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Strength Based Soldier In Starship Combat


Advice

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Ship combat is intentionally abstracted to have no relation to normal combat. Ship combat takes place over no specified distance, so how can you know if you're close enough to teleport? Ship combat rounds have no specified time frame, so if you did board, how long do you have to take over an enemy vessel if you're losing a space battle?

Also, the fact that some ships are about three miles long means that capturing one would be like trying to take over a city. It could take weeks. Being good at punching things seems insufficient for the task.


As awesome as it would be to allow players to send boarding teams onto other ships, there is one simple reason why this should never be allowed.

If players can do it, so can NPCs.

How often will players be fighting ships with a bigger crew than their party? What happens when most of the party is busy flying the ship, and the enemy teleports a 4-man kill squad to take them out, without sacrificing any vital crew on their own ship? PCs would have to give up the space battle to hold off the boarding party.

It's just too powerful a technology to use against players in a realistic sci-fi setting.


Should of made shields block teleportation. that is something I would want built in.


Those are all very valid points... Thank you all for your continued input.
Again if anyone thinks of new things for Str based characters in starship combat let me know please.
I will try tabulate what has been suggested so far


Space McMan wrote:

As awesome as it would be to allow players to send boarding teams onto other ships, there is one simple reason why this should never be allowed.

If players can do it, so can NPCs.

How often will players be fighting ships with a bigger crew than their party? What happens when most of the party is busy flying the ship, and the enemy teleports a 4-man kill squad to take them out, without sacrificing any vital crew on their own ship? PCs would have to give up the space battle to hold off the boarding party.

It's just too powerful a technology to use against players in a realistic sci-fi setting.

Sounds like something a good GM could make work if handled right. It's a bit like scry-and-fry tactics in Pathfinder. You don't really want it to be available all the time because then everyone gets murdered in their sleep. But if you make it work only under certain circumstances - you have to temporarily disable the shields, and then you can have a few rounds of personal combat before the next round of ship combat, or something like that - it could be an exciting scene, one that gives the big dumb soldier a chance to shine.

Liberty's Edge

I honestly can't imagine most Soldiers, even melee ones, having less than Dex 14. Dex 14 and Full BAB makes you a decent gunner, all by itself. You're not optimal at that role, but you're serviceable. And only -2 to hit behind the Dex specialized guy.

This is much less true of Solarians, but they make halfway decent captains in much the same way.

In both cases, the real issue is if someone else is better at the job you're innately qualified for than you are, not that you're unable to do a job.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
J4RH34D wrote:
The thing is it is impossible to not be moving at all... everything is moving relative to something else.

Wrong

The basis of relativity if I remember my Special relativity correctly is Planes of reference, everything can be considered stationary if you declare it's plane of reference as being the one you are working from, everything else in the universe will be moving relative to it unless they have deliberately brought themselves to rest in that plane of reference. But be definition there is at least 1 point or object which is not moving when you determine your plane of reference.

Admittedly that is physics and just the way framing the maths and so that not moving is of little use in a practical situation as it just means everything else is moving relative to you.


JohnHawkins wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:
The thing is it is impossible to not be moving at all... everything is moving relative to something else.

Wrong

The basis of relativity if I remember my Special relativity correctly is Planes of reference, everything can be considered stationary if you declare it's plane of reference as being the one you are working from, everything else in the universe will be moving relative to it unless they have deliberately brought themselves to rest in that plane of reference. But be definition there is at least 1 point or object which is not moving when you determine your plane of reference.

Admittedly that is physics and just the way framing the maths and so that not moving is of little use in a practical situation as it just means everything else is moving relative to you.

WRONG

Good old gamer social skills. XD

Dark Archive

It's a new game let's not throw absolutes out at this stage xD. Also as far as GM's using it she gets too cheap whenever she feels like she is the gm. Also rules aside it takes a special, special kind of snowflake to want to willingly board a ship in the middle of combat that his allies are doing their damnedest to blow up and who may decide the self-destruct rather than accept defeat


JohnHawkins wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:
The thing is it is impossible to not be moving at all... everything is moving relative to something else.

Wrong

The basis of relativity if I remember my Special relativity correctly is Planes of reference, everything can be considered stationary if you declare it's plane of reference as being the one you are working from, everything else in the universe will be moving relative to it unless they have deliberately brought themselves to rest in that plane of reference. But be definition there is at least 1 point or object which is not moving when you determine your plane of reference.

Admittedly that is physics and just the way framing the maths and so that not moving is of little use in a practical situation as it just means everything else is moving relative to you.

I chose to ignore that fact to make a point. :p. Everything is stationary relative to itself such that the universe moves around it.

However if we want to get all pseudo science we can have some fun.

Assume there are infinite particles in the universe. Therefore there are infinite planes of reference. If we want to quantify just how stationary something is we can tally the number of reference pls d's where it is stationary vs ones where it is not.

Due to the constant motion of particles in the fundamental theorem of matter we can assume that the number of stayionary relative planes is finite for each particle.

As the lim n->infinity of (x*100)/n where x is an arbitrary finite number =0 we can state that all particles are 0% stationary


I just want to say, there are not infinite particles in the universe.

For instance, we believe that a googolplex (10^(10^100)) is larger than the number of atoms in the universe.


Claxon wrote:

I just want to say, there are not infinite particles in the universe.

For instance, we believe that a googolplex (10^(10^100)) is larger than the number of atoms in the universe.

Dont get all technical on my pseudo technical stuff.

I suppose it also depends on how small of a particle we are talking. If you are talking atoms, but what about protons and neutrons and electrons, quarks, etc...


J4RH34D wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I just want to say, there are not infinite particles in the universe.

For instance, we believe that a googolplex (10^(10^100)) is larger than the number of atoms in the universe.

Dont get all technical on my pseudo technical stuff.

I suppose it also depends on how small of a particle we are talking. If you are talking atoms, but what about protons and neutrons and electrons, quarks, etc...

It's a large number but still countable (in theory). Each atom has a specified number of those individual subatomic particles. We know based on what the atom is how many protons, electrons, and neutrons it has including for isotopes, etc.


But we know there are sub subatomic particles. What if those are made up of something even smaller :p. But yes


The STR focused soldier does fail to shine in ship combat, but he steadily progresses as a gunner with absolutely no investment in resources. Sure, he's going to lag behind a dex-based soldier and a high dex character who puts points into pilot each level, but he gets better automatically. Maybe convince the crew to reserve one computer check bonus to gunnery?


Butch A. Very valid points. Thank you for the input... I will see how everyone else is distributing their skill ranks.

Liberty's Edge

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

I really doubt we will see ship-to-ship teleportation while combat maneuvers are possible; there is a strong firewall between personal level combat and starship actions, and allowing boarding actions before the starship combat is over would breach that.


I think you're probably right.

The difference in time scale for space combat, and the difficulty of figuring out what PCs could do while in the enemy star ship just means (IMO) it's probably better left as something you can't do.


Your dex should only be +2 modifier lower than your main strength stat.

Just live with it? You specialized in monster slaying and disrupting shooter nests. Thus you lose out 10% in starship combat.


Even if the soldier is -7 compared to the best gunner, if the ship has enough weapons, it's still better to let the soldier fire one rather than have one person shoot two weapons at -4. If the weapons aren't all the same size, the soldier can be even worse and still be useful.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Space McMan wrote:

As awesome as it would be to allow players to send boarding teams onto other ships, there is one simple reason why this should never be allowed.

If players can do it, so can NPCs.

How often will players be fighting ships with a bigger crew than their party? What happens when most of the party is busy flying the ship, and the enemy teleports a 4-man kill squad to take them out, without sacrificing any vital crew on their own ship? PCs would have to give up the space battle to hold off the boarding party.

GM: So yeah, it looks like they're about to send a boarding party if you don't surrender. But don't worry, you've broken out of capture be-

Soldier: I PREPARE FOR BATTLE.

GM: Uhm, they have you outnumbered like twenty to-

Solider: YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK UP. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THIS EXCESSIVELY LOUD VIOLENCE.

I don't really see this scenario as much of a bad thing.


Rosc wrote:
Space McMan wrote:

As awesome as it would be to allow players to send boarding teams onto other ships, there is one simple reason why this should never be allowed.

If players can do it, so can NPCs.

How often will players be fighting ships with a bigger crew than their party? What happens when most of the party is busy flying the ship, and the enemy teleports a 4-man kill squad to take them out, without sacrificing any vital crew on their own ship? PCs would have to give up the space battle to hold off the boarding party.

GM: So yeah, it looks like they're about to send a boarding party if you don't surrender. But don't worry, you've broken out of capture be-

Soldier: I PREPARE FOR BATTLE.

GM: Uhm, they have you outnumbered like twenty to-

Solider: YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK UP. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THIS EXCESSIVELY LOUD VIOLENCE.

I don't really see this scenario as much of a bad thing.

Heh, yeah. Fun stuff.

And then the soldier takes 10 attacks per round and dies because the rest of the party has to fly the ship or get destroyed by the enemy ship and can't help.

Unless the DM is intentionally using low-level mooks for kicks and giggles, the action economy is a harsh mistress to wannabe Rambos.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Space McMan wrote:

Heh, yeah. Fun stuff.

And then the soldier takes 10 attacks per round and dies because the rest of the party has to fly the ship or get destroyed by the enemy ship and can't help.

Unless the DM is intentionally using low-level mooks for kicks and giggles, the action economy is a harsh mistress to wannabe Rambos.

Yeah but what fun is that. I could actually see some simultanious battle happening. One with ships against ships, while the soldier has to hold the line against a squad of lower CR mooks. Perhaps taking too long to kill will let mooks interfere with other ship functions, so she (with the Mechanic's drone for backup!) can get to have some fun while the multiple Operatives are rocking those skill checks.


I don't know Ever once In a while I like to throw a large group of monsters that the party had trouble with at lower levels so they can see exactly how far they have came. Oh that ogre almost killed you at level 3? well here is 60 of them at level 15. They slaughter them in not time and get a nice god of battle high. I wouldn't suggest doing it to often however.


A Soldier has a high BAB, so even with Dex 10 you still have your BAB, so grab one of the Gunnery station and fire at will. :)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

The challenge will be in running the Starship Combat and regular combat at the same time, because Starship Combat rounds are not 6 seconds.

It would be a "breaktime for everyone else while the soldier fights the boarding party, then we return to the ship combat" situation.


Get your pilot to make a close flyby, strap on a jetpack, and you and the mechanic's drone jump out an airlock, grab the other ship...and the drone hacks you into the airlock. The two of you start killing crew while they're distracted trying to fly the ship. :P


Both Engineering and Intimidate are class skills. Maybe take the Skill synergy feat for them and be the Captain. Or backup Engineer.


Tervola wrote:
Both Engineering and Intimidate are class skills. Maybe take the Skill synergy feat for them and be the Captain. Or backup Engineer.

Given that for a lot of the checks, the Captain can just make Aid Another checks, that may not be a bad idea either. You may need to spend a few levels getting the skill points to be able to help on each check, but after that, you can just be Sgt. Helpful.


I really like the idea of this bumbling strong man shouting at the engineers computer and it suddenly working better.


You could always just not min-max and put a little something in either Dexterity, Intelligence, or Charisma. Then you can still use gunnery, engineering, or Charisma skills.


2 Coppers Worth wrote:
You could always just not min-max and put a little something in either Dexterity, Intelligence, or Charisma. Then you can still use gunnery, engineering, or Charisma skills.

*points up* This.

Also, why exactly would anyone expect that a strength-based soldier would be able to contribute equally with other people in ship combat?


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Metaphysician wrote:
2 Coppers Worth wrote:
You could always just not min-max and put a little something in either Dexterity, Intelligence, or Charisma. Then you can still use gunnery, engineering, or Charisma skills.

*points up* This.

Also, why exactly would anyone expect that a strength-based soldier would be able to contribute equally with other people in ship combat?

Because everyone should be able to contribute in spaceship combat?

It was hyped as being an important part of the game. Sitting out of it because you have nothing useful to do is not fun.

Liberty's Edge

The community cracks me up.

When dexterity wasn't used for melee damage there was constant campaigning to make it a more and more accessible option for years. Now that dexterity fully outclasses strength, there's no room to allow strength a useful niche in Starfinder combat?

Why is the expectation that strength-based characters should invest in other stats to be useful elsewhere okay? You could have applied that same logic to dexterity-based characters that wanted to do more damage in melee combat.


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Ventnor wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
2 Coppers Worth wrote:
You could always just not min-max and put a little something in either Dexterity, Intelligence, or Charisma. Then you can still use gunnery, engineering, or Charisma skills.

*points up* This.

Also, why exactly would anyone expect that a strength-based soldier would be able to contribute equally with other people in ship combat?

Because everyone should be able to contribute in spaceship combat?

It was hyped as being an important part of the game. Sitting out of it because you have nothing useful to do is not fun.

You *can* contribute. You can take up a gunner position, or pick Engineering or Piloting as a skill and do that.

"Can contribute" is not the same thing as "Can contribute with the same degree of capability as a min-maxed character built primarily around doing one specific thing". Yes, you will not be as good of a gunner or pilot or engineer as a character of a different class and build who optimized to do these things. This is called "you didn't build those characters, you built a character that is primarily good at something else, instead."


That's just it, there's NOTHING a soldier can do to be the best Gunner. The disadvantage is inherent to the system. ANYONE with piloting ranks and a dex focus is better than the melee-centric character. Most of the classes can be better at the other positions w/o even trying due to baked in skill bonuses that apply:

Envoy: Skill focus & scaling expertise dice
Mechanics: scaling bonus to engineering & computers
Mystic: scaling bonus to Connection skills (Mindbreaker, Overlord, Star Shaman all have space combat skills)
Operative: enough skill focus & points to be good at every position; Hacker Operatives don't even have to spend points, it's automatic
Solarian: Sidereal Influence, not as good as the other class bonuses due to the limited skill selection but they still get a d6 bonus
Technomancer: scaling bonus to Computers & int based

The Soldier really needs something stand out at their star ship position. Hell, I'm fine with it being locked into gunnery. It's just a slap in the face to have every other class get to add their class features to the other positions but for Gunnery, the combat position, a soldier is equal or outshined by the dex pilot.


Zabraxis wrote:

Most of the classes can be better at the other positions w/o even trying due to baked in skill bonuses that apply:

...
Mystic: scaling bonus to Connection skills (Mindbreaker, Overlord, Star Shaman all have space combat skills)

Picking a connection because it's good for space combat IS trying.

Quote:

...

Solarian: Sidereal Influence, not as good as the other class bonuses due to the limited skill selection but they still get a d6 bonus

That d6 averages a minuscule 0.5 over skill focus that a soldier can easily get. The horror! Also, I'm not sure that starship combat counts as not being in combat.


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Well at DEX based soldier can be good. So it is only half of the soldiers that are out. And your DEX can be fairly close, so only a point or so behind.

Take Laser Accuracy as your first Gear Boost. It only says laser weapons. That is 3 light, 5 heavy, and 2 capital weapons.

Sovereign Court

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Tervola wrote:

Well at DEX based soldier can be good. So it is only half of the soldiers that are out. And your DEX can be fairly close, so only a point or so behind.

Take Laser Accuracy as your first Gear Boost. It only says laser weapons. That is 3 light, 5 heavy, and 2 capital weapons.

I like that twist of logic. Would you classify the railgun and mass driver in the projectile category for Bullet Barrage too?


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Amusing, but I think this is the kind of case where the "unless otherwise specified" rule makes sense and would logically apply. Though I wouldn't be averse to seeing some Gear Boosts and Fighting Styles that are designed for ship combat.


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I don't think you need to go with that clause to rule it out anyway. You just have to remember the lovely madness that comes from the distinction between fluff and mechanical terms. At no point is a starship's laser cannon defined as a Laser weapon, and it's in a completely different chapter of the book inside a completely different subsystem. So given that the lasers are not called Lasers, it's doubtful that they even are Lasers, and thus Laser Accuracy does not apply to lasers despite them being lasers, as they are probably not Lasers. Their damage is also untyped, so if you manage to find yourself under fire from starship weapons, your armor's energy resistance won't help you at all!

And before you get too tempted to dismiss that as merely pedantic, hair-splitting, rules-obsessed madness - after all, even if a laser (narratively) isn't a Laser (mechanically), obviously it's still going to do Fire damage when relevant - keep in mind that we have such lovely things as the gravity gun. Or vortex cannon, if you're so profoundly unfortunate as to be faced not just with heavy weapons, but capital weapons on foot. Neither of those have a listed damage type either, so there's no easy way out of that uncertainty.

Shocking as it may be, a high level character actually can survive both of those if the gunner rolls exceptionally poorly.

As for the broader issue, I too am fairly disappointed by the lack of not just Soldier support in starship combat, but the broader lack of support for certain things in general. Mysticism has no place in space, apparently, once you're dealing with the actual vehicles themselves.


Firebug wrote:
Tervola wrote:

Well at DEX based soldier can be good. So it is only half of the soldiers that are out. And your DEX can be fairly close, so only a point or so behind.

Take Laser Accuracy as your first Gear Boost. It only says laser weapons. That is 3 light, 5 heavy, and 2 capital weapons.

I like that twist of logic. Would you classify the railgun and mass driver in the projectile category for Bullet Barrage too?

I wouldn't as that damage is for personal weapons, and we are supposed to treat ship based weapons as hazards. (or X10 the listed damage. Like going from MDC to SDC in the Palladium system. So the +5 damage bonus scales down to 0.5 at 20th lvl. Rounds down to nothing.)

Everyone else is using insight bonuses on computer and engineering checks. What is a non-scalable insight bonus on the attack role?

Shadow Lodge

I always thought that teleporting from one spaceship to another couldn't be done because they're both so much smaller than a planet, and most likely not moving in the exact same direction the whole time either.

As for the problem in the title, I can't help but think of a big tough STR-based soldier literally throwing chaff out the airlock by hand in order to throw off incoming missiles or something.


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If a strut or some such were to fall on someone he could lift it off. Carry people to med bays. (if that is a thing) open jammed doors. Open the last jar of rations. etc.


Starship battles all last days and someone has to carry all the crew to the toilet as their brains are disconnected from their bodies and plugged into the ship alla the matrix but wireless :p


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Make the ship into the SDF-1, and use the ship to punch out the other ship.

Dark Archive

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Str based solder can do his best. Will he be the best? No not ever but he does not need to be. Everyone here is figuring on the Optimum Loadout, one mechanic, one Envoy, one operative will perfectly cover engineering Gunnery captain someone else recover piloting perfectly and nobody will have any flaws whatsoever. However on the off chance that your group composition does not have one of every perfect class the soldier can do his best and his best may just be as good as the mystics best or technomage


No matter what it will not be as good as the macross because your ship can't transform into a giant robot.

Dark Archive

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Daedalus attack go

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