I strongly disagree. With the exception of the Aeon Guard and Drow Enforcer, AC is pretty much always within CR guidelines (or a point or so of them) including armor.
The guidelines are supposed to include gear, which doesn't mean that AC can't be higher than would be expected due to armor, but does mean that if it is they should have worse stuff elsewhere.
Solarian has an issue with low Saves, but nothing you can't fix by buying some Feats. And it definitely necessitates Heavy Armor Proficiency if going melee (which you generally should). These combine to make it a tad Feat starved in many cases.
It's also a little MAD, which matters little in the long run, but can hurt somewhat early on.
It does have pretty close to the highest DPR in the game, though, so there's that. And notably better non-combat and utility options than the Soldier by quite a bit (though obviously still not anywhere near as good as something like Envoy or Operative).
Personally, I think it's fine in most cases, though if you have a typical Envoy in the party you're likely better off going with something else, since that tends to eat your non-combat role by being flatly better at it.
Really, any time you're thinking of playing a Full BAB melee character (which is very much its own thing, as choices go), Solarian should be in consideration, with whether you go with that or Soldier coming down to party composition (ie: any other Cha characters around?) and whether you care more about Saves or utility/out of combat options.
While technically true, this requires some investment to work at level 7+. Due to free Skill Focus, all Operatives can take 10 on Trick Attacks with their Specialty Skill, the same is not true of Stealth for anyone other than Ghosts unless they invest a Feat, and taking 10 tends to take your odds of success in many cases from 60% to 100% (or thereabouts), which is such a huge bonus you rarely want to be without it.
And I actually think more races have Survival bonuses than any other available Trick Attack skill (though I guess Stealth is tied if you count situational bonuses).
This is absolutely true. Of course, it assumes Cha 14, which is a pretty sizable investment at lower levels (which are when you need it most), and that you never need to go after something that's CR +3 or +4 (meaning your Trick Attack is suddenly a lot less useful in boss fight scenarios). It's a tradeoff a particular character might very easily make (and might easily be worth it), but not one without any downside.
Once again, I'm not saying Spy is bad or anything, just noting that, as Trick Attack variants go, it probably has the weakest. Certainly weaker than Daredevil or Thief most of the time.
The issue with that is that if you're maxing Dex and Cha you aren't also maxing all three of Int, Wis, and Con...and not maxing any of those three is a real loss mechanically (costing you things you legitimately want and will have hardships doing without).
Not maxing Cha, meanwhile, is no mechanical loss at all for any Operative who isn't relying on it for Trick Attack.
This is not to say playing a Spy (or other high Cha Operative) isn't a perfectly valid thing to do, but if we're talking Trick Attack optimization specifically, then the fact that Spy is forced to invest heavily in a stat that does much less for them mechanically than the other options available in order to have an equally good Trick Attack is super relevant.
Bluff can be used to feint in combat and has a lot of uses in social situations. It also helps if you are in Starship Combat to taunt the enemy ship. Although it may be at a sleight disadvantage for trick attack, it has enough other uses that I don’t think it is a weak choice.
Bluff is absolutely useful in non-combat contexts. Indeed, I can't imagine playing an Operative without it...but we are talking very specifically about Trick Attack here. And from a pure optimization perspective, raising Cha to the degree necessary to pull off Trick Attack with Bluff with the same bonus as, say, a Daredevil with Acrobatics is not the greatest plan.
Yep. Starship Combat DCs are the only super necessary changes anyway, IMO.
DCs cap at around 45 in the vast majority of cases, and Skills get to the +38 range (higher with stuff like racial bonuses) if you have a Class-based Insight bonus in it (ie: Mechanics with Engineering or Operatives with everything), and a +35 with just maxed stats and Skill Focus. Or +32 with just maxed stats.
A few things are DC 50, and those are tricky unless you're a specialist, but there aren't all that many of them except for opposed checks (where NPCs max out right around where PCs do).
A very few are higher than DC 50, but Diplomacy with CR 20 Hostile creatures (or Unfriendly ones with maxed Sense Motive) and hacking Tier 10 Computers without assistance of some sort, are pretty close to it outside of starship combat.
It's better at Trick Attack. To the tune of +1 better. That's a fairly negligible bonus in most instances and frankly, Operatives barely need to focus on Trick Attack at all.
With Dex 18 and maxing it as much as possible, a 7th level Operative will have at least a 22. That grants a +19 and allows for up to CR 9s without a roll. How often do you need to Trick Attack a CR 10 at 7th level? And the degree to which their bonus exceeds requirements only increases as they level up. I mean, at 20th we're talking CR 28-30 as the level the auto-succeed versus.
Dex is the best route for trick attack because it's linked to everything. Why even try to compete by upgrading something like Wis?
This is actually untrue. If you pick a stat you want to raise anyway (say, Wis for Saves or Int for skills), and start with a 14 you do better than raw Dex on Trick Attack (assuming you prioritize it second).
See, at 20th level, your Dex maxes out at 28 for a +9 bonus (+10 for a Ghost). +39 total bonus including everything for Trick Attack. At 1st, we're talking +11 there (+12 for Ghost).
A Detective, with Wis 24 (who can also have the aforementioned Dex, and has a very healthy Will Save for his trouble) has a mere +36...for a +40 on Trick Attack due to the +4. Heck, you can get to +39 with much lower investment (you can start with a 10 and manage it if you use your +4 Upgrade). At 1st, with a 14 in a stat, we're talking +13 for Trick Attack.
This is admittedly only true if you were gonna raise the Ability in question as a secondary Ability anyway. But that covers quite a few Hackers, Explorers and Detectives, all of whom are unlikely to regret their secondary focus.
Really, the Spy is probably weakest Specialty for Trick Attack in practical terms. Sure they get the +4 to Bluff, but investing too much in Cha (even getting the 20 required for an effective +38 is over-investing from an optimization perspective) is not a great choice for an Operative on a mechanical level.
In the short term, you'd be better off with less Con and more Cha (at 3rd level, +2 Con gives you +3 Stm and +1 Fort Saves, +2 Cha gives you a Resolve, which is 21 points of Stm once a day...or saves your life), long term (ie: at 10th level plus) this becomes less true.
Your Saves are a tad low, so you might consider skipping out on Minor Psychic Power (thematically cool as it is) for Spellbane (which actually also fits the 'monk' theme pretty well, IMO...your meditative exercises allow you to resist supernatural powers more effectively).
Also pursuant to the 'monk' theme, Iron Will might serve you better than Toughness (though, if combining this with the Spellbane idea, you likely want that at 3rd and would take Iron Will at 7th). This is a little less true if ditching Con for Cha...but even then I'd probably do it.
The real problem with this issue isn't the Efreeti Death Squads (though those might happen), nor the Contract Devil not being able to do this (they most certainly can). The issue is that you're trying to compel a master of loopholes to write a contract without loopholes.
How in the world would you even begin to force a Contract Devil to protect you from loopholes? Their entire specialty is finding loopholes around such an order and you're giving them every reason to work hard to do so. So the Contract Devil will absolutely write a contract...one that leaves the Efreeti free to utterly screw you without either of them disobeying a single order. That's what Contract Devils do.
If you're Evil, there are just much better ways to do this (starting with the aforementioned 'two for me, one for you' deal with the Efreeti). That'd necessitate two Efreetis for 4 Wishes, but it's still easier than the listed plan and nets you a bonus Wish. Heck, even Good people can readily call Noble Djinni and manage something similar.
The only real things preventing large numbers of Wishes for high level people are the in-world consequences (not just Genie Death Squads, but also other powerful people objecting and the long term consequences noted in the Wishcrafting article in Legacy of Fire mentioned above), and a certain degree of 'gentleman's agreement' between GM and players.
Which brings up the 'he left over this and nobody will miss him' thing, which I firmly agree with everyone else is a good indicator you're better off without this guy.
Actually, they don't violate the Ability distribution rules at all (the CR 3's AC is a problem, but that's a rules error of a different sort).
The Ability Arrays only specify the highest three stats, after assigning those you get to do the following (and I quote):
Alien Archive, p. 128 wrote:
After assigning these top three scores, you can set the NPC's remaining ability score modifiers as you see fit, usually equal to or less than the lowest listed modifier.
The Azlanti very precisely follow that guideline. They're explicitly on the high end (likely due to the aforementioned high stats thing), but well within the guidelines. No need for special rules.
Not all Androids have a used body (just some of them). And I think avoiding such identity confusion is one of the more utilitarian uses of a Serum of Appearance Change.
I know if I were planning on willing my body to someone I'd leave them with a method of changing their appearance so as to avoid confusion. Really solicitous android 'parents' might even throw in a Serum of Sex Shift just to make sure their heir doesn't have to deal with any bodily features they'd rather not.
steven lawson wrote:
Well, given the lack of universe and God destruction that's occurred, and the complete lack of evidence that Golarion was destroyed either, I think the assumption is that Rovagug is still imprisoned in Golarion.
Wherever the heck that is.
PhD. Okkam wrote:
Adding to the list both the Courtly Hunter hunter. Loses almost all the strengths of a hunter.
You keep your casting and a fully leveled animal companion. All you lose are the Teamwork Feats. That's a real loss, mind you, but is mitigated slightly by the fact that the Companion can just grab a couple of the essential ones with its Feats.
You also swap out Animal Focus...but that's actually more of a sidegrade than a downgrade if you want to be good at social stuff.
It's definitely a downgrade in raw combat power all things considered, but I wouldn't say it's even always a bad archetype choice, never mind being as bad as something like Brute.
Eh. Evasion + sky high AC tend to cover the 'not getting hit' aspect of Nightcrawler. Heck, as a Magus you could even add in Displacement.
Also as a Magus, you don't need to use Dimensional Dervish to full attack and teleport, instead being able to use Dimensional Agility alone most turns to full attack and teleport.
The problem with this build, of course, is that it doesn't even start to kick in until 11th level (when he can grab Dimensional Agility) and only gets Dimensional Dervish at 15th unless you use the retraining rules. So that's a problem.
Which is really the problem with most of these builds. Anything that relies on teleportation and physical combat needs to be really high level to work.
It could also be a stable time loop.
Events (in order of Quake's personal timeline):
1. Quake goes to the future (along with the rest). People are waiting for them because Fitz left a message.
I don't actually quite buy this, mind you, but it isn't impossible by any means.
Misdirection has a 1 hour/level duration and can thus only be used selectively, and also requires s subject who isn't Evil in the vicinity (which isn't hard since you can use objects...but that subject will detect as evil while you're using it, which is a suspicious thing for objects to detect as). Plus it allows a Will Save to overcome it (this part is a huge downside). Undetectable Alignment is absolute and lasts 24 hours.
Thus, for purposes of concealing that you're Evil over a lengthy period of time, Undetectable Alignment is simply the superior option. Misdirection is great for, well, misdirecting people to think someone else is Evil or guilty or possessed or what have you, but for just establishing your own bonafides Undetectable Alignment is superior, and that's what the long con requires.
Also, Undetectable Alignment in a Cleric Spell and can thus be done by an Oracle out of their own resources rather than necessitating help (an invaluable distinction if one is undercover).
PhD. Okkam wrote:
No. You also lose Greater Bane and possibility to change Bane as a swift action.
The ability to switch Bane is a real loss (and one I noted), but you can add +2d6 elemental damage easily (on top of Bane) by the time you could have Greater Bane.
Still a better caster though, which isn't a small thing.
The only combat features you lose are Judgment and Cunning Initiative (well, and the ability to Bane in more than one fight a day). Which are nice, sure, but not remotely enough to cripple them. Yeah, they're worse combatants, but I still say being better casters makes up for that in many cases.
I still disagree. It's not the best Archetype ever or anything, but it's alright.
Chess Pwn wrote:
Well also to the writer, we don't know how much was cut or changed from the idea they sent int. Like maybe they wanted it to have str or scale on it's defenses but those were removed and cut out.
Yup. Also a very real possibility.
PhD. Okkam wrote:
with dexterity in damage also the problem...
Agile's an available weapon enchantment. Not with Sacred Weapon, but you can just get it conventionally.
PhD. Okkam wrote:
You get Warpriest weapon progression on the damage and it's finesseable. Sure, you can't wield it two-handed (for extra Power Attack), but you can do a very solid Dex build and even a Str build is hardly crippled. Especially with all the stuff you can add via Sacred Weapon and spells.
Yeah... It's tough to beat (or even approach) the Brute. I feel bad for the writer... But on the bright side, at least he managed to create something truly memorable!
Amusingly, I believe Brute was written by the same person who wrote all the other UI Vigilante Archetypes...which are mostly quite good.
Everyone's got to roll a 1 on a design attempt sometime.
Well, there's no contradiction (and it's still a lie) if Ihys existed and Asmodeus killed him, but they were just two powerful Angels at the time rather than the first two beings in existence (which would fit perfectly with the aforementioned Archdevil backstories).
But yeah, I'll drop it.
Yeah, I'd go with certain creatures having prescriptive alignments - like true dragons (which literally hatch as intelligent, combat-capable creatures with certain hard-coded behaviors based on their breed), outer-planar outsiders (who are pure essence of an alignment made manifest), and the undead (whose souls have been contaminated or replaced with pure negative energy, with generally detrimental results).
This is not supported by the rules for either Dragons or Undead. Nor does the setting really support it for undead (I'd have to do research to see about dragons).
You can do this, and it makes a fine setting, but it's a House Rule. Pretty much nothing in the actual rules (or world) supports it.
The rules and setting are actually really specific about when Alignment is prescriptive (the Helm of Opposite Alignment makes it so, as does being an Alignment Subtype Outsider). Undead are never at any point listed as such a situation.
Matthew Downie wrote:
If changed alignment didn't change you, most undead creatures would stop being evil because they have no particular need to do evil deeds. Since the vast majority of undead are evil, my interpretation is that the evil alignment is descriptive of their new personality. They might be able to become Good by doing good deeds, but they don't want to do good deeds (because they're evil) so they don't.
That's not how Alignment works. The Helm of Opposite Alignment is the only thing that does, and has to include specific language to make that be the case. Language not included anywhere in, say, becoming a vampire.
Most undead stay Evil because they do have various unpleasant impulses now (like eating people) and see no reason to restrain them (heck, many don't have meaningful memories of their human lives, which gives them almost no reason to restrain their impulses).
Can a Ghoul become Good? Or a Wraith? Sure...but they have no real reason to in most cases. They don't really remember being human, and it's not like being nice is gonna get them much of anything.
As for vampires, most of them are under the control of their creator, who (if evil) is likely to have them doing Evil stuff pretty regularly. Add in their dietary requirements and Evil just becomes easiest. Most people take the path of least resistance most of the time.
And other free-willed undead who remember their lives are pretty rare. I mean, there are ghosts, but they're by far the most likely undead to not be Evil, and Liches...but they were Evil before becoming undead.
The Gods listed in the corebook are the 20 most popular Gods around.
In Pathfinder's era, in the Inner Sea region, that's a different group than it is in Starfinder.
As for what happened to cause this, many results are specified in the Starfinder Corebook:
Torag and Rovagug vanished with Golarion. Shelyn is off questing for a way to fix her brother and thus paying less attention to stuff locally. Lamashtu and Asmodeus are still around, just not as prominent, and Calistria has also fallen from prominence as the Elves became more isolationist.
Gozreh, Irori, Nethys, Norgorber, Erastil, Cayden Cailean, and Gorum are all likely just less prominent, but we have no mention of them at all in the book. Many falling from prominence make immediate and intuitive sense, though (Erastil and Gozreh due to being disinterested in spaceflight, Norgorber, Irori, Cayden Cailean, and Nethys due to being very local to Golarion). Gorum's the only one that really cries out for further explanation.
They didn't create the multiverse, but the original gods, Asmodeus and Ihys, did.
This is factually untrue in the Campaign Setting. The only place it's stated is in an in-world document. Meanwhile, several Archdevil's out-of-character profiles explicitly contradict this whole story.
In short, this story is a lie (almost certainly one perpetrated by Asmodeus).
To the initial question, though, it doesn't matter at all. Even one non-evil undead is sufficient to settle the question.
Indisputably true. That question was thus answered definitively as soon as we started actually bringing up the stat-blocks of non-Evil undead in published Pathfinder products (which was real early on).
The discussion then evolved. :)
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Actually by the rules when you become a Vampire your alignment is evil. You can't apply the template otherwise. Now that could change afterwards, but becoming a vampire does make you evil it seems.
Sure, but that's a weird rules artifact rather than a world-rule, specific to the vampire template (not undead in general), and also hardly matters. I mean, Alignment is descriptive. If you immediately start doing Good stuff you're gonna be Evil for a very short period of time since you have nothing to actually atone for.
Chuck Mount wrote:
We're arguing whether there are more like 2% non-Evil undead...or more like .02%. Both are small numbers, but one is literally 100 times larger than the other, so the difference between them does indeed matter.
Matthew Downie wrote:
As others have noted this isn't a good metric. There's no evidence that someone 'turned into' a wraith has any memories of their prior existence or any similarities to the person they were, while this is very much not true of Reincarnate.
If a PC became a Ghost, that's a better analogy, and no becoming a Ghost doesn't make you Evil.
Becoming a vampire is a grayer area given their particular nutritional needs, but I'd say a Good Aligned character could probably maintain such an alignment after becoming a vampire in theory...but only with great difficulty. Being a vampire (as opposed to being undead in general) clearly and explicitly does come with some harder to resist Evil impulses...but they aren't impossible to resist.
Most Orc writeups emphasize their in-built tendencies towards violent uncontrollable rages (something likely to lead to Evil) every bit as much as things that talk about the undead talk about their unpleasant impulses.
AS for numbers, there's a LN Vampire in Kaer Maga, a LN Mummy in The Dragon's Demand, a Neutral Attic Whisperer, a CG Ghost, and a LN Juju Zombie, all from Undead Unleashed. I'm pretty sure some other non-Evil undead (especially ghosts) have cropped up elsewhere...but I don't know exactly where, I admit.
Meanwhile, I know of only one book that features non-Evil Orcs (Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes)...and it has precisely three non-Evil Orcs given a profile within it (a CN Druid, a CN Ranger, and a CG Barbarian/Warpriest of Sarenrae).
Now, in fairness, those are all tribal leaders, and particularly with the Good one the Tribe as a whole is implied to be non-Evil...but that's an artifact of there being more orcs than self-willed undead, not necessarily Good being more common among them.
Now, personally, I'd probably say non-Evil Undead are a bit rarer than Good Orcs...but that's purely a personal preference, not anything any book has to say on the subject. And it's a matter of slight degree in numbers between non-Evil percentages, not a matter of exponential differences like there are between either of those and, say, Demons.
I go off their write ups when it talks about their drives, and how they’re statted up in official products.
Um...I'm pretty sure I can find more non-Evil undead mentioned in Pathfinder products than non-Evil Orcs.
Nobody's arguing most undead aren't evil, most of them are. But it's not inherent in the way it is for Evil Outsiders, their instincts just incline them that way...which is actually also true for Orcs.
This is totally true. Fallen angels and redeemed fiends are way more rare than, say, a Good Orc. Can you find a similar line regarding undead?
Undead and Outsiders being the exception to that.
Undead are not specified as such an exception anywhere, actually. Mindless undead are Evil, and so are most intelligent ones, but they don't have an alignment subtype or anything.
And even if they did, we've had redeemed fiends, so redeemed undead are equally possible.
Which would line up just about right by my analysis above (7 Feats lost, 6 Gained...but a couple of those lost only apply at very high levels since they're BAB).
So no, I don't think Paizo as a whole think that, just whoever wrote the specific Archetype in question.
The easiest House Rule to make magic less prevalent is just eliminate 9-level casters. With a maximum of 6-level casters you get some interesting stuff, but nothing earth shattering until really high levels. You need to be 13th level to get 5th level spells like Teleport and Raise Dead, for example, and never get any spells to raise the dead if they've been gone more than a month or so.
This makes things way more restrictive with almost no actual rules changes (though the world changes are profound).
I dunno if that's the sort of thing you're looking for, but it's a solid low effort way to get some of the same effect.
The post I'm talking about was by FirstChAoS, which was about gender and sexuality (not sex) and to which Thomas replied "Most people don't play role playing games to pretend to have sex with NPCs anyway."
Fair enough, I guess, still I feel like (based on the later much longer post) it's mostly the 'profoundly different gaming styles' thing. which, to reiterate, I've seen using almost the exact same terminology in regards to straight romance options and the like.
There was an earlier post by Envall, specifically about how prevalent sex is in the setting, which was also not about RP'ing sex at the table and to which Thomas' prior rant was similarly off-topic.
I was talking about ThomasBowman's second post on the subject, actually. the first was a throwaway comment, not really a derail, and the second is in direct response to a discussion of sex.
So basically there is no reason for people to be ranting about whether people are RPing sex at the table or not, is there? [EDIT: And it s/b obvious enough why, I'm not going to go on about it & eat up the thread.]
Not in my opinion, but this is legitimately not the first time I've seen this attitude. And it seems pretty on-topic and worth discussing why people are interested in portraying sexuality in general. Speaking of which...
Why is this even a topic??? In this category or section?? Who cares whether your character lays, stays, preys or does one-handed rummy with there self?? They have and there are communities for that exact purpose. If that's all you want out of this FANTASY GAME played with dice, miniatures, paper and pens.. then you, my friend, have a very serious problem- and it ain't with what your character does. I can ASSURE that during my gaming session I don't want the characters in my party wondering who's looking at their ass or who their thinking of going down on when we're faced with a room full of monster or in dangerous peril. Geezz, get a grip.....
And here we go again. I'll just quote myself here:
The Skirmisher fighter archetype from Ultimate Wilderness is not proficient with any weapons at all.
This is a common typo in first printings of books for various Archetypes (I honestly think it's cropped up once a book or so for the last several). Only a GM who's an idiot or an a++%!++ is gonna enforce it.
I'd disagree with that. Mack, specifically, has a code of honor where he doesn't kill people in cold blood. The Kree were killed in a fight...as were most of the examples you just gave, actually.
Killing someone in a fight is vastly different from killing them in cold blood while you have them prisoner in many moral codes. Hell, that second one is against the Geneva convention sans trial. That's a reasonable distinction to make.
Coulson and May, I got the impression, were just going along with it for Mack's sake figuring they could come up with a way out (they're clearly pretty confident at this point...perhaps overly so). But even if they did agree with him, that'd be understandable (Coulson jkilled Ward in a moment of rage and has regretted it ever since given thye consequences, and May's dealing with a load of guilt from being Hydra in the framework).
All that isn't inconsistent because Yoyo (who was not on the shuttle to make her voice heard in the discussion) is the one who killed the guy...and clearly had absolutely no compunctions about doing so to save her friends and boyfriend.
Mack may be very displeased with her about this shortly...but the only way to save him at that point was to sacrifice her, and he sure wasn't gonna do that.
I'm not seeing any meaningful inconsistency or hypocrisy in any particular character's morality here. The inconsistencies only crop up when you start equating killing people who are trying to kill you with killing helpless prisoners or act like everyone in SHIELD has the exact same morality...but neither of those are true statements.
Assuming that the existence of queer characters in someone's a game is a demand for porn or erotic RP is more than just "slightly off topic" for my money.
The post we're talking about appears to have been in response to Envall's post...which was explicitly and almost exclusively about actual sex. I disagree with the post in question (and posted why), but imputing homophobic motives seems presumptuous given it was directly following, and seemingly a direct response to, a post about actual sex.
If it'd been out of nowhere and actually equated any queer content with watching porn, my own response would've been quite different.
There's being intellectually aware, and then there's being emotionally aware. Knowing people play games differently from you is indeed common, but it's sometimes jarring to be presented with evidence of other playstyles that diverge profoundly enough from your own. It can cause serious cognitive dissonance and questions like "Wait...people actually do that?" Which is exactly what the question we're talking about usually is in my experience. A 'Wait, what?!' moment in written form. And one I've seen before, and in reference to heterosexual sex as well.
I've experienced that kind of 'Wait, what?' personally once or twice (though never on this specific topic), and my own playstyle is pretty eclectic and inclusive of various styles depending on specific game. Someone whose experiences are narrower is gonna have that happen even more often.
1) But the tangent wasn't "no romantic or sexual themes", but "porn or roleplaying sex". The general response to that was in fact, "but romance".
Well, yes. But riffing off slightly off topic stuff sometimes is typical for any thread.
2) True that the pure hack & slash school might miss it, though I suspect that's at least partly because they're also caught in a heteronormative world view and don't see examples of heterosexual behavior where they exist in the setting, but imagine any homosexual ones standing out or being explicitly sexual.
There's an element of that in many cases, yeah, but it's not the only factor involved.
Playing a character with a different gender identity or sexuality from you has nothing at all to do with erotic RP or "pretending to have sex with NPCs." Gay, bi and trans characters can be onscreen without obliging anybody to have sex just the same as straight characters can. They're such completely different things, and that's a bizarre enough non sequitur, that that tangent almost seems to qualify as outright derailment.
I dunno if I 100% agree here actually. Playing a trans character obviously has nothing to do with sex or romance inherently, but if there's absolutely no romantic or sexual themes in even a 'fades to black' way it becomes really hard to have any sexuality that matters (including being straight) and I've certainly seen and played in games where that was more or less the case. To my frustration in at least one case (since my character's sexuality would've been interesting if it'd ever come up).
People who come from a pure hack and slash school of gaming (or some other that focuses utterly away from characters personal lives) often legitimately don't 'get' why any sexuality (including being straight) is relevant to what they play as a miniature wargame in many ways.
So, the question of whether sexuality and romance come up in games is at least tangentially related to Queer Representation in Starfinder, since without the assumption that some romantic/sexual themes will arise such representation tends to sorta fade away. It's tangential to the main issue, but not a derailment per se, IMO.
I'm sorry to hear about FirstChAoS' experience. One thing I will say for online roleplaying and the virtual tabletop is that if you're up front about what you want from the table, it's a lot easier to find like-minded people now than it's ever been... but that isn't the same thing as its being easy.
Yeah, this can definitely be an issue when playing with people you're not already friends with. I've never had this particular problem myself, but I've had enough others that now I pretty much only game with friends or people those friends specifically invite. That can be hard if, say, moving to a new city, though.
Some Mystics hold a connection to the Gods...but not all, and not in the same way as Clerics. They're more like Oracles than Clerics, Wisdom being their casting stat aside.
You certainly can make a more Cleric-y one by taking the Priest Theme, and in that case will need to be within one step of your God's Alignment, but that isn't remotely universal.