Cosmic Mercenary

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I see the Kinectist as one of several potential no-spell casters; just cantrips and powers.

Basic blast and kensis abilities are cantrips, easy enough to stat out. Actual wild talents and the results of some of the infusions are powers; yes, that will require a reworking/rebalancing instead directly porting things. Burn is a way to regain focus points once your pool is dry, but as you dip for more points the cost increases.

Also add in a condition related to burn that makes it so you can't use focus points on anything but Kinectist powers; since the new point of burn is you use it only when the focus pool is dry, you can't use it to fuel some other multiclasses powers when the focus pool is in the red while still allowing some tactical choice between the Kenectist powers and another source of powers while the focus pool is in the black.

Ultimately it wouldn't replicate the mechanics of the Kinectist, but it would replicate the feel and flavor of them pretty well. Which is the more important thing.


I've been homebrewing up some Eberron conversions for PE 2nd Ed, using the playtest as a jumping off point. And I have run rather hard into this problem.

The solution I've come with is a strong reliance on Heritage feats. So much so that some things like Shifter, Warforded, and Kalishtar were going to have them required as their racial feat before Heritage feats were divorced from Racial feats and made their own thing. It's not perfect; there needs to be some culling and adjustment due to the changes of systems. But those changes usually work out for the better as long as you put enough thought into them.

Taking a look at a Pathfinder classic as an example, I'd probably create three versions of the Kitsune if I was going to homebrew them. The shapeshifter who has the same base ability traditional kitsune are known for, the feral who is ostracized from society by embracing an animistic nature, and the pyrokinetic who forgoes traditional illusion for more intense magic. That provides three different variants of the kitsune for players, each which scratches a different niche for why a player might want to play a kitsune.

Not everything needs that level of variety, however. As a GM you can say which heritages are allowed for your table. So if only one type of elf is in your game, that is the way it is.


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Technically, this one is an error in wording. Yes, as worded that would be the most practical way to use the item, turning it into a Marble Bag of Fireballs... but functionally that is as broken as sucking down a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.

On a conceptional level, this is the wand equivalent of a trinket; it's a wand of fireballs that a noncaster can use. There shouldn't be an investment cost, as there is no benefit. A resonance cost should be spent when a sphere is detached, and sphere must be used by your next daily preparation. If I was the DM I might allow reattaching a sphere during your daily preparation, but I'm generous.

The book is full small things like this that if interpreted the way the rules are stated to us just don't work the way they should conception ally... like a bag of holding. It also has an Operate Activation, with no special exclusion to resonance being spent... which rules as written indicates you'd be spending resonance whenever you opened the bag and possible whenever you took something in and out of the bag. Which obviously can't be true; it should either require a daily investment cost of one, or be one of those rare items that has no cost.

So, yeah. Point this out once, have a laugh at how silly such a world would be, and hope fixing it doesn't fall between the cracks.


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OK. First thing, as someone who has been reiterating over and over again that he'd like to see exactly this from the sorcerer, I will refrain from expressing my true feelings on this being the truth and instead just say "Thank you."

...now if you excuse me, I need to stand in a closet for a moment and just scream for a few seconds.

...

...

...

...OK, done for now.

With all that said, I just want to take a moment to address those in this thread who see the Bard as being the full Occult caster of the Playtest.

The Bard... isn't a caster at it's heart. They have their unique ability of bardic songs, and outside of that they are a jack of all trades and master of none... which could actually take a VERY interesting application if applied to the new proficiency system, but my gut says that direction would not have made it far in the internal playtesting they've already done.

But back to the Bard and spellcasting, I can very easily imagine an Occult spellcasting bard. Just imagine the fictional archetype of a tarot card flipping, belly dancing gypsy. But going that direction ignores the lore singing skald, fairy ring dancing greensinger, or wizard college dropout lute plucker.

It is for that reason that with the same breath I've been evangelizing the sorcerer going the path that I am forever grateful it has ended up actually going down (spends a few more minutes in the closet screaming) but have also been saying the bard should go in the same direction. And if you think the bard would diminish the sorcerer if it went this route, you would be right... if the bard was a full spellcaster.

As said before, spellcasting was never the heart of a bard. Pathfinder 2.0 has the chance to redefine what it means to be a half caster, in fact it has to since in the current system just having sixth level spells isn't going to cut it. You probably won't have access to tenth level spells, or legendary proficiency in spellcasting. Spell slots will also likely be cut, though there are two paths I can see them taking to do that.

And honestly, I could imagine the bard operating on just spell points and cantrips by default, and having any casting of actual spells be a series of class feats. But just being the full occult spellcaster feels like you're is misses what is core to the bard.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:

Arcana = knowledge regarding Arcane Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Religion = knowledge regarding Divine Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Nature = knowledge regarding Primal Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Occultism = knowledge regarding Occult Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Calling it now . . .

Society = knowledge regarding Social Spells, Monsters, and Rituals!

(Joking. But would be somewhat fitting for a Bard.)

I wish, but bards are likely occult casters. Which I'm weirdly against. I'd be just fine if bards wound up being psychic casters, but for some reason occult annoys me.

I'm sure it'll make sense in context.

Part of me still feels like both the Bard and Sorcerer are going to be able to choose which spell list they have access to. That way Bards traditional bardic college dabblers with Arcane magic, lore singing Skalds with Divine magic, fairy ring panpipes dancers with Nature magic, and Gypsy tarot card readers with Occult magic. An similarly Sorcerer with Dragon bloodlines get Arcane magic, Fey bloodlines get nature magic, Celestial/Fiend magic get Divine magic, and Aberration bloodline get Occult.

Option B is that Bard get no spells, but still have cantrips and various spell point powered powers. Which I'm not against, but I'm also not putting any money down on either. My real monopoly money is down on the Sorcerer bloodlines.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Not gonna lie, unless Remove Blindness/Deafness and Cure Disease have been turned into much higher level spells I'm not super impressed by that legendary Heal feat.

Seconded.

Remove Poison/Disease and Remove Blindness/Deafness are 3rd level spells that Divine spellcasters of 5th level or higher could cast in PF1. The fact that they think Legendary proficiency with a Skill Feat being even just comparable to a 5th level Cleric's spell power (again, assuming no major spell level change) is just laughable.

Let me guess what's next, Legendary Stealth allows a "Hide in Plain Sight" skill feat that grants a form of Invisbility, something that 2nd level+ Arcane Spellcasters can do? Cool, sure, but you could at least raise it to Improved Invisibility for a Legendary Skill + Feat.

The skill feat can be used in an antimagic field/room/countryside. It also only takes the resource of time; once per target per day, and one hour for the attempt. So with the new spell slot system, the a Legendary Medic can attempt to heal a lot more people than your average cleric/druid/whatever might be ready to with their at ready spell per day, and might be able to out preform them in the amount of quality heal attempts they can make even when they prep for full disease removal mode the next morning. (A designer mentioned remove affliction being a spell that scaled with prepared spell slot well after you made this post.)

Also, based on how the skill feat reads... you might be able to do the remove disease check without ANY tools. You'll still want the best healer tools available for their skill bonuses, but the image of healing the sick while stripped of all tools in an antimagic dungeon... pretty powerful image worthy of Legendary Healer.


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The archetypes that come with the play-test are going to be broad rather than focused. So there was never a chance for the Oracle just to become an archetype for the Cleric with the first release. Now an archetype for everyone... that's a loaded question.

I already aired my... worries about the Archetypes potentially following a "Replace X numbers of Class Feats at Y level with Z power" structure. While on one hand that would be a lot better than the Starfinder Archetypes since the Class Feats are designed to be choices that are optional for the class to begin with and therefore won't gimp a class, it still feels... shallow compared to when you get get down into what are now considered Class Talents and fiddle with the soul of the class just a bit.

But then I looked at certain class features like the Oracle's Curse and wondered if maybe something like that would be more fun if applied to any class you wanted. Clouded Vision Rogues, Deaf Wizards, Haunted Alchemists, or Lame Fighters... the various combinations you could make would be interesting. And of course we won't know how close such a archetype could come to recreating the Oracle itself until until we see the spell casting classes. ( I have a similar idea with the Cavelear Orders, if only because it makes a certain amount of sense for such orders to have all manner of warriors like Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, Rogue, or Gunslinger who are willing to uphold their code. )

And if any of those ideas end up being prophecy and in turn make you angry... well this not a new release we're counting down to but a playtest. Testing something out, seeing if it works, and speaking up if it doesn't is the entire point. Change can still happen.

At the very least thinking this over makes me see how the archetype system (as I see it most likely taking shape based on the modular nature of the classes) could actually be a deep ocean rather than a shallow pool. So thank you for that.


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Spiral_Ninja wrote:
Benjamin_Mahir wrote:


Also, I kinda think it would be interesting if the Bard, either by default or through archetypes, could choose which of the spell lists they cast from. The Bard is the jack of all trades, after all.
I'm pulling for the Bard to be the Psychic class, but your idea is good as well.

A second thought that came to me after walking away from this thread for a little bit... what about Sorcerers? In D&D 3.5 they are just spontaneous caster versions of the Wizard. But Pathfinder 1.0 really played up their bloodline powers.

If Pathfinder 2.0 does the same then you could have dragon bloodline Sorcerers who are arcane casters, celestial or fiend bloodline Sorcerers who are divine casters, fey bloodline Sorcerers who are nature casters, and aberration bloodline Sorcerers who are psionic casters. It could be interesting. That that is just sticking to the most obvious parings. There is room for fey or fiends to be arcane, celestial to be nature, dragon or fiend to be psionic.

Neo2151 wrote:

This pretty much guarantees that Paladins will be "shortchanged Clerics" and Rangers will be "shortchanged Druids" as far as spells go.

That's a giant disappointment, afaiac.

Makes me remember how awful the stunted Sorcerer list for Bloodrager felt - by the time you got access to a spell, the character level was high enough that the spells sucked! (Level 13 before you can get Fire Shield?? That's AWFUL :( )

That is part of the reason I'm hoping Paladins and Rangers have their spell casting ability behind class feats. You can choose to ignore, dip, or deep dive at your discretion. Also, based on the proficiency system and some of the talk they've had about base attack bonuses, I expect caster levels and spell resistance will be handled with more finesse.


It does kinda scare me that they reference Starfinder and archetypes. Particularly with the emphasis on broad application. I love Starfinder, but the archetypes are just kinda... meh. The powers lost can't really be equal assured to equal the powers gained. Pathfinder 2 actually has an answer to this built in already, Class Feats... it that just scares me more.

I love Class Feats, they offer a level of customization to characters that are potentially as powerful weaker Archetypes... and to see Archetypes become "loose X amount of class feats and gain this ability at Y level" is something I can see far too likely and it just feels like a white wash.

Archetypes are their most fun when they fiddle with Class Talents. Stuff like changing primary spell casting ability scores, or replacing a core class ability to be something different. If we can't do that at all, the Archetypes will just feel hollow.


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Doing a quick scan through this thread, I'd have to say I'm on the Arcane/Divine/Nature/Psionic bandwagon. It would be nice to see the inclusion of a Psionic class right out the gate.

As for what this would mean for Ranger, Paladin, and Bard... well as an aside it would curious to see one or more of them be moved to archetypes of other classes... but more importantly I see their spell casting ability be moved to the Class Feat section of their classes. This means that easier for the player to choose whether or not they want to be a spell casting variant of the class... would also make it a lot easier to port the Ranger and Bard over to a no magic setting.

Also, I kinda think it would be interesting if the Bard, either by default or through archetypes, could choose which of the spell lists they cast from. The Bard is the jack of all trades, after all.


I'm hoping to see rules for playing the Eoxian's included. I have my own homebrewed undead race, and I'd like to see how they measure up.


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Abraham spalding wrote:

Oh, something else I just noticed, smoke grenades provide cover and concealment from lasers.

I can definitely see an argument for status effects.

Which brings up the naughty list of weapons...
NBCs.

Granted we have nukes and radiation weapons of various flavors, do you think we'll see chemical weapons (such as nerve gas) or biological contaminants coming around?

I don't see how a game with the level of nasty effects starfinder has not utilizing them, and I was mildly surprised that at least serious pepper spray and the like we're not already included.

We have the Starfinder Armory coming up middle of this year. So we won't have to wait long to find out.

But yes, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be in that expanded rules. Yes, chemical and biological weapons are a sensitive issue, but this is a game were spells like Cloudkill and monsters like the Akata are a thing. Not to mention diseases like mummies rot...

Though that does raise a question on where biological weapons would go in a world of magical diseases. Forget mustard gas, imagine if mummies rot was spread ontop a battlefield as an airborne gas... almost makes the question of nukes in another thread seem timid in comparison.


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For some reason this thread has inspired the idea of a "grenade chicken coup" model for starships, where a bunch of android chickens produce a set amount of grenades per mission for the party to use. What could possibly go wrong with such an idea...

...you know, aside from causing asphyxiation due to laughter on people who think about all the possible ways such an idea could go wrong. Now if you excuse me I need to go find an oxygen tank.


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I could stand to see more space monsters with actual starship stats.

DJEternalDarkness wrote:
Giants! Where are all the big people? Granted you can use the rules in the back of the AA1 to make them, but still, I'd love to see Starfinder's take on a cloud giant.

They where all waiting to board the spaceships off Golarian but got held up by the "you must be this short to board" sign.


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67. In the universal backups of... the universe, physical form and memory are two different .dat files. A disaster still somewhere in our future occurred and forced a system restore, but unfortunately the there was a (few) millennia difference between uncorrupted physical and memory backups. Faced with loosing millions of years of progress, the IT guy decided it wouldn't hurt to use the nonsyncronized files.


Hmm... I was really hoping Technomancers would have the option for AI familiars, but the exocortex somewhat reduces that probability. Oh well, there's always multiclass... assuming that's an option still...


I'm actually kind of interested if Pharasma ends up being the only god of death. I mean, the construction of the Outer planes for Pathfinder seems to put Pharasma as the absolute god of death but that just doesn't feel right.

I mean, if that were true, then ironically Pharasma has a pretty accurate map of the galaxy already since everyone has to die eventually. Avoiding plot holes like that demands at least the possibility of there being other death gods.

But then again, maybe I'm just babbling and this is an already answered question that I'm just ignorant of due to it being part of source material omitted from the wikis. Rightfully so, of course.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Benjamin_Mahir wrote:

I guess classes has been my biggest concern. Though looking at this and the previous blog post... the bigger question might be whether it's best to convert a Pathfinder class or expand on a Starfinder class.

High of my list, for instance, are the Oracle and Spiritualist. And while curses and phantoms offer things that Starfinder doesn't at first glance, it might be less invasive to create new connections for the Mystic class using Pathfinder as a basis.

I think new connections for the mystic would be a stronger and simpler way to handle oracle curses compared to porting the class whole cloth. The phantom could even be a weird kind of mechanic drone potentially.

I agree with the curses... but I'm putting a boot on the mechanic drone phantoms.

The appeal of taking phantoms into Starfinder is having that moment where ghost walks through an airlock door to "greet" the borders on the other side. It's taking the horror of ghosts in space and makes it work for the player rather than against them.

Looking at the engineer and their mechanical pets will be important, but we still don't know what level of customization that either the engineer or mystic will have nested within their primary choices. Or the technomancer, for if you want a spell caster who places with drones they might be your better choice.


I guess classes has been my biggest concern. Though looking at this and the previous blog post... the bigger question might be whether it's best to convert a Pathfinder class or expand on a Starfinder class.

High of my list, for instance, are the Oracle and Spiritualist. And while curses and phantoms offer things that Starfinder doesn't at first glance, it might be less invasive to create new connections for the Mystic class using Pathfinder as a basis.


There might be something wrong with me that the detail on all of this that stands out to me most is the fact that "mercy" is still a modifier that exists for weapons, and a well trained soldier can apply it to any weapon within the limitations of their Rune of the Eldritch Knight.

I mean, this isn't your mom's D&D/Pathfinder system. It's a space opera. We have rocket launchers and laser swords... that can be imbued with mercy. The phrase "Hit me Brutus" comes to mind...

...or, you know, "You'll be surprised what you can live through," for a reference that is more contemporary. "Hit me Brutus" is more of an in joke from a home brewed system in 3.5 that my brother ran years ago.


Two thoughts on this issue.

One, I now see there being a shadow council of Aboleth running the Starfinder Society. Because if you can't beet those pesky adventurers, then make them work for you.

Two, I now want to see a space whale sized Aboleth with an organic drift engine. An entire "pod" of them, in fact. Put a new spin on using asteroids as a form of planetary fumigation.


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Dear AbadarCorp,

Recently, one of your AbadarAmusements Supernova Cruiseliners has violated laws regarding safe Drift distances by 0.5%. While this is an inconsequential amount and only results in a broom closet worth of space loss on any affected plane of existence, that broom closet happened to contain me.

I am of course not seeking recommendation for the Drift jump itself, as only violations of 2.5% are finable. Instead this call has to deal with the inexcusable actions of the Cruiseliner's security once they found me bumping across the outside of their hull. Not only did they try to repeatedly dispel Spider Climb enchantment I was using to cling to the side of their hull, but once they found out I was using an Abadar Emergency Vacuum Suit they attempted to remotely deactivate it while I was still exposed to the vacuum of space.

I am currently within the brig of the cruiseliner, and am likely going to remain here for the foreseeable future as captain is going to extreme lengths to ensure that my case falls under marine time law, up to and including inconvincing his passengers by ferrying back to the planet by shuttle rather than docking at the station.

Thankfully, it is AbadarCorp marine law I am being held under, which means that while I am not allowed to contact a lawer, I am allowed to call AbadarCorp Customer Services with valid complaints. And I do think the security loophole of Abadar Emergency Vacuum Suits having a backdoor for remote deactivation is a very valid complaint.

Please forward your response to my office in the Starfinder Chapter house on Verces. Rest assured they'll get to around to me...soon.

Sincerely,
Starfinder Troubleshooter, Benjamin Mahir


I've been tossing around ideas dealing with the Drift a lot. Small things like...

"Ancient immortal wizard living on his own demiplane has his entire home sucked into the drift. Has to teleport onto a passing space ship to get back to the material plane to rebuild."

Or

"An entire civilized planet gets pulled into the Drift. Drift capable star ships suddenly become in high demand to begin evacuation of as much of the populace as possible. Possible good intro adventure."

Otherwise I've been more focused on imagining races rather than adventures.


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As someone who only kind of knows Pathfinder and is picking up Starfinder as a more manageable beginning, I have to ask... what is the hype with akatas.

Not what they are; I know what a wiki is and was able to check it easy enough. But aside from causing a spit take from "This is a CR 1 monster", the wiki can only tell someone so much. So what is the hype; what have these little zombie making stealth wolves from behind the stars actually done to the playerbase to make them infamous?

And yes, I know typing out the sentence "zombie making stealth wolves" should be enough of an answer, but that's the buzz headline. I want the actual story.


Matthew Shelton wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
Magic is involved in all FTL travel, which would mean it was available to anyone with money.
I might be mistaken but my understanding has been that Drift engines were only technological, though I suppose the writers might want to leave the idea for enchantments for more accurate navigation, greater speed, damage regeneration, and so on.

While ships most likely integrate a many magic components, one of the few things we know about The Drift is that it's unreachable by magic. So you are correct in assuming the Drift Engines must be purely technological.

More importantly, due to the nature of the Drift, using portal technology for anything but refueling in a post Gap civilizations would be... possibly impossible, but the "possibly" qualifier only being in there since we only have one interview to go off of.

I could imagine some pre-Gap Generation ships that extensively used portals to refuel, though any such ship could potentially maintain a permanent portal back home making the need moot... haven't cracked open a spell book to the Level 9 spells in awhile, so I'm more familiar with conceptual function than mechanical numbers by this point. Still, if you assume there is no home to portal back to, that could be an interesting deep space encounter. How would a Generation Ship devolve after the chaos what was the Gap?