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The Horned Hunter

mswbear's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 284 posts (288 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 14 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.


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Shadow Lodge

CeeJay wrote:
My understanding is that the DC's were changed because the scaling didn't make sense, and actually punished players for levelling up their ship. (I personally have no problem with the revised DC's, it seems to me most of the described actions should be routine excepting mishaps or extreme circumstances.) Presumably going back to the old DC's would reintroduce the scaling problem to your game, so it would depend on whether you're okay with that.

Agreed. With the base assumption in the rules seeming to indicate how wide spread starship use and access is, it doesn't make sense for starship anything to be as challenging as it was in the original math.

Hitting another starship in combat still averages out at about the same rate that hitting and missing in normal combat does which works well considering that shooting at a moving target while moving would be the most difficult part outside of piloting the ship itself. But an engineer or science officer to be so inherently unable to do their role makes absolutely no sense.

An actual pilot would be able to do most of those things if they were certified to fly so regularly failing at piloting checks also doesn't make sense.

I have found that most of the tension comes from an enemy doing damage to the player's ship, the same as normal combat. Tension because there are enemies sounds like a role playing problem and not a problem with the changed math for the mechanics. The math is easier for the enemy too so if the enemy is attempting to do what is most optimal, there should be plenty of damage trading and interesting encounters

Shadow Lodge

Mykull wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Why do social skills get rewarded for being good at them IRL but not other types of skills?

Because we are playing a roleplaying game.

If you would like a bonus for your real physical abilities, try LARP'ing. However, I do grant a small bonus if players describe their skill check with vibrant detail. In your Sleight of Hand example, if you were to describe how you misdirect your mark's attention from what you're pick pocketing, I'd give a +1 or +2 bonus.

Conversely, this isn't Night at the Improv, either. I have DM'd shy players who've had social characters and just let their Diplomacy roll be their check. I didn't penalize them for not acting it out.

This is what I do. If someone can give me a description of how they are using a skill I give them circumstance bonuses. Its a role playing game, not a roll playing game. I feel that there are plenty of games that are strictly about rolling dice which are better suited for combat then any pen and paper RPG to satisfy those who only want to destroy minis on a map with their minis on a anything that lends depth is normally rewarded at my tables.

If you are playing the dull witted, rush in and smash barbarian, great but if you want to attempt an acrobatics to avoid an AoO and say even something as basic as "I try to juke him and fake him out as I dodge around him", I'm gonna give you a circumstance bonus just because it makes your character more then a page full of numbers.

Shadow Lodge

Gary Bush wrote:
Ok so no one else is wondering about how Flyby changed?

I would also really like to know

Shadow Lodge

Any game is going to hit a certain amount of bloat after a period of time and a game that doesn't is going to stagnate.

5e is having the stagnation problem. While a growing number of people seem to be finally getting around to picking up 5e, the majority of complaints that I am hearing are all related to a lack of existing options and the slow release of new PC related material. I know a few of the people in my area who dropped pathfinder to switch to 5e when wizards switched the way they run their organized play campaign to be closer to the way Paizo runs theirs and are already looking or considering other options.

I also know several other people who only play Starfinder at this point because it isn't suffering from rules bloat and power creep yet (and to a degree many are tired of high fantasy RPGS).

Pathfinder has been going strong for long time and what options are actually left for them to develop are definitely going to hit the balance dynamics like a brick hitting glass. (not that things have been particularly balanced in a long time)

There is a fine line between releasing too much material and not releasing enough material for todays market. There are just so many options you can release before rules bloat and power creep simply become an inherent part of anything new you can offer.

I don't think that Pathfinder 2nd edition is beyond the consideration of Paizo although I doubt we will see it before 2020 if even by then. Any new venture has to have the cost of development and production weighed against current profit margins and projected profit margins.

I also think that the general belief that Starfinder is in some ways an attempt or experiment in further refining and testing 3.x math based rules for consideration for future games is a belief that at least makes logical sense if even unsupportive by hard evidence. If it is some sort of rules experiment/attempt at refinement, then I assume that they would want plenty of data to use and criticism to steer development before making any announcements or releasing any products with a Pathfinder 2nd edition tag.

Luckily there are plenty of other really good table top, pen and paper based RPGs out there that are worth playing around with and experimenting with for short periods of time. Some of them are even worth running extended campaigns in.

Shadow Lodge

Fuzzypaws wrote:
Huh... most other editions / spinoffs of D&D end up addressing this in their poison/disease rules section, but there's nothing on the matter in the Afflictions section. So by RAW, it appears so, since it doesn't seem to say anything about it that I can find. For what it's worth though, most other versions of D&D have had a rule that if you were able to completely prevent damage from a damaging attack by any means then any secondary effects of the attack would also be stopped. I'd just roll with that.

I would also agree with this but I would need to know what the source of damage is and what the actual nature of the effect is.

weapons with the injection special property indicate they automatically deliver their poison on a successful attack. (pg 181)

The rules for damage reduction indicate that whenever damage from an attack is completely negated from an attack that the special effect of the attack such as injury based disease or injury based poison are also negated but that contact poisons would still inherently work (pg 263) I understand that damage reduction is a different set of rules but I post it to help establish a pattern of thought about afflictions and secondary effects

Contact and injury based poisons can both be put in a weapon with the injection special property but the contact poison acts like an injury based (poison) affliction except that it targets EAC and not KAC like standard injury based (poison)afflictions do. Injury based (poison) afflictions only produce their effect if damage is dealt (pg 417)

Damage dealt to a target wearing a force field is dealt to the force field itself before being applied to the target (pg 206).

I would say that if the secondary effect is related to disease or poison that the answer is no since no actual damage occurred to the target and was done completely to the shield itself instead and therefore doesn't damage the target which is a necessary condition for the effect to work

if you roll a natural 20 to hit you automatically do a critical hit (unless your total result is not numerically high enough to hit the EAC or KAC you are rolling against, in which case it does not count as a critical hit but still hits) (pg 245)

if an attack has a critical effect it is applied when you score a critical hit (pg 182)

However, Shields do not inherently protect against critical effects (pg 206) so if the effect was coming from a critical effect I would say that the answer is yes, you still take the special/secondary effect as actual damage to the target does not seem to be a specifier for critical effect to take effect.

However, The critical effect for "Injection" simply increases the Save DC by 2. So you would still have to deliver damage via the rules that govern injury based (poison) afflictions. So the answer for the one would be, again, no.

If this question is in relation to some magical effect, I would definitely need to know more

Shadow Lodge

Dragonborn3 wrote:

5E is not a bad game, but something myself and another player have noticed is how much everyone is the same. We had a Barbarian, a Ranger, a Rogue, a Monk, and a Warlcok and except for the Warlock's spells we were all interchangeable.

I find it a bit boring when your choices don't matter.

Starfinder currently has that problem but with them already announcing 2 solid sounding products for this year, I suspect by summer us Starfinder players will have a lot of good options and variety with only more to look forward to.

Even then, some of the options that are being labeled as "not as good" in Starfinder are proving to be more viable then initially thought during theory crafting when put into actual play

Shadow Lodge

Action economy is a bigger indicator of challenge then anything else. You should focus on EL over CR and attempt to shoot for EL that is about 1 higher then average character level for normal fights, and 2 or 3 higher for challenging encounters, and 4 or 5 higher for "boss battles".....hmmm EL equal to average character level or 1 lower for easy battles.

With that said, if the CR of any creature involved is 4 or 5 CR higher then the average character level you risk it being something akin to the bad guy showing up to a gun fight with a rocket launcher. On the flip of that, if the CR of the creatures in an encounter are 4 to 5 CR lower the average character level, you risk it going down like a group of black belts fighting full out, no restrictions, against a group of kindergarteners.


Shadow Lodge


Shadow Lodge

I'll star things off with one of my own

Valkyrie Class Troop Dropship

Valkyrie Class Troop Dropships are designed for one thing and one thing only; When a ground assault must occur regardless of starship support, air support, or ground support (including any ground based anti-spacecraft weapons), the Valkyrie can get the job done. Being cost prohibitive for most established militaries, the Valkyrie is normally reserved for special forces teams or command personnel and almost always flown within the midst of cheaper and more common troop carrying shuttlecraft. Fast and well defended both in armor and in electronic counter measures, the real strength of the Valkyrie shines through in its somewhat controversial heavy shields. Able to weather a direct hit from all but the fiercest heavy naval weapons, the Valkyrie can weather even the most vicious enemy assaults long enough to deliver its package. The cost of such heavy shields and the power core required to power it, along with its other systems is seen by a waste by many military and political leaders, especially considering that the Valkyrie has no functional Drift/FTL drive and is dependent on larger ships for travel between interstellar destinations. However, time and time again a Valkyrie has proven to be the difference between a successful deployment of essential personnel and operational disaster.

Tier 7 (179/180BP)
Small light freighter
Speed 12; Maneuverability Good (turn 1); AC 19 (26 with pilot ranks); TL 19 (26 with pilot ranks)
HP 50; DT —; CT 10
Shields Heavy 360 (forward 90, port 90, starboard 90, aft 90)
Attack (Forward) Light Particle Beam (3d6, Medium); Chain Cannon (6d4, Short, Ripper)
Attack (Port) Flak Thrower (3d4, Short, Point+8)
Attack (Starboard) Flak Thrower (3d4, Short, Point+8)
Attack (Aft) Flak Thrower (3d4, Short, Point+8)
Power Core Pulse Orange (250 PCU); mk 1 trinode computer, Budget Medium-range sensors, mk 8 armor, mk 9 defenses, added aft light weapons mount, security device (antipersonnel -heavy): Corona Artillery Laser (2d8F, 120ft, Crit 1d6 Burn, 40 Charges, 4 usage, Penetrating lvl 6); Expansion Bays[/b] cargo holds (3)
Modifiers +1 on any 3 checks per round; Complement 4

Pilot Piloting +17 (7 ranks)
Engineer/ Science Officer Engineering +12 (4 ranks), Computers +12 (4 ranks)
Gunners (2) gunnery +14

Shadow Lodge

I thought it would be fun for people to post any starships they have created for home games (either for the PCs or some NPC faction). I looked for an existing posts along these lines but did not find one.

If there already is one, please post a link so that I am able to post over there instead.

Shadow Lodge

Serisan wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I've literally only seen people talking about how the operative was weaker than the other classes. I definitely wouldn't consider them too strong.
Funny to hear that. Locally, I've seen a lot more Operatives because of the mechanical advantages of the class. The Mechanic is largely considered the worst class around here.

The Mechanic is a solid class. They are widely popular where I play most often. They have good skills and class theme focused bumps, their exocortex makes them viable combat options, and I have witnessed several Mechanic Drones being used more the efficiently. The operative has some strong mechanical advantages though so I won't argue against that

Jasque wrote:

I am curious how a group of all operatives would do.

I think 4 operatives could handle themselves just fine. The lack of spell casting would hurt a little, but the abundance of skills would help make up for it.

A group of 4 operatives would do just fine and I think that lack of spell casting wouldn't really hurt them all that bad. The fact that you can gain access to a variety of energy types through weapons pretty much puts them on par with what is currently available via casters in the game. There are plenty of grenades that hand out status effects on top of class abilities and feats. I don't see a lack of magic being a real problem unless they find themselves in a overly specific situations

HWalsh wrote:

I call shenanigans on that one. The Operative is better in combat than the Envoy and on par with a Mechanic, has more skills than the Envoy, and in all but social skills will be better than the Envoy. They have the potential for the best saves in the game and their trick attack, especially at low levels, tends to beat a ranged Soldier or Solarian in damage.

Anyone who calls them "weaker" is not a good judge of class power at all.

I was smacked in the face with this one in SFS yesterday.

They are pretty strong at low level for what they are but the ability to pull off their trick attack isn't really all that guaranteed until later levels.

They also have a poor fortitude and while you will most likely bump Con, the added bonus you get to Fort doesn't guarantee that they are going to pass Fort saves with any real regularity. The class abilities they have with regards to Fort are not nearly as useful (only against poisons and disease) by the time you get them. There are plenty of other fortitude attacking spells and abilities that aren't related to either of those and have more immediate consequences anyways

The fact that they are going to be fairly close (basic melee or small arms to utilize trick attack) means that they are going to be easier to target. (well until they get a Sniper rifle worth anything and can trick attack through the sniper rifle but it still isn't as wild as it sounds when you look at the math and actual mechanics for the game.

I also think you are not fully considering how good at skills Envoys are. I don't think that either is better to be honest. They both get unique bonuses they can use to boost skill checks, have a good selection of skills with plenty of skill points to distribute, and can for the most part can get a handful of their skill boosting bonuses to a variety of skills. Neither is inherently INT based.

Shadow Lodge

Magabeus wrote:
Thanks mswbear, changing PCU would in my opinion not change that much. I don't think I can justify a PCU increase of more than 10 points and given the considerable amount of unused PCUs in the ship I don't think that would really decrease the superiority of the coilgun

PCU tends to be fairly abundant but at a certain point you start trading hard for PCU and BP. One always falls short when there is still enough to do something with in the other (usually having extra PCU). You eventually start trading things for another....yes you have the ability to do more damage down range but you are easier to hit in return, your missile countermeasures are not that great, your shields are weak, speed suboptimal, sensors are mediocre, computer not giving you decent bonuses or more then one bonus each round.

That's why I think a bit of an increase in each PCU and BP is justifiable to some level.

Shadow Lodge

Its definitely one of the superior light weapon choices by far. I feel like the BP isn't even that bad but feel like a better balancing factor would be PCU cost. Honestly, you could probably do both a bit.

Shadow Lodge ***

BigNorseWolf wrote:

In pathfinder bob the peasant can shove your intestines back inside your stomach with his manure stained hands and have a 50 50 chance of stabalizing you every round until you die. At which point you'll be fine with 2 weeks of chicken soup at the most. Mercy killing would make sense if the mechanics had a -con to -con -5 track where "you're going to die" was a thing.

but a stable creature can still die unless he gets some type of healing, even a stable creature who is conscious. Is then denying healing an evil act?

Shadow Lodge ***

TKSolway wrote:

you :-).

I did have an issue in a PFS game once where a Mage surrendered at the end of a fight, and the party wanted to just leave him tied up. I suggested that we break his fingers, you can't cast somatic components with broken fingers. Again, apparently that's evil. I reminded the party that that mage was one escape artist check away from being a major issue otherwise.

I've encountered this a number of times myself and it always infuriates me. If I have an evil fighter and they surrender I am going to remove their weapons and bind them.

When I take off the constraints, they are still unarmed and unless they are a master of unarmed combat, their effectiveness in combat is greatly reduced but a spell caster, who's fingers are basically their weapons somehow shouldn't be disarmed because their weapons are inherently a part of their body?

I never understood that. Their fingers will heal, they may heal enough so that they can even do spells again but they will at least heal enough to do basic things in order to care for themselves. But if the constraints come off, they are suddenly fully armed again and not just in a way that someone with a weapon is (limited by moving and attacking one person a round or full attacking multiple people but still being limited by number of attack, closeness of enemies, feats that grant you free attacks against enemies under certain conditions, etc.) but they are armed with the ability to drop giant piles of damage in large areas to inflict maximum damage against innocent people.....but breaking their fingers so they can't do that is somehow evil because "torture".....ok, sure....let's role with that.

Shadow Lodge ***

my -1 has a ton of alignment infractions but no shift. Probably because they haven't all happened under the same GM or at the same time and no GM was fully aware of how much I danced on that Neutral/Evil razor's edge. Some of the local players are still surprised I never got a forced alignment shift but the secret is to never do anything so evil that it forces an alignment shift. Also killing a sentient creature when attacked by it is not inherently evil. A fighter is basically a soldier and a soldier would be trained to kill enemy combatants once combat with the enemy is engaged. If the troglodyte didn't surrender then there was no real reason to show mercy.

While in modern times "leaving them there" wounded may be more common then thought and killing wounded enemy soldiers may be frowned upon(read also illegal), back in Medieval and Renaissance times "mercy killing" was common practice and was actually endorsed in many circumstances. Not just for the enemy but for allied combatants that were unlikely to survive their wounds (although not always). It actually wasn't all that uncommon for squires and other support troops of the "victorious" army to basically go through the battlefield and flag/drag anyone on their side that could be saved off the battlefield while stabbing in the heart or head those that couldn't. Nor was it uncommon for them to kill outright wounded enemy soldiers in order to save army resources by not having to care for POWs, letting enemy soldiers go so they could join another battle on another day, or in an attempt to shorten their suffering from wounds that would likely result in a slow and painful death.

A creature being so wounded that it is "dying" without a strong concept of "it can stabilize and live if it rolls high enough to do so and then heal naturally to regain consciousness eventually" is a level of knowledge that is both super meta and (even if presented in in-game terms) requires a level of medical knowledge likely beyond most characters.

A creature from a more often then not inherently evil race that was in a local tavern attacking innocent commoners. A creature likely to continue to do evil deeds should it recover from its wounds and is likely to die from its wounds anyways (at least to my untrained heal check and character non-meta-knowledge) but in a slow and painful way as opposed to the quick and at least shorter lived pain you could offer it......well that's enough justification and reason for me to not consider it evil but that's just me.

I mean we can apply modern day moral standards to our games all we want and that is fine and dandy but adding a little historical context here and there is also with merit.

Shadow Lodge ***

ChaosTicket wrote:

#4 Race to the finish line.
Rewards are based on scenario competition, though there are some secondary objectives but never anything awesome like a free +1-5 Flaming Longsword, just one more prestige point. Trying to be non-linear is unrewarded.
Unless you make a character capable of doing everything youre going to be doing a lot of nothing. Games are more often about completing in the shortest time so maybe do another one on the same day.

#5 Forced min-maxing of characters.
I want to make interesting characters but the Adventure scenarios range between heavy skills or heavy combat. Depending on class its easy to be in a situation where I am useless because i didnt bring the right character for the scenario. Theoretically I could create a character able to do...

Sounds like this is self imposed when seen together. I have plenty of characters who are total dog s~*# with social skills.....yet they RP like they are total masters.....usually unsuccessfully but it makes the game enjoyable.

Making a character who can't combat doesn't make sense for the game and theme of organized play. You don't have to be an outrageous damage dealer or a huge box of hit points to be effective in combat so I'm not even really sure what you are on about with some of these arguments outside of your perception is obviously different then mine or your definition of what is "fun" is far more restrictive then mine....or maybe your definition of fun is better suited for a different game system....


The guide to organized play specifically states that GMs should allow for creative solutions if at all possible. GMs that railroad their players into combats regardless of player action aren't very good GMs, and organized play doesn't have anything to do with that. But players whose only goal is to derail an adventure just for the sake of derailing adventures with the flimsy excuse of "because that is what my character would do" are the worst sort of player. Especially if they fall in line and take expected actions in a homebrew but are hyper disruptive in a organized game because they "don't like to be railroaded"

Shadow Lodge

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Robert Gooding wrote:
thejeff wrote:
mswbear wrote:
It is mainly an inconvenience for GMs as designing an NPC requires understanding of a different creation system then creating a PC.

I'm pretty sure that if you really want there's nothing stopping you from building all your NPCs with the PC rules. The rules are there. No one's going to stop you.

I’d like the first quote here explained, I can make an npc in starfinder in 3-5 minutes or if I’m lazy just read the stat block and talk up flavour, how is that harder than making a pc for every npc?

The NPC creations rules are actually pretty quick at all CRs. They take a while to get the hang of but once they are grasped fairly firmly, you can bust out a handful of different NPC encounters in short order.

I've never been particularly quick at making PCs and when making NPCs in the pathfinder system (basically making a PC with reduced wealth and ability scores), I am only marginally faster. The reduced rules for making monsters in Pathfinder were always easier in some ways for me to go through.

I think that being forced to basically learn monster creation rules to make PCs is jarring for some GMs but as stated there is nothing really stopping a GM from using PC creation rules to make their NPCs if they so choose. I like that I can make a fairly effective CR 15 soldier NPC nearly as quickly as I could make a CR 2 soldier using the NPC creation rules. But if I was making the NPC from scratch, it would be a more significant disparity in time.

I'm good if the math works out the same way on the practical end which from the experiments I have run, is the case. The NPC Soldier using the NPC creation rules which are basically monster creation rules spits out a soldier of similar capability that one created using PC creation rules does for the target CR. Outside of "having to" learn the monster creation rules, it really isn't that immersion breaking. PCs aren't making monsters/NPCs (in general) and what I run as GM is all words on paper and personal presentation anyways.

Shadow Lodge

Palidian wrote:

And so for a system to come out with fewer base options, confusing mechanics, and an agonizingly tedious new combat system (starships), that tells me that they did nothing with all that experience. That's what Starfinder is to me.

I'm gonna disagree with this.

1. It has the same number of base races

2. Themes replace traits with traits not being present in the CRB for Pathfinder but already offering additional level of complexity for Starfinder.

3. While there are 11 base classes in Pathfinder, with the exception of a small handful, each class really only has a small selection of options which end up with any (insert name of base class here) playing nearly identical to every other "unique build" of the same class to a great deal when limited to just the CRB. Starfinder has 7 base classes but

a. The Mystic arguably has the ability to play at least 3 to 4 complete different play styles of full caster depending on which connection they choose (see with the exception of a small handful when referencing Pathfinder earlier because I am aware the same can be said of many Pathfinder full casters)
b. The Mechanic plays pretty differently depending on taking an exocortex or a drone.
c. The soldier is pretty diverse and can gain a flavor similar several classes in Pathfinder depending on which combat style is chosen, which only further separates and makes unique the class based on what secondary you eventually choose.
d. I think all of the others have differences that can be made fairly distinguished pretty easy but they aren't as pronounced as the ones mentioned above. But if you consider that, then it isn't as limiting as "just 7 races and 7 base classes" really seems. I mean you effectively have 9 or 10 base classes really.

4. If you go through and eliminate about 90% of basically useless prerequisite feats from the Pathfinder CRB, the number of feats that remain really wouldn't be that different from what is present in the Starfinder CRB

5. I'm not sure what rules seem confusing to people (outside of starship combat, see below), although I have heard this argument a number of times which never seem to be well articulated or at least seem to be overly specific in nature. I've been playing in a home game and in organized play fairly regularly since release and I have yet to personally come across any rules that seemed to not make any sense or be counter intuitive.

6. Starship combat gets a lot of hate and I am not sure why. It has been causing a lot of problems in the organized play games in my area even after the math change. The original math was awful but since then, it seems pretty within an acceptable difficulty curve when I play or run it. I'm not speaking on the OP's games or play experiences as I haven't seen them first hand and any description would only be partially useful in my understanding but from what I have encountered in the local organized play, nearly all problems in starship combat come from one or more of the following sources:

a. The GM is not familiar enough with Starship rules and is confused about what they are able to do or what the party is able to do
b. The players are not familiar enough with Starship rules and are confused about what they can do or what each option available to their role does
c. The players do not communicate with each other enough and/or are working against each other instead of with each other.
d. Players have not let go of assumptions they had during therapy crafting that have proven to die when in actual use even after being shown a more effect tactic or approach.
e. Players have not realized through play that taking a defensive approach to combat hinders their effectiveness, prolonging combat and increasing frustration as a result.
f. Insist on attempting things not currently covered in the rules (if I could get through just one organized play game that has starship combat without someone wanting to ram another ship, I'd give everyone at the table $20 as a thank you)

My home group just hasn't been experiencing the same frustrations with starship combat. We have a firm grasp of the rules, don't attempt to do things outside of the rules present, meet consensus on what we need to do each round/phase with little argument but with any disagreements that do occur being ended quickly with options being presented and majority vote winning, and all efforts crew wide being made with the intent of putting down enemy ships unless shields are looking rough.

Shadow Lodge

I mean I don't think it says anywhere was does and doesn't work. Any distinction would have to basically be homebrew and individual GM determined until an official rule is published in a future rule book. Super popular Sci-Fis all around pretty much abandon anything that gets in the way of good story telling. It doesn't really surprise me that Starfinder (which is a science fantasy and also has magic) isn't afraid to just simply let some things be without explanation.

I would home rule anything that makes any sort of sense to you but explain it to players. Players don't live in your world and only have access to the rulebooks and therefor can only make assumptions based on the rules presented. Their characters however do live in your world and would know what does and doesn't work in vacuum. With star travel being such a normative part of travel in the Starfinder rule set, what does and doesn't work in vacuum is likely covered in basic gun training. Unless you are using a homebrew setting that doesn't have wide spread space travel.....then it is probably more of a matter of what they are and what their background is.

Shadow Lodge

I'm hoping that there is more detail on the Veskarium. As Part of an alliance with the Pact Worlds, I just want a bit more information. I know the main focus will be the official Pact Worlds solar system but still....more info would be great.

Also a little bit more information on boarder tensions with none Pact World governments or independent powers. A little bit more information on the Azlanti Star Empire for these purposes would be wonderful. Just something that lets people know there government structure and culture so that they can be used as antagonists

Shadow Lodge

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Matrix Dragon wrote:

I don't really care whether or not the players have access to everything that the NPCs have as long as it is plot or setting related.

For me, it is very important that everything follow the same rules just for the sake of consistency. Telling me that an NPC works differently just because he isn't a player is like telling me that the laws of physics are different for the players. For me, there are few other things that are more immersion breaking.

It is mainly an inconvenience for GMs as designing an NPC requires understanding of a different creation system then creating a PC.

At least from the experiments that I have run and what I have heard from others, NPCs run effectively the same as PCs as far as mechanics go. I didn't do a lot of fiddling around with the system so I would have to ask people who I know did a lot more in-depth creation what their thoughts are currently. I know that number of skills and such are a bit diminished for NPCs but I think that the few things I did had NPCs tracking relatively close to PCs in ability and numbers with PCs obviously being more powerful (just like it was in Pathfinder using their NPC creation rules).

They fact that it is a different system doesn't mean it is a completely different set of "Laws". All the number seem to track and the number are all that really influence game play outside of flavor and interaction based on individual GM role playing style.

I always thought it was weird in Pathfinder that they would have detailed NPCs in the book with skills and feats that are literally never going to come up unless the party goes straight murder hobo on everything that moves in front of them.....Just seemed like an arbitrary thing to know that the lvl 2 expert shop keeper has a +5 to escape artist.

Shadow Lodge

thatonejay wrote:

I agree with this, most of starfinder seems similar to 4e and 5e D&D rather than pathfinder. When it first came out I was struck by the differences is because it seemed like they were going to do more of a "Pathfinder in Space". Also, there were so many issues that just felt like they didn't playtest it enough.

I enjoy Starfinder, but it makes my head hurt sometimes trying to figure out things.

from my experience most of the headache comes from people assuming things because the vast majority of rules are the same or at least function the same but things are different enough that making assumptions leads to situations not working well together.

The same thing happened to a lesser degree when people switched from 3.5 to pathfinder but it wasn't as many things and happened so long ago that it doesn't stand out in anyone's mind. I'm finding most things work smoothly and quickly when people can keep with the rules without getting mixed up on how things work because they are remembering something from pathfinder instead. Especially since they fixed the math with starship combat

Shadow Lodge

Castilliano wrote:

The question is, why is this backup skill role so bad in the larger picture?
Solarians can compete for tops in damage, durability, & defense. They have a plethora of tricks to choose from, making them quite versatile on the battlefield. Do they really need the versatility that being better at skills would add? As starved for skills as I feel when I build a Solarian, I can't say I've ever felt the class deserved more.

I'm not saying the skill thing is bad per se although, I do feel like it is an odd limiting factor considering some of their class abilities and the flavor of the class.

And yes Solarians can compete in combat as top contenders but I would argue that they are significantly more difficult to build and maintain to be and stay competitive then any other class in the game. As many of the other classes are not as MAD and far more forgiving in attribute point distribution.

swoosh wrote:
6 ranks would fit the skill curve the other classes have a lot better, but it's not the end of the world either way.

Oh I'm not saying it is the end of the world, it just really bothers me. Flavor wise and somewhat mechanic wise there seems to be this leaning towards "skills and learning and blah, blah, blah" but then the foundation mechanics of the class (skills points available or something that let them use train only skills untrained or something) just falls flat

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Kudaku wrote:
Could you elaborate on your argument?

there are 20 skills in total in the game so overall it is easier to gain a decent collection of skills in Star finder then it was in Pathfinder. however, out of those 20 skills, 9 of them can't be used untrained, so in order to benefit from them or even roll a check for them above 10, you have to have at least 1 rank in them.

Solarians have 10 base skills on their class list with a class ability that while granting them no bonuses does allow them to count 2 skills of their choice not on their class skill list as class skills, giving them a grand total of access to 12 skills. of the 10 skills remaining after the base 10 skills the Solarian class grants, 6 of them are trained only skills. Meaning the 2 free skills you get to pick are going to be a hard pick unless you are focusing on a specific set of skills to the detriment of any others.

They later gain an ability to meditate for a 1 minute in order to bump one of their skills with a 1d6 for a period of time until certain conditions are met. However, this ability does not let them use ability untrained. 3 of the skills they can choose from are trained only skills meaning that if they want to take advantage of this class ability for those skills they have to have put ranks in it.

Now Solarians run on Charisma but realistically, your Cha isn't going to be much higher then 14 if even that high and that's if you are playing a race that grants a Cha bonus. The fact that you are inherently a front line fighter means that you will have to contribute a certain level of attribute points to Strength, dexterity, and constitution. The solarian in combat is going to function a lot like a pathfinder melee monk or inquisitor where you are capable of doing damage and taking (some) damage but you are also going to feel every single fight you get into and in all likelihood are going to end a number of fights unconscious/dying.

Because of this, your actual ability to run Cha based skills are going to run short of any Envoy you cross paths with. Other skills are going to be hampered by a lack of INT or WIS because attribute points are so important to place elsewhere. Skills that are not STR, DEX, or CHA based are traps basically. You have so few skill points that you are talking about a hyper focusing of skills that at best, you are going to be mediocre at. While your combat abilities are capable of tracking with other classes, you are not going to excel at them. The Envoy and Operative far outpace you in skill monkey abilities, which is fine except that you have 2 dedicated class abilities aimed towards skills. One of those abilities is aimed at granting more access to skills.

There is nothing in your class description of the point buy system that makes improving intelligence a wise choice over a physical attribute or Cha. Because you only get effectively 4 (5 if you are human) skill points each level, you basically gain impressive access with no way to really make it count. You also only really gain a minor boost to a single skill at a time at later levels.

I just feel like the Solarian should of at least had 2 more skill points per level or a class feature that basically gave them skill focus in any skill they had ranks in in order to make sense with what class features are present and the theme/flavor text of the class description.....

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There are a lot of threads about solarians in combat with a lot of differencing opinions, math, and comparisons but one of the things that seems to be really missing from anyone's notice is the weirdness of how their skills and skill related class abilities work.

Am I the only one that has noticed that the solarian has a lot of skills and skill based class abilities but only have a 4+int mod for skill points?

Am I the only one that thinks this makes these class features DOA? or at least really hard to capitalize on?

Has anyone found a way to increase the efficiency of these class features while not ignoring how MAD this class is?

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DR/any player that isn't the min/maxed OP player

Resistance (spells from player who is min/maxed and OP) 10-30

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How does anyone on Athas gather enough metal to build a rocket or a space ship at all? Metal in general is super rare and hard to find in the Dark Sun setting.

Does Defiling still exist for Athasians?

What happened to all the original races from these campaign settings?

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This is great.

I just wish that Paizo would up the release schedule of AP volumes to one a month instead of every other month. I feel like lack of content and long waits between content could hurt what was initially a lot of success and potential momentum.

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The Rot Warden doesn't have access to the Decay Domain (plant sub-domain). This seems like an obvious oversight to me that should be corrected.

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No, there is nothing in RAW that forbids is and I have never encountered a GM that wouldn't allow it.

Kineticist seem super powerful but when you track their average damage next to a dedicated blaster caster they track pretty even if not just slightly behind the curve of what a dedicated full caster can do. They lack the versatility of most casters and while they have a lot of hit points and can wear armor, they are trading full rounds and/or other actions for their power boosts or nonlethal damage that only goes away with 8 hours of rest which can make them deceptively fragile come a difficult fight.

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Redelia wrote:
Alicorn Sage, the reason that people prepare so much is that they are not just trying to run a fun game, they are trying to run the specific adventure/story that players signed up for. We are also talking about PFS games here, so GMs are required to run 'as written.' To use your example of a DC, the GM has to use the DC that is written in the adventure, not what they think is reasonable. They can give a +2 or -2 circumstance bonus based on what players do or say, but that's the limit to flexibility. If you have to run a game as written, you need to thoroughly understand what is written.

This isn't really true and is not stated in the current guide to organized play or to my knowledge the guide to organized play of season 5, 6, 7, or 8 (I started in season 5 so don't have ease of access to earlier editions of the guide to organized play).

"Run as written" is more about the story and the encounters (or how the encounters are run should there be a combat). Coming up with a creative out-side-the-box solution is totally acceptable. The CRB indicates that circumstance bonuses for good role play are totally a thing. As does the guide to organized play, it states nowhere that this circumstance bonus is limited to +2 or -2.

Certain encounters are going to result in combat 99.9% of the time but if there is a creative way to by pass it and the party is all about it, then I think it is the responsibility of the GM to roll with it and still consider it a victory and successful resolution.

Example: There is a ship chase with an anticipated "getting caught" and facing a "boss fight" during the Quest for Perfection 3-part story in season 3. My druid did not allow this to happen. The GM tried to basically plan B through E a way for this to happen and my Druid was more then able to shut this down each and every time. Instead of accepting defeat and calling the adventure, the GM literally came up with a "just because it is written" situation and we somehow ended up in this "boss fight" anyways. My resources and spells were still expended mind you but all of a sudden we still had to fight a "boss". This was unfair to the party (which had encouraged me to go all out in stopping the pursuing ship) and me (for listening, thinking creatively, and using a lot of resources which worked by RAW). The need for the GM to "run as written" went too far and destroyed what had been up until that point a marvelous adventure full of fun, cheers, and laughter. The GM did run as written up until the point that I used RAW to shut down the chase completely. Over all great GM, especially since they have grown as a GM, and still remember the over all adventure line favorable but it was/is a sore point for me towards organized play.

That's just the most notable example but there are others I have been witnessed or been a part of.

"Running as Written" only goes so far. It should be "run as written unless character action literally does not allow you to and then attempt to recover back to the written material when and if able to at the next logical section of text"

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It just sounds like you are plying in an area without very creative GMs. There are people who have a very hard time going off script or allowing things not considered in the scenario to be a viable solution unless the mechanics/math are directly spelled out in way that would have to work in the given situation RAW (which is rarely gonna happen).

At my local PFS Chapter, I would say that the majority of GMs are comfortable going with the flow for creative solutions and that at least 50% of our players actually kind of go for creative solutions on a regular basis.

We have a few GMs that are less flexible with this stuff which has generally annoyed me when I'm at a table of creative players and we are constantly smashing against the stone wall of GM stubbornness but to be honest your statements on your experience don't surprise me nor does your gross overgeneralization of P&P RPGs or organized play in general.

I have encountered far more ridged GM thinking at Cons when at a table of an unfamiliar GM. A lot of places seem to foster the idea of sticking to the scenario to the letter or at least as close to the letter as humanly possible.

I think the real thing is, why even bother posting about this and then continuing to basically argue or refute anything and everything that is said to you. I haven't seen you agree with one things stated by anyone else which is a strong indicator that you are actually here for an argument and not an intelligent discussion.

If organized play isn't your style, my suggestion is to find another way to spend your time. I think that if I lived in your area and the GMs basically shot down totally legitimate solutions on a semi-regular basis I would be finding other activities to occupy my time.

If its a social thing, there are other ways to get in your socializing.

If its a wanting to play P&P RPGs there are plenty of others to choose from.

If it is a matter of only being able to find a gaming group through organized play, I would attempt to recruit some regulars you get along with for a home game or find an online game to join. There are a number of P&P discord groups that run things in a number of ways using online features when and where applicable.

I've never really understood the people who spend all their time doing something they never stop complaining about and basically go on and on about how their time would be better spent doing something else but then spend all of their time playing the thing they hate or complaining about it online....

TL;DR: sounds like you have uncreative and unskilled GMs, you should find another way to spend your time.

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Druids are a powerful class but aren't necessarily more powerful then an other full caster.....and if you are using other full casters as the measure then they certainly aren't overpowered regardless of spell selection.

As far as if they "should"....It would depend on how you view them gaining spells. Druids get their spells from nature and through communing with nature. It doesn't indicate anywhere that anything would be preventing them from having those spells but as a GM, you certainly get to set limits as you see fit.

If a druid communes with nature in the desert would they gain a bunch of ice spells?

One could argue that they would since nature encompasses all ecosystems and environments so regardless of where they do their communing they would have access to all of what nature is able to provide.

However, one could argue that spells could be regionally locked in some way. Gaining an abundance of ice spells in the desert doesn't make sense as that part of nature is fairly if not totally unfamiliar with ice and the natural properties of ice and therefor cannot grant ice spells.....of course doing this greatly hinders the effectiveness of the druid in a way that no other class would be hindered by and is unsupported by the rules as written.

If you don't want spells from a certain source just ban anything from that source at your game. If you are only banning some things from it be prepared to justify with more then "because I'm GM and I say so".

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What makes Pathfinder great is the wide array of content and options but it is also something that takes away from the game in a number of ways.

I don't ever feel the need to understand how every character class or character option works. Players are expected to understand how their character works. If something seems off or feels funny to me then I inquire. Same goes for things that are totally stomping a scenario that I thought would be challenging. If the player can't provide me the rules so that I can read them and see how things work together I don't allow it to be used until those rules can be provided for me. If things check out, I get over it and continue to run the scenario to the best of my ability while following what the scenario calls for in tactics as written. If it doesn't check out then I let them know. If there is a disagreement I defer to the VC or VL and let them make a call.

With the excepting of deferring to a VC or VL, I operate this way in home games as well. I don't know to know how everything works ahead of time, I just need a general idea of how what I am doing/running works. The rest will sort itself out.

My biggest complain with other systems is the lack of options to be honest. Bloat gets old but feeling restricted in what I can do at all annoys me enough to turn down an experience/game all together. This is one of my complaints with the current edition of D&D. I feel like it doesn't offer nearly enough options and out of those options nearly all of them are traditional high fantasy/classic D&D troupes. I don't like that concept restriction enough that I don't play D&D which is a shame because they way they handle a few things is really nice and balanced.

Its also why I don't like game systems like savage worlds (on top of others). Savage worlds has just enough options to trick you into thinking there are a lot of options but not enough to actually give you options outside of a handful of stereotypical troupes.

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Edenwaith wrote:
In addition, it looks like the miniatures are going to be expensive; $10 for a medium:(

Where are people getting this idea that $10 is expensive for a mini??

Outside of Reaper's Bones line of minis, most standard 28mm -32mm "medium sized" humanoid shaped miniature is anywhere from $8 to $14 for metal. Buying a single plastic model is difficult to even find if not pre-assembled and on eBay or something similar. Resin models tend to be about $2 to $5 more then their equivalently sized metal
cousins. (I'm not considering pre-painted plastic minis that come in unit or assortment boxes)

This is one of the reasons I love the infinity line, yes they sell things in units for the most part but what you get is cheap per mini by comparison to a lot of other companies. Especially if you get them through sites that have regular discounts and sales like Miniature Market. Privateer press used to be close but their stuff has gone up in price since release and is closer to the industry standard mentioned above.

As an aside, I tend to stay away from Resin for creature models, Resin is more fragile then metal and tends to break where plastic bends (if only a little before inevitability breaking itself). They are also a nightmare to fix. Resin also chips sometimes which will ruin the aesthetic of your mini at the very least. If I have to get a resin model, I tend to go with something that is fairly bulky and solid without skinny(ish) protrusions, especially if they have a heaver part at either end (I'm looking at you most weapons and extended arms, holding weapons). I hate policing a mini on the table so the recklessness of others doesn't ruin/destroy them.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
Consequential? That guy might have done something helpful. Heck, you've reduced their impact on the parts of existence they operated with freedom of choice to do good.
But if you don't murder the good people, they might do something evil at some point and spoil their chance to enter heaven. By sparing their lives, you potentially cause them infinite suffering. This makes all other considerations irrelevant.

This is where fantasy destiny real life normative belief in free will butt heads.

If you look at either argument (destiny vs free will) then it ultimately doesn't matter.....This is why existentialism exists.

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I think it is also a matter of character concept and backstory not meeting well with mechanics. I think that some of the iconic characters for pathfinder materials fall into this trap (some not all).

You have these level 1 PC class characters with backstories of them completing or accomplishing things that would be hard by even the standards of a level 3 or 4 character (sometimes higher). Then all of a sudden they start actually getting played and they are a joke compared to what they have done in their back story.

Realistically, whenever a player comes up with a character concept they should be thinking that this person was a adept/commoner/warrior 1 before achieving their PC class lvl 1. What they could and couldn't do was basic at best. Grand accomplishments from the past should be framed more as oddities of fate or luck and not so much as character skill and ability. Any level 1 character is probably within the first year of achieving their first level in a PC class.

Its also a matter of player expectation. A lot of players I know basically want medium difficulty enemies that are bags of hit points and not anything that is an actual challenge or threat. I have seen a lot of people get upset because they felt like their character was not overly effective in a large number of encounters or even in "boss fights". This also has to do with how a character defines "effective". I've seen players dish out heal, battlefield control, party boosts, and hinder with status effects all in one combat but b~%!& that they are not effective because their ide of effective is basically damage related. I'm not immune to wanting to feel like a badass and be an unstoppable force but I try to check myself and stay in the game.

I mean most adventures never make it to hero status and end up dying long the way. Even then, what qualifies as "this should be challenging" vs "this should be a cake walk". My group just finished up Strange Aeons, the last fight was difficult and we felt like we might lose for a lot of the combat (we didn't) but stepping outside my head and the fact that I wanted a guaranteed win, allowed me to enjoy the fight for the epic nonsense that it was and the real fact that if we lost the end of the world would have happened.....which would have been a good story in its own right.

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The operative keeps popping up as being OP and when you look at it, it is hard to argue that it is not.

1)It is the only class that gets 4 attacks eventually and also the only class that gets additional full action attacks with no additional penalty. It is still just -4 to attacks. The Solarian and the Soldier at full BAB characters that each get a third attack as a full action eventually but at a -6, with no 4th attack. Additionally the multi-weapon fighting only applies to operative weapons and small arms. So the operative is the only class that can achieve -3/-3/-3/-3.

2) Tons of skill points and skill bonuses. I get that the operative is a skill monkey but after all of the skill points it already gets 8+int, it gets a free skill point in 2 skills each level because of it's specialization and gets mountains of insight bonuses to skills across the board.

3) The same general bonus that gets applied to all skills is applied to initiative. As a Dex based class, that basically means that the Operative will have the highest initiative by far compared to any other class, with the same level of Initiative being unreachable by other classes in higher level play.

4)Its also the only class that gets evasion and improved evasion as well as abilities that improve fort and will saves, making it the only class to have class abilities giving it a bonus/benefit to each of the three saves.

5)It basically uses magic, many of its abilities are on par with some of the most useful and best utility spells in the game.

I get that the operative is supposed to be a bad mother, ninja, monk, rogue, inquisitor, ranger type but it is over tuned in nearly everyway outside of not having full BAB(not that it matters with all of the other buffs). The soldier might be able to deal more damage in a round over all but the operative is a close second and is at the very top of the skill game (unlike the solarian who has all these abilities giving access to skills but no real bonuses and has a pathetic amount of skill points available so it can't even take advantage of all the free skill access it has. While already being the most MAD class in the system).

I'm not normally in favor of nerfing things but I seriously think the operative needs a date with the nerf bat. (I also think the Solarian needs 8+Int for skill points. You don't write a truck load about learning/unlocking/studying the secrets of the universe and then kick the class in the balls with a negligible amount of skill points)

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Noodlemancer wrote:
bookrat wrote:

Apparently, a reduction of 10% means going from "guaranteed hit" to "never stands a chance."

Who knew 10% had that much power, held that much importance. It's almost like bias has completely overcome statistics.

The game's math is extremely harsh.

Typically, a completely min-maxed character is looking at 50% success rate, most of the time.
Thus, the 14 STR option would be looking at 40% success rate. This means that for every 4 hits the 14 STR build gets in, the 18 STR build gets in 5 hits.
A 25% increase in your rate of hitting before accounting for the increased damage from a higher stat is extremely important.

*looks at enemies in Dead Suns*

That math doesn't really hold up. A 14 STR is looking around 50% hit rate for the AP. 18 is overkill.

I'm gonna be honest, I think that mechanically some of the predictive math is done with pathfinder being the basis but there is enough mechanical differences that pathfinder numbers make a poor baseline. Its like when Pathfinder first came out and everyone was still using 3.5 stuff as a baseline and in their home games to find out that pathfinder stuff was more powerful then 3.5 stuff and thought all the math was broken until pathfinder got away from mixing with 3.5 and viewed only within it's own context. (note: the math of pathfinder is still broken but it is less broken when only viewed with other pathfinder stuff and not in conjunction with 3.5 stuff.)

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Being less good at something then someone else doesn't make you a poor character. Solarian and Envoy both have their place and are fine classes, they are less optimized then other options but that doesn't mean they are totally worthless. I've seen a lot of argument that the Solarian and Envoy are nonfunctional but the only evidence that is offered in support is that other classes do damage or skills better. That doesn't mean that the Solarian and Envoy can't do anything or can't do anything effectively, just that there are classes that will be swinging harder or Diplomancing better.

The real question is, is there any reason the OP needs some type of personal validation in posing the question when it is fairly obvious that dipping soldier helps both these classes?

....Also, I say "build suboptimal characters, forget being the most powerful thing at the table. As long as you can be marginally effective and are playing what you want and are having fun do what you want". You may counter point that you want to play an Envoy or Solarian that is more effective but then you can level dip and not worry about it so I fail to see the point in splitting hairs.

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also be aware that weapons and armor scale differently then they did in pathfinder so instead of doing 2d6+20 4 to 5 times in a round you will be using a weapon that does stuff like 10d10 or 12d8 or on and so 2 attacks with that is basically throwing half a mountain at something.

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nowa wrote:
Stonesnake wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

Glide can only be done if you don't have a Pilot, which is a required role. For a ship with a crew of more than 1 Glide will/can never be used.

Not "if you don't have a Pilot" but rather as long as they don't do anything. That said, I'm sure it's in the "spirit" of what Paizo was intending.

Specifically, the CRB says that you can take a Minor Crew Action:
- regardless of your current role,
- only if no other action was performed for that role,
- once per round, and
- doesn't count as your action.

So, you can Glide as long as the pilot does nothing on their turn. With the RAW, it's tactically sound for the pilot to sleep through combat, and they'll add their Piloting skill to the ship's AC and TL each round.

Are we sure that the bonuses that can be applied are not mitigated by the equivalent raise in skills and base ship stats as level rises?

I think that the "annoyance" at low levels continues to be a fairly scaled as you raise in level with the abilities of what you are facing off against can do. I am doing this math based mostly on quick mental math and flipping pages....anyone that wants to actually run the numbers and present them is welcome to do so

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Its only the core rulebook. From what I understand they are going to release fewer books (primarily only hardback, core books). but if they release things like "Ultimate espionage", "Ultimate magic", "Ultimate combat", "Ultimate tech", etc. then I think you will see a lot. They also stated that all of the APs will have a healthy number of new tech and options available to them.

Give it time, I'm sure there will be plenty of options before too long. I'm sure there will be plenty of options by the end of Q1 2018 even.

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Secret Wizard wrote:
Voss wrote:

It's been claimed a couple times, but I wouldn't call that 'well-established'. Especially since few of the claims show any, much less all, of the math behind them and lack context.

Applying 'fixes' on day -10 seems... premature.

Mathwise, Solar Weapons deal less damage than an equivalent 20th level weapon, even tricked out with a 20th level Solar crystal.

Envoys just do less than any other class, I think Action Economy is their enemy.

I think action economy is everyone's enemy. I think there is a lot of math and ideas based on pathfinder math and comparisons.....while the games are inherently grounded in the same foundation and Starfinder is really built upon pathfinder, Starfinder to me based on what I have seen through reading over things several times is that the math is just going to be different. There are less variety in available actions and less options to swap actions. There are far less swift actions available with existing classes. I think that the same seems true of the small handful of monsters we have seen.

Giving the Envoy an extra standard action or turning move actions into non actions seems like it would do less to balance and more to make the Envoy an unintended powerhouse. On a direct comparison, most of the Starfinder classes don't stack up but when only considered in their context, things don't seem so out of whack.

The solarian is only a few dice off of equivalent damage dealing options at 20th level but they get a number of utility options and status effect dealing abilities to "compensate". While "dead" is still the most effective thing to do to an enemy, status effects may be more a more viable option in Starfinder then it was in pathfinder (of course minus the few status effects in pathfinder that are obviously powerful)

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Steel_Wind wrote:

It may not have been something people have noticed yet as most games have not yet begun, but Table 2-4 Character Advancement in Starfinder yields an interesting change in Starfinder.

Whereas Table 3-1 in Pathfinder RPG displays a Slow, Medium, and Fast advancement track (where Medium is the PFRPG default), Starfinder has dropped the Slow and Medium tracks and has gone with the Fast track as the only XP point progression in the game.

I must confess, I am not a fan of this. I find in Pathfinder that even the Medium track is often too fast for leveling for my tastes. I never use the Fast Track and have not since I ran D&D 3.5.

We can of course use whatever tracks we like; and if the default of Fast Track is not okay with us, we can use a Medium Track anyway and use the same XP levels as exist in PFRPG.

Problem is, sadly, as the table has only one option, I would expect that Herolab will only use one as well. It would be nice if LWD adds in a Slow and Medium track as House Rules to use when setting up a character. It's not as if the code has to be added; they can port it from Pathfinder's code base.

I'd like the option to be able to specify my own track as House rule and have it work within Herolab. If anybody else might like that too, perhaps sound off? It can't hurt in persuading LWD to offer it as a House Rule override in Herolab.

a lot of the rules are similar and based on the same foundation but there are enough rule differences that I don't think any of us are totally sure how things are going to play out and balance out yet. I think there is a lot of theory crafting that looks sound going around but theory crafting is never 100%.

Fast track equivalent xp system may seem like lightning quick now but it may not actually be that bad in practice. If it turns out to be too fast, you can always purpose to any home group you play with that the party only receive 1/3 xp for encounters in order to equate to what was slow track in pathfinder. That is easy enough to enter into herolab/herolab equivalent.

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I would like to see at least a 1 off module that is a situation like the movie "Alien"

.....As far as APs. I assume we will see at least some regular nods to Sci-Fi clichés like we did fantasy clichés in many of the pathfinder APs....

1. Ancient evil from out of space time comes every cycle of (insert ridiculous amount of time here) to wipe out life and the party discovers them while doing something else and for some reason no one else really believes them. They have to stop the ancient evil from waking and invading and wiping out all advanced life. (mass effect, revelation space, etc.)

2. Rogue super AI is trying to take over everything, starts small but before too long it is in control of advanced weapons tech. PCs need to stop it from using weapons of mass destruction and biological weapons on population centers while working to keep it from locking people out of communication systems.

other then that....

1. I'd also like to see an AP were the PCs are thrown in the middle of fighting in skirmish battles with the Azlanti Star Emporium. Their is a misunderstanding of some type and the PCs have to work to establish a tentative peace. It is discovered that there is some type of splinter faction in either the Azlanti Emporium or Pact Worlds that is bent on starting an all out war between the two. PCs have to ultimately track down said splinter group and put them down before their efforts can cause open intergalactic war.

2. Star Ships going missing in a particular region of space. PCs are sent to investigate and are captured by Elder cultist. They need to escape but find out in the process that the Elder cult has discovered a sure fire way to wake all of the great old ones and bring together all of the elder gods. The preparations are extensive and require a large sacrifice of souls. The cult is nowhere near ready but if nothing is done to stop them they are likely to succeed. PCs now have to follow the evidence to find each cell of the cult and ultimately stop them.

3. Evidence is found that "The Gap" was perpetrated by the Gods in order to disconnect all life from some cosmic psychic plague that feeds on memory and causes madness. The reason the gods have remained silent on "the gap" is because this highly contagious psychic plague also affected them in negative ways. The few gods and other powerful beings able to work through the madness to form a plan to stop the plague had to seal the memories of every creature in the multiverse including themselves in order to cut the food source of the plague and ultimately end the plague. They left themselves enough information to know not to pursue answers. The PCs are hired to follow the bread crumbs in order to unravel this mystery by colleagues of the academic who discovered the initial information after they died under mysterious circumstances.

As they get more involved in the investigation, going from one bread crumb to the next far away bread crumb, they are attacked by various groups loyal to a multitude of religions furthering the mystery (as the gods don't want the plague to start again because it actually lies dormant in all things and a particular event was the key to it be so virulent). Bits and pieces of vague information is delivered through out the AP with it ending in a direct conversation with several herald's of several different gods who are guarding the physical embodiment of the sealed memory. We learn that some of the gods had to sacrifice themselves to fuel the magic that sealed all of memory and that the PCs can either undo the memory seal (by fighting through several heralds at once) or turn back, erase all records and info they found, scorch and salt earth on their way back to the original academic's database to eliminate it, and never speak of said knowledge again in order to ensure that life is able to go on normally. If they fight all of the heralds and break the memory seal, they have a vague memory of a bright light before the plague awakens and drives them and everything else in the multiverse so completely insane that nothing makes sense anymore and civilization basically either way the information on what actually caused the gap and what happened during that missing time is never revealed.

Shadow Lodge

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:

I have been kind of intrigued by the idea of basing a build around the Ninja Trick 'Pressure Points'

** spoiler omitted **

I am picturing a ninja/monk type character who runs up and pokes you in a dozen places, crippling all your limbs. (Kinda like Ty Lee from Avatar)

I'm thinking 3 levels in unchained rogue to get the talent, finesse, and dex to damage...then switching to unchained monk for flurry, unarmed strike, better BAB, etc.

The idea is throw out a bunch of low damage attacks that sap the targets strength down to where they can't even move.


Your character probably won't pop off fully until level 8 or 9 which means that you will be less effective and hindered to a degree up until that point. But your build will have an impact. The most effective thing to do is to kill an enemy but hindering them can be useful and fun over building a raw damage dealer. There will be people you play with who do not appreciate your character at all and will insult it or insult you but there is no reason to not play the character you want to.

Any enemy you encounter is likely to either be immune to the ability damaging class ability or be killed by your party members before the full effect of your build can be witnessed in its glory or be appreciated for its debuff. With that in mind, it is completely legit for the percentage of the time that it is going to help a bit. Also consider that while you aren't building a ton of sneak attack damage that you are still mostly an unchained monk. You are going to hand out ok damage regardless.

Shadow Lodge ***

Avoiding rules bloat is impossible and is going to happen no matter what sort of arbitrary guiding principles are set into place. The argument that scenarios should be kept under a certain tier of complexity so that they aren't nightmares to prepare has its validity but eventually people who GM frequently are going to want some of the new(er) stuff that is available. The problem with any table top RPG is the same that any game by its very nature has.

You have to keep releasing new material in order to keep your player base engaged and active, otherwise your game gets replaced with newer alternatives...or it gets regulated to the nostalgia pile....or becomes that really old game that only a super small but super loyal fan base still even bothers with.

The issue is....

That rules bloat inevitably pushes people away as well. Once a game hits a certain level of options and complexity, it stops being practical on several different levels. This is why newer alternative options draw people towards them. D&D 5th got a number of people back into D&D, not only because it was more of a return to form for Wizards of the Coast but also because the existing top competitors had plenty of time to grow rules bloat and people were getting burnt out.

However, I have heard that several people (at least in my area) have already stopped playing 5th because of a general lack of official options outside of new adventures here and there. (Which kind of highlights that either end of the spectrum comes with negative consequences). Players want new options and GMs want new things to throw at players but at a certain point it all gets to be too much or not enough for just about anyone (super fans excluded). With Pathfinder being an extension of D&D 3.5, there is only so much that can be done before rules bloat is a thing. Even if Paizo only released 2 or 3 pathfinder books a year, that would be 16 or more books since its release in 2009. Things have a natural life cycle.

wither or become a tumor I guess......either way you eventually die

Shadow Lodge

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Mashallah wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
The more I hear about your "biggest dissapointments" the more I get the impression you just wanted Pathfinder in space with it working exactly as Pathfinder works. Which is fine and all, but I for one am glad that's not what we're getting.

Simply not true. I'm a fan of a lot of the changes introduced by the system, such as the removal of 9-casters, the removal of prepared casting, the introduction of resolve points and semi-formalised short rests, the new class structure as was shown so far, the removal of Touch/FF AC, the streamlining of AoO's, the level tiering of gear, and many others, which I praised on multiple occasions.

There are, however, very major drawbacks I see in the system and I'm actively calling them out as it's disappointing to see them after a streak of things that I largely enjoyed.

It seems your biggest complaints has to do with setting. I can understand where you are coming from to a degree. I'm not gonna refute any of those because "to each their own" and all of that jazz.

However, if you aren't going to be playing in organized play then you actually have a lot of wiggle room on what you do and do not want in your game. You can GM just about anything you want setting wise as long as there are rules available for you to use. I'm sure there will be some quality 3rd party stuff before too long as well.

If you aren't going to GM then you are kinda stuck with what the GM decides to do but that's true of any game, in any setting, using any rule set.

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