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I had an arc in my Starfinder game where the players were tracing the Villain Organization of the Game to Triaxus. They ended up fighting some terrorists who were trying to set off a hot war between dragons and not-dragons.

In general? Dragons are people. Very very powerful people, but still people. . . and not as untouchably powerful as they used to be. Sure, a dragon is a big and powerful, but so is a star cruiser, or a tank brigade. Which is why all but the most ancient and epicly-powerful dragons tend to tie themselves into social structures in some way. Unless your CR is significantly north of 20, you either are obeying laws set out by someone else, or setting out laws to be obeyed by others. . . usually that latter one way or another.

85. A one foot long rod made of rough white crystal, which radiates extremely powerful Transmutation magic if so examined. Any organic matter touching it begins to transform into salt. Non-magical inanimate matter converts at a rate of roughly one bulk per round, until the nearest contiguous 5' cube of matter is converted. Magical inanimate matter can make a Fort save, DC 25, to resist on a round by round basis. Living beings gain a similar saving throw, with each failure advancing them one step on Dexterity affliction track; once contact ceases they still have to make a saving throw each round, but only at DC 20, with the first success ending the effect.

The rod can safely be touched, moved, or contained by inorganic matter, particularly metal, and creatures not made of organic matter are immune to its effects. However, if the rod is exposed to a magical effect of spell level 6 or higher, or a Transmutation effect of spell level 5 or higher ( or equivalent, GM's discretion ), it begins to glow. Roll a d20 each round it is so exposed. On a 1, it absorbs the magical effect, and is empowered. The rod itself begins growing, reaching a height of approximately 100 feet within a day's time. Its influence now extends to anything within ten feet of its surface, and can only be blocked by a minimum of five feet of inorganic matter. Worst of all, any matter transformed by it now has the same effects as the original rod, making the transmutation fully infectious to the extent that there is available organic matter. Roll a d20 once per day; on a 1, this effect finally burns out- transmuted matter is now simply ordinary salt with no special effect, and the rod begins collapsing until it is once again left as just a one foot rod.

Something to consider: even at level 20, ship combat is built on a different scale of challenge ratings than ground combat. A one-on-one fight between two ships of the same Tier is meant to be 'Hard', equivalent to a ground combat with an enemy of APL+2.

Honestly, the problem I have with most current attempts at SMGs is that they are dubiously useful. Automatic is a pretty niche function, since its almost always better to do concentrated damage that might take an enemy out. Doing a weak attack against a large number of enemies ( and then having to spend actions reloading ) is going to generally hurt you versus other ways of fighting. Doubly so if you have any melee party members who don't want to be in the middle of your AoE.

My own design preference would be to give SMGs relatively high damage ( midway between 'normal' pistols and Longarms ), but also a high Usage Rate to go with it. The idea being that an SMG with a clip size of 20 and a usage rate of 4 isn't firing single shots at single targets, its firing bursts of bullets. Then, give them all both the Automatic and the Unwieldy ( 2 Hands ) properties. So, you can use them to spray and pray, but if you use two hands you can also use them to make multiple aimed attacks per round.

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I can understand the desire to do things like "lock down time scales to allow for simultaneous onboard actions", but ultimately I'm pretty sure its a case of "You can't have everything you want". Its impossible to lock down time scales without also locking down distance scales, which would mean much more rigorously defining ship combat in a way that would make it either less useful or more a pain to run or both. Being able to define the size of a hex based on the needs of the situation is a positive benefit: it allows you to use the same engine to do open space combat, knife fighting around a mega structure, and everything in between. If you can't scale hex size to circumstances, that means you either need to restrict space combat to one set of assumptions, or you need a whole bunch of added rules to handle things closer in than "open space". Ship combat is *already* a clunky minigame, it doesn't need to be made clunkier.

That said, I do agree, it would be good to silo combat and non-combat ship functionalities. Players shouldn't be encouraged to sacrifice one to gain the other, because the ship *should* serve both functions in a campaign. Relatedly, there should be a list of basic functions, like escape pods, that are *free and default*. Unless there is a good *specific* story reason, players shouldn't have to pay for stuff that is either mandatory for the story to happen, or where the only function it serves is to make the GM's life easier. Escape pods especially fit this: Starfinder is an RPG, not a roguelike or strategy game. A ship functionality that gives the GM more ways to *not* kill the party is a positive good, as the default assumption should be "the GM is not trying to kill the party, because when the party dies the story ends".

Driftbourne wrote:
emky wrote:
'Tis a good last hurrah for Starfinder. Shame to see Starfinder dying after this.

Let's see there are 2 more hard-cover adventure paths coming, at least 5 more scenarios for season 6, and season 7 will likely have another 16 or so scenarios, Then the playtest, then Starfindeer 2e...

Yeah. I may be skeptical of some of what I'm hearing about 2e, but to say "Starfinder is dying" simply isn't factual.

My rule of thumb: order of operations should *never* matter. If a character has Ability X, you should never need to care when they acquired it. Thus, best way to resolve? If something ever makes a previous choice redundant, the player gets to reassign that choice.

Yeah, people need to remember that the "1 bulk per 10 pounds" is a sidebar for a *reason*: its a quick and dirty shorthand for if you need to figure out the encumbrance of a random *item*. Its not really meant to apply beyond that, and even for carryable/equippable items its often going to be inaccurate.

The correct answer is definitely "Ask your GM".

My own ruling? Honestly, I'd just define it as working in microgravity, period. Your exact surroundings don't matter, all that matters is that you are floating around in zero G. If someone builds an anti-gravity chamber in a planet-side research facility, you can absolutely turn this power on there, for whatever limited value that might have.

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Pronate11 wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
Sorry, but pretty much anything is a better solution than messing with player level. That isn't a solution, that's creating a problem.

Oh, I'm sure that we could come up with something that's worse.

Admittedly, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything.

3.x-style multiclassing and ancestral hit dice, maybe?

In game microtransactions. To play a 4 armed character, you must pay your GM $5 per session, and Paizo $30 per campaign.

Hasbro: "Write that down!"

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
Sorry, but pretty much anything is a better solution than messing with player level. That isn't a solution, that's creating a problem.

Oh, I'm sure that we could come up with something that's worse.

Admittedly, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything.

3.x-style multiclassing and ancestral hit dice, maybe?

Your not thinking hardcore enough:

Race Based Class and Level Restrictions. *eg*

I would *highly* recommend against mixed level parties, at least ones involving more than a minimal gap in levels. While in theory you can still calculate APL as normal and thus build theoretically-balanced encounters, in practice? If one PC is four levels above the rest, either the typical individual enemy will be way too easy for the high level PC, or way too hard for the low level PCs. Ditto for non-combat challenges. You just won't be able to get around the fact that one party member will have vastly more capable than the rest.

The most I would suggest as viable is a two level *temporary* gap, with the expectation that the lagging PCs *will* catch up ( because they get double XP until then, or only they get milestone advancement, etc ). And even that is mostly for cases where the players might want time to acclimate to new characters. Which, not coincidentally, is the one case where I've used mixed levels in a game I ran: campaign changeover, and most of the players wanted to play new characters in what was otherwise going to be a mid-level start. Starting their characters at level 8 rather than 10 ( along with designing the first "region" as a somewhat easier 'tutorial' region ) was a mercy to them, rather than a reward to the one higher level PC.

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Honestly, my two main thoughts on this discussion:

1. As some people have already touched upon, while blocking and choke points and range control may be the primary defensive strategies in a melee-oriented setting, in Starfinder? The name of the game is 'cover and concealment'. You don't primarily keep your squishies alive by putting a beefy warrior in the way to block approaching hordes of enemies, you keep your squishies alive by getting them behind a wall. Which is to say. . . seriously, people- stop hanging out standing in the open. Unless you have a good reason to be exposed, you should *always* be kneeling behind an obstacle or hugging a wall alcove or otherwise reducing your exposure to enemy fire. Every +2 AC helps, and if some enemies just don't have LOS at all, even better.

2. The entire paradigm of "tanking" from MMOs is really inappropriate in the first place. A "tank" in Starfinder ( or most tabletop RPGs ) is not defined by their ability to mechanically draw aggro and compel enemy decisions. A "tank" is defined by *survivability*, having the armor or HP or whatever that allows them to take hits, and thus take risks. Why is this important? Because this allows a "tank" to engage in risky exposed actions that force the enemy to respond or suffer, as NPC forces *also* have victory conditions and things they are trying to achieve. A Soldier doesn't need some mechanical superpower to force Will saves on enemies, if they instead do things like "I am a heavy melee fighter with high mobility, I can just bum rush the comparatively squishy spellcasting officer leading the enemy force". The enemy NPCs don't focus on Soldier and shoot less at the Operative and Mystic because they failed a Will save; they focus on the Soldier because *he's trying to cut down their leader*.

My own opinion: the "style split" in Pathfinder 2e really doesn't transfer cleanly. You'd be better off with a new "style split" for the different philosophies of magic thousands of years later.

If you have to keep the four, because they are considered fundamental metaphysical differences? Mystic is Divine, Technomancer is Arcane, Witchwarper is Occult, and Primal doesn't really have an extant class using it because people just don't affiliate with untouched nature in the same way. :p Maybe the Evolutionist could be considered Primal I suppose, and there could obviously be archetypes that grant Primal-type magical abilities.

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My own viewpoint: space hexes are *usually* big, but they aren't *always* big. Part of why space hexes don't have defined scale in real world terms is because, depending on the context, they may be bigger or smaller. If your own in the open, far away from any planetary bodies, each hex might well be thousands of kilometers across or more. However, if your in a cinematically-tight asteroid belt, or in orbit around a planet, or right next to a mega structure? You are in a place where mobility, line of sight, and line of fire are all variably obstructed, and this effectively limits the scale of action. . . and thus the size of a "hex".

The only hard limit, by this theory, is that one hex can never be smaller than the largest ship involved in the encounter. I can't see this really coming up, though, unless you are doing a Trench Run style encounter where one especially large ship is the *environment* for a ship battle.

For what its worth, I'm fine with "mix and match custom sexuality changes" being a thing in the setting. I just don't think it should come from the cheap off the shelf Serum. At least as I interpret it, the serum works by sort of "throwing a switch", which is logical enough an idea for a serum that you basically just quaff to use. However, if your trying to build a new sexual physiology outside what "normally" occurs in your species ( and with the understanding that "normal" is a bit of a loaded word )? That probably should require more involvement then just drinking a potion. You are doing an extensive redesign of your genetics and physiology in a way that would require a ton of customization and a lot of double-checking.

Or basically? This would probably be a thing where you pay a couple hundred credits to a professional, who uses their expertise to help you design your new body.

Honestly, without something explicit said otherwise, the most logical interpretation is that Nethys *didn't* go anywhere. He's not a "Major Deity" because he vanished, he's not a "Major Deity" because he's just not as important anymore. And why is he not as important?


Back in the Pathfinder era on Golarion, if you wanted to be a mad scientist, even a relatively sane one? Your choices were pretty much "Nethys" or "nobody". Whereas in the Starfinder era, a would-be mad scientist has option- they could follow Yaraesa, or Eloritu, or Oras, or even *Nyarlathotep*. All major deities with high profiles and great influence, and all having the advantage of "Being more sane and predictable than Nethys". Yes, even Nyarlathotep: you may be getting into unpredictable deceptive eldritch horror nonsense, but at least you *know* that going in. Whereas Nethys is the super old school bad variety of True Neutral, where they are deliberately inconsistent with even their own motives and interests. You can't even count on him to be CE.

Given the availability of all these competing deities, Nethys almost certainly has far far fewer worshippers than he used to, as the only scientists or mages willing to follow him are the absolutely 1% most crazy who have the same "Sanity is an obstruction to my studies" mindset that he has. And having so many fewer followers and so many competing rivals, means the *other gods* don't have the put up with his s~#@ nearly as much. He's not as *necessary* as he might have used to be, and so get less leeway and a shorter leash. Which. . . honestly, probably has him throwing a hissy fit and more time in his lab muttering about "Showing them, showing them all", further reducing his profile.

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Honestly, this argument is mostly reminding me about how annoyingly hard it is to find stats in Starfinder for "basic members of generic armed forces". Its like no one ever considered the possibility that you might need stats for infantry or ship crew of one of the baseline humanoid races, either as enemies ( because the players decided to tick off someone official ) or as allies ( because they have support from someone official ). Even now, you have to basically hunt and peck from a dozen different sources, and also do the truly bizarre move of taking a bunch of stat blocks under the 'Mercenary' label, and port them *back* into being regular military.

John Mangrum wrote:
The Gap also needs to be powerful enough to prevent the Pact Worlds' deities, who by and large are not located in the Pact Worlds, from being able to help explain it and/or fill in lost history.

The issue is less the deities ( there are plausible reasons that a circle of a few dozen people might keep a secret ), and more everyone *else* filling out the planes who have regularly interplanar contact with Golarion. And note that, on the scale that would matter for the purposes of the Gap, "regular" ranged down to "every few centuries". In particular, every planar being whose part of a structure where "regular intelligence reports" exist? Is already going to know way more than enough to compromise the purpose of the Gap. It doesn't do any good to wipe out all memory of 99% of trivial everyday affairs, if all the info in the heavenly and hellish equivalent of the CIA Worldbook still exists on Golarion. . . because that stuff is the important stuff that would have people, *inside and outside the fourth wall*, wanting to enact the Gap in the first place.

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The Gap pretty much *has* to be universe-wide, or else it wouldn't work. The Golarion System is a major region of importance on a planar level, and also once interstellar travel became possible, it should equally be an important region on an interstellar level. If everyone in the solar system forgot 500 years of history, but everyone who had contact with and knowledge of them elsewhere retained it? This would very quickly mean "None of that 500 years would actually be forgotten anymore", not without a direly implausible conspiracy of silence.

That isn't even counting how, if only Golarion got hit with the Gap, it would put them at a crippling disadvantage versus every other society that *hasn't* suffered such a disruptive event. This would require some major juggling to make sure no one would be able or willing to take advantage of such a moment of weakness.

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The field test is never going to get to the vanguard or evolutionist, those won't be in the playtest or SF2 core rulebook. We're getting soldier, operative, envoy, solarion, mystic, and witchwarper, it seems.
Wait, what? No Mechanic? No Technomancer? That feels like it *has* to be a mistake. Are you sure they just haven't itemized all the classes included yet?
My own expectation is that the Mechanic and Technomancer will be released as part of a tech-based Rules book within a year of initial release. So you won't have them instantly, but you should have them pretty early on.

That would be. . . almost incomprehensibly bizarre. Starfinder is a space opera setting, "figurative and literal tech wizard" is one of *the* most defining character archetypes for the milieu. It'd be like doing a medieval fantasy setting, and relegating the Fighter to a secondary supplement.

I am really keeping my fingers crossed that this is a miscommunication, because if not? It *really* doesn't bode well. The kind of design mindset that would lead to "Eh, who needs the Mechanic class?" would be highly likely to lead to all kinds of other really bad design decisions.

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Xenocrat wrote:
The field test is never going to get to the vanguard or evolutionist, those won't be in the playtest or SF2 core rulebook. We're getting soldier, operative, envoy, solarion, mystic, and witchwarper, it seems.

Wait, what? No Mechanic? No Technomancer? That feels like it *has* to be a mistake. Are you sure they just haven't itemized all the classes included yet?

If anything, a lone mech might be easier to handle than an extraneous ship. Just temporarily treat the one player whose piloting it as three levels higher than normal, and balance things thusly. Assuming 4-5 PC party, call it roughly equal to a +1 APL increase.

The main thing I'd worry about it class balance, since not all classes are equally effective against mech-scale opponents, depending on how tightly you interpret the rules. Imagine your fighting against a single mech as an enemy, appropriately balanced for a tough but reasonable difficulty. This could be a problem for the people on foot if they are, say. . . Envoys and Mystics, and find most of their abilities useless because they can't effect constructs ( ie, the enemy mech ) and/or need line of effect ( ie, and can't hit the enemy mech pilot ). OTOH, if the party Envoy *is* the one piloting your lone mech, while the people on foot are Soldiers and Vanguards? Not the same issue.

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Claxon wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:

It seems very weird to recalculate the CR of a fight every time a combatant drops. That leads to all sorts of absurd outcomes, of which the Solarian's powers shutting down is not even the dumbest. Furthermore, as BNW pointed out, if you're going to recalculate CR every time an enemy drops, then you also should be recalculating APL every time a PC drops.

As long as the PCs are still rolling dice and spending resources and not taking 10-minute rests, then a CR 5 encounter remains a CR 5 encounter until the last space goblin drops.

I agree. But if you have a GM dead set on reading it another way there's nothing to really lean on that says that they're out right wrong.

There absolutely is something to lean on, its just not in the rules book. Its "Look, GM, you are making an idiotic ruling that is harming the fun of the game. Either stop a moment and reconsider whether this is a good idea, or I am leaving." Because despite pretensions otherwise, the GM is not God. Their authority extends only as far as the players allow it to extend.

As I've said many a time: a rules solution cannot fix a player problem. And the GM is absolutely a fellow player.

There is no BP-to-credit conversion, but remember that you *do* earn credits for completing CR challenges. And most if not all things you might do to earn BP, should probably also involve CR challenges and thus generate XP and loot. . .

This mostly just reminds me of my first and most universal house rule ever: I get rid of "Immune to Mind-Affecting". Mindless stuff is immune to telepathy and mind control and such, as a property of the Mindless trait. Anyone that *is* a thinking being by contrast? Can be mind-altered, even if they are an undead or a construct.

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If the fight is "no longer significant enough" to count for the Solarian's powers, it should also be no longer significant enough *to keep running*. GMs are *also* not supposed to run fights that aren't meaningful challenges.

The UPB is such a broadly useful tech that I have a hard time imagining a society with access to it *not* pegging their currency to it, eventually. Even if you don't want to do so, the cost of Good X and the cost of "enough UPBs to make Good X" will converge, and you'll end up with a Cash:UPB conversion rate anyway. And since UPBs have broad practical utility, their value should be stable and encourage the currency to be, too.

Its not like you don't need 'more costly and difficult measures' to restrain a high level *anything*. Sure, a Soldier might not have any magical abilities, but "Being shackled isn't enough of a penalty to keep me from beating up my guards, taking their weapons, and shooting my way out" has a magic all its own. Which, if you are trying to contain a level 15 Soldier in a prison filled with level 5 guards, is exactly what will happen.

The 'Star Kingdom' series, by Lindsay Buroker

I'm up to book six, and while there is no magic as such in it so far, the series reads like Buroker was playing Starfinder, and wrote up her campaign notes as a series of novels. *cough*

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Fundamentally, the issue is Starfinder, being a D&D derivative, hinges too heavily on weapons ( and equipment in general ) for character capability for "no gear" adventures to really be viable as a rule. Yes, you *can* do them, but the degree to which lacking proper equipment cripples a character means that they pretty much have to be customized to a specific party of PCs, and even then they might not actually work. Even with the best effort, you'll likely end up reducing the encounter to a mini-game, and that's assuming you don't have one or more PCs who basically ignore the issue. Good luck balancing a no-weapons encounter when the Solarian or Vanguard in the party can effortlessly destroy opponents that would in turn effortless destroy the weaponless other PCs.

There are certainly systems in which "no gear" works fine as a reasonable challenge condition, but that would mostly be games where character capability primarily comes from character abilities.

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Huh. I missed the connection between Baba Yaga and Triaxus. Is she the reason why Triaxus has such weird seasons?

Also, not that it makes a huge difference, but I'd suggest adding a mention making explicit that the Hut of Baba Yaga is an artifact, and that its "destruction condition" is "the permanent death of Baba Yaga". AKA, "Hah, good luck". *ahem*

Also also, if I were running this kind of thing I'd have the appearance of the Hut explicitly variable, in the sense that if she wants, it *can* appear as a high tech mechanical walker, or its traditional chicken legged form, or pretty much any other imaginable variation on "building that walks". Which it appears as depends on the whims of Baba Yaga. Sometimes she makes it "blend in" to the surrounding milieu, sometimes she makes it stand out.

Leon Aquilla wrote:

The utility of XP depends on how much player agency you allow/you have.

If you're running an on-rails AP that expects you to go from point a to point b to point c, then yeah, use milestones.

If you're reacting to player behavior and your players don't really do jack, well, why would you reward them with a level?

I mean, if your players aren't doing jack, then presumably they didn't achieve any milestones either. Which is to say, milestones shouldn't be set on session count, but on story objectives. Like, in the campaign I'm currently running, the first milestone was "Get your ship repaired". Didn't matter how many sessions it took or how they did it, until the ship is repaired they don't get to level up. Just make sure the milestones are tied to the "main quest", so that doing them constitutes progress through the story.

Alternatively, you just manacle them, and if they manifest their solar blade, they still are in manacles. This should make them relatively easy to beat back into submission, because its not like the solar blade is a magic infinite cutting sword that would instantly slice through manacles. And if the Solarian can still beat you up despite having their hands shackled, well, you probably shouldn't have expected to keep them prisoner for long anyway.

Really, most forms of imprisonment should focus less on the logic of "disabling powers" and more on "responding to powers". You don't keep someone prisoner by keeping them helpless, you keep someone prisoner by being able to respond to bad behavior. Yes, this means CR 1 guards can't contain a CR 10 character if said character chooses otherwise, but this is system working as intended.

Another factor in play is what you can actually spend the BP on. You probably can't make beyond-Tier 20 ship actually work just by throwing more BP at it, since at a certain point the power curve won't scale up as you run out of useful stuff to purchase. You might need to invent a bunch of new high end ship gear. And since the game balance impacts of the purchaseable gear are too complex to bake into a simple math equation. . . well, this is why the whole system *isn't* an algorithm, and never could be.

( That said, this is an advantage of my Armada house rule- its *muuuch* easier to just extrapolate the armada chart upward. . . )

Hah, yeah. I'm sure that Vesk eat eggs, but they'd probably look side eye at certain usage of eggs as symbols of life and fertility, in ways mammals might not.

Yeah, don't forget that the Drift *isn't* the only form of FTL available.

Qaianna wrote:

As far as artificial tails? Depends on how 'useful' they are. For the standard vesk 'it's there' tail? Nothing listed, so treat cost as a prosthetic limb, taking no slots, and giving no true benefits aside from being able to ornament it. There is a species graft for a prehensile tail, which by an amazing coincidence has the same cost, level, and system as the extra cybernetic arm.

While I agree with this principle generally, I'd argue that it doesn't quite apply with the Vesk. The Vesk tail isn't just "its there", it also factors into their Natural Weapons trait. As such, I'd suggest that duplicating Vesk tail-based martial arts would not just require a trivial-cost prosthetic tail, it would also require something that roughly provides the equivalent of Natural Weapons.

Give that the rules don't say anything about prosthetic limbs having such a limit, and the setting tech level would easily support prosthetic limbs not having such a limit? They don't have such a limit.

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Qaianna wrote:
Holidays are likely to be significant to either the deity or the church. Abadar probably would celebrate the end of the fiscal year ... or perhaps the day immediately after income tax filing deadlines as a day of rest for himself and his followers. Damoritosh would be all for marching up and down the square for when Vesk Prime first unified, with other worlds celebrating their own days as local festivals. Besmara might just declare that it's a holiday when you make it back to port in one piece, regardless of the day on the calendar, but a specific Free Captain could celebrate the anniversary of getting their first ship or first prize.

Actually, I am now envisioning that *every* Damaritan holiday is traditionally celebrated with a giant military parade. . . no matter how incongruous. Like, they have a Valentine's Day equivalent, a celebration of love and romance. . . and it starts with a parade of tanks and marching troops in the morning. There are various elaborate historical and theological explanations, but it mostly just boils down to that the Vesk really like their parades. Even Damaritosh couldn't actually change it.

The most common and universal holidays are probably a few of the major religious ones associated with the most ubiquitous deities. So, figure that the major holidays for Pharasma, Sarenrae, Desna, and probably Abadar are pretty universal, though the exact name and form will vary.

I imagine pretty much every distinct society has names for a bunch of different martial arts styles, many of which would be equivalent to similar ones from other societies or species. After all, even in a universe with both supernatural powers and countless different species, a lot of the basic physical and biomechanical principles underlying martial arts are still constant. Everyone will develop ideas like 'building fast limb movement for maximum striking power', 'redirecting the momentum of your opponent', and 'attacking vulnerable portions of the anatomy'.

Which is to say, unless a specific martial arts style is *really* distinctive ( say, a Vesk style focused on usage of the tail ), its probably best to just call it "jujitsu" or "kung fu" or whatever the equivalent Earth name would be.

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An idea someone could run with: the First World *does* connect the Prime Material with another plane. Its just, that connection is very tightly guarded against, because its a very very bad one: the Qlippoth, the realm outside existence from which aberrations and horrors come from. This is partly why the Dark Tapestry exists- the link between the First World, the Qlippoth, and the Prime Material makes the empty material places between stars the easiest place for such beings to incur upon the planes.

Now, actually traversing this route is really hard, since one of the few things all the Eldest agree upon is "No trafficking with anti-existence horrors". However, its still probably the safest and easiest route for a mortal being who wants to reach the Qlippoth, since the alternatives tend to involve things like "Do a deep dive through the entirety of the Maelstrom's chaos" or "Use artifact-level magic to punch a hole in the planar shell, and hope you are gone before someone like Pharasma or Desna shows up".

Yeah, I am in the "Just make all fusions seals, and make them more readily transferable" column. Being able to save money by having a fusion that is "only" on one weapon just isn't worth it. Better to treat them as "upgrades" that can be slotted into any weapon as desired.

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Driftbourne wrote:
What would the proper pronouns be for someone that spins to the right vs. the left? or for their polarity of charge?

My snarky answer would be "north and south", but actually, hmm. . .

Random linguistic idea: when using spoken/written languages to refer to species who have 'spin' or 'polarity', the norm is not to use distinct gendered pronouns. Instead, you use the standard neuter pronouns of the language, but with a suffix added that is either a rising or a descending vocalization, representing the two different possible spins or polarities. Say, rising is right-handed spin, descending is left-handed spin.

Examples: A right-spin novian you are talking to right now is "Youa", while the left-spin novian the two of you are talking about is "Ito". A group of novians would just be "Them", unless the group is entirely/mostly one spin, then they would be "Thema" or "Themo".

Neglecting to include spin suffix is a minor faux pas at worst normally, especially in casual or quick talk with strangers or when dealing with people who just don't have or sense polarity. However, *deliberately* using the wrong polarity suffix is a serious insult. Its not directly analogous to gender-based insults and slurs from species with such, but its roughly the same severity; the general meaning is "I wish you didn't exist".

I don't know, in a Starfinder context I'd be inclined to say Beskar armor also provides damage reduction. Admittedly translation Star Wars conventions ( where most forms of armor seem to provide little or no benefit period ) is dicey.

Honestly, re: Mechanics, I think the issue is more GMs letting players substitute a skill roll for stuff that shouldn't really be possible with just a skill roll. A slightly higher bonus isn't a big deal, unless the GM inadvertently is letting that bonus also magically grant a bunch of extra class abilities like "hacking the weapons the enemies are carrying".

That said, should it really even be surprising that a Mechanic who spends a lot of focus on physical combat abilities, might be less good at hacking then an Operative who specifically focuses on intelligence and intelligence skills? Sure, hacking and such are part of the Mechanic's class wheelhouse, but that doesn't mean they automatically get superiority over everyone even if they don't bother to focus on that area, or even that they *should*. If you want to be the best at hacking, then you need to focus on that, and accept that this means you will lose out comparatively in raw combat power.

What people said: its a simple mechanical way to handle things, with the assumption that characters are taking on level-appropriate challenges. Its not that its "harder" to do Task X if you are level 10 vs level 1, its that the mechanics assume the level 10 character is taking on the level 10 version of Task X, and not the level 1 version. Could a level 10 character do the same thing they did back at level 1 with the same DC? Sure. . . but not only would they only get the same *rewards* as back at level 1 ( ie, too small to be worthwhile ), but it wouldn't actually require making dice rolls at all anyway ( because its too easy ).

The rules could be a little more explicit with what the DCs for noncombat skills mean, and how to apply them with variable CR non-combat challenges, sure.

Hmm, on consideration, there is one way that "multiple checks required" could work even if there are no direct consequences of failure: your measuring success in an effort not by dice roll but by total number of successes. So, say the players are trying to repair a crashed ship, and don't have any particular short term time limit. You let them roll four times, and how many times they succeed determines the quality of the results. You just need a little chart arranged beforehand for the encounter, where you decide stuff like:

"0 Sux: This ship is never flying again, PCs need to pursue Alternate Transport Option A

1 Sux: The ship can be repaired, barely, but they need a critical part, see Salvage Run Encounter B

2 Sux: The ship is operable by the end of the week, roll twice on Random Encounter Table

3 Sux: The ship is fixed in just three days, roll once on Random Encounter Table

4 Sux: As above, but the ship is in remarkably spiffy condition, helpful in Next Chapter"

Maybe also specify that exceeding the DC by 10 or more counts as double sux, and critically failing means both missing a sux chance and an immediate roll on Random Encounter.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Arutema wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
The way starship combat works we all have to be doing it though, and we can't all be the pilot.

That's definitely a flaw of the system's starship combat model. I'd love to see an alternative starship combat ruleset that better handles each PC flying a single-pilot fighter in the style of Star Wars, Babylon 5, or Battlestar Galactica.

Have you looked at the squadron rules from the starship manual?

Ironically, I've actually gotten some good feedback from my group via going the opposite way: using the *armada* rules from SOM. With a few minor tweaks, I can use them where the PCs control a single 'fleet' composed of their single ship. The result was space combat that is both much simpler and easier to run, but where the players actually get to make more meaningful decisions per turn. Sure, it means there's essentially no ship customization, but turning space combat into a minigame ( rather than a not-so-mini game ) is worth it.

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