Are the Starfinder pistol / rifle prices erroneous?


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The pulsecaster pistol is 250 and the rifle is 100 (despite being pretty much better in all measures except for “number of hands required”).

The rifle seems absurdly cheap (there are similar discrepancies with other weapons but it’s more complicated as sometimes they’re of differing tier). Is this a typo? Or is it just one of those esoteric balance things?

Dark Archive

I think they are a bit erroneous, but because Gunslingers start with a gun and only a gunslinger can use a gun properly, rarely does anyone purchase one to really notice this discrepancy.


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Starfinder, not Pathfinder ^w^


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Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve inserted Starfinder into the thread title to make it clearer.

Dark Archive

Oh that is much different yeah missed that. Items are totally different in Starfinder their price and availability are tied to character level so make sure you are looking at the item level of both. I believe pulsecasters are non-lethal also.


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They are both nonlethal and both tier one.

I appreciate there might be some weird tier/cost interplay where the rifle is a lower tier, but I’m really struggling to understand this specific instance (the rifle is strictly better on every metric bar hand usage - not very important in a game without shields)..

Dark Archive

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The prices seem weirdly inconsistent overall.

Using level 1 kinetic ranged weapons:

Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol is the most expensive at 260

The Reaction Cannon is 250

The Hunting Rifle is 240.

What?


The pulsecaster rifle needs an errata because a 40-charge battery costs more and is higher level than rifle-with-battery-included. SFS has ruled that the rifle should only have 20 charges.


That particular issue with the pulsecaster rifle has been addressed in the FAQ, the price so far has remained unchanged.

I would like to point out that the pulsecaster pistol does the same damage as a laser pistol albeit nonlethal, the pulsecaster rifle on the other hand does less damage than the laser rifle. This difference may explain/justify the difference in cost.


What could also explain it is that pistols can be dual-wielded with more pistols or a melee weapon fairly easily, thus potentially doubling up the firepower, where you can't really do that with a rifle. Unless you have four or more arms.

Grand Lodge

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Only the soldier, combat drone and exocortec mechanic are automatically proficient with the rifle.

But yeah, the pricing of those are a bit weird to say the least.


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So if you're not proficient with a rifle, would you rather take a feat to be proficient with a rifle or take a feat so you can use two guns at once?

I agree, the prices are a bit weird. I'm just playing devil's advocate.


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Meh, bigger weapons can afford to be dumber and less efficient while still doing more damage. Maybe small arms are more intricate in some respects.


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baggageboy wrote:

That particular issue with the pulsecaster rifle has been addressed in the FAQ, the price so far has remained unchanged.

I would like to point out that the pulsecaster pistol does the same damage as a laser pistol albeit nonlethal, the pulsecaster rifle on the other hand does less damage than the laser rifle. This difference may explain/justify the difference in cost.

Thanks.


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Azalah wrote:
What could also explain it is that pistols can be dual-wielded with more pistols or a melee weapon fairly easily, thus potentially doubling up the firepower, where you can't really do that with a rifle. Unless you have four or more arms.

You can make multiple attacks in a round with the same weapon, so it's not really doubling up on firepower. Granted, there are ways to make two pistols more accurate than firing a rifle twice, but that requires an investment of a different scarce resource (ie feats).

I'm just comparing a level one soldier or something (so no proficiency issues) considering which to get. It seems to me odd that the better weapon costs 40% of the weaker one. I wondered if there was some reason or if maybe they went through a few cost iterations in design and these two were mispriced.

Liberty's Edge

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In many places in real life, pistols can be more difficult to acquire than rifles or considered more dangerous because of their size and ease of concealment even though a rifle surely does more damage and has better range. I'm not saying it's not an error in the book, but there are definitely ways to justify/headcanon it as them being more strictly regulated or just being generally more desirable for some types of work.


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To be clear I have no issue with it as is - I can justify pretty much anything if I mentally squint hard enough.

This is just curiosity really (plus I have a player who really, really, really cares about doing things "the way the designers intended"). He pointed these prices out and I figured it might have been addressed somewhere, but it looks like not.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

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The prices of pulsecaster pistols and rifles are not typos.

There are lots of factors that affect the price of things in the real world. Miniaturization to get things into a smaller package can be one of them.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The prices of pulsecaster pistols and rifles are not typos.

There are lots of factors that affect the price of things in the real world. Miniaturization to get things into a smaller package can be one of them.

Bada-bing, what did I just say? He's famous and he agrees, must be right.


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The prices of pulsecaster pistols and rifles are not typos.

There are lots of factors that affect the price of things in the real world. Miniaturization to get things into a smaller package can be one of them.

Thanks, Owen. He'll be pleased. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Azalah wrote:

So if you're not proficient with a rifle, would you rather take a feat to be proficient with a rifle or take a feat so you can use two guns at once?

I agree, the prices are a bit weird. I'm just playing devil's advocate.

there is little benefit to duel wielding pistols in general


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jimthegray wrote:
Azalah wrote:

So if you're not proficient with a rifle, would you rather take a feat to be proficient with a rifle or take a feat so you can use two guns at once?

I agree, the prices are a bit weird. I'm just playing devil's advocate.

there is little benefit to duel wielding pistols in general

"Little benefit" still means there is some benefit. ;D


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The prices of pulsecaster pistols and rifles are not typos.

There are lots of factors that affect the price of things in the real world. Miniaturization to get things into a smaller package can be one of them.

On that note, and given the sheer variety of ways we can kill people can we look forward to some more concrete crafting rules for items in the future?


TarkXT wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The prices of pulsecaster pistols and rifles are not typos.

There are lots of factors that affect the price of things in the real world. Miniaturization to get things into a smaller package can be one of them.

On that note, and given the sheer variety of ways we can kill people can we look forward to some more concrete crafting rules for items in the future?

In some ways, I kind of hope they don't add crafting like it was in Pathfinder. I've had some bad experiences with crafters just breaking every game they play in. It's also pretty hard to really counter, and would be even more so in Starfinder where you've got days of just nothing while traveling in ships.


I feel under this system you can easily balance such a system as it's relatively clear there are hard limits on what weapons/armor of a certain level can do.


The issue is being able to easily attain weapons/armor of levels that you shouldn't be able to. An example is someone I played with who was able to cheese the crafting system and make wondrous items for only 13% of the normal price. Which he could then either keep and be supremely powerful compared to the rest of the party, or sell them and make far more gold than he should be able to have at that level. Which he would then put back into the crafting cycle and make even more powerful things.

I've seen it as such an issue in other games where GMs will just ban crafting entirely.


You're talking about an entirely different crafting system. Wherein crafting is encouraged as a way to get what you need at half cost.

The system I'm envisioning has relatively flat costs and restrictions on things like damage die and types.

But atm it's frustrating for players (mine are particularly grumbly on this point) to fill in equipment gaps when they have to wait 6 levels for an upgrade to their favored weapon type.

And bear in mind the system practically encourages crafting with its long down times and very simplified building rules. My need is for a way that allows my mechanics to build stuff suited for their group rather than steal the specs off Space Google.


Didn't the Nuar add something so players could make a weapon that changes into another weapon? Like having a shotgun that can then turn into a doshko?

But as I said, I just don't want the Pathfinder style crafting. If it's a new, balanced crafting system, then I'd be perfectly fine with it.

Of course, I'm not really the type to craft all that much anyway, so not having a crafting system doesn't bother me at all. I'd rather use that down time for in-character RP.

As an aside, this reminds me of a person I played with who wanted to build a forge on a cart. He worked on this cart every day while the rest of us were trying to find out more about this "darkness" BBEG. We tracked a high-ranking servant down who was throwing a big party and planned on killing the guests as a sacrifice, and ended up beating him. All while this person just made that cart. Completely missed the boss fight for it.


Starfinder Superscriber
Azalah wrote:
The issue is being able to easily attain weapons/armor of levels that you shouldn't be able to.

Right now, by RAW, you can't do that with Crafting in SF. You can only craft items of a level equal to your ranks in a crafting skill (1/2 ranks for computers). This is, at most, equal to your character level. That item will be slightly better than another of the same level, but really only for sunder attempts and the like. It doesn't do more damage or provide a larger bonus to attack or anything. It even costs the same as the item would if you just bought it at the store. The details are on page 235 of the CRB if you want to go over them.

This may become an issue if new books contain feats, archetypes, classes, spells, or magic items that decrease the cost or increase your effective level for crafting. But right now, this is a non-issue. Considering that you can potentially buy level+2 gear but only make level gear, you're actually better off buying for the big ticket items that you need to max out most of the time.


I'll take your word for it since I am not able to look at the CRB right now. So if that's the case, then yes, I am much happier with that style of crafting.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The prices of pulsecaster pistols and rifles are not typos.

There are lots of factors that affect the price of things in the real world. Miniaturization to get things into a smaller package can be one of them.

Then why don't we see the same issue cropping up with the level 2 shock pistol and shock rifle (which are the same price)? It's incredibly noticeable how cheap pulsecaster rifles are, to the point where it causes other entertaining rules collisions - e.g. a Mechanic who knows how to turn an energy weapon into a grenade can more cheaply use pulsecaster rifles than L1 shock grenades, because the former is 30 credits cheaper.

Prices may not seem particularly important to balance, especially at level 1, when PC budgets are at their most controllable, but a clever PC with bonding epoxy and the Engineering skill is going to cause some serious problems without very shady house rules to stop them. We don't have rules covering what happens when you glue personal guns together, but we know it works incredibly well in the real world, and we know the rules support doing it with starship weapons, so it's likely GMs are going to allow it work the obvious way. The only reason you don't see this scaled up all the way in the real world is recoil - the 7-barrelled Nock Gun was famously an attempt at this, and never became popular due to recoil - but most energy weapons either lack recoil completely (laser, shock) or have negligible recoil (cryo, plasma, flame, disintegrator, probably sonic but that's debatable). Who's going to pick up a Static Arc Rifle when they could pick up two Pulsecasters glued together for less than 1/7 the price?

p178


Yeah, crafting costs 100% of the base price. You can repair your crafted items twice as fast, and your items have higher hardness, Hit Points and saving throws. They're treated as two levels higher for that purpose. That's +4 hardness, +6 Hit Points, +2 saving throws (or +2/+2/+2 for things that aren't meant to be sturdy) which is a pretty nice bonus.
If there was a way to fill equipment gaps (like a Cryo longarm between level 8 and 14) with a solid crafting system with level-appropriate damage and costs, I'd be all for that.


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quindraco wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The prices of pulsecaster pistols and rifles are not typos.

There are lots of factors that affect the price of things in the real world. Miniaturization to get things into a smaller package can be one of them.

Then why don't we see the same issue cropping up with the level 2 shock pistol and shock rifle (which are the same price)? It's incredibly noticeable how cheap pulsecaster rifles are, to the point where it causes other entertaining rules collisions - e.g. a Mechanic who knows how to turn an energy weapon into a grenade can more cheaply use pulsecaster rifles than L1 shock grenades, because the former is 30 credits cheaper.

Prices may not seem particularly important to balance, especially at level 1, when PC budgets are at their most controllable, but a clever PC with bonding epoxy and the Engineering skill is going to cause some serious problems without very shady house rules to stop them. We don't have rules covering what happens when you glue personal guns together, but we know it works incredibly well in the real world, and we know the rules support doing it with starship weapons, so it's likely GMs are going to allow it work the obvious way. The only reason you don't see this scaled up all the way in the real world is recoil - the 7-barrelled Nock Gun was famously an attempt at this, and never became popular due to recoil - but most energy weapons either lack recoil completely (laser, shock) or have negligible recoil (cryo, plasma, flame, disintegrator, probably sonic but that's debatable). Who's going to pick up a Static Arc Rifle when they could pick up two Pulsecasters glued together for less than 1/7 the price?

p178

I think this example displays where and what a Gamemaster is for. Your player is obviously trying to game the system and gain an advantage clearly out of the intent of the combat system. Even if you could simply glue two guns together with epoxy (highly debatable) and make that work. I dont see them functioning all that well or being particularly easy to control. If I was going to allow that I would at the very least impose the same penalty as shooting twice or using two weapons. Meaning -4 to hit and a rull round action. Now I could see some clever combi-weapons coming out of this allowing them to choose which to fire but clearly the mechanics of the game never intended you to glue / link 4 guns together and hose down the room.

That said Im all for expanded equipment / crafting rules. This setting sorely needs it. Settings that heavily favor guns benifit from being able to customize and tune up firearms and equipment and the game currently has MANY holes in its equipment progression so I hope we see that come in the new gear book.

I mean were are silencers? Different types of projectile ammunition? (hallow point, armor piercing, incendiary etc.) Scopes, laser sights.. there are a ton of omissions that those of us familiar with this setting style of game are accustomed too and chomping at the bit for.


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I agree with Vexies.

In my games, if someone simply glued guns together it would forever after be treated as an improvised weapon, and take a penalty to its attack rolls.

That's really the height of cheese.


Ravingdork wrote:

In my games, if someone simply glued guns together it would forever after be treated as an improvised weapon, and take a penalty to its attack rolls.

That's really the height of cheese.

One person I play with can't get over the prices of things. "In Pathfinder, a dagger is only TWO GOLD! I'm not paying 95 credits for a piece of sharpened metal! Can I just buy a Pathfinder-style dagger instead?"

Grand Lodge

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Sure, just slap the archaic property on top of it.
Reduce his starting credits to 150 and call it a day.

Grand Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:

I agree with Vexies.

In my games, if someone simply glued guns together it would forever after be treated as an improvised weapon, and take a penalty to its attack rolls.

That's really the height of cheese.

Have not seen a military yet where the soldiers fight with a pair of M-16s duct-taped to one another, I've got to agree. I can't even imagine how messed up clip feeds would be with casings popping out between two guns, not to mention the recoil, or how front heavy or hard to reload they'd be.

As far as hollow-points, dum-dums, incendiary rounds, etc, honestly, I can do without it, frankly! Having to wade through sixty books worth of equipment was what turned me off from Shadowrun, which is one of the closest analogues to Starfinder's 'feel'. My players are all still exploring the current equipment offerings between core and Alien Archive.

Liberty's Edge

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Azalah wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
Azalah wrote:

So if you're not proficient with a rifle, would you rather take a feat to be proficient with a rifle or take a feat so you can use two guns at once?

I agree, the prices are a bit weird. I'm just playing devil's advocate.

there is little benefit to duel wielding pistols in general
"Little benefit" still means there is some benefit. ;D

sure but not as much as say firing a rifle or heavy cannon twice :P


jimthegray wrote:
Azalah wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
Azalah wrote:

So if you're not proficient with a rifle, would you rather take a feat to be proficient with a rifle or take a feat so you can use two guns at once?

I agree, the prices are a bit weird. I'm just playing devil's advocate.

there is little benefit to duel wielding pistols in general
"Little benefit" still means there is some benefit. ;D
sure but not as much as say firing a rifle or heavy cannon twice :P

Aye, but that's only if you fire each pistol once. For sheer "wall of boolets," you can't really beat a Kasatha with the Fusillade feat and four pistols.


Except for with a skittermander with six pistols.


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GM MacShack wrote:
Except for with a skittermander with six pistols.

A skittermander with extra cyber-arms. EIGHT PISTOLS!

Liberty's Edge

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Azalah wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
Azalah wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
Azalah wrote:

So if you're not proficient with a rifle, would you rather take a feat to be proficient with a rifle or take a feat so you can use two guns at once?

I agree, the prices are a bit weird. I'm just playing devil's advocate.

there is little benefit to duel wielding pistols in general
"Little benefit" still means there is some benefit. ;D
sure but not as much as say firing a rifle or heavy cannon twice :P
Aye, but that's only if you fire each pistol once. For sheer "wall of boolets," you can't really beat a Kasatha with the Fusillade feat and four pistols.

unless i misunderstand it that just sprays all of you ammo for one autofire attack

though i could be misunderstanding it


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I'm thinking in terms more cinematic.

Liberty's Edge

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yeah i love it cinematicly


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Azalah wrote:
GM MacShack wrote:
Except for with a skittermander with six pistols.
A skittermander with extra cyber-arms. EIGHT PISTOLS!

A power armor wearing skittermander with six arms, two cyber-arms, and two weapon mounts with TEN pistols!


quindraco wrote:
Prices may not seem particularly important to balance, especially at level 1, when PC budgets are at their most controllable, but a clever PC with bonding epoxy and the Engineering skill is going to cause some serious problems without very shady house rules to stop them. We don't have rules covering what happens when you glue personal guns together, but we know it works incredibly well in the real world, and we know the rules support doing it with starship weapons, so it's likely GMs are going to allow it work the obvious way. The only reason you don't see this scaled up all the way in the real world is recoil - the 7-barrelled Nock Gun was famously an attempt at this, and never became popular due to recoil - but most energy weapons either lack recoil completely (laser, shock) or have negligible recoil (cryo, plasma, flame, disintegrator, probably sonic but that's debatable). Who's going to pick up a Static Arc Rifle when they could pick up two Pulsecasters glued together for less than 1/7 the price?

The rules for Holding and Wielding weapons are quite explicit in Starfinder. That doesn't work per RAW. There is nothing in the rules for either Engineering, or Bonding Epoxy that make any changes to the game mechanics of a weapon glued to another object (including another weapon).

In other words, yeah you can glue a dozen Tactical Semi-Auto Pistols together into a pistol-staff, but the rules for using them haven't changed at all. Each is still a separate one-handed Small Arm.
Therefore A human can only Wield two of them at a time (because that is all he has the hands for), and technically he isn't even considered to be holding the other 10 in any hand; so you can't even use the "change how you are holding the weapon as a swift action" clause (they are still stowed as far as the rules are concerned). If you empty one pistol and want to switch to one of the others glued to it, you technically have to "drop" or "stow" the empty pistol in order to "draw" the next one (which will require at least a Move Action unless he has Quick Draw).

At best, a GM might be willing to rule that you can Draw & Stow the whole lot of them as one large object, and that you can shift your grip on it like you can with a rifle in order to hold particular pairs of pistols on your pistol-staff.

Glueing a bunch of weapons together is of no benefit whatsoever. It is simply a waste of credits.


Ravingdork wrote:
Azalah wrote:
GM MacShack wrote:
Except for with a skittermander with six pistols.
A skittermander with extra cyber-arms. EIGHT PISTOLS!
A power armor wearing skittermander with six arms, two cyber-arms, and two weapon mounts with TEN pistols!

I like the way you think.


I imagine such a skittermander wouldn't have to reload/recharge very often.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This one fires in a line. This one a cone. And this one has lots of range. This one damage. This little beauty is for when I need live bait. This one I call basher, for obvious reasons. These two do fire and cold damage, respectively, while these two do electricity and sonic damage, respectively.

Oh, and they are all maze-cored. Their secondary functions are...

(That's potentially twenty guns yall!)


I'd hate to have to front the cost for upgrading all of those when the time comes.

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