Field Test #3: That Cantina Feel

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Happy New Year! Welcome to the exciting reveal of our third Starfinder Second Edition Field Test.

It’s a new year and a new Field Test release! The Field Tests include early, behind-the-scenes previews of rules the Starfinder development team is playtesting internally in preparation for the Starfinder Playtest Rulebook release later this year. Our latest offering includes a preview of two ancestries appearing in the Playtest Rulebook, as chosen by community vote. We’re excited to announce the winners of that vote and the ancestries we’ll be featuring in today’s Field Test: the android and vesk!

Ancestries are the updated version of what were known as species (also called races in older products) in Starfinder First Edition. Ancestries are an important part of Starfinder’s “cantina feel,” a term referring to the sci-fi trope of a spaceport bar packed with all kinds of aliens. In this context, it means players get to create and play as alien characters, and every planet or space station in the setting is teeming with weird and wonderful sapient lifeforms that player characters might interact with. Our goal is to keep the cantina open, so to speak, while we update existing Starfinder ancestries to be compatible with the new edition. 

Starfinder ancestries might look familiar to those of you who play Pathfinder Second Edition. Starfinder First Edition players might notice the new ancestries are a bit of a departure from what you’re used to, but don’t panic! In Starfinder Second Edition, each ancestry entry includes more content than the small sidebar allotted to them in Starfinder First Edition.

In existing Starfinder books, you’ll often see a species boiled down to a list of statistics with a handful of abilities. Presenting species this way allowed the Starfinder team to introduce many playable options right away, but there was little players could do to define their character’s progression—via their species—beyond the initial selection. In some specific cases, a species was so numerically superior that they were the obvious “best” choices (we’re looking at you, SROs!). This was fantastic for certain players but didn’t always reward players interested in exploring different options. In the new edition of Starfinder, we want to create deeper meaning and context for ancestries that you’re going to play or feature in your campaigns. This means including more space for narrative lore related to each ancestry and information on how it fits into the setting, as well as progression-based selections to help further customize a character of that ancestry.

In addition to a set of starting adjustments and abilities, ancestries in Second Edition get access to ancestry feats. A character gains an ancestry feat at 1st level and then another at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th-level. Ancestry feats explore different paths within each ancestry and grant more powerful abilities as a character progresses—allowing you to customize your character beyond what was possible in Starfinder First Edition. The team’s been experimenting with some interesting new options, like expanding lashunta psychic powers or introducing a type of shirren that grows wings!

A humanoid android with purple lights and viney plants growing around them and on the staff they are holding

Illustration by Sophie Mendev


Today’s Field Test focuses on the constructed androids and the reptilian vesk. Androids and vesk are both staple ancestries in Starfinder, but each represents a very different part of the design spectrum. Androids already exist in Pathfinder Second Edition (see Pathfinder Lost Omens: Ancestry Guide), so the Starfinder team updated the ancestry to be compatible with the “ancient androids” who once walked lost Golarion while creating new options to represent the changes in culture and technology that separate the Starfinder setting from its distant past.

Meanwhile, vesk is an ancestry that’s never appeared in Pathfinder Second Edition, giving us a blank canvas to work with. Our intent was to keep the spirit of the First Edition vesk while exploring new build types, from movement-based shenanigans to different forms of natural melee attacks, and more.

The team is excited to see what you think of our initial foray into ancestry design for the new edition. We also strongly suggest you read the foreword in this document, which may reveal some important news related to what ancestries you can expect to see in the Starfinder Playtest Rulebook releasing this summer!

Stay tuned for our upcoming Paizo Live! where members of the Starfinder team will further discuss the Field Test, as well as give more hints about what we have planned for the new edition of Starfinder.

— The Starfinder Team

-Thurston Hillman, Managing Creative Director (Starfinder)
-Jenny Jarzabski, Senior Developer
-Dustin Knight, Developer
-Jessica Catalan, Starfinder Society Developer
-Mike Kimmel, Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Starfinder Starfinder Playtest Starfinder Roleplaying Game Starfinder Second Edition
301 to 350 of 432 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

I mean, one of the reasons that you have something like organized play is to onboard new or otherwise inexperienced players, so you don't want to overwhelm those people with "things to keep track of" whether those are things you pick or things that are innate to top level choices.

So "streamlining of ancestries" is appropriate for organized play in any case. Like you can't currently play an SRO or an Entu Colony in Starfinder Society anyway.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

if I've seen one thing turn potential players away from organized play its "Oh hey I want to play a ____" and then them being told they can't play that.


mfw when the DM said I could not play an anthropomorphic tarrasque.


"Yes of course if I let you play a medusa, I would not allow you to have Petrifying Gaze." They gave up on the idea because it just would not be medusa enough.

Paizo Employee Managing Creative Director (Starfinder)

9 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
if I've seen one thing turn potential players away from organized play its "Oh hey I want to play a ____" and then them being told they can't play that.

That is something I know in our (early) OP discussions that I know the team passionately wants to change. There's a lot of cool content in the game, but most ancestries should just be always accessible.

Wayfinders

1 person marked this as a favorite.
moosher12 wrote:
"Yes of course if I let you play a medusa, I would not allow you to have Petrifying Gaze." They gave up on the idea because it just would not be medusa enough.

For homebrew, if someone wanted to play a Medusa I'd allow them to have Petrifying Gaze. But the rest of the party would still be affected by it if the Medusa player wasn't careful. If the Medusa PC were not careful at a city market the entire city guard might be called after them. Also, the party would need to agree to this and then need to come up with a really good reason why there was a Medusa in the party. NOTE I would only be willing to do this in a sandbox game, not in a published AP.

Wayfinders

1 person marked this as a favorite.
moosher12 wrote:
mfw when the DM said I could not play an anthropomorphic tarrasque.

if you want to play an anthropomorphic tarrasque, Starfinder has an AP that is perfect, "Attack of ALL the Swarm."


Thurston Hillman wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
if I've seen one thing turn potential players away from organized play its "Oh hey I want to play a ____" and then them being told they can't play that.
That is something I know in our (early) OP discussions that I know the team passionately wants to change. There's a lot of cool content in the game, but most ancestries should just be always accessible.

Yeah, any solution that works for society players as well is vastly preferable. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but that should not be the starting point. We want everyone to have fun ^^


Thurston Hillman wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
if I've seen one thing turn potential players away from organized play its "Oh hey I want to play a ____" and then them being told they can't play that.
That is something I know in our (early) OP discussions that I know the team passionately wants to change. There's a lot of cool content in the game, but most ancestries should just be always accessible.

For context, I think they mean for the team to do this without applying any nerfs to the ancestries abilities sir, especially from the SF1E versions.

Wayfinders

moosher12 wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
if I've seen one thing turn potential players away from organized play its "Oh hey I want to play a ____" and then them being told they can't play that.
That is something I know in our (early) OP discussions that I know the team passionately wants to change. There's a lot of cool content in the game, but most ancestries should just be always accessible.
For context, I think they mean for the team to do this without applying any nerfs to the ancestries abilities sir, especially from the SF1E versions.

It's 2 separate issues.

In Starfinder organized play there are 25 species that are not allowed in organized play, there are another 53 species that require spending achievement points to get access to play them. Organized play doesn't allow GMs to override what species can be played.

The ancestry feat issue some people have affects all types of play not just organized play.


Driftbourne wrote:
moosher12 wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
if I've seen one thing turn potential players away from organized play its "Oh hey I want to play a ____" and then them being told they can't play that.
That is something I know in our (early) OP discussions that I know the team passionately wants to change. There's a lot of cool content in the game, but most ancestries should just be always accessible.
For context, I think they mean for the team to do this without applying any nerfs to the ancestries abilities sir, especially from the SF1E versions.

It's 2 separate issues.

In Starfinder organized play there are 25 species that are not allowed in organized play, there are another 53 species that require spending achievement points to get access to play them. Organized play doesn't allow GMs to override what species can be played.

The ancestry feat issue some people have affects all types of play not just organized play.

That's kind of what I mean, I don't think Paizo is going to make those species available in organized play unless concessions are made to balance them around other ancestries, (i.e. nerfs). And this user has talked about how the feats do not feel representative enough.

The dev said that they intend to make more ancestries available for organized play, but I wanted to give context that the way they seem most likely to be doing it would not be seen well by the person they were talking to, as they have shown discontent with such modifications.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
moosher12 wrote:

I guess, as a composure of my feelings on the matter. I GM’d a lot of PF1E before I moved onto PF2E. I used to run very powerful races. The home rule I used was 20 RP build-your-own-race (The idea was to be allowed to play monstrous races, but giving the basic races a little something extra in an attempt to feel balanced). The result was interesting, and my powergamer players loved it. Though I and the other players not so much. Even had a player want to leave over the effectiveness of their character versus the others, and the feeling of expectation to be more meta to keep up. I myself struggled to make interesting encounters. As when your race gives you abilities that are too good out the gate, your typical enemies have to have coincidentally, and what felt like immersion-breakingly good preparation and foresight. All of the encounter-building advice was out the window, because it simply did not apply.

We played with concepts of a vampire, a diminutive pixie, a satyr, and a harpy.

I eventually realized I was no longer really having fun with the ruleset. It got old quick. Of course, you want the players to win, but at this point it was no contest. They were never threatened, and I had to spend a lot of extra time trying to buff entries from the bestiaries trying to make them stronger to still feel too weak. And any attempts to try to nerf things would always be met with “What good is a pixie without the full pixie dust”, “what good is a satyr/harpy without the song,” “Of course it should have full DR. It wouldn’t be a pixie otherwise,” and so on, and so forth. Of course, this was from level 1, because that’s how 1E’s racial system works for both games. Then, the players always said the same thing, "Don't worry, it's balanced."

I don’t know. For players, it works, and is fun. Many of these ancestries feel like a big power fantasy, and it’s great for them. But I don’t think they understand how it feels for GMs to interact with such PCs. It frankly feels to me like these players expect the ancestry to...

Yeah this is kind of a consistent problem in discussion too, it becomes very easy to ratchet up the intensity to try and win an argument by making things non-negotiable, like "if this option doesn't do this exact thing, then its a complete failure" and then also claiming that the silent majority feel this way, when we don't really have any evidence of that.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
moosher12 wrote:
"Yes of course if I let you play a medusa, I would not allow you to have Petrifying Gaze." They gave up on the idea because it just would not be medusa enough.

I think this actually calls up something more interesting-- the way we explore options when they're monsters vs. when they're ancestries. Monsters don't derive most of their power from a class, and we don't necessarily think much about the lifecycle of a Medusa-- like, do all Medusa actually have petrifying gazes, in the sense that the statblock represents all Medusa of equal training, development, etc.

You don't get this kind of thing in Star Wars so much for all that we're talking about the 'cantina vibe' Twilek don't have crazy abilities that majorly influence how powerful they can be, and even multi armed jedi are about as strong as two armed jedi in a duel. Obiwan/Windu/Yoda/Anakin are the best the order has to offer during the clone wars, even in lightsaber dueling, and there are four armed jedi running around too.

To my mind, its best handled by ancestry feats, and potentially an ancestry archetype, once we move a Medusa out of myth, and have to talk about the logistics of like, Medusa ecology you have Medusa that master Medusa powers and Medusa that don't. Alternatively, you almost need to create a player-appropriate version, like the Stheno where you can get a lot of the vibes, without committing to the full power set.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
moosher12 wrote:
"Yes of course if I let you play a medusa, I would not allow you to have Petrifying Gaze." They gave up on the idea because it just would not be medusa enough.

I think this actually calls up something more interesting-- the way we explore options when they're monsters vs. when they're ancestries. Monsters don't derive most of their power from a class, and we don't necessarily think much about the lifecycle of a Medusa-- like, do all Medusa actually have petrifying gazes, in the sense that the statblock represents all Medusa of equal training, development, etc.

You don't get this kind of thing in Star Wars so much for all that we're talking about the 'cantina vibe' Twilek don't have crazy abilities that majorly influence how powerful they can be, and even multi armed jedi are about as strong as two armed jedi in a duel. Obiwan/Windu/Yoda/Anakin are the best the order has to offer during the clone wars, even in lightsaber dueling, and there are four armed jedi running around too.

To my mind, its best handled by ancestry feats, and potentially an ancestry archetype, once we move a Medusa out of myth, and have to talk about the logistics of like, Medusa ecology you have Medusa that master Medusa powers and Medusa that don't. Alternatively, you almost need to create a player-appropriate version, like the Stheno where you can get a lot of the vibes, without committing to the full power set.

I recall one option PF1E recommended was to trade off HD for levels. Basically if you were an unlocked Medusa, you would not be allowed to get your first level in, say, sorcerer, until level 9. At that point you could be a Level 1 Sorcerer Medusa with 9 HD. Up until then, you'd simply get no growth.

I know in the home rules I was implementing at the time, it was an attempt to get away from that approach and let them have abilities from level 1, but have a class level at level 1. Cool as it'd be, telling your player they would have no stat changes for 9 levels of gameplay simply does not sound reasonable.

And agreed, ancestry feats do a great job of it, and I think Mark Seifter did a brilliant job with the Stheno Ancestry. It looked great, on paper at least, I've not gotten the chance to see it ran.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
moosher12 wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
moosher12 wrote:
"Yes of course if I let you play a medusa, I would not allow you to have Petrifying Gaze." They gave up on the idea because it just would not be medusa enough.

I think this actually calls up something more interesting-- the way we explore options when they're monsters vs. when they're ancestries. Monsters don't derive most of their power from a class, and we don't necessarily think much about the lifecycle of a Medusa-- like, do all Medusa actually have petrifying gazes, in the sense that the statblock represents all Medusa of equal training, development, etc.

You don't get this kind of thing in Star Wars so much for all that we're talking about the 'cantina vibe' Twilek don't have crazy abilities that majorly influence how powerful they can be, and even multi armed jedi are about as strong as two armed jedi in a duel. Obiwan/Windu/Yoda/Anakin are the best the order has to offer during the clone wars, even in lightsaber dueling, and there are four armed jedi running around too.

To my mind, its best handled by ancestry feats, and potentially an ancestry archetype, once we move a Medusa out of myth, and have to talk about the logistics of like, Medusa ecology you have Medusa that master Medusa powers and Medusa that don't. Alternatively, you almost need to create a player-appropriate version, like the Stheno where you can get a lot of the vibes, without committing to the full power set.

I recall one option PF1E recommended was to trade off HD for levels. Basically if you were an unlocked Medusa, you would not be allowed to get your first level in, say, sorcerer, until level 9. At that point you could be a Level 1 Sorcerer Medusa with 9 HD. Up until then, you'd simply get no growth.

I know in the home rules I was implementing at the time, it was an attempt to get away from that approach and let them have abilities from level 1, but have a class level at level 1. Cool as it'd be, telling your player they would have no stat changes...

To my mind, the bigger issue is everyone putting up with one member of the group being as strong as a medusa for so long until they catch up.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
To my mind, the bigger issue is everyone putting up with one member of the group being as strong as a medusa for so long until they catch up.

Exactly, good percentage of players are likely to say no (Though there is a percentage of players that would be cool with it I've observed). So it would be table by table, but your chances of being allowed to play such a character without being vetoed by both the GM and and a full party of your fellow players is frankly gonna be low.

Wayfinders

moosher12 wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
To my mind, the bigger issue is everyone putting up with one member of the group being as strong as a medusa for so long until they catch up.
Exactly, good percentage of players are likely to say no (Though there is a percentage of players that would be cool with it I've observed). So it would be table by table, but your chances of being allowed to play such a character without being vetoed by both the GM and and a full party of your fellow players is frankly gonna be low.

Another way to do it is to have the Medusa character start with full powers but start at a higher level and only be playable in a party of equal-level characters, so the party is on an even power level. This could work well in an adventure with pregen-charactors, or if the other players have or get to make characters of the right level. This could be a great way to go even more gonzo with the Catania and still maintain balance. Also starting at a higher level and skipping lower level choices for ancestry feats could make this type of ancestry have a bit shorter page count. This works well in organized play too where you don't have to play with the same group of people to get to a higher level. And not being available at the first level might make a good reward for GMs. And for players to make it fair to old and new players to unlock it you could need to reach its minimum level with another character first. So the effort to get it is the same as playing to reach its level.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Driftbourne wrote:
Another way to do it is to have the Medusa character start with full powers but start at a higher level and only be playable in a party of equal-level characters, so the party is on an even power level. This could work well in an adventure with pregen-charactors, or if the other players have or get to make characters of the right level. This could be a great way to go even more gonzo with the Catania and still maintain balance. Also starting at a higher level and skipping lower level choices for ancestry feats could make this type of ancestry have a bit shorter page count. This works well in organized play too where you don't have to play with the same group of people to get to a higher level.

While it is a viable workaround in the 1E system, I don't think the 2E system accomodates it as well.

I can also speak from experience that players tend to chafe at not getting as many class levels.

Wayfinders

moosher12 wrote:
Driftbourne wrote:
Another way to do it is to have the Medusa character start with full powers but start at a higher level and only be playable in a party of equal-level characters, so the party is on an even power level. This could work well in an adventure with pregen-charactors, or if the other players have or get to make characters of the right level. This could be a great way to go even more gonzo with the Catania and still maintain balance. Also starting at a higher level and skipping lower level choices for ancestry feats could make this type of ancestry have a bit shorter page count. This works well in organized play too where you don't have to play with the same group of people to get to a higher level.

While it is a viable workaround in the 1E system, I don't think the 2E system accomodates it as well.

I can also speak from experience that players tend to chafe at not getting as many class levels.

But the point here is you would be playing more to the ancestry than class so class levels are less important. At least in organized play a new player to the table showing up with a high-level character fits right in. It doesn't matter if they gained the levels playing with the same group like it might in a home game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Granted, I'm not saying it is impossible, but NPC rules in the 2E system just are not so accomodating. There are rules for making pure NPC monsters and pure classed NPCs, but not quite clean rules for making a monster with classes.

Paizo would need to draft a set of guidelines for this, otherwise it's up to home rules. Which honestly I would not mind, as it would make for more diverse and interesting monster NPCs to have easier tools to make classed monsters.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
moosher12 wrote:
Granted, I'm not saying it is impossible, but NPC rules in the 2E system just are not so accomodating. There are rules for making pure NPC monsters and pure classed NPCs, but not quite clean rules for making a monster with classes.

Designing monsters with class levels is more an art than a science, Nevertheless, I spent 3 years and 10 months adapting the 16-level PF1 Ironfang Invasion adventure path into a 20-level PF2 adventure path, so I mastered that art. Ironfang Invasion had a lot of monsters with class levels.

Once example is worth mentioning because this thread is already talking about medusas: Balancing a Seventeenth-Level Medusa. However, the ghost medusa Elacnida ended up with mostly ghost and medusa powers with very little of her spy-master class abilities active when converted to PF2.

A more enlightening example was Ishgahkah, creature 15, from the same module. He was a gug, a 10th-level abberation, but he was also a cleric who could cast 5th-level divine spells. The PF1 Ishgahkah was described as a CR 14 gug savant sorcerer 7, so I made the PF2 Ishgahkah a 15th-level creature and switched him over to divine caster because he summoned the demon Kalavakus before the encounter.

The design key was to force him to use both cleric tactics and gug tactics. I gave him divine spells powerful enough that he would begin combat with them, but only one per level so that they would run short. Then he would switch to fighting like a gug.

Ishgahkah, gug savant, Creature 15:
Ishgahkah, gug savant, Creature 15
CE, Large, Aberration
Based on Gug, Bestiary pg. 198, and Ishgahkah, Siege of Stone page 47
Perception +24; darkvision
Languages Abyssal, Undercommon
Skills Acrobatics +24 (+28 to Squeeze), Athletics +29, Diplomacy +28, Intimidation +28, Religion +21, Stealth +24, Survival +21
Str +7, Dex +3, Con +5, Int +0, Wis +2, Cha +6

AC 36; Fort +28, Ref +24, Will +25
HP 275; Immune disease, poison; Resistance electricity 5

Attack of Opportunity
Speed 40 feet, climb 20 feet
Melee jaws +28 (reach 15 feet), Damage 3d10+15 piercing
Melee claw +28 (agile, reach 15 feet), Damage 3d6+15 slashing

Divine Spells DC 36 Attack +28
8th (1/day) summon fiend (Kalavakus only, 1-hour duration) https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=323 --used
5th (1/day) abyssal wrath (non-focus) https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=492
4th (1/day) divine wrath https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=86
3rd (1/day) slow https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=289
2nd (1/day) enlarge https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=102
1st (1/day) fear https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=110
Cantrip (8th) acid splash https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=3

Divine Rituals DC 27; 5th planar ally https://2e.aonprd.com/Rituals.aspx?ID=16

Eerie Flexibility Despite its size, the gug’s multiple joints allow it to fit through tight spaces as if it were a Medium creature. While Squeezing, it can move at its full Speed.
Furious Claws The gug makes up to four claw Strikes, each against a different target. These attacks all count toward the gug’s multiple attack penalty, but the penalty doesn’t increase until after the gug makes all its attacks.
Rend claw

It was a memorable battle.

For Starfinder 2nd Edition character design, I would love for some alien ancestries to seriously break the rules for humanoids. For example, one player in my Starfinder campaign is playing a Stellifera, a tiny fish that walks around in a humanoid hydrobody made of water held in shape telekinetically, but she can revert to a fish whenever handy. Another plays an Entu Colony. Two play insects, Formian and Kiirinta. Breaking away from humanoid characters is part of the fun of Starfinder.

Breaking away from expectations can alter encounters, even if the special abilities, such as a stellifera dropping its hydrobody to swim like a fish, are not powerful. The entu colony could see in greater darkness better than the shadow creeper monsters hiding in the dark due to her emotion-sensing blindsight. I thought that that was delightful rather than disruptive. I want aliens to do things differently than humans.

Driftbourne wrote:
But the point here is you would be playing more to the ancestry than class so class levels are less important.

That is the key. The ancestry abilities have to add spice to the character actions, but they have to be something that does not sideline class abilities. For example, several PF2 ancestries have natural unarmed strikes, such as claws. But since most classes can fight with weapons as well as those ancestries can fight with claws, the claws don't change the class tactics. The classes that are bad with weapons have other options, such as cantrips or elemental impulses, that also make the claws more a curiosity than a disruption.

Suppose Starfinder did have a medusa alien. They would have a 1st-level Focus Gaze ancestry feat that would force their target to make a Fortitude save versus their Class DC. On a failure, the target would be Slowed 1 for 1 round, so the medusa would essentially use an action to maybe make their target lose an action. Notice that Focus Gaze has the incapacitation trait so it works poorly against higher-level opponents. At 5th level they could gain Petrifying Gaze, but still only for Slowed 1. Further investment in the petrification ancestry feats could maybe have the medusa turning targets into stone for one minute at 9th level. The medusa's class abilities would always be stronger than their gaze, but the medusa and their allies could develop a combat style that takes advantage of slowed opponents.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mathmuse wrote:
...

I am curious what your general strategy is for converting such to PF2E. I myself have been considering doing a conversion game of Rise of the Runelords for one of my tables, but was not sure how I'd want to go about it when it came time for the monsters.

Mild RotR Spoilers:
Such as the lamias, the ogres, and the stone giants.

As a loose aside, I'd predict the closest option to a 2E medusa would be the Stheno, which appears in Bestiary 3 as an NPC

Roll for Combat released the Stheno as an ancestry for their Battlezoo Ancestries line, written by Mark Seifter, a designer of Pathfinder 2E.

On the one hand, the Stheno does not get petrify until it's Level 17 feat. On the other hand, the Stheno is, as far as I can tell, a lesser medusa (by lesser I mean a biological offshoot that has less potent innate abilities), which does open a homebrew path for a true medusa.

This is technically 3rd party, but considering it is written by a first party dev, I'd imagine if a medusakin came to either Pathfinder or Starfinder 2E in an offical capacity, it probably would not stray very far from the Stheno's capabilities.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think there's a big difference between a system going wonky because of eye lasers of instant death to anyone with optical sensors and being able to hold six beers at once.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
moosher12 wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
...

I am curious what your general strategy is for converting such to PF2E. I myself have been considering doing a conversion game of Rise of the Runelords for one of my tables, but was not sure how I'd want to go about it when it came time for the monsters. ** spoiler omitted **

As a loose aside, I'd predict the closest option to a 2E medusa would be the Stheno, which appears in Bestiary 3 as an NPC

Roll for Combat released the Stheno as an ancestry for their Battlezoo Ancestries line, written by Mark Seifter, a designer of Pathfinder 2E.

On the one hand, the Stheno does not get petrify until it's Level 17 feat. On the other hand, the Stheno is, as far as I can tell, a lesser medusa (by lesser I mean a biological offshoot that has less potent innate abilities), which does open a homebrew path for a true medusa.

This is technically 3rd party, but considering it is written by a first party dev, I'd imagine if a medusakin came to either Pathfinder or Starfinder 2E in an offical capacity, it probably would not stray very far from the Stheno's capabilities.

In fact, Stheno were in one of the bestiaries, among a slew of creatures Mark mentioned were designed to be 'ancestry ready' originally for Paizo. I have no idea if Paizo would still bother doing their own version, but Battlezoo has mentioned planning to essentially just merge their version of whatever ancestry with the paizo version when this problem comes up (like it has for Minotaur.)

Paizo Employee Managing Creative Director (Starfinder)

14 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:

I think there's a big difference between a system going wonky because of eye lasers of instant death to anyone with optical sensors and being able to hold six beers at once.

There's some hyperbole going on here that I want to immediately address.

Currently, multi-armed characters can hold as many beer cans as you'd like. The issue that I think this is poking at, is how the team is analyzing is the effectiveness of multi-armed characters and how they impact the overall design space of the game. Please be aware, when we're designing rules, our focus is on how they'll be used mechanically. Realism and verisimilitude are important, but at some point we need to acknowledge how players will use those rules at a table (especially something like OrgPlay, which is generally the space where players will take extreme builds as GMs have more restricted control of the overall game state).

Say for example, if we wanted powerful one-shot missile launchers in our game (and why wouldn't we), then having multi-armed characters who can fire with no penalty makes balance a more tricky proposition.

Let's assume that we introduce a "mega death missile" into the game that is balanced around being a one-shot weapon with a high-reload time. So that your character has to take actions to reload the weapon or swap out to another weapon in order to help balance the action economy around such a weapon. If the Skittermander PC can triple-wield and fire these launchers without any penalties (and without any investment in feats or other abilities) then the game meta quickly changes to everyone and their dog wanting multiple arms, because clearly the most effective damage dealing is based around getting these one-shot weapons and stacking them. If you can end a fight in 3 rounds, then having three mega-death missile launchers, becomes the best build. Heck, let's just stop upgrading the other PCs and funnel all our credits into the Skitter-Death-Missile Machine™.

What we don't want to have happen, ever, is a table state where people are pressured to play in an optimal way that just funnels the fun in one direction or forces a specific means of play. See the above example and the idea that every PC needs to buy multiple arm augmentations to compete. Or, the table peer pressure that happens when the PCs are debating how to spend their money and one player is like "Well, just buy more mega death missiles for the skittermander, because it's the optimal play." As a team, we're doing our best to make sure we aren't creating these kinds of experiences at the table, or at the very least, do our best to be cognizant of them and try to adjust the rules so that the overall state of the game won't be negatively impacted.

So please don't try to sell the intent here as being us opposed to the four-beer-chugging kasatha; that's not the intent at all (in fact, I love that image). Our focus here is on making the game mechanically stable and fun for everyone as the table, and not creating game states that are inherently broken or that are just going to make some ancestries "defacto best choices" (which, to be fair, a meta WILL evolve, and it's part of our intent as a team to keep an eye on).

Of course, as always, this is pre-playtest, and we hope that people will express themselves once they have the full scope of the rules. But even then, try not to attribute specific intent without first asking us why we're making the choices we are :)

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, four-beer-chugging sounds way too complicated. I can barely manage to hold one with two hands.

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah its why I keep bringing up the example about heavy weapons. Since regardless of whether there is one or multiple "active" pair of hands, mental image of someone carrying three rocket launchers in three different pair of arms and somehow not being cumbersomed by it sounds silly. Like you shoot those kind of weapons over shoulder for reason, just because you have extra pair of hands doesn't mean you can carry extra weight that easily. Kasatha carrying heavy box for medium sized creature could support box better with four arms than human, but they definitely shouldn't be able to carry TWO heavy boxes instead just because they have extra pair of arms.

(its why I keep noting I believe this should be handled with equipment rules than ancestry rules)

Wayfinders

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A skittermander with 6 beers has a lot of choices for what to drink. A skittermander with 6 mouths on the other hand could slam a lot of bear fast. A xaarb with 6 hands would be a drinking and eating beast. The party scene from the collage frat movie "Xaarb House" still gives me nightmares.

Wayfinders

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Off the top of my head, only shirren have extra arms that are not of equal strength as their main arms and are generally not even seen or used. All other 4 more armed creatures have arms of equal size and strength. In nature insects crabs, and scorpions that have arms used as weapons all have 2 arms dedicated to fighting and the rest are all for movement. In the case of fiddler crabs they only have one giant oversized claw. So it seems nature tends to go for power over multiple attacks. There are no examples in nature I know of where a biped has multiple arms but the trend would likely follow favoring power attacks over multiple, and likely set of arms would be more specialized.

Some arms might only use your str modifier and others only your dex modifier. Some arms could be considered too small to handle two-handed or heavy weapons. Or a creature with lots of small arms like a skittermander might have to use 4 arms to be able to use a single two-handed or heavy weapon.

Also, different arms could have different reach ranges, for example, a large four-armed creature might only have 1 or 2 arms with 10 ft reach instead of all 4

Perhaps a trait like main and secondary arms could help distinguish what each arm could be used for, or how many arms are needed for a task. Then a heavy weapon could say it takes 2 main arms to use.


Thurston Hillman wrote:
So please don't try to sell the intent here as being us opposed to the four-beer-chugging kasatha

I VERY deliberately left intent out of it. A system going wonky is by definition arriving at a conclusion that is not intended.

The mechanics resulting in a skittermander drinking a six pack into working exactly like a human drinking a six pack doesn't have to be the intent to be the result, but it can still be the result none the less. And if you give the skittermander six arms to use intuitively you get H.I.M.O.M.* the skittermander ballistics platform and.. thats not intended either.

I fully get that there is an incredibly difficult balancing act there, and yeah you can't leave gamers in a room with a box of leggos for 5 minutes without the leggos and the box being weaponized. But how players are going to use things is exactly what I WANT to see in a species ability. It brings that characters unique nature to the forefront and differentiates them from a funny looking human, and brings up one of my favorite things about role playing different species: what would functionally be different if people could ____-x______, or having a unique property in the game to build something around.

To do that the ability has to be an ability. It has to do something meaningful not just flavor something anyone can do.

I think starfinder 1 nailed that balance. I feel the PF2 paradigm leans too hard into balance to really feel the cantina.

*Highly *Incendiary Mobile Obliteration Monster


1 person marked this as a favorite.
moosher12 wrote:

I am curious what your general strategy is for converting such to PF2E. I myself have been considering doing a conversion game of Rise of the Runelords for one of my tables, but was not sure how I'd want to go about it when it came time for the monsters. ** spoiler omitted **

As a loose aside, I'd predict the closest option to a 2E medusa would be the Stheno, which appears in Bestiary 3 as an NPC

As The-Magic-Sword said, Sthenos already exist in PF2, but as a creature rather than as a playable ancestry. I needed some extra monstrous humanoids in my Ironfang Invasion campaign and didn't want to repeat previous species, so I statted up Melusine and Raymondin, Stheno Cultists, Creature 7, for that encounter.

The principles of creating any creature in PF2 are in the PF2 Gamemastery Guide under Building Creatures. The tables in that section list what is expected of a creature at each level, such as skill bonuses, AC, saving throws, hit points, Strike attack bonus, and damage per hit. This works great for a large animal with natural weapons, such as claws and jaws.

Adding class abilities requires designing class-related tactics for the creature. The subsection Basics of Ability Design gives advice but no true guidelines. An interesting and essential piece of advice is "Avoid abilities that do nothing but change the creature’s math." For example, a ranger's iconic Hunt Prey ability, which lets the ranger select a target and activate feats and features against that target is not good on a creature because as far as the players can tell, the creature simply wasted an action doing nothing. The Hobgoblin Archer in the PF2 Bestiary is clearly a ranger, but it lacks Hunt Prey. Instead, it has Crossbow Precision and Perfect Aim abilities that would ordinarily be dependent on Hunt Prey, but work without a hunted prey on the hobgoblin.

Generalizing the principle, the design goal of a creature with class levels is to blatantly show off that it has both the abilities of its species and the abilities of its class.

Ogre Cattle Rustlers:
For example, Fortress of the Stone Giant has CR 7 Ogre Cattle Rustlers, described as ogre barbarian 4. (I have the D&D 3.5 version of Rise of the Runelords, so this might differ from more recent versions of the adventure path.) If I wanted to port them over to PF2, I could check out the 7th-level Ogre Boss, but he does not feel like a cattle rustler. So I start with the 3rd-level Ogre Warrior and boost its numbers up to 7th level. For example, Table 2–5: Armor Class says that a 3rd-level low AC 16 improves to a 7th-level low AC 22, so the Ogre Warrior's AC 17 would improve to AC 23. Its ogre hook Strike, "Melee [one-action] ogre hook +19 [+14/+9] (deadly 1d10, reach 10 feet, trip), Damage 1d10+11 piercing," improves to "Melee [one-action] ogre hook +25 [+20/+15] (deadly 1d10, reach 10 feet, trip), Damage 2d10+15 piercing."

But that is merely a 7th-level Ogre Warrior. I need to add abilities that make it a barbarian, preferably abilities that fit the cattle rustling theme, such as training in Nature for handling the cattle and training in Survival for wilderness flavor. Of course, it gets Rage ability. Technically, Rage merely changes the math, but I can roleplay the ogre bellowing, its face turning red, and its eyes glistening with bloodlust to get across that it raged. It gains barbarian class features Deny Advantage and Juggernaut, but I skip the Brutality and instead give it +4 damage while raging instead of +2. Weapon proficiency increases are handled automatically by the Building Creatures tables. The ogre warrior has trained Intimidation, so let me give the ogre cattle ruslter Raging Intimidation. Sudden Charge screams barbarian, too.

And that is all. Creatures gain fewer feats than PCs. Likewise, the ogre barbarian does not gain an Instinct. It is already a 7th-level massive-damage dealer, I don't want any feat, such as Attack of Opportunity, that would increase its damage to more than the party can survive. I just want to make obvious that it is a barbarian.

Stone Giant Wizard:
Spellcasters are more difficult. Most of them require a complete spell list. Consider the 15th-level stone-giant wizard Mokmurian. His backstory said, "Mokmurian is a powerful giant, though one would not initially come to this conclusion from his stature. At just over 10 feet tall, he towers over humans, but in stone giant circles, he’s a runt." So his 15th-level martial stone giant abilities would follow the Low column on the tables for offense and Medium column for defense to balance out that he is a 15th-level wizard who can cast 8th-level spells. (In Fortress if the Stone Giants he can cast only up to 7th-level spells, but cutting off the top of the spell list greatly weakens spellcasting in PF2. Better to reduce spells per level instead.) Nevertheless, to show off his giant strength, he would prepare a few spells like the 7th-level Wooden Fists that let him exploit that strength.

This thread is about Starfinder 2nd Edition ancestries, so what Starfinder lessons can we learn from building creatures with class levels in PF2? The main lesson is that abilities are about flavor and style more than about power. However, that has a hidden lesson inside a lesson, because flavor means versatility, and versatility enables powerful teamwork tactics. The flavor from an ancestry has to matter enough that it can give a character an additional side role in a party. The role might seldom come into play, but occasionally, it will be the linchpin to an effective tactic in an unusual situation.

For example, suppose I play a Starfinder 2nd Edition Android with the Renewed Android heritage. That gives immunity to the wounded condition once per day. I could plan on taking the 9th-level Repair Module ancestry feat for fast healing and the 13th-level Revivification Protocol ancestry feat for getting up from dying. My android would not mind being knocked to dying once, provided that my teammates had something like PF2 Battle Medicine to get them back on their feet. This flavor won't overshadow the android's class abilities, but it would make my android popular among their teammates as the person willing to take punches so that the others don't have to. Add the Diehard general feat so that this strategy is less likely to backfire.

Wayfinders

BigNorseWolf wrote:

I fully get that there is an incredibly difficult balancing act there, and yeah you can't leave gamers in a room with a box of leggos for 5 minutes without the leggos and the box being weaponized.

In 5th grade is used legos and marbles to make a model of a nuclear reaction for a science fair project. To date, I have not signed any nuclear proliferation treaties involving legos.


Mathmuse wrote:
...

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to not just go through your general thought process, but also going out of your way to apply your method to examples from the adventure path in question. My thanks. This was very educational.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:

But how players are going to use things is exactly what I WANT to see in a species ability. It brings that characters unique nature to the forefront and differentiates them from a funny looking human, and brings up one of my favorite things about role playing different species: what would functionally be different if people could ____-x______, or having a unique property in the game to build something around.

To do that the ability has to be an ability. It has to do something meaningful not just flavor something anyone can do.

I think it would help if you set out an explicit definition of what counts as "an ability" and "just flavor" here. Though the rules for multi-armed creatures may change in the future, the rules we got allowed even a level 1 kasatha or skittermander to do things no two-armed creature can do. Though I personally found the ancestries featured in the recent field test to be on the tamer side of what Starfinder can provide, they still do things that make them radically different from just a "funny looking human", like a Networked Android accessing tech from a distance or a Plated Vesk having scales as tough as armor. I don't know if our definitions match, but to me those are definitely not "just flavor", they're abilities that make these creatures operate markedly differently from one another, let alone humans.


Teridax wrote:
like a Networked Android accessing tech from a distance or a Plated Vesk having scales as tough as armor. I don't know if our definitions match, but to me those are definitely not "just flavor", they're abilities that make these creatures operate markedly differently from one another, let alone humans.

Nice picks. these were two i was looking at from opposite ends of the spectrum.

The networked android having remote hack is really cool and thematic, it vastly changes how things works and is very handy when you don't want the haunted gaming chair trap to suck you into a virtual reality if you botch. Depending on whether there's other ways of doing that I was wondering if it was too good.

The plated vesk... its very hard to tell because I don't have all the parts of starfinder in place, but they can (and it sounds like probably will have to) wear a flight suit (second skin 2.0?) While its cool to think that they're that tough while naked, I'm trying to think of where it would come up. For every day life i'm sure that changes things, but the context of a space adventurer when is a plated vesk in a flight suit going to function differently than a human in medium armor? Or maybe its supposed to be good for casters?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
The plated vesk... its very hard to tell because I don't have all the parts of starfinder in place, but they can (and it sounds like probably will have to) wear a flight suit (second skin 2.0?) While its cool to think that they're that tough while naked, I'm trying to think of where it would come up. For every day life i'm sure that changes things, but the context of a space adventurer when is a plated vesk in a flight suit going to function differently than a human in medium armor? Or maybe its supposed to be good for casters?

I may be wrong on this, but based on what I know from 2e the Plated Vesk is pretty terrible for casters unless you have medium armor proficiency (hopefully flight suits work as clothing and can let you use your unarmored defense). In fact, if you have a Strength mod below +3, your own scales would weigh you down so much that you'd have permanently reduced speed and a massive debuff to nearly all of your Strength and Dexterity checks.

With that said, if you do get that heritage, the key benefit is that you are never not armored: whereas most heavily armored characters have to doff their armor before resting or take a feat for the privilege (and donning medium or heavy armor takes too long to do in combat), a Plated Vesk can sleep soundly and immediately have their full armor if they get ambushed. Whereas other characters may find themselves having to give up their weapons or armor when entering certain areas, or try to smuggle them past security, a Plated Vesk will always be fully ready to protect themselves. You can lean into this even further with Brutal Anatomy or any other strong unarmed attack, allowing you to remain a lethal war machine at all times. Were you a human, you'd have to become a Monk or a similar class to be able to do the same, and you'd likely deal less damage to start with as well.


Teridax wrote:
I may be wrong on this, but based on what I know from 2e the Plated Vesk is pretty terrible for casters unless you have medium armor proficiency (hopefully flight suits work as clothing and can let you use your unarmored defense). In fact, if you have a Strength mod below +3, your own scales would weigh you down so much that you'd have permanently reduced speed and a massive debuff to nearly all of your Strength and Dexterity checks.

You are entirely correct, the scales are only usable with medium armor proficiency. So most casters will probably not be able to use this natively and wouldn't want to either, with guns (and therefore DEX) being much more convenient for them.

That said, if we get a gish like the Warpriest or a player just uses the Warpriest, they probably wouldn't mind. It would certainly be very on-brand for a vesk character to try to make this work.

CorvusMask wrote:

Yeah its why I keep bringing up the example about heavy weapons. Since regardless of whether there is one or multiple "active" pair of hands, mental image of someone carrying three rocket launchers in three different pair of arms and somehow not being cumbersomed by it sounds silly. Like you shoot those kind of weapons over shoulder for reason, just because you have extra pair of hands doesn't mean you can carry extra weight that easily. Kasatha carrying heavy box for medium sized creature could support box better with four arms than human, but they definitely shouldn't be able to carry TWO heavy boxes instead just because they have extra pair of arms.

(its why I keep noting I believe this should be handled with equipment rules than ancestry rules)

And this particular problem probably will be in many cases, simply due to carrying capacity. As STR will probably not be a factor for most characters, I'm pretty sure the average character will have an encumbrance limit of 5 Bulk (it's 5 + STR (if positive)). Armor is at least 1 Bulk and many players carry about 1 Bulk of "stuff" sooner rather than later.

So realistically you can have 3 Bulk of weapons plus ammo. Maybe 4 with an appropriate item. A "doom launcher" sounds like it is going to easily be 2-3 Bulk alone. And the rounds/missles/etc would also be quite large, so I'd expect L Bulk (10 L = 1 Bulk). With that in mind, in the early game you're unlikely to be carrying multiple if you aren't a Soldier. And even the Soldier will struggle even just with 2. It'll probably get more interesting later on, though, as I wouldn't be surprised if SF offered more "carry weight increase" items. High tech and all that.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Perhaps, but there ARE ways to increase bulk capacity a lot. And logically just because you have larger bulk capacity doesn't mean it should be easier to wield there miniguns. Like just because you take armor off doesn't mean you should be able to do that.

And again, I don't really see anything unreasonable with "regardless number of hands, you can only wield one 2 bulk+ equipment with your hands at same time".

Alternatively, you could designate that one pair of arms is the "primary pair" which means they are only pair that can wield two handed weapons without penalties. Like it definitely shouldn't be as easy to use upper and lower pair of arms on humanoid body for something heavy, even if you could use arms to wield one handed weapon each.


CorvusMask wrote:

Perhaps, but there ARE ways to increase bulk capacity a lot. And logically just because you have larger bulk capacity doesn't mean it should be easier to wield there miniguns. Like just because you take armor off doesn't mean you should be able to do that.

And again, I don't really see anything unreasonable with "regardless number of hands, you can only wield one 2 bulk+ equipment with your hands at same time".

Alternatively, you could designate that one pair of arms is the "primary pair" which means they are only pair that can wield two handed weapons without penalties. Like it definitely shouldn't be as easy to use upper and lower pair of arms on humanoid body for something heavy, even if you could use arms to wield one handed weapon each.

Oh, I really like the "you can only wield one 2+ bulk item" limitation! Sorry if you mentioned that before and I missed/forgot it ^^. That would at the very least get rid of the "2 two-handed weapons" problem for the most part. It would make sense to add "that is wielded in two hands", just to not prevent some very specific loadouts that feature two 2 Bulk one-handed items (e.g. certain shields + dwarven war axe or two bulky pistols). Not for existing combos specifically, but more so as future-proofing.

The problem it comes down to is how other items are limited and where (on the item side or ancestry side), which is where I worry. Because if this gets too granular or complicated vs a simpler "full" solution purely on the hands side, we'll almost certainly see the latter.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nah, I don't think I gave specific example earlier. I kinda prefer to give feedback in terms of "this is the general idea" when it comes to game design since I'm not a designer. I only give specifics as examples of what something could look like.

(the philosophy is "I'm not paid for this" x'D I'm game production graduate, its depressing to do for fun something you want to do as work, but are unable to)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Man, it's hard to overstate how much I adore the way Ancestries work in PF2.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WatersLethe wrote:
Man, it's hard to overstate how much I adore the way Ancestries work in PF2.

For me as a player, it's really the fact that what ancestry I am able to play comes down to RP and setting, rather than mainly mechanical considerations. Like, I can optimize a bit via my ancestry or atleast get some interesting mechanical interactions going, but my combat capability very likely won't change much if I pick the more fun option instead. And if I want more, the ancestry archetype concept has me (theoretically) covered, which finally allows ancestries at the table that have higher natural capabilities. Balance-wise at least :)

And as a GM... thank the gods for the rarity system. That makes it so easy to communicate to the players what the specific campaign can easily accommodate. Probably less of an issue in SF2, though.

Wayfinders

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Host, It's hard to overstate how much I adore the way Species work in SF1e.

Adding heritages to Starinfder species I like as it will add lots of options.

The Rarity system, a nice GM tool no problems there. But in Starfinder rarity might be different in each star system, so could get complicated.

Ancestry feats over levels. Were on page 7 of that debate and that's just in this thread. I'm not a fan of 9th level cheek pouch abilities. I prefer human-like ancestry feats that don't affect your physical self. I could see some species in Starfinder that could evolve over time, like insects changing form over the course of their life. But otherwise, I think species should be loaded upfront with what they need physically and then get the human-type feats as they level up. By human type, I just mean feats that are not directly related to getting new physical features or abilities, the human ancestry feats are just a good example of these types of feats.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
To my mind, its best handled by ancestry feats, and potentially an ancestry archetype, once we move a Medusa out of myth, and have to talk about the logistics of like, Medusa ecology you have Medusa that master Medusa powers and Medusa that don't. Alternatively, you almost need to create a player-appropriate version, like the Stheno where you can get a lot of the vibes, without committing to the full power set.
Karmagator wrote:
For me as a player, it's really the fact that what ancestry I am able to play comes down to RP and setting, rather than mainly mechanical considerations. Like, I can optimize a bit via my ancestry or atleast get some interesting mechanical interactions going, but my combat capability very likely won't change much if I pick the more fun option instead. And if I want more, the ancestry archetype concept has me (theoretically) covered, which finally allows ancestries at the table that have higher natural capabilities. Balance-wise at least :)

Honestly ancestry archetypes sound like a good way to incorporate really powerful ancestries. Too much capability for a base ancestry? just make an archetype expansion with the base ancestry as a prerequisite.

If a GM does not want the ability to bite into their player's classes, they can just use the Free Archetype optional rule.


Driftbourne wrote:
The Rarity system, a nice GM tool no problems there. But in Starfinder rarity might be different in each star system, so could get complicated.

If they handle rarity like they do in PF2E, it would likely work like this: Rarity in books would apply to 90% of the experience in the Pact Worlds (I don't know the lore as well, but I am currently under the assumption the Pact Worlds is your equivalent to the Inner Sea, i.e. the territory where most adventures take place). Anyway, I like to think of it from a GM perspective explaining it to my players as: You are human and your heritage does not matter. If I drop you into a city in the central territory, what kind of items can you always get. It is basically the mainstream rarity you can find in most every city you go to. Common Rarity is usually quite lenient in this way.

Basically, Common would be everywhere, common items would probably rarely become uncommon in Starfinder, as even low tech worlds would probably just be considered wilderness as far as Starfinder is concerned (I mean, in Pathfinder, technically all items are uncommon when you're in a forest, for example). Then it's just the matter of saying that a planet with the vesk trait has vesk items as common, etc.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

SF2 has an easier time including those more powerful ancestries in a party as well, so we might actually see some 1st party content related to that.


Karmagator wrote:
SF2 has an easier time including those more powerful ancestries in a party as well, so we might actually see some 1st party content related to that.

Aye, only problem is that while I like it, I don't think that'd assauge the insistence that ancestries be frontloaded with all of their abilities. Frankly though I have no idea to incorporate level 1 frontloading in a balanced way in the 2E system. And by balanced I mean "actually balanced," not a player saying, "no it's balanced, see when..."

From what I am hearing, the SF1 Society bans a lot of ancestries. Which means something about the frontloading in it's current state is not working if the ancestries are deemed too disruptive. So I do fear if similar upfront power levels were showed in SF2, those ancestries would be banned too. Basically, if the community wants all of the ancestries to be available for SFS, then giving them powers on level to their SF1 counterparts that got banned might not be the answer. Something something something, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

What I am curious to see is how frontloaded powerful ancestries could be incorporated in a way that would not force bannings in the PFS and SFS.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
moosher12 wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
SF2 has an easier time including those more powerful ancestries in a party as well, so we might actually see some 1st party content related to that.

Aye, only problem is that while I like it, I don't think that'd assauge the insistence that ancestries be frontloaded with all of their abilities. Frankly though I have no idea to incorporate level 1 frontloading in a balanced way in the 2E system. And by balanced I mean "actually balanced," not a player saying, "no it's balanced, see when..."

From what I am hearing, the SF1 Society bans a lot of ancestries. Which means something about the frontloading in it's current state is not working if the ancestries are deemed too disruptive. So I do fear if similar upfront power levels were showed in SF2, those ancestries would be banned too. Basically, if the community wants all of the ancestries to be available for SFS, then giving them powers on level to their SF1 counterparts might not be the answer. The definition of insanity, after all.

What I am curious to see is how frontloaded powerful ancestries could be incorporated in a way that would not force bannings in the PFS and SFS.

Yeah, but tbf, I don't think these extra-powerful ancestries are even a genuine option under the SF1 design, exactly because it is so frontloaded. If tons of regular ancestries get banned, then these would be double-banned, because they would be massively overpowered even by SF1 standards. So that criticism falls flat, as all PF2 does is make them actually playable in the first place.


Karmagator wrote:
Yeah, but tbf, I don't think these extra-powerful ancestries are even a genuine option under the SF1 design, exactly because it is so frontloaded. If tons of regular ancestries get banned, then these would be double-banned, because they would be massively overpowered even by SF1 standards. So that criticism falls flat, as all PF2 does is make them actually playable in the first place.

To add more context, I meant making some of the ancestries that were banned into having archetype expansions instead to be playable in PF2E. Not to bring in new ancestries that were not already species in SF1

Basically: The species you were not allowed to play in SF1 was brought to SF2. The species itself was nerfed, but now you can spend class feats to get an archetype that brings it up to full power, maybe even beyond it.

To where the player would say: Can't I just have all of the SF1 abilities from Level 1?

301 to 350 of 432 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Starfinder / Second Edition Playtest / Field Test Discussion / Paizo Blog: Field Test #3: That Cantina Feel All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.