Almara Kazaar, The Would-Be Queen

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* Starfinder Society GM. 111 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.

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I don't even know how to respond to that. The world should make sense. Yes, there need to be abstractions otherwise the game doesn't work, but those need to be explainable and still feel plausible. Saying the world plays by different rules than the players is a complete and utter cop out that breaks immersion.

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Evilgm wrote:
The answer is mechanical balance.

Mechanical balance shouldn't be an excuse for bad in world logic. If there is a problem with the balance, then there needs to be a change to the supply/demand factor at play.

The world presented is such that there would be almost NO high powered magical items in the world as the ROI unless crafted for personal use by long lived individuals who can afford to spend the multiple years to craft certain items, is none. And throwing more money at it doesn't make it anymore profitable. Basically there is almost no reason for someone (PC or NPC) to craft magic items to sell beyond those items that can quickly be turned over for low prices. This should mean that the increasingly rare items have prices that go up. But by the logic of the system, this makes them cost more... making them take longer?

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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Andarr wrote:
Summoning does not exist anymore.

I'm fairly certain that it does, actually. You just can't summon more than one thing really.

Think about summoning this way. The developers have said that during the playtest (not 1 to 1 of course, but closest thing with large data sets) the number of rounds per combat was around four regardless of level.

So round one, the caster starts casting a summoning spell. Functionally their actions have 0 bearing on the first round.

Round two, the summon (hopefully) completes. A generous interpretation of "Immediately when you finish casting the spell, the summoned creature uses its 2 actions for that turn" would give the caster all three of their actions in round two. This would give the caster a total of 5 actions through 2 rounds.

Round three, the caster has to sustain. This now means the caster can't move and cast in the same round (generally, barring a few exceptions). They also loose access to the ability to use three actions for a spell reducing the power of their spell slots in certain cases. At the end of this round, the caster has broken "even" with action economy and has contributed 9 actions in three rounds.

Rounds 4-10 the caster begins to accrue a single extra action per round. However, if the caster needs to move, then they likely lose an action (unless double moving), due to the bad economy of single action spells.

Additionally, it sounds like a summoned creature will only attack and only attack the foe nearest to it when the sustained action is used. If the caster wants it to cast a spell or change its focus, then the command action would need to be used further reducing the actions available to the caster. "It generally attacks your enemies to the best of its abilities. If you can communicate with it, *IF!* you can attempt to command it..."

So over the course of the expected combat length, the caster is potentially able to contribute 1 extra action. The longer the combat, the more extra actions they get. This does however assume that they are able to stand in one place, and cast 2 action spells without interruption and that the summoned creature attacking persistently is good.

That's not good and further removes casters from the ability to use the three action system.

*I let my 1E brain come in here. Move the calculations up a round, making the break even round 2, not 3. The other points still stand however. In a normal four round combat, summoning a monster contributes at most 2 extra actions.*

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So, I've tried to read through this whole thread and put together a good thought process.

First off, I am on the side of the nerf being too hard. Magic is, as someone else stated, supposed to be magical. The reason Starfinders Magic system works is because technology can make up for magic. Bob the barbarian shouldn't be able to hit a sword hard enough to make it magical.

Really, this all comes down to this line I've seen repeated over and over: "the wizard/caster made the entire party useless." Here comes the fire. If a single wizard, limited by what you as a GM have provided them, has managed to invalidate your battle/dungeon/campaign, you have failed as a GM. You have no wealth limits as a GM. No monster limits, no alignment limits and so on. Wizards (just using wizards going forward since that's the primary focus, but put your caster of choice in) have very particular weaknesses that can easily be exploited without impeding the other characters too badly.

For instance, if I am an evil doer in the Inner Sea, I'm going to get a scroll or other single use magic item of the most potent form of silence I can get my hands on. I'm setting up wards and otherwise planning. Most of all I'm employing my own Wizard. The bad guys don't have to be stupid or ignore what they see. If I'm the BBGE, and I get a report saying "Sir, our entire camp of orcs was wiped out when a wizard came in and charmed our strongest fighters and summoned a bunch of monsters and wiped us out" "Ok, give all of our people potions of protection from good. Can anyone use a wand? Get them a wand of silence. And make sure everyone knows to kill that dude first."

Somewhere it became the thing to have intelligent beings not fight intelligently. They should use the same tactics the GM would as a player. What is the PCs first target usually? Enemy wizard.

Wizards are SUPPOSED to be the strongest class. They also are supposed to be the class that has the highest (by %) mortality rate at low levels. Think about it. You have to be among the smartest people on earth, survive fighting monsters while wearing robes with a dagger and so on. If it were easy, why would anyone ever pick a different class in world?

So here's what was done in 2E. Wizards were made more durable and stronger at low level, at the cost of power on the upper end. They have more "options" now which basically are removing things they could do before and segmenting them into different things. Summons were nerfed (yup, makes perfect sense that the hellhound I summon will stand there unless I tell it to fight back every round), crafting was nerfed (sorry, modern efficiencies do not apply to a fantasy medieval setting) and so on. Oh, and you don't even need to be very smart to cast spells anymore. Unless I'm missing something, the only differences between a Wizard with a 12 INT and an 18 are DCs and Attack Rolls. In world, there is literally no reason everyone with moderately above average intelligence not to go become a Wizard, get to level 1 or 2 retire.

Why couldn't "being" a wizard have been made harder? Bring back the 4 HP. Heck, give all wizards a "curse" that doesn't have positive effects (I.E. Dragonlance). Rip off the "test" completely. Beef up actual anti-wizard spells (e.g. Anti-Magic Field can now be made permanent, A critical fail on Silence (which got nerfed... even anti-wizard spells got nerfed) strikes the target dumb permanently, etc).

Another thing said in multiple places was "balance above all else." I don't think that's what the priority was, but the symptoms are very similar. I think the actual mission statement of 2E was "Society First." Almost all of the decisions made are things that make society easier to run but they come at the cost of the logic of the game world. Even a time of troubles where magic as a whole was nerfed (for everyone, not just casters) would have made more sense. But instead it seems as though the casters had magic pulled out of them and infused into everyone else.

And that's my main problem. It's not that Wizards were nerfed. It's that they were nerfed in a way that just doesn't make sense. The immersion is lost because the numbers game was deemed more important than the narrative logic.

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I believe Swiftbrook's point was that the application of the Rarity system and its ability to be abused.

Howard197 made the point "Scry, Teleport, Protection from Evil, Discern Lies" are all uncommon. In setting, why would those be uncommon? Those would be among the most useful spells, and thus, the most common. Just because something is valuable, doesn't make it uncommon, and just because something is rare, doesn't make it useful (or valuable).

A spell that transmutes all of the grass in the area to cheese could be unique. But that would be because no one wants it. A spell like Prismatic Globe (a level 10 spell from ?2nd Ed? I remember as a mobile PS) would be rare because the number of people able to cast it would be so few.

A level 1 spell with a ton of utility (PfE) could simply never be rare unless a cabal of Wizards hunted down people who learned it. In world, Dragonlance handled this by means of the Wizards of High Sorcery. People who grew powerful enough HAD to take the test, or they were killed.

Rarity must depend on the following:
Is there a constraining limit to the materials, people able to make, or able to use the item?

Is there a limited audience for the item? It may be rare to find, but not rare to make once you know about it. E.G. You may make the first and only adamantine Spork, but that doesn't mean others who choose to make one can't.

Simply, for something to be rare, supply must outstrip demand.

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So I was thinking about this and came to a revelation. Maybe the best option is to instead of dis-incentivizing the low level consumables, incentivize the higher level?

Using Round Math and names for simplicity:

Lets say a Wand of Cure I costs 1000 GP, has 50 charges and cures an average of 5 HP per charge. So it would contain 250 HP of healing for 1000 GP, or 1/4 HP/GP

Currently a Wand of Cure II would cost around 3500, have 50 charges, and cure an average of 10 HP per charge. 500 HP of healing for 3500 GP, or a little more than 1/8 HP/GP

You are getting less for your money. Economics is Economical. Without making resonance absolutely punishing, it will honestly continue to be around.

"I'm about to go to sleep and have 8 RP left. Hit me with the wand of Cure I until I fail a resonance roll"

That WILL happen.

But what if the Wand of Cure II cost 3500 and had cured 17.5 HP per charge? or even a round 20? Suddenly the economics line up (with the cost per HP being the same as, or a little higher than Cure I) and there is incentive to take the higher wand. Problem solved. Some people would still cheap out, but they would actually be spending more money in the long run.

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Greyblade23 wrote:

This isn't the case. The resonance cost of potions and wands is paid by the user. Pg. 378 "...the creature drinking the potion must spend any required Resonance Points to use the potion." Pg. 380 "You activate the wand as part of the first spellcasting action you use, and you must spend 1 Resonance Point at this time."

Since the crafter doesn't have to spend resonance, it does make sense for these items to be a flat rate.

I'm not saying the crafter imbued it with their resonance (but logically, they did over the course of their time crafting the item. It might but minute amounts each day that don't measure as a full charge, but they do), but I am saying the magical power causing the item to function comes from the crafter, not the user.

Put another way, lets take a magical oil. If you trained a Monkey to apply an oil to an item for you, would it work? Does the monkey have a resonance pool? What if you created a Rube Goldberg machine that would apply oils to items for you. Does your machine become a construct and get a charisma score and use its resonance? Using your resonance for a consumable item simply does not make logical sense.

The idea above of simply capping wand charges per day and potions based on Con mod is brilliant.

Wands: Wands can be used a number of times per day equal to 1 plus the caster level of the wand (encourage higher caster level wands and cost scaling). Usage beyond that risks burning out the wand and either causing it to shatter or explode. This chance is 25% + %5 for each time done beyond the normal number. (Basically the exact resonance mechanic adjusted for Wands alone. Plus it makes sense)

Potions: You may consume a number of potions per day equal to 3 plus your constitution modifier. Consumption beyond your number runs the risk of causing you to throw up the potion ruining it and becoming nauseated for a round. This chance is equal to 50% plus 10% for for each potion beyond your normal limit. Temporary bonuses to constitution do boost your consumption limit, however you still run the risk of becoming nauseated if your con returns to its previous level. Your potion limit resets after an 8 hour rest unless a potion has a duration still in effect.

And have feats like "Wand Charmer" and "Iron Stomach" that would increase the limits.

Those two changes alone (I need to review staves a bit more) solve resonance for me.

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Loreguard wrote:
So yes there are other options, but just making healing cost more, doesn't serve the defined goal.

I guess that's my point as well. If their defined goal is to more or less raise the "price" of downtime healing as people go up in level while leaving it cheap at low level, there are other ways of doing to do it. Starfinder got around this by implementing the stamina system for instance.

To state again, the resonance system itself is pretty cool and has lots of benefits. However in the application to potions and things with charges it doesn't make sense and is kinda immersion breaking. For such a specific issue, it is like using a bazooka on a fly.

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This is actually very simple.

With the 18 cap on stats at level one, it is simple. +4 Dex, - 2 Wisdom. Boom. Done.

In reality, because of the nature of the cap, the most important of the modifiers believe it or not tends to be the penalty. This is true in Starfinder even more so. If you select a race with a penalty to your dumpiest of dumb stats, that's the "best" stat selection. Everything else washes out.

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Reading through resonance it really is a Macro solution to a microeconomics problem.

The system itself is great in the places that it makes sense. If you invoke something that logically would draw upon your own "life force/mana" it makes sense. And limiting magic items is cool too. Logically, too many items could interfere with each other. Great. Makes sense.

Where it breaks down are places where it isn't you powering it (which unfortunately is what the main intent was). A potion has the resonance of the potion maker powering it, not yours. A wand has charges imbued in it by the crafter and thus uses their resonance, not yours.

In the end, the real solution to the "Happy Stick" is economics. The universal pricing model employed for wands and potions is the problem. A wand of spell level x and caster level y with charges z always costs D.

WHY!? Lets imagine we live in a world with wands. Wands of Healing would almost certainly be the most in demand item. Why would I charge some flat amount based on the amount of time it took me to make it? Yes, I know it is a game, but if the choice is abandoning logic or bringing in a bit of manual manipulation, give me the manipulation. Heck, a simple line of:

"With recent upheavals and conflicts, magical crafters discovered that they could charge 10 times the standard price for items of the healing domain"

solves the happy stick while leaving everything else intact. In general, if an item has charges or is single use, it probably should not cost resonance.

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I actually think skill ranks need to come back but be combined with proficiencies. I was always bothered by the cap at level of skill ranks since it didn't make a lot of sense logically. Someone who focuses on a single task can be better at one.

Basically, I'd like to see you get your proficiencies from your class, background, ancestry and such.

e.g. At level 1, I have:
*this is an exaggerated example*

Stealth: Trained
Alchemy: Untrained
Crafting: Master
Knowledge: Legendary

Now, instead of the current or playtest variations, I can put a number of skill ranks into each skill based upon my proficiency.

So, at level 1, I could put 3 ranks into stealth, or 1 rank in alchemy, or 5 into crafting, or 7 into knowledge.

What this allows is a player to focus on a single skill if they want, or they can still try to be jacks of all trades. A static bonus could be applied if desired and mathed out properly. Feats can be used to pick up additional proficiencies.

It could also be switched easily to Class Skills (up to +5 ranks), General skills (up to +3 ranks) and Secret Skills (+1 ranks, and these would be skills that historically require a rank to use).

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If magic items are getting adjusted, then it makes sense that their prices get adjusted. If the scaling becomes more reasonable, it goes to reason that there shouldn't be a need to adjust things too much. The problem has always been that because there are basically "global" prices, this scaling has to be constant across not just regions, but adventures and levels.

You don't run into this in most computer/console RPGs because they have the price scaling based on location (e.g. cost of staying at an inn at the last town cost 1000 times what it did at the first inn).

But count me in for trying to find a way to make finding (or crafting) a magic pair of boots not worth more than a castle.

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No, the GM shouldn't just make points of killing them, but it should be HARDER to be a low level wizard than a low level fighter.

*shrug* if all the classes are equal, you have World of Warcraft or DnD 4e... When you try to balance classes above all else, to the detriment of logic and story and setting, that breaks the game.

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That suck at low levels and be awesome at high levels is kinda the point though. A Wizard is someone who sacrifices their health, social standing, money and usually more for their power. This is pretty consistent across almost all lore. Put simply, if it were easy, everyone would do it. And if it were hard and not worth it, no one would. Logic and setting have to be part of this.

Heck, bolt on a mechanic similar to the Oracle's curse (maybe with fewer benefits) to reflect this (if that isn't too Dragonlancy for some). I'm hoping something with Return of the Runelords results in a "Time of Troubles" type situation that serves to in setting result in some of these changes.

To reiterate though, there must be a reason that every smart person doesn't study magic (the low level suck and high death rate) and a reason some still choose to (the payoff).

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I've said in the past (in another post) that the reason magic users are able to fix all the problems is largely the problem of the GM. And I mean that as, the GM has the tools to fix it, but chooses not to. Some of these seem as though they are going to be addressed in PF2 and some just need to be a mindset change.

1. Too Many Spells. This should be addressed by Resonance and (presumably) longer adventuring days.

2. A spell for every occasion. Notice those rules for replacing a lost familiar? Or a lost spellbook? Or the cost of an extra spellbook? That means those are meant to be attacked, sundered, burnt, lost. No magic user should be traveling around with their entire library. A normal spellbook can carry basically all the cantrips (~30), say 10 level One spells (10 pages), 10 level 2 spells (20 pages), maybe 10 level 3 spells? (30 pages). And now we're at 80 pages. Time for another spellbook. A full spellbook can literally have less than 14 spells of level 7 and above total. If we drop that down to level 5 spells, that would be 20 if no spells above 5 are picked. So how many spellbooks can the wizard carry? Now, I know what most do so...

PF2 Fix: Spellbooks can't be stored in pocket dimensions (e.g. handy haversacks). The energies involved cause increasing chances or erasing a spell or something. Now Wizards have to carry their spellbooks and their associated bulk and risk.

3. Intelligent monsters should attack the magic user first. Don't GM your intelligent creatures as dumb. This causes the Wizard to have to adjust their plans AND probably gives the martial an opening to shine.

Please don't make everyone identical. Different classes, different skill levels, different potential.

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Perhaps it is time to boil this all down?

1. The most common refrain seems to be that the primary reason Wizards are overpowered is that they gain the greatest access to the Wizard spell list. (By extension, this seems to indicate that Arcanist and extremely well funded sorcerers at even levels would present most of the same problems).

2. Second is certain spells themselves functioning as too much of a "Swiss Army Knife." Specifically Summon Monster Spells

3. Finally, there is a clump of things I'll call "GM Issues." This would include things like unlimited resting, enemy tactics, and so on.

Any other big one?

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Does it really matter that Wizards are OP (if they are)? Think about it.

I live in a world of magic. What should be the most powerful person?

1. The guy who finds magical swords created by wizards, and hits other things really hard with them.

2. The gal who finds magical knives and stabs people from behind with them, and who maybe is able to detect magical shenanigans or dabbles.

3. The guy who asks quite powerful extraplanar beings that can still in fact be killed to do stuff for them but doesn't actually wield the power directly themself.

4. The gal who literally taps into the forces of the universe directly to bend them to her will.

Wizards may be OP. So bloody what? They're supposed to be. Why else would anyone in character choose to be one otherwise? You are giving up your childhood, often your social life, sometimes health, and more to tap into the magic. Whether you RP that part of being a Wizard is not the fault of the class. They are weak, they are squishy, and they run out of resources, they are older at the onset of the adventure, they're skills are spread too thin, they rely on a BOOK.

If a GM choses not to exploit any of those weaknesses, yup, they're OP. But if you do, they are the least powerful class. That's the whole point. They can be a 1 or a 10. A fighter is maybe a 5-6. Cleric 4-8.

It's just like taking a drawback you know the GM will never call you on. Or picking some crazy race that has Vulnerability to sunlight, and Light blindness, and vulerability to fire and sonic energy (no, it doesn't exist)... For an underground campaign in an oxygen free enviroment where fire and sound can't exist.

If you choose to only look at the outright maximum potential of a class, sure, Wizards are OP in that they have the highest potential output in terms of raw effectiveness of any class (as they should). But they also have the lowest floor (as they should).

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Alright, here's a poke at this. The main thing I think it is missing is a little more of the Unabalanced flavor. Maybe some weaknesses to the opposing side. Terminology could also use some cleaning up. I think the unbalancing also works quite well for rewarding specialization which should cut down on "do anything" casters. Anywho, without further ado...


While some seek to balance life and death, darkness and light, and hot and cold to help an eternal cycle, others instead try to harness one half of the universe for the benefit of those whom they care about. By seeking to unbalance the equations of the universe, you believe that you can do far more than those who chose not to. By focussing this imbalance into an implement of your will, you harness the forces of the universe to reach heights of spellcasting not seen since before the Gap.

Hit Points: 4

BAB: 1/2 (Full for spells when Implement is manifested)

Stamina Points: 4+ Constitution Modifier

Key Ability Score: Your Intelligence feeds your ability to unwind the strings that make up the universe to craft your spells, so Intelligence is your key ability score. A high Consitution or Dexterity score can help make you able to survive combat longer.

Class Skills: Bluff, Culture, Intimidate, Life Science, Medicine, Mysticism, Physical Science, Profession, Sense Motive

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Intelligence Modifer

Proficiences: Armor-Light, Weapons-Small Arms plus Implement

Saves: Good Will

Spells: You cast spells drawn from all spell lists. Your number of spells per day is below. You recieve bonus spells for both a higher intelligence, as well as for your commitment to one side of the universe which also imparts other benefits. These are detailed below. You only know a limited number of spells...

*Rather take up space with a chart, basically follow the wizard spells per day progression until level level 10 (4 ,4 ,3 ,3, 2). Minor bump at 11, then get level 6 spells at 12. Follow logical progression to level 20 ending at 6 spells per day. Follow same bonus spell chart as Mystic. For spells known, follow mystic spells known, but bump the levels down (e.g. 2 2nd level spells known at level 3, 2 3rd level spells known at 5th, etc), topping out at 7 spells of each level known for 0-4 and 6 known for 5-6.*

Force Implement: At first level you gain access to an implement representing your connection to half of the primary forces of the universe. This implement may take the form of either a melee weapon, or a peice of clothing. You may only manifest a force implement if you are unbalanced. You can change your manifestation each time you gain a level. If you select a weapon, treat it like a Solar weapon using 1/2 your Esotetic level for all compat purposes. While your implement is manifested, treat your BAB as your character level for any spell attack rolls.

Unbalance: Your place in balance is determined by your spell selection. Spells of the "Light" are those of the Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination and Enchantment Schools. "Dark" side spells are Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. For every 3 spells your are unbalanced, you recieve extra spells per day using the chart below. *Basically use the mystic bonus spells chart again, except each iteration is based on the 3 spells of unabalancing* These spells may only be cast when your implement is manifested.

Meta-Force: At 4th level, and each 4 levels afterward, you gain access to the ability to utilize meta-magic effects on your spells. These cannot be changed once selected. To implement a meta-magic effect, you must spend resolve equal to the spell level of the spell cast. Any number of meta-magic effects may be combined provided you have enough resolve.

Maximize: Any random rolls (damage, duration or range) are maximized.
Lengthen: Any non-random durations are doubled.
Pierce: Increase the DC against the spell by half the normal value.
Expand: Any non-random ranges or effect areas are doubled.
Penetrate: Double your caster level for your attempt to overcome spell resistance. Your implement must be manifested to use this ability.

Quick Casting: At 9th level, the Esoteric gains the ability to cast two spells in one round as a full round action by expending one resolve point. The casting times must be one standard action or less. The total levels of the two spells combined must be less than or equal to the Esoterics level minus 8. Your implement must be manifested to use this ability.

At 18th level, an Esoteric may cast Wish as a full round action expending 9 levels of spell slots and spending a resolve point. Your implement must be manifested to use this ability.

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So, I'm a big fan of true casters (and I too would prefer a 9 level caster, but I understand the easier slotting of a 6). I also don't think that they are inherently unbalanced. I'm going to make a controversial statement.

The biggest problem with 9 level casters are GMs.

Let me explain. If the PCs (for this purpose, figure a Solider, Mystic, Operative and Technomancer) are confronted with a party similar to themselves, what do they usually do? I'm guessing they would target the Mystic first. Why? It allows the others to stay on their feet longer, or even brought back. If not healing, it also can be doing other harassing things and impeding abilities. Next the party would likely take down the technomancer since it is likely the squishiest target relative to its combat ability (which also may be why some parties would attack it first). Finally either the Solider or Operative would be targeted depending upon many factors, most likely which is the easier looking mark. In the case of a system with a true caster, you can be dang sure the robed dude throwing out fireballs is the first thing you go after.

By comparison, what does the NPC party do? Well, they tend to target randomly and it is even spelled out in certain materials "spread out ranged attacks among as many foes as possible" or variations of "attack whomever is closest" or "target foes who enter melee." Why? That other party is just as smart as the heroes. They should use similar tactics. Is there an Esoteric PC standing in the back casting summon monster V every round? I'm guessing the NPC soldier may say to herself "huh, maybe I should charge that guy and take the AOO" or maybe they protect their magic users so they can do their thing.

So play your NPCs to their fullest. If they are smart, have them act smart. Suddenly that caster might be using more of their spells to stay alive and fewer on the battle.

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Ikiry0 wrote:

I just...don't see what that brings to the table that Technomancers and Mystics don't. As Technomancers are actually BETTER at blasting spells than that class (Since they can get semi-spec for combat spells) and Mystics are BETTER at mind control spells (Since they get the ability to wipe people's minds that they were used). Both of those classes are already very, very much spellcasting focused.

Saying they are spellcasting focussed is like saying a bard or magus is. A level 10 Tech/Mystic (without bonus spells) can cast 14 spells per day. A level 10 Wizard can cast 20, a level 20 sorcerer 26!

They are hybrid classes. If you take their magic away, do they suffer? Yup. Can they still do stuff. Yup. A magic focussed class is supposed to be miserable without their magic, just like a soldier would be miserable if they couldn't attack.

And Wizards don't get simple weapon proficiency. They get like 5 specific weapons and 1/2 BAB. Removing all default weapon proficiencies is the counter for giving them 3/4 BAB for the purpose of spell targeting. If you gave them simple arms and melee and 3/4 BAB they would be just as good at non-magical combat (under normal circumstances) as Tech/Mystics.

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Quintz wrote:
The large water elemental looks "strange" ;-)

Yes. I too see a Giant Hyena in the PDF where a water elemental should be....

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Grenades are kinda like Sniper Weapons. IRL they are balanced by the nature of combat (collateral damage) and other forms of fighting (Tanks, Artillery, etc). You can hear a standard U.S. Army Frag grenade from at least a mile away. You can feel portions of the shockwave from hundreds of feet. The kill radius (anyone not behind cover or in serious armor) is 5 meters. 15 meters is an almost guaranteed serious wound. Beyond that there are smaller chances (and hearing damage without protection) or wounds (fragments can fly up to 230 meters). Long story short, grenades in movies/tv pale in comparison to their destructive capabilities in actuality.

In Starfinder, grenades seem mainly aimed at niche situations (and hew closer to movie portrayals). Within this context, their pricing is a bit much (but is kinda balanced by their being a thing for special situations).

I would like to see all classes be given the proficiency. Learning to throw a grenade is something that literally takes half a day of training to do unless you've never thrown a hand sized ball in your life. A big chunk of that is also spent on capabilities and safety. If someone with no combat experience came across a grenade, they would most likely be able to use it. There's absolutely no logical reason for Operatives, Mystics, Solarians or Technomancers (who have had combat training) to not be able to throw something :-)

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Sniper weapons aren't something that can really be balanced in a game. Consider the fact that an average soldier or marine in todays army can hit a man sized target at about 300 meters (328 yards... 930 feet. 186 SQUARES) with an M4/M16 and bare sights. When you start talking real snipers (who can do ranges well beyond 4 times that and beyond) , with a dedicated weapon, scopes and so on, the range and power get to be absurd.

So transfer that to the game. How fun would it be to pop the head of the BBEG from 2 miles away? Or more likely, get your head popped when you're approaching their fortress? So then you get into a game of trying to move and avoid the sniper. And now you're in a miniatures war game, not a sci-fi RPG.


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Balance is only an issue if a particular class or variation is actually impacted. Not if there is an imbalance between weapons. Everyone with the same weapon proficiencies is able to pick an energy weapon. There are no Wizards who can wield three things.

It would be like saying you had to balance a Scimitars and Rapiers with a Klar and Sword Cane. All are one handed Melee weapons, all do 1d6, but the Scimitar and Rapier are vastly superior in the vast majority of cases. Why do the sword cane and klar exist then? RP Flavor and edge cases.

This is the case with Energy Weapons vs. Projectile. At the end of the day, mechanically, a person using kinetic weapons who has the funding to do so will likely come out slightly ahead DPR wise vs a purely battery based character, but they pay the price to do so.

Which sounds about right. When you want to go "brazil nuts", you get out your rail gun and missile launcher and go to down. When you're just taking out the trash, stick with the stuff you can charge along side your aPad and aPhone.


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At the end of the day, this boils down to logic and realism, vs. artificial balance.

A modern day laptop battery holds 15 (around 230000 joules) times the energy of a .50 caliber bullet. What limits most energy weapons today is the ability to discharge the energy quickly, not the actual amount. Even if we take the total amount of energy in a weapon battery with 20 charges to be 100 times that of a modern laptop battery (which would put it on par with the energy of 50 grenades.... which is a lot) the total cost to charge such a battery today would be about 8 bucks.

For reference, the energy discharged by a modern stun gun is less than 1 joule, and even a defibrillator is only around 10-20 joules. Most weapons would not require much actual energy to be used. Again, it is the discharge rate that matters.

Adding in oddly limiting factors to promote the use of projectile weapons just doesn't make sense. The reasons for them will be story based (EMP, immunities, Reactor nearby that you can't breach, etc) and will arise within the scenarios. Or perhaps people just like the flavor of the projectile weapons. Who knows. But in a world where energy weapons exist, and there is a magical fusion reactor gem thing that provides unlimited energy on the station, making one specific type of energy usage special doesn't make sense.

Like others have mentioned, sticking to the charging speeds prescribed (1 minute for a wall plug, 1 round for a fast charger) within a scenario makes perfect sense. You may only have access to a shop where the owner makes you buy something before you plug in for 20 minutes so you aren't loitering. But once that scenario is done, you go back to your room, and you plug in your battery into the wall outlet. Anything else would really really be bizarre.