Starting Gear?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
September 29, 2014 - 3:06am
What, if any, free gear do you give to starting characters?

Skein suit?

Tool Kit?

entry level weapons from SFman #1?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 29, 2014 - 5:01am
Typically I just follow the standard rules, especially if starting them out on Volturnus where they lose their weapons anyway.  Otherwise, I'd probably allow any character that doesn't get a toolkit a small weapon (up to 500cr equivalent to the toolkits).

That of course is if I'm starting completely new characters.  If I'm starting more advanced characters, then I'll typically give them a fixed credit amount to start with depending on the level they're starting at.  For characters staring with about 50 XP I'll typically give them 1000-2000 credits of gears. For characters starting at KH skill levels, I typically give them 10,000 credits of gear.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
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Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Abub's picture
Abub
September 29, 2014 - 5:42am
my first SF game is a special case since they are Space Fleet Officers.  So they don't hurt for equipment, which is why i'm concerned about the over poweredness of lasers since getting belt packs and backpack SEU power sources isn't that hard for them.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
September 29, 2014 - 7:08am
Volturnus is a special case because of the "en media res" start but I then I feel like the adventure should start on Pale. With loading of the ship and hiring of the expedition team. With some minor action on the ship that is possibly a foreshadowing of things to come. That said I would treat Volturnus as any other adventure.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
September 29, 2014 - 9:35am
I give out the Standard Equipment Pack regardless of what level of play they start at. Only because I find it ludicrous that anyone should wait until later on in life to acquire their ID card, time piece, and coveralls.

However, the doze grenade is usually left out of that freebie start kit on the premise that whatever starting money is offered can be used to buy weapons. "Experienced" starters (i.e. starting characters that are already skilled to whatever degree) may also lose the first aid kit and stim/staydoses in order to prompt the purchase of a medkit along with the skill needed to use it.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
September 29, 2014 - 10:06am
I like that shadow nixxes the dose grenade, partly because I think most societies would have a dim view of regular citizens stocking up on any kind of grenade.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
September 30, 2014 - 11:45am
I usually max out the credit to 250 and give them access to things like, Light Stunner, Blastpistol, Needler Pistol, Semiauto Pistol, Shotgun, Gyrojet Pistol etc. It give them access to a cheap weapon  100 cr for a light stunner or shotgun.

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
September 30, 2014 - 5:21pm
Personally, I would rather have items grouped into kits to cut down on the paperwork. As such, I tend to group a number of the basic items to the Standard Equipment Pack, and make a Survival Kit that is lighter than the one featured in Crash on Volturnus. I also like the characters to be properly equipped at the start of the game, they don't have to fret over not being able to afford a needed set of something. I also establish that the characters are transient workers with no permanent residence. They are mobile — living form ship-to-ship or in hotels — and live with what they can carry. Note that a number of the added items were based on one's "outfit" from Cyberpunk 2020.

At the start of the game, I would give each player the following:
  • Standard Equipment Pack*
  • 1 pistol (any type) with 3 reloads
  • 3d10x5 credits on their cards (maybe used to buy additional gear)
  • Any item needed for one's skill areas. (see below)

*Additions to the Standard Equipment Pack:
  • A civilian skeinsuit
  • An Inflatable bed
  • A conpressable sleeping bag
  • An Everflame™ lighter
  • Portable media player for music and movies (with file chips of songs and videos)
  • A flashlight pen
  • A pair of SungogglesCool
  • A packet of 10 Vitasalt Pills
  • 8 empty one-liter Water Packs
  • Some personal items (clothing, nick-nacks, pictures, etc.)

 Skill Area
Additional Gear
 Beam/Gyrojet/Projectile Weapons
 1 rifle (of appropriate type) with 3 reloads and one screen**
 Melee Weapons
 Any 1 melee weapon and one screen**
 Thrown Weapons
 Any 3 throwing weapon
 Demolitions 50 grams of Tornadium D-19 with detonator
 Martial Arts
 One screen**
 Computers A BodyComp set***
 Robotics A Robcomkit
 Technician A Techkit
 Environmental An Envirokit and Survival Kit
 Medical A Medkit
 Psychosocial A Poly-vox

**Even with two or more Military PSA selected, only one screen may be gained this way.
***I prefer to use this as a simple device with few upgrades and added features.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
September 30, 2014 - 5:43pm
Certain things should be automatic based on species

Yazirian- sungoggles
Vrusk- polyvox
Vhim- knife (jagged nasty looking thing)
dralasite from Inner Reach- paint brushes and washable dyes

Certain things should be automatic regardless of species as Shadshack pointed out: ID card, chronocom, and basic clothes.

I like the idea of "kits" plus limited cash

I also like the idea of items by PSA
Military PSA gets a free duffle bag or ALICE pack
Tech PSA gets a tool satchel or a hardsided compter protective case

Bio-social PSA:
Environmental skill: back pack and or explorer vest
Medical skill: brief case and lab coat
Psych-social: brief case and lab coat or business casual suit coat.(possibly tweed with leather patches on the elbows)
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
September 30, 2014 - 9:07pm
NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
October 1, 2014 - 2:04am
I forgot to note that the Survival Kit (from my games) contains the following items:
  • An Allweather Blanket
  • A compass
  • A gas mask
  • 3 holoflares
  • A life jacket
  • Magnigoggles
  • A machete
  • A radiophone set
  • 10m coil of rope
  • A Toxyrad Gauge
  • A Ternary Enviro-Scanner (TES) (replaces the Envirokit)
  • 1 bottle of acid neutralizer
  • 5 cans of antiseptic spray
  • 2 dose of the following: Antibody plus, Antitox, Biocort, Stimdose, Staydose, Local Anesthetic and Omnimycin
  • An extra package of survival rations (five days worth)*
  • 8 extra liters of water*
  • 10 extra Vitasalt Pills*
*This is an addition to your Standard Equipment Pack.

Ignoring the standard costs and mass from the rulebook (plus, the numbers are all over the place!), I rule that the Survival Kit only costs 200 credits, and weigh only 6kg. On top of that, I rule that the Techkit, Robcomkit and Medkit each cost 100 credits, and weigh only 5kg. The Standard Equipment Pack still costs and weighs the same - 150 credits, 1kg. Lifeboats would have Emergency Survival Kits with the some items seen in standard Survival Kits, save for the Ternary Enviro-Scanner (as that requires some skill to use), with some items fund in the Standard Equipment Pack. They cost and weigh about the same as a standard Survival Kit.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
October 1, 2014 - 4:01am
Honestly, acid neutralizer is disposable. water can be used to dilute acid and you actually need to carry water.

However from a game point of view the acid nuetralizer doesn't add an carried wt. so might as well and thus save the water.

8 liters of water is a lot to carry and I've never carried that much on a backpacking trek simply because of wt consideration though if I went into the Grand Canyon or something similar I probably would as water takes on new significance.

We should probably detail some water purification methods and publish them as well as a survival knife- the kind with a compass in the pommel, saw blade on the back side, hollow handle with some bare bones survival goodies in it.

EDIT:
Tablets will neutralize most biologicals chemically however boiling remains a more certain method but if you dont have fire or a pot the tablets can save your life. Could be that some models of laser (usually only pistol sized have a setting that lets you set down the 1 SEU setting to slow burn that will let you ignite combustibles or there is a survivalist trick to do this.

filter with hand pump can filter particles (biological or chemical) down to to a certian particle size

No doubt this is really a job for the environmentalist/scout to pull out his handy dandy scanner and test the water and determine best method of purifying it.

Survival Knife: hollowed out handle: flint, uninsulated wire 1 meter, 10 H2O pruification tablets, ?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
October 1, 2014 - 5:15am
A couple thoughts:

1) I used to have one of those knives as a kid Foot in mouth.

2) If you put 8 liters of water in a pack it has to weigh at least 8 kg even if everything else is weightless.  By definition 1 liter of water weighs (actually masses but on earth it's the same thing) 1 kg.  That's just the fundamental nature of the material.  Based on everything that is in there, that survival kit has to weigh at least 14 kg. (8 for the water, 2 for the machete, and 4 for the radiophone - think early 80's cellphone - i.e. giant brick).  Then there's everything thing else that adds up to 1 or 2 more kilograms.

Otherwise, I like it.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
October 1, 2014 - 5:31am
Survival Knife: hollowed out handle: flint, uninsulated wire 1 meter, 10 H2O pruification tablets..

compass, 2 safety pins, 2 band-aids, 2 metal rings, 2 fish hooks, tweezer, 1 sewing needle, 1 razor

jedion357's picture
jedion357
October 1, 2014 - 6:41am
Jaxon wrote:
Survival Knife: hollowed out handle: flint, uninsulated wire 1 meter, 10 H2O pruification tablets..

compass, 2 safety pins, 2 band-aids, 2 metal rings, 2 fish hooks, tweezer, 1 sewing needle, 1 razor


We'd need to quantify some of these items like band aids- what do they actually do for the character? if its effectively nothing in game terms then we should not include them. However, the fish hook and sewing needle plus a small spool of thread are interesting in that a character could try fishing for dinner and end up with a referee instigated combat because of what he hooked or attracted.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
October 1, 2014 - 9:41am
TerlObar wrote:
1) I used to have one of those knives as a kid Foot in mouth.

I still have a couple. One may even still have the contents inside...as for the other I tried some of that stuff at home. The cable saw broke after a few strokes on a skinny branch, I didn't even get a quarter inch into it. The three matches didn't work. The flint broke in half. The compass dome cracked and the liquid inside leaked out. The sheath fell apart. There wasn't much that survived beyond the knife itself.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
October 1, 2014 - 1:08pm
jedion357 wrote:
Honestly, acid neutralizer is disposable. water can be used to dilute acid and you actually need to carry water.

However from a game point of view the acid nuetralizer doesn't add an carried wt. so might as well and thus save the water.

8 liters of water is a lot to carry and I've never carried that much on a backpacking trek simply because of wt consideration though if I went into the Grand Canyon or something similar I probably would as water takes on new significance.

We should probably detail some water purification methods and publish them as well as a survival knife- the kind with a compass in the pommel, saw blade on the back side, hollow handle with some bare bones survival goodies in it.

EDIT:
Tablets will neutralize most biologicals chemically however boiling remains a more certain method but if you dont have fire or a pot the tablets can save your life. Could be that some models of laser (usually only pistol sized have a setting that lets you set down the 1 SEU setting to slow burn that will let you ignite combustibles or there is a survivalist trick to do this.

filter with hand pump can filter particles (biological or chemical) down to to a certian particle size

No doubt this is really a job for the environmentalist/scout to pull out his handy dandy scanner and test the water and determine best method of purifying it.

Survival Knife: hollowed out handle: flint, uninsulated wire 1 meter, 10 H2O pruification tablets, ?


Thanks for reminding me about the water purifiers and survival knife. I would definitely include them. The funny thing is that outdoor survival - or outdoor anything - is my blind-spot, as I hate camping and hiking. I compiled the other list for may games, but I made the Survival Kit quickly as the players are not expected to go planet-side until they deal with the unrest on some moons form a group of gas giants. I would need to look into things further...

*pulls out and read primer form the Outdoor Survival boardgame*

As for all the water bags, they come empty and weigh next to nothing until you full them, and you can full them one letter at a time. The reason for the extra bags is just extra redundancy and for long-term supplies.

I'm definitely going to go with a hand-held water purifying device. It would have an off-colored water bag for the unclean water, and you can place a normal water bag on the other end to slowly filter-out chemical and biological contamination. A portable distiller - a device that sucks-in the surrounding air to pullout the moisture - could be another good option.

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
October 1, 2014 - 3:27pm
yes I saw some lady invented some straw like device that can filter water. They demostrated it for use for children and adults in Africa. You can put it on a necklace. I see a lot of Corporate influence on that one - bury it.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
October 1, 2014 - 5:25pm
I've seen the straw, reportedly its like sucking a thick milk shake. I thought about that but disregarded it since I did not think that all of the core four would be able to use it. One of my assumptions with the game is that corporations develop and market items with maximum utility across the core four species.
So I think a compact filter and hand pump is the ticket here.

there could be a compact survival model that would require lots of hand pumping taking a significant ammount of time to produce a liter. A larger pump (1 kg) might produce 1 liter/ 10 minutes

Then there might be a powered model that is the size of say a real world portable gas generator. it would have some bells and whistles and be able to scan and alert to toxins like heavy metals etc and be able to condense water out of the air if humidity is high. Since it can condense humidity it would have a cooling unit and thus could be ducted to a tent and cool the inside relieving some of the need for water in high heat (See SF-0 for rules on high heat and need for water).
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
October 2, 2014 - 6:27pm
It seems that we have a handy-dandy handheld water microfilter, today. It is called the Katadyn Pocket microfilter.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
October 2, 2014 - 7:32pm
Malcadon wrote:
It seems that we have a handy-dandy handheld water microfilter, today. It is called the Katadyn Pocket microfilter.


The Katadyn is new to me, I had see older versions previously
change the output of the hand held to 1L/minute and wt. to .5kg and a 25 year product life
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
October 18, 2014 - 2:43am
For my campaign, the starting gear really depends on whether the characters are military/spacefleet, seasoned explorers, everyday civilians, corporate types, etc.  I've had people make a wide range of character types, and I try to let the character mix determine what equipment they end up with.

That said, I am really enjoying some of the ideas here!