Starfinder Society Class Playtest

Monday, December 3, 2018

With the release of the Starfinder Character Operations Manual Playtest, the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild is also opening its doors to a limited form of playtest. Since these classes won't be released until late 2019, we're looking at allowing players the chance to try these classes out during the playtest period.

Playtest Period: The availability for these rules runs from the publishing of this post until the end of the playtest period (January 16th, 2019.) Once this period has expired, players can no longer use the Starfinder Character Operations Manual Playtest classes until the publication of the book in late 2019.

How It Works: Given the smaller volume of scenarios that Starfinder Society has compared to Pathfinder Society, we've elected not to force players to choose between playtesting new classes on new characters or ignoring the playtest to continue with existing characters. As a happy medium between these options, we're opening up Society play for the playtest classes via the use of custom created characters that operate much like our pregenerated characters. We believe this should encourage players to test the waters with custom builds, be it with current scenarios or through our growing stable of repeatable options.

Creating a Playtest Character: Prior to playing a scenario in the playtest period, a player can determine if they want to playtest one of the new classes. Depending on the tier of the scenario, the player can then use a 1st-, 4th- or 8th-level character using one of the classes in the Starfinder Character Operations Manual Playtest and created using the following guidelines:

  • Classes: The character must have all levels in a single playtest class. Although multiclassing ramifications are important for the playtest as a whole, we're keeping to single classes in the organized play portion of the playtest for simplicity.
  • 1st Level: The character can be created using the character creation rules presented in the Starfinder Core Rulebook and Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide.
  • 4th Level: This character follows the same rules as above, except it can select one 4th level armor or weapon and one 3rd level armor or weapon. In addition, the player can spend up to 4,000 credits on other available equipment.
  • 8th Level: This character follows the same rules as above, except it can select one 8th level armor or weapon and one 7th level armor or weapon. In addition, the player can spend up to 18,000 credits on other available equipment.

Credit: The credit earned for playing a playtest character follows the same rules and guidelines as presented on page 7 of the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide. This means that you must choose which of your characters will receive the credit at the beginning of the adventure. Credit must be assigned to characters of lower level than the playtest character.

Resolving Conditions: We recognize that players taking the opportunity to playtest these characters are performing a service for the game and campaign. As a result, whenever a player playtests a 4th- or 8th-level version of these characters, the cost to purchase a raise dead is reduced to 6 Fame and subsequent restorations to remove the negative levels are only 1 Fame each. This means that there's still some risk to your established characters, but the penalty for dying as a playtest character is far less onerous than it would be for a normal character or pregenerated character.

Applying Credit: As we want to encourage extra play of the higher-level versions of these classes, we're also going to open up the rules for applying credit when playing a playtest character. A player using a non-1st-level playtest character may choose to apply the earned Chronicle sheet to an existing Organized Play character. To do so, simply replace the credits earned on the Chronicle sheet with credits from the list below that match the level range of the existing player character.

  • Levels 1-2: 720 credits (2,160 credits for Adventure Path module)
  • Levels 3-4: 1,460 credits (4,380 credits for Adventure Path module)
  • Levels 5-6: 4,085 credits (12,255 credits for Adventure Path module)
  • Levels 7-8: 5,835 credits (17,505 credits for Adventure Path module)

Shields: As a special note, the availability of shields, as presented with the vanguard class, are available for all playtest characters (biohacker, vanguard and witchwarper) to try out. However, shields cannot be purchased for other organized play characters.

With all this in mind, we encourage our players to take an active part in the playtest, both by sharing your opinions online in the Playtest forums and by completing the playtest surveys. We hope that by opening up the means in which players can create and customize characters for the playtest, that we can see some unique and fun builds using these new classes and that such tests will provide the design team with priceless "field agent" feedback!

I look forward to hearing from each of you about your experiences with the Starfinder Character Operations Manual classes and am even more excited to see these classes join the roster of Starfinder classes officially in late 2019.

Thurston Hillman
Starfinder Society Developer

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Tags: Organized Play Starfinder Playtests Starfinder Society
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Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

@Thurston: for equipment, could we also take weapon/armor of lower than maximum level? For example, when making a level 8 pregen, can we take a level 8 armor but only a level 6 weapon?

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

I'd treat that as the rules for NPC creation for Starfinder, where you are allowed to go one level down if there is a compelling thematic option that you want to better fit a character.

Hmm

*

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I, for one, welcome our new playtest overlords.

Starfinder Society Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
@Thurston: for equipment, could we also take weapon/armor of lower than maximum level? For example, when making a level 8 pregen, can we take a level 8 armor but only a level 6 weapon?

Lower is fine.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Gotta remember how to build a character without HLO now :P

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

First complaint to Playtest: WITCHWARPER NEEDS ACCESS TO MAGIC MISSILE. Why leave out such an iconic spell to this class's spell list?

I cobbled together a Damaya Lashunta Biohacker and a Halfling Witchwarper for a quest run this weekend

Honestly, reading over the Biohacker, it'd make a great multiclass with the Operative. Trick shot debuff combined with counteragent debuff can ruin boss fights.

***

Will we be allowed to use Archetypes for the Playtest?
I'm not sure if that counts as Multi-classing or not.

Also, are we allowed to replay the #1-00 with a replay Character?
I have played/GMed it already, and don't wish to signup for games I'm not allowed credit for.

* ⦵⦵⦵

Starfinder Superscriber
Selvaxri wrote:
First complaint to Playtest: WITCHWARPER NEEDS ACCESS TO MAGIC MISSILE. Why leave out such an iconic spell to this class's spell list?

That's the technomancer's iconic spell. I agree though that Witchwarper needs a decent low-level damage spell, that's the first thing I noticed when looking over the spell list.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Cyd the Arcmagi wrote:

Will we be allowed to use Archetypes for the Playtest?

I'm not sure if that counts as Multi-classing or not.

Also, are we allowed to replay the #1-00 with a replay Character?
I have played/GMed it already, and don't wish to signup for games I'm not allowed credit for.

I have a very sad player who wants to join my Playtest run of 1-00 (that was scheduled before the Playtest announcement) but has already played 1-00.

It would be great if we could let them replay during the Playtest.

Hmm

Sovereign Court **** ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Cyd the Arcmagi wrote:

Will we be allowed to use Archetypes for the Playtest?

I'm not sure if that counts as Multi-classing or not.

Also, are we allowed to replay the #1-00 with a replay Character?
I have played/GMed it already, and don't wish to signup for games I'm not allowed credit for.

I have a very sad player who wants to join my Playtest run of 1-00 (that was scheduled before the Playtest announcement) but has already played 1-00.

It would be great if we could let them replay during the Playtest.

Hmm

They could always play to make the table, or if they happened to have a character that is Tier 1 with Second Seekers (Jadnura)...

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

I have four players already. And yes, I told them about Tier 1 with Second Seekers Jadnura.

Hmm

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Arc Riley wrote:
Selvaxri wrote:
First complaint to Playtest: WITCHWARPER NEEDS ACCESS TO MAGIC MISSILE. Why leave out such an iconic spell to this class's spell list?

That's the technomancer's iconic spell. I agree though that Witchwarper needs a decent low-level damage spell, that's the first thing I noticed when looking over the spell list.

By all accounts, Shifting Surge is probably going to be a Witchwarper's go-to spell half the time. 2d6 additional damage to any weapon's energy attack, AND change the element?!

At lvl 1, Witchwarper could do 1d4+2d6 damage to EAC with a lazer or hail pistol, or farting spider [whatever that living weapon is called]. compared to 3d4+3 with a full-turn Magic Missile.

Hell, imagine a super-charged shifted doshko at lvl 1...

* ⦵⦵⦵

Starfinder Superscriber

Shifting Surge doesn't guarantee a hit, huge difference. Even at higher levels Magic Missile remains relevant because no matter what it'll hit, even at just 11.5 avg damage per round its better than trying to hit something with an AC/DR/Res that you can't normally overcome.

Casting a spell that adds damage to a ranged attack is doubly worse; if you miss a touch attack spell like Jolting Surge you still have the spell and can try again until it discharges. But Shifting Surge only lasts one round - if you miss, that's it. You cast a spell, it has a 1 round duration, you didn't hit anything during that round, better luck next time.

Well - at least Shifting Surge targets the person wielding the flame doshko rather than their target so there shouldn't be SR at least? Nope. Still has SR.

Worse, given the current text a GM could rule that all of the damage dealt by the temporarily Shifting Surge'd flame doshko, because the energy is converted to another energy type, is blocked if the caster fails to overcome SR.

Compare this to the Technomancer's Supercharge Weapon which adds 4d6 and is unaffected by SR. Both have touch range. The other advantage Shifting Surge has is it'll affect multiple hits if made in one round.


Arc Riley wrote:


Casting a spell that adds damage to a ranged attack is doubly worse; if you miss a touch attack spell like Jolting Surge you still have the spell and can try again until it discharges.

This isn't true in Starfinder, I'm pretty sure. There's no rule allowing you to retain a charge for a touch attack if you miss.

Core Rulebook, pg 335 wrote:
Spells with Attack Rolls: Some spells require an attack roll to hit. For these spells, you don’t need line of sight to the target, but you still need line of effect (see page 271). These spells can score a critical hit just as a weapon can, and deal double damage on a successful critical hit. If one of these spells has a duration, it refers to the duration of the effect that the attack causes, not the length of time that the attack itself persists.

The above is the only relevant text I've ever found on this subject. There's nothing affirmatively giving you the ability to keep a charge.

Arc Riley wrote:


Well - at least Shifting Surge targets the person wielding the flame doshko rather than their target so there shouldn't be SR at least? Nope. Still has SR.

Worse, given the current text a GM could rule that all of the damage dealt by the temporarily Shifting Surge'd flame doshko, because the energy is converted to another energy type, is blocked if the caster fails to overcome SR.

The SR check is against the target, which is the ally you touch, not the target you shoot.

Given that this is contrary to how Supercharge Weapon works, one of these is likely in error. Probably Supercharge Weapon.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

Arc Riley wrote:
Shifting Surge doesn't guarantee a hit, huge difference. Even at higher levels Magic Missile remains relevant because no matter what it'll hit, even at just 11.5 avg damage per round its better than trying to hit something with an AC/DR/Res that you can't normally overcome.

Just curious, but how are you calculating 11.5 average damage from 3d4+3? Apologies in advance if I missed something earlier in the thread about this.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

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Xenocrat wrote:
This isn't true in Starfinder, I'm pretty sure. There's no rule allowing you to retain a charge for a touch attack if you miss.
Core Rulebook page 271 wrote:

Touch Effects and Holding the Charge

Some effects, most notably spells, have a range of touch (see Range below) and require an action to activate. In most cases, if you don’t discharge a touch effect on the round you create it, you can postpone the discharge of the effect (also known as holding the charge) indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round until the effect is discharged. If you make any other attack, activate another ability, or cast a spell during this time, the touch effect dissipates.
Core Rulebook page 272 wrote:

Effects with Attack Rolls

Some targeted effects require an attack roll to hit their target. These effects can score critical hits just as weapons can, and when they do, they deal double damage on a critical hit.
If a targeted effect that requires an attack roll lists a duration, it refers to how long the effect lasts on the target (if the attack roll is successful), not how long you have to make an attack.

Hope that helps!


Pretty foolish of me to expect that to be in the magic and spells chapter, I guess.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

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I agree with you wholeheartedly, there.

* ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber
Mike Bramnik wrote:
Just curious, but how are you calculating 11.5 average damage from 3d4+3? Apologies in advance if I missed something earlier in the thread about this.

You're right its 10.5 (2.5*3 = 7.5, + 3), head math gone wrong.


Thurston Hillman wrote:


3) See above, but essentially you can apply the credit based on the level ranges listed. So if you use the 8th level, you can reduce the credits earned based on the level of the character you're applying it to.

Does this mean XP can be applied immediately to a lower-level existing character as well?

Sovereign Court **** ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It does

Liberty's Edge *** ⦵⦵

I have a question re. the Level 8 Biohacker Theorem:
Versatile Injections (Ex)
You can use fringe science to tweak your injections that would normally affect only living creatures to instead affect any creature.

This "only" means that you can apply the normal effects to non living enemies (like Endocrinology making them off-target) not that you can also apply effects that do not normally work on undead & constructs etc. (like Enzymology making the target fatigued), correct?

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

It says in the Injections:

Quote:
Injections come in two varieties: counteragents and restoratives. Unless otherwise stated, counteragents and restoratives affect both living and unliving creatures.

Reading through all the Fields of Study, all the counteragents mention "living creatures" so, this Theorem would allow counteragents and restoratives to effect any creature, in case you come across SRO's and other Constructs.


Eric Collins - France wrote:

I have a question re. the Level 8 Biohacker Theorem:

Versatile Injections (Ex)
You can use fringe science to tweak your injections that would normally affect only living creatures to instead affect any creature.

This "only" means that you can apply the normal effects to non living enemies (like Endocrinology making them off-target) not that you can also apply effects that do not normally work on undead & constructs etc. (like Enzymology making the target fatigued), correct?
Unliving, Alien Archive pg 154 wrote:
The creature has no Constitution score or modifier. Any DCs or other statistics that rely on a Constitution score treat the creature as having a score of 10 (+0). The creature is immediately destroyed when it reaches 0 Hit Points. An unliving creature doesn’t heal damage naturally, but a construct can be repaired with the right tools. Spells such as make whole can heal constructs, and magic effects can heal undead. An unliving creature with fast healing (see page 150) still benefits from that ability. Unliving creatures don’t breathe, eat, or sleep. They can’t be raised or resurrected, except through the use of miracle, wish, or a similar effect that specifically works on unliving creatures.

As you can see, the unliving quality isn't what grants those other immunities (fatigued, poison, etc.) - they come from the subtype, which Versatile Injections doesn't change, and so can't overcome.

Liberty's Edge *** ⦵⦵

@Xenocrat: thanks!
That is what I thought...

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