That is pretty much what I came up with; As soon as you enter the Drift, you get a faint signal from the beacon you're using to calculate your trip, and then you need to use your thrusters to move within range of the beacon. A better Signal Booster allows you to 'lock on' to a beacon from a greater 'distance' in the Drift, and once you 'lock on' to a beacon, you can activate your drift drive to appear at the spot you calculated your course to. It matches nicely with the facts that neither your starting location nor your sidereal distance traveled has any effect whatsoever on how long your trip will take; Only the effectiveness of your Drift drive and the density of beacons at your destination factor into that.
Basically, every time you enter the Drift, the Drift-side map of all the beacons in the universe changes a bit (maybe it is the act of you entering the Drift that changes it...). This is why travel times are variable: The relationship between position in the Drift and position in the sidereal universe is constantly changing.
This accounts for pretty much all the facts we've been given, and also allows for navigation and rendezvous within the Drift. The Drift itself doesn't necessarily have to change frequently, just the relationship between the Drift and the sidereal universe. It is also provides a great rationale for the existence of Drift Beacons in the first place.
With that as a Given, two identical ships with the same course and travel time entering the Drift within moments of each other might never see each other in the Drift (making a Drift insertion during combat, if such a thing is possible, a great way to avoid battle.)
I'm a fan of that last idea: As is, if you are confronted with a ship that has a faster thruster speed than yours, your only options for ending the battle are destroying the enemy, disabling his thrusters, surrender, or RP hijinks. The ability to enter the Drift (even with a dangerously hastily calculated course) would be better than trying to duke it out with a superior foe.
I really wish they had spent a little more effort in telling us how the Drift works. The snippets we have are awfully hard to weave together without a pattern, and a bunch of questions that are pretty important for telling a story are unable to be answered without just guessing:
We know that a ship must disable its thrusters for one minute prior to entering the drift. We also know that a round of space combat has no set duration, so... Can you enter the Drift in combat? If a foe does the same, are you near each other in the Drift? Or can entering the Drift be used as a form of escape?
Can the Drift itself be navigated? Is it possible to return to a derelict spacecraft that you discovered in the Drift before? Would you have to follow the exact same route to find it?
Do points in the Drift correspond with points in the normal space? If you activate your Drive in a certain spot in normal space, will you always appear in the same place in the Drift? And vice-versa?
Finally, this is the hardest one to wrap my head around: reconciling faster and slower Drift drives with the statements that ships use their thrusters to move through the Drift and that the Drift itself is one, single alternate plane.
What happens if two ships with different classes of Drift drive leave at the same moment to travel the exact same route (from each ship's viewpoint)? One ship's journey requires 10 days, the other ship needs only two days. How exactly do they interact in the Drift?
I've been thinking about the Drift quite a bit the last few days, trying to figure out a related topic.
Ship A has a Signal Basic drive (multiplier 1)
Ship B has a Signal Ultra drive (multiplier 5)
They both line up just outside Absalom station and set course for the same Near Space destination (3d6 days travel time)
By coincidence, both pilots roll 10 on their 3d6.
They enter the drift... and now what?
Does Ship B (2 days travel time) rocket past Ship A (10 days travel time)? Does it move five times faster than Ship A in the Drift?
The rules lead me to believe that the intended answer is No, because ships use their thrusters to move through the Drift.
I have come up with this as the least clunky possibility as to how it might work (the other idea had multiple Drift 'bands' or layers... and was clunky).
All ships share the same Drift, but because of the more powerful Signal booster, Ship B is able to "lock on" to the destination beacon after only two days of drift travel, and can then drop out of the Drift and be at the destination. From Ship A's perspective, they both enter the Drift, move at the same speed, but two days into their trip, Ship B comes to a stop, then vanishes.
This interpretation might create the possibility for Ship B to drop out of the drift at *any time after* they get the Signal. If they wanted to, they could pace Ship A for the full 10 days, and then both ships could arrive at the same time. They could both go to explore the derelict spacecraft that Ship A found seven days into its last journey. Alternately, at any time in the next eight days, Ship B could spend two minutes shutting down their thrusters and then drop out, arriving at their intended destination. This creates some interesting potentials for attack, defense and the use of convoys.
Basically, the Ultra Drive means that instead of traveling five times faster, you only have to travel one-fifth the normal distance in the Drift to get to the same destination.
For slow, inobtrusive background atmospherics, I'm a fan of Brian Eno, especially the music he did on the "Apollo" soundtrack (for a feature length documentary about the space program).
For a more orchestral sound, I've used the CD soundtrack from the LucasArts game "The Dig" in more than one RPG. Good mix of slow and fast paced tracks.
They seem to be going for a more science fantasy setting, so it's not too surprising. In both Star Trek and Star Wars, being concerned about losing life support or running out of fuel is an infrequent story element. We always joked that the ship only loses its atmosphere if the "Plot Development" light is flashing...
That having been said, there is an easy opportunity to implement at least one of them: In starship combat, one of the critical effects is titled "Life Support". It would be easy to apply a small penalty to crew actions due to lack of oxygen, pressure or gravity if not having them would impair the character's ability in some way.
Hacking only involves computer systems or devices controlled by them, and an Android is not a computer system. They are Humanoids : living, thinking beings.
Some creatures that are classified as 'Constructs with the Technological Subtype' can sometimes be hacked (Security Robots, the Engineer's Drone and the like), but Androids are 'Humanoids with the Android Subtype'. Not the same.
The 'Pull the Pin' feat mentions this:
"The grenade explodes at the end of your current turn, unless it has a delayed fuse that causes it to go off 1 round or more after it is activated."
This leads me to believe that (at least some) grenades can have delayed fuses.
Is this a standard feature or does a grenade timer cost extra?
Are there set durations (0 rounds, 1 round, 5 rounds) or can it be variable? If so, how long is the maximum timer?
One presumes a grenade is primed in some way immediately before being thrown, but would setting a timer require a separate action or is it included in the throw action?
I asked the same question a few days ago. There was no official reply, but the consensus seemed to be that Yes, they can critically hit, but like all Explode weapons, all affected targets get a reflex save to take half damage and to ignore additional effects.
That 'Save for Half' balances out the easier to-hit roll (and effectively guaranteed crit confirmation).
As Tali Wah pointed out, the 'whichever is worse' only applies if a spell specifically targets a construct or humanoid.
Mystic Cure : Target - One living creature. So this works on androids.
Mending : Target - One object. Doesn't work on an Android.
Rapid Repair : Target - One construct or weapon. Does *not* work on Android (since being classified as humanoid is worse).
Charm Person : Target - One humanoid. Works on Android (since being classified as humanoid is worse).
The issue is muddied somewhat because there are a number of spells that target "A construct of the technological subtype".
Under the Android description, we have "Medium Humanoids with the Android Subtype" and "For effects targeting creatures by type, androids count as both humanoids and constructs (whichever effect is worse)."
Whether Androids count as "A construct of the technological subtype" is unclear. I would presume the answer would be 'Yes' because of their flavor text "Complex technological creations", but that's just me presuming...
With the level 5 Battle Harness having a capacity of 20 hours and the level 15 Jarlslayer having one of just under two hours, I'd probably eyeball it and shoot for something like:
Medium Size : As many as it takes to give up to 20 hours of power.
Large Size : As many as it takes to give about 2 hours of power.
Huge Size : As many as it takes to give about 1.5 hours of power.
Also this : p.244-245 'Melee Attacks'
"Some melee weapons in Chapter 7 have the reach special property, as indicated in their descriptions, and some monsters have natural reach. Typically, a character or monster with reach can attack any foe within their reach (see Reach and Threatened Squares on page 255 for more details)."
That "any foe within their reach" statement seems pretty clear.
#1 Both rules are true. It's just that the "target" mentioned in mentioned on p.245 is a grid intersection not a creature while most other thrown options target a creature.
That makes sense... hadn't thought of it that way.
#2 I don't believe you can crit with explode, hence the lack of a crit column on the grenade chart. But I'll have to dig to find the rule for that, if it's spelled out somewhere.
The Plasma Cannon is a weapon with the Explode special property that *does* have a listed Crit Effect (Burn). Also (p.192): "You can install a fusion into a grenade, a piece of ammunition, or another consumable item;" so that would be a way to add a crit effect to a grenade.
#3 that's how I would read it with all explode weapons. I can see a few in game explanations, depending on how the GM wanted to flavor things.
I was just curious as to whether you might be able to target a specific individual with an Explode weapon (very likely a much harder shot/throw, targeting their actual AC instead of AC 5) in order to deprive them of a reflex save for half damage. Sounds like that might be solidly in house rule territory though.
P.245 : Ranged Attacks with a Thrown Weapon : "With a thrown weapon or a grenade, you can make a ranged attack at a target..."
(Next PP) Targeting a Grid Intersection : "When using a thrown weapon that has an area effect, such as a grenade, you target a specific grid intersection on a tactical battle map, rather than a specific creature."
Question #1 : So which is it? Can you choose to target an enemy's KAC, or do you have to target a grid intersection? Is the "or a grenade" an artifact from a previous rules incarnation?
Question #2: Can a grenade score a critical hit (targeting that AC 5 grid intersection) that does 2x damage to all targets in the radius (possibly mitigated by a successful reflex save)?
p.181 - Explode : "When you attack with this type of weapon or ammunition, aim at a grid intersection."
Question #3: Is the Plasma Cannon intended to *only* target a map intersection (as written)?
With only two combat-dedicated suits of Powered Armor available, getting that feat or proficiency isn't too exciting, as you'll be spending a lot of levels with gear that is much lower Level than your CR. So I came up with a reasonably simple system for upgrading any suit of Heavy Armor into Powered Armor.
1. Select base Heavy Armor from list.
2. Determine Powered Armor Size And Weapon/Armor Upgrade slots:
Allocate Total Slots amongst Weapon Slots and Armor Upgrade Slots.
3. Cost = Heavy Armor cost x 1.2
4. AC Modifications:
5. Speed : Reduce penalty by 5 if Medium Size (cannot go above zero), Increase penalty by 5 if Huge Size .
6. No Max Dex change.
7. Armor Check Penalty increases by 2 (gets worse).
8. Strength = (Level +13) if Medium Size, (Level +14) if Large, (Level +15) if Huge.
9. Damage = Die or dice whose average is (Level / 3) +4
10. Power Consumption :
11. Bulk = (Level x 2) +10 if Medium Size, (Level x 2) +13 if Large, (Level x 2) +18 if Huge.
It's certainly not a perfect system (Lashunta Ringwear V ends up being quite the bargain over the Jarlslayer), but it is simple and easy to use, and at the very least might serve as a guideline to build your own system from.
I've always been a fan of a Forward Observer ability.
Mech 'A' that is close to the target can relay information to Mech 'B' that is further away, letting Mech 'B' use Mech 'A's range modifiers, and with an indirect weapon, even attack an opponent that they can't see (but that Mech 'A' can).
I suppose you could easily build that into a Computer system, making it possible that the information could be hacked...
...mainly for Power Armor users to not be completely crippled by their equipment levels until more options are released by Paizo. It's pretty simple. For each level you upgrade, increase both ACs by +1, and for the cost of upgrading, follow this table
I did the same thing, but from a different angle. Since there are a lot of heavy armor suits, I set up a system of calculations where each heavy armor could be upgraded to Power Armor by applying modifiers based on level, size, slots, etc... Got a bit mathy calculating the Charges per Hour power usage:
Power Consumption = (Level - 0.3) ^3 /103 = Charges per hour (x2 if large, x3 if huge)
The Battle Harness and Jarlslayer (the only two dedicated combat armors) are only two points of data, so the best I could do was draw a line on a chart, but at least I have a chart :-p
Considering that a High Explosive missile does 4d8 and a Tactical Nuclear missile does 5d8, it seems clear that they are *very* small nukes (compared to what we are used to).
It's believable in a sci-fi setting in at least one regard: The hard part about initiating a nuclear reaction like that is pressure. The less material you have, the harder you have to squeeze it to get it to go supercritical. Presumably with the level of technology available, it can be done with minute amounts of fissile material (under unbelievable pressures).
If refined plutonium is still "a little hard to come by", then it's not too wacky to have tiny nukes (with massive detonators).
In the vein of more gear (a popular refrain), more Powered Armor.
One of my favorite sci-fi elements is Powered Armor, and there are only five suits listed, one of which is a Power Loader (like in Aliens), then the base Combat model at 5th, then not 'til 10th is there a weird spider-mecha suit (with defenses one point better than the 5th level suit), then at 11th is a 24ft tall flying robot, then finally at 15th the Combat Model Mk2.
Seeing as Dead Suns tops out at about 12th level or so, I doubt I'll be using Power Armor for this AP. I like the idea of Power Armor, but I don't like the idea of having 5th level defenses at 12th level (or having to buy a second suit of lower-defense light armor to wear underneath... kludgy!).
Grenades detonate on impact. Going prone doesn't make you any more vulnerable to them- a prone target and a standing target have to make identical reflex saves.
True enough. What I was getting at, though, was that grenades do not target the actual enemy, just a map vertex, so they can nullify any advantage of cover, concealment or being prone, so long as you plop that grenade *behind* the barrier. Like you said, it doesn't matter if the target is prone for a grenade, but it sure does for a pistol (from a ways away).
Heck, you can be prone, have Total Cover and Total Concealment, rendering you immune to standard weapons fire, but none of that means a thing when a grenade sails over that barricade, lands in your lap and you have to make a saving throw.
The theory behind loot is very different in Starfinder.
The biggest difference is that, because of how bonuses to hit and damage are acquired, the odds of you looting a weapon that you actually want to use are astronomically higher than in Pathfinder:
The Iconic Pathfinder Slayer wants a Kukri. Using a looted Magic Sword will cause them to lose all kinds of bonuses, so they'll sell it.
In Starfinder, if you are a Small Arms user, then your Weapon Specialization and any Weapon Focus feat will apply equally to any Cryo, Flame, Laser, Plasma, Projectile, Shock or Sonic Pistol that you happen to come across.
(It's true that Soldiers can choose to get equipment bonuses to single categories, but for them, it's pretty much gravy.)
The same is true for armor. You might skip out on a looted suit that has better EAC/KAC but also a big Armor Check penalty, but then, that's you choosing, just like in Pathfinder.
I *suspect* that considering the desire to both avoid certain penalties and to customize them with Mods that players will be spending the majority of their credits on their armor, and will tend to use whatever weapon they can get their hands on (literally).
Taking cover is almost always a good tactic in ranged combat, but just like many other sci-fi games, there's an easy way to fight against that tactic : Grenades (and other Exploding weapons).
Frag to kill, Incendiary to make them move and Smoke if you want to close for melee and keep them from shooting you to pieces while you do.
Generally speaking, if a class gives you a specific feat, you don't need to qualify for it. In Pathfinder at least, I assume it still holds true in SF.
I don't think that it is quite as cut and dried as it seems. The significant phrase here is this :
p.242 : "Most classes grant proficiency with light armor, and more melee oriented classes, such as soldiers, grant proficiency with heavy
Being "granted proficiency" is not the same as "gains the Heavy Armor Proficiency Feat."
So yes, a STR 10 Soldier *can* use heavy armor without problems, because he is granted proficiency.
However, if you get the actual feat (even if a class gives it to you), you *have* to qualify for it in order to use it (p. 152 'Prerequisites').
Case in point: The Armor Storm Soldier's 'Enhanced Tank' technique says: "You gain the Powered Armored Proficiency feat". If you want to *use* that feat, you must meet the prerequisites (including STR 13).
Compare that to the Guard Soldier's 'Guard's Protection" technique, which says: "In addition, you are now proficient with powered armor." No requirements necessary, because it isn't a feat.
I like the looks of the Quick Release Sheath. Puts that small arm into your hand as a swift action.
Considering that you only get a standard or move action during a surprise round, but *can* take swift actions, it'll let you get the drop on someone if you get to go during a surprise round.
I may be biased though: I'm a huge fan of the Power Holster from the DeathWorld books by Harry Harrison.
The size chart on p.256 makes no mention of it being any harder to hit a diminutive creature nor easier to hit a gargantuan one. Nor is there any mention of it in the Combat Modifiers section. This is a pretty radical departure from Pathfinder.
Are we to assume that this is no longer "a thing", or are we to assume that those penalties are "baked in" to any applicable Starfinder stat block (meaning we have to take that into consideration when converting monsters from Pathfinder)?
You'll probably want the Medicine skill for treating Poison and Diseases, since the serum of healing doesn't affect those. That and a Spell Amp that can cure them costs 3000cr and is only caster level 9. If you get the Cackle Fever (a DC 16 Disease) that Amp has only a 50/50 chance of curing it.
In the realm of Hit Point damage, consider that a 10th level Engineer who maxes out his Medicine skill ranks and has an INT of 24 will have a +20 to their Medicine check. Presuming they can roll a 5 with an Advanced Medkit, that's 17 points of healing to a 10th level character (probably about 1/4 of their total HP) which is about 200cr worth of serums and is not expended. If you have a party of four who gets wounded a lot, that Advanced Medkit might pay for itself in a little over three days.
If you can get the patient to a Medical Lab, you can use your Medicine skill to Treat Deadly Wounds *twice* a day. It would take a wee bit longer to pay off that 7000cr lab, but if you have a ship, you can buy one for BP instead of credits, making it an opportunity cost instead of an out-of-pocket one.
It's important to remember that the reason our rockets go so fast is because they absolutely have to. They burn an incredible amount of fuel, and do so insanely fast. Both the Saturn V and the Space Shuttle were about 85% fuel by weight. The Saturn V burned 1,200 gallons of fuel *every second* for about nine minutes. If they go any slower, they would run out of fuel before getting to orbit.
With antigravity (or at least the ability to hover under power) and propulsion systems that do not require crazy amounts of fuel, one can afford to take a far more leisurely (and vastly safer) trip into orbit.
Add in Air Traffic control and the sort of pre-flight checks that sane pilots demand, and it doesn't seem so odd.
I had this same question after reading in the ability damage section that Dex ability damage affects: Armor Class, attack rolls that rely on Dexterity (usually ranged), weapon damage rolls that rely on Dexterity (such as operative weapons), initiative checks, and reflex saves.
I'd seen that too. Makes me wonder: When you have two points of Dex damage, should the damage that you do with an operative weapon go down by one point, seeing as it is a weapon damage roll that relies on Dexterity [to hit] (such as [with all] operative weapons)?
Or is it a holdover from a previous rules incarnation?
Brew Bird wrote:
I see what you mean : Unless the spell, ability or weapon specifically mentions having an effect on a Humanoid or Construct, it doesn't matter.
So the android would be affected by:
"Mystic Cure" (target: one living creature)
But would not be affected by:
"Rapid Repair" (target: one construct or weapon) [humanoid is worse than construct]
Makes sense !
When you fire while in melee, you provoke an attack of opportunity, so it's a good idea to at least have a simple weapon on you in case you can't move or get grappled.
That, and combat distances are usually pretty easy to close, so melee may be more common than you think (especially seeing as there are some pretty nice bonuses available to melee-centric folks).
Is it possible to wear regular and Power Armor at the same time? In case one needs to leave the Power Armor, are you then defenseless?
p.203 "The cockpit of powered armor is too small to fit a person wearing heavy armor."
You can wear light armor inside your powered armor though, in which case you get whichever KAC and EAC is better between the light and powered armor, but have to take the *worst* Armor Check Penalty.
Distinguished Decapus wrote:
2) Drone weapon mounts do not include weapon proficiency. It seems that for the non-combat drone chassis (hover, stealth) that have weapon mounts, use of this mount without adding the proper weapon proficiency feat means the drone will take a -4 penalty to hit, right?
p.74 "Your drone is proficient in your choice of small arms or basic melee weapons, and it gains specialization in that weapon type once you reach 3rd level."
But yeah, if you want to mount a heavy weapon on your stealth drone, it's going to need that Heavy Weapons Proficiency upgrade, too.
If you go with a Ysoki who has no investment in strength and go soldier with Armor Storm, at level 5 do you get the benefits of Powered Armor since its a bonus feat? I cant find any reason it wouldn't work, but I'm not sure if Ive missed anything.
p.152 "Some feats have prerequisites. A character must have eachindicated ability score, feat, base attack bonus, skill, class
feature, and other listed quality in order to select or use that
It is clear that Armor Storm gives you the feat, but because you don't qualify for it, you can't use it. However...
p.203 "Characters can gain proficiency with powered armor by taking
Going by that, a STR 6 Ysoki *could* use Powered Armor by taking the Guard Style, since it simply says "you are now proficient with Power Armor."
"For effects targeting creatures by type, androids count as both humanoids and constructs (whichever effect is worse)."
Seeing as 'Construct' was not clearly defined, I have a few questions:
Can Androids benefit from Morale Bonuses ?
Can Androids benefit from the Mending spell ?
Considering the 3rd level Starfinder spell for defending against bullets provides DR 5, allowing a 3rd level Pathfinder spell that grants DR 10 seems radically unbalancing (let alone the 3rd level D&D spell that confers absolute immunity).
If the old spell worked well against Sci-Fi bullets, they'd still be using it...
Zombie Lord wrote:
While it is true that objects in a vacuum cannot dissipate heat energy via convection or conduction (like we do in an atmosphere), they *do* dissipate heat by radiating infrared radiation, which they do constantly.
Famously (and correctly) depicted in the movie Apollo 13, when they didn't have enough electrical power to run the heaters, the cabin temperature dropped to 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 Celsius), despite having three sweaty astronauts inside.
It depends on how close you are to the sun and how exposed you are to it. If you stand in the dark in a place with no atmosphere, you get chilly rather quickly.
Also this :
"Attacks are made during the gunnery phase of combat, in the order determined during the helm phase, but the damage and critical damage effects are applied after all of the attacks have been made (meaning every starship gets to attack, even if it would be destroyed or crippled by an attack that happened during the same gunnery phase)."
So the order in which you fire doesn't mean much at all..
p. 326"Minor crew actions are computer-aided actions that allow a starship
limited functionality if it doesn’t have the necessary crew
to fill all the roles (for instance, the lone crew member aboard a
Tiny starship might always be the pilot but may need to fire one
of the vessel’s weapons in an emergency)."
This certainly implies that the pilot role must be empty in order to Glide.
It absolutely says that at least one of the roles must be empty... so which role goes unfilled?
Colette Brunel wrote:
For every other longarm on the chart with a small arms equivalent, the rifle is more expensive than the pistol, usually by about 20%
I suspect the 100cr cost for the pulsecaster rifle is an error seeing as the pistol costs 250cr. The correct cost is probably about 300cr.
Still a 30cr discount on that battery though :-p
That's certainly possible, but I suspect it is unlikely to be the intent, because:
1. Out of the five total suits described, Jarlslayer is the *only* powered armor with an odd STR stat. If the idea is to benefit Powered Armor users, it is not doing it well :-p
2. Powered Armor starts off at STR 18 and goes up from there. That's 9 bulk before a penalty; more than enough to carry the largest weapons, best Armor Mods and a huge amount of gear. Power Armor doesn't really *need* any help in the Encumbrance Dept.
Colette Brunel wrote:
Looking at all the Specializations, I suspect that if there is any error in there, it is that the Ghost should *not* get the +4 bonus.
All the other Specializations that get a +4 bonus apply it to a skill which is *not* DEX based.
All the other Specializations that get no bonus use a skill which *is* DEX based.
Seeing as DEX is their key ability score, I presume the +4 is a balancing effort for those Operatives whose Trick Attack skills aren't based on their key ability score.
Soldier Theme, level 6 ability is "Grunt"
"Treat your Strength as 1 higher when determining your bulk limit."
Seeing as bulk limit is determined by half your Strength (and you always round down), there is a 50/50 chance this ability has no effect.
Wondering if it is a holdover from Pathfinder, where every point of strength increased your carrying capacity.
Perhaps that 1 should be a 2.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?
I'm a Doctor, not a...
Hey, if you'd been listening, you'd know that Nintendos pass through everything.
Gravity is a harsh mistress
We need to talk about the bonus situation