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do ship weapons do more damage to NPCs and PCs?


Starfinder General Discussion


I was talking with my group about using ship weapons against a group of NPCs that were trying to attack us and they said that you could not use ship weapons on NPCs because it would do too much damage or something.... this ship weapons damage get magnified when used against Npc's because they don't have the same armor as ships or something?


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See the Shooting Starships sidebar on page 292 for more information on how characters and starships interact damage-wise. Ship weapons are too inaccurate to target individual NPCs (or small groups of NPCs), however they do 10 times the listed damage should they manage to hit.

It's mostly a tool for the GM to inflict on PCs ("Hey the place you're in is being bombarded from orbit! Quickly get to safety!") than something the PCs can reliably use on NPCs.


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ghostunderasheet wrote:
I was talking with my group about using ship weapons against a group of NPCs that were trying to attack us and they said that you could not use ship weapons on NPCs because it would do too much damage or something.... this ship weapons damage get magnified when used against Npc's because they don't have the same armor as ships or something?

The side bar in the ship section says x10 from ship weapons personally i would allow a reflex save 10+tier to negate dmg otherwise it would be a done deal if a ship shot players i would also probably place 15 ft radius for light ship weapons and i would scatter the shot like artillery weapons in the warhammer 40k table top game i still have my scatter dice so ill probably use that


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Ship size categories are ~3 "sizes" ahead of characters.
A Tiny ship (interceptor) runs from as "small" as Gargantuan to in-excess of Colossal on 'character scale' combat, with the added complication of not evenly doubling per size from the Tiny baseline.

Reflex save I would peg at (gunnery bonus/2) +10, AoE 5' per ship-die of damage. AoE's larger than a single move action by the target are made for half-damage instead of negate.

You ain't saving to negate against a quantum torpedo, bub. ;)


The Mad Comrade wrote:

Ship size categories are ~3 "sizes" ahead of characters.

A Tiny ship (interceptor) runs from as "small" as Gargantuan to in-excess of Colossal on 'character scale' combat, with the added complication of not evenly doubling per size from the Tiny baseline.

Reflex save I would peg at (gunnery bonus/2) +10, AoE 5' per ship-die of damage. AoE's larger than a single move action by the target are made for half-damage instead of negate.

You ain't saving to negate against a quantum torpedo, bub. ;)

Well im taking the inaccuracy thing into account thats why i am going with scatter dice


Rothlis wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:

Ship size categories are ~3 "sizes" ahead of characters.

A Tiny ship (interceptor) runs from as "small" as Gargantuan to in-excess of Colossal on 'character scale' combat, with the added complication of not evenly doubling per size from the Tiny baseline.

Reflex save I would peg at (gunnery bonus/2) +10, AoE 5' per ship-die of damage. AoE's larger than a single move action by the target are made for half-damage instead of negate.

You ain't saving to negate against a quantum torpedo, bub. ;)

Well im taking the inaccuracy thing into account thats why i am going with scatter dice

Sounds like a solution that should impart the necessary terror in players if/when the time comes. Who knows ... they might even survive a close impact. ;)


skizzerz wrote:
Ship weapons are too inaccurate to target individual NPCs (or small groups of NPCs), however they do 10 times the listed damage should they manage to hit.

Because obviously computer-assisted weaponry optimized to hit targets moving at hundred of km per hours with sufficient accuracy to target vital systems can't ever lock correctly on human-ish targets *roll eyes*

Seriously tho, that's just the designers of the game telling the PCs "no, you can't ruin our AP by simply shooting the bad guys from a fighter jet, f&!+ you". On the other hand, that's exactly what prevents the NPCs from dealing with a pesky group of PCs the same way. Fix logic on this topic at your own risks, the idiot ball was invented for a reason.

Liberty's Edge

Gryffe wrote:
Because obviously computer-assisted weaponry optimized to hit targets moving at hundred of km per hours with sufficient accuracy to target vital systems can't ever lock correctly on human-ish targets *roll eyes*

Given the fact that what systems get damaged as you shoot other ships is completely random, I'm not sure they're in any way as accurate as this implies. They do hit vehicles traveling very fast, but hitting large objects traveling quickly isn't necessarily that similar to hitting, y'know, people-sized things.

In fact, it's possible that the weapons have hardwired targeting protocols that exempt things under a certain size since otherwise they'd go off course, or their targeting computers would get overloaded, too often. Throwing out human sized chaff would be so casually easy for a star ship, that this is a logical exemption and that's ignoring all the environmental effects that would also be an issue.

This would mean that you could theoretically rewire them to shoot at human scale targets, but it would make them useless versus other ships, and probably be quite a bit of work.

This issue of scale is also borne out by capital scale weapons being unable to target starships that are too small.


What about giant sized enemies that are the size of ships. Do they just count as "people", too?


Yeah that is one of the things I've been thinking about that and the blur between at once point is it a vehicle or a space ship.


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Hopefully that is addressed in the Alien Archive. Ship-munching space-kraken able to command solar flares should be ship-scaled ... and they could even come in different 'degrees of maturation'.


Something could also just be a matter of travel scale. In space, logically, ships would be at least a mile apart, and most likely would be much, much greater, especially since the spaceships are travelling at such high speeds. Spaceships would also have thermal signatures, exhaust, etc. for targeting systems to locate, while a living being would most likely produce a smaller, if any, footprint.

It's the same reason that you don't see fighter jets firing homing missiles at people. The jets are simply travelling too quickly for it to be safe (a split-second is the difference between smashing into the ground and flying at such speeds) and living beings don't produce enough of a heat signature for the missiles to reliably track.


Spaceship weapons use homing missiles and guiding sights that are targeted through HUDs that lock on stardrives, quantum traces, and big chunks of starmetals. You can't shot them vs a person for the same reasons you cant target a pigeon with a Sidewinder or a cod witth a Harpoon. It is not like Photon Torpedoes are shot with iron sights and enfilading your ship toward the target.

Now, some of those weoapons might have AOE enough to destroy large areas with PC or NPC inside, but that is not targetting them. That's more like hazards, envuromental damage, and such, with players rolling REF saves, acrobatics, ayhletics, or survival, to check if they get to the antinuke bunker before the nukes destroy everything. It is like the inyro in fallout 4, not a combat encounter


Tracking weapons deal with target lock on whatever signatures. While not spelled out in the rules it is certainly possible (in theory) to have any number of nasty homing technologies keyed to something other than the emanations of starships and space monsters.

Direct fire weaponry remains point-and-shoot. Whether or not they can track diminutive targets is another matter altogether, especially at high speed differentials in combination with itty bitty targets that sensors do not easily discern. Strafing runs are a thing IRL and there's no reason other than "don't want the headache so at least the inability to pew-pew Darth Vader and Puke Sandcrawler is equal".

Capitol weapons cannot target ships of Small or Tiny size. Heavy weapons perhaps not track well enough to target Fine ships (which are Large creatures), while Light weapons could not target Tiny or smaller creatures.

Ruling these things as "hazards" then requires that said hazards be determined so as to be uniform across the game system. Right now it's purely ad-hoc.


If it comes down to speed and mass. Then humanoids lack the speed to get out of the way. But they have the "lack" of mass on thier side. But if they are charging through a hallway with the intent to kill your party while they are on or around thier ship. Whats to stop a gunner from sending a volley into that mass of humanoids. Its like a bunch of dumb knights charging on mass against a mother dragon protecting her young. Stupid but useful for the damage spewing hose.


Quote:
Direct fire weaponry remains point-and-shoot.

Yeah, but the thing is, most starships don't even have windows to look through, and even if they have, you can't manuslly target something that moves faster than the eye can see. They rely on target lock HUDs. When Luke targets the Tie in the Millenium Falcon, he does not align the canons and the target, he aligns the computer representation of a ship with the computer representation of a targeting scope.

Same goes with other examples in other genre staples

Said computers might not be programmed to track and represent medium sized 130 pound humanoids who move 30 feet per round with weapons built to target a very kind of threat. Just like sidewinders arent prepared for duck hunting.

Straffing runs are more a thing of vehicle sized combat, not starship combat, and naval sized guns and nuclear missiles should not be mixed with combat knives. The former are city-level destroyers, and any use vs a character are better solved ad hoc. Just like we don't need rules for extiction level meteors impacting the world: if such thing happens, it is plot related, snd either the PC flee the city before the photon torpedos/huge meteor hit, or everyone dies


Tiny and Small ships are vehicle-sized - they're big compared to most, but still (Really Tough) vehicles.

I get where you're coming from ... my doubts come into play with the plausibility of ship-grade direct fire "light" weapons not being able to target rocket launcher packing infantry and vehicles, moving or otherwise.

While infantry weaponry probably can't dent a capitol ship without penetrating rounds/energy quality they should be able to - for the higher damage weapons - take bites out of the smaller craft. Bouncing the blasters of Stormtroopers is one thing (2d6 or 3d6) ... some nasty character about to light off something really nasty should be a threat - especially while such vehicles' thrusters are warming up - albeit less so than getting shot by a gigajoule+-output starship weaponry.


It depends on how fast does a starship travel, I guess. The most difficult thing, in my opinion, to translate from normal yo starship combat is not damage, but accuracy. Starship combat happens at miles pf distance vs moving objects that travel at thousands of feets per second. To hit, a starship weapon needs a computer that guesses where the target is going to be a tenth of a second later (which means hundreds of feets of differece!), then point the weapons there, shoot, and hope the target and the "bullet" have a collision course.

You can't simply do that with a sgoulder mounted plasma rifle targetted manually, no matter how powerful it is. It is like shooting a catapult boulder vs a mach 1 F14. Yes, if it hits, a boulder big enough will crush a wing and take the plane down. It will never, ever, hit.

Now, you could argue about shooting vs, say, a stationary ship in a dock. But then, that combat is easy to solve as «shooting vs an object». It is not much different than shooting vs a bunker. Use hardness, give the walls a ton of hp, and so. Or, even better, just take a decision adhoc, and use that chance for something narrative. Solve it with skill checks, description, and roleplaying

But we don't need combat rules to solve infantry vs starship combat, because such thing is not a combat. It is a plot event. It is something plot related, part of the narrative aspect of the game. We don't need rules to solve how much damage does a star going supernova, planets exploding, or entering a black hole either. We don't need to check if 100d100 is enough damage for Death Star planet killing gun, only to read in the forum that someone, somewhere, got hit by it, rolled exceptionaly low, and survived.

Now, the game does provide a rule to convert for damage (x10). If you need to fibd how much a starship torpedo does to a player, because the player ties himself ties himself to one, use that guideline if you want. But starship and infabtry combat being sepparated by rules is a great idea in my opinion. Players already have a tendency to nuke things from orbit, we don't want to incentivize that.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


This issue of scale is also borne out by capital scale weapons being unable to target starships that are too small.

I do not remember seeing it in SF but in most other games that have this rule I have seen a note that says, do to the ability of ships of X size they are able to evade the target locks of weapons of sizes Y, Z.

Again I do not remember seeing that in the book, I do remember seeing that you cannot target ships of sizes A, B with weapons of sizes Y, Z.
It is almost as if the writers just read other games and put in rules without backing them with logic.

IRL, the fact that modern ships could not target old fashion areal targets is true, see the Bismark and old Swordfish bi planes as well as the recient report of North Korea's use of old Soviet WWII transport planes that modern radar often picks up as birds and fly so slow that modern anti aircraft missiles cannot lock onto them.

The rule about not being able to target PC sized targets with starship sized weapons is also common in RPG's but again in more detailed rules they give they often give examples when in fact you can target small targets.

MDC


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I'd like to see the players' faces when you drop 80d6 on the table, say "I crit" and then add the d6 burn.


The Mad Comrade wrote:
Hopefully that is addressed in the Alien Archive. Ship-munching space-kraken able to command solar flares should be ship-scaled ... and they could even come in different 'degrees of maturation'.

I think it will be, actually. I can't remember where I heard the name now, but I know I heard of something called a "novaspawn" in the book, somewhere.

Something with "nova" in its name probably will be big enough to take a chunk out of a ship, me thinks. *crosses fingers*

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