Nah, not that kind of serious. He was a junior contract negotiator at Abadarcorp and got caught in a riot stemming from a Goblin Worker's Rights protest while he was negotiating a union contract. In the violence of the riot his weapon manifested and he killed some people. So now he broods guiltily over what was ruled an accidental death but he feels was murder (or at least, manslaughter in self-defense). Plus, he thinks the only reason he wasn't punished was because the victims were goblins who were 'rocking the boat' so it's throwing his entire faith in the 'system' out of whack.
Of course... now I want to do him as an over the top spoof of Rorshach with a lunch tray for a weapon.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I feel a little responsible as I’ve definitely told people what now appears to be the wrong thing.
This is where I'm at, too. I know of at least two people I convinced to subscribe to the Rulebook sub back before AA2 came out specifically so they could get the Beginner Box PDF for free.
Personally, I was planning on just buying the PDFs for the BB, so it doesn't directly impact me.
I would argue that since there's code involved in setting the PDF to automatically go to downloads on shipping, Vic is the more relevant employee, but I'm mostly just posting here not to argue with you but to get Rob to come back and either confirm or correct his statement in light of Vic's comments.
I get that it's an old statement, but it was made by someone senior enough to know the answer and also senior enough to know not to answer questions like that with definite answers if the answer were still in flux.
I'm the one that asked the question Vic answered, and I've been telling everyone since then who has asked the question that that is how it will work based on Vic's statement. So, if they've changed their minds, they need to hurry up and make that abundantly clear.
Azelator Ereus wrote:
My impression was that you couldn't use a Shadow Drive without being Velstrac or going insane
The rules describe them as being slower than Drift drives (on average) and prone to all the normal risks of travel in the Shadow Plane. One of those risks is insanity (a specific kind of insanity native to the Shadow Plane), but in charted regions of the Shadow Plane the areas that cause them (Shadow Nebulae) are known and avoidable by astrogating around them. I don't see anything that suggests all shadow-drives do anything other than give you a slower and more dangerous trip.
This is, of course, why the only people that still consistently use them happen to be Velstracs or Zon-Kuthonions. And their drives may make people insane, but that isn't the general case.
Size, as in distance, wouldn't necessarily matter as distance doesn't seem to directly impact travel times for Drift engines. However, it does seem to impact travel times for other FTL systems, like Shadow Drives. I could potentially see an issue where a culture wanted to actively remain 'in the vast' by destroying any drift beacons that show up in their home system. At which point, getting there via shadow drive may end up being faster if you're in a near enough star system.
However, size, as in the number of stars, planets, and populations of living organisms capable of building drift beacons, absolutely matters. It affects how much is going to be the Vast versus Near Space. It affects the scope of exploitable space. It affects how long it would take for any given culture to actually explore the galaxy.
Whether or not the Galaxy has 1 Billion or 100 Billion or 250 Billion stars, and what percentage of those have life capable of creating/using the Drift technology impacts all of that.
I know of five 'builds' (and I'm using that term loosely) for Solarians that look to work pretty well, overall.
In no particular order...
1. Blitz-larian. 1 or 3 level dip in Blitz Soldier paired with Weapon Solarian. Use Blitz for boost to speed, init, heavy armor prof, and set Str as your primary stat (and maxed) with Cha at 12-16 depending on race and desired starting Dex. Works very well as a melee frontliner.
2. Power-larian. Weapon Solarian. Start with a 13 Strength and as much Charisma as you can. Deal with not hitting all that often but dealing massive amounts of damage (thanks to Soulfire) when you do. At 5th level, take Power Armor Prof and use that to keep your strength effectively maxed (or near enough). Very potent. Pairs well with Korasha Lashunta (they can start 13/14/18 Str/Dex/Cha and at 5th be 18/16/21).
3. Straight up Weapon Solarian. This one is harder to pull off, but you can try for a 14/14/14 or 16/14/14 as your starting Str/Dex/Cha. You don't hit as hard as the other options long term, but you still hit hard enough to be a beast in combat.
4. Claw-larian. Armor Solarian paired with race with a natural attack, max strength, treat dex as secondary and use Cha only for enough Resolve to survive the first couple levels. Can also throw in a level of Blitz for Str as primary stat, but less useful since you don't want heavy armor. From levels 1-3 use an advanced melee weapon. At 4th-ish and higher switch to Unarmed Strikes using Improved Unarmed Strike feat and a Ring of Fangs. DPR is around the same or higher than it is with Weapon Solarian up until ~12. (But since most AP's stop there anyway...)
5. Shot-larian. Armor Solarian + Long arm proficiency. Max Dex and use rifle shots paired with crowd control and other 'fun' stellar revelations. Charisma is only for Resolve and social skills. Can be paired with 1-3 level dip in Operative or Sharpshooter Soldier for ranged attack benefits and Dex for Resolve, but not needed.
I have or have seen all of the above work out pretty dang well in actual play. Though, in all cases, especially at low levels, getting up in someone's face is expensive. Every surviving solarian I've seen has a card from 'Mk1 Healing Serums Anonymous' right up until level 4 or 5 (if not higher).
10) How 'big' are the cities listed in PW for Aballon. Striving is listed as having a population of something like 152 million residents, but without a idea of what part of the map comprises all of Striving, I'm not sure what to make of that? Is it Hong Kong sized? or Texas sized?
11) Are the other 'cities' on Aballon in the same ballpark population wise, or is Striving meant to be where the bulk of the planet's population lives?
12) Any plans for an AP centered around Aballon that you can discuss? We know about DoF and AotS, but it would be really interesting to have a Pact Worlds centered AP after that that visits more of the (as yet) unexplored parts of the PW setting.
I don't think this is a fair assessment. I've personally seen the question get asked and answered by both Rob and Owen. Rob has, at least twice, publicly made statements about this, and Owen has at least once. Both their answers sound like a pretty clear indication that they're working on it, in some capacity. To paraphrase, what they have both said goes something like...
"There are 3 major regions of space in the setting. The Pact Worlds and it's member planets, Near Space which contains the Veskarium (a major and very popular and important part of the setting), and The Vast which contains the Azlanti Star Empire (another major and very popular part of the setting). Pact Worlds has it's own source book. Now I'm not saying we're doing the other two, but given that there appears to be demand for them (they're both very popular) and given that it makes sense structure-wise to have books for the other two..."
They both reiterate how popular this idea is and then either leave it hanging at that or add something like, "It would probably make sense for us to make these books, eventually. We want to give you what you will buy, and it seems like you want to buy these books."
I've seen the above stated by Rob at both Paizocon and Gencon, and by Owen on his most recent Starfinder Wednesday appearance. The three times they've said it were almost identically worded, so much so, that I feel like they planned the wording in advance. This leads me to believe that the books Near Space/Veskarium and The Vast/Azlanti Star Empire are both, at the very least, on the Schedule if not already in progress.
In my hopes and dreams, they give us both in 2020, since we aren't getting a real lore book this year (well, depending on how much lore is in the Beginner Box) and we're getting a really dense rule book in COM at the end of the year. But, if I were a betting man, (and I am), I'd bet that we get Near Space in 2020 and The Vast in 2021. The first one just won't get announced until after GenCon, possibly after COM drops. They tend to let each release (and announcement) stew in its own juices for a while.
I've stated this a number of times, but since it was mentioned earlier, I would like to toss my hat in, yet again, for including Ranges in all ranged attack types for all stat-blocks (ships and NPCs). Having to manually look these up or hope my memory is correct every single time I set up a table is a giant waste of time in the aggregate. I know this is a 'Quality of Life' type deal, and is bigger than just an SFS guide. But if I could go back in time and force the developers to make one change to the game, this would be it.
If I were to recommend an order for someone trying to 'build a campaign' for a single group of players, it would be thus...
Super minor spoilers but just in case...:
Skitter Shot (Great intro to all the rules except for character creation, super fun to play. Let's them 'try before they buy'. Starship combat is at the end, and is optional.)
1-1 The Commencement (Great intro to the Starfinder society, a good 'first scenario' for characters to have under their belt. Repeatable. No starship combat.)
QP 1-1 Into the Unknown (Overall a good intro to the system, though the first starship combat is a slog. Introduces you to a couple of important NPC's, hints at future story arcs.)
1-3 Yesteryear's Truth (Also a Fun scenario good RP, but the Starship combat is tricksy. Feeds off of ITU a little. Wayfinders faction.)
1-5 The First Mandate (Important for the overall story. Fun scenario with a lot of RP opportunities. Acquisitives and Second Seekers factions.)
1-12 Ashes of Discovery (Scenario doesn't get enough credit for how much fun it is. Repeatable.)
1-9 Live Exploration Extreme!!! (Great scenario that can literally only exist in the world of Starfinder, continuation of 1-00 and 1-5.)
1-4 Cries from the Drift (Fun Scenario. Interesting Starship Combat. Ties into later parts of the story. Exo-Guardians Faction.)
1-7 The Solar Sortie (Fun scenario. Starship Combat is at the end and is kind of optional. Ties into later parts of the story. Dataphiles Faction.)
That order hits all of the early scenarios with ties to later scenarios, hits every repeatable except the one coming out at the end of the month, gives a bonus rep for the 5 main factions, and gets you all the way to level 5.
Arc Riley wrote:
Geesus, I didn't even consider online games! Trying to follow the steps in the Guild Guide with online players would be a nightmare!
As someone who runs nigh-exclusively online, I can confirm that it is impossible to follow the steps in the guide in online play unless you want it to take several weeks to get chronicles done.
What generally happens is that we send out a reporting sheet where players pre-fill their info before the game starts, they usually only fill out part of it, and we take that information after the game and send them partially completed chronicles.
In an ideal universe, I'd have some sort of online tool that they could fill in a form and it would pre-generate the sheet for me and all I have to do is fill in the GM stuff and sign it. But a las, this is not that universe.
Is it legal to go ahead and start the AP before it's sanctioned and back-fill the chronicles/reporting whenever the sanctioning goes live? I think I read that that was kosher back before DS4-6 got sanctioned, but I'd like to know for sure in case this comes up whenever I get my group going on DoF.
I fifth the suggestion of separating out the ships from the guide.
I'm looking at the guide right now about the reputation thing and it says to put reputation earned in W (the left side of _|_) and new total rep in X (the right side of _|_), so it might look like Wayfinders 2|6, which is what I'm doing. If that's not the correct way to do it, that should really be cleared up in the guide.
For clarification, the order of operations on pages 15-16 for filling out the chronicle and the order of operations on page 52 for 'After the Adventure' A-are redundant, and B-do not match. I think these should be combined and simplified, if possible. The order on page 15-16 is practically impossible for SFS Online and makes chronicles during a convention window tricksy at best.
If you can fit it in, one suggestion I would have for an addition to the guide (or possibly in the same community use package as the ships) would be a printable tracking sheet for tracking scenarios completed on a character. A lot of people have made some very useful ones online, but it would be nice to have something for the meatspace folks that's easy to show in that regard.
Ullar got some of mine as well, but I'd like to re-iterate #3. I've loved the stuff in the back of the AP's for the Stewards and such and would love to have something similar for the Hellknights.
4. It's been my reading (my head-canon) all along that large organizations like the Hellknights are at least pseudo-signatories to the Absalom Pact having some legal status as distinct entities with some sort of legal authority. Possibly even having some status as a military or police organization. How accurate or inaccurate is that assessment of their situation? How closely are they connected with the official government of the Pact?
5. How are their interactions with the other large organizations within the Pact managed? I assume just based off of mission overlaps and conflicting philosophy that they have regular conflicts with organizations like the Church of Iomedae and Skyfire Centurions, but they can't very well go around warring it up with other factions internal to the Pact. Do they have an "Order of the Brief" that spends all their time in litigation?
Dual classing was a thing in 2nd Ed DnD that worked as Dracomicron described and was mostly available to only humans. It was basically like gestalt characters except you had to level each class separately and you didn't get most of the benefits until your second class' class level exceeded that of your first class. There isn't an equivalent in SFS.
I tend to disagree with most people about multi-classing (taking levels in more than one class). While I agree that it's usually not worth it, there are a few combinations where I think you get as much or more out of it than you lose into it. Most of them are 1 or 3 level dips to pick up specific things, though, and most don't really get to be that much better than their single class options outside of some specific level ranges or concepts.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
It doesn't matter whether they pry open the sarcophagus or leave it shut, that NPC has zero impact on the rest of the campaign and no actual repercussions occur to the PCs regardless of what they do.
This isn't correct. Whether or not they open the sarcophagus does have a pretty big impact on how part of book three plays out. If they end this book on good terms with Ambassador Nor, they get a lot of help from him in Splintered Worlds (extra cash, intel, fewer skill checks, et al).
Something I'm deliberately working on is not having Ambassador Nor and Eox be the bad guys. My group will already be predisposed to seeing them as the bad guys and the AP really does a good job at making them think that. While it's fine to have a red herring, having the red herring be an NPC that they have to deal with in order to engage in the rest of the campaign isn't going to sit well with my group (especially after the last campaign we had). So I am deliberately working to remove the red herring (and will actually change which planet the mercenary's ship is from) to avoid resentment toward Ambassador Nor and all Eoxians.
I don't think Ambassador Nor is meant to be the bad guy, or even necessarily look like one. One of my biggest problems with this first book is that Rob gave Nor a LE alignment, but then wrote him without him ever actually doing anything that warranted that. What 'side' Nor is on, and whether or not the CF agent in the sarcophagus is a double-agent or Nor's back channel to the CF who he's helping, or whatever, is all left up to the GM.
Personally, given his behavior throughout the rest of the books (rewarding PC's for destroying the CF vessels, helping them figure out the origins of the alien script, providing them with needed intel on the CF agents, et al), I think Nor is actually LN or maybe even LG, and is genuinely attempting to work for the betterment of the Pact. I even played him as being in the delegation from Eox that signed the Pact, and a 'true believer' of the 'together is better' faction of the Eoxian Government.
There's an image of Duravor Kreel in the Dead Suns Pawn Collection. The collection also has images for the different gang members and some others that didn't get images in the book itself.
Also, I'm not sure what you mean by separating this thread out by book, since this thread is only for the first book in the series. There are other threads for the other books in the series.
You still can do all of them on the same character, you just can't say, hold off on 1-17 until level 7 or hold off on 1-11 or 1-13 til level 5. You have to do them as early as you can to fit them all in on the same character.
That being said, I would prefer it if it were player based, personally. I'm trying to get all of them on one character, in order, but it's difficult even taking them as early as I can.
I couldn't find the quote I was looking for, but I did find this...
That's from September. I swear I remember asking this exact question and being told that it would be per player and not per character, but now I can't find it.
I'm assuming everything that's intelligent has at least the potential for religion/gods/philosophy/et al.
Caught a re-run of the show last night. It was excellent. Especially considering how last minute it was. If you hadn't pointed it out, I would have never been able to tell.
Still hoping for that Liavara episode, but I hope Mr Pasini feels better soon.
What can you tell us about the shepherd moon Hibb, vis-a-vis the Bantrid and their recent discovery? I find the idea of this uninhabited and *stinky* moon suddenly having an entire species found on it only 5 years ago fascinating. Will future SFS and AP material touch on this? or is it exclusive to homebrew?
How populated is the city of Telataranas on Arkanen? Population numbers in canon sources are all over the place and some of them seem nonsensical, but since this is listed as the most populous city in the Liavaran system, having an idea of how big it is 'in canon' would be beneficial to scaling the rest of the system's inhabitants.
I kinda started this over on discord. The wording was only recently pointed out to me in a game a couple weeks ago after months of playing it as them being just 'flat-footed' with my envoy (and running it that way myself for other envoys). It was the first time anyone had said, "they aren't flat-footed".
The confusion I had was mostly about adjudicating the success condition and not the failure condition. Though now that I re-read it, even that can cause problems since it's til the end of your next turn. I don't see a clear definition of what 'flat-footed to attacks' means and it's obvious now that I've been reading it differently than other people. (I may have missed it, feel free to correct me.)
Without a definition for what 'flat-footed to attacks' means, I see the potential for a lot of table arguments. While an action like charge specifies that you make the attack after your movement, a spell like caustic conversion does no such thing. In fact, a lot of spells have you make an attack as part of casting the spell. With clever feint, do those provoke, or not? The attack is part of the action, so they shouldn't get reactions since they're flat-footed? There isn't a section on how spellcasting works the way there was in PF, so every GM is free to rule it differently. I think there are a couple of abilities that have you make an attack during movement. Shot on the Run for example says "At any point during your movement." Can I not make the attack at the point in my movement that I'd provoke? Would they be flat-footed and therefore not get the AOO, or no?
Trick attack doesn't have this problem, because you only make a single attack and they're only flat-footed for that attack. But Clever Feint (and in some cases Feint) has this ambiguity because the sudo-condition lasts until the end of your next turn.
Oh, and to be clear, I certainly wasn't suggesting that if you Clever Feinted NPC A, NPC B was somehow magically flat-footed or that you couldn't provoke AOO's from anyone.
Albion, The Eye wrote:
The last update I have (which is the one I linked) is from October. It has (theoretically) everything from every book up to then.
That being said, I've noticed a few things that were in earlier versions of the sheet that got lost at some point (like Clear Spindle Aeon stones and some of the SFS items), and a few things that don't do the math right (like Soulfire fusions). Still it's free, and more complete than any of the other free options I know about. It also has the advantage of being easy enough to modify yourself assuming you know how google sheets work (which is what I do when I notice a problem).
Strength for an operative only affects melee damage (but only very little, overall) and carrying capacity. It does provide access to certain feats, but none of them are ones you'll actually want.
Just to show the math, at 5th level, an operative with a decent operative melee weapon and no strength bonus is looking at doing...
1d4 (base damage) + 2 (weapon specialization) + 3d8 (trick attack) = 18 average damage.
Even if you took your strength to 14, you'd only be looking at 2 extra damage, or about 9% to your DPR, for a total of 20.
Compare that to a ranged operative using a decent small arm for 5th level...
1d6 or 2d4 (base damage) +2 (weapon specialization) + 3d8 (trick attack) = 19 or 20.5 average damage.
The average for a ranged operative using pistol whip is already 19 over the melee weapon even without strength, and if you're a Vesk (which, yes, have a natural Strength bonus), it jumps to 25, but 5 of that is from the increase to weapon spec, only 1 point comes from strength.
You can do pistol + melee pretty effectively. The pistol whip exploit is likely inherently better, but any operative melee weapon will work.
The stat spread for every operative is, (if you can get it), 18 Dex/14 in primary stat for your specialization (so wis for explorer operatives, or int for hacker operatives), any points you have left in whatever you want.
In Campaign Mode, you're allowed to use (virtually) whatever house rules you want as a GM. You as GM get to decide which race(s), theme(s), class(es), et cetera are available for your game.
It is entirely up to you as a GM if players are allowed to play Endiffians and/or Colonists.
I'm still firmly in the "Start with an 18 dex as an operative, no matter what," crowd. While it's true that, at level one (and from 10-12), it's only a +1 bonus to hit vs the 16, a +1 difference is a much bigger deal in SF than in PF. Get 'em is a +1 bonus, and it's almost universally picked as the number 1 or number 2 Envoy Improv because that +1 matters, a lot. It also means getting hit 5% less often and succeeding on that evasion check 5% more often. It's a +1 to some of your most important skills, and an appreciable impact on starship combat (assuming you play the pilot or the gunner, the two most common Operative positions). Those all matter.
Moreover, it's 1 more RP per day from level 1-4 and from 10-12, when you'll need it most. That's 1 more short rest per day and 1 more round of being alive if you go down in a fight.
While a 16 dex operative isn't 'unplayable' (or even, necessarily, 'weak'), those two points generally don't have a better place to go. There isn't another ability score that will have as much impact as Dex will on your career.
It's actually fairly easy to provide proof for online characters, at least, assuming you're used to playing online and comfortable with technology.
I have a google drive folder for each of my characters with an online version of their character sheet, an online tracking sheet that shows all their purchases/scenarios/boons, a pdf or jpg image of each of their chronicle sheets, and screenshots of my "my downloads" page.
The tracking sheet, character sheet, and folder itself all have built in 'revision history' inside of drive. So, if you really wanted to, you could not only see what they currently say, but see a record for every change ever made to any of them, including time/date stamps. In my own documents, I've even put notes when I've found mistakes I've made and corrected them, as well as when I've added to them over the normal course of play, so you can see a reason why something changed and when it changed and compare it to the info on the OP site.
I could also put in a screenshot of the order with my t-shirt(s) and dataphiles pin, should I ever want to use either boon. And I could always take a picture of myself wearing them with my phone and email the pic to you, if needed. That would have time/date stamp on them automatically. In Roll20, you can also turn on your camera in the game and show yourself wearing it, or open hangouts or skype or facetime, or what have you.
I typically follow the honor system as a GM, but I try to at least set myself up so that my own honor is easily verified and auditable. :)