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Underachiever599

Is There Any Rhyme or Reason To Costing Equipment?

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I'm looking at the armor section, and trying to come up with custom armor for an upcoming Clone Wars campaign. Phase I armor with Soak 2, Encumbrance 5, and 2 Hard Points (Strictly worse Laminate Armor, because supposedly the Phase I armor was less comfortable to wear and had less room for attachments than the Phase II and later Stormtrooper armor). I initially considered dropping the price down to 1,500 (500 for increasing the Encumbrance by 1, 500 for dropping 1 Hard Point). However, the more I look at different armors, the more it looks like prices for armors are just all over the place, even when the stats are relatively similar.

For a few examples: 

Mechanic's Utility Suit, Soak 2, Encumbrance 5, 1 Hard Point, 1175 credits

Riot Armor, Soak 2, Encumbrance 3, 2 Hard Points, 950 credits

Enviro-Suit, Soak 2, Encumbrance 2, 1 Hard Point, 750 credits

The Enviro-Suit is considerable less encumbrance, and one less Hard Point, yet it's half the cost of what I initially planned. The Riot Armor is straight up better, with 2 less Encumbrance and the same number of Hard Points, and yet it's 550 cheaper than I planned. Then you compare the Riot Armor to the Mechanic's Utility Suit, with 3 higher Encumbrance and 1 less Hard Point than the Riot Armor, yet for some reason it costs 225 credits more? I would think it just boils down to Rarity, but the Enviro-Suit is only Rarity 2, the Mechanic's Utility Suit is only Rarity 3, and the Riot Armor is Rarity 4. With the Riot Armor being more rare than the Mechanic's Utility Suit, on top of being straight-up better in both Encumbrance and Hard Points, one would think it would be the more expensive?

Now that I've looked harder at various armor stats and costs, I'm thinking of just dropping the Phase I armor down to 750 credits. Still 250 more than the Padded Armor, and on top of that, you'd be taking on an extra 3 Encumbrance to gain the benefit of the 2 Hard Points. Does this seem balanced to you guys?

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If you want to "validate" a higher price, incorporate some add on's?  I like running Stormtrooper armour with helmet comlinks and vacuum seals.  Rarity should be up there, if you're not a clone, it could even be restricted.  If you have the armour you can pretty easily slip into a Republic base.  

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I'm guessing you're looking at a fan generated reference website that intentionally leaves out details to keep from getting shut down. Crack open the books and read the long descriptions and the costs will come more into focus.

Riot Armor is armor.

The Envirosuit has features and protects you, but it also has a noteworthy penalty for being so bulky.

The Mechanics suit has a very nice utility bonus attached, especially for low brawn mechanics.

 

 

 

 

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RPG economics rarely make sense and if you try and make sense of them you are likely to go mad. The only thing that seems consistent is that it generally is used as a balancing device with more effective items being much more expensive than one might thick they should be and less effective but useful items being less expensive then they should be. Then again this usually only applies to the CRBs where more time and play-testing has been spent during development. Once you get to the Supplements all bets are off.

Your examples though, as others have pointed out, do have some notable differences. One of those differences are role play limitations, ie. in a Mechanics suit you may get some side eye for being blue collar in a white collar room it's not Riot Armor which is likely going to get you thrown out. So the extra cost can represent how much more utility an item may have or not have. 

Edited by FuriousGreg

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Remember that how stuff gets priced isn't, and shouldn't, just be "Better = more expensive".

I prefer more "real world" economics in my RPGs. So realistically something which is "better" might be more expensive, but it might also be cheaper. Of course, "Better" should be a subjective thing depending on the situation. Also, the price of an object can and should fluctuate depending on how its being acquired and the legality of it.

So on a world that is a manufacturing hub for arms and armor, high quality armor might be cheaper then somewhere out in the Outer Rim while lower quality armor might be more expensive(and is more of a novelty item).

More GMs need to consider some economic fluctuations on the basic book prices depending on where the PCs are attempting to acquire the item. The legality and rarity of the item can also be used as another variable. It might be illegal to possess Deathsticks on Coruscant, but they're easily found because every corner dope dealer has them(so Rarity of 2-3 but Restricted). Likewise, if you are out on the Outer Rim world of Tosi which has a population of only 1.3 million, Deathsticks might be legal there but nobody has them there so they're practically impossible to find(So Rarity of 8-9, but no longer Restricted).

You could easily have Phase I armor be more expensive and have inferior stats to Phase II and Stormtrooper armor, but Phase I armor is more easily found on the market than Phase II and Stormtrooper armor because its been phased out and isn't highly suspect to have in your possession.

Of course the armor in this system could use some more granularity in terms of its protection. Since all armor caps out at 3 soak as a baseline, so there isn't much room for variation so we are stuck at tacking on additional rules.

Edited by BadMotivator

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1 hour ago, BadMotivator said:

Remember that how stuff gets priced isn't, and shouldn't, just be "Better = more expensive".

I prefer more "real world" economics in my RPGs. So realistically something which is "better" might be more expensive, but it might also be cheaper. Of course, "Better" should be a subjective thing depending on the situation. Also, the price of an object can and should fluctuate depending on how its being acquired and the legality of it.

So on a world that is a manufacturing hub for arms and armor, high quality armor might be cheaper then somewhere out in the Outer Rim while lower quality armor might be more expensive(and is more of a novelty item).

More GMs need to consider some economic fluctuations on the basic book prices depending on where the PCs are attempting to acquire the item. The legality and rarity of the item can also be used as another variable. It might be illegal to possess Deathsticks on Coruscant, but they're easily found because every corner dope dealer has them(so Rarity of 2-3 but Restricted). Likewise, if you are out on the Outer Rim world of Tosi which has a population of only 1.3 million, Deathsticks might be legal there but nobody has them there so they're practically impossible to find(So Rarity of 8-9, but no longer Restricted).

You could easily have Phase I armor be more expensive and have inferior stats to Phase II and Stormtrooper armor, but Phase I armor is more easily found on the market than Phase II and Stormtrooper armor because its been phased out and isn't highly suspect to have in your possession.

Of course the armor in this system could use some more granularity in terms of its protection. Since all armor caps out at 3 soak as a baseline, so there isn't much room for variation so we are stuck at tacking on additional rules.

There are rules in the equipment section regarding this.

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On 8/16/2018 at 2:16 PM, Underachiever599 said:

I'm looking at the armor section, and trying to come up with custom armor for an upcoming Clone Wars campaign. Phase I armor with Soak 2, Encumbrance 5, and 2 Hard Points (Strictly worse Laminate Armor, because supposedly the Phase I armor was less comfortable to wear and had less room for attachments than the Phase II and later Stormtrooper armor). I initially considered dropping the price down to 1,500 (500 for increasing the Encumbrance by 1, 500 for dropping 1 Hard Point). However, the more I look at different armors, the more it looks like prices for armors are just all over the place, even when the stats are relatively similar.

For a few examples: 

Mechanic's Utility Suit, Soak 2, Encumbrance 5, 1 Hard Point, 1175 credits

Riot Armor, Soak 2, Encumbrance 3, 2 Hard Points, 950 credits

Enviro-Suit, Soak 2, Encumbrance 2, 1 Hard Point, 750 credits

The Enviro-Suit is considerable less encumbrance, and one less Hard Point, yet it's half the cost of what I initially planned. The Riot Armor is straight up better, with 2 less Encumbrance and the same number of Hard Points, and yet it's 550 cheaper than I planned. Then you compare the Riot Armor to the Mechanic's Utility Suit, with 3 higher Encumbrance and 1 less Hard Point than the Riot Armor, yet for some reason it costs 225 credits more? I would think it just boils down to Rarity, but the Enviro-Suit is only Rarity 2, the Mechanic's Utility Suit is only Rarity 3, and the Riot Armor is Rarity 4. With the Riot Armor being more rare than the Mechanic's Utility Suit, on top of being straight-up better in both Encumbrance and Hard Points, one would think it would be the more expensive?

Now that I've looked harder at various armor stats and costs, I'm thinking of just dropping the Phase I armor down to 750 credits. Still 250 more than the Padded Armor, and on top of that, you'd be taking on an extra 3 Encumbrance to gain the benefit of the 2 Hard Points. Does this seem balanced to you guys?

I think the whole pricing system in the game is completely banjaxed and I don't bother with it.

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1 hour ago, Underachiever599 said:

Glad I'm not the only one

I compared essentially a pound of blaster rifle to a pound of starship given game prices and no one would ever build ships and make money compared to portable items. There was a Home Depot flyer on the desk while I did the numbers, and converting to dollars/cents a bag of deodorized manure in the flyer per pound was more expensive than a pound of starship....

I just charge what equivalent, or as near as possible, in dollars and cents equivalence and don't bother with the goofed up game numbers. 

Edited by 2P51

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7 hours ago, 2P51 said:

I compared essentially a pound of blaster rifle to a pound of starship given game prices and no one would ever build ships and make money compared to portable items. There was a Home Depot flyer on the desk while I did the numbers, and converting to dollars/cents a bag of deodorized manure in the flyer per pound was more expensive than a pound of starship....

I just charge what equivalent, or as near as possible, in dollars and cents equivalence and don't bother with the goofed up game numbers. 

Well yeah, George's "10,000! We could almost buy our own ship for that!" line ensured that spacecraft will always be undervalued. Ships are their own silly animal as a result.

I half expect this to come up in a future Rian Johnson movie.

"10,000? Only a stupid farmhand would buy a ship being sold at that price. Might as well buy a coffin with an ion engine strapped to it."

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On 8/16/2018 at 4:16 PM, Underachiever599 said:

The Enviro-Suit is considerable less encumbrance, and one less Hard Point, yet it's half the cost of what I initially planned. The Riot Armor is straight up better, with 2 less Encumbrance and the same number of Hard Points, and yet it's 550 cheaper than I planned. Then you compare the Riot Armor to the Mechanic's Utility Suit, with 3 higher Encumbrance and 1 less Hard Point than the Riot Armor, yet for some reason it costs 225 credits more? I would think it just boils down to Rarity, but the Enviro-Suit is only Rarity 2, the Mechanic's Utility Suit is only Rarity 3, and the Riot Armor is Rarity 4. With the Riot Armor being more rare than the Mechanic's Utility Suit, on top of being straight-up better in both Encumbrance and Hard Points, one would think it would be the more expensive?

As was stated in some of the initial responses, there is a lot more to these armors than their stats:

  • The utility suit includes a rather expensive (at least, at character creation) and bulky item that mechanics find very useful:  You should never see anyone without a strong interest in the Mechanics skill wear this armor.
  • The enviro suit is more of a space suit that happens to provide some protection as well:  It is not designed for combat and actually penalizes many of your combat skills.
  • I don't have the Riot Armor text handy, but I think it's pretty much just armor.

Essentially, you're comparing a pickup truck to a Lamborghini and saying 'they both have four wheels and carry two people, so why is one so much more expensive?'

On the topic of ship pricing, this is always an issue:  If ships are too expensive, how do PCs get their hands on one?  Why don't they sell their ship and live off the profits for the rest of their lives?  Prices need to be high enough that not every farmboy owns one yet not so high that they are in any way rare...

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1 hour ago, Ghostofman said:

Well yeah, George's "10,000! We could almost buy our own ship for that!" line ensured that spacecraft will always be undervalued. Ships are their own silly animal as a result.

I half expect this to come up in a future Rian Johnson movie.

"10,000? Only a stupid farmhand would buy a ship being sold at that price. Might as well buy a coffin with an ion engine strapped to it."

Technically speaking, a Life Boat is only 15,000 credits:  It's got a really slow hyperdrive, but it would have gotten everyone to Alderaan eventually (if the empire hadn't blown it up before even the falcon could get there, of course).

That being said, the movies seem to use 'more valuable' credits than the games:  Credits didn't really come up enough to tell how much they are actually worth (I think Luke got like 1,200 credits for selling his speeder?)

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I have found this problem as well and it seems like it doesn't lend itself to having personal equipment be much of a credit sink for players. If they have a ship or a house or something the it's good, but personal equipment seems too light on base value in many situations. 

 

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If you think pricing in this system is bad, you should have seen the old WEG books.  

That said, I find the prices make a good reference for a starting point, but things are very situational.  Our current campaign is a street gang on a way backwater rim planet that no mainstream cargo ships ever visit, so it's all but impossible to find some of the heavily manufactured suits.  I think we have one character in Armored Clothing (the character closest to being a tank) one in padded, and everybody else still in heavy clothing, and we're at about 200 xp.

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1 hour ago, Archlyte said:

I have found this problem as well and it seems like it doesn't lend itself to having personal equipment be much of a credit sink for players. If they have a ship or a house or something the it's good, but personal equipment seems too light on base value in many situations. 

 

Ships are only a credit sink if you occasionally destroy them since operating costs are minimal to non-existent in this game. Eventually players can get tens of thousands of credits saved up. While some like to view the PCs' ship like a character, it's not--it's a piece of gear. Blow it up, steal it, whatever.

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16 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

Ships are only a credit sink if you occasionally destroy them since operating costs are minimal to non-existent in this game. Eventually players can get tens of thousands of credits saved up. While some like to view the PCs' ship like a character, it's not--it's a piece of gear. Blow it up, steal it, whatever.

That's good advice Happy. I think the base cost for repair is 1000 cr per point of damage so I make sure there is space combat in order to get repairs into the equation. I also charge them for fuel and I have found that to be a good motivator to find work because being stuck somewhere has happened a few times. 

Blowing it up and stealing it is almost a necessity I agree. I do notice that there is a fine line though as I watched one group decide that since they believed their stuff was going to be lost anyway they stopped caring about it. It wasn't a good "focus on the story" type thing, but more of a cynical "who cares we will lose it anyway" type approach. 

At the same time the group sitting on tens of thousands (or more) credits starts to beg the question of why they are collecting it. I have found that some players view it in the same manner as money in a video game: An unassailable mass of achievement that they expect can only be diminished by their use. Others have some goal in mind. 

I personally like it when the character has more of a desire for the money than the player, and when the money has some goal or use for the character itself. When the money and the character seem disconnected somehow (Character is non-materially oriented or has no need but the character is collecting every dropped blaster) it bugs me because then it's just the player hoarding. 

 

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