Way before minis and battlmats became the norm for D&D, I used graph paper for maps, and players marked positions using said graph paper as rounds went on. We also a lot of use of theater of the mind. As a DM I would try and be accurate with distance so Player 1 knows Enemy 1 is 120 feet away, next round enemy is now 90 feet away. etc, etc, etc. It takes a little bit of talent and some decent one the fly note taking, and homemade combat charts. I still play a lot of other RPGs like this, GURPS and Call of Cthulhu come to mind. But since D&D 3.0 we have used battlemaps and minis/pawns. I haven't tried Starfinder without a battlemap and pawns, but if I had too I could.
The issue you are having is 5E while a neat system is very simplified from previous D&D Systems. Starfinder is based on Pathfinder, which is based on D%D 3.5. D&D 3.5 is more complicated and math and rules heavy compared to D&D 5E.
It is kind of like playing Stratego and jumping to Axis and Allies.
That being said, you can do this, many of the concept in 5E are similar concept to Pathfinder/Starfinder.
Make sure you have notes and cheat sheets if you need them.
For new players, I always make cheat sheets, combat ones, what you players powers are, etc, etc, etc
Starfinder is not the real world, there are monsters, aliens, robots, magic, Solar Weapons, psychic abilities, cybernetics, etc, etc.
Because of this trying to apply real world logic or rules fall apart pretty quickly. Regulating what firearm or armor you can wear is only small part of the problem.
With that being said, if you want more Shadowrun Flavored Starfinder campaign, make sure you set up what the normal is with your players, it is you game, and theoretically you can whatever you want.
Not high enough level, I believe if remember correctly, you need to be 5th level to access flying creatures
When you transform, you assume the beast’s hit points and Hit Dice. When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. However, if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. For example, if you take 10 damage in animal form and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage. As long as the excess damage doesn’t reduce your normal form to 0 hit points, you aren’t knocked unconscious.
My point is RAW vs. Realism. No bear would survive jumping off a hundred foot cliff in the real world where RAW says they might.
When in doubt about whether two characters who threaten an opponent flank it, trace a line between the two attackers’ centers. If the line passes through opposite borders or corners of the opponent’s space, then the opponent is flanked.
Exception: If a creature takes up more than one square, it gets the flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.
Dungeons & Dragons and all it's iterations from it's humble beginnings (including Pathfinder and Starfinder) have always been a simulation. The rules are a abstract way to simulate what happens. So to try to make a D20 roll "realistic" you'll rip your hair out and look like me, a bald middle aged man.
Because of the abstract simulation nature of the game, you need to have some creativity.
For example, many high level character could survive a jump of a 15 story building, that of course is not realistic buy because of the abstract simulated nature of the rules of falling the could.
So what do you do? Well it depends on the character and style of game you want to play.
Lets say they did in the in a Call of Cthulhu game? They would be dead
Let's say they did this in a high fantasy super heroic Pathfinder game? Well it might be allowed, the character had done a few things to prevent his out right dead (ex used some acrobatics to parkour down the building, slowing themselves a bit and landing in a hay stack, they got hurt, but are not dead).
I can give you a in game example. So myself and my kids and nieces and nephews are play D&D 5.0. My daughter is a Druid. She is on top of a 100' cliff, while the other player characters are down the bottom of the cliff chasing the big bad. Daughter tells me she wants to shape shift to a bear and jump of the cliff landing in front of the the Big Bad. She knows she has chance surviving the fall as a bear. What do I do? Well this is awesome cinematics, so she jumps, survives, and land right in the path of the Big Bad, and roars. If she took enough damage, she would be dying. I allow it because it was good thinking and interesting use of the her powers . . the rule of cool.
I too also hand wave unless they character is an environment where no such objects would exists, which is extremely rare.
Even in a prison cell there are things like buckets and random debris here and there.
The spell specifically states "an object weighing up to 5 pounds (less than 1 bulk)". Sitting here in my office, that is literally about 100 things i can see from my desk
If you are running a Adventure Path consider having them play "Gesalt" Characters. Basically give them two classes, and when they level they level both classes at the same time and get the benefits of both classes when they level. They will be very powerful but they should be able to take on an standard adventure path.
If it is a homebrew campaign you should be able to write it just for two characters with out any issue. Especially since it seems you will get more players eventually, you should be able to put something together for two players pretty easily.
As far as one player controlling multiple characters? I always hated that as a player.
Why not just use double thick Baseball pants? LOL
Honestly though, the rules overall are pretty vague when it comes to this, I would not allow it, but I can see the argument why someone would.
So I am going to take this into the real world.
I play a lot of baseball.
Baseball pants are tight and form fitting, and provide some modicum of protection. Underneath the baseball pants, I wear sliding shorts and as a well as a sliding pad on my left knee. Both are form fitting and padded, and provided nice protection from abrasions and bruises. It is very comfortable to wear.
It would no be comfortable to wear two sets of baseball pants, sliding shorts, shorts/pants/shorts. I would decrease my effectiveness at playing baseball, running etc and I would also look ridiculous.
Again, this is not based on rules, more on common sense.
I would imagine that Second Skin has similar properties to Sliding Shorts and Baseball pants, form fitting, skin tight but with built up layers to protect joints and vital areas.
The Economy of Starfinder is a abstraction of an actual economy, just as combat is an abstraction of actual combat. It is not meant to be realistic (either one).
Shadowrun and Starfinder and GURPS Space and Star Trek and Star Wars and Firefly and Cyberpunk are all different genres in Sci-Fi, and all different types of games. They all do some form of hand waving/abstraction and none of it is perfect.
Personally if you dislike a game this much, there are literally a hundred other games you can play (you could pretty much recreate Starfinder in GURPS if you want something more "realistic" for example).
They point is are you having fun? If not why waste your time with this game?
Louis Agresta wrote:
Dismembered yes, did not experience the torso swap though
I treat "Power Cells" and "Batteries" as the same thing, but specific to each item. This being high technology is in a part of the item and just needs to be reloaded (recharged). Also extra powercells can be replaced in the item in a pinch, but they need to be same as the powercell they are replacing. A laser weapon powercell cannot replace the power cell in power armor for example.
Real World example, a cell phone battery or power cell, cannot be used to power a electric car, just as a power cell from a electric car cannot be used to power a cell phone.
I also make it really easy for my players to recharged their items, as long as they as they can hook it up to a power source. Again, high technology, should be relative common in most advanced worlds, and really should not take loads of time.
By literally reading of the spell and the rules of androids, I would say yes it will heal an android, I agree that is the scheme of everything 1d4 once per day isn't game breaking. I also agree the wording of the spell could be made much clearer
As far as bulk, unless I have missed something, bulk does not apply to creatures but objects. Additionally Constructs are not objects but creatures, and the spell specifically calls out constructs.
D20 Modern had a take on Auto Fire and Burst fire
Here is the rule from autofire from the D20 Modern SRD
And Burst Fire
The autofire rules are interesting, I haven't played D20 Modern in a very long time, so my recollection of how well it works is not there, but maybe something to glean some stuff out of. Obviously it make Automatice Firearms a bit more powerful.
I the real world how does one put out a large bonfire like that?
1. Large volume of streaming water
So you would need a spell that can generate a volume of water of earth to snuff out a 15' x 15' Bonfire quickly. 15' X 15' fire is pretty big so I would rule you need a equivalent amount of extinguisher that can cover that area to put it completely out. If you cannot cover the entire are then you need to use multiple methods.
I can put on a standard campfire with 1 or 2 shovelfuls of dirts. Several people with shovels could probably put it out and fire that size but it would take some time, I would guess at least 20 minutes.
A bucket line would also eventually work, but again probably half a hour or so of constant dousing.
Summon a Earth/Water Elemental? That would probably go out rather quickly
Been playing since 1978. My groups has been pretty consistent until about 5 years ago.
When we played we switched system all the time. Played a few sessons of Pathfinder, Dungeons and Dragons, Call of Cthuhlhu, GURPS, etc, etc, etc.
So we play and play all sorts of systems genre and games, we each too turns DMing, etc, etc, etc. The longest we system we ever played was 2E but that was in High School.
Why did we play? Fun, camaraderie, mutual interests, a creative outlet
Now that my original group is not playing consistently any more, I have a new group. My kids, nephew, and their friends. We have doing 5E and Call of Cthulhu, both which they very much enjoyed, but are starting Starfinder tomorrow. Why do they play? It is a fun diversion once a month from video games. They range in age from 15 - 18.
All my players are long time players, all I need to give them is some idea of the game system, setting, house rules, and such, and they go with it. They will ask questions but I don't generally limit their options as to what they want to build as long as they can give me some good background of their character concept and how it fits.
They will even bounce ideas off of me and other players while creating.
Of course we all have 30+ years experience gaming, with multiple systems and none of us are really interested in breaking the game, we are very interested in concepts, even if those concepts might be less than powerful characters. They always send me copies of their characters and will take criticism and suggestions for changes from me, but i don't force them on them.
As a good example?
We are starting the RotRL AP this week, they have made:
A Dwarf Barbarian
They realize they have no magic support, but don't care and want see how they stack up. They are extremely creative players and will get around there limitations using that creativity. They also realize if they really are borking themselves, they will adjust and dip into other classes and use NPC as needed. It would not shock me if they go really far without dipping.
We have a ton of fun.
The Chort wrote:
Try this, go completely opposite see what happens.
Here is a example from a recent combat my 6th level bard's party was involved in.
Fighting powerful BBEG and some of his mooks. Round one starts, the wizard on his turn hits him with a massive Lightning Bolt hurting him. BBEG moves into melee with wizard to kill him, hits wizard almost dead. Cleric bullrushes BBEG (who at this point was still very healthy) moving him out of melees with Mage, and back into the threat area of the fighter, and and flanking him at the same time. Changed the battle right there using battlefield control. BBEG is now flanked, in two threatened areas, in melee with two powerful melee combatants who could take his hits a bit better, and open for another killer shot from the wizard.
Without said bullrush, BBEG probably kills wizard and mess up bard with his full attack, while cleric and fighter close and attack.
Just a recent example.
If you start adding KB rules to 3.0 combat you add a whole new tactical rules to the game.
Roberta Yang wrote:
Of course, but I see the need to have to "control" a mechanic like that based on the tactical rules nature of combat 3.0+ and how crowd control is king. It is what it is.
Again, if you really wanted to add a cinematic knockback, take a look a Mutants and Masterminds (D20 based), don't have the book right in front of me, but if I recall correctly, their Knockback system is damage based, and could be reversed engineered back to Pathfinder.
When I think of knockback, I am thinking superheroes. Knockback of a couple feet by someone falling form a blow, to me is not really knockback, but knocking prone. the original poster is talking about punches, strikes, and bullets doing knockback. Knockdown is much different than Knockback in terms of game mechanics.
Now pushing, or picking up someone, I would not consider knockback, but that is probably just semantics. This is covered under the Bullrush combat mechanic.
If you want to add Cinematic Knockback, pick up a copy of Mutants and Masterminds and convert their knockback rules (based on superheroes) to Pathfinder.
As for the "Physics" of knockback. Guns don't knock people back, and a bullet might not even knock someone down (at least not right away).
Physical attacks, well, just watch MMA, no knockback there, knockdowns yes, but knockback.
As a longtime player of LOTRO's PvMP (Player vs. Monster Player). I can tell you how they do it.
There is a seperate area, where you can bring your regular player in to battle players playing Monster (specifically Orc, Uruks, Wargs, Spiders and on the special occasions Trolls).
These Monsters are like a regular player character, you level them up, get new skills etc, with some major differences.
- First Monster players are overall weaker that regular players, monster players many time need to group up to take on regular players
Monster players cannot communicate with regular players except by certain emotes. If a monster player talks while next to a regular player, that regular player will see gibberish, and vice versa. They cannot even communicate via Private message.
The regions is a psuedo war. Monsters vs Free People. The map has several regions, keeps, and such, that give bonuses based on what is taken over to the army takes it over. Monster players level by doing monster based quest (all simple gathering, and kill quests, no real plot) and killing Free People.
Water also effects the perception of the attacker, even those targets that are partially submerged. What you are aiming at that is under water, could actually be several feet from where it appears because of the way Water refracts light.
Additionally even bullets slow WAY DOWN when firing at something in water. If you have ever seen the Mythbusters show on this (Firing bullets at targets in water, even 6" of water was enough to slow some bullets down to less that lethal and throw off it trajectory.
One of my favorite characters of all time is a bard, who I had a concept for as a party buff, summoner, ranged guy.
So of course, I "optimized" him for that. When we started the game, my DM handed me a sheet that had a modification to my back story, and a "special" rapier (eventually turned out the rapier was a legendary item of his own devising) that I got in a mysterious way that I knew nothing about.
First few adventures, I was doing the old buff, ranged attack, summon monster stuff, when I ended up having to attack something with the rapier, which of course did some cool things.
So as I went up levels, I all but abandoned ranges, and my ranged feats, and started focusing on the rapier. By 9th I was not optimized at all in my original concept, nor was I optimized in Rapier Melee combat, but I have moved from Ranged to the Melee/Buff/Summoning choosing feat more akin to the the Rapier combat, than the bow combat.
One of the best campaigns, my fellows ever played, and this was 3.5, which really nerfed the Bard ability to pick up a new feat chain compared to PF.
So maybe that is a thought, have them get their concepts down, and then tweak them before the first game.
I would rule that could be possible, with the proper Bluff/Perform rolls to hide it.