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Yeah, gonna agree with the room: all of these feats are either broken or useless. None of them are well designed.

I would say, as a rule of thumb? Properties that describe a character's relationship to the setting, as opposed to their specific skills or talents? Should always be Themes, not Feats.


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You all are assuming that it would actually make Aucturn undead, as opposed to just cracking the shell and waking it up. :p


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I tend to imagine the Iomedae version of Mind Thrust as resembling an astral sword or spear, launched right at the target. Its a weapon wielded in the cause of righteousness, just one formed out of psychic energy. Nothing antithetical.


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*checks* Well, I can't judge for quality, but a quick look at Amazon says that survival knives can be had for between $20 and $50. 13 coffees for that would mean between about $1.50 and $3.80. Pricey, but not exactly unthinkable.


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Making sniper rifles that are usable at normal battle ranges won't really change the fundamental problem that sniper battles only allow snipers to engage, is the thing. It would be more important to introduce additional options so that conflicts can happen at 1000+ feet without excluding the entire party.

At the very least, you'd need explicit rules that allow people to spot for snipers via perception checks. It'd probably be useful to modify the range categories for spells, so that Long encompasses a range similar to that of sniper weapons, as well.


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... if it is altering the psychic medium of an entire planet, in what way is *that* not detectable, like a giant beacon?


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Note that I would tend to interpret that to mean that, if a fresh drone were hit with an attack doing double its HP in damage, it would go straight to the scrap bin. This really shouldn't come up ever unless the players do something *remarkably* stupid, however.


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Aucturn is a very good example of a place that doesn't need a standing army, and where you wouldn't want to send your standing army anyway. The place is so hostile, and filled with so much weird supernatural crap, that conventional invasion is nearly pointless. Even the Dominion of the Black can only somewhat invade them because they are *also* composed of eldritch horrors.

The best solution to Aucturn wouldn't be invasion, but destruction with some planetkilling WMD. Except for the little problem that a planet killing WMD might not *work*. . .


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I actually am fine with the idea that the Drift does not have normal access to the river of souls. It gives a subtly unsettling form of hostility to the plane that is better for flavor than simple wandering monsters or such. I just want to make clear that it is a potential hazard, rather than an immediate unavoidable fate worse than death. Becoming forcibly warped into a drift-specific undead is the result of being persistently stranded, not simply dying.

I do also like the idea that Triune can and does rescue souls of those lost in the Drift, and that this is why nearly every sailor pays homage to Triune even if they primarily worship someone else. If everything goes horribly wrong, a sailor wants to die with a prayer to Triune on their lips begging for rescue rather than an eternal void.

( Similarly, a sufficiently strong dimensional barrier should imprison and trap souls of those who die inside. However, it'd have to be a really potent one, working on multiple levels, to actually do this. Otherwise, a soul would simply drift outside its area effect and *then* enter the ethereal/astral. )


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Given that it is a generally accepted practice for the game and genre, in the fantasy versions of D&D, to assume the wearing of armor at most times? I am strongly inclined to assume that in Starfinder, where armor is even more user-friendly and comfortable than in D&D/Pathfinder, the same assumed practice applies even moreso.

Basically, unless the PCs are in an extremely safe, casual environment, *and* I as a GM deliberately invoke some scenario related to such? They are wearing their usual armor.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
It is producing an effect with literally planetary range. To argue that this somehow does *not* involve transmitting anything detectable, would require more than a little explicit statement to pass the plausibility test. Otherwise, your basically saying "It is imbuing people thousands of miles away with fairly major magical effects, but no, really, its not actually transmitting any detectable signal".
There’s precedent from planar enhancements to magic. They just give you a boost, they don’t make you sense it coming from a source.

Could you give me a citation, because "lack of an explicit description of a detectable source" is not the same thing as "lack of a detectable source". Or to put it differently. . . if a Magic Wand of Charm Person can be detected, even when not in use, by an effect that senses magic? Why, exactly, would a device that produces an almost incalculably more powerful effect of a similar type not *also* be detectable?


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Something to keep in mind is that a drone is *not* destroyed at 0 HP. Its just incapacitated. Its only destroyed, and thus in need to replacement, at. . . IIRC, if it takes a hit equal to its total HP when at 0 HP. Otherwise, all you need is any effect that would repair it to get its HP back into the functional range.


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It is producing an effect with literally planetary range. To argue that this somehow does *not* involve transmitting anything detectable, would require more than a little explicit statement to pass the plausibility test. Otherwise, your basically saying "It is imbuing people thousands of miles away with fairly major magical effects, but no, really, its not actually transmitting any detectable signal".


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Given the way Barathu are described, in both society and biology, I really have a hard time imagining them having sexes. Reproducing sexually, yes, but sexual reproduction does *not* actually require multiple sexes, not for micro-organisms, and that is what they most closely resemble. So, I'd simply label them "N/A". Barathu have one sex, 'Barathu', and can reproduce with any other Barathu ( or multiple others, or none ).

Now, you could have gender without sexual dimorphism, but I can't see the Barathu having anything like gender resembling most other species. If they do have gender variations, its probably unrecognizable to humanoid life. Individual Barathu might well affect a certain gender when interacting with humanoids, but this would be case by case ( as would the degree it represents deeper personality characteristics vs a convenient means of communication ).


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I actually can easily see many of the Pact World states providing little emphasis on "large standing army", due to the nature of the setting. Yes, some problems are best solved by tens of thousands of infantrymen and tank pilots and whatnot, but the number that wouldn't be *better* solved with either commando teams ( read "PC parties" ) or space fleets? Much smaller. After all, why send a thousand grunts at a problem when either a couple capital ships providing orbital firepower, a few teams of elite specialists with advanced gear and magic superpowers, or both, can fix things much more cleanly?

The main thing large "ground" forces can do that the others can't is hold and defend territory. If you want to rule a populace, or protect it from enemy attack, you probably need a large garrison spread over the locale. Otherwise, hostile locals or enemy infiltrators have the initiative and can do basically anything they want.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Hawk Kriegsman wrote:
It is not even that uncommon for 2 PCs to stay in the group's spaceship in atmospheric orbit running intel for the 4 on the ground.

OMG. Why have I never thought of this!?

I've been so stuck in the team-dungeon dynamic of prepublished adventures and the isolated nature of starship to non-starship play that it didn't once occur to me just how useful having a bird's eye view of everything really could be for the party.

No more monster ambushes or sudden deadly pollen storms to catch us unawares. No sir! And the best part? If something does happen that the PCs can't easily deal with, just swoop in and save the party.

Only problem I can see is missing stuff because the players went indoors or underground.

A mechanic could conceivably stay in the ship while sending his drone with the party, so the player still gets some of the action while also playing overwatch.

Edit: Though I didn't think of it, it would appear that the designers did. At least one published adventure specifically precludes the PCs being able to use their ship in certain areas of Castevel due to those areas being under environmental protection by the government.

Similar tactics could also be used with a suitable flying vehicle, with your space-copter providing overwatch, intel, and tactical support. Which might give a good reason to carry such a vehicle on your spaceship, for those circumstances where its impractical to have a colossal sized space freighter hanging 5 miles above the reconnaissance team on the ground.


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Incorporeal status on its own isn't the death knell, its the ability for the critter to attack at will while remaining incorporeal except for brief moments that is the death knell. You basically have a critter attached to you that you either can't attack, or can only attack at a notable disadvantage, while it is damaging and infecting you every turn. That is a combo that leads to character death.


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What, exactly, is wrong with table variation?


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My interpretation is, no, you do not become a drift dead immediately, anymore than a dead character becomes an undead immediately on dying. The normal process of death takes time, a fair amount of time, and being in the Drift doesn't change this. The dead PC is fine as long as their ship *eventually* goes back to normal space in reasonable time, with their spirit following the ship out.

I strongly advise this interpretation, because if dying in the Drift *is* an instant trip to a fate worse than death, it changes the ethical and setting implications of the Drift, a *lot*.


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breithauptclan wrote:

26 Meteoroid storm

Small chunks of rock or other debris moving at high speed. It will take you N rounds to fly out of the field.

(DCs and damage can be changed to fit an appropriate challenge level obviously)

Roll piloting check. Take the best outcome that the roll qualifies you for.

DC < 14: 3 meteoroids hit
DC 14: 2 meteoroids hit
DC 19: 1 meteoroid hits
DC 24: no meteoroids hit this round

For each meteoroid hit, roll 1d4 to determine the arc that they hit.
1: port arc
2,3: forward arc
4: starboard arc

Each meteoroid does 3d6 damage.

A point weapon can destroy a meteoroid before it hits using the same rules as for destroying a tracking weapon (the meteoroids have a speed of 16).

I don't know, it feels kind of weird to have meteors flying in completely random directions. I'd be inclined to roll one for direction, and then unless the players specifically change the orientation of the ship ( which would come at a cost in terms of either transit time or piloting check DC ), they all hit that arc.


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My own ruling would be, environmental protection wouldn't do anything against it, because it doesn't inflict levels of radiation exposure. However, immunity to radiation would apply.

As for "what radiation is", at least the Hesper has a good excuse for being weird magic radiation: its a fey, it literally follows narrative and "fairy tale" logic.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
I think it comes down to the simple fact that a realistic shotgun would have too little distinction from other firearms to "pop" in gameplay. Having an unrealistically wide spread gives it a distinct niche and reason to use it instead of something else. Compare that with a realistic shotgun, which would. . . I guess function like any other single target firearm, except gaining greater accuracy ( spread of pellets ) in exchange for less penetration ( smaller projectiles ). Except that, in Starfinder particularly, those properties would mechanically be the same thing: to-hit modifiers, just in opposite directions.
A bonus to hit but if the target has DR their DR adds 2 ?

I mean, you *could* do that. It just would be pointlessly intricate and messy.


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The main thing singing out to be is the incorporeal status. Is it obligate, or can the critters voluntarily phase in and out as long as its not bright light? Because if they can phase at will, and attack while phased, the spawn are a death sentence under most circumstances.


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Ravingdork wrote:
I really like the Anassanoi, and can't think of a reason for the PCs not to have a Psychic Resonator on their ship if they're telepathic.

I can think of a reason: if it really does grant those effects at planetary range? Its a giant psychic "LOOK AT ME" beacon. Hope you enjoy having literally every species that has any psychic ability or technology at all immediately knowing that your ship has arrived and where it is, 24/7.


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*cough* If the issue is people stacking force field augments, why not simply rule, as common sense would indicate, that force field augments do not stack?


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Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Nerdy Canuck, the point Xenocrat is making is that the rules explicitly allow you to hack anything connected to the infospehre or equivalent "wifi network".
And how does hacking into a wireless network operate, exactly? There aren't actually rules for it.

They work by that rule most hated on this board:

"Ask your GM, it is dependent on the scenario and the setting".


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So, am I the only one who initially read that power as "Fool Detection", as in, the ability to detect fools? *ahem*


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I think the bigger issue is that so many of the fusions have no effect at all but altering crits, which don't happen enough to really matter in most cases.


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Also, the android body slot works with armor, because the rules for the android body slot *say* they work with armor. While the rules don't have to explicitly allow something for it to be possible, anything they explicitly *do* allow certainly *is* possible.

( That said, I really question whether this is even a meaningful problem. Even in the hypothetical abusive case where a player wears 15 Second Skins to get 15 upgrade slots. . . they still have to *buy* all those armors and upgrades to fit in them. I'm pretty sure the net result would be "you've spent a huge chunk of change on something that doesn't actually matter much". )


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As for why it can only be done when a Captain of sufficient level orders it? Well, strictly speaking, it can't *only* be done that way. However, it can only be done *to meaningfully useful effect* when a Captain of sufficient level orders it, because only with that degree of attention and experience and situational oversight can you judge when its both safe and effective to red line the systems. Without a Captain watching the situation ( both in terms of enemy action and their own ship's status ), overloading a system is only going to do anything useful by chance. Which is to say, it might be the story description of what a nat 20 on a skill check means. . . but its just as valid a descriptor for a 10 ( "I overloaded, but it was mostly wasted" ) or 1 ( "Well damn, the system temporarily burned out from my abuse!" ).


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Xenocrat wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:


But that's not at all how its written. It's not an unreasonable ruling, but, it's not RAW.

I don't care.

When you have a persnickity raw forum, let me know. This however is the rules forum and there is more to the rules than the raw. Much less the "Raw" you get when you duct tape two different things together that really aren't supposed to go together.

Fly is you just fly

Stunt is you fly and you do a stunt and it doesn't USUALLY interfere with your flying.

Honestly, seems like the equivalent of an Envoy granting a bonus move action to me.

do ships have adrenaline

or mental inhibitors preventing maximum effort

If they are properly designed, they certainly do. Its called "redlining the systems" and "overriding the safeties".


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d'Eon wrote:
I'm going to say no, because what stops you from wearing 10 suits of second skin? More seriously, the armor upgrades are written to be limited, and I hesitate to mess with that.

What stops you is the GM going "this is silly, knock it off".

Not every abusive behavior needs to be, or should be, stopped by rules legalism.


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Xenocrat wrote:
I think half the Operative exploits should be Su, not Ex.

Why? Eye implants or genetic treatments are not supernatural.


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Get a device that functions as detect magic, but only for examining items.


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Claxon wrote:
Consider the way NPCs are built in Starfinder, I have to agree that an NPC codex isn't that useful. I'd rather have a setting book that includes stats of specific NPCs of importance, rather than generic thugs or cultist, etc.

Yes. Generic NPCs are easy. Much better to get stats, and further character details, on specific characters in the setting.


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Put me in the "yes, this is entirely possible" column. It does, however, require you to actually do a Trick Attack, which means you can't do any of the things that would otherwise use a full action or whatnot. So, if you Trick Attack around a corner, and there *aren't* any enemies visible or reachable, you can't turn it into a charge or a sprint or any other act. Its no different than declaring a held action and then not having the trigger condition pop up: you don't get a refund.


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Nathan Monson wrote:
Cast flight(1) when you get close to the ground, it kills all your momentum bc magic.

Wouldn't protect you from having already burnt to a crisp. And if you want to get really technically, at orbital velocities, there is not *that* much difference between hitting the ground and hitting the atmosphere, depending on your angle.


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I would be inclined to say that, if there are more than a small number of foes or if I expected them to be particularly hazardous ( ie, the Magic Missile Brigade )? Split them into multiple groups and roll initiative for them separately. That way, one unlucky initiative roll doesn't lead to the whole party of PCs being crippled.


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Yeah, fusion can happen with elements past iron, but fusion of elements iron and heavier no longer produce energy, they consume it. Hence why heavy element fusion only happens in supernovae, where you have an unimaginable amount of excess energy.

Iron is basically the bottom of the valley, where neither fission nor fusion can generate energy. Which is amusing for narrative reasons, given the association of iron with anti-magic. . .


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A variant grapple sounds like a valid way to resolve it. I lean slightly towards a skill check, though. Target number 10 +1.5 x CR, + either 0 or 5 or 9 depending on whether I judge the overall situation to be either low medium or high difficulty. For example, if the creature you're trying to ride is one you've never seen before, and has a back that lacks anything resembling a good spot to sit or grab? +9 for being high difficulty. OTOH, if the creature is wearing a saddle of some kind already and the PC is using Profession ( Rancher ), it'd be +0 for being low difficulty.

Why do I lean this way? Because unlike a combat maneuver, this doesn't actually inflict a status as such on the enemy, it just changes the circumstances and perhaps allows you to solve the situation by means other than fighting. If the player is trying to do something other than fight, I generally want them to be able to use some ability other than fight stats.


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I would argue that the Pathfinder setting provided plenty of support for the kind of Shadowrun style missions, possessing both fairly sophisticated nation-states and trans-national organizations, both of which have enough power and scope that its much better to do sneaky infiltration rather than just bust in swinging swords. The classic "dungeon crawl murder hobo" campaign is based very heavily on the idea that law and consequence are highly local, which is simply not the case for a good half of the known world, minimum.


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In my game, we generally go with the idea that Shirren 'names' are fairly standard English names. . . because their actual name's in their native tongue are impronounceable to non-insectoid life. So, the Shirren PC in my game group is named something like Zstuggo'ktkmncpofgth. . . but everyone just calls him 'Jim'.


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My own call is to take both the population and size values, and add an extra zero to both of them. Yes, this means a roughly 1000x increase in volume for only a 10x increase in population, but its the most important spot in the universe. It really should at least be a tiny mega structure, and there's plenty of room to justify tons of space being used for things like docking bays, shipyards, factories, warehouses, etc. To say nothing of the Eye using vast amounts of volume for aesthetic reasons.

( I do the same thing for the Idari, for the same reason )


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Eh, assuming we are not talking beginning level characters, there are plenty of problems that a party of skilled PCs could solve that a small army of low level cops couldn't. Imagine you have a CR 8 boojum whose holed up inside a building after taking a bunch of hostages. A hundred CR 1 cops have no hope of saving the hostages, or of taking down the boojum by any means other than drowning it in their blood. A party of five CR 5 heroes, OTOH, have good chances of achieving both.


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Yeah, under most circumstances I would not require the player to pick which skill. If the character is specifically concealing their true nature in a way that might be relevant, you really should still allow them to make their called check, because a good ( say ) Life Science roll vs a vampire? Would reveal the important fact that "That's not a living creature, that's an undead". At which point they can use other skills for further details.


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I'm pretty sure the official answer would be something along the lines of "Such items are not for sale, talk to your GM".


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Why can't you sunder armor? Because if you could sunder armor, it would turn a whole lot of combat encounters into "ignore the foe, just smash their gear".


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I imagine it would depend on the planet. A recently colonized world might have a sparse satellite network that is only maybe Tier 4 or so, assuming you treat it as a single computer rather than a number of computers. A heavily developed world like Verces, by contrast, probably has a network that is Tier 10 with every possible add-on and some new ones on top of it.


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I think it comes down to the simple fact that a realistic shotgun would have too little distinction from other firearms to "pop" in gameplay. Having an unrealistically wide spread gives it a distinct niche and reason to use it instead of something else. Compare that with a realistic shotgun, which would. . . I guess function like any other single target firearm, except gaining greater accuracy ( spread of pellets ) in exchange for less penetration ( smaller projectiles ). Except that, in Starfinder particularly, those properties would mechanically be the same thing: to-hit modifiers, just in opposite directions.


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avr wrote:
Bypassing reality might be a lot easier. A tiara of translocation costs a bit, but has other uses too.

This reminds me of some thoughts.

So, strictly speaking according to real world physics, teleportation from ground to orbit or vice versa would be *really hard*, even beyond the actual physics of some achieving teleportation in the first place. The problem is potential energy. A person at orbital altitudes has a *lot* more potential energy than a person on the ground, and vice versa. That energy still has to be supplied, or dispersed, even if you relocate via some exotic method, lest your teleportation machine also be a perpetual motion machine.

This is why basically every sci fi setting with teleportation just ignores the whole issue. I think Traveler is the only one to bring it up with some precursor supertech. Most every other setting hard enough for it to be an issue, either doesn't have teleportation at all, or at least only has it at sufficient god-tech levels where the relevant potential energy can be ignored as a rounding error for the tech involved.

So, how is this relevant for Starfinder? Well, by and large, its not an issue. The laws of physics and magic are such that it never comes up, thanks to various properties of the Astral Plane through which all teleportation works. The gods specifically patched reality so that it would never cause problems.

. . . because they found out that it could cause problems, in the beta version of reality: the First World. And to this day, there are regions in the First World where you actually *can* get into trouble via teleportation, because the local laws of reality *don't* have the necessary patches to prevent potential energy/perpetual motion problems.

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