tl;dr No I haven't tried punching someone in powered armor, but neither have you. No one has. You made it up the way you want to.
Punching powered armor is the same as punching a car. It hurts to punch metal with a fleshy fist. Even Mike Tyson isn’t running around punching metal and he has arguably one of the strongest punch in boxing.
Personally I agree with Big Lemon. The Archaic quality is really rather arbitrary. That being said I do still intend to use it.
• Pathfinder and Starfinder are different systems set in the same universe. The sooner everyone remembers that these are different systems, the sooner we won’t have to debate the rules between the two games. The rules are different.• Definition “Arbitrary - based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.” There was a reason given on why punching metal with your fists does less damage and the response is to say Fake News and disregarded it? If you want to continue using the word “arbitrary” that’s fine but that’s like using the word “literally” incorrectly.
MY only exception is that "improved unarmed strike" will take away the archaic property. This comes from the thought process that, as someone who is fighting in this hyper technology world, you would train your strikes to specifically target weak spots in said power armor.
• You cannot train yourself to jump over a three story building even if you had a running start. Your squishy physical body has limitations. That’s why I mentioned cybernetics or being a Solarian with solarfists as options to increasing unarmed attack damage.
But let’s look at “weak spots” for the battle harness.
BATTLE HARNESSEAC BONUS +9 KAC BONUS +12
MAX DEX BONUS +2 ARMOR CHECK PENALTY –4 SPEED 30 feet
STRENGTH 18 (+4) DAMAGE 1d10 B SIZE Medium
CAPACITY 20 USAGE 1/hour
WEAPON SLOTS 1 UPGRADE SLOTS 1 BULK 20
Basically looking at the AC it’s on par with Vesk Overplate 1 which is a level 6 armor.
Vesk Overplate (I–V)These utilitarian suits of heavy armor reflect the brute strength of their inventors. Overplate makes no concession to comfort. Instead, each polycarbonate suit is solid, dense, and often unadorned, though the high-quality craftsmanship of each suit is apparent. Overplate has a reputation for withstanding any sort of trauma, thanks to its coating of thermoplastic resin.
I mean I guess vesk engineers could place a weak spot in Vesk Overplate that a tiny human fist could penetrate but… Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose?
But this is only looking at the battle harness. What about a flight frame which is essentially the size of a gundam.
FLIGHT FRAMEEAC BONUS +12 KAC BONUS +19
MAX DEX BONUS +3 ARMOR CHECK PENALTY –5 SPEED 30 feet, fly 30 feet (average)
STRENGTH 22 (+6) DAMAGE 2d6 B SIZE Huge
CAPACITY 100 USAGE 1/minute
WEAPON SLOTS 3 UPGRADE SLOTS 4 BULK 40
Can you point out where the weak spot is here? You guys may think it’s “arbitrary” but I think the devs put a lot of thought into the math of this game. Most of it is streamlined for fun factor and simplicity but it still makes sense. Again, play how you want but when I search for heavy armor on the internet I don’t see a lot of “weak points”.