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Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras

Owen K. C. Stephens's page

Developer, Starfinder Team. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,670 posts (4,674 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

6 people marked this as a favorite.

It certainly is the end of an era.

While I think a moment of reflect of all you have accomplished here is worthwhile, I also want to wish you well on what comes next. I look forward to seeing the things you have yet to do!

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.

A truly AWESOME mapping job, and an amazing thing to send in. Thanks a ton!

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

This is only a personal opinion.

Taking levels of fighter should do it. It's less clear if you could do it without levels of fighter, and certainly you'd have to wait until your got increases to your armor mastery.

I'd allow it as a GM, but I wouldn't pout a a player if a GM didn't allow it.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.

So... that map you sent to the office is AWESOME, by the way!

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I agree, blood elements was a big disappointment and blood of shadows is awesome.

Certainly our intention is to learn from that fact.

It remains to be seen how we did. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

Kevida wrote:
Will there be options for "no magic" space campaigns?

That's certainly not the focus, and I doubt it would be covered in the core rulebook. Starfinder is a Science fantasy campaign, and the fantasy part is important.

That said, technology does a lot more in Starfinder, and if you want to hand wave all magic as a form of psychic energy, that'll be easier.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wrote the fearmonger, back when I was a freelancer. I can offer my original intent, but that has no official weight and may not be what the intent was of the archetype as printed.

My original idea was that the fear monger could use cruelties with a touch (though not dealing any damage) a number of times per day equal to how often he could have used touch of corruption. And, of course, he'd be healed each time since it was a fear effect, making it worthwhile even if not dealing damage.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Most sci-fi settings have at least one class of people engaged in melee, going waaaay back. Lensmen had Valerian space marines with space-axes. Star Trek had the Vulcan lira long before the bat'leth. B5 has the denn'bok staff. Anbdromeda has force lances (which are both melee and ranged). HALO has energy swords. And gravity hammers. And combat knives.
And then, you know, lightsabers.
Not every character, or even every combat-focused character, is going to maximize Strength. But some will, and that's fine.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Are you going to allow me to create mecha that work like RahXephon, Owen?

We may do technosummoners with bardmecha eidlon-vehicles at some point, but I strongly doubt they'll be in the core rulebook. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is exactly the sort of thing that also needs to b considered in terms of how the setting of the game is supposed to work. Especially since we're going to have things like magic, does it matter if a character has a permanent dark vision spell, or cyber eyes? Do we want only one of those to be an option? If they re both options do we balance them on cost? Availability? Drawbacks? None of the above?

We don't have anything ready to discuss in that regard, but they are certainly things we're considering.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Abraham spalding wrote:
Are you intending/considering to have different means of FTL travel for different races/empires?

Certainly that is being considered. No telling which way we'll go in the end.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
SquishyPoetFromBeyondTheStars wrote:

Hey Owen, James, and/or Rob

I assume there will be some form of starship design rules in the Starfinder book.

So do we.

SquishyPoetFromBeyondTheStars wrote:
How detailed are they going to be?

We really won't know until we do a final pagination for the whole book. I'm always in favor of robust startship[ systems, but having been part of the team that designed 3 Star Wars rpgs, and gamma World for d20, I know that there often just isn;t room for as complete a system as I would like.

So we just won;t know until we have a better idea how much space we have left. There's a realistic maximum to how big this book can be, and until we have enar-finished drafts of every section, we won't know if our ideal version of each section is going to fit.

SquishyPoetFromBeyondTheStars wrote:
Also which way are you guys leaning with wealth? Is it going to be GP like system (like standard Pathfinder)? or a wealth bonus like system like d20 modern?

I personally am very much leaning toward Credits, as a hard currency like Pathfinder GP, though that's certainly not exclusively my call.

SquishyPoetFromBeyondTheStars wrote:

Is Starfinder going to have Alignment?

lastly are Starfinder characters going to have the same reliance on stat boosting items as Pathfinder characters?

I'm pretty sure we have the answers to those, but we aren't revealing them yet.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Gilfalas wrote:
Assuming cybernetics/grafts/magical golemlimbs are a thing in the game and that they can add limbs to characters, will their costs/drawbacks be significant enough to balance them with races that have inherent multiple usable limbs?

Certainly this is on our radar. And it's a perfect example of something where we don't have a final answer yet. There are a lot of moving parts to such an issue.

*How highly do we value extra limbs in a race write-up? What else do such races have going for them?
*The answer to this must be based in part on how we are handle the rules for combat with multiple limbs. There's every chance they won't be the same as the Pathfinder rules. Each possible iteration must be considered, designed, the math on the results checked, and then the real-game impact playtested.
*Only after we know the answer to those things can we determine what we think the cost is compared to cyberlimbs. And for that we need to decide, are cyberlimbs just as useful? Or are they automatically not as good? Or they as good, but there's a limit to how much cybernetics you can haven, so a 4-arms rare can just augment themselves with reflex wires to offset the advantage a human gets from two extra cyberarms? Are cyberarms subject o sunder? (Are we going to have sunder? Even if we do, is sunder less useful in a game with lots of ranged weapons, making melee harder to pull off?)
*Can a 4-arm race just take on their own cyberarms to have 6 arms? And, if so, what are the rules for THAT option?
*How are weapon costs being balanced? Is it easy to have back-up weapons or weapons for extra limbs? (Probably, but if not that can also impact the value of 4-arms).

We can work all of those things out, but many of those answers are connected to broader systems. It's a lot like bootstrapping -- to know A I must compare it to B, which I must compare to C, but I can't write all those things simultaneously. So we much do drafts of A, B, and C with our best estimates of what will work well, but accept that NONE of it is in final form until we look at it all together and see how our estimates match up with reality.

Which is one big reason we tend to be very cautious about what we confirm, even fairly far along in the design process. I am 99% sure I know how 4-armed combat is going to work. But until every aspect of combat, combat maneuvers, equipment, cybernetics, feats, and every level of play are finalized, there's still a chance toward the end we may go "Oh! When we finished section M, it changed our assumptions about section G, which impacted section A. So, looking at where things are now... "

And then things might change.

I've done a lot of d20 System RPGs since 2000, and I know from experience that at least a few of the things I think we have settled will change at least a little toward the end of the design period.

So often we're cagey about our answers not because we haven't thought about the question, but because we have given it a LOT of thought, and we know it's a complex issue with more than one potential solution.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Isabelle Lee wrote:
My first book!

But not your last!

Great work, btw. Thanks for your efforts on this.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

11 people marked this as a favorite.

The idea of the possessed hand line of feats is one reason this book exists. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:
Oh, and one more thing: if you lived through a Legend of Zelda (as one of the Links); which would it be, and why?

Ocinara of Time.

...
Because I eventually finished that one. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:

If you could have 1d4 different super-powers, what would they be and why?

(Assume corollary powers required to make a given power work are part of it; i.e. Since you'd need super tensile strength/durability to, you know, not-die when you made use of your super-strength power, you get them both when you say "super strength" as a singular option.)

I bounced a die on my desk, and got a 2.

A 2 is tricky. It pushes me to think in broad terms. I think I'll define my superpowers in terms of spells, because that prevents me from just wishing to do everything all the time... though this is close.
So likely I'd take polymorph any object, and heal, both at will. That'll take care of the majority of what I want to do. (And aren;t as risky as wish, which depends on the GM not being unreasonable)

Tacticslion wrote:
If, instead, you could be a gestalt of 1d2+1 super heroes, who would you gestalt to be yourself? Why? Which comic universe would you run around in? Would you prefer to be in that one, or this one?

I got 2 total, which makes this pretty easy.

Doctor Strange, because he has tons of flexibility. And Tony Stark, because he's risk and a genius and I love powered armor.
So, Doctor Iron

Tacticslion wrote:
On the other hand: BAM! You just gained 3d6+2 levels in a Pathfinder class (or classes)! Which class(es) do you pick, and why? Incidentally, if you could spontaneously switch races, would you? And if so, to which?

I got 15 total levels on a random 3d6+2 roll. I'd go cleric. That gives me lots of practical magic options without needing to find spelbooks, which I suspect don't exist in the real work, and I can worship a philosophy so I don't anger any existing religion or violate my own beliefs. Also, a good Fort save, which appeals to me.

Tacticslion wrote:
Similarly, you won the super-lottery, and gained mythic tiers! 3d3+1 of 'em! (And you gain class levels to match; please feel free to change your previous answer if this does so for some reason.) What path do you take? (Alternate option: substitute a single tier for a simple mythic template.)

If got 8 total mythic tiers, which is just a ton. I'd stay a cleric. I'd take hierophant, since it works best with cleric.

Tacticslion wrote:
Yet another query: you monster. Specifically, you [dice=CR]d30 (or less) monster! Which are you?! ... and would this have been your first choice? If not, which would be?

CR 30?. So... doppleganger with enough levels of cleric to be CR 30. Because that way I can perfectly duplicate my own appearance, which makes life easier, but I also sneak in all those cleric levels we were just discussing.

Tacticslion wrote:
But the wheels of fate-time have spun again, and your everything has been transposed into that of someone else! You've just become a prepublished NPC from an official source! Which prepublished NPC is it?

Some doppleganger...

Tacticslion wrote:
What campaign setting do you run around in? Why?

My home-brew Diesel Pulp setting, because I know enough secrets to be rich, comfortable, and help good defeat evil.

(To be continued)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Who's handling the art direction for Starfinder?

Our Creative Design Director (Sarah Robinson), though obviously she is in close contract with the Starfinder Creative Director (James Sutter) and our Chief Creative Officer and Publisher (Erik Mona). And Senior Developer Rob McCreary and I offer our thoughts, when appropriate and helpful.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

Dexion1619 wrote:
That look's much, much, better!

One of the functions of concept art, which is what we were originally showing, is to determine what works, and what doesn't. Having that stage allows us to get to this stage. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Check out the new look on the Starfinder page!

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Will this book replace the Horror Origins companion?

Certain this is a soft tie-in to Horror Adventures. I personally see the Origins books as ways to give context to new classes, or new rulesets that have that broad an impact (like mythic), for which it may not be obvious how they tie in to Golarion. For the most part, I think the context of horror-themed things in Golarion is pretty intuitive.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alchemaic wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Alchemiac,

I'm sure they'll figure something to make a Harrow Medium come to life down the road. This is more for Horror than Harrow.

Maybe, although it does already exist and it's just locked up in a cupboard someplace. I'm just pointing out that the description seems to have changed which severely dropped my enthusiasm.

The Harrow medium was never slated for this book. Sorry to disappoint.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kyrand wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ranger also gets one.
No Hunter drakes? Drat.

That largely fell into our "only 32 pages" issue.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Might possibly be an oversight of the Archetype's Creator though, but until then I'd say the Paladin can have a kinda-sorta-but-not-quite-animal-companion Drake Companion that's non-evil.

Not an oversight. We even dressed it a bit, in the archetype's description: "Silver champions are often concerned by their drake allies’ pragmatic natures, however, and are sure to treat them with respect, knowing that these lesser dragons must constantly be inspired to act on their better natures."

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.
IonutRO wrote:
How will you handle the fact that Ysoki come from a world with much lower gravity than Golarion/Absalom Station?

Yet ratfolk have adjusted to Golarion perfectly. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Humans also exist on Aballon (in Horsethroat), possibly on Eox (in the Halls of the Living), and on Akiton (both native "red-skinned humanoids that are exceptionally similar to Golarion's humans, even to the point of being able to interbreed," and the Azlanti decedents in Arl.)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
Mmm. No Golarion means no Drows, right ?

No promises, either way.

A LOT of time has passed.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

Matthew Shelton wrote:

Will Starfinder be using traditional measurements (foot-pound-gallon), or modern measurements (meter-kilogram-liter)?

5 ft steps or 2 meter steps?

This could change before the final product is out, but it's currently in feet, and generally uses the same measurements as Pathfinder.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gilfalas wrote:

One question I have is this:

With the advancement of technology in the universe to the point where (we assume) star travel, advanced medicine, high technology such as computers and such exist, will the outer planes have adapted as well?

Will we see Angels in power armor battling cybernetically enhanced demons with laser beams on their freakin' heads?

And dragons using anti ship cannons as rifles, etc?

I expect there will be elements of that. OTOH, advanced technology already exists in the universe of Pathfinder, and outsiders mostly don't feel the need for it... so most of them still might now.

The exact balance of this will vary, based on what makes the most sense to us, and what we think best supports the stories we want to tell.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

Jack of Dust wrote:
My understanding of it is that Elves will be in the Core Rulebook but won't be a core race in the Starfinder setting. We will have rules to play them but we probably can't expect too much of a focus on them in the Starfinder setting (or not immediately at least).

I expect this to be true of all the Pathfinder core races.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

spectre113 wrote:
Question: Is there a plan for how space travel works?

Yes. But the details are still be hammered down, so we're not talking about it yet.

spectre113 wrote:
Question: How does magic interact with technology?

Things like the Technology Guide and magic firearms in Pathfinder already tells us that magic and technology interact just fine in the universe both these games are set in. That said Starfinder is its own game, so it may not handle the ideas of magically enhanced technology exactly as you;d expect it to.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

Quandary wrote:

Question: Golarion is supposed to have been destroyed in the far-future of Starfinder.

What about other planets of Golarion's system, e.g. Castrovel and Akiton?

Golarion is NOT destroyed, It is missing, which is very different.

We have plans for all the other planets in the system, which we are not ready to reveal yet.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

Belabras wrote:
How compatible with Starfinder be with Aethera and/or Savage Planets?

That'll be entirely up to the companies publishing those products. Our concern is to make a game that does the stories we want to tell well. I strongly suspect that'll work well with 3pp star-focused Pathfinder-compatible games, but we can;t know until the books are all out.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Shelton wrote:
Will Starfinder open up Apostae to the rest of the star system? If so, how are you going to do the stats for the Ilee since they are so varied in their anatomy and capabilities? Will the Ilee be a playable race? (perhaps under a different name... Celerians?)

We have a plan for Apostae, but we're not ready to reveal it.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aventhar wrote:

Hi Owen,

I see the first installment of return to Freeport available on Drive Thru and on Green Ronin's own site. Will it be available here in the Paizo store?

Most likely yes, eventually.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

CBDunkerson wrote:

Something off with the math on the Take 'Em Alive talent. Gives +1 bonus that "increases by 1 at 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level."

That would actually work out to +7 at 20th level. If the increase were instead every 5 levels it would work out to +5 at 20th.

While this isn't official, it seems clear to me that's a typo and it should be +1 every 5 levels. Unfortunate, but it happens.

If trying to run it RAW, you'd still need to cap it at +5, even though you'd hit that before 20th.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

6 people marked this as a favorite.

It's just 32 pages, folks. Of primarily player-usable material.

I love what we did, but by far we couldn't do everything. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
djones wrote:
But on the other hand, Owen reads these threads and it's well-known that he's open to feedback, which is why I always make a point of gushing my personal wishlists all over them. Sometimes things stick.

I do, and I am (thanks for noticing!).

I can't always include things people want for various reasons (ranging from timing to space to plans in other products to design philosophy), but I DO try to keep abreast of what people seem to be excited about.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I actually assume the main use is for the warpriest to create a spell storing item, having his friend the wizard cast something useful into it, and then the warpriest charges into battle.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks Liz. We appreciate that.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Steve was a great friend and a valued colleague for me for years. We did 50 episodes of the Demiplane of Gaming, and chatted frequently. He made me a better designer, and a better person.
His absence shall be painful.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Papa-DRB wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
I'm pretty sure that if there's sufficient demand for a Spheres of Power supplement/update for Starfinder, then DDS will find a way to make it happen. I'd love to see an Ultimate Psionics supplemt/update for Starfinder from Dreamscarred.

Yes to both of these. I could see either Spheres of Power or Dreamscarred Press Psionic material being needed for what I would like to do. (Lensman Chronicles by E.E. "Doc" Smith)

-- david

Of course for MOST Lensmen all the Lens needs to do is be unreproducible (unless you are already far enough along to worry about Black Lensmen, who were never particularly successful), and grant universal telepathy.

That'll give you zwilnik-hunting, Boskone-fighting, Galacticly Patrolling Lensmen.

Well, and rules for negasphere, the Z9M9Z, sunbeams...

It's only if playing with Second-Stage Lensmen, and/or Eddorians and Arisians you need more advanced mental power rules.

:)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

7 people marked this as a favorite.

The right balance of attacks, damage value, damage types, energy types, and energy resistance are absolutely among the things we are looking at. Indeed, making sure those work in a way that narratively makes sense is one of (though certainly not the only) the reasons we are writing a new game designed to be as compatible as possible with Pathfinder, rather than just releasing "Science-Fantasy Adventures" as a hardback expansion.

And we continue to tweak those answers as the game comes together.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
FedoraFerret wrote:
... so I'm reading this correctly right? We're gonna get dragon mounts. You're not just playing tricks on me are you because if you are Owen I'll never forgive you.

"drakes and lesser dragons to serve as... " "flying mounts."

Yes, there is really an option for drakes and/or lesser dragons, that can result in having one as a flying mount.
But obviously, it's not just bolting flying dragons onto any character of any level. :)

I hope you all like what we've done once the book it out.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yum!
Thanks everyone!

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
*thinks we need more linnorm archetypes*

No promises on linnorm archetypes.

The word "linnorm" appears 25 times in the book (not counting the 2 times we say "Land of the Linnorm Kings") , and 3 of those are in the Rules Index.

You may or may not be happy with the final result. I love what we did, but obviously with 32 pages we could only do so much. :)

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:

I hope kineticist, swashbuckler, monk/UC monk, rogue/UC rogue, hunter, summoner, and druid get archetypes

I hope there will be a dragon mystery for oracles.

It is, at this point, impossible to fit in archetypes for all the Pathfinder classes into a Player Companion, or at least it is if we put *anything* else in. So some of the classes you mention get archetypes, but certainly not all of them

Some of the classes that don't get archetypes get other class-specific or class-focused new rules elements.

And there are some options available to any class.

I'm really happy with what we've done, but it's just not possible to cover everyone's list of 8 preferred classes.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I wonder what class the dragonheir scion archetype is for.

It's not a spellcasting class!

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.

This product also let me go back to WRITING for a Player Companion, rather than developing. Taking marching orders for a writing assignment from James Jacobs was a big part of my career as of few years ago, and it was nice to briefly have that opportunity again.

He's got NEAT stuff planned for this book!

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Azten wrote:
after saying they hate Psionics....

I love psionics. I always have. I wrote psionics articles for Dragon Magazine in the 1990s.

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