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A change to mechanics like the one suggested here brings the game closer to a board game. This type of change doesn't add anything to the game, it takes away from it. It isn't a change for the better, the mechanic is simple enough as it is and there are uses for Ability Scores outside of providing a modifier, and there are reasons for having the even/odd split. All of these things have been stated earlier in this thread, and the highly talented (why didn't the Soldier get Perception?) game designers at Paizo decided to leave it the way it was. There is a reason for that.
I don't really want to talk about Perception as a Class Skill, but OK. Since the Soldier didn't get it as a Class Skill, no one should. It made me so angry that the class that should get it first was left out, I thought of house ruling that only Soldiers can pass Perception checks. Apparently situational awareness isn't something that's done in space, neither is guard duty, but oh well. Seriously, there is no argument for a Soldier not getting Perception that doesn't work for every other class. So the Mechanic definitely, no way in the Abyss, doesn't get it. I'll be very disappointed in Paizo if any other classes get Perception.
As far as Class Skills go for the Mechanic, I agree 100% with what you suggested (ignoring Perception as a suggestion for the Mechanic because that's offensive). The other classes listed so far have 1/2 the number of Skill Points/level as the total number of Class Skills they have. You listed 8 Class Skills, so 4/level.
Also, yeah the Mystic gets 6/level. I have no idea why. Medicine, a couple of knowledge skills, maybe Sense Motive, and they'd be good, but instead they're kinda bloated with skills. I think that might end up being a thing in Starfinder, Skill Bloat. Sure the Soldier needed extra Class Skills (including Perception because they use their ears and eyeballs when they're on guard duty!), but the Cleric and Bard were fine with their number of skills/level as far as I knew.
The complete overhaul of magic, AC, HP, iterative attacks, and weapons in Starfinder are far more than tweaks and all way more radical than what is proposed here.
Actually it's because switching that up brings it too close to being just a board game (like 4e was). I'm here to play tabletop RPG's, not Monopoly. It isn't a sacred cow as much as it is essential to what the game feels like when played.
Also, how would you roll ability scores? Assuming the point buy build from PF is relevant you can't go under a 7 (-2), and you can't go over an 18 (+4) before racial adjustments. That's 7 different modifiers (including 0), so let me break out my d7?
It isn't as revolutionary an idea as people are making it out to be. I'd say (again) that it isn't so much a missed opportunity as it is a dodged bullet. If they would have done that kind of a switch up, I'd probably just write Starfinder off as another 4e type failure and continue my Star Wars conversion for Pathfinder.
What they did was make a few adjustments to the Pathfinder system to accommodate ranged combat as the default, and streamline a few systems. That's all. They aren't completely overhauling magic, HP, or AC; they're tweaking them to better fit the setting. Iterative attacks are getting the biggest visible change, but BAB is still there with different progressions based on class. The actual biggest change is to gear. Reworking damage to scale from item levels is kind of a big deal, but that isn't going to change how the game feels to play the same way changing how Ability Scores work would.
Edit: Your assertion that the other tweaks are less radical than what you're proposing is subjective.
Wether or not there are any 4hp classes (I doubt it myself), I don't see mechanics being frailer than envoys and mystics. (or less skilled than an envoy).
Envoys have 8 Skill Points/Level, which is an insane ammount of skills. Only the Rogue had that many in PF; even the skill monkey class (Bard) only got 6/level. The Mechanic, as a concept, seems like it would have Engineering and maybe a Knowledge Skill related to technology, and that's it for the class concept. Doesn't need Perception (better not get it if the Soldier didn't), Stealth, Diplomacy, or anything else like that, so 4/Level would be generous when it would do fine with 2/Level plus Int Mod, Favored Class, and maybe being human. I expect Intelligence to be very important to the class, so with a decent Int (+2) and the favored class bonus, 7/level would more than cover any skills the class needs as well as having plenty left over for what players want.
How many akata minis should I try to pick up for the first Adventure Path? I know this isn't an ideal question, but I'm trying to get ready to run the AP the week I get back from GenCon.
Also, will we be getting deck plans for the ships like there were in the Star Wars and Serenity RPG's?
Edit: Thanks to Rob McCreary for answering my question about the Race Builder.
Also, non-evil undead confirmed. ^_^
This is great, but I'd like to hear more about the melee options. I've always like playing the big guy with a sword when we're in sci-fi games (and when we're in fantasy games... I like big swords). I know that the Soldier gets proficiency with advanced melee weapons, and thus specialization with them at level 3, but what are the advanced melee weapons? Are they like the chainswords and power weapons from Warhammer 40k? Can more "mundane" types of weapons qualify as an advanced melee weapon like a fullblade or scorpion whip, or does it have to be battery powered?
Also, how does melee weapons damage stack up against ranged weapon damage? Apparently there's a rifle that does 7D8, is there a melee weapon that does a similarly huge ammount? Does Strength still add 1.5x it's modifier to the damage of melee weapons?
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
...Other than operative weapons allowing you (anyone, without the need for special abilities) to use Sex instead of Strength for melee attack rolls...
Isn't that illegal?
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
But there's nothing that let's you use... Wis in place of Sex...
But that's the fun part. :(
Edit: Or have I been doing it wrong?
Charisma is a clear dump stat for virtually any Pathfinder class without Charisma-based class features, especially given how trivial it is to replace CHA with INT on skills. That, in my eyes, is poor design.
So what? If you want to say Ability Score consolidation is a bad thing, what about using Dex for Damage? Totally turns Str into a Dump stat, you'll never really need to have it on an optimized character. Instead of a greatsword, just have 2 swords and you're golden. Strength is a clear dump stat for virtually any Pathfinder class without Strength-based class features. That, in my eyes, is poor design.
I'm just ribbing you with that last part. Seriously though, there are plenty of classes that utilize Charisma, including my favorite class, The Paladin. Sure it has Charisma based abilities, but that also lets you put points into Skills that key off of Charisma so you can be more than a beat stick.
The truth is that not all Ability Scores are created equal. Some need classes that have abilities key off of them instead of being able to rely on core game mechanics. That's OK, because there are a lot of people that abhor any kind of dump stat. A friend of mine loves playing dwarves, but always has at least a 12 Charisma before racial modifiers so he never has a penalty. Personally, I've never used Charisma as a dump stat, but the next time I play a Ranger I will because I thought up a backstory that leaves him physically and mentally scarred and bitter.
Wow, that went on for a little longer than I thought it would. Apologies for the rant.
I hope this thread is in the right place.
We know that the first AP for Starfinder will involve akatas (they're on the cover of Incident at Absalom Station). How likely will it be that vendors are there selling the old Pathfinder Battles: Legends of Golarion #009 Akata miniatures? Any idea on prices? I'm not too keen on buying boxes of random miniatures, and I found a pretty good price on akatas online, so I'm wondering if I could save on shipping by waiting and buying them at GenCon.
I know that they're going to have paper pawns, but the list from the Core Rulebook doesn't have akatas, and the Alien Archive doesn't have a list up yet (and doesn't come out until November). So it seems like paper pawns are out of the question for me (also not a big fan of paper minis).
Ninja Division is, as I understand it, going to be making miniatures for Starfinder, but right now all I've seen are minis for the iconics and a few space ships. They look pretty cool, but they're not what I'm looking for. So it seems like buying the old PB:LoG akatas are the way to go, but maybe I missed something.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Edit: Also, any idea how many will be needed for the first AP?
You'd have to rework a lot of things to get rid of the Ability Score/Ability Modifier dynamic. Ability damage would have to be reworked. If you had a 5 Con, you'd be dead at -20HP, but you could also not be dead until at -21, or if you have a 0 Con, you're dead at -10/-11. Sure you could work out a formula for it, but it's much easier to say you're dead when your HP = -Con. Encumbrance would have to be reworked. Lets not forget that in Path/Starfinder a part of leveling up is increasing Ability Scores, and sometimes you increase an Ability Score without increasing your Modifier, so that will have to be addressed. Do you just give the power boost to the PC's? How does that affect combat math (can be much more beneficial to Martial types than caster types)?
Check out Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd Edition for examples of what I'm talking about.
In my head-canon, galactic civilization is in an era akin to 17th century Europe. Of the three major territorial factions we've learned about, two of them appear to be straight-up empires (Veskarium, Azlanti - which I assume is a territorial empire) with strong expansionist urges. This results in training a military that will be fighting across a wide variety of alien terrains, where sensory perceptions may often be unintuitive, which leads many soldiers to rely on implants and augmentations for this skill. As a result, it's become far more effective to train soldiers to be able to take hits and neutralize threats quickly than to spend time rooting threats out ahead of time. Sorta like line infantry logic (which, incidentally, looks very similar to what's going on in the "Five Differences" blog illustration). This has led to a lot of scientific investment and innovation in power armor, which has advanced to the point where most soldiers can take a lot of hits before finally going down.
Does no one do guard duty in space? Even with power armor, you still need situational awareness.
For ship types, earlier in the thread I described a ship that I called a "corvette". I was basing that off of the size of real world battle ships, not on the number of crew. Corvettes are (I think) the smallest ships that can qualify as a warship. Modern corvettes are 55-128 meters long, but I think that 50-100 meters long (and capable of being adequately crewed by 1 pilot, 1 engineer, and 1 gunner) is more appropriate. It should be able to fly with just one person at the helm, and also have stations for up to 7-8 crew (sensor operators, extra gunners, extra engineers, a captain). This is close to what I'm imagining for a bridge, but I think the gunner could be in a turret, and the engineer should be in the engine room or something (just my personal preference).
*Here the site went down and I lost 75% of my post* :'(
Anyways, I think the Tempest from Mass Effect: Andromeda is an ideal starting point for GM's that want to create their own ship for their players to fly around in. It has 11 people on board during the game, but only needs a pilot (and co-pilot?), and an engineer to fly. The cool thing is it's got a lot of room to add crew members to, but not so much room that it's going to become a capitol ship. It's a little on the large end for a "corvette" at 95 meters, but that's OK. Most of the room is taken up by tech and bio labs, armory, med bay, meeting room, galley, crew quarters, etc. So there isn't much risk of it becoming a carrier (although depending on how determined your group is, that does remain a possibility).
A ship like this is very flexible, and can be upgraded/tailored to the group. Probably to the point where it won't have any glaring weaknesses. Paizo has said the ships will be customizable, and I think something like this is what they have in mind.
Also, having a ship with a crew "under 50" is way too much. If your crew size needs to be in the double digits, you've probably got too much ship. Here's some examples that, in my opinion, would make good ships for a group of Starfinders.
Small ship for 2-3 people.
Medium Ship about what I'd expect for a typical group.
Large Ship for a bigger party.
I think you're reading it wrong; I believe Owen was saying that the soldier was happy because they get specialization with all weapons as compared to other classes only getting specialization with some weapons, not that they should be happy that 'their' class feature (and I don't believe Owen was saying it was the soldier's class feature) was something everyone has. And I presume that heavy weapons are probably pretty damaging...
You might be right, but is it really specialization if you get it with all weapons? It's probably just going to be one of those things that I'll be disgruntled with while I buy all the stuff for the game. Like why don't Soldiers have Perception as a Class Skill? They would have it over any other class (except maybe, MAYBE, the Operative). If Perception is a skill, and the Soldier doesn't have a way to get it (hopefully themes, or maybe fighting styles can give class skills), it would feel like the Titans losing the Super Bowl by literally inches. Sooooooo close, and yet...
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Sure they could be different classes, but they'll all have to have max ranks in Pilot, the Ace Pilot Theme, and both of those things seem like they won't be too useful when on the ground. Sure you don't have to have a bunch of Ace Pilots for your group of fighter pilots, but that's what you'll end up with, because the ones who aren't built that way will get weeded out through space combat. I'd bet that (at best) in a party of 5, you'll have one Soldier, one Mechanic, and three Operatives, all Ace Pilots. I'm speaking from experience on this one. I've been in multiple games where we were going to play a squadron of fighter pilots, and everyone built the same class, with the same feats, right down to Skill Focus (Pilot) (SW Saga Edition, which one of the Starfinder Developers worked on- Owen K. C. Stephens).
As for what happens on a bigger ship when the pilot dies; you have to remember that it's being piloted by THE pilot, not the ONLY pilot. Someone else would take over, they just wouldn't be as capable, and they would concentrate on leaving ASAP. Alternatively, the medic/healer could cast Raise Dead/Defibrillator and get the pilot back in the game (hard to do if everyone is in their own ship, cut off from each other). Redundancy = good, cookie cutter = bad.
As has been stated earlier in the thread, it's assumed that ship repairs will happen mid combat, and being the person responsible for flying, shooting, repairing, and whatever else the other two roles are is something I'd bet a single character can't do effectively. You'll end up with more party fatalities that way. Sure you could argue that you'll get a TPK if the bigger ship gets blown up, but that's what escape pods are for. Also, with more people on a ship, they'd likely have to all agree to go into a fight they can't win since ship combat encounters are going to be balanced by something like CR. If you, as a GM, are throwing stuff at the party that their ship can't handle, that would blow them out of the sky in a single encounter, you should probably rethink your style. Unless your party has a habit of making bad decisions that get them TPK'ed a lot; then you should probably sit down and talk to your players about what strategy is.
That might be what Specialization is, but why would the Soldier be happy about everyone getting it when in Pathfinder it was specific to one class (or hybrids of that class like Brawler/Swashbuckler)? Does the Soldier have an ability that makes other classes do more damage with weapons that they are specialized in? Does the Soldier get more out of specialization than other classes (not just easier access)? I'm assuming it's the former.
I just hope it isn't something like the Soldier having more options compared to the Fighter. If being a one trick pony makes you less useful than the other classes, just beef up that one trick until it evens out. Leave inflicting status conditions to the other classes; the "I use weapons really well" class should only worry about inflicting one condition: death!
If Paizo makes Pathfinder 2nd Ed. I'll... I'll...NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Also, if everyone is supposed to be piloting their own ship, you're losing out on party diversity. If you've got 4 small ships going up against an encounter designed for a normal party, they're probably going to take many more casualties because they are squishier, can't shoot, fly, repair, scan, and whatever else all at the same time. 1 big ship automatically has much more defense just from sheer bulk, and can have someone dedicated to repairs, can have much larger/more guns with a dedicated gunner, and can be better at avoiding attacks because you can have some specialized in piloting. This diverse group will have those same strengths when they are on the ground adventuring, whereas a group of 4 pilots would be too similar, and, again, will take more casualties from being unable to deal with specialized threats.
TL;DR: a big ship with a diverse crew is better than a greater number of ships piloted by characters that can't do everything at the same time.
There are pics floating about from PaizoCon that confirm HP is based off of Class and Race. Probably also Constitution Modifier, but not 100% sure of that yet (only 99%).
Do you gain extra Hit Points when you level, or is it a fixed number from level 1? What about Stamina and Resolve Points? How much do you get, and how much do they go up per level (if at all)?
LoL, you beat me to it.
Obozaya has an odd number of HP in the pic of her stat block, which means that her Con modifier of +1 likely plays a part in determining how many HP she gets. That means if you get more HP as you level up, your Con mod probably applies per level, making a higher Con more valuable as you level up, kinda like it is in Pathfinder. So I suspect Con to be as needed as it was in that system.
I'd also bet that even though your HP at level 1 come from class, Con, and race, your HP at higher levels come from just your class + Con mod.
Hopefully, as far as guns and Str go, they have a recoil system that imposes a penalty for extra shots per round with the bigger guns that can be offset by a higher Str mod. Although, there has been no suggestion of a system like this, most likely making it wishful thinking on my part.
It was less about the Falcon's maneuverability and more about Han Solo's skill. The cool thing about the Millennium Falcon was it's astrogation abilities and engines. It could get from one end of the galaxy to the other in less time than any other ship. It was the fastest ship in the galaxy. And it belonged to a random smuggler... The most advanced navicomputer and most powerful hyperdrive were in the possession of a nobody. I always found that to be a little suspicious.
Anyways, characters are supposed to be able to own a starship from level 1 (the game was designed with that in mind). That means you can get into ship combat at level one; I'd bet that some campaigns will start out like that. Therefore, you don't give your players the Serenity as a starting ship, 'cause they'll all die. Now if the Serenity had a missile launcher, or a laser turret or two, anything to fight back with, that'd be OK. It's kind of like saying, you can disarm traps and have social encounters to get from level 1 to 2, so why would players need to start off with weapons and armor? Player ships at level 1 should have guns. Little guns; guns that you can upgrade later. Same thing with shields, missiles, sensors, and hull plating (or whatever you have in Starfinder). 'Cause the system is designed for the ship to "level up" with the party.
You go from a stock YT-1300 and end up with the fastest ship in the galaxy, but even stock light freighters have weapons.
Looking at both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, here's what I've come up with.
Starlord: Operative/Thief, Outlaw
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 spoilers:
Then he thought really hard about multiclassing into a Solarion, but after his GM ran a whole mini campaign where he could incorporate the multiclassing into the story, he decided against it. GM got mad and the crew had to fight a planet and an enemy fleet.
Gamora: Soldier/Hit and Run, Mercenary
Rocket: Mechanic/AI implant, Bounty Hunter
Drax: Soldier/Blitz, Mercenary
Groot: Rocket's cohort. I guess Leadership made it to Starfinder?
Nebula: Operative/Ghost, Mercenary
Yondu: Envoy, Outlaw
Mantis: Mystic/Empath, Xenoseeker
Archmage Variel wrote:
Any guesses on what fighting style Obozaya is? My guess is blitz.
For Obozaya, I'd guess arcane assailant since arcane and divine magic is all lumped together. She drifted away from Darmoritosh's faith, but still uses his symbol on her "holo-banner" and probably inscribes her "sacred doshko" with his symbol.
Kaushal Avan Spellfire wrote:
Why isn't Perception a class skill now? Shouldn't situational awareness be within a soldier's wheelhouse?
At least fighter types can do first aid now. Still can't stand watch for guard duty though. :'(
OK, So I've been digging around the guts of the various dragons looking to create my own, and I noticed something when I checked what I made against Table 1–1: Monster Statistics by CR in the first Bestiary. Dragon average damage is over their CR by a lot. For example, an Adult Blue Dragon is CR 13 and averages 87 damage: 1 bite, 2 claws, and 2 wings (the breath weapon averages 54 damage), but CR 13 says it should average 60 damage. So the Adult Blue is putting out damage of a creature 3-4 CRs higher. I confirmed this with the other dragons, and it isn't just this one, they are all putting up really high numbers. I know that the table is just a suggestion, but that's a huge jump (+27 damage).
So are dragons supposed to be like this? If so, why, what's the purpose? Sure dragons are supposed to be powerful creatures, but shouldn't CR represent how powerful they are? If you need stronger creatures use stronger creatures, don't just up-jump the damage and keep the CR the same. That's just taking away rewards from the players. Am I missing something? Help me out here guys, Thanks in advance.
Allright! Varied BAB progression confirmed? Higher Skill points for fighter classes is something I like, as is the combination of Jump/Climb/Swim into "Athletics." Also, it looks like we have the full list of Class Skills for the Soldier: Acrobatics, Athletics, Engineering, Intimidate, Medicine, Piloting, Profession, and Survival. Was the old "Heal" Skill renamed "Medicine" or is that a new skill?
Last thing: What is the difference between basic and advanced melee weapons? Is it like Martial/Exotic Weapons, or are there swords with buttons and settings that do things that really make them advanced?
All this means is the pilot has a Computers Skill modifier of +7 with 1 Rank, a +5 to hit with the ship's weapons, and a Piloting Skill modifier of +11 with 1 rank. Just like the Star Wars Saga Edition write ups for vehicles. The only difference is in Saga, there were no skill ranks; you were trained or you weren't. They probably have a list of maneuvers pilots can do that includes advanced maneuvers that require a certain number of skill ranks in the Piloting Skill.
From the GTM demo, it seems like your normal weapons go after the ship's AC, and I think they said the Target Lock was for shooting Missiles.
Finally, as for a targeting computer, the ship from the GTM demo had a "floating" +3 bonus that could go anywhere; so you could use your ship's AI to help you shoot. You could also use it to help you pilot, or even repair damage. I wouldn't be surprised to see different ships that have different bonuses, though. Seems like this ship has static bonuses to Computers (+2), and Piloting (+1); unless the Complement 1 means you can only use one bonus per round, but Complement normally means how many people can fit on a ship, and starfighters usually only seat 1 person.
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