The basic idea is to help with the fact that...Dex is kinda overloaded stat-wise. It does just so much and melee guys have to invest in it for AC even if they use strength for melee.
So this version helps deal with AC issues without giving a higher potential. They are good for people who well...don't dodge. They endure assaults. Heavy armour shields also give some more bonus when you fight defensively or take the full defence action.
All zenith require resetting your on while attuned abilities, so they suffer from that as well. All that being said, you don't have to plan a specific one 3 rounds ahead. You start attuning whatever is appropriate, and then use a paricular zenith of it's worth it once you are fully attuned. It's not a race to use your zeniths,
Yeah but the Photon attuned (But not fully attuned) stuff tends to be a lot more useful on the way there than the Graviton. There isn't really anything as generally useful on the graviton side as Plasma Sheath. Defy Gravity is likely the closest and well...you can get flight like that from a Jump Pack pretty easily (And actual hovering flight before level 12). Graviton suffers because it relies a lot more heavily on your standard actions, conflicting with Stabbing Things, while Photon enhances Stabbing Things which your non-revelation class features are all about making better.
Also I'd like to point out that black hole is a low level zenith revelation. After you have other zenith revelations it's likely that you won't use it very often simply because you now have better options. It is a 1st level ability after all. It does have some scaling built in so at level 17 it has a range of 40ft which is more usable though still not great. But by level 9 you could have time dialation, starquake, or wormholes you could use instead.
Yeah, though all of those suffer heavily from the 'Multi-round chargeup' part. Time Dilation is a fantastic power to open with...but you can't. You can only use it multiple rounds into the fight after some foes are likely downed or people have spread out. By the same token, Wormholes are really, really cool...and you can't use them outside of combat (Since you can't be fully attuned outside of combat) where such mobility would be really handy and you can't use it first round of the battle to help get your allies into position. You need to know 'I'll need wormholes a few rounds from now'.
Which sorta runs into my comment that the powers are fiddly enough as to be too situational for their own good. In comparison, a 4e controller (As that's likely a pretty good comparison in role with a graviton-based solarian) can open up a battle with slows and stuns, rather than needing to wait multiple turns and can do damage while they also control.
Actually, a Prone guy behind cover would be at a net +8 (+4 for prone, +4 for cover) to his defence effectively. It's +4 AC vs ranged attacks. So if you do that, you've actually made the situation WORSE for the ranged attackers (Likely the majority) in your party. The one situation it's a benefit is a melee attacker, who doesn't really tend to mind cover much himself because he can personally go around or over it.
I'd personally say the system. I mean, look at the debate I'm having about the Black Hole power. We are needing to debate such edge cases for it to be useful while the Photon version is beneficial 'When you have dudes in that area, full stop'.
My issue is that I don't think Graviton is powerful enough for how very situational it is, doubly so when it requires a multi-turn charge up. So you need to make sure those guys are STILL in place 3 turns after you decide to do it in the first place, since you needed to charge graviton. They'd really have benefited from looking at D&D 4e's Defenders and Controllers for how to make it work.
Black hole isn't an inherently bad idea BUT it's fiddly enough that the reasons to ever use it are so very situational as to make it not very useful. If it had say, been a free action (So you can yank guys foward then full attack them or run up, yank a guy and charge him) or if it had been sticky, you could have kept people out of cover rather than forcing your allies to ready actions because you can't be sure the guy will still be there when the target arrives etc.
For example, I'm working on some Gravity weapons for some homebrew and this is the keyword I'm using for the heavy weapons to try and make them sticky.
Event Horizon: A creature that fails a save against an event horizon weapon cannot move through any method until the end of it's next turn.
It's not that a situation can't be created where a graviton power could theoretically be useful, it's that being 'Sometimes, situationally useful' isn't really good game design when Solarians DO have to choose between graviton and photon (Since they need to charge up each mode individually).
2. But it would rely on them already being right up against it.3. But is also costing the damage the Solarian himself is doing. Unless you've got like...a dozen...PCs with pistols I don't think there is a net gain there.
4. Actually, you couldn't. They'd impact the ground if you were below them and stop. Black hole can only pull in a straight line and is stopped by any hard object.
That is very much me... but I don't think it's only me. ;)
Not but by the same token: A game not working in it's own, designed scenarios that is set up is a problem. A GM dealing with it also requires the GM to be aware that there is a problem, something most new GMs would not innately know.
Mostly true, but I did want to point out 1 thing, full attacking a target behind cover is effectively a -8 to hit. That's a LOT of penalties...
That is true. However, at level 20 for example? Full attack against guy in cover: 62.37DPR Single attack against guy outside of cover? 62.79DPR. All the work of the Solarian resulted in...less than a single point of damage per round (While costing the Solarian the ability to attack himself). An extra attack (And especially 2 extra attacks) makes up for a lot of penalties. Against a guy in partial cover, the soldier is better off with the full attack.
The one time it makes a noticeable benefit to shoot the guy after he's yanked out is if he's got Improved Cover (Which is stuff like a gun port in a tank or castle wall).
I honestly rather doubt that the loss of the Solarian's damage is really being made up for by the increased damage from the guys with the pistols.
SFS module sales aren't an indicator of how many people are in Organized Play and you have to know it. Kindly don't talk to me about bad faith.
Mind you, at the same time 'The modules designed for the game' is likely going to be a rather common situation for players, so they are a very good place to use a test for functionality rather than any individual players game.
Every RPG is someone's first and first time GMs are more likely to use modules.
The issue there is that Black Hole can only pull. So several of those situations are very, very limited.
1: Yeah, handy there (Though it requires you to be already floating yourself)
While the mental image of a Solarian suiciding off a cliff with an enemy like it's SSB is entertaining, it's also a very limited situation.
My issue is mostly that the Solarian's gravity stuff has trouble...doing that it's supposed to do. Black Hole can't pull people over their cover or keep them with you once you've pulled them in, it pulls a shorter distance than it's range so you are not even certain to have them in AoO range by when it is done, you don't have any ability to keep them up close when you do...and that was your entire turn doing so.
Which is why I think the Solarian has issues. It's control side has a lot of holes in it that make it difficult for it to really hold a candle to it's damage side. Doubly so when it's one of the top damage classes in the game if you do go damage...but it's control isn't really fantastic compared to alternatives. Like, 'Has a cyro weapon' puts a Soldier generally as a more reliable control alternative since they can prevent guarded steps and halve movement speed with every attack.
I can't speak personally to strength or anything (someday I'll get to play I'm sure of it TwT ) but I do feel that Black Hole is a bit blown up. It requires being fully Graviton Attuned (frequently the worse attunement, especially at level 1) and as stated doesn't work through solid objects. Which cover usually is. So since it has to be straight towards you that means you have to be behind enemy lines to use it, and also means you have to be outside of melee range (at least when activating it) which as a melee class is annoying. And then as stated, there's little stopping them from turning around and walking back into cover, unless you pulled them all the way into threatening range (note that the area affected and the range it pulls is a good 10 foot difference, position will be vital for using this) and can get an AoO as they leave.
Yeah, Black Hole really needed some sort of 'You can make as many attacks of opportunity as you want for a turn after using this' effect or simply saying that the event horizon prevents people leaving the pulled area for a bit. Something to make the AOE pull actually work well against multiple people, since a single AoO a round and no way to prevent movement hurts it a lot.
The MAD and the general weakness of Graviton mode is the big issue with it as a class. Statwise they need Str and Cha (Hitting Stuff and Key Ability Score) but as a light armour class they also highly need dex for good AC, while Str and Cha also give no bonus to any saving throws.
Graviton Mode generally has the issue that it's abilities are limited or have Skornergy with the rest of the class. Black Hole can drag people but without Combat Reflexes existing, you're not really going to do much to keep people there once yanked. It lacks stickiness, which hurts it when that also takes a Standard Action to use in a class with a lot of competition for Standard Actions (Like being able to charge and put all your offence to use). Photon Mode in comparison has stuff that enhances what you already were going to do.
It's not an unplayable class by any means but it does have a few more holes in it's design than others do.
I'm...not really sure what they mean. Casters need to hit EAC now rather than the comically low touch AC but most spells that hit EAC let you use your caster stat rather than your dex/strength to hit.
As the many whiners-about-Solarians will tell you, Solarian Revelations are often not as powerful as spells wielded at a comparable level (and often require Resolve Point spends to use), which of course is the tradeoff for being able to use them much more frequently.
That and many Solarian revelations require you to be fully attuned. Which is 3 turns and can only happen in combat. So while they can, theoretically, be used more times per day...it relies on your combats lasting rather a long time to even get 2 uses/encounter.
But if the only way to win a combat is to deplete hp, then the character who is best at doing damage is always the best at combat. It forces optimization for damage and makes characters of the same class all turn out similar. If there are a variety of ways to end a fight, then everybody gets a chance to shine, and multiple builds are viable. If it's hp only, then if I want to be good at combat I have to make the exact best soldier recommended by the optimization boards
No? You can have people who are good at crowd control, people who are good at defending others, people who are good at buffing/debuffing. The end goal is to deplete HP yes but people have a variety of options rather than it just being a damage race. Not everyone needs to be a striker.
Heck, I mean, I'm literally working on a class based on that right now. A martial class more based on either supporting allies or punishing enemies than direct damage.
As an aside, I am utterly against any system where "hp damage" is the only way to win fights. There should always be room for creative and clever play, whether involving magic or not. I have absolutely no problem with spells being able to get around hp, as long as it's not guaranteed and doesn't become repetitive or boring.
While I loathe the idea of things being able to just bypass HP. It trivialises the combat system and also has the issue that if you don't use HP, you don't have something that makes ending the fight a progression rather than a random chance. Colour Spray for example works exactly the same round 1 and round 10 and does not affect your allies but HP damage works WITH your allies, as they are all working towards the same endgame as everyone else. Save or Lose is something I never want to see come back. I mean, right now we have exactly 1 PC save or die in the game and it's the capstone of the Soldier class. Introducing spells that take someone out of a fight in a single roll trivialises that capstone.
I think I've been arguing more 'We shouldn't'. I mean, we've seen it be done with the Starfarer's Companion which was an abomination unto good game design. It's less 'Can it be done' and more 'What does it really add to the game to add those extra spell levels and will it do more harm than good', with me personally believing it would be opening Pandora's box.
The spell list we got was one page long (per class). It's less than half the list in the PF CRB for sorcerers even if you only include the sorcerer spells below 6th level. Heck, I haven't counted, but I think it's shorter than the Bard list. While there are spells for doing probably everything I want (they did a pretty good job of giving a variety, even if they severely limited the length of the list), there aren't a lot of them, by comparison to pick and choose from. In some spell levels, I have 1-3 options where I used to have 5-10, per kind of spell I'd normally take. On top of that I get less spells known and less slots to cast them with. Because of that, any caster I build is going to be forced to use a gun like any non-spellcaster much of the time in order to contribute.
So, what sort of spells are missing from it? And how do you propose to make spellcasters pay dosh like other people do for weapons with a hypothetical 'Spellcaster who only casts spells'? Wealth By Level still exists, after all.
I'd also point out that right now? The spell list is vastly, VASTLY longer than the feats list and the feats list is for everyone, not just spellcasters.
If it's a combat problem? Generally so. Save-or-Die effects are pretty bad from a game design perspective as they mean the spellcaster is playing an entirely different game to everyone else.
Anyway: The idea that spellcasters don't do hit point damage is a bit silly. The three most iconic D&D spells are - Magic Missile, Fireball, Lightning Bolt. All of them do damage.
The easiest fix, and the one that would prevent everyone from complaining about balance, would probably be to introduce more options for damaging cantrips. That way a caster can at least feel like they are contributing when they can't spend a precious spell slot. But there should be options here, so that the flavor can be customized.
You'd still want it to be a lot worse than a Soldier is at combat because well...that's your least capabilities, while the soldier's at-will damage is his entire thing. He lacks the massive versatility of a spellcaster with all those non-combat spells.
You'd also want to make them have to spent a lot of money on because you don't want to have one class have a massive amount of free cash just sitting about others don't...and there we go, how about that as a solution? Introduce magic staffs/wands etc that are a type of weapon for spellcasters, while still being rules-wise just the same. No, you don't have a laser rifle. You've got a Staff of Fire. You've not got a cryro pistol, you've got a wand of freezing.
I mean, it worked for Hexen and Ziggurat. We even already have a couple in the Shadow Staffs from the Alien Archive.
And which fun toys is that? What things are needed that can only exist in a 7-9 spell slot but also won't break the game?
Yeah but 5th level spells are currently designed to work with people who are working with a 6th level progression. A 9th level guy would get them a lot earlier and that would snap game balance in half because they are not based on Caster Level but on Spell Level for power.
9th level being on par with 18th level capabilities also seems kinda overpowered, unless people only get a single 9th level spell they know. Other classes get ONE 18th level capability, not an array of them.
No one has ever successfully explained to me what about 9th level casting is inherently broken. Presuming any individual problem spell(s) are removed, what is it about 9th level casting that innately gets people so worked up? Bear in mind, and no one ever addresses this point, that the weakest 3.5 class ever published by WotC(the Healer), had 9th level spell casting.
Then what would 9th level spells actually add to the game? If you propose they not actually be more powerful than 6th level spells. As that's the issue right now, 6th level damage spells? They are pretty damn good at doing damage and anything higher than them would start to outclass the soldier.
Basically: What would 7+ spells actually add? What sort of spells need to exist that the system can't handle right now when 6th level blasting spells are already pretty damn comparable with an equal level combat character.
You don't need to add to the abilities of non-caster classes to make up for it. They have weapon and armor proficiencies, which the pure casters would lose. Thus, a pure caster who was added in would already be balanced with existing classes.
No? Weapons and armour proficiency doesn't help much in non-combat, which was expressly what I asked about. Combat spells for higher levels you can easily add 'Bigger damage numbers' but for non-combat you need to expand the capabilities themselves as there isn't a heap of numbers to directly affect.
That's called 'A technomancer'. They have unique tricks (Like Harmful spells) that other mages don't and have a lot of spells still.
I also question well...what would 7-9 spells add and how would you balance that with non-combat stuff? What would you add to non-magical classes that lets them keep up with that expanded magical capabilities? Heck, what do 7-9 spells add that isn't about right now other than 'Being able to say you have 7-9 spells'?
I expect to see full casting classes in a supplement at some point. There's nothing innately overpowered in the 9 level caster chassis - in fact, the weakest 3.5 base class was a 9 level caster. I say bring on the space psorcle. I think the only reason we didn't get one in the core book is page count, not some unknown grand design purpose.
What would that ADD though that introducing other 6th level casters wouldn't? Beyond introducing more stuff, more powerful stuff to outdo non-spellcasters outside of combat?
I'm not begrudging Joe his advantage - that's what his class does, and he does it well, good for him - otherwise there would be no point to the soldier class. But at that kind of disparity I'm inclined to think that I'm far more useful trying to make sure he gets to attack rather than trying to attack myself. Sure, ok, I can accept that is what my class is meant to do, and that's my best role in combat. But that still makes it hard to justify to myself the cost of spending on a weapon or the 2 feats to learn to use that weapon. Especially if my end point is (substantially) less than 50% chance to hit.
There is an issue with this, however. You are comparing pc vs pc math, when PCs and monsters use different math now.
As you will see, the Mystic/Technomancer (See the Pistol Dork tab) actually keeps a pretty good chance of hitting the monster at every level.
Part of the issue with introducing 'Now with full casting!' classes is that it would really take away from the Mystic and Technomancer, who are already fluffwise Next Evolution of Spellcasting. It would push them back to 'That guy who's not really a full spellcaster'.
That and the massive, massive balance issues that come with fullcasting. They'd need to introduce a lot more non-combat abilities for martial classes there (And honestly, some like the soldier already could do with such).
Jimbles the Mediocre wrote:
Starfinder has, I think, replaced the concept of Prestige classes with the new archetype system (which should not, under any pretense, be confused with or compared to Pathfinder's archetypes). The archetypes in the CRB have not proven to be terribly popular, but the underlying system is, I think, quite robust and can support the niche flavor and abilities that Prestige classes provide in a more consistent and player-friendly fashion.
I think a chunk of it that they are just not particular unique or interesting. They are 'Generic explorer' (Something that the skills already cover fine) and 'Sorta half baked psionic stuff'.
Also SF combat maneuvers are against KAC+8. PF CMD is often within 1-3 of their normal AC unless the character is specifically built to resist maneuvers.
Yes, as I said, it's effectively +4 because the feat gives a hefty +4 bonus. A melee soldier trained in grappling succeeds on it on a 9+ at most levels against a guy of equal level, that's pretty damn reliable.
While they are selling physical books, they are limited by the requirements for physical books. Physical books need to not be so bulky as to be impossible to quickly look through or to be impossible to transfer.
Imagine how gypped people would feel if the PDF guys got extra content the physical book people didn't? I think, overall, they used the space very well. Considering most of those classes have more options than the pathfinder core rulebook ones did.
Off the top of my head, the combat maneuver system was a great update to the grappling system, and I was excited to see how it would get further improved in SF. Turns out they just made grappling physically impossible for nearly all characters.
If I may be blunt? HAHAHAHAHAH. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH. AAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH, GODS NO COMBAT MANEUVERS WERE NOT GREAT. They were one of the weakest things in all of Pathfinder. Size bonuses and limitations and enemy stats scaling so high made grappling anything other than 'Medium humanoid' nearly impossible as you levelled (On top of the 'You literally can't try' against a massive number of foes because they were incorporeal or they were too big or they got wizard spellcasting so they could know freedom of movement).
Starfinder's Combat Maneuvers are at KAC+4 (Since the feat gives a +4 bonus). It's not easy, I'll admit and they could have gone a bit lower for some of them BUT it's a lot, lot more feasible than it was in Pathfinder.
And it drives me insane that I'm supposed to wait for more content to come out, because I shouldn't have to!
They can only put so much in a core rulebook, printing costs money and raises the price of the book. The classes are better balanced with each other than the Pathfinder core rulebook classes were and each class (Save perhaps the Solarian) has a heap of different build options for it, moreso than Pathfinder did on release.
While there is less classes, I will say there is more viable characters in the corebook than was in Pathfinder.
Which 'revolutions' from Pathfinder are missing from Starfinder?
I was under the impression that this won't actually work. NPCs in Starfinder are designed to have lower AC, better attacks rolls, and better skills than PCs as a "balance" thing against mind control. So if you build one as a PC he won't be able to hit PCs and will be a lot harder to hit as well. Not getting all the free NPC skill bonuses is less of an issue.
I'd build NPC allies as if they were PCs, NPC enemies using the usual rules. Slots them more easily into system.
Matthew Downie wrote:
What cover bonus are you assuming? +4AC?
No attack bonuses or defence bonuses for either side (So melee isn't assuming flanking etc) unless it's built into the class. I mean, numbers can get a lot worse if you sit down and try to reenact WWI trench warfare but that's what moving or grenades is for, trying to pick guys out of hard cover is a rather long process. It's sort what cover is notably good at.
Frozen Mustelid wrote:
That...doesn't seem possible. In fact, that seems impossible and I have numbers to back it up.
It would be the opposite, actually. Flat 5 is the one that causes serious problems (Which is part of why the Teifling and the Aasimar in the Starfarers companion are so comically overpowered as races), since it completely nulls most weapons of that type before level 3 and even before level 5 stops a disproportionately high amount of attacks. Scaling would only null 1 at level 1 etc so that you don't have to worry about it ever being too low to matter or so high that it flat negates the attack.
Energy Resistance 5 to Fire, for Example, makes the PC borderline immune to lasers before level 3 but it also becomes useless at higher levels when the feat easily overtakes it.