Rival Explorer

Faragdar the Free Captain's page

13 posts. Alias of Briguy9000.


Kvetchus, while you're technically correct, the geosynchronous distance for Verces would be over 4 million kilometers away from the planet, assuming no other gravitational influence (which would be a bad assumption), and that's clearly an absurd distance for a space elevator, not to mention farther than a couple of the Lagrange points. There's a massive difference between the thrusters required for station keeping in a stable geosynchronous orbit and the thrusters required to keep a space station hovering over a planet and not in an actual orbit.

Trentin, actually "space elevator" is exactly how it is described in the core rulebook. Interestingly, though, while I think the books *imply* the Verthani built Skydock, it doesn't actually say they built it, just that it is ancient, it predates the Gap, and it gave the Verthani cheap spaceflight. I suppose one could say that Skydock, itself, is an ancient alien artifact left for the Verthani.

DochSavage wrote:
Just brainstorming here, because I'll need to take some serious liberties with the term "tidally locked". Let's change it to "a solar directed polar orientation", a la Uranus (a planet "on its side").

I agree that "tidally locked" isn't really accurate (nowhere near enough gravity gradient), but Verces is described as having no axial tilt and a rotation rate that precisely matches its revolution rate, so it *acts* like it's tidally locked. I see what you mean about changing it to behave like Uranus, which would allow for a geostationary orbit, but yes, that would mess up the Ring of Nations idea.

I think I'll stick with the powerful artifact explanation. That's a relatively small setting change that preserves suspension of disbelief and, as mentioned, throws in a new story hook for adventures on Verces.

But I may also play with the idea of an Akitonian Skydock as an alternative to the current setting. That would involve significant back story changes and alterations to the current dynamic in the Pact Worlds, but that appeals to the writer/storyteller in me.

Yes, a planet with a 3-year period around a sun-like star should not become tidally locked through any natural means. I let that one go because of a reference in the Pact Worlds book - in the description of the "Singing Rifts", the setting suggests there's an unnatural reason for Verces to be tidally locked. Ancient alien machinery (or magic) is a standard trope for sci fi or fantasy settings.

Perhaps that's exactly what I could invoke for Skydock. Like the Starstone on Absalom Station, there could be some powerful artifact of unknown origin that the Verthani placed on Skydock to keep it from falling. It could be related to the Singing Rifts, the Oasis Temples or the Enigma Keeps.

And yes, Golarion's disappearance should have a ripple effect on the orbits of other planets in the solar system, but that could take a very long time to cause appreciable changes or it could have been stabilized by whatever power removed Golarion.

I think it’s great that the Starfinder setting has a space elevator. It’s a really cool idea, and a far-future setting deserves some advanced but not outlandish technology like that. There’s just one problem. It should never work on Verces.

The space station at the end of a space elevator tether has to be in geostationary orbit (technically just a bit beyond). Verces, though, is a tidally locked world. It doesn’t *have* a geostationary orbit, unless you want to count Lagrange points. The nearest Lagrange points, though, would still be at least a million kilometers from the planet, and those would be above Fullbright and Darkside, not the Ring of Nations.

So Skydock should not stay in orbit, at least not based on science. Magic would have to keep it up. But if the Verthani have sufficient magic to levitate a space station big enough to hold nearly a million people, why would they even need a space elevator and why wouldn’t they have all sorts of other advanced gravity-defying techno-magic?

(As an aside, Akiton, on the other hand, is a small world with low gravity and a normal day-night cycle, not to mention a thin atmosphere. It would be technologically feasible (and fairly urgent) for an advanced society to build a space elevator there. If it wasn’t such a fundamental change to the game setting, I’d be tempted to switch it in my game.)

Am I nitpicking? After all, this is a universe with cities inside the sun. Except those are clearly described as being sustained by magic far beyond the Pact World races’ capabilities. The Verthani, on the other hand, are still around and no more advanced than the rest of the Pact Worlds. It’s an unfortunate inconsistency, in my mind, but it would also be tricky to correct. Nevertheless, I’d like to come up with an explanation for Skydock that doesn’t sound completely contrived. Any ideas?

Shaudius wrote:
Only 5% of the game is played at first level, I'm not sure why you would ever balance a game based only on what occurs during 5% of it.

Actually, much more than that, since many character will be played for just a few levels and then you'll start anew. Regardless, one could say the same about 7th level. So should designers not bother to balance the classes at that level, either?

The point from CeeJay and Hithesius is taken about opportunity cost. Yes, I consider that when in an encounter. When we went up against a baddie that was starting to chew up one of our players, I didn't even blink burning two spell slots to for 20+ guaranteed damage (while the mystic used one) to take the enemy down fast. The soldier and operative could only dream of doing so much damage in two rounds, unless they got a lucky crit with really good damage rolls.

Interesting directions this thread took. I won't try to respond to everything. I should say that I was playing the Technomancer. I just felt like it was kind of silly how massively I was outperforming the other players on damage. Plus, I knew that once I ran out of 1st level spells, I could fall back on energy ray, which is unlimited. Granted I would have then started to fall behind on damage per round, but not incredibly quickly--1d3 is similar to the damage from an azimuth laser pistol, and I didn't have to worry about batteries and could possibly take advantage of energy vulnerabilities.

I also play D&D, and I am admittedly comparing my experience to that game - magic missile works about the same, but weapons do more damage and targets have more hit points, so it doesn't seem out of whack.

Perhaps you're right that I'll change my tune in a few levels when players have much higher level weapons.

Yes, I know spells run out faster than batteries, and you're only wasting a few credits per shot with an ammo-using weapon. I realize, too, that magic missile doesn't scale. The fact that in a few levels, other classes will exceed the damage potential of magic missile hardly matters, though, since other spells will be available by then, and magic missile will still be a pretty potent backup. Classes should be pretty balanced at all levels, but at 1st level in Starfinder, it doesn't feel like they are. Maybe with a different set of encounters, I'll change my tune. That's why I posted this - to see what others thought.

I've just started playing Starfinder, but I've found that magic missile is basically an indispensable spell. Our party today had a technomancer with magic missile and a mystic with shooting stars. They did, by far, the most damage. By simply giving up a move action, they were doing 6-15 damage per round, automatically. Our operative had to succeed at a skill check and then an attack roll to do 2-8 damage, while our soldier with an artillery laser had to succeed at an attack roll to do 1-10 damage.

That disparity seems kind of outrageous. Granted, the spells will run out over the course of several encounters, but charges run out, too, and does it matter when a 1st level technomancer can do an average of 40+ damage before his 1st level spells are depleted? Other characters will require twice as many rounds to do as much damage.

I bet if I house-ruled it to only being cast as a standard action with 2 missiles, almost all technomancers would still take it as one of their starting spells. Anyone else feel the same? Are there other rules that seem imbalanced and create very difficult to ignore power combos?

Thank you for the detailed response. That gives me more to think about, especially weapon fusions and solarian crystals. Sounds like this is something that could use official clarification.

Where is a "Grappler" described? By "injection pistol", are you referring to the needler pistol?

I realize this may seem like a dumb question, but I don't see the answer in the core rules, and I want to make sure I'm not missing something.

When an operative succeeds at a trick attack, is the bonus damage of the same type as the base damage for the weapon used?

My operative intends to use trick attack with a pulsecaster pistol, and I want to make sure GMs would agree with my interpretation that the bonus damage would also be E/nonlethal.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
his weapon is arbitrary and who knows what made up abilities the DM has given him".

I'm late to this party, but I'm new to Starfinder, and this is exactly the discussion I wanted to have, after reviewing Incident at Absalom Station. I'm really displeased to see NPCs with special abilities that are just made up from nowhere. If an NPC belongs to a character race, has a standard class graft, and carries standard equipment, its abilities should be familiar to PCs with the same race and class.

I don't mind simplified rules for generating NPCs, but when a Vesk soldier uses some made up ability against the PCs, players are going to say, "Hey, that's cool. How can my character do that? Where are the rules for it?" If my reply is, "Oh, that's an ability only my NPC can have," the players are likely to be annoyed, and rightly so.

JetSetRadio wrote:
Sometimes NPCs will have abilities PCs can't have. There is a Solarian in part 2 and it has a ranged ability that's not in the core rule book.

Am I the only GM who thinks that's a bad way to run a campaign? Perhaps that's something I should discuss in a different forum.

I have been reading the module "Incident at Absalom Station", and I noted that several NPCs have special abilities that I can't find listed in the Core Rulebook or the Alien Archive. These are NPCs with standard character races and class grafts, so whatever abilities they have, I would think they should be available to PCs.

Specifically, Jabaxa has "Persuasive (Ex)", which is not an ability available to Envoys; Vrokilayo Hatchbuster has "Awesome Blow (Ex)", which is not an ability available to Soldiers of any fighting style and is resolved similar to a combat maneuver (but isn't a listed combat maneuver); and Clara-247 has "Precise Shot (Ex)" which is not an ability available to operatives.

Am I missing something the Core Rules? Am I missing a rule book? If not, what am I supposed to tell my players when they wonder why NPCs are using abilities against them that they can't, themselves, learn? Granted, Jabaxa's and Clara's abilities I can just sneakily manage behind my GM screen (though I do not like the idea of a secret mechanic, as opposed to a role-played ability), but Awesome Blow is going to be a little obvious.