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Character Building in SFS


Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

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Hi all,

New to this SFS and even Pathfinder. Quick Question:

For SFS is there a method that must be followed by stats? For instance DnD5E you use the buy system for AL games. Is it similar in SFS where you use the buy option?

Is there a guide to creating a SFS character that is legal or is it per the core rulebook?

Thanks,
Mike

** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Welcome to Organized Play, Mike!

There is a Guide all about how to make your character here. As far as stats, you use the standard method outlined on Page 18 of the Core Rulebook.


Awesome, thank you Kate.

Dataphiles ***

Welcome to the Starfinder Society! Do the the Scoured Stars incident, the membership of the Starfinder Society has dropped to 20% of what it used to be. We are recruiting people of all backgrounds and skill sets to help us find out what happened there, preserve our history, and continue our research into the Gap and the history that was lost because of it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

According to the guide, you are required to use the point buy method, no random rolling. Also make sure that you only use the core races listed in chapter 3, unless you earn a boon that says otherwise.

Dark Archive *** Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Brisbane aka YogoZuno

You also can't use the 'Ability Quick Pick' method for most characters, even though on the surface, it seems you should be able to. However, the stat arrays that aren't correct for any race other than humans.

Grand Lodge

Is point buy, ten points one to one and to a max of 18, no more. One thing to keep in mind, you can't take points from one stat and apply them to another.

Liberty's Edge *

OtrovaGomas wrote:
Is point buy, ten points one to one and to a max of 18, no more. One thing to keep in mind, you can't take points from one stat and apply them to another.

Yah!! No more paladin smart characters!!!

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

that is one of my favorite things about Starfinder. No more min-maxing characters stats.

Grand Lodge **

Funnily enough, its one of my least favorite things about Starfinder. No ability to create a flawed character aside from racial mods. Some of my best PFS moments were with a certain oread monk with 5 Charisma.

Scarab Sages **

I also enjoy that they seem to have gone out of their way to cut down on ..uhh...how shall I put it...."ridiculously optimized builds"

Any ideas on where we'd get one of those racial boons? I was kinda hoping my first Space Pathfinder character would be a nod back to my Pathfinder characters and their deeds.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Funnily enough, its one of my least favorite things about Starfinder. No ability to create a flawed character aside from racial mods. Some of my best PFS moments were with a certain oread monk with 5 Charisma.

You are allowed to take flaws, or disabilities as the guide calls them. Which is more than you could do in Pathfinder. Says so in the SFS Guide.

Starfinder Society Guide wrote:

NATURAL DISABILITIES

The Starfinder Roleplaying Game allows for characters to be
naturally blind or deaf as part of character creation; these character
options are allowed as part of the Starfinder Society Roleplaying
Guild. The selection must be made at character creation and cannot
be reversed. A character can choose to be either naturally blind or
naturally deaf; he cannot choose to be both. A blind character gains
the tactile version of any language he knows, while a character
who begins play deaf automatically knows the signed versions.

You do not need a charisma of 5 to act as such. Just RP it.

Sovereign Court ***

Zachary Davis wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Funnily enough, its one of my least favorite things about Starfinder. No ability to create a flawed character aside from racial mods. Some of my best PFS moments were with a certain oread monk with 5 Charisma.

You are allowed to take flaws, or disabilities as the guide calls them. Which is more than you could do in Pathfinder. Says so in the SFS Guide.

Starfinder Society Guide wrote:

NATURAL DISABILITIES

The Starfinder Roleplaying Game allows for characters to be
naturally blind or deaf as part of character creation; these character
options are allowed as part of the Starfinder Society Roleplaying
Guild. The selection must be made at character creation and cannot
be reversed. A character can choose to be either naturally blind or
naturally deaf; he cannot choose to be both. A blind character gains
the tactile version of any language he knows, while a character
who begins play deaf automatically knows the signed versions.
You do not need a charisma of 5 to act as such. Just RP it.

You see a creature with bristles on his face, a snout-like nose, and a terrible attitude. Is it a pig? No, it is a space boor!

Grand Lodge **

I like my stats to accurately reflect my character. The inability to play a weak Vesk or a non-charismatic Lashunta just isn't there anymore stat wise.

*****

You can always use the "character flaws" option to drop ability scores down. You don't "get" anything for doing so, but if you feel the need to have lower ability scores in order to play a concept, the Core Rulebook does allow for that.

Grand Lodge **

The Penecontemporaneous One wrote:
You can always use the "character flaws" option to drop ability scores down. You don't "get" anything for doing so, but if you feel the need to have lower ability scores in order to play a concept, the Core Rulebook does allow for that.

No, you actually can't as far as I can tell. Character Flaws are listed as an "Optional Rule" and is not mentioned as legal in the SFS guide.

Sovereign Court ***

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

How I read it, the entirety of the Ability Score Buy method is legal, including the option for flaws. Optional methods for ability score generation aren't- quick picks and rolling.

*****

SFS RPG Guide wrote:
Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild characters buy their ability scores as detailed on page 18 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook. Starfinder Roleplaying Guild characters must use the Buying Ability Scores rules and should never use the optional methods of Ability Quick Picks or Rolling Ability Scores.

KingOfAnything is correct - the flaws are a subset of the "Buying Ability Scores" section, and appear in the Starfinder Core Rulebook before the "Ability Quick Picks" or "Rolling Ability Scores" sections :)

Note - This may have been just an oversight in the guide and may be changed in the future, but as far as I can tell, this option is legal at the time of this thread.

*

If we accept the assumption that the core build rules as reflective of the in-game universe, then you can build what you are saying you want, it just isn't what you're expecting.

A "weak Vesk" is a Vesk with a STR of 12.
A "non-Charismatic Lashunta" is a Lashunta with a CHA of 12.

If the goal is to keep characters (particularly society play characters) within a certain spectrum around "average," then prohibiting the outliers is a necessity. A Vesk with a STR of 7 who can barely carry his own weight around, let alone gear could be an interesting character as could a Lanshunt with such tragic experiences that he has lost his empathy and joy, until you run into more than one of them, and then it's breaking the mood.

I'm not saying that it's wrong to want that sort of character, but I do see non-arbitrary reasons for society character creation rules to be the way they are.

EDIT: And there you go. Per the rules cited by Penecontemporaneous One, you can have your outlier characters. You just don't get anything back for it.

EDIT EDIT: Corrected the attribution.

Grand Lodge **

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Considering its called an "optional rule" and the guide just says that Buying Ability Score rule, I'd say that its a vague enough area that we need clarification.

*

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I like my stats to accurately reflect my character. The inability to play a weak Vesk or a non-charismatic Lashunta just isn't there anymore stat wise.

Again, you can absolutely do that, you just don't get to min-max. 10 is the bottom of your character's skill.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

And the min-maxer is what I like about the limiting of the ability scores. Not saying everyone who drops a stat is doing it just to max out another. But if it quacks like a duck, it usually is one.

Disclaimer-I have min-maxed before, it ends up being boring and hate being a one trick poney/character.

*

I'm really divided over this, personally. Reduction of Mix-Maxing, ok, cool. I'm down with that. It's having 2 unfortunate side-effects though, both relating to playing off-type:

1. You cannot play a character with a weakness counter to race. Not even "My race averages a 12, but I'm a 10" level of weakness. And sorry, I reject the arguement that "Your 12 is weak for your race." If I have a bonus in the stat, it's not a weakness.

2. It's prohibitively disadvantaging to play a race/class combo that the race's stats don't support. For example, I've been looking at playing a Shirren Envoy, and mechanically, I can't even create a statline with two 14s and a 12 in the stats I want/need for the character concept (Instead, I get a 12 in Wis and Con, one of which is concept neutral, one of which is actually counter to the concept). Two 14s and a 12 is hardly mix-maxing. Yes, I could adapt the concept to a different Race (and may yet. Ysoki would make the concept work mechanically beautifully, and it'd still be fitting RP-wise, though more tropey than I wanted, and misses out on the Shirren stuff I liked.)

Honestly, if the rules allowed just one stat to drop to 8, it'd be SUPER helpful, solving both issues to a degree. You could drop a racial stat, ending at a 10 and being 'weak' in it, letting you have the flavor of unexpectedly weak in the stat, and it would give you more room to play with stats for other off-type race/character combinations.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online aka Hmm

Scott Bianchi wrote:

I also enjoy that they seem to have gone out of their way to cut down on ..uhh...how shall I put it...."ridiculously optimized builds"

Any ideas on where we'd get one of those racial boons? I was kinda hoping my first Space Pathfinder character would be a nod back to my Pathfinder characters and their deeds.

GM a Starfinder game in a Convention this Quarter. If there are no conventions local to you, PBP Gameday VI is still accepting game submissions from GMs -- so long as you can finish your game by mid-November.

You can also get a legacy boon by GMing 12 games through the Regional Support Program, or presumably by earning the Wayfinders Capstone boon.

You can also attempt to trade for one in one of the boon trading threads. These boons have been pretty popular though.

Hmm

The Exchange *

I am, have been, and will continue to be a regular min-maxer. It's just a natural part of how I play and I manage to do it without being a problem for the rest of the table. That said, I'm completely ok with not being able to get extra points for dropping a stat. For all that many people may complain that they have a hard time fitting stats to a concept without this ability I think it's pretty easy to agree that 90% or more of the time it was used in PFS for a str 7 caster or a cha 7 fighter. I'm not saying that people are lying about how they want to use this ability, just that the unspeaking majority use it differently. I enjoy a character with a good weakness, but if I never again have to play with a wizard who can barely carry their own CLW wand it'll be too soon.

*

Darkling36 wrote:
I am, have been, and will continue to be a regular min-maxer. It's just a natural part of how I play and I manage to do it without being a problem for the rest of the table. That said, I'm completely ok with not being able to get extra points for dropping a stat. For all that many people may complain that they have a hard time fitting stats to a concept without this ability I think it's pretty easy to agree that 90% or more of the time it was used in PFS for a str 7 caster or a cha 7 fighter. I'm not saying that people are lying about how they want to use this ability, just that the unspeaking majority use it differently. I enjoy a character with a good weakness, but if I never again have to play with a wizard who can barely carry their own CLW wand it'll be too soon.

You are correct, having the option to dump stats means it will inevitably be abused by certain types of players. But I'm not a fan of limiting non-abusive players in order to solve that problem. And it IS limiting, unfortunately. Fortunately, for most play, you can work with your GM, and bend/break or houserule certain things. But that doesn't work for society play, and it saddens me that I probably won't get to play my somewhat manic, curious helper bug with folks. (CHOICES, Man! You can't make choices without knowing what the choices are! You can't know what choices are good choices if you don't try different choices! CHOICES!)


Iziah Gile 288 wrote:
Honestly, if the rules allowed just one stat to drop to 8, it'd be SUPER helpful, solving both issues to a degree. You could drop a racial stat, ending at a 10 and being 'weak' in it, letting you have the flavor of unexpectedly weak in the stat, and it would give you more room to play with stats for other off-type race/character combinations.

All core races, except humans, get -2 in some ability score. You can use that to start with 8 in one of the ability scores.

*

Devasura wrote:
All core races, except humans, get -2 in some ability score. You can use that to start with 8 in one of the ability scores.

That's great if you are looking to play on-type to your race's weakness. It does nothing for you otherwise though.

And I hadn't even considered it from a Human perspective yet. It's impossible for a human to be weak in a stat. Worst case scenario, they're merely average =\. That's really rough for point one, though the flexible +2 means there's no offtype class for them, so the second problem doesn't apply to them so much.

**** Venture-Agent, Washington—Tacoma aka Link2000

Am I wrong in my understanding that you can dump stats all you want, but you just don't get any extra points from it?

Meaning if you wanted to play a "weak" Vesk, you could decide to dump his starting STR from 12 to 8 if you wanted, you just don't get any extra points in return. You made the flavor choice, but it provides no mechanical benefit.

I think that's pretty reasonable in my opinion. I have a Soldier in the making that I'm considering dropping his 10 CHA to 8 just because he has a bunch of scars everywhere that would make him unsightly to most. Am I unallowed to do that?

*

Tyler Reid wrote:
Am I wrong in my understanding that you can dump stats all you want, but you just don't get any extra points from it?

That's 100% an option for home play if your GM allows it (it's an optional rule), and (to my knowledge, mostly gleaned from the above in this thread) debated if it's allowed in society play. I imagine they'll clarify it. Depends on how permissive you read the attributes section to be. =) I don't see a reason it shouldn't be allowed, really.


Iziah Gile 288 wrote:
Tyler Reid wrote:
Am I wrong in my understanding that you can dump stats all you want, but you just don't get any extra points from it?
That's 100% an option for home play if your GM allows it (it's an optional rule), and (to my knowledge, mostly gleaned from the above in this thread) debated if it's allowed in society play. I imagine they'll clarify it. Depends on how permissive you read the attributes section to be. =) I don't see a reason it shouldn't be allowed, really.

It is Society legal rule and as such it is mentioned in the SFS Roleplaying Guild Guide.

**** Venture-Agent, Washington—Tacoma aka Link2000

Oh! I guess it is listed as an optional rule... The Primary SFS coordinator in our area was talking about his character dumping a stat. I wonder if he knows this. Thanks!

Shadow Lodge ****

From my perspective, both the released AP book, and all published SFS content seem to heavily punish characters who neglect their skills. both through requiring a myriad of abilities to succeed, and through the lack of stat replacers. The only reason people can get away min-maxing without penalty in Pathfinder, is because they can assume certain skills will never come up, or can be handled through combat; or by replacing the dumped stat with another stat for the abilities they want to use.

Given those factors, it annoys me that the system itself is removing some of the skill associated with character building. The overwhelming push to make characters more homogeneous is a bad thing, that ultimately stifles creativity.

*

Devasura wrote:
It is Society legal rule and as such it is mentioned in the SFS Roleplaying Guild Guide.

Per the SFS Roleplaying Guide:

"Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild characters buy their ability
scores as detailed on page 18 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook.
Starfinder Roleplaying Guild characters must use the Buying
Ability Scores rules and should never use the optional methods of
Ability Quick Picks or Rolling Ability Scores."

That's all the guide says on generating ability scores (unless they've updated the guide, and the one I have from last week is out of date?). Given it's an optional rule that's not specifically called out as being allowed, it's debatable whether or not it's legal. I don't see why it wouldn't be allowed, but I also assume optional rules are disallowed unless specifically called out otherwise. *shrugs*

The Exchange *

Iziah Gile 288 wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
I am, have been, and will continue to be a regular min-maxer. It's just a natural part of how I play and I manage to do it without being a problem for the rest of the table. That said, I'm completely ok with not being able to get extra points for dropping a stat. For all that many people may complain that they have a hard time fitting stats to a concept without this ability I think it's pretty easy to agree that 90% or more of the time it was used in PFS for a str 7 caster or a cha 7 fighter. I'm not saying that people are lying about how they want to use this ability, just that the unspeaking majority use it differently. I enjoy a character with a good weakness, but if I never again have to play with a wizard who can barely carry their own CLW wand it'll be too soon.
You are correct, having the option to dump stats means it will inevitably be abused by certain types of players. But I'm not a fan of limiting non-abusive players in order to solve that problem. And it IS limiting, unfortunately. Fortunately, for most play, you can work with your GM, and bend/break or houserule certain things. But that doesn't work for society play, and it saddens me that I probably won't get to play my somewhat manic, curious helper bug with folks. (CHOICES, Man! You can't make choices without knowing what the choices are! You can't know what choices are good choices if you don't try different choices! CHOICES!)

You can play that though, as far as I can tell you can drop a stat to below the norm. You just don't get extra points to spend on other things for doing so. If not getting extra points is a deal breaker, well it seems less like Role playing and more like min-maxing. The option is there, it's just there solely for role playing instead of as a way for people to min-max more effectively. To me this is a good thing, though I know not all will agree with me. I like flexibility in character creation, but I'll accept a little less flexibility to see it abused far less.

Shadow Lodge ****

Darkling36 wrote:
If not getting extra points is a deal breaker, well it seems less like Role playing and more like min-maxing.

When you sit down at the table of any pick up game, you're entering an unspoken agreement with your fellow players to do your best to succeed at the mission, and they agree to do the same for you. Purposefully making a weaker character, strikes me as breaching that trust.


Iziah Gile 288 wrote:

Per the SFS Roleplaying Guide:

"Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild characters buy their ability
scores as detailed on page 18 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook.
Starfinder Roleplaying Guild characters must use the Buying
Ability Scores rules and should never use the optional methods of
Ability Quick Picks or Rolling Ability Scores."

That's all the guide says on generating ability scores (unless they've updated the guide, and the one I have from last week is out of date?). Given it's an optional rule that's not specifically called out as being allowed, it's debatable whether or not it's legal. I don't see why it wouldn't be allowed, but I also assume optional rules are disallowed unless specifically called out otherwise. *shrugs*

My mistake. I was referring to the "natural disabilities" section but now I see that "character flaws" is not specifically mentioned in SFSRPGG.

The Exchange *

Disk Elemental wrote:
The overwhelming push to make characters more homogeneous is a bad thing, that ultimately stifles creativity.

I feel confident in saying that the classes are far less homogeneous in SF than they are in PF, particularly at the start of he system. Each class has a lot of very different builds that are very viable instead o one or maybe two. The attribute system in general seems to encourage a balance instead of the peaks and valleys of PF, but that's just a feature of a different system to me, not an overwhelming push to be the same.

*

Darkling36 wrote:
You can play that though, as far as I can tell you can drop a stat to below the norm. You just don't get extra points to spend on other things for doing so. If not getting extra points is a deal breaker, well it seems less like Role playing and more like min-maxing. The option is there, it's just there solely for role playing instead of as a way for people to min-max more effectively. To me this is a good thing, though I know not all will agree with me.

Well, let to explain it all out. The character in my head is a Chaotic Good space bug envoy. He's determined to make the best out of his ability to make CHOICES!, loves people and being helpful, and is very curious about the universe (find ALL THE CHOICES). His curiousity makes him a bit ADD though, and impulsive. My ideal statline in my head for the character is this:

Str - 10 (Str doesn't really factor into the concept at all, so average is fine)
Dex - 14 (As to be combat capable / not completely outshined)
Con - 10 (12 is fine though, given Shirren bonuses. Con doesn't really play into the concept one way or the other)
Int - 12 (Slightly more intelligent than average, plays into his curiousity)
Wis - 8 (I'd be fine with 10, given Shirren bonuses, bit more flakey and ADD than your average Shirren, but really, 8's what's in my head)
Cha - 14 (He loves people, and people like him. He's good at what he does [Envoy])

I mean, there are min-maxy aspects of it. I want the character to have a base level of competency in his class ({Envoy}, so Cha based, admittedly rough with a race with a deficiency in that stat), and combat stuff (because no one likes being a deadweight). But I don't feel like wanting 2 14s and a 12 in your stats is too much to ask for (Considering if you are playing to type on your race, you can have 2 16s and and 12)? And, I can get that, just not in the stats I choose. That's where it's stifling of creativity. Your race's strengths are immutable, and the only way to rectify that by the rules is to volentarily disadvantage yourself, and that still doesn't solve the balance issue to trying to play off-type.

So, I could play the character. But, as I stated way up above, it'd be rather mechanically disadvantageous to do so, at least compared to a character built to their race's strength. Making this character, I'm a net -2 to attribute points for stats I care about for the concept, Versus another character who could be a net +4. A 6 point swing in attributes is not insignificant.

If I built this character as a Ysoki, my 2 racials would add to stats I wanted higher than a 10, and my -2 would be to a stat I wouldn't care about. Oh no, my small rat isn't very strong. With the stat points I saved, I could raise it back up to 10, or just be like *shrugs*

The ability to drop a single stat 2 points for points returned would make a huge difference (Or hell, maybe 2 points split, if you liked). You could add a single stat weakness to any character if desired, including reducing one of your racial's back down to average, and return a bit of flexibility to character creation. Like I said, currently, I feel like it's too penalizing to try to play off-type.

In the end, a case like mine is probably an edge case, so I'd get it if nothing ever changed. 90% of the characters I create for the game won't have such a rough time of it. But, it's a stick in my craw currently, since I got really excited over the character in my head, went to put him to paper, and realized that mechanically, it wasn't very viable.

Disk Elemental wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
If not getting extra points is a deal breaker, well it seems less like Role playing and more like min-maxing.
When you sit down at the table of any pick up game, you're entering an unspoken agreement with your fellow players to do your best to succeed at the mission, and they agree to do the same for you. Purposefully making a weaker character, strikes me as breaching that trust.

Not to mention, if everyone else is constantly outperforming you because you chose a suboptimal build, it's possibly less fun for you as well.

I feel like this thread has gone kinda offtopic, but since the original question of the topic has already been 100% addressed, I feel ok with that >_>

Shadow Lodge ****

Darkling36 wrote:
I feel confident in saying that the classes are far less homogeneous in SF than they are in PF, particularly at the start of he system. Each class has a lot of very different builds that are very viable instead o one or maybe two. The attribute system in general seems to encourage a balance instead of the peaks and valleys of PF, but that's just a feature of a different system to me, not an overwhelming push to be the same.

I think you've misunderstood my statement. One could argue that the classes themselves aren't strongly differentiated from each other (as I do below), however my assertion was in reference to the stat arrays. Given the incredibly limited number of points, and the way the Resolve system works almost every character that has a set class is going to look identical stat-wise, with their Resolve stat and an offensive stat pumped, with everything else hovering near 10. This is not balanced!

In fact it's very difficult to make a truly "balanced" character in Starfinder, and much easier to create the min-maxed SAD classes that everyone b&@%!es about in PF. Don't believe me? Look at the math, in Pathfinder on a 20 PB, you can have 2 stats at 14, one stat at 16 pre-racial, with no dump stats. In Starfinder, you can have one at 16, and one at 14. The latter array has more peaks and valleys, than the former.

As for the classes, they're all very samey, at least up through level 5.

Almost every class has been pushed towards the same baseline of being a bit shooty/stabby, being a bit skill-y, and having a utility class feature. The only builds that really break this mold are the Drone Mechanic by adding a pet, and the Soldier by not having much out of combat utility.

The Envoy has no where near the buffing/utility of the bard, thus they're encouraged to attack in combat. The Mystic and Technomancer don't have the spell power to be wholly effective without a weapon (and even then some of their best spells are just buffs). The Operative's entire purpose is just to hit things, with their talents being either solely out of combat, self-defensive buffs, or being negligible, the Solarion is terrible, and the Mechanic's Exocortext just makes them a pseudo-soldier.

There's no variety in the combats, and due to the nerfing of Combat maneuvers, gutting of spell lists, and overall lack of powers, means there's little opportunity to make characters more interesting, while also remaining effective.

**** Venture-Agent, Washington—Tacoma aka Link2000

By the looks of it, you would only be truly one point behind your ideal statline.

STR 10 - 0 pts
DEX 14 - 4 pts
CON 10 (adjusted from 12) - 0 pts
INT 12 - 2 pts
WIS 8 (adjusted from 12) - 0 pts
CHA 14 (adjusted from 8) - 6 pts

When you factor in Theme, you are only 1 pt short, and you are choosing to take a hit to WIS and CON, stats that are typically better than the average individual for your race. Not only that you are choosing to increase stats that are not typically associated with your race. Those choices are fine, but the idea of that you should be "rewarded" (I am using the term loosely here) for them isn't something that I personally agree with.

Essentially you are making a Shirren fit into a role that the typical Shirren wouldn't be able to fill, and that's fine... But it shouldn't be expected that since your Shirren is less wise than the typical Shirren that yours is suddenly more charming.

In any case, we should also be considering the Ability Score Increase that occurs every 5 levels... Increase four stats by +2 (if base stat is 16 or lower) or by +1 (if base stat is 17 or higher). That is a huge boon to all characters that's going to make it tough to keep a "weakness" for 20 levels. And I like it, because really, all characters would ideally develop upon their "weaknesses" as they grow.

Note: I promise I'm not "attacking" you. I'm just stating my opinion on the matter and your post is currently the most relevant. I truly like the idea of your Shirren, and although he is one pt shy of your ideal stat array, I think he would be an excellent character to play with.

Sovereign Court ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Quote:
In fact it's very difficult to make a truly "balanced" character in Starfinder, and much easier to create the min-maxed SAD classes that everyone b@+@*es about in PF. Don't believe me? Look at the math, in Pathfinder on a 20 PB, you can have 2 stats at 14, one stat at 16 pre-racial, with no dump stats. In Starfinder, you can have one at 16, and one at 14. The latter array has more peaks and valleys, than the former

A 16 pre-racial in Starfinder is more like an 18 in Pathfinder. With a 20 PB, you can get that 18, but only have enough points left for one 13. Starfinder definitely encourages spreading points out more than Pathfinder does.

**** Venture-Agent, Washington—Tacoma aka Link2000

Disk Elemental wrote:
Darkling36 wrote:
I feel confident in saying that the classes are far less homogeneous in SF than they are in PF, particularly at the start of he system. Each class has a lot of very different builds that are very viable instead o one or maybe two. The attribute system in general seems to encourage a balance instead of the peaks and valleys of PF, but that's just a feature of a different system to me, not an overwhelming push to be the same.

I think you've misunderstood my statement. One could argue that the classes themselves aren't strongly differentiated from each other (as I do below), however my assertion was in reference to the stat arrays. Given the incredibly limited number of points, and the way the Resolve system works almost every character that has a set class is going to look identical stat-wise, with their Resolve stat and an offensive stat pumped, with everything else hovering near 10. This is not balanced!

In fact it's very difficult to make a truly "balanced" character in Starfinder, and much easier to create the min-maxed SAD classes that everyone b+++$es about in PF. Don't believe me? Look at the math, in Pathfinder on a 20 PB, you can have 2 stats at 14, one stat at 16 pre-racial, with no dump stats. In Starfinder, you can have one at 16, and one at 14. The latter array has more peaks and valleys, than the former.

As for the classes, they're all very samey, at least up through level 5.

Almost every class has been pushed towards the same baseline of being a bit shooty/stabby, being a bit skill-y, and having a utility class feature. The only builds that really break this mold are the Drone Mechanic by adding a pet, and the Soldier by not having much out of combat utility.

The Envoy has no where near the buffing/utility of the bard, thus they're encouraged to attack in combat. The Mystic and Technomancer don't have the spell power to be wholly effective without a weapon (and even then some of their best spells are just buffs). The Operative's entire purpose is just...

I feel like I have had very different experiences than you thus far. I've played at a table with 3 Mechanics, myself included, and none of us played the same. Two had Drones, and I had an Exocortex. The 1st drone mechanic was an "Ace Pilot" and had a stealth drone, the other was a "Combat Medic/Engineer" who had a Glammered "wrench" that was actually a laser pistol using a Combat Drone, and I was a "Hactivist" that used my Exocortex to help me stay relevant in combat.

And although we all invested in DEX and INT, the "Ace Pilot" had significantly invested in DEX (16 or 17) and INT was hovering around 12, the "Combat Medic/Engineer" had a more even stat array (15 being the highest, if I recall), and I had a 14 DEX and 18 INT. The other two were Yoski and I was playing an Android.

I'm not stating your observations are incorrect, all characters are going to look similar based off class sets (especially with only 2 archetypes and 10 themes), but is that different than Pathfinder?

I wouldn't say combat maneuvers got "nerfed" yet either, though they are much more difficult to perform so far without the feat. I like that now they don't provoke. Want to try and trip someone? Go Ahead! May not work just like it may not work in Pathfinder, but at least you don't have to worry about being punished for not taking a bunch of feats.

*

No worries, I don't feel attacked. And I agree, it's ~almost~ to where it could work. It is 1 point away (which might as well be 2, with how Stats function). Working, mind you, is still behind what you can get from building to your race's strength. This character is upwards of 6 stat points behind a character built the same way, but using a race that fits the attributes better. I feel like if it had 2 (or, like you said, even 1) more stat points I could shuffle, it'd work. It'd fit the image in my head, and not be so gimped as to be drag on the party.

I probably shouldn't have used the term ideal; what I meant was "This is the minimum statline I could see working with the concept." I'd love if I could get one of the 14s to a 16, or maybe the int to a 14 (more skills = more choices, right?).

As to the question of "your character is less <X>, that doesn't mean he's more <Y>"... Not necessarily, no. But that's the entire premise of the rest of the point buy system. My character is less <X>, because I chose not to allocate points, and as a result, more <Y>. And if you are playing to your race's strengths, you don't need the extra points. It only matters if you are trying to play off-type.

Considering the Ability score increases every 5 levels... *shrugs* it affects all characters equally, and it's still possible, if maybe not wise, to have a weak stat. Still, even if you put points towards you weak stat, it can still be the weakest of your stats, the thing that holds you back compared to others with your level of worldly experience. Or, based on RP, maybe you outgrow that weakness, and a different stat becomes your weakpoint. Or maybe, if it floats your boat, you just become incredibly well rounded, with only 1 or 2 exceptional stats.

But, considering how much of the game is spent at low levels (so many games die before reaching those higher levels. for society play, death and leveling out of mods ensures a constant rate of low level play), I feel like the start is where a lot of the focus needs to be.

*

KingOfAnything wrote:
Starfinder definitely encourages spreading points out more than Pathfinder does.

This is flat out incorrect. To start, there is no "pre-racial" in Starfinder. You get 10s, you apply Racials, then Theme, then spend points. And In Pathfinder, the fact that lower values were cheaper makes buying multiple good stats way more economical than in Starfinder.

In Pathfinder, using a race with 2 +2s and a -2, the best spread-out/balanced stat array you can get is 16, 16, 14, 12, 11, 10. You could also do 14, 14, 14, 14, 12, 11, if that's your bag. Two 16s a 14 and a 12, or four 14s and a 12

In Starfinder, the best spread out array you could get is 14, 14, 14, 11, 10, 10. Three 14s is the best you can hope for.

In Pathfinder, the best focused/unbalanced array you can do is 20, 15, 10, 10, 10, 8. Versus Starfinder, the best focused array you could build is 18, 17, 10, 10, 10, 8.

Starfinder's focused array is equal to or better than Pathfinder's (harder comparison, since there's no 20 stat in SF at first level), Pathfinder's balanced arrays blows Starfinder's out of the water. There's no question.

**** Venture-Agent, Washington—Tacoma aka Link2000

Iziah Gile 288 wrote:

No worries, I don't feel attacked. And I agree, it's ~almost~ to where it could work. It is 1 point away (which might as well be 2, with how Stats function). Working, mind you, is still behind what you can get from building to your race's strength. This character is upwards of 6 stat points behind a character built the same way, but using a race that fits the attributes better. I feel like if it had 2 (or, like you said, even 1) more stat points I could shuffle, it'd work. It'd fit the image in my head, and not be so gimped as to be drag on the party.

I probably shouldn't have used the term ideal; what I meant was "This is the minimum statline I could see working with the concept." I'd love if I could get one of the 14s to a 16, or maybe the int to a 14 (more skills = more choices, right?).

As to the question of "your character is less <X>, that doesn't mean he's more <Y>"... Not necessarily, no. But that's the entire premise of the rest of the point buy system. My character is less <X>, because I chose not to allocate points, and as a result, more <Y>. And if you are playing to your race's strengths, you don't need the extra points. It only matters if you are trying to play off-type.

Considering the Ability score increases every 5 levels... *shrugs* it affects all characters equally, and it's still possible, if maybe not wise, to have a weak stat. Still, even if you put points towards you weak stat, it can still be the weakest of your stats, the thing that holds you back compared to others with your level of worldly experience. Or, based on RP, maybe you outgrow that weakness, and a different stat becomes your weakpoint. Or maybe, if it floats your boat, you just become incredibly well rounded, with only 1 or 2 exceptional stats.

But, considering how much of the game is spent at low levels (so many games die before reaching those higher levels. for society play, death and leveling out of mods ensures a constant rate of low level play), I feel like the start is where a lot of the focus needs to be.

But your 6 points behind because of a choice you made (reducing CON and WIS).

And of course if you made a race choice that better fit the class it would be better. I'm going to make an Orc Wizard in Pathfinder with 20 pt buy:

STR 11 - -4 pts
DEX 14 - 5 pts
CON 12 - 2 pts
INT 16 - 17 pts
WIS 8 - 0 pts
CHA 8 - 0 pts

That's a pretty poor Wizard by most standards, if I had an Elf Wizard it would look more like:

STR 10 - 0 pts
DEX 16 - 5 pts
CON 12 - 5 pts
INT 18 - 10 pts
WIS 10 - 0 pts
CHA 10 - 0 pts

Much better, but of course I picked a class that had a boost to INT over a penalty to it, which is exactly what you are doing with the Shirren. Notice that I sacrificed the Orcs STR to try and achieve a better intelligence, and didn't even get the "best" score possible for the Elf. The smartest Orc possible at level 1 is still less intelligent than a moderately educated Elf. Just because your character has less <X>, it doesn't mean he's more <Y>. The system isn't that different. If, for flavor reasons, pick a poor race/class combination, it's going to show. And that's okay.

The main reason why they can't do the "reduce" a stat gain a stat method is basically because in Starfinder, everything is 1 to 1 for point buy, where in Pathfinder, everything exponentially increases in point value as you try to buy into a higher score. Reduced a 10 to a 9 in PF? Still not enough to turn that 13 into a 14... In SF, it is. That would mean that racial modifiers would be worthless, as a player can shift the points how they please. Might as well make it a 12 pt buy instead.

Another interesting tidbit, if we were to theoretically use the PF point buy system to make your Shirren vs the Ysoki version it would look like this:
Shirren:
STR 10 - 0 pts
DEX 14 - 5 pts
CON 10 - -2pts
INT 12 - 2 pts
WIS 9 (8 not possible in PF with +2 racial) - -4
CHA 14 - 10 pts

Ysoki: (With 11 pt buy, same as Shirren above)
STR 10 - 2 pts
DEX 14 - 2 pts
CON 10 - 0 pts
INT 12 - 0 pts
WIS 9 - -1 pts
CHA 14 - 5 pts
Remaining Points (3)

What above means, that the Ysoki is always going to win out on the Shirren as an Envoy, emphasizing the same stats. Just like the Orc and the Elf, that's just the way the game plays when a race/class combo isn't good.

**** Venture-Agent, Washington—Tacoma aka Link2000

Iziah Gile 288 wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Starfinder definitely encourages spreading points out more than Pathfinder does.

This is flat out incorrect. To start, there is no "pre-racial" in Starfinder. You get 10s, you apply Racials, then Theme, then spend points. And In Pathfinder, the fact that lower values were cheaper makes buying multiple good stats way more economical than in Starfinder.

In Pathfinder, using a race with 2 +2s and a -2, the best spread-out/balanced stat array you can get is 16, 16, 14, 12, 11, 10. You could also do 14, 14, 14, 14, 12, 11, if that's your bag. Two 16s a 14 and a 12, or four 14s and a 12

In Starfinder, the best spread out array you could get is 14, 14, 14, 11, 10, 10. Three 14s is the best you can hope for.

In Pathfinder, the best focused/unbalanced array you can do is 20, 15, 10, 10, 10, 8. Versus Starfinder, the best focused array you could build is 18, 17, 10, 10, 10, 8.

Starfinder's focused array is equal to or better than Pathfinder's (harder comparison, since there's no 20 stat in SF at first level), Pathfinder's balanced arrays blows Starfinder's out of the water. There's no question.

And at 1st level, that's true. What about 5th level (Easily within reason for SFS as time goes forward)?

In Pathfinder, using a race with 2 +2s and a -2, the best spread-out/balanced stat array one can get is 16, 16, 14, 12, 12, 10. You could also do 14, 14, 14, 14, 12, 12, if that's your bag. Two 16s, a 14 and two 12s (assuming modifier increase > score), or four 14s and two 12s

In Starfinder, the best spread out array you could get is 16, 16, 15, 14, 10, 10 (Including buying out the negative). Two 16s, a 15, and a 14 (better than the same in PF) is pretty good. They could also go for 15, 14, 14, 14, 12, 12 and have a positive modifier for all stats.

In Pathfinder, the best focused/unbalanced array you can do is 20, 16, 10, 10, 10, 8 (Assuming you're aiming for modifier increases). Versus Starfinder, the best focused array one could build is 18, 18, 12, 12, 12, 8 (Once again, assuming you're aiming for modifier increases).

I don't feel it's that different in the beginning, but mid levels, everything has much more opportunity to spread.

*

Tyler Reid wrote:
What above means, that the Ysoki is always going to win out on the Shirren as an Envoy, emphasizing the same stats. Just like the Orc and the Elf, that's just the way the game plays when a race/class combo isn't good.

That's kinda a poor example. Orcs get HOSED for stats in comparison. Elves are +2, +2, -2; Orcs are +4, -2, -2, -2. A Better example would be a Dwarf Wizard Vs an Elf Wizard. But I still generally agree! It's not to advantage comparatively, and it shouldn't be. But, it's almost workable (And would be if Orcs weren't in the hole attribute-wise, regardless of distribution). I've played dwarf Wizards before, and had a Blast!

And with the PF buy you illustrated, I feel like the Shirren becomes workable/mechanically competitive. Yes, the Ysoki will be better (one of it's 14s will be a 16, it'll have a spare point to throw somewhere), and I'm 1000% ok with that! An off-type build is GOING to be weaker, and thats ok.

But with the point buy system as it is now, I feel like if you aren't at least partially, if not fully, playing into your race's strengths, you are going to end up dead weight in the party in comparison. And thats really limiting. It can be really fun to play against type, to be the 'different one'.

Shadow Lodge ****

Tyler Reid wrote:
I feel like I have had very different experiences than you thus far. I've played at a table with 3 Mechanics, myself included, and none of us played the same.

I think you've just proven my point... despite the fact I explicitly mentioned Mechanics as the exception to the rule, because of drone customization, all of the Mechanics had points in the exact same stats, with little variation between them. You all played the 2 races compatible with the class, and all took the obvious specializations, because, again, you kinda had to to be relevant. In the end, the characters all did the exact same things; they were a little shooty, and a little skill-y.

Starfinder has taken a system whose biggest selling point was choice, and have compacted it down to 2-3 obvious choices.

Tyler Reid wrote:
I'm not stating your observations are incorrect, all characters are going to look similar based off class sets (especially with only 2 archetypes and 10 themes), but is that different than Pathfinder?

It very much is. Just going out of the core rules, I can make at least 3 different Bards, with different stat arrays, that all handle significantly different from one another, and bring different skill sets to the table. That's to say nothing of the ludicrous options from any of the full-casters.

Tyler Reid wrote:
I wouldn't say combat maneuvers got "nerfed" yet either, though they are much more difficult to perform so far without the feat.

CMD is KAC+8, with the feat it goes down to KAC+4. Characters already have problems hitting, adding 4 to the enemy AC, only to not deal damage, is overly punishing.

*

Tyler Reid wrote:
Iziah Gile 288 wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Starfinder definitely encourages spreading points out more than Pathfinder does.
This is flat out incorrect. *math and reasoning above*
And at 1st level, that's true. What about 5th level (Easily within reason for SFS as time goes forward)? *math and examples above*

Well, at 5th level, SF start forcing you to spread out your points more. You are required to select 4 stats and give them bumps based on their current value. Even a hyperfocused character is going to get +7 (+1 to his best stat, +2 to 3 others of his choice, presumably one of them his secondary focus) to his stats, divided up. A less focused character will get 8 instead.

So, I feel it's less "SF encourages you to spread out your attribute points", more "SF FORCES you to spread out your attribute points as you go up in level". Not that I think this is bad, just that it's required, not agency of the player.

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