Templates[edit | edit source]
When creating a New Template, you have five items: Experience, Ship, Skills, Attributes and Contacts, which you have to prioritize from A (highest priority) to E. The higher the priority of an item, the more interesting it will be (e.g. Experience in A will let you start with a higher level Captain and Crew, while Attributes in A will give you a lot of personal Points to allocate.
In order to make relevant choices, you should decide beforehand which play style you will adopt, and what role your Captain will hold. Will you be a Military Officer, a Merchant, a Spy, an Explorer…? And will your Captain stick to steering the ship or will he/she lead the Crew in battle?
Attributes[edit | edit source]
If you intend for your Captain to take part in Crew Combat (beware: on difficulty Hard or higher, your captain can die), you might want to put your attribute in a priority at least C, or your captain’s stats will fall a little short for crew fighting.
If you want your Captain to be a Melee character, then Strength and Fortitude are your best picks (both increase Health, and Strength will also improve your Melee Damage). Some Quickness will also help you Dodge ranged attacks. You might also consider investing in Resilience, as it will increase your Morale (Morale is damaged each time you are hit, and a character with low Morale may skip a turn in battle). It will also grant some protection from Energy Damage. Resilience is all the more important in difficulties where your Captain can die, as it will increase the chances to successfully pass a Death Save.
If you want your Captain to be a Ranged character, Quickness will be a great asset, as it will help you Dodge Ranged attacks, making Health a little less important (so you can invest less in Strength and Fortitude). If you intend to wield a Handgun or a Precision Rifle, Strength can be overlooked, while with an Assault Rifle, Strength will help determine your Accuracy. Resilience remains a good asset for the same reasons as before.
If your Captain will not be part of your combat team, then “Physical” Attributes will have less importance, and you will require fewer statistics point overall, so you might free the high priority to something else, and keep your Attribute at C or lower priority.
If you aim for a Merchant or Diplomat character, your Charisma will be of utmost importance, as well as Resilience; some Wisdom won’t hurt.
A character intending to steer a large Ship with numerous Crew will benefit from some Charisma as well, as it will help ease up the tensions among the Crew (which can lead to infighting, injuring crew and/or damage the ship).
An enforcer, who will Intimidate and brutalize people, will want fair Strength, Resilience and some Charisma.
A Spy or a Smuggler, who will have to past slip security checkpoint will be helped by some Quickness, and sometimes Wisdom.
As your Captain can be injured in Ship-to-Ship combat, Resilience is a huge asset in difficulties where the captain can die, preventing the death of your captain from an unfortunate torpedo.
Skills[edit | edit source]
Your Captain, as every Crew Member, will earn skill points when progressing in Jobs (Captain and Officiers can have three Jobs, therefore cumulating progression in one common skill, or cultivating many, but low to average level, skills). The skills you can boost at the Character Creation (which are not all the existing skills) are categorized in two: "Combat Skills" and "Personnel Skills". Personnel Skills correspond to a lot of Saves you will have to pass during travel and Mission, the failure of which can forfeit the mission or, during travel, lead to crew injuries and/or ship damages.
- If your character is intended to battle, once again it is to take in consideration. In that case, the Combat Skills are obviously a great bonus, especially Evasion. Whether a Melee or Ranged combatant, your Captain will benefit from Evasion in Crew Combat, as it will allow for fewer attacks to hit him/her. The rest very much depends on your intended jobs: a Combat Medic will benefit greatly from a Doctor skill bonus, as it will increase the potency of healing skills. Combat Medic is not one of the starting jobs, it gives a bonus in Pistols and Doctor and is quite helpful in Crew Combat. One of your starting Officers will initially be a Doctor, making him a Combat Medic will allow for a great Doctor score, and therefore potent Healing skills. Intimidate skill will be good for a Bounty Hunter or a Zealot. The weapons masteries (Pistols, Rifles, and Blades usefulness depends of your intended weapon, obviously.
- If your character will remain away from Crew Combat, the Personnel Skills will generally be more helpful than the Combat Skills (except for Tactics which, although a Combat Skill, will be regularly testing during travels and Missions). A Merchant will want a Negotiate bonus above all else, and an Explorer can spare his Crew and Ship many misfortunes with a good Explore score (note that those examples are not necessarily noncombatant).
Ship[edit | edit source]
Your starting Ship is very likely not to be your ultimate ship, but it will have a great impact on your early game. Some ships are initially better outfitted for battle, for travel, or for freighting. The ship’s priority determines how much budget you have for your starting ship, which is then to be chosen amongst a list (that does not include all existing ships). If your ship is cheaper than your budget, you will retain 20% of the difference as extra starting Money (meaning you might purposefully start with a ship under your budget to have a head start, to either customize it or to save for a next ship). While I will present some of the ships as better fitted for travel, freight or combat, note that every ship can be customized to suit any use, although the base stats of the ship will not change, and so some ships will be more fit to one specific use.
Travel Ship: an Explorer, or a Diplomat, will have to cross the cluster constantly, therefore it is a nice asset to have a ship that can travel some distance before needing a refuel. In that aspect, the Scout Cutter is number one, but its little crew and few components will quickly limit your Skills pool and carrying capacity. Better recommended for a Diplomat, who will not carry more than a few passenger or diplomatic packages, and avoid fights. An Explorer might want a little more cargo hold, making the Paladin Cruiser a more interesting pick, with a better endurance when shot at too. The Scout Cutter retains the advantage of being available with the Ship set in the lowest priority though, while the Paladin Cruiser requires a priority C at least.
A Merchant Ship, the two previously quoted ship can also be used as starting Merchant ship. The Frontier Liner, requiring a C or above priority, offers a stout and large ship, better suited than the previously quoted. The default outfitting of the ship offers a fair storage and armament. This ship is well balanced between cargo and armament (base and potential), making it interesting for Pirates, Explorer, or Merchants who’d rather defend their goods than run from every pirates (still, run from the ones with really big ships though). The Fidelis Cutter offers the same kind of compromise, for a higher price (Frontier Liner requires a C priority, while the Fidelis Cutter requires B), but better Armor and Shield, making it more adequate to Ship Combat, especially for a Pirate who can rely on the ship’s endurance to rush closer for a Boarding. The Cautela Heavylift is the bigger possible starting Merchant ship, with huge storage and some pretty guns too, but the Armor and Shield values make it very unfit for battle. Also, such a big ship makes for a hard early game: big crew means costly wages, and big ship mean a lot of components that can, and will, be damaged and need fixing, can be expensive too. Additionally, crew share experience, so larger crew means slower progression. At last, this ship requires setting Ship in A priority.
Combat Ship: The Paladin Cruiser offers an average battleship, but quite affordable, requiring a C or above priority, will let you fend off the occasional pirates or target. Although if you aim for intense and repeated ship combats, it will fall short quite soon. The Guardian Interceptor, requiring a B priority, offers a good starting combat ship. If improved strategically throughout the game, it can even be a decent late game ship, making it a top pick as a starter for a gameplay-oriented towards a lot of ship battles. The Dragoon Cruiser, larger possible starter combat ship, shares the same drawbacks as the Cautela Heavylift (see above). Moreover, it has fewer Armor and Shields than the Guardian Interceptor.
Experience[edit | edit source]
Setting the priority of Experience will determine the starting level of your captain, your officers, and your crew. Basically, the smaller your crew, the more experienced you want them. If you intend to ride a Scout Cutter, for instance, you might want to set your experience a priority A, B or C. Note that the wages of your crew increase with their level, so having a huge crew with a high priority Experience means expenses, but in the same time, since big crew level up slower, starting them already experienced is more interesting. In any case, your crew, officers, and captain will gain experience through the game, so a high starting experience is only useful is you want to take lots of risks very early (like going on explorations right away, for example).
In this item, you will also choose the initial job of your Captain. Crew traits are assigned somewhat randomly but have a strong influence from your choice of Captain. Your captain's starting traits are also determined by your initial job selection and are exclusive, can't be acquire during the game. You are not required to level your starting job past Level 1, and can select up to two additional jobs for your Captain once the game has begun. This means that you should prioritize your initial job selection based on the desired traits for your captain and to a lesser extent, your starting Crew.
|Stalker||Seeks high-value targets, when crew combat includes an enemy officer or captain then immediately gains a Buff for +15% Critical, +10% Dodge, +10% Parry and Stealth Mode for 3 Turns||Profession||+3 *|
|On Edge||Coiled spring ready to strike, +1 Strength, +1 Fortitude, +3 Initiative||Profession||+3 *|
|Born Hunter||A natural predator, +2 Resilience, +10% Accuracy, +2 Initiative||Profession||+3 *|
|Relentless||Dogged in the pursuit, completing any mission step that requires an Edict grants +10% payment, extra Rep and a personal XP bonus||Profession||+3 *|
|Indomitable||Defeat is unimaginable, gains +10% Accuracy, +5% Defense, +10% Protection against Crew and Morale Dmg/Turn in Ship Combat||Profession||+3 *|
|Motivating||Stirring words and powerful presence, gains +2 Charisma, +2 Wisdom, +1 Initiative, +20% Debuff Resist||Profession||+3 *|
|Honorable||Reputable and trustworthy, adds +1-2 bonus Personal and faction Rep whenever completing a Mission step and reduces negative Rep by 1||Profession||+3 *|
|Smooth||Utterly practiced at the art of persuasion, +3 Charisma, +2 Wisdom and reduces cost of Contact Introduction by 15%||Profession||+3 *|
|Overkeen||Obsessive in the search, double the chance of drawing Xeno Artifact cards while Exploring and Exploring Missions start with +10% chance to draw Mission card||Profession||+3 *|
|Voyager||Highly skilled at riding the galactic winds, +2 Wisdom, +1 Resilience and reduces travel time and fuel consumption by 10%||Profession||+3 *|
A captain whose first job is Merchant will gain the following traits:
|Exacting||Well-versed in every aspect of the trade, +2 Charisma, +1 Wisdom and gains +10% profit when trading at an Exchange||Profession||+3 *|
|Lawful||Known for legitimate dealings, reduces the hostility of law-abiding ships (Military Officers, Merchants, Bounty Hunters, Zealots) encountered in travel||Profession||+3 *|
|Conditioned||Hardened by military training, +1 Quickness, +2 Fortitude, +10% Armor, +10% All Accuracy||Profession||+3 *|
|Protector||A faction soldier, any Orbital Ops card that adds Rep gains +2-4 bonus and Blockade or Patrol Missions start with +10% chance to draw Mission card||Profession||+3 *|
|Uncompromising||Demanding ferocity brooks no argument, +2 Resilience, +1 Fortitude and doubles all Credits extorted from enemy captains in Blockade or Ship Encounter||Profession||+3 *|
|Marauder||Eager to hunt profit, gains +10 Boarding, +10% Accuracy, +5 Range Change in Ship Combat||Profession||+3 *|
|Exploiter||Leveraging the risk required to avoid trade law, +1 Quickness, +2 Charisma and gains +10% profit when trading at a Black Market||Profession||+3 *|
|Flighty||Always dodging the law, gains +5 Escape, +10% Defense, +5% Shield in Ship Combat||Profession||+3 *|
|Junker||Every remnant of scrap has a use, fixes 2 ship components up to Repair Skill whenever salvaging a destroyed ship or drawing a Salvage card that grants Credits||Profession||+3 *|
|Roughneck||Rough but durable and approachable, +2 Fortitude, +2 Wisdom and gains 10% chance to learn a Salvage Rumor when Spicing||Profession||+3 *|
|Infiltrator||Intergalactic character of mystery, +2 Wisdom, +1 Charisma and gains +15% profit when selling Conflict Intel to one of the involved factions||Profession||+3 *|
|Slippery||Either about to disappear or backstab, gains +5 Escape, +5% Shield, +10% Critical in Ship Combat||Profession||+3 *|
|Dread Legacy||Bearing a charter stained in the blood of xeno, gains extra Rep bonus with all factions in a quadrant for destroying a Xeno ship and a personal XP bonus||Profession||+3 *|
|Inner Flame||Resolute and unwavering in the hunt, +2 Resilience, +1 Fortitude, +2 Initiative, +15% Armor and Morale will never drop below 50||Profession||+3 *|
|Single-Minded||Diehard and inflexible, +2 Resilience, +2 Initiative, +10% All Damage, Morale never breaks in Crew Combat||Profession||+3 *|
|Warhawk||Antagonistic faction supporter, gains extra +3-4 Conflict Score and a personal XP bonus whenever impacting a Conflict||Profession||+3 *|
There are several unlockable starting jobs. New templates can be created with these professions once the appropriate Unlocks have been met. These unlocks only restrict your Captain's initial choice of class and the accompanying traits. It is still possible to give your captain levels in these jobs after character creation regardless of unlocks.
Contacts[edit | edit source]
This is the thing RPG adepts might overlook at first because all the rest can be assimilated with RPG classic mechanics (Experience = experience, Ship = Stuff, Attributes = Stats, and skills = skills). Do not. I am not saying you need a lot of contacts, but the choice of your initial contact(s) can simplify your life a lot. If you wish to secure quickly a few specific services or type of recruits, and your build allow you to give Contacts a priority C or above, it is judicious to cover as many services as possible with your contact. Regardless of your amount of contacts (minimum is one with priority E), it is wise to have at least one contact with the service “Introductions”, which means that they will get you another one (or two) contacts. Basically, introductions let you improve your contacts pool, which cannot hurt. Contacts will allow you to buy specific gears, receive missions (to earn credits and reputations), recruits special crew (with jobs that cannot be found in the spice halls all over), improve your military ranks (better missions, better rewards, better recruits, discounted ship upgrades), improve your hunter's edict rank (better bounty hunter type missions and rewards), buy trade permits (allow for buying and selling of restricted goods). They will be useful regardless of your playstyle (although not all contacts will be useful to every playstyle, every playstyle will have a use, or need, of some contacts). You will be able to acquire more contacts during your roaming in the cluster, but they will be randomly selected and thus not necessarily providing the services you need. This is why it is important to choose contacts with the services you absolutely need during template creation.
Much more could be said about contacts and how to choose them, but the simplest and fastest way to determine what contact abilities you need according to your playstyle is to dive into the game, play, and practice.
Captain Finalization[edit | edit source]
Once your template is created/selected, you will still have to set a few things.
Cosmetic choices include 14 or more outfits between both sexes, as well as armbands, headgear, and facial features.
Post-Finalization Screen[edit | edit source]
- The Map: A default Map is proposed, or you can generate a map by setting some of the parameter. This will allow you to make a smaller/larger clustered/scattered map, according to your taste. The main point here is replayability.
- The affiliated Faction: You will have to choose which Faction you are acquainted with at the start of the game. This does not bind you, your allegiance can change and you may make yourself a friend or an enemy of any and every one. The starting faction, though, will provide bonuses for the worlds of said Faction, therefore helping you accessing some services when landing on those worlds. Each faction will also have different control zones, and not all have the same amount of controlled worlds and Quadrants.
- If you mean to outfit a combat for space fighting, you might want a Faction that has bonuses in Military and/or Starports; Alta Mesa, Cadar Syndicate or Steel Song are strong choices here.
- If you aim to Trade, factions with high Economics will be your best friends, such as Moklumnue, De Valtos Syndicate, Clan Javat or House Thulun.
- For Spy or Diplomat, high Government Faction will be welcome, Rychart Syndicate, or Moklumnue would be quite indicated.
- For an Explorer since you plan to travel a lot and sell your diverse findings, Clan Zenrin would be a fine choice, they are usually well spread (may change in each map you generate) and they give bonus to everything, simplifying you the task of finding needed services all over the cluster. The most important point for an explorer’s affinity is to be well spread. You might want to look (in the description) for a faction controlling landing zones in as many worlds as possible.
- The Difficulty Setting: There should be the possibility to fully customize the difficulty settings at some points. As for now, the developers still provided us with a wide range of difficulties, allowing for us to go from a nice and easy exploration game, to a harsh space-survival game. If you like to keep your characters around, you might stick to difficulties where the Captain and the Officers cannot die (up to "Normal" – included). Note though that some game mechanics do not come into play before "Challenging" which is right above Normal (Captain still immortal, Officers can die). Also, if you like a bit of a challenge, playing under “demanding” might bore you as both world difficulty and enemies are impaired (demanding is one rank up from challenging). Above that– "Hard" and over , the world and enemies are boosted and your Captain can die, if you do not feel like you can bear the frustration of your Captain death after several hours spent into it, I would recommend to avoid those settings, but if you can handle that, and if you are looking for a challenge, these difficulties are the way to go.
- “Basic” is fitted for player not used to this kind of game and willing to ease into it progressively.
- Automatic or Manual crew’s talents picking. For player discovering this kind of game, the auto-select is a good way to discover things progressively, as you can focus on that on a further playthrough and simply discover more general mechanics with your first captain. Auto-select is also well fitted for those who do not want to micromanage everything and pace the game somewhat faster. Although in the high difficulty levels, it can be lifesaving to select crew’s talent yourself, allowing you to optimize them according to your play style and strategy. Auto-select is not recommended if you keep a tight Crew (by choice or because you run a small ship) as it may lead you to miss up on something you might want. For large crews, on contrary, you will have all the talent diversity automatically selected, and manually selecting is very time-consuming.
Selecting a New Captain[edit | edit source]
Level(32) Skills. I wanted to make it obvious to myself where the skill points are going. This helps
when thinking about what jobs to combine. The first eight are your new Captain choices.
The rest are some of my favorite jobs to combine with the Captain, and Officers.
Note: Great news character Level cap has been raised from 32 to 40. Captain gets 44 job ranks Officers 40.
|New Capt Lvl(32)||Rifle||Pist||Blad||Evade||Intim||Tact||Elect||Explr||Com||Neg||Pilot||Gun||Stlh||Doc|
|Jobs & Officers||-------||----||-----||-------||------||-----||------||------||-----||-----||-----||-----||-----|
Starting Contacts: A new Captain can select up to 8 Contacts from this list depending on Template Priority.
The first 3 Contacts you pick will appear in the home quadrant. Contacts 4 through 8 will appear
in quadrants within three jumps of the home quadrant.
Thirteen Types of startup Contacts. Choose maximum of 8 depending on Template Priority.
[edit | edit source]
- Star Traders: Frontiers Steam Guides "A journey begins - character creation" by Alinoria