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Fardragon's page

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If you consider overall design considerations, then why have casters traditionally been glass cannons? Boardly speaking, it's because in a fantasy settings the casters have a monopoly on aoe damage. Once you move to the Starfinder setting it is clear that monopoly is broken, and broken hard. We know there are flamethrowers. Which one has to assume pretty much duplicate the effect of spells like Burning Hands, and can be used by the mechanic class at least, but probably Soldiers too, and maybe others. It would be surprising if the setting doesn't feature grenades (duplicating Fireball) and missile launchers (= meteor storm).

So the question isn't "why do we need Soldiers." but "why do we need casters?". Clearly not for thier damage abilities, which other classes can do just as well. So, for healing, buffing, debuffing and crowd control then. And there is no longer a need for them to be glass cannons.

So, how are classes differentiated? I would suggest that by the gear they can use, with the more awesome tech weapons like rocket launchers being higher tier than a bog standard laser pistol. Tech tiers could be pretty much like spell levels, with the most powerful weapons only being used (competantly) by high level Soldiers, and the most powerful support items being the domain of high level Mechanics.


Sure, that's why this thread is called "wild speculation".

Why bother? Because theorycrafting is fun.

It won't bother me if I'm wrong. Indeed, since I've made the case for several competing theories, it is inevitable that I am.


I think you are still stuck in Pathfinder mode.

There is no reason to suppose any Starfinder classes have lower BAB than any other.

There is no reason to suppose that Starfinder casters have low AC, especially EAC.

The main reason for these things was to help fighters who where limited to variations of pointy stick when it came to doing damage. When Starfinder Soldiers can equip shoulder mounted proton torpedo launchers they cease to need that kind of help.

It's also worth noting that in 1st and 2nd edition D&D there where very few spells that required a to-hit roll, and no "ranged touch attacks". That's pretty much a 3rd edition/Pathfinder thing.


Why do you think casters are a lower target?


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So he has now become the oh god of hangovers.


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Magic is involved in all FTL travel, which would mean it was available to anyone with money.


Anyway, I think it's reasonable to say that "touch AC" was retained by Pathfinder because it inherited casters having lousy BAB/thac0, even with attacking with spells, and "flat footed AC" was retained to compensate rogues for thier inferior BAB.

If we hypothesise that Starfinder classes do not have a variable BAB (or equivelent), then we can infer that touch AC and flat footed AC are ditched.


We considered that. It boils town to unnecessary complication. It reduces to equiping half your space orks with lasers and the other half with gauss rifles.

It might be the case, but if so I would consider it poor design.


Voss wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
I'm coming to the conclusion that energy AC means energy weapons only, not spells (otherwise it would have affected the Magic Missile in the playtest). If touch attack spells still exist at all I would expect them to target the lower KAC. But I wouldn't be surpised if there are none in Starfinder.

This is wrong. Magic missile doesn't roll to hit.

The technomancers 'energy blast' (not just her gun) but a cantrip/class feature (like the energy rays given by various domains/bloodlines) also target eAC.

Quote:
Well, an alternative take would be that energy weapons (ranged or melee) do generally more damage than kinetic weapons, but EAC higher than KAC, making attacks less likely to connect.
In the playtest, kinetic weapons did more damage than energy weapons.

Magic Missile not having a to-hit roll is a quirk of gameplay mechanics. Internal consistancy should trump mechanical considerations. Magic Missile is magical energy. Ergo, if energy shields can block magical energy it should block Magic Missile. Either requiring a hit roll or 100% like a Shield spell.


Dominar Rygel XVI wrote:
thecursor wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
My problem is with the fact that presumably space combat would take place in three dimensions. There appears to be no consideration for attacking from above or below. Space combat in two dimensions feels like it loses something important.

They apparently do have rules for that.

Also..."If you're wondering how he eats and breathes and other science facts, just repeat to yourself it's just a show, I should really just relax."

As a counterpoint: "He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

Which is rubbish. Moving "up and down" is still two dimensional relative to only one other vessal.


I'm coming to the conclusion that energy AC means energy weapons only, not spells (otherwise it would have affected the Magic Missile in the playtest). If touch attack spells still exist at all I would expect them to target the lower KAC. But I wouldn't be surpised if there are none in Starfinder.

Lore explanation: characters can equip a personal force shield that can deflect laser blasts. This is tech based, and therefore has no effect on spells. As lasers must also penetrate regular armour, so the force shield is additive, just like ordinary shields in Pathfinder.


Well, an alternative take would be that energy weapons (ranged or melee) do generally more damage than kinetic weapons, but EAC higher than KAC, making attacks less likely to connect.


If it is correct (and not changed) that EAC doesn't affect Magic Missile, then it may mean it has no affect on any spells. Which would mean it would only affect energy weapons. In which case is it not an unnecessary over-complication? Maybe not if a) most ranged weapons are energy weapons and b) if EAC adds onto KAC and therefore is always higher. In which case its purpose may be to stop ranged combat being overwhelmingly better than melee.


War Rocket Ajax


AlgaeNymph wrote:
How exactly do mystics work in Starfinder? And what deities are available?

Mystics don't require a connection to a deity, but they can have one if they want.

Most of the standard Pathfinder deities are still around, plus some accended AIs.

There is no division between divine and arcane spells.

All spellcasting is spontaneous.

The can cast spells of up to 6th level.

There is a druid-like specialism available.

My personal guess is they are more like a cross between an Oracle and a Jedi Consular than a standard cleric.


My guess is that characters equip a personal forcefield to gain "EAC".

If EAC defends against spell damage then you can ditch a lot of saving throws, making spells significantly different.

It's possible that the Magic Missile spell seen in the playthrough had not been updated to the new rules at the time, hence it's apparent unbalance.


I imagine Starfinder rules that space armour is effective against touch attacks, so no need to track it seperately.

I think that EAC might be bad news all round for spell damage. Forget about your touch attacks, worry about your fireballs.

I suspect that Starfinder's combat and spell mechanics more different than you are assuming.


EAC is for attacks with energy weapons (e.g. Lasers).
KAC is for attacks with projectile weapons (e.g gauss rifles).

If touch spells use either (and I'm far from convinced they do) it would be KAC.

I think that generally spells wil be more focused on buffs and utility, rather than direct damage. The Soldier will be the go-to class for dps.


I imagine that starship combat role would advance with starship combat experiance (basically, a second class on it's own track). But all characters have level 1 competance in each role, for those situations when Scotty is off on a bender.


"Any character can fill any roll" simply means starship combat roles are completely divorced from characters classes (and stats?). Not that any character can flip between any role at any time without penalty.


John Napier 698 wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
A Dyson Sphere. The sphere was built to hide the system's star from a galaxy wide extinction level event. When the players stumble upon the sphere the authorities are not pleased that they prove that life outside of the sphere is not in fact extinct.

What type of Dyson Sphere? A solid shell? And while a Dyson sphere would indeed block all visible light, it would still emit infrared as a means of regulating the internal temperature. Furthermore, the closer one gets to the poles, defined as being perpendicular to the sphere's equator, the less centripetal force exists, until you reach an effective zero gravity. Then the sphere's atmosphere begins falling into space

.

As I said, this is science fantasy. No need to worry about that sort of stuff.


Massive starships (and in this universe we could be talking about Lexx/Death Star etc) could have enough gravity of thier own to inflict Earthquakes on anything they attempted to land on, even if they where made of exotic materials strong enough to survive the forces involved.

In Star Trek, Voyager can land, but that is relatively small, with a crew of fewer than 200.

It's a good justification for the existance of ships the size of the player's ship if larger ships can't land, anyway.


A Dyson Sphere. The sphere was built to hide the system's star from a galaxy wide extinction level event. When the players stumble upon the sphere the authorities are not pleased that they prove that life outside of the sphere is not in fact extinct.


And it's much more likely that a race would build a ringworld around a low output star - indead, I think that is why the idea was first thought up.

But oh, Science Fantasy, scientific rules need not apply.


I would imagine blood would be one of Eox's major imports.


I'm guessing you are familiar with the novels, but not the "Halo" videogames, which is where the "superweapon" idea comes from.

I think the important thing is not to do a ST:TNG and waste an awesome setting on one episode. "Oh yes, it's a Dyson Sphere, very nice, where are we going next week?"

Oh, and the map of Golarion is next to the map of Faerun.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Most of the citizens of Eox have probably never seen a living thing. Would they suddenly realise their hatred of the living upon meeting one for the first time?

That's not the case. We have already been told that Eox has some living citizens. They are probably mostly diplomats and traders from the other Pact Worlds. Eox has a full trading relationship with the Pact Worlds, and possibly beyond, so there will be places where the living and undead (and androids) mix freely in relative peace.

Also remember that mindless undead are no more "citizens" of Eox than cattle and sheep are citizens of the USA. Citizens would be mostly liches, vampires, and sentients of offworld origin.


Captain_Beefy wrote:
I'm going to be doing a campaign based on the Ringworld series by Larry Niven. I've always been a fan of those books and finally have a reason to run an RPG in that universe. I've also been replaying the mass effect series to get ideas for how a party functions in a sci fi setting , I've been running a lot of fantasy lately so I'm looking forward to Starfinder.

The thing about a Ringworld is it is a setting, not an adventure idea. Once your players have spent 5 minutes admiring the scenery, what are they going to do? Here are some ideas, I make no claim to originality:

1) who built the Ringworld, and why? Is it simply to live on, or is it part of some galaxy-destroying super-weapon?

2) the Ringworld is threatened by solar flares or swarm infestation. The players must find the control room and activate the defenses. Hopefully, without killing everyone.

3) the Ringworld includes a "map of Golarion" where Pathfinder life continues as normal. The Starfinder Society would like the players to see if there are any clues about the Gap. The GM just wants to run his collection of Pathfinder adventures with Starfinder characters.

In a full campaign I would be inclined to use all three of these ideas.


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Voss wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
CKent83 wrote:

If you're still answering questions, could you tell us if goblins in Starfinder read, or if they are still very superstitious about it?

Also, if their racial bonus to Ride switched to Pilot (if that's a Skill) I'll probably play a goblin Operative for my first character.

They don't need to be able to read, since they would have the equivalent of YouTube videos to show them how to build and fly thier ships.
That's quite an assumption, even if YouTube instruction videos were worth squat for simple things, let alone complex piloting and engineering questions.

1) my wife has aquired several handicraft skills from watching YouTube, and as a teacher, I have sometimes used YouTube in the classroom as an educational tool. So yes, you can learn stuff from YouTube. The large quantity of dross makes the useful stuff hard to find, but it doesn't nullify it.

2) it's quite an assumption to assume that piloting a Starship in the Starfinder universe is "complex".

3) you are taking this far to seriously. Learn to spot social satire, and remember that Starfinder is just meant to be fun.


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Just because a setting has advanced technology, doesn't make it any more bound by scientific rules than a fantasy setting.

Indeed, what we know of Starfinder technology makes it quite clear that it's universe does not follow the same scientific laws as ours, if it follows any at all.

So, conservation of energy? No reason to suppose that is even a thing.


Laws would clearly differ from world to world. Intelegent undead are full citizens of Eox, with the living likely to be a persecuted minority. On other worlds the status of the undead would differ, but pact worlds would be obliged recognise the rights of citizens of Eox.

As for ghosts giving evidence, this isn't a new situation, it was just as likely to occur in Pathfinder.


There is a manuver for staying in one spot and pivoting, so I would say conservation of momentum isn't a thing in the Starfinder universe.


One possible complication is that Starfinder has gear that requires both magic and advanced technology to function. The Drift Drive is the most obvious example, but Holy Flamethrowers have also been mentioned.

So, would such items cease to function in both an anti-magic and an anti-technology field?


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What about thermal exhaust ports?


Play Paranoia by any chance?


Given that this is a starship combat thread, I think it is safe to assume that the free rpg day stuff won't include starship combat. Any further speculation would be off topic for this particular thread.


Maybe consider Star Trek Beyond for ramming...


Protection from Vaccuum
Repair Drift Drive
Phantasmal Starship
Detect Life 10,000 mile radius
Reflect Lasers


On switching roles, I assume players will earn experience in each role, in order to unlock the more powerful abilities.

Thus, it would be better to pick one role and stick with it.


MattZ wrote:

In re: any combat involving up to 3 points of interest can be modeled as a plane.

Could a 1 on 1 combat then be modeled as just a line? All motion then boils down to Approach, Retreat, or Maintain Separation. The more mobile combatant would have near complete control over the separation distance.

Yes, if facing doen't matter - i.e. each ship can fire the guns in one direction whist moving in the other. This is how combat worked in 1st edition Traveller.

2 points define a line, 3 points define a surface, 4 points define a volume.


I don't think detail would be important, but it would need to have a lot of ships, in red and green, to look effective.


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I think it would be cool to have ship minis made from transparent coloured plastic, rather than painted.

Make the board look like a holodisplay.


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CKent83 wrote:

If you're still answering questions, could you tell us if goblins in Starfinder read, or if they are still very superstitious about it?

Also, if their racial bonus to Ride switched to Pilot (if that's a Skill) I'll probably play a goblin Operative for my first character.

They don't need to be able to read, since they would have the equivalent of YouTube videos to show them how to build and fly thier ships.


Goddity wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:
Turn in Place: Firing up maneuvering thrusters, the pilot alters the direction the ship is facing without moving it from its hex, possibly allowing a specific weapon to make an all-important shot.
I am somewhat disappointed that this isn't called a Crazy Ivan.

And "Flip and Burn" isn't called Immelmann, but they have clearly chosen generic rarther than culturally specific names for manoeuvres. It will probably make localisation easier.


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Mk III Drone: you can have it in any colour as long as it's not black.


Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
My problem is with the fact that presumablely space combat would take place in three dimensions. There appears to be no consideration for attacking from above or below. Space combat in two dimensions feels like it loses something important.

Pretty much every PnP game with space combat I have played (Traveller, Star Trek, Star Wars D6/Star Warriors) uses one or two dimensions only.

Without a computer it's pretty much impossible to keep track of a 3rd dimension.

The "Flyby" manoeuvre appears to represent attacking from above or below.


Matthew Shelton wrote:
It is almost time for the Vesk to have their Green and Purple War. ;)

Fate dictates that this scenario will result in one of your players getting a RL broken leg.


"Not important" doesn't exempt something from copywite. Neothithids first appeared in Dragon magazine (yes, for 2nd edition). In 2002 Paizo publishing took over Dragon, so Paizo can make a good case for owning the copywrite to Neolithids.

Flumphs, I believe, appeared first in White Dwarf magazine before they where in the first edition Fiend Folio, so thier copywrite is even more muddy.


Space combat tends to be based more on naval combat. Which can last hours or days, and there is certainly time for running repairs. And on large vessels many crew members to repair the ship.


Torbyne wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
Spunds about right, although I suspect the "tactical station" will be more focused on operating the deflector shields if they are following the Star Trek rpg model. Additional players = additional gunners.
You could also call that position the "system operatote" but i would see it as the one to find hiding targets, lock on for weapon bonuses, that kind of thing. I would think the engineer is the one who would find excess power to push to the shields or engines or, well, basically be the self buffer while the tactician is more of a debuffer.

If I remember FASA Star Trek, the roles where something like this:

Helm: moves ship on hex grid (as directed by captain). Skill rolls for tighter turns, etc. May also fire phasers and photon torpedos on ships without a seperate Gunnery officer (i.e fewer players).

Navigation/Science/Comms (may be split if more players): allocates power to shields (6 shields, 1 for each hex face), detects cloaked enemies, opens hailing frequences to accept surrender.

Engeneering: allocates power between helm, weapons and shields (power becomes limited as the ship takes damage). Repairs damage. Skill rolls for repairs or to squeeze more power from engines.

Captain: tells the other players what to do (in broad terms). Merged with Helm if only 3 players.

Medical officer (additional player): reduces damage to crew. Not relevant for Starfinder, where players won't have 400 red shirt NPCs.

Generally, you need at least 3 players and a GM. Although the GM will be in control of multiple ships, and so there needs to be a simplified system for them to use.

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