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Scaling Equipment

Upgrading Gear

Source Starfinder Enhanced pg. 146
Once you’ve gained a level or two, it’s likely time to upgrade your gear. When making upgrades, there are two important considerations: who’s doing the work and how substantial the changes are. These considerations affect how long the process takes and how much it costs, occasionally having additional impacts.
Performing an upgrade typically takes 8 hours.When you upgrade an item, use its new item level to calculate its base statistics like Armor Class bonuses and damage dice, modified by perks, item type, and other properties. If the new level grants more perks than the previous item granted, choose and apply an additional number of perks equal to the difference. Rarely, the new item might grant fewer perks, such as using the optional price adjustment (see the sidebar on page 143) to upgrade a high-price item to a low-price item of a higher level; if so, remove a number of perks equal to the difference in BP.
When upgrading the item, you can also replace some of the old item’s features (see Upgrade Scope below).

Upgrade Scope

Source Starfinder Enhanced pg. 146
The more extensive the upgrades, the more expensive the project. When upgrading an item, you can make one minor change for every item level the item gains. This allows you to tweak the item gradually without difficulty. A minor change might include the following.
  • Replace one perk with another perk for which the item qualifies. If the replaced perk costs more than one perk slot to acquire, replace it with one or more perks whose total cost equals the replaced perk’s cost.
  • Reduce item’s number of perks by 1, and remove the item’s flaw.
  • Apply a drawback to the item, granting the item an additional perk.
  • Change a weapon’s damage type. This might also change the weapon’s ammunition type or damage die size.
  • Change the number of hands required to wield a weapon.
  • Add or remove the operative or unwieldy special weapon property.
Major Changes: Sometimes you need to overhaul an item’s design, and those changes can be costly. You can apply one or more major changes when upgrading an item, with each major change increasing the upgrade cost by 5%. Typical major changes include the following:
  • Change an armor’s type (such as light to heavy).
  • Change a weapon’s type (such as advanced melee to longarm).
  • Make up to three minor changes.
  • Rebuild the item using a special material, such as reforging a doshko out of adamantine alloy. The cost of the special material is added to the upgrade cost.
Radical Changes: Rarely, you just want to rebuild everything. In a process that takes 8 hours and requires a tech workshop, you can transform the item (minimum item level 3) into a different scaling item whose item level is 2 lower—such as changing a 5th-level heavy laser weapon into a 3rd-level suit of light armor. You redesign all aspects of the item in the process.

Optional: Upgrade Labor

Source Starfinder Enhanced pg. 146
When upgrading gear, you can usually assume that a PC commissions an NPC to do the work or that the PC handles the labor in a consistent yet unremarkable way. However, some PCs are exceptional craftspeople eager to apply their skills. With this optional variant, a PC might be able to reduce the necessary time or expense involved in scaling gear.
When beginning work, a PC must have proper tools as well as supplies available (UPBs or the equivalent in spare parts) equal to 110% times the desired upgrade’s cost. They decide whether to decrease the upgrade time or decrease the upgrade cost. The PC then begins the work, attempts a skill check partway through the process, and applies an effect based on the skill check’s result.
Attempting the Check: For most upgrades, a PC uses Engineering. However, Mysticism might be appropriate for hybrid and magical gear. The DC for modifying gear equals 10 + 1-1/2 × the gear’s new item level.
Result: The impact of the PC’s specialized labor depends on the check’s result. Using the Upgrade Result table, compare the check’s result to the task’s DC; the effect depends on how much the check’s result exceeded or fell short of the DC. The cost can never by reduced to less than the difference between the higher level item’s price and the lower level item’s price.