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Barry Lovseth

Have you ever rolled up one adventure seed and as you started filling out the details, you end up with something vastly different?  I'm curious to read other folks' experiences with this.  I actually skimmed down the list after rolling up 1 and it looks like I subconsciously turned it into 2 or 3 others.

Community Brainstorming
Every once in a while I like to get the ideas from a community rather than just come up with something myself.  Feel free to suggest anything that might be an interesting lead.

My players were hired on as deckhands to a free trader vessel.  They finished an adventure on Polychrome and their captain (NPC) is now missing.  I used this as a mechanism to give them a ship early on.  I thought they'd take the ship and run a little more readily, but there is some interest in figuring out what happened to him.  Here is the last they heard from him via a commlink to the ship:

It's Captain Mitsuru: "Fire up the engines.  I know we don't have a full cargo but we're going NOW!"  You hear ragged breathing, you can tell he is running.  A glance back in the cargo hold and you can see that it is only 25% full.  You start to hear the captain again and then a gun shot followed by muffled voices. "Does he have it on him?"

The Captain is very mysterious and kept to his quarters through most of the trip to Polychrome.

Don't worry, I am not stuck.  I just like to see others' options of where to take these story arcs to see if anyone has better hooks.

Has anyone compared the economic values for ACKS and 5E D&D?  I am considering using ACKS'  campaign setting to map out the scaled class markets and such.  Then use 5E to do the combat .  This would require acknowledging the differences though in peasant income and magical items.  I am hoping someone has already done this and can recommend something simple like "scale by 2" or "use an exponentially increasing multiplier" to make the 2 systems mesh.

Suns of Gold: Compact vs Bulky
In an effort to make some interesting new cargo types using the Suns of Gold rules supplement I looked into the math behind calculating the cost per unit and calculated the cost per ton.  The thing that jumped out at me was the Compact vs Bulky modifiers.

You multiply by .1 or 10 depending on if the commodity is especially bulky compared to other cargo types.  I am wondering if this is too extreme of a modifier.  What have other folks done in their games?  I could see backing off these multipliers to .2 and 5 or even .5 and 2 to reduce the effect.  Another option could be to make these have limits tighter than the 1 ton per 5,000 people maximum available to trade.

Here is the equation
Cost per Ton = (Compact/Bulky multiplier) x (function of price modifier)
Functions of price modifier end up

Normal ranges for prices end up being 1,000 credits for a ton of Colonial Supplies to the opposite extreme of a ton of Pretech small arms or Pretech Industrial parts costing 100,000 credits.

Now if you use the multiplier, the extremes of Pretech Medical supplies sky rocket to 2,000,000 per ton and Postech Medical supplies at 250,000 per ton as compact items.  Bulky items such as Common Metal Ingots are a measly 100 credits per ton whereas metawheat is only 50 credits per ton.

Please point out a flaw in my math or help me justify the level of the extremes.  Prefering to not just have the cop-out be "hey Pretech, anything is possible."  That is already built in with the "Pretech" tag.

For more, buy the book! :D

Opportunity for Starvation Cheap
One thing that I've struggled with when looking at the supplement books (Skyward Steel, Darkness Visible, and now Starvation Cheap) is better guidance on when to use the Faction rules and when to drill into the more detailed supplement campaign rules.

I realize that in Darkness Visible, +Kevin Crawford explicitly states not to use both, however many of us want to attach the supplement to an existing sector, without dropping the life that is breathed into it with the existing Factions.  I would love to see a paragraph or 2 devoted to how you could replace faction assets with Starvation Cheap's mercenary legion assets, followed by a half page example of how 2 factions and their assets could be converted back and forth between the rule sets or how they might interact with one another.

I know this is a little late, with the kickstarter ticking down and Kevin admitting that he only has a page or 2 for low risk additions, but this would be an amazing addition that I'd like to see maintained in future supplement books.

I've been reading through Darkness Visible with the intent to snap this on to my existing game sector for use with a parallel game.  I like the base SWN factions rules for building up my sector.  However I also like Darkness Visible's Agency rules.  I can see what Kevin was saying on pg 17's boxout about unnecessary complications from using both systems.  I really want to try to use both though.  Are there anecdotal stories that people have about successes or failures of trying to use both?  What kinds of interactions between the 2 systems did you use?

I find myself debating whether to have planets feel like a cultural island or part of a larger piece of an intergalactic nation. I love the factions rules and the epicness of 2 huge groups clashing around the PCs but I worry that I will miss out on chances to have some really interesting worlds that are not polluted by the major factions. I am curious to read your stories, not of which you think is the right way to play but what you enjoyed in your game that was distinctly 1 way or the other.

I'm a big fan of SWN's Faction rules and how they can shape the sector around the players.  I like something with a big mechanical crunch for me to do as a DM that let's the dice determine the sandbox world for me.

So I like SWN's Faction rules, Scarlet Heroes' hex map generation tables, and even Suns of Gold's Trade tables as ways of simplifying socio-economic activities.

I have been considering getting Spears of Dawn and/or An Echo Resounding based purely on their world building rules.  If I care nothing about the rest of those books are these still worth it?  Or are the mechanics of either pretty similar to other Sine Nomine books?

Does anyone have other suggested titles where the world building is good?  I am looking for more complexity than just a single roll table to determine a town's name.

Specific faction rules question:
Normally to move an asset from System A to hostile System B you need that asset to have stealth. However the Covert Shipping and Smugglers assets say that you can move a special forces unit "covertly."

Should this be interpreted that the special forces asset gains the stealth attribute on their arrival at System B?  Does the special forces asset already need the stealth attribute from a previous round?

Or am I reading this wrong and the only assets that really need stealth to move to a new system are the ones explicitly stated with the "P" for planetary governmental permission?  This would limit it to the 6 assets with a "P" which all happen to be Military Unit Types.

I had been reading the rule as you need stealth for any asset to enter a system with another faction's Planetary Government tag.  The only exception was if the planetary government wanted to allow it for 1d4 FacCreds which they could flat out refuse for any given asset.

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My AI PC wants to buy the parts for another armature on a planet without any AI NPCs on it but with a high enough tech level.  I want to keep AIs fairly rare and alien feeling, so I've been thinking about limiting the availability.  What are other GMs thoughts on allowing the cheap purchase of armature parts that could later be used for assembly of the armature with a posttech workshop?

I've thought about making it into some kind of mini-game like 4e D&D's skill challenges, making some kind of flow chart of the week's worth of work that must be done and building into it some groups of components that each might have a chance to be had on any Tech level 4 world.
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Don't. Only allow it on AI planets
Mini game/skill challenge
Other? (Post in comments below)
Let him buy the parts
Don't. Only allow it on AI planets
Mini game/skill challenge
Other? (Post in comments below)
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