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Skeletal Technician

Squiggit's page

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graystone wrote:

Literally every race has things we don't know how it interacts with blog form.

So "this is treated as a polymorph effect" is the text in the book.

Using the good ol' "Treated as isn't IS" methodology... You keep everything except the stuff it explicitly says you lose (like the ability to speak or carry items).


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I have no wish to sidetrek this lovely little thread griping about a bunch of numbers in a made up fantasy storybook we can buy for $40-plus-shipping

$10 if you wanna go the PDF route instead... and now for some griping about made up fantasy storybook numbers:

I meant to post this a while ago and I realize the subject has shifted but I got distracted and then spent a bunch of time rechecking things...

Zolanoteph wrote:
How do the shifter archetypes look? Any of them look like an improvement? The version that trades the animal theme for a fiend theme really interests me

Obviously just my opinions here but kind of a mixed bag.

To preface this (and I might repeat it a few times). One thing that really stands out to me looking at these archetypes is that a lot of them end up not having very many class features.

For instance, the Verdant Shifter archetype has thirteen levels where it gains nothing but numerical bonuses to an already existing class feature and the Weretouched gets its last new class feature at level 5.

Neither of them get capstones either (in fact, most of the archetypes don't). Capstones aren't super important obviously but it still bears mentioning.

Not the end of the world, but wanted to say that.

Anyways, the archetypes:

Leafshifter(Ghoran Only):
Pretty minimal. Claws get replaced with Slams and minor aspects get switched for plant ones. Plant aspects aren't anything special, mostly competence bonus to skill checks or a few other random things. Being able to swap out bonuses you don't care about for noe you might is potentially cool though. Can also be kinda not cool, depending on how you feel about the specific bonuses.

Verdict: Boring and simple, but functional.

Elemental Shifter:
Swaps animals for elements. Bonus elemental damage on attacks instead of claws. Big thing there is that the bonus damage works with weapons. You get a bonus when combining minor aspects at higher levels that can be pretty interesting (like miss chance vs ranged attacks or turning adjacent squares into difficult terrain). Minor bonuses for the elements are all enhancement bonuses to ability scores, which can be good or bad depending on gearing options.

No pounce though, which sucks. So does losing the ability to speak most languages in elemental form.

It's also unclear how the capstone interacts with that combining elements feature.

If you're looking to play an archetype that lets you turn into an elemental to fight baddies though... this isn't it, because your elemental forms are trash in combat.

Elemental Strike at level 4 is +2d6 to all melee attacks. Works with AoOs, TWF, iteratives (though you don't have those at 4 obviously) etc. Elemental Form removes that and replaces it with a 1d6 slam attack. That's it. Your whole attack routine. 1d6 damage + 1.5x strength. At level 15 (8 if you use Fire) that bumps up to 1d8. 1d8 damage with no iteratives at level 15. Just use Air to fly around really fast and otherwise stick to human form with minor aspects

Verdict: Actually pretty decent, albeit with some odd design choices. Probably my favorite of the bunch.

Fiendflesh:
Cool archetype. Evil-only sucks though and it definitely feels like an archetype that's hamstrung by being an archetype, as it's very narrow in what it does. The package of abilities is okay (except for losing pounce!) though.

Also kind of weird because despite being an evil, fiend themed archetype that doesn't give a damn about nature, it still has a shifter's code of conduct.

Verdict: You can feel the pain of its book space reading the archetype with how limited it is. Overall it's usable, but doesn't give you a lot or anything all that fancy.

Oozemorph:
Interesting concept, instead of shapeshifting into an ooze you become an ooze outright and instead shapeshift into a humanoid.

I want to like this archetype and it gives you some cool things like compression and DR and unlike the base shifter its polymorphing actually progresses. Instead of claws you get undefined natural weapons with variable damage types. Instead of scaling damage they scale in number (2 at 1, 3 at 6 and 4 at 15).

But despite the name the Archetype is actually about not playing an ooze more than playing one, as ooze form prevents you from speaking or carrying/using most items. Consequently low levels suck, since shapeshifting time is hour/level with half level/day of uses. So you get one hour of humanoid form at level 1. You can take a fort save to extend it, but it's still shaky.

Pounce at 15 via beast shape 2 so that's better than nothing I guess.

Verdict: I'd play one, but not in a campaign starting earlier than like, level 6.

Rageshaper:
Remember how awesome the Brute Vigilante was? Well this is the Brute Vigilante except slightly less worse. It has an alignment requirement for no reason, so we're off to a good start there.

Instead of Wild Shape or Shifter Aspects you get a Barbarian's Rage. Except it takes a full round action to activate and provokes. On top of Rage's normal effects it increases your size by one category, though not the size of your gear of course.

When you want to leave Rage you have to succeed at a scaling will save (DC10+Level) or stay in rage for an extra round. If you don't have any more rounds of rage when you fail the save, you instead become confused.

Being forced to waste rounds of rage when you fail the save is actually really painful, because your rounds are incredibly limited. The Rageshaper gets only one round per level of rage with no way to boost it.

Consequently that means a level 1 rageshaper spends a full round action to enter rage, spends one round of attacking and then is done for the day (and also has to roll a DC11 will save vs confusion on the following round, yay). All while probably not wearing any armor (and taking a penalty to AC for being large!)

On the flip side, as your rage upgrades you get bigger too, so while at level 1 you may be a s#$*ty barbarian with a worse enlarge person and no other class features, at level 10 you can be huge and at level 20 you can go up to gargantuan. So those slams hit pretty darn hard. Provided you can leverage that size increase, of course. Enclosed spaces are a drag for the Rageshaper, though luckily you can choose to only grow to large or huge (though if the space is too small for large characters you're SoL).

So far that's... not great, but having some giant-ass natural attack routines can be pretty cool.

But then for some reason the archetype goes on to nerf a bunch of other stuff, like replacing +wis to AC and +level/4 to AC with a flat +2 natural armor and DR 2/-. The bonus works with medium armor, but wearing armor is kinda hard as a rageshaper.

It also replaces your ability to bypass various DR on your slam with the ability to ignore some hardness.

Woodland Stride gets upgraded to simply ignore all difficult terrain while raging and gives you immunity to the entangled condition, so that's cool. You also get to jump your movement speed once per day.

If you're gonna play one, try avoiding starting at low levels and pick a race that'll give you extra natural attacks. No clue how to solve that AC problem though.

Verdict: I want to be optimistic, but this is... not good. A huge chunk of the features are just punitive and the low levels are especially rough, because the downsides come online long before the upsides do and I'm not sure the upsides are ever really up enough.

The defensive change is the one that stings the most to me though. Losing Wis to AC on an archetype that's going to have trouble with armor and really cares about its will save feels like a misstep while DR 2/- only matters for a short window across a long campaign.

Verdant Shifter:
Kinda small, but Speak with Plants 3+Cha mod times per day instead of wild empathy. Kinda cool, even if the charisma key feels a bit odd.

You effectively get locked into a single aspect that gives a scaling enhancement bonus to con and some crit resistance. The cool thing though is that it's always on.

Your AC bonus gets replaced by natural armor that scales from +2 at 2 to +7 at 20. Hey Rageshaper why doesn't your NA bonus scale? Kind of a mixed bag here. It works with medium armor and being able to throw an extra +7 on a breastplate is pretty sweet.

Speaking of. Last feature is scaling plant shape instead of wild shape. You get full plant shape, which is cool, but I find plant shape to be less good than beast shape in general. Not sure it actually plays nice with your other two class features though

Verdict: Not great. I like the idea, getting a free con belt is pretty cool and you can be fairly tanky, but it suffers from not having a lot of class features left over afterwards. Plant Shape also doesn't really play nice with the other two features the archetype gives you, while not having enough utility to really serve as a backup option either like elemental form can.

Weretouched:
Take the shifter, limit it to a single animal and give it a worse version of the invulnerable rager's DR. Not that much worse though.

BUT you get a hybrid form instead of an animal form. This means you get to wear your armor, use your weapon and always have your claws. You also get +2 to STR and AC. Size bonus to strength so Enlarge loses some value, which is a shame. But hybrid forms are awesome.

Verdict: Again, basically dead on class features but hybrid forms are seriously awesome. If you pick Tiger or Dino (and you should) you get an unrestricted pounce for four hours at level 4, way earlier than anyone else does. Pretty sure Dinos have five natural attacks when weretouched too. Maybe. DR/Silver is also pretty cool...

Those are literally the only two things the archetype has going for it though. I don't mean that facetiously either. The sum total of your class features as a Weretouched are one animal aspect, hybrid wildshape, wild empathy, track, trackless step, DR/silver, woodland stride, defensive instinct and claws. That's the whole class.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I don’t think it’s worth shovelling through stables full of ... nerd entitlement, insults and arguments to find useful playtest feedback.

You say that, but that seems contrary to the results we have.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
I just hope if Paizo ever designs a class again, they don't 'oversell' it.

The impression I've gotten is that the Shifter itself actually changed quite a bit as development progressed. The whole 'turn into a bearowl' thing might have actually been what the class looked like at one point. Sort of like how early versions and the final versions of the Medium ended up looking radically different.


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Rysky wrote:
I and a bunch of other people gave up on the Vigilante playtest due to how toxic it was.

This is probably going to sound insane then but I guess I wasn't active enough in the right places at the time.

I was surprised when I first heard something like that because I had always though the Vigilante playtest was one of the best ones Paizo had done. A lot of ideas got really polished, mechanical holes got fixed and the baseline Vigilante (plus the archetypes that were spun out of the playtest) turned out incredibly solid because of it.


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Speaking of archaic systems, I just had a thought:

When Paizo put the Barbarian in Pathfinder they changed Rage from having uses/day with a fixed duration to instead having rounds/day that they Barbarian could rotate between.

Feels weird to still have Wild Shape on a uses/day with a fixed duration per use by comparison.

What if instead of 1/day 4 hour wildshape a level 4 shifter had, for instance, 3 hours of wildshape that could be broken up into increments? Might have been better.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It could also be a factor of them once again overvaluing Full BAB like they have done with certain classes

It's possible. I feel like if anything what they did was overvalue simplicity. A stated design goal of the shifter was to be a way to run a polymorphing character more easily and that's what shows through for me.

If power were purely the issue I doubt we'd see the class get stuff lke being able to choose between Pounce or a 60 foot(good) flight speed at level 4(and then pick up the other at 5 and get the extra wild shape to use both in the same day 6). The class can get some nasty natural attack routines too.

To reference your earlier post:

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I don't know what exactly the Shifter all does, or if people are just jumping the gun (because none of the "ZOMGOP" builds have come to light yet), but I am curious how close the class is to this Ranger Archetype I designed a while back...

Replace Favored Nature with scaling damage dice on those free claws you gave them (capping out at d10 and then bumping the crit mod up to x3)... and the ability to ignore material DR, culminating in the ability to ignore DR/-.

Replace Therianthropic Gift with hunter's animal focus and move it to level 1.
Limit Therianthropy to Beast Shape 2 and only with the animals you picked with the first class feature.
Get rid of evasion/camo/hips, but give them a monk's AC bonus.

That's basically the Shifter.


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Should probably just focus on the Shifter here...

Bloodrealm wrote:
Anyone else notice that NOBODY is arguing in the Shifter's favour?

I've seen a couple people arguing in the Shifter's favor. In fact, I'll say that from a purely numerical perspective the Shifter is reasonably sound. D10, 4+int skill points with full BAB, decent damage and has a couple utility options pretty much hits all the T4 checkboxes it needs to.

My biggest issue is that it's kind of boring. Thematically making the class a spin on the druid feels like you're retreading old ground pretty heavily because there's already a lot of wildshape based content and mechanically... it feels like a 3.5 class: Lots of nearly-dead levels and very few choices (and many of the choices you do get feel trappish, some of the major forms feel pretty weak compared to others).

Paizo has done a good job with various talent-like class features in giving classes a broad base of customization options and they've become a pretty consistent mainstay in Pathfinder class design, so it's kind of weird to see those completely gone on the Shifter in favor of a much more static chassis.


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Mark Seifter wrote:


It also wouldn't be mathematically balanced on an unchained monk because it relies on trades involving chained flurry that have more impact than trading unchained flurry does (due to unchained's stronger flurryless chassis).

I get the numbers issue, but I gotta say it's a huge buzzkill to get this really cool monk rework in Unchained and then have to deal with what feels like the overwhelming majority of new archetypes (especially the more interesting and comprehensive ones) being incompatible.


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Scratch what I said abouve about the Commando, misread it. It's cool.


So overall not bad. Kinda wish Gathlains were tiny though. Playable pixie-esque PC would be awesome and Small is just too big to really pull that off even if they otherwise fit the aesthetic.

Biggest disappointment though for me is the Commando Gunslinger. Archetype is thematically cool and trades away a lot of utility skills for other flavorful utility skills in a balanced fashion. And then you hit the end of the archetype and find out it loses gun training and the whole thing falls apart.

Star Watcher is another one that bugged me. Feels like you give up a lot in its modified alchemy and don't really gain a lot anywhere else, though knowledge for sense motive is cool. There are a few archetypes like that though.

Otherwise thought the book was okay. I like Ice Chemist (though I wish it was bigger), Fiendflesh Shifter (though I wish it was bigger), Sharptooth (though the numbers on ocean breath and swim like fish feel conservative), Venomfist, the kineticist archetypes.. etc.

Ixos wrote:
I love the Sylvan Trickster archetype. Can someone in the know -- a contributor, editor, designer -- let us know if the Rogue can count her Rogue levels as witch levels while using her Hexes? Please? I'm assuming that you can, but it doesn't exactly specify.

I feel like we need a general rule somewhere on this.

There are a number of archetypes scattered across a number of books where a class borrows a feature from another class without specifying level equivalency. Daring Champion Cavalier adding a nonexistent swashbuckler level to damage is an infamous one, but there are others.


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Obviously way too late to matter but the whole direction of the Shifter struck me as kind of weird.

As far as shapeshifting goes, wildshape has by far the most content and class options associated with it. Seems strange to me that when designing a new shifting class they made another variant druid instead of touching any of the other various polymorph effects.

The real shame is that this probably puts the nail in the coffin for people who wanted a comprehensive non-druidic shapeshifter or the mix-and-match concepts that some of the pre release information on the Shifter originally implied.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Biscuit Monster wrote:
I just don't get why they didn't just give them wildshape as is.
Simplicity? To use Wild Shape correctly you need to consult Beast Shape and the general polymorph rules (which aren't very clear) and the Bestiaries.

I feel like Paizo missed an opportunity here. Simplified mechanics for newer players is hardly a bad thing, but this feels like it would have been a great chance to present it as variant rules instead. That way you could bolt simple polymoprh options onto whatever chassis you wanted.

Making 'entry level shapeshifting' instead a design direction of the new class both narrows the Shifter's potential audience and still leaves polymorphing at large just as problematic for players who had issues with it as before.


1) Yes, the shield only grants cover, not total cover.

2) Yes, per normal cover rules.

3) No. The ability specifically states the cover is only one way:

Quote:
The shield provides cover against attacks coming from its far side, but not against attacks originating from the side you’re on


I was pretty bummed to see 'True AI' was all the way at level 20 for drone mechanics. From a flavor standpoint it feels kind of limiting and makes a mechanic's companion a bit less intersting IMHO.


Solar Weapons are definitely cool, but that's honestly why I wish they were more usable.

From a purely mechanical standpoint my experience playing a melee solarian was that in the end I'd have gotten as much mileage out of solar armor as I would have solar weapon (and I was wearing heavy armor so solar armor didn't do anything unless I was undressed!).

NPC Solarians aren't common enough that you can reliably keep your weapon upgraded on crystals alone and the 10% sell rate means you can't just trade in whatever stick a bad guy drops for one either. So unless the campaign is tailored in a certain way or you're primarily rewarded with liquid wealth (which to be fair isn't super hard to imagine given the setting), chances are you're going to spend at least some time using a normal weapon.

But the thing is even if you do get everything going your way your advantages over just buying a regular one handed or two handed weapon are pretty minimal.

So in practive I've found that the solar weapon's biggest use case ends up being as a backup weapon that you can use in a situation where you normally wouldn't have a weapon, because it's always with you.

That's admittedly something that can be useful in the right sort of setting, but also feels like a little bit of a let down to me too.

....This also feels a little bit off topic now so that's the last I'll say about solar weapon.

TBH as far as stats go I'd most likely just go the 4e route here: Will is your highest of Cha or Wisdom. Maybe extend that out and make Fort the highest of strength or con too.


Photon Mode and Plasma Sheath don't care what kind of weapon you're using, so that's not really a point in favor of solar weapon.


Metaphysician wrote:


And if your basic idea is "Lets just get rid of tech levels and have the heroes upgrade the damage their weapons do based on level"? Your not running Starfinder anymore, at all. Your running some other, completely different d20-based system. Because fundamental to Starfinder is that, no, that primitive assault rifle is *not* ever going to do the same damage as a level 20 laser rifle, no matter how skilled the character wielding it. Tech levels matter.

It's certainly a big feature, but acting like condensing the weapon chart down would fundamentally break or leave the game unrecognizable is pretty melodramatic.

Starfinder where the damage scaling comes from the player more than the equipment is still Starfinder. Just like how Pathfinder doesn't stop being Pathfinder if you use ABP.


Metaphysician wrote:
You can throw the same level 20 soldier into a modern setting, and he's not magically going to make modern guns do extra damage.

Actually he is. He's going to get +20 damage while wielding a rifle simply by virtue of being level 20.


Faelyn wrote:
I think a lot of it has to do with Dexterity being used as the primary stat for attacking with those weapons.

Dexterity is the primary stat for all ranged weapons though.

oldskool wrote:
Buff the Small Arms damage to full CL for Weapon Specialization still only helps the Operative.

Not sure I really agree. Obviously long arms are still better damage, but right now they're way better damage. To the point where longarm proficiency and versatile specialization are basically no brainer picks on anyone who ever wants to shoot a gun and doesn't get those proficiencies baseline.

Giving small arms full tier still leaves long arms in the lead, but perhaps makes picking them up slightly less mandatory.

The issue is less that Operatives need a buff and more that small arms are an entire category of weapon that should basically just be ignored outright if you aren't an operative.

And Operative weapons are even worse, since even Operatives should avoid using those.

Metaphysician wrote:
Gear in Starfinder has properties based on what they objectively "should" have

I'm sorry but 'objectively should have' is a nonsensical statement given the context here. We're talking about completely fantastical weaponry with little to no basis in reality. How can you possibly assert any sort of objective truth about that?

Even if you did want to try to reference reality, to borrow your own language rifles don't 'magically' do dramatically more damage purely by virtue of being a rifle.

Metaphysician wrote:
If you want to have a pistol-wielding character for stylistic reasons, you also have to accept that you will do less damage.

Yeah, sure, but you only have to do that because of essentially arbitrary design choices by the people who designed this game. You like them, other people don't, but there's nothing objective about it.


Using the conversion guidelines in the CRB sorcerers wouldn't have light armor innately but they would have small arms and basic melee and get upgraded to 4+int skills. Makes light armor a mandatory feat at level 1 but I don't think that's really going to slow them down much.


Low level grenades can be pretty cool. Especially the utility grenades and being able to generate concealment at will means smoke grenades are always useful.

At higher levels the prices start to get weird though. Level 20 frag grenades in particular seem obscene for what they do.

Proficiency should really be universal too.


nicholas storm wrote:

The comparison wasn't intended to be a direct apples to apples comparison. That is simply the build I am planning to follow for the soldier I am playing.

However, it does point out that while you can assume other classes are going to optimize for saves, in practice, they are going to do what fancies their character (unless they only care to min-max).

Sure, I agree with you completely. But at the same time when we're specifically comparing saves, giving the soldier extra skill points and a higher to-hit instead sort of detracts from the point.


nicholas storm wrote:
Try build a technomancer or envoy and then ask whether Solarian saves are the worst.

Goblin Technomancer 10 11/22/14/23/14/08 with great fortitude- Fort 9 Ref 9 Will 9. Same as the Solarian.

Also a bit odd when just trying to compare saves to give the soldier extra Str and Int instead. Skews the numbers a bit in the Solarian's favor.


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Set wrote:
I see the dark elves as being a bit too elitist to be willing to embrace that sort of thing. Someone not born female might be seen as unworthy of being granted that status.

I could imagine it being publicly frowned upon, but also likely something practiced not entirely rarely behind closed doors. A family looking to 'trade up' on what they perceive as an inferior child by coercing them to take the serum when they're old enough. An unattached drow looking for a societal leg up with a serum and a falsified identity (which shouldn't be too hard given the anarchic nature of their society).

Quote:
From an 'evil society' perspective, there's no fun in being 'superior,' if you don't have someone to lord it over. The uppers need lowers to wash their floors and beat and abuse. A less evil society might go that route, but I think the nature of the Drow kind of requires them to always have a caste of built-in victims to oppress, whether it be males of their own race, or an entire race of enslaved people to serve as second-class citizens.

The drow already have that in an actual social underclass and non-drow races which are all considered second class by definition.Makes it feel a little redundant, but I've already said my piece there.

Castilliano wrote:
As for Drow women, because of dimorphic superiority, they gained the upper hand in Drow society.

I don't think that's actually correct. Other than that some interesting thoughts. Worth noting the serum doesn't work on unwilling targets so some of the ideas wouldn't apply.


I have to agree I don't think theme is the right way to go about this, though I do agree that the problems outlined are more core than class features (excepting maybe the Solarian's weirdly low skill points standing out to me).

Porridge wrote:
I agree that patching the root of the problem (by boosting Charisma in some way) is the best way to handle this.

I'd also consider Strength nearly as much of an issue. It's got more inherent stuff tha Cha, but it also suffers from having dubious value outside specific circumstances and in general probably contributes to melee being kind of cruddy in this game.

The Solarian can certainly make it work, but that's because so much of the class is built around getting in someone's face and I think it's telling that even despite that ranged combat is still an attractive option while having comparatively little support (or on the flip side, albeit slightly off topic, look at how much a melee operative or mechanic or technomancer or envoy gives up compared to how little they gain).


oldskool wrote:
To quote the Dude, "Well, yeah, that's just like, your opinion, man".

Duh? I'm honestly not really sure what the point of your post is. That HWalsh is posting his own opinion on what he believes Solarians should have is kind of self evident. That's going to be the case for literally every post ever where someone suggests a change to a system or class.


So we've had ranged solarians, cha avoiding melee solarians and cha avoiding ranged solarians along with a bevy of other iterations on those concepts all presented and I have to admit that with options like that you can present a build that's still offensively competitive while being able to offer stronger defenses.

But, and this might make some people roll their eyes, I actually think all these examples help higlights ome of the problems with the Solarian:

Does any other class gain as much by ignoring their own class features? That's the one commonality between all these builds. Cut your cha and ignore save offering revelations to boost your other defenses. Ignore your melee boosting stuff and pick up a gun for more consistent and safer damage. Etc.

Ultimately it's clear you can build a pretty solid Solarian, but I think it's also telling just how viable (perhaps even optimal in some cases) it is to build a Solarian that avoids being too much of a Solarian and how comparatively limited some of the more obvious or intended builds feel.

To answer my own question... kind of. Low investment in your key attribute and avoiding saves is also a thing that Mechanics and Envoys can pull off pretty well.


VampByDay wrote:


Problem is That they have a bonus to Con, which is one of the new ‘worst stats’ because it doesn’t affect HP anymore (only stamina), there are no skills based on it, and there are no classes based around it.

Huh? Since when? Saving throws and health are both awesome things to boost.

Saying that Con is a worse stat because it effects Stamina and not HP also seems like a bit of a strange statement, since for all practical purposes Stamina is part of your health pool anyways. Better, even, since you can regenerate Stamina more easily.

Mystic is the most obvious class choice because they run off one of their bump stats, but given how universally applicable Con and Wis are pretty much any non-melee build is going to work well with a Ryporian chassis.


nicholas storm wrote:

I think Squiggit's build which has awesome saves shows that bad saves on the Solarian isn't something tied to the class, but rather to how some people believe that a Solarian should be built.

Any other class that decides to do melee instead of ranged will have much worse saves. Try build a technomancer based on STR and his saves will be truly awful. And yet, melee does more damage on every class than ranged.

This is a point worth noting. I stil think the Solarian has issues, but ultimately its biggest problems are systemic ones. Melee combat kind of sucks. Soldiers and Solarians have mechanics specifically to improve melee and still have issues, trying to run a melee build on anyone else just ends up being a disaster.

Quote:
A Solarian doesn't need higher than a 14CHA - sure his ability DC will hurt for it, but then I hear all the responses that a Solarian shouldn't be built for save or suck abilities. A Solarian doesn't need INT, though INT helps round out skills.

A lot of the save inducing skills really are kind of underwhelming, but the bigger draw of Charisma is the extra resolve points and being down on those sucks. I guess that really comes down to how much you value 1 RP(+social skills) vs +1 will(+perception, sense motive, etc) vs +1 fort and +level stamina.


Ranged Solarian has some pretty sweet stuff. Dex focus helps pad out your bad save. Not needing to worry about strength lets you pump your will or your skil checks or your HP or just get better Cha.

You also get to take full advantage of Solar Armor which is awesome because truth be told Solar Weapon is kind of terrible.

On the flip side you lose out on some of your sweetest damage buffs and more than a few powers are hard to leverage if you're playing at range too.

Anyways, quickly threw together a Skittermander (Dex/Cha -int is pretty much the perfect array, plus they're adorable) Solarian 10 and tried to copy the basic structure of martinaj's soldier build as much as possible so the numbers are easier to compare.

I'm not gonna do a full break down right now but the basics:

Skittermander Solarian 10:

Str 13 Dex 24 Con 14
Int 08 Wis 16 Cha 18

HP72 Stam 90 RP 10
Fort 11 Ref 12 Will 10
Init +7

EAC 30 KAC 31

Ranged Attack: +18 (+14/+14) 3d10+10/12

Feats: Weapon Proficiency(Longarm), Weapon Proficiency(Heavy), Versatile Specialization, Weapon Focus(Heavy), Great Fortitude.

Important Items: Heavy Reaction Cannon, Freebooter Armor 3, Personal Upgrade Dex +4, Pesonal Upgrade Cha +2, Ring of Resistance Mk2

The big takeaway is that ranged Solarian is really strapped for feats. Ow.

The Con the Solarian has to give up to keep their Cha up stands out as another big issue.

Worth noting that while the damage is comparable right now, bullet barrage outscales photon mode and in three more levels Soldier gets to add an extra +2d6 while full attacking

Oh, also:

martinaj wrote:
To see how their stats add up

I could just be bad at math but it looks like you added the +2 from the ring of resistance to every save instead of just the lowest base save.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Well “traditional” in the form of the patriarchy hasn’t been good so it’s actually not a double standard.

It's perfectly fine to believe what you believe, but arguing that a certain form of discrimination is compatible with good but only if applied in one direction and not the other is pretty much the definition of a double standard.

Arguing that the double standard is necessary or fine given the real world context surrounding the issue is one thing but call it what it is.


Ravingdork wrote:


Considering that wider range, I think the prices are about right, if you assume the trend kept expanding into the far future.

I don't think real life is a very compelling comparison point. Especially since the fundamental structure of weaponry in starfinder is already not very realistic to begin with.

Besides, the issue isn't logic, it's playability. My concern is that a number of weapons are too specialized for a player to really justify dedicating themselves to to but the current pricing model doesn't really make it benefician for someone to be buying up weapons like that just in case. The archetype of the weapon master with a different piece of gear for every occasion isn't exactly a rare one in fiction and it's pretty hard to work in Starfinder given the way the numbers play out.

Obbu has a good point though that as a GM I can toss extra weird stuff at my players without it threatening to break the game's economy, which is pretty nice and lets me work around this a bit.


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Looking over the weapons and mulling over character concepts earlier today it sort of occurred to me that SF has a lot of really niche weapons that are sometimes useful but hard to build a whole character around.

Stuff like Shock Casters and Shirren Eye snipers and plasma rifles all feel like they'd be really fun weapons to have sometimes, but you're losing so much over a more 'traditional' weapon choice that it makes it hard to be your primary weapon, but they're expensive enough that it's also hard to really have more than one or two of them without cutting into other parts of your character.

I think Starfinder might have been better off with generally cheaper weaponry so doing something like throwing a few of these more esoteric options into the armory for emergencies was more viable.

Oh also level 20 frag grenades seem really expensive too.


I don't think it's really that unreasonable to expect enemies in a hostile situation to maybe probably have their environmental protections on.

Not if you get into a bar fight in Absalom Station maybe, but in a lot of traditional encounters I'd consider it a given.

That said the problem with the Radiation power isn't armor (I agree with Porridge that it's not really clear that environmental protection stops it), but the ability itself. Standard action to provide a mediocre debuff and do a tiny bit of damage isn't all that exciting in the first place. Then it has a fairly small AoE even while attuned which makes its usability kind of niche. Then that mediocre debuff is behind a save (on a class whose DCs aren't always necessarily that great). Then anyone who steps out of its radius is immediately cured.

It's a skill that has a lot of caveats with a best case payout I'd only call okay or pretty good... and this is from someone who loves debuffs.


Starfinder not being realistic doesn't really change the point that snipers kinda suck though in most cases.

A warpshot shirren eye rifle has roughly the same average damage as a paragon sneeker rifle, but a shorter range and has the unwieldy property and needs to be reloaded more often (even if you're quad attacking with the seeker).

A tactical shirren eye rifle does +1 average damage over a hunting rifle, but costs more than three times as much, has a shorter range and needs to be reloaded every round (which means if you're trying to snipe you can't even attack every round).

The two classes with innate sniper proficiency have some issues using them too. Operatives are a 3/4 BAB class that can apply exactly zero class features while trying to snipe and even using them in non snipe mode causes you to lose damage and costs an exploit. Sniper Operative is basically a trap option that sounds cool but functions miserably. I think it's really hard to argue that that's not clearly borked.

Soldiers are a bit better off, but are still noticeably lacking in that their primary ranged damage combat style can't use a big chunk bonuses with a sniper.

That leaves the best sniper builds as stuff like exocortex mechanics stacking overcharge with a disaporan sniper. That's a cool build mind you, but doesn't really detract from all these other issues either.


mike roper wrote:
Alright males, females, robots, and others. Best thing to do is talk to your GM to see if you can get a house rule as its unlikely paizo will he changing the class key stat.... Well ever. Same with skills so if you want it look to a homebrew.

Well, I don't think the key stat really needs to change. The problems with Charisma is a systemic one rather than a class specific one anyways (and one that persisted in PF too, so I guess Paizo likes the idea of Cha as a universal dump stat).

I agree with you that nothing is likely to change, though the issue with skills just sort of sticks out to me because the other classes follow a pattern when it comes to class skills and skill points that the Solarian breaks and it's just kind of odd.

Shinigami02 wrote:
Why does someone's observations of the potential options a Solarian can have become worthless because it can't do all of them at once?

Because mutually exclusve options are being described as though they aren't mutually exclusive.

Someone mentions Solarians getting a free weapon and then in the next breath talks about DPR calculations using a Solarian who did buy a weapon and then in the next talks about save-or-suck abilities with DCs that you couldn't possibly have without sacrificing some of those stats you were just using earlier for your other calculations.

The difference between someone who can do one of those things and someone who can do all of those things at once is pretty significant.

That's where the whole "Schrodinger's X" critique comes from in the first place. Schrodinger has a wizard with 5 spell slots in a box which simultaneously have every combination of spells prepared (and not prepared) and whichever combination gets pulled out of the box is whichever is most convenient for whatever hypothetical is being argued about at the time. Only in this case instead of spell selections it's character builds (which actually makes the problem even more egregious since rebuilding a character is a much more involved endeavor than merely changing spells).


SwampTing wrote:
From my reading of...

The trouble is you're again falling into the trap of describing a Schrodinger's Solarian: You can outdamage a soldier and don't need to buy a weapon and have the best AC and have all these awesome spell like abilities too!

Except if you're not buying a weapon you're falling behind the damage curve and if you're pumping your strength enough to play with soldiers a big chunk of those SLAs aren't going to do very much good, not to mention that the weapon and armor are mutually exclusive from each other.

And that's not even getting into any actual issues the class has with its stats being spread thing or being comparatively light on resolve etc.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
Does anyone see any issue with saying on the one hand, Graviton mode is terrible, and on the other hand that being 2 points down relative to a particular Soldier build which has optimized its saving throws is a problem that should be fixed.

Probably because picking up that +2 Reflex is costing a level 10 Solarian 7 points of damage per swing.


6+int would be great, but I'm not sure about changing their core stat. Con or Wis would both be really strong but the underlying issue here isn't that Solarians key off Cha, it's just that Cha is noticeably weaker than other stats. It's the only attribute that doesn't effect anything outside skills and that hole really shows.


Peat wrote:
If you approach the Solarian from the perspective that Revelations are worthless (and should have no downside to overall class power) because they are situational, it's impossible to have a productive discussion.

I agree with you. Luckily for both of us no one is actually arguing that. Glad we dodged that bullet.

Instead what's being argued is that a number of specific revelations are being overvalued in this thread. Essentially that the class as a whole is a little bit undertuned and some of the abilities being put forward as reasons why the Solarian is super awesome actually really aren't that impressive.

I don't think the Solarian is as bad as HWalsh does and seeing the class bumped up to 6+int to match the other 12 skill classes is the only thing I really want to change, but the usefulness of stuff like Flare, Radiation and Black Hole are being dramatically overstated and even beyond that it's clear a number of the bonuses, like Graviton's attunement bonus, just aren't very eye catching.


J4RH34D wrote:


How about the fact that the soldier has 2 less class skills than the solarian and does not gain sidereal influence.

Extra class skills is nice, but they have the same number of skill points so that's ultimately pretty minor.

Hell, being less MAD makes it easier for a Soldier to buy up Int later on and having combat feats as class features makes it easier to invest in stuff like skill focus and synergy, too.

Valfen wrote:
Everything else, we don't know, so we can't say if Solarian is notably far from expected target numbers for saves or not.

You might not be able to tell how often you should succeed according to what the designers think is right, but you can pretty easily look at what other classes have with similar arrays to compare.

J4RH34D wrote:
On DC's and chance to land abilities. If I choose to I can have exactly the same base dc's as the casters.

Can you share your ideal Solarian build with us? Right now it kind of sounds like you're designing Schrodinger's Solarian. At one point talking about them being better at skills and DPR than a solder and another point talking about having save DCs comparable to casters and brushing off their problems with saves as manageable, but rather than talking about all of these things as more or less separate builds you're blending them together.

Kade Starfire wrote:
Side note, if min/maxing is your end goal of playing Starfinder (or even pathfinder) you're missing out on a great deal of fun.

I don't really see the value of dismissing what someone likes about the system as 'wrong' like this. It's also kind of irrelevant, because these issues can crop up without optimizing too and better balance doesn't negatively impact anything in and of itself.


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The drow's government is pretty odd in that context too. You essentially have a collection of small, competing fiefdoms over an underclass that's pretty much left to its own devices unless one of those fiefdoms has a direct interest in whatever's going on.

Such a system seems ripe for an eventual unification or complete destabilization, but paradoxically instead is stable enough to maintain itself for thousands of years.

The drow's mass migration to Apostae is especially bizarre given this system. I can't even really fathom how that worked.

HWalsh wrote:
The Drow were a Matriarchy because their Goddess said so.

I know that's how it is in Faerun but is that still the backstory in Golarion? I don't remember there being any Lolth analog in PF.


Honestly I think letting someone dump one stat down to 8 for two extra points might not be a terrible thing.

Putting a limit on it sidesteps the issues Pathfinder sometimes has while still potentially opening up concepts and odd combinations.


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Castilliano wrote:

I think you're being reductionist.

"Evil culture oppresses, how droll."

Yeah, I probably am. I'll fully admit that it basically boils down to me really not liking certain portrayals and just harping on it for that purpose.

But it's still something I tend to notice from time to time in fantasy writing, where an evil society (or sometimes person) will have some extra evil trait layered on top at the end that doesn't always seem like it fits very well but helps to make them all the more bad.

Quote:
"SF Drow culture resembles PF Drow culture. Where's the originality?"
Quote:
I agree narrative is key, but I don't think that's the job of Alien Archive. Give Paizo some time to flesh out the Drow's ongoing history because it's only one of dozens they're working on.

I do want to clarify though that I'm lumping pre-gap/PF Drow into this complaint as well. I don't think the story worked very well in Pathfinder either for pretty much the same reasons and a lot of it felt like kind of a holdover from D&D (where I also think it didn't work very well).

Quote:
The oppressive matriarchy is only the base, not the totality, so of course you can alter that to little effect. But most stories set in the USA would work equally well under a different country's economic or political system. Does that make a capitalist constitutional democratic republic uninspiring? Maybe, but there has to be some system to begin with.

Well that's the thing, is it really part of the base? I'd argue the base here is the system of competing noble houses that blur the line between corporation, kingdom and crime syndicate ruling over an underclass. That also happens to be an oppressive matriarchy too. It'd be like taking that republic you describe and adding a note that left handed people couldn't run for office in it. At least how I see it.

Quote:

Anyway, toss Drow aside if you want, but recognize your comments have no objective backing that I can detect.

That's fair, but I never really intended to have one either. It's just me griping. Though I'm not going to toss them aside either. They're interesting enough otherwise to still be worth using. As I said earlier, the way they've partially opened up in Starfinder over PF is interesting and Apostae is an interesting world, so there's no need for that.

Hell, the same story you've proposed could play just as easily along socio-economic lines rather than sexual ones.


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Ross Byers wrote:
The Drow are Evil. The Drow are bad guys. Gender-based oppression is the kind of thing bad people do.

That's actually part of why I don't like it. It just comes across as a cheap, easy checkbox to fill on a list of evil things. It doesn't really serve to make them more interesting, nor is it used to drive any narratives, nor does it factor particularly strongly into their history. It's just a thing they do that's evil because they're evil and because it was like that in D&D.

The only real saving grace here is that it's so superficial and so unnecessary that removing it doesn't really require any effort, though that in and of itself is pretty telling.

You might as well just have an excerpt about ritualistic drow puppy kicking for all that it really adds.


No new finesse weapons is kind of a bummer.


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When I first read about the Gap and how it effected a lot of cultures and societies I figured Drow would have been perfect to undergo some re-imagining. So much of their society is essentially just millennia of tradition and circumstance compounding each other that it actually strikes me as bizarre that the Gap seems to have had such a negligible effect on them.

The slight inversion with elves shutting themselves out from society and drow becoming a major economic power was a nice touch but I still feel like they could have done more.


To be entirely honest 4+int almost feels like it's an editing error given the way skill points are assigned to every other class. So definitely on the first one.


captain yesterday wrote:
I'd rather have more themes, archetypes are outdated.

They don't even really fulfill the same niche though.


avr wrote:
Is there anyone willing to bet against more and better operative weapons being introduced in future books?

There will almost inevitably be more weapons in future books. That's a given, especially since having a big pile of weapons is one of Starfinder's things.

But there are certain commonalities, like not having any advanced melee weapons with the operative special quality or having the majority of operative weapons be mechanically simple and it's hard to tell if those are merely constraints of the rulebook or actual design guidelines that we'll see persist in future updates.

Likewise the support for melee operative in general. Arguably the biggest strength is not having to deal with AoOs or cover, but a ranged operative can pick up an exploit at 6 that lets them attack without provoking.

Even damage is a bit of a struggle, given how much of an extra investment bonus melee damage is and trick attack's mechanics.

With that context in mind the state of operative weapons again almost makes sense, depending on whether or not this is a design choice or a matter of happenstance and book space.


whew wrote:

Han Solo can get by with a pistol because in Star Wars a single hit with a pistol will drop a person. Starfinder is emulating things like "Doom", "Starship Troopers", and "Dungeons and Dragons", where bigger weapons are better.

Doom has some big bad late game weapons, but I'm not sure the comparison really fits because it doesn't have weapon progression like Starfinder does. Sure you'll eventually get a BFG, but your assault rifle is your assault rifle pretty much all game long.

I'd say the closest example to the way Starfinder does weapons is more like... Mass Effect 1. That game had a lot of tiers to their weaponry too that you were intended to regularly replace over time.


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baggageboy wrote:
But all operative's are not the same, there are what 6 different specializations? That's pretty varied. Why does each of those specializations which use their own skill (ie not the same as every other operative) need to have other ways of initiating a trick attack?

So operatives have some choice in skill build and flavor options? That seems kind of obvious...


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Personally skill synergy annoys me. It's not necessarily bad for what it does, but a lot of times someone just wants to pick up one extra class skill and it's frustrating you can't split the benefit.

Quote:
Step up - if this didn't take my reaction, I would take it. You can take step up and strike, paying two feats to basically accomplish what you can do in Pathfinder with one feat.

I'm not sure why you think it's one feat in Pathfinder. Step Up and Strike exists in PF too. The Starfinder version is better, even, since it doesn't also cost you your next swift action and includes Following Step baked in.

Not really sure the complaint about Diversion makes all that much sense either. A GM giving you a feat for free isn't really a knock against the feat. It's still a fairly niche thing, admittedly.

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