Class Preview: The Technomancer

Friday, July 28, 2017

To understand the technomancer class, it is necessary to remember that Starfinder is set in a universe where magic is a real, known, fundamental force of the universe. Just as some scientists study physics, and some study chemistry, in Starfinder it is possible to apply the scientific method to the understanding and manipulation of magic itself. With that context set, let's see how the Starfinder Core Rulebook defines the class:

To the uninitiated, magic and technology are completely unrelated, but you know there are more correlations between the two than most suspect. Magic and technology are just tools, and when combined into one discipline, called technomancy, they can be far more powerful than one or the other on its own. You utilize tech to empower, harness, and manipulate magic, and you wield magic to augment, control, and modify technology. You are an expert at hacking the underlying structure of the universe itself, bending the laws of science and nature to your will. Your technomancy— which is gained from scientific study and experimentation—manipulates the physical world, weaves illusions, allows you to peer through time and space, and if necessary, can blast a foe into atoms.

The technomancer has Intelligence as its key ability score, as this modifies its spells per day, many of its core skills, and the save DCs of its spells and class features. The class has an average attack bonus, poor Fortitude and Reflex saves, good Will saves, four skill points per level, and eight class skills. The class grants proficiency with light armor and proficiency (and eventually specialization) with basic melee weapons and small arms. Like the mystic, the game's other core spellcasting class, the technomancer is a spontaneous spellcasting class. It gains access to technomancer spells, ranging from 0-level to 6th level, which represent a significant part of their power.

Technomancer spells are more likely to focus on modifying, emulating, or interacting with technologic devices, evoking or manipulating core energy types (especially fire and electricity), and manipulating or altering raw magical forces. How a technomancer operates can be strongly influenced by their choice of spells known—caustic conversion, logic bomb, and microbot assault are all useful 2nd-level offensive technomancer spells, but each comes with its own advantages and limitations.

Technomancers also receive numerous class features to represent their use of technology and scientific principles in the manipulation of magic. Beginning at 1st level, technomancers gain access to a spell cache, which initially allows you to once per day cast any one spell you know without expending a spell slot. In time, you add a cache capacitor, which allows you to store specific spell effects in your spell cache, giving them 24-hour durations. At very high level, technomancers even gain the ability to regain Resolve Points when they cast their most powerful spells, and can fuse lower-level spell slots together to cast higher-level spells (or, if you combine two 6th-level spell slots and spend two Resolve Points, even cast wish).

Technomancers also select from a list of magic hacks, at 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, which are special abilities focused on manipulating magic, technology, or both. Magic hacks are often fueled by spell slots, giving technomancers a new (often very flexible) way to use that resource, but can also modify spells as you cast them, channel battery power into a spell a limited number of times per day, expend (in rare cases) Resolve to create impressive effects, or even simply let you use computers to set up magical surveillance or give you additional spells known. Aside from spell selection, magic hacks are the major customizable element of the technomancer class.

Here's a sample magic hack, this one available at 5th level.

Fabricate Arms (Su)
As a full action, you can expend an unused spell slot to temporarily construct a technological weapon or suit of armor out of raw magic. You can create one suit of armor or weapon with a level equal to or less than the level of the expended spell slot × 3, to a maximum of your caster level. The item appears in your hands, on your person, or in an adjacent square. You can use fuse spells with this magic hack. A weapon can't be larger than two-handed, and the size of the item can't exceed 10 bulk. The quality of the item is average for its type. Treat this as a spell of the same level as the expended spell slot. For example, at 10th level, you could expend a 3rd-level spell slot to fabricate a weapon of 9th level or lower, or expend a 4th- level spell slot to fabricate a suit of armor of 10th level or lower. The armor or weapon persists for a number of rounds equal to your technomancer level. At the end of this duration, the item disappears. You are proficient with (but not specialized in) any weapons you create with this ability. You can't create magic items, weapons made from a special material, or weapons that are expended with use (such as arrows, grenades, or missiles) with this magic hack.

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Voss wrote:
Well, the former is very metagame (what is a 'more accurate sword?')

It's also already canon for the universe... We already know magic Can do that in the setting.

Quote:
and the latter can be done without recalculating bonuses.

Not without it losing aspects of what it should grant. If a spell is meant to increase your strength, but it instead increases your damage with melee weapons for example as an abstraction. That means it isn't doing things increasing your strength should do, like allow you to carry heavier things for example. And if the spell does enhance everything that strength covers.... then it's no simpler than increasing the strength stat in the first place.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Voss wrote:
Well, the former is very metagame (what is a 'more accurate sword?')

It's also already canon for the universe... We already know magic Can do that in the setting.

Quote:
and the latter can be done without recalculating bonuses.
Not without it losing aspects of what it should grant. If a spell is meant to increase your strength, but it instead increases your damage with melee weapons for example as an abstraction. That means it isn't doing things increasing your strength should do, like allow you to carry heavier things for example. And if the spell does enhance everything that strength covers.... then it's no simpler than increasing the strength stat in the first place.

Are you.... suggesting that FLUFF be a determining factor in game balance because that is... TERRIBLE game design advice.

They changed the game balance and that includes what spells exist and how they work. The Starfinder system is similar but ulitmatly they are seperate d20 systems thus theres no need for things to work the same way, in fact striving to make improvments to the game and the flow of combat is a GOOD THING (being succesful at it is a seperate achievment but we wont know till CRB is out). Just because Starfinder takes place in the same universe as pathfinder Flavorwise should have ZERO impact on how things work mechanically


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In Forgotten Realms D&D, the canon is that the laws of nature actually change when a new edition comes out. Generally the gods are behind it, either on purpose or semi-accidentally when the Goddess of Magic dies yet again.


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Milo v3 wrote:

It's also already canon for the universe... We already know magic Can do that in the setting.

It's not lore, it's a gameplay mechanic.


And 5th edition has also chosen to limit stat modifying effects, no doubt for the same mathmatics-driven reason.

So, in 5e the Enlarge spell increases damage and how much you can carry but it does not modify the Str stat.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
Removing basic obvious magic effects like "This sword is more accurate now" and "Increase your strength" is just stupid to me when it comes to world-building, especially when those effects Do exist in the setting since we know the past of the setting. Everything we've heard about magic in Starfinder sounds like every mage in existence has an int of 7 and is purposefully shooting themselves in the foot.

I wonder how dumb you must think everyone is for 'forgetting' how to perform iterative attacks...after all, we know that in the past of the setting, many people used to be able to perform iterative attacks...


Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Removing basic obvious magic effects like "This sword is more accurate now" and "Increase your strength" is just stupid to me when it comes to world-building, especially when those effects Do exist in the setting since we know the past of the setting. Everything we've heard about magic in Starfinder sounds like every mage in existence has an int of 7 and is purposefully shooting themselves in the foot.
I wonder how dumb you must think everyone is for 'forgetting' how to perform iterative attacks...after all, we know that in the past of the setting, many people used to be able to perform iterative attacks...

We still have iterative attacks, they just work differently (if anything going by what's been advertised people have gotten smarter about them).


Milo v3 wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:

They have already stated there are no spells or powers/abilities that alter a characters attributes in Starfinder (Bull's Strength, etc.). They have spells that can assist your various physical/mental/social abilities but they don't boost your attribute scores.

The level up boosts and 2/4/6 point increases are the sole exception at this time.

.... yet another instance of "Why have mages not researched obvious forms of magic?"

I see it as more like, "they did, and it takes the form of those physical/mental/social boosting spells, just not straight ability score boosts", because the mechanics are different. Just as there's only a mechanical reason you can't have magic boosts of +6 to all six stats, there is probably a "bull's strength" just not by that old name and doesn't grant you a bonus to hit and damage, just a bonus to lifting and breaking stuff.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Removing basic obvious magic effects like "This sword is more accurate now" and "Increase your strength" is just stupid to me when it comes to world-building, especially when those effects Do exist in the setting since we know the past of the setting. Everything we've heard about magic in Starfinder sounds like every mage in existence has an int of 7 and is purposefully shooting themselves in the foot.
I wonder how dumb you must think everyone is for 'forgetting' how to perform iterative attacks...after all, we know that in the past of the setting, many people used to be able to perform iterative attacks...
We still have iterative attacks, they just work differently (if anything going by what's been advertised people have gotten smarter about them).

...that was the point, yes.


5e D&D doesn't have stat boost spells. Bull's Strength grants a reroll on strength checks, and so on.


Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Removing basic obvious magic effects like "This sword is more accurate now" and "Increase your strength" is just stupid to me when it comes to world-building, especially when those effects Do exist in the setting since we know the past of the setting. Everything we've heard about magic in Starfinder sounds like every mage in existence has an int of 7 and is purposefully shooting themselves in the foot.
I wonder how dumb you must think everyone is for 'forgetting' how to perform iterative attacks...after all, we know that in the past of the setting, many people used to be able to perform iterative attacks...

With all due respect, I think you are confusing game mechanics (repeated/iterative attacks) with game lore (people used to be able to do them).

You will still have people who attack relentlessly but the designers have chosen to provide different rules/game mechanics for this action.

No one has forgotten how to attack repeatedly; it is just being portrayed differently from a mechanics point of view.


Luthorne wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Removing basic obvious magic effects like "This sword is more accurate now" and "Increase your strength" is just stupid to me when it comes to world-building, especially when those effects Do exist in the setting since we know the past of the setting. Everything we've heard about magic in Starfinder sounds like every mage in existence has an int of 7 and is purposefully shooting themselves in the foot.
I wonder how dumb you must think everyone is for 'forgetting' how to perform iterative attacks...after all, we know that in the past of the setting, many people used to be able to perform iterative attacks...
We still have iterative attacks, they just work differently (if anything going by what's been advertised people have gotten smarter about them).
...that was the point, yes.

... I'm not quite sure how.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fabian Benavente wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Removing basic obvious magic effects like "This sword is more accurate now" and "Increase your strength" is just stupid to me when it comes to world-building, especially when those effects Do exist in the setting since we know the past of the setting. Everything we've heard about magic in Starfinder sounds like every mage in existence has an int of 7 and is purposefully shooting themselves in the foot.
I wonder how dumb you must think everyone is for 'forgetting' how to perform iterative attacks...after all, we know that in the past of the setting, many people used to be able to perform iterative attacks...

With all due respect, I think you are confusing game mechanics (repeated/iterative attacks) with game lore (people used to be able to do them).

You will still have people who attack relentlessly but the designers have chosen to provide different rules/game mechanics for this action.

No one has forgotten how to attack repeatedly; it is just being portrayed differently from a mechanics point of view.

And he is conflating game mechanics with game lore. No one has forgotten how to buff weapons or personal prowess. It just works in a different way. But because these effects no longer function in a very specific way, mechanically, he's claiming it's been forgotten.

Edit: I really should know better than to use sarcasm over the internet, it seems. Though frankly, even if it was the lore thing he claims it was, it would not be surprising if the spells people favored were either modified or swapped out for new ones over the course of, what, thousands of years?


Well his point still stands, if instead of having a spell that boosted your strength and everything that Strength affected you now have to choose between two different spells, one that boosted you attack and/or damage and one that boosted your physical carrying capacity, when the former used to exist in the setting and for some reason no one can use it anymore. That's not conflating mechanics with lore when those things existed and were acknowledged in setting.

BAB and iterative attacks are mechanics.

Bastard Swords and bull's strength and magic missile are things that actually existed in setting that people were aware of, they're not just abstract rules that only players and GMs knew about.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Well his point still stands, if instead of having a spell that boosted your strength and everything that Strength affected you now have to choose between two different spells, one that boosted you attack and/or damage and one that boosted your physical carrying capacity, when the former used to exist in the setting and for some reason no one can use it anymore. That's not conflating mechanics with lore when those things existed and were acknowledged in setting.

BAB and iterative attacks are mechanics.

Bastard Swords and bull's strength and magic missile are things that actually existed in setting that people were aware of, they're not just abstract rules that only players and GMs knew about.

Strength, attack, damage, and physical carrying capacity are all mechanics that - like pretty much any mechanic - are abstractions of the actual, in-game abilities. Honestly, BAB and iterative attacks are just as relevant; for example, by RAW, someone with BAB +6 and, let's say, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, can make four attacks a single round, which is specified to be six seconds. A 6th-level monk can make three attacks in a single round. This means that the rate of attacks that can be made in a round can be calculated, hypothetically in-character, at a certain rate, in much the same way as one could test their carrying capacity...and probably much more accurately than one could test an increase in accuracy and damage, given there's a certain degree of randomness inherent in both, especially accuracy, which is dependent on a d20 as well as on an opponent's AC. It would take much more in-character testing to discern the exact increase of accuracy/damage than it would to determine how many attacks you're making at a certain rate.

Of course, as always, this kind of thing is an abstraction of the actual situation, which mechanics can certainly reflect, but I think it's a little silly to cling to it too much; down that path lies people hiring summoners and calculating exactly how many monsters they need to kill to 'level up', since leveling up provides specific benefits in regards to how hard you are to kill, how accurate your attacks are, how resistant you are to various effects, and how good you are at various skills, leaving aside that levels are already simply a useful abstraction in the first place.

Edit: And also leaving aside that any such notes on the topic are probably lost to the ages, since, you know, it's been a long, long, long time since Pathfinder takes place.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

People forget Lore all the time. Can you build a pyramid? How about a stenograph machine? Maybe a chariot or a henge?

And we don't even have a Gap to explain our ignorance.

EDIT: We've learned that in Starfinder, everyone gets permanent boosts to 4 of their stats at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels. And that you can fluff these bumps any way you want.

Why not say that they've perfected bull's strength, et.al. to the point where they become permanent, as a one use 2nd/3rd level spell, and greater versions at the relative points. Boom, lore mystery solved. Why would anyone want to temporarily increase their strength when they can do so permanently?


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Well his point still stands, if instead of having a spell that boosted your strength and everything that Strength affected you now have to choose between two different spells, one that boosted you attack and/or damage and one that boosted your physical carrying capacity, when the former used to exist in the setting and for some reason no one can use it anymore. That's not conflating mechanics with lore when those things existed and were acknowledged in setting.

BAB and iterative attacks are mechanics.

Bastard Swords and bull's strength and magic missile are things that actually existed in setting that people were aware of, they're not just abstract rules that only players and GMs knew about.

I still think people are confusing things.

The only thing that gets ported over is game lore (and not all of it because of the 'gap') but not game mechanics.

Are you saying that because scimitars used to crit on a 18-20 and now they only crit on a 20, they are now less sharp.

Is a battleaxe now less deadly because its crit modifier is x2 instead of it being x3 (like in the old days).

No. There is a game outcome that designers want to translate into game mechanics. Design: weapons sometimes do more damage because of an extraordinary hit.

Mechanics are different in this game than in other games.

I know it's tempting to see 'what changed' but these new rules should be looked at separately from previous rules.

Silver Crusade

That is not what I'm saying at all, if anything the analaogy would be "scimitars and other things called swords used to exist, but no one knows how to make them anymore."

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fabian Benavente wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Well his point still stands, if instead of having a spell that boosted your strength and everything that Strength affected you now have to choose between two different spells, one that boosted you attack and/or damage and one that boosted your physical carrying capacity, when the former used to exist in the setting and for some reason no one can use it anymore. That's not conflating mechanics with lore when those things existed and were acknowledged in setting.

BAB and iterative attacks are mechanics.

Bastard Swords and bull's strength and magic missile are things that actually existed in setting that people were aware of, they're not just abstract rules that only players and GMs knew about.

I still think people are confusing things.

The only thing that gets ported over is game lore (and not all of it because of the 'gap') but not game mechanics.

Are you saying that because scimitars used to crit on a 18-20 and now they only crit on a 20, they are now less sharp.

Is a battleaxe now less deadly because its crit modifier is x2 instead of it being x3 (like in the old days).

No. There is a game outcome that designers want to translate into game mechanics. Design: weapons sometimes do more damage because of an extraordinary hit.

Mechanics are different in this game than in other games.

I know it's tempting to see 'what changed' but these new rules should be looked at separately from previous rules.

or rather to look at it as a new game (which it is) and as such, there are no "previous" rules.

Starfinder isn't Pathfinder.

Silver Crusade

Yakman wrote:
Fabian Benavente wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Well his point still stands, if instead of having a spell that boosted your strength and everything that Strength affected you now have to choose between two different spells, one that boosted you attack and/or damage and one that boosted your physical carrying capacity, when the former used to exist in the setting and for some reason no one can use it anymore. That's not conflating mechanics with lore when those things existed and were acknowledged in setting.

BAB and iterative attacks are mechanics.

Bastard Swords and bull's strength and magic missile are things that actually existed in setting that people were aware of, they're not just abstract rules that only players and GMs knew about.

I still think people are confusing things.

The only thing that gets ported over is game lore (and not all of it because of the 'gap') but not game mechanics.

Are you saying that because scimitars used to crit on a 18-20 and now they only crit on a 20, they are now less sharp.

Is a battleaxe now less deadly because its crit modifier is x2 instead of it being x3 (like in the old days).

No. There is a game outcome that designers want to translate into game mechanics. Design: weapons sometimes do more damage because of an extraordinary hit.

Mechanics are different in this game than in other games.

I know it's tempting to see 'what changed' but these new rules should be looked at separately from previous rules.

or rather to look at it as a new game (which it is) and as such, there are no "previous" rules.

Starfinder isn't Pathfinder.

But It's in the same setting where those previous rules used to exist though.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky wrote:
That is not what I'm saying at all, if anything the analaogy would be "scimitars and other things called swords used to exist, but no one knows how to make them anymore."

Well, no one knows how to make damascus steel anymore. Also, many RPGs assume that some knowledge of magic was lost in the past, PF included. You can't create an artifact in PF because the knowledge was lost.

Silver Crusade

Uh, people make artifacts in Pathfinder all the time. If a player character wants to do so they need the GM permission though.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky wrote:
Uh, people make artifacts in Pathfinder all the time. If a player character wants to do so they need the GM permission though.

OK. But no one knows a spell powerful enough to raise an island from the bottom of the sea, or how to build a flying city.

Scarab Sages

The Gap is more than just a universal case of amnesia, the base mechanics of the universe changed during that time. Knowledge of how certain spells may have changed or how much damage an average scimitar does may have changed during that time, and there would be no noticeable difference to anyone who lived through the gap, because thier memory has been altered, and any actual records of that would have also been altered.


Paladinosaur wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Uh, people make artifacts in Pathfinder all the time. If a player character wants to do so they need the GM permission though.
OK. But no one knows a spell powerful enough to raise an island from the bottom of the sea, or how to build a flying city.

The former was only done by one person who became a god, the latter was a process that mostly required various knowledge and skills an materials years and years to construct, not just a single spell (also going off the Giantslayer AP I'm pretty sure certain people are still making flying cities. They're just expensive and take time to build).

Which really doesn't play into what was said earlier in any case, artifacts and miracles are not the same thing as a common level 1 spell that almost every single spellcaster in the world knows.


Imbicatus wrote:
The Gap is more than just a universal case of amnesia, the base mechanics of the universe changed during that time. Knowledge of how certain spells may have changed or how much damage an average scimitar does may have changed during that time, and there would be no noticeable difference to anyone who lived through the gap, because thier memory has been altered, and any actual records of that would have also been altered.

So instead of a memory wipe it's a cosmic retcon like Time of Troubles/Spellplague? Yeah, not a fan of that theory at all.


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Yakman wrote:


or rather to look at it as a new game (which it is) and as such, there are no "previous" rules.

Starfinder isn't Pathfinder.

If they didn't want the comparison they really should not have put the two games in the same setting.


Rysky wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
The Gap is more than just a universal case of amnesia, the base mechanics of the universe changed during that time. Knowledge of how certain spells may have changed or how much damage an average scimitar does may have changed during that time, and there would be no noticeable difference to anyone who lived through the gap, because thier memory has been altered, and any actual records of that would have also been altered.
So instead of a memory wipe it's a cosmic retcon like Time of Troubles/Spellplague? Yeah, not a fan of that theory at all.

I read it as the Starfinder universe is not exactly the future of fantasy Golarion - just close to it. Or a slight change - like Klingon foreheads in ST:TNG vs original series - that got referenced in Trials and Tribbliations and retconned an explanation in Enterprise - but that was necessary.

It's been said that Starfinder is one possible future of Golarion in PF, I look at the other way - Pathfinder and the setting are one possible past of Starfinder. It's not "the exact same setting" but a spiritual successor.


I know Starfinder is in effect an "Elseworlds" future of the Pathfinder setting, rather than the definitive "that's what's going to happen" future... but that still requires building off the Pathfinder setting.

Saying that it is actually Starfinder instead that builds off of an "Elseworlds" Pathfinder opens a whole other can of worms.


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Made a separate thread for reasons why Bull's Strength is gone.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Cuttlefist wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
Yes! I hate that trope, but as soon as technology shows up, magic either disappears or just does not play well with it. And the excuses for it always seem half assed... Glad that's not the case here.
I have never seen a good explanation, it was always just hand-waving about the two interfering with each other so your electronics short-circuited when you cast spells and your spells were weaker if you had a bunch of cybernetic implants, all because.

Irreverent, but my personal explanation for this trope is this: magic has always had to be adapted to fit new tools, new forms, and new methods of thought related to how we live our lives. It never played well with new technology, be that tech as advanced as a computer or as simple as a fork, but could eventually be changed enough to settle. Our agricultural ancestors didn't cast the same as their Cro-Magnon forebears, and then techniques were lost and changed again for the next innovation, but the change was so gradual (because ideas didn't turnover all THAT fast) that it wasn't until writing was invented that things started getting hairy. Once the dark ages ended magic went to the fainting couch and hasn't gotten up since.

It's not that tech and magic being in a permanent state of war is new, its that technology insists on changing so constantly that magic hasn't had a chance to settle with it yet. And it won't until we calm the frock down.

Except apparently in Starfinder, which is kind of cool.

Spoiler:
This theory isn't in a game as such, but arrived at after being relentlessly asked "Why" by a trio of schoolchildren when tech went on the fritz in magicland in a movie we were all watching. I can't remember the movie, but I remember the conversation. Hopefully they don't.


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Rysky wrote:

I know Starfinder is in effect an "Elseworlds" future of the Pathfinder setting, rather than the definitive "that's what's going to happen" future... but that still requires building off the Pathfinder setting.

Saying that it is actually Starfinder instead that builds off of an "Elseworlds" Pathfinder opens a whole other can of worms.

Still confusing setting and game mechanics...

Starfinder Gameworld/setting builds from Pathfinder Gameworld/setting but the mechanics are different.

Let me try to explain another way.

In PF, the witch class was introduced after the the core classes. Do you think witches never existed before they were introduced mechanically? Did witches suddenly appear in Golarion on 4710 when Paizo published the Advanced Player's Guide in 2010? Was the evil eye hex discovered in Golarion on 4710?

The same thing applies to the different archetypes or magic items or spells or whatever that are introduced after the Core Rule Book.

I really don't know what else to say. Setting is not the same as mechanics in a game.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I know Starfinder is in effect an "Elseworlds" future of the Pathfinder setting, rather than the definitive "that's what's going to happen" future... but that still requires building off the Pathfinder setting.

Saying that it is actually Starfinder instead that builds off of an "Elseworlds" Pathfinder opens a whole other can of worms.

True.

I've been reading comics so long that retcons and adjustments are second nature to me, and I can just go with the flow on them.


Fabian Benavente wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I know Starfinder is in effect an "Elseworlds" future of the Pathfinder setting, rather than the definitive "that's what's going to happen" future... but that still requires building off the Pathfinder setting.

Saying that it is actually Starfinder instead that builds off of an "Elseworlds" Pathfinder opens a whole other can of worms.

Still confusing setting and game mechanics...

Starfinder Gameworld/setting builds from Pathfinder Gameworld/setting but the mechanics are different.

Let me try to explain another way.

In PF, the witch class was introduced after the the core classes. Do you think witches never existed before they were introduced mechanically? Did witches suddenly appear in Golarion on 4710 when Paizo published the Advanced Player's Guide in 2010? Was the evil eye hex discovered in Golarion on 4710?

The same thing applies to the different archetypes or magic items or spells or whatever that are introduced after the Core Rule Book.

I really don't know what else to say. Setting is not the same as mechanics in a game.

Uh, no I'm not. I didn't even mention any mechanics in that post.

And yes Witches existed before the class itself, I don't really know what this has to do with your argument though. If anything it supports mine.

bull's strength is not an abstract mechanic, it's an actual in game spell, it's a thing that exists along with plate armor and bastard swords in the Pathfinder setting.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Fabian Benavente wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I know Starfinder is in effect an "Elseworlds" future of the Pathfinder setting, rather than the definitive "that's what's going to happen" future... but that still requires building off the Pathfinder setting.

Saying that it is actually Starfinder instead that builds off of an "Elseworlds" Pathfinder opens a whole other can of worms.

Still confusing setting and game mechanics...

Starfinder Gameworld/setting builds from Pathfinder Gameworld/setting but the mechanics are different.

Let me try to explain another way.

In PF, the witch class was introduced after the the core classes. Do you think witches never existed before they were introduced mechanically? Did witches suddenly appear in Golarion on 4710 when Paizo published the Advanced Player's Guide in 2010? Was the evil eye hex discovered in Golarion on 4710?

The same thing applies to the different archetypes or magic items or spells or whatever that are introduced after the Core Rule Book.

I really don't know what else to say. Setting is not the same as mechanics in a game.

Uh, no I'm not. I didn't even mention any mechanics in that post.

And yes Witches existed before the class itself, I don't really know what this has to do with your argument though. If anything it supports mine.

bull's strength is not an abstract mechanic, it's an actual in game spell, it's a thing that exists along with plate armor and bastard swords in the Pathfinder setting.

The spell name is a thing that exists in the game world, yes. But how it works is not. Strength stat does not exist in the game world for either PF or SF. You cannot go to an in game book and read "King Zog the Mighty was known for having a strength of 23". You can go to a book and read "King Zog was very strong".

So the spell "Bull's Strength" can exist in both the Pathfinder Setting and the Starfinder setting. However, mechanically, in PF it is represented by adding to the Strength stat, whereas in SF it is represented mechanically by increasing the amount of stuff you can lift.


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Even going by your logic...

a) So, if the Starfinder Core Rulebook does not contain the meteor hammer or the urumi, does that imply that they never existed or that no one knows how to make them? Or does it imply that there are other melee weapons the game expects you to be using, and that there's only so much room in the Starfinder Core Rulebook...especially when alien weapons may well be included as well?

b) Do you really think a spell would be called bull's strength still when probably the majority of the races have little to no idea what a bull actually is? In short, if the name had changed, but was mechanically similar, would you accept it?

c) If the spell was still called bull's strength, but functioned mechanically differently (perhaps by boosting carrying capacity), would that be unacceptable? We already know that magic missile, while still having the same name, has changed the mechanics of how it works.

d) Consider, for a moment, that not only has spellcasting evolved in new ways (arcane/divine/psychic divide is gone, there are no more emotion/logic/somatic/verbal components), but that spellcasting probably represents the casting traditions of multiple races having merged together, in addition with the potential creation of many new spells in the vast span of time that has passed...not to mention the vastly different needs of technologically advanced societies that, for the most part, eschew melee except as a last resort (though not always). Just because bull's strength may not exist in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, does it necessarily follow that that's because it's impossible to cast the spell...or because things have changed, making other, more specialized spells more desirable, or simply making older spells fall out of favor?

e) If there is no mechanical way listed to create artifacts in the Core Rulebook, but it's possible to create them if your GM wants, shouldn't the same logic apply to spells like bull's strength?

Personally, for the reasons I've listed above, I wouldn't be surprised if the essence of the spell existed with mechanical differences. Whether it's bull's strength by name, or has been renamed to reflect both the science fantasy aesthetic and the culture, or was replaced by another spell that either works better or was just more fashionable, I don't know. I think it's a silly thing to get hung up on, personally...after all, physical strength itself is an abstraction even in the game. So that's why I think you are all getting too hung up on the exact mechanics.


@Fardragon,

Point, and thank you for addressing what I was actually talking about. While it does seem a bit odd to me to limit bull's strength to affecting carrying capacity when it used to affect everything related to Strength I'd be more okay with that then simply stating that spells that boost Abiltities and carrying capacity simply don't exist anymore for no reason.

Edit: @Luthorne,

That's not any of my logic, my statements have been in response to the statement that apparently ability boosting spells such as bull's strength do not exist at all in Starfinder. Not that they're not in the Core Rulebook, or that they've been renamed, but that they flat out don't exist in any form. If they exist in some other form or name, cool.


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hmm, I guess I didn't convey my point correctly...

Ultimately, my point is that boosting an ability score is, in fact, a mechanic, and the concept of spells like bull's strength is that they empower you physically. So a spell could still fill the same thematic niche as bull's strength (whether or not it's called that), without actually boosting an ability score, but instead having another effect that physically empowers you, such as giving bonuses to certain skills, increasing your carrying capacity, or other, similar things.


Luthorne wrote:

Hmm, I guess I didn't convey my point correctly...

Ultimately, my point is that boosting an ability score is, in fact, a mechanic, and the concept of spells like bull's strength is that they empower you physically. So a spell could still fill the same thematic niche as bull's strength (whether or not it's called that), without actually boosting an ability score, but instead having another effect that physically empowers you, such as giving bonuses to certain skills, increasing your carrying capacity, or other, similar things.

And I would be okay with that, say

Vesk's Might wrote:
Target gains a +2 to physical attacks and damage doubled encumbrance.

or something like that. But from the other comments it felt like we weren't even getting that.


Note that any stats can be derived empirically, so their existence may not be completely unknown in-universe. I'm pretty sure only deities with too much time on their hands would do it, but it is possible.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thus my argument that they do exist in the form of permanent ability increases gained every 5 levels. One way to do this is through a fabulous spell that is so much better than those old, outdated, temporary spells great-great-great-gramps used to cast.

Scarab Sages

There are already two spells in pathfinder that raise your strength through different mechanics, bulls strength and ant haul. By removing one mechanic from the game, doesn't mean that there isn't another spell that can enhance your character in a different method while maintaining the same theme.


Imbicatus wrote:
There are already two spells in pathfinder that raise your strength through different mechanics, bulls strength and ant haul. By removing one mechanic from the game, doesn't mean that there isn't another spell that can enhance your character in a different method while maintaining the same theme.

I hope laser ant haul is still a thing.


This still doesn't have tags?


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{glances at mechanics vs. flavor, Pathfinder vs. Starfinder comments} Ah, takes me back to the discussions surrounding Shadowrun and Earthdawn.

Scarab Sages

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
{glances at mechanics vs. flavor, Pathfinder vs. Starfinder comments} Ah, takes me back to the discussions surrounding Shadowrun and Earthdawn.

So why weren't there t'skrang and windlings in Shadowrun? T'skrang would have been perfect street samurai and windlings would be excellent infiltrators.


There are windlings, but they just call them pixies.

Scarab Sages

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Don't have time to read whole thread.
Did anyone answer what race this is?
To me it looks more like a turtle.

If it is a turtle, would solitary contemplative monks be Turtle Hermits?


Charles Scholz wrote:

Don't have time to read whole thread.

Did anyone answer what race this is?
To me it looks more like a turtle.

If it is a turtle, would solitary contemplative monks be Turtle Hermits?

The bulk makes me think Vesk, but the head screams Kobold to me. But the body shape is wrong for kobolds or lizardfolk. So it's most likely a vesk that had its head drawn wrong.

Scarab Sages

I'm 90% sure it's a kappa. They're aquatic, and the environment suit could be filled with water so they won't spill the headbowl in zero g.

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