. If a single person handles multiple weapons, they take a penalty.
    • The captain provides bonuses to the rest of the crew, can focus those bonuses on a specific station, or can take an additional action alongside a station. They also seem to handle comms.
  • Turn-based combat, with facing. Each ship with a player crew acts in the same order above (each Engineer acts, then each Pilot acts, etc.) with one exception: the Captain can jump in whenever to aid or take special actions. The ships with the best initiative move last, instead of first, so that they can better react to other ships.
  • Movement is on a hex map.
  • There are four weapon and shield arcs: fore, aft, port, starboard. Most of the tactics are in maneuvering the ship to expose the best weapons or defend with the strongest shield arc.
  • Non-player ships would have a more streamlined system for the GM.
Out of all of the ideas, I'd most like to see the "separate weapons station for each weapon" option for bridge sims, especially for large groups. Coordinating multiple people feels more realistic for a warship, even if it goes against the grain of a single tactical officer in most fiction. While I could see that simply giving more people less to do in a live bridge sim situation not focused on continuous combat, it would make coordination even more important when combat does happen.

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