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Dracomicron wrote:

Vancian spellcasting isn't a solution to anything, if you ask me.

Soldier: "OK, we finished off those guards, 10 minute rest and let's keep going into the fortress."

Witchwarper: "I used my last WARP BOMB in that fight. We need to rest for the day."

Soldier: "...I'ts 9:00 AM, Absolom Time. We literally got to the planet an hour ago."

Witchwarper: "Well do you want to go on with more WARP BOMBS, or do you want me to shoot my pistol at the enemies?"

Soldier: "I thought we were over this."

The Starfinder devs made a clear statement that they were done with the 15 minute work day when they implemented Resolve/Stamina and made all casters spontaneous. Vancian spellcasting encourages a sort of blackmail-y gameplay where the casters aren't frugal with their casting and blow their wads way earlier than the rest of the team. No thanks.

The way to fix Witchwarpers is to give them more flexibility (especially in skills) and less reliance on save-or-suck abilities. They of course will get better when they have their own dedicated spell list, too.

^ This. Vancian spellcasting is completely against the feel of Starfinder. It shouldn't be in it.


Pantshandshake wrote:

Well, your GM should have either:

Adjusted some loot tables to ensure the group stays near WBL.
Provided rewards in other places to keep the group near WBL.
Had a discussion with the group in a session zero that WBL will not be used and the group gets what it gets in terms of monetary and physical rewards.

Or people shouldn't assume that every encounter will happen... it's even stated in the AP that it's situational.


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ComicViolence wrote:

Thanks G-Prime. I forgot that Disable Device and Hack checks were supposed to be rolled by the GM (because we usually don’t do it that way). I like the idea of rolling for them and then using how many checks it took them to reach the DC to determine how long it would take them to pick the lock. Then I can slowly escalate time and see how long they are willing to wait for that one PC to try and pick the lock. I will say things like, “20 minutes pass and he still can’t pick it, are you going to keep trying?” If they are willing to wait as long as it would take to the PC to pick the lock, then they can get in … but depending on how well I rolled, they might encounter a Kish patrol or something before then. I might even throw in some bogus perception checks periodically to see if I can build an air of tension and danger.

No problem! Also, I have to agree with @Xenocrat on how the Gap is supposed to work. It's pretty clear in the CRB, and it is pretty much described the way he explained it.

The Gap most definitely applies to the Kish.

Quote:

"What is known, however, is that while the Gap is universal— and a combination of carbon dating and astrochronology suggest it lasted several millennia—its edges are geotemporally inconsistent. Where one star system might have accurate records stretching back 300 years from the present, worlds in different parts of the galaxy might have 310 years of history, or only 275."

If you want an exact reference to read it's on page 424 and the sidebar on page 425 of the CRB.

MaxPower86 wrote:

I guess both ComicViolence and Xenocrat interpretations of the Gap work. Reading the CRB and other books, I was under the impression that the Gap was not a finite event, as there is no mention of a 'beginning of the Gap'. This is aligned with ComicViolence's view. Mentions of Golarion, Pathfinder, and other historical events would be found in the corrupted historical files. I would imagine that a lot of people would work really hard to reconstruct history, and probably find these bits of information.

Actually, pre-Gap records are mentioned within the CRB, the Dead Suns AP, as well as Alien Archive and Pact Worlds. There is also mention of the Gap having a beginning. For instance, the CRB mentions them on several pages, such as the 'History' section on page 424, the 'Magic and Technology' section on page 429, the 'Time' section on page 430, and the 'Castrovel' section on page 438.

Quote:

History

"For an organization like the Starfinders, locating these scattered bread crumbs and syncing them up with ancient pre-Gap records may yet hold the key to unraveling the greatest mystery of the universe."
Quote:

Magic and Technology

"Pre-Gap records show that once upon a time, most of the worlds in the system relied on magic almost exclusively for complex and difficult tasks."
Quote:

Time

"Events that occurred before the oldest edge of the Gap are often referred to as pg (“Pre-Gap”) and measured in how many years before the Gap they occurred, with a date like 300 pg meaning the event occurred 300 years before the onset of the Gap."
...
"Dating anything within the Gap is always a highly dubious proposition, and those who attempt to make claims about such things usually count forward or backward from the nearest edge, such as “roughly 500 years after the onset of the Gap.”"
Quote:

Castrovel

"Also notable for their power and influence are the city’s many universities, renowned for their vast pre-Gap archives"

Meaning that pre-Gap records do exist, and the Gap has both a beginning and an end. The only debate being the inconsistencies of time for when that starting and endpoint is, as it varies depending on the location and people.


ComicViolence wrote:
So you can’t literally take 20 on a disable device check … but if there isn’t a countermeasure on the lock then the players can just keep trying until they succeed, effectively taking 20. I guess what I am asking is what are some good countermeasures for this lock. I was thinking maybe an alarm that alerts all of the Kish inside of the building and maybe if my players still stick around after the alarm goes off, the Kish start coming outside to fight them in two waves (essentially replicating the two fights inside) … but then I realized that those fights are already hard and putting them back to back might cause a TPK. Then I was thinking the locks stop working for a day to give the PCs time to explore the city before they come back … but it doesn’t make much sense for a military research area’s locks to have such a week deterrent against unauthorized access. What ideas do you guys have?

The CRB states "The amount of time this takes depends on the complexity of the device but typically requires at least one Full Action." No, they can't Take 20 on the Engineering Check to Disable Device, but if they constantly retry, someone is bound to notice them. Remember, this is a heavily guarded building during a time of civil conflict, as well as a recent encounter with a hostile alien force. They are going to be on high-alert. It's pretty unreasonable to assume the players have unlimited tries to hack or disable a keypad, especially in the given circumstances. Anyways, checks to Disable Device or Hack are rolled in secret by the GM, so they should have no idea of how well they are doing for their checks, or if it's even possible for them to make those checks. Also, the CRB states "If you fail the check by 5 or more, something goes wrong.", so that's always a possibility.

The 'Alarm' countermeasure states "One of simplest countermeasures, this program sends an alert to a specific individual or station if someone attempts to breach the system. If the computer has a control module connected to an actual alarm, this countermeasure can trigger that alarm. If the computer controls a robot, trap, or weapon, an alarm can also activate them. The alarm countermeasure costs 10 credits."

You could have some sort of weapons set up that would be activated, to try and scare your players off along with the alarm, as well as activating a lockout countermeasure.

Also, you are the GM. You could just straight up not give them the option to enter the Temple Found until after they've explored.


ComicViolence wrote:
My players are very direct and believe they are under a time crunch so I suspect they will go straight to the Temple Found and try to pick the lock (thus bypassing half of the content). The Temple Found lock DC is really high … but this is the same group that got the DC 40 to disarm the Azlanti ship’s self-destruct so I know they can do it. I don’t mind if they roll really high and pick the lock, but I want to do something to stop them from just taking a 20. Does anyone have any ideas? I could just tell them that they only get one chance to pick it, but Starfinder tends to let people retry checks a couple of times and then something bad happens (like after two failed attempts to hack a computer the data is wiped) and I was hoping for something that matches that feel. Any ideas?

The AP states "A PC can hack the keypad by succeeding at a DC 35 Computers check or bypass it by succeeding at a DC 38 Engineering check."

The rules of the Computers skill to Hack System automatically trigger any countermeasures if you Take 20 without first disabling them, so you could always just add some countermeasures to try to deter your PCs (letting them know the countermeasures exist, and then tell them of the option to seek out the security code in the Securitech Offices). You could also add a firewall to the computer that runs the keypad, which would increase the difficulty. Also, the Engineering skill to Disable Device prevents Taking 20 altogether.

"If you fail a Computers check to hack a system, you might trigger a countermeasure, if one has been installed. If you take 20 on a Computers check to hack a system with countermeasures without first disabling or destroying them, the countermeasures are automatically activated." CRB PG. 139.

"Due to the danger, you cannot take 20 on an Engineering check to disable a device." CRB PG. 141.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
there's no reason a player couldn't replace her dead PC with a kish (at least, assuming you're not playing this under Starfinder Society rules). However, that PC would be severely limited... they would have no knowledge of advanced technology and the timeline of the adventure wouldn't give them time that would normally be required to learn that information. A kish soldier or mystic might be helpful, but the PC wouldn't be able to help much in starship combat or any other high-tech challenges.

I say bah to that (and I realise I'm responding to an old comment. At least it's from this calendar year). Teal'c from Stargate and Ronan from Stargate Atlantis had no issues with that. Yes they were both soldiers (so no advanced computer checks for them), but Ronan could still offer dumb insights into a problem that would happen to resolve it despite not understanding the technology involved.

It's a common sci-fi trope to recruit a native to your team and have them be able to do all sorts of things they need to in order to contribute to the story.

I have to agree. One of my players bit the bullet from Radiation Sickness, on their way from Eox to the Nejeor System, so I took him aside before we started part 4, and gave him the option to start as a Kish, which he took, playing a Kish Solarian.

It was great fun having him roleplay a species that was pretty much primitive compared to the rest of the party. We got past the whole language barrier eventually by having our envoy Xenoseeker use their Quick Pidgin ability, as well as our Mystic casting Share Language (Which Tzayl was able to cast as well, to help with spell per day loss). I gradually let him understand bits of Common, until they all gained a level, and allowed him to learn Common from a level in Culture.

He was still bound to gear only the Kish have on hand listed in the AP, but allowed that he could have non-Archaic versions, which we flavored as being made with alloy scavenged from Kishalee tech. Having a Dwarven Mechanic with UPBs to spare, didn't hurt either as she eventually built him some gear.

Overall, it actually worked out quite well for the story. I gave the Kish PC all the details of what was happening within the Kish society, and told him of the events which transpired before the Sunrise Maiden landed, and he was able to act as a guide, and eventually translator for the party. It really helped bridge the gap between the Kish and the party, and gave more urgency, and feeling to wanting to help the Kish out. I especially enjoyed his reactions to advanced technology, and all the universe had to hold. Our Mystic pretty much shattered his perception of reality daily, using Mindlink to teach him new things. Great fun!


sebastokrator wrote:

Blowing the thing up without looking into it seems like a way to miss a lot of leads. Having said that, the asteroid mostly is a dead end investigative-wise. You learn a lot about the cult, but the adventure could proceed almost as written: after blowing up the rock the corpse fleet attacks, PCs capture a pilot, interrogate the pilot and head to Eox to investigate further.

My problem was a little different. My party wanted to investigate the rock but they were scared of landing the ship on the asteroid; they worried that the cult would return while they were exploring and destroy the unguarded ship.

If your players are worried about the ship being taken over, I would just remind them that the Sunrise Maiden is equipped with an artificial personality upgrade. The AI is able to make Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks. If anyone suspicious comes along, it could at least assess the situation, and contact the crew.