Rule differences between Starfinder and Pathfinder that PFRPG veterans might miss


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Shadow Lodge

Bloodrealm wrote:


Maybe that should be another thing Pathfinder veterans might miss:
Feats are much less important and are primarily for variety rather than potency.

That was one of the worst things about PF. Why anyone would actually miss that boggles the mind.

The biggest issues martials had was their lack of versatility and their dependency on feats to maintain their power level (which also forced them to hyper specialize).

That this is gone is a blessing.


"Miss" means "might not notice/realize at first" in this thread's context.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

On the matter of imprisoning spellcasters: again, in 90% of cases, the answer is the same as for anybody else. Attentive monitoring and reaction forces. You don't need to keep a technomancer from ever casting a spell. You just need to be able to spot an escape attempt, track their location, and deploy forces to punish the effort. Which is what you need anyway, because that's the way you keep *anybody* prisoner.

And this is most definitely a good thing, because eventually the *PCs* are going to end up prisoners. Do you want a methodology that leaves prisoners absolutely helpless, or do you want one that is effective but still allows drama ( and dramatic escapes )?


Metaphysician wrote:

On the matter of imprisoning spellcasters: again, in 90% of cases, the answer is the same as for anybody else. Attentive monitoring and reaction forces. You don't need to keep a technomancer from ever casting a spell. You just need to be able to spot an escape attempt, track their location, and deploy forces to punish the effort. Which is what you need anyway, because that's the way you keep *anybody* prisoner.

And this is most definitely a good thing, because eventually the *PCs* are going to end up prisoners. Do you want a methodology that leaves prisoners absolutely helpless, or do you want one that is effective but still allows drama ( and dramatic escapes )?

The one problem with that is how do you "spot an escape attempt, track their location, and deploy forces to punish the effort" when in the space of 6 seconds they can teleport anywhere in the star system? Add 6 more seconds and now they are completely invisible to cameras and other forms of surveillance (including magic, magic items, and a blanket statement "surveillance systems".)


Bloodrealm wrote:
ShadowFighter88 wrote:
Maybe just a bracelet or anklet that can detect when the wearer is trying to cast a spell and deliver an electric shock strong enough to force them to lose the spell? I'd be shocked (no pun intended) if a setting with Starfinder's level of magical and technological integration couldn't devise something like that.
Magic seems to be largely overlooked and, for some reason, seen as a novelty. EVERYTHING is technology. Combat is technology. Communication is technology. Travel is technology. The universe-shredding FTL drives of ultimate doom Drift Drives are technology. Even the magic is partly technology. They actually might not have a standard way to imprison spellcasters if every caster can ignore all seven types of components.

No, I mean like a technomagical item that detects when the energy used for shaping a spell is first gathered. As soon as it senses the prisoner calling up that energy, it delivers an electrical shock to disrupt it.

You have it look for the energy or mana or whatever you want to call it, the part that has to happen as part of casting a spell regardless of what components the caster can ignore. Have that trigger the shock.


Just have all the prisons manned by washed out Golarion Idol contestants who constantly sing their own off-key versions of pop songs. NOBODY can concentrate through that cacophony.

On a more serious note, even if players can't access it I imagine Dimensional Anchor is probably a staple spell in prisons, if not an anti-magic field and an em scrambler in each of the cells. Though honestly, having the Dim Anchor and using shielded forcefields for the 'door' is probably as much as one really NEEDS to do. Maybe make every entrance and exit to prisoner areas have double-layer entrances that read guards' biometrics and won't open the second layer if there is more or less mass in the area than there should be.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:

On the matter of imprisoning spellcasters: again, in 90% of cases, the answer is the same as for anybody else. Attentive monitoring and reaction forces. You don't need to keep a technomancer from ever casting a spell. You just need to be able to spot an escape attempt, track their location, and deploy forces to punish the effort. Which is what you need anyway, because that's the way you keep *anybody* prisoner.

And this is most definitely a good thing, because eventually the *PCs* are going to end up prisoners. Do you want a methodology that leaves prisoners absolutely helpless, or do you want one that is effective but still allows drama ( and dramatic escapes )?

The one problem with that is how do you "spot an escape attempt, track their location, and deploy forces to punish the effort" when in the space of 6 seconds they can teleport anywhere in the star system? Add 6 more seconds and now they are completely invisible to cameras and other forms of surveillance (including magic, magic items, and a blanket statement "surveillance systems".)

If your trying to imprison a 16th level *anything*, your going to need to put a great deal of effort into it. Stick Detect Invisible on your cameras. Implant a locator beacon in his body. Stick the entire prison in a pocket dimension.

Basically, the issue of "how to imprison a spellcaster" is *not* the same thing as "how to imprison a high level character who happens to know one specific spell". Yes, its hard to keep a level 16 technomancer in jail. It should be. . . and its hard to keep a level 16 *anything* in jail.


Bigguyinblack wrote:

Flat-footed is now just a -2 to AC and you can't take reactions.

A 5ft step is a move action called guarded step.
There is no -4 for firing into melee.
Charging now gives a -2 to hit instead of +2. You still take the -2 to AC.

One thing to note if an an ally or other enemy can still give cover to your target in melee. So the -4 is now just rolled into the normal cover rules and not its own thing.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
kaid wrote:
One thing to note if an an ally or other enemy can still give cover to your target in melee. So the -4 is now just rolled into the normal cover rules and not its own thing.

In Pathfinder you could easily have both.


Zaister wrote:
kaid wrote:
One thing to note if an an ally or other enemy can still give cover to your target in melee. So the -4 is now just rolled into the normal cover rules and not its own thing.
In Pathfinder you could easily have both.

Yeah, firing into melee and cover were separate things. I'm pretty sure you could already have melee cover.


[cast raise thread]

Something I've just noticed, and don't think has been mentioned anywhere:

pg 239 (combat rules)

Quote:
Surprised Combatants: During combat, combatants who are surprised at the start of battle have the flat-footed condition (see page 276). As a result, they take a –2 penalty to their Armor Class. Once a character has become aware and acted, she is no longer flat-footed due to being surprised.

pg 248

Quote:

REACTIONS

You can’t use a reaction before the first time you act in a combat.

and pg 276 (conditions)

Quote:

Flat-Footed

At the start of a combat, if you are surprised, you are flat-footed until you become aware of combat and have had a chance to act. Many other effects can cause you to become flat-footed. You take a –2 penalty to your AC and cannot take reactions while flat-footed.

So, you're only flat footed at the start of combat if you're surprised; if you're aware of your opponents you aren't flat footed, so no -2 AC. In either case you can't take a reaction if you haven't acted.

Compare with Pathfinder (emphasis mine):

Quote:
Flat-Footed: A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, unable to react normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity.


Which is a good thing, it prevents the classic "We're both pointing our guns at each other already when initiative is rolled, but for some reason whoever loses initiative is totally surprised when the other pulls the trigger."


Critical hits now double all the bonus damage from special abilities, including extra dice.

CRB, page 245 wrote:
You roll your damage twice, each time with all your usual bonuses and including any additional damage from special abilities, and then add the rolls together.

So, Overcharge, Trick Attack, what-have-you, all these bonuses are straight-up doubled. As of yet, I haven't found any exceptions which state that damage is not doubled on a critical hit, as with Sneak Attack or an Alchemist Bomb's extra dice.


Nixitur wrote:

Critical hits now double all the bonus damage from special abilities, including extra dice.

CRB, page 245 wrote:
You roll your damage twice, each time with all your usual bonuses and including any additional damage from special abilities, and then add the rolls together.
So, Overcharge, Trick Attack, what-have-you, all these bonuses are straight-up doubled. As of yet, I haven't found any exceptions which state that damage is not doubled on a critical hit, as with Sneak Attack or an Alchemist Bomb's extra dice.

That could be to balance out the fact that criticals only happen on a 20, if you beat the target AC, and only ever do double damage (plus any special effects)


Skill Focus is now an Insight bonus. And all but one class get Insight skill bonuses automatically (Operative's Edge, Techlore, Bypass, Expertise, Channel Skill, Sidereal Influence), so this makes quite a difference.


Another think I've noticed about feats that I'm not sure if anyone has noted yet, they don't have the language to prevent you from taking the same feat repeatedly as far as I can see


Hazrond wrote:
Another think I've noticed about feats that I'm not sure if anyone has noted yet, they don't have the language to prevent you from taking the same feat repeatedly as far as I can see

Page 152, right-hand column, under Benefit


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just ran into this one during a recent PbP.

Withdraw is a full round action, which means you can no longer withdraw during a surprise round.


Yeah, they didn't include any "limited Full Round Action" things this time around. This applies to both Withdraw and Charging.

Acquisitives

I do not see any reference to small characters getting the +1AC advantage as in PF. Did I just miss it?


Nope, size doesn't mean much anymore.

Dark Archive

One thing I didn't see mentioned:

If you have cover relative to an enemy, it can’t make an attack of opportunity against you.


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The Cyber Mage wrote:

One thing I didn't see mentioned:

If you have cover relative to an enemy, it can’t make an attack of opportunity against you.

That hasn't changed


Above someone mentioned prisons. Are those still a thing in this universe? By this time maybe justice is much swifter and you only have to hold a prisoner long enough to get them to a justice machine.
Of course sentencing would have to be different too, no prisons so it might have to be some sort of instant aging...Instead of 10 years prison they age you 10 years.
I'm tired of trying to figure some way to hold PCs prisoners.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Prisons are still a thing and at least some of them seem to function the same way modern prisons do in real life. See SFS Scenario 1-00.

Not much of a spoiler for the scenario, but...:
You go to extract info from someone who is being held in a Barathu prison.


Starfinder Superscriber

There is also in the CRB the writeup for an entire prison planet, run by some non-pact worlds alien corporation.

I'd expect every planet/culture to have their own ideas on criminal justice. Some are going to be super progressive (think Scandinavia), while others super oppressive (think North Korea), and still others would have some weird tech or magic based option that doesn't have a correlation IRL. There is likely an entire spectrum of options. Having one (or more) of them be a machine that ages your body X years and maybe makes you also mentally experience X years of some predetermined "rehabilitation" program in an instant is certainly a reasonable application of advanced magic/tech, if you want to go that route.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The main way to hold PCs and PC-equivalents prisoner is the best way to hold anyway prisoner: observation and reaction forces. Which is to say, you don't hold someone prisoner by putting them in some absolutely inescapable box that negates all their powers and skills. You hold someone prisoner by putting them in whatever containment seems appropriate. . . and have it under extensive surveillance, with heavily armed guards/robots/whatever ready to deploy if someone does something funny. Which is to say, the walls aren't to keep people in, they are just for form. At the high level, this becomes at least somewhat obsolete, but at the high level, it *should* take something crazy like a custom pocket dimension to reliably keep people prisoner for long.

This all is not a flaw. This is a feature working as intended. PCs *should* be able to make dramatic prison breaks, just like suitable enemies should be able to slip their captors, too.


Bigguyinblack wrote:


There is no -4 for firing into melee.

There is however soft cover, which gives targets a +4 to their AC if anyone is in between... not exactly the same thing, but very similar (p254)

As an aside, I've always felt that if you fire at a target benefiting from soft cover and miss, there should be some chance that you hit the soft cover instead.


While that might make sense on a logical level, neither Pathfinder nor Starfinder have Friendly Fire. A miss is a miss, regardless of how many other possible targets are around the thing you missed.


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Starfinder Superscriber

We've always house-ruled that if you crit fumble (nat-1) on a ranged attack against an enemy in melee with an ally, you hit the ally. We have the same thing for melee attacks with grappled opponents. I'm probably going to keep that in SF.


My group has an inborn hatred of crit fumble effects, most of them feel that an omnipresent 5% miss-chance regardless of attack bonus is bad enough.

Also, a bit more on-topic, just gonna state for the record too that Soft Cover was very much a thing in Pathfinder too. Much to the displeasure of some of my group.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How is a 5% miss chance "bad enough"? That implicitly assumes that this miss chance is normally the only miss chance you should be dealing with, which is. . . problematic, to say the least. If your literally never missing except on a critical failure, than *something* has gone wrong ( or else your still fighting level 1 mooks for some reason ).


Well we haven't actually done Starfinder yet so it's mostly Pathfinder thought process, but yes having that omnipresent 5% chance of accomplishing nothing on any given attack, even when a level 20 fighting a CR 1/8 opponent, we consider pretty significant. Especially since it will matter more for PCs than NPCs.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Again, why are you even fighting opponents that weak? If you so exceed their power level that you only ever can miss on a critical failure, why are you even rolling out the encounter? "You run into a few bands of goblins on the way to the dungeon, which you effortlessly defeat, gaining no meaningful XP or treasure". There, done.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
Again, why are you even fighting opponents that weak? If you so exceed their power level that you only ever can miss on a critical failure, why are you even rolling out the encounter? "You run into a few bands of goblins on the way to the dungeon, which you effortlessly defeat, gaining no meaningful XP or treasure". There, done.

seconded.

Acquisitives

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Aerotan wrote:
Just have all the prisons manned by washed out Golarion Idol contestants who constantly sing their own off-key versions of pop songs. NOBODY can concentrate through that cacophony.

HEY! You wanna say that to my face, jerky jerk-face?


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I completely missed the following until getting reminded of it in this thread: Readied actions which are not purely defensive resolve after the triggering event. This is a pretty huge deal.


Dot


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

in my group, the pathfinder veterans are finally getting a handle on the new action economy, which was definitely problematic in the first several sessions.

i "think" everyone concurs that it makes a lot more sense and clarifies combat.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Well we haven't actually done Starfinder yet so it's mostly Pathfinder thought process, but yes having that omnipresent 5% chance of accomplishing nothing on any given attack, even when a level 20 fighting a CR 1/8 opponent, we consider pretty significant. Especially since it will matter more for PCs than NPCs.

How often do you challenge your lvl 20 fighters with CR 1/8 opponents?

Shadow Lodge

There's no partial charge (kinda bites for melee in surprise rounds)

You can 5 foot step twice.

5 foot steps burn your move action.

you can't 5 foot step and attack (makes reach really popular with melee)

reach weapons work right next to you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

you can't 5 foot step and attack (makes reach really popular with melee)

Wait, what? Why not?


Ravingdork wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

you can't 5 foot step and attack (makes reach really popular with melee)

Wait, what? Why not?

I guess he means "full attack"

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