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I'm soon going to be playing in a Starfinder-like game wherein there is a sort of 'gap'. Except instead of no memories, the future setting is full of contradictory records and memories of how civilisation got there. In some histories, it's full magic until suddenly spaceships and cyborgs come out of nowhere. In others, it's the reverse. And plenty more that are a mixture of both, saying we naturally progressed into technology from a magical base or vise versa. Nobody is sure which origin is 'real' or if any of them are.
You can go with the mechanics or the themes. Sometimes they overlap. Sometimes they don't.
The idea of comparing character building and deck building also works when you consider that a deck (usually) only has a certain number of cards in it. If you want to add another card, you have to take one out. It's about choosing which features you most want or most need. You can't have everything.
This sounds like a job for self-replicating berserker probes.
Souleater probes are intelligent, magic-using machines with the following directive:
Reduce the number of evil souls in existence to zero.
The Souleaters are capable of using magic and as ageless beings that can traverse the universe, they have plenty of time to duplicate themselves and become more powerful. Any time a Souleater gains experience, that knowledge is copied amongst all other Souleaters. Eventually, there will be more stupidly high level wizard machines in the universe than any other kind of being. Surely, that is enough to complete their task. Using up soulgems as material components to build more Souleaters is ideal but not necessary. Most of them will probably be built out of dismantled star systems.
To be absolutely certain that evil souls do not spontaneously arise, it's best that they convert all available matter and energy across all planes into Souleaters.
This might be a bigger problem than all evil.
So, I'm to make a level 1 character using Spheres of Power in place of the Vancian magic system. Conventional classes are allowed, albeit per the conversions that replace their casting.
This means gestalting two casting classes does not stack casting. I'm considering doing a healy, naturey, 'druid-themed' soul weaver, but I haven't a clue what I should use for my second class.
And if not for that concept, just in general what are good gestalt SoP combos?
captain yesterday wrote:
While these may have contributed to the leadup to the ban (and I share your feelings on Ashiel's attitude), it seems like the event itself was something more complex.
Long story short, my Drow fey sorceress overthrew the usurper lord of the fey and took his place, and tore out Lolth's divinity and replaced it with fey power to have her by her side. Two queens of the fey. Equal in standing to the gods, but with none of the rules and exempt from Ao's oversight. Good fun. :3
And also saved Elistrae's life (with Lolth out of the picture, the rest of those murderhobo gods decided to have a go at her) and put her at the head of the Drow pantheon by giving her the divine power extracted from Lolth.
I was not playing a Good character. :P
Planet where an ancient cult accidentally summoned a mechatitan that they think is a demon god of war! The trouble is that the mechatitan's military software has decided to recognise its worshippers as 'subordinate military personnel' and the cult's foes as 'enemy combatants'.
The players might try to return the mechatitan to its original program. Unfortunately, that directive is 'cleanse planet of all sophonts'.
1. A wheel half in an area of reverse gravity, used as the ship's generator.
2. Everyone's favourite old point-portals to various planes for use as electricity generation or even materials sources for shipboard replicators.
3. A magical teleportation chamber that attempts to teleport bombs aboard the enemy ship.
Add more! Or countermeasures to previously posted devices.
I woke up with some ideas and I'm going to try to get them down here before I run out of energy or become to miserable to do so.
The role of cybernetics in a future society
Different societies may look on kinds of cybernetics very differently. In some, augmentation may be all-pervasive, seen as no more unnatural as you see your smartphone. Integrating technology into yourself to make life easier, healthier and all around more convenient may be utterly the norm. Such a society may have a highly-regulated and widespread cybernetics industry. The tradeoff of easy access to the technology is that you are wired into their global (or even interstellar) system. This might not be a Facebook you can opt out of; Those without all the latest augments may be locked out of modern conveniences like someone without email and a phone. For most, this is fine. Adventurers might prefer not to use commercial grade gear if they want to keep their activities under cover.
Another option is that cybernetics are available only to those that can afford them: The tools of the elite that elevate them even further above the unagumented populace. The rulers look out over the masses through digital eyes, augmented ubermenches defending their high stations with exclusive technology. Their militaries may be likewise heavily augmented, mechanical superiority the reward for (perhaps chip-enforced) loyalty. This kind of equipment would be quite superior and possibly even unethical in the R&D methods used to produce it. This kind of high-end cyberware would be ideal for adventurers, if difficult to obtain.
The reverse is a society that sees cybernetics as ugly, crude tools for keeping unskilled workers relevant in an age increasingly dominated by automation. Such devices may be very obvious, unfashionable and even grotesque. Still, an adventurer might find the capabilities of a living bulldozer quite applicable to his or her work.
Of course, these are just three of many possibilities. I don't expect the Starfinder universe to be uniform in its take on cybernetics in society.
Cybernetic installation limitations
I have been thinking about how to go about balancing cyberware for characters in a way that doesn't leave the unaugmented left out.
One option is that cyberware is simply the 'Big Six' of Starfinder. You don't go without it. A 20th level character is a synthetic god. Or that it simply competes with magic items for the same position, granting non-stacking bonuses. Is there room for someone that wants neither technology nor magic?
In the same way, it could simply be treated as equipment. How much difference is there between a suit of armour and dermal plating? Both do exactly the same job. That armour can be removed easily may be both an advantage or a disadvantage. It is hard to say which is better. Pay the price for whichever one you want and you aren't charged anything more than money and perhaps a proficiency feat for it (if those still exist); armour proficiency or cyberware proficiency. Such a cyberware proficiency could come in similar grades of 'none', 'light', 'medium' and 'heavy'. A technomancer might begin with heavy cyberware proficiency whereas a mystic might have light or none.
I certainly don't want cyberware to be limited by specific character stats, as that locks cyborgs into a very narrow range of characters. Look at the cast of Ghost in the Shell. Almost all of them are cybered to the nines and yet they each have their different way of operating and unique skillsets.
If it is limited by con, every cyborg must be the tough guy. If it is limited by int, every cyborg must be the smart guy. And so on.
Perhaps then, something abstract like level or hit dice might be required to limit it? That might feel weird.
Making room for more machine
I've also been thinking about the possibility of reducing function in some areas in order to make more space for cybernetics. For example, removing your entire digestive system to put in a powerplant and some fancy gadgets: You haven't removed your need for food, and must now subsist on a synthetic nutrition fluid produced externally.
Drawbacks in exchange for cybernetic 'slots' or whatever might lead to drastically more characterful cyborgs; they have the choice to become even more machine than ever if they are willing to sacrifice normality.
Gain vulnerability to hacking in exchange for more mental upgrade space. Gain vulnerability to a technomancer's 'control robot' spells to gain more motor systems. Etc.
After all, do we want cyborgs to simply have exactly the same requirements and lifestyle as ordinary sophonts?
Matthew Shelton wrote:
New question: Will Starfinder be completely supporting the fantasy classes together with the new-modern ones, or will the game assume only the new-modern ones will be played?
As far as we've heard, the old classes won't work directly. Some conversion work will be required to make them fit.
Have a buddy two-weapon fighting with keen kukri phaseblades and butterfly's sting.
Minimum strength requirement to use heavy guns without penalty?
Strength bonuses negate cumulative penalties from recoil when using weapons with high rate of fire?