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Should Kneeling Exist in Starfinder?


Starfinder General Discussion

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baggageboy watch this. Its just an example. But are they slow down any by kneeling behind cover or crouch running. All it takes is training and/or experience.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having been playing a lot of Mass Effect recently, I am of the opinion that kneeling should never be allowed in any science fiction property ever again.

That being said, just flavor "drop prone" or describe how you are shooting your gun from a kneeling position.


@ ghostunderasheet

That's nice, but that's a video game with cinematic "special ops" movements. They aren't exactly trying for an accurate representation.


Neither is Starfinder to be honest :)


Granted, but I'm not asking for anything crazy here, just something to split the difference between standing upright and prone.

There's a lot of things that are somewhat in between and currently can't be modeled except as a "narrative." Narrative is great and for those who are painting beautiful word stories as they play; that's all well and good, but that isn't everyone. I envy the people who can do that on the fly. As it is many people just ignore that there's ever a reason to kneel because there is no mechanical benefit or penalty currently. I'm not advocating giving something for free I believe it should have a cost and have penalties too. And adding a mechanical benefit to kneeling doesn't take anything away from the ability of people to tell an in depth narrative.

I don't understand why so many people seem so hostile to the idea of kneeling, but there are people who would like it to have some actual in game effect as it does in real life.


Personally I think there's a balance to be had between having too many rules and not enough rules and where that line is is different for everyone. It just seems like for most kneeling falls on the 'too many rules' side of the fence.

For me I'm completely ambivalent on whether kneeling is a status in Starfinder or not and so I'm glad that it's not in there as it's one less thing for me to look up as a GM. But that's what homebrew and third party stuff is for.

I take it you're a player not a GM baggageboy?


Currently yes, but not always.


As a GM you can just homebrew it in. As a player, if you can convince your GM to put it in, then that's the problem solved too! This works for everything except Society.

So far for me, my homebrew rules are going in the *other* direction! Even more streamlining!


I'm not hostile to the idea of kneeling, but so far no one has presented an idea for kneeling that isn't just free AC if you aren't full attacking. The only way I could see making kneeling viable is to make Prone more punishing action economy wise and then putting kneeling in its action space.


Malk_Content wrote:
so far no one has presented an idea for kneeling that isn't just free AC if you aren't full attacking.

Move action to enter, move action to leave, +2AC against ranged combat, -2AC against melee combat.


Eh, I'd rather they didn't make mechanics for very minor things like kneeling. It should be assumed that people in game already do this.

If they do, then I want mechanics for skipping around while firing your weapons.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
so far no one has presented an idea for kneeling that isn't just free AC if you aren't full attacking.
Move action to enter, move action to leave, +2AC against ranged combat, -2AC against melee combat.

Well now that is just s~*!ty prone and it won't get used. See the problem?


Malk_Content wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
so far no one has presented an idea for kneeling that isn't just free AC if you aren't full attacking.
Move action to enter, move action to leave, +2AC against ranged combat, -2AC against melee combat.
Well now that is just s%!!ty prone and it won't get used. See the problem?

Free action to enter, move action to leave, +2AC against ranged combat, -2AC against melee combat? It kind of depends on how much melee combat is used in your game.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
so far no one has presented an idea for kneeling that isn't just free AC if you aren't full attacking.
Move action to enter, move action to leave, +2AC against ranged combat, -2AC against melee combat.
Well now that is just s%!!ty prone and it won't get used. See the problem?
Free action to enter, move action to leave, +2AC against ranged combat, -2AC against melee combat? It kind of depends on how much melee combat is used in your game.

Thats even worse, if you've got a decent blocker to stop melee engagers you are giving ranged characters +2 AC most of the time and now they don't even have to give up a Full Attack.


Swift to crouch and swift to stand?


That's what I proposed, it makes you give up a full action on the turn you enter and the turn you leave. It matches what actions prone demands with kip up, so I don't think it's over powered. The same things can be done with the higher bonuses/penalties that prone gives, it just costs a feat.


baggageboy wrote:
That's what I proposed, it makes you give up a full action on the turn you enter and the turn you leave. It matches what actions prone demands with kip up, so I don't think it's over powered. The same things can be done with the higher bonuses/penalties that prone gives, it just costs a feat.

And the problem with that is it becomes the best action if you ever have to move.


Malk_Content wrote:
And the problem with that is it becomes the best action if you ever have to move.

If it's never the best action, then it's a worthless option. If it's always the best action, then it's overpowered. If it's the best action sometimes, then it's probably a balanced option.


If you need to move more than a single movement the withdraw action is better, or a run action. My proposed kneeling isn't any worse than prone with kip up.


Since prone stacks with cover I would imagine this new kneel would stack with cover as well. That's *pretty* powerful, and I can see it reinforcing a 'Rainbow Six' type fantasy of an elite unit moving from cover to cover and taking precise shots at their enemy.

I don't think it's overpowered as this would be a terrible option to use if there's any hope of being hit by melee and does impact action economy.

However it depends on the GM. If this ends up in two groups of ranged people kneeling behind cover and barely ever hitting each other then this will make for a dull game. The same is true for prone though. If cover is dynamic and there are melee combatants running around making life hard for ranged or hazards that make it so moving is necessary then this becomes a fun option to use in the right situation.

Of course you need to add other combat options to counteract this situation too. Firing at a person from higher ground should give bonuses to hit, there should be a snipe type option to forego an attack entirely in one round in order to get a large bonus to hit next round.

That's all fun. But it's all extra rules to remember. Which is probably fine for a lot of groups. We all have Pathfinder experience after all :)

One thing that should NOT BE DONE in Starfinder is make things like these feats though. They should be combat options. Maybe gated behind Kip Up, Mobility, and Shot on the Run.

Hey there's an idea. Maybe make 'Kneeling' something that Kip Up provides. Makes that feat even more powerful.


Are you sure prone stacks with cover? When you are laying on the ground you can't see over a 3ft wall you're right next to. I would think you'd have total cover from the wall, but no line of sight to the area the wall provides cover for.


They're both untyped bonuses I think so the AC stacks I'm pretty certain. If a player gets the bright idea to prepare eye holes and a gun sight in cover then I don't think I'd be able to deny the resourceful person both line of sight and the stacked AC boost.


That would be improved cover, there's rules for that.


Could you link to srd or post page reference?


Sure, check of 254 of the crb.


Ah, same page as prone. I don't see anything in there where, by RAW, you can't stack prone and cover.

So if you're prone behind improved cover, it seems RAW would state that you would have +12 against ranged attacks and +4 to Reflex Saves as well as being able to attack through the cover. This is a bit besides the topic of kneeling of course. But Am I wrong?

Would make for a great ambush scene for or against players as long as players are mobile enough to turn the tables.


I agree we are somewhat off topic, but since cover and kneeling/prone interact and how they interact is important to whether or not kneeling should be a thing in starfinder I think we are ok discussing it a bit.

I don't think there's anywhere RAW that says you can't stack them, but I'm pretty sure it is not intended. I think I'll start a thread in the rules forum to see if we can get any explicit ruling one way or the other.


I was talking about using kneeling as a form to use low/half cover as full cover. Good way to take advantage of ditches, foxholes, and low walls.


I think it should, I also think that prone behind such cover should provide total cover and limit line of sight. Behind what would be normally be full cover I think kneeling should behave the way I describe prone and low cover behaving, namely total cover and limited line of sight.


TarkXT wrote:
I was talking about using kneeling as a form to use low/half cover as full cover. Good way to take advantage of ditches, foxholes, and low walls.

I think it already is, its what lets you benefit from cover that otherwise wouldn't protect you much from someone aiming at your chest. I think requiring people to actively kneel behind cover is just going to slow the game down and if you have to use it you aren't really adding depth of options, just a mandatory action tax on certain forms of cover. If anything you'll see people moving around less if you add additional tax to what was otherwise a built in mechanic.

All this is avoided by the very easy "He runs up behind the wall and crouches low behind it." Which folks have complained that not all games have that amount of narrative description, but is functionally the same as proposing rules for it which will force it to be described at best in the same way and at worst just stating mechanical rules.

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