King Zuuga

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***** Pathfinder Society GM. 240 posts (357 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 33 Organized Play characters.


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Grand Lodge

Ascalaphus wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
A three piece rod.
The Rod of N+1 Parts?

All things being equal, I would rather have N+1 charges.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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I agree with Lau about it showing up as a mechanic in other places, and I have also encountered it. But, for me, from a design standpoint, I would suggest a simple solution where special effects - like gases, diseases, whatever - have a level to them. And, when they have a special ability - like bypassing armor, instead of just arbitrarily saying they bypass all protections or dissolve the seals with acid, etc., they should resolve against the level of the protection conferred by the PC's item in a tier-appropriate manner (or maybe there is an item saving throw or other bonus to the PC save).

It's certainly simple to say it just bypasses, but maybe it merits some relative level considerations. The existing mechanic resolves vs. the player save and maybe that's good enough. But, if a player walks away from a scenario saying "my level 10 environmental seals weren't good enough? really??", then maybe it needs other mechanical consideration.

And, if you want to bypass immunity conferred by a spell in special circumstances, then add a "penetrating" effect that has to make an SR check that tracks the PC caster level and spell level or something similar. I'd have to think about it, but that would be one way to do it, which might then be a case for upper-level Life Bubbles that could be downcast. It's more detail...maybe it adds no value and level 1 immunity is good enough as the simplest solution. I don't know.

There might be a design gap in this general area of the SF rules, but YMMV.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Thanks - appreciate the time, response and clarification on the above! Enjoyed the scenario and diverse encounters. I missed some meta, but need to play more back-story scenarios. Tough encounters in a party of 4 at 7-8. Still reflecting on it, especially as a mystic vs. mind-affecting immunity. Wish these things had 4-player adjustments! ;-)

Grand Lodge 5/5

I agree that the biochem weapon should not bypass Life Bubble as explicitly stated by the spell, the weapon description and the UCR definition of Immunity, but table GMs are ruling that it does. And, honestly, this general class of issue has happened to me in other scenarios (with the whole 'special gas' thing). We all go with the table GM call in the interest of fun and focus, but some things occasionally deserve additional discussion.

So, I have posed this issue as an open question in the hope that the discussion/clarification might help eliminate adjudication issues for this scenario that result in players paying fame unnecessarily for remove affliction for diseases they never should have contracted (which happened at our table, but not to me). Maybe not a huge deal in a 6 fame scenario, but also not a correct adjudication in my opinion.

PFS/SFS rules can be complex, and since this scenario includes a special item that bypasses normal protections, it would be helpful if it had one additional clarifying sentence about not bypassing magical immunity so that GMs can adjudicate with certainty in the moment vs. applying what they believe is a good-natured best guess at RAI. It happens vs. time, prep, rules complexity, focus, etc.

Alternately, if there is some reason why it should bypass magical immunity, then in the interest of rules clarity, it requires extra explanation. In RPGs, things aren't always black and white and maybe the author had other intentions, etc. I don't know the answer to that one.

Per RAW, I don't see a reason for adjudication variation in this instance, as above, but maybe there is a different rules perspective that I'm not seeing or parsing correctly. It happens to all of us periodically, and the post-game discussion and clarification benefits the overall learning/adjudication process that makes us better GMs.

Grand Lodge

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BNW - haha! Good luck trying to borrow it.

Well...there is the doshko for Damoritosh, for example. But, I see what you mean. It looks like there is this old thread on mystics, priests and favored weapons.

And now I am wondering if there is a blessing for Kadrical as part of Divine Blessing. Probably not.

Grand Lodge

What is the favored weapon of Kadrical, The Covetous Protector?

Grand Lodge 5/5

In part 3, there is an issue that requires rules clarification relating to the biochem weapon, as follows:

Biochem Weapon:

The text of the biochem weapon states that: "This is an inhaled physical track disease (Fortitude DC 17) that bypasses the protections offered by armor."

Life Bubble, as a spell (not armor) vs. inhaled diseases, should logically provide immunity to this effect.

Life Bubble states: "It also makes the targets immune to harmful gases and vapors, including inhaled diseases and poisons as well as spells with a harmful gaseous effect."

So, unless the biochem weapon were to state that it specifically bypassed magical immunity (which goes beyond the moderate protection offered by armor environmental seals), then the PC with Life Bubble should be immune to the effect. Otherwise, if it did bypass Life Bubble, then there should be some explanation/rationale.

Please provide an explicit ruling on this issue and supplement or correct the scenario text accordingly. Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Other issues that arose during gameplay were:

1. What happens on critical hit with the snare? Is the initial 2d6 damage doubled for the crit?

2. Can this spell only target 1 creature per cast, or, while concentrating, can the caster decide to target another creature within range and just roll to hit it.

3. If the spell can be moved to another creature, does the originally-targeted creature still retain the "entangled effect" after a failed save? Or, does entangled go away when the caster targets someone else?

Grand Lodge

Also, as with the PF version of the spell, it requires concentration (standard action). So, if there is no definition for what happens with that standard action (such as the snare attempting a maintain grapple check, as in the PF version), then the PC can take no other standard action (like making another attack roll with the snare or using a standard to maintain the grapple). So, either there needs to be additional spell text, or the only thing possible on the caster side is basic concentration as a standard action to maintain the spell (including moving the target as defined in the spell), implying a reflex save each round and nothing more.

Grand Lodge

Thanks -- anything that helps fill in the gaps with formal definition!

Grand Lodge

No adjudication involving KAC makes sense to me. The spell defines the attack vs. EAC and the caster is not immediately present for the target to attack. But, multiple adjudication decisions are possible = huge table variation. It needs formal definition.

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ectoplasmic Snare looks like a very interesting spell. However, it appears to need more definition for how the grapple effect is supposed to work.

On the Pathfinder side, the original Occult Adventures version of Ectoplasmic Snare had more definition.

So...breaking down the Starfinder version:
The basic mechanic of the spell is clear: "Make a ranged attack roll against your target’s EAC. If you hit, the target can attempt a Reflex save. On a successful save, the target is entangled for the duration. If the target fails, it is grappled and takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage each round it remains so." No problem so far.

However, problems begin to occur with "If the target escapes the grapple...."

Both versions call out 1 round/level max duration and concentration for each round, but the Starfinder version omits all the other clarifying text.

So, are we supposed to assume that it switches from an EAC attack roll to a KAC+8 CMB attack maintain model? Or does the caster maintain against EAC+8, since it's ectoplasmic? Do we use Caster Level and Primary Stat as the modifiers (at +2 because the target is grappled) to maintain (as implied by, and defined in, the CMB section of Technomancer:Telekinesis)? Or, does this spell bypass Starfinder grapple mechanics and just require concentration to auto-maintain with a basic reflex save each round from the target against the original spell DC (maybe more like trying to escape an Aqueous Orb in Pathfinder)?

There is nothing for the target to attack, so they probably can't swap the grapple with a CMB attack. But, they might be able to use Acrobatics to try to escape. Should there be a skill check vs. the caster's Caster Level + Primary Stat + 10? The problem is that it's not defined, either generally or specifically.

There is also no definition for the snare having hit points in the Starfinder version, so destruction does't seem like an option.

Paizo Devs - could you please clarify exactly how the maintain/escape mechanics are supposed to work for the Starfinder version of Ectoplasmic Snare? Thanks!

Grand Lodge

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A creature is not a receptacle you dirty, no-good blood benders! ^_^

Grand Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Official Clarification:...You cannot take a Mk 1 of an item and "pay the difference" to upgrade it to the Mk 2 version of that item using Chronicle sheet access.

Thanks, Thurston! I really appreciate you taking the time to clarify this issue to help ensure we make legal SF chronicle purchases! I will wait another level to legally upgrade my PC.

Unfortunately, like BNW, I think this outcome makes SFS chronicles a bit less useful. Was your answer meant to include ability gems (as in SFS#1-21 upper subtier, which was the basis for my question)?

If so, please consider a possible change to this rule in the future. For example, an alternate interpretation might be that anything Starfinder PCs find, they turn into the Lorespire Complex for review that, in turn, gives them access to an equivalent "genericized" item (or maybe a delta cost upgrade), rather than PCs just being stuck with only that specific item.

There might be a precedent for this latter interpretation based on the magic ammunition PFS Chronicle FAQ that says that if you find +1 frost bolts, you can purchase the same enchantment for different equally enchantable ammunition. This FAQ implies that (PFS) chronicle items have a certain malleability (perhaps involving an equivalent exchange service from the Pathfinder Society in Absalom after they receive the loot).

But again, thanks for the clarification! If you did not mean to include personal upgrades/ability gems in your ruling, could you please let us know?

Grand Lodge 5/5

I definitely agree with you that the upgrade should work, but as found treasure listed on a chronicle, I do not agree that it necessarily represents finding general access to an item type or someone willing to do something for you.

The most common interpretation would be that all chronicle items are specific treasure, unless provided by a service boon -- such as "race x offers you access to a mk 2 ability crystal for your services" where the upgrade would then be intuitive.

If the intent is to be able to use found treasure items for upgrades, then it would be ideal if:
A: The chronicle text said so (as in "mk 2 ability crystal or upgrade")
B: There were a general SFS OP ruling about using any/all listed treasure items for delta upgrades if you already own the base item

And, as far as I can tell, neither A nor B exist, and I don't want my PC to end up in CS retcon purgatory as a consequence of assuming that upgrades using found items are OP legal.

So, if there are no earlier discussions or rulings, then an official OP/dev response would be helpful in answering this question.

Grand Lodge 5/5

In SFS, are we allowed to treat higher level ability crystals (or other upgradeable items, however short the list may be) on Starfinder chronicles as upgrades, or do we have to buy them as the exact item at the stated price as shown on the chronicle?

For example, if a chronicle sheet lists:

"mk 2 ability crystal (6,500; item level 7; limit 1)"

...can we use it as an upgrade to a mk 1 ability crystal on a pc for the delta cost?

While there is a general rule regarding this kind of upgrade, the inclusion on a chronicle is specific and doesn't grant that it can be used as a delta upgrade. However, if it were possible to use these items as upgrades, then it would make them much more useful on a landscape of chronicle items that are usually not very useful.

I searched and couldn't find any other discussion on this issue. So, if anyone knows of any similar questions or official answers, please post them here. Thx.

Grand Lodge 5/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I was just hoping to retrain an ability point and found this thread. The SFS retraining options are woefully inadequate.

You can really only retrain the levels you just added? 99% of the time, that will never be necessary. The retraining that PCs need is to be able to retrain something older when they realize they have made a longer-term error that affects them down the road (that wasn't readily apparent at the time).

So...now I have to wait another 2 levels to be able to do what I wanted to do.

The mnemonic editor appears to be a "mostly harmless" (or useless) item.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Thanks. That helps.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Mine was awarded after the printed deadline, so is there an actual deadline or was it extended or eliminated because the VO corps didn't receive new RSP package player boons in a timely manner?

Grand Lodge 5/5

What is the actual time limit on this boon, if any? The printed text says 8/17/2017 to 6/14/2018, but mine wasn't even awarded until 7/13/18 (after the deadline) because no other RSP boons were available at the time.

Is there an errata on the timeframe of this boon?

Grand Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The race boon in this scenario is poorly implemented.

The *cheapest* it would be is around 3000 credits if you happened to encounter this scenario at exactly the start of 3rd level. If you didn't encounter it until later in the upper subtier range, then the cost would be significantly higher (approx. 2x...and even less worth it than at the 3000 credit level).

So, what's the mechanical reward reason that upper-level players are being penalized for the same scenario boon (proportional wealth tax or not) that lower-level players earn much more cheaply in an already overpriced Starfinder economy? The proportional cost doesn't really work.

Why isn't it a straight checkbox boon like regular RSP boons or capped at a low (or even fixed) per-checkbox cost...like forgoing dayjob, etc.?

Like many things on Starfinder chronicles (including all of the gear on this chronicle), it is of low utility. But, I guess that ensures it will be suitably rare (read: rarely redeemed).

So, when players finish this scenario, they get:
- an unwieldy, expensive race boon
- a mundane, lighting trinket
- the typical chronicle items that they could buy without them being on a chronicle, except for the rebreather that they would probably never buy anyway before personal upgrades and better basic armor or other critical purchases. And, by the time they could afford an optional rebreather after more important purchases, they wouldn't need it on a chronicle @ level+2.

Cynically, the most interesting thing to do with this chronicle is to pay for the overpriced Khizar then suffocate it by making it wear the filtered rebreather that provides fresh air and filters out all the CO2. ^_^

Grand Lodge

Thanks - you too. Everything is explained in earlier posts and there does need to be an upper limit.

Grand Lodge

Honestly, because of the failure of the SF CRB to adequately define the upper end of Overburdened state, I really don't care too much about bulk when it comes to the corner cases or spontaneous or creative player actions. If the PCs want to move something and it fits reasonably into the above framework, whether or not it has exactly defined bulk doesn't matter. It will be a straight 1 bulk = 10 lb. conversion...maaaybe tempered with similar objects that are defined (if they are), and I don't foresee any major issues or game stoppers. Bulk is a good idea, but it still needs more time in the designer space oven.

The list in my earlier post is just a framework that puts an upper cap on Overburdened and synchronizes that solution with whatever sparse clues the rules provide. It removes, rather than adds, ambiguity.

Hawk wrote:
Defining bulk as you insist makes it impossible to move large bulky creatures via reposition / bull rush.

Aha! Interesting point. But, I see no conflict there. It's clear that SF has eliminated all the size rules, except for very specific things...like what you can run over with a vehicle or how you can disguise yourself. And, unfortunately, just like Overburdened, there is no reasonable cap on the upper end of combat maneuvers. So...another (annoying) rules oversight. The cap should be 1 size category larger as in PF.

However, what SF has that PF doesn't is local gravity effects. So, there will be cases where physical size takes a backseat to other effects that might...manipulate an object or creature. I'm really excited to see how those kinds of things play out.

Anyway - the starting point would be, as above, if you want to bull rush, then the opponent can be no more than 1 size category larger (but with other effect calculations, as the situation warrants). Beyond that, smaller vs. larger was fair game in PF, so it's fair game in SF. Some of the funniest games have been when a smaller creature tries to CMB a larger one...and there are a lot of ways to explain that situation. If you want the space example, imagine Yoda beating the lightsaber daylights out of some larger opponent.

With the elimination of size effects came the elimination of PC-based Trample, Overrun, etc. I think only vehicles can run things over and the rules do specify the size at 2 categories smaller (hmm...oddly specific). And, monsters can trample (one size category smaller - another clue about CMB and size) -- but not PCs (and monsters get multiple attacks and PCs only get 2).

So...back to your hypothetical - your 60 bulk uplifted bear is large and weighs 600+ lbs. He's so big...and the teeth!! (PSA: Remember...you may not intentionally overburden yourself by trying to uplift a bear when already encumbered! ^_^ ). My medium bull rusher charges him, leaps up acrobatically, grabs and twists his fluffy little bear ears, sending him into vestibular spasms and a resulting ursine dizzy spell so disorienting that it causes him to stumble backwards 5' and let out a horrendous Solarian growl. Or, maybe I twisted his ears so well, he falls back an extra 5'. But, it was hard, because I had to beat his KAC+8+5.

Just an example.

As a GM, I will probably cap CMBs at 1 size category larger, but with a cross-calculation with gravity. Living bulk is less of an issue. Every living thing has weak spots for smaller creatures to exploit. And be careful not to mix metaphors. Discussions of PCs vs. static/inanimate objects is not the same thing as direct PC to NPC combat. The difference between inanimate bulk and the bulk of creature is that there are things you can do to creatures to make their bulk respond - trick them, outwit them, annoy or hamper them, acrobaticize them, etc., none of which works on a static, unattended object.

Haha, Backpack! I tumble bull rush your pockets!

Grand Lodge

Thanks. I see what you're saying, and I think it needs clarification at the upper end. By definition, bulk includes size and weight and there's a huge gray area there. Some of the gray is OK and some of it isn't. And, GM discretion is always a required tool in every game.

Your reference to 2x comes from the rules for High Gravity, and I have seen those. But, unfortunately, the 2x rules don't really hold up with the encumbered condition. Since Bulk is supposed to account for size and weight, if you are at the upper limit of unencumbered and gravity is suddenly 2x, then you are now obviously encumbered or worse and maybe all the definition for half move, etc. makes no sense. This is certainly an area where GMs reasonable have to apply common-sense adjudication.

Anyway, I consider the whole bulk/weight/missing upper limit/gravity inter-relationship thing to be a rules deficit that needs fixing and clarification. If Paizo wants to fix it, great. Hopefully, they will. Otherwise, after poring over whatever I can find in the SF CRB and considering Pathfinder and what I think is reasonable as a GM, at my tables, my GM interpretation/adjudication will likely be as follows:

1. Maximum Overburdened limit is 2x STR. It is not infinitely open-ended. Until that 2x point, when becoming unintentionally overburdened, you can stagger around at 5'/rnd, etc. as in the rules (including Pathfinder rules for lifting things off the ground).
2. From 2x-5x GRAVITY, you operate per the defined High Gravity rules, assuming you have not become Overburdened. Otherwise, Overburdened kicks in and you use a simple gravity multiplier (see #8 below).
3. If unintentionally overburdened beyond 2x STR, then the only action you can take is to try to unburden yourself and/or cast spells, etc. Other directional movement is not possible because you are burdened with items that you simply cannot move. But, there are no other harmful effects.
4. Beyond 5x STR, you are pinned as per the Pinned condition and begin to take non-lethal damage as per the Extreme Gravity rules. As per Pinned, you can try an Acrobatics check (standard action) to try to unencumber yourself. As a GM, I would provisionally use a DC that is the bulk of the item x the excess STR multiplier. For example, to escape your full Consumer Backpack (no longer ideally worn, so 1 + 2 bulk inside) of 3 bulk in a situation where you are in the ~5x STR category, it would be DC15. Or, you could try to dump smaller individual items with easier DCs to race against the cumulating non-lethal damage until you can at least get below 5x STR and move 5' again to escape the hazard (if possible). Then, you could try to drag out the gear you shed. Armor might present an interesting challenge because of the time it takes to remove it (heavy armor = 16 rounds, for example).
5. PCs can push, pull or drag objects up to a max of 5x STR (as per Unseen Servant and PF rules) and can work together to accomplish some goal.
6. Stationary objects beyond 5x (possibly combined) PC STR are not pullable, pushable, draggable.
7. Stationary objects from 2x-5x PC STR can be pushed, pulled or dragged at 5'/rnd, but PCs cannot lift, hold or carry them or become voluntarily overburdened (as per the rules).
8. Gravity is a simple multiplier as it affects the weight of objects and the above rules. And, the multipliers above apply to either measures of weight or bulk, since the rules, unfortunately, do not clearly delineate the boundary or conversion and equivocate in their presentation.
9. If a heavy/bulky object falls on a PC, apply the above rules. Depending on the STR multiplier, the PC might be able to push it away (but not lift, hold or carry it), or might need to have others drag, pull or push the object away. Otherwise, if the object is > 5x PC STR, apply the High Gravity non-lethal damage rules until the PC escapes or receives other aid.

I'm not interested in rules ambiguity (or other extensive rules lookups or debates) at the table when I'm GMing. I want the focus to be on the fun, the action, the RP, and the teamwork, and I think it's important to set player expectations before the game starts. The above is extremely fair, reasonable and within the lines...and, more importantly, I see it as necessary to cover the cases where upper limits might occur and where the SF CRB does not include the rules definition. So, maybe it will be of use to others if you have the same questions I do and/or feel the need to resolve this issue.

Thanks to all. I appreciate the technical discussion, and I think I have come to whatever conclusions I can to help me better prepare for all environmental circumstances as a Starfinder GM.

Grand Lodge

Wingblaze wrote:
HoloGnome wrote:
But, this issue requires attention.
I have to disagree. Of all the things that could use attention, this one is, to me, very far down on the list.

It sound like you and others who agree with you don't use a digital/VTT ruleset that has no valid upper bounds for the overburdened condition. I agree with you that it doesn't require a lot of discussion, because it is an extremely simple problem to fix.

And, it's not applying Pathfinder to Starfinder (OK...well maybe it is, but isn't that how the entire ruleset was created?). What...in space, you can't push or pull anything, so, of course, there's no rule for it? Yes, there are many circumstances and variations that GMs manage in every flavor of RPG, but that has always been true and doesn't preclude providing adequate endpoint definitions for the RPG ruleset. There are 3 bulk/CC categories and each one needs 2 defined endpoints.

So, what's the upper limit? There has to be one beyond which you cannot move, push, pull or drag something, and it's called out in Unseen Servant and the Gravity rules. Are those really the only 2 places where something can be defined? It also applies to being involuntarily overburdened through whatever circumstance (gravity being the obvious one, where 5x is the implied limit). You can stagger around in high gravity involuntarily overburdened at MOVE:5, and at 5x, it begins to crush you.

I understand that you can't be voluntarily overburdened, but that's not the issue here. That circumstance only applies to holding or carrying something and not pushing, pulling or dragging.

So, hopefully someone will fix this easy-to-fix problem and FAQ it. Is it a difficult task to add one FAQ sentence that says the upper limit once overburdened (or to push, pull or drag an object) is 5x STR or 2X STR or whatever it is? What's the downside? There is none. It provides necessary structure for VTT rulesets and also baseline structure for GMs.

Grand Lodge

Thurston Hillman wrote:
HoloGnome wrote:

The Keskodai pregen does not appear to have the correct skill bonus for Mysticism.

Keskodai/1 Mysticism Skill Review:
Wisdom (18): +4
Ranks: 1
Mystic Class Skill: +3
Connection Skill (Mysticism/Medicine): +1
Theme Knowledge (Priest): +1 (mysticism is already a class skill of mystics, so +1 bonus to skill)
Total: +10 (vs +9 on the pregen sheet)

(...and the same issue probably propagates forward - haven't looked)

Please review & fix as needed. Thx!

Thanks!

Again, something I'm looking to get compiled and corrected in a future release.

Sorry - I am in error. There is no connection skill until 2nd level. When I was reading through the mystic abilities, I accidentally included it in first. So...+9 is correct.

Grand Lodge

It has gone too far out of its way. For a caster, if a spell replaces a weapon, that is probably a good thing.

Grand Lodge

If it is possible to define the start of encumbered, the end of encumbered, and the start of overburdened with respect to bulk, it is possible to define the maximum overburdened state with respect to bulk (or weight)...and it is a significant failing of the rules not to do so.

Grand Lodge

I noticed something else with respect to Keskodai's languages. The CRB allows the following:

Common, Racial (Shirren, Telepathy), Home Planet (Vesk? Nope), INT bonus (+1: Celestial)

Keskodai/1 comes from Verces, but doesn't have Vercite as a language (the language of his home planet). Was Vesk a typo and supposed to be Vercite?

Grand Lodge

The only way to get official clarification is to post it here. Without that, nothing will change. With it, maybe something will, rare or not. But, this issue requires attention.

And, my spaceship example was obviously intended as hyperbole to make a point.

Unfortunately, common sense doesn't make up for the missing (and required) definition for the upper level of encumbrance.

There could also be a case for 2x STR in the lift-off-the-ground and stagger around mode. Regardless, the upper limit needs definition.

Grand Lodge

Xenocrat: With apologies, I'm just not seeing the value for a spell that lasts for 1 fight and does 1d4 damage. If I'm a mystic and not using the terrain to my advantage to mindthrust or even psychokinetically strangle an enemy at upper level or taking strategic actions (or healing, lifelinking, etc.), I'm not really doing my job. Maybe if Carnivorous lasted 1 hr/level, it would be slightly more useful and maybe it's cheaper than a 6K credit T7 tactical knife (but meh). If Carnivorous were 1 hr/level and conferred an extra attack, it would probably be on everyone's spell list. Super bonus utility, flavor and theme points for some kind of racial or other fusion upgrades (later spell, perhaps, racial synergies, etc., that would upgrade bite...or spell progression for bite with downcasting) that would make it work with poison, disease, acid, bleed or other cool effects...but there's nothing. I see it as a lost space-themed design opportunity and a dead-end spell. Enemies should fear the mystics with enlarged mouths with sharp teeth dripping with acidic saliva like an Alien. A foe could rush in and try to stop such a mystic, but should think twice about facing the well-known wrath of a vicious bite if they interrupt a spell...or if they fail, facing the spell itself.

Pantshandshake: I see what you're saying, but for me, it will probably always be Pathfinder in space, just like Pathfinder has always been better D&D 3.5. I don't know...maybe my opinion will change over time as I play more (or not). But, that being said, from my current level of exposure, I think there are things that partly mitigate the increased cost and reduced slot/level access for casters. Those are: downcasting (which virtualizes a spell at lower slots and provides some flexibility), connection (which offers an extra spell slot/spells known, with automatic progression and replacement), increased BAB progression (which helps casters be slightly better in combat...maybe offering alternatives - have to see how that plays out), and maybe even eliminating concentration checks in favor of AC (which, for me, makes spellcasting more exciting and realistic and inspires casters to be strategic in their use of terrain and cover...including balancing with armor acquisition). These changes are interesting ones where the intent is obviously to shift the balance, but, to me, the cost of spells for primary casters (especially for utility items) is still too high. More generally, my character can't even afford to buy a Ring of Resistance +1 to offset his crappy fort and reflex saves, because it's not upgradeable and the SFS loot curve doesn't seem to support frequent level-based upgrades. So, in the least, it requires long-term purchase plans which are still falling short for me. Chronicle items are usually of little utility in the near term, and I haven't needed or wanted to purchase 1 thing off a SFS chronicle sheet, which is an indication of distorted game balance. Boon spaghetti seems to be more important than mostly mundane chronicle items. There are just no extra credits available. If I were designing chronicle access, I would offer 10-15% off on standard items on chronicles which would encourage players to want to play more games and acquire the rewards on chronicles (especially basic items) to better equip their characters and save some credits to make up for the other cost distortions and non-upgradeability. It would support the players and the business model. But, many chronicle items in PF1 were useless for the same reason and maybe nobody has considered that a subtle shift to the CS cost mechanic would drive increased gameplay.

Grand Lodge

re: extra attacks - I understand. And Carnivorous is, therefore, a spell of marginal utility that nobody should ever take, especially given the cost and nerfing in Starfinder magic. Or, it's about as useful as making everything in Starfinder an insight bonus. My point is that if the designers wanted to make this spell useful or attractive, it should have conferred the bite as an extra natural attack (like NPCs, monsters, etc.). It would hardly be balance-breaking when PCs fight creatures that have multi-attack capability (without -4 to hit on a full attack).

HammerJack wrote:
Also, I don't know where you're getting the idea that the polymorph spell is banned in society. It is legal, according to the additional resources page.

Great - so then Archives of Nethys, the official Starfinder online PRD, needs to be updated, because the mystic spell definitions and the technomancer spell definitions both currently show that none of the polymorph spells are SFS legal.

The additional resources for Alien Archive 2/Polymorph were changed on 12/7/2018. So, why is the official PRD (the main resource I happen to use) still out of sync and what is the enterprise process in place to ensure that when a change occurs to Additional Resources that it is propagated to the online PRD in a timely manner?

Also, my comment above referred to "polymorph spells (plural)," which includes Baleful Polymorph. And, Polymorph is limited/conditionally legal. So, now you know where the idea comes from, and where differences in understanding should be expected owing to the fact that Paizo doesn't keep its critical resources in sync.

Grand Lodge

True...you might just end up with a 0 bonus and a DC of 10...and that, like a R.o.U.S., probably doesn't exist.

Grand Lodge

@Xenocrat - that is certainly RAW from the Full Attack section and I agree with you. But, maybe I wasn't quite clear - my question was really intended to be whether or not spells like Carnivorous were intended to change that limitation (but just omitted).

I realize that Carnivorous doesn't say anything about extra attacks (and therefore doesn't offer them by RAW). But, Carnivorous is kind of a useless spell. However, if it were to offer an extra bite attack like a full-attacking NPC, alien, etc., that would make it much more useful and popular. So, was there any intent to do that? Should spells that offer natural attacks confer them as extra attacks? None of the polymorph spells are PFS-legal...maybe that's why.

Philosophically, who cares about 2d4 damage at 7th level as a caster or even 1d4 damage at 1st that you can do with a stick without having to cast anything and waste a slot? Or, just use a Telekenetic Projectile cantrip for 1d6. OK...piercing damage...whoopee. Get a Needler. Still much cheaper resource-wise.

Known spells, spell slots and spell progression are already very nerfed/borderline in Starfinder, not to mention the 140 credit cost for basic 1st level spells that used to cost 25-50gp in PF or were easily obtainable with prestige.

No pun intended, but Carnivorous is mostly just flavor unless it is intended to offer something more for the very pricey slot or credit use for casters that have much better options available to them.

So, that's why I raised this question. Otherwise, I absolutely agree with you on RAW.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thx, guys. Yeah...I don't know. Some official clarity on this issue would be helpful. Also, if, perhaps, Unseen Servant is vestigial and escaped Starfinder conversion editing, then why repeat the 5x for Extreme Gravity?

The easiest answer is probably just to bring the 5x rule forward from Pathfinder (even if possibly high as Hawk states), because there doesn't seem to be a downside of doing that and the base rules already imply it.

So, options might be:
1. Make one, simple clarification that everyone already understands, treats as familiar and is consistent with existing SF CRB rule definitions.
2. Reject it and then have to address 2 areas where the rules no longer align (Unseen Servant and Extreme Gravity).
3. Do nothing (as Metaphysician says) and force GMs to define something that the rules should have clearly defined (and that has always been defined in the past without any major issues).

If the answer is really #3, then it's probably a 5x Society house rule anyway...or at least it would be at my table. And, I care about this issue, because there is also no clean way to define a digital ruleset for software like Fantasy Grounds without a spec for the upper limit of Overburdened.

Can we spin a giant wheel of Paizo probability? Does Chuck Woolery fit in a space suit? Giant bugs that are too big for Exo-Guardians to collect and drag back to a starship have overrun planet Klendathu. Do you want to know more?

Grand Lodge

Joe Pasini wrote:
NPCs, monsters, aliens—they can all take the full attack full action.

What happens when a PC uses a spell like Carnivorous to get a bite attack?

When they full attack, do they get their normal 2 melee swings + the bite attack?

Grand Lodge

Thanks, Thurston. He's a plucky little mystic and a decent pregen, even at 1st level. His gear cost is > 1000 credits, but maybe that's intentional. He's not only plucky, he's one of the richest grasshoppers in the known universe!

Grand Lodge

Hey Nefreet! True...but it also seems like there are various "min 1" cases in the rules. RP, Carrying Capacity-related conditions, feats, weapon damage, computer tiers, etc. Anyway, the connection DC seems like a straight crossover from PF channeling, with the exception that the Harm Undead feat is too expensive and offers no usage flexibility.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hawk Kriegsman wrote:

There is no maximum bulk when overburdened nor does there need to be.

The rule is quite specific that you cannot be voluntarily overburdened.

So in the example above, no you cannot drag your spaceship or Absalom Station around as that is a voluntary action.

The only time you can be overburdened is when you get hit with an effect that reduces your strength score.

You can not lift, carry, push, pull, etc. anything over your strength score. That is RAW.

Respectfully, that seems more like your interpretation of RAI rather than RAW. The CRB provides no information about pushing, pulling, dragging, etc. and the notion that a PC can't move anything over their strength X 10 (in lbs.) is not really tenable (either from a real-world perspective, or in particular, because the max load spec is missing and there is content that infers otherwise).

SF CRB p. 167 wrote:
"You can’t voluntarily wear or hold an amount of bulk that is greater than your Strength score.

Wearing and holding is not pushing, pulling and/or dragging and makes no comment about the maximum limit in the overburdened state. There is an omission in the carrying capacity rules that warrants attention.

[0 to .5x][>.5x to 1x][>1x to ???]

There is another possible clue in the environmental hazards section on Extreme Gravity.

Extreme Gravity p. 402 wrote:
"A planet where the gravity is at least five times as strong as standard gravity is extremely dangerous to most creatures."

So...again...beyond 5x is the maximum limit. Extreme gravity hazards, however, do not really apply when pushing, pulling or dragging something in normal gravity...but they appear to share a 5x maximum.

In addition, the Unseen Servant spell exactly states the maximum at 5x STR (which is familiar and straight out of the Pathfinder rules...as is Unseen Servant).

Pathfinder Rules wrote:
"A character can generally push or drag along the ground as much as five times his maximum load."

This issue would certainly benefit from a statement from Paizo that addresses and clarifies the missing rules definitions relating to Carrying Capacity and related actions (pushing, pulling, dragging, etc.). In those cases, PCs act on an object at rest tangentially vs. gravity, rather than directly attempting to oppose gravity by carrying or holding something on their person.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Thanks, Thurston.

Grand Lodge 5/5

It is a shame that nobody ever answered this question. I found it while searching for the same issue. After searching, there still doesn't appear to be any update about the possibility of slow progression beyond what was posted in Feb. of 2018, even though there are now at least 4 sanctioned APs (18 modules?) and over 50 scenarios -- over 100XP.

Thread: Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide Update (2018 edition)

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Department of Expectation Management: As a heads up, there's no plan on adding in slow progression yet. Emphasis on the "yet" part of that. I would probably wait for us to get a solid year of two scenarios/month under our belt before we start even considering that.

Paizo - is there any update on SFS slow progression?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Thanks. The Cargo Lifter armor is an interesting item, but doesn't solve the problem of the missing definition.

I want to know the spec for the exact maximum bulk in the Overburdened condition and the only tangential reference appears to be from Technomancer:Unseen Servant, as above.

So, there needs to be an official ruling from Paizo...or if someone can point to an official reference somewhere (other than Unseen Servant, if there is one). This information should have been included in the CRB and should be extremely easy to provide...or confirm (if really intended to be 5x STR).

Also, as above, there doesn't seem to be anything about lifting overhead, pushing, dragging, etc. These actions are straight cross-overs from Pathfinder and need specifications.

Otherwise, cool. My PC is overburdened and doesn't mind a move of 5', so he drags his spaceship around with him when not flying it because there's no stated overburdened maximum. ^_^ Honey - I Shrunk the Encumbrance!

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Where is the maximum bulk defined that a PC can carry in the overburdened condition in Starfinder?

Unencumbered: up to 1/2 strength
Encumbered: up to total strength
Overburdened: greater than total strength...to what maximum bulk? 5x strength?

For example, Unseen Servant states: "It has an effective Strength score of 2 (so it can lift up to 20 pounds or 2 bulk or drag up to 100 pounds or 10 bulk)."

I didn't see anything in the FAQ about this issue and there don't seem to be any errata or updates. I tried searching the forums, but no luck there either.

Where are the drag, lift overhead, etc. limits as in PF?

Grand Lodge

Starfinder Backpack:

"Backpacks have numerous pockets for storing items that you might need while adventuring and include industrial-strength straps for attaching additional items for easy access. Padded bands strap across the wearer’s chest and waist to evenly distribute the backpack’s weight, and it can carry roughly 2 bulk of items. When fitted properly and worn, the bulk of the backpack itself does not count against your bulk carried (though it does if you carry it in your hands), but the bulk of any items within it does."

Consumer Backpack: +1 to STR
Industrial Backpack: +2 to STR

Grand Lodge

Connection Power wrote:
"If a connection power allows a saving throw to resist its effects, the DC is equal to 10 + half your mystic level + your Wisdom modifier."

Is there supposed to be a "(minimum: 1)" after "half your mystic level" or is there no intended level DC boost until 2nd level?

Edit: Never mind - not in PF cleric either and round down, etc. But, maybe this will help if anyone ever has this question.

Grand Lodge

The Keskodai pregen does not appear to have the correct skill bonus for Mysticism.

Keskodai/1 Mysticism Skill Review:
Wisdom (18): +4
Ranks: 1
Mystic Class Skill: +3
Connection Skill (Mysticism/Medicine): +1
Theme Knowledge (Priest): +1 (mysticism is already a class skill of mystics, so +1 bonus to skill)
Total: +10 (vs +9 on the pregen sheet)

(...and the same issue probably propagates forward - haven't looked)

Please review & fix as needed. Thx!

Grand Lodge

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
motteditor wrote:
Shaun Hocking wrote:

So if we assume thew 1/4 inch spur from the main road complex to the D6 marker is 1/2 mile, that gives us a scale of 4 miles/inch, or roughly 2 hours of travel per inch if on foot. That looks to match both the idea that these are semi-independent settlements outside of town, and that things like the traitor's camp are far enough away to prevent being casually discovered by folks around Arwyll's Stead.

I am just winding up another run of this fun module, and these are the rough distances I have used in the past:

Spoiler:
0-Point: Arwyll Stead
D1:~2 miles
D2:~5 miles
D3:~7.5 miles
D4:~10.5 miles
D5:~9.5 miles
D6:~11 miles
IC:~11.5 miles
TC:~2 miles (river crossing + crocodile! ^_^), ~6 miles (land)
ER(from TC):~4 miles (land + switchbacks)
DC15 Survival to follow trails off-road based on rough verbal descriptions or DC10/auto with specific orc aid and/or maps.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Below is a modified stat block for an unchained version of the eidolon, if anyone wants to use it. It is approximately the same, but with fewer appendages, now medium size, no pounce, no jumping or trip bonuses (biped), no size bonuses, and fewer evolutions (esp. no magical ones). Wherever possible, I tried to make it match the original stat block, albeit with changes and corrections. Also, when paring down evolutions to match the unchained requirements, the script for the eidolon is direct combat. So, at level 4 a 1x/day acid splash and magical attacks serve no purpose. In addition, there is no improved claw damage or tail. In a cave setting and in terms of matching the original intent, mobility (climb) outweighs extra claw damage, especially since the unchained version is slightly stronger.

Skill rank allocation (12) is as follows: Acrobatics: 1; Bluff: 0; Climb: 0; Disable Device: 4; Perception: 3; Stealth: 4; no bonus INT ranks

Extra class skills are: Acrobatics, Climb, Disable Device, Escape Artist (EA is my choice/not specified, etc. and there were no additional ranks to use anyway.)

I think the stat block below should be correct for unchained, but please post any changes, as needed.
----------------------

Shelzeba (Yvogga's Eidolon) CR 2
Unchained Eidolon (devil)
LE medium outsider (extraplanar, evil, lawful)
Init +5; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
----------------------
DEFENSE
----------------------
AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +2 armor, +4 natural)
hp 19 (3d10+3)
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +3; +4 save vs. poison
Defensive Abilites evasion; Resist fire 5, acid 10, cold 10
----------------------
OFFENSE
----------------------
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d8+3), 2 claws +6 (1d4+3)
Special Attacks none
----------------------
TACTICS
----------------------
During Combat Yvogga’s eidolon protects its master diligently, making claw and bite attacks against PCs and providing the summoner with a flanking bonus whenever it can.

Morale Shelzeba fights to the death alongside Yvogga.
----------------------
STATISTICS
----------------------
Str 17, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +3, CMB +6, CMD 17
Feats Improved Initiative; Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +5, Bluff +8, Climb +11, Disable Device +8, Perception +6, Stealth +8; Racial Modifiers: +8 Bluff (skilled), +8 Climb (climb speed)
Languages Common, Elven, Infernal, Orc, Varisian
SQ base form (biped - claws, limbs[arms], limbs[legs]); base evolutions (resistance[fire], skilled[bluff]); 3 bonus evolutions at CL4 (bite, improved damage[bite], improved natural armor); extra evolution feat (climb), link, share spells

Grand Lodge 5/5

In Part 3, Sacrifice, the eidolon appears to be built incorrectly. As a pre-unchained summoner, Yvogga is a CL4 and the eidolon shows 10 evolutions instead of 8 (7 from the table @ CL4 and +1 for Yvogga's Extra Evolution feat). Am I missing something somewhere for the other 2? Hmm.

For example:
evolutions: (1. basic magic [acid splash], 2. bite, 3. claws, 4. climb, 5. improved damage [bite], 6. improved damage [claws], 7. limbs [legs, 2], 8. magic attacks, 9. pounce, 10. tail)

However, for PF1e, the summoner switched to unchained summoner in 2015. Therefore, the encounter is invalid.

For PFS1e, the F4 encounter needs some updating, especially including changing the eidolon into an unchained one, most likely of the devil subtype. Also, beyond the base evolutions and appropriate body type, it should only have 3 additional evolutions per the unchained table at unchained summoner CL4.

Anyway - just a heads up to GMs.

Grand Lodge

Thanks for the excellent spreadsheat math, chappies!

And, excuse the necro, but here is a handy spreadsheet that may help:
Encumbrance Tables for Bipeds and Quadrupeds

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