If these potential "two guys in the basement" can continue to produce APs and modules with the same amount of maps, artwork, editing, proofing, and layout without ever needing to involve any other art, editing, or layout staff...well, I believe we've found the first successful perpetual motion machine.
Because otherwise, be prepared for less products overall, as the real bottleneck in production needs to get divided up even further among even more products across more game lines. That'll do wonderful things to production schedules in the future.
The key with Stargazer (as described up above, or even with most homebrew I've seen with it) is that it still needs to fit the core paradigm of Starfinder ship combat: Everybody gets to do something useful and cool.
Randomness, not found anywhere else in the system, doesn't really seem to fit for that. (Nor do I really find randomness anymore relevant or representative of Mysticism or sci-fantasy in general, but that's going to be a personal taste thing.) It's also not something that's going to seem very useful or fun for most of my players. For me, Stargazer is a happy compromise between "because Mysticism should be in ship combat" and "add some cool Mysticism stuff." Mileage will vary, and all that.
Edit: Random movement would also be a huge mess, as it could very easily completely screw over the teamwork that ship combat is built on. Suddenly facings don't match up to desired weapons fire, enemies are not in the right arcs, etc. Then you've got to figure out which phase that movement happens in, which can open up a whole lot more problems.
I don't know why do we need a "mysticism focused class", since no other starship role is class specific.
The modified version I'm using has a simple answer as to why it was "needed" for our campaigns: because the players wanted it. Because they felt that a sci-fantasy game was really missing out on something cool for starship encounters by not having something that uses mystical abilities with the ship. Astropaths of 40K fame, Navigators of Dune fame, or fill in your favorite other example of that trope. That's why Stargazer is useful. It gave even more options for players, and that's never a bad thing in this GM's opinion.
One of these days, I'll have to remember to post up the changes I made to this role. But I will say that it's been a huge success in our campaigns. I'm so glad I found this to add in, back when the campaign was starting.
3) The system currently referred to as armor will be re-skinned as "defensive countermeasures" and represent active interference with enemy targeting systems used by your pilot to make it harder for enemies to hit.
Honestly, I already assumed this to be the case in the core rules. Not saying it is there or implied, but my brain automatically put it there, just as it does for personal AC (in terms of other things interfering).
Class abilities (like wireless hack) get overlooked in a lot of these operative OP threads.
That one single ability is huge (and something that gets way too often overlooked in hacking during game sessions). The need to stay physically attached to some workstation or door lock or whatever...that's outright crippling under fire.
And if you're not facing situations where hacking is occurring under fire...then the GM is missing out on some amazing fun.
The deeper you delve into class abilities (whether they be mechanic or envoy or whatever), the less those operatives skill modifiers matter. If the operative has a +X, and the mechanic has +X-2, but gets to hack from 30 feet away and while moving? I know which one my players want doing the hacking...
After the first few levels, those operative skill ratings won't be noticeable. There's a whole different discussion to be had about the operative player themselves also realizing that they don't need to do everything.
If a group invests in a published module, than the common understanding is that, that is what will be run. Not some alien bastardization that barely resembles the intended adventure. If a GM invests in a new module, volunteers to run it, but makes it clear to his group that he will be changing things a bit to better suit the party's composition/playstyle/whatever, then that's totally fine.
That's pretty interesting. I don't think I've ever had a group actually buy a module and say: "We want this one next." (I'm not sure if I ever had a group buy a module, to be honest.)
Yeah, I hate it when I psionically figure out the bounds of an AP without ever reading it.
The APs outright encourage changes and modifications to be made for home game needs and desires. Many of them even go out of their way to offer up information on ways to extend the campaign at various points. Running an AP exactly how it appears on the page sounds...really limiting at best.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding intent here. It just sounds like anything outside the design of an AP is somehow inferior and easily noticed. I guess I just can't square that with my own gaming experiences.
And before anyone says "totally worth it for the spells", remember that those spells won't be nearly as broken as in Pathfinder. You won't have nearly as many or as potent buff spells, or save-or-suck attacks, because those don't exist as such anymore. You won't have as many qualitative "I do the impossible" spells, because the available tech options mean that lots of people can pull out stuff like weird 'divination' effects.
Every time the full caster issue gets brought up, I immediately wonder exactly how familiar the person is with actual Starfinder spells (rather than homebrewed Pathfinder conversions). This quote above shows just how big the differences are in magic between the two systems. Pathfinder style full casters are not only not needed, they'll be a MASSIVE disappointment if they're ever officially added. Full casters already exist in Starfinder with the existing caster classes.
For inspiration, pre-made maps and locations, any number of pre-built encounters, new potential races/gear (in the case of SF APs), and an already configured overall campaign story arc. The list goes on in terms of time-saving and work-saving reasons for buying APs.
Any of the changes after that, extreme or otherwise, are still just making it your group's own version fill-in-the-blank (AP name) campaign.
A companion class that isn't drone based (or a solid archetype that allows for using something like an eidolon or animal companion).
There are way too many cool creatures and outsiders to note see use in a class like this.
That's about the only thing I don't currently see covered that isn't already possible under the base classes.
I'd be down for seeing some sort of monk make the crossover as well, but it can be handled via solarion for now.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Another possibility that I've toyed with is the idea that drift engines are rare and/or difficult to make.
Not impossible to do, but it would require some pretty substantial changes to the base setting. Ships are incredibly common (look at the limited cargo space, and this becomes even more necessary). And Drift engines aren't in any way a massive portion of the resource cost for ships.
It's also not really that new. 300 plus years of the knowledge being available in a setting that has full-on maker tech, nano-fabs, and incredibly complex micro-printing capabilities...that's something pretty well understood and developed in a setting. It's part of the historical backdrop at that point, not a newly developed invention. Again, an area that would need substantial changes from the base setting.
While canon doesn't reflect this, our own group has come to look at Drift engines more as navigation devices or sensors/lenses to guide through the Drift (to get to the "proper" Drift pathway), rather than actual engines. This makes the whole aspect of Drift engines determining travel speed work in our heads.
After finally finishing building about four different factions worth of ships for my newest campaign (lightly inspired by Runelords), I'm starting to find more issues with the expansion bay systems (and why some things even require a bay) than the direct tier/DC issues. Expansion bay issues become even weirder once you get to the capital type ships of Huge and larger.
Talek & Luna wrote:
I am leery of classless or modular systems as there can be potential to find the "best" build and you end up with four very similar if not identical characters in the group and I don't want PF2 to head down that rabbit hole.
Isn't that kind of the exact rabbit hole that fills up huge amounts of space here on the PF1 forums?
Nothing offline. You could take a note in the PDF file, or just print it out, and insert it into the hardcover pretty easily. While that book may have been bought yesterday, it was still part of the first printing. As mentioned, when a 2nd print run is done, PDFs (and the hardcover) will be updated.
Contrary to what entertainment has wanted us to think for basically ever, vents are rarely big enough to fit a humanoid. Even a small one.
If you're dealing with a station, that's likely even more true, as space is at a premium. Toss in repair bots, various types of maintenance drones, all of those possibilities...there's no reason to build utility spaces like vents or wiring runs to fit humanoids.
The easiest solution? Unless you'd like to leave that option open for a particular area...the character simply won't fit.
Teleport leaves a world without mid level adventures.
I'd wager that a high level paladin would have enough responsibilities elsewhere to focus on the swamplands. It's a better than average chance that paladin is going to be in a leadership position among government or some sort of security force. It seems a lot more likely for that paladin to say: "Well, I can continue organizing the defense against that portal to Hell over there, and hire these folks to go clear out those swamplands...or just let the demon hordes over run us." Even high level paladins can figure out how to delegate or prioritize.
There's also just not enough high level paladins, with enough friendly casters on hand 24/7, to just run around putting out fires in a place the size of Golarion. That also doesn't even get into potential code issues as they stomp all over the legal authority of neighboring countries who may have their own plans to deal with problems in their borders.
This doesn't really seem like a teleport problem.
I've been critical (more lately), but overall, I'm very excited for PF2. And 95% of what I've seen so far looks awesome.
Talking about this elsewhere during the week, somebody asked me "Why not switch to this other game?" I gave my usual answer about lack of PDF support for that game. And then I gave it some more thought later in the day. I went back to edit the response. I stay because of Paizo. Pathfinder wouldn't likely be my first choice. Fantasy isn't my first choice when it comes to gaming. But somehow, it ends up being my first choice for the last five or so years and for the forseeable future. That's entirely because of the quality of the product and the overall progressive community mindset from the company.
You made a fan out of a person who, by all rights, wouldn't be. Not ONLY because of the material, your own setting, or solid APs. It's because of what Paizo has built for itself, as a community and a brand.
Icy Turbo wrote:
Finally (since this could go on for eons) I find it odd that people treat alignment restrictions so unfairly in Roleplaying games, but don't really question or have a problem with it when playing a game as the heroes in a video game. Just an observation.
I'll admit a little confusion on that part. A programmed video game with limited adaptability versus an RPG being run by adaptable humans able to make changes and freeform decisions on the fly. Why would there be an expectation of treating alignment style systems the same among wildly different mediums?
Some posters seems to think the follow-up version will necessarily be bad, but that mistrust of Paizo's dev team is unwarranted, in my opinion.
Ordinarily, 100% agreement. On this particular topic, dealing with this particular class? Previous development hasn't quite delivered.
None of that reflects on PF2 or even on the designers themselves, outside of a pattern of disappointing development along this specific line of design.
It is the one class that hasn't really delivered among my group with post-PF1 Core development. I think that's why my own hopes were probably too high, and why some of the decisions and responses bring up more concern than I had with past blogs.
I'm a fan of the changes in the code. They're sensible, and facilitate easier play for paladin characters. They'll cut back on Lawful Silly situations. I'm all onboard for that.
Seeing this shift, alongside requiring deities (a change that I think has long been needed) starts to make the "tradition" motivation ring a little hollow. I think that's where my greatest disappointment lies. It feels (entirely unintentional on the part of design staff) a bit like a bait and switch. "Here's 2/3 of what we need to open things up, but we're definitely not opening things up." I'm fully aware that isn't the intention, and may not even be the long-term goal, here. I'm simply commenting on how I personally read it, nothing more than that.
Whatever makes it through the playtest. As much as I'd love to see paladin dropped to the prestige class or alternate class that it actually is, I also don't want to see anything that hasn't made it through playtesting.
We know what's in the playtest already, in terms of classes. That means we know what's going to be in the actual CRB. That's not going to change.
I still hold that nothing in the core book should be exclusive. That is one tradition that I'm glad we're moving away from.
After the disappointment from this preview, I'm not convinced that we are. Starfinder seemed to finally be a step in the right directions, ditching alignment tags on spells and allowing alignment to be truly optional. Neither of those things appear to be a priority for the playtest, and that stings on both counts.
I'm more than a little concerned that the other previously alignment locked classes are going to need to follow "tradition" as well. And as for future options, I'm sorry to say, unlocking the paladin class is one of the few areas that Paizo doesn't have a good track record with design options. The language in the blog doesn't help provide any indications on changes in that regard either.
Sorry, but I think this one was a notable mis-step. All due respect to the Paizo staff, particularly the moderators, because this thread has been nightmarish to follow. I'd only politely suggest that maybe language from Paizo staff could get a second look to avoid placating verbal head-pats. That hasn't seemed to be a total success here, as it has in other interactions.
And that's really what I'm trying to say, that alignment does not always have a definitive answer, because it's subjective.
It isn't though. Through magic, you can literally say "Unnamed Vigilante of the Night is X." Because that's what they detected as, what the spell told you.
What that alignment means to the player or GM? Definitely subjective. Alignment itself? Not subjective. If it were subjective, and not a defined in-setting force with actual mechanical impact...there really wouldn't be near as much heated debate about it. There wouldn't be near as many problems, either.
I'm doing this in one of my current campaigns. If you go a great deal beyond 3 tiers higher than the character's level, you can end up making DCs hard to reach for characters with level appropriate modifiers. Using the ship's tier for so many checks can make that a real drawback. Personally, I'd recommend not going much more than 2 tiers higher than player's level. Considering the Enterprise's lack of military capability, it wouldn't be too hard to pick up one of the larger frames and cut down on shields and weapons to reflect this start off.
I'd maybe recommend doing some handwaving with crew size, just to keep it a little easier to handle and go for something in the Huge size category. Put the crew into teams, and the ship also can no longer make planetfall, like the Enterprise. You may have to jury-rig a light version of a shuttle bay (as I can't recall if shuttle bays can fit onto a Huge frame). If you're looking at tier 6 or 7, it will be challenging to get everything on there, but that will just leave you with that bit of a feel when the Enterprise came up against dedicated (higher tier) military vessels.
Eh, I had a GM that avoided it pretty easy. He didnt like the chaos-law part so are there was only good/evil. Pallys just had to do good things and not evil things. He skipped using planar and other problematic foes. Seemed pretty effortless.
That doesn't address inquisitors detection abilities. (Or similar abilities for several archetypes of different classes). Or classes built around alignment requirements (or potentially losing aspects of a class due alignment infringements). Or the spells that specifically have built-in variable damage based on alignment. Or the ones that have variable effects in general based on alignment. Or protection spells. Or spells that can possibly act as alignment infractions. Or items opposed or linked to particular alignments. Or how it can affect alternate or variant methods of channeling.
It's not that cut and dried. There's far too many little, out of the way places it gets baked into the rules. It isn't impossible to do by any stretch. I'd prefer to avoid needing to houserule all of those bits of materials players desire to use. I'd simply like to have it near a point that it is as simple as noted above: in for those that want it, out for those that don't.
Edit: I can't comment on PFS. That's not a play style I could handle, dealing with potentially random folks each time and the level of restrictions necessary for it to work well.
Thanks graystone for answering. I guess your viewpoint is anathema to my playstyle :) Hope alignment is easy enough to ignore as it is in PF1 for you.
It's hard-coded into more than one class, multiple spells, and more. It is not at all easy to simply say "No alignment" in PF1 without actively ignoring multiple built-in (in some cases, intertwined) rules. I'd be THRILLED for it simply being reduced to a point where it COULD be easily ignored (much like Starfinder...it exists, and can be tossed aside without impact by those who don't want it).
I think I get a bit spoiled, because my particular players tend to come to the table with ideas they want. Pursuing mechanical advantages (like the SROs) ranks a bit lower on their priority list, rather than "I need to build this concept." That being said, I don't even find the SROs mechanical advantages broken or overpowered. Within the setting of the Pact Worlds, they can face a lot of uphill social adversity (easily up to outright slavery alongside androids outside of Pact Worlds jurisdiction). For my own tastes, I felt like the balance was still there.
That said, agreed with the above. In my own eyes as a player, I really thought the Astrazoan racial ability was an absolute game-changer. There's just so much do with that on social or infiltration based characters.
All jokes aside, even with races getting extra feats (I always did feel humans got a huge advantage there), the overall scale of SF feats is lower than in PF. And that helps with keeping the various races on a mostly level playing field. I haven't really found one that I think is overly problematic. Sure, I have a personal bias that it still feels like too many Dex+ races. But that was probably even more an issue in PF.
You and I have some different expectations on what design and layout requires, even when it is reprinted material. It's entirely possible that I'm biased from exposure to friends who do that work in the RPG market. I was only trying to offer a bit of limited insight into potential hurdles. Either way, it's not an argument I'm really looking to engage in. :)
I mentioned previously that Paizo may very well do a product like this. Owen noted that they're looking at their options. I'm not sure I'd use Pathfinder products as an example, just because of the differences in scale on the two product lines. But that's simply personal preference there. I'd certainly like to see a product like this. I don't think it's incredibly likely, but I'd still like to see it. I know that I haven't been able to bring myself to get the APs yet for many of the same reasons. So differences aside, we agree on that.
If you're not willing to do $15 for the digital AP, what would you want to see as a price point for a summary book like this? Lower than that, I'm guessing.
With as many demon lords and other planar beings that were devoted to domains of alchemy and technology, I'm not quite viewing planar groups quite the same in PF's setting, I think.
Being restricted by MAD doctrine or simply developing it over time as they watch the mortals progress isn't that hard to believe. They have a lot of time, and a lot of workers.