Hey Thursty, GM signups for Con of the North (February 14-16, 2020) are open; are you still thinking of coming to run our 9-10 Starfinder special table?
My vesk, Zoggy, needs to show you his new Juggernaut Smash Through move.
Unless you guarded step or bull rush them out of reach, if you move after a Stellar Rush, they'll probably get an AoO on you.
But yeah, you can move after a rush.
Having played frontline characters in a wide range of Society scenarios and adventure paths, I'm very glad for Stamina, because getting jacked down to hit point damage is pretty damn common, and being able to use Resolve to get back to fighting trim without resting for the night or relying on a healer is a blessing.
I'd almost want it to be a solarian crystal-only fusion that reduces the die type of both the crystal and the weapon in addition to adding the operative quality.
Starfinder is the Wild West. Everybody is always armed, except in very specific circumstances.
There might be RP benefits to eschewing cybernetics, sure, but there are also RP benefits to being a chromed-out bladeboi. I tend to side with the group that gives me massive mechanical (har) advantages.
And, real talk, the anti-cybernetic movement in this game is about one step away from racism against androids and SROs, and I'd prefer not to go there.
With the character creation rules in the core rulebook.
We're going to need a little more info, because the options are endless. What is the campaign going to be like? What role is this character going to play in the party? Is this character the only bounty hunter in the party, or is the entire party bounty hunters?
I might go with Dispiriting Taunt if my job in the party was to debuff the targeted criminal to make them less dangerous, or Get Em!/Clever Feint if the rest of the party needed them easier to hit. Still, more info is needed.
You don't spend Resolve for the damage bonus, you spend Resolve so that Get Em! affects all nearby enemies. The damage bonus is just frosting on the cake of freely shooting everything. Use it when one foe is nearly dead so your team can end that one and move on to the others.
So yes, letting 1 resolve power the whole combat is broken and a bad idea.
You can upgrade Personal Upgrades by just paying the difference in costfrom the lower level to the higher, but you can't upgrade any other augmentation without paying full price. I don't think you can even sell back your old one, because it is keyed to your genetics.
What you can do is swap out upgrades by just buying and installing a new one. You're never stuck with something forever, so you could get Resistant Hide at 2nd level and then scrap it for Dermal Plating later (though I personally think that you should only get Dermal Plating Mk.1 because it is enough to stack with Enhanced Resistance (Kinetic).
Actually, Starfinder assumes that you will be using augmentations; if you're not using a portion of your wealth on cybertech and the like, you aren't playing up to your potential.
You really don't need to upgrade your weapon very often; I was fine with a level 2 pike until I could buy a level 7 yellow star nova lance, for example. Armor does require upgrade every 2 levels or so if you are going to be taking any heat at all, but that still leaves plenty for augments.
Completely aside from the Personal Upgrades (which are practically mandatory), you get augments to shore up weaknesses, free up gear slots, and play to your strengths. It also makes for great roleplay.
My vesk armor storm soldier got dakvision capacitors so he could dispense with the infrared scanners in his armor and use that slot on stuff that helps in combat, like Thermal Capacitors, and his Speed Suspension is great because moving fast is important in this game for a melee soldier. He is most proud of his Wildwise, though, because it allows him to talk to animals and sometimes avoid a fight with them.
Some good character concepts revolve around augmentation; the Augmented Archetype is cool, especially for soldiers who don't give up much and want to be street samurai. The Verthani race gets an extra upgrade slot. The Biotechnician theme gets an extra biotech augmentation slot at 12th level, and the Geneturge mystic connection can also get an extra slot (a Verthani Augmented Geneturge gets *3* extra slots eventually).
I wouldn't necessarily use Augmented on a Mechanic, because you lose nearly all of your mechanic's tricks, but you can still get much of the same feeling with just investing a lot in augmentations (also 1 level in Geneturge mystic for the special brain augmentation is a huge upgrade for a mechanic if you pick Computers or Engineering, gaining the ability to always take 10).
Remember that as you go up levels in Society, you get a lot more money per adventure. After a certain point, you can afford to just kit yourself out with low-level augs which you can then upgrade to taste.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
That looks like a reasonable spread. Slap a +2 Str mod on at 2nd level and you're in respectable territory. This build will be really assisted by augmentations like the voice enhancer to boost Intimidate for Challenge. Also, the non-energy version of the Junksword is Analog, so you can also use the Photoenergetic Node from AA2 as a sort of poor drow's Empower Weapon.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Well, here's a kicker: since you have an archetype with an effect at level 4, you lose one spell known of your highest level. From 4th level on, you start each new spell level with just Junksword...which makes it feel less bad to use those high-end spell slots on Empower Weapon.
So remember that you have a little less to work with. Depending on your Intelligence vs Dexterity, you may want to focus on side hustles that rely on saves vs ranged attack rolls, respectively (if you aren't top tier in either, go with buffs or auto-hit stuff like magic missile).
My nuar's side hustle is stabbing people with his horns, so I still mostly stack melee buffs like mirror image.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
You would still want Versatile Focus eventually. The Junksword isn't any sort of basic or advanced melee weapon, but Versatile gives you +1 to any weapon you have proficiency in, which the spell does give you.
Enhanced Resistance, definitely (Technomancers have the worst HP and Stamina), along with Toughness or other defensive feats, like Close Combat, from Pact Worlds. I always like Coordinated Shot to help my ranged allies drop anyone I'm threatening with my Reach.
Look at the possible bonuses you can get from the Junksword and consider getting Improved Combat Maneuver to support that. My Steward Officer uses Disarm on his Junksword and has Improved Combat Maneuver (Disarm) so that any disarm attempts are just at a net -2 (and since the Junksword is a 1-handed weapon, if I disarm, the snatched weapon ends up in my free hand).
James Hargrave wrote:
Even if there isn't, they will still use SS(LE) as a source of new NPCs for other roles.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
...sure, but how many enemy casters have "casts Dispel Magic on the Junksword guy" listed in their tactics section?
And even if that works, my particular character is a Nuar with Improved Unarmed Strike (a bonus feat from Steward Officer); you almost prefer him to use his Junksword, because the horns actually do more damage at some levels.
Starfinder characters have enough juice to not be one-trick-ponies, is what I'm saying.
Junksword is actually worth building a character around, for that sweet, sweet Level X1.5 damage bonus it gets instead of specialization. My Nuar Steward Officer Technomancer is an absolute beast with it. He casts Displacement and Mirror Image, then just wades into combat, using the Junksword's Reach and Empowered Weapon to rip them apart as they try to flank him.
Empowered Weapon is fun, because it applies to Attacks of Opportunity taken before the start of your next turn, as well as your regular attack. If you find yourself unable to attack on a round, consider Supercharge Weapon to make that next strike all the sweeter.
Joe Pasini wrote:
The secret to happiness is to love the stuff people think you'll hate?
I can dig it!
Okay, this is basically what I wanted. Clearer item text, and it doesn't completely invalidate Natural Weapons (though there is very little reason for Natural Weapons races not to get this thing; it is a pure upgrade).
One thing I like is that the special attack is purely lethal and can't be used easily for subdual (the old verson could be interpreted as optionally lethal at the enhanced bonus, but the new version...the option is to use the new, super-lethal attack or use your puny, soft fists without a double bonus).
Big props RE: Archaic. Now Dragonbot didn't waste his gear boost on Raw Lethality.
I appreciate the effort made to end this longstanding confusion, Joe.
John Templeton wrote:
The great part about Clever Feint is that even if it fails, the opponent is still flat footed to your attack next round (success is that they are flat-footed to EVERYONE's attacks), so basically the envoy never has to shoot at a non-flat-footed target. At 4th level you can pick up Clever Attack and still get a shot off on your "off" rounds. Weapon Focus and Quick Draw as early feats to enhance the build.
A new player at a convention I met recently had a very interesting idea for a dual-pistols Envoy.
I helped her flesh it out and it turned into a cool thing where she took multi-weapon fighting and Clever Feint. On round 1 she would move to position and Clever Feint, then on round 2 she would Full Attack, with the enemy being flat footed, she would only be -1 net on each attack.
The specializations that you get from hitting 3rd level are class features, not feats, as far as I recall. If you don't actually have the feats, you can't take Adaptive Fighting.
While it is good, anecdotally, that you didn't have any trouble, you don't seem to have had two RoF characters built using different assumptions at your tables, right?
The problem has never been "Can a RoF character complete a Society adventure without setting off the rules equivalent of a nuclear bomb?" It's always been about being fair to parties with similar builds but different interpretations.
Some kind of fighty combat is a good option, so a good Dex or Str with perhaps Weapon Focus or Longarms/Advanced Melee Proficiency. I know you are going with Shirren, but one trick I like is to play a Dwarf that gets Advanced Melee Specialization at 3rd character level, no matter what classes you take, so you can fight effectively in melee regardless of what your multiclassing status is. There are a couple of melee injection weapons, especially in the additional materials.
Biohackers use guns to buff and debuff, so I want to be good with an injection gun of some kind. However I'm also seeing advice that PCs should specialize, so I get the impression I should pick like one other Thing besides healing.
Correct. Some classes (like Operatives) get to be good at lots of stuff, but a narrower focus generally helps your build overall.
In Dreaming the Future, I don't think I ever attacked with the Pulsecaster Pistol. I was Mind Thrusting and telekinetically throwing things, even in the boss fight.
I'll stop you right there. Dreaming of the Future is a quest chain, and you were probably able to rest and get your spells back between each segment. Now most Society Scenarios don't drain you TOO dry of spells, but it pays to be able to save them for critical moments.
The Telekinetic Projectile cantrip doesn't ever scale or get specialization bonuses, so it is of limited use at 3rd level. The Pulsecaster would also attack EAC instead of KAC, which is generally a +10% swing on your attack rolls.
Should I replace Psychokinetic Hand with Daze, and take Command or Confusion (Lesser) for my final lv. 1 spell? Or is Remove Condition (Lesser) a better choice to buff my allies? (I had thought Psychokinetic Hand would be useful to sneakily move things without people noticing I did it, but that's an out-of-combat trick. How useful is the spell at low levels?)
Psychokinetic Hand tends to be very common, and if you don't have it, likely someone else will. The utility is based on your creativity and the approval of your GM. I tend to stay away from save-or-suck spells like Confusion or Command, but they can be very powerful in the right circumstance... if you're lucky (bad guys have pretty good saves, usually).
Are there injection guns available at 1st level that do damage? (And is there any way to not do damage when shooting to buff my allies?) Or, are there injectable poisons I can buy at 1st level to shoot enemies, that will be significant in a fight?
There are needler pistols and rifles you can get at 1st level. There are poisons (and medicinals, check out analgesics; they have no save vs. Flat Footed), but you're going to be wasting a ton of money on that stuff unless you find it in the scenario.
In what ways do I need to change my build to make it good at shooting, or buffing, and to make it good as a science officer? Science officers use Computers, right?
Shooting: Weapon Focus or Longarm ProficiencyBuffing: Be a Biohacker or Envoy, I guess. Envoys can also heal Stamina
Science Officer: Basically put ranks in as many of the following as possible: Engineering, Physical Science, Life Science, Medicine, and Computers. Computers is the most important for ship combat, followed by Engineering so you can switch to repair duties if necessary.
Also, I've seen arguments about whether Medicine is even a useable skill at all before level 5. Is it a waste at level 1?
It's pretty useless to heal HP before maybe 4th level, but in all other things it's useful. Most scenarios have reasonable DCs on Medicine checks where called for. Remember, though, healing isn't why you take Medicine; healing serums are cheap and plentiful. You take Medicine so you can put "M.D." after your name and rock those Medicine checks written into scenarios.
In my home game, the PCs are in the Lovecraftian Dreamlands right now. They helped a hunter kill a frost-breathing bear, and the hunter crafted a weapon out of the creature's carcass, specifically a hailstorm-class zero rifle. Of course, this being the Dreamlands, the bear's head at the end of the rifle is still alive and makes commentary between shooting bolts of cold from its mouth.
Strange flavor, indeed!
One thing I would warn you about is that, due to the Stamina system, healing is not as useful as it is in other games, such as Pathfinder. It's not useless, for certain, and a well-timed heal can make all the difference, but you need to make sure that your character does more than just heal, as healing pretty much never happens until late in a combat, or even post-combat.
4. How much would I lose by multiclassing? Is it worth it, or too much of a detriment? Or is it too soon to know before Biohackers are published? I’m OK with leveling up slowly, but not with being significantly underpowered for whatever tier(s) I play in.
The main thing is that you don't get Weapon Specialization until you're 3rd level in a single class. By multiclassing right away, you're making yourself less effective in a fight... unless you have some other plan than shooting a gun.
5. Assuming my level 1 is Mystic, which class should be primary and which should be the dip? How many levels should I dip into? If I don’t decide until level 3, will it matter at all for how I build now?
Impossible to say, really. It depends on what the primary schtick you want to do with the character is. If you want to be mostly spells, dip into Biohacker for the injection weapon bonuses. If you want to be a science monkey as primary, go with a Mystic dip for some clutch healing spells (great for stopping bleeding) and Mysticism as a class skill.
7. Is profession a waste of time? I’ve read that it never earns much money. Should I move a skill rank to some other skill, and use downtime to craft healing serums instead? (can I remove the skill rank and still have a profession?)
Absolutely not a waste. I can't tell you how many times I've ended a shopping session with less credits than I earned with my profession check.
Crafting healing serums is basically the same as buying them, as there is no money discount on crafting in Starfinder. It isn't worth losing your downtime cash.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
While that is 100% awesome, it'd probably have to be modified if it was to be set in Starfinder's universe, since a lot of the concepts that make Planescape Planescape aren't present, like the philosophy elements, the Blood War, The Cage, githyanki and githzerai, etc.
Sure, but they could devise similar aspects and make it their own.
I never looked at the planar guide that came out for PF1.0 recently. Did that setting have character?
Planescape is by far my all-time favorite game setting, I'd love to see a version of that that was updated for the Starfinder era. Infernal space stations orbiting Dis, specialized monastery ships flying through Limbo, Hell and the Abyss fighting over the souls of great inventors or military commanders to gain advantage in their eternal war, heavenly space marines rolling in to protect upper planar interests...
I've honestly been meaning to do a Sharpshooter Soldier/Exo-Mechanic sniper forever, but haven't gotten around to it.
Diasporan Sniper Rifle + Laser Accuracy Gear Boost + Combat Tracking + Weapon Focus (Sniper) [+Miracle Worker at high levels] is going to be some of the highest accuracy out there, which can then be buffed with Overcharge.
It isn't going to be the highest damage build, but it should be reliable
An Envoy/Soldier is pretty effective at equal levels. Envoy/Solarian is even better, because there is some stat synergy with Charisma. Move - Get Em!/Standard - Stellar Rush sounds like a fun turn.
Operative brings stuff to the table for any other class (I have a 3 Operative/2 Mystic that does just quite well, thanks).
Technomancer/Mechanic would do just fine if it went exo-cortex and relied mostly on buffing guns.
Seems like the race forces you to think outside the box, not about pure class power, but class synergies, feats, skills, and gear.
We don't want playable jinsuls while they are still supposed to be a mysterious enemy race, I don't think. Maybe after we defeat them and make friends with the remainder they can feature in a SFS scenario chronicle like the Copaxi or Morlamaw... then show up as playable in an Alien Archive later.
"Dr." Cupi wrote:
Continuity matters to some and not to others. The good news is that people can play how they want. Though, be aware that some GMs will be more strict that others.
I figure that there are minimum implants that Stellifera who join the galactic civilization get that allow them to communicate freely with other races easily.
Hmm, I suppose I could get a Vocal Modulator to represent that implant.
"No talking" isn't listed in their stat block; therefore such a concern is not such a problem that it can't be overcome with basic PC measures.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Starfinder Society writers have caught on to the fact that environmental protections have painted them into a corner with regards to potential environmental threats, and numerous scenarios have included situations where the protections don't work properly.
...also I kinda think it's hilarious to have these little cuttlefish dragging themselves around in open air, talking and such like it ain't no thing.
The feature says you don't need survival for some things. They don't need survival for those things. There's nothing unfair about still needing the skill for other things the feature doesn't affect. You can get by fine with just enough survival skill to make the DC 5 Stay Mounted check, and not use tricks.
I'd like to get this clarified. The implication in the Riding Saddle entry is that you don't really need Survival to do any of the basic things. Needing to roll at all to stay mounted is still a big penalty for a class that is usually pretty tight on skill points (sure their primary stat is Int, but their base is only 4 ranks).