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That's kind of my point; most people shouldn't know, and most people shouldn't care either, so trying to make it some big deal in the setting doesn't sit right.
Shouldn't be "Planet unfindable, news at 11!", should simply be a nonsubject?
Plus unlike "let's make it suck more than crossbows" land, the tech's probably considerably more effective thousands of years later in starfinder; wouldn't some random planet exploding and releasing an ancient destroyer god that needs to be put down make for an interesting AP for high level characters or a small fleet?
Although I really don't understand why "we won't tell you where golarion is" should even matter in an interstellar campaign; it's some screwy random prison-planet, not bloody Coruscant...
If the AI 'gifted' hyperspace as a way of screwing all the other gods over would be interesting. "They can be dealt with when in there" would at least explain why gods tend to be stuck to a single system (single planet in previous editions of D&D) in regards to where their food comes from.
They should be able to transmit to clerics at more or less any distance, with dangerous limitations like the rare sealed worlds (think Athas) being something clerics must learn to stay away from at all costs. However, the gods are godly in their own domains, lording high "above" the prime material; catch one in the cleft between dimensions and it's no sturdier than its normal avatars.
This would explain why it was done; as a distributed, decentralized system, the AI Deity can travel with very little risk, at most losing a copy rather than its eternal existence. Rather advantageous when all your rivals can't.
As for favored weapons, that should probably be more by 'type': One god loves himself some ion cannons, a different one thinks you should pack gravitics and there's one that's all about lazorz, but whether it's a pistol, a melee weapon or a vehicular-scale cannon, or something even bigger that you actually DID install to your ship (because why would you install some peashooter the crew could even run around with? that's a personal weapon if they can!) does not matter: you're using the holy whatever that deity likes most.
Numerous materials could not. Technically this includes (very oddly) the casing for torpedoes (really, the casing? not even the warp-sustainer or anything of the sort?), Dilithium which was in short supply (shuttles have M/AM cores too), and those neural gelpacks would have to be grown manually though the needed materials can probably be replicated.
But my point was rather that if you're not going to be running out anytime soon, you should probably be using them a little faster than "maybe just one if we're about to die otherwise"
Is the technomancer going to be strong or versatile enough to deal with a foe who is harnessing the power of the gods to contain technological advancement, or does it fall sort in terms of capabilities when trying to foil something as strong as a Tier 1 caster?
Firstly, though this is often forgotten due to horrific failures of achieving the intended values particularly between haves and martials in earlier d20 works: a class and level system should mean that - while there are numerous individual differences/specialties/etc - overall two individuals of a given level have generally the same level of capability.
So if, say, one character, of ANY class, can utterly cancel and override another character at, say, level 10, then one of those is clearly not operating at the level of the other one, and something drastic needs to change.
That said; when you consider things like fluff to go with mechanics then you have to also consider what they can do mechanically, not just what they sound like. If gods negate the very existence of technology at a whim, then you're going to have to reach very very far up your buttocks indeed to justify how or why there even IS technology still in the setting of that hated level. Why would there be when all it takes to screw it all to hell's a prayer?
So what does that tell us?
Or B) but He could do nothing against the inhabitants of the Spaceships, for their machines would violate spacetime like armed and horny tentacles
Or C)"technology is the new god" takes things one too many steps towards the literal, and once all that delicious energy starts going to people's gear instead of them, things'll get rather Ork-y.
Yeah, I think we've all at least had one TPK where a surrender became "you're all tortured to death the end"
Kinda like how you can tell who's had their weapons permanently disappeared after being made to "leave them at the door" for some kind of meeting more than once or twice in their gaming career - usually by their immediate and lethal response to such requests in the future after learning it was just a fancy way of saying "your GP or your HP".
Even then the "desired" solution should at most be "Probably this order of ease/effectiveness", rather than absolutes, most especially in regards to those latter two
Obviously there's exceptions such as berserking skeletons being rather unlikely to take prisoners or understand "surrender", but players will very quickly realize if "the wrong answer" is being shielded off by highly resilient train-tracks rather than simply being a suboptimal or unexpected way of solving the problem.
Hell sometimes it's downright blatant, such as absolute "attacks don't work" handwavium that's not backed by the system mechanics but merely your own "nuh uh".
>Sorry, the correct answer in this AP was Orange
Barring literally anything else, certainly nothing beats SAT-style multiple choice questions!
trying to run but can't away you say? just four little words "beam me up scottie"
>You can't it creates interference around itself>You can't you're out of range
>You can't you're underground, well okay sure you normally can underground but not this underground
>You can't there's a shield
>You can't, WE have a shield
>You can't uh, right now, um, hey bob did the writers actually explain why we can't this time? What do you mean no? So they just don't?
Honestly sometimes I think there was as much "you trapped" reason for transporters (vs "get back to the shuttle") as there was for the supposed cost-cutting official reason. Because in the end, at the very least, if nothing else the shuttle would still be *there* ... and possibly capable of blasting their predicament.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Wheras Picard would take his Enterprise right back to Starbase for repairs if he so much as scratched the paint
In fairness, the Enterprise D didn't have much paint on the outside, so those scratches usually came from several decks having been blown through and someone's artwork ruined after some yellow-shirted redshirt ensign got between it and a doomed console.
As for Voyager... You'd think someone would eventually notice they'd been supposed to run out of shuttles and torpedoes several seasons earlier, and would've proceeded to take advantage of the infinite amount by adding more launchers everywhere and sending more of those redshirts they somehow replenished in on shuttles for even more torpedo fire all over.
Plus it would also fit in with the game's canon, given the T6 version's rather popular as a shieldless torpedo boat with them old consoles...
Although you do bring up one good point: Gonna need some weapons to deal with all those space gods; eldritch and otherwise. There's a lot of those 'deity' things in space settings - including pathfinder's - so safe travel across the stars is going to need something you can mount on fighters that can at least harm those entities, even if it might require charged shots at smaller scales.
He'll never be able to run in round -3, let alone round 1, without big changes from what was in the rest of the d20 system.
For the most part it's as Sundakan states earlier: If you can't win against it, it's stronger and faster than you, or at least will nuke you at range for same effect.
But there's another aspect to that: Because "whether or not you can win" is heavily dependent on hitdice/level, very often something you can't win against is *also* something you have little hope of hiding against or ambushing. Perhaps its perception cannot beat you personally, the stealth guy's bonuses once items and class abilities are factored in, but at best it just means you could leave the rest of your comrades to be eaten!
Take "godzilla" as you mentioned, for example! A "Mogaru" has 100ft speeds, +45 perception, +66 for certain CMBs, 79 base CMD, ranged attacks, detection abilities, and immunities all over! You have to run, says the GM; hope you're not trying to escape out of its 60ft reach though, it has combat reflexes! You have to run, but that's almost certain death, while at least maybe, MAYBE, if all of you were optimized enough and full attack, and everyone gets a few crits....
This is why for many longtime players, the best hope is to go all-out and hope some swing of the dice will go your way; natural 20's enabling you to hit and possibly do significant damage, a natural 1 letting the enemy fall to a save, etc. Because if you waste your actions running, that's just that many less rounds worth of chances to survive you're simply throwing away against something with blindsight, darkvision, flight 120' and enough battle capability that you wanted to bug out to begin with!
Starfinder needs to work hard to repair this, as it's an easy temptation to fall for when it comes to ship battles, where many people want "bigger has more people and is better in every way"; lest "ram the bastards" be every group's only remaining solution even in space! Because if your little transport shuttle can't outrun a battleship, you may as well let them tractor you in and hope there's enough antimatter left to make your deaths worth it!
Maybe it'll be easier to revive; just bag the head and stick it in a growth tank a few days?
DR specifically would be a bit of an issue; far too many things (and there's no way magic wouldn't go up in damage to follow after all) ignore it entirely.
Now if armor offered Hardness...
Of course, if things can only be immune to ranged (screw you, mythic-combat-reflexes+smash-from-the-sky) that would be broken as all hell. Sucks if something's immune to axes as well; and why wouldn't be? Backwards golarion has effective immunity/total-negation of high technology available in its spells/abilities, maybe starfinder things have anti-primitive-crap fields.
All that to say: immunities are a very heavy-handed solution of the "nuh uh you can't you have to solve the problem this way" variety.
You'd basically (though this would be limited by the usual class balancing issues) have to give special space abilities to each individual class, allowing them to be different and/or stack, while still being useful. It CAN be done, just that usually it'll be done terribly (the fighter gets 'weapon training' with A ship gun, while the cleric gets to metamagic every ship action and can repair it without costing hundreds of thousands of gold-uh-credits).
There's also the issue that various ship roles CAN be an entirely valid character concept. Just as in your examples, plenty of people can want to be good "at space", making things like pilots, captains, and so on. It can feel just as restrictive or outright stupid for some dedicated navigator to also have to be a level 12 barbarian because his job apparently has nothing to do with his growth as a character!
There's also fighter-pilots: If one's abilities are too far behind in smaller vessels, it forces the oft-boring-for-most-of-the-group 'naval' style battles even further. But what happens when you only have one role, and you'd need 3-4 to be effective on your own? Although at least maybe a role could be just this and offer what's needed when not onboard a capital.
One way or another if there's feats, abilities, etc that are space-only - and there's not really any reason not, it would suck not to - then there will always be the problem of whether things are balanced around having them or not, whether if things were too careful to make them not necessary and they're as worthless as +1-to-two-skills trash feats, or whether they change too much and offer too much power such that not taking them is a suicidal or 'selfish' act, and so on.
It's a lot of work and pagecount, but ideally many abilities should have ground and space value; spacecleric gets turn undead AND turn highly-explosive-homing-femurs, bard inspires crew as easily as partymembers, and so on and so forth. Of course, the real hassle comes in making sure everyone is indeed worth having on the ship: it would be far, far too easy to say "metamagic and spells function through mana-amplifiers for ship scale no problem" while utterly leaving the monk completely incapable of doing /*&%all (at the least they could've made his slow-fall count against damage suffered in a crash, damnit!)
Alternatively, if all's separate it's doable as well, but every class, race, etc has to offer at least something to space...
We have a Character/Spacerole gestalt.
Things get a bit different when it's vectors and acceleration.
Very different from the typical "naval or air combat" type rules we see for a lot of stuff including star wars, but can easily be as exciting; just that things don't move the same way is all.
Actually in Star Trek it's that they can't use transporters through interference or even their own shields. You can rarely use the transporters in combat for that reason: both have to have shields down for it to even work, and without shields things like phasers slice hull like chainsaws through butter.
Note if you play Star Trek Online be aware the game reverses the usual rules/statements due to having inexplicably stuck a 75% reduction vs shields on torpedoes, making phasers better at everything. But in the actual ST setting, torpedoes are good for overloading shields, and they do blow hull to shreds as well - but with shields down the phasers are just as effective, with no ammo limits or anywhere near the reload time.
Well if the firearms are anything like pathfinder firearms, dex to damage as a feat instead of default won't really save them from the trashbin... They'll just be uplifted back over crossbows for people who can afford them.
Ah, if only it were that simple in games though.
Sometimes encounters happen no matter what. Perhaps some AP demands it, or perhaps the GM wants to get a point across or has nothing better written up and needs to eat an hour and a half at least.
Far too often, not only is retreat not an option (most annoyingly, it 'is' but then "a totally different encounter that is exactly that one" becomes what you "came across instead) but even sneaking up and getting a devastating alpha-strike can be "you've been caught for reasons roll for initiative".
To be fair under a lot of systems, targeting anything but directly-the-hull-if-possible leads to even MORE time in spacedock to fix things.
The worst is when repairs are directly a factor of damaged component prices, and labor directly a factor of the expenditure.
Repairing the hull isn't cheap either, but damaged weapons or reactors can cost millions.
HMDs (helmet mounted displays) nowadays allow you to simply look at something and actuate a control (say, a thumbswitch or the like) and get a weapons lock that way.
There's a basic explanation Here but effectively, rather than aiming the nose at a target for a few seconds, you just click whatever's in your field of view to lock/track, and can assign individual missiles and weapons to each.
So the complexity of controlling multiple weapons versus multiple targets (and we're not exactly travelling through hyperspace yet) has now reached a point equivalent to "tab through targets and hit the hotkeys as you need'em". It's not completely instant for multiple targets but neither is screaming "FIRE!" or waiting/reacting to said orders afterwards.
In terms of aiming ship weapons at multiple targets, "how many things you can track and fire at at once" would probably be what your number of attacks per round signify: Anyone can just alpha-strike something in front of them with all weapons, but if it's 6 seconds per round, then getting 2, 3, maybe 6 with haste at 20th is probably appropriate if you're also designating which weapons fire at what at the same time.
Weapon RoFs (and/or how many of each missile you're carrying) would be their own separate matter. Some might be able to fill the sky, others you've got one under a pylon and that's it.
Now consider how much faster even that gets if an AI or at least someone using direct neural interface starts applying themselves with the removal of the "focus eyes" and "wait for signal from brain to make your finger move" from the sequence!
Also the idea of "every individual weapon needs a gunner" gets extremely silly when you consider how increasingly "point and click" weapons are today. Targets can be locked onto with a glance given the right equipment, and combinations of vocal, motion and tactile control systems ensure a single person can direct quite the arsenal.
Battlelords has an interesting take on powers in that various species have rather different power sets and methods of growing them. That wouldn't be a bad thing to learn from; different traditions literally stemmed from the various races understanding all this stuff fairly differently.
If nothing else the races could be a source of "domains" for numerous "here's the main list and these are the powers added to it depending on what school/group/god/etc".
So far the Solarion sounds most like the TOME Anorithil, who do the whole positive/negative balancing act in a similar fashion - although they also recover the one they're not using to go with it.
Hopefully solarions aren't *vancian*, and use the balancing acts as their main restriction/fuel?
Well unless you've got ten thousand people in two warring clans of shrinking genepools in charge of reloading every individual cannon kilometers away from the bridge, s*!~ happening fast is probably just fine for ships as well.
I said that the more separate the rules are between "ground" and "space" the less the system works for such a setting.
I didn't say "integrating them is impossible" at all; I was explaining how the more disconnected(not integrated) the two are the more likely space travel will be just an abstracted "you got there fine / you got boarded its a fight / nothing happened" handwave for most.
My entire *point* was that having to shift gears would be bad, and that separating the system with some cheapo version in the main book and a more complete version later several years down the line would almost certainly cause that problem.
I really have to disagree. For a setting in space to not be well integrated with its space combat from the start is just begging for disaster.
If it's rather straightforward without any real transition other than "well right now scale is X meters per hex" or the like, then things go well, and you don't have to wing it and demand rules potholes be filled up like bad Quebec roads every time there's something as simple as the party fighting a turret across a hull as they try boarding.
The more "transitioning" there is, the more disconnect you'll have and the more we'll find adventures, GMs and groups as a whole dropping the least supported of the two - and there WILL be a least -supported in such cases.
If it gets to the point where it's almost two completely different games, then you seriously have to consider "why are we playing this and not that" for both of the games the system(s) is(are) trying to pretend it(they) is(are).
Heavy Gear just x10s the vehicle stuff compared to people (you do 1/10th the damage, they do 10x, and so on), so you can have pilots trying to smash open an enemy cockpit and get in (very very unsafe, the other guy has a mech, but it CAN be done). Meanwhile, Edge of the Empire, your stats (even your piloting 85% of the time) other than gunnery don't actually matter or apply, and you MAY as well just use the better balanced X-Wing minis tabletop system for your space combat. That's not good.
Gravity should likely be a multiplier. In microgravity it's mostly the amount of acceleration you can impart to an object that matters, whereas in an environment with 24.79m/s acceleration, you should at least be multiplying your effective carried load by x2.5 (and include the multiplier on your weight as additional encumbrance). It's simple and viciously reasonable: If you're running around in double gravity, your body's got twice as much to handle, and oh the impacts. If you thought grandpa falling and breaking his hip was bad on earth, imagine the same shattered bones from stepping down the stairs!
As for strength; many of its functions could be taken over by CON, and strength should affect things a bit less directly much of the time. Your score would be "highly trained human" by default, but it's potentially the score with the biggest variation since a simple set of hydraulic replacements could have you throwing golf-carts, and the high-end stuff puts you in vehicle scales.
Different settings also have vastly differing levels of automation, sometimes even within the setting itself as well.
Kosh's ship in B5 was a frigate-sized bioship with only himself as crew (and it didn't particularly need him to fly).
Starfleet vessels can be controlled by a single person with varying levels of capability, though without maintenance and repairs it won't last long in hostile conditions. The ships have relatively small 'skeleton crew' levels, and let's not forget much of the Enterprise-D's 1000+ were passengers or families and children of the crew.
Galactica's remake had 2900 crewmen, and that's with only half the usual hangar complement the ship class had. Dozens of main turrets, HUNDREDS of point defense units, 40 viper launch tubes, several heavier auxiliary craft.
Moya mostly just needed a pilot.
GTVA Colossus had a crew of 30,000. This was a 6166m monstrosity (fun fact; while it gets plot-destroyed normally, it has 1,000,000 HP) that carried 240 starfighters and 63 turrets (many of which are slasher or anticapital beam ones that'll one-shot any fighter they accidentally sweep through)
And then there's the 40k cruisers, with upwards of a hundred thousand, most of which are basically press-ganged slave families living deep in the hull, but these are ships where even reloading weapons is done by thousands of men pulling on frickin chains. Much of the hierarchy has little to do with the ten or so real 'positions' on the ship, and everything to do with having enough whips and agents to keep the rowing pits doing their job and free of mutation.
All of the above are just as all over the map for their firepower and other 'value' to a setting, too. Some settings a fighter can put good sized holes through continental plates, while in others you may be hard-pressed to glass a city in an hour.
Personally, I prefer things on the smaller size crew-wise. The big ones are for infiltrating and figuring out how the hell to get it back to base once you've nerve-gassed life support and want to sell your newest loot.
Honestly if the system can't even handle someone in a giant robot as opposed to some spelljamming sailboat, the system as a whole will be yet another one in the large pile of RPGs that fail at space and vehicles. Which is all that 'giant robots' are: Vehicles with limbs.
And really, there's no reason you can't Einhander or Canada-Arm things in the first place - it's not like you actually need it to be a gundam. The system needs to be capable of encompassing such things, or it's off to a bad start.
Wanting to use ships should be as natural to players in *a game about space travel* as wanting to use armor and horses is in pendragon. If the space combat system fails at such low-level design, there's no real point in using it for space campaigns.
The Dune route would make some sense but then we wouldn't want laser guns. Those things explode when they hit force shields. Like, violently.
Since sometimes the Holtzman effect destroys the laser user along with the shield user instead of just giving us the nuclear explosion we were hoping for, you put the lasers on little drone swarms, sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
Personally I'd like to see the reverse also be true for jedi blocking,etc. Maybe a bit of a 'weapon triangle' or something to help it all make sense?
Sir Zaku the 2nd has a large heat-axe, which really doesn't much care for lasers hitting it, and is wide enough to offer some protection against some big glowy plasma ball, but suffers devastating feedback to its generator if it tries to do the same with an ion-cannon and the solid surface means some point-blank missile launch will knock it aside (we do need to figure out where that missile careened over to now, but that's just more fun).
Let melee be designed for higher penetration (give melee stuff like custard shots) and for quickly murdering things in close quarters around corners, while most people try to use ranged for obvious, basic warfare-evolution reasons. Plus now we get to figure out where in the hell the missile just ended up. Double the fun!
Boomerang Nebula: It COULD be fine; most combat in pathfinder is generally already in the first increment anyways; if you just accept that and give proper ranges for larger scales it'll still matter when sniping EDC technicians on an enemy hull at ship scales, and matter exactly as much as it did in pathfinder for most combat the rest of the time.
Special mention also to the Cygnus Spaceworks "Missile Boat" for its high speed, heavy shielding and cavernous secondary bays. The sleek looking Dos-Era version not whatever the hell they did to it in X-Wing Alliance.
So wait... Now we're going to use Earth-based historical accuracy and scientific reasoning to rationalize spells? Boy that seems a dangerous precedent.
Well, is not the precedent placed by the Antitech Field spell in the first place? As you've stated:
It blocks bits of metal outright if bit of metal was launched by a chemical explosion - even outside the spell's zone - rather than by a spring or torsion mechanism. This is not something Antimagic Field is capable of; in fact AMFs are notorious for letting certain things function (golems and walls of force or anything "instantaneous" from outside the field, as it is "no longer magical" once the effect has happened) unimpeded in them.
In order for Antitech field to do what it does, it's got to have some kind of divination-like component allowing it to know whether that javelin was thrown or whether it was blown out a fire-lance (or whether that directed lightning bolt comes from some kind of two-handed emitter recharged by magic-users or whether it comes from some kind of two-handed emitter recharged by batteries) long before it reached the perimeter of the spell, allowing it to know that yes, THIS javelin was once (because the 'technological effect' of firing is done with, now this is just a quick stick) a 'technological' deal!
Don't you just "love" it when one spell can give total, complete (and even selective; it only slows things down if a small lead ball was fired by a gun but not by a slingshot) and potentially permanent (you can!) immunity to an entire class and set of archetypes? I wonder why antimagic field doesn't stop magic nearly as well as this does tech.
...Or rather more interestingly for all you wizards out there: why is there no such thing as protection against low techs in the technological side? And what are you *waiting for*?
I mean wouldn't "Anti-Archaic Field" (seriously needs catchier name) be exactly as selective but a whole lot more useful for 95% of mages and encounters? Most people running around with axes and swords and bows.
Plus it offers some utterly hilarious potential moments if built to affect anything older than firearms like "what do you mean Bob's full-plate still works? that makes no sense!"
I'd suggest tuning it to moderns at least to make it the a special balance where high-end-crossbows (if they actually existed in the game, but it's a good chance to write in ones newer than "greek era" here) and muzzleloaders could get through, but technically "anything older than matchlocks" would be the proper reverse of antitech field's capabilities.
While it may be a touch attack, the special rules on this weapon have an unfortunate caveat:
"This weapon damages all targets with an AC equal to or lower than the attack roll."
So while it might touch everyone in the line, it doesn't hurt them unless it goes over their regular AC.
The RAI is rather obvious, but a tiny spare word in the errata would make it work better.
While this does not offer the offensive power of a Warsoul, let alone the Psychic Armory archetype, the Living Legend has an unbelievably smug-looking iconic on the cover.
The skill bonuses offered by most roles are very high; enough to make you a "skill monkey" with one stat (each, so 2 every day). No charm person, sure, but hello diplomacy if you're a Marshal.
Archmage is basically the Warlock the vigilante had promised us, but with mystic bolts that work. It buffs int stuff
Champion is a standard basic "soulknife" but with other roles available to flesh out. It buffs strength checks and skills.
Guardian grants reach, a hands-free shield, and a solid layer of temporary HP whenever you focus. While that's not that much THP at a time, no real reason you wouldn't have a full recharge of it every round.
Hierophant is one of the more interesting ones, granting you domain powers, an *excellent* nonlethal option and bonuses to wisdom and wisdom skills. There are a lot of domains, so much that this could probably stand alone with ease.
Marshal's a half-assed Tactician, you'll need to build a bit to make use of those abilities. Big bonus to Cha checks and skills, and order people to come back to life as a capstone, but if you're not building towards it, except for a fancy ball or negotiating table you'll never touch the thing.
Overmind is not great alone actually: Overmind needs some building on with certain blade skills, but if you do, those one a day each abilities auto-augmented to ML30th that could cause some tears.
Trickster is TWF, Dex and buff-stealing. It works.
Honestly it's hard to justify building in a way that will use all the roles instead of 2-3 you'll focus on, but that opens up for a lot of characters anyways, and even those you don't normally need could still see use in downtime or the like.
A bit sad that the Living Legend is so incompatible with other archetypes and many bladeskills, but it's pretty much its own class, so take that as you will.
I think I've seen this "Vitalist" and its collective (Or Collection as it states once here) system before...
And most other class and archetype names for that matter, except they weren't vancian casting...
Part of the problem is that it's based on the gunslinger chassis, which only seems strong because firearms are strong. Gun beats rapier.
Well yes, normally, but not in pathfinder.
There's currently very little actual new tech items in Arcforge; and it's gonna be a while.
Well there's the harpoon launcher and rocket glove, but it was mostly in the middle of working out the mech system (most of those archetypes are psionic, but road warrior isn't, AND is compatible with myrmidon).
Numerous psi archetypes with mechs though, which can be of decent use.
A caster already does plenty on his own if he plays it even remotely un-dumb. Not even smart, just, not mentally impaired.
Even something as simple as Widened Bless (that's 100ft around you) can make a cumulative 5% on a massive chunk of one's forces. They hit a little better, thus kill a little faster, thus inflict more damage AND suffer fewer losses against the enemy. Pair it up with Prayer once you get into the melee and the effect in regards to armies can be incredible.
Fireballs may not seem like much, but to a phalanx of 'warriors' it could easily mean a dozen or more dead. In one instant, immediately followed by assault, that can break a line.
Likewise, even cruddy low level summons can tarpit enemy forces, and the stronger stuff can easily be equivalent (or at later levels far, far superior) to increasingly large military units too.
The caster simply becomes an RTS player brutalizing the battlefield left and right, usually avoiding being "in" the action but rather dictating it all.
At very low optimization levels, where people are playing a CRB Rogue and Fighter and the Cleric is purely blasting and never chose a deity, the Kineticist keeps up fine. Problem is that's a disturbingly low ceiling, devoid of someone even going "hey, that "rapid shot" thing seems pretty neat!" It seems the balancing point for the whole thing was somewhere around -2CR, which isn't even baseline for the system, but somehow apparently baseline for PFS or most APs. Yet most tables I've talked to or played at are usually hovering around +1 for "normal encounters", to account for the fact that the guy with power-attack and a massive two-hander doesn't waste his first turn picking up a pair of sticks and trying to TWF the remainder of the fight.
There's some very good talents, and there's a lot of bad or worthless ones. Things that would be totally fine if burn was a temporary measure, or a risk system such as the Gambler's. But it isn't, so they aren't. Some elements are flat out better, stronger AND more versatile than others. There's NO excuse for Wood, especially when standing next to it is Earth.
Even the damage - touted as a main component of the class - falls utterly apart against all but the most actively minimized builds. Many infusions aren't great, or disable the potential to do anything by throwing in some very easy saves, because dealing a quarter of your blast damage IF they stay in the area is somehow devastating.
Of course... all this is only aimed at the main Occult form of the Kineticist (including those archetypes... something went horribly horribly wrong writing the overwhelming soul and kinetic chirurgeon)
There's some very solid support (and elements!) for them over in the 3pp materials, from Light to Gamblers, that can really make a decent character.
One thing that can help is having normal morale checks applied at a wider scale in an open battle.
Simply put, it's not *only* those a group is immediately facing that start 'leaking courage' when they start seeing entire squads annihilated in moments.
In fact, in a direct reverse of what you'd expect "only the PCs" to have to do, enemy officers/heroes/etc that take notice are going to be burning resources or risking exhaustion in hopes of intercepting as fast as they can, because every round where that armored freak and his buddies are left alone brings the entire flank closer to collapse.
Or, ya know, if the party's mid-level Path of War initiators, then you can probably just put the entire battlefield on one ridiculously large map and watch them get all hot and bothered.
Noqual is outright useless since it's a resistance bonus. By the time you can afford anything made of it, well you wouldn't BE there to afford anything made of it if you didn't already have a better bonus to start with.
James Risner wrote:
Either you are trying to be funny or you don't know the item creation rules.
Try understanding the numbers you're looking at before you get all personal.Eyes of the Eagle are a +5 competence bonus, not +3, and are permanent bonuses, not a temporary buff that's action-activated for one minute once per day.
The Pale Green Cracked Ioun Stone can be applied to attack bonuses or saving throws, *and* has a doubled price due to its slotless factor: Bracers of Falcon's Aim are not slotless, as they go on the wrists. Which are a slot. The Pale Green Cracked Ioun Stone is also an 'always on' bonus, and is not limited to being action-activated for one minute once per day.
Deliquescent (not Delinquent) gloves offer not only an ability equivalent to a +1 enhancement bonus - something that a mere +1 to attack does *not*, as it does not also increase damage - but it is also 'universal', granting this ability to multiple attack forms, compared to the strict restrictions on weapons in Bracers of Falcon's Aim (two subcategories vs any held weapon, natural attack or unarmed). ADDITIONALLY it also has a second function, which as you recall adds to the price of an item. It offers protection from slime counter-damage as well as preventing their splitting ability.
These effects are, of course, permanently active from the item being equipped, as opposed to being action-activated for one minute once per day.
At most one could argue the critical-booster effect of falcon's aim is what requires a repricing. However, even if such a cost adjustment were made, there is no question whatsoever that it would then be reduced significantly in cost, by sheer virtue of being action-activated as opposed to continuous, and limited to a single charge, once per day.