Goblin Snake

RiverMesa's page

Organized Play Member. 329 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Organized Play characters.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The idea of landmasses suspended in the sky, whether as individual islands or entire chains, is one of my all-time favorite staple visuals in fantasy - not least because it's just so quintessentially fantastical and not present in real life - D&D 4e's Forgotten Realms, maligned as they were by the community at large, provided me with those in spades, and many times have I tried to make a setting composed of such landscapes.

And yet... As far as I'm aware, there is not a place on Golarion that's like this - at least, none that I'm aware of, where this is a prominent and hallmark feature. If there is some obscure 1e module or scenario that has them, I'd love to hear about it.
(I'm aware there's things like the floating spires of Quantium in Nex, or that one still-flying Shory city somewhere in Tian Xia, but I'm talking more about honest to god floating mountain chains and whatnot, rather than artificial structures suspended by arcane magic or what have you.)

Failing that...I suppose this is a soft request to Paizo to introduce a region (in Arcadia, south Garund, or undefined parts of Casmaron, perhaps?) that has those - for a high fantasy anything-goes kitchen-sink world, this does strike me as something that's currently missing, even though I realize there's challenges to it (with regards to maps, for instance).


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

How are, if at all, the Experimental Prototype and Experimental Explosives ACFs for mechanic supposed to interact with the class's Coordinated Assault and Control Net features?

The prototypes (both weapon and armor) only replace the base Artificial Intelligence class feature, whereas Explosives only replace Coordinated Assault, but CA and CN are written in such a way that they assume you have either a drone or an exocortex, and kind of don't really work if you don't. (They weren't particularly future-proofed.)

Are they just, dead and not doing anything, or are they also supposed to be replaced, or is there some other interaction going on? It's particularly strange since Experimental Vehicle, an ACF that does not have this issue (since it explicitly replaces both CA and CN), was released in the same book (same page spread, even!) as the Experimental Explosives, which inexplicably replace one of the features but not the other.

Just for reference, all the pertinent class features' text, as per AoN:

Coordinated Assault (Ex) - 11th level wrote:

If you have a drone, whenever both you and your drone make attacks against the same target, you each receive a +1 circumstance bonus to your attack rolls. If you have an exocortex instead, whenever you and your exocortex are both attempting to hack a system, you each receive a +1 circumstance bonus to the checks to gain access. In either case, these bonuses increase to +2 at 17th level.

Control Net (Ex) - 17th level wrote:

You are capable of operating multiple AIs, one in a drone and one in an exocortex. You must divide up your mechanic level between these different AIs, and each gains abilities based on the number of levels you assign to it. Every time you gain a level in mechanic, you can change the distribution of levels between these AIs using your custom rig after 24 hours of uninterrupted work. While each AI can act independently to the limits of its ability, you can control them as normal (although you can directly control only one AI at a time). If the number of levels assigned to your exocortex is less than your mechanic level, your exocortex grants a smaller increase to your base attack bonus when using combat tracking (see page 79), as noted in the table below. You gain additional exocortex abilities, such as wireless hack and multitasking, based upon the level you assign to it as normal.

Levels Assigned | Increase to Base Attack Bonus
1-4 | +1
5-8 | +2
9-12 | +3
13-16 | +4
17-20 | +5

Experimental Armor Prototype

Experimental Explosives

Experimental Weapon Prototype


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Garund is a huge continent as it turns out, with basically two thirds of the continent still undetailed. Lost Omens Mwangi Expanse was a fantastic glimpse into a previously poorly-portrayed region, and I'm so eager to see what lies further down south, and I hope I'm not alone in that. Obviously detailing it couldn't happen all at once (outside of a wide-but-shallow gazetteer type of book), but we can still speculate and maybe give Paizo a bit of fan input on where to go next.

So to do a quick round-up of all the information that I could scour on the place currently so we know where we stand:

- the nations of Holomog (bordering Geb and spanning the eastern coastline) and Droon are called out a lot, and we have a whole write-up on the Holoma city of Anuli, which also features some additional details on Holomog itself (going into a bit about the celestially-appointed omwa matriarchs)

- Nurvatcha, home nation of the anadi, has a sidebar in the LOME talking briefly about two cities therein (the capital Domithari, with its Empty Throne for Grandmother Spider; and Majabi, with the magical First Weave tapestry detailing the first anadi transformation spells)

- Murraseth, the ancestral city-state of the amurrun, plus the other surrounding amurrun city-states Frowiseth, Eserowaan, and Ulemsaleth

- Kaz'ulu, a triad of Bekyar city-states just to the south of Vidrian

- Ekkeshikaar, the iruxi island nation-state to the south-west of Vidrian

- Eihlona, briefly mentioned in Guns & Gears as a highly advanced technomagical nation utilizing relics of the Shory whose flying cities crashed into their country; are on the verge of rediscovering the secret of creating Jistkan automata

- Chauxen and Tirakawhan, Vudrani and Keleshite colonies respectively

- Dehrukani, a place of azata and empyreal lord worship (might be close-by to Holomog? pure conjecture though, but it's thematically adjacent)

If I missed anything, let me know.

Personally, I'd love to hear more about Eihlona - the vibe I'm getting from it is somewhere between Eberron (vis-a-vis magitech) and Magic the Gathering's Kaladesh (but with a Southern African flavor, rather than that of India), and it would be great to see magitech with a distinctly African-inspired look.

While they don't have any names yet, I'm very curious about the huge lakes visible on the world map (the bigger of which I personally currently refer to as Fantasy Lake Victoria, though naturally it's better off with a local-language name than that given to it by a white 'explorer') and the island chain to the very south.

And while there isn't anything pointing towards a place like that currently, it would be interesting to see a horror-tinged meta-region of some sort, loosely akin to places like Nidal or Ustalav, though with an African influence, and ideally not of the pulpy Darkest Africa variety.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So Lost Omens: Mwangi Expanse was and still is great, but ironically enough, I found that the new ancestries within were kind of the weakest part of the book - not from a quality standpoint, mind you, but on the basis of there just not being that much on them - especially the brand-new folks like shisks, golomas and conrasus (anadi seem to be getting decent amount of love, relatively speaking, and gripplis and gnolls are already somewhat familiar to most people). Their writeups were only 6 pages each and mostly consisted of mechanical material, and they didn't feel well-integrated with the rest of LO:ME, with maybe a scant few references to their NPCs or settlements or what have you.

But! There is a way around this! Featuring them in other published material moving forward!
Whether that's Adventure Path volumes (especially those that continue to stick around Garund), stand-alone Adventures, Oneshots, Pathfinder Society scenarios, or anything else, I want to see more of these peoples, literally even - I have zero clue how to conceptualize a conrasu moving, for instance, or doing most other common adventuring activities.

Anyone else feeling this way?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When it comes to worldbuilding, I love factions and organizations that can drive campaigns, as villains, allies or patrons to the PCs, and Pathfinder has some pretty cool ones.

However, while we have some information on 'the big five' in PF2, with one having a dedicated book and another on the way (Pathfinder Society and Knights of Lastwall), there's several more that were given dedicated sections in the Character Guide that in themselves could use dedicated books (Hellknights and Firebrands in particular; not sure if it's too late for a dedicated Magaambya book, but hey, I wouldn't complain!).

But, those are not the only factions that are out there, and a book that talks about them in greater detail and provides thematic rules options for them would be great.

I know there were some books of this sort in 1st edition Pathfinder - Adventurer's Guide in particular, but between the mechanical and narrative changes to the game in the edition switch, it seems like it might be worthwhile to have a book in this vein.

The back of the Character Guide has some brief stuff on a handful that could be greatly expanded upon, especially for those who don't want to go hunting down potentially outdated 1st edition sources:
- The Aldori Swordlords
- Aspis Consortium
- Bellflower Network
- Eagle Knights
- Houses of Perfection
- Lion Blades
- Red Mantis Assassins
- Whispering Way

And looking at the 1e Adventurer's Guide, there's also:
- Al-Zabriti (badly due for a rewrite to be more than a wishy-washy mishmash of Middle Eastern tropes)
- Council of Thieves
- Cyphermages
- Gray Maidens (not sure how the new Korvosa adventure will impact those, though)
- Lantern Bearers
- Mammoth Lords
- Rivethun
- Silver Ravens (are they still a thing?)
- Storm Kindlers

But beyond those, it would be great to see some new organizations from across the world - in Tian Xia and/or Arcadia, for instance. Selfishly, I'd also love information on the Vane, Vidrian's intelligence agency, but that might be a little niche for such a book.

And of course, it'd be a great place to include new uncommon and rare options tied to those - items, archetypes, expansions on existing archetypes (like the Bellflower Tiller or Student of Perfection), spells, and whatnot - classic LO stuff.

Thoughts? Would you want such a book? If so, what would you want to see in it?


So, alchemy - a staple in fantasy, almost unheard of in sci-fi, where, well, science and its more modern and futuristic counterparts (modern medicinals and drugs and biotech and whatnot) tend to reign supreme.

However, between lower-tech worlds that might not have access to (or taboos against) modern medicine, occult-inclined groups and individuals, and being a subject of study to pre-Gap researchers, surely alchemy must still exist in some capacity in the Starfinder days, even if we don't really have any rules options or almost any mentions of it, other than the Mysticism skill description implying that alchemical theory is a thing you might want to roll for. (And possibly serums and spell ampoules.)

Now, another thing is that in Pathfinder, the treatment of alchemy shifted between game editions - it was a magical thing in PF1, akin to how it is in D&D, but shifted to its own, distinctly nonmagical thing in PF2.

And Starfinder just so happened to come out between those two games, and never established its position on what to treat alchemy as.

So, alchemy, what's the deal with it in SF?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, I was under the impression that I'd need to make these myself (or wait for Alien Archive 5 next year at the earliest), but this is very much appreciated.


So I've only given the mech section a cursory skim, but a thing immediately stood out to me:

Given that the mechs aren't quite characters and they aren't quite mechs (though they're built more like the latter than the former), they don't neatly fit into either the character sheet nor the starship sheet.

And sure enough I suspect that the final version of TR will feature something, but currently there's a distinct lack of a sheet to neatly record mech info on, which given the amount of information that needs to be tracked seems like a bit of an oversight.

I think I might whip up a very barebones sheet in Google Sheets for my group (though I'm no wizard with it), but I'm wondering if anyone else is willing to do a similar thing (or if Paizo is intending on doing that).


So Character Operations Manual introduced the idea of alternate class features for the CRB classes (not a new d20 thing, but new as far as Starfinder goes), opening up some cool new paths and character concepts.

However, the three new classes from that same book, the biohacker, vanguard and witchwarper, did not receive such alternative features, but I'd be highly surprised if we didn't see those at some point down the line, whether in another COM-like book or somewhere else.

And of course, it's not an impossibility that we might see even more ACFs for the core classes as well.

What kinds of features would you want to see introduced, though, either for the CRB classes or the COM ones (or dare I say for the nanocyte, but we don't even know what the base class looks like yet so...)?


So one of the great things about Starfinder IMO that makes it stand out in the sci-fi crowd is the strong integration of fantasy elements - widespread magic, active gods (or really, religion in general, given how some science fiction seems to go down the route of "we'll outgrow such superstitions in the future!), other planes of existence, the various magical classes and species...

...And yet there isn't really a book dedicated to the topic, which seems like a pretty big gap in the current Starfinder sourcebook roster. We have Armory and Starship Operations Manual covering the (mostly) technological side of things, maybe it's time for magic to be in the spotlight?

And so much could be done with a book like that!
- More detailed writeups on gods, other faiths and philosophies in the Pact Worlds and beyond
- The role of magic in the far-flung future
- Stuff pertaining to the magic-adjacent classes like mystic, technomancer, solarian and witchwarper
- Maybe even something on the Great Beyond? Surely the planes aren't the same now as they were back in the pre-Gap days.
- And of course, a plethora of magical player options - spells, magic and hybrid items, magical class options (particularly for, but not exclusively, the spellcasters), the sorts.

This is absolutely not at all inspired by the fact that Lost Omens Gods & Magic is coming out on the Pathfinder 2e side of things soon, no, why would you suggest such a thing?

With how far in advance Paizo works, I'm almost certain something like this has at least been on the table for a while, but I want it to be more publicly known that there's non-zero demand for this, and also I'm curious to see what specific things others would want to see in a book like that.



Advanced Character Guide

Lost Omens Advanced Player's Guide

Where's the truth?

(I'm excited as hell, though.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I understand that Starfinder hasn't been around for very long (and is on a somewhat slow production schedule compared to Pathfinder), so there's only so much content that can be churned out at any given moment, but I've noticed one glaring omission from its roster of options:

Giant mecha.
Sure enough we have starships, vehicles and power armor, but no MECHS.

Mecha fiction is practically its own sub-genre of sci-fi fiction, especially as far as manga/anime and video games are concerned.
Whether it's Battletech, Mobile Suit Gundam, Pacific Rim or even the upcoming RPG Lancer, people love their giant robots.

And with Starfinder's particular blend of science-fantasy, you could get some really great designs going - and who doesn't enjoy the idea of a mech that can cast spells?

And last but not least, a tie-in giant mecha adventure path where you fight kaiju would just be too damn perfect.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So everyone is very vigorously discussing the big thing coming in the APG - the four new character classes.

However, we know that those are not the only things coming in that book worthy of being excited about - we still have ancestries, archetypes, spells, equipment and who knows what else in there.

So, what do you want to see from the APG that maybe hasn't been talked about yet?

For me it's certainly more class feats and class paths for the core classes (as well as class archetypes but by the sound of it not many are there) - neutral/evil champion causes, more sorcerer bloodlines, maybe-the-oft-mentioned ranger focus spells? Make use of that sweet sweet design space.

Beyond that, rituals - currently they only go up to level 8 (obtainable at level 16) but they should technically be able to go all the way up to level 10 (obtainable at 20) much like spells do, and there's quite a few missing classics that would make for excellent rituals - reincarnate and create demiplane come to mind here especially.


So the beginning of each class' chapter has two sections, called Playing a [Class] (focusing on the mechanical side of what you do during each of the possible modes of play) and Roleplaying a [Class] (how you do things roleplay/fluff-wise).

Except for Wizard, where the first section is called Adventuring as a Wizard.
Breaking the pattern for...approximately no discernible reason?

It's just so jarring and aesthetically displeasing, to have one (1) class break up the pattern like that.

This rather uncalled-for pattern break aside, I really like those sections as they talk about what you do from both a rollplaying perspective and a roleplaying perspective - a great way to introduce someone to a class. And the descriptions of how others might view a certain class are also a really nice touch (showing the good and the bad, too). So big props there!
Just please, change the title of that section so it stays consistent with the rest of the classes.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

So right now, the spell lists section of the playtest is...uh, a mess, the way it's formatted.

It *very* much reminds me of the D&D 5e's PHB spell list section, in a bad way - not meant as an affront on 5e, but they're kind of chaotically listed across the pages in tight, irregular columns. On top of that, they lack the short descriptions that PF1's CRB spell list had - which were a great way to quickly get the idea of a spell across, particularly while just looking at what your class has to offer - all the PF2 lists give you is the name (and whether the spell is uncommon and/or heightenable), so there's much worse 'discoverability' in that regard, where you see a neat name and/or a description that captures your interest and makes you flip over to the actual spell's description to find out more.

Heck, while scrolling I'll often time lose track of which list I'm actually looking at because the name of the spell list is on another page or some such. Again, the PF1 rulebook didn't have this issue because each section was clearly labeled as "X-th level Class spells", and it was just generally structured in a more 'natural' ways, compared to the thin columns of the PF2 rulebook.

It's especially disappointing since on the whole I find the Playtest to be decently organized (though I know that's a somewhat contentious issue, with people holding some very polarizing opinions on the matter), with some outlier sections, this being one of them.

I'm no graphic designer, but I genuinely believe there is a better way to structure the spell lists in the rulebook than what exists currently. Whether that's straight up tables, the PF1 list approach, or something else entirely, anything would be better than what's in there right now in my eyes.


Ranger's pack, cleric's pack, wizard's pack etc. - where did those go?

They provided a nice and easy way to start off with thematically appropriate and useful equipment quickly, without having to go through the whole adventuring gear list and handpick all the items.

Their lack both makes character creation ever so slightly more overwhelming than it needs to (for newer players anyway), and slows it down somewhat.

They don't necessarily need to come back in the exact same way they did in PF1 - 5e has a set of more class-agnostic packs (explorer's pack, diplomat's pack, scholar's pack, priest's pack etc.), and some classes get to pick between two, plus you can buy them straight-up like you would any other item.

One could even tie them to the backgrounds rather than class, potentially.

I don't know, anything would be better than nothing. Handpicking your starting gear can be fun, but the option to just go with a predefined set (and get a nice discount too) just kind of stings not to have.


So over and over, both Paizo directly and the Playtest books themselves talk about the importance of playtesting and giving Paizo feedback on what we feel needs to change, and that they are open to said change, and that is great in theory, but how will that look in practice? I feel like it's something worth knowing now that we are in the Playtest period proper.

What's the scope of changes we can expect? Is it just small stuff like fixing typos & grammar errors, changes to the layout of the books, minor design/balance changes?
Or can we expect broader overhauls as well?

Moreover, how often can such changes be expected to happen, and how exactly will they look like?
Will we have to re-download the playtest material each time they are updated and/or will there be something closer to changelogs or separate errata documents?

(Of course people who bought the physical rulebooks are probably a little screwed no matter how it's handled, though.)

I'm personally very excited for PF2 (and like what it offers so far, but I am not a Pathfinder 1e veteran by any measure), and I get that Paizo wants the new edition to be good, and so does pretty much everyone on these boards (or so I hope, anyway) - but I would be a little bummed out if the results of the feedback don't end up seeing the light of day till the actual Core Rulebook release next August.