#Starfinder: Starfinder Month: Integrated Systems Environment Armour

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Art by Andrew Arzia

Integrated systems are an armament company based on the frozen moon of Gelida. Colonists there have had to deal with some of the harshest environments in the cosmos, but settled there to explore and to identify the life that exists beneath the icy crust. With every join and module a potential weakness, their environment suits are designed as a single whole with full integrated systems – efficient, but unable to be modified further.

ISEA Squad: Level 12, Cost 35000, EAC +17, KAC +13, Max Dex Bonus +7, Armour Check Penalty -, Speed Adjustment -, Upgrade Slots 0, Bulk L, Comes fitted with Gray Force Field, Mk 2 Thermal Capacitor, Radiation Buffer and Tensile Reinforcement.

ISEA Elite: Level 15, Cost 250000, EAC +20, KAC +16, Max Dex Bonus +8, Armour Check Penalty -, Speed Adjustment -, Upgrade Slots 0, Bulk L, Comes fitted with Green Force Field, Mk 2 Thermal Capacitor, Radiation Buffer & Tensile Reinforcement.

ISEA Specialist: Level 20, Price 2050000, EAC +24, KAC +20, Max Dex Bonus +9, Armour Check Penalty -, Speed Adjustment -, Upgrade Slots 0, Bulk L, Comes fitted with Prismatic Force Field, Mk 3 Thermal Capacitor, Radiation Buffer, Tensile Reinforcement, Backup Generator and Close Combat Computer (Ignore penalties to close combat attacks).

Prismatic Force Field 2 (2), Mk 3 Thermal Capacitor 1 (3), Radiation Buffer 1 (4), Tensile Reinforcement 1 (5), Backup Generator 1 (6), Close Combat Computer 1 (7)

IS Combat Picks

Primarily meant as an aid to climbing and capable of penetrating even Gelida’s super-dense ice, the IS Combat Picks have also become a weapon of choice for some special forces operatives and bounty hunters.

IS Combat Picks, Level 6, Cost 5000, Damage 1d4 P, Bulk L, Special: Analog, Penetrating, Bonus to climbing of +2/+3 (single/pair).

#Starfinder – Starfinder Month – MoshTec Armoury

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Artist Kyoung Hwan Kim

MoshTec makes weapons and gear for those who want something a little different, a little more stylish, a little more individual. Their model, here, is kitted out with four pieces of popular MoshTec gear.

MoshTec Armburst

MoshTec Armbursts fit a weapon into your armour, leaving your hand free for other things (even holding an additional gun!). Basic sensors and motorised compensators help your aim stay true, despite the awkward placing of the gun! The devil makes work for idle hands, MoshTec makes guns for busy hands!

  • MoshTec Armburst Tactical: Level 1, Cost 750, Damage 1d6 P, Capacity 40, Usage 3, Bulk L, Special: Automatic, Armour Slots 1.
  • MoshTec Armburst Advanced: Level 7, Cost 15000, Damage 2d6 P, Capacity 60, Usage 3, Bulk L, Special: Automatic Armour Slots 1.
  • MoshTec Armburst Elite: Level 10, Cost 60000, Damage 3d6 P, Capacity 80, Usage 3, Bulk L, Special: Automatic, Armour Slots 1.
  • MoshTec Armburst Paragon: Level 13, 150000, Damage 4d6 P, Capacity 100, Usage 3, Bulk L, Special: Automatic, Armour Slots 1.

MoshTec VariMass Buster Sword

The MoshTec VariMass uses patented technology to decrease and increase the mass of your weapon depending on whether you are striking or using it. On a violent stroke it rapidly increases in mass, smashing through armour, cartilage and bone while, at rest, it is as light as a feather!

  • Asteroidal Buster Sword: Level 4, Cost 3000, Damage 2d6 S, Critical Knockdown, Bulk 1, Special: Powered, Capacity 20, Usage 2, Penetrating, Unwieldy
  • Planetary Buster Sword: Level 10, Cost 20000, Damage 3d12 S, Critical Knockdown, Bulk 1, Special: Powered, Capacity 20, Usage 2, Penetrating, Unwieldy
  • Stellar Buster Sword: Level 16, Cost 200000, Damage 6d12 S, Critical Knockdown, Bulk 1, Special: Powered, Capacity 20, Usage 2, Penetrating, Unwieldy
  • Singularity Buster Sword: Level 20, Cost 800000, Damage 12d12 S, Critical Knockdown, Bulk 1, Special: Powered, Capacity 20, Usage 2, Penetrating, Unwieldy

MoshTec Trans-Species Graft

MoshTec’s advanced bio-synthetic technology now allows you to graft the organs and other appendages of alien species to your own – even if you have incompatible biology or DNA! Simply buy the grafting gel (1500), find a qualified medic, locate a donor and cut and paste! Lagomorph ears here were donated and grafted to our human model, fitting her System: Ears and providing her with a +2 Racial Bonus to Perception rolls that involve hearing!

MoshTec Showskin

You spent all that money on fine clothes or high-tech tattoos, only to hide it all beneath heavy armour plating. What’s the point? MoshTec’s Showskin armour combines light, agile armour plating with a tensile, planar forcefield to provide you with constant protection, while still letting you show off your duds.

  • Showskin Raw: Level 2, Price 750, EAC +1, KAC +1, Max Dex -, Armour Penalty -, Upgrade Slots 1, Bulk L.
  • Showskin Bare: Level 6, Price 5000, EAC +4, KAC +4, Max Dex -, Armour Penalty -, Upgrade Slots 1, Bulk L.
  • Showskin Nude: Level 10, Price 17000, EAC +6. KAC +6, Max Dex -, Armour Penalty -, Upgrade Slots 1, Bulk L.
  • Showskin Stripped: Level 14, 60000, EAC +8, KAC +8, Max Dex -, Armour Penalty -, Upgrade Slots 1, Bulk L,
  • Showskin Naked: Level 18, 350000, EAC +10, KAC +10, Max Dex _, Armour Penalty -, Upgrade Slots 1, Bulk L.

#Starfinder – Starfinder Month: CoCo Operative Loadout

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Art by Wonbin Lee

CoCo – The Corporate Cooperative – is a democratic corporate power with independent sovereignty over a number of corporate stations and facilities. They consider themselves an interstellar state, but many disagree. What is unusual about them is that all their employees are also considered citizens and, upon joining CoCo are given a number of shares in the company. Everyone shares in both its successes and its failures and members are permanently wired in to the company ‘chatter’. While CoCo maintains no standing military, it is alleged to have many ‘Q-Ships’ and its corporate operatives are found in many places, engaging in industrial – and conventional – espionage. Their gear is highly sought after and civilian versions are sold by CoCo to cash in on this popularity.

CoCo Body Suit

A jet black, microweave body suit with built in energy-dissipation and storage panels, the CoCo body suit is a good compromise for modern protection.

  • CoCo Body Suit I: Level 2, Price 500, EAC +3, KAC +1, Maximum Dex Bonus +3, Armour Check Penalty -1, Upgrade Slots 0, Bulk 1, Special: Ignore the first point of energy damage you take from each attack.
  • CoCo Body Suit II: Level 6, Price 4000, EAC +8, KAC +6, Maximum Dex Bonus +5, Armour Check Penalty -1, Upgrade Slots 1, Bulk 1, Special: Ignore the first three points of energy damage you take from each attack.
  • CoCo Body Suit III: Level 8, Price 10000, EAC +11, KAC +9, Maximum Dex Bonus +5, Armour Check Penalty -1, Upgrade Slots 2, Bulk 1.
  • CoCo Body Suit IV: Level 11, Price 25000, EAC +15, KAC +13, Maximum Dex Bonus +5, Armour Check Penalty -1, Upgrade Slots 3, Bulk 1

CoCo Carry System

Level 1, Cost 250

This intricate set of webbing uses various technological tricks as well as good design and a computerised weight-balancing system to help you secure your gear in the best possible way. This – which can be combined with a backpack – allows you to carry an additional 1 bulk of equipment, as though your strength were one higher. When built into armour (1 upgrade slot) it can carry 2 bulk of equipment and counts as a quick release sheath for any weapons attached to it.

CoCo Shadow Pistol

A simple projectile pistol which uses compressed gas to fire its projectiles, relatively quietly, and with an adaptable barrel which can fire any small-arm calibre round, or even ball-bearings or similar junk.

Level 6, Cost 6000, Damage 2d4 P, Range 50 ft, Capacity 12 rounds, Usage 1 (has a built-in compressor), Bulk L, Special: Analog.

CoCo Family/Stranger Networking

A pair of head implants, closely resembling small, folded ears, these allow you to connect wirelessly with CoCo data systems and to wirelessly hook up with other CoCo members within 100 ft. Indeed you must have this implant to join them. The antennae are constantly updated with CoCo information, fully encrypted, and as a safeguard are capable of delivering a lethal charge to traitors, straight to the cranium.

System: Brain, Level 5, Price 3000, Special: Wireless connectivity (you can also connect, wirelessly, to non-CoCo systems at a distance of up to 25 ft, Unit Cohesion: See below.

Unit Cohesion: If multiple people are connected via these implants they can share telemetary and communicate silently over a secured signal. This provides a +2 bonus to Perception and Initiative for everyone who is connected.

CoCo also produces a version of this cybernetic for the general public outside of their company. It can do all the same things but without access to CoCo secure lines, and it costs twice as much.

#Starfinder – Starfinder Month: Hammfist Armour

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Art by Young Il Choi

The Hammfist occupies a peculiar position, halfway between heavy armour and powered armour. Designed for boarding actions, close quarter combat and to assist with loading and unloading combat gear in advance deployments it is really neither one thing nor another and excels at neither role. Its usage profile is very narrow, but a handful of troopers – especially marines – swear by it and its efficacy. The Hammfist is being mothballed by those militaries that once used it and many suits are now turning up in the black market and military surplus arenas.

Hammfist Armour: Level 3, Price 3000, EAC Bonus +3, KAC Bonus +10, Maximum Dex Bonus +1, Armour Check Penalty -3, Speed Adjustment -10, Upgrade Slots 1, Bulk 4.

Built in Weapon: Cyberfist 1d8 B damage. The fist is powered with a battery use of 1 every two hours. It also provides the wearer a +2 bonus to strength with one arm while wearing the armour and melee weapons can be wielded in that hand, with an additional +1 damage – this also applies to the base fist.

#RPG Where Mechanics & Aesthetics Meet

red_sonja_by_warlordwardog-d51rfhxI’ve been playing The Witcher and it has me thinking about the interaction of mechanical and aesthetic choices for players in games, as is Liana Kersner’s complaint about the secondary character Ciri.

Starting out in the game I appreciated the chance to play Geralt as a silver-fox, a good looking guy in sexy armour. The whole leather-and-chain look was great but since that first set of armour the only stuff that has looked good for him is a shirt.

Now, I like the swashbuckler aesthetic and I like, generally, to play light, nimble, rogueish characters. My response to the complaints about Ciri would be that she is a fast, mobile character (her one available magical power is a localised ‘teleport’ to avoid harm) and that, as such, she wears lighter armour. The problem with this is that the mechanics of the game don’t line up with that.

In order to do well at the game I am forced to compromise my aesthetic and roleplaying preference for a light/fast/roguish character style and to take whatever the heaviest armour available is. There’s no penalty for doing so, I’m not slowed down in a fight, it doesn’t penalise my adrenalin recovery or anything and – equally – there’s no bonus for choosing the lighter armour. I could tone down the difficulty to preserve my aesthetic/RP choices, but that feels a bit like a cheap cop-out.

Choler1Mechanics can often force you to go for the heavier weapon when you’d rather be more accurate or skilful, the heavier armour when you’d rather remain mobile. These choices are often not rendered meaningful because there is no downside to choosing the heavier weapon – it just does more damage.

This can be a reason for verisimilitude in games, to take a more ‘simulationist’ bent when making your designs. Heavy armour that penalises your initiative, your ability to dodge, how fast you move and so on, trading it for greater protection. Lighter armour that doesn’t slow you down or even, perhaps, makes you more mobile, faster and the trade-off being that you’re more vulnerable.

Tabletop games tend to simulate this better, but usually in a relatively soft manner by limiting certain bonuses or capping certain skills. Computer games do it less often and their workarounds, where they exist, often break immersion. Lord of the Rings Online had an ‘aesthetic armour’ option, where you could load one set of armour for appearance and another for effect – an elegant workaround, but one which still left you feeling disconnected from the gameworld.

There’s two ways around this problem, either…

  • The narrative becomes king and armour becomes primarily an aesthetic choice, mechanically equal.
  • The simulation becomes king and armour choices represent a meaningful choice between different fighting paradigms.