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Creature vs. Starship Combat


Starfinder General Discussion

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I didn't see too much of it in the rules about how it would be handled, and I was wondering if the Alien Archive included anything about how it would function.

If there are any monsters that function like spaceships, that would be cool to know of, too.

Silver Crusade

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Yeah, there are Monster-Starships in Alien Archive. Even some creatures that can do both (the Endbringer Devil for example is both a huge spaceship or a colossal devil).

Space combat with monster-Starships works pretty much exactly like normal space combat though.
In the case of the Endbringer Devil starship, it acts like a crew 1 starship, other monster starship detail the number of, and which actions they can take in which phases.


What CR is the EndBringer Devil?

I was hoping to see if any sort of system that translates pre-existing monsters in space combat. Some sort of conversion or guidelines.

Silver Crusade

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Endbringer Devil is CR19, or a Tier 14 starship.

As for a conversion system, there is none that I could see.

You might be also interested in the oma, which is a colossal magical beast (CR16) that has a normal combat statblock, but no space combat statblock. But, it can also be 'refitted' as a medium starship frame at cost 20.

All in all there are 3 starships with a complete starship statblock in Alien Archive, and the oma starship frame. (unless I missed something)


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Ship weapons do ten times the damage against creatures.


So nothing then, really? Like if I wanted to know what a colossal dragons damage would be against a starship, I would just have to figure it out on my own? I know there's a bit about PCs attacking a starship on ground and treating it as a massive object, but that tells me absolutely nothing.

There's even a creature with in one of the books that has a 450 square space, but how does it function against starships? Doesn't explain.

Hmm, seems like a wasted opportunity, to me.

But, yeah, thanks for the replies, so far.


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Sauce987654321 wrote:

So nothing then, really? Like if I wanted to know what a colossal dragons damage would be against a starship, I would just have to figure it out on my own? I know there's a bit about PCs attacking a starship on ground and treating it as a massive object, but that tells me absolutely nothing.

There's even a creature with in one of the books that has a 450 square space, but how does it function against starships? Doesn't explain.

Hmm, seems like a wasted opportunity, to me.

But, yeah, thanks for the replies, so far.

You just have to build the monster using spaceship rules, there are a couple of rules that kind of explain how monsters without crew work in the statblocks so just adapt those and rename some of the starship weapons to line up thematically.


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Luke Spencer wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:

So nothing then, really? Like if I wanted to know what a colossal dragons damage would be against a starship, I would just have to figure it out on my own? I know there's a bit about PCs attacking a starship on ground and treating it as a massive object, but that tells me absolutely nothing.

There's even a creature with in one of the books that has a 450 square space, but how does it function against starships? Doesn't explain.

Hmm, seems like a wasted opportunity, to me.

But, yeah, thanks for the replies, so far.

You just have to build the monster using spaceship rules, there are a couple of rules that kind of explain how monsters without crew work in the statblocks so just adapt those and rename some of the starship weapons to line up thematically.

That seems to be one of the only things you can do, really.

When I read about monsters and how they can tear up vessels, like the Ribbon Dragon, or how some monsters that you encounter in space can latch on to your ship and attack it, you would think there would be some sort of guideline on how their attacks interact with a starship, but there isn't.

I know I can say "10 damage is worth 1 damage to a vessel" since that's what the 10x the listed starship weapon damage for attacking people turns out to be if you reverse it, but something like this should be already included and not left up to the players to find out. This is why I call it a wasted opportunity.

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I did it before. I just took an existing ship, gave it a couple of unique weapons, and called it a day.


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Cyrad wrote:
I did it before. I just took an existing ship, gave it a couple of unique weapons, and called it a day.

I mean that's fine and all, if you make a starship and call it a monster.

What about when someone fires a missile launcher at a tiny sized racer that's flying over head? what happens when your ship is attacked by a monster that doesn't have a starship statblock? Is a GM expected to handwave everything?

It's rather hard for me to take a game seriously when it pretends that certain scenarios simply don't happen.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

You make it up and balance based on other similar mechanics, just like you do for everything else that doesn't have a rule. I much prefer two sets of mechanics that do what they do well than one 'unified' set that does one or both poorly for the sake of being interchangeable.

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Sauce987654321 wrote:
What about when someone fires a missile launcher at a tiny sized racer that's flying over head?

Treat the missile launcher as a weak starship weapon. Generally, the rules say that only starship weapons can deal any notable amount of damage to starships. This actually mimics modern real-world warfare as infantry weapons are generally ineffective against armored vehicles.

Sauce987654321 wrote:
what happens when your ship is attacked by a monster that doesn't have a starship statblock?

Again, generally little can do significant damage to a starship unless the creature is powerful enough to be on par with a starship itself. It would be nice if they released a bestiary of creatures with starship combat statblocks. For now, you just have to do what you would do in any situation where you need a statblock for a monster that doesn't exist.

Sauce987654321 wrote:
Is a GM expected to handwave everything? It's rather hard for me to take a game seriously when it pretends that certain scenarios simply don't happen.

It's not handwaving. It's the GM's job to add content as necessary to their campaign. The game doesn't pretend these scenarios never happen. They provide all the rules necessary for a GM to make decisions themselves.


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If you ask me, it honestly depends on the monster now doesn't it?

Take say... A giant flying space tarrasque. A monster like that should definitely be treated as its own ship. If it doesn't have a ship status block, 'make' one. Once the archive comes out we will have the rules to do so hopefully.

If it's not something that awesome, like a large size category void dragon, you run it just like the book says. It's too fast to lock on to directly, but your weapons count as AoEs against it. And while it can't nuke your ship like a colossal size one could, it could still latch on despite any shields you have (because it's not fast enough to trigger them) and could start tearing your ship apart using the item breaking rules as stated.

It would force your characters to get out of said ship to do some zero g combat...or get really creative by flying close to a sun or something.

Be creative! Come up with interesting ideas on how to run it.


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And I apologize, I just woke up when I posted that and realized I didn't give any information.

SF core book, page 406 to 409.

Starfinders system doesn't have energy attacks doing half damage to objects anymore. So if said creature doesn't quite have the strength to rip pieces of the hull off, it can still use any of its special abilities... Like a breath weapon... To do some serious damage to the hull. Even a colossal ship would only have a hardness of about the 50 or 60 per section. So if the attack did 120 points of damage to 4 sections at once, well, that's a harsh hit.

Though considering the bigger you get, the higher bonus you have to break things, anything that's huge or bigger could land on your ship, rip your thruster off, and beat the rest of the ship with it until the life support gives out.

And quick tip. Hulls have 'alot' of hp per section. Airlock doors... Not so much.


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Cyrad wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:
What about when someone fires a missile launcher at a tiny sized racer that's flying over head?
Treat the missile launcher as a weak starship weapon. Generally, the rules say that only starship weapons can deal any notable amount of damage to starships. This actually mimics modern real-world warfare as infantry weapons are generally ineffective against armored vehicles.

That's cool if it models warfare in real life, but I'd rather that be modeled by the in game rules and not just assumptions. Most real life people are would be modeled as 1st level NPCs, which aren't capable of effectively dealing damage like, say, a mid level character can.

There's no reason to assume that any attack from a character would be ineffective to any starship, even as small as a racer. Just like if a Starship scale weapon damages a target that's personal scale, it's not fair to assume the target is dead. A character in the teens can even survive a dead on hit from a tactical nuke.

Cyrad wrote:
Again, generally little can do significant damage to a starship unless the creature is powerful enough to be on par with a starship itself. It would be nice if they released a bestiary of creatures with starship combat statblocks. For now, you just have to do what you would do in any situation where you need a statblock for a monster that doesn't exist.

Well how powerful does a creature have to be to damage a starship? This is why I would like some sort of damage conversion, so I know how much damage is enough instead of making assumptions.

Cyrad wrote:
It's not handwaving. It's the GM's job to add content as necessary to their campaign. The game doesn't pretend these scenarios never happen. They provide all the rules necessary for a GM to make decisions themselves.

It feels like handwaving to me because I have no concrete ruling that states what happens if I bring this scenario up in play. It's all just assumptions. I can guarantee that if most GMs set up a scenario where a landed starship gets attacked by a big monster before take off, the GM would react to the situation like:

"Okay, well it attacks your ship... I'm not sure if how much damage it takes. Hmm... The game doesn't seem to say"

*Proceeds by making up his own damage value*

Sorry, but that's bad game design. I don't know about most people, but having some ruling about damage from non starship sources should be a part of the game.

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"GM handwaving" is generally when a GM simplifies or ignores rules for ease of play. Which is what you're doing by ignoring the existing rules in order to argue that there's not enough rules.


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Cyrad wrote:
"GM handwaving" is generally when a GM simplifies or ignores rules for ease of play. Which is what you're doing by ignoring the existing rules in order to argue that there's not enough rules.

Well, I guess it isn't handwaving, then, considering that rules for attacking a starship with non starship weapons don't seem to be present. You say I'm ignoring rules, okay then, where are they?

Silver Crusade

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It is especially noticeable in the (aforementioned) case of the oma (space whale):
You can only encounter that creature in space, and even though it is true neutral, and even called out as 'good natured' in the descriptive text, sometimes somehow it happens that you would have to fight it. And then you don't have a starship combat statblock.
(In the case of the oma, that can be migitated, as the creature has a (sort of) "EMP" attack that disables a starships power core [according to the descriptive text anyway], so the normal statblock would have to be used)


What you're asking for is a customized system where it allows for smaller creatures to effectively damage something that's way bigger than them.

This isn't an anime brother. You're not going to find a creature less than challenge rating ten that can punch a starship once or twice and turn it into a pile of scrap.

If you're looking for a way to get something like a huge to colossal creature to be able to damage a ship, I've already told you how.

Use break checks. The DC for breaking chunks off a ship is high, but not impossible. Especially for big creatures.

I think part of the problem you may be having is that creature size does NOT match up to ship size. A tiny starship is roughly equal to a large or bigger creature. The developers explained this in the beginning of the ship section.

They also mentioned that creatures and ships were never meant to interact. That's why the monsters can't damage ships effectively, and also why you can't target a creature directly using ship weaponry.

I'm not sure what the problem is here.

Silver Crusade

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The problem is that some creatures (gargantuan and above) can be fought as monsters in normal combat (like the endbringer devil), but also as a starship (at a starship size) (like the endbringer devil in starship form).

In the case of the endbringer devil both forms have a statblock, so all is well, but that is not the case for all creatures that fit the description.
And for those, a conversion, or both statblock would be nice.
(The endbringer devil can't be used as a conversion guideline, as it specifically has to transform from starship to normal form)

For example: a Void dragon from Pathfinder can be converted to Starfinder, to be fought in PC combat. But you might want to give your players the chance to fight a void dragon with their starship, but can't simply convert it, but have to find a way to replicate and guestimate his statblock with some starship frame and starship weapons or design your own.

Maybe Alien Archive isn't the right book and some other book will have such a conversion guide. But logically, it would have fit the book.


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Agreed, considering there is a precident for these things being possible, it would be nice to have the rules to convert things yourself. They've clearly put thought into it at paizo, and knowing the result of that would be quite handy.


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How does the Endbringer Devil handle ranged combat? It's pretty weird for a living ship to have ranged weapons that can shoot for thousands (at least) of kilometers. Are they something strapped on, or organically part of it?


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Randalfin wrote:

What you're asking for is a customized system where it allows for smaller creatures to effectively damage something that's way bigger than them.

This isn't an anime brother. You're not going to find a creature less than challenge rating ten that can punch a starship once or twice and turn it into a pile of scrap.

If you're looking for a way to get something like a huge to colossal creature to be able to damage a ship, I've already told you how.

Use break checks. The DC for breaking chunks off a ship is high, but not impossible. Especially for big creatures.

I think part of the problem you may be having is that creature size does NOT match up to ship size. A tiny starship is roughly equal to a large or bigger creature. The developers explained this in the beginning of the ship section.

They also mentioned that creatures and ships were never meant to interact. That's why the monsters can't damage ships effectively, and also why you can't target a creature directly using ship weaponry.

I'm not sure what the problem is here.

It has nothing to do with trying to be anime or anything else while trying to be the lowest CR possible while punching starships into pieces. All I wanted was a table, some sort of guideline that tells me "if you deal X amount of damage, that translates into X damage to its Hull Points."

It's not about how big or small something is, it's what kind of punch this creature has. And if the game is trying to say "well we don't do creature vs starship combat" then why is it implied that it happens in the flavor of the game itself (certain monster descriptions)?

If using break DCs against a starships exterior is actually a thing, this would be pretty handy. I haven't seen it, could you point it out, sorry.

Let's say the monster in question is bigger than the starship it's attacking. A tiny starship's Gyro Laser, for example, deals about 45 personal damage on average that is capable of harming a starship. If said monster can deal roughly 300 damage a round with its melee attacks, what would that translate into Hull Points? Does it's size factor in, like break DCs do? What application does that have in combat with a spaceship? That's the issue I'm seeing here.

Don't get it twisted, though. I do appreciate you taking your time responding and explaining methods of how to do what I'm asking. It's just that I really would prefer the game to do it itself, though. The suggestions are good.


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The game probably will have the rules for it eventually, but I think it might be a bit early for it. It's a niche enough situation that it isn't considered a key aspect of the game, so the rules will probably be either in a future AA or in one of the AP volumes.

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Sauce987654321 wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
"GM handwaving" is generally when a GM simplifies or ignores rules for ease of play. Which is what you're doing by ignoring the existing rules in order to argue that there's not enough rules.
Well, I guess it isn't handwaving, then, considering that rules for attacking a starship with non starship weapons don't seem to be present. You say I'm ignoring rules, okay then, where are they?

Page 292 of the Core Rulebook.

Shooting Starships wrote:
Starship weapons and regular PC-level weapons work on different scales and aren’t meant to interact with each other. If characters choose to shoot at a starships with their laser rifles (or cast a Spell on it) while it is on the ground, the GM should treat the starships as an object (a particularly massive one, at that). At the GM’s discretion, if starships weapons are ever brought to bear against buildings or people, they deal Hit Point damage equal to 10 × their listed amount of damage. However, starships weapons are never precise enough to target a single individual (or even small group) and can, if the GM decides, be simulated as deadly hazards instead of weapon attacks.


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Cyrad wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
"GM handwaving" is generally when a GM simplifies or ignores rules for ease of play. Which is what you're doing by ignoring the existing rules in order to argue that there's not enough rules.
Well, I guess it isn't handwaving, then, considering that rules for attacking a starship with non starship weapons don't seem to be present. You say I'm ignoring rules, okay then, where are they?

Page 292 of the Core Rulebook.

Shooting Starships wrote:
Starship weapons and regular PC-level weapons work on different scales and aren’t meant to interact with each other. If characters choose to shoot at a starships with their laser rifles (or cast a Spell on it) while it is on the ground, the GM should treat the starships as an object (a particularly massive one, at that). At the GM’s discretion, if starships weapons are ever brought to bear against buildings or people, they deal Hit Point damage equal to 10 × their listed amount of damage. However, starships weapons are never precise enough to target a single individual (or even small group) and can, if the GM decides, be simulated as deadly hazards instead of weapon attacks.

I acknowledged this "rule" in one of my first posts.

I don't know about everybody else, but this tells me nothing whatsoever. Other than the fact that it assumes players are just going to attack it with regular laser rifles, what about high level missile launchers? What about if a colossal monster attacks it? What about the damage it takes if we treat it as an object, how does that interact with its Hull Points?

Also, whether a PCs laser attacks are effective or not, this should be modeled in the rules, not some assumption like "little people can't hurt big things" sort of mentality. If a PC can damage a colossal sized construct, why is damaging something like a Tie Fighter just out of the question? There's so much that little cliff note doesn't consider.


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The Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr was invented 99 years ago to shoot giant bullets through tanks, and there has been an effective, human-portable anti-tank weapon in existence pretty much ever since. It's absolute balderdash to tell me that the biggest character weapon isn't a threat to the smallest starship.

"There's no such thing as a dragon big enough for a starship to shoot at it" is absolute balderdash.

"Monsters should try to use break DCs to tear parts off the PC's ship" is not absolute balderdash, it's an honest attempt to help and I appreciate it, but it's not exactly playtested and seems pretty devastating to the ship.

Basically, I agree with Sauce and it seems like Paizo dropped the ball a bit on this one.

Sovereign Court

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If you want to have a starship combat, you can make your own starship statblock to fit the challenge you want to give your players. We have rules for that.

I don't think fighting a dragon with your starship is nearly as cool as fighting a dragon in your starship, so I would probably transition to regular combat pretty quickly.

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Sauce987654321 wrote:

I acknowledged this "rule" in one of my first posts.

I don't know about everybody else, but this tells me nothing whatsoever. Other than the fact that it assumes players are just going to attack it with regular laser rifles, what about high level missile launchers? What about if a colossal monster attacks it? What about the damage it takes if we treat it as an object, how does that interact with its Hull Points?

Also, whether a PCs laser attacks are effective or not, this should be modeled in the rules, not some assumption like "little people can't hurt big things" sort of mentality. If a PC can damage a colossal sized construct, why is damaging something like a Tie Fighter just out of the question? There's so much that little cliff note doesn't consider.

The rule tells you the basics of what you need to know. If you attack a ship with a standard weapon, you follow the rules for attacking a very large object. The Game Mastering chapter has rules for breaking objects, including statistics for damaging and breaking starship bulkhead walls. A colossal monster attacking a ship follows the same rules. It has no interaction with Hull Points because Hull Points are an abtraction. The rules make it clear that weapons are not effective against starships unless those weapons are specifically designed to attack starships. At the moment, no such weapons exist except for starship weapons.


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Cyrad wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:

I acknowledged this "rule" in one of my first posts.

I don't know about everybody else, but this tells me nothing whatsoever. Other than the fact that it assumes players are just going to attack it with regular laser rifles, what about high level missile launchers? What about if a colossal monster attacks it? What about the damage it takes if we treat it as an object, how does that interact with its Hull Points?

Also, whether a PCs laser attacks are effective or not, this should be modeled in the rules, not some assumption like "little people can't hurt big things" sort of mentality. If a PC can damage a colossal sized construct, why is damaging something like a Tie Fighter just out of the question? There's so much that little cliff note doesn't consider.

The rule tells you the basics of what you need to know. If you attack a ship with a standard weapon, you follow the rules for attacking a very large object. The Game Mastering chapter has rules for breaking objects, including statistics for damaging and breaking starship bulkhead walls. A colossal monster attacking a ship follows the same rules. It has no interaction with Hull Points because Hull Points are an abtraction. The rules make it clear that weapons are not effective against starships unless those weapons are specifically designed to attack starships. At the moment, no such weapons exist except for starship weapons.

I mean run it the way you like, but using standard object rules to make every spaceship feels a little silly to me when each 10x10 wall has at least 1,440 hit points. It would take at least 4 heavy nuclear missile attacks to bring that down if we go by the starship to personal scale.

I get that most things are abstracted, like Hull Points, but what about my weapon attacks? Like if I use the highest grade missile attacks available and hit the flying starship above in the cockpit, propulsion, or just a wing? Nah? Well, so much for an abstraction.

Like I said, that bit of rules doesn't even acknowledge any of the other factors I mentioned, like heavy weapons or colossal enemies, the ones that are much bigger and heavier than your entire starship. No reason to assume they meant everything in existence has to be a starship weapon or bust, even against the tiniest, unshielded starship. Also, that entire section is GM discretion, so even then that doesn't need be used.

But, yeah, hopefully they work on how starships interact with... well anything that isn't a starship.

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The rules make it clear that starships in Starfinder are really big, powerful, and heavily armored. More armored than in Star Wars and Star Trek. Even the strongest of infantry weapons aren't going to affect them.

If you don't like it, then just reduce the defenses of starship hulls or introduce personnel weapons that deal damage as if they were starship weapons.


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Cyrad wrote:

The rules make it clear that starships in Starfinder are really big, powerful, and heavily armored. More armored than in Star Wars and Star Trek. Even the strongest of infantry weapons aren't going to affect them.

If you don't like it, then just reduce the defenses of starship hulls or introduce personnel weapons that deal damage as if they were starship weapons.

Maybe that's what they were going for, but I also feel like that just may be a byproduct of odd and unfinished rules.


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The difference between a tactical semi-auto pistol (3.5 damage, on average) and a paragon reaction cannon (66) is larger than the difference between the pistol and a starship light laser cannon (50). A Soldier making three attacks with the reaction cannon will deal noticeably more damage than a starship railgun (200). So the idea that starship weapons are on a different scale than personal weapons doesn't really impress me.

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A rule not aligning with your preferences does not make it broken or unfinished.


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Cyrad wrote:
A rule not aligning with your preferences does not make it broken or unfinished.

No, it wouldn't, but not explaining how most things would interact with a starship makes it incomplete. Saying a rifle or spell, with GM discretion, may treat it as an object aren't explicit details. It says absolutely nothing of other circumstances and situations, and I'm not going to pretend that line of ruling implies that it does. It doesn't even suggest it.

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McAllister wrote:
The difference between a tactical semi-auto pistol (3.5 damage, on average) and a paragon reaction cannon (66) is larger than the difference between the pistol and a starship light laser cannon (50). A Soldier making three attacks with the reaction cannon will deal noticeably more damage than a starship railgun (200). So the idea that starship weapons are on a different scale than personal weapons doesn't really impress me.

You're mixing up your units here. The pistol does 3.5 hit points of damage, the paragon reactins cannon does 66 hit points of damage. A starship cannon does 50 hull points of damage. Hit points and hull points are almost for sure not the same size. If you pushed me to make up a number, I would say that a hull point of damage is about 10,000 hit points in damage.

These are intended to be whole different scales, not to be things you can easily compare.


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Redelia wrote:

[

You're mixing up your units here. The pistol does 3.5 hit points of damage, the paragon reactins cannon does 66 hit points of damage. A starship cannon does 50 hull points of damage. Hit points and hull points are almost for sure not the same size. If you pushed me to make up a number, I would say that a hull point of damage is about 10,000 hit points in damage.

These are intended to be whole different scales, not to be things you can easily compare.

Well, a starship light laser cannon does 5 points of damage to another starship. I'm looking at this sidebar:

Quote:
Starship weapons and regular PC-level weapons work on different scales and aren’t meant to interact with each other. If characters choose to shoot at a starships with their laser rifles (or cast a Spell on it) while it is on the ground, the GM should treat the starships as an object (a particularly massive one, at that). At the GM’s discretion, if starships weapons are ever brought to bear against buildings or people, they deal Hit Point damage equal to 10 × their listed amount of damage. However, starships weapons are never precise enough to target a single individual (or even small group) and can, if the GM decides, be simulated as deadly hazards instead of weapon attacks.


I'm just waiting until my group gets to the point where I can have my balor demon cut it's way into a ship that they're on... in space. But seeing break DC's of 40 for a door and 55 for the hull makes it look pretty unfeasible with only +13 strength.


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Another thing, why does it say if the ship is landed, treat it as an object if you shoot it or cast a spell on it. Is there some sort of difference when it flys?

Before somebody says it, it's not because "you can't hit it, it's too fast" there are several monsters in this game that can move several hexes and close in on a ship to attack it. That's not an excuse.


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SirShua wrote:
I'm just waiting until my group gets to the point where I can have my balor demon cut it's way into a ship that they're on... in space. But seeing break DC's of 40 for a door and 55 for the hull makes it look pretty unfeasible with only +13 strength.

Just say it's weapon or whatever it uses is especially effective against most objects.

Vulnerability to Certain Attacks: wrote:
Certain attacks are especially strong against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and might ignore the object’s hardness.

A nice rule to have if a GM doesn't want their monsters to deal with stubborn doors. I don't think they will question it, anyway, since you're using a Balor and it's just a door.


I was just looking through on SRD, and an Airlock door only has 160 hp, and if i made the balor using pathfinder's unchained rules (I don't have Alien archive yet), a CR 20 creature should deal on average 70 damage. That's about 4-6 attacks accounting for hardness. 3 turns is plenty quick.

I could also just make Implode affect objects.


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A 40 foot dragon is Gargantuan. A 40 foot starship is Tiny. A Gargantuan starship is about 10,000 feet. Why on Golarion would the Tiny starship be on the same scale as the second one and not the first one?


McAllister wrote:
A 40 foot dragon is Gargantuan. A 40 foot starship is Tiny. A Gargantuan starship is about 10,000 feet. Why on Golarion would the Tiny starship be on the same scale as the second one and not the first one?

Because the scales are different. Starfinder did take into account a small bit of realism with their ships. They need to be big, heavily armored tanks to survive the rigors of outer space. You know, massive radiation pulses, extreme heat AND cold, a speck of space dust that hits your hull while you're going the speed of light, etc.


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Randalfin wrote:
Because the scales are different. Starfinder did take into account a small bit of realism with their ships. They need to be big, heavily armored tanks to survive the rigors of outer space. You know, massive radiation pulses, extreme heat AND cold, a speck of space dust that hits your hull while you're going the speed of light, etc.

Okay, ignoring the fact that they're literally the same scale...

...no, I can't let that go. A foot is a foot. Like, understand that a Tiny starship is called Tiny because it's being compared to other starships, but if it's literally the same length as a dragon and you tell me "it's possible to target a 40 foot starship with this laser, but not a 40 foot dragon," we have a problem. And don't start with the "giant mass of metal" argument, I know dang well a starship can be made out of ironwood and panes of force, hell, it looks like a starship can be a space whale, so don't tell me all starships are so much denser than all space monsters that only starships can be targeted with starship weapons.

And as for radiation shielding, how hard do you think it is to protect a person from the hazards of space for days at a time? If you answered "such protection can be manufactured for under 100 credits and is ubiquitous on residents of space stations," you'd be exactly right!

Like, Pathfinder had some flaws, but do you know why incredibly large things didn't squash incredibly small things? Two reasons: first, it was very hard to hit them, with a large attack penalty and a large AC bonus (so maybe starships should have a quantified penalty when shooting at non-starships instead of a minus infinity): and second, actually, very small things DO get squashed by very large things. And maybe that's okay. Maybe PCs need to put getting shot by starship weapons up on the list of things like "falling off a cliff" and "getting thrown in the ocean while petrified" that will Kill You Dead, and they can deal with that. Because a number of discussions on the forums have shown that the intent is that starship weapons suddenly become unbelievable ineffective if they're shot at anything other than starships, and I'll tell you what, it's not how I'd run a game for a minute. I think bending over backward to make sure starship weapons are worthless when they're not being fired at starships has too many weird, awkward and/or unclear ripple effects emanating from it.


Cyrad wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:
What about when someone fires a missile launcher at a tiny sized racer that's flying over head?
Treat the missile launcher as a weak starship weapon. Generally, the rules say that only starship weapons can deal any notable amount of damage to starships. This actually mimics modern real-world warfare as infantry weapons are generally ineffective against armored vehicles.

Yeah, if you're talking rifles, sure, b/c those are meant to be sued by infantry against other infantry. Yeah, shooting itty-bitty bullets or pew-pew lazors at the side of a spacecraft is just wizzing ammo into the wind - that's why the Millennium Falcon takes no damage from random stromtrooper/snowtrooper rifle blasts, but is lucky to get out in one piece when snowtroopers set up an E-Web blaster (equivalent of a squad-support heavy machine gun).

Plus, we've had man-portable anti-armor weapons since at least WWI.

Later, with advancement of miniaturization & tracking technology, we've been able to develop even shoulder-fired anti-air weapons like the FIM-92 Stinger

In a sci-fi universe, destroying a starfighter w/ an infantry-portable anti-air/anti-armor weapon would look something like this.


Sauce987654321 wrote:

It feels like handwaving to me because I have no concrete ruling that states what happens if I bring this scenario up in play. It's all just assumptions. I can guarantee that if most GMs set up a scenario where a landed starship gets attacked by a big monster before take off, the GM would react to the situation like:

"Okay, well it attacks your ship... I'm not sure if how much damage it takes. Hmm... The game doesn't seem to say"

*Proceeds by making up his own damage value*

Sorry, but that's bad game design. I don't know about most people, but having some ruling about damage from non starship sources should be a part of the game.

Agreed. I don't mind doing the number-crunching, but I need a little more than just some half-arsed paragraph to go on.


Randalfin wrote:


They also mentioned that creatures and ships were never meant to interact. That's why the monsters can't damage ships effectively, and also why you can't target a creature directly using ship weaponry.

I'm not sure what the problem is here.

The problem is that is a cop-out excuse in a game where you have space dragons that are described as "tearing vessels apart" and "wreaking havoc on entire fleets" and smacks of a rushed, half-baked, poorly-thought-out game-system design that shouldn't have even happened in the first place, because we know damn well that the people at Paizo worked in association w/ WotC, and Starfinder's spiritual predecessor d20 Future (AFAIK) didn't have this problem (though the base d20 Modern did have enough problems of it's own being a half-baked system, & should have been a cautionary tale to the whole industry).


Sauce987654321 wrote:

I don't know about everybody else, but this tells me nothing whatsoever. Other than the fact that it assumes players are just going to attack it with regular laser rifles, what about high level missile launchers? What about if a colossal monster attacks it? What about the damage it takes if we treat it as an object, how does that interact with its Hull Points?

Assuming that players see the Bad Guy's getaway ship in the hangar and decide to attack it with one of the least effective weapons for the job is just insulting to our intelligence as players. Heck, dropping a loading crane on it would probably more effective than a "laser rifle" (depending on the level). Did Paizo have a brain fart for a moment there & forget who their customer base is, what kind of fiction we consume (and create) and, oh, that we live in a world where we pretty regularly see people fire off shoulder-launched rockets & missiles on the news? This isn't exactly a new, alien, or unorthodox concept we're dealing with here.


Cyrad wrote:
The rule tells you the basics of what you need to know. If you attack a ship with a standard weapon, you follow the rules for attacking a very large object. The Game Mastering chapter has rules for breaking objects, including statistics for damaging and breaking starship bulkhead walls. A colossal monster attacking a ship follows the same rules. It has no interaction with Hull Points because Hull Points are an abtraction. The rules make it clear that weapons are not effective against starships unless those weapons are specifically designed to attack starships. At the moment, no such weapons exist except for starship weapons.

Ok, and if and when, say, a monster tears a hole in your starship w/ the object breaking rules, how does that affect your starship stats? You see why we have so much frustration and dissatisfaction w/ these cop-outs excusing a half-baked system?

Cyrad wrote:

The rules make it clear that starships in Starfinder are really big, powerful, and heavily armored. More armored than in Star Wars and Star Trek. Even the strongest of infantry weapons aren't going to affect them.

Where do you get that idea from? I'd really like to see where it is in the rules that characters can fight a colossal dragon, but somehow, the tiniest, least-armored spaceship is apparently more sturdy.

The smallest starships (tiny size) are 20–60 ft., comparable to IRL military fighters.

I'm looking at page 307, and it says
"DEATH’S HEAD NECROGLIDER
Tiny fighters made to resemble bone sarcophagi, Necrogliders are each just large enough for one undead pilot. These notorious pilots jack their brains directly into their ships’ sensors and controls, allowing them to recline in eerie repose as they direct the ships by thought alone."

The accompanying art shows the fighter itself to be roughly a little over twice the length of the undead pilot.


Randalfin wrote:
McAllister wrote:
A 40 foot dragon is Gargantuan. A 40 foot starship is Tiny. A Gargantuan starship is about 10,000 feet. Why on Golarion would the Tiny starship be on the same scale as the second one and not the first one?
Because the scales are different. Starfinder did take into account a small bit of realism with their ships. They need to be big, heavily armored tanks to survive the rigors of outer space. You know, massive radiation pulses, extreme heat AND cold, a speck of space dust that hits your hull while you're going the speed of light, etc.

"It's different b/c it's different b/c the game designers didn't take the time to hammer out a properly interlocking system and now we have a bunch of people coming up with circular-reasoning apologia defending this half-baked half-arsery for some reason instead of allowing us to address the issue" :D

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