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Guns... lots of (viable) guns.


Starfinder General Discussion

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi everyone!

I am continuing a line of thought from weapon technology levels and the variety of guns at any given tier to throw out some ideas and see about a conversation on weapon categories.

We have 6 known weapon groups so far, right?

Melee, Simple
Melee, Advanced

Small arms (any one handed ranged weapon)
Long Arms (Most two handed ranged weapons)
Heavy Weapons (two handed weapons that have a strength requirement)

Sniper Weapons (presumably two handed weapons with a scope? I am not sure if this is a proficiency like Simple and Martial or more of a monk special weapon property, ie "you are proficient with anything with the sniper weapon property")

We know that Melee, Simple and Small Arms gain half the user's level to damage with specialization and it was implied that with a feat you can reduce the penalties for making two attacks by dual wielding one handed weapons.

We know that Long Arms, Heavy Weapons and Melee, Advanced deal full character level to damage with specialization.

I think we are safe to assume that Small Arms and Melee, Simple will have lower damage than an equal tier long or advanced weapon though as far as i know this is still an assumption. But for this conversation i am looking at ranged weapons, melee stuff might warrant its own thread.

Soldiers get all of these weapon groups.
Mechanics can get Long Arms if they take an Exocortex.
Operatives can get some Long Arms (an assumption about what the sniper weapon group is.)

Is there going to be a time when the Soldier wants to use a pistol when they could be throwing out whatever crazy death a heavy weapon deals? Will Long Arms have some kind of option to be a competitive choice? I could see a general rule that Heavy Weapons take a full turn to fire or cant fire more than once per turn even if they are only a standard action. That might make it tempting to use a Long Arm to get more targeted shots out at least. But will the Soldiers ever main a pistol unless they are going for a specific dual wielding build?

If you are playing an exocortex Mechanic what is the incentive to use pistols over Long Arms? It sounds like the expectation is that you have Long Arms to make up for the damage a drone would otherwise do.

Operatives have their trick attacks and it feels like this is their default action every round so lower damage per weapon isnt as much of a concern since their class ability makes up for it.

Solarians probably get by with their class feature + Crystal being equal to or better than a comparative tiered advanced melee weapon and their gun skills are a fall back for them anyways.

Technomancers and Mystics have spells and probably arent expected to compete with damage anyways... i am not sure where that will leave Envoys, presumably they can buff and attack much like a bard can and their per shot lower damage is made up by their whole party contribution.

But i wonder where this leaves the weapon charts at.

Does the soldier care what pistols are available at their level?

Does the exocortex Mechanic only look at the next Long Arm on the list?

Are the other five classes just going step by step on the pistols as the Starfinder version of the next +1?

There are no more threat range or multiplier combos to play with so its down to what the rider effect and damage type are. Rider effects only occur in 1 in 20 shots, they dont seem so powerful as to decide your weapon by themselves either. That does mean at any given level point there could be 50+ weapon options but they are all just choosing "level 8 pistol, the fire one" or "level 10 rifle, the half fire and half piercing one" It would come down to what resistance do you think is least likely to pop up. I have seen First Contact and it looks like immunities are still a thing to worry about which makes me feel like energy weapons are risky to take as a main weapon. Though i am also coming from the Pathfinder mindset of a main weapon that is a huge portion of total character wealth... that might not be the case anymore and it could be that guns are just dirt cheap.(lets add a level to the ultimate combat gun chart to explain it: guns are new, guns are gaining prominence, guns are everywhere and "its friggin Borderlands out here people!")

There are a lot of unknowns about weapon interactions actually; as i guess at above, its possible that heavy weapons can only fire once so they are great for BBEGs but terrible for groups unless you happened to guess Missile Launcher at the gun-mart and now find yourself fighting hoards of space-goblins, but if you choose single target disintegration ray than you would probably be wishing for a Long Arm in that goblin fight. Its also possible that there are a lot more weapon special properties that would influence your choice more than just "what is the biggest dice pile or the least commonly resisted element" Its possible that not all rifles can throw out a cone shape to attack multiple targets or some might make a line effect to simulate that they over penetrate. I am still not sure what benefits pistols could get that would make them competitive choices when you could choose any other kind of gun but there might be something. (hopefully something more than just +2 to conceal them.)

I get at some level being able to use heavy weapons is a thing and there should be encouragement to use them for classes that can. If there were competitive pistols at all tiers than why bother with anything else. But i also dont want it all to come down to cookie cutter builds of weapon A at levels 1-3 then switch to Weapon B at level 4 until level 8 when everyone jumps over to Weapon C.

Thoughts, opinions, hopes, worries?

Liberty's Edge

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

I can think of a few reasons to have a pistol even if you have longarm proficiency.

1) Assuming grapples and swallow whole are still a thing, one-handed weapons will still have a use.
2) RP reasons: a soldier might need to attend a fancy diplomatic function. Sure, you can carry your sidearm, but your arc rifle is a no-no.
3) Concealability might demand smaller weapon use for some missions or equipment - for example, the cyberarm weapon holster in the Tech Guide requires a one-handed firearm to use, so if there's something similar in SF you wouldn't be able to store/attach a longarm to it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Soldiers also have fighting styles. Some of those styles may encourage small arm use.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good points. i think a back up edged weapon/plasma torch is the most ideal anti-swallowing solution but a pistol in a grapple is pretty darned iconic. but how much resources to devote to a hold out blaster when the main idea, probably, is not get grappled/swallowed in the first place. I recognize concealability as a thing as well but would hope there is something beyond that in the Pistol's favor. i know there are real world ridiculous pistols in plain silly calibers that mostly exist for one-upmanship, big game hunting or to get around laws on long arms but i dont know if there will be a similar niche in Starfinder. still, a pistol chambered in "Bear*smurfer*magnum" would be nice to see.

I wonder if there will be a place for payload weapons, where you can choose specialty ammunition for whichever element or critical effect you need. I think this is where my keen interest in shotguns in setting comes from, dragon's breath rounds, slugs, shot, exotic freezing compound, concentrated acid pellets... a good generalist's weapon.

Liberty's Edge

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

Obviously, if you were going to go for two-weapon ranged, dual pistols is your only real choice, based on what we know.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

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There are also weapons that attack areas (cones, lines, explosions), weapons that can engage in automatic fire, weapons that can be briefly boosted to do more damage for one shot, and so on.
And, of course, there's the question of damage type. EAC tends to be lower than KAC (a trend, not an absolute), and kinetic weapons tend to do somewhat more damage than energy weapons of the same level, so there can be an accuracy vs damage question as a choice. And even if you like your shock rifle, you may carry a backup semi-auto pistol just in case you run into lightning elementals.
And as early as 1st level, and much more so beginning at 2nd level, you may want to put a weapon fusion on one or more weapon, for additional effects and options.
At least in playtest, people did seem to care, for all categories and all classes, what their options were.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some comments that may or may not be helpful:


  • It's basic melee weapons, not simple melee weapons (I know, I know, but I couldn't help it).
  • Grenades are a weapon group. Both envoys and soldiers have proficiency.
  • Sniper weapons are, I would assume, their own group of weapons, and not a subset of longarms, and operatives do not have proficiency with longarms by default. Further, sniper weapons likely take attack penalties at short range.
  • If I were a betting man, I would bet that a trick attack can only be performed with a basic melee weapon, small arm, or sniper weapon. Each of those weapon classes is useful in a different range (melee is close, small arm is medium, and sniper weapon long).
  • Heavy weapon proficiency requires longarm proficiency as well as a minimum strength, making it quite a feat tax for a non-solider.
  • I would bet many heavy weapons are splash weapons, giving them a totally different flavor than longarms.
  • Weapons have more properties than damage and type. So far, we've seen unwieldy (only one attack/round) and archaic (immune to hack attacks).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

There are also weapons that attack areas (cones, lines, explosions), weapons that can engage in automatic fire, weapons that can be briefly boosted to do more damage for one shot, and so on.

And, of course, there's the question of damage type. EAC tends to be lower than KAC (a trend, not an absolute), and kinetic weapons tend to do somewhat more damage than energy weapons of the same level, so there can be an accuracy vs damage question as a choice. And even if you like your shock rifle, you may carry a backup semi-auto pistol just in case you run into lightning elementals.
And as early as 1st level, and much more so beginning at 2nd level, you may want to put a weapon fusion on one or more weapon, for additional effects and options.
At least in playtest, people did seem to care, for all categories and all classes, what their options were.

Thank you, this really helps me focus something i did not articulate well in my original post, i hope each kind of weapon feels unique without there being a clear winner at each decision point. A laser rifle should feel different than a shock rifle, more so than just 3D6 fire vs 3D6 electric or a different rider if you roll a 20. It sounds like that is the direction you all went.

Are weapon fusions going to be doing a lot more than overcoming DR? it sounds like they are sort of universal gun mods, night sights, an x/day fireball launcher, corrective aiming or hacking counter-measures.

Are fusions lined to weapon categories at all? Sniper only fusions, pistol only ones, etc?


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Jimbles the Mediocre wrote:
Some comments that may or may not be helpful:

  • It's basic melee weapons, not simple melee weapons (I know, I know, but I couldn't help it).
  • Grenades are a weapon group. Both envoys and soldiers have proficiency.
  • Sniper weapons are, I would assume, their own group of weapons, and not a subset of longarms, and operatives do not have proficiency with longarms by default. Further, sniper weapons likely take attack penalties at short range.
  • If I were a betting man, I would bet that a trick attack can only be performed with a basic melee weapon, small arm, or sniper weapon. Each of those weapon classes is useful in a different range (melee is close, small arm is medium, and sniper weapon long).
  • Heavy weapon proficiency requires longarm proficiency as well as a minimum strength, making it quite a feat tax for a non-solider.
  • I would bet many heavy weapons are splash weapons, giving them a totally different flavor than longarms.
  • Weapons have more properties than damage and type. So far, we've seen unwieldy (only one attack/round) and archaic (immune to hack attacks).

Well, we do have the First Contact at hand for quotes: "Trick Attack (Ex): The operative can trick a foe and then attack when that enemy drops his guard. As a full action, the operative can move up to her speed. Whether or not she moved, she can then make an attack with a small arm or a melee weapon with the operative special feature."

And there might be some Operative feature to allow using it with sniper rifles.


EDIT: Ninja'd by Mashallah


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

There are also weapons that attack areas (cones, lines, explosions), weapons that can engage in automatic fire, weapons that can be briefly boosted to do more damage for one shot, and so on.

And, of course, there's the question of damage type. EAC tends to be lower than KAC (a trend, not an absolute), and kinetic weapons tend to do somewhat more damage than energy weapons of the same level, so there can be an accuracy vs damage question as a choice. And even if you like your shock rifle, you may carry a backup semi-auto pistol just in case you run into lightning elementals.
And as early as 1st level, and much more so beginning at 2nd level, you may want to put a weapon fusion on one or more weapon, for additional effects and options.
At least in playtest, people did seem to care, for all categories and all classes, what their options were.

My concerns have far less to do with the bits and bobs of SCIENCE! guns and more to do with how the system handles the actual flow and movement of combat. All the options in the world meam little if its more efficiwnt for Lord Vader to just walk down the corridor and massacre the lot of them.

Liberty's Edge

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


And there might be some Operative feature to allow using it with sniper rifles.

The Operative class preview on the blog confirmed that, although it's apparently not until higher levels.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

hmm... i dont really like the idea of Sniper Rifles somehow not being Long Arms, which group gets hunting rifles? For that matter, which group gets every rifle that has a single shot firing option? Or is it determined by sighting systems? I cant think of a defining feature of a marksman/sniper weapon other than long range and quality aiming aids. best to completely ignore the role of a spotter for game purposes but there are tons of weapons out there that would be dual categories, it would be odd for an extremely specific break in the groups for the game. The idea of a sniper rifle anyways brings to mind such long range engagements that the doshko and pistol wielding non snipers dont really get to play and nobody has a game mat to accommodate that. (well some people do but you dont want to assume everyone is using something that dedicated)

But then if they are a subset of Long Arms its weird with the proficiency and specialization rules.

I fear it will feel weirdly restrictive either way.

But then i am also surprised that grenades are a category by themselves, i had been thinking of them as disposable wondrous items, beads from a necklace of fireball, that kind of thing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

There are also weapons that attack areas (cones, lines, explosions), weapons that can engage in automatic fire, weapons that can be briefly boosted to do more damage for one shot, and so on.

And, of course, there's the question of damage type. EAC tends to be lower than KAC (a trend, not an absolute), and kinetic weapons tend to do somewhat more damage than energy weapons of the same level, so there can be an accuracy vs damage question as a choice. And even if you like your shock rifle, you may carry a backup semi-auto pistol just in case you run into lightning elementals.
And as early as 1st level, and much more so beginning at 2nd level, you may want to put a weapon fusion on one or more weapon, for additional effects and options.
At least in playtest, people did seem to care, for all categories and all classes, what their options were.
My concerns have far less to do with the bits and bobs of SCIENCE! guns and more to do with how the system handles the actual flow and movement of combat. All the options in the world meam little if its more efficiwnt for Lord Vader to just walk down the corridor and massacre the lot of them.

Yeah, this gets to the same idea i was just thinking about, the guy with the lightsaber is playing a very different game than the guy with the 1+ mile sniper rifle, how do you balance the engagement so they both get to feel like they can do their thing? i fear sniper shots will be few and far between, like mini games by themselves before the rest of the fight or that "sniper shots" will be from within 200 feet due to limits on corridors and table lengths.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I think that's the difference between all the rebel soldiers being level 3 and Vader being level 18. It's supposed to be a massacre.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
I think that's the difference between all the rebel soldiers being level 3 and Vader being level 18. It's supposed to be a massacre.

That is certainly part of it but in general, what does the sniper or heavy weapons character do when the Solarian gets into melee with them? those hold out pistols arent going to be very impressive against that lightcutlass i bet. At the same time you dont want to accidentally TPK because they thought they were going to get up close and found themselves out in an open field or vice versa, they thought they could all bring long arms and had to resort to back up pistols vs your horde of super-doshko vesk melee baddies.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
...what does the sniper or heavy weapons character do when the Solarian gets into melee with them?

What does an archer do when a barbarian gets into melee with them?

Every character will have strengths, but no character will be invulnerable. When you're up a creek, you gotta rely on your party to pull you out.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jimbles the Mediocre wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
...what does the sniper or heavy weapons character do when the Solarian gets into melee with them?

What does an archer do when a barbarian gets into melee with them?

Every character will have strengths, but no character will be invulnerable. When you're up a creek, you gotta rely on your party to pull you out.

Yes but Archers in Pathfinder are not as prevalent as we expect guns to be in Starfinder. that is, a party of 5 is likely to have 1 dedicated archer and maybe 1 more who can switch hit but prefers to be in melee. Starfinder will probably have everyone carrying a ranged weapon and then 1 character who prefers melee in an average group.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

What to do when a melee gets in your face is going to be largely the same as in pathfinder: 1, Take a guarded 5' step away and shoot. This is less good than pathfinder because it costs a move action. 2, pull out a melee weapon of your own. 3, eat the AoO and just shoot them point blank.


Pulling out a sword/axe/dagger/whathaveyou doesn't provoke. Unlike in PF, when someone gets into melee with you, you just pull out your own melee weapon and hit them back.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
What to do when a melee gets in your face is going to be largely the same as in pathfinder: 1, Take a guarded 5' step away and shoot. This is less good than pathfinder because it costs a move action. 2, pull out a melee weapon of your own. 3, eat the AoO and just shoot them point blank.

Or 4, (if the melee fighter is well equipped to deal with you) pray that your death is a swift one.


With all those options for guns I wonder if there are high-tech bows under the longarms or sniper weapons

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Seisho wrote:
With all those options for guns I wonder if there are high-tech bows under the longarms or sniper weapons

There's a category of weapons called "special" weapons, which I'm assuming is the equivalent of exotics for SF. Bows are probably in that list for a futuristic society.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I would be surprised if there wasn't options for energy bows like a wookie bowcaster or explosive arrows as in Rambo, although perhaps not in the CRB.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Brew Bird wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
What to do when a melee gets in your face is going to be largely the same as in pathfinder: 1, Take a guarded 5' step away and shoot. This is less good than pathfinder because it costs a move action. 2, pull out a melee weapon of your own. 3, eat the AoO and just shoot them point blank.
Or 4, (if the melee fighter is well equipped to deal with you) pray that your death is a swift one.

This is really no different than a ranged character being well equipped to deal with you, and you can then withdraw and run the waste extraction subroutine on your armor.

We don't know if there is combat reflexes in the game, or if an unwieldy melee weapon can take an AoO. Both of those options make it harder (but not impossible) for a melee to wreck a ranged just by standing next to them.


My concern is less about the melee guy being next to the ranged guy. In my mind that's the reward for getting there.

I'm more of a mind on what prevents said light saber wielder from rushing forward and slicing the guy apart. In a real life kind of fight the thing that prevents you from bum rushing armed gun men with a knife is that you'll be dead before you can scream your war cry. However in pathfinder you pretty much can ignore all but the most saturating arrow fire and walk up to them with an axe.

I've come to understand that combat in Starfinder emphasizes mobility and ranged combat over wailing on each other with sharpened metal bits. So far I haven't seen much that really discourages this. This might be an odd benefit in space where an errant shot might break something rather vital in a space craft but not exactly what's advertised.

Essentially I want Melee groups in Starfinder to be akin to all ranged groups in pathfinder. Doable, even powerful, but with large opportunity costs and tactical issues (i.e. it's really hard to penetrate military grade security bots armor without HEAT ammo).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:

My concern is less about the melee guy being next to the ranged guy. In my mind that's the reward for getting there.

I'm more of a mind on what prevents said light saber wielder from rushing forward and slicing the guy apart. In a real life kind of fight the thing that prevents you from bum rushing armed gun men with a knife is that you'll be dead before you can scream your war cry. However in pathfinder you pretty much can ignore all but the most saturating arrow fire and walk up to them with an axe.

I've come to understand that combat in Starfinder emphasizes mobility and ranged combat over wailing on each other with sharpened metal bits. So far I haven't seen much that really discourages this. This might be an odd benefit in space where an errant shot might break something rather vital in a space craft but not exactly what's advertised.

Essentially I want Melee groups in Starfinder to be akin to all ranged groups in pathfinder. Doable, even powerful, but with large opportunity costs and tactical issues (i.e. it's really hard to penetrate military grade security bots armor without HEAT ammo).

You know, i havent thought about it in a while but i am kind of surprised that there wasnt much in the way of hardness or DR in First Contact, i would have thought the security robot at least would have a few points. The level 5 Obo has a rifle that ignores 1 point of hardness at least... not entirely sure when that will ever be relevant but its a thing at least. it would have been neat to see a system with Hardness being common and then firearms ignoring X points of hardness depending on their type but that is also moving into a rock, paper, scissors sort of thing...


Someone's already pointed out using a pistol to shoot your way out of a sarlacc's gut or whatever, and their better concealability. Another reason to use one might be if you're holding some important macguffin or something in your other hand (or maybe a shield?), or perhaps if your hand has been disabled somehow (I'm thinking maybe a crit/rider effect that might paralyze a hand or something). Also if your big gun gets sundered/shot out of your hand/etc; draw your backup and keep shooting.

As for heavy weapons, I would expect that's not only things like missile/grenade launchers, but also things like squad-level support machine guns, perhaps Starfinder's equivalent to the Z-6 Rotary Blaster Cannon.

Long Arms, then, would probably be normal Assault/Battle Rifles, and perhaps bolt-action weapons as well (though I'd expect those to be Sniper Weapons if that's a different group, and not a descriptor like 'Reach' or 'Monk'). Shotguns too, probably. Maybe SMGs like an Uzi or MP5, though I can see an argument for those being the largest of Small Arms.


Encumbrance, or rather, bulk. Why would a soldier use a pistol rather than a heavy weapon or long arm? Because they're big and awkward. If you go with a small arm instead it wouldn't be ridiculous that you could carry 6, one for each energy type, plus one that targets kac.


I really want to know what special effects the "sniper" type weapon has did theu roll up the assassin's assassinate ability into a weapon quality i would really like for a sniper build be effective like they are in shadow run

Liberty's Edge

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Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
plus one that targets kac.

Can we please, please all agree to call them EC and KC, just right from the start? I know how gamers are with acronyms, and I do not relish the thought of having a rowdy group of players shouting about their KAC at the table all night.


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Ouachitonian wrote:

Someone's already pointed out using a pistol to shoot your way out of a sarlacc's gut or whatever, and their better concealability. Another reason to use one might be if you're holding some important macguffin or something in your other hand (or maybe a shield?), or perhaps if your hand has been disabled somehow (I'm thinking maybe a crit/rider effect that might paralyze a hand or something). Also if your big gun gets sundered/shot out of your hand/etc; draw your backup and keep shooting.

As for heavy weapons, I would expect that's not only things like missile/grenade launchers, but also things like squad-level support machine guns, perhaps Starfinder's equivalent to the Z-6 Rotary Blaster Cannon.

Long Arms, then, would probably be normal Assault/Battle Rifles, and perhaps bolt-action weapons as well (though I'd expect those to be Sniper Weapons if that's a different group, and not a descriptor like 'Reach' or 'Monk'). Shotguns too, probably. Maybe SMGs like an Uzi or MP5, though I can see an argument for those being the largest of Small Arms.

Shotguns and SMGs, if they are in the rules, would be Long Arms. They said in a post a while ago that the divide is basically one handed and two handed to normally use. If it has a stock or fore grip it is a Long Arm. i have mostly made peace with the lumping of things into these group even if it seems to leave small arms very restricted.

I am curious if a grenade Launcher is a Long Arm or a Heavy Weapon though, there are plenty of single shot launchers that would fit hte profile of a Long Arm or other rifle but based on how they work and what they do they would probably be Heavy Weapons.

I had not thought about shields... i think i could really dig a hand held shield with some neat AC buffs, maybe a distortion field or extra force field Temp HP as add ons? once again mourning the apparent lack of a machine pistol but it could be fun to do Pistol and Space-Board as a legitimate space-combat style.


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Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Encumbrance, or rather, bulk. Why would a soldier use a pistol rather than a heavy weapon or long arm? Because they're big and awkward. If you go with a small arm instead it wouldn't be ridiculous that you could carry 6, one for each energy type, plus one that targets kac.

If i was trying to emulate that one derringer character from Trigun than maybe... but otherwise, Smurfing crap dude, you want to keep six weapons up to spec for your level and presumably have some other gear too? We have very different expectations for wealth and cost of things my friend.


Well bulk is oen of the things accounted for already by the system. Which to me is a vast improvement over weight.

I imagine a lot of integration into armor and cybernetics and longarms utilizing exotic ammo types rather than multiple guns.


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Rothlis wrote:
I really want to know what special effects the "sniper" type weapon has did theu roll up the assassin's assassinate ability into a weapon quality i would really like for a sniper build be effective like they are in shadow run

When trying to imagine what a sniper weapon would be like, while keeping it distinct from other rifles or heavy weapons, i am only thinking of really exotic options. Something simple like a large caliber rifle would be the basic entry, from there you get to gauss rifles, particle accelerators, something big. slow working and far reaching.


Torbyne wrote:
Rothlis wrote:
I really want to know what special effects the "sniper" type weapon has did theu roll up the assassin's assassinate ability into a weapon quality i would really like for a sniper build be effective like they are in shadow run
When trying to imagine what a sniper weapon would be like, while keeping it distinct from other rifles or heavy weapons, i am only thinking of really exotic options. Something simple like a large caliber rifle would be the basic entry, from there you get to gauss rifles, particle accelerators, something big. slow working and far reaching.

I get that what I'm talking is the one hit one kill type thing more advanced would be like the rail driver from perfect dark where it could shoot through walls and what not but I would expect a sniper type weapon to have like a instant death/disable effect


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rothlis wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Rothlis wrote:
I really want to know what special effects the "sniper" type weapon has did theu roll up the assassin's assassinate ability into a weapon quality i would really like for a sniper build be effective like they are in shadow run
When trying to imagine what a sniper weapon would be like, while keeping it distinct from other rifles or heavy weapons, i am only thinking of really exotic options. Something simple like a large caliber rifle would be the basic entry, from there you get to gauss rifles, particle accelerators, something big. slow working and far reaching.
I get that what I'm talking is the one hit one kill type thing more advanced would be like the rail driver from perfect dark where it could shoot through walls and what not but I would expect a sniper type weapon to have like a instant death/disable effect

Yeah, sniper weapons usually bring to mind the idea of a one hit kill but i dont think we will ever see something like that as a PC option, certainly not a full on group of one hit kill guns. so maybe slow firing, 1.5 sized dice pool over equal tier long arms or single target damage on par with a heavy weapon? except that doesnt really do the "sniper" thing, its just a single shot rifle... when Operatives can trick shot a sniper rifle that might be enough to one-two shot common enemies?


As far as I know, one of the major reasons you'd bring lighter weapons is carrying capacity being overhauled and replaced with a strictly limited amount of 'bulk points' you can bring into an adventure. Smaller weapons presumably don't take up as much of your equipment capacity, which makes it easier to diversify in damage types and bring other non-weapon equipment.

Other than that, yeah, there don't seem to be any major differentiating factors within the same weapon category besides critical effects- which only affect 1 in 20 attacks, so they're at best a tie-breaker- and damage type. There might be more details Paizo hasn't told us about, but so far it seems pretty simple. Pick the most damaging gun you're proficient with that does the damage type you want, unless you specifically want/need the extra carrying capacity of a smaller weapon for some purpose.

Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Encumbrance, or rather, bulk. Why would a soldier use a pistol rather than a heavy weapon or long arm? Because they're big and awkward. If you go with a small arm instead it wouldn't be ridiculous that you could carry 6, one for each energy type, plus one that targets kac.

It's... half positive. On the one hand, it makes more sense in a grittier (read: not Pathfinder/Starfinder Campaign Setting based) game. On the other hand, it makes it really hard to play Doomguy.


TarkXT wrote:

My concern is less about the melee guy being next to the ranged guy. In my mind that's the reward for getting there.

I'm more of a mind on what prevents said light saber wielder from rushing forward and slicing the guy apart. In a real life kind of fight the thing that prevents you from bum rushing armed gun men with a knife is that you'll be dead before you can scream your war cry.

The latter does happen, the Tueller Drill controversial though it is does have some research behind it. That's a police situation, of course, but that's probably more likely than a full-blown military one where the solution to a gang of armed nutters trying to assault a position involves artillery thirty kilometres away, tanks five kilometres away, or combat drones operated from the other side of the planet.


Oe shot-One kill is just the kind of weapon I don't wat in the setting. For players is a cheap way of killing a boss, and against players you're going to make them angry when they're shot to insta-death from far away without defenses.

Being an operative, or soldier specialist if exist, who can do enough damage to kill a minion in one shot, on the other hand isok for me. If you're a skilled sniper with good equipment and shoting someone not overly protected you should be able to kill him in one shot.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Oykiv wrote:

Oe shot-One kill is just the kind of weapon I don't wat in the setting. For players is a cheap way of killing a boss, and against players you're going to make them angry when they're shot to insta-death from far away without defenses.

Being an operative, or soldier specialist if exist, who can do enough damage to kill a minion in one shot, on the other hand isok for me. If you're a skilled sniper with good equipment and shoting someone not overly protected you should be able to kill him in one shot.

I agree with what you are saying but then how do you make Sniper weapons feel like something other than any other rifle? because when you get down to it anyone should be able to take out a minion in 1-2 rounds. if the Soldier cant do that because it steps on the Operative's toes than why do we have Soldiers?


Meat shields.

I'm thinking sniper rifles will do sneak attack damage at extreme range. Which would make them pretty rubbish for everyone who isn't an operative.

Different to a trick attack. The trick attack requires a trick. The sniper attack just requires the sniper be unseen to do the extra damage.


I think sniper rifles will be simply that: rifles with good range and a good dice pool. I would also be okay with sniper rifles taking more time per shot. But one selling point is for sure big ass range increments (possibly the scopes remove perception penalties or ttack penalties to a certain degree)
So for soldier it would be still an option for veeery ranged combat


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
I agree with what you are saying but then how do you make Sniper weapons feel like something other than any other rifle?

Sniper rifles could be distinguished from longarms in any of the following ways:

  • takes a full round to fire
  • single attack (no auto-fire)
  • operative may use sniper rifle for trick attack at high levels
  • large range increment
  • short range penalty
  • bonus from prone and/or penalty for not firing while prone

    I agree that an "auto-kill" or a guaranteed one-shot kill is not a terribly fun concept when attached to someone's main weapon. Pathfinder relegated it to a few spells (save or die) and the coup de grâce action (which is almost always performed out of combat), and I would assume Starfinder does something similar.


  • Well, I think it is very significant that Operatives get Sniper Rifle proficiency by default, and the trick attack description specifically excludes Sniper Rifles.

    Why give them only to exclude them? Unless the Operative has some sniper rifle specific rules not mentioned in the published preview.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
    Fardragon wrote:

    Well, I think it is very significant that Operatives get Sniper Rifle proficiency by default, and the trick attack description specifically excludes Sniper Rifles.

    Why give them only to exclude them? Unless the Operative has some sniper rifle specific rules not mentioned in the published preview.

    Unless Sniper Rifles have the operative quality, which is the more likely situation. Especially since in the twitch demo game using final rules I'm 90% sure the operative used a trick attack with a sniper rifle.

    Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Fardragon wrote:

    Well, I think it is very significant that Operatives get Sniper Rifle proficiency by default, and the trick attack description specifically excludes Sniper Rifles.

    Why give them only to exclude them? Unless the Operative has some sniper rifle specific rules not mentioned in the published preview.

    There are sniper rifle specific options, which an operative may choose to take.

    Paizo Employee Designer

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Only an operative with the exploits for it is at all likely to get an instant KO with a sniper rifle (against a threatening opponent, anyone could assassinate a soft target if they were good enough), though anyone with proficiency could use it to attack from the distance.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
    There are sniper rifle specific options, which an operative may choose to take.

    Cool. I hope they aren't tied too strongly one of the specializations (like Ghost and the Cloaking field). One of the first things I want to do with Starfinder is to stat out my current Dark Heresy (2nd ed)* party into Starfinder. My wife plays a tech specialist with a sniper rifle, so a Hacker operative with skill in Sniper Rifles seems like it would be a good fit.

    *This particular run started as a D&D 5E game; the big reveal was that we were actually an isolated world in the Warhammer 40K universe; when we found out what was up we converted our characters to the Dark Heresy system. So I can probably fall back on the initial 5E stats a little bit.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    My current questions stand more around the concept of ammunition. After all, will energy weapons need a simple recharge? Could this be done at a civilian terminal or will there need to be adaptors?

    What about solid projectile weapons in that instance? Will they be similar to the guns from Mass Effect which just need solid matter?

    In my current games of Pathfinder I tend only to track my players when they use special ammunition. However I have also used that to create dramatic tension, having it run out mid-battle.

    Will anyone else be tracking ammo for their players?

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