I know that the players have access to computers in general, but could I (as a player) purchase a computer that could remotely fire a weapon or start our starship? What about store secure data to have access to when not in range of an infosphere? Or even to have an AI for those lonely nights out in the drift?
I would say definitely yes on all accounts, except maybe starting a starship. Because the rules state that "the control module for a more complex device, such as a spy Drone, Starship, Vehicle, or weapon turret, costs 10% of the device to be controlled." But since starships only have a price in BP, not in credits, that doesn't really make sense.As to what you could do with it, computers can get any number of inputs, and can be set to perform any number of rote tasks using any number of outputs in the form of controlled technological devices or internal data. Basically, if you can define what the computer should do with the controlled devices or its own data based on some inputs it receives, it can do so automatically, without even needing you to remote control any device.
So, for example, you get a cheap camera, a control module for it and you've got yourself a security camera. You could even have the computer warn you if it detects something, maybe through a speaker. That would require a Perception check by the computer, with 2-1/2 times its tier as the total skill bonus.
Or maybe you don't even need it to warn you, maybe it's controlling a gun and can shoot the intruder automatically, with its tier as the attack bonus. If it has an Artificial Personality, it could even intimidate the intruder all by itself while you're still sleeping.
Or, heck, if you're not into automation, you can set up a weapon somewhere, have your computer control it through a control module and a range upgrade, and by controlling the weapon through the computer yourself, you can use your full attack bonus instead of the lousy +tier that automation would provide.
It's important to note what computers can't do, though. They can't access, let alone control devices they don't have a control module for. Most importantly, this includes hacking. This still leaves you with a ton of possibilities, if you're creative and prepared.
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
However, things like critical hits multiply after all bonuses, implying they are written as such (weapon dice + modifiers) × 2 + precision damage.
This isn't really how it works. There is no notion of precision damage or any such thing in Starfinder. Critical hits double all damage, including extra damage dice. Pathfinder had language stating that, say, the extra dice from Sneak Attack or the Alchemist's Bombs are not multiplied after a critical hit. This is entirely missing in Starfinder. Heck, it explicitly says "including any additional damage from special abilities".Not really relevant to the rules question here; just thought I should clear that up.
Jim H wrote:
Having the computer actively hack back might upset game mechanics, but it's certainly the way technology is going today -- there are many discussions that we'll all have to have computer defenses with strong AI because a lot of the attacks will have strong AI and human won't be able to keep up.
That's cool and all, but this is a thread about this game with specific rules and mechanics, not about flavor or the real world or what the real world might be like in a few hundred years. And yes, I know about that virus countermeasure, and I addressed it in my post as a specific exception.I'm going from the, I would hope, fairly reasonable assumption of "55 bucks should not make several of a class' main gimmicks completely obsolete".
Jim H wrote:
That's... not really at all how they work. Countermeasures don't require more Computers checks and they don't make hacking harder. The only exception is the Firewall which does exactly both of those things, but only for parts of the system.So, no, characters do not know a computer has countermeasures. Non-firewall countermeasures also only trigger if you fail to break into the computer, but even then, you don't know that countermeasures have been activated.
Once you have successfully hacked into a computer, I would think that you know which countermeasures it has. Otherwise, the ability of the Mechanic's Expert Rig doesn't really make sense. But apart from special abilities (like Expert Rig), you couldn't just turn them off either. You definitely don't know the countermeasures before hacking and you don't know them if you fail.
Speaking about the Mechanic, that last part (knowing countermeasures if you fail) is a Mechanic Trick which also grants them the ability to deactivate one of them if they fail. That does require an additional check, of course.
Also, computers can not hack. Apart from very specific things like the Feedback countermeasure or the Hacker’s Curse Trap, I would never, ever allow computers to hack other computers. 'cause if you allow that, you basically make the Mechanic's defining ability (hacking at range) completely useless because computers and range upgrades are dirt cheap.
I play a Mechanic who's gonna go with Heavy Weapons later, and here's what I do with Strength: Put your one odd leftover point into Strength, so you start with 11. Yes, that means you won't be able to wield a heavy weapon effectively until level 5, but that's probably fine, there's not that many before that point anyway. For level 11+ Heavy Weapons, you need 14 strength, but that's what the ability increase at level 10 is for.However, she's an ExoMech, so I get Longarm Proficiency for free. For you, that's either a Soldier dip or two feats until you're even proficient with Heavy Weapons. Neither option is that great, but consider this: What precisely would you spend your feats on otherwise?
If you want to go with Heavy Weapons, I would go with 16 Int, 16 Dex, 11 Str. 18 Int, 14 Dex would also work, but your BAB isn't great, so 16/16 is probably better. Once you get Personal Upgrades, you can prioritize whatever you want.
Big Lemon wrote:
I imagine it's a similar situation to loan sharks: everyone knows the outcome is not going to be good, so only the truly desperate or foolish go that route.
Oh, I love that idea! And honestly, yes, efreeti are Lawful Evil, but most probably have better things to do than grant wishes to desperate shmucks, especially given the risk they put themselves in if things go too far. As stated above, the Church of Sarenrae would come down on them like a ton of bricks. And it's not like they even stand much to gain from twisting most wishes other than amusement.Unless they charge people for granting wishes. Those would definitely be extremely black-market affairs, and even the most unscrupulous efreeti would be careful not to mess up too much stuff. Also, that's combining the risks of careless wish-granting with the risks of running an illegal business. I don't doubt that some efreeti are doing exactly that, but they would have to be extraordinarily cunning and careful. Some efreeti might consider those "wish sharks" very stupid, others might secretly admire them. But I imagine that quite a few would be very jealous of those efreeti working their dream job.
CRB, page 152 wrote:
Some feats have prerequisites. A character must have each indicated ability score, feat, base attack bonus, skill, class feature, and other listed quality in order to select or use that feat. She can gain a feat at the same level at which she gains its prerequisites.
So, yes, this is totally fine.
I thought the whole point of spell chips was to have the computer cast the spell for you
Computers aren't spellcasters, so no. The caster has to be controlling the computer at the moment the spell is cast. And it always acts as if the character was casting it, so the effect would originate from them, not the computer.
The questions in this thread are based on the assumption that 1 (one) credit is the smallest unit of currency in the Pact Worlds. This is not the case. Fractional credits are totally fine, the currency is entirely digital, anyway. Your credstick might just not support it.
In most technologically advanced urban areas, no one bothers to track fractions of credits, and few things cost a fraction of a credit. Mass production makes it cheaper to sell entire suits of clothing, prebundled into 1-credit packages, than to sell individual items worth less than a credit each. However, some credsticks are designed to allow fractional credit purchases.
This also answers the question of selling in bulk. If you drive up to a store and try to sell an item for 0.2 credits, they might get annoyed with you because they have to get out their specialized "fractional credits" credstick. Selling five of them for 1 credit should be fine, though.
The gap seems to have lasted several thousand years. So unless it's a dragon, a deity, undead, or a druid with a reincarnate contingency, they almost certainly couldn't have lived through it.
I'm not certain on this, but aren't most non-native outsiders unaging, too? Like elementals, genies, and the vast number of aligned outsiders. They can certainly die, but not from old age, I think.
It seems, from the lore, that people living during the gap didn't notice anything amiss. Society didn't collapse and people were obviously doing stuff. It's as if the Universe did a garbage collection at the end of it and lost all the contextual data for several millennia.
It's weirder than even that, because it's stated that records are not just missing or incomplete, but contradictory. So, it's possible that some timeline shenanigans were involved and that there isn't one single history. The entry on the Sun in the CRB mentions the possibility of warped time, so this is not out of the question. This makes the existence of those islands of coherence even stranger and more interesting.
Gary Bush wrote:
That's just it, we don't know be because the history before the Gap is lost.
I'm pretty sure that's not the case. It's stated that history lines up again before the Gap, and that historians do know quite a bit about that.It's the history in the Gap that's messed up, and nobody knows how long it was. My personal theory is that Pathfinder takes place in the Gap. Would give both Pathfinder and Starfinder designers the greatest flexibility.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
if everyone with mid and high rank is going to keep that rank for millennia, how do low-level officers advance?
Hmm, I'm now imagining the Corpse Fleet engaging in some good ol'-fashioned Klingon Promotion. Sure, none of the officers lose cognitive function or power, but they may very well become complacent or stray from the Corpse Fleet's stated goal. And if, as suggested by pithica, the Corpse Fleet is largely meritocratic, that would probably be seen as actually fine. If everyone is unaging, a weak commander would obviously be seen as a huge liability, and as someone to be quickly replaced.
The term I've seen used the most as a derogatory term for the living in canon has been "breathers".
I came up with "breather" as an Eoxian curse before I even saw it in official content. It's a wonderfully organic (as it were) epithet.
I don't own Dead Suns, so this is some major hivemind.
Pre-transition, early form, biologically animate, chemical energy dependent (given PF cosmology - positive or radiant energy dependent?), first order consumers... just brainstorming ideas for names the more pompous unliving might give the living. They might well get worn down in actual use, bioanimate or bios, chemdependent or chems, etc.
I like "bios" as a laconic term for non-undead a lot. It's punchy, immediately clear from the context, and neither insulting nor pompous.Speaking of which, what would be some insulting slang terms for the living? What terms would Eoxian traditionalists or Corpse Fleet members use when talking about the living expanding their influence? The other way around is easy, I'm pretty sure calling an Eoxian a zombie would be pretty offensive.
Somehow, my mind is stuck on "breathers" as slang for the living. It doesn't sound immediately insulting, but it's a great word to spit out in disgust. I can totally picture the Eoxian equivalent of a racist grandpa muttering about "those damn breathers".
It's not an area effect, though, nor an effect targeting an opponent. I don't see how it's a more direct form of attack than using Summon Creature which has never broken Invisibility.If you're gonna rule that the issue is the swarm sharing a space with an opponent at the time of casting, then just summon it nearby. The microbots then go harass the enemies by themselves, but at that point, it can certainly no longer be considered an attack by you.
You don't need ten minutes of "leave immediately" for it to function as a translator. You can attune it to some language beforehand, perhaps by just listening to the locals. Heck, with the omnipresence of infospheres on civilized planets and stations, a character could probably just tune in to the local radio or TV and that would be that. Then, you can take your translator with you to more risky endeavors.It's useless if you don't prepare, but there doesn't appear to be a limit on the number of languages it can save. And I don't see why it would lose any of that data when it runs out of power. Even if that was the case, I feel it's totally reasonable for a skilled hacker to make a backup of that data and to copy it back over after turning it on again. So, this could potentially be very powerful.
Where are we getting all this data on SF undead?
There's a few Undead listed in Alien Archives and Dead Suns 3 apparently has quite a bit about Eox. I don't own the latter, but there is a non-evil Undead listed in AA, the Cybernetic Zombie.
I don't think there's mention of a neutral Eoxian method. Or has the nature of necromancy changed since PF? Or has magic progressed such?
Well, I don't know about that, but Animate Dead certainly doesn't have the "Evil" descriptor any more. In fact, the only spell which can have descriptors indicating alignment is Planar Binding. I feel like that was sort of overlooked.But to me, this definitely implies that creating Undead isn't necessarily evil, and that Undead themselves need not be Evil either. Sure, you could say that their being lends itself easier to Evil than Good, but the same's true for Dhampirs, Tieflings and Changelings in Pathfinder. And the Pathfinder writers made it pretty clear that those could be of any alignment.
Another question about Microbot Assault... would casting this break Invisibility? It's not actually attacking anyone, so should an invisible caster be able to summon these up and harass his foes?
I'm guessing this would fall under the same umbrella as summoning creatures to fight for you. In fact, this is even more indirect, as you can't control them once summoned and they don't even do damage. So, I would definitely rule that it doesn't break invisibility.
Fabricate Tech can definitely use some clarification. The ability may be useless. But certain interpretations of the ability could make it overpowered, as Nixitur and I briefly discussed in another thread.
Oh yeah, I was wondering why this discussion seemed familiar. I'm also just going to shamelessly quote myself here, because I have already argued over the "items with limited [...] charges" wording.
So, yeah, I'm fairly certain you can create items which use charges. Just not ones that have charges.
Well, technological items also include "any minor piece of equipment with a real-world equivalent". So, a spectrum analyzer would probably fall under that, given that they're already quite affordable nowadays. It doesn't say what level such an item would have, but I'm guessing it would be 1.
Yeah, crafting costs 100% of the base price. You can repair your crafted items twice as fast, and your items have higher hardness, Hit Points and saving throws. They're treated as two levels higher for that purpose. That's +4 hardness, +6 Hit Points, +2 saving throws (or +2/+2/+2 for things that aren't meant to be sturdy) which is a pretty nice bonus.
Since it explicitly calls out Covering Fire and Harrying Fire, I would assume that it only applies to the very first attack against/by that opponent in or after your round. Yes, it "makes sense" that they would do that continuously, but I see nothing in the rules that would support such an interpretation.
He never said what his intended use was, though that would seem to be one of the more powerful ways of using it.
Really not that powerful. 'cause that's one level of Mystic you're missing, and most levels of Mystic give you an additional spell slot at your highest spell level, anyway.If you go Mystic X/Technomancer 1, you are going to have some more regular level 1 Technomancer slots and 1 extra highest-level wildcard slot. In exchange, you slow down your progression of highest level spells and additional abilities from Mystic.
Grouping together all slots and counting Spell Cache as a highest-level spell slot, here's some examples:
M4 has 3/2
M3/T1 has 6/0
M5 has 4/2
M4/T1 has 5/3
M6 has 4/3
M5/T1 has 6/3
If you only look at the highest spell level you can cast, MX/T1 lags severely behind in 1/3 cases, is on equal footing in 1/3, and has one more slot in 1/3. In exchange, they have far more level 1 slots (especially with bonus spells from decent Int), but can only spend a lot of those on 2 Technomancer spells known.
Seems like a decently balanced option, but I probably wouldn't take it, especially considering that all-important jump in highest spell level every 3n+1 levels.
My query is how they cure the disease, at the end of the session the character made his first save, does this move him back to weakened or does he have to succeed in another save to move to that condition, or does two consecutive saves cure the disease completely?
Remove Affliction can completely cure the character of any disease. As for natural healing:
CRB, page 414 wrote:
In the case of a disease, the victim must fulfill the conditions in the disease’s Cure entry (usually succeeding at one or more consecutive saving throws). Each time she does so, she moves one step back toward healthy
So, in the case of Carrion Spores, passing two saves moves you back up the track a single step. Failing even one save moves you down one. You only get to make one save per day.Yeah. Diseases are brutal. Thankfully, the end state of Carrion Spores is not that bad.
Your players are gonna want to take a look at Treat Disease for the Medicine skill. I am unsure if multiple characters can treat a single other character, but the bonus to the saving throw is untyped, so I don't see why not. Each one would need a medkit, though. I would assume that a character can treat itself, too, if they are good at Medicine.
KAHL SINE_UN NOHN wrote:
So if you multiclassed Mystic, you could use it on Mystic Spells as well? The wording doesn't suggest that it is limited to Technomancer spells, unless I'm missing something of course.
Nope, that seems entirely legal. A bit iffy in terms of flavor (and probably unintentional), but really not that overpowered since multiclassing slows down your spell progression, anyway.
I don't think outsiders are allowed. Humanoid and outsider are different types with their own grouping of subtypes.
That's not quite how types and subtypes interact. They are actually entirely independent of each other and subtypes are not limited to specific types. So, Humanoid (Elemental) is actually entirely legal for this ability. Angel, Azata, Demon, and others actually do state that creatures which have this subtype are Outsiders. It doesn't explicitly say that only outsiders are allowed that subtype, but it can be inferred.Probably more absurd is Humanoid (Incorporeal), though.
The Sideromancer wrote:
I hope you realize that changing subtype to aquatic does not give you amphibious so you lose the ability to breathe air.
The Aquatic subtype does not state that you lose air breathing automatically. It says that if the creature has air breathing, it automatically gains Amphibious, not that a creature with Aquatic, but without Amphibious loses it.
However, I'm a bit skeptical of Aquatic giving you water-breathing (or subtypes granting you any traits) in the first place. Because there are no rules as to what the subtypes actually do. Yes, there's the Aquatic Subtype Graft, but grafting is specifically only for NPCs, not PCs. I wouldn't mix NPC and PC rules, as they are fundamentally different.
No, Distracting Hack "funcions as a feint action", so it doesn't work on any more or less creatures than regular Feint.Also, Undead don't inherently lack an Intelligence score, but Vermin and Ooze do. There are Mindless Undead, though, such as Undead Minions.
(random sidenote.. paizo's autocorrect doens't know Paizo nor undead)
That's not Paizo, that's on your end.
Not at a spot to look it all up, but I wonder if you could then overcharge these "grenade like items"
No, once you've primed them to explode, I don't think they count as "powered weapons" anymore. True, it doesn't technically say that they lose this classification of "ranged energy weapon or a melee weapon with the powered special property", but this is pretty common sense. Not to mention that the sentence about taking up more charges doesn't really make sense, either. At that point, they are grenades.
Max range on thrown weapons is 5 increments making the max range 50ft. So for a standard grenade, you'll need to throw between 35-50 ft for a safe throw, increasing your positioning requirements to be safe. You'll also be throwing at a -6 to -8 to hit, which is still only AC11-13, but does mean that scatters will be more frequent, overall.
Probably more importantly, any penalty to hit also lowers the saving throw DC to halve the damage taken, making it far weaker. Hardly any CR-appropriate enemy is going to fail the saving throw at -8.
I like your creativeness but the main issue is the powered special property part. Most weapons aren't powered.
That limitation on "with the powered special property" only applies to melee weapons. Ranged energy weapons are always fair game with this ability. And I'm guessing most weapons you'll find fall under that.
So effectively, before I sleep I could spend a large amount of resolve to turn the excess weapons into grenade like artifcts yeah?
Even better, you only need to spend resolve to do it in a move action. It's free as a full-round action. And yeah, that seems fair game. If the weapon always exploded next turn, it would not only say so, but the whole thing about reversing it wouldn't make sense.
Also.. I just noticed while writing. it just lists "a grenade of the weapon's item level" So basically any grenade type?
No, it states that the grenade must be "dealing the weapon’s normal damage type". So, no turning laser weapons into Stickybomb Grenades.
I would be careful with any idea which would be a rules nightmare. Several small ships merging to form one large ship sounds cool, but good luck designing a hard and fast rule for how the resulting starship works.
I also think there would be a fairly large difference between Those Who Wait and Those Who Become. They are so fundamentally different in their outlook on life that I would be surprised if their ships were much alike.
So, a fleet by Those Who Wait (which would be rare, but a defensive one makes perfect sense) would probably be very strictly hierarchical with multiple layers. So, you would have a couple commanding ships (always have redundancies) which direct other ships which direct other ships and so on, with the top anacites having incredibly high mental stats. It could also be more of a mesh than a strict tree. So, a single ship anywhere in the hierarchy might receive orders not from one single other ship, but from multiple ones because redundancy. How conflicts are resolved or avoided entirely remains a mystery. You could have fun things where the idea of a single, direct superior doesn't really make sense to such an anacite, making them feel a bit more alien.
The entry on Aballon in the CRB mentions that Those Who Become have "robotic seedships", so presumably large ships which contain a lot of individual anacites rather than having the whole ship just be one. And since colonization seems to be their main goal, they're unlikely to turn themselves into actual starships. So, their ships would probably have a more classic ship/crew division, with individual anacites assuming the roles. This doesn't have to be a Borg thing, it's how organics' starships work, too. Whether they merge with the ship or not doesn't really change how it works.
Abraham spalding wrote:
I had considered that as well, but that's not how NPCs are created in Starfinder. You use the graft system found in the appendix of Alien Archive instead. An NPC's proficiency at casting has nothing to do with their ability scores, just their CR.Sure, you could generate an NPC like you would a playable character, but they will severely stick out and not be in line with other NPCs. Furthermore, there isn't a 1-to-1 correspondence between character level and CR; a PC's and an NPC's stats are quite different.
Yep, you're right, going up to level 20 means that you have a maximum stat of 28. However, on page 21, they also mention "extreme high-level play", so they clearly thought about people going beyond level 20. Although no CRs higher than 25 are even listed in the Alien Archive, so that would be a bit difficult. The game's still pretty new, of course.
Do the rules support using grenades nonlethally? Absolutely, they are considered weapons, after all. And there is no limitation on the damage type of nonlethal damage. A piercing melee weapon wielded nonlethally still does piercing damage.
All in all, I'd say it checks out.
The problem though is that the Starfinder design philsophy seems to want character abilities be kept distinct from starship combat (other than skills and BAB). So I do not think the Starfinder team will put in a Battle Meditation type Feat or Spell in the game.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. The Mechanic has Miracle Worker and Quick Patch which are used in starship combat. So, a Mystic ability specifically for starship combat isn't out of the question.
Hacking a system takes one full action per tier. If you fail, countermeasures activate. However, I don't see anything in the rules about when they activate.
Captain Temπ Ænaut Fugit wrote:
In this case, its not the vacuum that kills ya, its the differential pressure that pushes you through a quarter-sized hole that deforms you irreversibly.
I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen. It's just a difference of one atmosphere which is not enough to exert much of a pull.And as pithica pointed out, the size of the hole means there's less air moving out. And if even air is just moving out fairly slowly, it'll surely have even less of an effect on a humanoid.
This may be true in Pathfinder, but I don't think Jacobs is involved in Starfinder, so I'd take that with a grain of salt. The Starfinder CRB states that when a mortal dies, it ends up on one of the Outer Planes and furthermore says that "each plane represents one of the nine metaphysical alignments". It mentions only the nine Outer Planes we know from Pathfinder, and makes no mention of any others.And don't forget that even some core races in Starfinder are extremely alien, not even hailing from the same star system. If they ended up on planes other than those nine after death, I'm sure it would say so.
There is mention of there maybe being something beyond the Outer Sphere, but whatever that is, it's certainly not the afterlife.
And that's exactly the problem. Detect Radiation is a first-level spell. If you could expend a level 1 spell slot to get something working as Detect Radiation, there would be no reason to take Detect Radiation. If you let Fabricate Tech duplicate spell effects using a slot of equivalent spell level, this Magic Hack is practically several spells known in disguise.And even requiring a higher spell slot doesn't make it much more balanced. Giving a Technomancer the ability to essentially cast a lot of level 1 spells using second-level slots or a lot of level 2 spells using third-level slots or something similar is still extremely powerful. And I'm going to guess that it's not intended.
"Downloaded data sets" are just the local planet or empires version of wikipedia and we play that they are free, just like wikipedia is in our world.
So, any one of those freely downloadable data sets, combined with 1 rank of Computers is enough to take 20 on any deciphering task? That's really the question we aim to answer here. Personally, that strikes me, and Jasque as well, as way too powerful.
What do you mean by "the very beginning of existence"? The Books didn't create the multiverse and neither did Tabris. The Books aren't all-powerful and they're not flawless. The Daemonic section of the Book of the Damned is specifically stated to have been edited, redacted and censored, thus missing some information it should have were it more powerful than the Horsemen. And I'm fairly certain that something able to so completely wipe the memory of mortals, outsiders and possibly even gods alike is more powerful than the Horsemen.
I was wondering about that as well. I would expect that while accessing an infosphere is free and you could get all the information you would need to decipher writing from it, the downloadable encyclopedias are just basic data sets, largely not sufficient for deciphering.
Think of it like this: The encyclopedia you download is basically some version of Wikipedia, but possibly more limited. It's huge, it has a lot of knowledge, but it doesn't contain everything. I would expect it to have references to other stuff, like scientific papers. Those papers are contained in the infosphere, but not in the encyclopedia itself.
I expect that the "downloaded data sets" you would need to decipher writing are specialized sets. A dictionary is not enough. Do you have a specialized data set about pre-Gap Castrovelian religion and language? Now you can decipher pre-Gap Castrovelian religious writing, even if it's partially messed up.
How much those data sets for deciphering cost is again a GM call. Somewhere between 1 and 1000 credits, according to the Secure Data costs in the Computers section. But it needs to be specific, so just "all information in this language" is not allowed.
Since the Artifical Personality is a computer module, it stands to reason that it has access to whatever you downloaded. There is no indication in the rules that you can buy language data, although I suppose it would make sense. I probably wouldn't include it in the free encyclopedia, though.
Sure, the Book of the Damned is beyond the powers of gods, but so is the Gap. There is nothing in the setting information indicating that it was the work of gods at all. The question then is, which is "stronger", so to speak.
A lot of those ideas don't seem in line with what technological items can do and definitely don't fall under "minor piece of equipment with a real-world equivalent". Weather machine, cloaking suit and translator device seem a bit much. There is no indication that any of those things even exist in this universe.
The rest seems fairly sensible, though. Hoverboard would probably be under 100 pounds which is 10 bulk, so fair game.
Also, as for the "charges" wording, it says that you're not allowed to create stuff that has limited charges. It doesn't say anything about items that use charges. The "Capacity" heading in the table denotes "the maximum capacity for an item that requires charges to function", not that it has that amount of charges to begin with. Yes, when you buy them, they come precharged, but that's obviously not required.
I think you misunderstood the question about stacking, Metaphysician. It's not whether different poisons/diseases stack and move you down a single track. The question is whether, if you're suffering from a single affliction, you still suffer from all effects of previous stages when you're at a specific stage.
Success could help the victim recover (see Curing an Affliction below); failure means that the victim moves one step further along its progression track, gaining the effects of the next step and keeping all previous effects.
Stacking of different afflictions is another matter entirely and far more tricky. We know that if you're exposed to multiple doses of the same poison, you have to make saves for both and move down the same track with each failed save. Which means that, yes, you're moving down two steps at the listed frequency if you're unlucky.Now, whether two different, say, Intelligence poisons or physical diseases progress on the same track, I'm not quite sure. However, I would assume no partially because of this wording:
If the affliction has a progression track, she is no longer considered healthy with respect to that affliction
This implies that afflictions are tracked separately. Furthermore, some diseases and poisons have "special" progression tracks, so it wouldn't make much sense for two poisons with different tracks to interact on the same one.Now, this means that if the second disease or poison you're exposed to is less severe than the first one, it doesn't actually do much except make you harder to heal. After all, on the standard Mental Disease track, if you're Befuddled, another disease making you Impaired doesn't matter at all because that includes all previous effects.