The Fifth Archdaemon

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Ravingdork wrote:

Is drift travel evil?

Yes. Unequivacally. It is just as bad as all of the harmful vaccines the government tries to force upon our children.

(Nevermind the overwhelming amount of good it does for civilization as a whole.)

;D

Tell that to the Akitonians.


Well it's not like dragonkin are the only or most common large sized alien. Vesk, verthani, and nuar are all all on the larger size of medium and Verthani especially are probably the most populous humanoid race in the pact worlds. Haan, sarcesians, shobhad, urogs, and adult barathu are all large sized and barathu are probably the most populous race in the system, period.

A lot of realworld concerns regarding construction go out the window in space, at least for a structure that you never intend to take into a planet's atmosphere & have experience a planet's gravity outside of freefall. So long as you can defend it against impacts you can build it as big as you want, up until the point you have to worry about it collapsing under it's own gravity. Material cost is still a concern but less so when you have an entire solar system to harvest from. One of the major limitations to our capacity to build in space irl is the cost of getting material out of the atmosphere but in the starfinder setting that's become largely negligible.


Malthus Security Solutions.


Dead Suns 4 mentions that each system usually has an organization of people that refuse to use drift travel for this very reason. I forget what the pact world's system's group is, but they do mention they use peaceful protest type tactics including occupation of space ports.

It goes onto mention that, being that the size of a given part of a plane being drawn into the drift could be as small as a single stone, and that so many of the planes are functionally infinite in size, the odds of any given drift travel drawing a sentient individual into the drift is negligible.


CRB does mention that while there are seven major orders, with the Furnace being one of them, there are also an unspecified number of lesser orders in operation. Could be that the modern order of the Pyre has been reduced to a lesser order and that the Furnace has a completely different purpose.


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Well even the Sun wouldn't be a constant distance as most planets will have at least a somewhat elliptical orbit so at certain times of the year they'll be further or closer. And stars do rotate, themselves, so the Archipelago is going to be moving, so even a trip from Aballon to the Archipelago could involve going all the way around the Sun, which you'd have to do at a distance before making your approach.

But yeah, main thing is that these objects are in constant motion and their position relative to each other is in constant flux.

Geddes' method is a good one, though, in that these distances aren't going to change that rapidly so if you're only take a few days to get from one planet to another, and you're only on that planet for a few days, then it should take about the same amount of time to get back.


d20pfsrd.com wrote:
Regarding adding Pact Worlds and Dead Suns content to the Starfinder SRD (starjammersrd.com) This is underway now!

Excellent.


Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Wonky Chewbacca wrote:
pithica42 wrote:

In the Triaxus section it mentions Ryphoran half-elves, yes.

But, it also goes on to say (and I'm paraphrasing) that they're identical to other half-elves (so no fur or weird ears or seasonal variation). That implies that they're compatible with the other half-elves (and with humans). It also, in character, seems to be causing some consternation as it implies that Ryphorans are more like humans than was previously thought.

Well, sure. Ryphorians are the only other species that I can call to mind rocking the general bonus feat. Clearly the same chromosome that gives you a bonus feat also makes you elf-compatible.
Or, possibly, near universally compatible.

Implications for kish... troubling.


Truth be told part of why I made this thread is that I while I like Pact Worlds, I found it lacking in a few areas.

For example, Arkanen. A heavily populated moon and one of the few moons in the system to have full member status in the Pact, and we got very little information on it, and half of what we got was just repeated & reworded from other sources. There is as of yet, so far as I'm aware, no artwork for dirindi or sazarons, even though one would think they'd be among the more common races in the Pact Worlds.

And also so far as I'm aware, no Starfinder source has actually named the native race of Nchak as the trox; I had actually forgotten that that was were the trox originated from. The few paragraphs on Nchak refer more to the shirren & haan immigration while glossing over it's natives.

Now, if Paizo was doing monthly releases of setting books I don't think it's unlikely we would have gotten a Campaign Setting book released along side Pact Worlds that could have covered stuff like this. As it stands, maybe we'll see dirindi & sazarons & trox in an Alien Archive, maybe as early as Alien Archive 2 later this year(one of the hints at a playable race from AA2 might refer to the trox, maybe) or otherwise in an Adventure Path release, but that's all a bit of a crap shoot.

One thing I'm pretty sure of is that we won't be getting a Pact Worlds 2 book before the Veskarium book, or the Azlanti book, and maybe not before a Shadari book.


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I'll say this on the cover; I think that's a high quality art piece, one of the best I've seen for Pathfinder.

My issue with it is more that, even though that is a planar monster on the cover, the image speaks less to me of planar adventures than it does some kind of horror. Like, wandering through any given swamp on Golarion and then bam, monster.

Which I get there are certainly planes like that and Abaddon would be one of them. But if it were me I'd have gone for something more colorful & psychedelic, with a landscape that very obviously wasn't of the material plane. So proteans & the maelstrom would have been a good shout, I think.

I don't know, that's just a personal preference thing I suppose.


Someone using the point buy system could spend the points for a score of 15 and still come out with an 18 from combining racial & theme bonuses.

Hells, someone could spend the points for a score of 13 and come out with an 18 with the proper race selection.

Alternatively if you just end up with an odd number at generation either from point buy or rolling, you can round that up to an even number with the theme bonus.


I mean, ryphorians, then called triaxians, first started showing up in Pathfinder in Distant Worlds, and then later in Reign of Winter & People of the Stars. Distant Worlds & Reign of Winter both predate the Netflix Voltron series by a number of years, though I don't know whether any early concept designs may have leaked to influence the design, or if it goes back to the original 80s run - was never a huge Voltron fan, myself.

There've been some minor changes in design elements since then but I think that boils down more to differences in the style of the artists than anything, though the SF artists may well have been influenced by Voltron's design elements.


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For what it's worth the two (in universe) explanations proposed in Distant Worlds are as follows; temporal anomaly surrounding the planet like a bubble to some magical engine or portal at the planet's scenter" and everything in between, whatever that may be.

Goes onto say that the Ryphorians/Triaxians themselves don't, or at least didn't during PF times, put much thought into it as they're too busy trying to survive the effects to "worry overmuch about what hand - divine or mortal - may have shaped both them and their world."

That last bit strikes me as interesting because it suggests that the evolution of Triaxus' life was specifically altered to let them deal with the unnatural seasons, which makes sense, and also allows for all of this to be the work of a god or multiple gods, or some collection of mortals. Kishalee, maybe?


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The Thirteenth Gate details a planet that orbits further from it's star than Aucturn does from the Pact Worlds Sun, and they feel the need to point out that this would normally be beyond the habitable zone before explaining the various phenomena that keeps it just barely habitable. Still a frozen hellhole, but some liquid water remains.

Now, given that saying that a planet orbiting further than Aucturn is "outside the habitable zone" is akin to saying New York City is outside the borders of New Zealand, and that's understating it, my assumption is that the habitable zone in the Starfinder universe is just bigger than it is in the real world for whatever reason.

Now, they do specify back in Pathfinder that Triaxus' orbit is unnatural and likely the result of magic - specifically they say that it shouldn't take it as long as it does to orbit the sun; that it's orbit should be measured in decades, not centuries. And we know that this world is one of the ones Baba Yaga uses as a source for the endless winter in Irrisen, though slowing a planet's orbit seems beyond the power of even a level 20 witch mythic tier 10 archmage, so that could be coincidental.

Point being, same mechanism could be responsible for the fact that Triaxus manages to avoid becoming a full snowball world even in the depths of it's winter, though it is mentioned in Pathfinder that along the equator the triaxians/ryphorians do use artificial means to maximize what little solar energy they get.


You can also take a theme that gives a dex bonus to help compensate, and upgrades are affordable for level 2 characters. Might not be optimized but you don't have to be optimized, you just have to be good enough.


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So now the question is whether the new player race is the crystalline humanoid or one of the plethora of undead monstrosities.

What I love about this game is that I genuinely do not know the answer. I suspect it's the crystal but it could go either way.


Torbyne wrote:
Two races have a bonus feat which may be the single most powerful racial ability so far. Most other bonuses can be bought as items or armor upgrades and stat wise pretty much all races end up with a 13 point total buy so it's hard to call one out as better. Nothing shocking though.

We're actually up to three races with a bonus feat; humans, ryphorians, and kish.


Well the issue is more that for the entire time Golarion was there, it was holding a leash on the other planets(that were in turn all holding leashes on it).

Now, for some - Liavara & Betheda, obviously - this would have been entirely negligible. But for Akiton, Castrovel, and potentially Aballon & Verces, having that leash suddenly cut might end up having some consequences later on down the line.

Not that it's likely we'll see the outcome of that any time soon, the time scales are just too big.


Well we know that the Androffans and the Dominion of the Black had technology more advanced than what the Pact Worlds & Veskarium are fielding currently, nine thousand years prior to the Pathfinder era.

We know that during the Pathfinder era(which equates to the early 1900s), the anacites, elebrians, and verthani were already all super advanced races, technologically, and that they had been for some time; the elebrians supposedly destroyed the Twins while Azlant was still thriving on Golarion, and Eox & the Twins all three had space flight then.

And I haven't read through Dead Suns thoroughly enough to be sure but the impression I've gotten from the kishalee is that their civilization was thriving tens of thousands of years ago and they were more advanced than even the Androffans.

Point being, advanced sci-fi tech has existed and even been wide spread for tens of thousands of years at least in universe. The idea that the denizens of the outer planes, many of which are them selves older than the evolution of the humanoid form, took until Golarion did to develop space ships & laser guns, strikes me as a little unlikely.


My assumption is that they've actually always had it to some extent, but the same MAD doctrine that keeps the gods from actively involving themselves in things like the Worldwound keeps outsiders maintaining a level of appropriate force for what they're tackling.

Like, Hell's had Endbringer devils practically forever, but they wouldn't use them to invade a Pathfinder-era Golarion because that would invite escalation from the celestials.

But then demons getting their hands on Numerian technology after they've invaded would present something of a loop hole; it isn't them invading with superior technology, it's them finding & appropriating some once they got there.


Takes more than a few thousand years for one planet's gravitational effects(or the lack there of) to play out.

That's actually why I'm not at all concerned with Triaxus's gravity affecting any other planets because that's something that's been going on for long enough that the current state of affairs is pretty much standard with it factored in.


128. Paizo was in talks with Wizards for a Planescape crossover, but the Lady of Pain was displeased and Maze'd the whole thing.


So I'm reading the Codex of Worlds entry from Dead Suns 5, about the planet Urrakar, and it has this to say;

"Urrakar is even farther from its star than Aucturn is from the Pact Worlds' sun, which places the planet well outside what would normally be the system's habitable zone (where water can exist in a liquid state on a planet's surface)."

Goes onto say that the planet's extreme density, tidal heating, and decay of radioactive elements in the core allow Urrakar to maintain a temperature just above water's freezing point, anyway.

Way they feel the need to point out that orbiting further than Aucturn is outside a habitable zone, which is kind of the equivalent of saying "Living in London, England, he existed well outside the borders of Hong Kong", makes me think that the habitable zone in SF is just bigger than it is irl. Want to call that Sarenrae's influence, want to call that "that's just the way it is" style plot convenience, either way works, but that's my takeaway.


You know, I got that impression, actually. About the woioko, that is.

And I for one am glad to hear that there'll be yet another new race in this coming book. Honestly I kind of hope there are new playable races in the majority of AP's going forward.


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You know if we're wondering about the gravitational affects that a given planet's orbit is going to have on the rest of the solar system, personally I'd be wondering what affect Golarion suddenly not being there is going to have, myself.


Any word on whether the Alien Archive will include a new player race or if they'll be giving that a break after dropping 5 in the last one?

Would be symmetrical, if nothing else. No new races in books 1 or 6.


I suppose internal consistency is probably the strongest argument in favor of keeping the restriction. They were LG only in PF and SF is in the same universe so why would they work differently?

Thing is, that kind of mentality gets you locked into perpetuating bad ideas for the sake of consistency.

Oh well, like you said, it is 3pp. Even if it wasn't, I adamantly refuse to join organized society play because I can't stand the restrictive nature of it, so as long as I'm with a like-minded group we can find a way to adapt it.


I'm told Gygax was only sadistic when it came to organized, tournament play. For private home games I'm given to understand he was more forgiving. He did, after all, once allow someone to play a Balrog in one of his campaigns.


thejeff wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
Personally, I would just flat out refuse to play in the gaming group of someone with that stringent of standards because it comes with this built in notion that people participating in this hobby for fun should only ever do one job; either play or DM. That if you decide to DM a game once just to try it out & see if you're any good at it, you're never allowed to go back to just playing & experience the story that someone else wants to tell.

Well, the old school gygaxian rule was "Don't read the DMG/MM until you're ready to start GMing." Basically, there's no need and you'll just spoil things for yourself anyway.

Mind you, I never played that way from the start and I haven't met anyone who does in decades.

And I can appreciate that and am as opposed to the notion of actively using the knowledge gained from reading the DMG/MM to gain a metagame advantage as anyone(though personally I try not to view the game as competitive, it's still bad form).

But upholding it to the point that you would kick someone out of your group because they had read one of those books at some point is absurd, because that basically means that once you decide you're ready to DM, that's all you're allowed to do from that point forward in that person's eyes. If someone decided they wanted to try out DMing only to discover that they don't enjoy it or aren't very good at it, are they just supposed to give up the hobby as far as the DM Azalah describes is concerned?

I get that you're not saying that and in essence I'm arguing with someone who isn't here, but I just find that standard to be nonsensical to the point that I couldn't help but comment on it.


I would argue that disappearing Golarion wasn't so much a "thematic assumption" so much as it was Paizo realizing that including Golarion would be a nightmare from a publishing stand point; the majority of nations on Golarion had at least as much, mostly more written up about them as the other planets in the system.

Officially including Golarion means that Golarion would dominate Starfinder Publication which is something they very clearly didn't want. They wanted the focus to be interplanetary.

Getting rid of Golarion allows them to focus on & develop the other planets in the system & the galaxy, and having it disappear & be Starfinder's "What killed Aroden", a mystery that they have no intention of ever answering, allows them to do that without blowing it up.

Which, either blowing up Golarion or keeping it & establishing a hard canon of how the nations develop past the industrial & digital revolutions & into the information & space ages, would alienate Pathfinder fans by establishing a hard canon & make them feel how their adventures in Pathfinder are ultimately pointless.

I don't think having Golarion there would ruin what makes Starfinder special which is this side by side approach to science fantasy where it isn't (strictly) fantasy magic being approached scientifically to create sci fi ends, nor is it (strictly) sci fi technology being used to emulate fantasy magic, but the two of them existing side by side, complimenting each other but not excluding it. Which you then combine with the high adventure of a Flash Gordan or Star Wars, the comedy of a Guardians of the Galaxy(and the cosmic side of Marvel & DC in general), the socio-political exploration of a Shadowrun, and the mind-shredding horror of an Event Horizon. Mix thoroughly, let simmer.

Narratively I could actually see keeping Golarion around being an improvement in one aspect; it would give the Pact Worlds a more personal connection to the Azlanti Star Empire with it's progenitor planet actually still being there. As it stands it's more of a, "Yeah your granddad used to be one of our neighbors, I think" situation.


Personally, I would just flat out refuse to play in the gaming group of someone with that stringent of standards because it comes with this built in notion that people participating in this hobby for fun should only ever do one job; either play or DM. That if you decide to DM a game once just to try it out & see if you're any good at it, you're never allowed to go back to just playing & experience the story that someone else wants to tell.


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Metaphysician wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
GM Rednal wrote:
For what it's worth, someone already published a Starfinder Paladin. Also the Bard, Cleric, Magus, Ranger, and Wizard.

Quick skim over it & it looks pretty good. Though I'd throw the LG alignment restriction on the trash heap of history where it belongs were I to incorporate the class into a game I was running.

But then I have very strong opinions on alignment restrictions that have lead to a couple threads being closed down, so that's a can of wyrms perhaps best left unopened.

Edit: Though it is missing diplomacy as a class skill. Don't know if that was a deliberate decision due to Starfinder's smaller skill list or an oversight.

If a paladin is not going to be LG, what is the point even having one in the first place?

To have a divinely empowered warrior, proficient in martial weapons & heavy armor, capable of casting a limited selection of spells (say, up to fourth level), with an alignment-based smite attack and an aura that bolsters their allies or weakens their enemies, and the ability to lay on hands to either heal or harm, bound by a code of conduct in accordance with their deity's will.


Ravingdork wrote:
What's gatekeeping?

While it's not my place to speak for the god of blood, I can offer a general definition.

Gatekeeping is a form of elitism in regards to a given interest. Wanting to keep the "dirty casuals" out. Takes different forms depending on the fandom. For instance, "hardcore" PC gamers who prefer games with a lot of mechanical complexity, what they would term "having a lot of depth" and what others might term as being "overly complex, clunky, and intuitive", and would view any attempt to change those mechanics to make it more accessible as "dumbing down" rather than, say, "streamlining".

Basically someone who says "the way I like this thing is the only proper way to like it, and anyone who doesn't meet my standards isn't a real fan and doesn't belong."


GM Rednal wrote:
For what it's worth, someone already published a Starfinder Paladin. Also the Bard, Cleric, Magus, Ranger, and Wizard.

Quick skim over it & it looks pretty good. Though I'd throw the LG alignment restriction on the trash heap of history where it belongs were I to incorporate the class into a game I was running.

But then I have very strong opinions on alignment restrictions that have lead to a couple threads being closed down, so that's a can of wyrms perhaps best left unopened.

Edit: Though it is missing diplomacy as a class skill. Don't know if that was a deliberate decision due to Starfinder's smaller skill list or an oversight.


Yeah, you do have to jump through some hoops to get there, but that the right combination of theme, feats, and archetypes come together to cover the paladin, warpriest, and even cleric(I'm currently toying around with an android exocortex mechanic star knight paladin of Iomedae) to an extent really drove home to me that a class needs to be both thematically & mechanically distinct for it to warrant the creation of a new class in Paizo's eyes, if they feel that any class can function as a divine warrior if you layer the right parts on top of it.

Which, granted, wasn't entirely reflected in my choices. Sometimes I was looking at it from the angle of "what can hold up on it's own as a class" vs "what can't be easily condensed into something less than a full class".


Dracomicron wrote:

I would like to see a Warlock-type. Let's call it a "Biolancer." A Cha- or Con-based ranged striker that uses innate abilities rather than spells to make psychic attacks.

I say this, and then it occurs to me that I'm basically talking about a ranged Solarian. And that would be okay.

Actually having the class role be determined by whether they choose Con or Cha as their primary would be really interesting. Con-based Biolancers could sacrifice their own Stamina and HP for physical damage boosts, while Cha-based Biolancers could inflict conditions by risking a lesser version of the same condition (like they save to inflict Fatigued on themselves for one round, but the target suffers it for two rounds, and at higher levels the Cha Biolancer applies Exhausted instead of Fatigued to the enemy, while still only suffering Fatigued).

Hmm.

That isn't far from what I was thinking with an updated kineticist.


All that being said, they also point out that the Pact World System & the Veskarium system, along with most "near space" systems, do happen to be relatively close together & near to the galactic center, where as most of the vast represents space further out towards the galactic rim.

Everyone else is right about it not really being a matter of actual physical distance, but coincidentally this is how it worked out. Maybe due to kishalee influence, I don't know.

They also specify that you can place enough drift beacons in a vast system to change it to a near space system, but it takes a lot of them. Presumably you could destroy enough of them to turn a near space system into a vast system, as well.


Okay, so, currently there are 51 playable races between the CRB, AA, Pact Worlds, Dead Suns, and society scenarios.

Of these at least 38 are native/resident to the Pact Worlds/Veskarium systems and as such I would argue, are fairly common place. Some potentially more so than the core races; I would suspect, for instance, that there are more Ryphorians or Verthani in the Pact Worlds than there are Vesk or Kasatha.

Of the other 13, they may require various degrees of contrivance but so far as I can tell none of them have write ups that suggest the players of that given adventure are the first known explorers from the pact worlds to encounter them making it extremely unlikely to impossible for them to show up. For most of them I'd liken it to playing someone from the Dragon Empires in the Inner Sea region; uncommon but plausible. Nothing that rises to the level of, for example, playing a Munavri on the surface of Golarion.

The only two that I would personally hesitate to allow would be the grays & reptoids, who strike me more as having been statted up to allow DM's to stat up villains rather than as player options. But I could be convinced if I trusted the player enough.

Outside of what's been statted up, I went through the "beyond the pact worlds" section of the core book, Pact Worlds, and a few other sources and have personally counted 16 named sentient species that could potentially end up as playable races - at least one of them has been all but confirmed for AA2. Of these sixteen, three are Pact World natives, so again, should be relatively common place in the system.

Aside from that, no less than 25 races have been mentioned but not named, six of which come from the Veskarium and are likely going to be statted up in the Veskarium book that everyone is speculating we're going to get next year; those likely wouldn't be terribly uncommon in the Pact Worlds.


I'm also a huge Shadowrun fan(another cited influence on SF) and there's no shortage of pure wizards there.


Quote:
Why do we need prepared classes?

I didn't say we need them, I said they aren't there. Though I do suppose the phrasing was a little loaded in that direction. Personally I prefer playing spontaneous casters because I'm lazy but then I prefer not playing casters at all, but I know some people like their prepared casting.

Quote:
Think about it like this. Technology has kind of killed the typically wizard/sorcerer who spends years in magic school trying to learn that light spell. Soldier says, "That’s nice but here's a flashlight." Here is an example of jobs that no longer exist because of technology. I see the old Wizard as a lamp lighter essentially. Even looking at examples in today’s society. Economists are saying a certain percentage of jobs we have now are going to be obsolete in a 10-15 years.

I mean, that's looking at the western, industrialized world and ignoring(admittedly small and largely statistically irrelevant) groups like, say, the Amish. Which is all well & good for plotting out economic growth but when it comes to story telling, less so.

There are going to be people who ignore technology & focus entirely on magic and mysticism, just as there are people who ignore magic & focus entirely on technology. Technically they have that as mystics in the game and maybe I'm being a little pedantic in wanting a class that's flavor is 'got their power through study rather than divine will', but the mystic is still flavored more as a divine/spiritual/psychic class than an arcane one. If anything the mystic shows that magic can still keep up with technology to some extent; I'm not asking for an arcane caster that's head & shoulders above everyone else, just something that's competitive with the mystic & technomancer.

There are people who're going to come from more nature-centric worlds that focus more on organic technology; technically we have that, too, in Castrovel, but I don't feel that we have any classes to adequately represent a lot of what's going on there, magically speaking. Playing a khizar, for instance, as anything other than a xenodruid would feel a little off to me, personally, and there aren't really options for playing a lashunta who's bonded themselves to one of those alien dinosaurs which, if I'm not mistaken, they still do. What I'm saying here is that assessment assumes that one way of progression is the only way of doing it while another alien culture may progress in a way that's doesn't involve technology completely overtaking magic, and diversity of culture is one of the draws of space opera.

It also precludes scenarios such as the PC's crashing on a pre-spaceflight, preindustrial world(if we ever get direct ports of PF classes, we're getting them because Paizo runs an AP with that scenario). Ruined Cloud deals with primitives but it's primitives living in a confined space in the ruins of advanced technology.

A lot of the more fantasy slanted things in my initial post actually came to me when I was working up homebrew stats for races from various other properties I like; way I do that is I tend to make the races conform to the setting I'm homebrewing them into rather than make the rules conform to them, but I digress.

Point being that I was working on statting up races from Guild Wars 2 because I feel the asura & charr from that game are perfect fits for Starfinder, and the sylvari can work with a little tweaking, I was struggling with the norn. Partly because they're just 9-foot tall humans in appearance but also because culturally they are such creatures of nature. In game, because guild wars doesn't believe in class restrictions, you can play them as whatever, be it necromancer or steampunk, guntoating engineers, but lore wise and culture wise they're a race of barbarians, druids, rangers, that kind of thing.

And I thought to myself, there really need to be options to represent that kind of culture even in space.

Eh, I am rambling a bit at this point. Sleep deprived with my insomnia ramping up.

Point being that while I appreciate and really enjoy that Starfinder is Science Fantasy, and I think that thru-line needs to continue, I also think that if there are going to be more classes - which as I stated, I think there should be - then at least a handful of them should play more heavily to the Fantasy part than the Science part. Not all of them, not a majority of them, but a couple of them.


So let me preface this by saying that I'm not a designer & in a lot of ways class design is very foreign to me. Math was one of my poorer subjects & I'm very much a layman in this arena.

And I've also got no real conclusion to make here or point, these are just thoughts that have been going through my head that I feel the need to put down somewhere. As a consequence this might be a little rambling in some places.

Alright, so, Pathfinder has 37 classes. Forty, if you count the alternate classes of Anti-Paladin, Ninja, and Samurai, and 41 if you count the Vampire Hunter class they did for that Vampire Hunter D book. And of course there are the "Unchained" versions of another four classes.

This is not to mention the dozens of prestige classes and dozens upon dozens of archetypes.

Starfinder, in contrast, as of this posting has seven classes and eight archeytpes, which in contrast to PF archetypes which are variations on specific classes, can be laid over any class.

Now I am aware that there are many on these forums who prefer fewer classes and dislike the "rules bloat" that comes with a large number of classes. And to be sure I can understand that point of view.

Personally I'm of two minds on it. On the one hand I can look back at 3.5 and a lot of it's classes and think they're badly designed(to me, the layman who doesn't know what he's talking about), needless, silly thing. On the other hand, I've never really had that feeling with pathfinder. I don't love all of it's classes, but I see why each of them exists. What niche, both in game play & in universe, they have to fill. Even with 4e, while I didn't love a lot of it's classes I also didn't start looking side ways at a few of them until very late in the edition's lifetime.

In general I'd say I have a chronic case of alt-itus, I like making a lot of different characters and I like to have several different classes with which to do so. So while I can definitely agree that there's a point of "too much", I think where that point is is subjective, and I definitely think it's well more than seven.

Having said all of that, what I see in Starfinder is a desire to condense. Paizo definitely seems conscious of this rules bloat and wants to err on the side of caution with this game, in my opinion. They've designed several of their classes to be, for lack of a better word, modular. Concepts that would have been entire classes unto themselves in Pathfinder would be better served worked into a piece of an existing class - be it a mystic connection, operative specialization, or soldier fighting style - in Starfinder, or failing that, an archetype.

Still I feel the desire to work out what niches still need filling, both from a mechanical and thematic view point, and would be best served as complete classes rather than pieces to be fit into existing ones.

To do that, let's start by eliminating the ones we don't need, period.

The two big ones that I don't think there will be any debate on are Fighter & Rogue. Soldier & Operative are Fighter & Rogue, updated for the setting, improved upon, and given name changes. Any elements, either in the core class or popular achetypes, that have not been translated are either those that don't fit with Starfinder's system or that can be worked into new combat styles/gear boosts or specializations/exploits.

Following that same logic I feel the following classes would be better served the same way as opposed to being updated or given an entire spiritual successor.

Cavalier/Samurai: The "order" element of these classes, I feel is already kind of covered in the Star Knight archetype. Things like challenges, banners, the specific combat elements would best be worked into a soldier fighting style. The mounted elements may be served likewise with a soldier fighting style that focuses on vehicle use, or it may work better as it's own separate archetype. That is a niche I think that needs filling, but it doesn't need it's own class to do it.

Slayer: I like Slayer, and not just the band. I think it's one of the better classes in Pathfinder and it filled a niche that needed it, being more combat oriented than the skill monkey rogue, more stealth focused than the fighter, and without the nature baggage of the ranger. That being said, in Starfinder I feel this would be better served with either a more combat oriented operative specialization or a more stealth oriented fighter combat style. It doesn't need to be it's own thing here.

Swashbuckler: See above.

Gunslinger: Well everyone's kind of a gunslinger, now. I have seen a 3rd party book that works them into an archetype that I skimmed and that seems to be the best way to do it if you're going to do it, because the Gunslinger class was about more than just being proficient with fire arms, but still I don't think it warrants a class unto it's self.

Vigilante was always a bit of a hard class because it doesn't travel well in a game set on one planet let alone one that could travel to several. Not to mention several elements of it can already be seeing in Envoy & Operative. There may be more to draw on here, especially from specific archetypes such as the Brute & Magical Child, but I don't see the class as a whole making the transition.

Okay those are the ones I feel pretty confidently that we don't need full classes for right off the bat. Running theme there is that they're all martial/non-magical and that isn't really a coincidence, because the question of "what we need" is a little trickier when it comes to casters.

There are a few things we're objectively lacking when it comes to spell casters in starfinder. Prepared casters, charisma based casters, and most notably, "full" casters, i.e., casters who's spell level goes up to 9th.

Now the sense I get on that latter one is that 9th level spells and full casting is a casualty of Paizo's condensing. The current spell lists have several spells that in pathfinder were level 7, 8, and 9, currently at level 5 or 6. So while there are those who may disagree with this assessment, for the purpose of this discussion I'm going to consider "full" casters not as a niche that needs filling but one that simply doesn't exist anymore.

Now as to whether or not prepared casters & charisma based casters(not counting Solarians for the purpose of this discussion) should exist, I'm not arguing they shouldn't but I also don't know what form they should take as that's a pretty bare-bones starting point.

Taking this back to things that we "don't need", and this might become a bit more controversial, but it strikes me that most of the divine casters are non-starters in Starfinder.

Going back to what I said earlier about condensing, the mystic is probably the biggest example of that. Mystic connections are analogous to and arguably encompass everything from a cleric's domains, an oracle's mystery, a shaman's spirit, and a psychic's discipline, along with the entire concept of the druid in the xenodruid.

Likewise, the divine champion & star knight archetypes along with feats such as connection inkling, divine blessing, and the psyhic power feats, read to me as the way pathfinder wants to go for creating characters that fill the niche for such classes as Paladin/Anti-Paladin, Warpriest, and more combat oriented Clerics. Maybe we'll see more, like a divine version of the Arcane Assailant soldier fighting style, but I don't see these classes getting updated versions on their own.

Some people may find that unsatisfying but that strikes me as the direction they're going.

Keeping us on casters but switching to arcane(and I understand that Starfinder doesn't have as hard of a line between the two as Pathfinder did);

Magus, I feel, isn't going to get it's own class. It's main mechanical gimmick doesn't really translate with SF getting rid of iterative attacks. Thematically I think this is the kind of thing covered by a soldier with arcane assailant & feats to give him spell casting, but maybe you can go full archetype with it.

Bard/Skald are especially two that I just feel are unnecessary. Mechanically they're covered by the Envoy and I think that thematically they are such creatures of high fantasy that, arguably more than any other PF classes, they'd be out of place in Starfinder's setting. Just my opinion.

Moving onto occult classes, most of them are out the window. Occultist & Medium, while fun classes, just don't seem to fit within Starfinder's design philosophy. Mesmerist is already covered between Envoy & the overlord mystic connection. Maybe there's an archetype to be gained from these three, but that would be about it in my estimation.

Meanwhile, Psychic is largely covered by mystic; maybe there are a few more mystic connections to be drawn from it, but again, that's it.

Okay so those are the hard 'no's' in terms of getting entire classes based on them in my estimation. So what's left.

Barbarian is one of the few martial classes that I think thematically could stand on it's own. Thundar the Barbarian is a cited source of inspiration, after all. Mechanically there might be an argument for wrapping it up in a soldier fighting style, but I think it could go either way. If it were it's own class, I'd package bloodrager in it.

Monk/Ninja?/Brawler: One of the more common things I see on here is the desire for a martial arts based build. I often see this in the form of asking for a martial artist operative specialization, and a soldier fighting style would be another way to go, but I think there might be enough meat here for an individual class. Thematically there's some overlap with solarian but a think a chi/ki/qi based martial artist class would compliment solarians rather than compete with them. Be the Chirrut to the solarian's Obi Wan.

Inquisitor is the one divine class from Pathfinder that I think can hold up on it's own in Starfinder. I feel it's unique enough both thematically & mechanically that you could work an entire class around it, compared to the more patchwork ways they seem to go about building clerics/paladins/warpriests via divine champion/star knight archetypes, the priest theme, & select feats. Deities may not have domains & sacred weapons anymore but judgments & banes are still something that could be put to good use.

Kineticist, the odd duck out among the PF occult classes, the one I feel can't be wrapped up into a mystic connection and that fills a niche Starfinder needs filling; a ranged counterpart to the solarian. Not much else to say here other than that I feel it does fit the setting and can't be slotted into the existing classes as an archetype easily.

Alchemist is arguably the best fit for a Starfinder class out of Pathfinder's line up, given that it's themes of mad science fit just as well here as they did in pathfinder, maybe better. The addition of genetic editing & bioengineering offer great ways to expand upon the class.

Getting into looser adaptation territory, there are three more concepts for classes I think need to exist.

Firstly is a caster that focuses entirely on arcane magic in contrast to the technomancer that blends magic and technology. I'm not entirely sure what form this should take as the best I can come up with is essentially an int-based mystic with sorcerer bloodlines & witch patrons filling in for mystic connections. Maybe this is where you add in prepped casting or split the difference with arcanist-style prep to make it mechanically distinct, but I just feel thematically this is a thing that needs to exist.

The next two are different takes on the same theme; pet classes. I like the mechanic but I feel thematically there needs to be a non-technological pet class to compliment it.

I'd start by more or less combining the summoner & spiritualist into one since they were more or less the same class to start with, just with the difference being one summoned an outsider & one summoned an undead. That could be an either/or decision, like drone vs exocortex for the mechanic, with this class.

Likewise I feel there does need to be a nature based class that covers the biological pet compared to the mechanic's drone & the summoner/spiritualist's super natural creature. I'm not sure exactly how you design this class without making the xenodruid connection obsolete, but I also feel that xenodruid alone doesn't do enough to cover the nature-hero niche. While I felt that Starfinder was too sci fi to include the bard/skald classes, I also feel it's too high fantasy not to include the ranger & it's derivatives.

Maybe you take off the spellcasting all together & have the base class include combined elements of rangers, hunters, shifters, & their archetypes into something that works in Starfinder's system, and rather than having a huge selection of animals to take as companions, the pet is based off a small selection of templates like the drone & eidolon that can be flavored however you want, with eidolon evolution style upgrades being themed as genetic modifications(Oras says it's okay!) to keep them competitive, which I think is actually exactly what the legacy conversion chapter in the CRB suggests, and maybe expand type to include magical beast & plants as well as animals.

Anyway I think that's about it, all I had to say on the subject. There is of course ample possibility for entirely new, entirely original classes down the line but speculating on those wasn't my purpose here so much as pontificating upon what classes & concepts from Pathfinder could reasonably stand on their own in Starfinder, which ones needed to be condensed, & which ones worked better through other means. I'm curious to see the thoughts of anyone who managed to read through all four pages in a word doc of my ramblings on the subject.


While we're on the subject, anyone know why the Starjammer rsd takes so long to update? None of the races from Dead Suns or Pact Worlds have been added and very little otherwise - only thing I know for sure they've put up is the Devastator connection.

And if no one knows why, does anyone know if there is a means of inquiry?


Dracomicron wrote:
Pagan priest wrote:
Well, there is a creature in the Bestiaries whose description starts out with "Come from distant stars to protect unprepared worlds from cosmic horrors..." Starfinder cannot possibly be complete without the Flumph.

Last night as I was picking a friend up from the airport, I had the sudden realization that Starfinder may well be my first and only opportunity to play a Flumph. I'm thinking:

Flumph

+2 Dex, +2 Wis
2 HP
Small aberration with the "Flumph" subtype
Move 10' land, 25' fly
Natural Weapons - 1d3 acid & piercing + x1.5 level specialization at 3rd level
Darkvision 60'
Stench Spray- cause Sickened for 1d4 rounds, DC 10+primary ability+half level, usable once per 10 minute rest.

I'd say they need a -2. Either to con or str would be my instinct but it's been a long time since I looked up flumph stats. Still, thus far Starfinder hasn't done +2/+2 races; they've even added -2's to races that didn't have them in PF(kasatha) to maintain that.


This was one of those things that makes me glad I'm never likely to play in a game Jacobs dm's.

But yeah, it seems to be a lot easier due to interplanetary & interstellar travel being ubiquitous. Even pre-spaceflight races like the morlamaws(my dyslexia hates that name) or kish seem like the types who'll take any chance they can get to get off world when a Pact World ship visits them, putting them in place to join a party from the start.


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Star Knight archetype, connection inkling & divine blessing feats. Bam, Starfinder paladin.


Yeah but it's not terribly difficult to get around copyright laws with a few changes. Speaking of the Mouse, for years & over multiple platforms, Disney's been ripping off the film version of the Wicked Witch of the West(which is not public domain, unlike the book version) by making slight alterations to her dress and the specific shade of green her skin is.

So I don't think they'd need to drastically alter them to come up with something lawyer friendly. But at the same time they could take that same basic starting concept and use it as inspiration to come up with a few drastically different ideas to help pad out the archives.

It's also important to remember Starfinder is science *fantasy* so that side of the equation shouldn't be written out. Even discounting direct conversions from Pathfinder to Starfinder, there's plenty of mythological creatures & cryptids that Paizo didn't get around to statting in the bestiaries, and there are plenty of creature types/subtypes from Pathfinder that could have interesting IN SPACE! variants.

There's also the question about how we feel about monsters that were statted in Pathfinder but never made it into the main Bestiaries. Because you could fill half an alien archive or more just from the bestiaries of Iron Gods, Strange Aeons, & Ruins of Azlant.


I don't know. I'd like to think that not only are they generally creative enough to be able to look at various sci-fi properties & come up with "like this but different enough to protect us from copyright laws" variations from it, I'd be willing to bet that if you were to give five different contributes the assignment of "come up with a monster that's like this thing but won't get us sued", not only would they all be capable of it, but you'd get five aliens that are significantly different enough from each other to warrant publishing most if not all of them.

I may be overly optimistic on that, though.


Dark Midian wrote:
Remember, now that in SF lore is core, you don't really have to have player companions be a separate thing. That was all the original player companions were, just lore supplements to the setting-neutral system rules.

That is one aspect of it, to be sure, but another facet of them was to give a more detailed, indepth look at aspects of the setting that may otherwise be too obscure to fit into a hardcover book that needs to cover a more broad range of topics.

If they were to implement them that's what I'd be more interested in seeing; books that covered the view on the ground of specific cities, countries - or likely more commonly in SF, specific planets/moons that might be relegated to a single paragraph in something like Pact Worlds - for the player perspective.

Or books like the "Blood of" or Races of Golarion series' where you can cover more depth about a race that would get a page or two in an alien archive, maybe cover a few subraces that would take up too much space in said alien archive.


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And to be clear I'm not asking for full conversions of the pathfinder bestiaries. There are a lot of monsters I would like to see converted, but I don't necessarily want them to dominate the Alien Archives over new creatures.

I'm just countering the notion that Alien Archives need to be smaller than PF's Bestiaries to maintain a yearly release schedule on the basis that they've demonstrated that they can give a yearly release of Bestiary or Bestiary-equivalent books.

That being said, there could well be other factors making the smaller size more viable, which is fine.


So if there's been an official statement on this I haven't been able to find it.

Basic question is if Paizo has any plans on scaling up production to include equivalent's to the monthly/semi-monthly releases of Pathfinder's Player Companion & Campaign Setting product lines?

Is this something the player base even wants?

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