Reynard's page

Organized Play Member. 161 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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Star Trek in Starfinder: how would you do it?

I don't mean a literal Star Trek Universe game. Rather, a Starfinder campaign set solidly in the game setting using the core rules as the primary tool, but intended to recreate the feel of Star Trek (go ahead and pick your poison as far as what that means specifically -- me, I am a TNG guy mostly, though I do love the Cardassian War seasons of DS9).

To me, Star Trek is defined by a generally positive future, a sense of wonder and exploration, a big ship as mobile home base, a pseudo-military command structure (which almost always moves out of the way for story purposes) and the occasional really large space battle. It has room for everything from pulpy action to political intrigue to social commentary (sometimes a little ham-handed), all wrapped up in a benevolent military sci-fi uniform.

What parts of Starfinder would you focus on? What parts would you sort of ignore? How would you integrate things like the Drift and magic in general into a Star Trek feel? What about religions and factions and powerful species?

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"The Void Adamant is a private vessel under the command of Captain Bolg Murphy, one of the most notorious mercenaries and privateers in the Pact Worlds and beyond. It is home to a motley assortment of soldiers of fortune, outlaws, adventurers and treasure hunters. The Adamant goes wherever the work is to be had, from rescuing pilgrims in over their heads to salvaging lost vessels to fighting wars on the side of the highest bidder.
However you came to be there, you are a part of the Adamant's crew and a member of the drop team: first in and last out. You are the Dropship Murphies."

When a player asked for tone, I responded: Aliens meets Guardians of the Galaxy meets Event Horizon meets Ice Pirates.

Liberty's Edge

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I have always thought there was room for something like Alternity's skill tricks in 3.x/PF. In that system, once you reached a certain level of skill, you learned some special uses of the skill analogous to feats. Stuff like Diversion is perfect for that.

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Joana wrote:
Reynard wrote:
Rereading page 331, it is pretty explicitly stated that you can ready an action to attack when the target begins casting and if successful it ruins the spell.

Huh, you're right. But here, a developer explicitly says you can't do that.

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
First, reactions resolve directly after the triggering action. So if you cast a spell and someone readied to shoot you if you cast, if the spell has a casting time of 1 standard action you get the spell off before the AoO gets made.
So which one is right?

I had not seen that. I am inclined to listen to the developer, of course, unless the rule is not fun. In which case I won't say it is "wrong" I'll just do it my way.

As an aside: the language of combat casting suggests readying an action to interrupt a spell caster is a viable tactic. I wonder if there was a late in development change and some of the previous language persists, creating the confusion.

Anyway, let's consider what the impact on play is of the rule as it is written and intended. Simply put, one cannot prepare to stop a caster from unleashing a spell. The only real option aside from counter-spelling is to place melee fighters within reach of casters. This has the benefit of keeping melee viable in a world of guns and grenades, which is a net positive I think. It also strongly suggests that casters do not travel alone, or even without enough allies to block incoming melee fighters. Casters become quarterbacks, essentially.

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Pregenerated characters for Starfinder Society are in the final stages of production and should be available before Gen Con.

Awesome. Wil they be available for general public download?

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IMO, extras, allies, creatures and villains should have stats that support their particular role in the campaign/adventure/encounter. There is no reason to build a shopkeeper as a 4th level commoner or whatever when all the shopkeeper needs is a "+4 vs haggling and shoplifting" or whatever. Likewise, monsters and beasts should have abilities, feats and skills that emulate their place in the ecology, not based on their class and level. Does an arboreal needler need to be higher level (and thus have ore hit points and bigger attacks) just because it has climbing, camouflage and a ranged area attack? Villains are not PCs. Generally speaking they don't go around adventuring. Their suite of abilities should not be tailored to that.

tl;dr I'm pleased.

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I will running Starfinder at Carnage Con in Killington, Vermont in November. When I run games at that convention, I do multiple connected but episodic session. In the past I have focused on D&D hexploration, but here I will try something more mission oriented.

Following is the con book blurb:

“The Dropship Murphies”

It is a big galaxy out there, full of weird science, alien magic, ancient ruins and very hungry native life forms. Despite all that, people from the Pact Worlds push out into the Vast, colonizing and capitalizing. Sometimes, they get in deep trouble. That’s where you come in: the Dropship Murphies are the toughest, hardest bunch of mercenaries in the Vast, specializing in pulling naive pilgrims, greedy suits and lost explorers out of the fire -- for a price.

“Dropship Murphies” is an ongoing adventure for the Starfinder space fantasy role-playing game by Paizo, Inc. Sessions are connected but episodic, so players are free to join for as many or few as they want. Accept a client, plan the drop and then try and keep Muphy’s Law at bay long enough to get paid. Pre-generated characters will be provided. Keep an eye on for previews and other updates.

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Amberlark wrote:
Makes me wonder what their explanation for halflings is going to be.

They're tasty.

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I am probably in the minority is wishing we had shorter books. There is no reason you cannot create a functional, fun, gorgeous RPG in 128 pages. Big giant core books make games inaccessible and intimidating and a pain to actually use at the table.

That said, I understand that is not going to happen. I am just glad Starfinder will be OGL so I can use an SRD and other resources at the table rather than having to find some obscure rule buried in Chapter 14 under subsection G.

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Here's the rough first draft of the character generation rules I came up with, for those that might be interested:


The goal of character generation for the post apocalyptic Pathfinder game is to make as few changes to the rules as possible so that players will be able to consult their Core books, APGs, etc… without having to worry about reams of extra and conflicting material. As such, the following are the basic guidelines for character generation, which will likely get tweaked as we go through the process:

Ability Scores: There are no changes to ability scores. They should be generated by way of 4d6-L, in order, with the option to switch two scores.

Race: Only Humans are allowed. Note the ability score bonus and keep in mind any changes to skills and feats when choosing those benefits.

Classes: The following classes are allowed essentially unaltered from the Core book with options available from the Advanced Player’s Guide: Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger, and Rogue. Rangers should be of a sort that do not acquire spells and barbarians should not take options that give them overt extranormal powers. The flavor of PA we are going for here is more grounded, at least where PCs are concerned, with a decidedly sci-fi bent, rather than the gonzo Gamma World style.

A note on Rangers: for the purposes of Favored Enemies, monsters will be used right out of the Bestiaries. Most Humanoid type enemies will in fact be some flavor of cannibal mutant thing, so Humanoid (Goblinoid) becomes Mutant (Goblinoid). Undead will exist even if the explanation is more horrific superscience than magic, but they are still a viable enemy type.

Other allowed classes include the Alchemist, the Bard and the Monk. These three classes require much more care and buy in to the milieu to ensure they strike the right tone. The Alchemist is a student of pre-war tech. His “magical” abilities are re-skinned as concoctions and ancient, barely understood super-science. The Bard, rather than being a jack of all trades, is the descendent of a psychic commando engineered for the Final War. A bard’s abilities and spells represent psychic powers and only performances and spells should be chosen that can be reasonably explained as ESP, telepathy, psychokinesis and the like. Monks are a special case, representing genetically engineered super soldier bio-droids that have been wandering aimless for nearly a century since The End. A PC monk must be one that recently resurfaced with little or no memory of its prior existence.

Other classes are generally not allowed unless a player has a very compelling explanation for the character and a way to build it and describe it that does not destroy the admittedly already tenuous verisimilitude of the game.

Skills: Skills, including what are class skills for the various classes, remain mostly unchanged with a few exceptions. Knowledge (Arcana) is renamed Knowledge (Technology) and is used to discern and identify pre-End tech. Spellcraft has been eliminated entirely -- any of its uses that come up will be handled by Knowledge (Technology) -- and Use Magical Device becomes Use Technology and is a universal class skill and is usable untrained with the caveat that terrible failures always result in bloody hilarity. Add the Drive (Dex) skill, which is a class skill for anyone with the Ride skill. Fly becomes Pilot.

Feats: Generally speaking, all feats in the Core and APG are allowed and work as described in those sources. Note that some flavor changes may be required. In addition, firearms are considered bows and crossbows for feat purposes, and bullets are considered arrows (so, yes, Monks and others may Deflect Bullets).

Gear: Most equipment will work as explained in the book, with whatever necessary flavor changes get it in the right genre (ex: the alchemical items become technology). The big ones, of course, are guns.

All guns are martial weapons -- they are easy to fire but hard to master, so making them martial demands training or taking a -4 non-proficiency penalty. For the time being, I am going to simplify the types of guns into the following categories:

Pistols, Rifles and Shotguns

and the following firing modes:

Single Shot, Semi-Automatic and Automatic.

These combine to create 9 basic weapon types, costs, ammo capacities and range increments:

Pistol, Single Shot: revolver 50 gp, 6 rounds, 50 ft
Pistol, Semi-Auto: Modern Handgun 75 gp, 12 rounds, 50 ft
Pistol, Auto: Submachine Gun 100 gp, 30 rounds, 50 ft
Rifle, Single Shot: Hunting rifle 60 gp, 2 rounds, 150 ft
Rifle, Semi-Auto: Assault Rifle 100 gp, 30 rounds, 150 ft
Rifle, Auto: Machinegun 150 gp, 100 rounds, 150 ft
Shotgun, Single: Hunting Shotgun 75 gp, 1 round, 20 ft
Shotgun, Semi-Auto: Modern Shotgun 150 gp, 5 rounds, 20 ft
Shotgun, AUto: Tactical Shotgun 200 gp, 10 rounds, 20 ft

I realize this is an oversimplification of epic proportions, but it should get us started.

Pistol damage = 1d8/19-20. Rifle damage = 1d10/x3. Shotguns do 2d6/x4. Note: the shotgun critical multiplier is reduced by one per full range increment away to a minimum of x2 in the third range increment or farther. Ammunition is determined by category: all pistols use the same ammo, etc… Different ammo types can increase penetration (to hit), impact (damage or threat range), or add energy damage (ex: incendiary). Basic ammo costs 1 gp per round.

Firing Modes: It is a standard action to fire a single shot. Semi-automatic weapons may be”fired wild” as a full round action, consuming 3 rounds for a +2 to hit. Automatic weapons may fire a burst of 3 rounds for a +2 to hit as a standard action, or be fired on full auto (consuming 10 rounds or 50% of the ammo in the weapon, whichever is greater) as a full round action. Against a full auto attack, targets lose their dexterity bonus to AC, if any, and take double damage (triple on a successful critical hit).

If a character possesses the Point Blank Shot feat and is within 30 feet of his target, the threat range of a firearm is increased by 1.

A note about currency: the different types of coins in Pathfinder stand for different thing in this setting. CP (copper) = crappy pieces. SP (silver) = shiny pieces. GP (gold) = good pieces. PP (platinum) = perfect pieces. “Pieces” refers to bits of useful salvage, from transistors and copper wire to nuts, bolts and bullets. If a character is out of ammo, roll percentile against the number of GP the character has on hand (actual pieces, not just value in other treasure). If it is equal to or less than, then he has found a bullet in his pieces. Reduce the character’s GP by 1. The character may continue to search for a bullet in his GP until the first failed percentile roll. He may not check again until after finding more GP. This is a move equivalent action.

Liberty's Edge

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I am putting together a potst-apocalyptic campaign using the Pathfinder rules and I was hoping to get some insight and opinions. First off, let me establish two important things:

1) By "post apocalyptic" I mean nuclear wasteland (and other calamities) destroyed Earth inspired by the likes of CRPGs like Wasteland and Fallout, and other media like the movie Hell Comes to Frogtown and the comic Wasteland. So I mean a sci-fi post apocalypse, with plenty of weirdness and super-science, but no magic and with protagonists (aka PCs) that are primarily human -- so NOT Gamma World type mutants.

2) I want to mine information from Paizo published materials and the Pathfinder SRD because the players want to play Pathfinder, not a different game using the Pathfinder engine.

Also, i should note that I am totally aware of the upcoming technology Guide and Iron Gods AP, which will certainly have some useful stuff to incorporate, but we plan on starting sooner than August.

All that said, I am hoping to put together a list of character options. I am going to limit race to humans, but I want to collect enough non-magical classes and class archetypes to make sure there are plenty of options for everyone while keeping all of the meta-game archtypes (including healers) in the mix. I think I'll need to allow alchemists of some sort, given a high tech paint job, in order to achieve this. I am not totally against converting some spellcaster class into a psychic if it seems appropriate and necessary.

I figure it won't be too hard to paint most monsters as mutants, and a lot of magic items can be re-skinned as high-tech. Guns might be a problem, though, up to and including rocket launchers and plasma rifles, so any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks all.

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Allow me to start by saying that I really like the APs overall. I started with Kingmaker and thought it was brilliant, and am now running Jade Regent and we are having a great time. However, I have a criticism:

Today I was spending time prepping for tonight's game and realized that a lot of valuable information is buried too deeply in the prose. In this case, I am specifically referring to Brinewall Castle, but I think it applies more broadly.

I would like to request a change in format that lays out the important game elements of a room or encounter more clearly. An example would be the room description in Monte Cook's Dungeon-a-day. Whatever other problems DaD had, Monte came up with a nice format that gave a simple summary, door info, vision and light (plus sounds and smells) and room contents all in a concise and usable package. I shouldn't have to spend as much time prepping by mining the prose for important info as it would take to write the adventure myself.

Please consider how the APs are used at the actual table, and how making them more GM friendly increases their utility and therefore, hopefully, your sales.

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I want to say right now that a) this is awesome, and b) if they work out I want to see an ongoing sub of additional monster packs -- maybe themed, maybe AP specific.

Some people are suggesting this might cannibalize your pre-painted minis sales. I think they are wrong. I was *never* going to buy any randomized mini packs -- partly because of the randomized thing, and partly because it is just a pain to drag huge numbers of minis to the game (I GM at my FLGS and at a friend's house). You didn't lose minis sales from me with this product, you gained sales of this product (I might even buy 2 just to make sure I have enough monsters).

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Scott Betts wrote:

By my count there are five gargantuan creatures in the RotR AP that might merit release as part of this set:

Mother of Oblivion
Deathweb Spider
Shemhazian Demon
The Horror Tree
Rune Giant

Sadly, chances are that we won't see all five.

Gargantuan base rings for huge creatures, perhaps?

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(I hope this is the right forum for this.)

Contests. Open calls. Standard submissions (with or without query). On spec assignments. Taking writing resumes.

I started a thread under Paizo General about writing for PF, and the majority of the response pointed toward "write for a 3rd Party Publisher." Okay. I'll buy that.

So, who's hiring? I know many 3PPs are one-or-three man operations done as a labor of love, but some of you have to be open to submissions or be willing to give assignments. And I am certain that I am far from the only one on this board to be interested in such work.

So here's your chance. Let us know.