Putting the Powered Armor in Armory!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Powered armor—high-tech defensive suits that move under their own power rather than using the muscles of the wearer—have a long history in science-fantasy stories, dating all the way back to E.E. "Doc" Smith's 1937 Lensman novel Galactic Patrol (one reason the Lensman books appear in the Starfinder Core Rulebook's Inspirational Media list). The conceptually serve as armor, steed, and sometimes even weapon for super-advanced knight of high-tech settings, allowing a character to act as science-fantasy cavalry. There are five suits of powered armor in the Core Rulebook, which is just enough to give an idea of how such gear works in the game, but certainly isn't anywhere near enough to cover all your possible powered armor needs.

Happily, there's a good deal more in Starfinder Armory.


Illustrations by Leonardo Borazio

The book includes 18 total suits, from the scrapper's rig (item level 4) to the starguard (item level 20), with at least one at each item level and two at item level 17). Six of those suits are Medium, eleven are Large, and one is Gargantuan. While most of them are technological items five (celerity rigging, extradimensional armor, kyton bloodsuit, spellcaster's aegis, and stag-step suit) incorporate magic into their core design and are hybrid items.

In addition to providing more than three times the number of suits as the Core Rulebook, Armory provides some general power armor rules, covering weapon slots, hybrid powered armor… and how to improve a suit of powered armor to be a higher item level. This system allows a character to spend credits to boot a suit of powered armor's item level, EAC and KAC bonuses, and even (if you boost it by enough item levels) its maximum Dexterity, Strength bonus, and number of upgrade slots. These improvement rules are designed to allow a player who builds a character around a specific design of powered armor, they don't have to take a suit of a different size or environmental movement or operational range just to keep their armor relevant when gaining character levels.

In addition to just offering more suits at more item levels, Armory also provide powered armors design for specific situations. The explorer's cradle is design for days-long missions of investigation in harsh environments. The personal submersible operates underwater, and allows you to breath water and survive great depths even without using its environmental protections. The reactor guard similar protects you from radiation, even when its environmental protections aren't active. The spellcaster's aegis is specifically designed to allow magic-savvy characters to manipulate its built-in runes for more effective dispel efforts and greater protection against spells.

Whether you are an armor storm soldier looking for a suit to improve with you as you gain levels, or a mystic who has decided the best offense is a good defense, Starfinder Armory has the powered armor to meet your needs!

Owen K.C. Stephens
Starfinder Design Lead

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Tags: Leonardo Borazio Starfinder
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8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

That's real nice. I'm glad to see that Starfinder will be offering scaling item rules for powered armor--it was sorely needed. That being said, I really hope the book also provides scaling rules for regular armor and weapons as well.

Still doesn't stand up to the simple and elegant armor system provided by Star Wars Saga in my mind though. Thank you for all the hard work you continue to do for us sci-fi fans, Owen!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm ecstatic to see that there's so many options! Now I know that we were told at Paizocon that there are not mechs in the book, but a Gargantuan power armor suit sounds like a step in that direction.


Oh heck yeah!

I have at least two SFS characters who will be interested in powered armor, first my Armor Storm soldier who doesn't bother with powered armor right now because no current suit he can wear at his level is as strong as he is, and second, my nuar technomancer steward officer who wants to do his best Robocop impression by being as metal as possible.


A good upgrade of existing stuff is a good way to work it. Really no need to list the same armor 20 times just give us its base and then ability to keep it up to snuff. Could be fun for an exocortex mechanic to work into so he can be tinkering with his power armor to keep upgrading it.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

celerity rigging looks awesome.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I Am Iron Man. *ahem*

So will say countless players in the near future. Especially exo-cortex mechanics. Though really, given that there is a lot lower demand on feats, pretty much any class can go "two feats to become Iron Man is totally worth it". . .


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very cool, this makes me hopeful to see what other ares of the rules in regards to gear and guns were expanded. Really looking forward to seeing this come out.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

We can upgrade power armor? It is the superior equipment now. All of my characters must have it!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
RocMeAsmodeus wrote:
We can upgrade power armor? It is the superior equipment now.

That's only true if it is the only equipment that can be upgraded.

Otherwise, powered armor will stand out not for its protective value, but for all of their bells and whistles.

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

6 Medium + 11 Large + 1 Garguantan.

Does the Gargantuan suit have a classic car as its head?

I dig giant robots.


Kittyburger wrote:

6 Medium + 11 Large + 1 Garguantan.

Does the Gargantuan suit have a classic car as its head?

I dig giant robots.

Gundam Style!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sounds neat, looking forward to seeing the new and clarified rules for them!

... cant shake the feeling though, that stagstep suit looks oftely familiar somehow. Destiny maybe?

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
kaid wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:

6 Medium + 11 Large + 1 Garguantan.

Does the Gargantuan suit have a classic car as its head?

I dig giant robots.

Gundam Style!

Living here in Jersey,

Fighting villains from afar
You gotta find first gear
In your giant robot car!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Unless they change the rules for upgrading weapons and armor or upgrading powered armor is super expensive this seems incredibly problematic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is good, I am much excited.

Sovereign Court

Starfinder Superscriber

Can’t wait!


Shaudius wrote:
Unless they change the rules for upgrading weapons and armor or upgrading powered armor is super expensive this seems incredibly problematic.

Not saying they will or won't have other upgradable items, but I hardly think that having a special progression path for items at the end of a feat chain is that much of a problem. If you are rolling with power armor, that is way more of a lifestyle than using light or even heavy armor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Torbyne wrote:

Sounds neat, looking forward to seeing the new and clarified rules for them!

... cant shake the feeling though, that stagstep suit looks oftely familiar somehow. Destiny maybe?

Other than the huge stag horns, it actually does look like an armor set a Titan from Destiny would wear. There is actually a Warlock helmet that has horns like that; appropriately, it's called "The Stag". :P


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dark Midian wrote:
Torbyne wrote:

Sounds neat, looking forward to seeing the new and clarified rules for them!

... cant shake the feeling though, that stagstep suit looks oftely familiar somehow. Destiny maybe?

Other than the huge stag horns, it actually does look like an armor set a Titan from Destiny would wear. There is actually a Warlock helmet that has horns like that; appropriately, it's called "The Stag". :P

The antlers one reminds me a bit of Lord Shaxx from Destiny. And the Spellcaster's Aegis reminds me quite a lot of the Vault of Glass ornament set from Destiny 1.

Edit: here's the Vault of Glass set. I couldn't find it with the shader I was thinking of and I'm a bit too lazy to boot up D1 again.


Looks really promising.
Anyone knows if we also get an upgrade system for weapons?
Just for "player(s) who builds a character around a specific design of [weapon]"?


Kittyburger wrote:
kaid wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:

6 Medium + 11 Large + 1 Garguantan.

Does the Gargantuan suit have a classic car as its head?

I dig giant robots.

Gundam Style!

Living here in Jersey,

Fighting villains from afar
You gotta find first gear
In your giant robot car!

Fantastic MEGAS XLR reference! If nothing else, you could probably still put fuzzy dice up. insert xzibit "Yo dawg" meme here


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just now came back to this blog after sseing it earlier, and realized that I'd been misreading "Celerity Rigging" as "Celebrity Rigging".


Kittyburger wrote:
kaid wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:

6 Medium + 11 Large + 1 Garguantan.

Does the Gargantuan suit have a classic car as its head?

I dig giant robots.

Gundam Style!

Living here in Jersey,

Fighting villains from afar
You gotta find first gear
In your giant robot car!

MEGAS XLR!!!


I will echo the sentiment that an upgrade system for normal weapons and armor would be grand.


Kittyburger wrote:
kaid wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:

6 Medium + 11 Large + 1 Garguantan.

Does the Gargantuan suit have a classic car as its head?

I dig giant robots.

Gundam Style!

Living here in Jersey,

Fighting villains from afar
You gotta find first gear
In your giant robot car!

*pushes big red button that does something different than what it did five seconds ago*

I got the theme song stuck in my head now, Kittyburger XD


Fantastic news!

I've been asking for power armor to be fleshed out ever since I made my first character, really happy that powered armor gets the attention it deserves. :D

I wouldn't mind seeing an "upgrade" system for weapons and armor as well, but I definitely think PA needs it more than the other armor types. "Utility PA" like Flight Frame, Spider harness, and the Explorer Cradle need to scale in order to stay relevant past the initial levels. Other armors normally use armor upgrades to replicate these abilities which are much more plug & play.

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

8 people marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just now came back to this blog after sseing it earlier, and realized that I'd been misreading "Celerity Rigging" as "Celebrity Rigging".

4/5 Icons agree!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dracomicron wrote:


Not saying they will or won't have other upgradable items, but I hardly think that having a special progression path for items at the end of a feat chain is that much of a problem. If you are rolling with power armor, that is way more of a lifestyle than using light or even heavy armor.

I would hardly call one additional feat for soldiers and exocortex mechanics and two feats for everyone else a difficult feat chain. Players that care can have powered armor at 7th level for any class.

Since powered armor replaces strength you've basically turned strength into a dump stat for everyone even soldiers, especially if Powered Armor allows for better strength than normal bonuses. All it takes is putting your floating +1 in strength, and the 5th level upgrade.

Add on top of this its upgradability and you open up a huge problem, potentially. The problem is that the WBL chart assumes that you sell gear for 10% and therefore are restricted to not purchasing an armor upgrade every level because you'll lose a bunch of credits doing so, if you can upgrade powered armor instead of selling for 10% unless those upgrades meet up with the idea of selling for 10% creditwise, not only have you now made powered armor the most attractive thing because of the strength dump but you've also made powered armor the best thing for anyone who cares about credits, all at the cost of one to two feats.

I like the idea of powered armor, I want powered armor to be useful, I don't want powered armor to make everything else feel like a trap option.

About the only class this might not be true for is operatives and that's only if this system doesn't make powered armor good enough that even giving up evasion and fast movement makes sense.

I'm not saying the system doesn't address all of this but without more information I'm incredibly nervous.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just now came back to this blog after sseing it earlier, and realized that I'd been misreading "Celerity Rigging" as "Celebrity Rigging".

4/5 Icons agree!

And Celery rigging a totally different set of bio power armor.


Shaudius wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:


Not saying they will or won't have other upgradable items, but I hardly think that having a special progression path for items at the end of a feat chain is that much of a problem. If you are rolling with power armor, that is way more of a lifestyle than using light or even heavy armor.

I would hardly call one additional feat for soldiers and exocortex mechanics and two feats for everyone else a difficult feat chain. Players that care can have powered armor at 7th level for any class.

Since powered armor replaces strength you've basically turned strength into a dump stat for everyone even soldiers, especially if Powered Armor allows for better strength than normal bonuses. All it takes is putting your floating +1 in strength, and the 5th level upgrade.

Add on top of this its upgradability and you open up a huge problem, potentially. The problem is that the WBL chart assumes that you sell gear for 10% and therefore are restricted to not purchasing an upgrade every level because you'll lose a bunch of credits doing so, if you can upgrade powered armor instead of selling for 10% unless those upgrades meet up with the idea of selling for 10% creditwise, not only have you now made powered armor the most attractive thing because of the strength dump but you've also made powered armor the best thing for anyone who cares about credits, all at the cost of one to two feats.

I like the idea of powered armor, I want powered armor to be useful, I don't want powered armor to make everything else feel like a trap option.

About the only class this might not be true for is operatives and that's only if this system doesn't make powered armor good enough that even giving up evasion and fast movement makes sense.

I'm not saying the system doesn't address all of this but without more information I'm incredibly nervous.

While I get where you are coming from, there is something else that I am experiencing.

I'm currently playing an armor storm soldier with the lowest armor level in the party because enemies wear light and heavy armor so everyone else in the party gets free armor upgrades off enemies while I can only get pulled armor by buying it.


I didn't say it was a "difficult" feat chain, just that a lot of builds have better things to do with their ability upgrades and feats.

Let's take a breath and see how the math works out, shall we? My expectation is that it's going to cost about the right amount to upgrade the armor in relation to WBL, and the reason that the system is included is because each of the power armors has its own niche; while normal light & heavy armor is just EAC, KAC, armor check penalty, max Dex bonus, and upgrade slots; one armor is largely the same as the others, just with bigger or smaller numbers.

Power armor, on the other hand, also throws in weapon mounts, replacement speed, different movement types, alternate Strength, and, according to this update, magical or technological or hybrid properties.

My Armor Storm soldier doesn't really base his build off of his Golemforged III armor...he just bought the best armor with the highest numbers he could afford at his level. But if he were based around, say, the Flight Frame, I wouldn't want to buy it at 10th level and discover by 15th level that the Envoy in his light Freebooter IV armor had a better EAC and KAC after Dex bonus.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kaid wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:

6 Medium + 11 Large + 1 Garguantan.

Does the Gargantuan suit have a classic car as its head?

I dig giant robots.

Gundam Style!

I dont think they're referencing Gundam. Pretty sure it Megas XLR. These stoner/skater kids find a mech in a junkyard but can't find a head so the one kid just decides to weld a car in its place. Lol


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just now came back to this blog after sseing it earlier, and realized that I'd been misreading "Celerity Rigging" as "Celebrity Rigging".

4/5 Icons agree!

See I read it as Celery rigging....

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

4 people marked this as a favorite.
pirateprincess23 wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just now came back to this blog after sseing it earlier, and realized that I'd been misreading "Celerity Rigging" as "Celebrity Rigging".

4/5 Icons agree!
See I read it as Celery rigging....

As used by ghorans!

Grand Lodge

kaid wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just now came back to this blog after sseing it earlier, and realized that I'd been misreading "Celerity Rigging" as "Celebrity Rigging".

4/5 Icons agree!
And Celery rigging a totally different set of bio power armor.

Bleek!


Ravingdork wrote:

That's real nice. I'm glad to see that Starfinder will be offering scaling item rules for powered armor--it was sorely needed. That being said, I really hope the book also provides scaling rules for regular armor and weapons as well.

Still doesn't stand up to the simple and elegant armor system provided by Star Wars Saga in my mind though. Thank you for all the hard work you continue to do for us sci-fi fans, Owen!

Honestly scaling items can really be some of the coolest things to have because they really open up items to be more than just another stat as well as for other reasons.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Why doesn't this book release in july but on august 2nd :(
I need this.
My armor storm soldier needs it.


Damanta wrote:

Why doesn't this book release in july but on august 2nd :(

I need this.
My armor storm soldier needs it.

Gencon. Any big release that comes that close to gencon is almost always going to wind up being launched at the convention. It is simply too good of advertising and market of folks who came stocked with cash to snap new stuff they see up.


No hint for next week's blog post? I'd love something about the player options.


I love the Destiny aesthetic of the stag armour (am also aware that armour that mixes fantasy and sci-fi will inevitably evoke destiny armour).

Also love the idea of the personal submersible - I can imagine a soldier storming off in a huff after an argument and starting a new life under the sea, or at least sulking at the bottom of a lake for a while.

Edit: Is there any chance we will get a set of pawns released of characters wearing the armours from the armoury and maybe the CRB? Would be especially handy for power armour as the pawn can be non race specific and represent a player wearing the armour pretty accurately.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Ragi wrote:
No hint for next week's blog post? I'd love something about the player options.

That would be cool...

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Joe Pasini wrote:
The Ragi wrote:
No hint for next week's blog post? I'd love something about the player options.
That would be cool...

Wouldn't it?


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Joe Pasini wrote:
The Ragi wrote:
No hint for next week's blog post? I'd love something about the player options.
That would be cool...
Wouldn't it?

Yes. Yes it would.


"Six of those suits are Medium, eleven are Large, and one is Gargantuan."

Mech confirmed :D


JiCi wrote:

"Six of those suits are Medium, eleven are Large, and one is Gargantuan."

Mech confirmed :D

But not a very big one.


Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
JiCi wrote:

"Six of those suits are Medium, eleven are Large, and one is Gargantuan."

Mech confirmed :D

But not a very big one.

Well, mechs come in all sizes, so :P


JiCi wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
JiCi wrote:

"Six of those suits are Medium, eleven are Large, and one is Gargantuan."

Mech confirmed :D

But not a very big one.
Well, mechs come in all sizes, so :P

The height entry for gargantuan is 32-64 feet, and the RX-78 Gundam (one of the most iconic mecha) is 60 feet tall, so that's actually conceivably as big as a Gundam.

It's not in pacific rim or evangelion territory (though evangelion is notorious for its inconsistent scale, which range between 40 and 200 metres) (I don't know the imperial conversion for that)

I think gundam sized mecha suit in an rpg where you are on foot most the time the best, as that's the biggest mecha you can realistically interact with. The Kyokor in the alien archive gets into weird territory with it being colossal but it's attacks all still only hit on person at a time when realistically it should be able to hit entire crowds with one sweep of its claws


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tender Tendrils wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
JiCi wrote:

"Six of those suits are Medium, eleven are Large, and one is Gargantuan."

Mech confirmed :D

But not a very big one.
Well, mechs come in all sizes, so :P

The height entry for gargantuan is 32-64 feet, and the RX-78 Gundam (one of the most iconic mecha) is 60 feet tall, so that's actually conceivably as big as a Gundam.

It's not in pacific rim or evangelion territory (though evangelion is notorious for its inconsistent scale, which range between 40 and 200 metres) (I don't know the imperial conversion for that)

I think gundam sized mecha suit in an rpg where you are on foot most the time the best, as that's the biggest mecha you can realistically interact with. The Kyokor in the alien archive gets into weird territory with it being colossal but it's attacks all still only hit on person at a time when realistically it should be able to hit entire crowds with one sweep of its claws

- Avatar's mech suits are the same size as Na'vis, and they're around 10-12 feet high.

- Pacific Rim 2's Scrapper isn't close to be as high as the regular Jeagers :P

- The Mega Man X series had mechs (Ride Armors) that were roughly twice as big as X, Zero or Axl.

- Xenoblade Chronicles X's Skells look... Huge at first glance.

- The Metal Gears in Metal Gear Solid look Gargantuan at best.

- StarCraft has the Terran Goliath, Protoss Dragoon, Terran Viking, Protoss Stalker and Protoss Immortal.

- Rumble has a small mech in League of Legends.

- D.Va has one as well.

- The Titans in Titanfall are around 24 feet high, so ;)


JiCi wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
JiCi wrote:

"Six of those suits are Medium, eleven are Large, and one is Gargantuan."

Mech confirmed :D

But not a very big one.
Well, mechs come in all sizes, so :P

The height entry for gargantuan is 32-64 feet, and the RX-78 Gundam (one of the most iconic mecha) is 60 feet tall, so that's actually conceivably as big as a Gundam.

It's not in pacific rim or evangelion territory (though evangelion is notorious for its inconsistent scale, which range between 40 and 200 metres) (I don't know the imperial conversion for that)

I think gundam sized mecha suit in an rpg where you are on foot most the time the best, as that's the biggest mecha you can realistically interact with. The Kyokor in the alien archive gets into weird territory with it being colossal but it's attacks all still only hit on person at a time when realistically it should be able to hit entire crowds with one sweep of its claws

- Avatar's mech suits are the same size as Na'vis, and they're around 10-12 feet high.

- Pacific Rim 2's Scrapper isn't close to be as high as the regular Jeagers :P

- The Mega Man X series had mechs (Ride Armors) that were roughly twice as big as X, Zero or Axl.

- Xenoblade Chronicles X's Skells look... Huge at first glance.

- The Metal Gears in Metal Gear Solid look Gargantuan at best.

- StarCraft has the Terran Goliath, Protoss Dragoon, Terran Viking, Protoss Stalker and Protoss Immortal.

- Rumble has a small mech in League of Legends.

- D.Va has one as well.

- The Titans in Titanfall are around 24 feet high, so ;)

Hopefully future books give us some huge sized power armours too ☺️

The last thing I am really wanting to know is if the armoury will have vehicles at all, or if a book covering those will come out soon (maybe a book called starfinder hangar full of vehicles and ships and customisation options for those, with added rules systems for hazards/terrain for vehicles and ships to interact with?)

My players keep asking for a space tank and I'll probably have to homebrewing one by adding weapons to the apc statblock, so an official space tank would be nice.

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