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Weapon Size in Starfinder.


Rules Questions


So in my readings I've found nothing that mentions if larger weapons scale in ever increasing damage as they did in Pathfinder. The only thing the weapon page mentioned regarding size is that tiny or smaller weapons are twice the price with no such penalty being applied to the opposite larger weapons. Even if it's only melee weapons that would get a size based damage die increase or decrease. Shouldn't there be one at all? Would a Large powered armour suit wielding a large Plasma Sword deal more damage then a small character wielding a smaller version of the same weapon?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Make a nice lazer rifle sized for Godzilla, which would basically be bigger than a starship's cannons, and yes, RAW it still deals damage equal a normal human grunt's lazer rifle.


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That's because the weapons in the CRB are designed for PCs, a CRB longsword sized for a cloud giant would literally be a 3 ft. long blade on a huge sized hilt.

At CR 11, a cloud giant wouldn't wield a "longsword" as it is presented in the CRB, it would wield an NPC weapon that deals damage appropriate for its level, in this case it would dead 4d8 damage, the same as an ultrathin longsword, a level 11 weapon.


Okay, but they've published a Large playable race in First Contact, which is free for anyone to download, so I'd think they'd support them, like, a little bit.


Myrryr wrote:
Make a nice lazer rifle sized for Godzilla, which would basically be bigger than a starship's cannons, and yes, RAW it still deals damage equal a normal human grunt's lazer rifle.

at that point they ARE starship weapons and deal damage accordingly.


McAllister wrote:
Okay, but they've published a Large playable race in First Contact, which is free for anyone to download, so I'd think they'd support them, like, a little bit.

What special racial abilities does this race get, to represent its large size? If none, than the assumption is probably "they aren't sufficiently bigger to really matter". If you have a higher strength, just take advantage of the two handed melee weapons and heavy weapons, which you have an easier time with. You don't get some special extra "exactly like a long sword but scaled up" gear.

Sovereign Court

For guns at least, it is because the components that make the damage are still roughly the same size, it is just the casing that increases. Per melee, I would guess that it is the raw strength/dexterity of the user rather than the weight of the weapon itself which would be the deciding factor, hence why no difference for larger/smaller weapons.

Liberty's Edge

I think the reason why there is no increase for a large weapon is to keep it simple. The developers have gone to great lengths to make the rule more streamlined for the players and GMs.


I am playing a Sarcesian right now, so I have looked into this. there is nothing in the CRB, but the example Sarcesian uses a sword that is available to players and it does a 1 die higher in damage (1d6 to 1d8). so I think I can assume that my baton does 1d6 instead of 1d4. My GM agreed, so that's how I am playing it.

Liberty's Edge

The Sarcesian's damage is all screwed up. It says that their rifle does d810 damage, for example. I wouldn't use it as evidence for much of anything.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Sarcesian's damage is all screwed up. It says that their rifle does d810 damage, for example. I wouldn't use it as evidence for much of anything.

Seeing as the level 2 sniper rifle does 1d10 damage, it is probably just a typo there. it has a CR of 5, so a level five operative using a sniper rifle would do 1d10+5 due to weapon specialization, fits perfectly. the next higher level sniper is level 8. the dueling sword that is available at the same levels does 1d6 for the level 2 weapon and 2d6 for the level 8 weapon. The Sarcesian's dueling sword does 1d8 damage, thus fitting the idea that larger melee weapons do more damage. Sarcesians are large (tall) creatures with reach. They are about 2x taller than the core races.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Sarcesian's damage is all screwed up. It says that their rifle does d810 damage, for example. I wouldn't use it as evidence for much of anything.

where to you even find a 810 sided die?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
se7e wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Sarcesian's damage is all screwed up. It says that their rifle does d810 damage, for example. I wouldn't use it as evidence for much of anything.
Seeing as the level 2 sniper rifle does 1d10 damage, it is probably just a typo there. it has a CR of 5, so a level five operative using a sniper rifle would do 1d10+5 due to weapon specialization, fits perfectly. the next higher level sniper is level 8. the dueling sword that is available at the same levels does 1d6 for the level 2 weapon and 2d6 for the level 8 weapon. The Sarcesian's dueling sword does 1d8 damage, thus fitting the idea that larger melee weapons do more damage. Sarcesians are large (tall) creatures with reach. They are about 2x taller than the core races.

So large ranged weapons don't increase damage but large melee weapons do? Wouldn't they fire larger shells? I know in real life there are a lot of factors in ballistics but the same could be said about other types of weapons increasing in size too if we are dragging real life into it.

I think the point is you're making a lot of NPC and system assumptions using Pathfinder and Starfinder PC rules when the designers explicitly said NPC rules are not like Pathfinder or Starfinder PC rules. Sure there will be overlaps in numbers but those might be coincidence as well.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

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Larger versions of weapons do not do more damage in Starfinder.

Liberty's Edge

The larger ranged weapon does not mean the internals are bigger. The surrounding stock is sized so it is comfortable to user.


Thank you for the official clarification Owen.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

It is not the size of your weapon, it is how you use it.


Hmmm, so a rifle the size of a cannon doesn't do the damage of a cannon, but the damage of a rifle? That . . . doesn't make sense.

(This is coming from a player who likes to play giant-ish characters, my favorite race being Half-Giants who grow even further, and one of my favorite sci-fi races being Zentradi)

Sovereign Court

THink of it as the barrel etc all being the same size, just the casing and handle etc have all been scaled up - lots of empty space inside the gun maybe, but the actual working parts are the same size as the smaller gun.


KahnyaGnorc wrote:

Hmmm, so a rifle the size of a cannon doesn't do the damage of a cannon, but the damage of a rifle? That . . . doesn't make sense.

(This is coming from a player who likes to play giant-ish characters, my favorite race being Half-Giants who grow even further, and one of my favorite sci-fi races being Zentradi)

Given how most large races tend to have strength bonuses, it wouldn´t be much of a streach to imagine their societies treating what we´d consider heavy weapons like a more general longarm. Just a thought.


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Also, if their increased size corresponds with generally increased power tier, they presumably will be using higher level weapons ( which do more damage ).


Ellias Aubec wrote:
THink of it as the barrel etc all being the same size, just the casing and handle etc have all been scaled up - lots of empty space inside the gun maybe, but the actual working parts are the same size as the smaller gun.

...and that doesn't make sense, either.

The Exchange

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Having larger sized weapons do more damage would be a headache, because the system assumes the thing that does more damage is higher level and also costs more credits you'd have to design the system to be robust enough to not break when you scale the weapon up in size. I'd rather them just forgot weapon size scaling damage like they've done.


Shaudius wrote:
Having larger sized weapons do more damage would be a headache, because the system assumes the thing that does more damage is higher level and also costs more credits you'd have to design the system to be robust enough to not break when you scale the weapon up in size. I'd rather them just forgot weapon size scaling damage like they've done.

That does make sense, although I disagree with it, as it pretty much destroys one of my favorite character builds (big character with a large weapon that, via magic/psionics gets bigger and more damaging).

Maybe Dreamscarred Press will fix it (I rely on them, anyway, for my favorite builds)


KahnyaGnorc wrote:

Hmmm, so a rifle the size of a cannon doesn't do the damage of a cannon, but the damage of a rifle? That . . . doesn't make sense.

(This is coming from a player who likes to play giant-ish characters, my favorite race being Half-Giants who grow even further, and one of my favorite sci-fi races being Zentradi)

Wouldn't a rifle the size of a cannon be a cannon rather than a rifle?


KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Hmmm, so a rifle the size of a cannon doesn't do the damage of a cannon, but the damage of a rifle? That . . . doesn't make sense.

I could make a really, really big .22 rifle but it's still a .22 rifle.


I'd just leave it as a balance abstraction. I shudder to think how the math detonates if you start advancing weapon dice by a step or two.


Ventnor wrote:
KahnyaGnorc wrote:

Hmmm, so a rifle the size of a cannon doesn't do the damage of a cannon, but the damage of a rifle? That . . . doesn't make sense.

(This is coming from a player who likes to play giant-ish characters, my favorite race being Half-Giants who grow even further, and one of my favorite sci-fi races being Zentradi)

Wouldn't a rifle the size of a cannon be a cannon rather than a rifle?

Just like a small longsword is not a shortsword. While the sizes are equivalent, the shapes and usage would be different, as a cannon is mounted and a rifle is held in two hands.

Oh, and a "giant .22" wouldn't be a .22, as .22 is the caliber size, and a giant version would then have a larger caliber size.


KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Oh, and a "giant .22" wouldn't be a .22, as .22 is the caliber size, and a giant version would then have a larger caliber size.

That's the point though. It still is a .22. The stock and the grip and the action are all sized up to be more comfortable for a Large creature, but it's still got the same barrel and the same caliber of ammunition.


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It's kind of irrelevant. The rules are made for small/medium/large creatures. At present there aren't ways to increase or decrease character size (that I'm aware of) and there are only those 3 sizes of character races. I wouldn't expect to get base races of larger sizes than large, and I am doubtful they'll introduce magic that changes your size since resolving how that interacts with weapons would be a pain.

The fact that weapons of s/m/l all do the same damage doesn't really strain believe-ability as much as huge or colossal size creature weapons doing the same. But thankfully those type of non-player creatures wont need to follow the same rules as PCs and can just have unique weapons.


swoosh wrote:
KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Oh, and a "giant .22" wouldn't be a .22, as .22 is the caliber size, and a giant version would then have a larger caliber size.
That's the point though. It still is a .22. The stock and the grip and the action are all sized up to be more comfortable for a Large creature, but it's still got the same barrel and the same caliber of ammunition.

Again, it makes no sense to put such a small barrel and ammo, and weak power, on such a large weapon. It is like putting a go-cart engine in a military transport vehicle.

Now, a large one-hander with a .22 barrel makes more sense.

The in-world "explanations" make no sense. The gameplay reasoning does, although the whole thing does torpedo a large number of my favorite character builds (since I have quite a few built around getting big and rawr-smashing, from tanks to casters) and, thus, interest in playing Starfinder.

Ah well, not every game is for every gamer, after all.


Well, sure, it makes no sense to build a .22 with a giant grip for a giant character. The answer is "Why is your giant using a .22, and not a much bigger weapon?" They aren't *obligated* to use such a gun, they can get a big heavy weapon or advanced melee weapon instead. Why haven't they?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
Well, sure, it makes no sense to build a .22 with a giant grip for a giant character. The answer is "Why is your giant using a .22, and not a much bigger weapon?" They aren't *obligated* to use such a gun, they can get a big heavy weapon or advanced melee weapon instead. Why haven't they?

Because they're only level 1 and the bigger, better weapons are out of their reach. :P


Light Reaction Cannon and Azimuth Laser Artillery are level 1. So are a whole bunch of suitable melee weapons.

That said, given the damage code it has, I don't really buy that the Hunting Rifle is suppose to be a 22. 1d8P sounds a lot more like a 30 calibre, which seems fine as a weapon for someone Large sized. If it can kill a deer, it can kill things a Large character would want to kill.


Metaphysician wrote:

Light Reaction Cannon and Azimuth Laser Artillery are level 1. So are a whole bunch of suitable melee weapons.

That said, given the damage code it has, I don't really buy that the Hunting Rifle is suppose to be a 22. 1d8P sounds a lot more like a 30 calibre, which seems fine as a weapon for someone Large sized. If it can kill a deer, it can kill things a Large character would want to kill.

All longarms use the same ammo, so they don't use different (fixed) calibers anyway.

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