The following section expands on the rules for spending Build Points and includes some obligatory expenditures (like upgrading the PCs’ starship so they can take on more lucrative jobs and bigger threats) as well as new options (like having a comfortable lifestyle or hiring employees). The PCs can hold onto as many unspent BP as they like.
The PCs can spend BP to hire agents, professional representatives, and even
full-time employees who work for them. They can also buy another starship and
hire crew to haul cargo as part of their overall operations. When the PCs hire
personnel to expand their business, you decide the NPCs’ stats (though usually,
an NPC has a total skill bonus in a handful of skills equal to 4 + 1-1/2 × their
CR). Though usually loyal to the PCs, these NPCs won’t risk their lives. If
treated poorly, they might leave the PCs’ service. An employee hired by the
PCs agrees to a 1-year contract; at the end of that term, the PCs must hire
them again, or the NPC leaves their service.
Planetary Agent: A planetary agent costs BP equal to the agent’s CR, which can be no higher than the party’s APL; as the party’s APL increases, the PCs can spend the difference to raise the agent’s CR. The agent lives on one world or space station; while they may have many other clients, they work on the PCs’ behalf to perform the find cargo and find buyer downtime activities. The agent can also perform the gather information task of the Diplomacy skill. The agent won’t leave the world on which they’re stationed. The PCs must supply the agent with the credits or other requirements necessary for any task they ask the NPC to perform.
System-Wide Representative: A system-wide representative operates similarly to a planetary agent, but the system-wide representative will travel to any world in a single star system (such as the Pact Worlds system). A system-wide representative costs BP equal to twice the representative’s CR, which can be no higher than the party’s APL.
Starship: The PCs can use their BP to buy another starship. This starship can’t be higher in tier than the party’s APL – 2. The PCs must spend additional BP equal to 5 × the starship’s tier to hire an NPC crew to run this starship; each crew member has a CR equal to the starship’s tier, and they follow the PCs’ instructions when it comes to buying, transporting, and selling cargo as well as the starship’s day-to-day operations. All the BP earned by this other ship goes to the party’s pool of BP. The PCs are responsible for the costs and maintenance of any additional starships they own.
The PCs can insure their starship or cargo. Starship insurance policies cost
a number of BP equal to a percentage of their starship’s total BP value at time
of purchase (see below). An insurance policy remains in effect for 1 year; after
this time, the PCs must buy a new policy (at a higher price if their starship
has increased in BP value). If the PCs’ starship is completely destroyed with
a policy in effect, the PCs receive a percentage of the ship’s BP value in payment.
The rest of the Build Points the PCs spent on their starship are lost!
Starship insurance policies are rated bronze, silver, and gold. A bronze insurance policy costs 5% of the starship’s total BP value and pays out 50% of the total value. A silver insurance policy costs 10% of the starship’s total BP value and pays out 75% of the total value. A gold insurance policy costs 15% of the starship’s total BP value and pays out 100% of the total value.
To insure cargo, the PCs can buy a policy for 10% of the cargo’s buy price (minimum 1 BP). If the cargo is lost and not delivered, and the PCs can prove that they didn’t steal or lose the cargo through negligence, they’re repaid BP equal to the cargo’s buy price.
The PCs can have only one insurance policy per starship and per each cargo.
The PCs can spend BP to live the good life. These lifestyles assume a group
of 4 PCs; you can adjust the costs for larger and smaller groups as you see
fit. Lifestyles don’t impart any mechanical benefits to the characters.
Comfortable: The party spends 1 BP to live comfortably for 1 month on a single world or space station. The PCs reside in spacious lodgings decorated to their taste and have access to stylish personal transportation. They partake in high-quality food and drink whenever they wish, and they attire themselves in fashionable and flattering clothing.
Luxurious: The party spends 5 BP to live in luxury for 1 month on a single world or space station. The PCs reside in fabulous homes in an elite neighborhood; they have multiple forms of personal transportation, and unique fashions made for them by famous designers (equivalent to formal wear) fill their wardrobes. A large staff of professionals—housekeepers, gardeners, personal tailors and groomers, a chauffeur—see to everyday chores the PCs don’t wish to concern themselves with (each professional is a professional freelancer with a skill bonus equal to the party’s APL).
The PCs can spend BP on their starship if they have the time and facilities required make such upgrades (Starfinder Core Rulebook 305). Using this system, the total BP value of the PCs’ starship can be no more than 5% more than the value listed for its tier in Table 9-1: Starship Base Statistics on page 294 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook. For example: a group of 1st-level PCs have a tier 1 starship on which they have spent a total of 52 Build Points (saving the rest to purchase cargo). As they accumulate BP by selling cargo, they can spend, at most, 5 BP to upgrade their starship, raising its BP value to 57 (5% more than the 55 BP used to normally create a tier 1 starship). When their APL rises to 2, this group can upgrade their starship further but no higher than 78 BP (because a tier 2 starship is normally created with 75 BP). The PCs still can’t spend more than 1,000 BP on their starship when their APL reaches 20.
Due to bad luck or mishandling of cargo, the PCs might end up with no spare BP to keep the cycle of buying and selling going. In such cases, the PCs can sell parts of their starship to acquire BP. There’s no added cost to downgrade; for instance, if the PCs want to pawn their vessel’s coilgun, they receive the weapon’s full BP cost of 6.