Are grenades worth it?


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

Every time I make a character and look at the grenade section, I can never seem to justify the costs.

Are grenades ever really worth it? Or is that money pretty much always better spent elsewhere?

The Exchange

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Smoke seems very useful.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Are alchemist fires worth it in PFS?

Swarms still exist too.


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I can't imagine buying grenades passed level 6 or so (when weapons with exploding property become available). I can see carrying/using grenades that you come across as loot rather than selling them back for 10% (particularly if you aren't heavy weapon proficient). But actually buying grenades does seem too expensive to use as a default weapon of choice.


Yeah, the only one who seems to be able to specialize in grenades is the bombard soldier.

The Exchange

At the low levels I'd say they are, 50 isn't too much. But once you level out of being willing to deal 1d6 as an attack I'd say pass on anything but the cover from smoke and what you find on others. I want to like grenades, but you'd quickly go broke trying to use them to any degree. I haven't seen the SF swarm rules, but I think you'd be much better off and deal more damage with something like a scattergun. A 5 pack of level 20 frag grenades cost more than any level 20 weapon by a significant amount. Said grenades deal about twice the damage of a single level 3 spell, in a smaller area. No that wasn't a misprint, the grenades that cost that much and can't be gotten until level 20 have a smaller area of effect than a spell that can be cast by someone at level 7, the spell also has significantly better range. I want them to be a viable options, but they really aren't.

The Exchange

MageHunter wrote:
Yeah, the only one who seems to be able to specialize in grenades is the bombard soldier.

And only with their free one. I'm making a bombard soldier and there's no way I'm going to be able to afford grenades.

Shadow Lodge

So what would make grenades worth it? Would x3 damage be enough? Larger blast radius?


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They probably need weapon specialization damage. And be reduced to about 33% of the current cost (to about 1/10 of an equal iLevel weapon).

In truth that's probably still too expensive for me to consider using, but it might be closer to the right ball park. But I've always been pretty anti-consumable.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One should never buy grenades, but they are worth using when found and making from leftover weapons (Mechanic ability, especially useful in a group which can't use all weapon types).


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An 8th level spell gem does 9d6 damage for 1400.
An 8th level grenade does 4d6 damage for 2560.

Load it into a spell throwing weapon and its vastly more damage to credit ratio.


QuidEst wrote:
One should never buy grenades, but they are worth using when found and making from leftover weapons (Mechanic ability, especially useful in a group which can't use all weapon types).

Or just make free grenade with the Bombard Soldier.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Every time I make a character and look at the grenade section, I can never seem to justify the costs.

Are grenades ever really worth it? Or is that money pretty much always better spent elsewhere?

Everyone should carry one incendiary VI grenade with the pin pulled out in social situations so you can get a big circumstance bonus to bluff/intimidate checks by ending your demands with "and because I'm holding a thermal detonator!"

The Exchange

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Maezer wrote:

They probably need weapon specialization damage. And be reduced to about 33% of the current cost (to about 1/10 of an equal iLevel weapon).

In truth that's probably still too expensive for me to consider using, but it might be closer to the right ball park. But I've always been pretty anti-consumable.

At about this ratio I'd consider it worth while. Not an every round thing but reasonable to use when foes bunch too much.

As they are since you can't get specialization you're missing too much of your damage, which you get on heavy weapons. As it is, comparing that 20th level grenade to a 20th level weapon the shock caster. The shock caster is only about three times the cost of the grenade, three time 1 SINGLE grenade! Each shot from the shock caster deals 7d12(not to go into exhaustive math, this is just an estimate off the top of my head, so please don't take me to task over the inaccuracy, but that's about 45 damage on average), so a bit over 2/3 of the damage from the grenade which deals 20d6(say, 70 damage average), but you also get specialization damage on the weapon, so a flat +20(bringing them back to about even). The weapon also has double the range(actually more since the thrown weapon can't go as many range increments if I remember correctly), and en extra 5 foot of explosion radius.

You might point out that the weapon has unwieldy, and with the quick draw feat you can throw a full attack of grenades, thus giving them a much greater potential damage in a single round, but you'd be wrong. The penalty to an attack is also a penalty to the save against damage. So say a soldier throws three in a round(thus using in a single round the cost of a brand new shock caster) he then has to lower the save by 6, thus making it 30% more likely that the enemy will save and take half damage, or none if they have the apparently much more available evasion ability. Hardly seems like you're really getting much extra damage for the cost of a feat, and an entire 20th level weapon each round.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

"Boy, sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?"

Even if the number-crunching doesn't pan out, ya' gotta admit there's something cool about grenades.


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

Really not so cool if they've been made obsolete by newer technologies.

The only thing they have going for them is that pretty much anyone can use them.


i was looking at granade based character...a Mechanic with combat drone which has heavy wpn proficiency and a granade launcher installed on it.

also wpn specialization on it. I presume when you shoot with granade launcher that you use hvy wpn proficiency and spec for dmg?

from 7th level, it can full attack with -6 penalty, but since you target AC5 intersection, it's not an issue....and with deadly aim feat it deals 1d6+10dmg per granade(costing only 35cr).....and it shoots twice if needed in a 15' burst.

having a drone deal 2d6+20 dmg per round(save for half) in an fireball like area is not too bad, and not too expensive

your mechanic can also go with granades, or stick with some direct wpns
with 4 feats on that same 7th lvl, you can have hvy wpns, hvy wpn spec and deadly aim...

so in theory, both of you can shoot in the same way for 4d6+38 dmg, costing 170 cr for 4 granades...

thats not bad considering that its all AOE dmg...

but i agree that high lvl granades are too expensive to make a build around it...


Mahtobedis wrote:

Are alchemist fires worth it in PFS?

Swarms still exist too.

Alchemist fire is only useful vs swarms, to be honest. And in SF you can buy a scattergun or flamethrower as a backup.

I think grenades,are good, but too exoensive to buy. You will use looted grenades, because not selling them at 10% is a very small cost of oportunity. Buying them is expensive. That is why there is a soldier specislist who build grenades for free


bookrat wrote:
So what would make grenades worth it? Would x3 damage be enough? Larger blast radius?

Weapon specialization, and a way to make them for free.

So, bombard soldier.


I'd lean towards making them 'recharge' via some method. Acting like Phaser Grenades where you can just charge them again (For energy grenades) or buying a grenade actually gives you a licence for the fabrication of a single grenade at a time (That can be easily done on your ship).


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How about a grenade that disintegrates people when they pick it up but remains intact itself?


Debelinho wrote:

i was looking at granade based character...a Mechanic with combat drone which has heavy wpn proficiency and a granade launcher installed on it.

also wpn specialization on it. I presume when you shoot with granade launcher that you use hvy wpn proficiency and spec for dmg?

from 7th level, it can full attack with -6 penalty, but since you target AC5 intersection, it's not an issue....and with deadly aim feat it deals 1d6+10dmg per granade(costing only 35cr).....and it shoots twice if needed in a 15' burst.

having a drone deal 2d6+20 dmg per round(save for half) in an fireball like area is not too bad, and not too expensive

your mechanic can also go with granades, or stick with some direct wpns
with 4 feats on that same 7th lvl, you can have hvy wpns, hvy wpn spec and deadly aim...

so in theory, both of you can shoot in the same way for 4d6+38 dmg, costing 170 cr for 4 granades...

thats not bad considering that its all AOE dmg...

but i agree that high lvl granades are too expensive to make a build around it...

Massive problem with this, at level 7 with deadly aim and a full attack, your drone's grenades have the DC to save against them reduced by -9 (-6 from full attack, -3 from deadly aim), thus your damage is going to be very bad or ignored by anything that can evade. You're just shooting huge amounts of credits at the wall.


I'm curious, does any weapon allow you to fire a grenade from it as an option? If not, grenade launcher seems like it would be a solid thing to add to the weapons list. Perhaps one with smart grenades so that they can explode in air potentially getting around cover. And firing from a gun would give increased range. Heck, you could even target an enemy and have the physical object cause damage, followed by the actual grenade effect.


Claxon wrote:
I'm curious, does any weapon allow you to fire a grenade from it as an option? If not, grenade launcher seems like it would be a solid thing to add to the weapons list. Perhaps one with smart grenades so that they can explode in air potentially getting around cover. And firing from a gun would give increased range. Heck, you could even target an enemy and have the physical object cause damage, followed by the actual grenade effect.

Grenade launchers do exist, as do grenade arrows that can be fired from a bow. These all just seem to increase range, however.

Shadow Lodge

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
How about a grenade that disintegrates people when they pick it up but remains intact itself?

As long as it's labeled, "Pick Me Up."

(Man, I haven't seen that since I was a kid. Even got it wrong at first; thought it said "Do Not Touch." Either would work, really).


Renata Maclean wrote:
Grenade launchers do exist, as do grenade arrows that can be fired from a bow. These all just seem to increase range, however.

Grenade Arrows also get to vastly decrease the damage as well!


Ikiry0 wrote:
Renata Maclean wrote:
Grenade launchers do exist, as do grenade arrows that can be fired from a bow. These all just seem to increase range, however.
Grenade Arrows also get to vastly decrease the damage as well!

They do damage as a grenade 5 levels lower, with no price discount

That is, they cost the same as a grenade of their level. Sometimes more.

The fire rate is significantly higher, but that just means you can throw away your credits even faster.

The Exchange

I expect we will eventually see a grenade focused class similar to alchemist. Maybe they can create x grenades a day, or twice their level divided up between grenades each 10 min rest. I can think of some good grenade tricks such as it were, I think it could be a really fun class. But until then I don't expect we'll see more than one grenade a fight, and that only if you've a bombard soldier.


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bookrat wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
How about a grenade that disintegrates people when they pick it up but remains intact itself?

As long as it's labeled, "Pick Me Up."

(Man, I haven't seen that since I was a kid. Even got it wrong at first; thought it said "Do Not Touch." Either would work, really).

For those who have not seen the glorious military of Emperor Tod Spengo's galactic empire.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Here is some useless Math:

(Ick for formatting bu you can get the idea)

For most level, you will be a good chunk of your wealth in one shot.

level Wealth Frag %Welath d6 dmg
I 1 1,000 35 3.50% 1
II 4 6,000 700 11.67% 2
III 8 33,000 2,560 7.76% 4
IV 10 66,000 5,750 8.71% 6
V 14 333,000 18,750 5.63% 10
VI 16 750,000 44,600 5.95% 12
VII 18 1,700,000 96,900 5.70% 16
VIII 20 3,775,000 21,600 0.57% 20

The spell Gem or even Ampoule will be cheaper for more damage.


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Spell gems and the like are limited to spellcasters right? Are we already right back to the "martials can't have nice things" paradigm of game design?


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
How about a grenade that disintegrates people when they pick it up but remains intact itself?

Not very useful unless you have telekinesis


Ravingdork wrote:
Spell gems and the like are limited to spellcasters right? Are we already right back to the "martials can't have nice things" paradigm of game design?

"Spellthrower" is a level 2 weapon fusion that lets anyone put a spell gem in their weapon and cast it, as long as you meet the item level and BAB vs. spell gem level requirements.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Spell gems and the like are limited to spellcasters right? Are we already right back to the "martials can't have nice things" paradigm of game design?
"Spellthrower" is a level 2 weapon fusion that lets anyone put a spell gem in their weapon and cast it, as long as you meet the item level and BAB vs. spell gem level requirements.

Disintegrate fired from a Sniper Weapon sounds like the way to assassinate high-level enemies.


Massive problem with this, at level 7 with deadly aim and a full attack, your drone's grenades have the DC to save against them reduced by -9 (-6 from full attack, -3 from deadly aim), thus your damage is going to be very bad or ignored by anything that can evade. You're just shooting huge amounts of credits at the wall.

Yeah...i've kinda missed that part on save DC, so all that is halved. Crap.

Then it's better to equip it with explode electric weapon, and it can shoot once for decent AOE dmg...but that's not a grenade :)


This grenade talk brings up a related question.

Does ammunition for higher level direct fire weapons also cost more?

A Laser that does 1d4, would use a less but proportionally consistent fraction of energy as that a Laser that does 11d6.

Same goes for other types of ammunition.

If the price of respective batteries scaled up proportionally, then the grenade cost scaling would seem quite appropriate.


High level Lasers cost 2, or 4, charges per shot.

High level projectiles rifles don't charge you extra for high level bullets AFAIK

Liberty's Edge

Batteries do scale up, actually. It's only from 60 to 445, though. And that's a battery with more shots even at the higher charges per shot.

The Exchange

HunterWulf wrote:

This grenade talk brings up a related question.

Does ammunition for higher level direct fire weapons also cost more?

A Laser that does 1d4, would use a less but proportionally consistent fraction of energy as that a Laser that does 11d6.

Same goes for other types of ammunition.

If the price of respective batteries scaled up proportionally, then the grenade cost scaling would seem quite appropriate.

Unless that ammo is grenades or explosive arrows, nope. The bigger batteries cost a bit more and the higher level guns tend to have larger clips, but the battery price scaling doesn't come anywhere near close to grenades. As for projectiles, a level 20 machine gun uses the same bullets as a level 1, it just lets you fit more in at a time, and most don't even increase the usage per shot over the lower versions.


Ventnor wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Spell gems and the like are limited to spellcasters right? Are we already right back to the "martials can't have nice things" paradigm of game design?
"Spellthrower" is a level 2 weapon fusion that lets anyone put a spell gem in their weapon and cast it, as long as you meet the item level and BAB vs. spell gem level requirements.
Disintegrate fired from a Sniper Weapon sounds like the way to assassinate high-level enemies.

You can't fire the gun at the same time you cast a spell, it just lets you use a spell gem as a full round action. The spell gem also can't be of a spell level more than 1/4 of the weapon's item level, so no disintegrate. It's for utility spells, buffs, or escape (e.g. Dimension Door), not offense.


It seems like unless you are a soldier specializing in them that can make their own or an engineer rigging random stuff from enemies as IED most people won't and probably should not be using grenades as a primary attack. More of something you have with you in case of some tightly packed swarmers or possibly softening up a tough defended entryway.

Have a couple with you for when you need them but not something you would ever have much look turning into a primary attack method.

I would imagine grenades will also be reasonably common loot from bodies given they are low bulk and consumable good things to grab when otherwise most weapons/armor just won't be very worth trying to cart away unless they are an active upgrade for somebody in the party.


I really wish the engineering one just let you retool the item completely to the a grenade at higher level. So you could chose which..
Why?
Because realistically I'm not gonna get to use that very often because of how heavy the various weapon really will be to carry and throw.


Probably belongs in Rules.

Just what are you targeting to hit with a grenade? KAC, EAC or an AC based on hitting the square? Because if I'm trying to damage a guy with high AC, I'm going to throw the grenade at the 0 dex, no armor desk he's standing next to.


Outside the lowest level ones, I don't think any grenades are ever worth their price because of how ridiculously inflated they are. A low level grenade is a potentially useful emergency weapon when you need mass damage, though there's not much value in stocking up on lots of them. A higher level grenade is clearly some sort of manufacturing scam.

Since magic came up, have some thoughts.

Spoiler:
We'll need to compare damage output with the spells that become available through the Spellthrower fusion via spell gems. Spellthrowers can hold a spell gem with a spell level of no more than one quarter the weapon's item level; cantrips, spell level one-half when it matters, are available at 2. 1st at 4, 2nd at 8, and so on. So let's consider this.

1st level grenades have no useful counterpart - cantrips are simply not viable alternatives. At 4th level, when 1st level spells become available, the humble frag grenade is now dealing an average of 7 damage in a 15 foot radius for 700 credits. Level 1 spell gems will cost 140 credits each, with a startup cost of 680 for the fusion. What level 1 spells lack is the ability to do damage in an area. Spell gems win out for utility here, but can't replicate the grenade.

At 8th level, 2nd level spells become available. You have an initial start cost of 2300, and then a spell gem cost of 450. There's still no direct counterpart to grenades here yet, except Fog Cloud for the Smoke Grenade. Fog Cloud's effects are certainly better, but whether it's worth 11.25 smoke grenades is perhaps a matter of taste. Perhaps the closest thing is the Mystic's Force Blast, for a 30 foot cone for 2d6 Force damage with a bull-rush attached. This is weaker than grenades, now doing 4d6 for Frag, and 3d6 or 2d10 for Incendiary and Screamer, but it does let you shoot a ghost in the face if you forgot to pack your Ghost Killer Fusion. The Spellthrower is still useful for utility, but not grenadiers.

On the other hand, the cheapest level 8 grenade is 2560 credits.

At 12th level, we finally get third level spells. Fusion is 6920, and each gem is 1400 credits. We now have the magical grenade; Explosive Blast deals 9d6 fire damage to everything in 20 feet, for an average of 31.5. Frag Grenades have no equal level counterpart; Frag IV is level 10, 5750(!) credits, and does 6d6 piercing damage in 15 feet. Save for possible damage type issues, it is clearly inferior. Frag V is level 14, costs 18,750 credits, and deals 10d6 damage, again in 15 feet. It has better action economy and damage, will probably break even for damage type if Fire resistance is as common as it was before, and is substantially worse in basically every other way.

But let's consider this for a moment. A 14th level item just barely beats out a spell the Technomancer has been tossing since level 7, and it costs nearly 20000 credits. The Technomancer, by contrast, can spend 1400 to pick up an extra casting... or, since they're a Technomancer and likely to invest in technological skills, they can spend 1540 credits to shove a spell chip in their computer, and then spend 1260 to recharge it each time.

Instead of blasting, you can also grab Synaptic Pulse and get a 1 round stun for everything within 20 feet of you. Worse action economy than the Mystic, but still useful if you need to buy time for the rest of your party, perhaps.

Level 16 gives us 4th level spells, which isn't great for direct blasting. Grenades win by default for lack of grenade-like spells here, but I don't think any of the effects are worth 44000-50000 credits. That's more than you pay for a 6th level spell gem, and frankly Chain Surge is a better investment in every way except accessibility. Or, sticking to things you can use through your Spellthrower, you can instead spend that money on reanimating the dead, or even resurrecting them if you're in position when they die. If something is scary, you can Enervate it instead. Single target, but negative levels are a nice debuff.

Level 20 gives us 5th level spells. You get Heat Leech, which is a 60 foot cone for 13d8 damage. This is 58.5 average damage compared to the Frag Grenade's 70, but you can get the level 20 fusion and 7 level 5 spell gems with some credits to spare for the same price.

I don't think magic can reliably replace grenades. But magic is worth paying for, and grenades aren't.

The Exchange

AC 5 for the grid point. Same as a explosive weapon.

Shadow Lodge

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Single Frag Grenade cost relative to WBL seems to be random.

Frag level | Damage | Percent of WBL
1 | 1d6 | 3.5%
4 | 2d6 | 11.6%
8 | 4d6 | 7.75%
10 | 6d6 | 8.7%
14 | 10d6 | 5.6%
16 | 12d6 | 5.95%
18 | 16d6 | 5.7%
20 | 20d6 | 5.7%

Do you really want to spend roughly 5% (3-11%) of your WBL for a level appropriate single AoE damage shot? Even as loot, consumables are supposed to count towards your WBL, so they're not even worth it as found gear unless your GM ignores WBL.

Hell, you're better off wasting an entire ultra capacity battery on full auto than using a grenade.


If you find them, you might use them just because the oportunity cost of not selling them is 0.5% of your WBL for that level.

The problem, tho, is they aren't that much better than just shooting at people. 1d6 grenades at lvl 1 with ref save for half damage isn't really much better than shooting a rifle for most charactes


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What if they did something like errata it so the listed price was for, say, a box of 12?


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Ravingdork wrote:
What if they did something like errata it so the listed price was for, say, a box of 12?

Yeah, that seems like the cleanest solution -- make the listed price the cost of 10 (or 12) grenades. That would put them in the "something I might consider buying" territory.

I like it!

EDIT: Though I guess you want the price to still be high enough to not make Spell gems obselete... Hrmm...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Grenades just feel like emergency use items. In Pathfinder, they'd be a necklace of fireballs or first aid gloves equivalent. You don't use them regularly; only when absolutely necessary (outside of level 1-3).

I think that FOUND grenades are great to use - they're worthless to sell back anyway, so why not toss them around? Especially since they're a rapidly depreciating asset (find a level 5 grenade at level 6, no sense in keeping it around until level 10 when it is out-classed by a found level 9 grenade).

I'm OK with that, it seems that grenades are not intended to be a primary use item. And at higher levels, your spells and weapons will have area attack abilities also (especially if you tack on certain class features or other fusion/gear to them).

I think smoke grenades are the best: they buy you concealment, which is the best AC in the game, since monsters seem designed to hit you on a 3 or better on a d20 anyway. (might as well make them roll twice to hit you on a 6 or better...)

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