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Newbie questions for Starfinder


Starfinder General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I do not have the rules and was wondering:
Does this covers powers of the mind (a.k.a. Psionics) or is it still Vancian spell casting (albeit at a reduced level)?

How is long range ground combat covered (i.e. snipers shooting from 2 km away).

Is there a random world/city/etc generator for when you arrive in a new star system?

Thanks!


Rerednaw wrote:

I do not have the rules and was wondering:

Does this covers powers of the mind (a.k.a. Psionics) or is it still Vancian spell casting (albeit at a reduced level)?

How is long range ground combat covered (i.e. snipers shooting from 2 km away).

Is there a random world/city/etc generator for when you arrive in a new star system?

Thanks!

1. Some of the Starfinder spells have a definite psionic theme, though many don't.

2. Vancian casting is not used; rather all casters use spontaneous magic and can cast any of their spells known, like a sorcerer or bard. Note that there are only two caster classes out of seven classes, and their spells only go to 6th level.

3. The same as in Pathfinder; each range increment grants a -2 penalty to hit, and you can shoot out to 10 range bands. The really long-range sniper weapons have a sniper range of 1000 ft, so you could fire as far away as 10,000 feet (which is roughly 3 km) with a -18 penalty to hit.

4. No, not yet. I would like to see that though!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Peet wrote:
Rerednaw wrote:

I do not have the rules and was wondering:

Does this covers powers of the mind (a.k.a. Psionics) or is it still Vancian spell casting (albeit at a reduced level)?

How is long range ground combat covered (i.e. snipers shooting from 2 km away).

Is there a random world/city/etc generator for when you arrive in a new star system?

Thanks!

1. Some of the Starfinder spells have a definite psionic theme, though many don't.

2. Vancian casting is not used; rather all casters use spontaneous magic and can cast any of their spells known, like a sorcerer or bard. Note that there are only two caster classes out of seven classes, and their spells only go to 6th level.

3. The same as in Pathfinder; each range increment grants a -2 penalty to hit, and you can shoot out to 10 range bands. The really long-range sniper weapons have a sniper range of 1000 ft, so you could fire as far away as 10,000 feet (which is roughly 3 km) with a -18 penalty to hit.

4. No, not yet. I would like to see that though!

On Point 2, it is what is referred to as Vancian casting for D&D, it is not spell points as 3.5 Psychic casting was.


That said, the setting does have plenty of psychic powers in it. They just don't use completely different rules from any other form of magic.


Magic/psychic in starfinder all run the same rules. If you are a technomancer you can say you are doing all your powers as divine or as psychic powers or arcane magic but there is no real game play difference and it's mostly just flavor.

That said a lot of the mystic class spells have heavy psychic themes but they don't use the psi point stuff it is all spontaneous casting.


Enlight_Bystand wrote:
On Point 2, it is what is referred to as Vancian casting for D&D, it is not spell points as 3.5 Psychic casting was.

"Vancian" casting is the same as prepared casting, what wizards and clerics and druids do - the idea that once you cast the spell it is just "gone" from your repertoire until you get it ready again. In 1e the spell was memorized from a spellbook and then it actually was erased from their memory when they cast it. The Jack Vance book Dying Earth that inspired this had the same thing, which is why it is called "Vancian."

Spontaneous casters came later (3e) and spontaneous magic is not Vancian magic, since you don't lose the spell by casting it (just the spell slot). All Starfinder magic is spontaneous.


Vancian originally just referred to modern-day prepared casting, but these days many people just use the term to refer to the spell-slot and spell-level system that DnD has used basically always. Under this definition Starfinder does still use Vancian casting.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Vancian originally just referred to modern-day prepared casting, but these days many people just use the term to refer to the spell-slot and spell-level system that DnD has used basically always. Under this definition Starfinder does still use Vancian casting.

They use the term incorrectly.

The concept in Jack Vance's Dying Earth had nothing to do with spell slots or spell levels; simply the fact that after you cast a spell it was "erased" from your memory. This is what Gary Gygax meant when he used the term "Vancian" to describe the concept in D&D.

This concept is not used in 5e, so when people proclaimed that "Finally Vancian Magic is Dead in D&D" they were justified in saying so.

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