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Blatantly wild speculation about game mechanics!


Starfinder General Discussion

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It's in the same vein as the temporary non-phaselockable teleportation that characters with evasion perform when dodging a reflex-half in the middle of an empty room with no exits.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh yeah, that is another thing that bugs me! thanks for pointing it out. But how do you feel about it? want to see that kind of abstractions still going on in Starfinder?


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I'd certainly like for it to stop working in those particular conditions when I put a phaselocking railgun slug through their foreheads, that's for sure.

"lol DC 14 reflex half that can never be raised on weapons you can't even fire once let alone afford till at least level 10 lol" Is rather insulting as well. That kind of thing should never even have to make it to playtesting before getting caught, let alone printed as-is. Someone should've been smacked upside the head and quite clearly was not.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While we are at it... Wasn't it just recently that it was FAQ'd that you failed a reflex save if you were paralysed?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

No, they FAQed the exact opposite. You still get a Reflex save while paralyzed, you just have a Dex of 0 so your stat modifier is -5.

I've never had a problem with this. I assume AoE attacks are not uniform in how they fill their space - sometimes you might just be standing in a less dangerous spot. Evasion turns off if you're paralyzed so you're still going to be hurt a little.


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oh, oops.

Your example works with things like an erratically expanding fireball that doesnt follow normal rules for explosions because of magic but doesnt do as well with things like say, giant hole opens up under you and even if you jump to the sides, those are slopped inwards and even those with full use of their bodies must actively try to avoid falling in.

Another thing on a similar note, how about falling prone when you are asleep/knocked out/paralyzed?


Actually, normal explosions don't fill the area around them equally either. All sorts of strange things happen, like people surviving unhurt but with all their clothes blown off, and unless you've got a supercomputer and know more about the situation than is reasonably practical a degree of randomness is expected. They publish guides for surviving a grenade attack, after all (lie down with your face down and feet towards the explosion, ideally).


Don't forget the 'chunky salsa' effect. That one's always fun.

As for grenades, that's not exactly 'randomness' but science. They will usually burst from the ground (larger shells are a different story), so you're doing this to both minimize the exposed cross-section, and to sacrificially have your feet and legs in between shrapnel and your moistest critty bits.

However, surviving and not being horrifyingly debilitated or maimed are.. not exactly the same thing unless the damage system is as abstracted as in here.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jamie Charlan wrote:
Don't forget the 'chunky salsa' effect. That one's always fun.

Thank the gods for Inertial Dampening Fields.

And i said, bounce a graviton particle beam off the main deflector dish, thats the way we do things here, make s... up as we wish...


As an aside, AOE stuff in d20 modern was one of the things I was happy to houserule because it seemed way too potent. What I did instead was state that a grenadelike could be defended against by armor as well as reflexes.

So aside from the user's attack roll to hit a particular square or creature, the grenadelike itself also rolled to hit against all characters in the damage radius. If the grenade missed you with its attack, you took no damage from the attack roll. If you got hit, you took half the damage rolled, rounded down. Then everyone in the blast had to roll Reflex against the weapon's DC. If you made it, you took one quarter, rounded down (or zero with Evasion). If you failed it, you took half rounded down (or one quarter with Improved Evasion).

So, good armor could help you, but also a high Ref save too. Or if you had Evasion/IE, you didn't need good armor to avoid all the damage.


That seems needlessly anti-grenade. It needed to hit against people in the blast radius, you halve the damage on those hit (and nothing on those missed), and THEN they get to reflex-half the result?

Did anyone even *take* damage from grenades after all that? Seems to me at that point you just pocket the thing and laugh as it goes off...


Yeah I always had a fast hero who made grenades seem like a waste of time personally.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As we get more snippets of the envoy, the more I think she'll get the ability to give inspiration dice to allies and the opposite for enemies, likeep the 5e bard,or the investigator but for others.


Pointmen in spycraft could be built heavily around that.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thought on the Solarion-I wonder if, to name the energy weapon, you need a focus, like the wizard's arcane bond, to make their weapon. Like a lightsaber handle, or a green lantern ring.

Maybe a crystal that you house in an item. that way you could cover a few cool fictional weapons by housing the crystal in that ring, or amulet, or headband or flashlight... or even gun.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

And an idea on machine guns. Roll a d4 with your d20. D20 with a penalty determines if you hit, d4(-1?) determines how many hit. D4s for damage. So at low levels they're Deadly but inaccurate.

As an afterthought, Also an aoe function? but you split damage among those you might've hit with the roll. Maybe. Less solid on that one. Maybe split the dice, not the damage


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really like the focus object for a Solarion, i think we need some more previews on how exatly they function to get a grip on them though.

What if full auto guns came with two damage options, maybe something like:

Assault Rifle 1D10/3D6

The 1D10 is a single shot and the 3D6 is a burst but the burst mode comes with a -3 to hit. at low levels you are careful but as you level you can much more reliably throw out the lead. maybe soldiers who spec for ranged combat get a scaling mitigation for controlled bursts? At higher levels they can negate or eat all the penalties for TWF with SMGs and empty their magazines each round.


Did ya'll read the new interview? Looks like they are re-doing how weapon damage scales...


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:

And an idea on machine guns. Roll a d4 with your d20. D20 with a penalty determines if you hit, d4(-1?) determines how many hit. D4s for damage. So at low levels they're Deadly but inaccurate.

As an afterthought, Also an aoe function? but you split damage among those you might've hit with the roll. Maybe. Less solid on that one. Maybe split the dice, not the damage

I've used machinguns years ago. Normally, you'd fire a "burst" of six to nine rounds. They shouldn't be used as "bullet hoses." The only legitimate use for "full auto" is suppressive fire.


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Kryzbyn wrote:
Did ya'll read the new interview? Looks like they are re-doing how weapon damage scales...

They've been saying that long before this interview. one of our earliest threads was on how future weapons would work because the ones in the tech guide are kinda... bad. there was a response about how they are rethinking damage and combat in the system. a big worry from us was about how hardness, DR, and energy resistance would apply because ER and Hardness can stop laser weapons dead. i dont think they have even hinted yet how they are changing things, just that they are aware of these problems and they are chagings stuff.

Its kind of exciting how much is on the table if you are changing the damage scale, that ties in with HP, effects of saves and how defense work.


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John Napier 698 wrote:
2ndGenerationCleric wrote:

And an idea on machine guns. Roll a d4 with your d20. D20 with a penalty determines if you hit, d4(-1?) determines how many hit. D4s for damage. So at low levels they're Deadly but inaccurate.

As an afterthought, Also an aoe function? but you split damage among those you might've hit with the roll. Maybe. Less solid on that one. Maybe split the dice, not the damage

I've used machinguns years ago. Normally, you'd fire a "burst" of six to nine rounds. They shouldn't be used as "bullet hoses." The only legitimate use for "full auto" is suppressive fire.

So, its getting a bit speculative but there are a few designs out there in the real world that were built to controllably put full auto firing onto a single target and it is a common trope in a lot of media so i do expect some form of it in the game.


I think that anything you try doing with a firearm--other than shooting a single well-aimed bullet at a single target--should be defined as some kind of combat maneuver. Double-tap, snap shot (a fast draw and shot from the hip I mean); burst fire, suppressing fire, controlled auto spray in an arc, circle strafing (ha), 'sideways shot'(shooting blind at a target further to the side than your 10 or 2 o'clock) 'over the shoulder shot'... there shouldn't be feat taxes to do any of these. If there are feats tied to these things, they're just to make someone a whole lot better at certain 'signature moves' like these. Otherwise these special tricks would be combat maneuvers anyone can do, just like anyone can grapple, trip, sunder, disarm, steal, reposition, etc. It might be really hard to hit a target that's behind you, if you're shooting over your own shoulder at it, but with a high CMB and a load of other bonuses you've gotten different ways, you should be able to amaze everyone with your uncanny accuracy. :)


Torbyne wrote:


Its kind of exciting how much is on the table if you are changing the damage scale, that ties in with HP, effects of saves and how defense work.

Indeed. That's what has been fueling my excitement for Starfinder, mostly:

Seeing what they decide to alter from pathfinder.


Dexion1619 wrote:
Agreed, But I think it's unlikely that no spells will appear in the book. I do hope the spell's section is as small as possible however, considering the amount of new information that needs too be included.

On the other hand, Starfinder is intended to be playable without owning a single page of Pathfinder. The included spell list might still be smaller though, given the rise of science.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Out of the core book I think we'll only see the Mystic with a spells section. Solarion sounds sort of like a kineticist in that there are two "elements" and what will probably be level locked powers toed to those elements, select your known talents as you level. The envoy and mechanic sound like they will have class abilities that are close to magic but I don't expect them to be presented as a spells per day and spells known but more of a progression like basic performances, powers scale with level and you choose one of a small selection of broadly applicable powers as you go.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Mystic and technomancer, you mean.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

I heard a rumor the atk/dmg/AC types will be more 5e like?
With the accuracy limited by level and the AC always low (under 23 or so.)

Do we have any info?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have heard a few rumors but the only thing we have are:

- Dev Comments that attack, damage and defense are all being reworked

- Playtest footage showing two different armor values

- Playtest footage showing a cone attack that resolved against a save for half

- Playtest footage showing traditional appearing attack and damage rolls

It is possible things changed after the playtest we have seen or that the playtest was done at too low a level to highlight more significant system changes.

What/where is the source for the rumors you have heard?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Source is word of mouth from others, so hard to pin down a paizo person's comments or site as the origin.

I worry that it will be more like 5e combat system, which can have little to no optimization for effectiveness. A fully optimized character can attack and damage at the same effectiveness as completely generic or un-optimized character.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i suspect that out of the box we will have a flatter power curve between classes and builds but that should change some as newer products come out and the options build up. Does 5th ed have a support structure like Pathfinder where you get multiple books each month with player options? It seems to me that it would be hard to keep introducing new player content that doesn't alter the power balance over time.


Torbyne wrote:

We know that Starfinder is going to be (at least loosely) based on Pathfinder rules but that things will be changed, streamlined or added in. We also know a little bit about the setting and themes of the game. Lets take these barely knowns and make some wild speculation about the new system!

I'll start:

- Magic levels dont go up to nine anymore. Blame the rise of technology, perhaps a side effect of ganking Golarion or whatever else but the reach of magic is severly reduced from ancient history (widely believed to be exaggerated anyways)with PCs able to get to 6th level casting at the best. some spells are adjusted in their spell level. Fewer arcane traditions exist. Divine spells are likewise limited as a result of the gods shifting huge portions of the multiverse around and needing "god scale" time to recover.

- Multiple damage scales. There is an infantry scale, a vehicle scale which is close to enough to overlap with exceptionally powerful infantry (PCs) and stellar scale to represent starships.

- The AI god is Neutral and at least has the obedience of all major factions as no one wants to be kicked out of the FTL club. The AI god can deny, hold or otherwise mess with entities in hyperspace allowing plothooks and mcguffining of players.

- AC will be minimal with Cover, Hardness/DR and dodging being the main forms of defense. energy shields with regenerating pools of "fake HP" will take over from breastplates and chainmail.

- There will be a plethora of disposable tech items that allow a lot of previous low level spell effects to be used by anyone who is tech savy. This is healing, curing, temporary skill and stat buffs, invisibility, extra sensory perceptions tec.

What've you got?

Does the AI god use magic, or is it merely a very powerful computer? I think it would be interesting if the AI god relied 100% on technology since it is technology.

From the Orion's Arm Encyclopedia

Quote:


Popular term for the most sublime category of sentient being in the known galaxy: an Archailect or archailect cluster grown to godlike status. Something of a misnomer since in fact that not all archailects are primarily ascended ais; most are complex multibeings and incorporate postbiont or postvec elements.

So would you say that the AI god is actually an archailect according to the Orions Arm definition? The only gods in Orions Arm are AI gods, here we just have one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it is a blending of 5th and pathfinder. I think the bonuses will be less from the class and will get bonuses from equipment.

I think things like double tap and burst will be maneuvers. I do think you might be able to do tricks in combat if you are soldier for example. If you look at the gunner it mention combat tricks for the starship role. I would think there may be something similar for classes in personnel combat. I think in playtest someone had condition off target. I think you may be able do things like this as tricks/stunts. It would be odd to have all of those things for starship combat without some cross over to personnel combat.

Damage being broken up into stamina, hit points, and resolve has me intrigued. I think resolve can be used to regain stamina but was also used in starship combat to do extra move during demo. I think there maybe a reason for breaking up stamina and hit points other than one takes longer heal. Owen Stephens did wound level for Star Wars Saga. So may be extra effects for taking hit point damage like condition maybe.

I do like the scale idea.

Dave2


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Torbyne wrote:

We know that Starfinder is going to be (at least loosely) based on Pathfinder rules but that things will be changed, streamlined or added in. We also know a little bit about the setting and themes of the game. Lets take these barely knowns and make some wild speculation about the new system!

I'll start:

- Magic levels dont go up to nine anymore. Blame the rise of technology, perhaps a side effect of ganking Golarion or whatever else but the reach of magic is severly reduced from ancient history (widely believed to be exaggerated anyways)with PCs able to get to 6th level casting at the best. some spells are adjusted in their spell level. Fewer arcane traditions exist. Divine spells are likewise limited as a result of the gods shifting huge portions of the multiverse around and needing "god scale" time to recover.

- Multiple damage scales. There is an infantry scale, a vehicle scale which is close to enough to overlap with exceptionally powerful infantry (PCs) and stellar scale to represent starships.

- The AI god is Neutral and at least has the obedience of all major factions as no one wants to be kicked out of the FTL club. The AI god can deny, hold or otherwise mess with entities in hyperspace allowing plothooks and mcguffining of players.

- AC will be minimal with Cover, Hardness/DR and dodging being the main forms of defense. energy shields with regenerating pools of "fake HP" will take over from breastplates and chainmail.

- There will be a plethora of disposable tech items that allow a lot of previous low level spell effects to be used by anyone who is tech savy. This is healing, curing, temporary skill and stat buffs, invisibility, extra sensory perceptions tec.

What've you got?

Does the AI god use magic, or is it merely a very powerful computer? I think it would be interesting if the AI god relied 100% on technology since it is technology.

From the Orion's Arm Encyclopedia

Quote:


Popular term for the most sublime category of sentient being
...

Well remember that in the setting Magic, Gods and Souls are all real things that can be interacted with and its well established that machines can gain souls and interact with gods. based on that i assume the AI god is a conglomerate of souls that fused together and ascended to divinity and with divinity comes an innate ability to perform magic. I do not believe that the AI god would have a physical embodiment any more though the remnants of its former computer could very well be a powerful artifact. So it would only resemble an Archailect in that both have their roots in extremely powerful computing clusters but the AI god would have an actual soul as well and as a true god has become a thing of the outer planes rather than a a god like inhabitant of the material realm.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hopefully we will get a personnel combat preview soon. As I have said before I think it is going to be a combination of Pathfinder and 5th. I do think you can optimize characters in 5th with feats and multiclassing.

Dave2


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a continuation of a thought from the "damage of futuristic weapons" thread; EAC, How does it work?

Something that has been hanging around the edges of my thoughts of Starfinder that just got center stage.

In Pathfinder Touch AC is like getting the Gold Star in Mario, you can go nuts and hitting things is almost guaranteed past the first few levels. In Starfinder we dont seem to have a Touch AC anymore, instead we have what sounds like Energy Armor Class and considering that a *lot* of weapons look to fall into that energy class i have been assuming that EAC will be able to scale up like KAC or regular AC would. But that puts casters in a bind, one of the reasons for Touch AC being so low from a mechanics point of view is that the characters who target it the most also tend to have the lowest attack modifiers and needed a lower target to make the risk worth trying. If the new Touch value scales like other armors than how are the 3/4 Casters who arent DEX high going to reliably land their limited use attack spells?

I dont think moving spells to save or suck or getting rid of attack spells is the way to go... but we also know that the system is still using vancian casting more or less, you get x/day spell slots of each spell level and once used, its gone until you rest so... do you have a third category of AC just for spells? Do spells get some bonus to hit beyond the normal DEX+BAB? How much worse is this for spells that have to both land a hit and allow a save?

The flip side of this is if EAC is still low enough to make touch spells reliable than why would Soldiers and Operatives use kinetic weapons at all when they can just lay waste to everything with energy weapons (flamers, lasers and plasma weapons have all been shown/mentioned)

Would you have lower EAC to enable spells but then lower the range/damage on energy weapons to still give an incentive to use kinetic weapons that target regular KAC?

So far for spells, the combat ones we've seen are a big boost that added a bunch of extra D6s to an attack. If you can cast that +3D6 spell on an ally's weapon than that is awesome, use the caster's turn to make the Soldier's next shot an almost auto kill. Magic Missile is the only direct attack spell we've seen though and it was surprisingly powerful for a 2nd level caster, shooting two missiles. How much can we read into that? If spells have a harder time landing now thanks to easier scaling of EAC than have they severely upped the damage to make the risk more enticing? That would explain why a level 2 caster had the extra magic missile, if it was a lower damage cap than other spells vs a guaranteed hit than it follows the same design space as previous games. I cant see Magic Missile getting such a big boost but other attack spells still having to worry about lower accuracy and lower damage.

Could we see a lot more auto hit spells perhaps? That could be a good work around, auto-hit is the norm for most spells but so are saves for half or none. Or make Hardness/resistance more common? I would be OK with a lot more Resist 5 enemies out there is we had less overall immune to X enemies to balance it out.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

One thing to keep in mind about accuracy in Starfinder is that it is unlikely that any PC Starfinder class will have less than 3/4 BAB (based on the lack of 9 level full casters).

In fact, I would not rule out the possibility of BAB being based on character level rather than class level -- all that would be needed to do that would be to give the Soldier class some sort of bonuses that put them ahead of all of the other classes.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

One thing to keep in mind about accuracy in Starfinder is that it is unlikely that any PC Starfinder class will have less than 3/4 BAB (based on the lack of 9 level full casters).

In fact, I would not rule out the possibility of BAB being based on character level rather than class level -- all that would be needed to do that would be to give the Soldier class some sort of bonuses that put them ahead of all of the other classes.

I understand it is risky to draw too much comparison to the mechanics of Pathfinder but that is really our only solid point to reference... So:

Most full BAB classes get an accuracy booster built in that allows their first hit to be almost guaranteed and their iterative hits to be a threat. The only full BAB classes i can think of without this would be the Unchained Monk who makes up for it with extra attacks at full BAB and Cavaliers who choose to take a challenge mechanic that offers something other than an accuracy bonus (and they still get the damage booster that could effectively be compared as a super power attack, trading accuracy for damage)

At the 3/4 classes we also have almost universal accuracy boosters built in to enable them to hit things when they arent lobbing spells at Touch AC. the Magus whose most infamous spell adds a +3 to hit can also boost their weapon bonus for accuracy, add their INT mod to hit or even switch their whole attack to target touch. Inquisitors who get at least two in class ways of boosting their accuracy before you even get to spells that stack on top of those (my current inquisitor can layer on 4 different buffs to hit/damage to make melee work) Alchemists have 3/4 BAB and their bombs target touch AC or for regular AC they have mutagens to boost accuracy and often have multible full BAB natural attacks to further increase their odds... I could go on with the listbut you know, dead horse.

The thing i am seeing though is that full BAB alone isnt enough, you usually have level+ on front liners as a given and the 3/4 classes usually have at least one major accuracy booster that lets them act like martial classes for some amount of time and that is all just to land hits at regular AC on a reasonable basis, the 3/4 classes usually also have some means of reliably targeting Touch AC which is assumed to be a far easier task in Pathfinder than hitting Regular AC is.

Take that advantage away by making Touch/EAC just as high as Regular/KAC and you may need more than just being a 3/4 BAB class, especially as spells are not an all day thing, you want a good chance of landing that one big hit.

This may be influenced by my experiences playing a low level Kineticist, before you get your class buff to accuracy up there can be a lot of wasted turns whiffing shots out into the darkness... i can only imagine how much worse that would have felt if those blasts were limited daily resources.

So in line with that thinking, i would now lean toward the Soldier, Operative and Solarion all being full BAB classes, give Soldiers weapon training and tricks to boost accuracy, Operatives have some sort of Studied Target mechanic and Solarions get a boost based on their current attunement? that leaves four 3/4 classes that all, hopefully, have some kind of buffing mechanic of their own... but i dont like the idea of needing to spend an action or resource tax to boost accuracy just to land a spell, something that is already a limited resource option.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the Energy AC will be for

Energy AC Energy Weapons as well as magic.

Kinetic will be for melee. Not to sure where non energy range will go my guess is kinetic.

I think each class may have 1 to 2 base attacks. I think the demo showed do the m multiple attacks with penalty. I think soldier may have abilities to reduce penalties along with other class abilities.

Since stunts/maneuvers seem to be listed with Starship combat would think that maybe there will be base stunts can do then each class may let you do stunts. Resolve might fuel the stunts/maneuvers.

Dave2


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hmm, where does that leave Force and Psychic effects? Pathfinder also has divine and typeless damages too... and in general i really dont like the idea of making the 3/4 caster either have to burn a resource to get their spell accuracy up enough to hit or have to forgo casting to learn shooting. i think its a mechanics not fitting mechanics kind of thing. But you are right, something called Energy Armor Class sounds like it would apply to fire from lasers just as much as from scorching rays. Plus it is still making the casters compete against the same stat as the soldier with the multi-las, if EAC is going to slow down the Soldier at all than how is the caster going to even compete? We have been assuming the Soldier is a full BAB but has that been confirmed? if anyone can get a second attack on a full round action than the BAB progression isnt as vital anymore, especially as so many classes have a built in self buff.

So, lower EAC/KAC, lower BAB progression but Soliders get some kind of weapon training or combat style to give them an edge?

I am really hesitant about that route though.

A level 10 3/4 caster has... 7 BAB plus 2-3 Dex and throw in an extra +1 from a feat or stat belt or something. so around +10 to hit with a limited daily resource. In Pathfinder players should routinely be facing an AC around 25 at this point, our poor caster is landing only a quarter of their spells. Add another point of Dex and some items, get that up to a +12 to hit and you are still wasting a lot of turns and a lot of resources to do a lot of nothing.

If that soldier was a 3/4 BAB we would have the same 7 BAB plus a 4-5 from stat, at least a +2 from weapons, +1-2 from feats, +2 from a class ability to be shooting a ~+18 against that 25, give them two or three shots per round and you should assume you are at least hitting every round.

If you drop EAC down to 20 than the caster still doesnt have the best odds but they are at least hitting a little more than missing but that soldier is now decimating with a 90% chance to hit...

So i still dont see how you balance the Martial and the Caster targeting the same number with their abilities. Build your caster with Dex high and casting stat at a +2 to start with? That not only drops saves but spells per day and less spells per day, or to put it another way, fewer chances for your caster to be a caster every day, is not really a good change for the system. If the caster is getting their accuracy up to the same level as the Soldier than why play the Soldier, you can be just as shooty plus have the best class ability in tabletop, Spells!

I also dont think that KAC/EAC will have any melee/range divide, we know there is a whole class dedicated to energy attacks in melee and we have seen art of our iconic soldier with some kind of laser torch axe, likewise the auto-rifle seemed to be hitting at KAC routinely. It feels like PCs will probably be trying to maintain 2-3 weapons at any given time to be able to switch KAC/EAC on the fly. I wonder if we will see any double weapons that can hit at either. There are a lot of shotguns out there that can freely change what kind of ammo they use and it wouldnt be that extreme to have something that ignites into thermite or plasma from a physical cartridge, or perhaps an underbarrel shotgun on your laser rifle, the flamer attachement to a SMG, that kind of thing.


If it is correct (and not changed) that EAC doesn't affect Magic Missile, then it may mean it has no affect on any spells. Which would mean it would only affect energy weapons. In which case is it not an unnecessary over-complication? Maybe not if a) most ranged weapons are energy weapons and b) if EAC adds onto KAC and therefore is always higher. In which case its purpose may be to stop ranged combat being overwhelmingly better than melee.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fardragon wrote:
If it is correct (and not changed) that EAC doesn't affect Magic Missile, then it may mean it has no affect on any spells. Which would mean it would only affect energy weapons. In which case is it not an unnecessary over-complication? Maybe not if a) most ranged weapons are energy weapons and b) if EAC adds onto KAC and therefore is always higher. In which case its purpose may be to stop ranged combat being overwhelmingly better than melee.

That would have been an interesting twist, your armor is extra good against ranged attacks because that is what everyone expects to face, so melee has a renaissance because closing in with an axe is a faster way to get through armor. but again, we know of at least two energy based melee weapons and have seen at least one kinetic ranged weapon and that is actually saying a lot considering how little we have seen so far.

I agree if Touch is still a thing than having both KAC and EAC seems overly complicated. Especially if we still have hardness, DR, resistance and three saves. I dont want to be tracking through 7 different tracks of defense on my end while also worrying which option i have that is best against the 9 forms the enemy may have. Or 10, i forgot about flat footed. Wait, 11 because of CMD.

Can you imagine half a page of your character sheet just to track:

KAC (Base+armor+natural+dodge+deflection+spells)
EAC (Base+armor+dodge+deflection+Spells)
Flat Footed KAC
Flat Footed EAC
Touch AC
Fortitude
Reflex
Will
CMB
CMD
Spell Resistance
Energy Resistance
DR/?
Hardness from power armor?

I mean, you can save space on the page by removing flat footed and touch and just hide those stats with a line saying "Spells unless otherwise stated target EAC but ignore X, Y and Z" or "If they have yet to actin a round than a character loses the X,Y and Z modifiers to their KAC/EAC totals" so Flat Footed and Touch would still exist in just about the same fashion but just be hidden to make it look shinier on the surface.

I cant really see the Paizo crew doing this though, they are some savvy people who play games as much (or maybe a lot, lot more) than the rest of us, they would probably look at a spread like that the same way and just walk away from it.

Which comes back around to... why EAC? If the scores are about the same than why bother tracking it? why not just list certain spells or weapons as ignoring armor bonuses, you know, like Touch spells always have. I am wondering if its something where every armor has its bonus as X/Y where one is KAC and the other is EAC. But even then you either have clear winners where you drop KAC by a point to get EAC just as high or you do it just to model Pathfinder era armor so that a breastplate can be 6/0 while Space breastplate can be 6/5 or something.

Bringing the idea back around again, as i seem to love doing, Touch exists as a mechanic to let casters do their thing and feel cool for being able to land attacks without it just being an autowin button. But giving their cool thing over to every class takes a lot of the wow factor away from casters.

So if everyone can hit accurately at EAC to balance it we would have to look over at the damage scale... and there is a weird option there.

Laser rifle at level 8 does 2D6, enchanted to +1 and flaming and being the Not!Fighter of space gives you a class ability and feats to add +4 damage. Lets really speculate here and say this character can only attack twice on a full round because there are no iterative attacks or something. They are looking at up to 6D6+8 for a full attack. Not too bad. But what about caster who has to burn a limited resource to make their own special attack? Up their damage! We know they can use lasers and assume they are nearly as accurate as Not!fighter because of the wonky EAC balance, they are probably looking at a level 8 laser pistol, 1D8 plus the same +1 flamning enchantments, averaging 9 per hit or 18 on a full attack vs the average of 29 for blasty mcblasterface up there but if Not!Scorching Ray at level 8 is dropping 3 or 4 4D6 rays that carry some static bonus because of caster class abilities than there might be some incentive to play the caster again. It is also a nice bone to throw at caster fans in general who wont get a 9th level progression anymore but at least their can get a lot more bang per spell buck out of their lower level spells.

Its a lot of spit-balling but basically if we up caster accuracy or drop ACs, generally shift the assumptions of armor, that means damage expectations should shift as well, no?


Well, an alternative take would be that energy weapons (ranged or melee) do generally more damage than kinetic weapons, but EAC higher than KAC, making attacks less likely to connect.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fardragon wrote:
Well, an alternative take would be that energy weapons (ranged or melee) do generally more damage than kinetic weapons, but EAC higher than KAC, making attacks less likely to connect.

But that then means that casters, whose spells are more likely to be energy than kinetic, would need more accuracy than the Soliders using assualt rifles. You either have casters with insane accuracy buffs (which hopefully dont take actions or resources of their own to activate) or spells are wildly swingy in their application, rarely hitting but absolutely devestating damage when they do.


I'm coming to the conclusion that energy AC means energy weapons only, not spells (otherwise it would have affected the Magic Missile in the playtest). If touch attack spells still exist at all I would expect them to target the lower KAC. But I wouldn't be surpised if there are none in Starfinder.

Lore explanation: characters can equip a personal force shield that can deflect laser blasts. This is tech based, and therefore has no effect on spells. As lasers must also penetrate regular armour, so the force shield is additive, just like ordinary shields in Pathfinder.


Fardragon wrote:
I'm coming to the conclusion that energy AC means energy weapons only, not spells (otherwise it would have affected the Magic Missile in the playtest). If touch attack spells still exist at all I would expect them to target the lower KAC. But I wouldn't be surpised if there are none in Starfinder.

This is wrong. Magic missile doesn't roll to hit.

The technomancers 'energy blast' (not just her gun) but a cantrip/class feature (like the energy rays given by various domains/bloodlines) also target eAC.

Quote:
Well, an alternative take would be that energy weapons (ranged or melee) do generally more damage than kinetic weapons, but EAC higher than KAC, making attacks less likely to connect.

In the playtest, kinetic weapons did more damage than energy weapons.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another option could be EAC is lower then KAC but energy based weapons dont scale as well as kinetic or dont have the same options for burst fire or some such. ie, Soldiers will usually go Kinetic for the higher damage and rely on their superior accuracy to land hits while those without the same martial training will usually use the easier to hit with but less damaging lasers. But i would also be disappointed if there werent solid energy weapon choices for Soldiers... :/


Voss wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
I'm coming to the conclusion that energy AC means energy weapons only, not spells (otherwise it would have affected the Magic Missile in the playtest). If touch attack spells still exist at all I would expect them to target the lower KAC. But I wouldn't be surpised if there are none in Starfinder.

This is wrong. Magic missile doesn't roll to hit.

The technomancers 'energy blast' (not just her gun) but a cantrip/class feature (like the energy rays given by various domains/bloodlines) also target eAC.

Quote:
Well, an alternative take would be that energy weapons (ranged or melee) do generally more damage than kinetic weapons, but EAC higher than KAC, making attacks less likely to connect.
In the playtest, kinetic weapons did more damage than energy weapons.

Magic Missile not having a to-hit roll is a quirk of gameplay mechanics. Internal consistancy should trump mechanical considerations. Magic Missile is magical energy. Ergo, if energy shields can block magical energy it should block Magic Missile. Either requiring a hit roll or 100% like a Shield spell.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's also possible that KAC and EAC can switch between whichever is higher. You may run into someone with a high KAC or a high EAC. Like Raia looks like she'd have a high EAC thanks to her tech, but her outfit probably gives her a lower KAC. Obizaya would have the KAC from the armor, but perhaps have a lower EAC. Solarion naturally having both. You can adjust them with tech, of course. but yeah.

Then, your weaponry also factors in. Using something that shoots a laser is less effective against a technomancer, and bullets at a soldier is a bad idea. Not perfect, of course, but that may be on a track. Perhaps.


We considered that. It boils town to unnecessary complication. It reduces to equiping half your space orks with lasers and the other half with gauss rifles.

It might be the case, but if so I would consider it poor design.


Anyway, I think it's reasonable to say that "touch AC" was retained by Pathfinder because it inherited casters having lousy BAB/thac0, even with attacking with spells, and "flat footed AC" was retained to compensate rogues for thier inferior BAB.

If we hypothesise that Starfinder classes do not have a variable BAB (or equivelent), then we can infer that touch AC and flat footed AC are ditched.

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