Yeah, I don't agree on schools being antiquated (they serve both thematic and mechanical purpose) but as far as explenations go, I think the points regarding goal/method/inheritance are good, and could explain a fair bit of the misclassifications.
Really, though, to gets to me because there should be a design document clarifying this to writers, and it should've been caught in proofreading in the first place. Instead, it just continues.
I'm sorry, I originally missed this, but saw it as I was reviewing the thread in order to create a bit of an errata list.
But yeah, these are good points. Adding to it, I want to point out that Psychokinetic Hand also appears to be a form of telekinesis (let's ignore the fact that Starfinder is inconsistent or unclear in it's usage here; it would be preferable if it consistently referred to either telekinesis or psychokinesis, or clarified the difference if any), and Psychokinetic Hand is also transmutation.
And whether all three should be transmutation or evocation comes down to the relatively simple question as ro whether we're changing the properties of the object moved, or if we're manipulating raw magic to exert a direct force.
I'm inclined to say the latter, so I submit that all three should be evocation spells.
This would leave us with this simple errata so far:
• Corrosive Haze is Conjuration (Not Evocation).
I've been working on some homebrew stuff lately, and it was suggested that I post it here. When first examining Starfinder, there were things I felt were missing, including a way to make what felt like a classic paladin, as well as a way to realize the usual raging combatant. I wasn't missing the barbarian as a savage wilds type of thing as much as I was missing a way to create that krogan or klingon rage, but ultimately it felt like the distinction was moot (although it's the reason I avoided nature-oriented/totemic stuff).
Anyway, here they are:
I'd love any feedback, but I'm especially interested in actual performance compared to others, issues with wording, and, more than anything, actual playtesting. So if you use this, please share.
I have another homebrew to share, concerning a mystic connection that uses classic domains and has a much more pronounced religious flavor, but I need to (re)write some spells for it, before I can share.
Honestly, the argument that "it doesn't matter (yet)" only makes it more annoying to me, not less, because it just makes it harder for me to understand why you'd misclassify them to begin with. If it would purely be a matter of fluff window-dressing (which I reject and I hope it will become less of as time goes on, and it certainly will not be in my homebrewed material that will frequently reference schools, expecting them to be consistent) then there'd be no reason to create an inconsistency at all.
And assuming that we're not going to see DC boosters or extra spells known is a pretty big assumption. I'd be surprised if that doesn't happen in the future, in various ways, whether it's things like charging items with specific forms of magic or putting DC boosting behind resolve expenditure, etc.
Playing to a specific school is an extremely common trope, and it'd be depressing if Starfinder never get anything like that. I personally love playing characters focused on Enchantment and/or Illusion, for example, and I think a potential Greater Spell Focus should absolutely be school-based in order to facilitate that. I think school specializations is definitely something the technomancer should get, even if it's just via a unique spell hack per bracket, with a prereq. of the preceding spell hack "specialization" in the same school; I'll probably end up doing that myself, of nothing else.
And yes, that's homebrewing, but I think that not being able to trust the narrative-mechanical connectivity of the game is quite frustrating.
Ezec makes some great points, too, and it would seem like they may be hesitant to inflate the number of transmutation spells, but man, misclassifying things is not the right way to go, and if you want Explosive Blast to be Evocation, there's no reason to conceptualize it as a Transmutation spell, just let it be a regular ol' Fireball.
I found yet another one. Explosive Blast is a level 3 evocation spell, and it has the following description: "You magically transform a used battery into a powerful explosive device".
Despite expressly transforming A to B, it's classified as evocation instead of transmutation. The explosion doesn't even have anything to do with magic, the spell is just hou turning a battery into a grenade! (Which also begs the question how this works if you do not have a battery, nevermind that a battery isn't listed as a spell component!)
Who wrote this stuff? Once is a mistake, twice is a problem, but six is a pattern of carelessness and indifference.
Edit: It's extra weird that it has a a crazy, crazy range of 100 ft + 10 ft per level, and talks about hitting narrow openings at a mere 10-15 AC. A regular grenade has range increments of 20 ft, for crying out loud. That battery-turned-explosives better have some rockets and crazy targeting equipment on it.
I'd argue that since you're converting key particles of your blood(life force?) into nanobots(mindless unliving things...) that it isn't too much of a stretch to be categorized as Necromancy.
That's just it, though, nothing is described as dealing with life force, you're just making some stuff into some other stuff, and they're not even alive or even undead in any way, they're literally just really small robots you made.
Additionally, I'd agree with you that Corrosive Haze should be in Conjuration. You can find a thematically similar spell in Pathfinder called Acid Fog which is Conjuration.
Yeah, that's the weirdest part, there's not even a precedent anywhere for Corrosive Haze to be anything other than Conjuration. I know D&D 5e had some oddities like how they turned Acid Arrow into Evocation, so I even checked if D&D 5e had something weird like that, but nope, clouds and such as still Conjuration, precisely because whenever you summon something or makes something out of nothing, it's always conjuration.
At least in D&D 5e they can excuse it with it simply being a completely different spell that just happens to have the same name, i.e. instead of summoning an actual acidic arrow (Conjuration) you're instead shooting a "shimmering green arrow", i.e. some form of bolt of corrosive energy of some kind (Evocation).
But in this case, it's very clear, and the description is counter to the classification.
If you want more spells to be upset at, take a look at Fabricate Scrap(Universal), Junksword(Conjuration) and Junk Armor(Conjuration) all of which in my opinion should be Transmutation.
Agree 100%. All of them straight-up says that you're turning X into Y, i.e. a transmutational process.
I think I found another one, and I think that it could be a result of forcing sci-fi elements onto spells that were mechanically realized without conceptual fidelity, because the issue is eerily similar.
The spell "Inject Nanobots" is described as: "You concentrate key particles in your blood into tiny biological nanobots that you can inject into a foe with a touch, disrupting and damaging its natural processes. ... the nanobots deal 4d8 damage and swarm through the target’s biological or mechanical systems ...".
It's classified as necromancy, yet seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with necromancy. If anything, it's transmutation, but when push comes to shove I have no idea why it's a spell at all, but at least with transmutation we can pretend that transmutation is used to change the nanobots.
I was just looking at spells, and this is part of the desceiption for Corrosive Haze: "A 5-foot cloud of acid-resistant nanites continually converts nearby water vapor into deadly acid. You can create the cloud in the same square as a creature ...".
Now, Corrosive Haze is classified as Evocation. But if you create or summon the nanites, shouldn't it by all established standards be a Conjuration spell? And if the nanites are magical in nature, the transformation of water into acid would be textbook Transmutation, but let's say that what the nanites themselves do is irrelevant to the classification of the spell that creates or summons them.
I just can't see how this is an Evocation spell. Is this simply an oversight, or am I missing something?