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224 posts. Alias of BlueStorm.


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Tiamat, and Tiamat.

What I want isn't quite that, but its similar in spirit: More info on who you worship if you want to be a Cleric of dragons (specifically the 1E subdomain, but 2E's Wyrmkin Domain is fine), but both Apsu and Dahak don't work for that character for alignment reasons (or some other reason).

Actually kind of baffling there isn't a pantheon or two of demi-gods rallied under Apsu or Dahak's banners. Like "Dragon Lords" or something.

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Rysky wrote:
That’s moving the goalposts, the situation had been whether you could make a comparable character that wasn’t a Monk or Brawler using the core rulebook. P2 does allow that.

In order for it to be comparable, it has to be similarly effective. Which in terms of "similarly effective" in 2E, it would be 1d4 damage for unarmed (okay, so your Monk Dedication boosts the damage die above that, but that's not really what we're looking at here), and as a 13th level Champion, they have a proficiency bonus of +6.

... Because the chain of comparisons, is that the 1E Unarmed Paladin's damage is less than that of a monk, but their attack bonus is identical to what they as a Paladin would use for a sword.

The only other comparison would be "how much you need to invest to do that", but at this point we can in fact move the goalposts closer and say "so long as it can be gotten by level 13"; given how little the general feats peak my interest.

Because, in fact... Spending 4 general feats on Unarmed proficiency in 2E may as well be the same thing as 1 feat in 1E given how they've changed the feat economy.

Rysky wrote:
That’s high level territory, and only the Fighter gets Legendary.

Its still asking a character who spent their early levels punching things to pick up a sword because "you're better at using swords than with fists"... Despite the character not ever having used a sword in their career since they started punching things at level 1.


That said, I just noticed that Gauntlets are a thing in 2E though, and apparently they're simple weapons so they probably would get expert proficiency in that (also no need for Monk Dedication)... I kind of just assumed they were classed under unarmed proficiency (is this the second time I've made that mistake?)

So I probably look pretty stupid now... Possibly more so if someone mentioned spiked gloves earlier.

A lot of these same arguments could apply to Martial weapons though, or to any exotic weapon proficiency... But that narrows the ones going to have to deal with this issue down to Bards, Alchemists, and a handful of weapons for Rogues.

... Looking through "Martial Agile weapons", Starknives seem to stand out as something a Rogue is going to be annoyed they can't be expert or master in.


Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

Bringing us back on topic ...

So, does Paizo create the same volume of rule books for 2e as it did for 1e -- just try to make them better?

Or should 2e be constrained to a much smaller set of books?

If they made less content, that would take me from "disappointed" in 2E to "frustrated" in it.

... The shear VOLUME of missing content in 2E could be looked at as the source of all my problems with the system. Just about everything I've complained about could be fixed by just the implementation of like TWO general feats.

... But if that's going to be in their NEXT book, then that has to be in addition to just about all the kinds of stuff you'd have found in the Advanced Players guide to be worth it.

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Rysky wrote:
The Monk Dedication pretty much does what you want and more.

The problem, is that exact wording of what it does, still caps unarmed at "Trained", not expert, not master, not Legendary. Which is a fundamental problem with doing proficiency this way to begin with, and there does NOT appear to be any way to boost the proficiency through feats from what I can find.


Monk Dedication:

You become trained in unarmed attacks and gain the powerful fist class feature (page 156). You become trained in your choice of Acrobatics or Athletics; if you are already trained in both of these skills, you become trained in a skill of your choice. You become trained in monk class DC.

Special You can’t select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the monk archetype.

... Not even the Powerful Fist ability leads to it growing in proficiency to even Expert.


Powerful Fist:

You know how to wield your fists as deadly weapons. The damage die for your fist changes to 1d6 instead of 1d4. Most people take a –2 circumstance penalty when making a lethal attack with nonlethal unarmed attacks, because they find it hard to use their fists with deadly force. You don’t take this penalty when making a lethal attack with your fist or any other unarmed attacks.

None of the other Monk Dedication feats boost it beyond this.

You may say "does all you want and more", but when my entry level standard is "the character can use unarmed strikes as well as their normal proficiency", the fact they're stuck at trained while every other weapon can go up to either Master or Legendary, the fact that non-monks are capped at trained EVEN IF they take Monk dedication means this doesn't work.

This is also a problem with the weapon proficiency feat in PF2E, as there's no "higher than trained" equivalent.

Rysky wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
Both are POSSIBLE to make without handicapping yourself in PF1E however.
With just the core rulebook?

... Hmm... Fair point, but even as much as it got easier after supplements beyond the core book, it was at least doable right out of the core book... At least in the case of the unarmed paladin.

Here's the main Feats I had to use to make it optimal in what's out in PF1E:

Improved Unarmed Combat
Dragon Style
Power Attack
Crusader's Fist
Stunning Fist
Dragon Ferocity
Dragon Roar
Elemental Fist

The first one: Improved Unarmed Combat, a Core Rulebook ability, is the only one that's absolutely necessary to make it work. The die used for unarmed strikes is a minor thing.

There's also Power Attack, and Stunning Fist in the Core Rulebook, but the latter was only necessary for qualifying for some of the other feats.

So strictly speaking; in core, it at least didn't handicap you; which was about as much as you could ask of any class/technique combination aside from Fighter.

However, that's still better than what PD2E currently allows you to get away with.

Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

Hm. I've been watching a review of 2e on YouTube. I am hearing some very impressive things.

I may have expecting 2e to be too much "like" D&D and 1e, rather than a major rethinking of these RPGs.

I'm hearing about a lot of issues in these other game system being resolved. I didn't really expect that.

I'm committed a huge amount of time and money to 1e (including 9 months of work on VTT macros), but I can see the possibility of 2e in my future.

I just don't have the resources right now, but I will be taking a much deeper look at it.

I have not heard what kind of issues have been "solved" in 2E, or even what issues they had With PF1E to begin with.

What I do know, is that its taken up at least one of the same problems of D&D 5e that annoys me there, and continues to annoy me in PF2E: Class Rigidity.

Here's a simple exercise to illustrate, by attempting to fill in the brackets with random combinations:

"I play a (Class) who specializes in (technique)"

... And ask yourself if that build is at all as viable as it would have been in another system; would playing such a character in one of the systems be needlessly handicapping yourself?

For example:
A Paladin who specializes in Unarmed Combat
Or A Barbarian who specializes in Ranged Combat

These two examples are two I could find immediately as implausible in PF2E... They're also implausible in D&D 5e as well. Both are POSSIBLE to make without handicapping yourself in PF1E however.

Special note for Unarmed in PF2E, not even the multi-class Archetypes allow you to become anything above trained in Unarmed.

This is somewhat a shame, because I really liked Saint Seiya, and so an armored champion of a god that forsakes weapons by their god's command in favor of fighting with their bare fists really appeals to me.

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blahpers wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

Pathfinder First edition, meanwhile, was the MASTER of the art of rewarding the pursuit of mastery.

Guess where both D&D 5e and PF2E fail?

Should "rewarding the pursuit of mastery" be a primary goal of a tabletop game of this type? Figuring out broken optimal rule combinations is fun, but is this what the game's all about?

Considering that the purpose of a game is to have fun, and you JUST said its fun to make optimal rule combinations, then I would say yes.

Or rather, I'd say this is a niche that distinguishes it from D&D; and having a game that follows the same path as D&D is going isn't the right path, because people who like what D&D is offering will just play D&D.

For this game to survive, it needs to have a driving philosophy that's different from what D&D is offering. If D&D's philosophy is "the fantasy game EVERYONE can play", then Pathfinder will find a solid base as "the next level in tactical roleplaying games".

There are always going to be people who want to take their experience to the next level, and for quite some time, Pathfinder 1st Edition has been that game. I'd say stick with that.

... Because otherwise, if Pathfinder were to disappear, SOMEONE ELSE will end up making their OWN "High Tactics Roleplaying game" just so they have something to play on that level, and suddenly you've lost a potential niche to market to.

Thinking about it, the one angle you might have on why such a thing isn't necessarily the goal... Is if we make note of the existence of something like Warhammer 40k, which is also a game with a high skill ceiling, but unlike Pathfinder and D&D is a purely tactical game, not a roleplaying game.

But that's only really an argument if one's suggesting removing the roleplaying from the game, and adding more tactical elements to a game does NOT remove the roleplaying from the equation.

In fact, there are many aspects you can add to a roleplaying game while keeping the roleplaying aspects besides just boosting the tactical side, but tactics is what Pathfinder 1st Edition already does better than D&D, so this is why I focus on it.

Coincidentally, some of the alternatives have been covered by quite a few of Pathfinder's optional rules, such as downtime, Kingdom Building, Organizations, and such... But those are some pretty crude rules there, which could have really used a touch up, considering how little reward you get from them... But they're not as much of a focus of this game as being able to customize your character, and play out a highly tactical combat encounter.

... This is coming from someone who's been mocked as "wanting to play a city builder instead" in the times I've been stuck in D&D 5e campaigns and ended up ignoring or avoiding combat in favor of political maneuvering because the combat was dull.

Anguish wrote:
Let me know when you're interested in a conversation instead of the repeated monologues.

Hold on, I'll try and address that directly, since I've touched on this before.

Anguish wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
I'm just proposing a fail back position for Paizo if 2e doesn't work out.

We've been down this road. The fallback position is: forward.

PF1 didn't produce enough income for Paizo to justify continuing it as-was. They will have shed PF1 popularity, even if you only consider the people who do shift to PF2.

This is math.

Let X = the number of sales required for long-term survivability
Let Y = the number of sales below X that Paizo was already at
Let Z = the number of sales below X that Paizo will be at in two years

X - Y -Z = still lower than X

There's no addition sign anywhere in that equation because there's no influx of new sales. "Not enough" minus "anything" is still "not enough".

If PF2 fails, Paizo will shift to PF3, or pure Starfinder, or, or, or, but revisiting the past is not very likely at all.

There's two problems with this analysis; X is a figure with shifting variables. Namely the cost of production divided by the price they set for the end product. If they set the price too high, they make more of a return per book but are less likely to sell each book, if they lower the price more books are sold but they don't make anything from it.

The other problem is the more important question: How do you get people who MIGHT want to spend money on the product if they knew about the product to do so? How do you make them aware the product even exists, and that it suits their interests?

From what I understand, there's virtually zero outreach to attempt to raise the number of books purchased by those not already in the role-playing circles; and very little outreach to convince those playing D&D 5e to try Pathfinder or Starfinder.

Plowing forward with accessibility isn't going to do any good if the people you're trying to make the game more accessible to don't even know you exist. Its like trying to sell an elixir of immortality on the peaks of a remote and obscure mountaintop, and just expecting people to come without telling anyone you're up there, or that you're selling the elixir.

... Or setting up a lemonade stand in a back-alley where there's no foot traffic.

Making a more accessible game isn't enough, its not even really advisable when the appeal of this game has been its use as a more "high end product" than D&D; a step upward for those seeking to play a much more tactical game.

Basically this game needs advertising. You need to plaster the games over every surface you can, and once you've found out how many more people are buying books because of that, you can look at your profits before deducting advertising costs and say "great, now we know how much we can afford to spend on advertising".

Honestly, at this point, I'd probably make a deal with an advertising company along the lines of "if you can promote our product enough to put us into a positive profit margin that will give us long term survivability, we'll give you (x) percent of that profit margin for that month... If you can't make us profitable, you get nothing."

... Which would essentially give that company an incentive to find the MOST effective way to advertise your product; as every time you make more money, they make more money.

Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

I worry also about trying to formulate a future for Paizo based heavily on Starfinder.

Check this out ... Stargate RPG based on 5e

I don't know if Starfinder can stand up to that. Stargate has a lot of appeal and is perfect for an adventure-based RPG.

They don’t have to for the same reason they don’t have to stand up to Star Wars RPGs.

Starfinder is a Science Fantasy roleplaying game.

A Star Wars game is not a Scifi nor Science Fantasy game, it’s a Star Wars game.

Same with Stargate.

Good point. Maybe not. Starfinder also has a magic element that can't really be explained in a Stargate RPG. That might very well give Starfinder an edge, but I don't connect with the Starfinder artwork on the core rulebook cover. Just looks to childish for me.

I don't think artwork is really what we should be concerned about in terms of systems to play; the system itself is the primary concern.

Which in terms of which system to pick; the one I tend to favor is the ones that reward the pursuit of mastery. Starfinder does this pretty well for a game with only a few books out.

Pathfinder First edition, meanwhile, was the MASTER of the art of rewarding the pursuit of mastery.

Guess where both D&D 5e and PF2E fail?

For me, the question of whether to go Pathfinder 1st Edition or Starfinder came down to how much I could stand a setting that requires being stuck in medieval stasis; which isn't TOO bad in Pathfinder, but I was always going to struggle with the fact that the game would fall apart if I purposefully gave a High Science gun to every adventurer and their mother after annexing Numeria at the end of a Kingmaker AP.

Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

By creating 2e has Paizo opened the door to losing more market share to D&D 5e?

I've looked at 2e. I'm staying with 1e, unless we lose all our players.

I very much like Pathfinder. With the colorful PDFs, it's very accommodating to the VTT environment I've grown to love.

For reasons that still perplex me, D&D 5e (last I check) still has no material in PDF format -- but 1e through 4e do.

Given the choice between oblivion (the loss of our 1e players) and playing 2e, I'd probably be forced to give up the ghost and go back to D&D.

Pathfinder 1e is really my most favorite RPG -- and I very much hope it doesn't come to that!

Paizo, I really think that to compete with 5e that a simplified variation of 1e would have had a better chance -- one that could have allowed players to scale up to full 1e if they decided too after becoming more experienced players.

I can't really stand looking at 2e.

I mostly agree with you... But I don't see how simplifying 1E is going to help; the fact they gutted everything about 1E to make 2E is why I dislike 2E.

D&D 5e appeals to people who didn't even play pen and paper RPGs, or anything remotely similar before they started; its "easy to learn"... Pathfinder's appeal was NOT about that, it was the system for people who were familiar with more complicated systems, and were having trouble gearing down into a system gutted of all its subtle interactions and choices.

I got into Pathfinder... Because when I was a kid, I played Baldur's Gate, and I wanted to have a chance to play more of it given the series was "over" back then.

I think reproducing that is probably going to be the main way Pathfinder may get some new life in it. Pathfinder: Kingmaker is probably going to bring quite a few people into Pathfinder, assuming it gets advertised.

Its a great option for people who can never manage to find enough people to form a group for Pathfinder; and people who don't play Pathfinder are going to find it easier to get into because it doesn't require as much planning to start playing.

... He said, wishing for the same for Starfinder as well because I'm stuck as a perma-GM in that.

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Magda Luckbender wrote:

@Luna Protege: Seems like we should asked you for a budget and a character level. If you have tens or hundreds of thousands of GP to throw around, and can buy enormous animated objects and pay for powerful enchantments ... well that sure makes things easier. My suggestion could be done on a shoestring budget, entirely by kobolds, without needing any rare, high level magic.

The multiple suggestions for canals come from people who know the history of cargo technology. We're trying to answer your query with the most appropriate technology. Canals have been used for moving cargo for thousands of years, while railways are a new thing. Canals are drastically simpler, easier, and more reliable. They are the simplest and cheapest way to do the job as initially requested. It sounds like your PC has a psychological opposition to water, and thus canals are not the right solution in this case, which is fine :-)

What does "Water = death" mean?

Addressing the paragraphs in order:

If the entire campaign is focused around building the thing; presumably it would be a... Long Campaign, starting with what I imagine would be a trek to find an investor (probably 1 to 5), followed by finding a guy to build it (probably level 7), so work on the actual project would start by level 8... And then likely have a bunch of side quests to make up the time it takes to complete, plus whatever gold is still missing... Considering crafting time is a long time, I'm going to say it MIGHT be done by 12th level.

Perhaps, but there's already a lot of canals in Golarion. There seems to be one that runs between Nex and the Mana-wastes. So ANOTHER canal is going to be excessive... Also, the size of the canal you'd need for anything like a Galley would be massive, while trains are thin in comparison. In addition, the water through the tunnel is a lot of mess to deal with when it will inevitably result in flooding the tribe itself if anything breaks; considering much of the living space for kobolds will continue to be built downwards rather than upwards. So the transit system will be a decent way above their home... Canals are thus a safety hazard; not to mention, the flow of water being one way is not as conducive to two way travel, at least, not without two separate tunnels with one for each direction, which if the wall between them is punctured will cause... Complications... And I'm sure any group of adventurers going up river on a skiff that's had a gang of Sahagun crawl up from under the water to drag the crew into the water will probably say canals tend to be full of... Unwanted life.

"Water = Death" can have a lot of facets... The millions of monsters that live in it, the chance of being swept over a water fall, the ease of falling off a boat and being unable to swim, being keel hauled by accident or intentionally, getting trapped under ice, being charmed into walking into the water to drown, being stuck on driftwood long enough to starve to death or death by dehydration (while surrounded by water, the irony)… Water is... Dangerous... Period.


Magda Luckbender wrote:
The undead could be replaced by kobold muscle power, if it comes to that. At that point it's not a railroad, but does accomplish the exact same task.

In the short term, using labour to power things can work; but as I've been trying to demonstrate for much of this thread; the long view is to keep operating costs low, whatever that takes. Tens of thousands of gold is nothing compared to the inevitable march of time, even for a few silver a day, over a hundred years, it adds up to a few thousand gold... That and upscaling, operating costs after upscaling are a nightmare.

Magda Luckbender wrote:

Resources required to build a functional underground long-distance cargo transport system:

* Lots of kobold miners
* A few smart kobald surveyors and map-makers.
* One cleric able to cast 3rd level Animate Dead and Channel Negative Energy to heal undead

** spoiler omitted **

Have we forgotten that Water = Death? Kind of masochistic to suggest Canals, yet everyone here is doing it.

The mere mention of canals is giving me flashbacks to two different versions of the same basic character that died to water; to the point it could be a running joke that their family tends to die that way.

Also, Animate Dead has limitations that make it unsuitable for scalability: in addition to requiring a spell, which on the service market is already kind of costly to buy from a wizard; but the wizard also has to remain on staff and paid, not as "unskilled labour" but as professional labour for as long as that undead remains working on the project. So rather than a daily upkeep of 4 silver for two people, its more likely comparable to an on staff Sage of 15gp/day.

Additionally, the other scalability problem is that they can only control 4HD of undead at a time. Even assuming a 4HD skelleton can even pull such a load, which doesn't sound right, that's only one vessel its pulling... Even a 1HD Skelleton per vessel limits it to a maximum of four vessels per Wizard, but the only thing I see them controlling is a gondola... The command Undead spell may be able to get around this, but that's still a maximum of 20 HD for a LEGENDARY Cleric; which would be more suitable as a single creature to pull a large load, but its still a limited number. Necessitating YET MORE Legendary Clerics.

There's something to be said for transport systems where one can operate it without its creator being on staff; in that you only have to turn to them for repairs, and new acquisitions.

If we're going to use "technically a creature" to run the system; one can just turn to the Animated Object rules, and the clockwork template. The clockwork template can be applied to any construct, and Animated Objects are a construct; and boats/ships can be an Animated Object, so a similarly large object with a similar carry capacity or higher could be made into a clockwork "animated object". And... Apparently a Colossal Animated Object would have a carry capacity of almost a thousand tons; specifically 985.7 tons.

Using the cost of the cheapest "Colossal Vehicle" I could find, to be turned into an animated object; a 10,000gp Longboat (or Sailing Boat); just in terms of size, since we just want it to be big (stick wheels on a box); add the additional 19,000 for the animate object cost. I'm not sure if the clockwork Template cost applies only to the animation cost of the boat as well; but assuming both, the final cost (presumably not requiring actual spells to create), the final cost would be 43,500gp.

This would cover all of the weaknesses of an Animate Dead method, at what's essentially only an initial investment that will eventually pay for itself... Also technically doesn't need tracks; in fact, it can go literally anywhere overland, possibly over sea or in air too, depending on how you spend the construction points, but the best means of spending them is to simply use much of it on Speed and a little on Metal. Making it able to move at 31 miles an hour running.

… For our Kobolds however, we'll forgo some of the extra speed for additional movement type: Burrowing... So instead of having to make a bunch of people dig the tunnels by hand, the trains can dig their own tunnels. Which saves more on labour costs as well. And the most speed that you loose from this is only 4 miles per hour; to a max speed of 27 miles per hour.

I don't mean to double post, but its much later that I'm realizing that if I went for the minimum Ton Carry capacity for the train to be more labour efficient than the Teleport circle, the train would cost only 15,750 GP using the 150GP per ton measurement standard, and choosing 105 tons as the target cost (to be on par with three unskilled labourers, as it only needs to beat two unskilled labourers).

… Technically cheaper than the Teleport Circle.

Edit: Also, someone reminded me that one would need TWO teleportation circles; one to get there one to get back; which would actually make the 300 Ton Train BARELY cheaper, as the pair of Teleportation circles would cost 47,000 GP.

avr wrote:
Unskilled labour is really cheap in PF (1-3 sp/day) and raw materials are expensive (1 tonne iron: 2200 sp). Where it's available a teleportation circle is going to be the most efficient means. If there's no uberwizard available and there is an inventor with a team of engineers prepared to make their ideas reality available then a train might work.

Well, that depends on how long one plans to have this railway run for. We're also not entirely sure how much the train itself will cost, but the difference between the cost of the train and the cost of labour can be measured in how long the saving of labour will take to be paid off. In theory, if its anything short of the lifespan of an elf, SOMEONE out there who lives their life as a dedicated businessman or investor will be willing to fit the bill for a cut of the profits.

For a rough estimate of the likely cost, I'm going to start with the cargo capacity of a Heavy Wagon and a Heavy Horse, and use that as a base cost per ton of carrying capacity... This isn't completely fair to the train, as a horse can move in any direction while a train is on rails; but at the same time a train is made of sturdier materials, so I'll go with it.

So, the carrying capacity of a heavy Wagon is 4000 pounds, which we'll round to about 2 tons. A Heavy wagon is 100gp and a heavy horse is 200 gp, making 300 gp. We'll half this to find the cost per ton carry capacity at 150gp (give or take).

Scaling this up it amounts to roughly 135,000gp for a train that carries 900 tons... This price is not outside the realm of plausibility, as the Alchemic Dragon that needs to be able to FLY in addition to carrying 20 tons is 100,000gp.

An Elf meanwhile, can live up to 750 years if they're lucky; We'll treat this as something of an upper limit of reasonability for an Elf investing in something for their own sake(and not doing it for the sake of their children who will finally get the profit). Otherwise we're going to have to look at the lifespan of dragons here.

So taking the difference between this "souped up wagon" and a teleport circle (111,500gp) and divide it by the 48 average silver per day of unskilled labour needed to carry the same amount in the same time... And we get... 636 years, under the absolute maximum lifespan of an Elf by about a hundred years. You can even add the age of adult-hood (110) onto that and you'll be almost tied with the maximum age, so its not outside the realm of possibility; its just pushing it.

Personally, I'd say that 135,000gp figure should include the rails to anywhere of note as well, but that might be pushing it. Alternatively, we could scale the train's carry capacity down so we don't have to have such an insane initial investment; such as 45,000gp for a 300 ton carrying capacity. It may take less labour to compete with that, but you'd still make up for the difference in cost by picking the train in less time at 368 years (roughly).

Firebug wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
Funny thing about the Teleport circle thing, I found myself imagining someone taking hours to just go back and forth through the circle, trying to get across even ONE ton worth of stuff in an hour... While a train to the same location could carry several hundred tons of stuff in the same time, and also stuff that none of the people could actually carry across... Like a clockwork tank.

So I am imagining a training facility for Kobolds to act as haulers. You start with an 18 strength but -4 racial penalty. Add in Alchemist mutagen for +4 strength and an Ant Haul extract.

Heavy load for 18 strength = 300 lbs
Reduced to 3/4 for small size = 225 lbs
Tripled from Ant Haul = 775 lbs
One Ton divided by 775 lbs for number of trips needed through the teleport circle = 2.5 trips = 4 tons a minute*

*Assuming the Kobold starts their turn next to their maximum heavy load, picks it up as a standard action walks 10' through the portal and drops the load as a free action and walks back through the portal with the remaining 10' of movement.

Sure, an 18 strength before racial bonuses is a little min/maxed. Lets look at 10 base strength, for a Kobold Wizard. 60 heavy load from 6 strength(after racials) * 75%(small size) * 3(ant haul) = 135 lbs heavy load = 14.8 trips. So about a minute and a half to transfer a ton of material, not hours. In fact, in "even ONE" hour, a regular Atomie (diminutive 6 str fey) with nothing special at all is transporting over 4 TONS of materials.

Okay, then we get into some very specific calculations on the kind of haul a train would need to have to be worth it. Just scale up from a reasonably conservative estimate; after all, if we don't want to break the bank on paying them for being overly experienced, we're going to want workers without character levels.

A 14 strength Kobold, no levels seems to be able to carry a little over 130 pounds. Within a minute they can carry a little over half a ton in the manner you describe... Within the same time as an hour long train trip, they could carry a little over 35 tons.

For the sake of as close to a one to one cost comparison, lets double it to 70 tons on the assumption of having two kobolds do this; as there's usually two people running a steam train, one to operate the controls, and one to shovel the coal... Though for a more modern train this would not be necessary.

Based on what I can find on train hauling weights, there are freight trains close to a mile long that can carry close to 9000 tons... A more reasonable length of 150 meters or 160 yards would still carry 900 tons.

… This would make this "reasonable" train roughly 12.86 times more efficient than using manpower and teleport circles. So in order to get a comparative amount of haul in the same amount of time, you'd need 26 kobolds working simultaneously; assuming each kobold is getting paid for this (could go either way, "for the tribe" and greed seem like valid motivations for individual kobolds), then that's a significant amount of extra gold being diverted to labour.

Of course, I haven't taken maintenance into account, because A) this system typically doesn't pay much attention to wear and tear, and B) if it did, both trains and teleport circles would undergo SOME form of wear and tear, making them roughly comparable in one way or another. Notably, wear and tear on a teleport circle would require reapplication of the spell, while wear and tear on a train or train tracks only requires maintaining the section in question.

Funny thing about the Teleport circle thing, I found myself imagining someone taking hours to just go back and forth through the circle, trying to get across even ONE ton worth of stuff in an hour... While a train to the same location could carry several hundred tons of stuff in the same time, and also stuff that none of the people could actually carry across... Like a clockwork tank.

Speaking of clockwork stuff, a clockwork train sounds interesting.

Another point to consider with Teleport circles is that they're essentially an express line that skips all the areas that while less important, are still places that can benefit from having people visit.

In order for a teleport circle network to do the same work as a train, you're going to need to have one teleport circle for not only every major city, but every minor city as well, and even every minor "not even worth mentioning" frontier towns.

In fact, even if you do create a train line in a straight line between two points rather than snaking around through all the minor stops, you can still have some stops that cater to those areas in the middle of the line that just exist to transfer to another trader to send it to those minor settlements. Those stops would themselves become trade hubs, and often, they'll serve as nodes off which to make branching lines to said minor settlements when they begin to grow.

Needless to say, if Kobolds want to make their OWN place a trade hub, every town they can connect their line to will increase the available trade that can reach them.

As for cost of such a network... Its more fitting to calculate the cost of the distance between stops rather than the cost as a whole; at least when comparing to a teleportation circle network. Though by that point, the first thing people would advocate for doing with the train system would be transportation WITHIN the same city, as it would be cheaper to instate than any magical travel.

Of course... Kobolds being Kobolds, able to live practically anywhere... I wouldn't be surprised if they just made their own trade towns every 10 miles or so just to be able to say they're making as much use of the rail system as possible. And with how quickly they can build up a population from nothing... Well... Hmm.

Mathmuse wrote:
Kobolds of Golarion also said, "As meticulous as they are malicious, kobolds are highly organized, sophisticated, industrious, and inventive. Their natural talent for mining and gift for trapmaking are known and envied throughout the Darklands and beyond. Wise explorers learn to identify the hallmarks of kobold tunnels and find safer alternative routes around them." and "Kobolds are everywhere. That is to say, kobold lairs have been encountered in every conceivable part of Golarion."

Sounds like they're inventive enough to make a train system, and you could point virtually anywhere on the map and it would be reasonable for them to have an underground tribe there... That simplifies matters.

Mathmuse wrote:
Railroads in underground tunnels have a problem, though. A coal-burning or wood-burning engine would consume all the oxygen in the tunnel. Pathfinder has no rules about bad air, but it does have rules about smoke, so let's just say the tunnels will become filled with unbreathable smoke. This could be solved if the engines were not on the trains, by some kind of cable-car arrangement, or if the engines did not use combusion, by magic or Numerian technology.

I suspect that the smoke issue can be lessened by having some semi-frequent points of ventilation to let the smoke out, as well as stoppering the train carriage doors with rubber seals. As well as using air elementals occassionally to freshen up the air either inside the carriages, or clean out the air in the tunnels.

That's assuming something with smoke, as you said though. And to be honest, I've kind of been working on the assumtion it would probably be powered by something like what powers the "Alchemic Dragon" airship; but a much simpler solution might be to just make the engine basically a Golem (or rather, an Animated Object).

But yeah, Numerian Technology would make a great investment... Its just very difficult to get hold of that while Numeria is still run by the Technic League.

So a character concept I had for a game was a Kobold that in hoping to bring more prosperity to their tribe, and get enough good will with other races so that they don't get killed on sight; and so goes into the trading business.

… More specifically, investing in (if not outright building) an underground train system across the continent, with their tribe in the middle, so that as much trade as possible will go through them.

The problem I'm having is, there's a lot of details I'm not entirely well versed in for implementing a continent wide version of this in the Golarion setting (even if we quickly take the setting off the rails with such a project). Some of which include:

  • The most probable location for a Kobold tribe
  • The most relevant major nations
  • The largest cities IN those nations
  • Any relevant stopping points between the tribe and cities of the relevant nations

I originally thought I could simplify some of those questions by looking up where the major races have as their major settlements, but while that works for Dwarves (Five Kings Mountains), the other races make things much more complicated... According to the Inner Sea Guide, Elves have four favoured regions, Gnomes have 9, as do halflings, and humans live basically everywhere.

Which leaves looking up the most prosperous economic regions in the Inner Sea, which while more realistic choices, leaves a LOT of research I'd have to do in order to figure out which places would make good business partners to set up a railway through.

The one thing I am sure of, is that at least one of the cities such a line would need to have a stop at is a port city.

(Side note: I'm aware of airships as a suggestion, but I could make a whole thread on why that should come AFTER the train system is set up... Mostly for convenience.)

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Takhisis wrote:
Comparing the Witchwarper to the Technomancer on a dpr basis is generally a poor comparison because the Witchwarper is not intended to be a blaster.

I'm a stop you right there, because if we look at the Core classes, all of them have the potential to be built in multiple directions. Each one has DPR potential, each one has some battlefield control or other support potential, each one has survival potential. In case you hadn't noticed, each core class had not ONE viable build provided as an example at the back of their entry, but FOUR.

… and that's just their initial possibilities. With more material, more viable builds will open up.

To claim that this one singular class, out of all others, is only meant for one role, or that they're only meant for a number of similar roles, severely limits the class compared to the others in terms of flexibility.

Takhisis wrote:

A better compsrison to make would be between the Witchwarper and the other control caster, the Mystic.

The Mystic can be built into a Paladin-esque heavy fighter, with spells that grant defence buffs to themselves this is covered by the "Crusader Chaplain" build. Or they can take the MINDBREAKER connection and gains immediate DPR potential in its first three levels; sure the third level one is unlikely to trigger on a spell like Mind Thrust, but if you're blending combat and control, it works.

Almost all the connections also seem to have potent offensive abilities at higher levels. The Healer connection can steal life at 9th; the Mindbreaker has a Save or Die ability at 15th and an intense damage ability at 18th; and Star Shaman can call a meteor shower at 15th.

So immediately, the Witchwarper seems to have less offensive options than the supposed "dedicated healer" class, which you're refering to as a control class; as I've struggled to find an offensive ability that the Witchwarper has outside of Infinite worlds, but I can point out multiple offensive abilities for the Mystic.

… This is all BEFORE we go into the fact that the Mystics damaging spell Mind Thrust is probably one of the most suitable tank busters just for targeting a Will save rather than a fortitude or reflex save.

Now I wouldn't say the Mystic is optimized for the role of damage dealer or anything, but at least its abilities acknowledges it as an option; where the Witchwarper either ignores that option up until the spell selection, which it doesn't even give any bonuses to unlike even the Mystic which at least has connection options that can capitalize on their spells.

Xenocrat wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

... And theoretically, they can also add the Harmful Spells magic hack on top of that so that Spellshot becomes even more powerful; even if the extra 4 damage at level 8 is only equivalent to an extra 1d6 worth of effective damage.

Unfortunately I don't think this is true. There's language preventing doubling up on some magic altering hacks that I think applies to both of these. But Harmful Spells is a pretty minor boost, the ban only really harms a high level gimmick build combining Harmful Spells and Eternal Spell to perpetually Spellshot Overhead for 2d8+half level bonus damage on all your standard action shots.

I'm not seeing this wording. But whatever.

Xenocrat wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

… Also, the Witchwarper's Shifting Surge spell is a strictly worse version of Supercharge Weapon. I know that's kind of a cheap shot, given the Witchwarper has virtually no gun abilities to begin with, but that's my thing.
Disagree, if you're using a laser as your tricked out main weapon and end up fighting a fire elemental, red dragon, or devil then Shifting Surge is a lifesaver. You're better off having an alternate element or always on plan rather than taking a break every round to cast this spell, but it's a decent backup if you're resource constrained.

Its not worth taking as a Witchwarper, not if you take the Paradigm shift with basically the same ability but without the damage bonus, and that Paradigm Shift can be used infinitely.

By all accounts, the only people who will benefit from the spell, are those who grab it as a spell gem, who are neither a Witchwarper themselves, nor have one in their party. As a first level spell, it can be relatively easy to have one on hand during most times. If you only expect to use it once or twice, it would be cheap enough as a first level spell gem. If you're expecting to see these creatures often, you're better off upgrading to a weapon to fight them specifically, or get yourself a "Holy" infusion.

Blake's Tiger wrote:

Empowered Weapon? It costs a spell slot and the Mechanic can do the same all day long. Technomancer's gets better than the Mechanics starting at 7th level, but it does 3d6 damage with a chance to miss vs. the explosive blast it could have cast for 9d6 damage in a 20 ft radius.

For me, anything requiring spending a spell slot is no different than a simply having different spell known.

I'm dubious of this assessment; it ignores the damage of your weapon. A Battlemage Technomancer should have access to 2d12 or 4d6 weapons. With 3d6 on to of that, its 7d6. Keep in mind as well, they also get an extra 7 damage from weapon specialization, which is about the average damage of the 2d6 difference.

In terms of a sniper shot though, you're not going to stop there; you're going to go with Supercharge Weapon as well for an effective 13d6. This is not even including the Spellshot at 8th level that adds a spell like that 9d6 spell on top of that, which you'd get at a higher level.

... And theoretically, they can also add the Harmful Spells magic hack on top of that so that Spellshot becomes even more powerful; even if the extra 4 damage at level 8 is only equivalent to an extra 1d6 worth of effective damage.

The Witchwarper? I've made an entire rant about how all of its Paradigms have virtually no offensive abilities, and are almost totally defensive. And even if we're only talking spells, the mere fact their spells don't get even HALF their level as any kind of bonus to spell damage makes it immediately inferior as a blaster caster to a Technomancer with Harmful Spells; A petty comparison for only a handfull of damage? Maybe, but its still a valid comparison.

… Also, the Witchwarper's Shifting Surge spell is a strictly worse version of Supercharge Weapon. I know that's kind of a cheap shot, given the Witchwarper has virtually no gun abilities to begin with, but that's my thing.

Conversely, "Stunlocking" like the Witchwarper seems to be built for with its Paradigms... Is not. In Pathfinder, I built Blaster-Caster Draconic Sorcerers; stunlocking in comparison like the Witchwarper does with its Paradigms just seems... Needlessly dependant on the rest of the team to do damage.

,Looking over Witchwarper, my main point of (somewhat) annoyance is that its nowhere near as suitable as a Gun-Mage as the Technomancer is; or even as an offensive caster in general. If you'll excuse my theory crafting fillibuster.

Fillibuster Length Analysis:

The entire class seems to have multiple abilities for either buffing the team or hindering enemies, and in some cases the "infinite worlds" ability and its other energy shifting attacks can be sporadically useful in utility against specific enemies; or if used smart.

But it's not suited for aggressive playstyles of "blast it hard", unlike the Sorcerers I hoped it would resemble. As it has only a single damaging paradigm shift and by the time you get (11th level) its 4d8 damage is nothing compared to even under-level weapons, and is only good in the sense its a stunlock; and even one of the paradigm shifts (Shifting Offenseive) has the same effect as what Infinite worlds and one of its spells (Shifting Surge) does, but without the former's need for a caster check or the latter's spell use limit; which is redundant.

Comparitavely Shifting Surge is too nerfed as its damage is nowhere near that of "Supercharge Weapon" (which people will likely prefer using, and just use that instead while using Shifting Offensive for the energy change effect), and its not even usable as frequently as Shifting Offensive is. This is all irrelevant though, as Shifting Offensive isn't even worth getting, as the one thing you'd want to use it for is for shooting a weapon; which the the Witchwarper has absolutely no other bonuses to for either attack or damage, only a once per day re-roll with Alternate Outcome; which as much as it means you're more likely to hit, its also nothing compared to the many more times a day (depending on level) Empowered weapon of the technomancer, which not only grants an attack bonus but a damage bonus as well.

If anything, its an entirely defensive class, where it has a staggering NINE defensive abilities in Paradigm Shifts alone. (Disrupt Attack, Lessen Injury, Prevent Wounds, Twart ability, Resist Elements, Shielding Shift, Magic Sponge, Dart Aside, and Shifting Immunity).

The higher level spells have some amount of leeway in blaster casting, but the great irony is that despite having a lot of abilities for "I change the element of this attack", its third level spells where you get such abilities that correspond to Lightning Bolt and Fireball in Pathfinder, only grants you the latter. Now under better circumstances, this might have been forgivable, but given the WitchWarper has nothing compared to the Technomancer's "basically specialization but for spells" Magic Hack, this is disappointing.

There's an upside on the fact it has resurection spells unlike Technomancer, but at that point we begin to compare it to the Mystic and find it lacking, in that it cannot heal either, and Mystic at least has its mind crush spell (probably not its actual name) going for it; which immediately puts it on par, or near par, with the offensive abilities of the Witchwarper.

If there's one thing the Witchwarper can truely own, its the Infinate Worlds ability, which after stacking several abilities at higher levels can make it incredibly deadly... But its nearly useless at low levels, specifically 1 to 3, where the most it can do is slow down opponents. The 4th level version can be used with some ingenuity like a Jojo protagonist or villain (perhaps by setting a building on fire, and then turning it into an element the enemy is weak to), but unless you're fighting a devil or something with specific imunities, or fighting a monster on its home turf (which you might not be), its only going to see situational use at 4th level.

If you want the SLIGHTLY shorter version of how it stands in its current state:
1: It has nowhere near the flexibility of builds the Core classes have, and it lacks the ability to specialize that the Core Classes have, and for most of the game you're pidgin holed into what's essentially a support role; buffing and debuffing.

2: Its not viable offensively until higher levels, and only by using Infinite Worlds, which is extremely limited in how many times it can be used compared to other Classes' offensive abilities.

3: Its core "gimmick" of element damage shifting is also virtually useless in urban campaigns of 99% humanoids or other player races.

I've been looking forward for a class that could play like my old Draconic Sorcerers (blaster casters in battle, diplomat in roleplay), but it looks like I'm going to have to wait longer... Or ruin a Technomancer build by dumping Intelligence in exchange for Charisma.

I realized when I read up on the "wound" crit effect for weapons, that its perfectly possible that a PC could loose an arm or leg and need a prosthetic one, which explains the existence of the prosthetic arm and leg augmentations, as they're a way around being down an arm or a leg from a bad crit; and regeneration doesn't come into play still high levels.

Thing is, player characters can also loose an eye as well, and as improbable as it may sound, there's every chance they'll loose all their eyes and become blind. Which depending on their build, may make them unable to effectively fight in combat.

So this leads to the obvious question: If a player character is unlucky enough to loose both their eyes (assuming they started with two), should they be able to get around the resulting blindness with a prosthetic eye?

More to the point, how much should it cost, and at what item level?

Now that David mentions it, I'm actually surprised that Anacites have no Con score, given that despite being mechanical; they have been described as being alive enough that Con Score should apply just as equally as it would for SROs and Androids.

Or at least they seem to evolve like living things, which implies they reproduce like living things do, which in turn implies they're alive... No idea if the writers are following that same logic though.

It seemed weird to me that the Anacites (members of the pact worlds, and therefore likely to be part of any adventuring party) somehow have not been given PC stats.

… I'm sure SROs from the Pact World book fills the same role though. Same could be said of Robots. Where I begin to give the books a sideways glance is when the SRO entry of the Pact World book says explicitly that they're "different from the native Anacites".

… This makes me think we're going to be kept waiting for a true Anacite player rule; unless we're willing to just "re-fluff" the SRO entry.

There's one thing from the book that's too small a point for its own thread so I'll mention it here instead... If a Small sized player enters a medium sized powered armor, does it work the same way as a medium player in a large power armour? Or do we just assume it works like the StarCraft power armor controls you see in the StarCraft 2 announcement trailer?

… If the latter, I can see it causing in-universe issues of disproportionate forearms and spindly shins on the armors; seeing as the elbows would still have to match up with the wearer's elbows.

If the former... I can see that creating a bit of a "Large Chested" looking armour just to be big enough for a small character to fit inside while still being able to fit controls in there.

Something I've not been sure about considering how roles work is how exactly it applies to tiny ships; specifically the Racer type and the Interceptor type, since at least the Fighter has two seats so they can have a pilot and a gunner.

If I'm not mistaken, it seems like the only way to use those ships effectively in combat is to have a higher initiative (otherwise there's a good chance its a waste of effort), and line up the shot beforehand, then in the second turn switch roles to gunnery before the engineering phase to shoot. Then when they get out of range, you have to switch back to pilot in the next turn.

This feels like a significant inconvenience for solo campaigns, in that you can't move and shoot in the same turn, making them effectively less "agile" than a ship with more crew, but it could be that I'm reading the rules wrong or something.

… I don't know, what am I missing here? Or is this the rules working as intended?

brkndevil wrote:

Supercolossal ship size is in one of the Dead suns books

It would probably be what you want, no limits on expansion bays and facilities are big enough to handwave everything. Hangers are for Medium size

so much stuff. but it would have to be a tier 20 or more build

But still no Drift Engine tier 2+ for such a big thing, so...

Its slow
like really slow

Any idea which one of the books it is?

If I had been buying the modules as they came out this might not be an issue, but I can't exactly buy them all at once.

I have the first one though, so I know its not that one.

I had the thought of running a campaign that roughly amounts to an entire society going to space in a ship built around their city...

While I could hand wave away the whole "ships that large shouldn't even be ON a planet yet alone built there" thing, I realized that the ship rules as written don't really have anything currently available for any number of passengers or crew above 620.

While I COULD probably just ignore that and treat it as a normal dreadnaught that just happens to have more population room than it has any right to, and more amenities than you could likely add through expansion bays... It's a bit of a shame that the only colossal sized ship is never going to have enough guest quarters for everyone.

Anyways, if anyone has mentioned the idea of having a city ship in this game, point me in the right direction.

Farlanghn wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
Mechanics on the other hand aren't really built for investigation, magical or otherwise. They're not really good with things like blood samples, chemistry, autopsies, or mysticism.
Physical Science (Int) is a class skill for the mechanic which is the skill you would need for samples, chemistry, and autopsies.

I had to double check that Physical Science applies to Chemistry... And apparently it does.

... But analysing blood samples, genetics, and cutting open dead bodies to determine cause of death is still going to be Life Science, not Physical Science.

Physical Science would be more Ballistics.

Arguably I could go Mechanic and have the Scholar Theme give Life Science as a Class skill... But honestly, I just find the Mechanic isn't really what I'm looking for; they seem like they'd be more at home in the armoury as the supply sergeant than in the lab. When they're not a straight up Cyber Soldier that is.

Robert Gooding wrote:
Have you considered going mechanic or operative with your dragonkin forensic scientist? They are a little easier to build into strength melee builds if you’re wanting skills

I've considered both, and as I understand, having next to no Dex is going to be a point against Operative simply out of the lower Resolve... I mean, I could try, but I'm not convinced. Not to mention, given Detect Magic is one of those things I consider "essential" for forensics in a fantasy world, I'd be stuck waiting for level 5 before I could get to use the full toolkit necessary.

Mechanics on the other hand aren't really built for investigation, magical or otherwise. They're not really good with things like blood samples, chemistry, autopsies, or mysticism.

JetSetRadio wrote:
So I am a little confused. I can see Technomancer but why Dragonkin? How does that fit with the backstory? Looking at the Dragonkin, none of the race abilities jump out as benefits to a technomancer. Plus having a Large Dragonkin stomping around a crime scene might damage some of the evidence that's around. The melee battlemage doesn't strike me as "forensic technician" type.

I actually like playing a race against type sometimes. Mostly because its fun, but its also somewhat believable that a race that didn't really have a choice in how it was born will sometimes have interests in things its not expected to go into.

... Where backstory becomes important to build is where a character needs to consider if the skills it picks up will be useful in the field they work in. So yes... Not sure they'd be a Battle Mage to start off, though story advancements may give them reason to go down that road... On the other hand, if they're trying to become a detective, which is a more combat focused role, they would want to focus slightly more on offense.

As for their size being an impediment to maintaining the crime scene, I sort of imagined that outside of their attempts to become a full detective, they spend most of their job in the lab, rather than on site... Either that or I go with computer the forensics idea, but to be fair, I kind of like the idea of a dragon in a lab coat.

So I'm about to start playing in a campaign, and the GM happens to be letting me use Dragonkin as a race; unless some plans change massively though, I'm probably going to be going Technomancer, mostly because it fits with the backstory I wrote up.

I've run into several problems though... Starting with the fact the suggested Battlemage build I'm used to basically expects you to use ranged weapons rather than Melee or Thrown that would work well with Strength (and Dexterity Penalty); and we're doing 10 point buy, so I can't afford to put much into Dex... Granted, the point the spell hacks for the build start requiring ranged is about 8th level.

Also of note is the backstory: a forensics technician trying to work her way up to detective. Which means in THEORY I should be putting at least some amount of effort into social abilities like Sense Motive (if I can only get Wisdom) or Diplomacy (if I instead take a bit of Charisma).

... Of course, going by backstory, I should probably be using a Research Scientist build, or a Thaumaturge build anyways; but I've been under the impression that the "Harmful Spells" spell hack is sub optimal compared to weapon specialization with a decent weapon like an Advanced Melee weapon or Longarm. (Which is why I normally build Battlemages, Empowered Weapon and Supercharge Weapon add better damage).

I'd like advice on a few possible builds I could go with.

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I'm sure someone else will or likely already has brought this point up; but given that we've already got gear level limits, its not like WBL is going to necessarily need to be stuck to. I find its more of a minimum amount of expected gear by credits.

If you've got less than the WBL, the GM will probably need to give them more, sure... But if the GM ends up accidentally giving the party like... Twice the WBL for the APL. That's not much of an issue; you're still limited by gear level, so the party may either have to decide to buy largely redundant gear for a situational benefit (like, 4 different types of guns with different damage types), OR, they could start grabbing the utility items.

I mean... What's a level 1 character going to do with 10,000 credits? That's probably more money than you'd need to buy most Level 3 items and lower.

... Actually, now that I think about it, if I ran a campaign that had XCOM esque themes, I should very well give them that much, tell them they haven't "researched" certain items yet when the game starts, and then watch as they buy a couple of Urban Cruisers, and then crash one of them to take out a Grey that put the rest of the team to sleep.

I'll let everyone else decide if that's a good trade off to be able to reverse engineer the Ray Gun the grey was holding, or to do an Autopsy.

Metaphysician wrote:

Also, lets say a party of level 1 heroes do luck out and have a level 20 character drop dead in front of him, and loot the corpse. Is some magical Item Level Police going to show up? No, of course not.

However, if they aren't careful with where they *use* said gear, than word is going to get around that these random noobs have bleeding edge equipment that would make a spec-ops team jealous. This means the relevant authority figures *are* going to get curious. Even places that have no regulations about private citizens having beyond-milspec gear are going to be very interested in why this random group of people has tech *waaaay* beyond their ( apparent ) means. This certainly *looks* like something weird, and worth investigating.

More worrisome for the party, though, would be all the *other* groups of adventurer-equivalents out there. From their perspective, you all have now become an easy loot run. For a group of level 10 mercenaries, killing you to take your stuff is just good common sense. . . and not really *that* much harder for you having that level 20 gear.

This is why you just sell the gear for a loss under the table, and trade in for gear that isn't going to paint a target on your back.

... Or... Don't wave your ill gotten gains around in public. You keep it in a duffel bag, and bring it out when you're storming a place.

... Also, wear a mask when you do that. Don't want the survivors to be able to identify you and tie you to the gear.

Technically, the flight frame Power Armour would be just as capable of space flight as most other Flight options, albiet we're talking on a different scale and map than space ship battles normally use, so... Gundam style space battles with Flight frames are possible.

... The problem is its not going to be as powerful as a later level Power Armour, so it doesn't scale well.

There's a couple of ways around this, but it depends on the GM. They may allow you to fly with a Jetpack/Forcepack on your light Armour while in the Power armour (given you can wear a Light Armour in a Power Armour); or if you're a Technomancer, you could just make your flight spell the spell you maintain with your spell Cache.

If your GM doesn't like the idea your Light armour can do stuff while you're using Power armour, and you're not a Technomancer... You could just decide to use other kinds of upgrades to the Flight frame that might be more useful (like temporary hit points) and spend the rest of your credits on personal Upgrades and other augmentations.

... Or... Just get someone else to cast a Flight spell on you, or use a Spell Gem to do so. Or really, a Spell chip in a computer, knowing that it might work easier.

Cellion wrote:

The Dragonkin's breath weapon does not gain specialization (Note that the wording is not similar to the Vesk natural weapons trait, which specifically says specialization), it gets a unique scaling damage bonus based on level. There is no reason to believe the damage bonus from one ability applies to a biotech-based breath weapon, either from a RAW rules standpoint OR from a flavor/RAI standpoint.

You would have two completely separate abilities.

Huh... I see...

Shame, but fair enough.

Sad thing is, one quick calculation later, and I find you're still better off using the Bio-Tech than the Dragonkin Breath.

... Though I guess having two breaths is better than having one.

So... Basically I noticed that Dragon Gland has a better dice pool than Dragonkin's natural Breath Weapon, but the Dragonkin's Breath Weapon gets a "Unique Weapon Specialization" bonus essentially, that gives one and a half times level.

The thought that occurs to me, how would this work if a Dragonkin grabbed a Dragon-Gland Biotech?
Would they get the dice of the new gland and the specialization of the old breath weapon?
Would they get two breath weapons with the specialization to both?
One breath using the new dice with no specialization?
Or two breaths with the specialization applying only to the origional one?

Its a question of how exactly the rules interact here.

Personally I think allowing the specialization to apply to the new breath would probably put the damage in line with similar weapons like the flamethrower in terms of damage.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
That statements needs more information; the extent of your statement is unclear.
I'm joking, really. Mainly I was referencing the World of Warcraft convention where most females have implausibly human-like bodies.

That's... Not how I'd describe the problem with their designs, but sure, lets go with that.

Matthew Downie wrote:
In most fantasy realms, the males look like monsters and the females look like shapely women with slight monstrous features.

That statements needs more information; the extent of your statement is unclear.

Most creators nowadays (outside of Japan at least) go with a sort of middle ground for both. Most would call it "Furry", if not for the males being closer to beefcakes than pretty-boys.

Honorable mention goes to "Divinity: Origional Sin 2" for having Lizard people where the females look shapely... But without using breasts to do so.

Of course, in the rare times a setting has a quadrupedal (and non-centaur like) player race, the females typically don't have breasts. Not that anybody has ever asked for anyone to try that for a serious creative entry.

All of this becomes irrelevant anyways if we also note that "most" fantasy settings also don't have races that aren't primarily human to begin with. For example, how many settings can you name where all the races available to players could be summed up as "Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Orc"?

... Now how many settings can you name where the core races have only one of those?

Mad Paladin wrote:
I'd prefer something more like Dragonlance's draconians than 4e's dragonborn, if that makes sense...

After double checking, using whatever little art I could find of Draconians... I vaguely get what you mean, but not really.

Draconians in their origin are basically corrupted dragons, and their design reflects that. To what extent appears to depend on the artist, but the most obvious difference from 4e Dragon-born seems to be their head.

... Namely that a draconian's head looks almost identical to the dragon that it descends from; while a Dragon-born apparently has "tentacle hair", which I'm fairly certain most dragons don't have.

Also apparently the draconians have less sexual-dimorphism, supposedly appearing "almost identical" save for wider hips, their behaviour, and some harder to observe at a glance quirks specific to breed.

Deathseed wrote:
It's an RPG. As humanoid as you want them.

As sensible as this is from a pragmatic sense... Its still fun to discuss.

... Also, it raises another question; who is the "you" who decides? The player? Or the GM?

Ideally both, but I imagine someone will argue the point on that.

I know this is probably an irrelevant question, given it has no mechanical difference. But I noticed that based on a couple of minor details, such as their gait, body-shape, and the specific wording of them being "more humanoid" rather than just "humanoid"... After a while an idea sunk into my brain.

... Is this one of those times where they're either more comfortable on four legs than two legs? Just as comfortable either way? Or are they genuinely bipedal?

Looking at the image, they don't seem entirely built to be bipedal; their hips seem to be built with quadrupedal stance in mind with the natural spine angle being more perpendicular to the leg angle, where in a more natural bipedal stance the tail would angle towards the ground.

This idea is kind of betrayed by their arms not quite being as long as their legs, but that more makes me look at them and half expect their stance to be more leaned forward into a stance resembling a Jurassic Park style raptor.

With the case presented, there's a follow up question... What would be more interesting?

We've already got a candidate for "vaguely draconic humanoid" with Kobolds, and part of me thinks that distinguishing them from kobolds by making them seem like being on two legs isn't as natural seems like a good way to differentiate them physically.

... On the other hand, treating them as being more stuck between bipedal and quadrupedal (and by extension between humanoid and dragon) despite their closer biological relation to dragons than Kobolds may actually make for something more interesting story; in the case of seeming uncanny to both other humanoids and dragons since they're diverging from what a dragon should be, yet not quite fully humanoid.

Something to think about.

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Regardless of the art, they have some method of grasping, ranging from featherlike filaments on their forearms to articulated claws that can be folded into multiple shapes.
I wonder if this applies to all PC races; Urog (Large Magical Beast) seems an obvious example of the weird fact they can somehow manipulate items with little issue. Got to wonder how that works out.

Paragraph two, sentence one.

"Urog anatomy can be deceptive."

Considering the way I phrased that train of thought, I shouldn't be surprised that your answer amounts to "basically yes".

Of course, the answer you give also seems to suggest (by way of the answer being from the Alien Archive itself) that not even people watching an Urog in-universe can figure out how they hold objects.

... I'm not sure if the logical extension of that would be once the Urog actually picks up an item, but the two possibilities that come to mind are these:
1) An Urog picks up a gun, and the observer says "oh, so that's how you hold those!"
2) An Urog picks up a gun, and the observer says "Wait... How are you holding that?"

Meanwhile, I should note that when I first saw the Urog's image, I thought their electro-bubble was supposed to be something resembling an insect's crystalline wings folded in such a way to create a shield... Actually they still might be. So yeah, I can get the weird biology thing.

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Berselius wrote:
I only have one question. How the heck do they wield tools or even guns when their hands end in what appear to be prickly blades?
Regardless of the art, they have some method of grasping, ranging from featherlike filaments on their forearms to articulated claws that can be folded into multiple shapes.

I wonder if this applies to all PC races; Urog (Large Magical Beast) seems an obvious example of the weird fact they can somehow manipulate items with little issue. Got to wonder how that works out.

Given that the door is now open to other Magical Beast creatures being PC races, my main question becomes how this is going to work out when eventually we wind up with Magical Beast Alien PC races that amount to large intelligent cats, wolves, and horses/unicorn/Pegasus (or rather, alien creatures that look like them) and we have to ask ourselves how they're holding the weapons and items.

Granted, I suppose something similar to the Contemplative's drawback on weapon handedness is probably a likely case for creatures with genuinely only maybe a tail and a mouth to use their items with.

This is all stuff I say knowing full well I would play as essentially a blink dog in space, of basically any class. Because that would be fun.

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I'm not the only one who saw the title and mistakenly took it as a challenge... Right?

Seriously though, if anyone gave me a manual for "how to make Starfinder races for PCs", I'd probably go nuts with the fact that apparently now you can play as Magical Beasts; yay for the Urog!

You know... Weirdly enough, everytime I think "Hmm, if I wanted to rebuild the 3.5/Pathfinder system, what would I change?" I usually come to the conclusion that Strength and Constitution should be rolled together into one stat.

If one did that there'd be a certain degree of symmetry between a combined STR/CON stat and DEX. Both would have a dedicated Saving Throw (Fortitude vs Reflex), both would have a defensive stat (HP vs AC), and both would be able to be applied to attack rolls and in some cases damage rolls (melee vs Range/Operative).

For a symmetry between Body and Mind, I'd probably combine Wisdom and Charisma. In part because if we don't take class specific abilities (and spells) into account, in part because all three mental stats seem to be swapped out interchangeably; Charisma amounts for very little outside of "talking". Wisdom at least has one of the most important saving throws.

... Also keeping in mind that Intelligence is essentially the master stat for skills; given INT gives its bonus to more skills than both other mental stats combined. The one thing it gives besides that outside of class specific abilities is skill points. It may hard to tell if its balanced with a combined WIS/CHA stat since such a stat's abilities outside of the class specific ones would amount to just Will Saves.

...Skill points vs Will save bonus... Is that balanced? The designers seem to think so with existing INT vs WIS issues, so I'm going to go with "probably"... Just that they forgot to give CHA something to balance it with the other two.

As for whether the Body/Mind split is balanced... So far it seems that while the Body based Ability scores handle more generalized things regardless of class, the Mind scores all handle class specific abilities... Something the body scores rarely touch; baring maybe CON affecting Rage duration, or an Extraordinary ability's save DC.

This is probably a lot of throat clearing all just to make the case for a hypothetical 4 Ability score system: Fortitude, Reflex, Intelligence, and Willpower.

... Or essentially that anyways.

There's a few questions that came to mind when reading the entry, and in part there's a couple of things that seem unclear.

The first is whether or not the spell known is meant to be in addition to the spell known list, or in place of the spell known gained at that level.

Second, is it shackled down to the specific spell levels available when you got the spell? Or are you able to reassign it to a higher level spell when you're reallocating spells known at a higher level. For example, when reallocating spells at level 17, can they take a 6th level wizard spell in exchange for returning the 14th level spell to being a bard spell? Or more likely, swapping the 2nd level Wizard Spell for a 3rd Level Wizard spell at Bard level 8?

... This is of course assuming that the number of spells known per level remain the same as what's listed on the Spells known table even after the swap. Its just swapping which one the expanded repertoire applies to.

Drejk wrote:
Huh? Hold person is a second level mystic spell. How did you get hold person as a 1st level technomancer spell?

Huh... Whoops...

I probably misread something... Or assumed something was still working on Pathfinder scaling.

... Guess I need to find another spell then.

Voss wrote:
S. J. Digriz wrote:

Note that with jolting surge you have to be right up next to some bad thing, and if you count the chance of missing (about 50% for a 1st level technomancer targeting a non-minion bad thing), the expected damage per spell is about 7 points electrical. Magic missile, also a 1st level spell, has a 0% chance of missing, and so its expected damage per spell is 10.5, and you can cast it while far away from the bad thing. I'd go magic missile over jolting surge.

I'd take neither. They go obsolete really fast, and never scale, which makes them rather bad after just a few levels.

Being able to one shot a goblin at level one is... nice. But mostly it sets the player up for disappointment when that no longer matters, and just pulling a gun and blasting is superior in terms of resource expenditure and actually contributing with your actions.

Well... That way of putting it makes me think...

I've ended up having my 1st level Technomancer have the Supercharge Weapon spell and Hold Person... I know Hold Person isn't a great choice for 1st level, but give it a few levels and then if you're lucky you can hold someone in place for several rounds, and then have the rest of your team beat them down in a way they can't fight back.

... Unless I missed something in Hold Person, such as if hitting them would dismiss the spell... But even if that were the case, its still good for taking someone out of the fight until the rest of the mooks are taken out. If the boss is something like a Soldier, that's an obvious target for Hold Person.

(Aside: Makes me consider a possibility of a battle where not only is the boss a Soldier, but they're accompanied by lower level CC mages. Meaning that the Soldier is just the guy who takes out the helpless party. Otherwise, I do ponder that if a bunch of Technomancers all cast Supercharge Weapon on a single Soldier's gun, would it stack?)

Technomancer, from a cursory glance, appears to work best as a sort of ranged Magus. Among its best long term combat spells in its first level spells is one for adding 4d6 to your next attack. And one of its spell hacks adds extra attack and damage bonus ON TOP of that.

Because of that, there've been discussions of it as being essentially the "ultimate sniper".

Aside from that, I want to point out that Technomancers have multiple ways to regain spells, mostly due to Magic Hacks. One of which amounts to "drain a battery for a free spell".

Not only that, but it gets several chances to allow a handful of spells to last 24 hours with no real downside. Essentially Constant Fly spell and a constant DR and Energy Resistance shield.

... That's to say nothing of the spell Hack that allows effectively infinite use of a single 1st level spell. Which, given how I've already established "4d6 to any weapon" is one spell, that's an obvious choice. Especially if you gain Proficiency with Heavy Weapons or Sniper Weapons, and versatile specialization. And if you go full sniper, you can even SHOOT THROUGH WALLS!

Really, Technomancers make EXCELLENT battlemages; its like if you took the Pathfinder Spell-slinger and took away all the penalties and downsides.

While true, the Mystic does sound like it makes a better "Wizard" of sorts, in the traditional Wizard stuff, like charms, utility spells, illusions, and probably summoning knowing some players; the Technomancer is a great choice for someone who wants to play a more... Straightforward combat role with their casting.

Side note: Even if you decide to try going with spell blasting rather than spellslinger style, you can get a magic hack that amounts to "Specialization damage, but for spells".

Apologies if Mystic has ANY of these benefits as well, but I've yet to actually read the Mystic's entry... Mostly because I just know everyone will want them to be used for healing rather than a combat role, and I'm the kind of person who plays Blaster Casters; healing is "not really my thing".

... Also I tend to die a lot, and I'm pretty sure nobody wants the healer dead.

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MakuTheDark wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

If the point of contention on the Starfinder Androids is their "Organic" components... Then I have to consider asking... Are they using the term in a scientific sense or a generic sense?

To put it another way, consider the possibility that pieces of an android can likely self reassemble, repair, grow, and regenerate; in the same manner as any other living being... However they may not contain any genetic material such as DNA, proteins, or cells.

If one scientist dropped a piece of plastic in front of you, which you're unable to distinguish from living material unless you perform chemical analysis (including under a microscope), then a casual observer who notes that it behaves like biological material would call it "organic".


As a note, the term "organic" refers to a pool of carbon-based compound, not the current definition that was created by a marketing team and slapped on salads. So if carbon-based compounds were used to create an Android, they are "Organic" ;) lol but I see where yer going with the breakdown of language and agree many things will have to be redefined.

As to genetic material, what constitutes as genetic material? A Genome is a blueprint to a living creature. Why can't the nanites in the Android not carry something similar, but instead of using coding of DNA, they use another form of coding? I mean, PF androids do heal naturally if damaged. *shrugs* So some form of coding is going on to replicate and replace damaged pieces of an Android.

Huh... Sounds like Androids could theoretically have their only "organic" components be Carbon Fiber, or perhaps a carbon based plastic, and could still be considered to have organic components. Heck, they might be mostly rubber and latex based for their fleshy-parts.

Your second part also hits on something I was saying about a hypothetical "living metal"; ironically I ended up describing it as non-organic life, and using that term correctly by accident it seems.

I suppose you're right to question if genetics has to be tied to DNA. After all, in evolutionary programing in computer science, they typically call the information used for the passing on of information a "genetic algorithm". Albeit expressed as code rather than chemicals.

"Genetic material" isn't quite the same as genetic information however. There's kind of an implication that the information is encoded in the materials itself, meaning its at least partially chemical.

Personally, if we were to consider whether code on a physical computer component is "genetic material", we have to note that some of these bits and bytes of the information may not be held anywhere adjacent to each other or really connected by any physical medium given cloud computing. And in far future speculative fictions, sometimes data isn't even stored in a physical medium; instead being encoded into some kind of dimensional substrate. In these cases, it does present the possibility that the best term might be more "genetic pattern", assuming "Genetic Algorithm" is somehow ruled out.

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If the point of contention on the Starfinder Androids is their "Organic" components... Then I have to consider asking... Are they using the term in a scientific sense or a generic sense?

To put it another way, consider the possibility that pieces of an android can likely self reassemble, repair, grow, and regenerate; in the same manner as any other living being... However they may not contain any genetic material such as DNA, proteins, or cells.

If one scientist dropped a piece of plastic in front of you, which you're unable to distinguish from living material unless you perform chemical analysis (including under a microscope), then a casual observer who notes that it behaves like biological material would call it "organic".

To muddy the waters, consider a "cybernetic organism" made of living metals, that has integrated many technological systems into it over the course of its evolution; yet requires eating, breathing, and sleeping to maintain itself. Not to mention, they perform sexual reproduction. Such a case is another step beyond Android, but it muddles the common usage of "organism", and by extension "organic" far more than an Android would; seeing as its materials behave LESS like a living being's body parts as we understand them, yet are more alive than an Android's parts, though an Android's part's may act more alive than these creatures.

Really, once we've reached this point, language is beginning to break down at its fundamental level. Half the terms we're using need to be redefined, and new terms need to be developed to distinguish one from another, especially when some words based off the same root may be contradictory.

... For example, if a creature is an Organism, but is not "Organic", then what would the adjective form of Organism be for such a creature? Given that "Organic" is taken.