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Scottybobotti wrote:

So, Fight From a Combat Trained Mount says you have to pass a Survival check as a quick action to be able to have both rider and mount attack in the same round. If you fail you can only make one attack between the mount and rider.

I guess it comes down to if you think "directing a mount in combat" from the description of the combat saddle includes the action Fight from a Combat Trained Mount.

To me fighting from on top of a combat trained mount is included in "directing a mount in combat" since the mechanic is giving it orders to move and attack.

The skill check implies that you need to actively guide the mount in some way. Whereas the mechanic is giving voice commands to the drone which it carries out to the best of its ability without fail.

Not going to cover much else, though - for example, I can't really see a ruling that Spur and Leap are included; it helps that Fight from a Combat Trained Mount has "direct a mount" in its text.


whew wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
whew wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
What I'm unclear on is whether you need to roll the check to Fight from a Combat Trained Mount.
That's the check that the riding saddle says you don't have to make. However, some people interpret that as meaning you automatically make the check, but still have to spend the action.
Incorrect, near as I can tell; you don't have to make the Control Mount in Battle check - Fight from a Combat Trained Mount is a different check.

"Fight" is the one that has "direct a mount" in its text.

And I just noticed the Control Mount check specifies mounts that are not combat-trained, which the Riding Saddle already accounts for (which does nicely streamline Riding Saddle Mechanic builds). Still, that leaves several other checks you need Survival for.


Scottybobotti wrote:
All this discussion and it says in the description of the riding saddle on p. 77-78 of the rulebook, "You can direct your drone mount in battle without attempting survival checks." I think that definitively answers everyones' questions regarding the survival checks.

Directing your drone would be the "Control Mount in Battle" check. It does not cover all of the checks involved in riding a mount.


whew wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
What I'm unclear on is whether you need to roll the check to Fight from a Combat Trained Mount.
That's the check that the riding saddle says you don't have to make. However, some people interpret that as meaning you automatically make the check, but still have to spend the action.

Incorrect, near as I can tell; you don't have to make the Control Mount in Battle check - Fight from a Combat Trained Mount is a different check.


What I'm unclear on is whether you need to roll the check to Fight from a Combat Trained Mount.


whew wrote:
If you really want to, you can program your drone to behave like a temperamental bucking bronco. However, there is no rule that a drone loses its remote controls when a riding saddle is installed, so many mechanics ignore the optional horse-emulator interface which just isn't as efficient as using voice commands or a datalink.

Thing is, it's treated as a combat trained mount with only the exceptions specifically provided by the mod or by class features - you don't have to worry about directing it in combat, for example, but you still need to use Survival to stay mounted when you get hit.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

@Scottybobotti: I think you and BigNorseWolf are misunderstanding. When you said "multiple attacks" he probably thought you wanted to have your mount move into melee so you'd have a full action left to do a full attack.

That's clearly not possible with the Survival riding rules.

But you meant: spend my move action to give my drone a move, and then we both spend our standard action to make an attack, so that's multiple attacks.

That however should be possible. It's weird that you use Survival for it with a drone, but for now that's how it goes. Maybe SCOM will provide something more mechanically thematic.

Per the Limited AI and Master Control rules, that's not how it would appear to work.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Scottybobotti wrote:
It would certainly hamper my build since he is melee focused and riding on his drone allows both to get up close to the enemy quick and then make multiple attacks on them.
Yeah, you're not supposed to be able to do that and it's on purpose. Pounce or move and attack are high level abilities for a reason.

Doesn't using Master Control already enable that? Drone moves you into range, you each get one attack (without Full Attack penalties, handily, and with Unwieldy weapons being an option).


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Scottybobotti wrote:
The mount rules in the core rulebook don't apply to riding a drone. I'm just wondering if they are going to add anything new in regards to riding a drone in the new alien archive.
They apply to riding a drone. You just wouldn't have to make the check for getting the mount to do something.

Which does mean that the lack of Survival as a class skill for Mechanics is liable to lead to a pretty small range of Theme choices for characters intending to make significant use of the Riding Saddle.

Though, that does make for a somewhat obvious Ysoki Bounty Hunter Mechanic build...


GM OfAnything wrote:

There is a clear difference in the rules instructions to "make an attack" vs "make an attack roll". Blast and Line refer only to "make an attack" in their descriptions.

I think you are getting confused because Harrying/Covering fire use the term "ranged attack" in the initial description. It's a tricky thing of Paizo's style, but the first sentence of a feat is not rules instructions. If the first sentence of a feat is contradicted by actual rules, such as the following rules instruction to "make an attack roll", the actual rules are the ones that matter.

Right, but if you take the "ranged attack" element out, there isn't actually any rules reason you need a weapon for Harrying Fire - which seems odd. The "ranged attack" part of it is the thing that brings in the need for a weapon.

Unless we're parsing the section further on from there as being a further override?


If "it says one target" is enough, Line and Blast don't work for anything.

It's okay to say "the rule are unclear here, it comes down to a table ruling". It's not a perfect system and will not always produce a clear answer. But if you're going to say that the way that a "single target" statement resolves is going to vary from action to action, there has to be some kind of reason for that.

Or, to put it another way, any interpretation that says that Line and Blast are not compatible with Harrying Fire has to be compatible with the fact that they do work with Attack and Trick Attack, or we immediately know that that interpretation is incorrect.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:


Maybe not, but a rules forum is not the place of "it doesn't work because you say so".

It is completely disingenuous of you to list that as my reasoning.

Harrying fire does not work (let you apply harrying fire to multiple targets in the line) because the rules say it does not work. The rules were clearly quoted. Repeatedly. There is no room for "misunderstanding" multiple rules quotes and that many clarifications.

Coming up with an argument that a direct rules citation is wrong shows nothing. You can take the disparate rules and make an argument for anything. There are more and better arguments going the other way as well as the direct citation of the rules.

Attack specifies a single target, Trick Attack specifies a single target; it's clear that in at least some cases, the Line and Blast properties override that. So which ones does it override, and which ones does it not?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:

No, I'm finding something which is identical to things that are elements to the actions we know it works with to not be sufficient, for obvious reasons. The "not actually targeting an enemy" thing is about as close as we've gotten this entire time, but that has some incredibly weird implications.

You're looking for a deeper unifying field theory where none are guaranteed to exist (and they probably don't) . There doesn't NEED to be any deeper rhyme or reason to why and how line weapons work with ABC but not XYZ and only sorta FGH other than someone took a look at those and said "what if you did it with a line.. oh yeah, totally OP lets nix that..."

Maybe not, but a rules forum is not the place of "it doesn't work because you say so". Though "the rules on this are unclear" would be a valid answer.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:


I don't think you've understood the subject of this thread well enough to see what anyone's thinking, frankly. All I'm trying to do is find a rules basis to determine which actions do and do not become multi-target when used with an area weapon which does not require a specific action to use.
But you want to try to do that by ONLY looking at the gun itself and not the action, when most of that information is on the action.

No, I'm finding something which is identical to things that are elements to the actions we know it works with to not be sufficient, for obvious reasons. The "not actually targeting an enemy" thing is about as close as we've gotten this entire time, but that has some incredibly weird implications.


breithauptclan wrote:
MercCpt wrote:
I have taken all the suggestions and replays in here to heart and have done some research on Personal Upgrades and I full understand my silliness and I would like to thank all of those whom responded and apologize for not being fully aware that starfinder had set these restrictions so well however I still personally believe that it would be safe to remove the "limiter" at a higher level i'm not suggesting anything crazy just my opinion again thank you to all those who read and replied it was very informing!

There is nothing wrong with being new.

I also don't think there is anything wrong with tinkering with the math of the system. Just be aware that you are doing tinkering. So if the results aren't what you expect...

The other thing that I would point out is that simply increasing the ability scores of high level characters probably isn't going to impact things all that much. It will provide a small increase in probabilities (5% per two point increase) for skills that use that ability, as well as attack bonuses and AC for STR and DEX. I see that as a marginal improvement. It will make for characters that are a bit better at things that they are good at. But I don't think that would create game breaking overpowered characters like stacking a bunch of untyped or unique typed bonuses would.

That's not quite everything, though - in particular, Save DCs and Resolve Points would need to be factored in.

The benefit isn't quite evenly distributed, either - though the Bonus Spells Per Day increase shouldn't be too ridiculous.


I wonder what life insurance looks like in a setting with resurrection/reincarnation spells.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

I'm saying you're trying to argue for metaphysical consistency in a role playing game but only when it gets you the answer you want to get rather than the answer the evidence says you should get.

You're deliberately and blatantly ONLY doing that when it helps your case and not when it hurts it to get a specific result. Thats not rules interpretation anymore.

I don't think you've understood the subject of this thread well enough to see what anyone's thinking, frankly. All I'm trying to do is find a rules basis to determine which actions do and do not become multi-target when used with an area weapon which does not require a specific action to use.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:

Line and Blast do not care about actions. At all. You don't use an action to use it; they modify actions that you take involving that weapon. You are not even in the neighborhood of the question right now.

If they're valid for these actions, do they provide that effect in their standard attack area?

Again, the answer is clearly they are valid for those actions but they do not work against everyone in their area.

When attacking with such a weapon, make a single attack roll and compare it to the relevant Armor Class of all creatures and objects in a line extending to the weapon’s listed range increment.

vs

Harrying Fire

You can use your standard action to make a ranged attack that distracts a foe in your line of effect. Make an attack roll against AC 15. If you hit, you deal no damage, but the next ally to attack that foe gains a +2 circumstance bonus to her next attack roll, as long as that attack occurs before your next turn.

Even if your line of effect includes the shirren barbershop quartet the rules are very clear that you can only harrying fire one of them. The argument you're making that line weapons make everything anyone does with them a line does not follow and runs counter to the evidence.

So, are you saying that Harrying Fire does not care about things like weapon range, due to some notion of not targeting an enemy?


ghostunderasheet wrote:
Well I am guna use that the next time I heal. Also everytime I need to heal but the spell is not enough.

Just remember: You can't heal anyone if you're dead.


MercCpt wrote:
I have taken all the suggestions and replays in here to heart and have done some research on Personal Upgrades and I full understand my silliness and I would like to thank all of those whom responded and apologize for not being fully aware that starfinder had set these restrictions so well however I still personally believe that it would be safe to remove the "limiter" at a higher level i'm not suggesting anything crazy just my opinion again thank you to all those who read and replied it was very informing!

Starfinder doesn't work that way - that starting 18 limit is in part there to keep you from doing things that would actively be bad for you; starting 18s are already a bad enough idea to begin with, in most cases, as everyone's attribute needs are too spread out for that (and as it actually slows down your attribute progression).


HammerJack wrote:
There is nothing about clever attack or improved get 'em that would prevent them from being used with any type of AoE weapons. The improvisation effects are still single target.

See, that's actually one of the points where I'm really not sure, because I can't find a line of reasoning outside of "it only says one", which is already the case for any other attack action.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
One has yet to be provided.

No.

The answer you like hasn't been provided.

You need a standard action to harrying fire one individual. Not all individuals your gun could affect. Attack actions are not hot swapable for standard actions. This is the rules forum, that is the rules. RAW, RAI, right side up upside down there isn't a good argument to be made otherwise.

Okay, I can't possibly be clearer that we're not talking about some kind of action substitution. That is something you've brought in from outside of this question that has no relevance here.

Line and Blast do not care about actions. At all. You don't use an action to use it; they modify actions that you take involving that weapon. You are not even in the neighbourhood of the question right now.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
why are you trying so hard to wheedle this one particular conclusion by twisting everything someone else says?

I'm trying to find the actual determinant for what does and does not work with the Line/Blast properties.

There's certain actions we know it works with, so any form of reasoning on this has to be consistent with those actions. One has yet to be provided.

The reason why Automatic requires a feat to provide Covering Fire is because you have to make a Full Attack to make use of the property, making it otherwise impossible to have that property active when using Covering Fire/Harrying Fire. By contrast, you do not need to take a specific action for Line/Blast to be active - in fact, it's not possible to fire those weapons [b]without[b] that property being active, far as I can tell.


I could actually see it working out really well if you take it all the way through - they're not just building their gear, but they're actually building their base of operations, maybe some kind of settlement, and so on. Could get a lot of player investment pretty fast that way.


HammerJack wrote:

Covering Fire

You can use your standard action to make a ranged attack that provides covering fire for an ally. Make a ranged attack roll against AC 15. If you hit, you deal no damage but the selected ally gains a +2 circumstance bonus to AC against the next attack from a creature in your line of effect (see page 271), so long as that attack occurs before your next turn.

Covering fire doesn't target an enemy in any way, so area of effect won't matter.

Harrying Fire
You can use your standard action to make a ranged attack that distracts a foe in your line of effect. Make an attack roll against AC 15. If you hit, you deal no damage, but the next ally to attack that foe gains a +2 circumstance bonus to her next attack roll, as long as that attack occurs before your next turn.

Harrying fire doesn't target an enemy, it just happens to be distracting to one. So having multiple targets in the area that should be affected if it wasn't a normal attack doesn't matter there, either.

In either case, you could still use an AoE weapon. In neither case do you target enemies, or would enemies in the normal attack area expand the effect.

Oh, hey, finally an actual attempt to answer the question!

Does that then mean Harrying Fire doesn't care about your weapon's range, if it doesn't have to hit the enemy?

So, by that reasoning, any attack which does target an enemy would be valid for a Line or Blast weapon. So, what about Clever Attack and Improved Get 'Em? Seeking Shot and Phase Shot? What about the full action variant of Fire Support?


...

You use a standard action to Attack, Harrying Fire, Covering Fire, etc.

You use a Full Action for things like Trick Attack.

We know Line and Blast are valid for Attack and Trick Attack (though they do not benefit from Trick Attack). You contend that they are not valid for Harrying Fire and Covering Fire. I have seen absolutely no determinant in rules that makes that accurate while being compatible with the actions we know it does work with. Can you provide one?


...

No.

I'm not.

I'm not talking about combining Trick Attack and Harrying Fire? How many times do I need to say that?


MercCpt wrote:
2. The highest stat you can get to is 22! at lvl 20! I personally feel like that is very underwhelming for such a high lvl character.

You may wish to look up the Personal Upgrade augmentations.


breithauptclan wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
Uh, you just described nearly every campaign. Looting gear is a time-honored tradition. Especially in Starfinder, with the bad resale value of used gear, players are almost encouraged to only use found weapons and armor.

In the games that I have played in, looting has always been a noticable part of it. But I am meaning having looting/scavenging/bartering/questing being the only practical way of getting anything.

As in: you get 25 credits and your choice of one tier 1 basic melee or small arm weapon to start with. Then you can use the Earn a Living parts of skills or sell off old gear for its terrible resale price if you - for some reason - need to get more cash.

I haven't ever played a game where the option to buy things that you want/need isn't a viable option. I think that would be rather interesting - but would definitely need a group of people who thought the same thing in order to work and be fun.

Kind of like if you used Starfinder's rules to do the whole Survival game thing.


Trick Attack + Harrying Fire is not part of the scope of this thread. Please stop wasting time with it.

However, based on the existence of the specific rule regarding Trick Attack and Line/Blast, it is clear that the intent is for Line/Blast to be compatible with Trick Attack, but not benefit (what that means, specifically, is a broader question that is not the subject of this thread).

Given that Line and Blast are compatible with Trick Attack, and in the absence of a specific rule otherwise, I still cannot see a rule element that prevents the combination - your "single target" argument would apply to literally every single action you could ever use Line/Blast with, and thus can be dismissed out of hand unless you have some way to draw a distinction.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Trick attack allows an attack during it, harrying fire requires a standard action during the trick attack. Trick attack allows for the attack it doesn't allow for a standard action.

To repeat, with further character: Trick Attack + Harrying Fire is not the question here. The distinction between Trick Attack + Line/Blast vs Harrying Fire + Line/Blast is the question here - you're claiming they resolve differently, and have yet to provide a reason why.


Nefreet wrote:
pithica42 wrote:
In SFS, we're required to use the gospel of RAW

I wanted to also chime in and say this is incorrect.

In Organized Play, "RAW" stands for "Run as Written", and refers to GMing a scenario within its set guidelines and not adding in your own story elements, extra enemies or bringing in your own personal PC to be the hero and save the party (happened more than you'd think in the early years).

The acronym does not refer to "Rules as Written", the popular ideology that text can only be interpreted in one manner, because there is simply no such thing. Reading is an interpretive activity, and this thread alone should demonstrate that two or more people are perfectly capable of reading the same text and coming to different conclusions.

We now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast...

That's also not what Rules As Written means - the term is specifically in contrast to Rules As Intended, in acknowledgement of that fact that language is imprecise, humans are imperfect, and the way that a set of rules is written out may not properly reflect how it is meant to operate; it is generally accepted in most circles I've run in that once the intent is made clear, the intent becomes the actual rule.


You misunderstand me - perhaps I should be more clear. I'm not opening up the "mashing attack actions together" question, because the answer there is clear.

Your contention is that Line and Blast are compatible with, but gain no benefit from, Trick Attack, but are not compatible with Harrying/Covering Fire. My question is, what rules element distinguishes between Trick Attack and Harrying/Covering Fire in this way? What rules element determines whether any given attack with a ranged weapon is impacted by the Line or Blast properties?


Pantshandshake wrote:

Shouldn't the sudden inclusion of an at (or near) level weapon and armor put the player hilariously over WBL?

Let the player pull his shenanigans, at the end of every session ask the players to do a wealth audit. Players above WBL don't get any more loot or money until they even out.

Shouldn't they be scaling towards the WBL for the next level?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
And if they only worked with the attack action, that text would not be necessary

Really not following you here.

Attacking with a line weapon or a blast weapon is not a standard action.

It is an attack. Without that line that blast/line weapons don't work with trick attack, you could trick attack blast away (and you'd either need to specify one person took the trick damage or it would be horrifically OP)

Okay, so where is the rules element distinguishing Trick Attack's relationship with Line/Blast, versus Harrying/Covering Fire?


And if they only worked with the attack action, that text would not be necessary (and there's the separate question of whether that means they can be used for Trick Attack but don't get the damage, whether they can apply Debilitating Trick, whether you can trick attack for Uncanny Mobility, etc - but that's out of the scope of this thread).

That's part of where this becomes plainly different from the Combat Maneuver issue.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
That's where the nesting is in- the Harrying Fire and Covering Fire actions specifically instruct you to make a ranged attack, which also happens to be the reason you need a ranged weapon to perform the action in the first place.

No. They tell you to take a standard action and take a ranged attack.

So, how is it that you think Line and Blast interact with the Attack and Trick Attack actions (which the text specifically calls out), based on this logic? What is it that makes it interact with those and not Covering/Harrying Fire?


breithauptclan wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Though now I want to play a character who starts out only carrying weapons with the Professional attribute...

I actually head the other direction. I have always wanted to play a straight-up scavenging game. Where the players get practically no cash to spend on things. They have to loot, steal, or build most of the stuff that they have.

But yeah. That is a gameplay style that should be approved by all the players at the table, including the GM.

With proper skill coverage, that's... Actually really easy in this system. The 1:1 ratio between UPBs and Credits makes wealth real easy to keep consistent.

Though I'd maybe want to homebrew some Monster Hunter style stuff at that point...


Expertise is a pretty important part of Envoys, but it's also stronger than any other scaling bonus - progressing though 3.5>4.5>5.5>6.5>7.5>8.5. In addition, they get that bonus across something like 6 skills as they level up.

Providing a bonus to Soldiers isn't gonna get in the way of that. Especially if the bonus scales with fighting style, so that you only get the full benefit out of the skill your Primary Fighting Style uses.

Far as the core book goes, though, only Soldiers and Solarians lack scaling bonuses. Envoys just happen to have the best one.


So, there's an old Shadowrun trick that would help in situations like this - explain that the character wouldn't work because nobody would hire them, and the start of the campaign is getting hired (getting hired for a job is the Shadowrun equivalent to meeting in a tavern).

Not every character is compatible with every campaign - in fact, there might be no character that is compatible with every campaign. Generally speaking, so long as you can explain why, "that character wouldn't be in this campaign" is a pretty fair reason to not approve a character.

Though now I want to play a character who starts out only carrying weapons with the Professional attribute...


breithauptclan wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Also, I'm amazed nobody's commented on the general structure of Skill Synergy - that's what I was actually the least certain about

I'm assuming that you are meaning the modified Skill Synergy at the top of the post rather than the one in the CRB. That is why I don't like changing the feats without also changing their names.

I think this one is different enough from the normal Skill Synergy that it shouldn't entirely replace Skill Synergy. For instance, it doesn't give new 'class skill' designations to skills. That untyped class skill bonus is pretty significant.

As a limited version of the Envoy ability, it seems reasonable. Again, I haven't done the math to discuss much on power level. But it is certainly something that seems interesting and useful. It would alleviate the problem of low skill characters being left behind, though I think it would be a bit more unreliable than a static bonus (though that is part of the interest and charm of the feat).

One thing that might be concerning would be how much overshadowing it does to an actual Envoy. Would it still be worth taking the Envoy class instead of running a Solarian with this feat. My gut instinct is that it is fine. This feat is more on the level of the technomantic dabbler feat than an entire class replacement. But for people who find the Envoy lacking already in the Improvisations available - especially at high level, this feat as a replacement may be a bit more tempting.

Generally, I use the same name to make it clear that it's meant to be a replacement - avoids silly discussions about "why would you take Skill Synergy if this was around". Plus I suspect, but can't confirm, that what I'm trying to do is actually in line with the design intent behind those feats, and that they were never updated to reflect the DC system.

As for the class skill element, I honestly removed it because I couldn't work the original either/or nature of Skill Synergy into a scaling system.

As for the math, it does at least start at close to the same point - average bonus of 2.5 rather than 2.

I do also wonder if Solarians need to get some scaling added to Sidereal Influence - maybe having the option to "spend" the new skill allocation on that instead at levels 11 and 19.

(And for that matter if Soldiers should get a scaling skill bonus from their fighting styles - ie, Mysticism for Arcane Assailant, Engineering for Armor Storm, and so on)


It does occur to me that you could have fights at ranges long enough for the Sniper property to matter, but still close enough to not be outside the maximum range of most ranged weapons - it definitely makes the range increment of non-sniper weapons a lot more important than it otherwise was, though; if the target is 200 ft away, the difference between the Azimuth Laser Pistol and the Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol gets a lot more pronounced.

This also makes Sights and Scopes a lot more important.


Pantshandshake wrote:

Sorry, but it's pretty open and shut.

The specific thing you want to do is perform Harrying or Covering Fire.

The specific rules for these actions make it clear that both of them effect a single (enemy) target at a time. I might consider that weapons with different modes of firing, such as Line or Blast, could effect more than one enemy, except for two things:

1. Harrying and Covering both being very clear that they are vs a single enemy.

2. The Suppressive Fire feat exists, if this feat exists just to give a weapon with the Automatic property a way to effect more than one enemy with Harrying or Covering Fire, then with this feat you absolutely, 100%, no arguments can only effect one target with Harrying or Covering fire without the feat and an automatic weapon.

By that logic, Line and Blast also don't work with the Attack action, either. There is, in fact, no defined action to use Line and Blast.

The reason you need to use Automatic with Covering Fire or Harrying Fire is actually because you normally have to make a full attack to make use of Automatic.

In contrast, Line and Blast actually explain their interaction with abilities like Trick Attack.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
There's no direct nesting there. There's too many differences between an attack and a standard action that involves an attack roll.

And if Line or Blast told you to use a standard action to do X and forbade the Attack action, you would be correct. But that's not the case - in fact, they don't reference actions at all.

That's where the nesting is in- the Harrying Fire and Covering Fire actions specifically instruct you to make a ranged attack, which also happens to be the reason you need a ranged weapon to perform the action in the first place.

If we say that the ranged attack rules are not relevant (despite the fact that they're specifically cited), we're saying that you don't need a ranged weapon to do it in the same way that you don't for a spell - which is absurd.

I get that you're referencing to the "combat maneuver/trick attack" discussion, but this is something radically different. That was a question about whether two actions sharing a rule element defined outside of actions (both ranged and melee attacks are first defined as a subset of attack rolls) allowed two actions to be mashed together; the resolution there is actually pretty obvious.

This is different, because Line or Blast do not involve their own defined action - they change how other actions work. In fact, the rules go so far as to specify the interaction between Line/Blast and Trick Attack (specifically as an example of an ability which increases the damage of a single attack, which Line and Blast do not benefit from), so we know for a certainty that it isn't limited to any single specific action.

This is effectively a question about inheritance; because the rules element of a "ranged attack" (which is itself distinct from the Attack action, being defined under Attack Rolls 4 pages before the Actions In Combat section) is being altered by a weapon property, that has to have some interaction with any ranged attack involving that weapon. So what is the interaction here?

If you want to continue to go to the "mashing actions together" argument, the deficiency that argument has here that you'll need to deal with is that Line and Blast are not explicitly bound to any given action - so you're arguing for some sort of implicit binding, and you're going to need to be able to prove that chain.


Metaphysician wrote:
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.

Or possibly archetypes, but, uh... Well, there's not a lot more to be said about archetypes.


Mai Shael wrote:
Azelator Ereus wrote:
Hrm that homebrew seems rad, but my GM would probably require a feat or something to upgrade a spell like that. However I think the real power of this spell at higher levels is to use it to provide covering or harrying fire.
My GM looks at it like Magic Missile, would you need a feat to use magic Missile at higher levels? We basically just homebrew rewrote the spell to be variable, I have to burn an appropriate level spell slot each everytime I use it, burning a custom feat on it would be a huge waste.

In Starfinder, Magic Missile is not a multi-level spell, and the only part of it that changes with level is range.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

The line weapon property specifically overrides attacking a target. It does not specifically override the rules for harrying fire.

It wouldn't be overpowered if it did , but thats a really big rules leap of logic and.. there's no argument there. Harrying fire requires a specific standard action to harass one foe, not a specific standard action to harrass everyone your weapon can attack at once.

It specifically overrides ranged attack, which the rules for Harrying Fire use.


breithauptclan wrote:

Hmm... One more constraint that we should consider in these suggestions is that we really don't want to have to make DC adjustments to the published APs.

For homemade games, the person making the campaign can just use whatever DCs or DC scaling function that they feel is appropriate for the players that are actually playing the game.

This houserule topic is mostly for people who are using the published adventures at home instead of writing the entire world themselves.

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I would think that the better choice is not to change Skill Synergy and Skill Focus, but to instead introduce a new feat. Probably having Skill Focus as a prereq. The new feat could give the scaling insight bonus that is needed. It wouldn't stack with the insight bonus of Skill Focus itself, it would instead be an improvement over Skill Focus at higher levels. Maybe call it Improved Skill Focus, because names are hard.

Could make the bonus match the scaling of the operative bonus, so +1 / 4 levels. Or match the technomancer's bonus of +1 / 3 levels. Though I haven't done all the math on such things. It is a houserule anyway, so pick something that your group can agree on.

So with the +1 / 4 level bonus, it would be equal to Skill Focus at 12th level. and would be an improvement at 16th.

If it was instead +1 / 3 levels, it would be equal to Skill Focus at 9th level and an improvement at 12th.

Yeah, I'm very much aiming for a soft touch here - add a specific bonus without having to go into basically every system to retouch DCs and such.

I'm also trying to avoid making the investment too high - as a legacy feat hailing back to 3.5. Assuming skill ranks and a not-horrible modifier, it did the job of making you a specialist in that skill just fine. I'm assuming that the actual intent is for that to still be the case, but nobody looked at the impact that the skill progression changes had on feats that are meant to be a form of skill specialization.

The other thing I've very much paying attention to with Skill Focus, and the reason I didn't make it just mirror Operative's Edge entirely, is that it's +3 is actually important for Operatives early on - otherwise, a fair chunk more optimization is needed to make Trick Attack properly reliable.

I'm very much aiming to avoid unintended consequences here.

(Also, I'm amazed nobody's commented on the general structure of Skill Synergy - that's what I was actually the least certain about)


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Harrying Fire

You can use your standard action to make a ranged attack that distracts a foe in your line of effect. Make an attack roll against AC 15. If you hit, you deal no damage, but the next ally to attack that foe gains a +2 circumstance bonus to her next attack roll, as long as that attack occurs before your next turn.

No matter what weapon you're using harrying fire sucks up a standard action and will only work against one target. A weird weapon having a line effect doesn't impact that at all.

The book also states "When making a ranged attack, you use a ranged weapon to shoot an opponent from a distance" (p. 240), and "With a ranged weapon, you can shoot or otherwise attack a target that is within the weapon's maximum range and within your line of effect".

These properties are already overriding the usage of singular terms; the text of Harrying Fire isn't meaningfully different in that regard.

The structure of the rules appears to be that Covering Fire and Harrying Fire involve a Ranged Attack, and the general rule for Ranged Attacks involves using a ranged weapon. Certain ranged weapons have properties that effectively override ranged attacks - after all, Line and Blast (I have yet to check others) both do not specify a new action, they simply say what happens when you use that weapon to make an attack.

There are obviously two questions here - first, how do the rules resolve, and second, how are the rules supposed to resolve. I'm not certain that either of those is at all clear, nor that they are the same.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Well, scaling "representative" DCs are not a terrible idea. A GM who's looking to challenge his players wants a formula that tells him how hard something should be to be a challenge.

The 1.5x level formula is a decent approximation, if someone making the roll has a scaling bonus:

- Operatives and mechanics gain a +1 per 4 levels => 0.25 per level
- Mystics and technomancers gain a +1 per 3 levels => 0.33 per level

You also gain an ability increase every 5 levels. At best it's worth a +1 per 5 levels so 0.2 per level; at worst it's +1 per 10 levels to 0.1

You can use personal upgrades to boost abilities, at levels 3, 7 and 14. 3/14 = 0.21 per level.

So someone focusing on a skill could gain about 0.33+0.2+0.21 +1 rank per level, so 1.74 per level. Which means you ever so slowly become better than average at skills in your primary ability area, which tends to be the signature skills. You extend your lead over the DC by 0.24 per level. Every four levels you need to roll 1 less on the die.

For someone without a scaling bonus, and not taking that ability as a prime target for augmentations (say, a soldier trying to use Engineering as a starship combat skill because the operative already called dibs on Pilot), the picture is more grim.

He gets 1 rank per level, 0.2 from ability increases every 5 levels, and that's it. Every level he falls 0.3 behind. By level 11, he needs to roll a 13 to succeed at a check that he at level 1 could succeed at 10. He's getting worse.

And now you're seeing why I feel like the system needs scaling bonuses which are not class features.

You could also do something where the eyeballing DCs for skills would use something like CR or APL times 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.25, and 1.5 plus some base DC, so that someone who hasn't really specialized has stuff they can reliably hit, but the difference between being specialized and not becomes more pronounced.

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