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FullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth 157 posts (168 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 21 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Why wouldn't it, exactly?

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

I could see using it to dodge potential infamy gains associated with ending up on the wrong side of the law.

I don't think you are. Nor would that interpretation be supported based on how it's written.

Just pointing out that the source material doesn't actually tell us when the gap started.

And when I said pregap, I mean before it started, though I see I was in error at least in regards to the sunrise maiden.

I appreciate the feedback. It hasn't been an issue at the table, but perhaps because I don't discuss Overwatch's backstory at the table, in or out of character. It doesn't seem like something he would talk to anyone about.

I don't remember a Starfinder playtest is all I'm saying...

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

BigNorseWolf wrote:

That's wasting a bunch of skill ranks or it's burning a good chunk of your career where you can't do those skills.

I'm an operative, I've got skills to burn. But beside the point I don't need to worry about using Mysticism outside knowledge checks because it has only two other uses: crafting magic/hybrid items and identifying spells. Life science's only other check is making medicinals, and I think biotech? Engineering is the most useful skill outside of knowledge checks, and as a hacker I get free ranks in it every level so I don't need to concern myself with it. So I chose Mysticism. At 8th level I'll choose life science, although I don't really care about making medicinals, and 14th and 20th levels I don't really care because that's so far away.


Now that's a really good argument for it happening as fast as any other Identification.

thank you, I think so too.


So there's no room for a passenger or groceries and nowhere to attach a babyseat...

not that it's relevant, but the batmobile in most depictions does have passenger seating, and in the Walmart commercial they put groceries on it. As for a baby seat, my character is an Android and has no need for such things.


It's overkill. You can ask about vulnerability and DR. Those are really all your character can actively change. You can ask about the special attack but your chances of being able to do much about it are pretty slim. "Don't let it grab you..." doesn't help much because there's no active ability you can take. Your melee characters aren't going to forgo attacking it with their secondary fighting style (which probably wouldn't help anyway)

"Spread out, it has AOEs"

"It has reach, don't shoot from there."
"Don't waste your invis spell, it has natural see invisibility."
"Don't get too close, it has an aura of confusion."

It's like saying your ruler is accurate to the nanometer. It's NICE but.. how often is that relevant?

it means that, as a hacker, it scales passively with me and I don't have to put any more effort into it. So I can almost always guarantee that I'll always identify, and top off other skills that may need more help.

Xenocrat wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
I also don't think the gap goes nearly that far back. The sunrise maiden I believe was described as pre gap technology, and it had a human captain. If humans had competent space travel pregap, I don't think it would extend as far back as pathfinder days.
This is all wrong. The Sunrise Maiden was missing for about a century, so two centuries after the Gap ended and drift travel was revealed.

I may be misremembering and ascribing more mystique to the sunrise maiden than it's worth. I don't know, I don't have my incident at Absalom station in front of me to double check at the moment.

I also don't think the gap goes nearly that far back. The sunrise maiden I believe was described as pre gap technology, and it had a human captain. If humans had competent space travel pregap, I don't think it would extend as far back as pathfinder days.

I should clarify, I didn't say the elves closing off their borders was recent. I said the reclamation of the half elves was. Originally they weren't allowed in either. Too human.

I remember seeing somewhere that the gap is about 300 years, but I don't remember my source. Elves are so long lived that many of them lived through the gap, but can't remember it. This deeply troubles the elves, so much so that their distrust of other races has only worsened, and they have become even more insular and exclusionary. They've nearly all retreated back to the elven home continent on castrovel. All other races are forbidden from living there, Though they've recently extended invitations to half elves to settle there. Presumably because true elven population has reduced drastically, and they are desperate to repopulate.

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce


Being able to save skill ranks is nice, the problem is that once you dump points into life science they're more or less stuck there when the data jockey ability makes them neigh irrelevant.

you get that ability at level 2. In society You can rebuild your skill points out of those knowledge skills at level 2 when you pick up the archetype. Even if you don't, sense says that if you're going to be using computers from now on, why put more ranks in it. So you should be wasting few, if any, skill ranks.


Without this ability monster identification still happens. (And probably happens faster. Even a data chip is going to require a non mechanic to sit there looking at his ipad for a round or two)

it says having access to the Infosphere or a downloaded data set you can use computers to identify. It doesn't say the check takes any more time than normal. All armor's have a personal communicator built in, which among other things have cameras and wifi, and in the vast there are library chips. It's basically the equivalent of me going "Hey Siri, what's this monster I'm fighting?" If something that was normally a free action took two rounds there would be zero reason for the ability to exist. The ability is called fast retrieval, not grandpa's first iPad.

And that's ignoring the fact that I can use those skills for things other than knowledge checks as well, just that at level 2 I can only choose one of them. I get more with leveling up.

But you can't compare that to not being able to identify creatures at all because there are other ways of identifying creatures. The ability only makes you BETTER at it, the question is how much? Yes, a sports car gets me to the store, but if i want a sports car or a jeep I don't compare a sports car to walking i compare it to every other car in the lot.

first, I never said the other party members would not have knowledge checks. Second, it's a vast improvement. It's not a sports car vs a jeep. It's the batmobile vs a wagon. At level 7 my Data Jockey could guarantee identify ANY regular creature cr 14 or less. Rare creatures cr 10 or less. Other's knowledge checks can't guarantee. The skill may be absent or under represented at the table (from my experience Mysticism is the biggest victim of this) being able to guarantee an identification up to twice my cr is worlds better. Excessive, maybe. But it would be unfair to downplay it as comparable to attempts by others.

Keep in mind too my Data Jockey didn't even max int. He started with a 14, because I started with an 18 dexterity. And he's looking at guaranteeing knowledge checks on high cr enemies.

For the purposes of identifying creatures your skill int mod and training bonuses are usually good enough.

not really. Identifying monsters gets a lot harder at higher levels compared to Pathfinder because the DC is 10 + 1 and 1/2 x c r rather than just 10 + CR. At low levels it's not hard but the DC goes up by 3 every 2 CR. even with full investment in skill ranks it's outstripping you by 1. Operatives edge only keeps up for the first few levels, same with bypass and the only knowledge skill bypass works on is engineering. So it gets to a point where you have to rely more on rolling well than one's skill modifier. (Though for me alien archive helps with that.)

Also, just a reminder that Mysticism is a wisdom based check.

For an operative taking ten and the operative bonus and full ranks will always be enough (if its not? Shoot your slowest party member and then Run)

I'm confused, are you talking about trick attack again? Detective and explorer get culture, and hacker gets engineering, but otherwise you have to spend a feat on skill focus to be able to take 10 on knowledge skills. Or, be a hacker spec with Data Jockey to use computers for all of them, but then that's using the archetype again.


It's a pretty meh buff in starfinder. Its very easy to use an energy weapon, and more importantly its easier to use different energy...

that's admittedly hard to argue against since the trade off for me is an extra trick attack die. But I will clarify that it bypasses all resistances, Dr and er. The only thing that makes it meh for me is distributing that buff to my teammates makes me an envoy for the round, when arguably trick attacking might be better. I'll see when I get there, who knows, stripping away resistances for my team may be oddly satisfying. If I don't like it, can always just go back to trick attacking. For me, fast retrieval gives me the fantasy of "I can get whatever Intel you need" just fine.

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

Look mate. Professionals have standards. Be polite. Be efficient. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

BigNorseWolf wrote:
sean castor wrote:
but the benefit of a hacker spec operative is at level 7 they are pretty much guaranteed to identify.

At level 7 you're just about guaranteed to get your sneak attack off anyway.

Steward officer gives both extra face tools like languages

In a campaign with a limited number of languages you could run into and no other alternative but to learn a language the hard way this would be valuable. In a universe where the things you really need to talk to speak a language you can't possibly know, and there are an infinite number of languages, a magical or technological translator becomes mandatory. Once you have that item (spell throwing weapon + gem of share languages, tobgues,universal translator), your number of languages spoken becomes almost irrelevant.

while the demand surrender

relies on an offensive readied action (which you should never take) and only provides a very small bonus. You could do the same thing just delaying until after you're shot and then unloading on him. Or skipping your turn singing meet me at St louis. has the same effect as a ready against 1 person.

You missed my point. I said identify not trick.often times being able to identify enemies weaknesses strengths and resistances beforehand can help a party develop a proper tactic instead of wasting rounds firing ineffective weapons or blundering right into the enemy's special attacks. Additionally tactical acumen at level 9 allows me to turn that ridiculous identify into a buff for the whole party. Sure I could probably trick attack against their Dr 4 reduced damage or I can reduce that DR and ER for the whole party.

Also just for playing a character who's all about gathering Intel it has a lot of appeal.

the universal translator requires 10 minutes with a willing member of the species. you don't always have that time. Tongues is a high-level spell. Share language again requires the target to be willing and when encountering random species they may not be willing to let the strange alien creature touch them for one reason they can't understand.granted knowing known languages isn't going to help with that either but neither will your solutions if the alien species you are encountering doesn't trust you. And really why would they? when it comes to languages in the known pack world's being able to already speak that language is a lot better than wasting a first-level spell sharing a language known. That's if your party has a technomancer or mystic and if they actually learned that spell. I've seen a few spell casters at my tables and very rarely do they prioritize language spells.

But aside from that I'm talking about being able to use culture in place of life science for humanoids and monstrous humanoids and diplomacy in place of intimidate to demoralize. With 90% of the enemies you fight being some kind of sentient alien race a significant portion of the enemies that you will see will be humanoid are monstrous humanoid. Being able to use diplomacy to demoralize as well means that that's two more skills that you don't necessarily have to spend skill points on. the archetype is called Steward officer. The stewards police The pact worlds. Generally you're going to play a character who's going to be doing a majority if not all of their explorations in The pact worlds with that sort of character. In a home setting your GM can give you an idea of what sort of campaign to expect. In society play you can just choose to play a different character for scenarios that do not take place in The pact worlds. For the job it's supposed to do it does it really well.

So this topic makes me want to ask for advice, because I have a character who touches on this topic in their back story, and as a cis hetero man I don't want to offend.

My Android operative Overwatch was created illegally by a company illegally gathering resources from as of yet discovered planets by waging wars to steal resources from the native populations. Overwatch was part of a black ops Android slave team who's skill set was specifically hacking defense systems so the ground troops could bypass. They were also all female, with highly sexualized bodies that the unscrupulous higher ups did not hesitate to abuse.

Eventually Overwatch escaped with enough data to put the company out of business, and submitted it anonymously to the Stewards. Before the Stewards could take them down though, the company dissolved and it's executives all but vanished, escaping justice. Fearing reprisal and recapture, Overwatch acquired both a serum of sex change and a serum of appearance change. The Android went from a buxom bubblegum pink haired female frame to a thin, wiry male with white hair and pale skin. They assumed a new identity and took up a job running diagnostics at an Anacite forge on Aballon.

Overwatch is chaotic neutral. I roleplay them as emotionally stunted, rarely deviating from a neutral expression, but sympathetic to slaves and other caged and abused creatures. Extremely slow to trust others, Overwatch has divulged their personal history to no one, and never speak about themselves. This extends even to IRL, as this is the first time I have mentioned Overwatch's backstory. No one asks, and he won't tell. they refer to themselves as male, and identify as such. He maintains a calm exterior, even when he sees things that make him angry or scared. He has no sexual attraction or desire for intimacy of any kind. I honestly don't remember what the word for that is...

Ascalaphus wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.
Swift is a good spot of it to be in. Free Action is a bit too much. Unless it becomes a free action when it's done together with other actions (like it currently is with "Improved" Get'em).
The funny thing is, if it was a swift improved may need to be.... Well, Improved. Part of the charm of improved is it turns the move action into basically a free while you attack, plus the additional +1 to hit and +2 vs all enemies if the resolve is spent.improved effectively turns get em into a free/swift action. The thing is as a swift action, get em would be extremely similar in terms of action economy. So the Improved action exonomy of improved get em may not be as appealing.

Yes and no. The list of points I posted earlier today was meant as a package:

* Boosts that aren't themselves attacks should be swift (like basic Get 'Em)
* Things that are attacks should be standard (like Improved Get 'Em)
* Move actions are only for improvisations that also involve the envoy moving.

The idea is that the envoy becomes very swift action oriented: every turn you're yelling at your team to do something in a particular way, while also doing something yourself with your standard action, and you can always move about.

Improved Get 'Em is relevant then because you're giving a bigger bonus (which is important), but also because it frees up your swift action to use on other improvisations that are also swift actions.

Also, this paradigm would encourage envoys to pick up big unwieldy weapons. I'm okay with leadership by cannon...

I disagree with that because of the action economy. If get em was a swift, but improved get em let's you do it as a standard with an attack, yeah the bonus is one higher, but in using your Improved get em that way you are dedicating your standard action to attacking. Whereas regular get em, if a swift action, may use your Swift action but frees up your standard action to use how you see fit. Like drink a serum, or hack a computer, or perform first aid on a downed ally. Yeah the bonus is one higher, but you're giving up versatility in combat when you do that, and I'm not counting the all enemies in 60 feet get em because that has a resource cost and you're not going to do that Everytime you use get em.

I think if they are going to have improved get em and not just have it, say, improve by 1 for every 4 envoy levels, it needs to be a bigger difference than another +1, with a resource cost to get em all foes in 60. Maybe have it default to bonuses to both attack and damage, instead of that having a resource cost.

Really, this gear boost is so underwhelming that I find myself wondering if how we are interpreting the language is not the intent. This may need an FAQ.

The ability text says specifically you are using it to cast a spell, so it would be the cast a spell action.

I don't know how much clearer it can be, when the book says it increases range increments specifically for range penalties. You may think it's too much rules, but that doesn't mean it's against the design or intent of scopes.

Lightning Raven wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.
Swift is a good spot of it to be in. Free Action is a bit too much. Unless it becomes a free action when it's done together with other actions (like it currently is with "Improved" Get'em).

The funny thing is, if it was a swift improved may need to be.... Well, Improved. Part of the charm of improved is it turns the move action into basically a free while you attack, plus the additional +1 to hit and +2 vs all enemies if the resolve is spent.improved effectively turns get em into a free/swift action. The thing is as a swift action, get em would be extremely similar in terms of action economy. So the Improved action exonomy of improved get em may not be as appealing.

There really isn't anything that bypasses energy resistances though, this isn't DR. Nor does it use bypass in the language. It says overcome, and it also says if that attack does not overcome ER. So my understanding of it is it's for energy attacks which do insufficient damage to overcome the er, you can reduce their er and may do something. Which might be useful if the enemy has huge er, but against enemies with er 5/10 I see this rarely kicking off. If the er is that difficult to overcome, you could always try a different weapon, most characters should have a couple different options by level 7. This honestly doesn't seem that useful. If it didn't have the caveat of "if your attack doesn't overcome ER" then it would translate to a flat 5/10 er reduction, which would be great.as is, it doesn't seem worth the gear boost. You don't get those that often.

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

loki.the.mischievous wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:
I am getting ready to submit by Rising Star Capstone Boon and am looking for a little clarification. It says to get a 75 word description of the character. Are you looking for a physical description, personality description, history, or some combination of all of those?
The description I submitted for mine was a combination of personality and physical. I didn't get into history at all. I received a reply from Tonya stating what I submitted was just what they asked for.

I went first into appearance, then personality, then his background and motivations. I figured Having all that info would make it easier for them to write the character how I Invision them.

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

I would put the doenlow first, as it's described as the "largest and safest" neighborhood. Since all depictions of the spike show it getting narrower as it goes, and it's described as generally getting less safe the further you get, the top floor of the spike makes sense. I also don't see wealthy people traveling through more dangerous, less appealing neighborhoods to get yo the downlow, especially since they don't really like going there in the first place.

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Ravingdork wrote:
I agree that it doesn't extend the range of auto-cones. I still think you're overthinking it though. Scopes in Starfinder do increase the weapon's maximum range. I just don't think it was the intent of the developers for you to have to constantly cross-reference two different ranges for a single weapon just to see if you take a minor penalty to hit.

Scopes do not increase the maximum range, it's VERY clear about that.

Scopes wrote:
In addition, a scope increases a weapon’s range increment for determining penalties to attack rolls due to range. For small arms, a scope increases the weapon’s normal range increment to 1-1/2 times its listed range for this purpose. For longarms and heavy weapons, the increase is 4 times the normal range increment. For sniper weapons, the increase is twice the range increment of the sniper special property. The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope applies only to the next attack roll you make with the weapon before the end of your next turn. Scopes also confer other benefits depending on their type.

The scope's improved range is only for calculating range penalties. Nothing else. There is no complicated cross referencing necessary, just take your normal range increment, multiply by ten, you can't shoot further than that. Use the scope's enhanced increment to determine attack penalties.

Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.

sounds like something that needs to carry over.

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

Profession "Corporate Professional"

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guigoxford wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

As for #1:

"Your drone is proficient in your choice of small arms or basic melee weapons, and it gains specialization in that weapon type once you reach 3rd level."

Unarmed Strike is a Basic Melee Weapon with the archaic and nonlethal special qualities.

Would that mean that if my drone is a gunner drone, and I gave it Small arms proficiency when creating the drone, the drone then CANNOT make an Unarmed Strike?

It could. At a -4 penalty to the attack.

Ravingdork wrote:
It does say it holds explosives, whatever those are.

explosives are basically another form of grenades, using all the stats of grenades, except instead of throwing them to detonate instantly they are set to be detonated using a detonator keyed to that particular explosive. You can buy explosive packages for the same cost of the matching grenade. The detonator is extra though.

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Ravingdork wrote:
I don't think that's right, Pogiforce. That just seems way too complex to have been intended.

It's very explicit on that wording though, increases your range increment ONLY for the purposes of determining range penalties to the attack roll. That means for all other uses of the range increment, aka the range of cones for automatic weapons, or the maximum range the weapon can fire before hitting your target becomes an impossibility, you would still use the base increment of the gun. I agree that that is more complicated since you will have to track 2 different range increments (3 with snipers) depending on whether the weapon is automatic and how far you are shooting, but it's very clearly intended.

Scopes let you shoot more accurately, not further. Otherwise people would smack a scope on every blast weapon and you end up with shotguns inexplicably shooting people 20/25 feet away.

Though I wouldn't mind a weapon attachment that constrains the pellet spread of a shotgun, allowing it to shoot further but in a tighter spread. Convert it into a 25 foot line istead of a 15 foot cone.

Lej wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
and also doesn't let you shoot past the fifth range increment for your weapon.

Not that it is directly related to the scope question, but normally it's ten range increments.

Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 245 wrote:
For most ranged weapons, the maximum range is 10 range increments, or 10× the number listed as the weapon’s range. For thrown weapons, the maximum range is 5 range increments. Some ranged weapons have different maximum ranges, but if so, their descriptions specify their maximum ranges.

My mistake, I'm still thinking pathfinder on that one. Granted, I could still be wrong, but my GMs always told me five range increments, and I never had a combat with a ranged character do far out that I had to really concern myself with whether I was properly informed in that regard.

My point that it doesn't let you shoot any further than normal is still relevant, though.

You're welcome! I play a hacker specialization operative in Society play, so I have a lot of experience in coming up with creative explanations of how a computers check would create an opening.

Though I did mispeak when I said distracting hack as an example. That is a mechanic trick. I was actually speaking about the feat Amplified Glitch and I've corrected my previous post.

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LotsOfLore wrote:

Hi, I have a follow-up question:

Doesn't the hacker trick attack flavour suggest, in practice, that the operative is performing a hack at a distance? As in, making a nearby display flash and using it as a distraction, for example.

Doesn't that create a problem with how hacking works? I thought that ONLY a 5th level Mechanic can perform a hack at a distance... I am asking because this question comes up with every new level player with 1 rank in Computers: "Can I hack the surveillance camera from across the room"?

I usually say, there's no wifi... but then how can they use the computers skill to justify trick attacking somebody across the room...

... What would be the answer?
Thank you

The amplified glitch feat presents that same issue. Though it serves a similar purpose. So it could be said that hacking in this way is doing little more than causing displays and indicators to misbehave, but doesn't do enough to be a meaningful hack. The way I see it, the idea that you're hacking to cause a distraction is just flavor. The mechanical rules behind it is all that really matters, and the operative could just as easily say he's hacking his HUD/scope/whatever to highlight a spot on the enemy where you could attack that would catch him off guard. Or, if you lack tech equipment but your enemy has something, maybe causing a short in the armor's subroutines creating a temporary opening.

Basically, it's whatever you want it to be, and as long as the mechanical specifications are met, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you get a player who tries to weasel that ability into getting to hack in ways they shouldn't be able to, tell them it's a trick attack combat subroutine in their hacking kit that let's them create immediate tactical combat advantages, but that to write and insert hostile code via Bluetooth signal it can't be long lasting.

Or, a simpler answer, "because I said so."

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Would like to see the pegasus and the Drake among the official wizkids minis coming out later. I think those will see a lot of use in society play. Maybe the gorgon, too.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Crits are a big thing in Pathfinder too. It's rare to see a paladin without a keen nodachi.

I can safely say, in all my years of Pathfinder, that I have never seen a paladin with a nodachi, keen or otherwise.

I have however seen long swords and Lucerne hammers. Lots of longswords.

Voyd211 wrote:
The talk about romance makes me wonder what races are biologically-compatible enough to have children. It's pretty much a given that humans can have kids with elves, orcs, half-elves, half-orcs, planar scions of their own or the mentioned races, and hags/changelings; I also know that some half-elves are half-ryphorian instead of half-human. But what about lashuntas, astrazoans, borais strix, reptoids, verthani, damais, and other very humanlike (or shapechanging into such) races? Can they have kids with each other?

There really is potential for half Ryphorian, half verthani, half X races in Starfinder.i think that really should be explored more.

Wingblaze wrote:

Wow. This is... not something I caught reading the Armory.

I think it's important we look at more than phrases here:

The Armory wrote:

A scope is a telescopic sighting device with an incorporated reticle that attaches to a small arm or railed weapon’s top rail. A scope can’t be added to a weapon with a sight (see page 61). As a move action, you can aim through a scope. This can be done as part of the same move action required to aim a weapon with the sniper weapon special quality, or as part of a sneak attack where you do not take any movement even if you also aim a sniper weapon as part of that action. Aiming through a scope reduces penalties to attack rolls due to range as well as bonuses to AC from cover.

In addition, a scope increases a weapon’s range increment for determining penalties to attack rolls due to range. For small arms, a scope increases the weapon’s normal range increment to 1-1/2 times its listed range for this purpose. For longarms and heavy weapons, the increase is 4 times the normal range increment. For sniper weapons, the increase is twice the range increment of the sniper special property. The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope applies only to the next attack roll you make with the weapon before the end of your next turn.

This is a mess. A scope:

1. Let's you "aim" which reduces penalties due to range and over
2. In addition it increases the range increment.
3. But then it says it's only for the next attack.

It's the paragraph break that's really making this difficult to parse. If the last sentence of the second paragraph were up with the first paragraph this would be easy.

2.5: it only increases your range increment for the purpose of calculating range penalties, which means it's not actually increasing your range increment.

Looking at it right now, how I'm reading it is having a scope increases your effective range increment, but ONLY for determining range penalties. This prevents the cone from automatic weapons from expanding, and also doesn't let you shoot past the fifth range increment for your weapon.

When you take the move action to aim, the penalty to shoot past the first increment is reduced by 1 per increment.

Milo v3 wrote:
The technomancer iconic is in a relationship with a Ryphorian I think.

Just checked, can confirm. Raia had a romance with a winter Ryphorian male named Danese during her days in college, but they ended up parting ways after. Danese joined the Skyfire Legion, while Raia pursued her studies in alien life forms. Danese had actually offered to abandon his commission with the legion to remain with her, but Raia convinced him that neither of them should sacrifice personal advancement and improvement for the other.they however remain committed to one another and communicate regularly.

There's a lot of good feedback here. It sounds like The Envoy is undenisbly useful, but nonetheless limited in it's usefulness and not terribly exciting to play. I hope paizo is seeing this feedback, and might be looking at ways to errata/fix these issues before the core book update. It's a core class, and the first one listed in the book. It's a shame it leaves so many people underwhelmed...

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

I feel like archetypes could work in theory, but the current ones are just a bit too feeble.

The thing to keep in mind is that archetypes are focused, base classes have broad potential. You should be able to gain some power in special situations by giving up some general power, but not too much. Don't want the rest of the party to be redundant when the story fits your concept, don't want to be useless when your archetype isn't that relevant to the current scenario.

What I want from the archetype design process is that:
1) Someone has a design for a specific archetype ("Cult X member")
2) Comes up with some basic ideas for abilities and levels
3) Tentatively pins them to particular levels
4) Looks at existing classes what abilities you'd be giving up/delaying for those powers
5) Refines the abilities gained to be comparable in power to the things you give up.

Repeat 2-5 until a good balance is found. You can make abilities more powerful or weaker, split them up or consolidate them to influence how many original class abilities you're trading, and shift ability levels to alter which original class abilities you're trading.

A good result should leave the character noticeably strong in stories that play to concept, a bit weak in scenarios that don't play to it at all, and on a fairly even footing in the majority of scenarios where your concept has some traction but isn't the main topic.

I feel like, at least IMO, that's why the Data Jockey, the Steward officer, the augmented and the arcanimirium sage* are the best Archetypes right now.

Data Jockey is about identifying monsters and turning that into combat power. Sometimes you use it a lot, sometimes only a little, but at some point you're going to have to identify some baddie. Especially for mechanics or hacker spec operatives, this archetype has huge potential. Probably best for drone mechanics who focus on supporting their team. That way they can give tactical advice if they want, or shoot, either way their drone can fight. An operative will have to weigh if it's better for them to trick attack, or to help the party bypass resistances, but the benefit of a hacker spec operative is at level 7 they are pretty much guaranteed to identify.

Steward officer gives both extra face tools like languages and consolidates face skills in combat, with a little help for identifying humanoids (one of the most common enemy types) then extra combat ability at level 4 is good, while the demand surrender can force either the enemy to give up or at least allow the party to dogpile on to the enemy.
If there's ever a time you have to fight, or a time you have to talk, this archetype can help Good for soldiers who want to have some face skills, though the 4th level ability isn't going to help them much. Great for Envoys, what with the first ability giving more power to their two biggest skills (diplomacy and culture). The ability to pick up long arm proficiency and spec leveling up also gives the envoy more combat potential without a feat tax. It's also the only archetype we currently have that let's the envoy get it's bread and butter Improved get 'em at the level it becomes available. The idea of doing a demand surrender, ready an improved get em, then demoralize
and get another +1 if the readied action is triggered. Thematicallyy speaking a detective spec operative would also work, though the ability score may be difficult to work out as at that point Dex, int, Wis and Cha are all important to the build.

Augmented is just... It's cheaper augments, more augments, extra utility from spending resolve, and one of any six great buffs depending on what PUs you have. Cheaper and more augments is extra utility, combat power, whatever you need. Overclocked systems is the same, depending on if you are overclockingba mental or a physical PU. Clearly best for soldiers, but there's argument for nearly any class with this one.

Arcanimirium sage is caveated that it's only useful to a class with a spell list, AKA Mystics or Technomancers. But magic item scholar gives the sage identify for free, and access to hybrid or magic items at an earlier level. Spell gem manipulation basically just means you can buy spell gems that have a spell not currently known and let you cast it once per day without expending the gem, effectively expanding your spells per day to a certain extent. And then you get to wear a third magic item. Again, great for mystics and technomancers. Would like to see more archetype that more directly benefit the spellcasters.

Agreed that it would be a lot more appealing if it was just once per combat without the need to rest in between.

Soldier gets hit, takes 13 points of damage. Level 4 Envoy Inspiring Boosts, recovers 12. Soldier is left with 1 stamina point of damage. that's it for that combat. takes a few more points of damage as things go, ends up with about 10 Stamina Damage. He's still got 22 Stamina left, so they keep going.

Next combat, soldier gets hit, takes 9 points of damage. Inspiring Boost, he's at 7 stamina damage. takes another 6 before the end of the combat, he's now down 13. Only slightly worse off than before, let's keep going.

Big baddie time, not thte boss but definitely mean. Soldier takes a wopping 20 points of damage, 1 point of that goes into HP. Inspiring Boost the Soldier, he has 12 stamina points. Fighting continues, he loses another 20 points of damage, which eats up that stamina and puts him into 8 health. He now has no stamina, and 8 HP damage. Maybe Time for a break.

If this was how the rules are now:

Soldier gets hit, takes 13. Envoy recovers 12. takes more, ends up at 10 damage.

next fight, takes 9 more, then six more. down 23 stamina, only 9 stamina remaining. The Soldier is ballsy, insists on continuing.

big baddie hits for 20. Soldier is now 11 points into HP. takes another 20 hit, that's 31 HP and the Soldier is down. He's now spending his RP to stabilize instead of recover stamina, and he's still got all that HP damage unless he wants to burn limited use resources.

If you have a party taking a rest every time between fights, they're being overly cautious, and ten minute breaks add up to a lot of time sitting around when the party may have urgent business to attend to. So to me, taking a rest after every fight is not ideal.

I get that they don't want people spamming Inspiring Boost. If they could always do it, it's kinda like DR on tap. Guy takes 10 points of damage, but when the level 2 envoy inspiring boosts for 8 really he only took 2. At that point you're trying to outdamage the cheering squad, and multiple Envoys only makes this worse. So I get it, don't let them spam it. But once per ten minute rest is very limited. Once per Combat lets you get more mileage out of the party before a rest without it becoming spammy. A suggestion to the Devs. Would certainly make Inspiring Boost more appealing, at least.

John Mangrum wrote:
And over in Starfinder Society (avoiding spoilers), there's a budding romance going on between two recurring NPCs of seemingly disparate species that no one bats an eye at.

I think it's adorable.

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Voyd211 wrote:
How do characters become solarians? If it's a training thing, then how do non-kasathas gain the power of the stars? It's the tradition of the kasathas, so it makes little sense for, say, trox to follow that path.

Based on my reading of the background for the Iconic Solarian, it's not really a training thing. Not exactly, anyway. Like the Jedi it's modeled after, some people just have a gift. The training simply helps nurture it. and this gift can manifest at any point in one's life. In the case of the Iconic Solarian, he didn't manifest Solarian powers until he nearly died trying to defend the brain vaults of the Idari from a would be thief. It took him by surprise about as much as it took the thief.

If anything, like the Jedi Order and the Jedi Council, the Kasatha just have a culture that is built to recognize and nurture this gift in people, and so Kasatha are naturally more prone to becoming Solarians. Theoretically, the rest of the Pact Worlds are just as capable, they just don't have the same culture to help bring it out in them.

Think the difference between Anakin having the Jedi order see his potential and taking him to teach him how to grasp it, versus Rei who kind of just... found it on her own.

Like I said, I chose a Sonic pickaxe for my soldier, but mainly because he's a stereotypical mining profession dwarf. I think sonic, like in Pathfinder, is the most favorable energy type because barely anything resists it. So unless they nerf sonic effects somehow with errata, or present more monsters with resistance/ immunity, players are going to naturally gravitate to it. Especially since I think sources of sonic damage are more readily available in Starfinder.

Tangent to back on topics, how about a fun envoy improv that let's Envoys treat shout weapons as a class proficiency? Maybe a higher level improv that gets them 1.5 or 2.0 level to damage with shout guns. Would give Envoys another cool must have improv. Iunno, just an idea. I like throwing ideas around in case a Dev sees it and goes "that's a good idea" and does something like that for a future book. Suggestions, really.

Xenocrat wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
I'm fully aware that players use EAC melee weapons. I have a bombardier soldier with a Sonic pickaxe. That does not invalidate the fact that most melee options, especially the favor given to natural and unarmed attacks, target KAC. That's a simple fact.

It's simple, certainly.

As usual, my responses to people like you aren't meant to help you, but hopefully they are able to clarify things for other people reading the read.

Pogiforce wrote:
Besides, it doesn't matter if the difference is 1, 2, or 10.
Yeah, I definitely can't help you.

I'm not sure I like what you are implying. What do you mean "people like me", and what makes you think I wanted or needed your help?

HammerJack wrote:
I'm not actually sure where this idea that melee has to target KAC comes from. There are plenty of EAC targeting melee weapons.

And I'm sure there are plenty of people who use apple computers.

Again, I'm not saying those options don't exist. They are just in a minority in both quantity and favor. Especially since amped up natural attacks are such a popular melee choice.

I'm fully aware that players use EAC melee weapons. I have a bombardier soldier with a Sonic pickaxe. That does not invalidate the fact that most melee options, especially the favor given to natural and unarmed attacks, target KAC. That's a simple fact. I am also fully aware that kac weapons, in either the ranged or melee category, do more damage. A tac semi auto does 1d6, wheras comperable energy weapons do 1d4. It is worth noting however that those same weapons have shorter ranges than their energy counterparts. This only reinforces my stance that, as a rule of thumb, kac = closer = harder to hit but more damage. Wheras EAC = further with same accuracy = less damage. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule, I never claimed it applied to all weapons, but it applies to enough of them that saying "most" is justified, and it's a reliable rule of thumb.

The same applies to monsters. You are pulling monsters who's kac is lower than expectation, I can find monsters I'm sure who have higher than expectation. Besides, it doesn't matter if the difference is 1, 2, or 10. It's a safe bet that if you are trying to decide to attack EAC or kac, EAC is going to be lower. There isn't enough outlier to establish itself as a norm rather than an exception.

Melee attacks are also mostly against KAC, whereas most guns are against EAC. Combine that with accuracy boosters, and ranged attacks are generally safer and more likely to hit. But melee attacks do more damage. As was said earlier, it's a risk/reward thing.

I'm not sure how melee would work as an Envoy.

Voyd211 wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Well. The statement that Starfinder favors ranged combat is pretty shaky. Well everyone should absolutely have a ranged weapon, and the addition of the Gunner Harness to heavy weapons has closed the gap up a lot, melee is where the real damage is.

That's... honestly news to me. While I haven't been able to play Starfinder myself yet, the sheer prevalence of firearms makes it seem like melee attacks are best left on the wayside. If every goon has a gun (which, if they're non-kasatha humanoids, they're going to), then you'll probably get turned into Swiss cheese on the way up to them.

As far as envoys... well, again, haven't been able to play SF myself (in my experience with PFS, Society almost removes the roleplay, which is the best part), but the envoy I made is a tiefling. Already less-than-optimal, especially if heritages from PF aren't an option, but most of what he'd do is RP-based; scaring the bujeezus out of people who talk smack about his friends, talking at length about the importance of equality because he follows Weydan, things like that.

Level-one characters are kinda starved for gear and stats, though; 1,000c is not as much as it sounds like, it's almost impossible to build a good character with a penalty to a key ability score, and I always have Dex and Con at a minimum of 12, so his stats are spread kind of thin and his equipment isn't great.

That is a problem my Shirren Envoy has been having, and with her low Dex I had been strongly considering upping her strength to 13 so she could take heavy armor proficiency. But now that I'm planning to take medical expert, skill focus medicine, and increased telepathy as her feats up to level 12, I simply don't have room for heavy armor.

I do think Shirrens can be good Envoys though. Though they have a -2 charisma, they get a +2 diplomacy which more than makes up for it in that skill. A free reroll from communalism is never a bad thing, plus limited telepathy works through walls, so you can be heard as an envoy even when cut off. And often times, being heard is enough. Plus their racial HP is fairly high.

Which sounds like fair criticism. Seems if a feat can make something available to all classes, the classes with their unique tricks need to be able to at least match it, if not do something more.

*** Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

You only delay or give up your skill expertise at level 9, and you'll have three already at that point: sense motive, and any two of Diplomacy, bluff, culture, computers, disguise, engineering, intimidate, and medicine. If I'm giving up yet one more skill to add 1d6+2 to in exchange for a 9th level archetype ability, which is arguably the coolest ability in any archetype, well that to me sounds like a net positive.

Plus a lot of Archetypes actually don't have a 9th level replacement.

A thought I had, which I think would be Archetypes that people would use, could be called cross class Archetypes. This makes the "Archetypes usable by any class" a benefit.

Rough example:
Dabbling Envoy
Prequisite: no levels in Envoy
Lvl 2 : Use Your Words
You gain expertise as a first level envoy and gain skill expertise in either sense motive and one of the skills selectable from the envoy's skill expertise list that are based off charisma. Gain access to one Envoy Improvisations. Treat your class level as your Envoy level for the purposes of what improvizations you qualify for

Lvl 6: Oral Tradition
Gain one expertise talent associated with your skill expertise, and one additional envoy improvization. Treat your class level as your Envoy level for the purposes of qualifying for Improvisations. Increase your Expertise die to 1d6+1

Lvl 12:A Minor in Science
gain an additional skill expertise in an Int based skill from the skill expertise list, and an additional Envoy Improvization, using your character level as your Envoy level for qualifying.

Lvl 14:Graduate of Hard Knocks.
gain one expertise talent associated with the skill you selected for skill expertise at level 12. Gain an additional envoy improvization. Increase your expertise die to 1d8+2

It's rough, and envoy was probably the worst class to try to make a fun archetype out of, but an idea. Would allow you to get specialization and other class abilities that aren't replaced on time.

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